Wednesday, November 30, 2016

The Flash - Invasion!

Now this is more like it. The big four-part crossover which was teased (but not actually begun) last night on Supergirl gets started here with the arrival of the Dominators on Earth. For those not familiar with the aliens, the Dominators were first introduced back in the 60s but made their most notable splash in DC Comics in 1989 as part of the Invasion! (good name) mini-series. Realizing he can't stop the alien threat alone, Barry (Grant Gustin) enlists the help of Team Arrow (including the retired Thea), the Legends, and even hops universes to bring back Supergirl (Melissa Benoist). Although Barry doesn't take naturally to leading, the team follows him... at least until they discover about Flashpoint whose effects continue to be discovered as one Legend learns he now has a loving daughter he has never met.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Eleven #1

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Eleven begins with Buffy and the Scoobies all in a good place and relatively happy. As fans of the television series know, that's usually when things go south quickly. Buffy and Spike are working with the police as supernatural crime consultants, Xander and Dawn's relationship is stronger than ever, Willow has moved on to teaching and sharing her knowledge about magic, and even Giles seems more at peace with his teenage reality. And that's when a dragon shows up.

The First Monday in May

The subject of Andrew Rossi proves to be more fascinating the the movie itself. Following the near-year-long process of creating The Metropolitan Museum of Art's most attended fashion exhibition in history, "China: Through The Looking Glass," the highlights of the documentary are the exhibits themselves while the behind-the-scenes of time and budget constraints, the jockeying of celebrity attendees (without ever naming names), battles with China of the historical (not modern) nature of the exhibit, the struggle to pay the headline act, and the actual design of the various pieces in the exhibits aren't explored in much more than superficial detail. Like much of the fashion it highlights, it's great to look at but doesn't always have much to say.

As a snapshot into a world most won't ever see personally, The First Monday in May is interesting (if never all that compelling) look at some of the work that went into The Metropolitan Museum of Art's most profitable exhibit. Available on DVD and On-Demand.

[Magnolia Home Entertainment, $14.99]

Star Wars #25

Luke, Leia, Han, Chewbacca, Sana, and the rest of the Rebels aboard the stolen Imperial Star Destroyer fight for their lives against both Sgt. Kreel and his elite band of stowaway Stormtroopers and the scores of Imperial ships attempting to prevent the stolen Harbinger from smashing through the blockade of Tureen VII.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Lucifer - Quid Pro Ho

I loved this episode. The trial of the man who murdered Chloe's (Lauren German) father begins, and when the star witness turns up dead Lucifer (Tom Ellis) takes the stand. Although hugely entertaining, his testimony does open a hole in the prosecution's case. Things are complicated by 1) The fallout from Lucifer standing up Chloe on their date, 2) Lucifer's Mum (Tricia Helfer) defending the man who killed Chloe's father, and 3) Detective Douche (Kevin Alejandro) sleeping with Lucifer's mother and unintentionally providing ammunition for the defense. In the end Chloe must choose to sacrifice Lucifer to get justice or stand-up for her partner and allow the man responsible for her father's death to go free.

Hal Jordan and The Green Lantern Corps #9

The Green Lantern Corps and the Sinestro Corps' attempt to save the planet of from an attack on Starro leaves the group in a precarious position. Not only must they think of a quick way to stop the mind-controlling starfish from taking control of them as well, but the group also discover that the entire city has been taken and bottled by an old DC villain - Braniac. Even after working together to stop Starro, the Lanterns have an entirely new set of problems to deal with.

Supergirl - Medusa

The first night of The CW's big four-part crossover event is really a crossover in name only. Only appearing in the epilogue, Barry (Grant Gustin) and Cisco (Carlos Valdes) show up to recruit Supergirl (Melissa Benoist) for the wider adventure after Kara deals with the current threat of Cadmus and an Kryptonian biological weapon the terrorist group plans to use to wipe out all non-human life on Earth.

