REVIEW: BEING JOHN MALKOVICH

CAST

John Malkovich (Red)
John Cusack (2012)
Cameron Diaz (The Green Hornet)
Catherine Keener (The 40 Year Old Virgin)
Orson Bean (Miracle on 34th Street)
Mary Kay Place (The Big Chill)
Charlie Sheen (Hot Shots)
W. Earl brown (Bates Motel)
Carlos Jacott (Angel)
Willie Garson (Stargate SG.1)
Sean Penn (Gangster Squad)
Ned Bellamy (Terminator: TSCC)
Octavia Spencer (Insurgent)
Brad Pitt (FIght Club)

Craig Schwartz (Cusack) is an unemployed puppeteer in a forlorn marriage with his pet-obsessed wife Lotte (Diaz). Gaining a file clerk job through Dr. Lester (Bean) at LesterCorp, in the strange Floor 7½ low-ceiling offices of the Mertin-Flemmer Building in New York City, he develops an attraction to his coworker Maxine Lund (Keener), who does not return his affections. Craig enters a small door hidden behind a filing cabinet and finds himself in the mind of actor John Malkovich. Craig is able to observe and sense whatever Malkovich does for fifteen minutes before he is ejected and dropped into a ditch near the New Jersey Turnpike. He reveals the portal to Maxine and they let others use it for $200 a turn.Craig tells Lotte, who becomes obsessed with the experience, allowing her to live out her transgender desires. Lotte becomes attracted to Maxine and they begin a sexual relationship via Lotte being inside Malkovich’s head while Maxine has sex with Malkovich. Craig, forsaken by both women, binds and gags Lotte and locks her in a cage, then enters Malkovich’s mind and has sex with Maxine. Craig discovers that he is able to control Malkovich’s actions while in his head, causing the actor to become paranoid. After consulting with his friend Charlie Sheen, Malkovich trails Maxine to the Mertin-Flemmer building, where he tries the portal and is placed in a world where everyone looks like him and can only say “Malkovich”. He is ejected and meets Craig by the turnpike. Malkovich demands that the portal be closed, but Craig refuses.Lotte escapes with the help of the animals in the cage and phones Maxine, revealing that Craig was having sex with her. Maxine is annoyed but accepts it as she enjoyed the experience. Seeking help, Lotte finds Lester, who reveals himself to be Captain Mertin, the creator of LesterCorp. He is aware of the portal and has a room dedicated to Malkovich. Lester explains that the person connected to it becomes “ripe” for occupation on the eve of their 44th birthday. However, after the old host turns 44, the portal moves to its next host, an unborn child. The former allows one to increase their life before moving on to another host while the latter means being trapped within the unborn child. Lester, who has been using the portal to prolong his life, reveals his plan to use Malkovich for himself and several of his friends. Offered the chance to join Lester’s group, Lotte warns him that Craig has control.Craig finds he is able to remain in Malkovich indefinitely. He spends the next eight months in Malkovich’s body, and through his control turns Malkovich into a world-famous puppeteer. Malkovich marries Maxine and learns that she is pregnant as their relationship grows distant. As Malkovich’s 44th birthday approaches, Lester and his friends cut a deal with Maxine and fake her kidnapping. They call up Craig threatening to kill her if Craig does not leave Malkovich. Craig ends the call, causing Lester to think that he called their bluff. Lotte loses hope and attempts to kill Maxine, but they end up at the turnpike after falling through the portal and Malkovich’s shame-ridden subconscious. Maxine reveals that she conceived when Lotte was inside Malkovich’s body and kept the child because it is theirs. The revelation cements their love for each other. Craig calls back Lester thinking Maxine is still in danger. Realizing his opportunity, Lester continues his bluff, convincing Craig to leave Malkovich’s body. Lester and his friends enter the portal, taking control of Malkovich. Craig, discovering that Lotte and Maxine are together again, decides to enter the portal to become Malkovich and regain Maxine. Years later, an aging Malkovich, under the collective mind of Lester and his friends, reveals to Sheen a plan to prolong their lives through Maxine’s daughter Emily, within whom Craig is now permanently trapped after entering the portal, powerless as he watches Maxine and Lotte living happily through Emily’s eyes.

One of the most unique, imaginative movies ever made.

