25 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS REVIEW: ALVIN AND CHIPMUNKS: THE SQUEAKQUEL

CAST

Jason Lee (Dogma)
David Cross (Scary Movie 2)
Zachary Levi (Chuck)
Justin Long (Jeepers Creepers)
Matthew Gray Gubler (500 Days of Summer)
Jesse McCartney (Chernobyl Diaries)
Anna Faris (Mom)
Christina Applegate (Bad Moms)
Amy Poehler (Inside Out)
Wendie Malick (American Housewife)
Anjelah Johnson (Marmaduke)
Kathryn Joosten (Desperate Housewives)
Kevin Schmidt (The Butterfly Effect)
Chris Warren Jr. (Men of Honor)
Bridgit Mendler (Muppets Most wanted)
Brando Eaton (American Sniper)
Alexandra Shipp (X-Men: Apocalypse)
Gregg Binkley (My Name Is Earl)
Sean Astin (The Goonies)
Brittany Anne Pirtle (Power Rangers Samurai)

Christina Applegate, Anna Faris, and Amy Poehler in Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel (2009)During a benefit concert in Paris, France, David Seville is injured from a backstage accident. Having to recuperate there, Dave asks his aunt, Jackie, to look after the Chipmunks, Alvin, Simon, and Theodore. Arrangements are also made for them to go to school at West Eastman High School. After Jackie also has an accident, the Chipmunks are left in the care of Toby, Jackie’s grandson. Meanwhile, Ian Hawke, who is broke and destitute, lives in the basement of JETT Records. Three singing female chipmunks, Brittany, Jeanette, and Eleanor, also known as The Chipettes, emerge from a FedEx packagee. Ian recruits and hires the Chipettes in an effort to resurrect his career.Justin Long, Jesse McCartney, and Matthew Gray Gubler in Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel (2009)While at school, the Chipmunks are ridiculed by jocks, who threaten to kill them for drawing their girls’ attention away from them. They chase the Chipmunks around the school and give Simon a swirlie in a toilet. They visit the principal’s office, only to discover that the principal, Dr. Rubin is a huge fan, and enlists their help to raise money for a music program by participating in a contest. Meanwhile, Ian is shocked to find the Chipmunks on the front page of his newspaper. After he reads a story about them, he quickly sends the Chipettes to school.Justin Long, Kevin G. Schmidt, Chris Warren, and Bridgit Mendler in Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel (2009)When the Chipmunks meet the Chipettes, a rivalry forms after the former group learns that the latter group are with Ian: with both groups wanting to compete in the Battle of the Bands, Dr. Rubin sets up a concert for them to compete in with the winners representing the school. Meanwhile, Alvin becomes popular with the jocks and joins the football team, not realizing that the next game is during the concert. At the concert, Theodore and Simon tell the fans that Alvin failed to show up, and that they cannot perform, leading to a victory for the Chipettes. When Alvin finally shows up after the concert is over, he finds the auditorium empty, and Brittany calls him out for his lack of responsibility. Alvin then returns home and attempts to apologize to his brothers, but is ignored. Theodore runs away the next day, until Alvin and Simon save him from an eagle, leading to the three making up.Christina Applegate, Anna Faris, and Amy Poehler in Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel (2009)Soon, the Chipettes are hired, but learn that the concert at which they are to perform as an opening act for a Britney Spears concert at the Staples Center is on the same night as the school contest. Ian convinces them to call off the battle and perform at the concert, but refuses to give the same credit to Jeanette and Eleanor that he gives Brittany. She demands that they all perform together or not at all, until Ian threatens to send them to a barbecue restaurant unless they perform. Before the Battle of the Bands, Alvin receives a call from the Chipettes, who tell him that Ian has locked them in a cage, so Alvin races off to rescue them while Simon tells Jeanette how to open the cage over the cell phone. Simon and Theodore are on the verge of going out to perform until the others arrive just in time to perform at the contest. The Chipmunks and the Chipettes perform together and receive the money for the music program. Dave, who had left the hospital upon learning that Toby was looking after the Chipmunks, returns during the contest, happy to see the Chipmunks again. Meanwhile, Ian is further exposed at the concert of Staples Center he set up for the girls when he attempts to imitate them, only for him to be taken away by security guards. After the contest, Dave allows the Chipettes to stay with them.maxresdefaultIn the mid-credits scene, Dr. Rubin has the jocks scrape the gum off from under the bleachers in the gymnasium as punishment for making Alvin late for the show. In the post-credits scene, Ian is thrown into a dumpster.Alvin-and-the-Chipmunks-The-Squeakquel-starts-off-strongThe film is very cute, funny, and entertaining all the way through. The female-counterpart “Chipettes” add something new, but don’t take away from the Chipmunks. Zachary Levi and David Cross are charming and amusing in their respective roles. If you liked the first movie, then you will be entertained by the “squeakquel.”

