REVIEW: 3RD ROCK FROM THE SUN – SEASON 5

MAIN CAST

John Lithgow (Rise of the Planet of The Apes)
Kristen Johnston (Ugly Betty)
French Stewart (Mom)
Joseph Gordon-Levitt (The Dark Knight Rises)
Jane Curtin (The Heat)
Elmarie Wendel (Rumpelstiltskin)
Simbi Khali (Plump Fiction)
Wayne Knight (Jurassic Park)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Ian Lithgow (Rice Girl)
David DeLuise (Stargate SG.1)
Chris Hogan (Grounded For Life)
Danielle Nicolet (The Flash 2014)
Curtis Armstrong (American Dad(
Jan Hooks (Batman Returns)
Larisa Oleynik (Mike & Molly)
Kim Johnston Ulrich (Highlander: The Series)
Richard McGonagle (500 Days of Summer)
Bob Odenkirk (Breaking Bad)
Billy Connolly (The Man Who Sued God)
David Hasselhoff (Baywatch)
Emily Osment (Mom)
Ileen Getz (That 70s Show)
Ron West (Anger Management)
Genie Francis (Roswell)
Jonathan Frakes (Star Trek: TNG)
Heidi Mark  (Rock Star)
Ana Gasteyer (Mean Girls)
Lindsey McKeon (Supernatural)
William Shatner (Star Trek)
Chyna (Sabrina: TTW)
Miguel Ferrer (Robocop)
Lane Davies (Lois & Clark)
Alan Cumming (Tin Man)
Bonita Friedericy (Chuck)
Enrico Colantoni (Veronica Mars)
Olivia d’Abo (Conan The Destroyer)