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REVIEW: THE INTERPRETER

 

CAST

Nicole Kidman (Australia)
Sean Penn (Gangster Squad)
Catherine Keener (Out of Sight)
Jesper Christensen (Casino Royale)
Yvan Attal (Munich)
George Harris (Black Hawk Down)
Yusuf Gatewood (The Originals)
David Zayas (Gotham)

Silvia Broome (Nicole Kidman) is an interpreter working at the United Nations in New York City. She was raised in the Republic of Matobo, a fictional African country, but has dual citizenship. The U.N. is considering indicting Edmond Zuwanie (Earl Cameron), Matobo’s president, to stand trial in the International Criminal Court. Initially a liberator, over the past 20 years he has become as corrupt and tyrannical as the government he overthrew, and is now responsible for ethnic cleansing and other atrocities within Matobo. Zuwanie is soon to visit the U.N. and put forward his own case to the General Assembly, in an attempt to avoid the indictment.

A security scare forces the evacuation of the U.N. building, and, as Silvia returns at night to reclaim some personal belongings, she overhears 2 men discussing an assassination plot in Ku (an East-Africa dialect she understands). Silvia runs scared from the building when those discussing the plot become aware of her presence. The next day, Silvia recognizes words in a meeting where she is interpreting from phrases she overheard the night before, and reports the incident to U.N. security; the plot’s target appears to be Zuwanie himself. They, in turn, call in the U.S. Secret Service, who assign Tobin Keller (Sean Penn) and Dot Woods (Catherine Keener) to investigate, as well as protect Zuwanie when he arrives. Keller, whose estranged wife was accidentally killed just days earlier, learns that Silvia has, in the past, been involved in a Matoban guerrilla group, that her parents and sister were killed by land mines laid by Zuwanie’s men, and that she has dated one of Zuwanie’s political opponents. Although Keller is suspicious of Silvia’s story, the two grow close — in part because of their shared grief — and Keller ends up protecting her from attacks on her person. Silvia later finds that her brother Simon and her lover Xola were killed (as shown in the opening scene).

The purported assassin is discovered (and shot to death) while Zuwanie is in the middle of his address to the General Assembly, and security personnel rush Zuwanie to a safe room for his protection. Silvia, anticipating this, has been hiding in the safe room, and confronts Zuwanie and intends to kill him herself. Keller determines that the assassination plot is a false flag operation created by Zuwanie to gain credibility that his rivals are terrorists and to deter potential supporters of his removal. Keller rushes to the safe room and arrives just in time to prevent Silvia from murdering Zuwanie. Zuwanie is indicted, and Silvia is expelled from the U.S., returning home to Matobo soon afterwards.

All in all I found it an entertaining political thriller.

