REVIEW: TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES (2012) – SEASON 4.2

MAIN CAST (VOICES)

Seth Green (Family Guy)
Sean Astin (Lord of The Rings)
Greg Cipes (Teen Titans)
Rob Paulsen (Animaniacs)
Mae Whiteman (Independence Day)
Kevin Michael Richardson (The Cleveland Show)
Josh Peck (Drake & Josh)
Hoon Lee (Banshee)

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RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

David Tennant (Jessica Jones)
Peter Stormare (22 Jump Street)
Michael Dorn (Ted 2)
Clancy Brown (Highlander)
Corey Feldman (The Lost Boys)
Eric Bauz (Ben 10)
Tom Kenny (Spongebob Squarepants)
Nolan North (TMNT)
Kelly Hu (Arrow)
Christian Lanz (Rune)
Gwendoline Yeo (American Crime)
J.B. Smoove (Date Night)
Andrew Kishino (Batman: The Killing Joke)
Fred Tatasciore (Hulk Vs)
Phil LaMArr (Free Enterprise)
Peter Lurie (Marvel Disk Wars)
Robbie Rist (Bako)
Brian Bloom (The A-Team)
Daran Norris (Izombie)
Jeff Bennett (Enchanted)
Jeffrey Combs (Re-Animator)
Minae Noji (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2014)Season 4 coninutes  with thise awesome 2 disc volume.  With the last fragment of the Black Hole Generator in the Triceraton’s possession, the Turtles race back to New York City for a final showdown against the alien threat. But even if they save Earth from total annihilation, will their city ever be the same.teenage-mutant-ninja-turtles-the-everburning-fire-review_1EPISODES ON DISC INCLUDE

4.13) THE EVER-BURNING FIRE

tmnt-revenge-of-the-triceratons-1280jpg-68443a_1280wThe Turtles must overcome impossible odds like the Triceratons and Lord Dregg in order to obtain the final Black Hole Generator piece that is located on the lava planet of Magdomar, guarded by the cosmic alligator snapping turtle-like beast Tokka. In the end, they lose all three pieces and Mozar calls them at the end saying they are going to use the black hole generator on Earth.

4.14) EARTH’S LAST STAND

As the team finally reaches Earth, the Fugitoid reveals a horrible secret about his past. He reveals that he was the creator of the Heart of Darkness. At the end of the episode, the turtles warn Splinter about Shredder’s betrayal, while Fugitoid flies himself and his ship into the Triceraton mothership along with the Heart of Darkness to destroy it; taking the Triceratons and himself down with it. The Turtles, April and Casey mourn his ultimate sacrifice for their world. However, at the end of the episode, his head reactivates in the Triceraton rubble.

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4.15) CITY AT WAR

Weeks after the Triceratons were stopped, the Turtles now celebrates April’s full transition as a kunoichi. They find out Karai has returned and she vowed to restore the Foot Clan and undo the damage the Shredder has done to the Clan with the help of her old friend from Japan, Shinigami. It is revealed that Shredder is alive but gravely injured from the previous episode who now uses mutagen provided by Stockman to speed up his recovery and to further increase his strength.

4.16) BROKEN FOOT

When Leonardo secretly allies himself with Karai who now has Foot Soldiers of her own he gets himself into deeper danger than he could have realized, such as Donatello getting injured from explosives and the Turtles and Karai close to death in the Foot Soldier Factory. In the end Karai no longer wants to go after Shredder’s belongings but she wants to go after Shredder himself.

4.17) THE INSECTA TRIFECTA

Raphael must overcome his fear of insects to help the team when they are forced to battle Stockman-Fly’s new insect minions Scumbug and Antrax, who have captured Casey Jones at the time when Shredder was recuperating.

4.18) MUTANT GANGLAND

With the Shredder missing from the city, Don Vizioso desires to take over by having his gangster engineer highly advanced anti-mutant weapons that have been designed to incapacitate the Turtles and their fellow mutants. When Mondo Gecko and Donnie are abducted, it is up to Leo, Mikey, Raph, Slash, Leatherhead, and Dr. Rockwell to save them from being taken apart for the amusement of Don Vizioso. However, they must also deal with Don’s strongest and most lethal of minions: Hammer.

4.19) BAT IN THE BELFRY

Donnie experiments with April’s crystalline fragment of the mystical Sol Star (which she is becoming quite obsessed with, due to its mighty power further developing and rapidly increasing her psychic abilities to tremendous levels), but accidentally supercharges it with electricity, that stirs sudden sentience and autonomy in the crystal fragment. It then uses this to bring four of the main characters from Mikey’s favorite comic book to life.  Mikey easily befriends the heroes Wingnut and Screwloose, and he and Casey join them in stopping crime. But when they tell the two superheroes about the fact that they’re fictional characters, and show them the mystical Sol Star, it causes Wingnut and Screwloose to transform into insane monstrous forms. Meanwhile, Donatello becomes incessantly worried that the Sol Star fragment is gradually affecting April’s mental stability.

