REVIEW: NINE LIVES

Starring

Kevin Spacey (Baby Driver)
Jennifer Garner (Alias)
Robbie Amell (The Babysitter)
Cheryl Hines (Son of Zorn)
Mark Consuelos (My Super Ex-Girlfriend)
Malina Weissman (A Series of Unfortunate Events)
Christopher Walken (The Prophecy)
Teddy Sears (The Flash)
Jay Patterson (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles)
Talitha Bateman (Annabelle: Creation)
Serge Houde (Trial & Error)
Mark Camacho (The Amityville Curse)

Kevin Spacey, Christopher Walken, and Malina Weissman in Nine Lives (2016)Tom Brand (Kevin Spacey) is a major business tycoon in New York City whose workaholic attitude ruined his first marriage with Madison (Cheryl Hines) and caused a rift between him and his adult son David (Robbie Amell), who now works for him and strives for his approval. He now lives with his second wife Lara (Jennifer Garner), who is a little more tolerant of the fact that he is never at home, and his daughter Rebecca (Malina Weissman). His eponymous company FireBrand is nearing completion on its greatest achievement to date: the tallest skyscraper in the northern hemisphere that will be the new headquarters. In the opening scene, he skydives out of a plane and lands on the top of the new skyscraper. His son, who is his assistant, remains in the plane, refusing to jump.Jennifer Garner and Malina Weissman in Nine Lives (2016)Rebecca’s 11th birthday is coming and she has always wanted a cat, but Tom has always refused as he hates cats. Not wanting to disappoint her, he rushes to get a last-minute present for his daughter’s birthday, but as he is distracted, the GPS redirects him to a mysterious pet store called Purrkins Pet Shop, brimming with odd and exotic cats. The store’s eccentric owner Felix Perkins (Christopher Walken) tells him he does not pick the cat, the cat picks him. The tomcat that picks him is called Mr. Fuzzypants, who, Perkins says, has used up seven of his nine lives. Tom buys the cat.Kevin Spacey and Jennifer Garner in Nine Lives (2016)Tom is on his way home for the party when he decides to see Ian Cox (Mark Consuelos), one of the top managers of the company in charge of the new building, and learns that another building in Chicago will be taller. They have an argument while on the roof that ends with Brand firing Cox, but lightning strikes the antenna. Brand is blown off the building along with the cat, and without any effort from Cox to save him, he plummets off the side of the skyscraper, but his leg gets snagged on some stray equipment and gets flung back inside through a window as he passes out. When he wakes up, he realizes that his human body is in the hospital in a state of coma, and his consciousness is trapped inside the cat’s body.Malina Weissman in Nine Lives (2016)Felix goes to visit Tom. He is able to talk to him and knows what happened. He is told by Felix that he must reevaluate his priorities, connect with his family, and avoid past mistakes within one week or else be stuck as a cat forever. Lara and Rebecca take him home. Mr. Fuzzypants acts in an odd and stubborn way to try to convince his wife and daughter that he is actually Tom. This only drives them mad and he slowly comes to see how much he has ignored his family. He believes that his wife Laura was having an affair with Josh Myers (a model) and they had been looking at houses together as a prelude to divorcing him. This motivates him to try to make her happy. He also learns that Ian is trying to make the company public with the help of the board of directors to take power from Tom, even though David is trying to stop him. Ian has David fired from the company and plans to announce that the company will be sold at the party for the new tower opening.Nine Lives (2016)Eventually, Rebecca realizes that Mr. Fuzzypants is really her father. Meanwhile, Tom’s body is in crisis at the hospital and Lara, David, and Rebecca all go there. Rebecca has the cat hidden in her backpack. In a moment alone, David tells Tom that he is sorry he failed to save the company and he takes Tom’s ID badge. It is implied that David plans to commit suicide at the tower. At the hospital, Lara and Dr. Cole plan to disconnect Tom’s respirator and let him die. Rebecca calls to the cat to come prove he’s really Tom, but Tom remembers what Mr. Perkins said about love being sacrifice and decides to go after David instead, knowing that his human body will die and he will be trapped as a cat forever.Malina Weissman in Nine Lives (2016)At the tower, David jumps off the building and the cat jumps after him pulling a cable. It is then revealed that David is wearing a BASE jumping parachute. He lands in the middle of the party, presents the articles of incorporation of the company, and announces that he now controls his father’s 51% of the stock. He says the company will remain a family company and fires Ian. Although the cat is not seen landing, Tom wakes up from his coma just in time to see David’s announcement on the television. Meanwhile, Ian passes Mr. Perkins who tells him to hang up his cell phone. Ian ignores him, but is then hit by a car, and his consciousness transfers into a cat that Mr. Perkins takes back to his shop. Tom and Rebecca return to Perkins where Tom asks if he has any dogs. Perkins says he does not, but presents Mr. Fuzzypants, who has one life left.Malina Weissman in Nine Lives (2016)This movie is definitely for cat lovers, children with pets, and adults who just need a light-hearted escapism

