25 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS REVIEW: ARROW – IRRECONCILABLE DIFFERENCES

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MAIN CAST

Stephen Amell (The Vampire Diaries)
David Ramsey (Con Air)
Willa Holland (Legion)
Emily Bett Rickards (Brooklyn)
Echo Kellum (Ben and Kate)
Rick Gonzalez (Mr. Robot)
Juliana Harkavy (The Walking Dead)
Paul Blackthorne (A Christmas Carol)
Katie Cassidy (Black Xmas)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Kirk Acevedo (Dawn of The Planet of The Apes)
Charlotte Ross (Drive Angry)
David Nykl (Stargate Atlantis)
Tom Amandes (The Magicians)
Tobias Jelinek (American Woman)
Johann Urb (Resident Evil: Retribution)
Michael Emerson (Lost)

Oliver is his own worst enemy  in the mid-season finale of Arrow. This episode follows an unusual pattern for one containing a wedding – it’s dispensed with early on so that the real business of the episode can get underway, rather than being the moment of celebration and reflection at the end. The wedding is mostly useful for allowing characters to point out how weird it was for Ollie and Felicity to get married in the way. Thea and Felicity’s mother are deservedly upset, which is a reminder of the fact that only.The wedding is also a nice time to check in on what a mess everyone’s personal life is, and how many of them have had pasts with one another. Curtis gets drunk on champagne and memories of his marriage to Paul, Rene talks about his dead wife, they both learn that Dinah has been engaged multiple times, Thea misses Roy and I’m sad he is once again absent during a time that he would obviously be there for her. And of course Felicity’s criminal father is in attendance and flirting with her mother, who briefly reunites with Lance. I’d like to point out that while Oliver seems to have jumped to the conclusion that the witness is a current member of the team other than his best friend or his wife, there are many more contenders. The witness could theoretically be Roy, Ragman, vigilante, the Russians, Quentin, Lyla, or anyone named al-Ghul.   Of course Rene soon fesses up, but not before Oliver reveals that the original 3 have been spying on the new kids. With every new member of the team there has been some sort of transition period, but with this group (as well as the two members they have since lost) that seems to be a rougher and longer transition. Evelyn’s betrayal, mentioned frequently here, certainly contributed to that. But there’s also more distance between the original team and this crop of newbies because Roy, Thea, Sara, and Laurel all came and went. That makes them two generations removed, a gap Oliver has never fully closed, nor does he seem to want to.Oliver’s poor judgment, aided and abetted by Felicity and Diggle respectively, drives Dinah to quit the team and reunite with Vince. Rene is gone, and Curtis’s departure seems to hit hardest. That may be because he’s been with them the longest, but it could also be due to the level-headed way he notifies them. The original team can pretend they’re right with the other two, but there’s no justifying how they drove Curtis away. I can’t help but feel happy for Rene and Curtis, in particular. Curtis clearly needs some time to think over his priorities in life, and spending less time with Felicity might help him gain some perspective and stick up for himself more when she walks all over him. And Rene has a good job and his daughter back, and as we’ve seen with Dig and Ollie, having a kid makes a person question their place in the vigilante business.I doubt this break-up of the team is for long, but it honestly seems like a healthy choice for everyone except Dinah, who is spending time with her murderous ex. Watching Dinah and Oliver go toe to toe is some of the best chemistry this season, since they’re so similar in temperament. But it’s Diggle who usually spends time with her and therefore truly betrayed her, and that relationship won’t be easily repaired. I’m eagerly awaiting Lyla’s reaction when she finds out what her husband did, as well as the continued relationship between Quentin and Black Siren. Her dad was killed by a drunk driver (perhaps that world’s Quentin Lance?) on her 13th birthday, and Quentin forged just enough of a relationship with her to make her defy Cayden James’s orders to kill Lance. Those relationships are complicated, and will only become moreso in the New Year.This episode ends on a tough note. Oliver is without most of his team through his own actions, as Cayden James pointed out. And of course that happens when pretty much every living member of Oliver and the Green Arrow’s rogues gallery assembles to creepily watch Oliver in the lair via a hidden camera. It’s particularly frustrating to see Oliver regress after spending this season so far showing emotional maturity in a way that is really new for the character. He at least acknowledged that he would have (and has in the past) done the same thing as Rene, and I’m hoping he has the good sense to keep following Thea’s advice. If he doesn’t,  Team Arrow is going to have a hard time keeping their enemies in check, never mind taking them down.