4.20) THE SUPER SHREDDER

For the first time, the Turtles encounter something they cannot defeat – the Super Shredder! Now far stronger and more vicious than ever, Shredder has returned to put an end to Splinter and the Turtles once and for all. He captures Karai and challenges Splinter to another duel to the death. Meanwhile, the Turtles and April have to deal with Tiger Claw, Rahzar, and Fishface. In the Undercity, the duel between Splinter and Super Shredder begins to heat up; particularly when Shredder’s right arm begins to go out of control as a dangerous side effect of the highly unstable mutagen dosages Stockman-Fly had warned him of. The Turtles, April and Karai show up to assist Splinter, but are held up Chrome Domes. As Super Shredder prepares for the final blow, Splinter throws a knife at some smoke bombs, which causes the ledge to crumble and collapse, resulting in the longtime rivals to fall 1,000 feet into the abyss below; presumably to their deaths.

4.21) DARKEST PLIGHT

The Turtles (along with April, Casey, and Karai) desperately hunt for Splinter, as Super Shredder is seen to have survived and has Bebop and Rocksteady make sure that Splinter is truly destroyed. Donnie, Mikey, Raph and Casey go to search the Undercity for Splinter with their grappling hooks; unaware that Bebop and Rocksteady are not far. Meanwhile Leo, Karai and April lure Tiger Claw and Super Shredder to the surface. Leo is separated from the two girls and left to battle Super Shredder all on his own. Fortunately, April uses her extraordinarily powerful telekinetic abilities against Super Shredder and succeeds in saving Karai from being crushed by a truck that contains sulfuric acid (thanks to the mystical Sol Star fragment further amplifying her psionic abilities), her eyes glow a bright blue and she smiles malevolently as she hurls it right back at Super Shredder.In the depths of the Undercity, a gravely injured and weakened Splinter is shocked to find the Rat King, who wants him back under his control. But is revealed to have been nothing more than hallucinations due to his fever. He is then rescued by a joyous Donnie and Mikey. At his new lair, Super Shredder demands more mutagen, which Tiger Claw adamantly refuses to allow, as it will destroy his entire being. However, he forces Stockman-Fly to inject the remaining dosages of the unstable mutagen into his system as Tiger Claw watches in terror and fear.tmnt-100th-episode.png

4.22) THE POWER INSIDE HER

Despite Leonardo’s uncertainty, Donatello decides to do tests on April, but only ends up in further increasing her psionic abilities and being possessed by the corrupted spirit of an almighty elder Aeon from within the Sol Star fragment, by the name of Za-Naron. In the end, April succeeds in regaining control, putting an end to Za-Naron and breaking the Sol Star fragment. She apologizes for not listening to what they had warned her about the influence the crystal fragment had on her; particularly Donnie. She assures everyone that even though she can no longer harness the great mystical power of the Aeons, she now has a better understanding of how to control her increasingly powerful psionic abilities on her own.tumblr_inline_okx05xknnz1u81y09_1280

4.23) TOKKA VS. THE WORLD

Tokka, who is shown to have survived the colossal implosion of the dwarf star in “The Ever-Burning Fire”, returns and discovers that her baby boy (whom Raphael adopted as Chompy Picasso) is missing. Determined to get him back, she crash lands on Earth; leading up to an intense battle between her, the Earth Protection Force, and the Turtles who meet up with Bishop, who aids E.P.F. in advancing Earth’s defenses against more extraterrestrial invasions. Raph manages to approach Tokka and explains that he only took her baby because he believed that she had perished, leaving Chompy motherless. Touched by this, Tokka leaves Chompy in Raph’s care and returns to Magdomar. Splinter wonders what Raph will do once Chompy becomes full grown, to which Raph replies that he knows that Chompy is fated to return to the stars one day but will always look out for him until that day comes.Totc

4.24: THE TALE OF TIGER CLAW

A dangerous female assassin and fox-mutant, by the name of Alopex, with super speed, appears who is bent on taking down her own brother, Tiger Claw, with the cursed Blades of Vengeance. The Turtles, April and Casey try to befriend her, but she turns on them and furiously goes after Tiger Claw alone, but not before she curses Casey with the blades. Unfortunately, for her, Tiger Claw has well prepared for her arrival. The Turtles make the scene and distract Tiger Claw while April uses her tanto to break the M.O.U.S.E.R. cage that traps her. In gratitude, Alopex returns one of the blades to Casey, and April uses her telekinetic abilities to borrow Tiger Claw’s ice gun so Casey can destroy them, thus breaking their curse. Alopex pins Tiger Claw and seems prepared to kill him again but decides against it as it is not honorable. Tiger Claw shoots her from behind, but Alopex anticipates this and dodges the blast and slices off his right arm; an act that shocks even the Turtles. As Bebop and Rocksteady take the mutilated Tiger Claw away, Alopex takes off to the city rooftops again.

