Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Covert Affairs - Man in the Middle

After learning about a potential terrorist meeting from Eyal (Oded Fehr), Annie (Piper Perabo) puts her career on the line to turn an asset and discover the truth in the next twelve hours. Joan's (Kari Matchett) concerns about the validity of the intelligence and Annie's recent decision making forces our protagonist to go over Joan's head and present her plan directly to Arthur (Peter Gallagher) to turn the girlfriend, a Staff Director for the House Energy and Commerce Committee (Michelle Nolden), of a State Department protected Middle East asset (Haaz Sleiman) in order to prove that he's funding terrorist activities.

National Comics: Madame X

Originally created back in 1978, Madame Xanadu has moved around the periphery of the DCU for years, sometimes helping others and sometimes further her own ends. The character was reintroduced in the New 52 as a supporting character in Justice League Dark and now earns her own one-shot with National Comics: Madame X (a title referring to DC Comics' former name).

The new version of the character, with her name shortened to Madame X, works as a magical consultant for the mayor of New Orleans after briefly using her gifts for fame which destroyed both her life and her reputation. (I'm guessing somebody at DC really likes The Mentallist.)

The one-shot features Madam X brought in to solve a case involving the Voodoo Queen of New Orleans (who's not really a voodoo queen), a zombie (who's not really a zombie), and the murder of a local councilman. The comic's not bad, but certainly nothing special. And with a $4 price tag, it probably will appeal to only longtime fans of the character. Hit-and-Miss.

[DC, $3.99]

Joss Whedon on the Purity and Courage of Mitt Romney’s Apocalyptic Vision

Joss Whedon takes a couple minutes to tell you why Mitt Romney is the right candidate for those wanting to hasten the Zombie Apocalypse.

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

Directed by John Madden, and adapted from Deborah Moggach's bestselling novel by Ol Parker, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel offers a rich cast of English actors in an ensemble piece about a group of elderly pensioners who all move into the same retirement community in India.

The cast is better than the material, but The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel sports some noteworthy performances (particularly that of Judi Dench as a recent widow) and boasts the kind of feel-good story most should enjoy without becoming sappy or overly sentimental.

Our group of travelers include a penniless widow (Dench), a gay man (Tom Wilkinson) returning to India looking to reconnect with the love of his life, a henpecked husband (Bill Nighy) and his demanding wife (Penelope Wilton), a kindly but somewhat racist housekeeper (Maggie Smith) in need of a hip replacement, an aging ladies man (Ronald Pickup), and a woman (Celia Imrie) in the market for a new husband.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Castle - Probable Cause

Beckett's (Stana Katic) relationship with Castle (Nathan Fillion) is put to the test when all the evidence in a bizarre ritualistic killing (complete with a body stuck to the ceiling of a midtown apartment) leads back to the mystery writer. His fingerprints found at the dead woman's apartment, video evidence of Castle buying expensive jewelry for the victim, a story found on his computer that perfectly mirrors the murder, and a bag of murder gear found in the man's apartment, all tie him to the murder.

Fables #122

My enjoyment for the recent Cinderella mini-series and Fairest has made me take a dip in the broader Fables Universe. Fables #122 begins a new arc featuring the Big Bad Wolf and the mysterious Green Woman who has the power not only to see one's fate, but assign it as well.

The comic begins with the wolf chasing the young sorceress through the woods and granting her a reprieve only when she offers to tell him his destiny. Learning he only has three days to life, the most powerful beast in the land slips of in deep meloncholy until another creature informs him that his destiny isn't written in stone.

The woman of the wood doesn't see fate, but assigns it. And, more importantly to the wolf, she can reassign it if she so wishes. Written by Bill Willingham with some great art by Gene Ha, the first issue of the new arc works extremely well playing on half-truths and magic most fables are known for. I'll be back. Worth a look.

[Vertigo, $2.99]

Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted

In their third film the four animals from Madagascar - Alex (Ben Stiller) the lion, Marty (Chris Rock) the zebra, Melman (David Schwimmer) the giraffe, and Gloria (Jada Pinkett Smith) the hippopotamus - join a European circus and finally make it home to New York City.

