25 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS REVIEW: THE CLEVELAND SHOW: THE CHRISTMAS EPISODES

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A CLEVELAND BROWN CHRISTMAS

CAST
Mike Henry (Family Guy)
Sanaa Lathan (Blade)
Kevin Michael Richardson (Lilo & Stitch)
Nia Long (Boiler Room)
Seth MacFarlane (Ted)
Aseem Batra (Scrubs)
Arianna Huffington (John Q)
Jason Sudeikis (We’re The Millers)
Reagan Gomez-Preston (Jerry Maguire)
Jamie Kennedy (Son of The Mask)
David Lynch (Twin Peaks)
GUEST CAST
Alex Borstein (Power Rangers Zeo)
Stockard Channing (Practical Magic)
Will Forte (The Lego Movie)
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Cleveland and the family go to pick out a Christmas tree at Lester’s lot. Cleveland has his eye on a nice large tree but Rallo insists on a smaller tree. Cleveland finds out that Donna and the family have been lying to Rallo, telling him the reason Robert can’t come around during the holidays is that he is an FBI agent. When Cleveland fills in as Santa Claus at his office holiday party, he has one too many egg nogs and lets the truth slip about Rallo’s father. Rallo fails to connect that it was Cleveland posing as Santa and takes out his hostility on figures of Santa. With Rallo’s admiration for his dad destroyed, Cleveland tries to reconnect father and son in an attempt to save Rallo’s Christmas spirit. He finds Robert at SKANXXX a strip club. Robert doesn’t care at first but later has a change of heart. He shows up at the house dressed as Santa and tells Rallo another lie…he hasn’t been around because he is the real Santa, making Rallo’s Christmas a happy one.
Meanwhile, Roberta becomes an animal rights activist and tries to save a reindeer. When she sets it free, it goes on a rampage.
The first Xmas episode was a good decent comedy hour, and probably out of all the Cleveland show Christmas episodes it’s the best.

MURRAY CHRISTMAS

GUEST CAST
Edward Asner (Elf)
Carl Reiner (Oceans Eleven)
Craig Robinson (Pineapple Express)
Alex Borstein (Power Rangers Zeo)
While performing in a class choir at the Stoolbend Rest Home, Rallo observes one of the residents not paying attention and gets into a verbal battle of wits with him. When the home supervisor suggests they get to know each other better, Rallo’s teacher forces him to spend the weekend at a retirement home to get to know the senior citizens during the holidays, Murray teaches him about Hanukkah. In an attempt to rekindle Murray’s holiday spirit, Rallo helps him escape, but when his new friend’s health begins to suffer, Rallo has to decide whether or not to bring Murray back to the home.
Meanwhile, Cleveland Jr. sees a picture of his dad with a black eye at Christmas and finds out how his grandfather spends “Boxing Day”, by forcing his son to box with him for his gifts to toughen him up. Donna trains Cleveland for a boxing match against his father, which ends with Cleveland landing a surprise blow that triggers a heart attack in Freight Train. When Donna finds Murray’s teeth in the dishwasher Rallo comes clean, which hurts Murray’s feelings and trust. When Cleveland goes to see his father, Freight Train is forced to admit he is getting old and regrets not spending more time with Cleveland even if in the form of more beatings. Rallo decides to go back to the home and free Murray and the rest of the residents for Christmas with the help of Cleveland Jr. and Cleveland. In addition to Christmas at the Brown home with the rest home residents and Cleveland’s parents, Rallo also treats Murray to the last night of Hanukkah
The second xmas episode shows us how other religions celebrate the holidays which was a nice touch. It also introduces us to Murray who would become a recurring character throughout the shows run.

