Sunday, September 30, 2018

New Amsterdam - Pilot

New Amsterdam offers a pretty straightforward premise. With the arrival of a new medical director of the United States' oldest public hospital things begin to change. Dr. Max Goodwin (Ryan Eggold) shows up with a vision to scale back the medical bureaucracy and focus on simply helping patients. A novel approach in the current climate. Goodwin's outlook is colored by a mix of a midlife crisis, impending fatherhood, and a recent cancer diagnosis. Given the chance at his dream job, basically he's got nothing to lose except further alienating the mother of his child to be and driving the doctors at the hospital crazy.

Saturday, September 29, 2018

A Million Little Things - Pilot

I have one major complaint about the "Pilot" episode of A Million Little Things, something which I believe my fester and eventually kill my interest in the show, but there is actually quite a bit of good to talk about first. The set-up involves two friends in a small circle both attempting suicide on the same day. One dies (Ron Livingston), and the other (Romany Malco), after learning of his friend's death, chooses to remain in the land of the living. During the lead up to the funeral, we introduced to the group which includes the departed man's wife Sopie (Lizzy Greene), breast cancer survivor and womanizer Gary (James Roday), the depressed Rome (Malco), and the unemployed former rocker turn music teacher Eddie (David Giuntoli). Rounding out the cast are the men's signigant others (Christina Marie Moses, Grace Park, and Allison Miller).

Thursday, September 27, 2018

FBI - Pilot

Although it also relies on a large supporting cast, FBI is a little more centrally focused than Dick Wolf's previous creation Law & Order which split time with police and lawyers every week. Here the focus stays primarily on FBI Agent Maggie Bell (Missy Peregrym) and her partner (Zeeko Zaki) who are the first on scene for two bombings in New York City and later a third, all organized by the same mastermind. Maggie takes it personally when the mother of one of the bombing victims blames Maggie for saving her life and not letting her go after her son (who almost certainly died in the first blast - seriously, it exploded exactly where the kid was standing) before the building was dropped by a follow-up explosion killing more civilians, firefighters, police, and aid workers.

Wonder Festival 2018

The Philosophy of Cowboy Bebop (Wisecrack Edition)

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

The Gifted - eMergence

Although I enjoyed The Gifted, I was feeling a bit of super-hero TV fatigue and eventually fell off from the show's slow building First Season which was heavy on world building and weak on payoff. The Second Season premiere beings with Reeva Payge (Grace Byers) consolidating her power within the Inner Circle and preparing for an important birth. As for our heroes, they continue to save what mutants they can from the increasingly vicious and murderous Sentinel Services while Caitlin (Amy Acker) and Eclipse (Sean Teale) continue to search for answers about the whereabouts of their missing loved ones. The premiere resets the stage for the season with our heroes, what was once the Hellfire Club, and Sentinel Services all with distinct motivations and agendas. Despite Payge's murderous spree to open the episode, she still comes off better than the human soldiers killing unarmed men, women, and children in their own homes.

It's Hub City Comic Con 2018

Magnum P.I. - I Saw the Sun Rise

On hearing the news, and seeing clips of CBS' plans to reboot Magnum, P.I. all I could think was that this was the worst idea in network television since the The CW rebooted Charlie's Angels with Minka Kelly in 2011 (a show so historically bad, even the Internet has done its best to forget its existence). The new Magnum P.I. attempts to hold to the formula of the original but also makes several small changes (including the new, grammatically incorrect, spelling of the show's title). Set in present day, Jay Hernandez is cast as the new Thomas Sullivan Magnum who works as a private eye while also providing security to the estates of published author Robin Masters. Unlike the original, in which Masters was never seen (or even proved to be a real person), Thomas and the author are old friends due to the writer spending time with Magnum during his time as a Naval Officer in landlocked country of Afghanistan.