REVIEW: MILK

CAST
Sean Penn (Gangster Squad)
Josh Brolin (W.)
Emilie Hirsch (Alpha Dog)
Diego Luna (Elysium)
James Franco (Spring Breakers)
Alison Pill (Scott Pilgrim vs the World)
Victor Garber (Legends of Tomorrow)
Dennis O’ Hare (The Proposal)
Lucas Grabeel (Smallville)
Boyd Holbrook (Gone Girl)
Ted Jan Roberts (Masked Rider)
The film opens with archival footage of police raiding gay bars and arresting patrons during the 1950s and 1960s, followed by Dianne Feinstein’s November 27, 1978 announcement to the press that Harvey Milk (Sean Penn) and Mayor George Moscone (Victor Garber) had been assassinated. Milk is seen recording his will throughout the film, nine days (November 18, 1978) before the assassinations. The film then flashes back to New York City in 1970, the eve of Milk’s 40th birthday and his first meeting with his much younger lover, Scott Smith (James Franco).
Dissatisfied with his life and in need of a change, Milk and Smith decide to move to San Francisco in the hope of finding larger acceptance of their relationship. They open Castro Camera in the heart of Eureka Valley, a working-class neighborhood in the process of evolving into a predominantly gay neighborhood known as The Castro. Frustrated by the opposition they encounter in the once Irish-Catholic neighborhood, Milk utilizes his background as a businessman to become a gay activist, eventually becoming a mentor for Cleve Jones (Emile Hirsch). Early on, Smith serves as Milk’s campaign manager, but he grows frustrated with Milk’s devotion to politics, and he leaves him. Milk later meets Jack Lira (Diego Luna), a sweet-natured but unbalanced young man. As with Smith, Lira cannot tolerate Milk’s devotion to political activism, and eventually hangs himself. Milk clashes with the local gay “establishment” which he feels to be too cautious and risk-averse.
After two unsuccessful political campaigns in 1973 and 1975 to become a city supervisor and a third in 1976 for the California State Assembly, Milk finally wins a seat on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in 1977 for District 5. His victory makes him the first openly gay man to be voted into major public office in California and the third openly homosexual politician in the entire US. Milk subsequently meets fellow Supervisor Dan White (Josh Brolin), a Vietnam veteran and former police officer and firefighter. White, who is politically and socially conservative, has a difficult relationship with Milk, and develops a growing resentment for Milk when he opposes projects that White proposes.
Milk and White forge a complex working relationship. Milk is invited to, and attends, the christening of White’s first child, and White asks for Milk’s assistance in preventing a psychiatric hospital from opening in White’s district, possibly in exchange for White’s support of Milk’s citywide gay rights ordinance. When Milk fails to support White because of the negative effect it will have on troubled youth, White feels betrayed, and ultimately becomes the sole vote against the gay rights ordinance. Milk also launches an effort to defeat Proposition 6, an initiative on the California state ballot in November 1978. Sponsored by John Briggs (Denis O’Hare), a conservative state legislator from Orange County, Proposition 6 seeks to ban gays and lesbians (in addition to anyone who supports them) from working in California’s public schools. It is also part of a nationwide conservative movement that starts with the successful campaign headed by Anita Bryant and her organization Save Our Children in Dade County, Florida to repeal a local gay rights ordinance.
On November 7, 1978, after working tirelessly against Proposition 6, Milk and his supporters rejoice in the wake of its defeat. A desperate White favors a supervisor pay raise, but does not get much support, and shortly after supporting the proposition, resigns from the Board. He later changes his mind and asks to be reinstated. Mayor Moscone denies his request, after being lobbied by Milk. On the morning of November 27, 1978, White enters City Hall through a basement window to conceal a gun from metal detectors. He requests another meeting with Moscone, who rebuffs his request for appointment to his former seat. Enraged, White shoots Moscone in his office and then goes to meet Milk, where he guns him down, with the fatal bullet delivered execution-style. The film suggests that Milk believed that White might be a closeted gay man.
The last scene is a candlelight vigil held by thousands for Milk and Moscone throughout the streets of the city. Pictures of the actual people depicted in the film, and brief summaries of their lives follow.
Sean Penn played the role of Harvey Milk so well that it really felt like I was getting a historic glimpse on what it might have felt like for Harvey Milk and for those that were the closest to him and helping him out. I normally love and prefer to watch only cheerful feel good movies. However, this movie pulled at my heartstrings because a very powerful, caring, and intelligent man was taken at such a stage in his life where he was just starting to reap the benefits of his hard work. Aside from this caveat, I still feel that this was a terrific movie with some convincing and talented actors and actresses.

