REVIEW: TAKERS

CAST

Matt Dillon (Crash)
Paul Walker (The Fast and The Furious)
Idris Elba (Prometheus)
Jay Hernandez (Suicide Squad)
Michael Ealy (Flashforward)
T.I. (Identity Thief)
Chris Brown (Stomp The Yard)
Hayden Christensen (Star Wars – Episode 2 & 3)
Zoe Saldana (Guardians of The Galaxy)
Marianne Jean-Baptiste (The Cell)
Glynn Turman (Gremlins)
Isa Briones (Star Trek: Picard)
Steve Harris (12 Rounds)
Johnathon Schaech (8mm 2)

Two detectives, Jack Welles (Matt Dillon) and Eddie Hatcher (Jay Hernandez), investigate a daring heist by a group of well-organized bank robbers. The crew, led by Gordon Cozier (Idris Elba), consists of John (Paul Walker), A.J. (Hayden Christensen), and brothers Jake (Michael Ealy) and Jesse (Chris Brown) Attica. The crew is without a former member, Ghost (T.I.), who was caught during a previous robbery 5 years ago. In his absence, Jake has begun a relationship with his former girlfriend Lilly (Zoe Saldana), who has accepted his marriage proposal. After Ghost gets released from prison, he meets up with the crew to plan a heist, in which it is discovered that two trucks will travel together but that all the money is kept in the lead truck, which holds $12 million.The crew, dressed as construction workers, hide out underground while Ghost poses as a police officer so he can keep an eye out for the trucks. Meanwhile, in order to cover themselves in case Ghost is setting them up, John heads to the top of a nearby garage to take out Ghost with a sniper rifle in case things go sour. The blast, having been perfectly timed to the time the trucks had turned the last corner, occurs too far forward because the lead driver had stopped short to avoid the bicyclist, and the ruse is up. The lead driver radios the police while armed guards pile out of the rear truck. A gunfight ensued between the robbers in the crater and the guards on the street until John, commandeers the rear truck, and rams the lead truck into the crater. John and the other robbers pack the cash into bags and flee by heading down a variety of different tunnels with the plan of connecting into various subway lines to make their escape.Welles and Hatcher show up on the scene and, after learning of the robber’s escape through the sewer system, remembers a map of the city subway system from the Russian gang hideout, and deduces that they must be escaping through the stations marked on the map where the sewers intersect the subway. They rush to the nearest station where they find Jesse, and a chase ensues, during which Jesse hides his bag of money and is cornered and is forced to shoot Detective Hatcher in his escape. Jesse escapes, while Welles stops to aid his partner, who dies from his wound.Jesse reconvenes with the rest of the crew at a hotel room and admits to the shooting of Hatcher. It is now revealed that Ghost had previously cut a deal with the Russian gangsters to kill his former crewmates in exchange for half of the heist’s take. Ghost gives the Russians the hotel room number, then escapes out the bathroom window, just before the Russians storm the room and attempt to kill the crew. A.J. dies in the ensuing firefight, but the rest of the crew is able to kill the Russians and flee the building before the police arrive. Jake and Jesse return home where, to their horror, Jake finds Lilly’s lifeless body and Jesse finds the safe where they kept their secret stash of money opened and cleaned out. The police surround their home and shoot the two when they make a suicide charge outside.Gordon and John separate to make their escape but realize Ghost intends to take all of their money, which is being held by Scott (Johnathon Schaech), a well-connected fence. Ghost sneaks onto Scott’s private plane and kills him, taking their laundered money in two large suitcases. Gordon and Detective Welles arrive and a three-way Mexican standoff results in which Ghost hits both Gordon and Welles. As Ghost prepares to finish off Gordon, John arrives and shoots him dead. John recognizes Welles as the same cop, who was with the little girl. John and Gordon refuse to kill Welles. John and an injured Gordon take the money and drive off, with Gordon’s sister Naomi (Marianne Jean-Baptiste) in tow. A gravely-wounded Welles manages to call 911 for help on his cell phone. The film ends without revealing whether either Cozier or Welles survive their injuries.This is an entertaining movie. It’s not “The Godfather” or “Shawshank Redemption”, but it’s a good old fashioned action movie that keeps your attention.

