REVIEW: CLOVERFIELD

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CAST

Lizzy Caplan (Mean Girls)
Jessica Lucas (Gotham)
T.J. Miller (Deadpool)
Michael Stahl-David (In Your Eyes)
Mike Vogel (Bates Motel)
Odette Annable (The Unborn)
Theo Rossi (Luke Cage)
Brian Klugman (Bones)
Liza Lapira (Dollhouse)
Chris Mulkey (Whiplash)

The film is presented as found footage from a personal camcorder recovered by the United States Department of Defense. A disclaimer states that the footage is of a case designated “Cloverfield” and was found in area US447, “formerly known as Central Park”. The video consists primarily of segments taped the night of Friday, May 22. Occasionally, older segments are shown from a previous video that was mostly taped over.

The first video segment shows Beth waking up on the morning of Monday, April 27 having had sex with Rob, a previously platonic friend, who is filming her. They make plans to go to Coney Island that day. The footage then cuts to Friday, May 22, when Jason, Rob’s brother, and his girlfriend, Lily, prepare a farewell party for Rob, who will be moving to Japan. Their friend Hud uses the camera to film testimonials during the party.

After Beth has an argument with Rob and leaves the party, an apparent earthquake strikes, and the city suffers a brief power outage. The local news reports that an oil tanker has capsized near Liberty Island. When the party-goers leave the building, the decapitated head of the Statue of Liberty is hurled into the street in front of them. Hud records what appears to be a large creature several blocks away, which collapses the Woolworth Building. Later, during the evacuation of the city, the creature’s gigantic tail destroys the Brooklyn Bridge, killing Jason and several other people. News reports show the Army National Guard’s 42nd Infantry Division attacking the monster, and smaller “parasite” creatures falling off its body and attacking nearby pedestrians and soldiers.[5]

Rob listens to a phone message from Beth, saying she is trapped in her apartment and unable to move. Going against the crowd, Rob, Hud, Lily, and Marlena (another party guest) venture to Midtown Manhattan to rescue Beth. They get caught in a battle between the creature and the National Guard and run into the Spring Street station, where they are attacked by several of the parasitic creatures inside the subway tunnel. Marlena is attacked and bitten by one of the creatures. Exiting the subway via the 59th Street station, the four come to a command center and field hospital, where Marlena develops a reaction to the bite, which causes her abdomen to inflate and explode, killing her. One of the military leaders tells the group when the last evacuation helicopter will depart before the military executes its “Hammer Down Protocol,” which will destroy Manhattan in an attempt to kill the creature.

The group eventually rescues Beth, who was impaled on exposed rebar, and the four make their way to the evacuation site, where they encounter the creature once more over Grand Central Terminal. Lily is rushed into a departing Marine Corps helicopter and escapes. Moments later, Rob, Beth, and Hud are taken away in a second helicopter and witness a U.S. Air Force B-2 Spirit bomb the creature. The bombing appears to harm the creature, causing it to fall, but it then lunges at the protagonists’ helicopter, causing it to crash into Central Park.

The film skips to Saturday, May 23 (less than an hour later), with a voice on the crashed helicopter’s radio warning that the Hammer Down protocol will begin in fifteen minutes. The three friends regain consciousness and flee the remains of the helicopter, leaving the camera behind, but when Hud goes to retrieve it, the creature suddenly appears and kills him.

Rob and Beth grab the camera and take shelter under Greyshot Arch in Central Park. As air raid sirens begin to blare, and the bombing starts, Rob and Beth take turns leaving their last testimony of the day’s events. The bridge crumbles and the camera gets knocked out of Rob’s hand and buried beneath some rubble.[6] As the air raid approaches, Rob and Beth each proclaim their love for each other just before another bomb goes off, at which point they both can be heard screaming while the monster roars in pain, presumably killing them all.

The film then cuts to the footage of Rob and Beth’s Coney Island date on April 27. Unnoticed by them, something in the far distance falls from the sky into the ocean. Rob faces the camera towards him and Beth, and zooms in on Beth, who says “I had a good day.” The tape then freezes and cuts out. After the end credits there’s a voice saying “Help us” and in reverse it says “It’s still alive”.The film had been hyped for months via viral marketing, JJ Abrams fan boys, and media coverage/ monster speculation. Did it live up to the hype? The answer is yes Cloverfield is by far the most intense monster film I have seen in a while.The monster itself is actually not seen in its entirety only being viewed from different angles for the audience to piece it together as the survivors themselves are, you pretty much know as much as they do about everything going on making you actually feel like you’re there. Critics compare the film to Blair Witch meets Godzilla but it is so much more than that, Cloverfield is the definitive American Monster Film.