DIE SEMI-HARD

Cleveland show a p
GUEST CAST
Alex Borstein (Power Rangers Zeo)
John Slattery (Ant-Man)
To help pass time while posing in a holiday nativity scene, Cleveland tells his family his own version of one of his favorite holiday stories, “Die Hard”. After detective Cleveland Brown flies into Los Angeles to meet his wife at her job at Waterman International, he tells his limo driver Rallo about some of his marriage troubles while he hopes to reconcile during the office Christmas party. Meeting with his wife, he takes off his shoes and tries to be romantic but Donna resists his charms and returns to the party alone. Meanwhile, a group of thieves led by Tim posing as terrorists take the party guests hostage and separate Mr. Waterman in order to gain access to the Waterman International vault.
Cleveland tosses his shoes out the window over a nearby poser line when he hears gunshots and arrives as Mr. Waterman is killed. Hearing noise from Cleveland, Tim sends Kendra out to investigate where she is killed by Cleveland. As the terrorists discover Kendra’s body, they hear Cleveland trying to use his radio to call for police and start shooting. Police dispatcher Roberta sends officer Cleveland Brown, Jr. to investigate. As Cleveland dispatches another of the terrorists and escapes into an air shaft, Jr. arrives but is told by a guy that looks like Huey Lewis but is really one of the terrorists that all is well and starts to leave. To get his attention, Cleveland throws a janitor out the window onto Jr. squad car. Jr. frantically backs away as the terrorists fire on his car. As police surround the building, Cleveland taunts the terrorists but slips and gives away his location. As Robert Tubbs struggle to crack the vault, the gift exchange at the party hostages goes on. But when Donny’s gift turns out to be a small package of golf balls in a large box he is shot too. As Cleveland and Jr. exchange banter over the radio, Tim arrives but is taken by surprise. Tim manages to come up with a name on the office list and fools Cleveland who gives him a gun which her turns of Cleveland. Cleveland manages to distract him momentarily and takes out another of the henchmen as he escapes. As Cleveland hides behind a wall of glass and keeps Tim and Lester pinned down, Tim orders Lester to shoot out the glass after noticing Cleveland’s bare feet. Cleveland is forced to retreat through the glass picking up several shards in the process. Despite picking out much of the glass, Cleveland leaves bloody footprints behind him.
Two FBI agents arrive and order the building power to be cut off which results in the vault opening. The terrorists take Cleveland’s friend Holt hostage but kill him after they learn that they also hold Cleveland’s wife Donna. As Cleveland ponders his next move, Lester manages to sneak up on him but is hung from a chain by Cleveland after telling him that the hostages have been moved to the roof with explosives. Arriving on the roof, Cleveland orders everyone off but the FBI agents in a helicopter mistake Cleveland for one of the terrorists and open fire on him. Tim orders the roof blow as Cleveland ties a fire hose around his waist and jumps from the rooftop. The blast engulfs the helicopter as Cleveland shoots his way back into the building. As Cleveland catches Tim and his last henchman, Tim grams Donna and holds her at gunpoint forcing Cleveland to drop his gun. As Tim thinks he’s won, Cleveland draws a second gun taped to his back and shoots Tim and the henchman, forcing Tim through the window. Tim grabs Donna’s wig and holds her by the hair. Cleveland makes Donna undo her wig as Tim falls to his death. Outside as the surviving hostages are freed, Donna and Cleveland reconcile. Lester springs up shooting at the two to be killed by Jr. who also shoots Walt noting that he shoots kids.The scene returns to the nativity scene as only Jr. and Roberta remain awake. Jr. enthusiastically asks about a sequel to be told they will see what the internet has to say first.
Not a huge fan of this special as its just Cleveland doing Die hard, it has some fun moments but as a Christmas special it fails.

‘TIS THE SEASON TO BE SORRY

GUEST CAST

David Costabile (Lincoln)

 Nick Offerman (Sing)