Elementary - How the Sausage is Made

While investigating a murder involving a one victim killed after eating sausages made from a second murder victim, the trail leads Holmes (Jonny Lee Miller) and Watson (Lucy Liu) to a cutting edge laboratory where the ground-up victim was working on perfecting a meat substitute. At first Sherlock believes that such a discovery, and its effect on the marketplace, may have gotten the man killed by a meat conglomerate (or "Big Meat" as Holmes takes to saying), however a second, more devious, motive is eventually uncovered.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Kubo and the Two Strings

The latest from stop-motion studio Laika is their best yet. Centered around a young boy named Kubo (Art Parkinson) known in the local village for his tremendous storytelling ability where his origami creations spring to life, the adventure gets started in earnest when Kubo learns that the stories passed down from his mother (Charlize Theron) about an evil Moon King (Ralph Fiennes) are all true. To save himself and stand-up to his grandfather, Kubo will have to complete the unfinished quest which destroyed his father.

In a year without a heavyweight favorite for best animated feature Kubo and the Two Strings makes a strong play for the title. Undeniably visually stunning, it's the strength of its story that separate Kubo from some of Laika's previous releases. Available on Blu-ray and DVD, extras include a pair of short featurettes on the film's myth and the worldwide enterprise to make the film, a six-part behind-the-scenes making-of featurette, and commentary by director Travis Knight.

[Universal Studios Home Entertainment, Blu-ray $34.98 / DVD $29.98]

Once Upon a Time - Changelings

Refusing to lose another child, Rumpelstiltskin (Robert Carlyle) threatens to speed-up Belle's (Emilie de Ravin) pregnancy while ordering the Evil Queen (Lana Parrilla) to kill Zelena (Rebecca Mader). Neither plan works out in his favor as Regina steps in to save her sister, and the Evil Queen's decision to force a reluctant Gold's hands means the Dark One watches as his newborn son is lost to him... at least for now. Babies play a major role in the flashbacks to the Enchanted Forrest as well, as time in Rumpelstiltskin's castle reveals a bit more about the Dark One's past including introducing his mother (Jaime Murray) which helps explain the character's hatred of fairies. If the larger plan is to turn Rumpelstiltskin into a full villain once again, the groundwork is laid here by isolating him completely from family and friends and giving him a quest (finding his son) he will stop at nothing to achieve.

The Librarians and the Fangs of Death

I'm going to rename this one "The Librarians and the Werewolves of the Super Collider." Spurred on by an apocalyptic vision, Flynn (Noah Wyle) journeys with Eve (Rebecca Romijn) to bring Charlene (Jane Curtain) home. Finding, but almost immediately loosing, her, Flynn and the other Librarians go in search of Charlene again which leads them to an underground super collider in Canada full of werewolves (Don't you hate it when that happens?) transformed by Anubis brought forth by Apep as part of his plan to destroy The Library and release Pure Evil into the world.

Scooby-Doo! Team-Up #20

The latest issue of Scooby-Doo! Team-Up takes Scooby-Doo and Mystery, Inc. into space! While at the Department of Astrophysical Research, the Scooby Gang is surprised by the sudden appearance of Space Ghost and his sidekicks. Once he gets Shaggy and Scooby calmed down and convinces Mystery, Inc. that he is neither a ghost nor a villain, Space Ghost enlists the help of the gang to investigate a mysterious transmission coming from the moon where the villains Zorak and Moltar are preparing an invasion army.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Star Wars Rebels - The Wynkahthu Job

Like the past three episodes, "The Wynkahthu Job" feels a bit like filler as we continue to wait for the season's big events to get underway. At least this episode does offer the return of the amusing Hondo (Jim Cummings) who it seems Ezra (Taylor Gray) still hasn't given up hope for. Partnering with Azmorigan (James Hong), the disreputable characters bring a proposal too good to be passed up by the Rebellion (even if is suicidal). An Imperial Class 4 Container Transport is in decaying atmospheric orbit of the planet Wynkahthu. While the greedy Hondo and Azmorigan want to split the treasures aboard the abandoned craft, the Ghost's crew is far more interested in its cargo of proton bombs which are in scarce supply for the Rebellion.

Café Society

Definitely fitting into the category of lesser Woody Allen films, Café Society follows the rather uninteresting romance between a Brooklyn transplant to Los Angeles (Jesse Eisenberg) and a young woman (Kristen Stewart) who is also dating his older, and married, uncle (Steve Carell). The main problem with the film is we don't care about any of the three characters or who ends up with who. There's also an underdeveloped subplot involving the kid's gangster brother (Corey Stoll) which, like the rest of the film, never goes anywhere all that interesting.

