Monday, September 30, 2019

Hawaii Five-0 - Ua 'eha ka 'ili i ka maka o ka ihe


Season Ten of Hawaii Five-0 largely glosses over the events which ended last season, other than to reveal it was Jerry (Jorge Garcia) who was shot at the end of the season allowing Hawaii Five-0 to write off the character as a series regular (although possibly bring back Garcia in a recurring role somewhere down the line). Other than Jerry's recovery and subsequent life-change, the episode deals with the introduction of a new character in Quinn Liu (Katrina Law), former staff sergeant with Army CID, who is looking into the disappearance of some missing veterans that have turned up on the island as mercenaries hired to take out a list of gang targets.

Titans - Aqualad


Disconnected from current events, "Aqualad" offers a flashback episode that introduces another former member of the team in Aqualad (Drew Van Acker) who will meet a tragic end at the hands of Deathstroke (Esai Morales). What's almost immediately obvious about the episode is the show's creators chose the wrong actor and character to kill off as Van Acker infuses the Second Season with energy and charm missing from the current state of the more sullen members of the team. The flashback also helps build out Donna Troy's (Conor Leslie) backstory a bit more as well while offering the key moment that changed the Titans forever. The episode also offers the first run-in the team had with Dr. Light (Michael Mosley) and gives fans a look at the full roster of the original Titans team in full costume for the first time.

Harry Potter Card Trader - Awesome Pack 7


For more Harry Potter cosplay, check out Pack 1, Pack 2, Pack 3, Pack 4, Pack 5, and Pack 6.

Saturday, September 28, 2019

The Good Place - A Girl from Arizona, Part 1


The Good Place returns for its final season with Eleanor (Kristen Bell) taking the lead assuming the role of the architect and welcoming the new entries into the experiment that could well determine the fate of all human souls in the future. Although Michael (Ted Danson) has recovered from the anxiety which forced Elanor into the lead role, Janet (D'Arcy Carden) is over-worked, Jason (Manny Jacinto) is still Jason, and Chidi (William Jackson Harper) has chosen to have his mind wiped leaving him as blissfully unaware about the truth of his surroundings as the four test subjects.

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Abominable

When it chooses to lead with its heart, DreamWorks can create a moving movie experience. More than a bit reminiscent of How to Train Your Dragon, the latest animated feature from the studio centers around a Chinese teenager named Yi (Chloe Bennet) who encounters an Abominable Snowman (Joseph Izzo) on the rooftop of her apartment building and decides to help her new friend find his way back home to the Himalayas. Along for the ride are brothers Peng (Albert Tsai) and Jin (Tenzing Norgay Trainor) who find themselves reluctant traveling companions on a quest to stay three steps ahead of a wealthy billionaire (Eddie Izzard) and his private security army hoping to recapture the creature and return it to the lab it broke out at the beginning of the film.

"Everest," as Yi names him, offers the same mix of cute and dangerous that Toothless provided in How to Train Your Dragon. Yi's backstory, including her distance from her mother and grandmother and a recent family loss, help ground the emotional story while Everest provides the magic. As with Toothless, Everest is revealed to be more than he seems leading to an emotional whammy as Everest's journey offers Yi an unexpected gift.

Supergirl #34


After spending several issues away from Earth looking into Rogol Zaar and the destruction of Krypton, Supergirl #34 marks the return of Supergirl to Earth. An Event Leviathan tie-in, Supergirl discovers quite a bit has happened since she's been gone including the attacks of the mystery group Leviathan on various DCU spy agencies. Discoveries when lead to tears on those lost and shock with reconnecting with others.

FBI - Little Egypt


FBI opens its Second Season with an episode that hits close to home for one of its stars (in that way it's the same as every other episode of the series which somehow makes any crime personal for one of the leads). A bombing in the neighborhood he grew up in sends OA (Zeeko Zaki) and Maggie (Missy Peregrym) on a search for a white supremacist teenager (but that turns out to be only the tip of the iceberg). While responsible for the bombing, the teen was hired for the job by a Muslim looking to target his own people in hopes of raising awareness of hate crimes like the one he suffered not long ago. When the FBI fail to reveal a Muslim was behind the bombing, it also leads two youths (Nik Sadhnani and Paul Karmiryan) to begin looking for their own form of justice.

James Bond 007 #11


After breaking free of Goldfinger's control, Bond, Lee, and Agent K declare war on Oru. So thorough are the formidible threesome that Goldfinger decides to beat them to the punch and destroy small parts of his organization to make sure that what is left fear their master more than the troublemakers.

