Sunday, October 21, 2018

Colette

Beginning in the late 19th Century, Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette (Keira Knightley) became one of several ghostwriters for her husband Willy (Dominic West) who was notorious for putting out other's work under his name (which helped secure better publishing rights and a broader audience than any of the writers could achieve on their own). A womanizer and gambler always living beyond his means, Willy was always looking for the next big thing (and wasn't above bullying those around him to achieve his goals).

By far, Willy's largest success were a series of novels penned by Colette, but released under his own name, about a French girl named Claudine. Much like Willy's financial success was built on the hard work of his wife, so too is director Wash Westmoreland's new film built on the back of Keira Knightley's performance. A talented woman born a century too early for her talents to be fully appreciated, Colette focuses on the first-half of the artist's life including her marriage, the writing of her Claudine novels, her growth as an artist, her romantic relationship with both her husband and female lovers (Denise Gough and Eleanor Tomlinson), and her eventual independence.

Friday, October 19, 2018

Daredevil - Resurrection


Daredevil's Third Season picks up with Matt Murdock's (Charlie Cox) survival at the end of The Defenders. Bruised, battered, and broken, Murdock is helped to Saint Agnes where he finds time to heal and hide from the world. Deaf in one ear, with his powers on the fritz, Murdock struggles with the new status quo while allowing his friends to believe he died. Meanwhile, Karen (Deborah Ann Woll) has kept Matt's apartment and bills paid for, despite eveyone - including Foggy (Elden Henson) - advising her that their friend is dead. And locked away in prison, Wilson Fisk (Vincent D'Onofrio) begins to contemplate a new plan to return to the world and protect the woman he loves.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

FBI - Crossfire


Snipers make for good television. Killing from a distance, with an ability to flee the scene before they can be apprehended, they present a different kind of challenge for local and federal law enforcement (or their TV equivalent). In the latest episode of FBI, Agents Maggie Bell (Missy Peregrym) and OA (Zeeko Zaki) track a sniper who will kill multiple targets at two different locations. While the victims appear unconnected, the settings are not which eventually leads the FBI to identifying the shooter (Michael C. Williams) and a young man (Tim Johnson Jr.) working with him. Over the course of the episode we see Maggie's boss (Sela Ward) support and push Bell to make the tough calls (while both testing and grooming the younger agent for a larger role withing the FBI in the years to come).

Supergirl #23


Searching for answers about Rogol Zaar and the destruction of Krypton has led Kara to the archives of the Green Lantern Corps. Breaking in she learns the existence of a conspiracy to cover up the truth behind Krypton's destruction by an inner circle. Armed with limited knowledge, and even more questions, Supergirl must fight her way through the Green Lantern Corps if her quest is to continue.

The Rookie - Pilot


As the show opens, contractor and recent divorcee John Nolan (Nathan Fillion) is lost. Being in the wrong place at the wrong time, he helps stall a bank robbery long enough for the police to arrive. Fast-forward nine months later and Nolan is on the other side of the country as Los Angeles' oldest rookie cop. Although the harsher tone of the show limits the amount of jokes Fillion can come off with (this certainly isn't Castle 2.0) its a good role for actor who is easy to root for despite the obstacles put in his way, first for being a rookie, and secondly for being an old rookie. Nolan isn't the only new rookie in the department, the "Pilot" also introduces us to Nolan's secret girlfriend Officer Lucy Chen (Dark Matter's Melissa O'Neil) and the smart, but not very street savvy, Officer Jackson West (Titus Makin Jr.).

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

NCIS - Third Wheel


When a man on the run parachutes into the woods from an airplane wheel well, "Third Wheel" gives us the unlikely trio of Gibbs (Mark Harmon), Fornell (Joe Spano), and Brooks (Don Lake) hunting down a fugitive who had the bad fortune, like the two uninvited house guests, to interrupt Gibbs' vacation by making his getaway just a couple of miles from his cabin. Using any excuse to get away from the bikering duo, Gibbs sets out on his own to catch the suspect (with the pair tagging along), not realizing he's looking for two criminals. Even with the pair of jealous friends in tow, Gibbs manages to hunt down his prey.