When the kids make their Christmas lists, Donna insists that they help by donating old goods. Roberta refuses and insists on getting a job to buy her own gifts. While helping out at the mission, Cleveland finds that the residents eat better food than he gets at home and decides to pass himself off as homeless, telling Donna that he is volunteering at the shelter. He succeeds despite being recognized by Tim and makes the acquaintance of several of the residents where he spins a wild yarn about how he got into his predicament. They help him out and take him under their wings. Cleveland finds that Donna nominated his as a special angel due to his work at the shelter and his con job is exposed on television. Cleveland becomes a pariah in town and tries to publicly apologize but makes things worse. As he wanders back to the shelter, he finds that the residents still accept him but the food has returned to the usual low standards. He sets off with the residents to make others aware of the situation at Grundle’s.
At Grundle’s Department Store, Roberta gets hired as a skimply-dressed elf and Kendra demands to get upgraded from Mrs. Claus to the role of Santa but is passed over in favor of Arch. Kendra finds a sympathetic ear in Roberta but when she points her to a job as Santa at a laundromat, Kendra turns her down, wanting the job at Grundle’s. Arch uses his regular charm as Santa, telling the kids what they’ll get regardless of what they want. Kendra recalls a special present Roberta once wanted and Roberta makes Kendra a special sleigh out of her scooter. But due to being depressed over not getting her dream job, Kendra gives up on Christmas.
When Arch bails on the job and the kids are left without gifts, Kendra gets back her Christmas spirit and takes on the challenge of providing Christmas although she has trouble getting to the store, sliding backwards into the snow and losing the Christmas gifts in the process. Cleveland and the homeless find Kendra frozen in the snow and help her get to the store. Roberta and her co-workers complain about continuing to have to wear their costumes and quit, tossing Mr. Grundle their shorts. Without the presents, Kendra tells the kids at the store to help themselves to the store goods, figuring that they can’t all be arrested. Cleveland tries to apologize again but points out that everyone ignores the homeless after the holidays and strikes a chord, making Donna happy.
A much better special than season 3’s with a funny story merges some good heart warming stuff too. Cleveland song of I’ll be Homeless this Christmas was a funny song. This would be the last Christmas episode for the show as Season 4 became the final season.

REVIEW: BATMAN BEYOND- SEASON 2

Main Cast

Will Friedle (Batman Ninja)
Kevin Conroy (Batman: TAS)
Cree Summer (Bambi II)
Frank Welker (Transformers)

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Recurring / Notable Guest Cast

Ian Buchanan (panic Room)
Ice-T (Tank Girl)
Stockard Channing (Grease)
Paul Winfield (The Terminator)
Teri Garr (After Hours)
Lauren Tom (Bad Santa)
Ryan O’Donohue (Toy Story)
Lindsay Sloane (Sabrina: TTW)
Dan Lauria (The Spirit)
Stephen Collins (Star Trek: TMP)
Wendie Malick (American Housewife)
Kevin Michael Richardson (The Cleveland Show)
Ethan Embry (Empire Records)
Stacy Keach (THe Bourne Legacy)
Corey Burton (Critters)
Townsend Coleman (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles)
Rider Strong (Cabin Fever)
Michael Rosenbaum (Smallville)
Carl Lumbly (Alias)
Sam McMurray (Raising Arizona)
Olivia d’Abo (Conan The Destroyer)
Daphne Zuniga (Spaceballs)
Miguel Sandoval (Mediam)
Jon Cypher (Masters of The Universe)
Jason Marsden (Young Justice)
Henry Rollins (Feast)
Clyde Kusatsu (Midway)
Victor Rivers (Hulk)
Kate Jackson (Charlie’s Angels)
Melissa Disney (Superman vs The Elite)
Seth Green (Family Guy)
Chris Mulkey (Cloverfield)
Jeff Bennett (Enchanted)
Brian George (The Big Bang Theory)
Dan Castellaneta (The Simpsons)
Shiri Appleby (Roswell)
Gregg Berger (Transformers)
Tim Curry (IT)
John Ritter (Bad Santa)
Rachael Leigh Cook (Antitrust)
Adam Wylie (Child’s Play 2)
Vernee Watson (The Kid)
Dorian Harewood (Terminator: TSCC)
Michael McKean (This Is Spinal Tap)
Kathleen Freeman (Innerspace)
Andy Dick (Road Trip)
Mark Rolston (Aliens)
Gary Cole (Fam)
Kerrigan Mahan (Mighty Morphin Power Rangers)
Johnny Galecki (The Big Bang Theory)
Chris Demetral (Lois & Clark)
Patton Oswalt (Caprica)
Mitch Pileggi (Stargate: Atlantis)
Bill Fagerbakke (How I MEt Your Mother)
Curtis Armstrong (American Dad)
Bumper Robinson (Sabrina: TTW)
Eli Marienthal (American Pie)
Bill Smitrovich (Ted)
George Lazenby (Gettysburg)
Sarah Douglas (Superman I & II)