REVIEW: PUSHING DAISIES – SEASON 2

CAST

Lee Pace (The Hobbit)
Anna Friel (Limitless)
Chi McBride (Human target)
Ellen Greene (Little Shop of Horrors)
Swoosie Kurtz (Mike & Molly)
Kristin Chenoweth (Bewitched)
Jim Dale (Carry on Columbus)
Field Cate (Space Buddies)

Anna Friel and Lee Pace in Pushing Daisies (2007)RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Missi Pyle (Mom)
French Stewart (3rd Rock From The Sun)
Autumn Reeser (Sully)
Diana Scarwid (Wonderfalls)
Peter Cambor (Forever My Girl)
Sy Richardson (Colors)
Sammi Hanratty (Shameless)
Rachael Harris (Lucifer)
Lee Arenberg (Waterworld)
Hayley McFarland (Lie To Me)
Graham McTavish (The Hobbit)
David Arquette (Scream)
Debra Mooney (Everwood)
Dana Davis (Heroes)
Hayes MacArthur (Life As We Know It)
Stephen Root (Barry)
Christine Adams (Black Lightning)
Fred Willard (Anchorman)
Kerri Kenney (Wanderlust)
Ethan Phillips (Star Trek: Voyager)
Josh Randall (Ed)
Patrick Fischler (The Finder)
Beth Grant (Childs Play 2)
Eric Stonestreet (The Loft)
Daeg Faerch (Halloween)
David Koechner (Anchorman)
Mary Kay Place (Youth In Revolt)
Orlando Jones (Sleepy Hollow)
Ivana Milicevic (Running Scared)
George Segal (2012)
Willie Garson (Supergirl)
Constance Zimmer (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.)
Robert Picardo (The Orville)
Gina Torres (Firefly)
Wendie Malick (The Ranch)
Nora Dunn (2 Broke Girls)
Wilson Cruz (13 Reasons Why)
Joey Slotnick (Nip/Tuck)
Josh Hopkins (Cold Case)