The Flash - Blocked


"Blocked" opens with the season's mystery villain Cicada (Chris Klein) breaking through a police convoy and beating last week's baddie Gridlock (Daniel Cudmore) to death. When not moping over the fact that her daughter would rather spend time with the father she never knew, and has more in common with, Iris (Candice Patton) begins an investigation into the attack while Nora (Jessica Parker Kennedy) works her way into the lab to help Barry (Grant Gustin) as a CIA intern. While in costume the pair also take on a meta (Erin Cummings) using her block powers stealing high-tech weapons. As with last week's episode, Team Flash takes down the villain of the week, but their first encounter with Cicada doesn't go nearly as well. While Cicada's look and wheezing aren't that impressive, his ability to temporarily steal the powers of metahumans does offer a serious threat.

Bull - Justice for Cable


"Justice for Cable" allows the show to mourn the loss of Cable (Annabelle Attanasio) while Bull (Michael Weatherly) and his team take the CEO of the bank responsible for moving around the money of the terrorists whose bombs killed their friend (and 36 others). The episode also introduces Cable's replacement in MacKenzie Meehan as a member of Homeland Security who gets pulled into the case as a favor for Marissa (Geneva Carr) but decides to stay for the long haul. While emotion plays a large part here, there's some interesting legal maneuvering (especially after Bull's prize witness dies in questionable circumstances before his cross-examination) include how a picture, in the right hands, is indeed worth a thousand words.

This is Comic-Con NYCC 2018

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Arrow - Inmate 4587


Months after Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) turned himself in, Diaz (Kirk Acevedo) remains at large, Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards) and William (Jack Moore) are in A.R.G.U.S. witness protection, vigilantes are outlawed, and Oliver struggles daily to keep his head down in prison and not make waves. A coordinated attack of Oliver in prison and Diaz finding Felicity and William will wake the hero out of his stupor and reignite his fire to do more than simply bide his time until his release. From the episode it looks like the show may be keeping our hero in jail for more than just an episode or two. However, that doesn't mean the streets of Star City aren't protested. A new Green Arrow (with his own list) has shown up to dispense some justice.

Ben Reilly: Scarlet Spider #25


Ben Reilly: Scarlet Spider #25 offers an end to the series featuring both Ben Reilly and Kaine as the Scarlet Spider but not really a conclusion. Following up on the previous issue, a dead and defeated Ben Reilly finds himself at the mercy of Mephisto. Apparently on his way to Hell, Ben is given another chance thanks to Abigail Mercury.

Supergirl - American Alien


There are quite a few takeaways from the Fourth Season premiere of Supergirl along with foreshadowing of where the series is headed. First, fans of Superman: The Animated Series should be happy with the introduction of Rhona Mitra as Mercy (who first appeared on the cartoon as Lex Luthor's henchman). There was turmoil both inside the DEO and in the government, Kara (Melissa Benoist) made major strides at work taking on the mentorship of a cub reporter (Nicole Maines), and we also got a slight tease of the powerful Russian Supergirl who likely won't make a major appearance for a few weeks. The bigger takeaway is that Supergirl isn't shying away from political storlyines as the new alien citizens come under attack from other Americans (who are assisted in the anger and thirst for violence by Mercy and her brother) as the show will apparently take a hard look this year at a divided nation and a rise of bigotry and violence by those who view others as outsiders.

Friday, October 12, 2018

First Man

Adapted from the book First Man: The Life of Neil A. Armstrong, director Damien Chazelle's story about the life and career of Neil Armstrong (Ryan Gosling) is a well-made film highlighting various moments of the astronaut's life before the fateful first steps of the moon landing. There's obvious care taken into the look of the film, various historic NASA elements, and capturing Armstrong both at work and with his family. The movie doesn't delve too deep into what made Armstrong tick (there's nothing here you won't find on Wikipedia, for example), and jumps around quite a bit during early segments. That, along with Gosling's stoic performance, does keep the audience at arm's length as I struggled to connect emotionally with the factually accurate tale that still left me a bit cold.