4.25) REQUIEM

When the Mutagen serum that Super Shredder used to mutate himself had been stabilized, Super Shredder is rid of his weaknesses and he is ready to hunt down Splinter and the Turtles and finish the fierce battle between him and his enemies and he finishes off Splinter by stabbing him and throwing him off the rooftop of the Wolf Hotel where the turtles first fought Shredder. April then uses a psychic blast to throw Super Shredder off the roof and into a garbage truck and Casey seemingly kills him by turning on the crusher. The grieving turtles then carry Splinter’s body to the Shellraiser and depart to lay him to rest. Super Shredder’s hand bursts through the top of the truck, still very much alive.Screen-Shot-2017-02-26-at-1_54_42-PM

5.26) OWARI

After Splinter is buried on the O’Neil farm, his spirit informs Leonardo that Super Shredder is still alive and needs to be stopped. The Turtles, April, and Casey ambush Shredder’s hideout after finding out the location from the injured Karai. They defeat Super Shredder’s henchmen (even turning Baxter Stockman back to normal in the process) before confronting Saki on the roof of the hideout. After Super Shredder knocks almost everyone off the building, Leonardo finally defeats the Shredder and finishes him off. The Turtles return to New York victorious as they prepare for the next imminent threat.tmnt-426-16x9An excellent end to season 4, leaves you wanting more… Roll on Season 5.

 

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REVIEW: THE DO-OVER

CAST

Adam Sandler (Jack & Jill)
David Spade (8 Simple Rules)
Paula Patton (2 Guns)
Catherine Bell (JAG)
Nick Swardson (Grown Ups 2)
Matt Walsh (Elf)
Luis Guzmán (McBain)
Kathryn Hahn (Bad Moms)
Natasha Leggero (He’s Just Not That Into You)
Michael Chiklis (Gotham)
Renée Taylor (Delirious)
Sean Astin (The Goonies)

Charlie McMillan (David Spade) is an unhappily married bank manager in a supermarket who reunites with his old high school buddy and FBI agent Max Kessler (Adam Sandler) at a high school reunion. They spend a weekend on Max’s yacht, which makes Charlie feel young again. However, Max blows up his yacht and fakes their deaths. When Charlie regains consciousness, Max explains that they can now both start new, better lives. He confesses that he was not FBI, but a coroner. This allowed him to use two unclaimed cadavers in place of them when he blew up the yacht. Although initially appalled, Charlie has no reason to return to his old life. He is given the new identity of Dr. Ronald P. Fishman and Max takes on the new name Butch Ryder. Max tells Charlie he found a key in Butch’s rectum and Charlie being a bank manager finds out it belongs to a safety deposit box in Puerto Rico.They relocate to Puerto Rico and access the late Butch’s safe deposit box. The box contains money and the keys to a secret mansion hideaway. The duo learn that the late Ronald was married after seeing a picture of his wife on Butch’s tablet. Max and Charlie are then attacked by a group of assassins led by a hitman called “The Gymnast” (Torsten Voges). They manage to escape and Max reveals he lied about being a coroner, he’s a guidance counselor. He wanted to be a police officer, but was unsuccessful due to failing his psychological exam. They return to the continental U.S. and find Ronald’s widow, Heather (Paula Patton). Max and Charlie explain to her that Ronald was murdered and infer that Butch got Ronald entangled in criminal activity. Heather informs them that Ronald’s study was broken into recently.The trio head to a biker bar where Ronald and Butch used to meet up. At the bar, they learn that Butch had stage 4 cancer. Ronald had developed a “magic bullet” cancer treatment and they began conducting secret, non-FDA approved clinical trials. When Ronald’s partner Arthur “Shecky” Sheck withdrew funding, Butch started robbing banks. But they also learn, to their disgust, that Ronald and Butch were having a love affair. The group heads to Shecky’s (Matt Walsh) home where he reveals that his laptop and cell phone were stolen. The trio leave and determine that the men who tried to kill them wanted the cancer treatment formula and broke into Heather’s and Shecky’s homes to try to find it. Charlie says they should hand over the formula when they find it, which Max protests. Charlie then discovers that Max was actually one of Ronald’s cancer patients. He also learns that Max has a young son with his wife, Becca (Kathryn Hahn), and realizes Max has been trying to recover the cure to save his own life all along.960Max returns to Shecky’s house, thinking that he is withholding the cure. Shecky has been mortally wounded by a gunshot, but reveals that the assassins were hired by Trojgaard, the world’s largest chemotherapy company, to steal the cure so they could bury it. Shecky then dies and the Gymnast shows up to take Max hostage. Meanwhile, Charlie figures out that Ronald’s cure has been disguised as a Jenga app on Butch’s tablet. He attempts to call Max, but the Gymnast destroys Max’s cell phone. Heather then arrives at Shecky’s house and reveals to Max that she not only accepted a fortune from Trojgaard to bury the drug, but she was the one who killed Ronald and Butch.tdo-18139rcjpg-4576daa668692043Charlie calls Heather and she claims Max killed Shecky. Charlie sees through her lie and comes to rescue Max. Heather manages to pull a gun on Charlie, but Max escapes from the Gymnast and knocks her out. Heather recovers, but Becca shows up and beats her unconscious. The police arrive, resulting in the tablet being accidentally thrown into water. The tablet suffers irreparable damage, but Charlie backed up the formula on a USB flash drive. The duo are pardoned for their crimes when they offer the cancer treatment as a bargaining chip. Charlie, Max, Max’s wife Becca, son and mother return to the house in Puerto Rico after Max is cured. The movie ends with Max and Charlie jumping off a cliff into the ocean, a feat which Charlie previously thought he would never be brave enough to do.untitledThe movie isn’t a classic. It isn’t going to be one you’re quoting. The film is enjoyable! If you’re looking for a laugh, it’s a good film to watch.