 

REVIEW: 12 ROUNDS

CAST

John Cena (Trainwreck)
Aidan Gillen (Game of Thrones)
Ashley Scott (Birds of Prey)
Brian J. White (The Cabin In The Woods)
Taylor Cole (The Originals)
Steve Harris  (Takers)
Billy Slaughter (Bad Moms)
Louis Herthum (Westworld)
Jeff Fischer (American Dad)
Joel Swetow (Kidding)

A sting operation to capture arms dealer Miles Jackson goes awry when the FBI’s inside man double crosses them. Miles rendezvouses with his girlfriend Erica Kessen, who has a getaway car. Officers Danny Fisher and Hank Carver are dispatched to help the FBI. They look at Jackson’s record and see a surveillance video of him dancing with Kessen. An encounter with them at a traffic light leads to her death and Miles being taken away. Miles swears vengeance on Fisher.One year later Fisher, now promoted to Detective due to his actions with Jackson, gets a phone call from Jackson, who has escaped from prison. Fisher runs outside the house looking for Jackson, and Fisher’s car and house explode, throwing him to the ground. After Fisher recovers, Jackson says he is launching a game of revenge called “12 Rounds.” The house, the car, and Phil, the plumber who came to fix a pipe were “Round 1.” Molly Porter, Fisher’s girlfriend is kidnapped by Jackson for “Round 2.” For “Round 3,” Fisher and Carver must follow a series of clues to locate the cell phone that Jackson calls, and for “Round 4” Fisher has to get to New Orleans Savings and Loan where a fire has broken out and extract two security deposit boxes within 20 minutes. Carver has a lead on the man who helped kidnap Molly Porter and volunteers to look into that while Fisher continues with the game. FBI Special Agents George Aiken and Ray Santiago work with them to get Porter back.For “Round 5” one of the security boxes is a bomb and the other contains a clue to the next round. Fisher discovers and disposes of the bomb.The other box contains a hotel room key. The room is raided and found empty. For “Round 6,” Fisher follows a series of clues to a bus where he finds Porter on board, wearing a bomb underneath her jacket. He is handcuffed to a bar and is given an envelope with a phone number as the clue to the next round. The Feds try to get Jackson but he escapes with Porter. When Fisher is freed, he tells the Feds about the bomb. Carver shows up and tells Fisher he has located Jackson’s henchman, Anthony Deluso. In “Round 7” Fisher has to find the correct cell phone number that disarms bombs placed in different locations. Jackson answers and tells him that his call disabled Streetcar 907’s brakes. Fisher and Santiago slam their car into the transformer, shutting off electricity for the whole neighborhood. They run along the streetcar, clearing people out of the way until it can slow to a halt.1235616_fullA mine planted by Jackson kills Carver and Deluso. Jackson says that Porter’s bomb can only be disarmed by Fisher’s fingerprint. He tells Fisher to pay a visit to Erica Kessen, so Fisher, Santiago, and Aiken start for the cemetery. Another detective, Chuck Jansen calls Fisher to tell him that the numbers in the envelope were rigged to the streetcar. Jackson had cameras monitoring the elevator shaft and set off the bomb five seconds early. Fisher realizes that Willie’s death in the elevator episode was orchestrated by Jackson. Santiago does a check on Willie and finds he had a second job as a Homewood Security guard. They figure out that Jackson was leading them to take out the power because Homewood Security comes in to move the federally unprotected cash from the United States Mint in New Orleans. Jackson’s grudge against Fisher was only a cover for in his scheme to steal this money.hero_TheRunner-2015-1Aiken tells Santiago to lock down the Mint, while he and Fisher go after Porter. Fisher realizes that “Round 12” is a wild-goose chase, since Jackson needs Porter, a nurse, to help him escape. Jackson, dressed as a security guard, steals the cash. He uses Porter’s ID card to get to a Medevac chopper on a hospital roof, transporting the money inside a body bag. Fisher and Aiken race to the hospital roof, where Aiken is wounded. Fisher activates the touch phone-bomb and throws the switch away. Porter and Fisher jump into a pool, while Jackson is left in the exploding helicopter.The-Runner-LB-112 Rounds is not a movie that should be taken overly serious. It aims for an audience who expects cool explosions, a fast talking villain, and a ton of action. In that respect, this movie is alright.