3rd Rock From the Sun is one of the richest and hilarious television comedies to air. The series first aired in 1996 and lasted for a total of six seasons. The show molds science fiction into a sitcom and the results are a blast. A team of aliens from Mars take on human form in Rutherford, Ohio and integrate themselves into the local populace. Their goal is to learn everything they can about humans in a couple of days. Of course, it turns out humans are much more complex than expected and the team of aliens decide to stay a while longer. The strongest aspect of this show is its cast. They are remarkable together. Within minutes of any episode, it is apparent how well they interact and play off of each other. The show’s writing is also top notch and delivers one great joke after another. Season five is the second to last season of 3rd Rock From the Sun. In this season, some crazy things happen with the cast. First off, there are several storylines about Vicki, the Big Giant Head, and their baby.  The story makes for some great jokes and has Shatner giving an admirable performance as the Big Giant Head. There are also several stories scattered throughout the season dealing with Tommy and his relationship with Alissa. The heat between Don and Sally continues, especially when he becomes Rutherford’s lone motorcycle cop. And Harry lands himself a lady, Janice, who is Rutherford’s toughest (and hottest) female cop. The season also includes plenty of more tales with the family blowing nearly everything out of proportion. It is a fun season and should make any fan of the series laugh until it hurts.The fifth season picks up where the fourth season ended, with the final part “The Baby Menace)” in a three-part episode. If you recall in the season four finale “Dick’s Big Giant Headache (1)” and “Dick’s Big Giant Headache (2)”, William Shatner guest starred as the Big Giant Head. He came to Earth to check up on Dick, Sally, Tommy, and Harry due to their poor mission performance evaluations. While on Earth, Shatner as the Big Giant Head spiced things up for the Solomons and their Earth friends by getting drunk, revoking Dick’s command (and giving it to Sally), and impregnating Vicki. In the conclusion to this three-part story, Vicki is in labor and the Solomon’s are desperate to prevent the public from seeing the baby. They fear the baby, having an alien as the father, will not be entirely human. Fortunately for our favorite Ohioan aliens, there is nothing wrong with the baby to indicate it is of alien lineage. Unfortunately, Vicki wants to sell her story about being impregnated by aliens to the tabloids. What is great about this episode is how over-the-top the Solomon’s reaction is to something most people wouldn’t believe even if they read it in a tabloid.“Dick For Tat” is one of my favorite episodes this season. It is a great story about misconceptions and adulterous affairs. While drinking heavily and playing an adult-oriented board game, Mary reveals her last “fling” was with Strudwick, who is the professor that Dick despises. The two just don’t get along. And when he finds out he had a thing with Mary, Dick goes over-the-top with jealousy and tries to fix the matter by sleeping with Strudwick’s wife. The situation is blown out of proportion and even includes Strudwick’s daughter Alissa and Tommy. Sally also becomes enchanted by the sight of Don, who is now Rutherford’s lone motorcycle cop. Both situations turn out to be a riot. The next episode “The Fifth Solomon” is a silly episode about car accidents and insurance. It is an important life lesson Dick never had the chance to get before. The story has two interesting angles, one with Dick getting adjusted to life with a modern car with all the features and Harry and his journey into acquiring all kinds of insurance. “Dial M For Dick” is a story with a situation that I suppose anyone who did not know what was going on might react in a similar manner to the Solomon’s. When Mary invites Dick to a murder mystery weekend, he insists the entire family join them. All five gear up and head off for a weekend of fun. When they get their, Mary starts to feel under the weather and stays in the room. While Dick and the gang are in the mansion, someone gets killed. What they don’t realize is that the death was scripted and part of the murder mystery weekend. The Solomon’s get a little too serious about the killings and their overreaction to the situation turns out to be worth a few chuckles. In “Charitable Dick”, Dick goes head to head with Strudwick again. While at a charity auction, Dick bids on an ugly piece of artwork he does not want Strudwick to win. In the end, Dick ends up with a seventeen hundred dollar painter he can’t stand. It is not the season’s strongest episode, but it has a few fun moments with Dick’s ego getting the best of him.In the episode “The Loud Solomon Family: A Dickumentary”, Mary receives funding to make a documentary about the typical American family, a.k.a. the Solomon’s. As an anthropologist she has been studying the family for the last four years. Since the family does not want the truth about their alien heritage coming out, they make up all kinds of things about each other to misdirect suspicion, which include Sally is a lesbian, Harry is an alcoholic, and other antics. “Gwen, Larry, Dick & Mary” is an episode with Dick and Mary trying to branch out their social circle. Mary is tired of always spending time with Dick’s family. So, they double date with Mary’s tennis partner Gwen and her husband Larry. They all have a swell time, or at least Dick and Mary think they did. Their new friends ignore them; Mary believes it is Dick’s odd behavior keeping them away, but she’s shocked to learn it is really her. The other plotline has Tommy, Harry, and Sally doing laundry at the laundromat since their washer and dryer broke. Tommy and Harry find out the public laundry facilities are a great place to meet women and Sally becomes the laundry police!.“Dick Puts the ‘Id’ In Cupid” is an episode about teenage sex and the first time. Valentine’s Day is on the horizon and Tommy believes it would be the perfect time to consummate his relationship with Alissa. She agrees and he say he will get a nice hotel room for their first time. Tommy, however, finds out it is not her first time. Tommy becomes intimidated that he won’t be good enough. Fortunately for him, Mary’s niece Tiffany is more than willing. After losing his virginity to Tiffany, Tommy tells Alissa about it and believes everything is okay. What he didn’t realize is how she would react to his affair with Tiffany. And while the issue is fairly serious, the cast does a fine job putting in bits of humor. “The Big Giant Head Returns” sees Shatner returning to Earth as the Big Giant Head in human form Stone Philips and Vicki coming back into the Solomon’s lives. Stone wants both Vicki and the baby. Vicki, however, has no desire to be with Stone or give him the baby. To that end, Stone commands Dick to make Vicki love him or else. It is a silly story with Shatner making a royal ass of himself once again and finding true love, or so it would seem.In “Frankie Goes To Rutherford”, Dick has a lesson about homosexuality and the misconceptions of being an “alien”. Frank, a former student of Mary’s, shows up to say hello and Dick becomes insanely jealous. Dick believes there is something between the two. Frank assures Dick he is not like other guys and he tries to reveal something about himself. Dick mistaken his hints and he falls under the impression Frank is an alien. Matters are complicated when Dick tells him he is one too. The fun part is watching Frank and Dick go to a gay bar, which Dick thinks is an alien hideout. The season finale is the two-part episode “The Big Giant Head Returns Again”. Hopefully not a surprise, but Shatner makes another appearance as the Big Giant Head. He returns to Earth with his marriage to Vicki on the rocks, as the two are not getting along very well. He confides in Dick (which includes a heart-to-heart moment and some song and dance) and reveals a big secret to him. Later he demands Dick ends it with Mary after getting to know her better. Sally also comes to believe Alissa is going to break it off with Tommy and does it for him, which obviously complicates their relationship. Tommy is also selected as valedictorian and gives a speech you will probably never hear at a high school. It is a riot! Harry and Vicki resume their relationship, sort of. There are some complications like Vicki’s spouse and Harry’s new girlfriend Janice. The story is pretty fun way to close out the season, with a lot of things going on for the cast.Overall, season five sees has some big events for the cast and situations dealing with the Big Giant Head, Vicki, and their newborn baby, as well as the cast just getting mixed up into some good old fashion situations that can only happen when you have a cast of aliens pretending to be humans. As far as the quality, it is still quite good. Fans of the series should enjoy getting another twenty-two episodes of Dick, Tommy, Harry, Sally, Mary, Nina, Don, and all of the other supporting roles getting into one mixed up situation after the next.

