Sunday, January 31, 2016

Wander Over Yonder - The Bad Hatter

When it falls into the hands of Lord Hater (Keith Ferguson) we get a little backstory of Wander's (Jack McBrayer) magic hat and how such a powerful item fell into the wanderer's possession. While control of a hat that can give them whatever it needs drives both Hater and Peepers (Tom Kenny) increasingly mad, Sylvia (April Winchell) does what she can to try and cheer up her best pal by finding Wander a different hat. As is the cusom of the show, "The Bad Hatter" not only shows us why Wander needs his hat but why the hat needs an owner like Wander. In the end Wander and his prized possession are reunited allowing his wandering to continue once more.

Batgirl #47

While fun, Batgirl #47 is a jumbled mess. Offering us an team-up between Batgirl, Spoiler, and Bluebird the latest issue sends Babs and Stephanie into the GCPD disguised as cops in an undercover mission so ridiculous it would have made Charlie's Angels blush. The girls' night out vibe is cute, but Barbara's plan (breaking into a police station where nearly everyone knows her by sight) is half-assed at best.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Pretty Little Liars - The Gloves are On

Five Years Forward continues to reintroduce characters in "The Gloves are On" as Hanna (Ashley Benson) turns to Lucas (Brendan Robinson) for help after the police begin questioning her mother about the missing footage from the hotel which Hanna erased, Emily (Shay Mitchell) becomes increasingly paranoid after noticing Sara Harvey (Dre Davis) shadowing her around town, and Melissa (Torrey DeVitto) immediately notices the obvious chemistry between Spencer (Troian Bellisario) and Caleb (Tyler Blackburn) which will finally prove to be the push the pair need to act on their feelings.

Shadowhunters - Dead Man's Party

The kidnapping of Simon (Alberto Rosende) by vampires allows the series to introduce more supporting characters to the series, primarily those of Camille (Kaitlyn Leeb), the leader of the vampire clan responsible for the abduction, and Melilorn (Jade Hassouné), a faerie and Isabelle's (Emeraude Toubia) occasional friend with benefits. From the final scene it's obvious that Simon's time with the vampires has left their mark on him, although our heroes have yet to figure that out just yet.

Kung Fu Panda 3

Building on the epilogue of Kung Fu Panda 2, the latest sequel introduces Po (Jack Black) to his father Li (Bryan Cranston) and an entire tribe of Pandas hidden away in a secret valley deep in the mountains. Along the way Po will also struggle with passing on his knowledge of Kung Fu in the role of teacher, first to the Furious Five and later to his Panda students, when an old threat returns and begins stealing the chi of Kung Fu masters across China.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Star Wars Rebels - The Protector of Concord Dawn

After Hera (Vanessa Marshall) is injured while acting on Sabine's (Tiya Sircar) plan to negotiate with Mandalorians whose planet could offer the Rebellion an alternate hyperspace route to Lothal, Sabine stows away on Kanan's follow-up mission. While the Jedi attempts once again to appeal to the Mandalorian leader Fenn Rau, Sabine provides an explosive back-up plan for when things inevitably go wrong.

The Shannara Chronicles - Reaper

Amberle's (Poppy Drayton) quest to take the seed to the Bloodfire gets off to a rocky start when the company is taken captive by the Rovers. Leaving Wil (Austin Butler) and the soldiers to die, Cephelo (James Remar) takes the Elf Stones and the Elven princess as his payment for Eretria's (Ivana Baquero) freedom. Eretria's betrayal of her father figure marks an important turning point for her character choosing to become part of the quest (while also saving the series from going down a dark path given the desires of the Rovers' leader). Despite his assistance later in the episode, it's hard to forgive or forget Cephelo's attempted rape of Amberle.

Astro City #31

With the help of guest-artist Jesus Merino, with Astro City #31 writer Kurt Busiek offers up a story from the perspective of a monster who, it turns out, isn't all that monstrous. Told from the perspective of the Living Nightmare, a nightmarish creature that feeds on the fear of others, who escapes captivity not to wreak havoc but to do some serious soul searching, the story is one of introspection about what the creature is and who it wants to become.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

The Flash - The Reverse-Flash Returns

The return of the Reverse-Flash (Matt Letscher) is only one of many storylines in an episode that also features Patty's (Shantel VanSanten) farewell, Harrison Wells (Tom Cavanagh) helping Cisco (Carlos Valdes) unlock his powers, the return of Amanda Pays as Tina McGee, a little bonding between Iris (Candice Patton) and her brother and the deteriorating health of their mother, and the show touching on the idea of Earth-1 and Earth-2 doppelgangers (which it will no doubt continue to explore over the rest of the season).