HALLOWEEN OF HORROR REVIEW: THE BATMAN – GRUNDY’S NIGHT

Image result for the batman logo

MAIN CAST (VOICES)

Rino Romano (Get Him To The Greek)
Alastair Duncan (The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo)
Kevin Michael Richardson (The Cleveland Show)
Steve Harris (The Rock)

GUEST CAST

Kevin Grevioux (I, Frankenstein)

The pre-credit teaser had me a bit worried about this episode. It wasn’t really doing anything for me and was slightly annoying. The eccentric old women was a bit funny, but started to get on my nerves as the teaser progressed; thankfully that all changes once the credits run, and “Grundy’s Night” kicks into full gear.

According to lore, Grundy is the result of the greed that came to Gotham years ago, greed that overtook a peaceful land and made it the polluted, crime-ridden hole it is today. Citizens, wanting to rid Gotham of this rot, conjured up a swamp zombie to wreak vengeance, which the ancestors of those greedy industrialists must pay. Now, on the darkest Halloween since he was created, Grundy has returned for to finish his mission.

The Batman is, of course, skeptical but finds himself quickly sucked into the myth as the ancient creature returns for revenge.  Personally, I didn’t know what to expect with this episode. The teaser didn’t fill me with much enthusiasm, but once the episode got rolling, it got really engaging. Not only did this episode approach the idea of a 150 year-old zombie coming back to life in a somewhat realistic fashion, but it had a solid twist during the show’s climax. A hint is dropped midway through the episode, but it’s not until we see the actual twist does it seem so obvious, and handled very well.  The flashbacks, and delving into the origin of this lore, adds atmosphere to the episode, and the entire casts gives a good performances. I was surprised at how restrained Alfred came off, and how realistic Batman came off when approaching the whole situation. Just a surprise given the show’s sub-par past. Overall, an excellent episode. This ranks as one of the best episode of the series, and gives viewers a solid mystery to get behind. The episode is fun, and the twist at the end should be a complete shocker. It brings a whole new meaning to “jaw-dropping twist,” that’s for sure.

REVIEW: THE BATMAN – SEASON 4

Main Cast

Rino Romano (Spaceballs: TAS)
Alastair Duncan (Providence)
Evan Sabara (The Polar Express)
Danielle Judovits (Toy Story)
Mitch Pileggi (Stargate: Atlantis)Rino Romano in The Batman (2004)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Kevin Conroy (Batman: TAS)
Grey Griffin (The Book of Life)
Mark Hamill (Star Wars)
Maurice LaMarche (Futurama)
Jason Marsden (Young Justice)
Ron Perlman (Hellboy)
Kevin Michael Richardson (The Cleveland Show)
Steve Harris (The Rock)
Wallace Langham (CSI)
Julianne Grossman (Star Trek: Discovery)
Allison Mack (Smallville)
Brandon Routh (Legends of Tomorrow)
Diedrich Bader (American Housewife)
James Remar (BLack Lightning)
Kurt Fuller (Ghostbusters II)
Jerry O’Connell (The Death of Superman)
Kellie Martin (ER)
Clancy Brown (Highlander)
Hynden Walch (Teen Titans)
Townsend Coleman (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles)
Robert Englund (A Nightmare on Elm Street)
Bob Gunton (Daredevil)
Brooke Shields (Pretty Baby)
Gina Gershon (Red Heat)
Xander Berkeley (Kick-Ass)
Louis Gossett Jr. (Legend of The Mummy)
Dorian Harewood (Terminator: TSCC)