While capable, and beautifully shot, neither Stewart nor Blake Lively (in a much smaller role) have the wit or spirit of Woody Allen's more memorable female characters. No one will confuse either with Annie Hall. And neither Eisenberg nor Carell seem particularly suited to Allen's storytelling, although the blasé script gives them very little to work with.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

The Flash - Killer Frost

"Killer Frost" shakes up Team Flash more than a little. After stepping in with Vibe (Carlos Valdes) to help save the Flash (Grant Gustin) from Savitar, Caitlin (Danielle Panabaker) begins to loose control of her powers and become Killer Frost. Attacking her friends and abducting Julian Albert (Tom Felton), Caitlin becomes desperate to find Doctor Alchemy as she believes a villain capable of bestowing powers on other might be able to take them away. In perhaps the most obvious reveal of the show's history, we learn the true identity of Alchemy, but another reveal is far more Earth-shattering for Cisco. Sadly, the events of the episode also mean Barry will have no trouble finding things to mope about and blame himself for in the near future (including an unexpected career change).

Thanos #1

Given the power of the character and his wide-ranging plots from taking over the entire universe to killing everything in his path, Marvel Comics periodically shelves Thanos in a variety of ways. Sometimes this means killing the character, sometimes this means trapping him in an alternate universe, sometimes this means having the character go missing or even retire. Whatever the case, Thanos always returns.

Friday, November 25, 2016

The Handmaiden

Presented in three acts, director Chan-wook Park's erotic thriller inserts a new handmaiden (Tae-ri Kim) into the home of a Japanese heiress (Min-hee Kim) in Victorian-era Korea as part of a larger plot to steal the woman's vast fortune. Part crime drama, part thriller, and part love story, The Handmaiden offers a tale of complicated motivations (where almost no one is exactly who they initially appear to be), betrayal, greed, sex, and love.

The first act of the film is presented from the role of the handmaiden, who is actually a plant to help steer the heiress into marrying her partner (Jung-woo Ha) to steal her money away from the lonely woman and her perverted uncle (Jin-woong Jo) who has his own plans for that wealth. However, when the handmaiden and her mistress begin falling for each other it throws a wrench into everyone's plans.

The film's second act offers a slightly different take on events from the perspective of the heiress, offering new motivations and insights, and setting up the film's final act in where each member of the small cast will face the consequences of their actions.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016


Moana is your typical Disney Princess animated feature set around the coming of age story of its heroine. Our title character is Moana (Auli'i Cravalho), the daughter of a Polynesian chieftain (Temuera Morrison) who is drawn to the ocean despite her father's strict rules about never journeying farther than the reef. However, circumstances force Moana to defy her father's wishes and go in search of the legendary demi-god Maui (Dwayne "It's Okay to Call Me The Rock Again" Johnson) whose help she will need to save her home from a decay that began centuries ago because of the god's rash actions.


There's so much wrong with Allied it's hard to know where to start. At times director Robert Zemeckis' film is laughably, occasionally excruciatingly, bad. In its best moments Allied is ill-conceived, and it doesn't have many of those.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Supergirl - The Darkest Place

"The Darkest Place" is another busy episode. Superman's black friend James "Don't Call Me Jimmy" Olsen (Mehcad Brooks) and Winn's (Jeremy Jordan) super-hero experiment runs into a snag with the arrival of a new deadly vigilante whose body count gets wrongly attributed to Guardian. J'onn (David Harewood) begins having after-effects from his blood transfusion which lead him to discover the truth about Miss Martian (Sharon Leal). Mon-El (Chris Wood) is used as bait by Cadmus to capture Kara (Melissa Benoist). And Alex (Chyler Leigh) blows off some steam and gives Maggie (Floriana Lima) a well-deserved scolding for leading her on.


The animated musical adventures center on the perpetually happy Trolls who are hunted by the miserable Bergens who believe the only happiness they can achieve is from eating the colorful creatures infatuated with hugs, dancing, singing, scrapbooking, cupcakes, and rainbows. When her loud party gets several of her friends captured, it falls on Princess Poppy (Anna Kendrick) and the morose Branch (Justin Timberlake) to bring them home.

Trolls borrows several key elements of its plot from The Smurfs (such as an evil giant obsessed with eating the delicious creatures). Big and bright without being all that memorable, Trolls is more kiddie movie than true family fare.