REVIEW: GANGSTER SQUAD

CAST
Sean Penn (Mystic River)
Josh Borlin (Men In Black 3)
Ryan Gosling (Drive)
Emma Stone (The Amazing Spider-man 1 & 2)
Holt McCallany (The Losers)
Wade Williams (The Dark Knight Rises)
Lucy Davenport (Alice In Wonderland)
Nick Nolte (Cape fear)
Robert Patrick (Terminator 2)
Michael Pena (American Hustle)
Giovanni Ribisi (Some Girl)
Anthony Mackie (Captain America 2)
In 1949 Los Angeles, gangster Mickey Cohen wants to control all organized crime and argues with local mobster Jack Dragna that they should not allow the East coast mafia to run the town. Meanwhile, LAPD Detective Sergeant John “Sarge” O’Mara raids a Cohen-owned brothel to save a woman from being raped, gaining the attention of Police Chief Bill Parker. Parker believes that more drastic measures need to be taken against men like Cohen, and tasks O’Mara to begin waging a guerrilla campaign against the mobsters. He tells O’Mara (a former OSS commando during World War II) to use his special operations training, learned at Camp X during World War II, and to select a small team that will work without badges or official support from the police.
O’Mara’s pregnant wife Connie suggests choosing unorthodox veterans like himself, as young high-performers would likely already be on Cohen’s payroll. With Connie’s help, O’Mara selects a small squad of cops: black street officer Coleman Harris, wiretap expert Conwell Keeler, gunslinger and sharpshooter Max Kennard, and Kennard’s Hispanic partner Navidad “Christmas” Ramirez. O’Mara also attempts to recruit his partner Sergeant Jerry Wooters, but Wooters has become lazy and complacent in his job and refuses. Wooters keeps in touch with childhood friend Jack Whalen, who provides him with information on Cohen. Wooters also meets and begins a secret relationship with Cohen’s etiquette tutor Grace Faraday.
The squad’s first mission is to bust up an illegal Cohen casino in Burbank, California, but things quickly go bad as O’Mara and Harris are captured by corrupt Burbank police who were guarding the casino. Wooters has a change of heart after witnessing the death of a young boy he had been helping out and attempts to shoot Cohen. Whalen stops him and tells him that O’Mara is going to be turned over to Cohen, prompting Wooters to rescue the men from the Burbank jail. Deciding that they need more information on Cohen’s operations, Wooters and Keeler break into Cohen’s house and place an illegal wiretap inside his TV. The men are seen sneaking out by Grace, who agrees to keep their secret. Using the information from the wiretap, the group conducts several successful raids on Cohen operations. After a particularly violent raid on a Cohen drug shipment, Keeler begins to question what they are doing but is re-assured by O’Mara. The media begins referring to the men as “The Gangster Squad”, and Cohen pushes his men to find out who they are. Keeler deduces that Cohen is building a large wire gambling business somewhere in town, and warns O’Mara that if they don’t take it out before it becomes operational Cohen will become too big for even them to stop. Keeler uses wire transmissions to locate the building, and the squad wipes it out. An enraged Cohen realizes that the Gangster Squad must be honest cops when he discovers that none of his money was stolen.
Cohen suspects that his house is bugged and begins searching for the tap. Grace overhears Cohen and fears that he knows about her relationship with Wooters. With the help of a maid, Grace escapes Cohen’s house and meets Wooters, who takes her to Whalen and tasks him with getting her out of town. Cohen finds the bug and begins feeding false information to Keeler. Cohen lures the Gangster Squad into a trap in Chinatown, but Wooters arrives in time to alert the men to the trap. While the men are distracted in Chinatown, Cohen hits several targets himself. Cohen’s bodyguard Karl Lockwood finds Keeler’s listening post and kills him while Cohen goes to Whalen’s looking for Grace. Cohen murders Whalen in front of Grace, who hides from him. O’Mara’s house is hit by a drive-by shooting, the stress of which causes Connie to give birth to their son in their bathtub.
Grace agrees to testify against Cohen for the murder of Whalen, and O’Mara uses her testimony to get a warrant for Cohen’s arrest. The squad arrives at Cohen’s hotel to arrest him and an intense firefight breaks out. Wooters and Kennard are wounded, while Cohen and Lockwood escape. O’Mara pursues them down the block, assisted by a mortally wounded Kennard and his sharpshooting skill. Kennard, with Ramirez’ help, shoots Lockwood just before he dies and O’Mara and Cohen engage in a brutal fistfight that ends with O’Mara eventually beating Cohen to his knees. As a crowd gathers, a bloodied O’Mara walks away and Cohen is arrested for Whalen’s murder.
As Chief Parker had told them, the Gangster Squad is never credited in taking down Cohen. Grace’s testimony ensures Cohen is sentenced to 25 to life at Alcatraz, where he is welcomed violently by Whalen’s friends. Grace and Wooters stay together and he stays on the force, while Ramirez and Harris become partners on the beat. Ramirez is shown patrolling with Kennard’s signature Colt Single Action Army on his hip. O’Mara quits to live a quiet life in Los Angeles with Connie and their son.
This is great fun, it isn’t the greatest film ever made, the most original or anything like that but it doesn’t waste a second and that’s the way I like it.