The Batman (2004)Few animated TV shows have improved as greatly and as rapidly as much as “The Batman.” When the program debuted on the Kids WB! network in 2004, it was a reboot of the franchise, and while repeat viewings did help the show’s more radical changes become acceptable to lifelong fans of the character, it still never quite hit the heights of the 1990s’ “Batman: The Animated Series,” deemed by most as the definitive presentation of the hero.Strange New World (2006)The season opens with the introduction of Robin, the Boy Wonder. Series producers took a brave risk the season prior by breaking from the continuity of the Batman mythology and bringing in Batgirl as a sidekick first; the official reason given is that Robin was tied up on the “Teen Titans” cartoon, but the switcheroo seems to go beyond that, as it led to a shakeup that helped breathe new life into the franchise.The Batman (2004)Perhaps to counterbalance such changes, the season premiere strays very little from the established Robin backstory: young Dick Grayson (seen here at around age 10 or 11, unlike several other incarnations that aged him slightly) is the son of a successful circus act. Here, Dick’s father also runs the circus, so he’s directly responsible for shooing away the thugs that show up one night for a little extortion. Batman arrives to thwart the baddies, but they return to sabotage the trapeze. The Graysons are killed mid-performance, and Bruce Wayne, seeing a parallel with his own history, takes Dick in as a foster son. Dick later discovers the Batcave, dons his old circus outfit, and sets out to capture the mobsters; by episode’s end, he’s properly christened as Robin.The Batman (2004)It’s interesting to note that every time this legend is retold, its writers find new ways of infusing some modern day logic into the proceedings. Like Dick’s circus costume, which now comes right off the bat with the familiar “R” crest, only for “Richard,” not “Robin.” He later decides to use “Robin” as his superhero alter ego not in tribute to Robin Hood, or because of the goofy motorcycle helmet design from “Batman Forever,” but simply because Dick’s mom liked that nickname. It adds a bittersweet human touch to the myth that feels so natural, I’m surprised it’s never been used before. (In a nice touch, Kevin Conroy, the voice actor who played Batman in the 1990s, appears as Dick’s father. It’s a wonderful passing-the-torch moment that reminds me of when Adam West showed up on “Batman: The Animated Series” as the Grey Ghost. Also providing guest star voice work this season are Mark Hamill, Louis Gossett, Jr., Ron Perlman, James Remar, Wallace Langham, and Brandon Routh.)The Batman (2004)Batgirl is absent from this episode (wisely so – although it’s an excellent story, it’s also pretty cluttered with characters and events). She returns in the follow-up, and there we set the stage for the rest of the season’s tone. The sidekicks spend their time bickering and trying to one-up each other, in pure brother-sister mode. It’s a fun dynamic to the show that allows Batman to remain his moody self without forcing the series to become overly brooding. A peculiar moment regarding the sidekicks comes late in the season, when Robin pauses in the middle of a dangerous mission to ask Batgirl if she’s afraid. After some fudging between the two, she admits that she is. Not only is this a deeper, more thoughtful character moment than the series would have ever attempted a few years earlier, but it’s a startling moment of character honesty that you rarely get in a children’s adventure.

REVIEW: THE BATMAN – SEASON 2

 

 

Main Cast

Rino Romano (Spaceballs: TAS)
Alastair Duncan (Providence)
Ming-Na Wen (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.)
Kevin Michael Richardson (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles)

The Batman (2004)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Gina Gershon (Red Heat)
Tom Kenny (Spongebob Squarepants)
Robert Englund (A Nightmare on Elm Street)
Clancy Brown (Highlander)
Jason Marsden (Young Justice)
Adam West (Family Guy)
Ron Perlman (Hellboy)
Peter MacNicol (Veep)
Steve Harris (The Rock)
Frank Gorshin (60’s Batman)
Daran Norris (Veornica Mars)
Patrick Warburton (Family Guy)
Michael Massee (The Amazing Spider-Man)
Kevin Grevioux (Underworld)
Mitch Pileggi (Stargate: Atlantis)

The Batman (2004)

With this season, the producers opted to play mix-and-match with baddies: Catwoman and Ragdoll, Catwoman and Penguin, Penguin and Man-Bat, Penguin and Joker, Penguin and Joker and Riddler, Mr. Freeze and Firefly. The Catwoman episodes work much better; the series’ take on the Selina Kyle character is as refreshing as has ever been in the decades of Batman tales. She’s one of the few multifaceted characters in this uncomplicated series, working somewhere between heroine and villainess, assisted by clever writing and a commendable vocal performance from Gina Gershon.Kevin Michael Richardson in The Batman (2004)Other episodes manage to shake the series’ problems and find a sturdy balance between fast-paced action and inventive plotting. The introductory adventure with the Riddler (here designed as some sort of Marilyn Manson wannabe) makes for a rollicking quest; an episode that takes Batman literally into the mind of the Joker allows for a fresh take on some overly well-worn cartoon material; a sinister Halloween tale about “swamp zombie” Solomon Grundy’s mythic return makes for ripping holiday viewing. These episodes all show the grand potential of this series. Consider the season’s best episode, “Meltdown,” which provides a return for Clay Face, last seen in season one’s finale. There’s a lot that happens in this episode character-wise, all of it both thrilling and quite emotionally touching.The Batman (2004)In order to make the show more friendly to the notion of reruns, the producers avoid any serious episode-to-episode continuity. Instead, we see ideas that slowly grow – Detective Bennett’s evolution as a character in season one (and slightly in season two), Detective Yin’s secret partnership with Batman in season two – in tiny chunks over the course of a dozen or so episodes. The good news is that these seemingly unimportant arcs do get a payoff in the season finales. In its favor, the series does showcase some incredible animation; “The Batman” remains a genuine treat for the eyes.

