Monday, September 27, 2021

The Lost Symbol - The Araf

Professor Robert Langdon (Ashley Zukerman) and Katharine Solomon's (Valorie Curry) treasure hunt continues in the second episode of the series as the pair get some assistance from a mason (Tyrone Benskin), and friend of Katharine's father, to elude the CIA and figure out what their next move should be. The "big" reveal here is that the incomplete pyramid is a map to this mysterious portal and translating it has something to do with a Bible verse. Um, okay. Meanwhile, Peter Solomon (Eddie Izzard) makes marginal progress in an escape attempt, only to be dragged back into captivity, and the mysterious Mal’akh (Beau Knapp) offers Langdon an ultimatum about his travelling companion (which doesn't make much sense if he wants Langdon to succeed as he'll need all the help he can get).

Friday, September 24, 2021

Only Murders in the Building - How Well Do You Know Your Neighbors?

It's not surprising that the episode centered more on Oliver (Martin Short) would be the goofiest episode of the series so far. Along with flashbacks to the director's notorious Broadway flop ("Splash: The Musical"), we also get a look into Oliver's mind as he attempts to cast the killer for the podcast much the way he would a Broadway show with various suspects trying out on stage. His first idea for star fizzles out, and it's not until the very end of the episode that he thinks the podcast may have found its leading man in one of the apartment building's most famous residents.

Usagi Yojimbo #22

Miyamoto Usagi's travels with his cousin Yukichi Yamamoto continue in part one of "Ransom" as the two wanderers have mad their way out of Lord Hikiji's province only to run into new trouble when their paths cross those of Kitsune and Kiyoko. It doesn't take the young warrior long to discover the sneakiness of the two thieves as they tease Yukichi before showing the travelers the thieves' latest score: a ledger of corruption and payoffs.

Subnormal

The British documentary from director Lyttanya Shannon looks back at a time when immigrant children with dark skin were being disproportionately labeled "educationally subnormal" and sent to special ESN schools where their chance at a proper education was drastically reduced. Including interviews from former students, their parents, educators, and advocates who helped bring the situation to light, Subnormal offers an intriguing look back a story that cuts to the heart of racism and disenfranchisement.

Although short, and a times a tad dry given the shocking subject matter, the documentary is informative delving into  the schools which started in the 1940s and only stopped because of investigation and activism in the 1960s and 1970s that the British Government eventually could no longer ignore.

FBI: International - Pilot

Part three of a three-hour crossover across the various CBS FBI series, the "Pilot" episode of FBI: International introduces us to the FBI's Budapest-based overseas Fly Team who are called into action to deal with threats outside the United States. The episode follows the thread introduced in FBI and continued in FBI: Most Wanted concerning human trafficker Colin Kent (Oded Fehr) who by the start of this episode has fled the United States with a 14 year-old hostage to avoid prosecution. With a rather unnecessary guest-appearance from OA (Zeeko Zaki), the Fly Team work to find Kent, his blackmail material on powerful pedophiles, and the missing girl.

Thursday, September 23, 2021

Love and Monsters

It may seem weird to call a story centered around a 23 year-old man a coming of age story, but that's exactly what Love and Monsters offers. Seven years after the end of the world, with people huddling in bunkers hiding from a wide assortment of mutated monsters roaming the earth, the cowardly Joel (Dylan O'Brien) decides to do something completely against his nature and travel 85 miles across the monster-infested post-apocalyptic landscape to find his girlfriend Aimee (Jessica Henwick) who he last saw seven years ago.

Narrated by the self-deprecating Joel who is both aware of his shortcomings and determined to overcome them, we follow the young man's journey where he'll face gruesome monsters and run into an assortment of odd characters including an unlikely pair of survivors (Michael Rooker and Ariana Greenblatt) living on the surface, a robot, and a dog.

Thursday with Salma Hayek

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Harley Quinn: The Animated Series - The Eat, Bang, Kill Tour #2

The second issue of Harley Quinn: The Animated Series - The Eat, Bang, Kill Tour features Harley and Ivy together one-step ahead of the obsessed Gordon which leads the pair to Catwoman (a character with plenty of space to grow given her short appearance on the show). Ivy's internal conflict at the happiness she feels for giving into her love for Harley and the utter panic when she is reminded just how truly crazy Harley is continues to be the main focus of the story.