After growing tired of waiting for the penguins to return to Africa, the NY foursome travel to Monaco to retrieve their friends and start the journey home only to have to hide out in a rundown traveling circus to escape a crazed Animal Control officer (Frances McDormand) who wants Alex's head stuffed and mounted on her wall.

Monday, October 29, 2012

The Mentalist - Red Dawn

The Mentalist's 100th episode takes a look back at Patrick Jane's (Simon Baker) first case with the CBI. The episode begins with a disheveled Jane showing up in the CBI offices to talk with Lisbon (Robin Tunney) after learning she is now in charge of the Red John case. Less than 10-minutes in the building Jane is asked to leave and provokes an agent (Gary Basaraba) into punching him in the face, which gets the a short conversation with Lisbon and Virgil Minelli (Gregory Itzin) and a ride in the country to his first official crime scene.

The Flash #13

The Flash #13 begins the comic's new arc "Gorilla Warfare." With the newly reformed Rogues about to claim their first victory over the Flash all hell breaks loose as Central City is invaded by Grodd and his army of super-gorillas from Gorilla City. The scarlet speedster's enemies have no choice but to team-up with the Flash or see their entire city laid to rubble (with them under the pile).

Part One of "Gorilla Warfare" is a hell of a lot of fun with tons of action as Central City's hero and a collection of its most notorious enemies fight an army of attacking super-apes. The dialogue does a good job showcasing the incredulity of everyone involved with the situation they find themselves in, and once again the comic's art by writer/artist Francis Manapul is terrific.

I don't know if I'm ready to see the Flash battle Grodd for the next three months, but this issue certainly helps sell me on the idea of the multi-issue arc involving Grodd, the Rogues, and my favorite speedster. Worth a look.

[DC, $2.99]

Comic Rack

It’s a new week so it must be time to talk about comics! Welcome to the RazorFine Comic Rack boys and girls. Pull up a bean bag and take a seat at feet of the master as we offer you this quick list of all kinds of comic book goodness set to hit comic shops and bookstores this week from all your favorite publishers including DC, Marvel, Dark Horse, Archie, Dynamite, Image Comics, and others.

This week includes Angel & Faith, Aquaman, Archie, Army of Darkness, Batgirl Annual, Captain Marvel, Fatale, Godzilla, Green Hornet, Happy, Hit Girl, Looney Tunes, Phantom Lady, Red Sonja: Atlantis Rises, The Rocketeer: Cargo of Doom, Star Trek, Steed and Mrs. Peel, TMNT, Whispers, Winter Soldier, the first issues of A+X, Bedlam, Charismagic: Death Princess, Freelancers, Joe Kubert Presents, Lot 13, and the final issues of The Green Hornet Strikes, The Mighty Thor, New Deadwardians, New Mutants, Star Wars: Darth Maul - Death Sentence, and X-Men Legacy.

Enjoy issue #196

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Scandal - Beltway Unbuckled

Senator Davis (Norm Lewis) brings Olivia (Kerry Washington) a pair of new clients, parents (Eve Gordon, Todd Waring) of a missing graduate student. Harrison (Columbus Short) discovers the story of the sweet angel Olivia Pope & Associates sold to the press to increase the profile of the case is far from the truth as the girl is actually an infamous blogger known for sleeping around with D.C.'s finest and brightest and blogging anonymously about how lousy each of them is in bed. As the 24-hour news cycle runs with the far more salacious promiscuous slut angle, Olivia and her team try and piece together the final days leading up to her disappearance by pulling clues from her blog.

Elementary - The Rat Race

When Sherlock Holmes (Jonny Lee Miller) goes missing while consulting on a case involving the disappearance of a Wall Street executive, Watson (Lucy Liu) fears the worst. To convince Detective Gregson (Aidan Quinn) to look in to the matter she's forced break client confidentiality and come clean about the true nature of their relationship.