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REVIEW: YOGI BEAR (2010)

CAST

Dan Aykroyd (Ghostbusters)
Justin Timberlake (The Social Network)
Tom Cavanagh (The Flash)
Anna Faris (Mom)
T.J. Miller (Deadpool)
Andrew Daly (Semi-Pro)
Nate Corddry (Girl Most Likely)
Josh Robert Thompson (Scary Movie 5)

Yogi (Aykroyd) and Boo Boo (Timberlake) are two brown bears who like stealing picnic baskets from visitors to Jellystone Park, while park rangers Smith (Cavanagh) and Jones (Miller) try to prevent the thefts. Meanwhile, Mayor R. Brown (Daly) realizes that Franklin City is facing bankruptcy due to profligate spending on his part. Brown plots with his Chief of Staff (Corddry) to raise money for the town budget (and his upcoming gubernatorial campaign) by shutting down Jellystone Park and opening the land to logging.To save the park, Smith and his love interest Rachel hold a Centennial Festival and fireworks show in an attempt to sell season passes. To sabotage the effort, Brown promises Jones the position of head ranger if the funds are not raised. Yogi and Boo Boo had promised Smith to stay out of sight during the festival, but Jones convinces them otherwise. The bears try to please the crowd with a waterskiing performance, but Yogi inadvertently sets his cape on fire, causing fireworks to be launched into the crowd, who flee in panic.After Jellystone is shut down, Smith is forced to stay in Evergreen Park, a small urban enclave choked with litter and pollution. Seeing that their home is in danger of being destroyed, Yogi and Boo Boo travel to Evergreen Park, where they and Smith figure out Brown’s plan. They all return to Jellystone with Rachel, where they learn that Boo Boo’s pet turtle is a rare and endangered species known as a “Frog-Mouthed” turtle.The Chief of Staff learns about the turtle and, since the park cannot be destroyed if the turtle is living there because it would be home to an endangered species, sends Jones to kidnap it. On the day that Brown is planning a press conference to begin the destruction of the park, Smith, Rachel, and the bears rescue the turtle and try to bring it to the media’s attention. Jones, learning that he had been manipulated by Mayor Brown, has a change of heart and helps the team bring the turtle to the press conference. At the press conference, Rachel reveals that she had installed a hidden camera in Boo Boo’s bow tie which had captured Brown admitting to his plan. Smith hooks up the camera to the big screen Brown is using for his press conference and shows the video. When the turtle is revealed to the citizens as an endangered species, the police arrest Brown.Jellystone Park is reopened and becomes a great success. Smith is reappointed head ranger and he and Rachel admit their feelings for each other. As they kiss, they discover Yogi and Boo Boo are back to stealing picnic baskets once again.I don’t really understand the negative reviews for this film. It was exactly what you would expect a new film about Yogi Bear to be. If you’ve ever watched Yogi Bear you know what you’re going to get. Nothing profound or complicated, just simple childish fun.

REVIEW: OUR IDIOT BROTHER

CAST

Paul Rudd (Ant-Man)
Elizabeth Banks (The Hunger Games)
Zooey Deschanel (New Girl)
Emily Mortimer (Lars and The Real girl)
Steeve Coogan (Alan Partridge)
Rashida Jones (The Muppets)
Adam Scott (Krampus)
Kathryn Hahn (Bad Moms)
T.J. Miller (Deadpool)
Shirley Knight (As Good As It gets)
Hugh Dancy (Hannibal)
Janet Montgomery (Black Swan)