REVIEW: NO ORDINARY FAMILY

MAIN CAST
Michael Chikilis (Gotham)
Julie Benz (Angel)
Kay Panabaker (Two and a Half Men)
Jimmy Bennett (The Amityville Horror)
Autumn Reeser (Human Target)
Romany Malco (Blades of Glary)
Stephen Collins (Star Trek: The Motion Picture)
Michael Chiklis in No Ordinary Family (2010)
RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST
Christina Chang (28 Days)
Tate Donovan (Argo)
Jamie Harris (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.)
Josh Stewart (The Dark Knight Rises)
Jason Antoon (Minority Report)
Reggie Lee (Drag Me To Hell)
Joanna Walsh (Faster)
Guillermo Diaz (The Terminal)
Jonathan Adams (Bones)
Rachel Miner (The Butterfly Effect 3)
Max Greenfield (New Girls)
Amy Gumenick (Arrow)
Jackson Rathbone (Twilight)
Cybill Shepherd (Moonlighting)
Bruce McGill (Collateral)
Amy Acker (Dollhouse)
Mimi Kennedy (Mom)
Connor Leslie (Titans)
Katelyn Tarver (Dead on Campus)
Annie Wersching (The Vampire Diaries)
Jason Wiles (Zodiac)
Luke Kleintank (Bones)
Rebecca Mader (Lost)
Joanne Kelly (Mutant X)
Katrina Begin (Zookeeper)
Betsy Brandt (Breaking Bad)
Ethan Suplee (My Name Is Earl)
Anthony Michael Hall (The Dead Zone)
Tricia Helfer (Battlestar Galactica)
Eric Balfour (Skyline)
Lucy Lawless (Ash vs Evil Dead)
Robert Picardo (Star Trek: Voyager)
Michael Maize (Eagle Eye)
Tom Amandes (Arrow)
Jonathan Adams (Bones)
James Earl (Scream Queens)
Jonna Walsh (Couples Retreat)
Shaun Parkes (The Mummy Returns)
Mercedes Colon (The Fosters)
Raphael Sbarge (Risky Business)
John Rubinstein (Angel)

The Powells are a typical American family living in fictional Pacific Bay, California, whose members gain special powers after their plane crashes in the Amazon. The show is very light hearted and manages to mix comedy with action and drama extremely well. The family are quite cliché and the powers aren’t exactly ‘original’ but they make it work.The cast do a great job portraying their characters, Michael Chiklis (Star of The Shield and Fantastic Four) does a brilliant job as the father while Julie Benz (formerly Rita Morgan in Dexter) puts on a strong performance as the mother of the family. You also have Kay Panabaker and Jimmy Bennett as the kids.

The character development in this series is great and the story is  highly entertaining. The characters relationships are believable and very engrossing. I think the pairing of Jim Powell (Michael Chiklis) and George St. Cloud (Romany Malco) is brilliant. The second prize for most hilarious character in this show has to go to Stephanie Powells best friend and work colleague Katie Andrews (Played by Autumn Reeser), she is incredibly geeky and so socially awkward, hilarious to watch.no-ordinary-familyIt’s light hearted, fun and easy to watch. Yes it has the sci-fi/fantasy element to it which is akin to shows like Chuck, Heroes, Supernatural, Buffy, Smallville etc. But it also has a more family oriented feel to it at times and what this show does brilliantly is applying super powers to every day events. A lot of people have been comparing it heroes but I find it far to light hearted to be compared to heroes. It’s nowhere near as dark and serious and has far more comedy integrated throughout. I’d say it’s more like Chuck than Heroes. It was cancelled after only 1 season but still its very much worth a watch.