REVIEW: COURAGE UNDER FIRE

CAST

Denzel Washington (The Equalizer)
Meg Ryan (Anastasia)
Lou Diamond Phillips (Young Guns)
Matt Damon (The MArtian)
Bronson Pinchot (Lois & Clark)
Seth Gilliam (Oz)
Regina Taylor (Children of The Dust)
Michael Moriarty (Troll)
Željko Ivanek (Heores)
Scott Glenn (Daredevil)
Tim Guinee (Iron Man)
Sean Astin (Lord of The Rings)
Sean Patrick Thomas (Save The Last Dance)

While serving in the Gulf War, Lieutenant Colonel Serling (Denzel Washington) accidentally destroys one of his own tanks during a confusing night-time battle, killing his friend, Captain Boylar. The US Army covers up the details and transfers Serling to a desk job.Later, Serling is assigned to determine if Captain Karen Emma Walden (Meg Ryan) should be the first woman to receive a (posthumous) Medal of Honor. She was the commander of a Medevac Huey that was sent to rescue the crew of a shot-down Black Hawk. When she encountered a T-54, her crew destroyed it by dropping a fuel bladder onto the tank and igniting it with a flare gun. However, her own helicopter was shot down soon after. The two crews were unable to join forces, and when the survivors were rescued the next day, Walden was reported dead.Serling notices inconsistencies between the testimonies of Walden’s crew. Specialist Andrew Ilario (Matt Damon), the medic, praises Walden strongly. However, Staff Sergeant John Monfriez (Lou Diamond Phillips) claims that Walden was a coward and that he led the crew in combat and improvised the fuel bladder weapon. Sergeant Altameyer, who is dying in a hospital, complains about a fire. Warrant Officer One Rady, the co-pilot, was injured early on and unconscious throughout. Furthermore, the crew of the Black Hawk claim that they heard firing from an M16, but Ilario and Monfriez deny they had one.Under pressure from the White House and his commander, Brigadier General Hershberg (Michael Moriarty), to wrap things up quickly, Serling leaks the story to newspaper reporter Tony Gartner (Scott Glenn) to prevent another cover-up. When Serling grills Monfriez during a car ride, Monfriez forces him to get out of the vehicle at gunpoint, then commits suicide by driving into an oncoming train. Serling tracks Ilario down, and Ilario finally tells him the truth. Monfriez wanted to flee, which would mean abandoning Rady. When Walden refused, he pulled a gun on her. Walden then shot an enemy who appeared behind Monfriez, but Monfriez thought Walden was firing at him and shot her in the stomach, before backing off. The next morning, the enemy attacked again as a rescue party approached. Walden covered her men’s retreat, firing an M16. However, Monfriez told the rescuers that Walden was dead, so they left without her. Napalm was then dropped on the entire area. Altameyer tried to expose Monfriez’s lie at the time, but was too injured to speak, and Ilario was too scared of the court-martial Walden had threatened them with and remained silent.Serling presents his final report to Hershberg. Walden’s young daughter receives the Medal of Honor at a White House ceremony. Later, Serling tells the truth to the Boylars about the manner of their son’s death and says he cannot ask for forgiveness. The Boylars tell Serling he must put down the burden at some point and grant him their forgiveness. In the last moments, Serling has a flashback of when he was standing by Boylar’s destroyed tank and a medevac Huey was lifting off with his friend’s body. Serling suddenly realises Walden was the Huey pilot.Truly compelling direction and very special character portrayal make this an extremely enjoyable, very dramatic movie.

 

REVIEW: THE GOONIES

 CAST

Sean Astin (Lord of The Rings)
Corey Feldman (The Lost Boys)
Jeff Cohen (Perfect Harmony)
Josh Brolin (Jonah Hex)
Jonathan Ke Quan (The The Temple of Doom)
Kerri Green (Bellyfruit)
Martha Plimpton (Dante’s Inferno)
Anne Ramsey (From Noon Till Three)
Joe Pantoliano (The Matrix)
Robert Davi (Predator 2)
Mary Ellen Trainor (Roswell)
Lupe Ontiveros (Picking Up The Pieces)

