Saturday, November 17, 2018

The Old Man and the Gun

Based on the life of career criminal Forrest Tucker (Robert Redford), who in his 60s (after escaping from prison yet again) put together dozens of bank heists across the country until finally being captured by the FBI, writer/director David Lowery's film offers a look at the criminal's "last hurrah" (although he would commit one more crime spree at the ripe old age of 79) and the Dallas Police Detective (Casey Affleck) instrumental in capturing him.

Redford is put to good use here as the gentlemen robber who never fires a shot (in fact, in every bank robbery sequence he alludes to, but never draws, a gun). The actor easily captures the charm of the man who robbed more for the thrill than the money, always with a smile on his face. Over the course of the film we watch Tucker rob several banks, sometimes by himself and sometimes with the help of two other elderly gentlemen (Danny Glover and Tom Waits) who gain notoriety for the four-year bank robbing spree. The movie also includes a subplot involving Tucker's interest in a widow (Sissy Spacek) who, like the previous loves of Tucker's life, never knew or believed what Tucker did for a living.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald

The sequel to Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them spends most of the first half-hour getting the previous film's major characters together once again. Mixing in a younger Albus Dumbledore (Jude Law) and introducing, but failing to develop, Johnny Depp as the villain Grindelwald, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald then attempts to steal a bit of the magic from the Harry Potter films.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

The Flash - All Doll'd Up

Barry (Grant Gustin) and Iris (Candice Patton) work together on a series of crimes committed by a new meta-human Cisco (Carlos Valdes) names Rag Doll (Troy James and voiced by Phil LaMarr). Although he lacks the dark humor and talkative nature from Gail Simone's Secret Six run, Rag Doll definitely succeeds as one creepy ass villain. The episode also offers a couple of humorous scenes involving Ralph's (Hartley Sawyer) help with the threat once Barry is captured by Rag Doll. (Elongated Man, Elongated Man, does whatever a Spider-Man can.) This leaves the rest of Team Flash to work on other mysteries as Ralph, "Sherloque" Wells (Tom Cavanagh), and Cisco all help in Caitlin's (Danielle Panabaker) search for answers about her missing father. The B-story also provides a chance for Caitlin to help Cisco rediscover his use to the team now that his powers have been fried by Cicada (Chris Klein).

Arrow - The Demon

The season's theme of unexpected alliances continues as Oliver (Stephen Amell) finds an old frenemy on Level 2, and Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards) enlists the help of both Laurel (Katie Cassidy) and Dinah (Juliana Harkavy) to discover what off-the-books experiments Dr. Jarrett Parker (Jason E. Kelley) is doing with inmates on a facility the prison doesn't even admit exists. Although the show has really short-changed the character, the return of Talia al Ghul (Lexa Doig) offers some nice prison escape fight sequences and helps give closure to Talia's storyline (and continue to tease a Batman connection to the Arrowverse that The CW has shown no actual interest in ever exploring). The torture Oliver endures also opens a new possible legal recourse to get him out of prison.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Archie Meets Batman '66 #4

The Bat-villains reign of terror in Riverdale continues as the Joker attempts to brainwash Jughead (a process that turns out to be harder than the Clown Prince of Crime expected), and Catwoman, under the guise of Miss Kitka (in a nice nod to 1966's Batman: The Movie), wins the hearts of the high school boys (although she is startled by the sudden appearance of Batgirl and Robin). Now the pair will just to have to fight their way through the rest of the school to get their hands on the felonious feline.

Supergirl - Parasite Lost

"Parasite Lost" presents two threats for Supergirl (Melissa Benoist) and the DEO. The first, involving the Jensen (Anthony Konechny) reborn as the new Parasite with the ability to drain the life force of humans and powers of aliens, offers too much danger for Supergirl to fight and becomes the responsibility of Alex (Chyler Leigh) and the DEO. The new Parasite works well, and I'm a bit sad to see the character knocked-off so quickly (although there's always room for a new Parasite down the road). With Kara uninvolved here, at least until the two storylines converge in the final act, "Parasite Lost" allows more time for Kara Danvers than Supergirl as she works on a story about an alien healer and then deals with the fallout with the help of J'onn (David Harewood) who it seems has found a new purpose.

Isle of Dogs

Writer/director Wes Anderson's return to stop-motion may not measure up to Fantastic Mr. Fox, but the quirky tale of an injured boy searching a quarantined island for his lost dog hits most of the right notes. When the dog population becomes infested with Dog Flu, all the dog's in Japan are quarantined to an island of trash where the nephew (Koyu Rankin) of the mayor crash lands in search of his loyal dog.