MV5BMTQxNTk2MTgwNl5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNDk5OTQ1MjE@._V1_Batman Beyond—Season Two would be ambitious and further expand the adventures of Terry McGinnis, the new Dark Knight of the Gotham City’s future, but it would also be quite different from the first season in several ways. For one thing, the creators had killed off Terry arch nemesis Derek Powers (a.k.a. Blight) at the end of season and despite having a cliffhanger ending, the character never returned for season two, or season three for that matter.MV5BODgxNjYyMzM1OF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMjg5OTQ1MjE@._V1_In fact, the fundamental change between the two seasons was that the network requested more episodes be written around Terry and the kids he interacted with in his high school, instead of focusing on a corporate espionage subplot like in the previous season. The producers did not argue with this as it was more or less the direction they were interested in going too. The network also wanted the show to introduce a stronger female character that could assist Terry in his mission as Batman.MV5BMTQzNzI1MzY4NF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNzEwMDU1MjE@._V1_That not led to the creation of new supporting character Maxine “Max” Gibson, a beautiful and intelligent girl at Terry’s high school who would discover his secret in her first episode and would become one of his allies for the rest of the series. She was always intended to be her own character and not a placeholder for Robin, Batgirl, Alfred or anyone from the classic Batman supporting cast. Most of Terry’s teenage peers like Dana Tan, Chelsea Cunningham, Blade Summer and Nelson Nash came back in this season and is some cases got slightly more prominent roles. But there was also at least one more friend of Terry’s introduced named Howard Groote, a nerdy comic relief who design was, amusingly, inspired by producer/writer Paul Dini.MV5BMTQ1MTU2MTkyNF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNjQ5OTQ1MjE@._V1_As for villains this season, many characters like the Jokerz gang, Ten of the Royal Flush Gang, Spellbinder, Willie Watt, Shriek and Curare return for further episodes. But there were also several new villains introduced, though unfortunately many of them were only one-time threats and did not become members of terry’s recurring rogues gallery. The three major recurring villains introduced this season were the Stalker, a cybernetically-enhanced big-game hunter who sees Batman as his ultimate prey, the insanely liberal bomber Mad Stan, and the terrorist snake cult known as Kobra). Memorable one-shot villains include gene splicer Dr. Able Cuvier, the A.I. ‘ghost’ of a former corporate mogul who takes control of the Batsuit, a rat boy named Patrick that kidnaps Dana, the father of one of Terry’s friends who becomes a supervillain named Armory, a burly woman named Mom Mayhem and her two sons, a snobby gossip reporter using invisibility technology, and a vigilante named Payback who takes his revenge against tormentors of troubled teenagers too far.MV5BMTc2NDEzNDU5Ml5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwODE5OTQ1MjE@._V1_Overall, Batman Beyond—Season Two is twice and big as the first season, and just as strong.

REVIEW: BATMAN BEYOND – SEASON 1

Main Cast

Will Friedle (Batman Ninja)
Kevin Conroy (Batman: TAS)
Cree Summer (Bambi II)
Frank Welker (Transformers)

Terry_and_Bruce

Recurring / Notable Guest Cast

Teri Garr (After Hours)
Michael Gross (Tremors)
Sherman Howard (Sueprboy)
George Takei (Star Trek)
Ryan O’Donohue (Toy Story)
Lauren Tom (Bad Santa)
Seth Green (Family Guy)
Sam McMurray (Raising Arizona)
CCH Pounder (Avatar)
Clyde Kusatsu (Midway)
Corey Burton (Critters)
Shannon Kenny (7th Heaven)
Stockard Channing (Grease)
Mari Devon (Digimon)
Kevin Michael Richardson (The Cleveland Show)
Melissa Disney (Superman vs The Elite)
Bill Smitrovich (Ted)
Gregg Berger (Transformers)
Pauley Perrette (NCIS)
Linda Hamilton (The Terminator)
Michael Ansara (The Message)
Tress MacNeille (Futurama)
Robert Davi (The Goonies)
Kevin Dunn (Transformers)
Jeff Bennett (Enchanted)
Chris Mulkey (Cloverfield)
Olivia d’Abo (Conan The Destroyer)
George Lazenby (Gettysburg)
Amanda Donohoe (Liar Liar)
Brian George (The Big Bang Theory)
Peter Jason (They Live)
Ian Ziering (Sharknado)
Larry Drake (Darkman)
Jon Cypher (Masters of The Universe)
Vernee Watson (The Kid)
Dorian Harewood (Terminator: TSCC)
William H. Macy (Shameless)
Kimmy Robertson (Speed 2)
Barry Dennen (The Dark Crystal)
Victor Raider-Wexler (Minority Report)
Paul Winfield (The Terminator)
Miguel Sandoval (Medium)
Cary Elwes (Saw)