The movie's eclectic pop soundtrack features new songs by Timberlake and several recognizable tunes from the likes of Lionel Richie, Cyndi Lauper, Diana Ross, Kool & the Gang, and others. The big numbers and bright characters help make the predictable story a little easier to swallow. The movie is at best a modest success with a nice message for younger viewers about finding happiness within.

Jessica Jones #2

After others had tried and failed to get answers out of her, Luke Cage confronts Jessica Jones for answers about their missing child. Notable mainly for he confrontation between the two (which, when it doesn't go that well for either hero, Jessica runs away from by jumping several city blocks), Jessica Jones #2 may not give Luke any answers about his little girl but the reader will discover the truth.

Sausage Party

This movie is fucked up. Offering us a glimpse into the lives on anthropomorphic food and other assorted items in a grocery store who sing about the promised land after being bought by god-like humans, Sausage Party follows the misadventures of a hot dog named Frank (Seth Rogen) and his friends (Michael Cera, Kristen Wiig, David Krumholtz, Edward Norton, and Salma Hayek) who discover the truth about what really happens to food in the kitchen. Wrong in (mostly) all the right ways, it has to be seen to be believed.

Offering an inspired amount of cursing and obvious jokes (the bagel doesn't get along with the lavash, the douche is, well, a real douche) along with several genuinely funny moments, the script by Kyle Hunter, Ariel Shaffir, Rogen, and Evan Goldberg gets too infatuated with sexual innuendo at times (and ignores the inevitable truth of what will happen to all the characters), but while it lasts Sausage Party delivers an animated experience unlike anything you've seen before on the big screen.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Green Lanterns #11

With the unstable Frank Laminski now in control of the Phantom Ring, it falls to Jessica Cruz and Simon Baz to take down the would-be hero. The task is doing so is complicated by Laminski actually performing some very public heroic duties, including saving a young girl's life. Caught on camera, the two assigned Green Lanterns for Sector 2814 struggle to explain the situation (although Laminski's unstable personality eventually gets them out of the jam).

The Librarians and the Rise of Chaos

After the Librarians defeat some druids from using a rune stone (and a giant wicker statue) for nefarious purposes, the team heads to Boston where the Egyptian God of Chaos has inhabited a former Navy man and is using his host in an attempt to release pure evil into the world. It seems things won't be slowing down for the team this season as the battle between good and evil is just heating up. Aside from the magical threats, this season the team will also have to deal with the Department of Statistical Anomalies which have their own interest in the mystical events (and it seems the wrong perception of the Librarians and their mission).

Infamous Iron Man #2

Doctor Doom's stint as the new Iron Man continues here with the reformed villain paying a visit to another former associate. As with the first issue where Doom confronted Diablo, in Infamous Iron Man #2 Victor von Doom confronts the Mad Thinker. When his associate refuses to see the world through Doom's new hero-colored lenses, the two fight out their issues.

Star Wars Rebels - Iron Squadron

A forgettable episode in pretty much every respect, "Iron Squadron" introduces the crew of the Ghost to a trio of young Rebels defending their homeworld of Mykapo from the Empire. While the young members of Iron Squadron have been able to fight back a little Imperial presence, the Empire turning their attention to the sector has brought the Ghost in to evacuate the locals and attempt to talk some reason into Iron Squadron before they pick a fight they won't survive. Although Grand Admiral Thrawn (Lars Mikkelsen) makes a token apperance here, the episode is largely disconnected from the bigger themes of the season. And with the focus of the episode being on (the far less interesting) Iron Squadron, the result is the weakest episode of the show's Third Season.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Subpar Prequel and Where to Find It

Harry Potter Lite? Based on the spin-off novella by J.K. Rowling, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is the first Harry Potter movie without Harry Potter. Taking place decades before Harry's birth, the story is set in New York with wizard Newt Scamander's (Eddie Redmayne) arrival in the city with a suitcase full of magical creatures. When some of Scamander's creatures escape he attempts to hunt them down with the help of some new friends.