REVIEW: UGLY BETTY – SEASON 1

Starring

America Ferrera (Real Women Have Curves)
Eric Mabius (Resident Evil)
Alan Dale (Lost)
Tony Plana (Lone Star)
Ana Ortiz (Ralph Breaks the Internet)
Ashley Jensen (Sherlock Gnomes)
Becki Newton (How I Met Your Mother)
Mark Indelicato (Dead of Summer)
Vanessa Williams (Shaft)
Michael Urie (Uptown Girls)
Kevin Sussman (The Big Bang Theory)
Rebecca Romijn (X-Men)

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RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Gina Gershon (Bound)
Ava Gaudet (Hunt)
Elizabeth Payne (Minority Report)
Salma Hayek (Dogma)
Sarah Jones (Alcatraz)
Lucy Davis (Wonder Woman)
Rhys Coiro (The Walking Dead)
Ron Canada (Wedding Crashers)
Cleo King (The Hangover)
Nicholas Gonzalez (Sleepy Hollow)
Christopher Gorham (2 Broke Girls)
Patrick Fabian (Better Call Saul)
Jowharah Jones (The Client List)
Judith Light (Transparent)
Debi Mazar (Entourage)
Kevin Alejandro (Arrow)
Brett Cullen (Ghost Rider)
Martha Stewart (2 Broke Girls)
Teddy Sears (the Flash)
Bob Clendenin (That 70s Show)
Mini Anden (Chuck)
Courtney Ford (Legends of Tomorrow)
Kathleen Munroe (Stargate Universe)
Octavia Spencer (Mom)
Nolan North (Young Justice)
Kathy Griffin (The Cable Guy)
Bailey Chase (Buffy: TVS)
Katharine McPhee (Shark Night)
Olga Fonda (The Vampire Diaries)
Lucy Liu (Kill Bill)
Jayma Mays (Heroes)
Jerry O’Connell (The Death of Sueprman)
Jesse Tyler Ferguson (Modern Family)
Max Greenfield (Veronica Mars)
Patti LuPone (Summer of Sam)
Ivana Milicevic (Paycheck)
Leslie Jordan (The Help)
AnnaLynne McCord (Excision)
Rebecca Gayheart (Dead Like Me)
Justina Machado (Final Destination 2)
Dale Dickey (Iron Man 3)
Juliette Goglia (Mike & Molly)
Lorraine Toussaint (Any Day Now)
Kristin Chenoweth (Pushing Daisies)

America Ferrera in Ugly Betty (2006)Ugly Betty is a television comedy/drama that airs on ABC. It was produced by Salma Hayek, Silvio Horta, Ben Silverman, Jose Tamez, James Hayman, and Marco Pennette. The show was adapted from the Colombian mini-series “Yo Soy Betty La Fea”. The series is about a plain-old girl who is thrust into the glamorous fashion world and the drama that trails her life and co-workers. It was highly successful during its freshmen season (2006-2007) and nominated eleven times in the 59th Primetime Emmy Awards.Eric Mabius and America Ferrera in Ugly Betty (2006)The primary character is Betty Saurez (America Ferrera). Betty is a normal girl from Queens who aspires to be in the fashion business. In the beginning of the series, she is trying to get a job at a fashion magazine. The problem is that no one will even consider her for a job, which is mostly due to the fact she doesn’t physically fit in with the beautiful people. Her life is changed when Bradford Meade (Alan Dale) makes his playboy son Daniel (Eric Mabius) hire her as his assistant. Daniel was recently inducted as editor-in-chief of “Mode” magazine, Meade Publications’ flagship. Bradford hopes that Daniel’s work at Mode will prepare him to take over the company. Unfortunately Daniel’s frat-boy behavior prevents him from focusing on the job.America Ferrera in Ugly Betty (2006)Betty is hired as his assistant, because she is the one girl in New York City he won’t jump in the sack with.Image result for ugly betty fake plastic snowWhen Betty first comes to Mode, Daniel does everything in his power to get rid of her by embarrassing and demeaning her. He soon learns that despite Betty’s looks, she is very capable, intelligent, determined, and an invaluable asset to the company. She plays a vital role in Daniel succeeding as editor-in-chief. Her unique and real outlook on life saves the day on more than one occasion. Challenging Daniel and Betty is Wilhelmina Slater (Vanessa Williams). Wilhelmina is the creative director, who believes should have been given the position of editor-in-chief. She works with a mysterious woman to dethrone Bradford and Daniel and take over the company.originalOthers in the office include Amanda Tanen (Becki Newton), the Mode receptionist who has an eye of Betty’s job and Daniel’s pants, Marc St. James (Michael Urie), Wilhelmina’s assistant who does all of her dirty work, and Christina McKinney (Ashley Jensen), the Scottish seamstress who is Betty’s one friend in the company. These characters are not as developed as the other main characters, but they still bring quite a lot to the table in drama and comedy. Outside of the office, there are several key characters from Betty’s home life. They include Ignacio (Tony Plana), Betty’s father who has a shady past and several secrets he hopes are never revealed, Hilda (Ana Ortiz), Betty’s older protective sister who sells weight-loss supplements, and Justin (Mark Indelicato), Hilda’s son who is very “different” than other boys and loves fashion just as much as his aunt Betty.ub 1.02The show’s supporting characters include Walter (Kevin Sussman), Betty’s boyfriend and serious love interest who cheated on her, Henry Grubstick (Christopher Gorham), a Mode accountant who develops strong chemistry with Betty, Sofia Reyes (Salma Hayek), a new editor-in-chief at Meade Publications who is a love interest for Daniel, and Claire Meade (Judith Light), Daniel’s mother who is a drunk and a key to the season’s biggest story arc. In Ugly Betty’s first season, there are several storylines that drive it. Even the slightest developments are key and play into a soap opera-worthy story. The writing is done very well and manages to intertwine the storylines to focus on the big picture and character development. This comment is especially worth noting because of the large ensemble cast and the different directions it takes the show. In other words, there is a lot going on, but it is handled and presented in an engaging and entertaining manner that is easy to follow.america-ferrara-ugly-betty-28-1-10-kc-656x357Yet for all of Ugly Betty’s strengths, what really keeps the show afloat is Betty. While this character is an imperfect match to the world of high fashion, she is a great fit for this television show. Most of the people working at Mode are overly superficial and fake. Betty, on the other hand, is sincere and real. She is a strong heroine, despite the fact she is constantly tormented and teased by her attractive peers. Her outlandish personality brings something special to everyone at Mode. She is the real strength that drives this show.Image result for ugly betty icing on the cakeAs an overall series, Ugly Betty does very well with its first season. It offers a very fun show with likable characters, engaging over-the-top drama that feels mature, intricate storylines.