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REVIEW: 3RD ROCK FROM THE SUN – SEASON 4

MAIN CAST

John Lithgow (Rise of the Planet of The Apes)
Kristen Johnston (ugly Betty)
French Stewart (Mom)
Joseph Gordon-Levitt (The Dark Knight Rises)
Jane Curtin (The Heat)
Elmarie Wendel (Rumpelstiltskin)
Simbi Khali (Plump Fiction)
Wayne Knight (Jurassic Park)

3rd-Rock-from-the-Sun

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Ian Lithgow (Rice Girl)
David DeLuise (Stargate SG.1)
Chris Hogan (Grounded For Life)
Danielle Nicolet (The Flash 2014)
Larry Miller (10 Things I Hate About You)
Jan Hooks (The Simpsons)
Ileen Getz (That 70s Show)
Ron West (Anger Management)
Michael Milhoan (That 70s Show)
Peter Jurasik (Babylon 5)
Erika Christensen (Swimfan)
J.P. Manoux  (Community)
Laurie Metcalf (The Big Bang Theory)
Jim Beaver (Deadwood)
Obi Ndefo (Stargate SG.1)
Larisa Oleynik (100 Girls)
Jeff Doucette (Bedazzled)
Kurtwood Smith (Robocop)
Elsa Raven (Titanic)
Jack Carter (Shameless usa)
Christine Lakin (Family Guy)
Courtney Peldon (Say It Isn’t So)
Jeanine Jackson (The Craft)
Julie Claire (Bloodline)
Jim Jansen (Liar Liar)
Marianne Muellerleile (The Terminator)
Bryan Cranston (Power Rangers)
Diane Delano (Jeepers Creepers II)
Ron Rogge (Power Rangers Lightspeed Rescue)
Richard McGonagle (500 Days of Summer)
Jake Thomas (A.I.)
Kevin Nealon (Weeds)
Anthony Tyler Quinn (Boy Meets World)
Eric Jungmann (Not Another Teen Movie)
Kathy Bates (Bad Santa 2)
Kim Johnston Ulrich (Lois & Clark)
William Shatner (Star Trek)
Aaron Paul (Breaking Bad)