Men in Black: International

Other than its existence, the most shocking thing about Men in Black: International is that it isn't a complete dumpster fire and does deliver some enjoyable moments over its uneven 114-minute running time (although, in the end, the entire enterprise is largely forgettable). The movie franchise dormant for seven years is reawoken by bringing in Thor: Ragnarok stars Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson as the primary agents. Thompson is cast as the young woman smart enough to uncover the existence of MIB while Hemsworth is the weary agent who has been skating on his reputation for years.

The plot is more complicated than it needs to be as Agent M (Tessa Thompson) is sent to London by Agent O (Emma Thompson) who suspects something foul may be happening on the other side of the pond. M soon hooks up with Agent H (Hemsworth) only to bungle their assignment and end up on the run with a valuable piece of alien technology that a race known as the Hive are desperate to get there hands on.

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

NCIS - Out of the Darkness


Picking up the thread of last season's cliffhanger ending, Ziva David (Cote de Pablo) returns from the dead in "Out of the Darkness" with a warning for Gibbs (Mark Harmon). Without going into detail about where Ziva has been, the season premiere at least explains the reason for her fake death by rewriting a bit of NCIS history and having the bomb that supposedly killed Ziva be the actions of a mysterious terrorist. Together the pair go on the run in search of the mysterious woman Sahar (Mouzam Makkar) while first Bishop, and then later other members of NCIS begin to understand just what his going on. Ziva is less than forthcoming about her time away, other than her single mindedness about killing Sahar and making it back to her daughter.

Alyson Tabbitha - Jumanji Ruby Roundhouse Cosplay


Alyson Tabbitha is a cosplayer and costume maker. You can follow her on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Tumblr. You can also support her on Patreon.

Bull - Labor Days


Bull opens its Fourth Season with Bull (Michael Weatherly) and Benny (Freddy Rodríguez) on the outs, both suffering from working without the other, and Bull in need of an attorney to defend a bartender (Monique St. Cyr) from manslaughter charges after the man she served committed murder on New Year's Eve. Of course, Benny comes back to chair the case, and he and Bull bury the hatchet (although it seems he may offer more legal opinions this time around). Legal-wise, things feel a tad too over-simplified here in a District Attorney (Amir Arison) perusing a very questionable case, Bull unable to find even a single capable lawyer to take the case, and both Bull and Benny willing to go against Bull's expert advice on the jury to try Benny's strategy.

Spider-Man #1


Nobody told me there was a sudden scarcity of Spider-Men in Marvel Comics? Oh, there's not? Then why do we need a new one? And that's the real question at the heart of Spider-Man #1, isn't it.

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Dragon Con 2019 Cosplay Video

G.I. JOE #1


In the new volume of G.I. JOE the Joes have lost the battle with Cobra. Now working covertly, those that remain at large work as saboteurs and spies hoping to deal a blow to the enemy that has already taken the country.

Black Cat #4


After making it out of Doctor Strange's home with her prize, Felicia Hardy pushes her luck as the next address on the list of targets turns out to be the home of the Fantastic Four. My favorite moments in Black Cat #4 are Black Cat's inner monologues involving the top two reasons no one in their right mind would ever break into 4 Yancy Street (while, of course doing just that).

Monday, September 23, 2019

Titans - Rose / Ghosts


The past returns to haunt the original Titans in "Rose" and "Ghosts" when Dr. Light (Michael Mosley) breaks out of prison and begins targeting members of the team. Dick (Brenton Thwaites) brings everyone back to Titans Tower, where the new recruits continue to train, and Jason Todd (Curran Walters) continues to be an ass (if the writers of the show were trying to capture the unlikable nature of the Todd Robin that led to fans voting he be murdered by the Joker, they are definitely going down the right path). Light certainly comes off creepy and dangerous, even if the design of his costume could use a little work, but it's the confirmation that he's working with Deathstroke (Esai Morales), something the team has yet to discover, that increases the danger for the Titans. Deathstroke's plan to divide and conquer (an immediately already divided team) begins with the capture of Todd.

Young Justice - Private Security


Although there a larger issues at play throughout, including a dramatic subplot involving Zatanna (Lacey Chabert) and her father (Nolan North), "Private Security" offers one of the more enjoyable episodes early in the show's Third Season as (in return for helping them take an a meta-human trafficking ring later), Robin (Jesse McCartney), Jim Harper (Crispin Freeman) and Roy Harper (Freeman) all agree to help Will Harper (Freeman) by working for his security firm for the day and standing in for his sick workers. And it's just horrendously bad luck for super-human gangster Brick (Khary Payton) and his crew that they choose this day to try and rob the shipment.