First Man isn't focused solely on Armstrong's career at NASA, nor his family life, nor even the series of personal and professional tragedies leading up to walking on the moon. Instead First Man attempts a more comprehensive look than it can comfortably deal with in an already long 141-minute running time. This leaves us with a good film, that I enjoyed, but one I'm unlikely to revisit anytime soon.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

All About Nina

I really wanted to like All About Nina. I can certainly tell what drew Mary Elizabeth Winstead to the project in which she plays a stand-up comedian struggling with her career and relationships. While Winstead makes the most of the dramatic moments, particularly during an impressive breakdown on stage, the script from writer/director Eva Vives does the actress no favors.

Had Nina (Winstead) been written as an average struggling comic the script may have worked better, but, while Winstead does her best to sell Nina's material on stage, the jokes aren't strong enough to sell the character as comedy's next big thing.

Leaving New York, and a dysfunctional relationship with a married man (Chace Crawford), Nina heads to Los Angeles. Not the actual Los Angeles, but the cliched movie version with hippie roommates and fame and soulmates just waiting to be found. While auditioning for a job that would launch her career, Nina begins an emotional relationship with an LA local (Common) who apparently is the first nice guy Nina has ever met, let alone dated.

SEAL Team - Never Say Die


"Never Say Die" marks the return of Mandy Ellis (Jessica Paré), conspicuous by her absence in the season premiere. After completing a mission in Mexico locating a missing DEA agent, Ellis heads with Bravo to Saudi Arabia where terrorists have stolen Anthrax from a government lab and are threatening to release it into the water supply. Unwilling to meet their demands, the Saudis request help from the United States and Jason Hayes (David Boreanaz) and his team find themselves underground in a natural aquifer with a short window that isn't helped by the team getting separated due to a cave-in and loosing connection with the anxious Saudi Military who begin to consider more drastic back-up alternatives.

Dragon Con Atlanta 2018 Cosplay Music Video (Part 2)

Mean Tweets - Music Edition 5

FBI - Prey


A young woman stabbed repeatedly and left for dead in the woods leads the FBI to uncover 18 previous victims and a human sex trafficking ring. The survivor's accounts lead FBI Agents Maggie Bell (Missy Peregrym) and OA (Zeeko Zaki) on the hunt for the traffickers and the dozens of other girls, including the victim's sister, who were brought over from the Ukraine with promises of jobs in New York and put to work as prostitutes. Those who spoke out, or broke the rules, ended up in the woods in an unmarked grave.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

The Gifted - coMplications


Baby Dawn's decreasing health means the Stepford Cuckoos (Skyler Samuels) are sent after the one person who may be able to save her life - her father. This leads to a reunion for Eclipse (Sean Teale) and Polaris (Emma Dumont) and an all-too-short daddy-daughter moment that Marcos is not willing to leave without a fight. Although he isn't successful in his fight to keep his family together, he's not about to leave Polaris and Dawn to the Inner Circle. Speaking of distraught fathers, Turner (Coby Bell) continues to try and fight the fight by attempting to partner up with local law enforcement, which works for a time but falls apart once they learn about why he left Sentinel Services. As the show amps up to a battle between the two mutants sides, I'm a little surprised that so much of the show continues to be dedicated to Turner.

A Cox Is Born

The Flash - Nora


The Flash begins its Fifth Season with Barry (Grant Gustin) and Iris (Candice Patton) getting to know their time-traveling daughter Nora (Jessica Parker Kennedy). Temporarily stuck in the time, Nora (who spent last year quietly stalking Barry) introduces herself to the entire family. While at first Barry is reluctant to spend time with Nora, whose mere presence puts his future (and her past) in possible jeopardy, eventually the Flash warms to the idea of having his grown daughter around (especially after she spills the beans about why she really came back into the past). It appears Nora will be sticking around for awhile.

