12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS REVIEW: XENA: WARRIOR PRINCESS – A SOLSTICE CAROL

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A SOLSTICE CAROL
MAIN CAST
Lucy Lawless (Ash vs Evil Dead)
Renee O’Conner (Boogeyman 2)
GUEST CAST
Joe Berryman (Paul)
Peter Vere-Jones (The Hobbit)
Xena and Gabrielle arrive in the kingdom of King Silvas full of festive Winter Solstice spirit, but quickly fall prey to the cunning young pickpocket Lynal, who steals Xena’s chakram when he thinks she’s not looking. Curious about the boy, the warrior princess and Gabrielle follow him to an orphanage where they find a group of clean but threadbare children in the care of a wonderful matronly woman, Melana. There, perched on top of a partially decorated pine tree, is Xena’s chakram, adorned with colorful ribbons. All are shocked by the sudden arrival of the King’s clerk Senticles, who bursts into the orphanage to proclaim that its residents will be evicted at midnight for failure to pay the huge taxes demanded by the King. Seeing the holiday decorations in the room, one of Senticles’ guards calls for the immediate arrest of Melana and her charges for violating the King’s ban on celebrating the Winter Solstice.
Grabbing her chakram, Xena leaps into action and manages to tie the guards up to prevent the arrest. Upon questioning Senticles, Xena is amazed to learn that the notoriously hardhearted King Silvas outlawed the annual celebrations some 30 years before, after losing his wife, Queen Analia, one Solstice Eve. She and Gabrielle also discover that Senticles, a fundamentally timid and good-hearted soul, was formerly a toymaker of some renown, who was stripped of his profession by the embittered King. Gabrielle becomes determined to show the King the error of his ways and comes up with an elaborate plan, enlisting the help of Xena, Senticles and a donkey named Tobias, whom she rescues from the tannery. That night, Xena steals into the King’s bedchamber and gives the startled ruler an ominous warning about shutting down the orphanage. Fleeing just ahead of the guards, she discovers a secret chamber exquisitely decked out to celebrate the Winter Soltice, but covered with 30 years of dust and cobwebs. On one wall hangs a wedding portrait of the King and his young bride, Queen Analia, wearing a beautiful pendant. Later that night, Xena steals into the King’s room again, disguised as Clotho, the first of the Fates whose province is the past. She frightens Silvas into following her to the secret Solstice room where Gabrielle, veiled and costumed to look like the young Queen Analia, is suspended by a rope and appears to be a ghost floating in mid-air. Her disguise is almost blown when the donkey Tobias, who is holding her aloft, hears a distant whistle and lets the rope go slack. Xena, however, manages to distract the King by giving him a goblet of drugged wine, allowing Gabrielle time to recover her disguise and warn Silvas that he must reject his narrow and greedy path before it’s too late. The King soon succumbs to the sleeping potion in the wine and passes out. Xena and Gabrielle express confusion over Silvas’s assertion that Analia walked out on him, as opposed to having died years before. Some time later, Xena revisits the King, this time disguised as Lachesis, the second of the Fates whose province is the present. She wakes Silvas, forces him to dress as a commoner and takes him to the orphanage so he can see the results of his cruelty. Posing as weary travelers, the two are warmly welcomed by Lynal and the other children and invited to share in their Solstice celebration.
Meanwhile, Gabrielle and Senticles are on their way to the orphanage to deliver a bag full of toys Senticles has kept hidden for years when they spot a group of soldiers about to kick in the orphanage door. Xena springs into action when the soldiers threaten her and their king-in-disguise with arrest, but the strain is too much for Silvas and he soon passes out. As Xena and Melana tend to him, Xena notices that Melana is wearing the distinctive jeweled pendant she saw on Queen Analia in the castle wedding portrait. The warrior princess returns to the thick of battle and together with Gabrielle, Senticles, Lynal and the children, uses Senticles’ many toys as makeshift weapons to defeat the guards. When King Silvas awakens and sees the hooded figure of Melana, he assumes she is Atropos, the Fate of the future. Terrified that he is facing imminent death, the King vows that he can and will change his ways and joins the battle on the side of the children. When the guards are finally vanquished, Silvas is shocked to discover that the hooded figure is, in fact, his precious wife Analia, who has been running the orphanage since she walked out on him 30 years before. Leaving the king and queen happy for the first time in decades, Xena and Gabrielle depart and later on the road they meet a man and woman traveling, with a baby. Gabrielle gives them the donkey. The woman tells her, “May God smile on you always for your kindness.” Xena then gives Gabrielle a Solstice present: it is the carved sheep like the one Gabrielle had as a child. “I don’t have a gift for you,” Gabrielle says as she thanks Xena. “Gabrielle, you are a gift to me,” Xena tells her.
A strange but classic Xena, it has that Christmas feel without mentioning the word, plus little nod to baby Jesus at the end of the episode is great. It’s good to watch this back to back with the Hercules Xmas Special as it has a few tiny  threads that can connect.
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31 DAYS OF HORROR REVIEW: XENA: WARRIOR PRINCESS – GIRLS JUST WANNA HAVE FUN