23172596_2040879039477963_640705640536283652_n3rd Rock From the Sun is one of the richest and hilarious television comedies to air. The series first aired in 1996 and lasted for a total of six seasons. The show molds science fiction into a sitcom and the results are a blast. A team of aliens from Mars take on human form in Rutherford, Ohio and integrate themselves into the local populace. Their goal is to learn everything they can about humans in a couple of days. Of course, it turns out humans are much more complex than expected and the team of aliens decide to stay a while longer. The strongest aspect of this show is its cast. They are remarkable together. Within minutes of any episode, it is apparent how well they interact and play off of each other. ANA_Real_Women_have_curves_2002a_DVDrip_by_GalmuIn the closing of season three, Harry was kidnapped by Vicki’s enraged ex-boyfriend (played by Phil Hartman). In the aftermath “Dr. Solomon’s Traveling Alien Show”, the Solomon family is saddened by their loss and determined to find Harry again. And of all places, they find Harry in a county fair as the alien freak show. It is a fun way to begin the season with the cast acting as goofy as ever. In the following episode “Power Mad Dick”, Mary is promoted to the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. Dick believes Mary’s promotion is his promotion. He takes it upon himself to act with full power and privileges as dean. Dick misuses his newfound power to fire employees he doesn’t like, give raises, and authorize other such things he probably shouldn’t have. Of course, it blows up in his face when Mary cuts him off. This leads to his arch-rival in the cafeteria becoming Mary’s secretary. Another fun part about this episode is that Sally decides to lose her virginity to Don. While the act is not so funny in itself, how the cast reacts to the decision is. Dick, Tommy, and Harry treat the event like a birthday.1280x720-1pPIn the episode “Feelin’ Albright” the realization of Mary’s new position kicks in for Dick when he is referred to as Mrs. Albright, which is of course a damaging thrust to his ego. Sally also realizes Don had previous relationships and like a jealous girlfriend, she tracks them all down. In the episodes “What’s Love Got To, Got To Do With Dick?”, “I Am Dick Pentameter!”, and “DIII: Judgment Day” Laurie Metcalf guest stars as Dr. Jennifer Ravelli. Metcalf temporarily joins the cast as a new officemate and love interest for Dick. Mary’s new duties have kept her busy and Dick finds himself in the middle of a new relationship that takes a turn for the worse. Metcalf gives a riotous performance and is a blast to see across Lithgow.1280x720-6VN“Two-Faced Dick” is a chance for both Lithgow and Johnston to try different roles, each other’s. In this episode, the Big Giant Head grants a request Sally made three years ago to be given a man’s body. She didn’t want to be the woman on the mission, but after three years, she has grown to like being the woman. Unfortunately, the Big Giant Head grants the request and does it by switching Dick and Sally’s bodies. This mucks up their lives as they are forced to try to pretend to be each other. Both Lithgow and Johnston give some tremendous performances playing each other in terms of dialogue delivery, physical comedy, and other little quirks that make them so darn funny.84380The next episode “Dick Solomon of the Indiana Solomons” is a great episode. Dick is mistaken for someone else and receives an invitation to a family reunion. No one has seen “Richard” since he was a baby, so Dick believes the Ohio Solomons will fit in perfectly. And it turns out, they do. The fun from this episode comes from everyone trying to fit in and having no problem. “Sally Forth” is an episode about relationships. Don proposes to Sally and it doesn’t end with a happy note. Vicki also returns to date Harry once again. In “Paranoid Dick” Mary loses her job as the dean after listening to one of Dick’s crazed ideas. The other side of the episode has Sally recovering from her breakup with Don. Vicki takes her out for a girl’s night.cp5“The House That Dick Built” has a bunch of big and fun changes for the cast. After an odd dream, Vicki decides she and Harry should have a baby together. Sally also decides she should move out and takes a room above the garage. Dick reacts in a bad way because he feels like everyone is leaving him. In “Dick ‘The Mouth’ Solomon” the two happy couples of the season, Dick and Mary and Harry and Vicki go on a couples’ retreat to learn to communicate better. Of course, Dick being Dick and Harry being Harry, it never turns out quite right. “Dick v Strudwick” puts Dick against a new rival, who happens to be Tommy’s new girlfriend’s father. It ends with the two duking it out on live television. The two-part season finale “Dick’s Giant Headache” is a great way to finish the season. In this two-part episode, the mission gets a poor evaluation from the Big Giant Head. Dick is revoked of command and Sally is made high commander. William Shatner guest stars as the Big Giant Head, who is even more bizarre and wacko than Dick, Harry, Tommy, and Sally combined. It is a fun way to end the season with a few goofy surprises.dick1Overall this season was a lot of fun. Like past seasons, the cast gives great performances in their respective roles. The delivery of dialogue and physical comedy all add up to some hilarious fun. The stories in this season were especially riotous with some great tales about Dick, Sally, Harry, and Tommy get into a lot of crazy situations. If you have enjoyed past seasons, then season four should be a blast.

 

REVIEW: BATMAN VS. TWO-FACE

CAST (VOICES)

Adam West (Family Guy)
Burt Ward (Futurama)
William Shatner (Star Trek: TOS)
Julie Newmar (Return To The Batcave)
Steven Weber (2 Broke Girls)
Jim Ward (Ultimate Avengers)
Thomas Lennon (17 Again)
Lynne Marie Stewart (Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure)
Jeff Bergman (The Cleveland Show)
Wally Wingert (The Ant Bully)
William Salyers (Pandora’s Clock)
Sirena Irwin (Justice League: Throne of Atlantis)
Maurice LaMarche (Futurama)
Lee Meriwether (The Munsters Today)

