Friday, May 24, 2019

This is PAX East 2019 Cosplay Music Video

Whiskey Cavalier - Czech Mate


The First Season finale of Whiskey Cavalier continues the team's search for Ollerman (Dylan Walsh), at least until he shows up at their safe house and blackmails them into performing a mission for him by infecting Ray (Josh Hopkins). What was apparently set to be the series finale, ABC cancelled the series, may not be as the network is in discussions about the possibility to bring Whiskey Cavalier for a second season. This is good news for fans of the show as "Czech Mate" may wrap-up a few loose ends, such as revealing Standish's (Tyler James Williams) girlfriend to be a killer working for Ollerman, revealing Tina (Marika Dominczyk) to be Emma's (Ophelia Lovibond) killer, and finally getting Will (Scott Foley) to forgive Ray's indiscretions, the show leaves plenty still unresolved with Ollerman still on the run and the fate of Standish very much uncertain. The show has certainly made some strides over the season, and although I wouldn't be surprised to see ABC ultimately decide to cancel it, I'm also curious to see what the writers might come up with for next season.

James Bond 007 #7


James Bond 007 #7 flushes out the story a bit more as Bond learns at least the outline of Goldfinger's plans which involve an African diamond mine. Action is a bit light in the issue, other than Bond accosting one of Goldfinger's minions for information and another go-around with Mr. Lee (who Bond finds working for Goldfinger).

Thursday, May 23, 2019

NCIS - Daughters


NCIS' latest case gets personal when Emily Fornell (Juliette Angelo) shows up in the emergency room with an opioid overdose. While NCIS first believes her to be a victim, it doesn't take too long before Fornell (Joe Spano) discovers his daughter is an addict. The episode is notable for two guest-appearances, one directly tied to the Fornell storyline and one which leads into next season's premiere. The first is the return of Melinda McGraw who appears as a ghost to haunt Gibbs (Mark Harmon) and push him into taking Emily's case (despite a dubious jurisdictional claim). Gibbs has been haunted by several characters over the years, but Diane's return caps a season-long theme of the grizzled agent letting his guard down more than at any point in the show's history.

Blood & Treasure - The Curse of Cleopatra


The two-hour series premiere of Blood & Treasure introduces us to former FBI agent turned antiquities expert Danny McNamara (Matt Barr) who is lured back into the field when his mentor (Alicia Coppola) is kidnapped after making a historic find in Egypt. Needing all the help he can get, Danny recruits a world-class thief - his ex-girlfriend Lexi Vaziri (Sofia Pernas). The two-part opener of Blood & Treasure is goofy and could be helped if the show embraced what it is wholeheartedly instead of attempting to straddle a semi-serious line throughout the premiere as the pair bicker and make goo-goo eyes at each other.

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Photograph

Writer/director Ritesh Batra's Photograph offers audiences a low-key romance between a tourist photographer (Nawazuddin Siddiqui) struggling to scrape money together to pay off family debts and the daughter (Sanya Malhotra) of a well-to-do family unhappy with both the current state of her life and her parents' plans for her future. Neither is all that happy with their lives, but until their meeting neither of them has ever thought about attempting to make a change, either.

A chance encounter between the two leaves Rafi (Siddiqui) with Miloni's (Malhotra) photograph, taken at the Gateway Of India. Hoping to ease the worry of his grandmother (Farrukh Jaffar), Rafi includes the stranger's photograph in a letter suggesting that he has finally found love. When the grandmother decides to come into town to meet her, Rafi scrambles to find the stranger and convince her to play along for a few days. What could just as easily have been a throwaway plot to a regrettable Hollyood romcom works fairly well here, as the unusual offer comes at just the right time as Miloni feels oppressed by the expectations of by her own family.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

It's Comicpalooza 2019 Part 1

Naomi #5


We all need a best-friend like Annabelle. Naomi #5 fills in the missing pieces to Naomi's story both through flashbacks to the cave and through Naomi telling her best friend that she's from an alternate Earth, has super-powers, and that her adoptive parents are aliens from outer space. Annabelle takes things pretty well.