REVIEW: THE BATMAN – SEASON 1

Main Cast

Rino Romano (Spaceballs: TAS)
Alastair Duncan (Providence)
Steve Harris (The Rock)
Ming-Na Wen (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.)
Kevin Michael Richardson (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Edward James Olmos (Blade Runner)
Miguel Sandoval (Medium)
Neil Ross (Transformers: The Movie)
Victor Brandt (Neon Maniacs)
Tom Kenny (Spongebob Squarepants)
Grey Griffin (The Book of Life)
Joaquim de Almeida (24)
Michael Bell (G.I. Joe)
Gina Gershon (Red Heat)
Keone Young (Crank)
Peter MacNicol (Veep)
Clancy Brown (Highlander)
Jason Marsden (Young Justice)
Adam West (Family Guy)
Glenn Shadix (Beatlejuice)
Udo Kier (Iron Sky)
Fred Willard (Anchorman)
Kath Soucie (Space Jam)
Dan Castellaneta (The Simpsons)
John DiMaggio (Futurama)
Jennifer Hale (The Powerpuff Girls)
Henry Gibson (Sabrina: TTW)

The Batman (2004)

It would be an impossible task to live up to “Batman: The Animated Series” and its various later incarnations. Not only has the series, which ran throughout the 1990s, been hailed by fans as the definitive representation of the Dark Knight, but it also ranks among the very best television series ever aired.

The Batman (2004)

So when the folks at Warner Bros. Animation decided to put together an all-new Batman series to tie in with the impending release of “Batman Begins,” they made the daring but ultimately wise choice of completely revamping the world of Bruce Wayne, at least in terms of style and presentation. “The Batman,” which debuted in September 2004 on the Kids WB!, played out as something of a “Young Batman Adventures,” with the episodes focusing on the Dark Knight’s earliest years as a superhero. The deep, raspy voice of Kevin Conroy (who took the lead role in the 1990s series, and who still voices Batman on Cartoon Network’s “Justice League”) was replaced with Rino Romano, a thirtysomething voiceover veteran who sounds like he’s in his early twenties. Commissioner Gordon is nowhere to be seen; instead, we get two young detectives who are always on Batman’s trail – and in a nifty twist, one of them is Bruce Wayne’s best friend. Robin is also absent, Bruce has yet to get a handle on how to be Batman and run Wayne Industries, and the Rogues Gallery of villains are only beginning to emerge.

The Batman (2004)

The most notable change is the stylistic choice to loosen up the storytelling, with a far heavier focus here on action and fantasy. “The Batman” is above all else a series that skews younger than its predecessors; taking a cue from the success of anime in grade schools across the nation, the series’ producers push the action sequences above all else. In some episodes, fight scenes and chases take up an entire third, or more, of the running time.

The Batman (2004)

Time is also placed on gadgets (Batman’s “Bat Wave” is a pre-Bat Signal pager-like device that flashes when crime’s afoot), alternate costumes (Batman faces off against Mr. Freeze in a souped-up arctic gear Batsuit), and anything else that might translate well into toy sales. Which is neat for the kids, but it takes up screen time, forcing into the background the character development and intelligent drama that made the older series such a hit with fans of all ages. Since all this tinkering was taking place, the producers felt that now would be a perfect time to also revamp the famous villains. The Joker is now a big guy, far more athletic than we’ve ever seen him before, his bare feet allowing him to climb and kick with ease. The Penguin is still short, birdlike, and obnoxious, but this time, he’s a kung fu expert with two silent female assassins (with scissor-like blades on their fingers) at his side. Mr. Freeze, not a scientist but a petty thief, now shoots ice from his hands – no ice gun is necessary.

The Batman (2004)

These changes work for the tone of the series, I’ve come to like the series. Now knowing what to expect has helped with the adjustment. Yes, it still has its many problems – mainly, most of the villain revamps come off as too silly (and the writers rely on the Joker and Penguin way too much in the early episodes) – but it also has so much going for it. For starters, the animation is breathtaking, the combination of influences (the series borrows as much from the sleek 1990s cartoons as it does from recent anime) resulting in a eye-popping visual style that’s a true joy to watch. And as with its predecessor, “The Batman” relies on a healthy dose of impressive guest stars, including Tom Kenny, Gina Gershon, Peter MacNicol, Clancy Brown, Jason Marsden, Udo Kier, Edie McClurg, Glenn Shadix, Fred Willard, Dan Castellaneta, John Di Maggio, and yes, even Adam West, who stars here as the mayor of Gotham City. Combine this with a top notch regular cast and you’ve got a series that matches Warner Brothers’ usual high level of quality.