It's Always Sunny - Maureen Ponderosa's Wedding Massacre

For Halloween It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia delivers a comedic horror episode that finds the gang  lost in the woods, thrown in jail, chased by zombie McPoyles, and even attacked by one of their own. "Maureen Ponderosa's Wedding Massacre" proves to be a pretty damn good mix of crazy humor and a legitimately creepy collection of the old friends of the Paddy's crew - the McPoyles.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Saturday with Taylor

Person of Interest - Triggerman

Reese (Jim Caviezel) and Finch (Michael Emerson) discover the latest number delivered by The Machine is for an enforcer (Jonathan Tucker) for the Irish Mob whose boss (Kevin Conway) has targeted him for death after discovering his secret relationship with the disrespectful widow (Liza J. Bennett) of one of his other former lieutenants. Their hitman is forced to kill the mob boss' son (Matt McTighe) to save the life of the woman he loves putting them both in grave danger.

The Big Bang Theory- The Holographic Excitation

As Halloween rolls around the gang gets ready for comic books store's annual party which Raj (Kunal Nayyar) agrees to help Stuart (Kevin Sussman) pull off this year. Sheldon (Jim Parsons) and Amy (Mayim Bialik) attempt to find the perfect couple's costume for their first Halloween together. Meanwhile, the group grows tired of Howard (Simon Helberg) constantly steering every conversation back to his NASA experiences, whose hurt by the fact that they don't want to hear him talking about the biggest event of his life and isn't ready to go back to being plain old Howard so quickly.

Nashville - Someday You’ll Call My Name

Despite Deacon's (Charles Esten) repeated refusals, Juliette (Hayden Panettiere) continues to try to woo the singer-songwriter to dump his tour with Rayna (Connie Britton) and sign an exclusive contract to join her on tour. Deacon's refusal, despite his concern over noticing Rayna's growing uncertainty about going on a small, intimate tour with the man she used to love, isn't the teen starlet's biggest problem as Juliette's mother (Sylvia Jefferies) shows up at the record label,  the recording studio, and later her home, trying to hit up her daughter for money she can use to pay for her drug addiction.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Chasing Mavericks

Even though the film was directed by the combination of Curtis Hanson (L.A. Confidential, Wonder Boys) and Michael Apted (Gorillas in the Mist, Coal Miner's Daughter), I was still surprised by how much I enjoyed Chasing Mavericks. The film is based on the real life of surfer Jay Moriarty (Jonny Weston, who reminds me more than a little of Christopher Atkins in The Pirate Movie) who grew up chasing giant waves most believed were myths in a small cove in Northern California in the mid-1990's.

Although the surfing footage is some of the best ever captured for a feature film, the screenplay is just as focused on Jay's life outside the water when he's not obsessed with his dream of surfing Mavericks. The fatherless young man whose alcoholic mother (Elisabeth Shue) is less than dependable latches on at a young age to a surfing neighbor (Gerard Butler) who, despite having enough trouble figuring out how to be a father to his own daughter (Maya Raines), finds himself cast into the role of a surrogate father to the talented young surfer whether he likes it or not.

Cloud Atlas

Cloud Atlas, the collaboration by the Wachowskis and Tom Tykwer to bring the novel of the same name by David Mitchell to the big screen is, to put it bluntly, a mess.  It's an ambitious mess to be sure as the project bites off far more than it can chew by casting a small group of actors playing multiple roles across different time periods, but it's a mess none the less. Fans of the book may be prepared for what's to come, but the rest of us could use a road map of this late night ride to nowhere. (At least nowhere interesting.)

The film beings by throwing the audience into a variety of stories taking place decades, or in some cases centuries, apart (including two distinctly different version of the future - one of which owes a little too much to The Time Machine). Introducing a slew of characters in the opening 15-20 minutes, all played by the same group of actors who jump centuries, ethnicities, and even gender between tales (due to some strikingly inconsistent make-up and CGI), Cloud Atlas hits the ground running and expects you to keep up.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Arrow - Lone Gunmen

Green Arrow's (Stephen Amell) vigilante justice is complicated by the arrival of an assassin who kills the latest name (Tobias Slezak) on Queen's list before the archer can exact his own form of justice. After being grazed by the poisoned bullet that takes out his target, Oliver traces the assassin's unique killing style to an unknown assassin known only as Deadshot (Michael Rowe). As Green Arrow traces the killer's bullet back to his employers (through logic that's far from clear), which leads to equally dumb plan of passing himself off as a member of the Russian Mob, Detective Lance's (Paul Blackthorne) own investigation into the killings leads him to believe someone is killing off competing bidders for an energy company, a group that includes Walter Steele (Colin Salmon).