Hotel Transylvania 2

The sequel to 2012's Hotel Transylvania doesn't stray far from the themes of the first film. After a series of short scenes involving the marriage of Mavis (Selena Gomez) and Johnny (Andy Samberg) and the birth of their son, the movie jumps forward to the eve of young Dennis' (Asher Blinkoff) fifth birthday. The driving force behind the film is the concern of Count Dracula (Adam Sandler) that his grandson hasn't show any vampire tendencies. The Count will use the weekend away from the boy's parents to enlist the help of his old friends to bring Dennis' monster genes out.

Available on both Blu-ray and DVD, extras include a digital copy of the film, deleted scenes, a character gallery, music video, audio commentary from director Genndy Tartakovsky, and a second audio commentary from Sandler, Allen Covert and writer Robert Smigel. Also included are some kid friendly featurettes such as lessons on how to draw the characters in the film and how to put together a Halloween party, a short featurette on the new characters, and karaoke sing-a-long.

Scorpion - Da Bomb

Brought in by NASA and their old nemesis Merrick (David Fabrizio) to fix their top secret rocket before launch, Scorpion runs into a conflict of interest when Walter's (Elyes Gabel) date from the previous evening shows up in their offices wearing a bomb vest and carrying a recording ordering Scorpion to make sabotage the rocket, or else. Brooke Nevin returns from her previous cameo as the host of the speed dating service (where apparently she didn't get a good enough look at Walter's "skills" to know just how terrible he'd be at dating). Although the pair part as friends at the end of the episode, I'm pleased that it doesn't appear the writers have any interest in bringing her back as part of a love triangle between Walter and Paige (Katharine McPhee).

Galavant - Do the D'DEW

"Do the D'DEW" gets its title from the dark arts of Wormwood (Robert Lindsay) on the eve of war between Valencia and Hortencia. While Gareth (Vinnie Jones) wants to murder his way through Hortencia the old fashioned way, Madalena (Mallory Jansen) interest is piqued. The Queen's willingness to do whatever it takes to win the war, including signing over her soul (and possibly harming a baby even when it isn't required for the spell), frightens even Wormwood into second-guessing who he has aligned himself with.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Supergirl - Strange Visitor From Another Planet

"Strange Visitor From Another Planet" introduces a new threat to the show when a White Martian shows up in National City to attack an anti-alien Senator (Tawny Cypress) in the hopes of drawing out J'onn J'onzz (David Harewood). The show's new villain allows Supergirl to set-up its version of J'onn's backstory while also possibly laying the foundation for the introduction of Miss Martian somewhere down the line. The choice to make the White Martian a strong enough threat that it takes both J'onn and Kara (Melissa Benoist) working together to stop it also works to underline teases the looming threat of far more of the nearly-unstoppable aliens just a couple of planets away.

Wander Over Yonder - The Secret Planet

After discovering a small world untouched by Lord Dominator's (Noël Wells) recent attacks, Wander (Jack McBrayer) struggles with his promise to Sylvia (April Winchell) to keep the world a secret. First allowing a ship to crash land on the planet, survivors of which are intent on celebrating the glory of their new king (complete with a massive statue and bonfire in his honor), followed by tourists who decide to build a resort and discotheque on the planet, Wander's struggles to keep the increasingly out-of-control situation from both his best-friend and anyone else who might see the recent commotion on this small unassuming planet.