Scooby-Doo! Team-Up #42


Writer Solly Fisch and artist Dario Brizuela monkey around in the latest issue of Scooby-Doo! Team-Up. I want to know if Scooby-Doo! Team-Up #42 exists solely on a wager about how many DC monkey and ape characters the two could squeeze into a single issue. I'm not saying that's what happened, or even if it did that it would be a bad thing, it's just one of the most niche set-ups for this comic I can remember and that's as likely an explanation I can come with as anything else.

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Doctor Who - The Woman Who Fell to Earth


Doctor Who kicks off Jodie Whittaker's run as The Doctor with a Predator-style episode featuring an alien hunter sent to Earth after a human prey. With much of the story centered around the humans of Sheffield, The Doctor's main purpose is to struggle through her recent regeneration and keep the humans alive until she remembers who she is. New friends include Ryan Sinclair (Tosin Cole) and his grandmother and her second husband. Also joining the proceedings is probationary police officer Yasmin Khan (Mandip Gill), a childhood friend of Ryan looking for more adventure than dealing with traffic tickets. The group encounter not one but two aliens, the first is a mechanical search device created to find the prey and the other a cocoon to house the hunter Tzim-Sha (Samuel Oatley).

Reagan Kathryn's My Hero Academia Cosplay (Camie Utsushimi)

Star Wars Resistance - The Recruit


Set prior to the events in The Force Awakens, the newest Star Wars animated series centers around young pilot Kazuda Xiono (Christopher Sean) who is recruited by Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) and sent to the planet Castilon in the Outer Rim to learn all he can about the First Order. Due to some misunderstandings, any hopes of Kaz keeping a low profile are destroyed early on as a innocuous comment comes back to bite him in the ass and forces the pilot to take part in a dangerous race against an undefeated competitor (Myrna Velasco). While I'm not quite sold on the concept yet, and has a definite prequel vibe with the race aspect of the story, it's still a new Star Wars cartoon and there is enough here for awhile at least.

Dragon Con Atlanta 2018 Cosplay Music Video

Monday, October 8, 2018

Hawaii Five-0 - Ke Kanaka I Ha'ule Mai Ka Lewa Mai


When an undercover CIA agent (David Preston) is abducted on-board an incoming flight to Honolulu (in an elaborate attack that looks good on camera but makes almost no sense as opposed to grabbing the man on the ground), Danny (Scott Caan) leads Five-0 into the jungle where they encounter Chinese agents. The attempted kidnapping ties back to Greer (Rochelle Aytes) and the death of Miller (Jack Coleman). While completely out of character for McGarrett (Alex O'Loughlin) to give up the chance to hunt in the jungle, putting Danny in his place as a mentor to the younger members of the team freshens up the jungle chase the show has used several times over the years. Five-0 is successful in capturing both Greer and recovering the wounded agent, although Greer believes her knowledge of McGarret and their missions together can still cause problems for Five-0's commander.

Zorro: Swords of Hell #1


Zorro: Swords of Hell #1, the first issue of a new four-issue mini-series from American Mythology Productions takes Zorro in a completely unexpected decision. A few years following Zorro's liberation of the people of Los Angeles from the evil dictatorship, a new threat arises... from the depths of Hell? After a quick introduction summarizing Zorro's victory, we're thrown right into a new reality featuring zombie horsemen. Buckle up.

The Good Place - Everything is Bonzer! / The Brainy Bunch


Each season The Good Place offers a slightly different set-up for our recently departed foursome. Given a second chance to prove they belong in the Good Place, Eleanor (Kristen Bell), Chidi (William Jackson Harper), Tahani (Jameela Jamil), and Jason (Manny Jacinto) have been sent back to Earth. While initially each shows signs of improvement, the all begin to fall back into bad habits which is when Michael (Ted Danson) begins sneaking down to Earth to nudge them each in the right direction and get them all together in Australia with Chidi who begins a study on the effect of near-death experience. Although strictly ordered not to interfere by the Judge (Maya Rudolph), Michael can't help but want to help his friends. His meddling, however, also allows Trevor (Adam Scott) to insert himself into the group's lives.