The story is presented mostly from the point-of-view of the dogs (voiced by Bryan Cranston, Edward Norton, Bob Balaban, Jeff Goldblum, and Bill Murray), who are unable to communicate with the the boy but instinctively set-out to help find his lost dog. Even the reluctant stray (voiced by Cranston) discovers why young boys are a dog's best friend.

The plot gets a bit over-complicated by a conspiracy within the Japanese government, drones and robotic hunting dogs sent to bring back the boy, an exchange student (Greta Gerwig) at a school newspaper's search for the truth, and a romantic subplot between a couple of the dogs.

Monday, November 12, 2018

LEGO Star Wars: All-Stars - From Trenches to Wrenches

The new LEGO Star Wars offers a more open-ended universe for characters across all eras. The show's first episode ties together several shorts previously released online with the premise of R0-GR (Matthew Wood) sharing adventures from his new autobiography to various characters. The stories range from his inglorious days as part of the Droid Army and adventures on various worlds over the years including Endor, Naboo, Jakku, Takodana, and Tatooine. Various characters show up both in the flashbacks and as R0-GR's captive audience in the present including Han Solo, Chewbacca, R2-D2, Cassian, the Freemakers, Maz, Rose, and Admiral Ackbar. While lightweight, and mostly forgettable, the first episode of LEGO Star Wars: All-Stars still proves to be more fun that the mostly disappointing Star Wars Resistance.

Heidi Mae's PennyQuinn Makeup Tutorial

The Good Cop - What is the Supermodel's Secret?

While Tony Jr. (Josh Groban) investigates a murder for hire, he (and everyone else) is confused by the sudden interest a supermodel (Emma Ishta) has shown in Tony Sr. (Tony Danza). As the model pushes the elder Tony Caruso to find his missing phone it becomes obvious to the audience, if not a single character on the show, what she is truly after. The reveal of incriminating evidence that ties the model to the murder Junior is investigating is hardly surprising once the phone is discovered. Although the shock that Tony and the supermodel together creates in the rest of the cast is good for a couple of chuckles, the mystery is rather bland. The only big change in the show's second episode is to promote Cora (Monica Barbaro) from Tony's parole officer to a detective on the force with his son.

Friday, November 9, 2018

The Good Place - The Worst Possible Use of Free Will

"The Worst Possible Use of Free Will" takes us back to the Neighborhood as Michael (Ted Danson) restores some of Eleanor (Kristen Bell) memories in an attempt to convince his friend that she can indeed love. The result is the best episode of the show's Third Season so far with revelations (Sam the Eagle, Elanor? Really?) as the show takes the characters back to the show's original set-up. There's certainly some character development for both Michael and Eleanor as well as the process helps her come to grip with her insecurities while showcasing just how far Michael has come as well. Great moments include Eleanor getting her head fried, Mirror Centaur, the return of the more philosophical Eleanor, the coolest thing Michael has ever done, and the purple space bubble of pain.

Super-Heroes Card Trader - Harley Quinn Awesome Pack 7

For more super-heroes check out Super-Hero Pack 1, Pack 2, Pack 3, Pack 4, Pack 5, Pack 6, Pack 7, Pack 8, Pack 9, Pack 10, Team-Up Pack 1, Wonder Woman Pack 1, Green Lantern Pack 1, Black Cat Pack 1, Lara Croft Pack 1, Pack 2, Pack 3, Spidey Pack 1, Pack 2, Deadpool Pack 1, Harley Quinn Pack 1, Pack 2, Pack 3, Pack 4, Pack 5, Birds of Prey Pack 1, Pack 2, Memorial Day Pack 1, X-Men Pack 1, and the X-Mas Mega Pack 1 and Mega Pack 2.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

The Wild Storm #18

With open war between Skywatch and I.O. all but certain at this point, tensions continue to rise and sides will be chosen. For John Lynch that means another throwdown with an enhanced human. For Henry Bendix that means readying himself to put his weapons into action and slave them to his commands. And for Angela Spica that means accepting an offer from Jenny Mei Sparks and helping to form the backbone of an Authority. It looks like Angie's former pals will have to get along without her.


Honest Trailers - Incredibles 2

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Arrow - Level Two

Like many of his previous plans, Oliver (Stephen Amell) getting thrown into Level Two of Slabside Maximum Security Prison doesn't go exactly according to plan as he spends the episode in a battle of wills with Dr. Jarrett Parker (Jason E. Kelley) who uses a variety of methods including starvation, sound torture, drugs, and shock therapy in an attempt to break the prisoner's will. It sounds like the good doctor hasn't done his research about just who he's dealing with (didn't he watch the first six seasons of the show?). While presenting himself as someone trying to help Oliver, there's more than a little of Dr. Hugo Strange in Dr. Parker's methods.