Batman and Robin are invited to a top-secret demonstration hosted by Professor Hugo Strange and his assistant Dr. Harleen Quinzel, that may eventually change the future of Gotham forever. Along the way, Batman takes a stop at Gotham State Penitentiary to visit Catwoman (whose suicide attempt from the first movie somehow failed) to give her a book on poetry by Elizabeth Barret Browning; something to keep her occupied for the next 36 months of her life until she is let out of prison for good. At the laboratory, they meet district attorney and Bruce Wayne’s ally in the war against crime, Harvey Dent, who is famous for having stopped a coin counterfeit, keeping a two faced quarter as a souvenir from the case.Batman-vs-Two-Face-previewHugo Strange believes that good and evil are all but one-sided and has created an “Evil Extractor” to which the volunteering criminals, Joker, Penguin, Riddler, Egghead and Mr. Freeze, will be purified of their corruption. Batman bluffs it off, saying that there are no easy fixes to the straight and narrow path, but Strange conducts his experiment anyway, despite the fact that it will make the jobs of Batman, Robin and Harvey obsolete. All goes well until the Joker entices his compadres to overload the machine. Noticing this, Professor Strange orders Dr. Quinzel to shut it down…but is too late, and Harvey (as opposed to acid from the comic book mythos) is horribly scarred by the explosion of the containment vat, with Batman being successful in saving the right side of his face.2Harvey, now re-christened Two Face, goes on a crime spree as seen in the opening credits, all of which his attempts are foiled by the Dynamic Duo. He is eventually whisked to a hospital where his face has been given reconstructive surgery. His sanity has apparently been restored as well. Now returning to his old job (as the assistant to the assistant district attorney), Harvey spends the next six months in charge of his own fate, but at the same time, King Tut and his henchmen have been robbing an biplane while at Wayne Manor, Aunt Harriet is getting ready for a soiree in Bruce and Dick’s place while they investigate the crime as Batman and Robin. After implying comparisons between King Tut and Two Face, Batman and Robin return to the Batcave where they realize that a double decker bus company are planning to hold the millionaires, including Alfred and Aunt Harriet, hostage. They arrive on the bus via Batmobile and fight Tut and the Tutlings while Alfred escorts the patrons to safety. Unfortunately, the Dynamic Duo are subdued by a pair of twin snakes with knockout venom.4In an urn trap as seen in King Tut’s debut episode, Batman and Robin are to be entombed in the foundations of the Pyramid Towers that are soon to be erected above the digging spot where they are trapped. Cement pours over them and when it appears as though they are doomed, they press the back of their soles against the sides of the jars, triggering the Batjets. They fly to confront King Tut in one final battle and a brick restores his memory. As they take him away, a pair of twins seize the jewels that were stolen by the Tutlings. Batman, Robin, Commissioner Gordon and Chief O’Hara interrogate King Tut as Harvey waits in the shadows, with O’Hara constantly hitting Tut on the head with his baton. Lucille Diamond, the king’s defendant, intervenes and ushers them out of the room so that she can speak to him. At Tut’s trial, she implicates that the concussion is nothing more than a threat to a mild-mannered man. Chief O’Hara tearfully confesses to hitting Tut and Harvey calls Batman as his next witness, but Professor Mackel Roy himself admits his guilt, ready to suffer the minimum penalty of being rehabilitated in prison. After the sentencing, Harvey shares a highball with Bruce Wayne, much to Dick’s annoyance at bearing the hardships of a third wheel.3Harvey is then due to a attend a charity for underprivileged twins at the Winning Pair casino just as Bruce and Dick resume their identities as Batman and Robin once more. A package has arrived at Commissioner Gordon’s office, a World Atlas book marked for Batman…with its pages eaten away in three holes. Robin surmises the culprit to be Bookworm and the duo race off in the Batmobile to find him at the Gotham City Library where a fight ensues and the three priceless books that Bookworm had his eyes on have disappeared. Batman and Robin deduce that the stolen books were all about duality, but Two Face has already been reformed and try to find another way behind it. Regardless, they head to an abandoned sign factory with Two Face and the twins waiting for them. After defeating the twins, Two Face pins them with a large number two and the flip of his coin landing on the right side spares their lives. Once they have left, Batman believes that Harvey has made a lot of enemies in his career and they are all out to destroy it. Harvey, meanwhile is having some problems of his own after he makes a phone call to… Two Face, who kidnaps Professor Strange as part of their scheme.004a2326Robin is punished to his room by Batman after nearly getting into a row about Harvey’s involvement in Two Face’s plans and Catwoman, who by now has been stood up, escapes the pen by switching places with Lucilee Diamond. Following Harvey to the laboratory, Robin is ambushed by Two Face and Professor Strange corrupts him with the same gas of the extractor that mutates the left side of his body. Batman is forced to fight his beloved sidekick and cures him back at the Batcave, following Two Face to the casino where he is in fact revealed to be Dent, having suppressed his bad side (á la Dr Jekyll and Mr. Hyde). Once the Dynamic Duo are strapped to a large silver dollar, he unmasks Batman and deduces Robin’s true identity, then Two Face invites the Joker, Penguin, Riddler, Mr. Freeze, Egghead, Shame, Clock King and Catwoman to an auction for the highest bidder of Batman’s true identity. With Catwoman’s help, Batman and Robin defeat the villains, but Two Face gets away on the biplane stolen by King Tut, intending to use the evil gas to remake Gotham City in his image. The Dynamic Duo manage to shoot him down towards a flaming factory where Batman goes one on one with Two Face having completely taking over Harvey’s body. In a battle of wits, Batman urges Harvey to regain self control and he does, defeating Two Face for good as they escape the factory.batman-vs-two-face-trailerThe next morning, Batman and Robin use the Batwing to cure the infected Gothamites and return that night to Wayne Manor where Harvey holds an auction for a bachelor party. Batman appears before everyone, and to his delight, ends up having the first person to bid for him being none other than Catwoman. In the post credits there is a memoriam for Adam West, who portrayed Batman. It also stated “Rest Well, Bright Knight”.1In the hearts of some, maybe even all, Batman fans, Adam West will always hold a cherished place. Batman Vs. Two-Face doesn’t satirize like its predecessor, but fully embraces the original series’ campiness, with one concession: the inclusion of a villain considered too dark and gritty for the series at the time. According to legend, Clint Eastwood was all set to take on the role of Two-Face before studio execs thought he’d scare off young viewers and put the kibosh on it. Always leave ’em wanting more. It’s sad for me to think of what might have been. If only someone had the brilliant idea of bringing Adam West and Burt Ward in to revisit the classic series in animated form earlier, we may have been able to witness the two squaring off against Poison Ivy or Scarecrow or Harley Quinn. But, as it is, this is as good of a send off as our Bright Knight could ever have asked for.