Ned Rochlin (Paul Rudd) is a biodynamic farmer living with his girlfriend, Janet (Kathryn Hahn). While selling produce at a local market, Ned sells marijuana to a uniformed police officer due to the officer’s claim that he had a stressful week, which made Ned feel sympathetic after initially being skeptical. Ned is then arrested on a charge of selling drugs.Ned has three sisters: Miranda (Elizabeth Banks) the middle sister, is a journalist for Vanity Fair trying to get her first major article published. Though she has trouble finding a man to keep her interest, she and a neighbor, Jeremy (Adam Scott) have hidden feelings for each other. Natalie (Zooey Deschanel), the youngest, is an independent, bisexual hipster living with her girlfriend, Cindy (Rashida Jones), and five other roommates. Liz (Emily Mortimer), the oldest, is married to Dylan (Steve Coogan), a documentary filmmaker. Their marriage is failing as Dylan shows no sexual or emotional interest in Liz. They also have strict control over their son River (Matthew Mindler), which leaves him unhappy and unable to express himself.When Ned is released from prison, he returns home to his girl and his dog (“Willie Nelson”). He finds that she is living with Billy (T. J. Miller), and no longer wishes to continue their relationship or allow him to work at the farm. Billy gives Ned a ride into town and tells him that if he can scrape together $1000 for the first 2 months rent, Janet might let him stay in the goat barn behind the farm. Ned initially stays at his mother’s house but a few days later shows up at Liz’s place, asking if he can stay with her. He is put in River’s room and told that he must help around the house and work with Dylan on his newest documentary about a Russian ballerina named Tatiana (Lydia Haug).The next day, Miranda reluctantly asks Ned to chauffeur while she interviews an important client, Lady Arabella (Janet Montgomery). Miranda hopes to pry into her scandalous past, but is dismayed to learn of a legal agreement to only ask about charity work. Miranda tries to pretend Ned isn’t there, but his friendliness charms Arabella, who takes a liking to him. That night, Ned goes with Natalie to a self-help meeting with Natalie’s artist friend, Christian (Hugh Dancy). Christian is attracted to Natalie but is dissuaded by her lesbian relationship until Ned informs him that she is bisexual and likes guys too. Christian and Natalie take a cab home and end up having sex.Ned goes back to working with Dylan, but is told to watch the car while Dylan conducts a private interview with Tatiana. Hours later, Ned is told by a police officer to move out of a tow zone. Running upstairs to get the keys he discovers Dylan naked with Tatiana. Dylan later says the only reason he was naked was to make Tatiana feel more “comfortable” while being naked, which Ned believes. The next night, Ned goes with Miranda to Arabella’s benefit dinner, and stays behind to have a conversation with Arabella. She explains the gossipy part of her life (that Miranda had hoped to discover) to Ned, who listens with interest. Ned is later kicked out of Liz’s house because, at an important school interview, River tells the interviewer that Ned just got out of jail for selling drugs to a policeman. Ned apologizes, stating he was only trying to help River be himself. Now staying with Miranda, Ned casually mentions Dylan’s nude interview with Tatiana and Miranda concludes that Dylan is having an affair. Ned also mentions a personal detail about Arabella that makes Miranda realize that Ned has the info she needs. She forces Ned to tell her the details, which Ned is ashamed to do since he was trusted. Ned returns to the farm with the rent money but Janet doesn’t allow him to rent the barn, or leave with his dog.Ned asks Cindy, who is a lawyer, about ways to get custody of his dog but she suggests as an alternative that they work together to simply take the dog from Janet. He later goes out to lunch with Jeremy and hints at Jeremy’s attraction towards his sister. Jeremy explains that Miranda is too bossy for him, though admitting she is beautiful. Ned mentions the idea to Miranda, who is hurt to learn what Jeremy had to say and tells Ned her thoughts on Jeremy, leading to a fight between the two. Natalie later confides in Ned that she is pregnant. Miranda and Nat try to tell Liz about Dylan’s affair but Liz becomes angry and the conversation turns into an argument between the three about their personal lives. Liz later confronts Dylan about the affair, and he blames her attempts at pleasing him. Liz is angry that he is blaming her for his infidelity, and divorces him.Miranda takes Ned into work the next day as she needs him to vouch for the veracity of her article. Ned reads the article but doesn’t want to sign a release as he knows Arabella had told him the details in confidence. The editor calls in the company lawyer and decide they can’t publish Miranda’s article without Ned vouching for it, which he refuses to do. She kicks Ned out and he stays with Nat, who lies about having told Cindy about the cheating. The next morning, Cindy and Ned drive to the farm to steal his dog back. They sneak into the house but Ned casually brings up Nat’s infidelity and Cindy angrily calls Nat from inside the house, which alerts Janet to their presence. Janet refuses to give Ned his dog and Cindy drives away, leaving Ned behind.Ned goes to his parole officer, Omar, and thinking he can trust him, tells him that the stress of his life was getting to him and he smoked marijuana with a neighbor. Omar tells Ned now he must report him. Ned goes home to a family dinner and is blamed by his sisters for all the trouble in their lives. Ned finally loses his temper and yells at them for their selfishness and for bringing everyone else down which seems to strike a chord with them. Omar arrives with an officer to reluctantly take Ned into custody. Miranda posts Ned’s bail, but he refuses to sign his release form, opting to stay in prison rather than be with the girls. They devise a plan to get Willie Nelson from Janet in order to get him to leave. Although Janet refuses, Billy comes out of the house carrying Willie Nelson, tired of Janet refusing to give Ned his dog. They take Willie Nelson to the prison where he is reunited with Ned, motivating him to leave prison.A few weeks later, Ned is out to lunch with his sisters. Nat receives a call from Cindy, who wants to go with Nat to her gynecologist appointments for support. Miranda has patched things up and started a relationship with Jeremy. Liz has decided to start dating again and has started letting River be himself. Meanwhile, Ned and Billy have opened up a small homemade candle shop together. One day, Ned cannot find Willie Nelson and begins running through town looking for him. He finds Willie playing with another dog who has also run away from her owner. The owner comes up and when Ned asks her dog’s name, she replies “Dolly Parton” to which Ned says his dog is “Willie Nelson”, and they both smile.A fun ride throughout, the film only has a couple of weak spots. But still an entertaining Comedy.