Anna Friel in Pushing Daisies (2007)There’s no mistaking Pushing Daisies for any other show on TV. Every episode features new supporting characters, new locations and new mysteries, but all of them fit into creator Bryan Fuller’s whimsical, playfully sideways universe. The show bundles romance and comedy with tragic undertones, and flavors it with musical numbers, synchronized swimming routines, magic tricks and murder.The show’s second–and sadly abbreviated–season features 13 episodes, each loaded with more ideas than other series turn out in a full season. By the time you finish The Complete Second Season DVD set, you’ll have walked the hexagonal offices of a honey empire, covertly played poker using a Chinese restaurant’s elaborate code, walked through secret passageways in a nunnery and witnessed a traveling aquatics show that actually makes a traveling aquatics show seem appealing.Anna Friel and Lee Pace in Pushing Daisies (2007)Lee Pace stars as The Pie Maker, aka Ned, who has a mysterious ability to bring the dead back to life by touching them. If he touches them again, they die. If he doesn’t return them to their eternal slumber within a minute, a life-form of equal size has to die in their place. In the pilot episode, he brought back the love of his life, his childhood friend Chuck (Anna Friel), damning the consequences. Now she lives with him in hiding near his the restaurant The Pie Hole, but they can never touch each other.Anna Friel, Chi McBride, and Lee Pace in Pushing Daisies (2007)While owning, operating and baking for a pie shop would no doubt be a taxing full-time job, Ned has a secondary source of income that takes up most of the show’s time. He temporarily wakes the dead for Private Investigator Emerson Cod (Chi McBride) to uncover clues to murder mysteries. Of course, the victims–revived from a variety of comically gruesome deaths–never quite provide the information needed to easily solve the case, and Cod, Chuck, Ned and Olive (Kristin Chenoweth), the Pie Hole’s plucky waitress, have to fill in the blanks. The shows are generally based around one mystery, with overarching main threads stretch through the series. The writer’s strike owns much of the blame for the failure of Pushing Daisies, and for the relatively slow start to season two. The show was earning a respectable audience after its debut, but only produced nine episodes before pencils went down. ABC decided not to order any extra episodes after the strike, leaving the show off the air for nearly a year before. By the time it returned, it had lost much of its momentum, and failed to regain its audience, prompting a premature cancellation.Kristin Chenoweth in Pushing Daisies (2007)While the two shortened seasons combine to equal a full season’s worth of episodes, both feel fragmented. It’s apparent that the writers felt the need to reboot a bit and reiterate some points to ensure its audience was up to speed. And while the opening episodes of season two are entertaining, it takes about four episodes for the series to really start charging forward. Episode 5, “Dim Sum Lose Some” begins a fantastic five-episode arc involving Dwight, a sinister man played by Stephen Root with a friendly demeanor that makes his intentions all the more mysterious. Not just a great character in his own right, Dwight triggers an avalanche of story that leaves you longing for the next episode, even after no more are left. An old friend of Chuck and Ned’s fathers, Dwight wants to locate Ned’s, who abandoned The Pie Maker as a child and started a new family.Chi McBride and Debra Mooney in Pushing Daisies (2007)Dwight’s prodding leads Ned to finally meet his twin half-brothers (Alex and Graham Miller), who were also abandoned by Ned’s father. The sixth episode, centering around the twins’ mentor’s magic show, is one of series’ funniest, and features memorable guest appearances by Paul F. Tomkins and Fred Willard. But the twins, along with many other characters, never reach their potential. Due to the show’s premature end, it’s inevitable that all the story threads don’t tie up satisfactorily. Indeed, the final episode essentially ends with a cliffhanger before it awkwardly segues into a quickie ending that was cobbled together in the editing room. It’s a shame too, as the long-term story had become quite promising, especially the intriguing hints about Ned’s father and developments surrounding Chuck’s dead father. Unfortunately, fans of the show will have to be happy with what they have.

 

REVIEW: AMERICAN HOUSEWIFE – SEASON 3

Katy Mixon in American Housewife (2016)

MAIN CAST

Katy Mixon (Mike & Molly)
Diedrich Bader (Meet The Spartans)
Meg Donnelly (Zombies)
Daniel DiMaggio (Daddy’s Home 2)
Julia Butters (Transparent)
Ali Wong (The Lego Ninjago Movie)
Carly Hughes (Brampton’s Own)

Katy Mixon in American Housewife (2016)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Sara Rue (Mom)
Tom Lenk (Buffy: TVS)
Kelly Ripa (Hope & Faith)
Jason Dolley (Good Luck Charlie)
Logan Pepper (Wolves)
Jerry Lambert (Graves)
Wendie Malick (The Ranch)
Jessica St. Clair (Wanderlust)
Peyton Meyer (Wayne)
Milo Manheim (Z-O-M-B-I-E-S)
Evan O’Toole (Wild)
Nikki Hahn (Adventures In Babysitting)
Leslie Bibb (Popular)
Ravi Patel (Master of None)
Victoria Justice (Victorious)
Barret Swatek (2 Broke Girls)
Carly Craig (Sideswiped)
Gregory Harrison (Picnic)
Patrick Duffy (Dallas)
Jay Mohr (Go)
Katy Perry (The Smurfs)
Jeannette Sousa (Castle)
Thomas Lennon (17 Again)
Eddie Shin (Westworld)
George Hamilton (The Godfather – Part III)
Robert Belushi (How I Met Your Mother)
Reylynn Caster (The Matchbreaker)
Richard Riehle (Office Space)
Christine Lakin (Hollywood Darlings)