Game of Thrones - The Iron Throne


Closing the show's controversial final season is a lackluster series finale that acts as epilogue to the events of Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) burning Kings Landing to the ground. Dispensing with the two most likely candidates for the thrown by having Jon Snow (Kit Harington) kill Daenerys leaves a gaping hole for the final half of the episode to stumble through and awkwardly come up with a suitable candidate to sit on the (now melted) throne. The writers, who promised a "big surprise" on who would emerge as the new ruler, turn to the blandest choice possible as the survivors come together to crown Bran the Boring (Isaac Hempstead Wright), first of his name.

Monday, May 20, 2019

Supergirl - The Quest for Peace


Supergirl ends its Fourth Season with a solid, although not quite super, episode as Kara (Melissa Benoist) strives to undo all of Lex Luthor's (Jon Cryer) evil machinations that have set him up as America's new hero. "The Quest for Peace" (taking its name from one of the best forgotten Superman sequels - which is still isn't the worst Superman movie ever made) makes good use of flashbacks to fill in the events from Lex's point-of-view (which cover quite a bit of ground while Supergirl was occupied with Red Daughter). From there Lex struts his stuff turning aliens into human batteries Matrix-style to fuel a space laser he plans to use to kill Superman. Ah, yes, there's the mad-scientist with Superman-envy (and hair envy) we know and love. Cryer continues to entertain as Lex Luthor, although it's unclear how much we may get of the character going forward.

Game of Thrones Card Trader Awesome Pack 2


Also check out Pack 1.

Sunday, May 19, 2019

John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum

John Wick was simple revenge story stylized with a flourish of memorable action scenes (and an absurd amount of killshots to the head). John Wick: Chapter 2 brought back Keanu Reeves as the notorious hitman featuring a more convoluted story that was designed to help expand John Wick's world. John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum returns, at least initially, to the clear focus of the original by offering a set-up of Wick declared excommunicado and on the run from the very organization he has worked for, with an ever-increasing price on his head, numerous assassins looking to cash in, and all the usual help and support once available now denied.

For the first-half of the film, Chapter 3 works quite well as our protagonist runs for his life and calls on the few remaining debts owed to him. However, about halfway through the film the story shifts and, despite several impressive action scenes, never works quite as well as the writers once again over-complicate what should be a relatively straight action tale while instead focusing on more world building and setting up the next inevitable sequel. Parabellum doesn't so much as come to a close as run out of time with the story left unfinished (and me left unfulfilled).

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Hawaii Five-0 - Hewa ka lima / Hana Mao 'ole ka ua o Waianae


Aaron Wright (Joey Lawrence) resurfaces in the final two episodes of Hawaii Five-0's Ninth Season as a cyber-terrorist working for the NSA. When his field office is hit and the other hackers are killed, Wright goes to Five-0 for help. The evidence points Five-0 to a medical manufacturing company who one of the hackers was blackmailing after he discovered the company's latest, and most profitable, invention killed three people in testing. While all the facts are true, it takes Jerry (Jorge Garcia) too long to discover that Wright has played the team, and the NSA, for fools as he orchestrated the entire attack in order to obtain his freedom and a profitable hard drive full of the best cyber-terrorist software ever invented which he plans to sell to the highest bidder prior to sneaking off the island.

The Big Bang Theory - The Stockholm Syndrome


After 12 seasons The Big Bang Theory comes to a close with an episode that falls back on the reliable premise of how inconsiderate and selfish Dr. Sheldon Cooper (Jim Parsons) can be. The show never lost money revisiting that plot thread. The series concludes with the cast out of the country to be in attendance when Sheldon and Amy (Mayim Bialik) accept their Nobel Prize. While on the plane trip over the secret of Penny's (Kaley Cuoco) pregnancy is revealed, Sheldon's reaction causes an immediate (but quickly reconciled) dust-up, and the show offers some individual moments for various characters as Howard (Simon Helberg) and Bernadette (Melissa Rauch) freak-out over leaving their children for the first time and Raj (Kunal Nayyar) meets a new woman (who may have once slain vampires, but has no romantic interest in him).