The Big Bang Theory - The Conjugal Configuration

The Big Bang Theory kicks off its final season by offering us looks at Sheldon (Jim Parsons) and Amy (Mayim Bialik) as newlyweds at Legoland (which sadly gets far less screentime than the pair's discussion of early marital issues), Raj's (Kunal Nayyar) making a public ass of himself (seriously... can they think of nothing better to do with this character after a dozen years), Howard (Simon Helberg) and Bernadette (Melissa Rauch) just sort of watching the trainwreck of their friend unfold, and Leonard (Johnny Galecki) and Penny (Kaley Cuoco) have more "cute" fights when Leonard compares the pair to Amy's parents. A bit underwhelming for a season premiere, but about what you would expect with the show dusting off old relationship tropes (wait, Sheldon is bad a relationships? Shocker!) and reusing them (yet again).

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

How Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom Should Have Ended

The Wild Storm #17

John Lynch's trip down memory lane takes him to the most dangerous member of the Thunderbook project, although coming face-to-face with Rainmaker is nothing like what Lynch expects. Of all the dangerous human/alien hybrids Lynch has encountered, Rainmaker (originally the most dangerous) seems the most at peace with himself and the alien parasite that has driven the rest of Thunderbook crazy. As with the other members of Thunderbook, Lynch discovers Rainmaker has also passed on his genes implying another Gen13 character is part of the new Wild Storm universe.

Dragon Con 2018 Star Wars Cosplay Music Video

Long Beach Comic Con 2017-2018 (Part 1)

Monday, September 24, 2018

The Dragon Prince - Book One: Moon

The First Season of Netflix's anime series The Dragon Prince, known as "Book One: Moon," follows the adventures of two young princes and and Elvish assassin with an aversion to killing anyone, in the middle of a generational blood feud between humans and Elves that the trio hope to end by returning a stolen dragon egg back to the realm of magic. Although the opening episode "Echoes of Thunder" is pretty heavy in opening narration and exposition to set the stage for the events which will follow, the series builds momentum over its nine-episode "Book One" by focusing on the young protagonists of Callum (Jack De Sena), Ezran (Sasha Rojen), and Rayla (Paula Burrows) who push through initial distrust to work together and begin their journey.

Killjoys - Sporemaggedon

The Killjoys season finale finds Johnny (Aaron Ashmore), Dutch (Hannah John-Kamen), and D'avin (Luke Macfarlane) all entering the Green for a final battle against the Lady. There a few twists here as D'avin's anti-Green powers prove not to be the answer to stopping the Lady, the Lady toying with Johnny allowing for a return of sorts for Pawter (Sarah Power), a sudden amnesia causing disease is released in Westerly, and the Lady has one final trick up her sleeve to escape the Green just when in looks like our heroes had saved the day, thus resetting the show for Season Five.

Dragon Con 2018 (Saturday Cosplay)

Hendo Art Showcase: MY HERO ACADEMIA Swimsuit Pool Party!

Saturday, September 22, 2018

G.I. JOE: A Real American Hero - Silent Option #1

The new four-part mini-series begins with Dawn Moreno's search for the missing Helix which will lead a small group of JOEs including Moreno, Alpine, Throwdown, Topredo, and Bombstrike to Trucial Abysmia, Borovia, and Scotland as the missing JOE has been keeping busy targeting human traffickers and leaving a path of bodies in her wake.

Friday, September 21, 2018

Next Gen

It's almost impossible not to compare Next Gen to Big Hero 6 with a story about a troubled young protagonist finding friendship with a big and bulky, but obviously still cute, robot who helps the kid work through emotional baggage and save the day from an evil super-genius. Focusing on the emotional volatility of a troubled girl, there's also a splash of Inside Out angst thrown in for good measure. If you own Big Hero 6 I'd suggest watching that instead, but, if you are looking for something new, Next Gen will help you pass the time.