REVIEW: TWO AND A HALF MEN – SEASON 1-5

MAIN CAST

Charlie Sheen (Hot Shots)
Jon Cryer (Superman 4)
Angus T. Jones (Bringing Down The House)
Marin Hinkle (I Am Sam)
Melanie Lynskey (Heavenly Creatures)
Holland Taylor (D.E.B.S.)
Conchata Ferrell (Krampus)
April Bowlby (How I Met Your Mother)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Eugene Byrd (Bones)
Jennifer Taylor (Rumor Has it…)
Steven Tyler (Be Cool)
Liz Vassey (Tru Calling)
Eric Allan Kramer (The Incredible Hulk Returns)
Krista Allen (Mutant X)
Kristin Dattilo (Intolerable Cruelty)
Denise Richards (Valentine)
Cristine Rose (Heroes)
George Wyner (Spaceballs)
Rebecca McFarland (Faking It)
Megan Fox (Transformers)
Noel Fisher (Shameless US)
Richard Lewis (Drunks)
J.D. Walsh (The Crazy Ones)
Jenna Elfman (EdTV)
Juliette Goglia (Mike & Molly)
Vernee Watson (The Big Bang Theory)
Chris O’Donnell (Batman & Robin)
Teri Hatcher (Lois & Clark)
Jane Lynch (Glee)
Heather Locklear (The Return of Swamp Thing)
Stacey Travis (Easy A)
Cheryl White (Major Crimes)
Amy Farrington (Soul Survivors)
Yvette Nicole Brown (Community)
Kristin Richardson (Rock Star)
Sean Penn (Milk)
Elvis Costello (3rd rock From The Sun)
Harry Dean Stanton (Avengers Assembles)
Bobby Cooper (I Am Sam)
Ryan Stiles (Hot Shots)
Missi Pyle (Dodgeball)
Jeri Ryan (Star Trek: Voyager)
Camryn Manheim (Scary Movie 3)
Kelley West (Evenhand)
Paget Brewster (Anotehr Period)
Brian George (The Big Bang Theory)
Kristen Miller (Team America)
Alicia Coppola (Another World)
Ken Jeong (The Hangover)
Lucy Lawless (Ash vs Evil Dead)
David Starzyk (Veronica Mars)
Dylan Minnette (Lost)
Gigi Rice (The Man)
Cyntia Preston (Carrie 2013)
Candace Kita (Masked Rider)
Jodi Lyn O’Keefe (The Vampire Diaries)
Martin Sheen (The West Wing)
Emmanuelle Vaugier (Human Target)
Cloris Leachman (American Gods)
Josie Davis (Dirty Teacher)
Valerie Azlynn (Julia X)
Brian Smith (The Big Bang Theory)
Loren Lester (Batman: TAS)
Gail O’ Grady (American Dreams)
Diane Delano (The Ladykillers)
Kevin Sorbo (Hercules: TLJ)
Sandra McCoy (Power Rangers Wild Force)
Brian Patrick Wade (Agents of SHIELD)
Katherine LaNasa (Alfie)
Sara Rue (Mom)
Danielle Bisutti (Curse of Chucky)
Jessica Collins (Tru Calling)
Sab Shimono (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 3)
Brooke Shields (Blue Lagoon)
Allison Janney (Mom)
Susan Sullivan (The Incredible Hulk)
Morgan Fairchild (Roswell)
Lamont Thompson (Mike & Molly)
Lee Garlington (Flashforward)
Judy Greer (Jurassic world)
Tammy Lauren (Wishmaster)
Kay Panabaker (No Ordinaru Family)
Andrea Savage (Izombie)
Enrique Iglesias (Desperado)
Rachel Cannon (The Big bang Theory)
Robert Wagner (Austin Powers)
Janeane Garofalo (Wet Hot American Summer)
Jennifer O’Dell (The Lost World)
Ming-Na Wen (Agents of Shield)
Jud Tyler (That 70s Show)
Richard Kind (Gotham)
Jenny McCarthy (The Bad Girl’s Guide)
Cerina Vincent (Power Rangers Lost Galaxy)
Christina Moore (That 70s Show)
Jamie Rose (Silk Stalkings)
Michael Lowry (The Longest Ride)
Carrie Reichenbach (Yes Man)
Hope Allen (Liar, Liar)
Susan Blakely (Over The Top)

Two and a Half Men was a television situational comedy (sitcom) about a carefree, womanizing bachelor whose life is turned upside down when his neurotic bother and son move in. The series first aired in 2003 and was widely received by audiences, as well as critics — winning the People’s Choice award for Favorite New Comedy Series. The show’s success is an excellent rounded cast, witty dialogue, and all-around goofy storylines. What it boils down to is that Two and a Half Men is a fun-filled sitcom that is nonstop with laughter.