Thursday with Mini

Evil Dead (2013) trailer

We now have our first look at The Evil Dead remake which stars Jane LevyShiloh FernandezJessica LucasLou Taylor Pucci, and Elizabeth Blackmore as five friends who discover a Book of the Dead in a remote cabin in the woods. Evil Dead opens in theaters on April 12th.

Bond Girl Bérénice Marlohe is now a Maxim Cover Girl

Maxim's November cover girl is the newest Bond Girl Bérénice Marlohe. In her interview in this month's magazine the French-Cambodian-Chinese actress discusses working with Ralph Fiennes, Daniel Craig, Javier Bardem, and Judi Dench, her enigmatic character Sévérine in Skyfall, her fight and gun training for the role, being single and what she looks for in a man, her love of dessert and real Italian pasta, her celebrity crush on Christopher Walken, and the worst pick-up attempt she's ever seen. Inside you can find the photos and video for the photoshoot.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Covert Affairs - Wishful Beginnings

Annie (Piper Perabo) steps off the plane having escaped weeks of captivity in Russia to be driven to Blue Bonnet Farm, a CIA safe facility where she is informed she will spend days, perhaps weeks, going over what happened to her in Russia and the events which led her there. However, rescued by the CIA's urgent need for her, Annie returns to Langley only jump from the frying pan into the fire by being assigned to work on a joint CIA/Mossad mission to retrieve a vital piece of intelligence from a missing Mossad asset that may force her to betray the man who risked his life to rescue her from a Russian prison - Eyal (Oded Fehr).

Avengers Assemble #8

In deep space the Avengers and the Guardians of the Galaxy come across Thanos who has control of a Cosmic Cube (okay, it's not a real Cosmic Cube). Turns out the power in Thanos' hands was made by the United States Government and could very well mean the end of everything as the Mad Titan expels Thor and the rest of the two teams into the Cancerverse before making his way to Earth.

On Earth the Fanatastic Four and renaming Avengers including Ms. Marvel, War Machine, the Vision, and Captain Britain prepare for a final stand. Inside the Cancerverse the heroes meet with the Elders of the Universe who Thanos trapped in the alternate dimension as well. With the Elders help, and a little Stark know-how, the teams return to Earth to help stop Thanos.

The end of the arc works well, and gives us two full pages of the two teams beating the crap out of a de-powered Thanos. There is still the matter of the Badoon armada on their way to Earth, but it looks like we'll have to wait a few months to see how that plays out when the Guardians return in their new monthly comic in February. Worth a look.

[Marvel, $3.99]

Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow #18

The hunt has begun. Part 2 of the new G.I. JOE crossover "Target: Snake Eyes" finds the ninja clan Arashikage hunting down Cobra's money supply as both Cobra and the JOE's try to hunt down the Arashikage and the former JOE who is helping them - Snake Eyes.

When an attack on Cobra's vaults in Budapest comes up empty the ninja clan track Cobra's wealth to the airfield (as they plan to use it to buy the country of Fineske). Snake Eyes is able to board the plane but most of his ninja strike force is slaughtered - something that doesn't go unnoticed by the the team's sole survivor who reports to Storm Shadow he's unsure whose side their new ally is truly on.

Meanwhile, Helix continues on her own path to find Snake Eyes which leads her to a meeting with the Hard Master. And Serpentor discovers he has underestimated the Soft Master and finds the captor has become the prey. However, the ninja master offers the cult leader a partnership to take down their mutual enemy - Snake Eyes. Worth a look.

[IDW, $3.99]

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Daredevil #19

Just as Matt Murdock discovers who is trying to drive him insane his former partner and best friend Foggy Nelson makes an impulsive decision that could change Daredevil's life forever.

Foggy admits to Matt's latest lady friend Kristen McDuffie that Matt is Daredevil and that he is hallucinating and may have gone insane. The Assistant District Attorney has no choice but to start a public manhunt for a vigilante she's been told (by his best friend, no less) is a danger to himself and others.

Meanwhile, with the help of Henry Pym, Daredevil makes a discovery that leads him to search out the C-list villain he believes is behind his life falling apart only to discover he's not a C-lister anymore. Daredevil might not be crazy, but no his life is in the hands of a madman, and, should he escape, he'll have an entire city's police force hunting him down. The man without fear has had better days. Worth a look.