 

CHRISTMAS 2017 REVIEW: DEADPOOL

CAST
Ryan Reynolds (Buried)
Morena Baccarin (Gotham)
T.J. Miller (Cloverfield)
Ed Skrein (Game of Thrones)
Karin Soni (Goosebumps)
Stefan Kapicic (tears for Sale)
Michael Benyaer (G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra)
Brianna Hildebrand (First Girl I Loved)
Kyle Cassie (Andromeda)
Gina Carano (Fast & Furious 6)
Stan Lee (Avengers Assemble)
Wade Wilson is a former special forces operative who works as a mercenary in New York City. He meets escort Vanessa Carlysle at a local bar and they become romantically attached. One year later, Wade proposes to marry her and she accepts, but he suddenly collapses. Wade is diagnosed with terminal cancer, and though Vanessa remains by his side, he does not want her to watch him die.
A mysterious recruiter from a secret program approaches Wade, offering an experimental cure for his cancer. He reluctantly decides to leave Vanessa and undergo the procedure. At a laboratory, Wade meets Ajax and Angel Dust, whom he instantly resents. Ajax injects Wade with a serum designed to awaken latent mutant genes, and then subjects him to days of torture to induce stress and trigger the mutation, but without success. Ajax straps Wade into an airtight chamber which raises and lowers the oxygen level to keep Wade constantly on the verge of asphyxiation. Before leaving him over the weekend, Ajax reveals to Wade that their true purpose is to make super-powered slaves to be sold to wealthy customers. While inside the chamber, Wade develops a mutant healing factor that cures his cancer but leaves him severely disfigured with burn-like scars over his entire body as a side effect. He escapes from the chamber and attacks Ajax, but relents when told that his disfigurement can be cured. Ajax subdues Wade, impales him with a piece of rebar and leaves him for dead in the burning laboratory.
Wade survives the ordeal and attempts to return to Vanessa, but is afraid of her suffering because of his appearance, and stays away from her. After consulting his best friend Weasel, Wade decides to hunt down Ajax and cure his disfigurement. He becomes a masked vigilante, takes the alias “Deadpool”, and moves into the home of an elderly blind woman named Blind Al. Following a string of leads, Wade tracks down Ajax to a convoy of cars on an expressway. He kills everyone but Ajax, and demands a cure to his disfigurement. The confrontation is interrupted by the two X-Men members Colossus and Negasonic Teenage Warhead, who have been trying to recruit Wade to join the team. Taking advantage of the distraction, Ajax escapes. Colossus handcuffs his and Wade’s wrists together and drags him away, planning to take him to Professor Xavier back at the X-Mansion. Wade cuts off his hand to escape, and his hand slowly regenerates overnight.
Ajax goes to Weasel’s bar and learns about Vanessa. Weasel calls Wade and tells him Vanessa is in danger. Wade goes to the strip club where she works, but he hesitates before he can face her, allowing Ajax to kidnap her. He and Angel Dust tell Wade to meet them on a decommissioned helicarrier in a scrapyard.
Wade convinces Colossus and Negasonic to help him, and the trio take a cab to the scrapyard. While Colossus and Negasonic battle Angel and several soldiers, Wade fights his way through Ajax’s henchmen, and eventually engages him in a lengthy and violent fight. After Angel defeats Colossus, Negasonic attacks her and accidentally destroys the equipment holding the helicarrier upright. As the helicarrier tips over, Colossus carries Negasonic and Angel to safety, while Wade saves Vanessa. Ajax survives and attacks Wade, but is subdued and reveals there is no cure for Wade’s disfigurement. Wade kills Ajax in response. Vanessa is angered that Wade left her, but still loves him. The two reconcile and kiss.
In a post-credits scene, Wade tells the audience that the film is over and announces a sequel featuring Cable.
Deadpool is great. Ryan Reynolds is mouthy, but never annoying and totally owns the role.  The supporting cast all do their bit, but it’s Deadpool himself all the way. With a sequel already announced this is only the beginning.

REVIEW: TRANSFORMERS: AGE OF EXTINCTION

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CAST

Mark Wahlberg (Ted)
Stanley Tucci (The Hunger Games)
Kelsey Grammer (X-Men: The Last Stand)
Nicola Peltz (Bates Motel)
Jack Reynor (Macbeth)
Titus Welliver (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D)
Sophia Myles (Outlander)
Li Bingbing (Resident Evil: Retribution)
T.J. Miller (Deadpool)
James Bachman (Paddington)
Thomas Lennon (17 Again)
Peter Cullen (Dungeons & Dragons)
John Goodman (Red State)
Ken Watanabe (Godzilla)
Robert Foxworth (Beyond The Stars)
John DiMaggio (Futurama)
Mark Ryan (Robin of Sherwood)
Reno Wilson (Mike & Molly)
Erika Fong (Power Rangers Samurai)
Richard Riehle (Buffy: The Vampire Slayer)
Cleo King (The Hangover)

