Sunday, November 30, 2014

Atlantis - Telemon

Ariadne's (Aiysha Hart) coronation as the new queen of Atlantis brings a new set of games to the city and a new suitor in Prince Telemon (Clive Standen) who arrives for the dual purpose of winning the games and the queen's hand in marriage. Despite initially befriending the young man in the woods, Pythagoras (Robert Emms) and Hercules (Mark Addy) begin to have doubts about the man's true nature based on the word of another fighter (Lashana Lynch) who turns up dead after voicing her suspicions about his criminal past.

Sunday with Emma

Uncanny X-Men #28

While others react to his recent move of attempting to befriend rather than stop the dangerous Omega-level mutant, Cyclops works to attempt to convince Matthew Malloy to join his team of X-Men offering Scott Summers a big gun and game changer in his standoff against S.H.I.E.L.D.

The Flash - Power Outage

When a new metahuman shows up in town with the ability to drain power from everything from the city's electrical grid to a living person the Flash (Grant Gustin) is left temporarily without his powers. As Cisco (Carlos Valdes) and Caitlin (Danielle Panabaker) work to find a way to restore Barry's speed Blackout (Michael Reventar) shows up at the ruins of the accelerator looking for Harrison Wells (Tom Cavanagh) who he blames for the accident.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Saturday with Keira

Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

Writer/director Alejandro González Iñárritu's tale of a washed-up celebrity's last chance to reclaim his career is a bizarre look at the life of a man who may, or may not, have super-human abilities who has bet his entire career on a Broadway production that is in continual struggle as opening night looms.

Astro City #17

The latest issue of Astro City borrows a bit from the Atom and his adventures in the Microverse. Turning the tale on its side, instead of a hero spending his time in a microscopic universe we get the story of a villain who grew from those worlds, growing in power and size with each victory to eventually become one of the Honor Guard's most powerful enemies.

Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens teaser trailer

We now have our first teaser for Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens which will open in theaters December 18, 2015. Not much is given away in the the short glimpse we get here although we do see fleeting images of Daisy Ridley, the new-look Stormtroopers (including John Boyega), the Millennium Falcon, and the rising of the Sith (from which we get the cool, but rather impractical, new lightsaber and the film's tile). Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens opens in theaters on December 18, 2015.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Star Wars Rebels - Gathering Forces

Picking up directly following the events in "Empire Day," the Ghost is able to escape the Empire in the latest episode of Star Wars Rebels keeping Ezra's (Taylor Gray) old friend Tseebo, and the vast amount of Imperial knowledge rolling around his head, safe from the Empire. In order to buy time for the others to escape, Kanan (Freddie Prinze Jr.) and Ezra lead The Inquisitor (Jason Isaacs) and his Star Destroyer to Fort Anaxes where Ezra will have his first big breakthrough, and first huge misstep, as a Jedi Padawan.

Supergirl #36

Supergirl goes to Sky High? New writers K. Perkins and Mike Johnson start Kara's latest adventure with another attempt to live among humans by attempting once again to carve out a normal life. Of course that soon goes to hell when Supergirl is abducted by an exclusive school for super-beings and put through a series of test to determine whether or not she is worthy to join.

Scorpion - Talismans

Methinks he doth protest too much. In an episode where Walter (Elyes Gabel) scoffs at the need for people to keep souvenirs and remembrances of their loved ones, he and his team head into Bosnia with a covert squad to recover stealth tech (for the U.S. Government) and the remains of the plane's pilot (for the soldier's widow and child). The B-story introduces Camille Guaty as Walter's sister Megan who remains at Scorpion headquarters with Sylvester (Ari Stidham) while the other members of the team risk their lives overseas. The B-story offers a bit more insight into the team for audiences while also demonstrating to both Megan and the show's viewers that Walter is far more nostalgic than he has ever let on.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Shay Mitchell is a Knockout

A behind-the-scenes look at actress Shay Mitchell's boxing workout.

Castle - Kill Switch

An investigation into the murder of a government investigator leads Esposito (Jon Huertas) to be taken hostage in a subway car with more than a dozen other hostages by a cyber activist whose motives, including plans to target a group of one-percenters and demand the release of his incarcerated girlfriend, seem more about buying time than getting the demands actually met. Through a hidden surveillance camera the 12th Precinct can observe events on the subway car while Castle (Nathan Fillion), Beckett (Stana Katic), and Ryan (Seamus Dever) race to find answers as to what is really going on.