This is Fan Expo Canada 2019 Best Cosplay Music Video

Friday, September 20, 2019

Ad Astra

Ad Astra is a slow, thoughtful film at least as interested in the character study of an astronaut as the dangers lurking in outer space. Set in the "near future," Brad Pitt stars as astronaut Roy McBride sent to Mars on a top secret mission to end the power surges that are affecting the planet (and nearly killing Roy in the opening scene). The surges are coming from the edge of the solar system where Roy's father H. Clifford McBride (Tommy Lee Jones) and his expedition disappeared decades ago.

While not as engaging as The Martian or as ambitious as Gravity or Contact, Ad Astra does provide a fine performance by Pitt to center its story. The always reliable, but not remarkable, McBride is put through the paces in the latest mission that gets personal far too easily for the stoic astronaut who has made a career by ignoring his feelings.

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Thursday with Amber Heard

Batman & the Outsiders #5


The Outsiders have arrived in Khadym to search for the missing Sofia Ramos. The search ends up leading the team into not one but two separate traps. For the first, Black Lightning, Katana, and Kaliber walk into with their eyes open having found Sofia. The second is sprung on the remaining members of the team while the rest fight for their lives in the desert.

Anime Expo 2019 Cosplay Music Video Part 2

Batman #78


"City of Bane" catches up with Batman and Catwoman on the road back to Gotham City. On an unnamed beach, somewhere still far from home, Catwoman continues to help Bruce Wayne get back to full strength (both physically and mentally). This means a bit of training, and quite a bit of dialogue between the pair who recognize, but are not willing to give into, the attraction that still exists between them.

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Titans - Trigon


In a dick move, Titans returns for its Second Season with a premiere which feels very much like it should have been the First Season's finale. Almost entirely dealing with themes from the previous season, "Trigon" begins with Trigon (Seamus Dever) brainwashing the rest of his daughter's friends just as he did to in the previous season's finale to Robin (Brenton Thwaites), proving that a full episode didn't need to be devoted the the alternate reality mind games he pushed Dick through in "Dick Grayson" (as Trigon manages to brainwash nearly the entire group, who are then able to break his control, all in less than half that time).

Event Leviathan #4


Event Leviathan continues as the heroes are still no closer to identifying who is behind the attack on all the DCU's spy agencies. The issue opens with Superman recounting his encounter with the apparent head of the organization, and his defeat as Leviathan was able to use some kind of temporal weapon to counter his super-speed and make off with Amanda Waller (who the group very much wants alive).

Lucifer - Save Lucifer


The penultimate episode of Lucifer's Fourth Season features the death of a local celebrity realtor and Lucifer (Tom Ellis) struggling with becoming more and more demonic. While the murder of the week boils down to family drama and squabbles, Lucifer's transformation is much harder for Chloe (Lauren German) to deal with. In a watershed moment for her character, Chloe accepts Lucifer (devil wings and all) and in doing so allows Lucifer to accept and forgive himself for his past mistakes. Tying back to Chloe's season-long struggle with the bombshell she learned at the end of the previous season, this would allow the season to end on a happy note for both Devil and detective, but fate it seems has other plans. The episode is also notable for the birth of Amenadiel (D.B. Woodside) and Linda's (Rachael Harris) child whose mere existence will lead to trouble for everyone involved the the series finale.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Young Justice #8


The team's travels through the Multiverse continue in Young Justice #8 when they discover they've been dropped off in the evil mirror dimension of Earth 3. The comic features our heroes getting their butts kicked (rather soundly at times) by mirror images of themselves and other heroes from their own world (although our heroes do manage to get a few licks in).

Patriot - Milwaukee, America


The opening episode of Patriot introduces us to burned-out intelligence officer John Tavner (Michael Dorman), and the son of the head of the agency (Terry O'Quinn). Since the end of his last assignment, John has been hanging out in Amsterdam getting stoned and writing autobiographical folk songs which are becoming more and more about his botched missions. With Iraq elections holding the key to the continued stall or reinvigoration of the country's weapons program, the elder Tanner tasks his son with a new mission. He also enlists the help of his other son (Michael Chernus), a Congressman from Texas, with helping keep his brother on task by providing him a role of an attache overseas. As with John's previous assignment, things go wrong rather quickly.

Tuesday with Hannah Ray


Hannah Ray Ninja (formerly Captain Irachka) is a cosplayer, photographer, and model. You call follow her on Instagram, Twitter, and deviantART. You can also support her on Patreon and Only Fans.

