Thursday, November 16, 2017

The Flash - When Harry Met Harry...


The title of the latest episode comes from the B-story as Harry (Tom Cavanagh) reaches out to other versions of himself across the Multiverse in order to aid in the search for the illusive villain DeVoe (Neil Sandilands). While it will eventually bring the Flash (Grant Gustin) face-to-face with the much-discussed character for the first time, neither the quirky versions of Wells nor Cisco's (Carlos Valdes) rousing friendship speech can save the groan-worthy sequences (which are given far too much screentime).

Dragon Con 2017 Best Cosplay

Lucifer - Off The Record


Rather than focus on Lucifer Morningstar (Tom Ellis) or a specific crime of the week, "Off The Record" changes things up by centering an episode on someone effected by the Devil's actions and becomes obsessed with proving just who and what Lucifer is. The fact that the reporter (Patrick Fabian) is Linda's (Rachael Harris) ex-husband, who is spurred on his revenge path by an oblivious Lucifer, adds fuel to the fire. Taken place over the course of multiple seasons, we watch Reese's obsession grow until the man simply can't take it any longer.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Justice League


Built from the worst foundation possible laid by the disastrous Man of Steel and the trainwreck which was Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, it's a wonder that Justice League is even watchable let alone entertaining. Don't get me wrong, the latest from "visionary" director Zack Snyder is beset with multiple problems, but thankfully being a dumpster fire isn't one of them. Despite issues with character, plot, editing, acting, and cinematography, Justice League does produce a flawed yet entertaining film bringing DC heroes together against a common threat. It's not the follow-up to Wonder Woman DC fans were hoping for, but it's a fair bit better than I expected from Zack Snyder and company.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Supergirl - Midvale


Alex's (Chyler Leigh) recent break-up leads Kara (Melissa Benoist) to take her sister home to Midvale in an episode that gives us our first real look at a teenage Kara struggling with her new life on Earth. Izabela Vidovic and Olivia Nikkanen are cast as the younger version of the two characters in this Smallville-ish episode that even contains a reference to Clark's computer-wiz friend Chloe. It's a nice change of pace episode, and allows both characters time to deal with their recent loss, but it also pretty by-the-book and reminds us how lucky we are that the show chose to begin with an adult Kara rather than offering yet another awkward teen coming-of-age super-hero story.

Los Angeles Comic Con 2017 Cosplay (Part 1)

Star Wars Rebels - Rebel Assault


After several episodes teasing Thrawn's (Lars Mikkelsen) military prowess and strategy, "Rebel Assault" finally delivers a major victory for the Grand Admiral with his troops thwarting the Rebellion's attempts to destroy the Imperial factories on Lothal. After loosing an entire squadron of their best fighters and Hera (Vanessa Marshall) being taken captive by the Empire, but not before showing off some impressive piloting skills allowing the squadron to get past the first wave of Thrawn's planetary defenses, things are looking bleak for our heroes. While the immediate path for the rest of the Rebels is uncertain, Kanan (Freddie Prinze Jr.) will stop at nothing to see Hera freed... even if that means making a bargain with his unusual new friends.

Kedi

The documentary from Ceyda Torun showcases the locals of Istanbul and their relationship with the street cats who roam the city and are fed, protected, and cared for by its people. Telling us as much about the people who choose to care for them as the cats themselves, from artists to fishermen to restaurant and store owners, Kedi is the kind of life-affirming documentary which will leave you feeling a little sad when you walk down the street and don't find a feline or two waiting for you.