Facing foreclosure of their homes in the Goon Docks area of Astoria, Oregon to an expanding country club, a group of children who call themselves “the Goonies”, gather for a final weekend together. The Goonies include optimist Mikey Walsh, his older brother, Brand, the inventive Data, the talkative Mouth, and the overweight klutz Chunk. While rummaging through the Walshes’ attic, they come across a 1632 doubloon and an old treasure map purporting to lead to the famous pirate “One-Eyed” Willy’s hoard located nearby. Evading Brand for one last adventure together, the kids find themselves at a derelict restaurant near the coast, which coincides with the doubloon and the map. They encounter the Fratellis, a family of criminals hiding out at the restaurant. Evading detection by returning outside, the kids run into Brand and two girls: the popular cheerleader Andy, who has a mutual crush on Brand, and Stef, Andy’s nerdy, tough-talking best friend.Mikey convinces Brand to return to the restaurant to explore after the Fratellis leave, discovering that the criminals are running a counterfeiting operation. As the Fratellis return, the group finds a tunnel beneath the restaurant and hides in there, sending Chunk to notify the authorities. They explore the tunnel and find the remains of a previous explorer, who also searched for the treasure, and Mikey is sure they are on the right trail. Evading various booby traps, set up by Willy, they find themselves under an old wishing well. The kids have a chance to be pulled out of the tunnel by Andy’s obnoxious boyfriend Troy, whose family owns the country club, but Mikey convinces the group to continue on their journey. Meanwhile, Chunk, who has escaped the restaurant, tries to flag down several passing cars, but is intercepted and kidnapped by Jake and Francis Fratelli. When the Fratellis threaten to shred his hands with an active blender, a terrified Chunk reveals not only where his friends are, but also the existence of the treasure. The Fratellis tie Chunk to a chair and lock him in the basement next to Sloth, their deformed younger brother kept chained to the wall. While the Fratellis pursue both the Goonies and the treasure, Chunk befriends Sloth, and Sloth is able to break their bonds; they form a third party headed into the tunnel.Mikey and the others discover the Fratellis on their trail, and hasten through the remaining traps. They ultimately find an enclosed grotto and Willy’s pirate ship, the Inferno, which has been sealed in the cave for centuries. They explore the ship, finding a hoard of treasure in front of the skeletal remains of Willy and his crew. Mikey gives a sober speech to Willy, naming him as the first “Goonie”, then he and the others fill their pockets with riches; Mikey insists that the coins directly in front of Willy remain untouched, as Willy’s tribute. As they leave, however, the Fratellis have already caught up with them. They make them drop the treasure before threatening to kill them by forcing them to walk the plank, when suddenly Sloth and Chunk arrive. Sloth, angered by how the other Fratellis have treated him in the past, easily subdues them and helps the rest of the Goonies to escape the boat. Though Mikey insists they go back for the treasure, Brand worries more for their lives, and the group escapes through a hole in the grotto, eventually arriving on a nearby beach shore. Police quickly come to their help and reunite them with their families.Meanwhile, the Fratellis free themselves and begin to loot the boat. When they take the coins that Mikey had left earlier, they trigger another booby trap that causes the grotto to start to cave in. The Fratellis are forced to abandon the loot and flee to the beach, where police quickly take them into custody. As the Goonies are taken care of by their families, including Chunk offering to bring Sloth into his family, the owners of the country club show up and demand that Mr. Walsh sign away their homes and the Goon Docks. As he is about to do so, their housekeeper, Rosalita, finds Mikey’s marble bag in his wet clothes, filled with gems that the Fratellis had neglected to confiscate. Mr. Walsh triumphantly tears up the paperwork, as the gems are more than enough to negate the foreclosure. As the Goonies celebrate, the attention of all on the beach is caught by the sight of the unmanned Inferno, now clear of the grotto, and the Goonies wave her goodbye as she sets off once more upon the sea.Classic fun film for the 80s adventurer in all of us

REVIEW: THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE RETURN OF THE KING

 

CAST

Elijah Wood (Sin City)
Ian McKellen (X-Men)
Viggo Mortensen (Eastern Promises)
Sean Astin (The Goonies)
Liv Tyler (Super)
Cate Blanchett (Babel)
John Rhys-Davies (Beyond The Mask)
Billy Boyd (Seed of Chucky)
Dominic Monaghan (Lost)
Bernard Hill (True Crime)
Orlando Bloom (Kingdom of Heaven)
Christopher Lee (Star Wars Episode II & III)
Hugo Weaving (The Matrix)
Miranda Otto (I, Frankenstein)
David Wenham (Van Helsing)
Brad Dourif (Curse of Chucky)
Karl Urban (Dredd)
Andy Serkis (Rise of The Planet of The Apes)
John Noble (Sleepy Hollow)
Ian Holm (Alien)
Marton Csokas (Xena: Warrior Princess)
Bruce Spence (Mad Max 2)
Bruce Hopkins (Power Rangers Ninja Storm)
Ian Hughes (Hercules: TLJ)
Bruce Phillips (Power Rangers RPM)
Joel Tobeck (Ash vs Evil Dead)
Stephen Ure (Xena: Warrior Princess)
Jed Brophy (The Hobbit)
Craig Parker (Reign)