Galavant - Love and Death

After Sid (Luke Youngblood) accidentally stabs Galavant (Harry Collett) with the knight's own sword, the group speeds to a healer (Reece Shearsmith) in hopes of saving his life. While our hero spends most of the episode dead, complete with a song and dance number featuring Death (Eddie Marsan) and a few familiar faces in the great beyond, the sudden demise of Galavant brings Richard (Timothy Omundson) and Roberta (Clare Foster) closer together. By the end of the episode the heroes are back in action, along with their own zombie army (cutesy of the healer) that may or may not be of any use in the coming battle.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Star Wars Rebels - A Princess on Lothal

Princess Leia (Julie Dolan) becomes the latest core character from the original Star Wars trilogy to make an appearance on Star Wars Rebels when she arrives on Lothal as part of a diplomatic mission of delivering relief supplies to the planet. Of course what she's really attempting to do is hand over three freighters to the Rebellion but the unexpected safeguards Lieutenant Lyste (Liam O'Brien) chooses to put in place makes things more difficult for the Ghost's crew and their new friend. The arrest of Ryder (Clancy Brown) only further complicates matters as the new allies will have to work together to get the job done.

Family Fun Collection: Hotel Transylvania / Monster House

Available in both DVD and Blu-ray, the Family Fun Collection double-pack of Hotel Transylvania and Monster House collects two good (but not great) recent Halloween-themed animated movies. Of the pair, I enjoyed Hotel Transylvania, the adventures of Count Dracula (Adam Sandler) and his 118 year-old daughter Mavis (Selena Gomez) in their hotel from monsters, more. Some younger children might find Monster House, the adventures of three kids (Mitchel Musso, Sam Lerner, Spencer Locke) battling a local haunted house intent on devouring innocent trick-or-treaters, a bit too scary.

As with most collections of this sort the extras are paired down from what you would get buying each separately on either Blu-ray or DVD. I'm not sure you save enough for that to be worth it (although at this time you might struggle to find Monster House in the format you prefer in stores), but if you only want the movies, and don't care about the extras, this collection would suit your needs. For more on each movie, read my full review of Hotel Transylvania and my full review of Monster House.

[Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, DVD $19.99 / Blu-ray $25.99]

Usagi Yojimbo #151

In another single-issue tale, Usagi Yojimbo #151 opens with the rabbit ronin stumbling upon a valley of death where a ruined procession, and the broken bodies of both its samurai escort and the attacking bandits all line the forest floor. In the middle of the carnage Miyamoto Usagi finds only a single survivor, the daughter of the sake brewer in Maru Town who is the promised bride to the son of a brewer in the town of Tansu in two days time.

Elementary - Murder Ex Machina

Holmes (Jonny Lee Miller) and Watson (Lucy Liu) are called in to investigate the murder of a Russian oligarch whose Ukrainian assassins were killed only minutes later when their car's computer was hacked leading to a deadly car crash. The show spends more time on the second murders, and the unusual method of their demise, which leads the detective pair to a software company and the introduction of a new recurring character in the autistic cat-loving hacker Mittens (Betty Gilpin) who helps Holmes catch their killer (Josh Cooke).

Sunday, January 24, 2016

The Blacklist - Mr. Gregory Devry

Lizzie's (Megan Boone) new role as a consultant begins not with hunting a member of The Blacklist but with the arrest of an unknown man (Jake Weber) claiming to be the real Raymond Reddington (James Spader). Knowing sensitive information only the true Reddington should know, including the location of the Shell Island Retreat (an assembly of high-level criminals), the impostor attempts to prove that he is in fact the true Raymond Reddington. Denied a gun or further field experience, Lizzie's new role will take some getting used to while also opening her up to the kinds of unexpected and unprovoked attacks which close the episode.

DC's Legends of Tomorrow - Pilot, Part 1

Rule One: Time Masters lie. Taking place in the same shared universe of Arrow and The Flash, The CW's latest super-hero series takes supporting heroes and villains from both shows and unites them with a common purpose. Brought together by rogue Time Master Rip Hunter (Arthur Darvill), who sells each of them on the idea of the legendary status each will achieve by joining him, Ray Palmer (Brandon Routh), Sara Lance (Caity Lotz), Captain Cold (Wentworth Miller) and Heat Wave (Dominic Purcell), Hawkman (Falk Hentschel) and Hawkgirl (Ciara Renée), Jefferson Jackson (Franz Drameh), and Martin Stein (Victor Garber) team-up to save the future from the immortal Vandal Savage (Casper Crump).