Elementary - Whatever Remains, However Improbable

The aptly-titled season finale of Elementary deals with the FBI's growing case against Joan Watson (Lucy Liu) for the murder of Michael (Desmond Harrington). With Special Agent Mallick (Parminder Nagra) targeting Watson as the prime suspect given the growing evidence, Holmes (Jonny Lee Miller) will take steps to protect his partner at all costs (including destroying evidence and confessing to a crime he didn't commit). The tease of Mallick as a suspect proves to be a nice use of misdirection before the reveal of the true killer, which only puts Holmes in a deeper bind given Watson's refusal to allow Hannah (Liza J. Bennett) and her father (Aidan Quinn) to face the repercussions of the crime.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

The Predator

John McTiernan's Predator is a sci-fi action flick that holds up three decades later. Unfortunately, you can't say the same for its sequels. Writer/director Shane Black is the latest to try his hand at breathing some new life into the franchise. Set in present day, The Predator acknowledges the previous films and offers more than a handful of callbacks (including someone actually yelling to "Get to the chopper!").

Star Wars #53

Guilt can be a powerful motivator. Betrayed by Queen Trios of Shu-Torun and led into an Imperial trap, the scrappy Rebels continue to fight to survive against the Imperial Fleet led by Darth Vader. Thanks to intelligence provided by Han Solo in the previous issue, and some nifty flying by Luke here, the Rebel Fleet is finally able to deploy their fighters and make a counterattack against the Empire.

Elementary - Fit to Be Tied

The penultimate episode of Elementary's Sixth Season takes some surprising turns. The serial killer Michael (Desmond Harrington) returns to New York City and a new victim appears soon after. However, things aren't as they appear. Despite the evidence to the contrary, and the hopes of the FBI nabbing the serial killer, Michael is actually innocent of the crime. However, while still believing the victim to belong to him, Watson (Lucy Liu) delves into Michael's past and makes a discovery that will make her Michael's next intended victim.


As Dodge Ball taught us, grown-ups playing kid games can be dumb but also surprisingly fun. Based on real people, Tag tells the story of a group of friends who has being playing tag for decades. Despite growing up, getting careers, and moving to different cities, the friends continue to play tag one month out of the year in the hopes of finally beating the one member of the group (Jeremy Renner) who has never been "it."

Our players include Ed Helms, Jon Hamm, Jake Johnson, and Hannibal Buress. Also along for the ride are Isla Fisher as Helms' wife, Leslie Bibb as Renner's fiance, and Annabelle Wallis as a reporter who knows a good story when she hears one.

The film isn't perfect. Renner's mastery of the game is stretched to a ridiculous degree, and, in much the same vein, the script forces Fisher into some over-the-top uber-competitiveness which is only funny half the time. Still, for a game about tag there is fun to be had.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

You - Pilot

The "Pilot" for You is one of the creepiest concepts I've seen on cable television. No magic, beasts, or sci-fi creatures here, the horror comes from every day life. Presented from the view of bookstore manager Joe Goldberg (Penn Badgley), the show's first episode introduces Joe and the audience to the beautiful Guinevere Beck (Elizabeth Lail) who immediately infatuates Joe. Outwardly a pretty nice guy, Joe helps the teenage neighbor whose parents often go at it, and certainly comes off charming to those he meets. He's also a stalker who goes to great lengths to dive into Beck's life from stalking her on social media, to following her around town and listening in to her conversations with friends (led by Shay Mitchell), to breaking into her home and rifling through her computer and phone.

Honest Trailers - Predator (1987)

Ben Reilly: Scarlet Spider #23

With a cure for Abigail Mercury in his grasp, Ben Reilly sees things go sideways fast in an odd issue that features what appears to be an immortal version of the young girl from the future begging her mother not to save her. There's actually an interesting dilemma here as Abigail makes a persuasive argument against the cure which would save her life. However, there's actually more going on her than meets the eye.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Take Two - It Takes a Thief

When a friend's gallery is robbed of a priceless painting just days before it was to go up for auction, (Rachel Bilson) and Eddie (Eddie Cibrian) work to recover the painting as discreetly as possible. What they find is a master thief (Sara Canning) hired by a cutthroat businessman (Nicholas Lea) whose interest in the theft is more about destroying the gallery's reputation and putting them out of business than any love for the artwork. The episode is reminiscent of the Castle episode "Eye of the Beholder" where a female thief also showed attraction to one of the partners and provided assistance on solving the case. What's odd here is the episode makes poor use of the thief, who displays none of her sills on-screen and, like Sam's new beau, is really just a plot device to bring the detectives closer together.