REVIEW: BRINGING DOWN THE HOUSE


CAST

Steve Martin (Cheaper By The Dozen)
Queen Latifah (Chicago)
Eugene Levy (American Pie)
Joan Plowright (101 Dalmations)
Jean Smart (The Accountant)
Kimberly J. Brown (Tumbleweeds)
Angus T. Jones (Two and a Half Men)
Missi Pyle (Dodgeball)
Michael Rosenbaum (Smallville)
Betty White (The Golden Girls)
Steve Harris (Minority Report)
Victor Webster (Mutant X)

Peter Sanderson (Steve Martin) is a workaholic tax attorney working for a set of competitive colleagues and bosses while he tries to turn his life around. Having just separated from his wife Kate (Jean Smart) and lost privileges to his children, 15-year-old Sarah (Kimberly J. Brown) and 8-year-old Georgie (Angus T. Jones), he tells his wife that the previously planned Hawaii trip will not happen, but he lets them be in their house for some allotted time. While tending to his career, he corresponded with an online friend known only as “lawyer-girl”. On their first blind date, Peter learns that “lawyer-girl” is Charlene Morton (Queen Latifah); a wrongfully convicted felon accused of bank robbery claiming her innocence who wants Peter’s help in getting the charges dropped. He kicks her out but then decides to let her stay.
The next day as Peter leaves the house to pick up the kids, he tricks Charlene to make her leave, but she breaks back into the house along with her friends. As they drive home, he realizes that Charlene didn’t give up on leaving his house and again forces her to leave the house. While Howie Rottman (Eugene Levy) and Peter are waiting to have Peter make a deal promised for Mrs. Virginia Arness, she appears to finally convince him to help her out. Ashley (Missi Pyle), Kate’s gold-digging sister, thinks she is here to serve drinks and food. However, Peter makes it seem that she is the nanny of his house since his ex-wife is not with him. Much later, Charlene appears in Peter’s office informing him of new evidence. When his associate Sofia (Tracey Jones) told Peter that one of his bosses Mr. Edward Tobias (Jim Haynie) wants to see him, he & Howie try to get her out of there but to no avail as Tobias shows up before them. But the two gentlemen manage to get off the hook when Charlene tells Ed about Peter helping with the financial situation at a church and then leaves. At the golf resort, as Peter plays a round with Mrs. Arness and Howie and Charlene are having a talk, Ashley talks trash and nasty enough for Charlene to get in a fight with her.
Later that night, Georgie sits with Charlene as she starts to help him develop his reading skills to impress his dad but by way of an inappropriate magazine Charlene found under Peter’s desk. Georgie later goes to Mrs. Kline’s house for ladies’ poker night. At the same time, Sarah and her friend tricks her father into thinking she’s going to dinner with him at his house; but in actuality they’re going to a party. Meanwhile, Peter goes out to eat with Charlene and for the first time since the start of his separation, he begins to have fun and then Peter & Charlene dance. But Ashley and Kate, who are also at the restaurant are very scared of the scenario. When they return home, they start having sex, but as a way for Peter to win Kate back. When she brings Georgie back, Mrs. Kline believes he accidentally humped his nanny and the next day, Peter explains the whole situation to his bosses. Later that night by the pool, Charlene is speaking to her old boyfriend Widow (Steve Harris) about another piece of new evidence that could help or hurt Charlene. Then Charlene and Widow reconcile after which Peter confronts her, thinking they were planning another crime. Then Peter convinces Charlene not to have any further visitors. Next, Peter receives a call from Sarah who asks her father if she wants to speak to Charlene. So she does and she asks Charlene to take her home. When Charlene arrives at the house Sarah was in, Sarah informs Charlene that she lied to Peter and actually had a different boyfriend who tried to have sex with her to which Sarah refused. So to teach the boy a lesson, Charlene hangs him by his ankles at the balcony and forces him to tell Sarah that he’s sorry and will never try to do it again. As Charlene takes Sarah home, Peter realizes that she was with bad friends but doesn’t get angry after Charlene tells him, “Sarah didn’t need a warden, she needed her father.”