[Marvel, $2.99]

Young Justice #21

Young Justice #21 keeps to the format started in last month's issue as we jump around from current events to those that took place five years before. In the current time period the arrival of Braniac has caused several members of both Young Justice and the Justice League (and several super-villains) to be kidnapped including Superman, Superboy, Captain Atom, Captain Marvel, and Wonder Woman.

Trapped on the moon Captain Atom and Captain Marvel come up with a plan of escape, while on Earth the remaining heroes discover the entire city of Metropolis has been cut-off from the outside world. Nightwing and Wonder Girl's pitch to the new Blue Beetle to join the team is put on hold as the heroes regroup and split their remaining members into two teams.

The first team led by Nightwing tries to find a way into Metropolis, where the heroes trapped inside the force field are already on the scene. And a second team including Miss Martian and heads to the moon to rescue their friends and find some answers. Worth a look.

[DC, $2.99]

Psych - Season Six

Shawn (James Roday) and Gus (Dulé Hill) return for yet another season of tomfoolery and crime solving wackiness. Highlights from Psych's Sixth Season include the return of Pierre Despereaux (Cary Elwes) and a search for a treasure trove of lost art, Shawn and Gus going undercover with a local minor league baseball team, the introduction of William Shatner as Juliet's (Maggie Lawson) father, Shawn going undercover in a mental institution, and a Hangover-inspired episode as Shawn, Gus, Lassie (Timothy Omundson), and Woody (Kurt Fuller) try to piece together the events of a wild night together.

Other stories this year include a vampire killer, Lassie getting a girlfriend (Kristy Swanson) and moving into a haunted apartment, a comic book episode featuring Santa Barbara's own vigilante, Shawn and Juliet's lover's retreat, the return (sort of) of Blackapella, and a Chinatown-inspired season finale leaving the future of one cast regular (Corbin Bernsen) in serious doubt.

Monday, October 22, 2012

I still want one of these sweatshirts

For those who don't remember, back in the magical Neal Adams Batman days (not to be confused with the current Neal Adams Batman days) when Batman removed his gloves, cape, and cowl he was left with pretty damn sweet Batman sweatshirt that I still envy.

The Mentalist - Blood Feud

"Blood Feud" begins with Rigsby (Owain Yeoman) being brought in for questioning by Agent LaRoche (Pruitt Taylor Vince) and possibly facing criminal charges for his behavior over the past week after discovering his father (William Forsythe) wounded at a crime scene. After seeing that his father is stable, and completely uncooperative, Lisbon (Robin Tunney) sends Rigsby home and begins an investigation into the shooting that left one man dead and another in a hospital bed.

Wait For It

Although last season of Psych hit DVD shelves this week it looks like we'll have to wait a few more months for Season Seven. On the plus side the show has released this promo giving us a glimpse of what we're in store for when the show returns in February.

Justice League #13

This latest issue of Justice League gives us a little discussion of Superman and Wonder Woman's kiss, but the majority of the issue is focused on the league rallying around Diana to help find the Cheetah. Other than the group's short battle with Darkseid this marks the first time the New 52 version of the league has taken on a classic villain.

Cheetah may seem like an odd choice but the villain's magical origin does give her the upper-hand as it seems the New 52 version of Superman has kept the pre-Flashpoint's version of the character's weakness to magic. That said, the character has certainly gotten a power upgrade from the version from my childhood as she fights the entire league to a standstill without breaking a sweat.

It's not a great story, but it's certainly better than some issues the comic has delivered over the past year and gives several characters their own moments to shine. We do get some talk behind the scenes discussing the shakeup of the team as well as a back-up story involving Steve Trevor and Green Arrow as a lead-in to the upcoming series Justice League of America. For fans.

[DC, $3.99]

Comic Rack

It’s a new week so it must be time to talk about comics! Welcome to the RazorFine Comic Rack boys and girls. Pull up a bean bag and take a seat at feet of the master as we offer you this quick list of all kinds of comic book goodness set to hit comic shops and bookstores this week from all your favorite publishers including DC, Marvel, Dark Horse, Archie, Dynamite, Image Comics, and others.