Alyson Tabbitha - Lydia Deetz Cosplay Tutorial

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.

Stargirl - Summer School: Chapter Seven

The week after the defeat of Cindy's (Meg DeLacy) short-lived Injustice Society sequel, and Eclipso's escape from the Black Diamond, Stargirl turns its attention back to the growing unrest of Yolanda (Yvette Monreal) whose guilt over Brainwave's death has gotten steadily worse since Eclipso's arrival in Blue Valley. Although we don't get the larger version of the character seen in the last episode, we are offered the return of the creepy kid version of the villain (Milo Stein) lurking and toying with his prey. The episode is written in such a way it's hard to separate what events were caused by Yolanda's own guilt, Eclipso's influence, or (as we see in her hallucinations) some leftover mental parasite of Brainwave.

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Green Lantern #6

Green Lantern #6 is notable mostly for the first meeting between Sojourner Mullein  and Sinestro on New Korugar while Simon Baz looks to calm down the out of control of the rampaging Teen Lantern (mostly off-panel, which turns out to be just as disappointing as it sounds).

Cleopatra in Space - Suspicion

"Suspicion" picks up the thread of Cleopatra (Lilimar) believing Callie (Kari Wahlgren) is Octavian's spy and setting up to prove it by partnering with the school's mean girl during the "No Science Fair" when the entire school takes a break from technology. Despite their initial distrust, the pair turn out to make a good team as Cleo discovers Callie was simply jealous of Cleopatra (even at one point pretending to be her in the episode to meet the biggest star in the Nile Galaxy, who turns out to be a mind-controlled agent of Octavian). The episode is notable for the pair burying the hatchet, the closing musical number, and Akila (Katie Crown) discovering Brian (Jorge Diaz) has feelings for her.

Blue and Gold #2

After being rebuffed by the Justice League, Booster Gold and Blue Beetle set out to make a name for themselves. As with most of Booster Gold's ideas, things don't exactly go to plan. The heroes are able to recover some stolen Kord technology but also earn the animosity of the company's board leading to Ted Kord's exit. So much for them picking up the duo's super-hero bills.

Monday, September 20, 2021

Alex Rider - Episode One

Going for a less over-the-top feel than the 2006 film, the opening episode of Alex Rider introduces us to the talented teenager who discovers his recently deceased uncle (Andrew Buchan) was actually a secret agent. Otto Farrant is well cast as the series lead as Alex looking into his uncle's "car crash" leads to the discovery of a secret world he's first invited, and then later blackmailed, into becoming a part of. "Episode One" also lays the foundation for the season's villains in the evil teenager (George Sear) who kills his father and the mention of a private school which will no doubt be Alex's eventual destination.

Green Lantern 2021 Annual #1

The Green Lantern 2021 Annual #1 answers a couple of big questions to the ongoing storyline unfolding in Green Lantern where the Corps is in shambles following the destruction of the Power Battery on Oa. First, how did Jessica Cruz become a member of the Sinestro Corps? And second, where the hell has Hal Jordan been?

Vampire Jubilee Cosplay by Sara Moni

The Lost Symbol - As Above, So Below

Adapted from Dan Brown's 2009 novel of the same name, the opening episode of The Lost Symbol might be the most Dan Brown thing ever captured on film. As seen in The Da Vinci Code, Angels & Demons, and Inferno, Professor Robert Langdon (played here by Ashley Zukerman) is pulled into a bizarre mystery where his knowledge of history, symbology, art, cryptography, and obscure religious trivia will be put to the test against a secret cult (what else) determined to find secrets buried hundreds of years ago. The first episode focuses on Langdon being lured to Washington, D.C. to discover his mentor Peter Solomon (Eddie Izzard) has been kidnapped by a shadowy conspiracy hoping to force Langdon into discovering the location of their prize.

Thursday, September 9, 2021

Only Murders in the Building - Who Is Tim Kono?