Bleed for This

It would be easy to look at Bleed for This and dismiss it as nothing more than another inspirational sports movie adapting a real-life athlete's adversity into a feature film. However, that would be a mistake. Bleed for This is better than I expected as the tale of world-champion boxer Vinny Pazienza's (Miles Teller) rise, fall, and struggle to reclaim his dream turns out to be worth all the sports cliches you find in such films.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

No Tomorrow - No Debts Remain Unpaid

Secrets and truths are the name of the game in "No Debts Remain Unpaid" which teaches each couple that honest communication is always preferable than hiding the truth from your spouse. Xavier (Joshua Sasse) learns this lesson by attempting to keep his mountain of credit card debt from Evie (Tori Anderson) for "her good." For the man who believes the world is coming to an end in less than a year it makes complete sense that he'd be living on credit, although for a guy who came up with a complex theory about the end of the world (based on science) you'd expect he'd be a little better with math and plan not to go broke so early.


Based on the true events of Operation Anthropoid, the historical thriller tells the story of the assassination attempt on Reinhard Heydrich by Exile Czechoslovak soldiers in Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia during WWII. What begins as a two-man suicide mission by Jozef Gabčík (Cillian Murphy) and Jan Kubiš (Jamie Dornan) soon grows to include the remnants of the Czech resistance and a pair of young women (Charlotte Le Bon and Charlotte Le Bon) who will lose more than just their hearts to the cause.

After the action of Jozef and Jan's arrival, the pair settle in for the long haul while bidding their time to take down the third highest-ranking Nazi and one of the leading minds behind the Final Solution. The script by director Sean Ellis and Anthony Frewin is a slow build to the film's climactic scene inside Prague's Orthodox Cathedral of Saints Cyril and Methodius. While the pacing might seem slow in spots, Ellis keeps the film moving and the payoff to the set-up is one of the more memorable action sequences of the year.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Red Hood and the Outlaws #4

Red Hood's undercover mission inside Black Mask's criminal organization is put in jeopardy by the realization that the crime lord has gotten his hands on Bizarro. Jason attempts to make nice with the immensely powerful Superman clone while also attempting to keep his cover intact. Well, one out of two ain't bad.

The Flash - Shade

As Alchemy reaches out to Wally (Keiynan Lonsdale) to embrace his Flashpoint life, the season takes a big turn. Wally will choose to help the group take down the villain, but not at the cost of the speed he so desperately desires. Caitlin's (Danielle Panabaker) powers will be revealed to the group. And Alchemy's boss, the season's true big bad, is revealed to be Savitar (i.e. yet another speedster). The episode is problematic in that its purpose is more to set-up what is to come than offer a strong standalone episode. The result is a metahuman shadow who is more of an afterthought than a legitimate threat while foreshadowing big changes for both Wally and Caitlin in the coming weeks.

Daredevil #13

After Muse attacks the courthouse and takes a judge hostage, Blindspot follows the villain into the sewers where Muse adds the judge to his collection of a councilwoman and two police officers (all of whom he blames for "conspiring" to shut down public access to his works of art). With Daredevil far from the action the comic is presented through the young hero's perspective who does his best left to his own devices. Blindspot does manage to save the hostages and stymie the villain... at least for awhile.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Lucifer - Trip to Stabby Town

Discovering that his Mum (Tricia Helfer) has allowed humans to unearth Azrael's blade by digging up his brother's grave, Lucifer (Tom Ellis) enlists the help of Maze (Lesley-Ann Brandt), Amenadiel (D.B. Woodside), and even an unsuspecting Ella (Aimee Garcia) to find the grave robber while working with Chloe (Lauren German) to solve a rash of stabbings at a Yoga studio all caused by the bloodlust of the celestial weapon. "Trip to Stabby Town" is memorable mostly for Chloe's jealousy of mistaking Lucifer's time with Ella and for the family conversation to close the episode which reveals a bit of Mum's plan and why Lucifer has no interest in leaving Earth for Heaven or Hell. Even her putting innocents in danger isn't enough for Amenadiel to question Mum's motives, perhaps leaving Lucifer alone in his role to protect the world from whatever devious plan his mother may come up with next.


Supergirl - Changing

Along with introducing one of Superman's most powerful enemies in the Parasite (William Mapother), the latest episode of Supergirl is actually more memorable for several of the show's supporting characters taking big steps in their own lives. For Alex (Chyler Leigh) this means coming out to Kara (Melissa Benoist) about her sexuality. Kara is shocked when told that her sister from another world is gay, but the show plays the dynamic between the pair just right, especially when Kara needs to comfort Alex after her second leap of the episode isn't as successful as her first.