This week includes Archie, Avengers, BtVS: Spike, Cobra, Deadpool, Fables, The Flash, Invincible, KISS, Prophet, Red Lanterns, Red Sonja, Revival, The Savage Hawkman, Secret Avengers, The Shadow, Spawn, Superman, the first issues of A-Babies vs. X-Babies, Alan Robert's Killogy, Bravest Warriors, Chosen, Ghost, Let's Play God, Maggie, Multiple Warheads: Alphabet to Infinity, National Comics: Madame X, Talon, and the final issues of Battle Beasts, Captain America, Debris, FF,The Incredible Hulk, and The Invincible Iron Man.

Enjoy issue #195

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Sunday with Scarlett

Elementary - Child Predator

Sherlock Holmes (Jonny Lee Miller) is called in by Captain Gregson (Aidan Quinn) to work on a child-abducting serial killer case when "The Balloon Man" kidnaps his seventh victim, a 10 year-old girl (Katelynn Bailey) who taken from her bedroom. One interview with the grieving parents (Yancey AriasSelenis Leyva) later, Holmes uncovers an affair and a mistress (Larisa Polonsky) who was in the neighborhood visiting the husband at the time of the abduction and gives the police the first lead in the case. However, when they track the van the Balloon Man used in the kidnapping the don't find the serial killer but his first victim (Johnny Simmons), alive and well behind the wheel.

Red Hood and the Outlaws #13

The Outlaws' outer space adventure comes to a close as Kory and her older sister lead a battle against The Blight with the help of the crew of the Starfire and their human friends.

The choice to make Roy Harper the sole narrator for this issue works well as it seems to be the easiest character for Scott Lobdell to write (Roy seems to share his jaded but humorous view of the world). The issue certainly delivers plenty of action and we get a glimpse of how powerful the New 52 version of Starfire can be when she looses control and truly lets loose.

Although I enjoyed the final two issues of the arc I'm happy to see it come to and end and return Starfire, Arsenal and Red Hood back to Earth where they belong. Next week should begin "The Death of the Family" crossovers and we should, hopeful, see a confrotation between Jason Todd and the Joker looming before too long. Red Hood and the Outlaws #14 also promises an appearance by Superman. Worth a look.

[DC, $2.99]

Scandal - Hunting Season

Olivia (Kerry Washington) is approached by an excitable new client, a data programmer for the NSA who has proof that the United States Government is spying on American citizens inside the United States. After stealing evidence of "Thorngate," a program that uses computers, cellphones, and tablets as cameras and recording devices, Artie (Patrick Fischler) shows up in Olivia's car begging for her protection. Both Abby (Darby Stanchfield) and Harrison (Columbus Short) believe the man is crazy and after a cursory examination of the flash drive Huck (Guillermo Díaz) can find no evidence to support Artie's story.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Person of Interest - Masquerade

With Finch's (Michael Emerson) return to the library things get back to normal for Reese (Jim Caviezel) when The Machine delivers the latest number - the spoiled daughter (Paloma Guzmán) of a Brazilian diplomat (Gary Perez). Posing at Sofia's newest bodyguard, Reese's patience is put to the test by the willful party girl as Finch struggles to resume his routine and get used to Reese's new four-legged friend's invasion of his home.

The Lone Ranger: Snake of Iron #3

Tonto and his fellow passengers on-board the halted train try to keep the attacking Kiowa war party at bay hoping that help will arrive before they all are killed or freeze to death. Back at Fort Griffin, the Lone Ranger argues tirelessly with the garrison's commander to ride out into the blizzard and bring peace to the local tribe with the help of Miss Travers' camel who the braves believe is the legendary spirit horse.

When the news arrives of the train's failure to arrive at its destination, the Lone Ranger convinces the commander to follow his lead and set out the next morning. However, to locate the exact location of the train somewhere in a 200 mile stretch will take luck, or, if Tonto is correct, the right horse to lead the Lone Ranger and Silver back to him.

The issue showcases the rising tension in both situations, but it looks like we'll have to wait at least another month before the two storylines converge and the Lone Ranger arrives to help his faithful Indian companion. For fans.