American Housewife (2016)Well the third season finale just aired and I must say that the stories have been jus tas fun as the previous season, ending on a musical is real highlight. This seasons highlights were…Diedrich Bader and Katy Mixon in American Housewife (2016)

Mom Guilt

Following the success of the spring gala, Katie goes back to work as a party planner, only to learn that her first client is Nancy Granville. Katie reluctantly leaves Greg to deal with Anna-Kat’s increasing OCD behavior, blaming it on her absence from the home. She also promises to pay for Oliver to go see his new favorite motivational speaker if he will help “parent” his little sister Taylor.

American Housewife (2016)

Cheaters Sometimes Win

Katie’s mother Kathryn arrives and immediately causes a stir when she tells Taylor it’s okay to not attend college, and instead become a flight attendant like herself. Oliver gets suspended for turning in a store-bought bird feeder for wood shop class, which he fears will now ruin his chances of getting into Harvard. Katie worries that both Oliver and Anna-Kat may have learned from her that it’s okay to cheat sometimes.

American Housewife (2016)

Enemies: An Otto Story

The rivalry between Katie and Chloe Brown Mueller comes to a head when Anna-Kat and Chloe’s daughter are running for the same student council position. Oliver wants to continue his ballet at an exclusive prep school, but Katie and Greg are strongly against it. Meanwhile, Greg suspects that Taylor’s new musical theater partner, Pierce, is trying to come between her and Trip.

Brielle Barbusca, Nikki Hahn, Daniel DiMaggio, and Logan Pepper in American Housewife (2016)

Trust Me

After Taylor lies about adult supervision at a Halloween party she wants to attend, Katie wants to make her stay home but Greg says they should trust her and see where it goes. Oliver and Cooper attend a party with Gina and Gina’s cousin, and both are a little apprehensive when the girls promise a make-out session in a closet. This happens to be a party Katie has planned, and the boys are let off the hook when pregnant Viv arrives and Katie is forced to deliver her baby in front of several horrified teens. At home, Anna-Kat thinks she is too grown up for Halloween, but later regrets her decision while handing out candy.

American Housewife (2016)

Body Image

Now that the formerly fattest housewife in Westport has had gastric bypass surgery, Chloe Brown Mueller can’t wait to flaunt the woman in front of Katie. Convinced that Chloe has had work done, Katie enlists Doris and Angela to help her dig up an unflattering photo of Chloe from a high school yearbook. At the same time, Katie worries about her children becoming too body conscious. Taylor tries to do something about the thin lips she inherited from Grandma Kathryn, Oliver becomes obsessed with developing well-defined calves like the new guy in his ballet class, and Anna-Kat is curious about her teacher’s new boob job.

Katy Mixon and Carly Craig in American Housewife (2016)

Trophy Wife

When Katie learns that a hot young trophy wife has a stepdaughter in Anna-Kat’s class, she convinces the woman to become a room parent for the sole purpose of annoying and worrying the older judgmental moms in town. This backfires when it causes Anna-Kat’s choice for Friday movie to get nixed by the new room parent. Meanwhile, Greg enlists the help of Oliver and Taylor to get Grandma Kathryn to talk about something other than herself, but it proves to be difficult.

Milo Manheim and Meg Donnelly in American Housewife (2016)

Saving Christmas

Katie’s father Marty (Patrick Duffy) arrives unexpectedly for the holidays, not knowing that his ex-wife Kathryn is living there. Despite Katie’s attempts to keep the two apart, they end up in bed together. Meanwhile, Anna-Kat tries to help Trip win back Taylor, and Oliver has a humbling experience during his ballet troupe’s holiday performance.