Certainly aimed at a target audience, cat lovers will undoubtedly get more from the documentary than others. Initially choosing to follow 19 cats around the city using a special rig to offer the street level perspective of the film's four-legged stars, Torun decided to trim the film to focus on seven cats (Sari, Duman, Bengü, Aslan Parçasi, Gamsiz, Psikopat, and Deniz). along with some Samaritans who each feed and entire block of cats.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Justice League Action - System Error


"System Error" is a clever idea for an episode that fits well into the time constraints of Justice League Action. Batman (Kevin Conroy) awakes in the Batmobile confused as to how he got there and discovers his other Justice League pals are fighting odd pairings of various super-villains. Discrepancies in the villains behavior and abilities, and the League's inability to fight back against Parademons, leads the Dark Knight Detective to discover that he, Wonder Woman (Rachel Kimsey), Superman (Jason J. Lewis), Cyborg (Khary Payton), and Booster Gold (Diedrich Bader) are all robots in an elaborate simulation run by Darkseid (Jonathan Adams) who is looking for weaknesses in his enemies. What the master of Apokolips failed to count on was just how good his replicas turned out to be.

Blizzcon 2017 Cosplay (Part 1)

Hawaii Five-0 - Mōhala i ka wai ka maka o ka pua


Multiple-personality antagonists are a hard-sell as Hawaii Five-0 learns with "Mōhala i ka wai ka maka o ka pua" which casts Michael Weston as a traumatized schizophrenic off his medication who begins a series of violent acts. The unusual case allows for the return of Claire Forlani as profiler Alicia Brown who proves instrumental in ending things without further bloodshed. More of a running gag than a B-story, the episode also puts a stress counselor with McGarrett (Alex O'Loughlin) for most of the episode, hired by his friends in hopes of finding ways to lower Steve's stress. Neither storyline is all that memorable, at least not in a good way, although Danny's (Scott Caan) attempt to look out for his partner is eventually appreciated.

Atomic Robo and the Spectre of Tomorrow #1


Atomic Robo versus... the Homeowners Association? The first issue of the latest volume of Atomic Robo sees our robotic scientist/adventurer setting out for greener pastures by beginning the construction of the new Tesladyne Institute in the badlands of New Mexico’s Jornada del Muerto desert. It seems that even those who have save the Earth aren't immune to bureaucratic red tape. Introduced to the facility and various characters through they eyes of the returning Foley, we witness the frustration of of several different Tesladyne workers, including Robo himself, at the lack of progress to get the new facility up and running. Despite having only two neighbors, Robo is dragged into a homeowners meeting with Sir Richard Branson who cites enough Tesladyne infractions to halt all "progress" on the site. Poor Robo. Where's a psychotic dinosaur to hit when you need one?

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Escapes

Escapes in an unconventional look at the life and career of actor/screenwriter/director Hampton Fancher most famous for his screenplays for Blade Runner and its recent sequel Blade Runner 2049. Director Michael Almereyda's take on his subject, focusing on a few key stories inter-cut with various film and television clips, archival footage, comic book panels, and stills, meanders a bit at times but succeeds in its main goal of informing its audience about Fancher's career and key moments and relationships in his life.

Jumping around a bit, opening with an extended sequence focused on Fancher's days as a struggling actor during his relationship to Teri Garr, the film is very much conversational (albeit one way) in style allowing the man to share specific memories from his life. Those looking for an in-depth analysis of acting, screenwriting, or filmmaking are likely to be disappointed. However, those curious to learn more about the man who helped create one of the most famous science fiction films of the 20th Century will no doubt get their money's worth.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Murder on the Orient Express


2017's Murder on the Orient Express isn't the first adaptation of Agatha Christie's work, nor is likely to be the last. Director Kenneth Branagh, who also stars as Christie's famous detective Hercule Poirot, offers a stylish version of events featuring an all-star cast as mystery and murder unfold on the renown luxury passenger train which gets stuck in an avalanche with a murderer onboard. And, to make sure his performance won't be forgotten, Branagh sports some of the most bizarre facial hair you'll see on film (at least one not filed under Science Fiction).