Harry Potter Awesome Pack 4


For more Harry Potter cosplay, check out Pack 1, Pack 2, and Pack 3.

Saturday, October 6, 2018

A Star is Born


While not the most original of projects, A Star is Born is the fourth movie of that name which older artists help to launch the careers of younger artists, the story is emotionally engaging and expertly told. There is always a challenge with musicals when choosing either actors who can sing or singers who can act. For its two leads, A Star is Born chooses one of each. In the first 10 minutes we learn three things. First, Bradley Cooper can direct. Second, Lady Gaga can act. And finally, Bradly Cooper can sing. All of this results in a compelling film.

A Million Little Things - Band of Dads


The show's second episode continues to focus on the group grieving over the loss of John (Ron Livingston) and Gary (James Roday), Rome (Romany Malco), Eddie (David Giuntoli) stepping in to pick up the slack. While most of the story features the teenage daughter (Lizzy Greene) struggling to deal with the loss and the fact that John has appeared to leave a safety net for everyone else except her on he eve of a daddy-daughter dance, the episode has a couple of more subtle moments between Gary and John's son (Tristan Byon) who is afraid he knows why his father committed suicide. It's in these moments that the show continues to shine the brightest. The episode also continues to focus on how little the group knows about Maggie Allison Miller) who appears to have been permanently adopted at this point and Rome continuing to struggle with John's death and his own suicide attempt.

Thursday, October 4, 2018

SEAL Team - Fracture


SEAL Team kicks off its Second Season with Bravo heading back into action in the Gulf of Guinea to rescue hostages and prevent terrorists from blowing up an oil platform. For the first time the team heads out without Rey (Neil Brown Jr.) who despite being cleared for the field remains in Jason Hayes' (David Boreanaz) doghouse and has spent the last six months reassigned as an instructor. With his time at home coming to an end, Jason also has to deal with the passive-aggressive side of Alana (Michaela McManus) who blames him for being the same man she married and worries sooner or later he won't come back from a mission. Other than some concern from one teammate and his wife, the show moves on quickly from Jason's concussion to end last season as that storyline appears to have been truncated in favor of new missions and more family drama.

The Umbrella Academy - Hotel Oblivion #1


The Umbrella Academy - Hotel Oblivion #1 launches a new seven-issue mini-series featuring the grown version of the child heroes created by Gerard Way and Gabriel Bà. The name of the latest mini-series appears to come from the name of Sir Reginald Hargreeves' solution to housing the powerful enemies defeated by the heroes he created. The opening pages of the first issue give us a glimpse of the Hotel Oblivion from the perspective of a new tenant while most of the rest of the issue is set aside to check in on the various members of the Umbrella Academy who have once again separated and gone their own way.

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

FBI - Green Birds


The second episode of FBI is stronger than the first as FBI Agents Maggie Bell (Missy Peregrym) and OA (Zeeko Zaki) hunt for teenage girls who have been turned by ISIS into perpetrating chemical attacks in New York, first at a restaurant salad bar and later at a market. The death of the first poisoner (Rebecca Gruss) leads Bell and her partner to another local girl turned by the group and explores how ISIS targets those who they can turn into loyal soldiers and martyrs. The episode gives us more of Kristen Chazal (Ebonee Noel) working the dark web angle and helping to identify the girls, and the introduction of Sela Ward, recasting one of the Pilot's weaker characters.

NCIS - Love Thy Neighbor


It was the serial killer, in the cul-de-sac, with the hot tub. "Love Thy Neighbor" takes NCIS into the suburbs where the remains of a solider are found slowly cooking inside a hot tub (offering fans of the show one of the more gruesome murder scenes from the show's 16 season run). The mystery plays into the suburb cliche of gossiping neighbors with hidden secrets and agendas, each of whom seems more than happy to point the finger at a different neighbor. Delving a bit into the victim not only helps NCIS find their killer but also catch a serial who has evaded capture for years.