REVIEW: FUTURAMA – SEASON 1-4

MAIN CAST

Billy West (Duck Dodgers)
Katey Segal (8 Simple Rules)
John DiMaggio (TMNT)
Maurice LaMarche (Freakazoid)
Lauren Tom (Bad Santa)
Phil LaMarr (Free Enterprise)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

David Herman (Angel)
Frank Welker (Transformers)
Tom Kenny (Spongebob)
Tress MacNeille (The Simpsons)
Nancy Cartwright (The Simpsons)
Dawnn Lewis (Dreamgirls)
Pamela Anderson (Baywatch)
John Goodman (10 Cloverfield Lane)
Nora Dunn (New Girl)
Kath Soucie (Rugrats)
Parker Posey (Superman Returns)
Stephen Hawking (The Big Bang Theory_
Nichelle Nichols (Star Trek)
Sarah Silverman (School of Rock)
Bea Arthur (The Golden Girls)
Jan Hooks (3rd Rock From The Sun)
Hank Azaria (The Simpsons)
Lucy Liu (Kill Bill)
Coolio (Batman and Robin)
Sigourney Weaver (Alien)
William Shatmer (Batman vs Two-Face)
Leonard Nimoy (Star Trek)
Walter Koenig (Babylon 5)
George Takei (Heroes)
Jonathan Frakes (Star Trek: TNG)
Bumper Robinson (Sabrina: TTW)
Roseanne Barr (Roseanne)
Dan Castellaneta (The Simpsons)

Futurama is Matt Groening’s superb follow-up to The Simpsons, a cartoon that reinvented the genre. Futurama follows the very silly exploits of Fry, an intergalactic delivery boy and his human, alien, robot and other assorted weirdo friends, as they make deliverys, jump dimensions, get beaten at atomic-mutant basketball, blow up planets, have snoo-snoo, start wars, meet Al Gore and have problems tuning the television in in their new apartment.On first glance, this series bears striking similarities to its predecessor. The animation is of the same simple yet effective style (only with more 3D modelling) and the humour is in the same vein of ironic, post-modern tomfoolery.  Futurama has the same high standard of sophisticated and low-brow humour; (numerous) references to Richard Nixon and the dense symbolism of Melville’s Moby Dick sit alongside Fantastic Voyage journeys up a main character’s arse.Perhaps a major difference, that might have no importance overall, is that whereas The Simpsons is populated by either children or adults, Futurama mostly focuses on those in between those age groups. Standout characters include Zapp Brannigan, a Shatnerian, pompous buffoon, who sees himself as an intergalactic alien-killing, velour-adoring, love-making machine and Calculon, a thespian-bot whose overly dramatic pronouncements are distinctly at odds with his career in the robot soap opera `All My Circuits.’To conclude, if you enjoyed The Simpsons (but think it’s not as good as it used to be), then you will love (all four glorious series – all hail!) of Futurama. An unimaginative reviewer might write that Futurama is to The Jetsons what The Simpsons is to The Flintstones, so I’ve written it, which won’t help you to appreciate just how great Futurama is. From the fabulous retro-futurist robot designs to the scuzzy New New York labourer who deliberately ruins the veneer of `the future’ with his string vest and pot-belly, Futurama consistently hits the mark.