Diedrich Bader and Cheyenne Jackson in American Housewife (2016)

Disconnected

While Katy goes boot shopping with Taylor to try and reconnect with her, Greg agrees to take Oliver to see motivational speaker Johnny Diamond in hopes of bonding better with his son. This leaves Anna-Kat feeling like her status as the favorite child is in jeopardy.

American Housewife (2016)

Mo’ Money, Mo’ Problems

Greg and Katie decide to get frivolous with Katie’s bonus check and go to a fancy Westport hotel, which leaves Taylor in charge of the house. Trying to prove he can be a “bad boy”, Oliver takes his parents’ other car without permission to drive Cooper and himself to a party.

Leslie Bibb and Katy Mixon in American Housewife (2016)

Baby Crazy

Overwhelmed as a single parent, Viv drops off her baby with the Ottos which has Greg thinking he would like another child. When Viv’s ex-husband returns, insisting he’s a changed man, Katy has to convince the exhausted Viv that she is still better off without him. Meanwhile, Taylor schemes to get Oliver’s help in retrieving an expensive earring that the dog ate.

Meg Donnelly in American Housewife (2016)

American Idol

When Taylor expresses her desire not to go to college and to become a professional singer instead, Katy solicits the help of Doris’ kids’ hypercritical music teacher to diminish Taylor’s interest. At home, Oliver and Anna-Kat help Greg create a viral message to promote membership in his historical society. Meanwhile, Katy is hired to plan a party for a Westport businesswomen’s association, only to learn it is all her frienemies pretending to be important.

Katy Mixon, Meg Donnelly, and Julia Butters in American Housewife (2016)

Phone Free Day

With Anna-Kat obsessing over using Taylor’s phone and Taylor constantly complaining about it, Katie proposes to give up her own phone for a day and give Taylor a new phone if she can do the same. But the plan backfires on Katie multiple times. Meanwhile, Oliver overhears two businessmen discussing something that would greatly affect their company stock. Wanting to take advantage of the situation but not able to purchase stock at his age, Oliver seeks advice from a pile of VHS tapes that Spencer left for him.

Katy Mixon in American Housewife (2016)

Field Trippin’

Upon realizing that work has kept her from spending quality time with Anna-Kat, Katie decides to chaperone Anna-Kat’s class field trip, only to find that her daughter doesn’t want her there. Meanwhile, Taylor and Oliver jointly fake being sick so they can play hooky with Trip and Cooper, respectively. But Greg has some fun spoiling their day upon figuring out the lie.Peyton Meyer and Meg Donnelly in American Housewife (2016)

The Dance

As the school dance approaches, Franklin asks Greg for permission to take his daughter. With all their children having dates for the dance, Greg and Katie look forward to a rare romantic night alone. But Franklin surprises everyone by asking Taylor to the dance instead of Anna-Kat, stating Anna-Kat is merely his best friend. Anna-Kat then asks Trip to the dance to make Franklin jealous, and Taylor encourages Trip to accept so they can at least be at the dance together. Meanwhile, Oliver and Brie see a psychic, who tells them a “romantic evening will end in disaster”, making Oliver fearful to attend the dance. In the end, it is Katie and Greg’s romantic evening that is ruined, as they rush to the dance to head off Brie’s mother, who says her daughter is not allowed to date yet and went behind her back.

Diedrich Bader and Meg Donnelly in American Housewife (2016)

A Mom’s Parade

Frustrated by the lack of appreciation for all she does, Katie decides to leave the family to fend for itself.

1600x640-Q90_95591d5e6fad2db38ef760797500a413In a world where weekly television series’ have to compete against streaming platforms like Netflix, it’s easy for shows like American Housewife to get lost in the shuffle. But what is clear to me is that this show has the power to stand up against the competition and you should tune in or at least add it to your watchlist. It’s guaranteed to be one of the funniest half hours of your week.