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Marvel's Agent Carter - The Lady in the Lake

One of my biggest complaints with the First Season of Agent Carter was the show spent so much time putting Peggy (Hayley Atwell) in her place as a woman in a man's world that it often forgot to have any actual fun. This trend led to such an inconsistent freshman season that I thought long and hard whether or not it was even worth giving the show a second chance. Hayley Atwell, by far the show's greatest strength, was enough to bring me back for the premiere where, for at least a single episode, the show lessons the sexist themes of the first season and allows the heroine to soar by transplanting Peggy to California to work under new West Coast Chief Daniel Sousa (Enver Gjokaj) to help investigate a bizarre murder involving a victim frozen in the middle of the lake in the middle of Los Angeles.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Arrow - Blood Debts

Arrow returns from mid-season hiatus with both good and bad news for Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards) fans. Damien Darhk (Neal McDonough) attack has left some serious challenges for Oliver Queen's (Stephen Amell) girl Friday to overcome, but on the bright side Felicity is not the one buried at the grave site in the near future that the show teases us with a glimpse of once again. Although it looks like Felicity will have to struggle through her paralysis (be it temporary or permanent) for the remainder of the season, she isn't the loss we see Oliver mourning over (which narrows the possibility down to a very small number).


Based on his play, Charlie Kaufman's stop-motion feature focuses on depressed self-help author (David Thewlis) in a Cincinnati hotel the night before the latest stop on his book tour. Alternatively charming and tedious, Anomalisa delivers a collection of mundane and awkward experiences and conversations highlighted by the author, who hears everyone he's ever met speaking in Tom Noonan's voice, meeting an insecure young woman (Jennifer Jason Leigh) whose voice breaks the self-help guru out of his melancholy.

Centering a film around a lonely puppet with questionable sanity who hears the world in monotone makes for an unique film experience. That said, Anomalisa is a film I could never quite wrap my arms around and embrace. Kaufman and co-director Duke Johnson certainly tap into some real human emotion, but with the focus on the boredom, monotony, and depression of the life of our schmuck of a protaganist all Kaufman really has to explore is that same boredom, monotony, and depression with no end in sight. Dragging its way through several scenes, Anomalisa is a 90-minute film that often feels quite a bit longer.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Shadowhunters - The Descent Into Hell Isn't Easy

Picking up where the show's Pilot episode left off, "The Descent Into Hell Isn't Easy" introduces Clary Fray (Katherine McNamara) and her nerdy pal Simon (Alberto Rosende) to the secret world of the Shadowhunters (Dominic Sherwood, Emeraude Toubia, Matthew Daddario). Learning more about the world which her mother (Maxim Roy) kept from her, and about the war between the Shadowhunters and the Circle, and suffering another loss of a good friend, Clara embarks on a risky undertaking to the City of Bones where the warlocks known as the Silent Brothers may have the ability to restore the young woman's memories.

Galavant - About Last Knight

On their journey to find recruits to help rescue Isabella (Karen David), Galavant (Harry Collett) reaches his father's (Greg Wise) lands where he has trouble reconciling the child-loving man in front of him who runs a swordsmanship school for at-risk youth with the father who raised him. Meanwhile the growing romantic feelings between Gareth (Vinnie Jones) and Madalena (Mallory Jansen) become a problem for Sid (Luke Youngblood) who is forced to flee the kingdom and for the Queen who struggles to give Gareth a proper birthday present he can appreciate.

Pretty Little Liars - Charlotte's Web

After introducing, but the quickly dismissing Aria (Lucy Hale) as a potential suspect in CeCe "Charlotte DiLaurentis" Drake's (Vanessa Ray) murder, the latest episode of Pretty Little Liars focuses on continuing to fill-in the lives of the Liars after they left Rosewood five years ago. "Charlotte's Web" not only introduces us to Hanna's (Ashley Benson) fiance (David Coussins) but also gives us a look into Aria's new office boyfriend (Roberto Aguire). Forced to return to Rosewood for work, Aria attempts to convince Ezra (Ian Harding) to finish his book for the publisher she now works for and face the possibility that Ezra could be the one who killed A.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

The Flash - Potential Energy

The Flash returns from its mid-season hiatus with a new meta-human with the ability to slow down time. While racing to fight the Turtle (Aaron Douglas), who it turns out can slow down even the Fastest Man Alive, Barry (Grant Gustin) also contemplates telling Patty (Shantel VanSanten) his secret. Distracted by the new super-villain in town, the choice is eventually taken out of Barry's hands when Patty decides to leave Central City, and Barry, to pursue her career.