Atlantis - A New Dawn

Opening the show's Second Season with a two-part episode, Atlantis returns with King Minos (Alexander Siddig) dead, Pasiphae (Sarah Parish) exiled, and Ariadne (Aiysha Hart) on the throne. With Pasiphae raising an army to retake the city, Ariadne sends Jason (Jack Donnelly), Pythagoras (Robert Emms), and Hercules (Mark Addy) on an errand to bring back an old advisor to the throne (Robert Pugh) not realizing he is working secretly for the enemy.

Winter Soldier Cosplay at New York Comic Con 2014

Monday, November 24, 2014

Elementary - Bella

Sherlock Holmes (Jonny Lee Miller) accepts a case to look into the theft of an artificial intelligence known as "Bella." More interested in the software itself, and disproving it as legitimate A.I., Holmes passes off most of the legwork involving the theft and eventual murder of one of Bella's creators to Kitty (Ophelia Lovibond) and Watson (Lucy Liu) while he becomes obsessed with testing the machine.

The Fade Out #3

The latest issue of The Fade Out turns its attention away from the murder of starlet Valeria Sommers (for the most part) and the troubles of screenwriter Charlie Parish to focus on Valeria's replacement Maya Silver. Troubled by a scumbag of an agent and a dangerous ex-husband, Maya has finally hit the big time by stepping into the role vacated by Valeria's death.

Batgirl #36

While trying to restore her lost data and make amends with the now homeless Black Canary (who coincidentally disappears in time for all the action), Batgirl is targeted by a pair of obscure-anime-obsessed fans who steal a pair of prototype motorcycles and begin causing havoc on the college campus. The new creative team continues the youthful energy of last month's comic while revealing Batgirl's latest enemies have a benefactor with wealth and computer skills (Calculator?) pulling strings from the shadows and targeting our plucky heroine with every move.

Covert Affairs - She Believes

In Frankfurt with her unlikely new friend FSB operative Olga Akarova (Lynn Collins), Annie (Piper Perabo)'s assassination mission becomes a kidnapping and interrogation once she learns Aleksandre Belenko's (Shawn Dowyle) men have taken Auggie (Christopher Gorham). As McQuaid (Nic Bishop) attempts to follow his own sources, Joan (Kari Matchett) and Calder (Hill Harper) rally all CIA resources into bringing their missing agent home including putting Sydney (Nazneen Contractor) in even more danger.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

White Collar - Uncontrolled Variables

You always hurt the ones you love. Continuing a theme which we've seen played out over the show's six seasons, Neal's (Matt Bomer) latest assignment from the Pink Panthers forces the spy to work alongside Matthew Keller (Ross McCall) and ultimately destroy the life of a beautiful young woman (Laura Ramsey) who he has immediate chemistry with. Further complicating matters are the lengths both Keller and his Interpol handler (Isaach De Bankolé) are willing to go to (including leaving bodies in their wake) to take down the secret criminal cadre.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Saturday with Dianna

Stalker - Skin

The Threat Assessment Unit is called in to protect a former skinhead (Marc Blucas) who renounced the life years ago after meeting, marrying, and starting a family with a woman who wouldn't have fit in with old family. Discovering that the attacks are spurred on by the anger of a man who was recruited (Darri Ingolfsson), and now feels betrayed, by his former mentor, Beth (Maggie Q) and Jack (Dylan McDermott) also must deal with the suburban neighborhood which turns on the family once they learn of the man's former life.

Atomic Robo: The Knights of the Golden Circle #5

Atomic Robo: The Knights of the Golden Circle #5 wraps up the latest Atomic Robo mini-series with the hero's newest worst plan to stop the invincible cyborg army of Baron Heinrich von Helsingard and his Basilisk war zeppelin. (Sounds awesome, right?!) Although victorious alongside Doc Holliday and U.S. Marshal Bass Reeves our time-displaced science-adventurer doesn't survive the final battle. Knowing his energy reserves were low, Atomic Robo had a plan in place to return his remains home at the right time, however a little neglect and bureaucracy in the future has left an all-important crate and its contents sitting untouched for more than a hundred years.