The next night Mrs. Arness comes for dinner but on that same night she’s there she realizes that Peter has for a nanny, an escaped convict (Charlene), wanted for a murder she did not commit. So she walks out and at the same time, Peter kicks Charlene out. The next day at his firm, Peter fearing that his boss is going to fire him, realizes that Arness didn’t call the cops but the FBI. Peter runs out of the firm in terror, but not before Howie asks him to tell Charlene if & when he sees her, this term: “The cool points are out the window and she’s got him all twisted up in the game”. When Peter gets into his car and after adjusting his rear view mirror, he sees Widow in the back. Widow threatens Peter not to reopen Charlene’s case nor go anywhere near her. With that threat in his mind, Peter starts his car and drives off, causing Widow to roll out. This makes Peter realize that Charlene really “is” innocent and was framed by Widow as he made the case affect him all along as he was in hiding. So he decides to forgive Charlene and tries to call her, but he doesn’t know where Charlene is until Sarah tells Peter that Charlene has his cell phone, so he calls her by his house phone. Charlene now knows who set her up and Peter is determined to get a confession. Howie’s positive attention begins to get Charlene to be with him. They reach the Arness house but trouble doesn’t come due to William Shakespeare (her dog) being tied up and Julia, Arness’ assistant out of reach. Todd Gendler (Michael Rosenbaum), Peter’s rival & his apparent replacement gets a punch from Charlene for making a negative remark. Back at the house, the kids told their mom about Charlene and try to persuade her to believing that he moved on from the old ways and he doesn’t think about himself anymore.
Later, we see Peter drive up to “The Down Low”, the gangster club of Widow’s and makes a final confrontation, disguising himself to get in undetected. Widow arrives later and when he sees Peter in disguise, he gets his bodyguards to take Peter in the backroom. The other three (Charlene, Howie and Arness) arrive shortly after. Howie & Charlene figure out a way to save Peter while Arness is having drinks and getting stoned next to two customers. Meanwhile in the room, Peter tells Widow he & Charlene now knows who Widows accomplice was; but Widow tells Peter that there was no accomplice at all, it was just him in disguise. After Charlene calls the FBI, she goes go into the backroom as Peter & Widow came out. Widow throws Peter onto the floor, & then points the gun at both Charlene and Howie. Peter elbows Widow in the groin, causing him to drop the gun. Howie grabs the gun and points it at Widow and his bodyguards, but Peter accidentally nudges Howie and he fires the gun towards the bar, causing everyone to panic and run out the club. Charlene and Widow ensue in a fistfight, but Widow quickly gets his gun off the floor and points it at Charlene. Widow shoots Charlene and she falls on the couch, presumably dead. This angers Howie and he jumps on Widow trying to fight him. Peter goes over to Charlene to grief but Charlene wakes up and pulls Peter’s cellphone out of her shirt and reveals the bullet went through the phone, saving her life. The FBI agents come in the club to arrest them. However, Peter has a lot of proof to not only make Charlene’s record expunged, but to put Widow away for a long time. Mrs. Arness almost wants no more from Peter, but Peter escorts her to an all-night diner, convincing her to make him her lawyer again.
The next day, Gendler tells Ed that he called Arness four times with no success since she said she’ll only talk to Peter. The bosses decide to keep Peter around when they see him move out. When Peter, Howie and Sofia move out, Tobias, and his partners are sorry for understanding the new dynamic in Peter but in self-retiring from the firm, he moves out of the office saying, “Ed, you can kiss my natural black ass!” At the new office, Charlene thanks him for everything he did with one final appreciated remark and she now leaves Peter to have a good conversation with his wife after they see her walk in. Peter gave the same line Howie gave to Charlene to Kate as a way of asking her to give him a second chance, she does and reconciles once and for all. Their reconciliation was briefly interrupted by Peter’s cell phone, but rather than answering, Peter just threw it away and they continued to hug. The end of the film shows Charlene putting braids on Howie’s head and she brings down the shade.MCDBRDO EC029There are many references to racial differences within the film but they’re not unpleasant as some people make them out to be. The film could have been a lot, lot better (blame the writers, not the actors), but it gets four stars just because it’s a nice way to spend an afternoon! But don’t buy if you expect to be rolling on the floor laughing.