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MAIN CAST

Lucy Lawless Spartacus)
Renee O’Connor (Boogeyman 2)
Image result for xena warrior princess girls just wanna have fun
GUEST CAST

Ted Raimi (Ash vs Evil Dead)
Matthew Chamberlain (King Kong)
Anthony Ray Parker (The Matrix)

 The episode opens with Xena and Gabrielle running into Joxer, who has a package for Xena. It contains the talking head of Orpheus. Orpheus’s head informs Xena that Bacchus has decapitated him, and that he must be stopped. They arrive at a nearby town, and Gabrielle goes to a party and dances with a group of Bacchus’s bacchae: female vampires created by Bacchus. Meanwhile, Xena defeats two bacchae. Elsewhere, Bacchus plots to turn Xena into an eternal Bacchae.
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The next day the protagonists go to the cemetery next to Bacchus’s catacombs to collect dryad bones. These bones are the only thing capable of piercing a bacchae’s heart and killing them. Xena kills one of the skeletal, winged dryads and procures a sharp bone. Gabrielle then turns into a bacchae; she had been bitten the previous day at the party. Gabrielle escapes into the catacombs and the group gives chase. They find Gabrielle, Bacchus, and a large group of bacchae in the middle of a ceremony. Gabrielle is about to drink Bacchus’s blood from a cup and become a permanent bacchae, but Xena knocks the cup to the ground with her chakram. A fight ensues and Xena attempts to kill Bacchus, but he informs her that only a bacchae can kill him. Xena lets Gabrielle bite her, becoming a bacchae, and then kills Bacchus, after which all of Bacchus’ bacchae servants, as well as Xena and Gabrielle regain their humanity.
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I felt that the episode was innovative and strange and that several aspects were notable including: Orpheus’s head being paraded around on a scarecrows body; the use of a techno soundtrack; and Gabrielle being seduced by the Bacchae. An all around classic.

REVIEW: HERCULES & XENA: THE ANIMATED MOVIE: THE BATTLE FOR MOUNT OLYMPUS

 

MAIN CAST

Lucy Lawless (Ash Vs Evil Dead)
Kevin Sorbo (Julia X)
Renee O’ Connor (Boogeyman 2)
Michael Hurst (Bitch Slap)
Kevin Smith (Jubilee)
Alexandra Tydings (Sunchaser)
Josephine Davison (Power Rangers SPD)
Alison Wall (Funny Business)
Ted Raimi (Spider-Man)Hercules and Xena – The Animated Movie: The Battle for Mount Olympus movie scenes Hercules and Xena The Animated Movie The Battle for Mount Olympus 1998 an awesome animated movie If you like Hercules and Xena and the TV series

Sam Raimi’s Hercules: The Legendary Journeys  and Xena: Warrior Princess  of the same year has left fond memories for many small screen audiences. Kevin Sorbo had a way of being a very macho convincing Hercules, while Lucy Lawless gave a kick-ass performence. Both series combined action, wit, likable characters and story lines that reeled in fans. Interestingly enough, some people aren’t familiar that Universal Studios released an animated cartoon feature of these two famous characters. And compared to many other animated features that have been released, it does have its flaws but it still is fun.