Star Wars Rebels - Empire Day

Spending Empire Day on his homeworld of Lothal brings back painful memories for Ezra (Taylor Gray) and reveals a bit of the street urchin's past to his crew mates in a well-executed manner that helps to explain Ezra's difficulty connecting and trusting others. The date, which also happens to be the kid's birthday, is a painful reminder of the Empire abducting his parents for their subversive efforts to fight back against the oppressive regime.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Arrow - Draw Back Your Bow

Of all the DC characters I thought about Arrow bringing into the fold I never assumed they'd use Cupid, but the character fits in rather well. Created in 2009 as Green Arrow's #1 obsessed fan, Carrie Cutter (Amy Gumenick) makes her way to Starling City in the latest episode of the season as a former police officer with obessessive-compulsive disorder whose affections become focused on Green Arrow (Stephen Amell) after he saves her life during a flashback to last season's finale. Reborn as an archer with heart-shaped arrowheads, Cupid returns to town to woo her would-be lover by killing a path through the city.

Guardians 3000 #2

Only two issues in the latest series featuring the original team of the Guardians of the Galaxy begins to stall. Although Guardians 3000 #2 ends on an interesting note involving a Tony Stark reference, the events of the latest issue don't do much to push forward the near-identical (but now less interesting) series of events from the first issue. Plus we don't get any dimensional swapping meaning we're left with a version of the Guardians with a female Starhawk and no Aleta that just feels wrong.

The Last Starfighter [Modern Trailer]

Check out this pretty fucking great modern-style trailer for 1984's The Last Starfighter.

Ms. Marvel by Kay Jay Cosplay

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1

After two films of murder games by children building up to a rebellion stoked by class warfare the latest entry into The Hunger Games franchise offers only more build-up. Deciding to break the final book of the series into two parts, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 is nearly all set-up with no payoff in sight for at least a full year until next Fall (if ever).

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Person of Interest - Point of Origin

Using a temporary assignment as a trainer at the police academy to keep an eye on the latest number, Reese (Jim Caviezel) soon discovers the cadet (Adria Arjona) isn't a green recruit but an officer in Internal Affairs looking for a mole for the Brotherhood inside the academy. When she's framed for the death of her handler, Reese and Fusco work to bring down the man responsible which leads Shaw to make a discovery about her old friend Mini (Winston Duke) who is much more than he appeared to be during their first meeting.

Justice League United #6

Continuing the events from Justice League United Annual #1 half the League faces off against both the Legion of Super-Heroes and the Cadre who want to get their hands on Ultra the Multi-Alien. And if that isn't enough the other half of the league (Green Arrow, Animal Man, Supergirl, and Stargirl) has to deal with the villainous Byth and the brainwashed Hawkman before the mad scientist can transform young Ultra into a universe-destroying weapon.

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. - The Things We Bury

While Ward (Brett Dalton) uses his new freedom to reconnect with his brother (Tim DeKay), and Bobbi (Adrianne Palicki) attempts to interrogate a few interesting facts from their new HYDRA prisoner (Simon Kassianides), Coulson (Clark Gregg) rallies the troops in the race to find the mysterious city before their enemies. Overly-goofy in spots and brutal in others, tonally "The Things We Bury" is a bit of a mess, however it does offer a little more information about the season arc, its main villain, and even gives us an entire subplot starring Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell).

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

The Flash - The Flash is Born

While introducing another of the Scarlet Speedster's lesser villains and providing Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) the opportunity to stand-up to his old childhood bully for the first time, "The Flash is Born" is more memorable for the time spent on the First Season's ongoing storylines. As the name of the episode suggests, "The Flash is Born" finally gets rid of "The Streak" and properly dubs the Fastest Man Alive with public moniker of the Flash.

Scorpion - Rogue Element

Scorpion's latest assignment is personal to Cabe (Robert Patrick) who answers a distress call from his estranged ex-wife he hasn't spoken to in 15 years. Stumbling over some irregularities at her law firm, Rebecca's (Jessica Tuck) life is even greater danger once the team connects a high-powered PAC with the assassination of a local congressman. To keep the woman safe the team will have to break back into her firm, steal the proof, decrypt it, and stay one-step ahead of men hired to clean-up the situation and leave no witnesses.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Pumpkin Patch Play with Shay

To launch her new YouTube Channel, Shay Mitchell takes us along for the ride on her pumpkin patch adventure.