REVIEW: AMERICAN PSYCHO 2

CAST

Mila Kunis (BLack Swan)
William Shatner (Free Enterprise)
Kim Schraner (Saw 7)
Geraint Wyn Davies (Forever Knight)
Robin Dunne (Sanctuary)
Kim Poirier (Dawn of The Dead)
Lindy Booth (Odyssey 5)

The film starts with a 12-year-old girl whose babysitter is on a date with serial killer Patrick Bateman. After Bateman kills and starts to dissect her babysitter, the girl stabs him with an ice pick. Fast forward to the present day and the girl, who is named Rachael Newman, is now a college student studying criminology under Professor Starkman, a former FBI agent. Rachael aspires to join the FBI and is determined to get the teaching assistant position under Starkman, which would make her a shoo-in for the FBI training program.Tough competition for the position stands in her way, and Rachael proceeds to kill off classmates one by one. During her killing spree, she decides to see the school psychiatrist, Dr. Eric Daniels. Realizing that Rachael is a textbook sociopath, Daniels tries to warn Starkman, who mistakenly thinks the psycho student is Cassandra Blaire, with whom he had an extramarital affair. When Cassandra reveals that her affair with Professor Starkman has guaranteed her the TA position, Rachael decides to murder her as well. After she does so, Professor Starkman discovers Cassandra’s body and calls Daniels to tell him that “she’s dead”. But he does not identify the victim, and Daniels assumes it must be Rachael. Distraught, Professor Starkman leaves his teaching position, which angers the obsessed Rachael. She reveals that she is not Rachael Newman; she killed the real Rachael at the beginning of the semester and assumed her identity.During spring break, Rachael stays on campus and confronts Starkman, who had taken Valium and alcohol, and tries to seduce him to get the job. However, Starkman sees she is wearing a dress and necklace he had given to Cassandra. She then confesses her crimes to him, her “crush” on him, and that she knew about his affairs with various women (which included her former babysitter, whom he indirectly killed, since he had told her about Bateman and she decided to track him down), as he backs up towards the window in a state of confusion and fear. Rachael blows him a kiss, and he falls out the window to his death. As she leaves, Rachael realizes a janitor has witnessed Starkman’s death, and she murders the janitor, too. Driving away from campus with Starkman in her car, Rachael is stopped by campus security, whom she stabs to death with an ice pick.As the film reaches its conclusion, Daniels and two cops pursue Rachael in a car chase, started when she sped by the cops who had Daniels in the car. It ends with Rachael driving off a cliff, resulting in the car exploding. At this point, she is presumed to be dead by the cops who witnessed the event and the media. Two years later, Dr. Daniels is giving a lecture on Rachael’s mind and how he wrote a book about her. When he looks up from speaking with a student, he sees Rachael, who has not died after all; she indirectly reveals that she killed Starkman’s last assistant, Elizabeth McGuire, and stole her identity to get into Quantico. She allows Dr. Daniels to know because she believes there is no point in committing the perfect crime if no one knows about it and that she is proud of his success. The body that was in the car was the real Rachael. As she walks out of his class, Dr. Daniels is obviously disturbed and rattled.A very poor sequel that didn’t do any justice to the original… more like a comedy, and even that did not work

REVIEW: AIRPLANE II: THE SEQUEL

CAST

Robert Hays (Cat’s Eye)
Lloyd Bridges (Hot Shots!)
Peter Graves (Mission: Impissible)
Chad Everett (Mulholland Drive)
Rip Torn (Men In Black)
John Dehner (The Green Glove)
Chuck Connors (Target Zero)
Stephen Stucker (Trading Places)
Kent McCord (Galactica 1980)
Laurene Landon (Maniac Cop)
Sonny Bono (Troll)
William Shatner (Star Trek)
Raymond Burr (Perry Mason)
John Vernon (Animal House)
Frank Ashmore (V)
Sandahl Bergman (Conan The Barbarian)