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

The Flash - Legacy


There's quite a bit happening in the show's season finale which says farewell to two heroes, ends the season-long threat of Cicada, and brings back the show's most notorious villain. Faced with the choice to destroy the dagger and save Grace (Islie Hirvonen), thus releasing Reverse-Flash (Tom Cavanagh) from his imprisonment, or forgo saving the girl in order to stop Thawne from returning, Team Flash chooses to help the innocent. The quandary proves to be the most interesting aspect of the season-long arc, although the show never really explains how it is related to Thawne's countdown? Anyway, destroying the dagger has the expected effect to altering the future timeline, restoring the Reverse-Flash's powers... and wiping Nora (Jessica Parker Kennedy) out of existence.

Arrow - You Have Saved This City


Although the show will return for a final season next year, "You Have Saved This City" comes as close as you can get to a series finale for a show that isn't cancelled yet. The season finale wraps up both the current battle with Emiko (Sea Shimooka) and the Ninth Circle who plan on releasing a biological weapon across Star City and the future arc involving Mia (Katherine McNamara), William (Jack Moore), and the others also fighting to save the city decades from now. The epilogue even offers a ride into the sunset for Oliver (Stephen Amell) and Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards) before foreshadowing Oliver's call to arms by the Monitor (LaMonica Garrett) leading into next season's Crisis.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Game of Thrones - The Bells


While I can concede, and even understand, the logic behind the writers' plan with "The Bells" it's hard not to come away conflicted after the penultimate episode of the series. After a 20-minute lead-in during which Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) executes a traitor, mourns her personal loses, and is once again spurned by Jon Snow (Kit Harington) who cannot return her advances, the war with Cersei (Lena Headey begins. Isolated and alone, she chooses fear over the love now absent in her life and embraces the Targaryen name and a thirst for vengeance offering no quarter to Cersei nor any of the subjects taking refuge in her city. Although we've seen this level of viciousness in her before (remember Khalar vezhven?), never to this scale have we seen it unleashed. I couldn't get the words of Ron Burdgandy out of my mind, both in the rapidly-descending mental instability of Daenerys and in the attack on Kings Landing, each of which get out of hand in short order.

It's FAN EXPO Dallas 2019 - Cosplayers Club Part 1

Batman & the Outsiders #1


DC Comics relaunches the Outsiders with Batman & the Outsiders #1 putting together a team of Black Lightning, Katana, Orphan, and Signal together under Batman's loose supervision. The first issue gives us a look at the team under Black Lightning's command still struggling to come together in the field (with several characters struggling with their own issues).

Monday, May 13, 2019

Supergirl - Red Dawn


Along with bringing Kara (Melissa Benoist) face-to-face with Red Daughter for the first time, the penultimate episode of the season also softens her defeat against her doppelganger, and the victory of Lex Luthor (Jon Cryer), with the return of her sister. It seems the aborted adoption has loosened the memory blocks J'onn (David Harewood) put in place in Alex's (Chyler Leigh) mind with old memories resurfacing in dreams. Watching her sister nearly beat to death by a shadow version finally returns Alex to normal, and just in time as it seems Supergirl is going to need all the help that she can get now that Lex Luthor is a hero by single-handedly stopping the Kaznian invasion and "killing" Supergirl. Although it's not confirmed that Red Daughter is truly dead (this wouldn't be the first time Lex has pulled a fast one), either way it certainly appears that Red Daughter was this season's red herring as simply another pawn in Lex Luthor's rise to power.

Pokemon Card Trader Awesome Pack


Thursday, May 9, 2019

Pokémon Detective Pikachu

Despite having no connection to Pokémon, I really wanted to like Pokémon Detective Pikachu which casts Ryan Reynolds as the voice of a talking Pikachu only he can understand. The cute creature, who apparently no one ever thought to name, is the Pokémon partner to missing Police Detective Harry Goodman. Despite its amnesia, the Pokémon convinces the estranged son (Justice Smith) of its partner that the Pokémon can uncover the truth of what happened to Harry.

The world created by director Rob Letterman and his team is visually stimulating which makes it all more confounding that the script is so bland and uninteresting. How can a movie that looks this good be so boring? Even Reynolds, whose toned-down PG wisecracks and adorable furry on-screen visage, can't save the film from a convoluted murder mystery that never leads anywhere interesting (other than a complete rip-off of the climax of Tim Buron's Batman). Fans of the franchise happy just to see the character on the big screen may be able to overlook the project's many flaws, but for the rest of us it's hard to see Pokémon Detective Pikachu as anything more than an uninspired mess of untapped potential.