Archie Meets Batman '66 #3


With Batman still in Gotham City dealing with the Bookworm, a subplot that takes up more pages than I expected (but without it the Caped Crusader wouldn't be included here at all), Robin and Batgirl have made their settled into their undercover roles in Riverdale to see what the fuss is all about.

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Magnum P.I. - From the Head Down


Magnum's Jay Hernandez latest case involving recovering a stolen giant tuna from a local fisherman (Carl Weathers) becomes more complicated when the thief's family is kidnapped and held for ransom. Despite the value of the catch, the secondary thieves actually want something inside the fish which was used to smuggle classified intelligence onto the island. Two episodes in we can start to see themes appearing in the Magnum reboot. First, it looks like Higgins (Perdita Weeks) will be drawn into an active role quite frequently. Second, as with the original, Magnum will take hard luck cases and lean on his friends and contacts to help get the job done. The episode also continues to incorporate supporting characters from Hawaii Five-0 into the show with the appearance of a rotund entrepreneur who helps Magnum out by providing information. Despite it being little more than a big fish tale, the show's second episode is an improvement of the show's Pilot, but it still has quite a way to go.

Action Comics #1003


It isn't every comic you get to see Batman mug a woman in an alley and joke around with Superman about it. Without delving more into why she needs it, Action Comics #1003 features Robinson Goode acquiring some black market Kryptonite. Whether or not she meant to carry the unshielded meteorite fragment into the Daily Planet, it certainly has an effect on Clark Kent.

Lucifer - The Complete Third Season

Lucifer's Third Season was the show's longest of its three-year run on FOX (including a couple of episodes originally intended for Season Two). Despite the network cancelling the show, it turns out Season Three won't be the end of Lucifer which will be showing up on Netflix in 2019 with 10 new episodes that will allow the characters to deal with the fallout of this season finale's cliffhanger ending.

The major addition to the cast in Season Three was the introduction of Tom Welling as both a police captain (and a potential love interest for Chloe) and an immortal unable to die who inserts himself into the lives of Lucifer (Tom Ellis) and Chloe (Lauren German) in order to achieve his own agenda (and screw with Lucifer). We also got the return of Charlotte Richards (Tricia Helfer) struggling to deal with her time in Hell (when her body was possessed by Lucifer's mother) and the knowledge of where she is headed if she doesn't change her ways and make some major changes to her life.

Monday, October 1, 2018

Hawaii Five-0 - Ka owili oka'i


In a nod to the original Hawaii Five-0, the show's season premiere involves McGarrett (Alex O'Loughlin) being tortured in a deprivation tank. Director Bryan Spicer obviously loves the scene, and the odd design of the suit McGarrett is wearing, because he repeats various parts of it at least three times during the episode. The crime that eventually leads us there involves a dead agent of the CIA found washed up on the beach. Because the man was an old friend, and he's one of several agents to die suspiciously over the past few months, McGarret and Five-0 begin an investigation (without sharing details to the CIA) which will eventually lead to Steve purposely getting himself captured in order to offer disinformation during the same torture process that killed his friend. As plans go, it turns out to be the usual mix of McGarrett bravery and stupidity.

This is Dragon Con 2018

Murphy Brown - Fake News


Given the political divide and a growing trend in television to reboot every series possible, it makes sense that CBS would look to bring back Murphy Brown. Rather than a reboot, CBS decided to bring back the entire cast of the original show (with the exception of Charles Kimbrough who doesn't appear in this episode but will make appearances this season). After years of being off the air Murphy Brown (Candice Bergen) returns to a cable network with her pals Frank (Joe Regalbuto), Corky (Faith Ford), and Miles (Grant Shaud). New faces include Murphy's son (Jake McDorman) hosting a competing show during the same timeslot and Tyne Daly stepping in for the departed Pat Corley to run Phil's.

Reagan Kathryn's Behind-The-Scenes of Straw Hat Pirates Beach Cosplay