In the series’ pilot episode introduces one of the three main characters, Charlie Harper (Charlie Sheen). He is an easygoing bachelor with a fabulous house on the beaches of Malibu. For work, he is a successful composer and writes jingles. Life is perfect for Charlie, with little responsibility, lots of money, and oodles of women. While spending an exotic evening with a female friend, Charlie’s life is disrupted when his brother Alan (Jon Cryer) shows up. Alan was married to Judith (Marin Hinkle) for twelve years. They have a son together named Jake (Angus T. Jones). Alan comes to Charlie in a time of need, after Judith kicked him out.

Charlie reluctantly lets his brother stay with him, but agrees on a temporary basis. Unfortunately for Charlie’s wild social life, Alan and his son Jake turn a short stay into a permanent one. Joining the two and a half men are Evelyn (Holland Taylor), the Harper boys’ domineering and loving mother, Rose (Melanie Lynskey), the crazy next-door neighbor who had a one night stand with Charlie and has been stalking him since, and Berta (Conchata Ferrell), the tough house keeper who is more than willing to put Charlie in his place

After the season one pilot episode, the series continues with Charlie, Alan, Jake, and company getting used to their new lives together. The show’s comedy follows two primary avenues. First, Charlie and Alan have opposite personalities. While Charlie is carefree and easygoing, Alan is neurotic and compulsive. They have different expectations of life and their personality clashes make for some fun moments. Second, the formulation of the Charlie-Alan-Jake relationship is constantly at the fore. Charlie’s hip lifestyle isn’t exactly the best influence for a 10-year-old boy, but Jake, on more than one occasion, takes after his uncle. And it drives Alan crazy to no end.In general, the comedy comes off rich. The three primary characters (Charlie, Alan, Jake) have a great chemistry together. Sheen’s character Charlie resembles his role of Charlie Crawford from Spin City. He has a quick and dry wit that plays well against Cryer and Jones. Cryer is especially good with his neurotic character and delivers a convincing performance. Jones brings a youthful innocence that compliments Sheen’s womanizing personality and Cryer’s neurotic behavior. The supporting characters offer decent additions to the cast, but are as strong as the three lead characters.

For fun season one episodes, some of the best deal with Charlie’s lifestyle shaping Jake. “If They Do Go Either Way, They’re Usually Fake” is a classic episode and a perfect example of the wonderful chemistry between the three lead actors. While having breakfast, Jake witnesses the undressed half of one of Charlie’s female friends. The incident peaks his interest in the female form (to Alan and Judith’s dismay). The result is several fun moments with a sexually-charged boy, a supporting Charlie, and two unhappy parents. “Big Flappy Bastards” is another fun one, where Jake rebels against Charlie’s authority and he learns what it means to be a parent.

Other fun episodes include “The Last Thing You Want Is to Wind Up With a Hump”, a solid episode with sex at the fore and a few desperate soccer moms, “Camel Filters And Pheromones”, Berta’s attractive granddaughter sets a (metaphorical) fire in the house, “An Old Flame With A New Wick”, Charlie’s ex-girlfriend resurfaces as a man and it is an awkward situation for the two and a half men, and “Can You Feel My finger?”, Charlie has a pregnancy scare and considers having a vasectomy.

Overall, Two and a Half Men is a fun sitcom with a strong leading cast and solid writing. The season one episodes are a great collection of episodes that will leave you laughing at every turn.

In season two, there is a lot of hilarious happenings for the cast of Two and a Half Men. Their crazy antics include fun situations from Charlie and Alan dating the same woman, Charlie’s womanizing past coming back to haunt him (in multiple flavors), Alan exploring his sexual side, Judith’s new boyfriend, Charlie and Alan facing their childhood, and Jake’s all-around goofiness. In short, the second season, like the first, offers twenty-four solid episodes.