The Blacklist - The Kilgannon Corporation


The fall of Raymond Reddington (James Spader) allowed others to swoop in and take over various aspects of his criminal network. "The Kilgannon Corporation" examines one piece of this as an Irishman with less care for his cargo runs into some very public trouble while attempting to smuggle people across international borders. Despite everyone's distaste for human trafficking, Red makes a valid argument that someone will provide the service and if that criminal doesn't take care in the lives of the refugees they are moving illegally there are going to be far more dead bodies. The choice to put Dembe (Hisham Tawfiq) in undercover heightens Red's interest in the case, especially after the FBI looses him in transport. While a bit on the nose, the conversation between Red and Liz (Megan Boone) continues to better flesh-out the connection between the two men.

Legends of Tomorrow - Return of the Mack


There's a moment when it's revealed that Mick Rory (Dominic Purcell) has kept a stake on-hand for years just on the off-chance that he runs into a a vampire that is nearly perfect. Sadly, the rest of the episode isn't nearly as entertaining. It's hard not to look at an episode like "Return of the Mack" and not see the series going two-steps backwards. Traveling to late 19th Century London to investigate an odd aberration which at first glance appears to be an a time-traveling vampire, the team encounters Rip Hunter (Arthur Darvill) on his own quest for a dangerous enemy known as Mallus. While initially choosing to work together, Hunter and the Legends part ways when Sara (Caity Lotz) refuses to allow a witch (Courtney Ford) to resurrect Damien Darhk (Neal McDonough), under the Arrow logic of since it worked once let's do the same thing again... and again... and again, while Rip wants to allow the ceremony to take place in order to draw out his real prey.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

The Flash - Girls Night Out


"Girls Night Out" splits the cast into gender-specific groups for typical bachelor/bachelorette party episode, Flash-style. While Barry's (Grant Gustin) night is hijacked by Ralph Dinby (Hartley Sawyer), it's the ladies who get to lead the episode's main storyline which finally answers some questions about Caitlin's (Danielle Panabaker) missing months while also bulking up the roster this week with the inclusion of both Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards) and guest-star Katee Sackhoff as the D-list villain Amunet Black. While mentioned briefly pre-party, and making an appearance in the show's epilogue, DeVoe (Neil Sandilands) continues to be a mystery to Team Flash.

The Gifted - got your siX


Six episodes into the series, there's now more than a little evidence that Caitlin Stucker (Amy Acker) is the only good person, mutant or human, on the show. It seems dropping everyone in a morally ambiguous world that forces compromise and settling has pushed, or is actively pushing, all other characters in the other general direction. Even Eclipse (Sean Teale), who was loathe to give into violence with the exception of rescuing his girlfriend, is in full murder-cause-its-easy mode this week along with Polaris (Emma Dumont). Given what's coming for them and their children, and the needs of the mutant underground protecting them, both Stuckers have to make some tough choices in how involved they want their children to become in the fight against Sentinel Services and the United States Government.

Lucifer - Vegas with Some Radish


Discovering that his ex-wife Candy (Lindsey Gort) is in danger, Lucifer (Tom Ellis) abandons Chloe (Lauren German) on her birthday and heads to Las Vegas with Ella (Aimee Garcia). Although we know why Lucifer entered into the sham marriage with Candy, "Vegas with Some Radish" finally provides some details in the form of flashbacks including their meeting and the pair striking up a deal. In the present, Lucifer decides to make himself bait to lure out the killer who is after Candy's club leading to a Devil's night of Vegas crooning on stage complete with Ella dressed as a Vegas showgirl.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Supergirl - Damage


Kevin Smith returns to direct another episode of Supergirl. While the episode's final B-story finally deals with the long-teased break-up of Alex (Chyler Leigh) and Maggie (Floriana Lima), in a very grown-up manner, the episode's B-story feels a bit more like a comic book as Moran Edge (Adrian Pasdar) returns to take some revenge. While the show eventually dumped plans for Maxwell Lord to play a larger role as a Lex Luthor stand-in, with "Damages" the show's writers go all-in on Edge as he uses the media to paint Lena Luther (Katie McGrath) as a dangerous industrialist responsible for the lead poisoning causing health issues in several of National City's children.