Spider-Gwen: Ghost-Spider #8


Spider-Gwen: Ghost-Spider #8 offers a fun standalone issue of a day in the life of a perky super-hero. There's also more than a little trouble for our heroine who goes to Harry Osborne for help with her new symbiote and looses control while dealing with a group of muggers. There's also the mysterious disappearance of the one scientist who may help Gwen with her recent troubles.

Red Sonja #4


Red Sonja #4 opens with Red Sonja and her people on the run, chased by the war chariots of the Zamoran Empire nipping on their heels. With the help of the Brothers of Misfortune, Sonja sends most of the caravan on while laying a trap for the chariots.

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Shadowhunters - Alliance / All Good Things...


Shadowhunters comes to a close with a pair of episodes wrapping up the remaining storylines and teasing what might have been in the show's future and one character's re-introduction to a mysterious new world. "Alliance" focuses on the heroes coming together, with the unexpected assistance of Lorenzo (Javier Muñoz), and traveling to Edom to rescue Magnus (Harry Shum Jr.) and save him from Lilith (Anna Hopkins). "All Good Things..." gives us the marriage between Magnus and Alec (Matthew Daddario) and the conclusion of the Jonathan (Luke Baines) storyline which leaves ripples for all those concerned. Although it presents them with one last hurdle to overcome in her temporary infusion by Heavenly Fire, the end of the series finally puts Simon (Alberto Rosende) and Isabelle (Emeraude Toubia) together at last. Luke (Isaiah Mustafa) gets a new beginning as well, restored to his former Shadowhunter self. And Clary (Katherine McNamara)... well, she loses quite a bit over the final two episodes by defying the angels one too many times and finds her life as a Shadowhunter forgotten.

Game of Thrones - The Last of the Starks


There's some odd pacing happening in "The Last of the Starks" as the episode spends much of its first half with characters honoring and grieving those lost at Winterfell, and making plans on the invasion south, to quickly jumping ahead to Daenerys (Emilia Clarke)' arrival and the welcome which Cersei (Lena Headey) has planned. Although she's been largely absent this season, Cersei reasserts herself as the series' main villain here. The Night King (Vladimír Furdík) may have been a monster to defeat, but Cersei Lannister is the monster to defeat. Taking out both a dragon and Daenerys' (Emilia Clarke) only remaining friend leaves her as alone as she has been in quite some time. Given Jon Snow (Kit Harington) ignoring her wishes to keep his lineage a secret from his family, I doubt she's feeling much love from the land she came home to liberate. While the show may still have one great swerve up its sleeve, it sure seems to be pushing to the inevitability of Jon Snow on the Iron Throne.

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

How Captain Marvel Should Have Ended

Emerald City Comic Con Cosplay Music Video (Part 1)

Angel #0


Angel #0 offers a tease of the companion book to BOOM! Studios new re-imagined Buffy the Vampire Slayer universe. With all but the opening scene (showing nothing more than we saw in Buffy the Vampire Slayer #4) taking place well before Angel arrived in Sunnydale, Angel #0 offers a look at the cursed vampire with a soul's early attempts at redemption.

Monday, May 6, 2019

Supergirl - Will The Real Miss Tessmacher Please Stand Up?


The latest episode continues the team-up of Kara (Melissa Benoist) and Lena (Katie McGrath) as the pair head to Kaznia to investigate the evil plans of Lex Luthor (Jon Cryer). Not only will they find multiple versions of Eve (Andrea Brooks), thanks to Lex playing with super-hero powers, but they also uncover Luthor's big secret in the "Red Daughter." There are at least three separate moments in "Will The Real Miss Tessmacher Please Stand Up?" where Kara not only could have told Lena her secret but should have. There can be little doubt at this point that Lena will learn the truth from someone other than Kara likely splintering their friendship and pushing her down the super-villain/nemesis road, although for now they appear to be solidly together in the hunt for Lex and the other Supergirl.

iZombie - Thug Death


The final season of iZombie opens with a viral video of a human attacked by zombies that puts the city's delicate peace in jeopardy. No remains offers no brain for Liv (Rose McIver) to munch on, and Ravi (Rahul Kohli) offers little help while on douchebag brains and having his attention split by both Peyton's (Aly Michalka) interview with humans pushing for a pre-empitive attack on zombies and a scientist's (Quinta Brunson) discovery of a potential cure which would make hundreds of children targets for their brains.