Scorpion - Sun of a Gun

Jeff Fahey shows up as Sylvester's estranged father (Ari Stidham) to enlist Scorpion to track down a rumored, but never seen, Axis weapon developed during WWII. The "Sun Gun" would use a satellite to turn the sun's rays into a weapon of concentrated white-hot light. Sly's dad has been hunting for the weapon his entire career and now believes it has been found and is finally being put into play by an African dictator (Hakeem Kae-Kazim) with dangerous plans for the rest of the world.

The Shannara Chronicles - Changeling

After Amberle (Poppy Drayton) completes her quest inside the Ellcrys (which takes far less time than expected) and returns with the seed, the princess is attacked by a Changeling taking advantage of Eretria's (Ivana Baquero) presence after the Rover sneaks into the palace to seduce Wil (Austin Butler) and get her hands on the Elf Stones. Eventually the truth of the situation is worked out as the series sends the love triangle out into the world to save it from Armageddon. Given her experience within the tree Amberle is unnecessarily cool to Will, who finds a much warmer reception in his room as the episode plays with some very dumb romcom tropes in order to set the stage for the end of the episode and the quest moving forward.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Supergirl - Childish Things

In an episode that continues to develop Henshaw's (David Harewood) reasons for hiding his true identity from the world, Supergirl offers us the show's version of one of Superman's oldest enemies, the Toyman. Staying fairly close to his roots (without his bigger and goofier Silver Age giant-sized toys), the show's Winslow Schott (Henry Czerny) escapes from prison using deadly toys and attempts to reconnect with his son Winn (Jeremy Jordan). Not only does the episode allow Kara (Melissa Benoist) and Winn to bond over homicidal relatives but it also allows the introduction of Emma Caulfield as gun-happy Cameron Chase, the agent in charge of taking down the Toyman (dead or alive).

Galavant - Giants vs. Dwarves

After a fight caused by Richard (Timothy Omundson) trading away the Jewel of Valencia for an iguana he mistakenly believes to be a dragon, Galavant (Harry Collett) and Richard find themselves on opposite sides of a feud between the world's shortest giants and largest dwarves who are remarkably similar in stature. Yes, it's exactly as ridiculous as it sounds, and the insanity is only further fueled by the West Side Story lead in to the big rumble. Just as the battle between the remarkably similiar groups of men breaks out Roberta (Clare Foster) steps in to restore some semblance of sanity to the proceedings, end the feud, and get the heroes back on track.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Hawaii Five-0 - Ua Ola Loko I Ke Aloha

Carol Burnett makes a return to Hawaii Five-0 as Deb McGarrett to bury her husband and to scratch a few items off her own bucket list before her time runs out as well. In the other storyline Five-0 investigates a murder tied to the discovery of an old WWII Japanese bunker filled with (now missing) explosions originally intended to be used as part of the attack on Pearl Harbor more than half a century ago. The episode is notable for moving past the teasing stage and throwing Chin (Daniel Dae Kim) and Abby (Julie Benz) together romantically, something that doesn't go unnoticed by their teammates.

Elementary - A Burden of Blood

When the daughter of an incarceration serial killer (Michael O'Keefe) is murdered in his preferred method Holmes (Jonny Lee Miller) and Watson (Lucy Liu) take the case. Given the nature of the murder at first the detectives suspect a revenge killing by a relative of one of the serial killer's many victims. The discovery of an unexpected pregnancy as the result of an affair also provides multiple new suspects.

The Blacklist - The Director

The Blacklist returns from it's mid-season hiatus with a two-part episode which will finally reveal Reddington's (James Spader) plan to stop the Cabal, clear Lizzie (Megan Boone), and (at least somewhat) restore the show's status quo by targeting Peter Kotsiopulos (David Strathairn). While the first episode is spent primarily just keeping Lizzie alive and out of the hands of the Cabal, the second-half slowly reveals Red's plan as the pieces put in place over the first half of the show's Third Season finally come together (including a well executed con allowing the group to grab the Director from under the noses of his own security).