REVIEW: SAMANTHA WHO ? – SEASON 1 & 2

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MAIN CAST

Christina Applegate (The Sweetest Thing)
Jennifer Esposito (Summer of Sam)
Kevin Dunn (Transformers)
Melissa McCarthy (Mike & Molly)
Tim Russ (Star Trek: Voyager)
Barry Watson (Boogeyman)
Jean Smart (Garden State)
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RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

William Abadie (The Pink Panther)
Nakia Burrise (Power Rangers Turbo)
Jessica St. Clair (Bridesmaids)
Kiele Sanchez (Lost)
Eddie Cibrian (The Cave)
Tom Lenk (Buffy)
Timothy Olyphant (Hitman)
Jerry O’ Connell (Scream Queens)
Rick Hoffman (Hostel)
Cybil Shepherd (Moonlighting)
Anthony Anderson (Transformers)
Rachel Cannon (Two and a Half Men)
Mary-Kate Olsen (Full House)
James Tupper (Revenge)
Billy Zane (Zoolander)
Greg Cipes (Teen Titans)
Florence Henderson (The Brady Bunch)
Nora Dunn (New Girl)
Angie Harmon (Agent Cody Banks)
Teddy Sears (The Flash)

What if you had the chance to start over, to do it all again? For Samantha Newly, this fantasy becomes a reality after a hit and run accident leaves her in an eight day coma. When she awakens in the hospital, she is surrounded by family and friends. The only problem is that she has no idea who they are or who she is. In medical terms, Sam has retrograde amnesia, which allows her to fully function in the world but leaves her with no personal memories. Most people would deem this disorder a curse. But Sam may come to call it a miracle. As she sets out to rediscover herself, Sam is forced to rely on the only people who can help her an eclectic bunch of friends and family. Although now strangers to Sam, it’s not long before she begins to get an idea of who she was before the accident.

Life,as we all know,can be extremely unfair at times.Samantha Who? was cancelled after just 2 seasons.

Samantha Who? is a terrific sitcom.Why was it cancelled then,i hear you cry.As i understand it,the 1st season was well received and got good ratings,all was well,but the 2nd season was for some reason buried in a bad time slot and never recovered.Also,i gather there were cost issues involved due to financial cut backs regarding the making of the programme.A real shame because this is a gem of a show with Christina Applegate outstanding as Samantha,a shallow,obnoxious,yuppie type who awakes from an 8 day coma caused by a car accident and realises that she can’t remember anything due to amnesia.

As she starts trying to put her life back together,she realises,with some horror,just what an awful person she was.Thats where the fun starts,and its to Applegates credit that,although its her characters mission to make amends and change for the better,the programme never gets too treacly or soft,partly due to the naturally mischevious look that Christina Applegate has that suggests Samantha could never be too goody-goody.The support cast is terrific,the lovely Jean Smart is wonderful as Sams amusingly uncaring mother and the fabulous Melissa McCarthy as her old friend Dena.

To sum up,this is a very funny,smartly written,well acted sitcom that should have been up there with the best of them.And,refreshingly,just like the brilliant Gilmore Girls,no laugh track,just provide your own!