Star Wars Rebels - Kindred


On Lothal, surrounded by Imperials, the Rebels work quickly to get the stolen hyperdrive and TIE Interceptor plans off-world. Things are complicated by the arrival of Thrawn's (Lars Mikkelsen) assassin Rukh (Warwick Davis) whose tracking ability leads the Empire to the Rebels on multiple occasions. Following up from the previous episode, Ezra's (Taylor Gray) encounter with the Loth Wolves will be built upon, although the reasons behind it remain shrouded in mystery. As Hera (Vanessa Marshall) takes to the skies with her precious cargo, Ezra and the rest of the team follow the wolves deeper into the rocks leading them to a destination none of them could have expected.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Hawaii Five-0 - Kama' oma' o ka 'aina huli hana


As is the show's custom around Halloween, the latest episode brings a series of bizarre murders to the Five-0 task force's attention, all of which appear to have been inspired by local myth and folklore. The episode's B-story takes the long road to get Grover (Chi McBride) what he needs to take down his former best-friend who has, until now, gotten away with murdering his wife and putting a hit out on Grover. While the death row sequence involving an inmate with only hours left to live never quite pays off (and ends pretty damn gruesomely with the prisoner having to be electrocuted multiple times to finish him off) apparently the show is finally ready to put this thread to rest.

Justice League Action - It'll Take a Miracle


When Barda (Laura Post) is kidnapped by Darkseid (Jonathan Adams), Batman (Kevin Conroy) goes in search of the Mister Miracle (Roger Craig Smith) who has the only item the ruler of Apokolips is prepared to trade for - the final sequence of his Anti-Life Equation. Initially mistaking Batman for a super-hero magician, the universe's greatest escape artist refuses to listen, but when Granny Goodness (Cloris Leachman) and her Female Furies arrive Scott is forced to explain to the world's greatest detective just what Darkseid wants from him. Of course this means a trip to Apokolips and some trickery and sleight of hand before all is said and done and Darkseid is left without either his hostage or his equation.

Detective Comics #967


Tim Drake has returned, and his team is happy to see him. However, he hasn't come back alone. Another future version of Tim Drake from an alternate timeline who took on the mantle of Batman and has a far-more murdery streak in him, has also arrived in Gotham City. Seeing a change to rewrite history, future-Tim decides to kill off the one person he hold responsible for forcing him down his current path: Batwoman.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Super-Heroes Card Trader - Awesome Pack 6


For more super-heroes check out Super-Hero Pack 1, Pack 2, Pack 3, Pack 4, Pack 5, Wonder Woman Pack 1, Black Cat Pack 1, Lara Croft Pack 1, and Harley Quinn Pack 1, Pack 2, Pack 3, Pack 4, Pack 5, Birds of Prey Pack 1, Memorial Day Pack 1, X-Men Pack 1, and the X-Mas Mega Pack.

Arrow - Reversal


"Reversal" offers two seemingly independent plotlines which will eventually connect to reveal the identity of the new big bad for Season Six. Good news everyone, it's not an evil archer! Diggle's (David Ramsey) run as Green Arrow continues, although we get no follow-up to last week's foreshadowing of his steroid-ish drug use to keep his tremor in check which will no doubt cause the end of his run as the vigilante through his death or someone else's. Team Arrow struggles to understand the motives of Black Siren (Katie Cassidy) who begins killing off random people in Star City. Meanwhile, Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards) is approached by her old Helix contact Alena (Kacey Rohl) who reveals the cyber-terrorist Cayden James (Michael Emerson), the one Felicity helped release from prison, is about to launch a major attack which could lead to millions of casualties.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

This is ONI-CON (Galveston Texas 2017 Cosplay Music Video)

Legends of Tomorrow - Phone Home


While raising a host of continuity issues the show doesn't even attempt to deal with, "Phone Home" is another fun episode as the team travels back to 1988 after discovering the timeline has been altered and a young Ray Palmer (Jack Fisher) was murdered. In the own half-assed way, the Legends save young Ray while possibly muddying up the timeline more as Ray not only meets an older version of himself but other super-powered members of the team, too. The twist for the team, that young Ray isn't killed by the young Dominator he brings home but by shadowy agents studying it, would work better if the truth hadn't been revealed to the audience in the opening scene.