As the title suggests, the second episode of the series delves into who the murder victim was. While we see Charles (Steve Martin), Oliver (Martin Short), and Mabel (Selena Gomez) attend the building's memorial to Tim Kono and see the trio break into his apartment to search for clues, the only real answers we get to the question comes from Mable's memories (which she chooses not to share with her new friends). Tim, it turns out, was a childhood friend whose falling out occurred on New Year's Eve with death of their mutual friend (Olivia Reis), the truth of which Tim would never speak of.

Clueless Honest Trailer

Star Wars A to Z - Hondo Ohnaka

The Story of Child World and Children's Palace Toy Stores

Wednesday, September 8, 2021

Stargirl - Summer School: Chapter Four

As Cindy (Meg DeLacy) starts to build her new Injustice Society by targeting the children of its former members, Pat (Luke Wilson) and Barbara (Amy Smart) receive a pair of unexpected guests when Sportsmaster (Neil Hopkins) and Tigress (Joy Osmanski) both break out of prison in order to support Artemis' (Stella Smith) big tryout. The deadly, but goofy, provide some amusing and uncomfortable moments for the family, while also showing that villains do have a softer side. We also get a glimpse at Artemis' life in foster care which has helped fuel an anger that Cindy and Eclipso can put to their advantage.

Red Sonja #1

Red Sonja #1 kicks off a new story as Red Sonja is hired to find Sitha, a missing child from a powerful religious caste kidnapped and now in a migrant village which has been pillaged by the Three-Eyed Shezem and is still burning by the time Sonja arrives on the scene. Angered by arriving so late, Sonja is shocked to find the girl miraculously still alive. Feverish and confused, Sitha takes Sonja to be her mother and so their journey together begins.

Leverage: Redemption - The Double-Edged Sword Job

Now seven episodes in to the new season, Leverage finally feels back with the new characters properly integrated and all put to use in "The Double-Edged Sword Job." After one of their previous clients who Leverage helped hide years ago comes to them in a panic after being found by her abusive ex-husband, the team starts investigating a nearby town's enhanced security system which, if it goes global, could mean the end of privacy. Unable to attack the system, the team instead targets its high-strung creator (Lawrence Kao) hoping to derail the sale and keep it out of the hands of those who would abuse it for their own ends.

Tuesday, September 7, 2021

Super Heroes Card Trader - Awesome Pack 16

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, Pack 13, Pack 14, Pack 15, Team-Up Pack 1, Teen Titans 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, Harley Quinn & the Birds of Prey Pack 1, 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.

Monday, September 6, 2021

Rick and Two Crows - Rickmurai Jack

After an extended anime-style opening sequence that follows up on Rick's (Justin Roiland) adventures with two crows, Rick and Morty kicks off the season finale by returning to the Citadel of Ricks to cure Morty (Roiland) of his grandson's attempts to emotionally blackmail him and finally shed some light on the ultimate goals of Evil Morty (Roiland). The opening is crazy, but dealt with fairly quickly to move onto to an adventure which will touch on several past moments of the series and, perhaps, leave Morty and Rick with a better understanding of each other.

Transformers: King Grimlock #2

Grimlock's time on the savage world of Menonia continues as Arko continues after the Dinobot hoping to convince him of her value and the importance of her people's cause. By the end of the issue, Grimlock still has no interest in fighting of the Golden One. However, after getting a look at the necromonic Wood-Bot slaves of the Red Wizard, Grimlock does decide there is someone worth his time to kill.

Dr. Death - Diplos

The first episode of Dr. Death, the Peacock mini-series based on true events, introduces us to neurosurgeon Christopher Duntsch (Joshua Jackson). As the episode opens, the supremely confident doctor's infamous behavior comes to light leaving patients far worse off than when they were placed on his operating table. As to not give away the mindset of the character too early, Jackson is in stoic asshole mode throughout the scenes leaving it up the audience to decide whether the doctor is knowingly mutilating his patients or simply unaware of the debris he leaves in his wake while blaming anyone else (a nurse, an anesthesiologist, an x-ray tech) for his patients' issues.