Monday, September 16, 2019

Usagi Yojimbo #4


Usagi Yojimbo #4 begins a new arc when Miyamoto Usagi encounters Lady Mura on the road. A talented writer whose work captures Usagi's attention, even causing the ronin to imagine himself as a character in her story, Usagi decides to walk a ways with Mura who is on her way to see her father after a dust-up with her abusive husband the night before.

Titans - The Complete First Season

Surprisingly, DC Universe's Titans isn't the dumpster fire that it appeared to be from the show's initial trailer. In the show's First Season, recently orphaned teenager Rachel Roth (Teagan Croft) brings together brooding police detective and former vigilante sidekick Dick Grayson (Brenton Thwaites), amnesiac alien Koriand'r (Anna Diop), and shape-shifting teen Gar Logan (Ryan Potter). Over the course of the season the show will also introduce a few of Dick's crime-fighting buddies such as Donna Troy (Conor Leslie), and Hawk (Alan Ritchson) and Dove (Minka Kelly).

Delivering a Robin who didn't get out from Batman's shadow before a bit too much of his mentor's world view rubbed off on him is a questionable one, but also helps frame Dick as every bit as lost as the young girl with bizarre powers who he tries to help. Dick's questionable choices are explored in several episodes, and the arrival of Jason Todd (Curran Walters) on the scene as the new Robin creates even more.

It's Dragon Con 2019 - Cosplay Party Part 1

Friday, September 13, 2019

Official Secrets

The world could use a few more people like Katherine Gun. Based on the true story of a British Intelligence officer discovering her government's willingness to assist the United States in moving forward with an invasion of Iraq regardless of actual facts, director Gavin Hood's film stays focused on the personal cost to whistleblower Katherine Gun (Keira Knightley) as the film takes us through her discovery of a memo from the NSA asking for help blackmailing nations on the United Nations Security Council in order to rubber stamp the 2003 Iraq invasion through to her day in court a year later.

Knightley is terrific in the role of the defiant but terrified woman whose actions cause ramifications not just for herself but for her husband (Adam Bakri) who is nearly deported by a spiteful government that leaves her twisting in the wind for the better part of a year. Her supporting cast isn't too shabby either including Matt Smith as the reporter who broke the story (but who only shares a single scene with Knightley on-screen), Rhys Ifans as another reporter on the scent, and Ralph Fiennes and Matthew Goode who emerge when the case moves to trial.

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Hustlers


"Stripper movie" isn't a term that often imbues a viewer with confidence. That said, the true story adapted for film by writer/director Lorene Scafaria (Seeking a Friend for the End of the World) exceeded my expectations. While not great, Hustlers is solidly entertaining and far from the fiasco of Showgirls.

This is Dragon Con 2019 - Best Cosplay Music Video

Buffy the Vampire Slayer #8


"Hellmouth Prelude" moves away from the recent storyline involving Willow and Xander and instead offers a little of Buffy's not-so-glorious Halloween Dance experience (although she does end up trading a few barbs with a tall stranger) and offering a glimpse at a night out for Giles and Jenny which turns dark quickly thanks to Joyce Summers' awful taste in art (in a nice holdover from the television series).

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Ghost Spider Annual #1


Ghost Spider Annual #1 follows the events of the recently relaunched series where Spider-Gwen has left her home dimension and arrived in the middle of the MCU to go to college (and do a little crime busting on the side under the new name Ghost Spider). Still getting into the swing of things (so to speak), the story looks into the early days of Gwen's time at college taking a swing around campus following an lecture.

It's Anime Austin 2019 (Cosplayers Unite)

Young Justice - Princes All


Two years have passed since the end of the show's Second Season and "Princes All." In that time Nightwing (Jesse McCartney) has left the team, Aqualad (Khary Payton) has been promoted to a leadership role in the Justice League, and Miss Martian (Danica McKellar) is now the leader of the expanded teen heroes. There's quite a bit of set-up in the season premiere including several members of the Justice League resigning feeling hamstrung by politics and current world affairs and introducing the idea of meta-humans being kidnapped, harvested, and sold around the galaxy as soldiers in galactic wars. The later brings a toned-down Nightwing back into the story on the trail of a new lead on the trafficking which opens the door to old friends (a few of whom he enlists on his latest mission).

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Adam Savage's Knights of Ren Cosplay (Part 1 & 2)


Adam Savage collaborates with prop builder Darrell Maloney to create the Knights of Ren characters introduced in The Force Awakens to life

Angel #4


The first arc of the re-imagined spin-off comes to a close in Angel #4 as Angel is transported to a demon realm to do battle with Amarkax (who has been feasting on victims in California through social media). Despite being haunted by his past and visions of a future featuring a certain blonde Vampire Slayer, Angel is able to take down the demon after learning his name and providing the final ingredient in a spell to bind him for the next 10,000 years or so.