Sixty five million years ago, an alien race known as the “Creators” used devices called Seeds to terraform planet Earth, effectively wiping out the dinosaurs and covering it with an alloy called Transformium. In the present day, geologist Darcy Tirrel excavates the Transformium for K.S.I. Industries, which uses it to build man-made artificial Transformer drones.Five years after The Battle of Chicago, the humans have begun to view the Transformers as a threat, leading the U.S government to terminate all human-Autobot joint programs. Although the public believes that the Autobots have been granted sanctuary, they are being hunted by a rogue, vengeful and xenophobic CIA black ops division known as Cemetery Wind, led by opportunistic government official Harold Attinger, who believes that all Transformers should be exterminated regardless of their faction. They are aided by Lockdown, a Cybertronian bounty hunter working for the Creators, promising to give Attinger a Seed if his division manages to capture Optimus Prime. Cemetery Wind locates Ratchet in Mexico City and Lockdown kills him when he refuses to give up the whereabouts of Optimus Prime.Optimus, damaged in Mexico City and disguised as a rundown semi-truck, is discovered in an abandoned theater by Cade Yeager, a financially struggling Texan inventor, and brings him back to the farm. While his teenage daughter Tessa and business partner Lucas Flannery encourage him to turn Optimus over to the authorities after realizing what he really is, Cade instead fixes Optimus, hoping to understand his technology and unexpectedly revives him. Still skeptical of Optimus and worried about Cade’s safety, Lucas calls Cemetery Wind, who attacks and destroys the farm, but Optimus and Tessa’s boyfriend, Irish rally car driver Shane Dyson, come to the family’s aid.While on the run from Cemetery Wind and Lockdown, Lucas is killed by one of Lockdown’s grenades. After escaping from their attackers, they take refuge in an abandoned gas station. Later, Optimus scans a passing truck and turns into a Western Star 5700 Phantom Custom truck with the original red and blue paint with flames. Afterwards, Optimus summons the surviving Autobots – Bumblebee, Hound, Drift, and Crosshairs – who have come to distrust humans due to Cemetery Wind constantly hunting them down. Using a CIA drone which he stole during the home invasion, Cade discovers K.S.I.’s involvement in the attacks on the Autobots. Bumblebee later assumes an alternate form after scanning a passing car, while Optimus vows to personally kill Attinger for his actions against his brethren.Infiltrating K.S.I.’s headquarters in Chicago, Cade discovers the remains of Autobots and Decepticons are being melted down to make the drones. Joshua Joyce, the ambitious company CEO, is in league with Attinger to revolutionize global defenses and improve human society using the Seed. He has captured Brains and is using him and Megatron’s head to create prototype Transformer soldiers Galvatron and Stinger. In a fit of rage, the Autobots storm the building where they rescue Brains and destroy the laboratory, but they soon leave after Joshua announces that they are no longer needed. Attinger forces Joshua to deploy Galvatron and Stinger to attack the Autobots. During the battle, Galvatron’s behavior becomes slightly erratic when he starts destroying vehicles. As Galvatron battles Optimus, it frees itself from control and speaks to Optimus. Lockdown then arrives and abducts Optimus while Galvatron and Stinger retreat; Tessa is inadvertently captured alongside Optimus in the midst of the chaos, leaving Cade and Shane devastated.While Lockdown’s large prison spacecraft hovers over Chicago to hand over the Seed, Cade, Shane, and the Autobots use this opportunity to sneak on board and rescue Optimus and Tessa. They hijack a smaller ship, containing a number of other Autobots called the Dinobots, just before Lockdown leaves Earth. The Autobots reveal to Cade that “Galvatron” is in fact Megatron, who had transferred his consciousness into the Galvatron drone after K.S.I. officials had accidentally revived him. They realize that Galvatron is plotting to use the Seed and the K.S.I. drones to conquer the world, by detonating the Seed in Hong Kong. K.S.I.plans to use the Seed in the remote Mongolian desert to create vast amounts of usable Transformium. Cade informs Joshua of Megatron’s presence, causing him to have a change of heart and agreeing to hand over the Seed with help from Darcy and his Chinese business associate Su Yueming. Meanwhile, Lockdown discovers that Optimus has escaped and stole a part of his ship, forcing him to return to Earth to retrieve them. Back at the facility, Joshua gets into a disagreement with Attinger when the former becomes aware of the latter’s nefarious activities, whilst Attinger gradually deduces Joshua’s plot to betray him. Galvatron unexpectedly reactivates himself and promptly takes control of the K.S.I. drones, and a battle follows in Hong Kong’s streets between Cade’s group, the Autobots, Cemetery Wind, Galvatron, and his drones. During the fight, Optimus gains the alliance of the Dinobots, who become essential to the Autobots’ victory while Bumblebee kills Stinger.Lockdown returns to capture Optimus and the Dinobots, using a large magnet in his ship that picks up and drops metal objects, causing destruction to the city. After disabling the magnet, Optimus fights Lockdown at an abandoned factory. In the ensuing duel, Optimus kills Attinger (who still deems all Cybertronians aside from Lockdown as a threat) to save Cade, and avenging the deaths of his fellow Autobots. However, this allows Lockdown to pin Optimus down by impaling his chest with his own sword, damaging his spark. Cade, Bumblebee, Tessa, and Shane fight Lockdown, with Cade ending up fighting him one-on-one while Tessa and Shane use a tow truck to free Optimus, who kills Lockdown before using one of his grenades to finish off the remaining drones. Galvatron, the only surviving Decepticon, retreats with Lockdown’s ship, vowing to return. Optimus tells the Autobots to protect the Yeagers (with Joshua offering to help the Yeagers build a new home) and lets the Dinobots go, before flying away into space with the Seed, sending a message to the Creators that he is coming for them.Tucci is always funny in tense situations, and comedian T.J. Miller gets some laughs as Cade’s borderline annoying best friend. Wahlberg is different he gives a committed performance here, and makes the dialogue believable. I like that Bay and company made Cade a single dad, and Peltz’s Tessa is surprisingly not annoying. The first hour, set at the Yeager homestead in Texas, is my favorite. I enjoyed watching Cade and Tessa meet Optimus and flee from Cemetery Wind. Scenes on Lockdown’s imposing prison ship are also good.  This was intended to be the first film in a new trilogy,with transformers 5 already in the pipeline. The last scene opens the transformers cinematic universe, leaving it open for the fifth to explore further the transformer mythology.