MV5BZTIyYjQ5OWQtNjVjNC00ZGY2LWI4NmItNjRiOTZlMzA1NWJmXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyMzExODYzNzc@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,1333,1000_AL_Fifty years after Batman: The Animated Series came to a close, Gotham City is without a protector. Failing health and a chilling act of desperation prompted Bruce Wayne to give up Batman’s cape and cowl, and the corporation that had stayed in his family for generations has been wrest from him by a corporate raider named Derek Powers. Never married and abandoned by his sidekicks, the elderly, embittered Wayne lurks inside a sprawling mansion that seems more like a mausoleum than the stately manor of old. Derek Powers is using the remnants of WayneCorp to illegally manufacture an endlessly destructive but extremely profitable nerve gas, a secret that Wayne/Powers employee Warren McGinnis stumbles upon and pays for with his life.DziRsC4XQAEU01AHis troubled son Terry blames himself for the murder, but a chance encounter with Bruce Wayne results in the theft of a Batman suit brimming with cutting-edge technology and the revelation of the man truly responsible for his father’s death. By the time the two-part episode “Rebirth” is over, Bruce Wayne has agreed to guide Terry as the new Batman, and an irradiated Derek Powers is a walking fusion reactor.batman-beyondBatman: The Animated Series, Superman, and Justice League all drew heavily from the established mythos, but Batman Beyond is a largely original creation. Sure, there are quite a few nods to the original series — it’s still set in Gotham City, Barbara Gordon has taken the mantle of police commissioner, and there are winks to fans like the Grey Ghost costume in the Batcave.MV5BMjI4Nzg0NTQ4OV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNzY5OTQ1MjE@._V1_Terry McGinnis is a very different lead character than Bruce Wayne was in Batman: The Animated Series. In the previous series, it seemed more as if Batman was who this man really was and Bruce Wayne was just an occasionally convenient mask for him to wear. Terry is seen out of costume much more frequently than Bruce ever was and feels like more of a fleshed-out character. He has friends, he has family, and he has a life outside of the pointy-eared hood. Gotham City is still teeming with bad guys, but even though Batman has been transplanted to the future, he’s not squaring off against Joker II or The Riddler Redux. The rogue’s gallery of this futuristic Batman doesn’t lift much from the previous animated series or even from the comics. The only familiar faces are Mr. Freeze, The Royal Flush Gang, and, briefly and unrecognizably, Bane. The other villains are original creations with some striking character designs, such as the amorphous corporate saboteur Inque, sound-engineer-with-a-power-suit Shriek, and the hypnotic Spellbound. This season also doesn’t rehash the same villains over and over again, with Inque being the only baddie other than Derek Powers’ Blight to strike more than once.MV5BMTQ0ODcyNjYwOF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwOTU5OTQ1MjE@._V1_Several of the supervillains aren’t costumed-threats-of-the-week, but ordinary people in extraordinary situations: Willie Watt in “Golem” is a nerdy high schooler who seizes control of a two-story-tall construction robot to exact revenge on the bullies who torment him, and “The Winning Edge” is about high school athletes using steroids yet deftly avoids playing like ‘a very special episode of Batman Beyond’. One thing Batman’s adversaries, costumed and plainclothes alike, have in common is their origins. Nearly all of the villains in Batman Beyond are born of tragedy or greed, and that gives these episodes more of a resonance than something like The Joker pumping Gotham City with laughing gas for no reason in particular.AscensionAnother stand-out is “Shriek”, pitting Batman against an enemy whose technology enables him to manipulate sound. One of the most inventive sequences in the entire run of the series is set in a car factory where Batman starts setting off every piece of equipment in arm’s reach as a distraction. Shriek uses his technology to block out the noise and isolate Batman’s movements, resulting in an almost entirely silent battle with no dialogue, few sound effects, and a sparse, subtle score.126915This first season of Batman Beyond is remarkably consistent, offering perhaps the strongest debut of any DC animated series to date.