Castle - Once Upon a Time in the West

Yee-haw! To solve a murder of a woman who was poisoned in Arizona only to die several hours later after getting off a plane in New York, Castle (Nathan Fillion) and Beckett (Stana Katic) head west to honeymoon at a dude ranch in hopes of discovering what led to the young woman's death. Although Castle is far more psyched about the dude ranch than Beckett, the rustic old west adventure grows on the detective (even if she does expect a real honeymoon somewhere down the line).

Grendel vs. The Shadow #3

The conclusion of what if? tales such as Grendel vs. The Shadow are usually the weakest piece of the story, not for fault of the storyteller but simply because the end must reset back to the status quo without allowing either iconic figure to be truly beaten (or killed). Even with these limitations writer/artist Matt Wagner manages to end the three-issue mini-series in style giving us two final confrontations between Hunter Rose and The Shadow.

Once Upon a Time - Smash the Mirror

Failing to control her powers, Emma (Jennifer Morrison) turns to Rumpelstiltskin (Robert Carlyle) for help to take her magic away. Seizing on the opportunity to acquire the magic energy necessary to fill the hat and move one-step closer to breaking the dagger's control of him, Mr. Gold happily obliges (although he does fail to mention he plans to trap Emma inside the magic hat along with her magic). Although he's sat on the sidelines for most of the season, helping out here or there when it benefited him most, the true faces of Rumpelstiltskin emerges here as the villain plans to sacrifice his grandson's mother for his own ends and collect the other necessary ingredient for his spell: the heart of Captain Hook (Colin O’Donoghue).

The Flash: Season Zero #2

Investigating the bizarre animal sightings and attacks around Central City, the Flash goes to the circus in The Flash: Season Zero #2. Thanks to the help of Cisco, Caitlin, and Harrison Wells, links the odd break-outs at the zoo, the bank robbery by a strong man, and an attack of snakes inside a skyscraper all back to the circus which just happened to be pitched outside Central City at the time of the accelerator explosion likely imbuing several performers with unexpected powers.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Covert Affairs - Starlings of the Slipstream

With McQuaid (Nic Bishop) recovering from the shooting, Annie (Piper Perabo) turns her attention to Auggie (Christopher Gorham) whose behavior following his friend's unexpected death has gotten him a week suspension from Langley. Doing a little late-night reconissence work of her own, Annie discovers Auggie was right to be suspicious of the apparent suicide. Heading to Germany, Annie asks McQuaid to keep her best-friend safe knowing that he is now the last surviving member of a unit that Aleksandre Belenko's (Shawn Dowyle) attacks have been killing off.

Velvet #8

Shifting its attention back to the title character, the latest issue of Velvet involves the hunted spy returning to London and breaking into the very super-secret spy organization which has been scouring the globe for her since she was framed for the murder of an old friend.

White Collar - Return to Sender

After wrapping up the remaining threads of last season and introducing the possibility of Neal (Matt Bomer) finally winning his freedom last week, Neal's mission to take down the secret organization of thieves known as the Pink Panthers begins in earnest with the return of old enemy Matthew Keller (Ross McCall). When Keller doesn't expose Neal's work with the FBI, and given that Russian officials state the man is still in prison, Neal deduces Keller has struck his own deal with Interpol to take down the Panthers opening the door to an explosive partnership that both men aren't likely to survive unsinged.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Wander Over Yonder - The Date

Lord Hater's (Keith Ferguson) anger at being stood up on a blind date puts the fate of an entire planet in danger and forces Sylvia (April Winchell) to take on the role of "Linguini von Breadstick" and keep the villain calm through the worst date of her life.

Rocket Raccoon #5

Set around a campfire where Rocket Raccoon has been telling young children tales of his exploits, Rocket Raccoon #5 showcases Groot telling a story Rocket doesn't want to share. Although limited in his exposition, we witness the events unfold through a series of panels which inform us of why Groot thinks so highly of the adventure but also why Rocket would rather forget the entire disappointing enterprise.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Shay Mitchell Glamourizes Mexico

Pretty Little Liars star Shay Mitchell is the cover girl for the November issue of Glamour Mexico. You can find pics from her photo shoot inside.

How to Train Your Dragon 2

Set a few years after the events of the first film, How to Train Your Dragon 2 continues the hero's journey of Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) and Toothless and the rest of the dragon riders of Birk as Hiccup finds his long-lost mother Valka (Cate Blanchett) and squares off against a dragon army led by the villainous Drago Bludvist (Djimon Hounsou).