REVIEW: Don’t Trust the B—- in Apartment 23

MAIN CAST
Krysten Ritter (Jessica Jones)
Dreama Walker (Compliance)
Michael Blaiklock (Fired Up!)
Eric Andre (2 Broke Girls)
James Van Der Beek (CSI: Cyber)
Ray Ford (Grey’s Anatomy)
Liza Lapira (Dollhouse)
 
NOTABLE / RECURRING CAST
Eve Gordon (Miss Congeniality 2)
Michael Landes (Final Destination 2)
Marin Hinkle (Two and A Half Men)
Nora Dunn (Bones)
Kevin Sorbo (Hercules: The Legendary Journeys)
Rosalind Chao (Star Trek: DS9)
David Krumholtz (Mom)
Kiernan Shipa (Chilling Adventures of Sabrina)
Busy Philipps (The Smokers)
Frankie Muniz (Big Fat Liar)
Mark-Paul Gosselaar (Speciman)
Ben Lawson (No Strings Attached)
Bruce Davison (X-Men)
Missi Pyle (Dogeball)
Dean Cain (Lois & Clark)
Davi Santos (Power Rangers Dino Charge)
Angelique Cabral (Friends with Benefits)
Charo (That 70s Show)
Richard Dean Anderson (Stargate SG.1)
Hartley Sawyer (The Flash)
Shanti Lowry (Louis)
Lee Meriwether (Batman: The Movie)
Thomas Lennon (Santa Clarita Diet)
Olivia Taylor Dudley (Transcendence)
Tom Amandes (Arrow)
Nicholas D’Agosto (Gotham)
Jennie Pierson (Powerless)
Sarah Wright (American Made)
Meagen Fay (That’s My Boy)
Ian Reed Kesler (The Finder)

After watching the Pilot of Don’t Trust the B—- In Apartment 23, I was hooked. This show is funny, sassy, and extremely entertaining. In addition, it received mostly positive reviews from critics. This show is honest, raw, and hilarious. The casting is great and there’s a fun group of characters.
 Chloe is the B in Apartment 23. The actress that plays her, Krysten Ritter, has excellent comedic timing and seems to know her character inside and out. Chloe is a con artist that puts advertisements asking for roommates on the web, but once they move in, she leaves them paying for the rent and makes sure they leave within a month by being the worst roommate ever.
And then there’s June. June Colburn, played by Dreama Walker, is the smart, small-town girl that comes to NYC after being hired to work for a major mortgage company that comes with a huge apartment. But when the company is shut down by the government, June loses her apartment and ends up moving in with Chloe. At first, Chloe tries to get June to move out, but June proves to be too clever to be out-smarted by the B in Apartment 23, and ends up living there as the two girls become good friends.
363213The cast is complete with Chloe’s best friend, an actor playing a fictional version of himself (James Van Der Beek), a neighbor obsessed with Chloe (Liza Lapira as Robin), and June’s boss (until she can get a new job), the manager of a coffee shop (Eric Andre as Mark Reynolds).
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Another thing unique to this show is the amount of twists and turns, a plot element typically reserved for mysteries and dramas.  Lastly, the set is great and the vibe of the city is perfectly matched with the spunky and quirky cast. it lasted 2 short season because of the writers strike but it is still a worth while watch.

REVIEW: CULT (2013)

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MAIN CAST

Matthew Davis (The Vampire Diaries)
Jessica Lucas (Gotham)
Alona Tal (Veronica Mars)
Robert Kneppr (Izombie)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Marie Avgeropoulos (50/50)
Tom Amandes (Arrow)
Zak Santiago (Caprica)
Aisha Hinds (Star Trek Into Darkness)
Andrew Leeds (Bones)
Rebecca McFarland (Two and a Half Men)
Stacey Farber (Narc)
Spencer Locke (Resident Evil: Afterlife)
Ona Grauer (V)
Obba Babatundé (Half & Half)
Erica Gimpel (Roswell)
Brigid Brannagh (Angel)
Jeffrey Pierce (Bosch)
Teryl Rothery (Stargate SG.1)
Adam Greydon Reid (Sanctuary)
Eric Lange (Lost)
Michael Hogan (Battlestar Galactica)
James Pizzinato (Godzilla)