Tuesday with Nicole Whittaker


Follow Nicole on Instagram. Photo by Top Tier Images.

Monday, September 9, 2019

Super Heroes Card Trader - Awesome Pack 13


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, Pack 11, Pack 12, Team-Up Pack 1, Wonder Woman Pack 1, Green Lantern Pack 1, Black Cat Pack 1, Pack 2, Lara Croft Pack 1, Pack 2, Pack 3, Spidey Pack 1, Pack 2, Pack 3, Pack 4, Deadpool Pack 1, Harley Quinn Pack 1, Pack 2, Pack 3, Pack 4, Pack 5, SHAZAM! Pack 1, 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.

Killjoys - Don’t Stop Beweaving

"Don't Stop Beweaving" begins and ends with our characters in a happy place, although there is plenty of trouble to get though in between. The episode opens with Johnny (Aaron Ashmore) celebrating the return of Lucy. After that things get a bit tricker as he and D'avin (Luke Macfarlane) work on turning prisoners into freedom fighters and Aneela (Hannah John-Kamen) and Zeph (Kelly McCormack) take a trip back to the scientist's homeworld to follow a clue about the Lady back to the world of fundamentalists who Zeph ran from years ago. Meanwhile, Khlyen (Rob Stewart) has his own troubles both mourning the loss of his daughter (who isn't yet dead) and with the Lady's latest tantrums.

Friday, September 6, 2019

Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order - Dark Temple #1


The most interesting aspect of the first issue of the new Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order - Dark Temple are the first few pages as we seen an Inquisitor arrive on the Battlefield. Sent by the Emperor, Second Sister discovers a group of Stormtroopers in a bunker fighting the last hold out of the locals, unable to move forward, and frightened of a legend growing in their midst that a Jedi exists on the other side.

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

GamesCom 2019 Cosplay Music Video

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Chosen Ones


Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Chosen Ones offers three separate tales of Slayers who came before Buffy Summers. "The Mission" involves the arrival of a new Watcher in the Sunnydale mission in 1808 after the death of his cousin by vampires and the rise of a new Slayer from the Chumash tribe named Hutash (who isn't all that keen on the Spaniard mansplaining Slayer lore to her on their way to prevent the opening of the Hellmouth).

G.I. JOE: A Real American Hero #266


G.I. JOE: A Real American Hero #266 begins a new arc with Cobra Commander giving in to his obsession about Snake Eyes and enlisting Dr. Mindbender and his new MX-005 drone to do a little snooping in the Joe's home base. Although he misses the small detail that the current Snake Eyes is actual Throwdown (and not the original), the drone does pick up quite a bit of action as Snake Eyes is able to hold his own against Helix, Scarlett, Bombstrike, and Jinx.

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Monday, September 2, 2019

Batman/Superman #1


The new volume of Batman/Superman launches with Superman being called to Gotham City. A young boy has gone missing and all evidence points to the return of The Batman Who Laughs (Bruce Wayne from Earth-22 who was infected by that dimension's Joker and has since become a hybrid of the two characters). Loose again on Earth-1, Batman and Superman team-up to find the missing boy and the villain who has teased the idea of turning all heroes into something just like him.

Carnival Row - Some Dark God Wakes


The best word to describe the first episode of Amazon's new series Carnival Row is awkward. Attempting to blend fantasy, sci-fi, and a kinda-sorta (but not really) steampunk ascetic around a winding story lacking a true focus offers some interesting ideas but really shows no intention of heading somewhere interesting (at least until its final few minutes). Before we even get to a single scene, a dump of narrative exposition informs us about three different races, a war, refugees, and human smuggling across borders. In the first few minutes we also get refugees fleeing an occupied land and a shipwreck. None of this, however, takes place in the show's primary setting. Here the shift focuses away from the faerie lands of Tirnanoc to the far more human lands of The Burgue where Inspector Rycroft Philostrate (Orlando Bloom) is searching for a serial killer. Th premiere also offers glimpses at the charged political climate of the land (a not-so-subtle allusion to the U.S. and its current views on immigration) and, for good measure, throws in the proclivities of a politician's son frequenting faerie whorehouses.

Monday with Rolyat & Hendo Art


Hendo Art is a cosplayer from California. You can follow her on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Check out her official store as well. You can also support her on Patreon.

Rolyat is a cosplayer. You can follow her on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. You can also support her on Pateron. Photo by Luc Luzzo.

Photo by spideyluc.