How to Train Your Dragon 2 works as well for me on Blu-ray as it did in theaters (and some of the emotional beats even work better a second time). Given the quality of the first two films, I hope we see this series continue for a long time. For more on the movie, check out my original review.

The Blu-ray includes DVD and UV digital copies of the film along with a half-hour short explaining the creation of Birk's dragon races, deleted scenes, trailers, and short featurettes on Hiccup's inventions, Drago's weapons, the various dragons in the film, and Birk.

Stalker - Fanatic

While Perry (Erik Stocklin) continues playing games by using his relationship with Tracy (Tara Summers) to begin attacking Beth (Maggie Q) through her past, and even invading her home, only to watch the results with glee, the Threat Assessment Unit is called in to protect actress Nina Preston (AnnaLynne McCord) whose latest stalker seems fixated on both her character and the violent scenes of her TV-show which he begins recreating in her honor.

Scooby-Doo! Team-Up #7

Moving away from the super-hero team-ups (which I've very much enjoyed), the latest issue of Scooby-Doo! Team-Up sends the Mystery, Inc. gang back in time to Bedrock where they meet Fred Flinstone and his family.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Elementary - Just a Regular Irregular

While continuing to develop Kitty's (Ophelia Lovibond) relationships to both Sherlock Holmes (Jonny Lee Miller) and Watson (Lucy Liu), "Just a Regular Irregular" returns Rich Sommer as often-shirtless mathematician Harlan Emple who stumbles upon a dead body while playing a complicated mathematical game. When others involved in the game start turning up dead as well, Holmes and Watson agree to work together to piece together a motive for the crimes which are being committed a dedicated killer obsessed with hunting down an anonymous math blogger who is threatening the man's livelihood.

Arrow - Guilty

More than any episode of Arrow in recent memory, "Guilty" struggles with a pair of stories that move forward character development but struggle to in terms of creating a compelling hour of television. Much of the problem can be laid at the feet of J.R. Ramirez as Ted "Wildcat" Grant who is simply too young to sell the premise of the city's long-forgotten vigilante when he's basically the same age of as every member of Team Arrow rather than a contemporary of Quentin Lance (Paul Blackthorne) which would make a hell of a lot more sense. The storyline involving gang members murdered in a manner to point the police in Wildcat's direction is awkward because never once are we given any reason to suspect that he could be the person responsible (and proof of his innocence).

Usagi Yojimbo: Senso #4

Trapped in the wreckage underneath the latest alien spacecraft to crash land in the area, Usagi Yojimbo: Senso #4 offers a few stolen moments between Usagi and Tomoe filling in some of the lonely future for the rabbit ronin should his path follow the template of events this version of events suggests.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

AnimeJapan 2014 Cosplay Showcase

Person of Interest - Honor Among Thieves

When the latest number turns out to be the leader of a heist crew Shaw (Sarah Shahi) suspects the man (Adrian Bellani) may be a potential perpetrator rather than victim, especially after the latest heist turns out to be a deadly biological weapon. Enjoying her latest assignment much more than her regular day job, Shaw joins the crew just in time to protect the number from the other members of the crew who attempt to kill them both for the deadly prize.

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. - The Writing on the Wall

A self-imposed trip through Raina's (Ruth Negga) memory torture machine gives Coulson (Clark Gregg) some answers about the mysterious alien writing which has haunted him for months. It turns out, like Coulson, there are a group of T.A.H.I.T.I. patients out there brought back from the dead and mindwiped. One (Brian Van Holt), however, has rediscovered the writing and is brutally killing his way through the others hoping to discover its meaning.

The Flash - Plastique

While searching for the person responsible for a recent bombing in Central City, the Flash (Grant Gustin) runs across Bette Sans Souci (Kelly Frye) a metahuman and former soldier hunted by the U.S. Military for her unique ability to infuse explosive properties into objects she touches. Discovering the woman isn't a would-be super-villain but someone struggling to deal with powers beyond her control, Barry introduces Bette to the Star Labs crew hoping they might be able to help her. Sadly, Barry discovers once again that not everyone can be saved... even by the Fastest Man Alive.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Batman Black and White: Harley Quinn Statue by Bruce Timm

Designed by Bruce Timm himself (who created the character along with Paul Dini for Batman: The Animated Series), this Batman: Black and White classic Harley Quinn statue is a welcome addition to my collection. The statute does come with a little plastic smoke cloud you can insert into the barrel of the gun but I actually prefer the statue without it.