REVIEW: UNSTOPPABLE

CAST

Denzel Washington (Safe House)
Chris Pine (Wonder Woman)
Rosario Dawson (Sin City II)
Ethan Suplee (My Name Is Earl)
Kevin Dunn (Transformers)
Kevin Corrigan (Ordinary World)
T.J. Miller (Deadpool)
Jessy Schram (The Lizzie Borden Chronicles)
Andy Umberger (The Accountant)
Dylan Bruce (Heroes Reborn)
Aisha Hinds (Cult)

While moving a train pulled by AWVR AC4400CW’s #777 and #767 at the Veteran Allegheny and West Virginia Railroad (AWVR) trainyard in the fictional city of Fuller, Pennsylvania, the two hostlers, Dewey and Gilleece, take ill-advised shortcuts and accidentally allow the engine to leave the train-yard on its own power without the air brakes engaged. Initially believing the train to be a “coaster”, yardmaster Connie Hooper orders Dewey, Gilleece, and chief welder Ned Oldham to drive and catch up the train to stop it. When Oldham finds that the train has already passed where it was supposed to be, they realize that the train is running on full power and now poses a dangerous threat. Dewey and Gilleece manage to catch up to 777 using a high railing truck but fail to board the train in time. Hooper alerts Oscar Galvin, director of operations for AWVR, and also instructs the local and state police and sheriffs to secure all the grade crossings to prevent injury. Visiting Federal Railroad Administration safety inspector Scott Werner warns that 8 cars being pulled by 777 contain highly toxic, and highly flammable molten phenol which would be a major disaster if the train should crash or derail in a populated area. Triple 7 is also pulling around 5000 gallons of diesel fuel which also poses a serious threat. News of the runaway train soon becomes a media event.However, Hooper suggests they purposely derail the train, but Galvin disagrees and believes they can safely stop the train by lashing it behind two slower-moving diesel engines helmed by veteran engineer Judd Stewart, slowing it down long enough for AWVR employee and former U.S. Marine Ryan Scott to descend via helicopter to 777’s cab and stop the train manually. Though the lashing initially works, a sudden hard bump knocked Scott out and derailed the two diesel engines, causing them to explode, which ultimately kills Stewart in the process. They realize that 777, traveling at its current speed, will certainly derail on “Devil’s Curve”, a tight, elevated portion of track in the middle of the city of Stanton and would supposedly crash into a large fuel depot near the curve on the eastern side of the state. Plans are made to purposely derail the train outside the town of Arklow using a portable derailer.Meanwhile, retiring AWVR engineer Frank Barnes and conductor Will Colson, a new hire looking to turn his life around after an incident with his now estranged wife, are pulling several cars with SD40-2 #1206 from Stanton. Though originally aware of 777 coasting away from the Fuller train yard, they are ordered at the last minute to pull into a Repair-In-Place track, making it just in time as 777 races by and clipping the last few cars they are pulling. Barnes observes that 777 has an open knuckle, which if they could catch up to the engine, they could use to couple it to 777 and use their own brakes to slow the train before it reaches Stanton. As Colson unhitches their cars to give them the best chance of catching up, Barnes reports his plan to Hooper and Galvin and warns them that the derailing idea will not work given 777’s momentum, but Galvin threatens to fire Barnes if he continues. Given that AWVR has already given him a forced early retirement notice, Barnes ignores Galvin and sets 1206 on course to catch up with 777. As 777 passes Arklow, police attempt to shoot the fuel shutoff switch on the engine, but fail to hit it. As Barnes predicts, the train barrels go through the derailers without slowing down. Hooper and Werner fully support Barnes’ plan and take over control of the situation from Galvin.Barnes and Colson catch up to 777 and attempt to engage the coupling. Their attempts to connect with 777 cause the grain car seal to break and leak grain at a blinding rate. Colson notices the locking pin on the coupler is not engaged. He attempts to kick it in but the couple again impacts 1206 and Colson gets his right foot crushed in the process. However, he is able to hold on enough to fully engage the locking pin. Barnes works his way across 777 to its cab, manually engaging the brakes on the freight cars along the way, while Colson engages 1206’s dynamic brakes, which initially slow down 777, but would prove to be no match for 777’s speed. They are able to reduce the speed slow enough to clear the Stanton Curve without derailing by using the independent brake, but 777 remains out of control and threatens to crash into the Stanton train yard. Despite attempting to reach the locomotive by jumping on the cars, Barnes finds his path blocked to 777’s cab, but Oldham arrives in his truck with a police convoy and drives on a parallel road to the tracks. Colson jumps to Oldham’s truck, and Oldham drives him up to the front of 777 allowing Colson to get into the cab and engage the brakes. 777 is safely stopped before it reaches the end of the line.Barnes, Colson, and Oldham are heralded as heroes, with Barnes retiring (with full benefits) and Colson reuniting with his wife and child. Hooper is promoted to Galvin’s former position for her leadership, and Dewey goes to work into the fast food industry, indicating he was fired.Perhaps not a classic, but crowd-pleasing enterainment, professionally done and almost guaranteed to leave you with a smile on your face.