In the near future, the Moon has been colonized and supports a station on its surface. A lunar shuttle known as Mayflower One is being rushed to launch from Houston. The head of the ground crew, The Sarge (Chuck Connors), does not like what is occurring, but he defers to the airline’s management.On the flight crew are Captain Clarence Oveur (Peter Graves), navigator/co-pilot Unger (Kent McCord) and first officer/flight engineer Dunn (James A. Watson, Jr.). Also on board is computer officer Elaine Dickinson (Julie Hagerty). Elaine has long left Ted Striker (Robert Hays) and is now engaged to one of the flight crew, Simon Kurtz (Chad Everett). Striker has in the meantime been committed to an insane asylum, as he was declared mentally incompetent in a lawsuit following a test flight that Ted piloted and in which the lunar shuttle crashed. Striker believes that the lawsuit was used to silence him, because he knew there were problems with the lunar shuttle that made it unsafe, and he is once more haunted by his actions in “The War” – causing a relapse of his “drinking problem”, specifically the events that took place over “Macho Grande”, where he lost his entire squadron. When Striker reads of the upcoming lunar shuttle launch, he escapes the asylum and buys a ticket for the flight.During the flight, Mayflower One suffers a short circuit, causing the artificially intelligent computer ROK to go insane and send the ship toward the Sun. Unger and Dunn try to deactivate the computer, but are blown out of an airlock. Oveur tries to stop ROK, but the computer gasses him. Kurtz abandons Elaine and leaves in the only escape pod. Once again, Striker is called upon to save the day, but first he has to figure out how to make the computer relinquish control. Steve McCroskey (Lloyd Bridges), the air traffic controller, reveals that a passenger named Joe Seluchi (Sonny Bono) had boarded Mayflower One with a bomb in a briefcase, intending to commit suicide so that his wife can collect on insurance money. Striker manages to wrestle the bomb from Seluchi and uses it to blow up ROK and set course for the Moon as originally intended.Using the bomb to destroy the computer causes collateral damage to the shuttle, meaning the flight is not out of danger yet. On the way to the Moon, control of the flight is shifted to a lunar base, commanded by Commander Buck Murdock (William Shatner). He has a high level of contempt for Striker because of Macho Grande, but agrees to help anyway. They manage to land the craft on the Moon. Ted and Elaine fall back in love and are married at the end. After the wedding, Seluchi looks into the cockpit and asks for his briefcase back. A postcredit scene shows a screen that says “Coming From Paramount Pictures: “Airplane III”. Murdock is then seen saying “That’s exactly what they’ll be expecting us to do!”Aiplane 2 is inferior to its predecessor in every way, but if you enjoyed the first film, you’ll be entertained by the sequel (Just not quite as much)

REVIEW: POLICE SQUAD

CAST

Leslie Nielsen (Airplane)
Alan North (Highlander)
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RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Lorne Green (Battlestar Galactica)
Barbara Tarbuck (walking Tall)
Marvin Miller (The Millionaire)
David Schwimmer (Friends)
Tony Sirco (Family Guy)
Kathryn Leigh Scott (House of Dark Shadows)
Robet Goulet (Two Guys and a Girl)
K Callan (Lois & Clark)
Joyce Brothers (Embryo)
Georg Stanford Brown (Roots)
Grand L. Bush (Die Hard)
Cathy Murphy (The House of Eliott)
William Shatner (Star Trek)
Florence Henderson (The Brady Bunch)
William Conrad (The Fugitive)

32323232The creative team that brought us Police Squad – and the Naked Gun derived from it – said in interview that they were told by their network contact that the show would be canceled, after their delivery of the first episode. Basically, the show was never given any chance. Typical Hollywood. The contact apparently told the team that the problem with the show was that, for the show to be funny, the viewer would actually need to watch it; most shows are presented on TV with the understanding that the viewer needed to get up and miss a few minutes while getting food, or going to the toilet, etc. The humor of the show is extremely dry (it uses no laugh-track), and the universe the characters inhabit is one in which anything can happen, regardless of logic, as long as it was totally unbelievable; so, for instance in one episode a surgeon has to bribe an informant on the street in order to get a tip on heart surgery.
960Those familiar with the Naked Gun films should be warned that there are a number of interesting disjunctions between the show and the films. In the films, Nielsen developed a particular “take” approach – that is, eyes widened when confronted with the unexpected. This doesn’t happen in the show, where Nielsen’s Drebin is the center around which the rest of the universe revolves – nothing is unexpected to him. The show takes certain risks that the films avoid; in the first episode, Drebin, to “re-enact the crime”, has a squad of homicide detectives shoot each other from a number of different angles – ballistics the hard way. This is actually a risky bit of humor, since we need to accept that it’s perfectly normal for policemen to kill each other while investigating a crime, for no other reason than experimentation. This sort of thing rarely happens in the films. Taken individually, each of the episodes is actually funnier than any one of the Naked Gun films, since they are both more compact (more happens in a shorter time-frame), yet more leisurely paced (there’s not the rush for a punch-line as sometimes happens in the films).a4a636377f325d1ebc01de3d025a1045Of course, there’s no doubt that Naked Gun  is one of the great comedies of theatrical cinema. And if you watch the TV show episode after episode in one sitting, the dry quality of the humor might wear away one’s tolerance. None the less, it would be useful to have a DVD of this, and watch an episode a day for a few weeks – If laughter has, as some claim, medicinal value, watching this show is good for one’s health.