Gandalf leads Aragorn, Legolas, Gimli, and King Théoden to Isengard where they reunite with Merry and Pippin. With Saruman defeated, Gandalf retrieves Saruman’s palantír. Overcome by curiosity, Pippin steals a glance into the seeing-stone, and suffers a mental attack from Sauron himself. Gandalf deduces that Sauron will attack Gondor’s capital Minas Tirith, so he rides there to warn them, taking Pippin with him because Sauron thinks Pippin is the ring bearer.Meanwhile, Frodo Baggins and Samwise Gamgee are led by Gollum to Minas Morgul where they witness the Witch-king of Angmar leading an Orc army to drive Denethor’s younger son Faramir and his men from Osgiliath. At Gollum’s urging, the three begin climbing a precarious stair carved in the cliff face that will take them into Mordor via a ‘secret way’. But having overheard Gollum’s plot to regain the Ring, Sam keeps a suspicious eye on him. In Gondor, Pippin follows Gandalf’s instructions and secretly lights the beacon to signal Théoden to assemble the Rohirrim and come to Gondor’s aid.While helping Théoden gather his forces, Aragorn is approached by Elrond who says Arwen is dying. After seeing a vision of her son she refused to leave Middle Earth. Elrond then gives Aragorn the sword Andúril, Isildur’s sword Narsil reforged, so he can reclaim his birthright while gaining reinforcements from the Dead Men of Dunharrow. Joined by Legolas and Gimli, Aragorn travels to the Paths of the Dead, recruiting the Army of the Dead with the promise to release them from their curse once they fulfil their oath to Isildur.Faramir is gravely wounded after a futile effort to retake Osgiliath, and believing his son to be dead, Denethor falls into madness. Gandalf is left to command the city defences against the Orc army led by Gothmog. But as Gothmog’s forces eventually force their way into the city, Denethor tries to kill himself and Faramir on a pyre. Pippin alerts Gandalf and they save Faramir, but Denethor leaps to his death from the top of Minas Tirith just before Théoden and the Rohirrim arrive. Initially the Rohirrim have the advantage at the Battle of the Pelennor Fields, but are eventually overwhelmed by the Oliphaunt-riding Haradrim while the Witch-king mortally wounds Théoden. Though Théoden’s niece Éowyn, having posed as a male soldier, battles and slays the Witch-King with Merry’s help, Théoden dies of his wounds. Aragorn arrives with the Army of the Dead, they overcome the Orcs and win the battle. The Dead are released from their curse, and the wounded are tended to. Aragorn and the other captains of Men decide to lead all who can march upon the Black Gate as a distraction, so Frodo and Sam can get to Mount Doom.Meanwhile, Gollum manipulates Frodo into leaving Sam behind before they arrive at the tunnel leading to Mordor, and then tricks him into lair of the giant spider Shelob, who paralyses and binds Frodo. Sam arrives and drives Shelob away, but believing his friend to be dead takes Frodo’s sword Sting and The One Ring for safekeeping. When he sees Frodo’s body being taken by Orcs to Cirith Ungol he realises that Frodo is still alive, and gives chase. Sam rescues Frodo from the Orcs, and returns the Ring to him.Aragorn’s army draw out Sauron’s forces and empty Mordor, allowing the exhausted Hobbits to stagger to the volcano, but they’re attacked by Gollum when they reach Mount Doom. Frodo finally succumbs to the Ring’s power and claims it as his own, and refuses to destroy it. Gollum attacks Frodo and bites his finger off to reclaim the Ring, but Frodo fights back and knocks Gollum, who is holding the Ring, into the volcano. While Frodo holds onto the ledge for dear life, Sam manages to save him and both escape the volcano at the last second. The Ring and Sauron are both destroyed, causing a chain-reaction that consumes the mountain, topples Barad-dûr, and kills most of the fleeing Orcs as the ground crumbles beneath them. Gandalf flies in with eagles to rescue the Hobbits, who awaken later in Minas Tirith and are reunited with the surviving Fellowship members.Aragorn is crowned King of Gondor and takes Arwen as his queen. They, and all others present at his coronation, bow before Frodo and the Hobbits. The Hobbits then return to the Shire where Sam marries Rosie Cotton. Frodo, while happy for his friends, is unable to cope with the traumas of his journey, and departs Middle Earth for the Grey Havens with his uncle Bilbo, Gandalf, and the Elves. He leaves Sam the Red Book of Westmarch which details their adventures. Though saddened by Frodo’s departure, Sam is gladdened by the warm welcome he receives upon returning home.

This is one of the best series of all time, Fellowship Of The Ring still nicks it as my fave of the three movies if I was pushed to choose. You can’t really detract from what Peter Jackson has achieved with this film, Tolkien himself gave the film rights away for practically nothing, deeming the book impossible to translate to film. Peter Jackson proved him wrong and we now have a great trilogy of films that will stand the test of time.