Friday, May 3, 2019

Whiskey Cavalier - Good Will Hunting


I never expected Emma's (Ophelia Lovibond) stint on the show to last all that long, but "Good Will Hunting" surprised me in the finality of her exit. I'm sad to see Lovibond go as I enjoyed Emma and Will (Scott Foley) together. Her death is put to good use here as it propels Will into a more brutal version of himself as the group hunts for his girlfriend's killer. At first Frankie (Lauren Cohan) loves the new version of her partner, fitting much more with her own outlook on life, right up until the point where she discovers just how much work it is to keep a loose canon from going off and causing all kinds of collateral damage.

Uncanny X-Men #17


Uncanny X-Men #17 is an awkward issue whose moral seems to be nobody ever gets what they want (and mutants, no matter how small the number, are still expendable to serve a larger plot). The comic jumps from the funeral of Wolfsbane to Wolverine and Kwannon who go in search of bloody revenge for another fallen friend. Because of the set-up, Wolfsbane's funeral is truncated, and because of the funeral Wolverine's vengeance takes place mostly off-panel.

FBI - What Lies Beneath


OA (Zeeko Zaki) has mixed feelings with being put on the protection detail for an Egyptian politician (Nasser Faris) arriving in the United States for a heart transplant. Putting his personal feelings for the man's policies aside, policies that cost a relative her life, Omar helps prevent one attack on the target from a world-class assassin not realizing that the FBI is playing straight into the killer's hands who orchestrates a change of venue for the transplant and is prepared to kill an entire hospital full of people in order to complete his mission.

Friday with Selena


Selena Gomez for KRAHS Swimwear.

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Young Justice #5


There's much to like about the latest issue of Young Justice as our heroes, now finally reunited, break out of the prison in Gemworld and begin their fight against Lord Opal. Along with the clever banter and strong action of the moment, the comic also offers another flashback to Robin's day leading up to being transported to another dimension. And this gives us Tim Drake and Stephanie Brown together making out in front of the Hall of Justice. This is so damn good. If Brian Michael Bendis can find a way to put Stephanie Brown in her Batgirl suit in this reality I just might lose my shit.

The Flash - Gone Rogue


Turns out even suped-up on negative Speed Force energy, Nora (Jessica Parker Kennedy) still struggles to fit into the villain mold. Having returned from the future, but hiding from her family, Nora enlists the help of villains to acquire a piece of cutting-edge technology that could finally stop Cicada (Sarah Carter). For her recruits she chooses Rag Doll (Troy James), Brie Larvan (Emily Kinney), and the Weather Witch (Reina Hardesty). While Barry (Grant Gustin) and Iris (Candice Patton) continue to struggle to come to a consensus about what to do with their daughter, Nora uses her knowledge of Star Labs to abduct a couple of hostages to help put her plans in motion.

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

The Superior Spider-Man #5


There are two stories at play in The Superior Spider-Man #5. The first involves Otto's date which goes surprisingly well until a late admission to his true identity. His date doesn't take things all that well, running out of the apartment to the nearest policeman. However, things take an unusual turn from there as the policemen are revealed to be possessed by some kind of demons which are spreading across the city leading to the unlikely team-up of the Superior Spider-Man and Doctor Strange.

Shadowhunters - City of Glass


Setting up next week's series finale, "City of Glass" features a last-ditch plan by Jace (Dominic Sherwood), Alec (Matthew Daddario), and Isabelle (Emeraude Toubia) to break Clary (Katherine McNamara) from Jonathan's (Luke Baines) sway. While successful in breaking the toxic bond between the siblings, the Shadowhunters are too late to stop Jonathan from retrieving the Morning Star Sword and using it to create a rift allowing demons to enter the city. While evil Clary is a bit more fun than the regular version, its good to see the character back in control of her faculties heading into the show's conclusion.

Detective Comics #1002


The post-anniversary arc for Detective Comics centers around a new group of medieval-looking vigilantes hitting town. In the latest issue Batman squares off not only against the self-appointed Arkham Knight but his entire larping group.