REVIEW: LIFE OR, SOMETHING LIKE IT

CAST

Angelina Jolie (Gia)
Edward Burns (One Missed Call)
Tony Shalhoub (The Last Shot)
Stockard Channing (Practical Magic)
James Gammon (The Cell)
Melissa Errico (Frequency)
Christian Kane (Angel)
Lisa Thornhill (Veronica Mars)
Gregory Itzin (The Ides of March)
Veena Sood (50/50)
Amanda Tapping (Sanctuary)
Christopher Shyer (The Core)

Lanie Kerrigan (Angelina Jolie), a successful reporter for a Seattle television station interviews a self-proclaimed prophet, Jack (Tony Shalhoub), to find out if he really can predict football scores. Instead, Prophet Jack not only predicts the football score, and that it would hail the next day, but also that she would die in seven days, meaning the following Thursday. When his first two prophecies turn out to be correct, Kerrigan panics and again meets with Jack, asking him for another prophecy so that she can prove it wrong, which would imply uncertainty of her death. Jack tells her that there will be a relatively significant earthquake in San Francisco at 9:06 am; she hopes that it will be wrong but again it also becomes reality. Now Lanie becomes sure of her upcoming death and is forced to reevaluate her life.  The remainder of the storyline, which runs for the week of the prophecy, revolves around her attempts at introspection. She seeks consolation in her famous baseball player boyfriend Cal Cooper (Christian Kane), and in her family, but finds little there.Pete (EDWARD BURNS) offers advice to a skeptical Lanie (ANGELINA JOLIE), whose once "perfect" life has been turned upside-down.Her lifelong ambition, that of appearing on network television, begins to look like a distant dream. In her desperation, she commits professional blunders, but ends up finding support in an unlikely source: her archenemy, the cameraman Pete Scanlon (Edward Burns), with whom she once had casual sex; he introduces her to a new approach to life. Pete tells her to live every moment of her life and to do whatever she always wanted to do. Lanie implements Pete’s advice; she moves in with Pete for a day, he introduces her to his son Tommy (Jesse James Rutherford) who lives with his mother who had separated with Pete, and they spend a whole day together with Tommy; that night they sleep together for the second time. The next day Lanie receives an opportunity for a job she always dreamed of in New York; she asks Pete to come with her, but he declines and tells her that her appetite for success and fame will never end. Lanie sadly leaves for New York.

Pete meets Jack and tells him how wrong he is, as Lanie got the job which Jack foretold she would not get. But Jack explains that he was right as Lanie will never be able to get the job as she’ll die before it begins; he again gives a prophecy of a death of a famous former baseball player in a plane crash. Pete receives the news of the death of the baseball player as foretold by Jack, and tries to call Lanie to warn her. When he cannot reach her, he also flies to New York. Lanie, unconcerned with Jack’s prophecy, interviews her idol, famous media personality Deborah Connors (Stockard Channing). Lanie realizes how petty the opening questions are and shares a heartfelt moment with Deborah live on air. The interview receives which receives huge television ratings. The network immediately offers her a position, but Lanie declines, realizing that she wants a life with Pete in Seattle. As she leaves the studio, a police officer gets into a conflict with a man, who shoots a bullet into the air. Pete tries to warn Lanie across the street, but she is shot in the crossfire. Luckily, Lanie survives, and Pete tells her in the hospital that he has loved her since the first time he saw her; Lanie says she loves him, too. Later, Pete, Lanie and Tommy watch Cal’s baseball game, where Lanie (in a voiceover) says that one part of her has died—the part which didn’t know how to live a life.

Enjoyable film which has both a strong satirical edge and an introspective, philosophical tone. Jolie is fab as the shallower than shallow career journalist who has her life changed by a modern day soothsayer