Supergirl - Ahimsa

For the second straight episode, Supergirl offers little of the show's trademark hero while still providing a strong episode centered around the show's supporting cast. With Kara (Melissa Benoist) locked in a suit which is keeping her alive but limiting her usefulness in the Kryptonite-infused atmosphere, it falls on Alex (Chyler Leigh) to lead the DEO without its biggest weapon (even going so far as to bench Kara for her own good). And there's plenty to fight here in an episode that wraps up the Mercy (Rhona Mitra) storyline as the Graves break into the DEO to grab a couple of aliens they plan to unleash on an unsuspecting public, but still leaves plenty of trouble for the group as Agent Liberty (Sam Witwer) slinks back into the shadows to continue driving the anti-alien agenda. Oh, we also get a tease for a new Parasite (Anthony Konechny) and more foreshadowing of the Russian Supergirl's preparations for an inevitable clash.

Zombae's Darling in the Franxx cosplay music video

Monday, November 5, 2018

Nancy Drew #5

"The Case of the Cold Case" concludes in Nancy Drew #5 as Nancy and her friends search for the kidnapped Bess and solve both the city of Bayport's drug problem and a series of murders, including the unsolved case which brought Nancy Drew back home.

HeidiMaetrix & BrosephDavid - Rampage (Shallow Parody)

Hawaii Five-0 - Aia i Hi'ikua; i Hi'ialo

When one of McGarrett's (Alex O'Loughlin) old Navy SEAL buddies turns up dead with a stolen baby in a Cessna that makes an emergency landing on a Naval Air Craft Carrier, Steve is notified by NCIS and politely told to leave the investigation to the Navy. (Haven't they ever watched the show?) The episode introduces Nazneen Contractor as NCIS Agent Emma Warren who orders McGarrett to stand down multiple times over the course of the episode (even going so far to arrest him at one point) before deciding it would be easier to work with Five-0 than against them. Working together, Five-0 and NCIS discover the reason behind the death of McGarret's friend and reunite the child with its mother (Sarah Dumont).

MCM London Comic Con October 2018 - Cosplay Music Video

Saturday, November 3, 2018

Legacies - This is the Part Where You Run / Some People Just Want To Watch The World Burn

The first two episodes of Legacies, a spin-off of The Originals (which was a spin-off of The Vampire Diaries), takes us to the Salvatore Boarding School for the Young & Gifted whose students include witches, werewolves, and vampires struggling with their powers and place in the world. The episode reintroduces fans to tribrid Hope Mikaelson (Danielle Rose Russell) and twins Lizzie (Jenny Boyd) and Josie Saltzman (Kaylee Bryant) along with several new characters. The school, and characters, are introduced to viewers through a pair of new arrivals in new werewolf Rafael (Peyton Alex Smith) and his friend Landon (Aria Shahghasemi). The episodes play on expectations presenting Landon as a possible friend for the isolated Hope, then a thief and enemy, and back again as a potential friend doesn't stick around to see if Hope forgives him for his deplorable behavior.

Daredevil - The Perfect Game / The Devil You Know

Despite still being under house arrest by the FBI, Wilson Fisk (Vincent D'Onofrio) goes on the offensive. When his plan to have Matt Murdock's (Charlie Cox) killed fails, the Kingpin tries a different tack by attempting to slime the missing attorney's reputation by alleging Murdock worked for Fisk as a fixer. Despite offering no proof to back up his claims, other than a single case that Nelson & Murdock worked for one of the Kingpin's shell companies back in Season One, the FBI runs with the story and begins to hunt Matt Murdock. At the same time, using information gathered about Benjamin Poindexter (Wilson Bethel), the Kingpin goes to work on the man's thin support system, slowly bending Dex to his will ending in the agent dressed in Daredevil's costume murdering an entire newsroom under Fisk's orders.

Honest Trailers - Batman: The Animated Series

FBI - Family Man

When a United States Senator's (Eion Bailey) daughter is kidnapped Agents Maggie Bell (Missy Peregrym) and OA (Zeeko Zaki) lead the FBI in search of the kidnappers who are demanding an $100 million ransom. The investigation isn't helped by the Senator's unwillingness to disclose information about an old affair or enemies from his past with grudges. And after a reporter breaks the news, the chance of finding the baby alive drops even more.

Thursday, November 1, 2018

The Nutcracker and the Four Realms

Adapted from E. T. A. Hoffmann's short story "The Nutcracker and the Mouse King," The Nutcracker and the Four Realms offers big budget Disney family entertainment filled to the brim with special effects and lessons about believing in yourself and sticking by family in tough times. While it incorporates much of the ballet's music into its score (and adds a couple of notable ballet sequence as well), The Nutcracker and the Four Realms goes for a more straightforward Wizard of Oz-style tale with a young female protagonist lost in a magical world.