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: CONFESSIONS OF A SHOPAHOLIC

 

CAST

Isla Fisher (The Great Gatsby)
Hugh Dancy (Hannibal)
Krysten Ritter (Jessica Jones)
Joan Cusack (Martian Child)
John Goodman (Red State)
John Lithgow (3rd Rock From The Sun)
Kristin Scott Thomas (Mission Impossible)
Leslie Bibb (The Skulls)
Robert Stanton (The Quiet American)
Julie Hagerty (Airplane)
Kristen Connolly (The Cabin In The Woods)
Fred Armisen (Anchorman)
Lynn Redgrave (Gods and Monsters)
Wendie Malick (The Ranch)

Rebecca Bloomwood (Isla Fisher) is a shopping addict who lives with her best friend Suze (Krysten Ritter). She works as a journalist for a gardening magazine but dreams of joining the fashion magazine Alette. On the way to an interview with Alette, she buys a green scarf. Her credit card is declined, so Rebecca goes to a hot dog stand and offers to buy all the hot dogs with a check, if the seller gives her back change in cash, saying the scarf is to be a gift for her sick aunt. The hot dog vendor refuses but a man offers her $20. When Rebecca arrives at the interview, she’s told that the position has been filled. However, the receptionist tells her there is an open position with the magazine Successful Savings, explaining that getting a job at Successful Savings could eventually lead to a position at Alette magazine. Rebecca interviews with Luke Brandon (Hugh Dancy), the editor of Successful Savings and the man who just gave her the $20. She hides her scarf outside his office, but Luke’s assistant comes into the office and gives it back to her. Rebecca knows the game is up and leaves.

That evening, drunk, she and Suze write letters to Alette and Successful Savings, but she mails each to the wrong magazine. Luke likes the letter she meant to send to Alette and hires her. Rather than completing a work assignment for a new column, Rebecca goes to a clothing sale. While inspecting a cashmere coat she has just purchased, she realizes it is not 100% cashmere and she has been duped. This gives her an idea for the column, which she writes under the name “The Girl in the Green Scarf” and is an instant success.

Rebecca later returns home to renewed confrontations with her debt collector, so Suze makes her attend Shopaholics Anonymous. After one shopping spree she meets a friendly woman, Miss Korch (Wendie Malick), only to learn that she is the group leader and forces Rebecca to donate all the clothes she just bought, including a bridesmaid’s dress for Suze’s wedding and a dress for a TV interview. After the meeting Rebecca can’t afford to buy back both and buys back the interview dress. During the interview, the debt collector is in the audience and confronts Rebecca. Successful Savings terminates Rebecca’s column after the public confrontation for bringing discredit on the magazine and believing she is a risk for not paying debts. Suze is angry when she finds out that Rebecca lost the bridesmaid dress, and Rebecca feels like she let everyone down. Rebecca’s father (John Goodman) is more sympathetic, making a remark that the United States has not fallen despite its gigantic national debt, and offers to sell his recreational vehicle to help her. Rebecca declines his offer, saying that he earned the camper through years of hard work and saving, and that she will need to tackle her debts on her own. Alette offers Rebecca a position at the magazine, but she declines. Meanwhile, Luke starts a new company, Brandon Communications.

The members of Shopaholic Anonymous promote Rebecca’s clothes sale, which generates a lot of revenue, but not enough to retire her debts. She finally sells her green scarf when a woman bids on it, making it possible for her to give all the cash to the debt collector, which she pays in pennies – to give it to him in the “most inconvenient way possible”. Rebecca attends Suze’s wedding after reclaiming her bridesmaid dress, and Suze forgives her. Luke returns the green scarf to Rebecca after revealing that the person who bought it at an auction was acting as his agent. Rebecca becomes romantically involved with Luke and starts working at his new company.A good film. It is not an oscar worthy film, but it is still good none the less. This is based on the novels by Sophie Kinsella and loosely follows the first and second books in the series.