Asgardians of the Galaxy #1

Asgardians of the Galaxy #1 takes the idea of throwing together an odd assortment of heroes, this time all of them being Asgardian. The group includes Angela, Valkyrie (and her human alter-ego), Throg, Thunderstrike, Skurge (obviously getting a boost in popularity from his role in Thor: Ragnarok), and the Destroyer (with a surprise controller).

Disney Card Trader - Awesome Pack 3

Also check out Pack 1 and Pack 2

Monday, September 10, 2018

Voltron - The Way Forward

Captured and trapped aboard a Galra cruiser run by Zethrid (Jamie Gray Hyder) and Ezor (Kimiko Glenn), the Paladins' long road home continues. With any hope of rescue centered around Coran (Rhys Darby), who managed to accidentally lock himself in the Black Lion's cargo hold, things look bleak for our heroes. Luckily, he's got some help in the mice and the unexpected reappearance of Acxa (Erica Luttrell). Although there is very little in terms of space battles, "The Way Forward" offers action aboard the Galra ship as the Paladins make their escape only to discover some shocking news.

It's Anime Expo 2018 - Celebrate Cosplay Independence (Part 3)

Iron Fist - The Fury of Iron Fist

Iron Fist returns for a Second Season with Danny Rand (Finn Jones) ignoring the concerns of his company (yeah, that's not going bite him in the ass) while being consumed by stepping into Matt Murdock's role as the city's protector. Tensions are running high as someone appears to be orchestrating a gang war between the local gangs. And lurking in the shadows is the alliance of Davos (Sacha Dhawan) and Joy (Jessica Stroup) who plan to take out their own aggressions and inadequacies out on the man they blame for their misfortune. Meanwhile there appears to be trouble brewing at home between Danny and Colleen (Jessica Henwick) who gets her own mystery to look into involving a family crest and unanswered questions.

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Rick and Morty vs. Dungeons & Dragons #1

Really the best thing about Rick and Morty vs. Dungeons & Dragons #1, the first issue of a new four-part series introducing Morty to the idea of Dungeons & Dragons, is the odd assortment of variant covers for this issue that showcase various D&D elements including a characters sheet Morty cover, a cover based on the old D&D box set, Rick and friends playing D&D in the basement and several others. As for the comic itself, it's okay (but never reaches the level of fun the concept suggests it should).

Dragon Con 2018 (Friday Cosplay)

Thursday, September 6, 2018

G.I. JOE: A Real American Hero #255

G.I. JOE: A Real American Hero #255 concludes the "Special Missions" single issue tales featuring different G.I. JOE and Cobra agents. Things end on a melancholy note as the latest issue focus on Scarlett, and primarily her feelings for the lost Snake Eyes. While thinking back to better times and later telling tales to other JOEs, the comic offers flashbacks of Snake Eyes and Scarlett together including the events that scarred his face and the first time he put on his trademark costume.

This is AnimeFest 2018

Hendo Art's Cosplay Feature: DEATH (Sandman)

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Elementary - The Geek Interpreter

There are several pieces in play with "The Geek Interpreter" including the return of Rich Sommer as Holmes' (Jonny Lee Miller) pet mathematician Harlan Emple, the kidnapping of one of Harlan's graduate students, an elaborate scheme to profit off of land rights, murder, and Watson (Lucy Liu) sticking her nose into Sherlock Holmes' love life. The later also allows for the return of Alia Attallah as Holmes' friend with benefits who it seems may turn into something more (although I'm not holding my breath). And, once again, we get another mention of Moriarty. Although she won't return this season, the final two episodes will return to focus on Holmes' newest frenemy, I do wonder if we my get to see "the woman" when Elementary returns for its Seventh Season.