Friday, November 3, 2017

Stranger Things - Chapter Three: The Pollywog


The primary focus of "Chapter Three" is to introduce everyone in the group to Dustin's (Gaten Matarazzo) new pet who only Will (Noah Schnapp) makes a (pretty damn obvious) connection to the Upside Down. Meanwhile, Nancy (Natalia Dyer) is forced to deal with the fallout from the drunkenly-honest outburst at the party and the break-up with her boyfriend she doesn't even remember. The further appearances of the extra-douchey Billy (Dacre Montgomery) seem to be in place, other than to simply have a mean kid around, to make us forget and/or forgive the lesser-dickishness of Steve (Joe Keery) was for most of last season.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Thor: Ragnarok


Marvel has struggled with creating a consistent and fully-realized film for either Thor or the Hulk. Sure Thor is okay. And The Incredible Hulk is fine, but neither is likely your favorite Marvel movie. The solution to throw the two together with a Ragnarok (end of Asgard)/Planet Hulk mash-up proves to be just what the doctor ordered. Oh, Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) is here, too. Thor: Ragnarok marks the first time in four films that Thor (Chris Hemsworth) has actually been more interesting than Loki (Tom Hiddleston). Don't get me wrong, Hiddleston is still charming as hell, but taking Thor away from Earth and (mostly) Asgard frees the character up considerably for one hell of a fun ride that rivals Guardians of the Galaxy for Marvel Studios' best space adventure.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

The Gifted - boXed in


After losing his prisoners, Turner (Coby Bell) calls in every agent he can and begins a systematic search for the mutants. While several of the mutants, particularly Fade (Jeff Daniel Phillips), aren't happy with the arrival of Reed (Stephen Moyer), Daddy Stucker will help prove his worth by leading the pursuit away from the mutants' hideout and Kate (Amy Acker) and her children will continue to pitch in by helping to save another mutant's life. Despite their initial plans to flee the country, it looks like the Stuckers have found a new home.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Eleven #12


Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Eleven comes to a close with Buffy and Willow's powers restored but at odds with the villainous Press Secretary who has used the law to usurp the magical powers of various witches and creatures including a very large dragon whose magic she just drained. Don't worry though, the dragon will make a memorable final appearance before all is said and done.

Lucifer - Welcome Back, Charlotte Richards


The murder of a pudding chemist brings Charlotte Richards (Tricia Helfer) back to Lucifer as the company's lawyer. Confused by Charlotte's return, and wondering if is part of his father's plan (at least when he's not distracted by the models dressed up like angels for the rival company's sexy commercial shoot), Lucifer (Tom Ellis) vows to get to the truth but is unprepared when the lawyer makes a surprise move to jump his bones (after wrongly deducing that she must have been sleeping with Lucifer during the missing months of her life) or the level of her honesty when her efforts at seduction fail.

Supergirl - The Faithful


Faith can make a powerful ally, and an even more powerful enemy. In a world of super-powered individuals it would only be a matter of time before someone would begin worshiping a hero as something far more. In the "Faithful," Kara (Melissa Benoist) is far from pleased to discover someone she saved two yeas ago has started a cult to worship the Kryptionian god Rao and, more specifically, Supergirl. Targeting those who have been saved by National City's hero, the group grows and individuals wanting to feel a part of something even put themselves (and others) in danger in order to be saved. The fact that the man truly believes what he is doing is right, and sees through her alter-ego, only further complicates things.