Cult is a TV show about a TV show. In TV Bizarro World, Cult was a show from The CW. It has a following so strong that a fandom-courting bar actually has an entire room dedicated to giving Cult fans space to geek out and obsess over details of the latest episode. Not only is the in-universe show crazy-popular but (some of) its fans are crazy-crazy. “Secret” websites lure unsuspecting LARPers into the role-play from hell. Fans and crew alike have a habit of disappearing under mysterious circumstances. Apparently the conspiracy has infiltrated the police force. The show’s creator is notoriously reclusive and doesn’t seem to mind the fervor with which the lines between his TV show and reality are blurred by his fans and/or followers. In fact, that might just be the whole point.

And our only hope lies with Jeff Sefton (Matt Davis), ex-reporter and general nitwit, who takes an interest in the series when his brother Nate disappears after making contact with “them” but continues to pop in from time to time with a staticky phone call to plead for help, or to plead for Jeff to stay away. The best representation of this in the pilot was the CD he left behind for Jeff to find, and then basically told him not to use.

Not gonna lie, there’s a lot of WTF. Jeff is joined in his quest by a sexy young research assistant for Cult. Skye Yarrow (Jessica Lucas), a.k.a. Jeff’s “future love interest in training,” grew alarmed when she discovered those creepy secret websites and then more worried when her boss was largely unconcerned with creepy fans doing creepy things and, you know, murderin’ people. Maybe. Probably.
Skye, it turns out, had personal reasons for initially joining the Cult crew—her father was a journalist who went missing years earlier while investigating Steven Rae, the creator of Cult, for corruption—presumably back before he ever had a TV series. Once you get the hang of jumping between scenes from the fake/show-within-a-show Cult and scenes from the real/debuted-on-The-CW-in-February-2013 Cult, the plot itself is fairly easy to follow, the plots of the TV show mirrored the plot of “reality” damn near perfectly with Alona Tal’s Marti Gerritsen’s Kelly Collins (yep, that’s real actress > fake actress > fake TV character) looking for her missing sister with 3D glasses while Jeff did the same for Nate. Both of their best leads blew their brains out after uttering the show’s apparent catchphrase, “These things just snap right off.” I appreciated the parallel narratives, and I think they could be fun from time to time.Suffer the ChildrenCult was cancelled sadly after 1 season so alot of the story arcs never get resolved, the story within a story concept was intriguing but it looks like its going to be a forgotten show, as we have yet to even get a dvd release.

REVIEW: BROKEDOWN PALACE

CAST

Claire Danes (Terminator 3)
Kate Beckinsale (Underworld)
Bill Pullman (Lost Highway)
Jacqueline Kim (Star Trek: Generations)
Lou Diamond Phillips (Stargate Universe)
Paul Walker (The Fast and The Furious)
John Doe (Roswell)
Tom Amandes (Arrow)

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Brokedown Palace has an intriguing premise: two best friends (Kate Beckinsale and Claire Danes) fresh from high school are on their summer vacation in Thailand, but are arrested for possession of narcotics, found guilty and sentenced to 33 years in a women’s prison.
Claire Danes and Kate Beckinsale in Brokedown Palace (1999)
Bill Pullman also stars in the picture as an American lawyer named Hank Greene, who feels for the girls’ plight and fights to prove their innocence. But the real focus is on Beckinsale and Danes, whose wonderful performances are the anchor to the film’s drama and moral quandaries. Beckinsale’s Darlene is the more reserved and quieter of the two, the kind of person who sort of follows her friend without question, and certainly not the type to take unwarranted risks (unless her friend persuades her to). She’s almost a direct opposite of Danes’ Alice, whose outgoing and semi-rebellious behavior is the indirect link to their current troubles.Kate Beckinsale in Brokedown Palace (1999)The film slinks to melodrama in its climactic moments, but still rings true thanks to the tour-de-force turns from Beckinsale and Danes. It’s an open-ended question as to whether or not either of the girls committed the crime of smuggling narcotics, and such ambiguity might upset some, but I liked not knowing for certain, and it’s not as if it makes the final scenes any less believable.