[Dynamite, $3.99]

The Big Bang Theory - The Re-Entry Minimization

Howard (Simon Helberg) returns from space but is disappointed when he doesn't get the hero's welcome he expected and only a sick Bernadette (Melissa Rauch) shows up to meet him at the airport. His first night back home brings a full night of unexpected surprises with Bernadette's cold ruining their first romantic night together and his discoveries that Raj (Kunal Nayyar) has replaced him with Stuart (Kevin Sussman) from the comic book store and his mother is having an affair with their dentist (Ken Lerner).

Friday, October 19, 2012

It's Always Sunny - The Gang Recycles Their Trash

When the garbage men go on strike Frank (Danny DeVito) comes up with a plan to make money by convincing the Dennis (Glenn Howerton), Mac (Rob McElhenney) and Charlie (Charlie Day) to go into the trash business. Dennis comes up with his own unique spin on the plan by choosing to rent a stretch limousine instead of a van to collect the trash of potential customers. You have to admit, their tuxedos are a nice touch. Continuing to try and not fall into old mistakes, and stick with a plan they can all agree on, the tuxedo threesome attempt to sell their wares door-to-door through three-part harmony.

Troy & Abed airing someday

October 19th was supposed to mark the return of Community. Sadly, NBC has chosen not to air the Fourth Season premiere tonight. Instead, as the cast explains, the network will wait until for some unknown future date when the proper state of mind and feeling within us all (that is October 19th) will occur. Sigh.

Alex Cross

Alex Cross is a bad movie that aspires to be a mediocre movie, only to fail even at that modest goal -- in spectacular fashion. Based on the series of novels by James Patterson, Tyler Perry stars as a Detroit cop-turned-FBI-Agent who finds himself playing cat and mouse with a vicious killer (Matthew Fox) intent on the murder of a prominent businessman (Jean Reno) and anyone else remotely related to him.
Perry isn't the first to play Alex Cross on-screen. Morgan Freeman played the role in both Along Came a Spider and Kiss the Girls. As problematic as both those films are, Freeman's performances are actually pretty good. Although it's far from Alex Cross' biggest problem, Tyler Perry is no Morgan Freeman.

Trying to choose the film's biggest weak point is a near impossible challenge, as there's so little Alex Cross does well. In almost every aspect of filmmaking (acting, directing, cinematography, writing, editing, effects, and so on) the new adaptation of Patterson's character comes off as both incompetent and sophomoric.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Nashville - I Can't Help It (If I'm Still in Love With You)

After turning down the label's offer to tour with Juliette Banres (Hayden Panettiere), Rayna (Connie Britton) returns home to Nashville to lick her wounds only to find Juliette is in town shooting a music video, much to the delight of Rayna's young daughters (Lennon StellaMaisy Stella). Unable to pack arenas with a floundering album that has no studio support, Rayna's advisers encourage her to go out on the road with Deacon (Charles Esten), play smaller venues, and get back to the kind of music they used to perform when they were a couple. Not ready to give up on wooing the musician over to her tour, Juliette uses her wiles to try to win over Deacon as they spend time writing a song together.

Arrow - Honor Thy Father

On a trip to the courthouse to get his death certificate repealed and begin his life in earnest, Oliver (Stephen Amell) runs into Laurel (Katie Cassidy) who is prosecuting a murder case involving Martin Somers (Ty Olsson), one of the names on Oliver's list, who Green Arrow decides to pay a little visit to later that evening. However, the attack on his life only enrages the businessman with ties to the Chinese Triad to reach out to an assassin named China White (Kelly Hu) who suggests they end the nagging problem of Ms. Lance, permanently.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Nine #14

The latest issue of Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Nine isn't what I expected. For one thing neither Buffy Summers nor any of the regular or new supporting players make an appearance.

Instead Jane Espenson, writer of some good ("Band Candy," "Pangs," "Checkpoint") and not-so-good ("I Was Made to Love You," "Doomed," "The Harsh Light of Day") episodes from Buffy the Vampire Slayer's seven-year run on television, gives us a tale of a young gay teen named Billy who puts up with mean jocks and begins fighting zompires.