 

REVIEW: AMERICAN DAD – VOLUME 10

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MAIN CAST (VOICES)

Seth MacFarlane (Family Guy)
Wendy Schaal (Small Soldiers)
Scott Grimes (Robin Hood)
Rachael MacFarlane (The Batman)
Dee Bradley Baker (Star Wars: The Clone Wars)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Curtis Armstrong (New Girl)
John Cho (Sleepy Hollow)
Chloe Grace Moretz (Kick-Ass)
Larisa Oleynik (100 Girls)
Kevin Michael Richardson (The Cleveland Show)
Daisuke Suzuki (I Am Gangster)
Eddie Kaye Thomas (American Pie)
T.J. Miller (Deadpool)
David Koechner (Anchorman)
Patrick Stewart (X-Men)
Mariah Carey (Glitter)
Zooey Deschanel (New Girl)
Reggie Lee (Grimm)
Nancy Cartwright (The Simpsons)
Kevin Durand (Dark Angel)
Haley Joel Osment (A.I.)
Azura Skyke (28 Days)
Mae Whitman (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turltes 2012)
Danny Glover (Earthsea)
Daran Norris (Veronica Mars)
Joey King (The Dark Knight Rises)
Jonathan Kite (2 broke Girls)
Kyle Chandler (Super 8)
Megalyn Echikunwoke (Vixen)
Echo Kellum (Arrow)
Ellie Kemper (21 Jump Street)
Becki Newton (Ugly Betty)
Mike Henry (The Cleveland Show)
Thomas Brodie-Sangster (Game of Thrones)
Phil LaMarr (Free Enterprise)
Terry Crews (White Chicks)
Dean Winters (Terminator: TSCC)
Andrea Savage (Izombie)
Laura Bell Bundy (Scream queens)
Sinbad (Jingle All The Way)

Belly-laugh up to the bar, folks and satisfy your thirst for hilarity with the all-new collection of uncensored American Dad! episodes from the spirited minds of Mike Barker, Matt Weitzman and Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane. Loaded with celebrity guest voices, including Mariah Carey, Terry Crews, Mark Cuban, Zooey Deschanel, Danny Glover and Olivia Wilde, This volumes intoxicating highlights are.

STEVE AND SNOT’S TEST-TUBULAR ADVENTURE:  After failing to get dates for the high school prom, Steve and Snot try using the CIA’s cloning machine to make dates, but the machine produces two fast-growing newborn babies, forcing the boys to father them in time for the prom. Meanwhile, Stan takes home the CIA’s cloned pet dodo with disastrous consequences.

POLTERGASM: In a spoof of the movie Poltergeist, the Smith home is haunted by Francine’s unsatisfied sexual drive every time she is left having to fake it, so it is up to Roger – as medium Ruby Zeldastein – to eliminate the ghost. Meanwhile, Hayley dates a young, Hispanic man named Mauricio, and Klaus goes to Atlantic City for a self-help seminar, but ends up breaking his back and forced to watch the hotel guide channel in his room.