Disenchantment - Faster, Princess! Kill! Kill!

"Faster, Princess! Kill! Kill!" marks the halfway point of Disenchantment's First Season. The episode involves the feature character, the constantly-disappointing princess Bean (Abbi Jacobson), still facing her father's wrath for the party that turned into a Viking invasion. Bean has now been sent to a nunnery (where she fails), and gets a job as an executioner's assistance (which she, wait for it, also fails). The episode's latter half involves Bean and the demon Luci (Eric André) helping save Elfo (Nat Faxon) from being eaten by Hansel and Gretel. It seems the only thing Bean doesn't fail at is the minimal requirements of a marginally interested friend.

The Hidden Meaning in Jaws (Earthling Cinema)

West Coast Avengers #1

Although past members have included Iron Man and the Scarlet Witch, the West Coast Avengers have always been the B-team (or maybe the D-team). With the relaunch of the title, writer Kelly Thompson keeps to this theme allowing Hawkeye (one of the original West Coast Avengers) to be added to the group surrounded by characters you are unlikely to see in the MCU.

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Dungeons & Dragons - The Complete Series

While fighting off a cold, I spent some time looking back at some 80s Saturday morning cartoons. I watched Dungeons & Dragons when it originally aired, but hadn't given it much thought since. I had picked up the complete set on DVD a few years back and it had just been sitting on my shelf. It seemed like the perfect time to jump back in, and what surprised me the most is how well the cartoon has held up after more than three decades.

Usagi Yojimbo: The Hidden #5

In Usagi Yojimbo: The Hidden #5 Inspector Ishida and Miyamoto Usagi finally discover what was in the stolen box that led to the death of a Christian. What everyone continues to search, and kill, for is a banned Christian Bible which has been painstakingly translated into Japanese. As to the bible's origins, or its current whereabouts, our protagonists remain in the dark.

Japan Expo Paris 2018 - Cosplay Music Video (Part 1)

Monday, September 3, 2018

Anime Card Trader - Awesome Pack 1

Take Two - Stillwater

In "Stillwater" Sam (Rachel Bilson) and Eddie (Eddie Cibrian) head into wine country and to a small town where a client believes his mother has been abducted by aliens. Like Castle's "Close Encounters of the Murderous Kind," the episode piles up the evidence on the side of actual aliens before providing a terrestrial rationale for the mystery. Despite the evidence of alien intervention Sam and Eddie witness with their own eyes, and previous UFO sightings in the town during the 70s, the episode fails to sell us (or even them) on aliens. Even after their "abduction" the pair seem less, not more, likely to buy the story of what is happening in Stillwater.

Sunday, September 2, 2018

Voltron - A Little Adventure

After the Paladins' epic victory of Lotor (A.J. LoCascio) that left the Castle of Lions destroyed and the Paladins stranded light years from home, its a bit odd that the show decides to kick-off its Seventh Season with a rather humdrum Honey, I Shrunk the Kids episode as most of the team is shrunk down to miniature size while searching for a precious mineral to re-power their lions. Meanwhile, Keith (Steven Yeun) chooses to stay with the unconscious Shrio (Josh Keaton) offering more flashbacks to how Shiro changed the rudderless course of a young Keith's life including the pair's first meeting. The character-driven flashbacks help balance out some of the main story's goofier tone, but can't save "A Little Adventure" from being one of Voltron's most forgettable (and largely pointless) episodes.

Saturday, September 1, 2018

The Wild Storm #16

John Lynch's check-ins with former members of Project Thunderbook continues as his journey takes him to Gloria Spaulding. The interaction goes better than some of Lynch's recent attempts (Gloria doesn't attempt to kill him), but as with the others changed by Thunderbook, Spaulding is far from human... although like another member of Thunderbook she has passed something down to a daughter (as the comic continues to pave the way for a new version of Gen13).