Sunday, January 17, 2016

iZombie - Method Head

Liv (Rose McIver) earns her way back into Babineaux's (Malcolm Goodwin) good graces when she helps solve the murder of a cast member on her favorite soap opera "Zombie High." Chowing down on the pretenious actor's brains also gives the zombie detective some added acting ability which will come in handy to close the case. In the wake of breaking up with Major (Robert Buckley), Liv and her former beau also must deal with Ravi's (Rahul Kohli) news that the zombie cure is only temporary.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Saturday with Alicia

Ashley Benson takes an Ocean Drive

Promoting the return of Pretty Little Liars, Ashley Benson is the cover girl for the January issue of Ocean Drive. You can find the pics from her photo shoot inside.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Second Chance - A Suitable Donor

Owing more than a little to Frankenstein, Fox's new crime-drama Second Chance centers around dead former sheriff Ray Pritchard (Philip Baker Hall/Robert Kazinsky) whose unique genetic markers allow the corpse to brought back to life by billionaire tech-genius Otto Goodwin (Adhir Kalyan). The scientist's experiment might be the only thing which can save his twin sister Mary's (Dilshad Vadsaria) life. After being brought back to life in a younger, and physically enhanced, body, Pritchard sets out to save his son (Tim DeKay) whose dirty partner (Derek Webster) in the FBI threw poor Ray off a bridge.

Uncanny X-Men #1

Marvel relaunches its flagship X-Men title with a new team of Psylocke, Archangel, M, Mystique, Fantomex, and Sabretooth led by Magneto. Uncanny X-Men #1 starts off with more of a whimper than a bang with a pointless story about Magneto's team rescuing mutants who don't have any interest in being rescued and have chosen to hide from the world until a time when mutant hostility and deadly mists are things of the past.

Shadowhunters - The Mortal Cup

Looking and feeling very much like something that would fit naturally in a spot on The CW's slate of young-adult horror series, ABC Family (rebranded Freeform for reasons passing understanding) offers audiences Shadowhunters, based on Cassandra Clare's young adult series The Mortal Instruments. The opening episode introduces us to Clary Fray (Katherine McNamara) who, on her 18th birthday, discovers demons are real, a fact her mother (Maxim Roy) has been hiding from her the better part of Clary's life.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Obi-Wan & Anakin #1

Set between the events of Episode I and Episode II, Marvel's new five-issue mini-series Obi-Wan & Anakin offers a glimpse at an adventure featuring Obi-Wan Kenobi and his apprentice Anakin Skywalker. Called to a remote planet by an unknown source, Obi-Wan and Anakin crash land in the harsh environment of Carnelion IV with no clue as to who has summoned the Jedi to what the galaxy had assumed was a completely dead world.

The number of years between The Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones certainly open the door for a number of stories featuring not just these characters but others as well. One fifth of the way through this particular adventure, however, there's not a lot to grab me. Teasing us with flashbacks to Anakin's training, and Palpatine's interest in the young man, the adventure itself doesn't really get started until it's final page.

Pretty Little Liars - Of Late I Think Of Rosewood

Five years after the mid-season finale and reveal of CeCe "Charlotte DiLaurentis" Drake (Vanessa Ray) as the Liars' nemesis A, Alison (Sasha Pieterse) calls back all four of her friends to Rosewood hoping to convince each of them to speak on Charlotte's behalf at a hearing concerning releasing her from a psychiatric hospital. Based on the testimony of Mona (Janel Parrish) and three of the Liars their former tormentor goes free, but life outside of the hospital for A is short-lived as her body is discovered the next morning by the Rosewood Police. It appears a new murder mystery will keep all four girls in town far longer than any of them had planned.

The Shannara Chronicles - Fury

The attack of the demon, Allanon's (Manu Bennett) injury, and the capture of Amberle Elessedil (Poppy Drayton) and Wil Ohmsford (Austin Butler) by Rovers leads to an extended detour for fellowship's return to Arborlon. Eventually the group will make it back to the Elven kingdom, but not before another encounter with Eretria (Ivana Baquero) and her father's (James Remar) band and another demon attack which forces Wil to step-up and use the elf stones to save the day (something he vows to never do again).