The title, (although a mouthful) explains itself. Xena and Hercules will battle for Mount Olympus. Simple as that. The four elemental titans attack the Immortal Gods and its up to Earth’s mightiest heroes to fend them off. However, what differs is that John Loy (the writer) was smart and stuck to Sam Raimi’s story line where Hera (Hercules’ immortal step-mother) is the one who unleashes the titans. Thankfully, along with the writing, the actors who play the characters in the live-action series came back to voice their cartoon counterparts as well. The last couple of parts that help make the watching experience enjoyable were the action and music. The title doesn’t lie, there is plenty of battle moments in this movie. And for a PG film, it has some tense moments. Either way that’s effective. And since this is a Raimi production, composer Joseph LoDuca should be expected to be on board – which he was and his score is effective for each scene.

Some viewers may not appreciate the animation. At points it can look choppy even though the action scenes are exceptionally good. The main characters are drawn appropriately but it also seems like that’s the only other place all the effort that was put into. Everything else from the background pieces to the minor characters weren’t given much attention. Some characters from head to toe are one full color. That can come off as cheap and lazy. The dimensions of this world are very flat and too squared off in some areas. Along with that are some very strange flaws in continuity. It’s not always obvious, but when noticed, it is baffling. It really depends on the opinion of the viewer and what you’re interested in seeing. For the most part, fans of the Hercules and Xena TV series should enjoy this animated feature. It’s animation certainly isn’t as polished like Disney’s but the voice cast makes it work along with some fun action and music.

REVIEW: XENA: WARRIOR PRINCESS – FINALE: THE DIRECTORS CUT

 

MAIN CAST

Lucy Lawless (Ash Vs Evil Dead)
Renee O’ Connor (Boogeyman 2)

Xena: Warrior Princess images Xena - A Friend in Need (Season 6) HD wallpaper and background photos

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Michelle Ang (Triple 9)

Xena: Warrior Princess ran for a total of 134 episodes before concluding its sixth season in June of 2001. The series finale was a two-parter titled Friend in Need and is presented on this DVD uncut from the original broadcast showing. The series starred Lucy Lawless as Xena and Renee O’Conner as Gabrielle; Robert Tapert directed these final episodes.

When Xena receives a message from Akemi summoning her to Japan, both she and Gabrielle depart at once. On the voyage there, Xena tells Gabrielle about Akemi, a long-lost and dead soul mate. Akemi had tricked Xena into helping slay her evil father, Yodoshi, and in the process, helped her discover love. However, Yodoshi has returned and now threatens to destroy Higuchi, the city of his family’s burial grounds. Xena and Gabrielle arrive in time to prevent the village’s utter destruction, but afterwards learn a terrible secret from Xena’s past. To redeem herself from her past sins, Xena must slay Yodoshi in her greatest and final battle.

The finale does a decent job of tying up the series and even explains how Xena got the scar on her chest. The finale was well paced, always engaging, and had some terrific action scenes.   with Xena remaining with Gabrielle as a ghost so the two can still share adventures.


Friend in Need, Xena’s two-part series finale, is worth watching for fans of the long-running series,  to see how it ultimately ended.

REVIEW: XENA: WARRIOR PRINCESS – SEASON 1-6

Logo Xena Warrior Princess by XENA-96

MAIN CAST

Lucy Lawless (Ash Vs Evil Dead)
Renee O’ Connor (Boogeyman 2)