I understand what Espenson is doing here, but the story is pretty damn pat (he ends up having to stake and kill the football jock who has been harassing him). This kind of story would seem to fit much better in something like the Tales of Slayers anthology series than in the middle of an ongoing season arc. If I had found it there, or if was just a one-issue tale (I don't need a second month of Billy's misadventures), I might give it a pass, but 14 issues in, as the season is still trying to find its focus, it simply doesn't work. Pass.

[Dark Horse, $2.99]

Kaley Cuoco heats up Esquire Mexico

Actress Kaley Cuoco sat down for an interview and cover photoshoot for the for the October issue of Esquire Mexico. You can find the rest of the pics inside.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Covert Affairs - Rock 'N Roll Suicide

Annie (Piper Perabo) may have tracked down Lena (Sarah Clarke) and exacted some vengeance for the death of Simon (Richard Coyle) and the attempt to kill and destroy Annie's career, but as Covert Affairs returns from its mid-season hiatus the plucky young CIA agent has a long road home. Captured, and thrown into a Russian prison, Annie will need all the help she can get - including the unexpected assistance of an old friend.

Batman and Robin #13

Although the issue mentions the Joker's return Batman and Robin #13 doesn't really tie-in with "The Death of the Family." Instead we get some pretty good father/son bonding as Batman takes Damian into space to work on a cloaked communication satellite experiencing problems during the current solar eclipse.

This, not the boy who stuck his fingers into Nobody's brains, is the Damian I want to see more of. There's a short conversation between father and son about Bruce's feelings for Talia as well as Damian's appreciation for sharing the experience in space with him that come off as quite genuine.

At the same time we see the more dangerous version of the character as his dispatches another assassin sent by his mother and the recklessness of his youth which leads him into danger in the stories final pages as he's caught in a mob of zombies. Honestly, I could have done without the zombies, but the rest of this issue works well. Worth a look.

[DC, $2.99]

Hawaii Five-0 - Popilikia

The Five-0 Task Force is called into investigate the complicated and expertly planned murder of a decapitated polo player (Robbie Amell) which was foretold by a local fortune-teller (Bai Ling). McGarrett (Alex O’Loughlin) is shocked when his missing mother (Christine Lahti) turns up unannounced in his kitchen to make him breakfast with news that she plans to move back home.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Castle - Murder, He Wrote

With no murder to solve, Beckett (Stana Katic) and Castle (Nathan Fillion) head up to coast for a romantic weekend in the Hamptons only to have a murder investigation fall in their lap when a banker dies in front of them. Meanwhile, too curious to let the identity of Beckett's new mystery man go unanswered, Ryan (Seamus Dever) and Esposito (Jon Huertas) begin an investigation into the identity of her new boyfriend.

Morning Glories #22

Surprisingly the latest issue of Morning Glories doesn't jump to the storylines of other characters this month (as has been the series' formula), instead we pick up from last month's issue as Hunter, Jun (really Hisao) and the new kids attempt to stop an all important sacrifice. At least I think that's what they are doing because, not surprising at all, the comic gives us scant information or true motivations on what is really happening.

The comic jumps around a bit from the current situation to flashbacks from the Morning Glories Academy two years ago. In the flashbacks we see another student who has had their "eyes opened" as Jade did a few issues back. The current storyline also reinstates the idea that for students at the academy time and space aren't really an issue as Hunter and his new friends find themselves using Sumerian ruins to travel through time to save Abraham.

We get a tease that we'll learn what Hunter is actually good at in this issue, but other than an ability to get shot we don't really get an idea what his special gift might be. For fans.

[Image, $2.99]

Dial M for Murder

Alfred Hitchcock's 1954 classic stars Ray Milland as ex-tennis pro Tony Wendice who for a year has known about his wife Margot's (Grace Kelly) affair with an American crime novelist (Robert Cummings). Wanting revenge, and the wealth his dead wife would bring, Tony blackmails a petty criminal (Anthony Dawson) into helping him pull off the perfect murder. When things don't go to plan Tony rolls with the punches and tries to frame his wife for the first-degree murder of the would-be assassin.

Dial M for Murder delivers several of Hitchcock's trademark touches including a charming sociopath - even though Milland's character is trying to bump off Grace Kelly (in her first collaboration with Hitchcock) we somehow don't begrudge him the opportunity. We also get the central role of a staircase to the plot, and the planning and boasting of a perfect murder.