 

 

 

 

REVIEW: WAITING…

CAST

Ryan Reynolds (The Voices)
Anna Faris (Mom)
Justin Long (Jeepers Creepers)
David Koechner (Anchorman)
Luis Guzmán (Anger Managment)
Chi McBride (Humant Target)
John Francis Daley (Bones)
Kaitlin Doubleday (Catch Me if You Can)
Rob Benedict (Birds of Prey)
Alanna Ubach (Legally Blonde)
Dane Cook (Employee of The Month)
Jordan Ladd (Death Proof)
Emmanuelle Chriqui (Ripper)
Wendie Malick (The Ranch)
J.D. Evermore (Cloak & Dagger)

The film focuses on several characters. One of the main protagonists, Dean (Justin Long), has been a waiter for four years since graduating from high school, and has not earned a degree during his four years at a community college. When Dean learns from his mother that a former high school classmate, Chett (Travis Resor), now has a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering, he begins to rethink his direction-less life. Dean’s lecherous friend and co-worker, Monty (Ryan Reynolds), is in exactly the same situation, but has accepted that his future lies with the restaurant, Shenaniganz. Monty is put in charge of training Mitch (John Francis Daley), a newly hired waiter who is constantly interrupted throughout most of the film before he can speak, usually by Monty. Also working with Dean is Calvin (Robert Patrick Benedict), a hopeless romantic who cannot urinate in public, and Dan (David Koechner), the uptight manager who is grooming Dean as his protégé. Rounding out the staff are 17-year-old hostess Natasha (Vanessa Lengies), abrasive waitress Naomi (Alanna Ubach), waitress (and Monty’s ex-girlfriend) Serena (Anna Faris), Dean’s girlfriend and fellow waitress Amy (Kaitlin Doubleday), stoner busboys T-Dog and Nick (Max Kasch and Andy Milonakis), head chef Raddamus (Luis Guzman), the insane, unsanitary chef Floyd (Dane Cook), lesbian bartender Tyla (Emmanuelle Chriqui), and the pensive and philosophical dishwasher Bishop (Chi McBride).

The waiters preoccupy themselves with endless gossip, complaining about the customers, seeking covert revenge on particularly rude or annoying patrons, and playing a special kind of game which involves flashing genitalia at a fellow worker (the “Penis Showing Game”). Each employee has his or her own problems and stories, which are interwoven with the ebb and flow of business. A common phrase used throughout the film, which is referred to in the Shenaniganz training video is “The only thing different between extraordinary and ordinary, is that little bit of extra!” This phrase is mocked by many of the wait staff during the film.

Minutes before the restaurant closes, however, Chett and his girlfriend come in for dinner and leave Dean a hefty tip out of pity. This prompts Dean to quit his job—turning down an assistant manager position Dan offered him at the beginning of the film—to seek a more promising future. When the shift ends, the staff head to a party at Monty and Dean’s house. At the party, Monty is able to resist having sex with Natasha (although he says they will have sex the following Wednesday, when she will be 18), Calvin attempts to fix his relationship problems, and Mitch bashes most members of the staff after being constantly interrupted throughout the day. He concludes by giving them all The Goat from the “Penis Showing Game”, which Raddimus had told him earlier that if it is achieved, will instantly grant the man god-status. Sure enough, Monty swears his undying allegiance to him, telling Dean he’s been “replaced.” The film ends with the staff talking about the incident with Mitch, and Dan showing up at a disgruntled customer’s house after Natasha gave him the wrong address to the party.Not claiming to be high brow or anything other than a fun comedy with some sick scenes and a clear message to those intending to be rude to their waiting staff…. if you like films along the lines of American Pie then you will love this….ing

REVIEW: ADVENTURELAND

 

CAST

Jesse Eisneberg (Batman V Superman)
Kristen Stewart (Twilight)
Ryan Reynolds (Deadpool)
Kristen Wiig (Zoolander 2)
Bill Hader (Superbad)
Martin Starr (Knocked Up)
Wendie Malick (American Housewife)
Margarita Levieva (Spread)

 