Beauty and the Beast trailer

The first full-length trailer for the live-action version of Beauty and the Beast offers us glimpses of Belle (Emma Watson), the Beast (Dan Stevens), Gaston (Luke Evans), and some of the enchanted inhabitants of the Beast's castle. The film opens in theaters on March 17th.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Once Upon a Time - I'll Be Your Mirror

Following the curse, Snow White (Ginnifer Goodwin) and David (Josh Dallas) settle into a new routine with only one of the awake at a time. Meanwhile, Emma (Jennifer Morrison) and Regina's plan to trap the Evil Queen (Lana Parrilla) in the mirror world backfires leaving them on the other side of the mirror and Henry (Jared Gilmore) alone with the Queen. Thankfully for all involved, Henry is able to quickly recognize the Queen for who she is and give his mothers the opportunity they need to escape.

Flash Gordon: King's Cross #1

The first issue of Dynamite Entertainment's new five-issue mini-series unites Flash Gordon, Mandrake the Magician, Hans Zarkov, Dale Arden, and the Phantoms against the return of Ming the Merciless. Ming's latest attacks include tidal waves decimating cities all around the world and transforming an island into Mongo on Earth complete with giant sea monsters for our heroes to deal with.

Eye in the Sky

If Mel Gibson's Hacksaw Ridge takes an up-close look at the unflinching brutality of trench warfare, Eye in the Sky examines the more modern detachment to battle while debating the morality of this kind of war. Centered around a proposed (and much debated) drone strike, director Gavin Hood's film offers us bureaucracy rather than a high body count and the age-old moral dilemma of just how much a single life is worth.

Pulling in characters from multiple countries, the story itself boils down to Colonel Katherine Powell (Helen Mirren), her mission to take down high-valued terrorist targets, and how politics, bureaucracy, and a local girl (Aisha Takow) selling bread inside the target zone threaten to derail her plans. While Powell is steadfast in the mission, others spend the movie debating the merits of their actions along with the legal and moral implications (to such an extent the movie feels at times more like a treatise on drone warfare than a film).

Sunday, November 13, 2016

The Blacklist - Dr. Adrian Shaw

The capture of Alexander Kirk (Ulrich Thomsen) doesn't last long, nor does the small bits of knowledge Lizzie (Megan Boone) has been able to scrape together about her past when she realizes the dying madman obsessed with her isn't her biological father. The two-part episode includes an escape from a locked-down hospital wing, Reddington (James Spader) trading himself for Lizzie's safe return, and a confrontation between Kirk and Reddington that suggests (but doesn't confirm) a few important details about Lizzie's parents.

Moon Knight #8

Moon Knight #8 continues the schizophrenic adventures of our hero. Taking place mostly in Jake Lockley's reality, the cab driver finds himself under arrest for murder and under suspicion for a series of recent killings. Escaping that reality, Moon Knight slingshots around both onto the movie set as Steven Grant and into the bizarre future fighting space werewolves. As the comic comes to a close, however, things get interesting as all three of his personalities comes face-to-face with Marc Spector back in the "real world" of Egyptian killers and pyramids in the middle of Manhattan. Whatever Marc has planned, he'll obviously need the help of all aspects of himself to get it done. Worth a look.

[Marvel, $3.99]

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Arrow - So it Begins

The trail of bodies left across the city leads to new tensions among Oliver (Stephen Amell) and his team, first because failed to tell them of the new threat in Prometheus, and second because the reasons for these killings tie back to Oliver's early days as the Arrow and his list of dead bodies. Prometheus himself continues to be a mostly forgettable villain, another dark archer with a slightly different mask whose motivations the show's writers continue to keep to themselves (and, no, I'm not taking that late reveal seriously). Things aren't any easier on the mayoral front as the chaos Prometheus' seemingly random killings has created threatens the peace and Thea (Willa Holland) discovers Quentin's (Paul Blackthorne) sobriety is a work of fiction.