REVIEW: THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE TWO TOWERS

CAST

Elijah Wood (Sin City)
Ian McKellen (X-Men)
Viggo Mortensen (Eastern Promises)
Sean Astin (The Goonies)
Liv Tyler (Super)
Cate Blanchett (Babel)
John Rhys-Davies (Beyond The Mask)
Billy Boyd (Seed of Chucky)
Dominic Monaghan (Lost)
Bernard Hill (True Crime)
Orlando Bloom (Kingdom of Heaven)
Christopher Lee (Star Wars Episode II & III)
Hugo Weaving (The Matrix)
Miranda Otto (I, Frankenstein)
David Wenham (Van Helsing)
Brad Dourif (Curse of Chucky)
Karl Urban (Dredd)
Andy Serkis (Rise of The Planet of The Apes)
Craig Parker (Reign)
John Leigh (Power Rangers Samurai)
Bruce Hopkins (Xena: Warrior Princess)
John Bach (Spartacus)
John Noble (Sleepy Hollow)
Sean Bean (Game of Thrones)
Stephen Ure (Ash vs Evil Dead)
Paul Norell (Young Hercules)

Frodo Baggins and Samwise Gamgee continue their journey to Mordor to destroy the One Ring by throwing it into Mount Doom. They are attacked in the night by Gollum, former owner of the Ring, but they capture him. Sympathising with Gollum for their shared burden, Frodo asks Gollum to lead them safely to Mordor, despite Sam’s objections. Meanwhile, Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli pursue the Uruk-hai who kidnapped their friends Merry and Pippin. The Uruk-hai are slaughtered by the Rohirrim army of Rohan, but the two Hobbits escape into Fangorn Forest where they meet the Ent Treebeard. Aragorn’s group later meet the Rohirrim who have been banished by their king Théoden, who is manipulated by Saruman’s servant Grima Wormtongue. Tracking the Hobbits in Fangorn, Aragorn’s group encounter a resurrected Gandalf who perished in Moria, but was revived to help save Middle-earth.Gollum leads Frodo and Sam through the Dead Marshes whilst evading the Nazgûl. They reach the Black Gate to Mordor but Gollum stops them, saying it’s too risky and that there is another entrance, finding himself becoming loyal to Frodo for his kindness. The trio later are captured by the Rangers of Ithilien, led by Faramir, brother of the late Boromir. When Faramir discovers Frodo has the Ring, he intends on taking him to Gondor, capturing Gollum when Frodo exposes him. Aragorn, Gandalf, Legolas, and Gimli travel to Rohan’s capital Edoras where Gandalf releases Théoden from Saruman’s power and Wormtongue is banished. Learning Saruman plans on wiping out Rohan with an army of Uruk-hai, Théoden decides to move his citizens to the protection of Helm’s Deep, but Gandalf departs to find the Rohirrim led by Théoden’s nephew Éomer. Aragorn strikes up a friendship with Théoden’s niece Éowyn who quickly falls in love with him. During a Warg attack, Aragorn falls off a cliff into a river, but is found by his horse and taken to Helm’s Deep.In Fangorn, Merry and Pippin attend an Ent council but learn Treebeard and the others will not participate in the war. They convince them otherwise when they show the destruction Saruman has unleashed on the forests around Isengard. The Ents storm Isengard and imprison Saruman in his tower. The Uruk-hai army arrive at Helm’s Deep, finding a makeshift army of peasants and Elves from Rivendell waiting for them. A great battle follows with Théoden losing hope until Aragorn convinces him to ride out and meet them. Gandalf and the Rohirrim arrive, turning the tide of the battle and destroying the Uruk-hai.Frodo, Sam, and Gollum are taken to the fallen Gondor city Osgiliath but they are attacked by the Nazgûl and Mordor army. Sam informs Faramir of how the Ring nearly drove Boromir mad, stunning Faramir. Frodo is nearly captured by the Nazgûl but Sam tackles him down a flight of stairs, saving him. After the attack ends, Faramir frees the trio and sends them on their way. Gollum, hurt by Frodo’s seeming betrayal, decides to reclaim the Ring by leading Frodo and Sam to a creature he refers to as “her”, leading them away towards Mordor.The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers Extended Version might rasie a few eyebrows when one sees how long the extented version is, however the extra 40 minutes added to the theatrical cut actually make the ‘The Two Towers’ a better film to enjoy as a lord of the rings and/or film fan. The extra footage, adds depth and suspense to the story, which makes it more gripping, particularly during some of the extended scenes during the battle of Helm’s Deep. There is more character evolution, which gives one a more indepth view of the more mystical sides of the main characters (their backgrounds and their power), particularly Aragon and Gandalf.Furthermore, the extended material gives a larger role to Merry and Pippin, to which many hardcore lord of the rings fans is a great boost to the story. They are a greater aspect of the story and unlike in the theatrical cut, don’t just sit in a tree all the film.What I enjoyed most however, was the realism of the film that the extented edition gave to Tolkein’s writings, though true some aspects were not entirly accurate to the The Two Towers book, the extended editon gave one the feeling more that they were in Middle-Earth, than the theatrical cut.The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers Extended Version is an ideal viewing for any lord of the rings fan, but furthermore, it is a great epic to watch of any person, even those who saw the theatrical cut, before reading the book.