NBC Says The XENA: WARRIOR PRINCESS Reboot is Happening

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Jay Laga’ala (Home and Away)
Darien Takle (The Ugly)
Stephen Hall (Get Ace)
Willa O’Neill (The Price of Milk)
Jeffrey Thomas (The Hobbit)
Nathaniel Lees (Power Rangers Jungle Fury)
Bruce Hopkins (Power Rangers Ninja Storm)
Simon Prast (Filthy rich)
Latham Gaines (Power Rangers Dino Thunder)
Paul Norell (Power Rangers SPD)
Bobby Hosea (Independance Day)
Stephen Tozer (Young Hercules)
Iain Rea (Shortland Street)
Kevin Smith (Jubilee)
Kevin Sorbo (Julia X)
Michael Hurst (Bitch Slap)
Christopher Graham (Power Rangers Mystic Force)
Kieren Hutchison (Cleopatra 2525)
Erik Thomson (All Saints)
Danielle Cormack (Wentworth Prison)
Alison Bruce (Young Hercules)
Mark Ferguson (Power Rangers Mystic force)
Kevin J. Wilson (Pictures)
Galyn Gorg (Robocop 2)
Scott Garrison (Swamp Thing: The Series)
Cameron Rhodes (Deathgasm)
Dean O’ Gorman (The Hobbit)
David Weatherley (Power Rangers Operation Overdrive)
Peter Daube (Traffic Island)
Jeremy Roberts (The Mask)
Jason Hoyte (Power Rangers RPM)
Bruce Campbell (The Evil Dead)
Tim Thomerson (Trancers)
Karl Urban (Red)
Tom Atkins (Halloween 3)
Peter McCauley (The Locals)
Robert Trebor (Universal Soldier)
Ted Raimi (Ash Vs Evil Dead)
Hudson Leick (Tru Calling)
David Taylor (Rain)
Mark Ferguson (Power Rangers Operation Overdrive)
Paul Gittins (Power Rangers Jungle Fury)
Todd Rippon (King Kong)
Antony Starr (Outrageous Fortune)
Anthony Ray Parker (The Matrix)
Peter Vere-Jones (Bad Taste)
Simone Kessell (San andreas)
John Sumner (Power Rangers Dino Charge)
Melinda Clarke (Gotham)
Murray Keane (Power Rangers RPM)
Alison Wall (Funny Business)
Craig Parker (Reign)
Alexandra Tydings (Suncahser)
Craig Walsh-Wrightson (Spartacus)
Jeremy Callaghan (The Great Raid)
John D’Aquino (3rd rock from The Sun)
Rachel Blakely (The Lost World)
Charles mesure (V)
Tony Todd (Chuck)
George Henare (The Dead Lands)
Marton Csokas (XXX)
Meighan Desmond (When Love Comes)
Jennifer Ward-Lealand (Full Frontal)
Grant McFarland (Power Rangers Ninja Storm)
Jacquelien Kim (Star Trek: Generations)
Daniel Sing (A Soldier’s Sweetheart)
Gina Torres (Firefly)
Megan Nicol (Power Rangers Ninja Storm)
Amy Morrison (Jack of All Trades)
Shiri Appleby (Jack of All Trades)
Patrick Fabian (Veronica Mars)
Stig Eldred (Dick Tracy)
Katrina Browne (Power Rangers Ninja Storm)
Angela Marie Dotchin (Jack of All Trades)
Jodie Rimmer (Young Hercules)
Victoria Pratt (Mutant X)
Kate Elliott (Power Rangers Samurai)
Sheeri Rappaport (Little Witches)
Claire Stansfield (The Flash 90s)
Kathryn Morris (Cold Case)
Olivia Tennet (Power Rangers RPM)
Timothy Omundson (Human Target)
Mark Hadlow (The Hobbit)
David Franklin (Farscape)
Jennifer Sky (Cleopatra 2525)
John Leigh (Power Rangers Mystic Force)
David de Lautour (Power Rangers Jungle Fury)
Jay Ryan (Beauty and The Beast)
Antonio Te Maioha (Spartacus)
Jenya Lano (Mutant X)
Mfundo Morrison (Vet)
Marie Matiko (Date Movie)
Anthony Wong (Haywire)
George Cheung (Starsky & Hutch)
Rose McIver (Izombie)
James Gaylyn (Power Rangers RPM)
Geoff Dolan (Jack of All Trades)
Stephen Lovatt (Cleoaptra 2525)
Musetta Vander (Stargate SG.1)
Claudia Black (Farscape)
Morgan Reese Fairhead (Power Rangers Dino Thunder)
Peta Rutter (Young Hercules)
Selma Blair (Hellboy)
Manu Bennett (Arrow)
Miriama Smith (Filthy Rich)
Josephine Davison (Power Rangers SPD)
Paris Jefferson (The Counselor)
Jed Brophy (The Hobbit)
Adrienne Wilkinson (Renegades)
William Gregory Lee (Dark Angel)
Joel Tobeck (Ash Vs Evil Dead)
Tsianina Joelson (Bring it On)
Sela Apera (Crooked Earth)
Zeus Mendoza (Port Charles)
Tandi Wright (Black Sheep)
Michelle Langstone (Power Rangers SPD)
Gina Varela (Sione’s Wedding)
Owen Black (Maddigans Quest)
Ian Harcourt (Power Rangers Megaforce)
Brittney Powell (That Thing You Do)
Renato Bartolomei (The Cult)
Alexander Petersons (Redheads)
Luanne Gordon (King Kong)
Alexis Arquette (Pulp Fiction)
Li Ming Hu (Power Rangers RPM)
Elizabeth Hawthorne (Filthy rich)
Katrina Devine (Power Rangers Ninja Storm)
Michelle Ang (Triple 9)
Mike Edward (Filthy Rich)