One of the season’s funniest developments involves guest star Jeri Ryan. Ryan plays Sherri, who is essentially a female version of Charlie. Charlie first meets her in “Bad News From the Clinic”. He is shocked to learn that Sherri treats him as he usually treats his dates — purely for sex and pleasure. Charlie becomes obsessed with understanding why Sherri doesn’t want him more. It is a fun case of role-reversal for Charlie. In the episode “A Low, Guttural Tongue-Flapping Noise”, Ryan reprises her role as Sherri. This time she dates Alan. The relationship starts off on a good note, except for the fact that Alan’s brotherly obsession for competition gets in the way. It is a fun episode and twist.

Another strong development comes from Charlie’s past with women. As a womanizer, he has left a lot of broken hearts. In particular, one woman he had a one nightstand with started a website dedicated to Charlie bashing. After an attractive gal blows Charlie off, he learns about the website. In an attempt to correct his past mistakes, he quests to apologize to all of the girls who he thinks might be running the site. His apologizes are well received and he finds they are more than willing to give him a second “chance”. Charlie’s past also comes back to haunt him in episodes like “Woo-Hoo, A Hernia Exam!” and “Yes, Monsignor”.

Other fun developments include Charlie dating Jake’s neurotic teacher, Charlie acting as primary caregiver to Jake while Alan deals with an IRS audit, Alan falling in love with a woman who opened up his world sexually, Alan’s approval of Judith dating a well-to-do doctor, Judith moving into Charlie’s house, Jake and Evelyn trying to be friends, Alan and Charlie chasing after an old friend from high school — a geek-turned-hottie who wants them both, Alan going on a double-date with Evelyn, and Rose revealing an ironic truth about her background. Overall, season two has a lot of fun moments. The cast continues to give stellar performances with a wonderful chemistry together. Of note, Charlie Sheen is excellent and his carefree personality makes every scene he appears in a laugh riot. Jon Cryer is also quite good with his neurotic, goofy character. The youngest lead, Angus T. Jones, does a fine job complimenting the two older leads.

Season three is another fun set of episodes with two and a half of America’s funniest bachelors. The season has several classic, over-the-top episodes that include Charlie dating a cultist, Alan dating a grandmother, Jake taking ballet, and Rose’s dad entering the picture. There are also some good all-around developments for the cast. Notably, Charlie gives up on his bachelor lifestyle after meeting the perfect woman.

The season kicks off with “Weekend in Bangkok With Two Olympic Gymnasts”. Charlie tries to prove his value as a responsible adult. He agrees to run Alan’s office while he goes to a school appointment for Jake. Of course, Charlie makes a muck of things and Alan freaks out. This aspect is not a new development, as pretty much the entire show has centered on the conflict between Charlie’s carefree personality and Alan’s neurotic behavior.

The season gets better and better. The pinnacle occurs with episode six, “Hi, Mr. Horned One”. This episode has a goofy undertone. Charlie spends a ravenous few days with Isabella. She is an indifferent girl with ties to the underworld. When she meets Alan, they do not click. She puts a curse on him. It is a ridiculous episode that ends with on a great note. The next episode is “Sleep Tight, Puddin’ Pop”. This episode has classic written all over it. The real strength comes from the guest star Marin Sheen. After Charlie gets drunk and wakes up with Rose in his bed, Rose’s father (Martin Sheen) demands to know Charlie’s intentions for his daughter. But after meeting Evelyn, Rose’s dad becomes obsessed with her and moves in — father like daughter. It is a great episode with an awesome performance from Martin Sheen, who fits the show like a glove.

The next two episodes are also great and worth noting. In “That Voodoo That I Do Do”, Charlie meets Mia (Emmanuelle Vaugier), the woman of his dreams, who resists his charm. Charlie ties to win her over and fails. Eventually, he learns that she is a ballet teacher. To get on her good side, he pays Jake to take ballet lessons from her. The situation is simply funny and even kookier as Jake falls for her too. “Madame and Her Special Friend” has Alan at the center of an old tale. After trying to smooth things between Charlie and senior citizen neighbor Norma, Alan befriends her. One thing leads to another and he finds himself in an odd position as her young lover. Alan weighs his pride against material goods. He can have his own building dedicated to chiropractics; the catch, he has to sleep with her.