It would have been easy to typecast Greg Mottola post-Superbad as a director of teen sex comedies, and based on the trailers, you’d be forgiven to jumping to that conclusion regarding his new film, Adventureland. Sure, the kids are in their early 20s this time around, but even in the first twenty minutes or so, Adventureland looks like Michael Cera’s Superbad character has just grown up a little, graduated with a bachelor’s degree, but still hasn’t managed to go all the way with a girl. And it’s not like it would have been a bad thing had that been the case, because I love Superbad, but the surprise of Adventureland is how much more adventure it has in mind.
Adventureland is actually a semi-autobiographical film, written by Mottola about his own gig at a rundown amusement park in the summer of 1987. The director’s stand-in, what could have been the Michael Cera role, is taken over by Jesse Eisenberg from The Squid and the Whale–and right there, the Superbad comparisons dissolve. James is not Evan four years later, he’s an older Walt Berkman exiled to the suburbs. It’s like Noah Baumbach lost his summer internship and has to crash on Judd Apatow’s couch to get back on track.James is all set to spend his post-undergrad/pre-graduate student summer lollygagging around Europe when the effects of Reaganomics hit too close to home. His father (an appropriately shattered Jack Gilpin) has been demoted and now James is going to have to figure out how to pay to live in New York and attend Columbia on his own. Having had no prior job experience and carrying a B.A. in comparative literature, the wannabe journalist ends up stuck working the scam games at the local amusement park, Adventureland. There, the sheltered boy meets the legion of disaffected like himself who also have nowhere else to go. Sure, amongst their ranks are the perpetual losers, like James’ childhood nemesis Frigo (Matt Bush), but there is also Joel (Martin Starr), the pipe-smoking Russian-lit enthusiast, and the intense, rebellious Emily (Kristen Stewart). A cut above in rank is the too-cool rockstar, Connell (Ryan Reynolds), biding his time as Adventureland’s maintenance man until he can move his musical career to Los Angeles. And, of course, there are the bosses, the slightly creepy and oddly square Bobby and Paulette (two of SNL’s best cast members, Bill Hader and the adorable Kristen Wiig). They aren’t really parental figures, more like that tragically uncool aunt and uncle who always want to be involved in your business.It is among these people that James will get his first taste of the real world. A devotee of Dickens’ travelogues because the writer visited prisons and insane asylums, the pretentious college boy is going to realize that life is one big prison and insane asylum itself–but only if you let it be. A romance with Emily has unforeseen complications, since Connell is cheating on his wife with the youngster, but so too does James find distraction in the theme park’s resident hottie, Lisa P. (Margarita Levieva). The summer world of Adventureland is like one giant pause, a period of figuring things out, of realizing that most parents don’t have a clue (actually, James’ college pal tells him that in the second scene) and it’s not because they are parents, but because no one has a clue. Least of all James.  MV5BMjIxNTE3OTQzOF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwNTU3MjU0Mg@@._V1_Most filmmakers tend to treat the 1980s as an alien world built out of kitsch and spandex, but Greg Mottola thankfully keeps that almost entirely at bay. Maybe it speaks to the reality of what he really went through, maybe it’s a reluctance to fall back on faux nostalgia, but outside of a running gag about Falco and one appearance by Ronald Reagan on a television set, there aren’t a lot of signals that this is even a period piece. Loser twentysomethings, just like loser teens, are timeless. Honestly, I was in high school in 1987, and I used to hang out with a lot of these kids.
What adds a whole new twist to Adventureland is that the smarty-pants stuff is put right up against more lowbrow funny business so they can duke it out like some kind of West Side Story for comedy styles. So, a Brian Eno reference is immediately followed by a guy peeing on a window. Vomit, nut punches, and disco dancing can actually be complementary to ivy league wordplay and nebbishy navel gazing. Hell, there is even room for a Foreigner cover band! It’s a fabulous balance–chuckle at the dry humor of Jesse Eisenberg saying things no one else understands, guffaw at Bill Hader losing his temper and going ballistic. Adventureland may not be the gutbuster some of other films were, it’s got way more of the human element. That’s because growing up and growing in love is the greatest adventure of all.