CROTCHWALKERS:Just to show Steve she is still a “cool” mom, Francine teaches him various shoplifting techniques at the local mall “The Gash”. However, their efforts to pull off the ultimate heist result in Steve getting captured and sent to a Venezuelan sweatshop. Meanwhile, Roger, Hayley and Klaus become Langley Falls’ first Russian balalaika trio and Stan injures his groin and must use a whiteboard to communicate.

FAKING BAD: In this parody of Breaking Bad, Hayley tries to fit in with her old high school friends and discovers Steve’s talent for creating fake IDs that can easily be passed for real ones. Seeing this as a business opportunity, Hayley builds out Steve’s operation, but find themselves up against another fake ID kingpin in Langley Falls: Kevin Ramage (another of Roger’s disguises).

MINSTREL KRAMPUS: A notorious Christmas demon known as Minstrel Krampus kidnaps a bratty Steve, so Stan and Roger must travel to the North Pole to save him with the help of Stan’s estranged father. Meanwhile, Hayley takes a job at the airport to get her family Christmas presents.

VISION: IMPOSSIBLE:  A car accident gives Roger the power to foresee the future, causing the Smiths to pester him with questions of what will happen.

FAMILYLAND: At Francine’s insistence, the Smiths go on vacation at a Disneyland-esque theme park called Familyland. Unfortunately, the visit turns disastrous when Roger, Hayley, Stan and Steve all separate to go to different regions of the park. Francine, disappointed in how the park broke up her family, complains in front of a statue of the park’s founder Roy Family. As Francine walks off with Klaus, the statue begins to cry and eventually crack revealing the original Roy Family inside. Roy, angry at how his park has failed to be a good influence over families decides to shut down the park and lock in all visitors. After one week, each member of the Smith family carves out their own personal “kingdom” out of the park while Francine struggles to find a way to end the chaos.

COCK OF THE SLEEPWALK: After Stan completes his 100th kill, he accidentally releases a benevolent persona of himself while sleeping, and this new incarnation goes on a spree of doing good deeds that the real Stan would never undertake.

Image result for american dad introducing the naughty stewardessesINTRODUCING THE NAUGHTY STEWARDESSES: In a parody of Face/Off, Roger switches faces with Steve to help him win over the hot girl at school, but soon decides he wants her for himself – until the girl reveals that she is pregnant with her jock ex-boyfriend’s baby. Meanwhile, in a parody of Charlie’s Angels, Stan and Francine’s vacation to Sacramento gets sidetracked when they befriend a quartet of sexy stewardesses and go undercover to help them thwart Mark Cuban’s plan to blow up the sun.

I AIN’T NO HOLODECK BOY: Against Francine’s wishes, Stan takes Steve and his friends into the woods for some outdoor playtime, where they wind up on the CIA’s holodeck. Meanwhile, Hayley claims she is Roger’s queen after purchasing his home star on an international star registry.

STAN GOES ON THE PILL: Unable to listen to Francine’s constant chatting, Stan takes an experimental estrogen pill which allows him to be able to listen to women without zoning out. Things get complicated, however, when Stan’s dosage turns him into a woman and Avery Bullock begins making romantic advances towards the now-female Stan. Meanwhile, Roger and Klaus start their own business selling the suits Stan wore as a male, which doesn’t go according to plan.

HONEY, I’M HOMELAND: Stan infiltrates an Occupy Wall Street protest and ends up being kidnapped and brainwashed. Meanwhile, Roger buys thousands of candles and is unable to sell them, resulting in him and Steve getting carried away while giving each other massages in the attic in an attempt to use them all up.

RUBBERNECKERS: CIA budget cuts leave Stan out in the cold, and since his company work record is classified, his only employment opportunity is at a local grocery store that is managed by Steve. Meanwhile, Roger and an annoying coffee-shop musician engage in a wager that leads Roger into a Faustian pact with an infomercial guitar instructor.

THE LONGEST DISTANCE RELATIONSHIP: is still heartbroken and trying to get over Jeff’s abduction, and meets a millionaire named Matt, who helps her deal with the tragedy. However, Steve and Snot discover that Jeff is alive and, along with the ghost of Sinbad, is trying to make his way back to her. Ultimately, Jeff learns that by the time he can make it back to Earth, Haley will be sixty and would have spent her entire life waiting for him. He goes back in time through the wormhole that he used to enter into Earth, and tells Hayley that he isn’t sure if he can make it back to Earth after all, and that he wants her to move on. She accepts, saying she will never forget him, and goes to begin life with Matt, only for him to be killed by Roger upon finding out he is an alien.

This has to be one of the best adult cartoons ever created. A great season fo episodes that keeps you wanting more… role on volume 11.