Overall, it is a solid season that has a lot of laughs and fun for everyone to enjoy.

At the end of season three, Charlie and Alan were headed away from bachelor life. Charlie and girlfriend Mia were getting close to tying the knot. However, when it became clear that Charlie would have to give up Alan and Jake for marriage, he picked family. Despite the fact Alan married his young, ditzy girlfriend Kandi, won five hundred thousand dollars, and bought a condo. Four months later, season four begins and life quickly gets back to normal. Kandi kicks Alan out and files for divorce. He is broke and goes back to Charlie. Since losing Mia, Charlie spent his time partying, boozing, and chasing women. Now, Charlie, Alan, and Jake get reacquainted and there are some solid laughs

Image result for two and a half men season 4 episode 4

 

After the guys settle back into bachelor life, there are a couple major season developments. The first development is Alan’s divorce. The early season episodes deal with his financial situation getting worse and worse. Alan loses his condo, his dog, his pride, and pays two alimonies after Judith gives Kandi her divorce lawyer. The flipside to this story is Judith and Herb’s relationship. They get engaged and Alan and Charlie do everything they can to get them hitched. Alan’s romantic life is also a big development. Some of his love interests include Berta’s daughter Naomi and guest stars Brooke Shields and Allison Janney.

Life for Charlie is busy as usual. He spends most of his time chasing after women, drinking, and working very little. “Apologies For the Frivolity” is a fantastic episode. Charlie dates a woman who has uncanny similarities to Evelyn. Everyone sees it but Charlie. In the episodes “Smooth As A Ken Doll” and “Aunt Myra Doesn’t Pee A Lot”, Charlie and Herb’s sister Myra hit it off. As the relationship gets intimate, Alan fears how it will affect Judith and Herb. Charlie worries because he thinks he has true feelings for Myra. Everyone is in for a surprise in this highly comical, yet ironic storyline. “Tucked, Taped and Gorgeous” is another solid episode, where Charlie’s sexuality comes into question, as does Alan’s. Charlie has many other fun interludes, but these ones are among the best.

As for Evelyn, there are a couple great episodes involving her and her overzealous sons. In “The Sea Is a Harsh Mistress”, Charlie goes surfing with a beautiful beach babe. The catch is that he does not know how to surf. He gets in an accident, which leaves him with a slight concussion. Just as Charlie’s life flashed before his eyes, he saw his father, who told him to take care of mother. Charlie teams with Alan to treat their mother better. “I Merely Slept With a Commie” is another fun episode with Evelyn. She makes Charlie and Alan jealous by getting a new family. Overall, season four continues the enjoyable and hilarious comedy found in past seasons.

Two and a Half Men continues to stand as a testament that a product doesn’t need to be complicated in order to work, as it continues to deliver just as many laughs during its fifth season as it did in its first. The fifth season opens a whole new world of refreshingly snappy one liners between the brothers as Charlie begins seeing matured women, as opposed to the young college meat he normally keeps under the sheets.

What also helps the brothers dynamic this season is Alan’s son, Jake. This character has been used as a tool to bring a little more depth and variety to the situations the guys can get into, and although this aspect of the show hasn’t changed that much, the changes depicted in Jake’s life ensures the episodic storylines continue to stay fresh. This season we see Jake start junior high, and it brings on all the adolescent phases that comes with it. He starts dating, sneaking out of the house, and begins to cling to Charlie a little more since he’s the cool uncle that won’t father him to death.

Although these central points from season five are adequate enough to keep the show feeling fresh, a most noteworthy episode named Fish in a Drawer is a huge highlight. The episode is part of an ‘episode swap’, as the writers of CSI and Two and a Half Men switched writing duties for a week. The CSI writers have designed this particular episode to be a spoof of their very own series, and focuses on investigating a death that occurs in Charlie’s home during his mother’s wedding reception. Can you imagine the kind of jokes that could be conjured up using crime scene equipment in Charlie’s bedroom?

Two and a Half Men’s game has also stepped up with the inclusion of numerous guest stars, such as Jenny McCarthy, Janeane Garofalo, Ryan Styles, Robert Wagner and more. Fan favorite characters such as Berta, Evelyn Harper and Charlie’s stalker Rose, are all still here and utilized to a greater extent.