Friday, November 11, 2016


We've seen this all before. Alien arrival movies have become a Hollywood staple, although the themes have varied allowing the sci-fi tales to cross genres from horror to comedy. Movies centered around first contact with aliens fall into two categories based on the reasoning behind the aliens arrival on Earth. Are they here to destroy (Independence Day, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, The Thing) or do that have more complicated, but ultimately benevolent, motivations (E.T., Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Contact)?


Depression is a hard subject matter to tackle. By its very nature it makes any character suffering from the condition standoffish at best or, as is the case here, nearly unrelatable. The subject of director Antonio Campos' film is 70s Florida local news reporter Christine Chubbuck (Rebecca Hall). As a character study of a person struggling with depression and paranoia, Christine works well-enough. But as a film it's difficult to see past the premise as anything other than Oscar-bait. Hall gives a great performance as a woman on the edge, but the sad fact about writer Craig Shilowich's script is we are never invested in what dark end is destined for her.

Based on a true story, Shilowich's script showcases Christine as a hack local newswoman unable to get along with co-workers or family with dreams of the big time Christine, at least on some level, likely understands she will never achieve. Unable to deal with her loneliness, the station manager's orders for more sensational stories, and a medical problem she refuse to share with anyone, Christine is on the fast track to ruin. What makes her story different is how public her downward spiral became.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Death of Hawkman #2

Death of Hawkman #2 highlights separate storylines of the mini-series two leads. On Rann, Adam Strange tries to prevent his adopted home from retaliating after an attack everyone assumes came from Thanagar. Because the victims of the attack included his father-in-law, Strange finds no solace at home while trying to argue reason over rash action.

Daredevil - The Complete First Season

The First Season of Netflix's Daredevil is collected here. Perhaps preferring views to keep watching the show on Netflix rather than shell out money for hard Blu-ray copies, the collection is noticeably light when compared to other television series. Only available on Blu-ray (no DVD), the collection includes no digital copies (as Netflix wants you to keep paying to stream the series) or any extras.

The first show in Marvel's line of Netflix originals, Daredevil introduces us to defense attorney Matt Murdock (Charlie Cox) who, despite being blind, spends his free time fighting crime in the streets of Hell's Kitchen. We also get Matt's best bud Foggy (Elden Henson), their leggy secretary (Deborah Ann Woll), and the season's big bad in the villainous Kingpin (Vincent D'Onofrio). As with the other shows which have followed the same format, the season does have its ups and downs, but it's certainly more consistent that Marvel's ABC properties (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Agent Carter).

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Everafter #3

The third issue of Everafter continues the Fables spin-off's opening arc with a twist. Remember the death of Connor Wolf which punctuated the end of the previous issue? Well, turns out the newbie spy isn't dead. Having switched places by morphing into one of the heist crew, Connor is able to report back to The Shadow Players about the team of thieves stealing powerful Native American artifacts from museums all over the world. The trouble for Connor, however, is despite his ability to transform into any person or creature, he doesn't gain that person's knowledge or intelligence and, of course, is eventually found out.

Lucifer - My Little Monkey

"My Little Monkey" undercuts the emotion of both Chloe (Lauren German) reopening her father's murder case and Linda (Rachael Harris) shutting out Maze (Lesley-Ann Brandt while struggling to process the truth of Lucifer (Tom Ellis), with a goofy plot involving Lucifer douching-up to work alongside Dan (Kevin Alejandro). While humorous at times, this turns what could have been another extremely good episode into a more forgettable one.

Green Arrow #10

Taking place on the ocean floor, Green Arrow #10 sends Green Arrow, Black Canary, and Diggle aboard the maiden voyage of the Trans-Pacific Railway known as the Empire Express where they find evidence of drug smuggling and murder.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Supergirl - Crossfire

There's quite a bit happening in "Crossfire," the problem is not all if it is interesting. Continuing the Cadmus storyline, the terrorist group arms bank robbers with alien weapons which make them more than a match for Supergirl (Melissa Benoist). Growing bolder with every strike, the group sets their target on Lena Luthor's (Katie McGrath) big bash where Supergirl will need help to save the day. The most obvious problem with the storyline is there were plenty of ways for Supergirl to disarm the robbers (super-speed, freeze-breath, over-heating the guns with heat-vision) but instead she ran head first into each attack, not adapting to the situation. In terms of the arc, "Crossfire" does confirm a connection between Lena and Cadmus (but not in the expected way) which I'll be curious to see developed over the rest of the season.