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Galavant - Bewitched, Bothered, and Belittled

Despite Richard's (Timothy Omundson) impassioned speech to support his cause and the fact that the former king smuggled out the jewel of Valencia (in a manner which we won't speak of here) which could pay for a mercenary army, Galavant (Harry Collett) grows weary of his friend's ability to screw up every situation without even trying all that hard. Focusing on the rekindled childhood friendship between Richard and Roberta (Clare Foster), Galavant attempts to fan the flames of love between the pair hoping it might prove the perfect distraction to get rid of the meddlesome king. But try as he might (including serenading the pair during a romantic dinner he arranged), our hero is unable to force Richard from his side.

Green Lantern #48

Following the amusement park bombing that left his nephew in a coma, Hal Jordan heads to Gotham in search of answers about Sonar, the leader of a terrorist group claiming responsibility for the attack and threatening others if the United Nations refuses to give into his demands. The appearance of Batman Stand-in #7, or whatever this guy's name is, attempts to play on the complicated relationship between Batman and Green Lantern but doesn't have anywhere to go. Considering as a member of the Justice League there would be any number of other ways for Jordan to get the intelligence other than just showing up in the middle of Gotham (he doesn't even go to the Batcave?) the entire sequence doesn't make much sense.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Galavant - Aw, Hell, the King

Galavant (Harry Collett) and Richard (Timothy Omundson) make their way back to Richard's kingdom in need of the king's army to help rescue Isabella (Karen David) only to discover the subjects have demolished the castle, using various pieces to build up the town, and are living in a democracy that isn't too keen on invading another kingdom. Neither Richard's attempt to find a new role within the democracy nor Galavant's attempt to rally the villagers to their aid proves fruitful as the pair leaves with only a single new supporter: Richard's childhood friend Roberta (Clare Foster).

The Walk

Through the use of interviews, stills, and reenactment footage, the 2008 documentary Man on Wire offered audiences an excellent look back at wire walker Philippe Petit's high-wire walk between the two towers of the World Trade Center. The Walk, writer/director Robert Zemeckis' biopic starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Petit, may not be as engaging as the documentary, but Zemeckis (using similar set-up same set-up with Gordon-Levitt narrating past events) still manages to capture a bit of the magic by recreating Petit's improbable stunt.

Without attempting to explain Petit's obsession or the drive behind it, Zemeckis takes us along on the man's journey as he attempts to achieve his dream. Beginning with a bit of a backstory for Petit including the relationships with his mentor (Ben Kingsley), girlfriend (Charlotte Le Bon), and the co-conspirators (Clément Sibony, César Domboy, Steve Valentine, James Badge Dale) who would eventually help him pull of his high-wire act, the movie doesn't kick into high gear until its second hour where the caper truly begins.

The Big Bang Theory - The Sales Call Sublimation

The latest episode of The Big Bang Theory offers three separate stories, two of which play on long-running storylines. In the main story Leonard (Johnny Galecki) agrees to make an appointment with a psychiatrist (Jane Kaczmarek) to grease the wheels for Penny (Kaley Cuoco) to sell the doctor some prescription drugs. Initially doing so only as a favor to his girlfriend, Leonard finds the experience freeing as he's able to uncork some bottled anger towards his mother's bizarre view of child rearing. Penny also ends up on the doctor's couch before the end of the episode.

Sunday, January 10, 2016


2001's Heartbreakers, a film about a mother/daughter (Sigourney Weaver, Jennifer Love Hewitt) team of con artists working to scam to separate a wealthy man (Gene Hackman) from his money, is more notable for its cast than its plot. Yearning to get out from under her mother's thumb Page (Hewitt) decides to target her own mark in a goodhearted bar owner (Jason Lee) she inevitable falls for. The women also must deal with their last previous mark (Ray Liotta) who shows up looking for his money.

More dumb romcom than smart heist/con film, Heartbreakers is a mixed bag, although it does provide some humorous moments. The cast (including appearances by Anne Bancroft, Ricky Jay, and Sarah Silverman) is fine but they're mostly slumming it here in movie that belongs on home video. Re-released on Blu-ray, the movie includes the previous behind-the-scenes feturettes and deleted scenes but lacks the audio commentary from the DVD release.

[Olive Films, $29.95]