Most people have some kind of guilty pleasure they watch on television. I have several. One of my past guilty pleasures was Xena: Warrior Princess (as well as the show that spawned it-Hercules). Seeing a bunch of attractive gals running around, showing ample amounts of cleavage and leg while they went through their paces seemed like such harmless fun.  The show developed quite a fanbase over the years and it all began with a few appearances on Kevin Sorbo’s old show, Hercules: The Legendary Journeys. In Hercules, Xena played a female warrior who torn through the countryside killing and pillaging as she and her armies went. Hercules stopped her and eventually showed her a different path and the Xena series started off with that premise (hey, it was a cute idea for a spin off and eventually surpassed the parent show in ratings).

Season 1 begun with Xena meeting Gabrielle whilst trying to atone for her past, the rest of the season saw several highlights such as the introduction of Ares (Kevin Smith), Autolycus (Bruce Campbell) and Callisto (Hudson Leick), with each episode the shy got better and better.

The show really kicked into overdrive with Season2, the biggest highlight was Julius Caeser (Karl Urban) who once had a relationship with Xena and betrayed her. Gabrielle became an Amazon Queen and we saw Xena’s arch nemesis Callisto return with a vengeance. It was with Season 2 where the show surpassed Hercules and became the huge it is today.

Season 3 saw the the beginning of The Dahak storyline a story that would dart backwards and forward between the two shows and eventually conclude on Hercules (Season 5). This season also saw what fans refer to as the Rift story where gabrielle and Xena relationship was tested to breaking point eventually sending them to the land illusia where they had to sing. The Xena Musicial was a huge hit and well put together, to this day i smile every time I watch it.

Season 4 saw a new villain introduced, Alti (Claire Stansfield) A sharman who killed a tribe of Amazons, but the main story of this season was about Julius Caeser, his rise to power and Xena trying to prevent the vision of her and Gabrielle’s death from coming true. The Caeser story was excellent and in the episode The Ides of March, everything comes to fruition, we even see the return of Callisto.

The fifth season was written around Lucy Lawless and her real life pregnancy. The Producers decided to write it in to the show making it easier on production. With the birth of Xena’s child brings fourth the twilight of the Gods, the moment Zeus is killed they all come after Xena with a vengeance. Athena was the main antagonist, the show also explored a possible relationship with Ares and Xena. The last four episodes saw a time jump so we get introduced to a grown up Eve/Livia (Adrienne Wilkinson),  who ended up on a similar path to her mother.

Season brought the show to an end, six years of action and adventure. Highlights in this season were the Norse trilogy showing Xena as a Valkyrie, Michael Hurst playing a reporter called Nigel, Ares living on an farm and the return of Ares and Aphrodite to godhood. It’s always sad to see a show come to an end, with the shocking finale seeming to be a hard to beat ending it does seem like the show had a satisfying ending.

Xena: Warrior Princess images Xena - A Friend in Need (Season 6) HD wallpaper and background photos