Friday, September 3, 2021

Vacation Friends

Vacation Friends offers your usual odd couple pairing when Marcus (Lil Rel Howery) and Emily (Yvonne Orji) meet the outrageous Ron (John Cena) and Kyla (Meredith Hagner) through a series of misadventures while on vacation in Mexico. Wackiness ensues. After having a far crazier vacation than they had planned, Emily and Marcus leave Mexico with no plans to ever see the other couple again until they show up months later uninvited at their wedding looking for their "best friends."

Filled with equal amounts of laughs and groans, and just enough charm to keep you watching, the wacky Vacation Friends offers a nice (if obvious) message about how sometimes the people you least expect can become your closest friends (and not just a fun vacation story). Most of the movie features Marcus and/or Emily freaking out by what the other couple has done next only to realize their embarrassment over Ron and Kyla is blinding them to what the pair bring to their lives (aside from the chaos) and that the couples are better when they are in each other's lives. It's not something I'd recommend, but the right audience may have fun with Vacation Friends.

Thursday, September 2, 2021

Black Widow #10

"I Am the Black Widow" concludes as Black Widow, Yelena, and Anya Corazon take on the super-powered Apogee and The Olio. Lucy, refusing to sit on the sidelines even knowing her powers could kill her at any moment, also jumps into the fray allowing the cure to be released (and leaving a whole bunch of ticked off individuals who aren't too keen on suddenly loosing their super-powers). It's a win, but not necessarily a clean with for our heroes leaving resentment and distrust in their wake.

Only Murders in the Building - True Crime

From the minds of Steve Martin and John Hoffman comes a new series of three strangers (Martin, Martin Short, and Selena Gomez) living in the same building in New York, each with their own secrets, whose love for a true crime podcast bring them together to solve a death in the building the police have already dismissed as a suicide. "True Crime" introduces us to the three characters, and them to each other. Charles-Haden Savage (Martin) is an aging actor notable for one television role several years ago, Oliver Putnam (Short) is a Broadway director whose best days are long past, and Mabel Mora (Gomez) is a young woman renovating an apartment in the building.

Rejected MARVEL WHAT IF...? Timelines

Once and Future #19

Fairies are bastards. Seriously, you do not want to fuck with these things in the Once and Future universe, as our heroes learn.

Wednesday, September 1, 2021

Invincible - Here Goes Nothing

With his father in the hospital, apparently another victim of whoever killed the Guardians, the second episode of Invincible focuses on expanding the world and giving Mark (Steven Yeun) his first real action as a hero working alongside Teen Team to fight off an alien invasion. Don't worry, he'll get better at the whole super-hero thing. Several of the teen heroes will get larger roles as the series continues, including Atom Eve (Gillian Jacobs) who Mark discovers goes to his high school and becomes the first person he can talk to about the unusual path his life has suddenly taken. The episode is also notable for the first appearance of Allen the Alien (Seth Rogen) testing the planet to see if its heroes are up to snuff. As with the Flaxans, we'll see Allen again before the end of the season.

Val

Narrated by his son Jack Kilmer, Val takes a look at the life and career of Val Kilmer offering glimpses throughout his career with the self-shot footage Kilmer has collected for decades. The documentary also explores the personal side of Kilmer's life, his fight with throat cancer, and his current struggles doing what he can to keep his career alive through appearances at conventions. It's something to behold, and not always easy to watch.

Given the amount of footage and the film being framed by Kilmer's own words, read by his son, and the glimpse inside of his day-to-day life, we get quite an intimate take on the ups and downs of the actor's career. We see instances of the reputation earned for being hard to work with (such as his time on The Island of Dr. Moreau and why John Frankenheimer called the actor "impossible" to work with), and the Juilliard trained actor's struggles to find meaningful roles in Hollywood. Some of his films get larger mentions then others, but for any fan curious about Val Kilmer's life and often troubled career, Val provides an intriguing look into his world and the actor whose artistic nature caused him to often be his own worst enemy.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #120

Picking up from the events of the last issue, the Turtles and their friends must deal with the riot between Sally's supporters and the Mutanimals. Turns out the Turtles have trained their students well, as they are quickly able to send the Mutanimals packing only to discover the abduction of the weasels and Lita leading to the group storming Old Hob's compound.