REVIEW: THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RINGS

CAST

Elijah Wood (Sin City)
Ian McKellen (X-Men)
Viggo Mortensen (Eastern Promises)
Sean Astin (The Goonies)
Liv Tyler (Super)
Cate Blanchett (Babel)
John Rhys-Davies (Beyond The Mask)
Billy Boyd (Seed of Chucky)
Dominic Monaghan (Lost)
Orlando Bloom (Kingdom of Heaven)
Christopher Lee (Star Wars Episode II & III)
Hugo Weaving (The Matrix)
Andy Serkis (Rise of The Planet of The Apes)
Sean Bean (Game of Thrones)
Ian Holm (Alien)
Marton Csokas (Alice In Wonderland)
David Weatherley (Power Rangers Operation Overdrive)
Craig Parker (Reign)
Mark Ferguson (Hercules In The Underworld)

In the Second Age of Middle-earth, the Dark Lord Sauron forges the One Ring in Mount Doom to conquer all, abandoning a great part of his power to it in order to dominate, through it, at a distance, the other Rings of Power, which had been granted to lords of Elves, Dwarves and Men. An army of men and elves battle Sauron’s forces in Mordor, where Prince Isildur of Gondor cuts the One Ring off of Sauron’s finger, thereby temporarily destroying his physical shape, and decides to take care of the Ring himself, but the evil influence of the Ring corrupts Isildur, preventing him from destroying it in Mount Doom. Isildur is later killed by Orcs, and the Ring is lost for 2,500 years, found and owned by Gollum for five centuries. The Ring is then found by a Hobbit named Bilbo Baggins.Sixty years on, Bilbo celebrates his 111th birthday in the Shire, reuniting with his old friend Gandalf the Grey. Bilbo reveals he intends on leaving the Shire for one last adventure and leaves his inheritance to his nephew Frodo, including the Ring. Gandalf investigates the Ring, discovering its true identity and warns Frodo. Learning Gollum was tortured by Orcs and told them that Bilbo took the Ring, Gandalf instructs Frodo to leave the Shire, accompanied by his gardener Samwise Gamgee. Gandalf rides to Isengard, meeting fellow wizard Saruman the White, but learns he is in league with Sauron, who has unleashed the Ringwraiths to find Frodo. After a brief battle, Saruman imprisons Gandalf. Frodo and Sam are joined by fellow Hobbits, Merry and Pippin, and they evade the Ringwraiths, arriving in Bree where they are meant to meet Gandalf, but are instead aided by a ranger named Strider, a friend of Gandalf’s who escorts them to Rivendell.The Hobbits are ambushed by the Ringwraiths, one stabbing Frodo with a morgul blade. Arwen, an elf and Strider’s lover, comes to Frodo’s aid and successfully takes him to Rivendell where he is healed, meeting Gandalf who escaped Saruman on the back of a giant eagle. Arwen’s father, Lord Elrond, holds a council, deciding that the Ring must be destroyed in Mount Doom. While the members argue, Frodo volunteers to take the Ring, accompanied by Gandalf, Sam, Merry, Pippin, elf Legolas, dwarf Gimli, Boromir of Gondor, and Strider, who is revealed to be Aragorn, Isildur’s heir and rightful King of Gondor. Bilbo gives Frodo his sword, Sting. The Fellowship of the Ring sets off but Saruman’s magic forces them to travel through the Mines of Moria.The Fellowship find the dwarves within Moria have been slain, and they are attacked by Orcs and a cave troll. They defeat them, but are confronted by an ancient demon called the Balrog. Gandalf casts the Balrog into a vast chasm, but its fiery whip drags Gandalf down into the darkness with it. The rest of the Fellowship, now led by Aragorn, reach Lothlórien, home to elves Galadriel and Celeborn. Galadriel privately informs Frodo that only he can complete the quest and one of his friends will try to take the Ring. Meanwhile, Saruman creates an army of Uruk-hai to track and kill the Fellowship save Frodo.The Fellowship leave Lothlórien by river to Parth Galen. Frodo wanders off, confronted by Boromir who tries to take the Ring in desperation. Afraid of the Ring corrupting his friends, Frodo decides to travel to Mordor alone. The other members fight off the Uruk-hai, but Merry and Pippin are taken captive, and Boromir is mortally wounded by the Uruk chieftain. After killing the chieftain, Aragorn helps Boromir die peacefully. Sam follows Frodo, accompanying him to keep his promise to Gandalf to protect Frodo, while Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli go to rescue Merry and Pippin.The extended versions are easily recommended over the theatrical versions. Across the three films you’re getting at least two hours of additional scenes which cover more of the story and fill in the gaps. Some of them are not plot critical, hence their original omission, but it’s nice to have them all the same.