Friday, July 1, 2022

The Princess

Joey King stars in the title role of a princess who refuses to marry a sociopathic suitor (Dominic Cooper) who then takes control of the kingdom by force and locks her away in the castle's tower. Not one to wait for Prince Charming, she fights her way out of the tower and battles the invading knights and cutthroats in hopes of freeing her family from the dungeon and killing her would-be husband who will stop at nothing to seize the throne.

King does what she can here, but neither the film nor the character are all that well written. The Princess attempts to offer up a kick-ass feminist heroine capable of saving her family and changing the world, and even throws in an evil henchwoman in Olga Kurylenko, but the film ultimately isn't much more than a throwaway action flick, with an increasing number of blood-spattering corpses, never going far enough to embrace its absurdity.

Official Competition

From Mariano Cohn and Gastón Duprat comes this dark satire featuring a group of people who should never have gotten together to make a film when a businessman (José Luis Gómez) turned producer looks to enhance his reputation despite knowing nothing about film (or the Nobel Prize winning novel he's bought). Then there's the eccentric director (Penélope Cruz) who casts the book's estranged brothers with a method theater actor (Oscar Martínez) and a worldwide movie star (Antonio Banderas) hoping to harness their mutual animosity to fuel the film.

Given the numerous variables at play, it's something of a miracle every time a good film gets made. It's that fact that the script exploits to humorous, and sometimes shocking, effect as the tensions between stars, along with the gamesmanship of their director, lead the trio down a dangerous, but always entertaining, path.

Thursday, June 30, 2022

Halo - Solace

In the wake of losing the larger artifact to the Covenant, "Solace" works towards Master Chief (Pablo Schreiber) and Makee (Charlie Murphy) having a combined vision through the Spartan's use of the smaller artifact offering us the first real look at the Halo ring. Elsewhere, Dr. Halsey (Natascha McElhone) becomes the easy fall guy for the government and is frozen out of the project, although she still retains access thanks to Cortana (Jen Taylor). As to the deeper meaning of John and Makee's vision, that will have to wait, but at least we don't get the distraction of Kwan (Yerin Ha) making "Solace" one of the show's more focused episodes.

Samurai Sonja #1

Set during the tumultuous Sengoku period, writer Jordan Clark and and artist Pasquale Qualano reimagine Red Sonja as the daughter of a slain samurai. Near death, Sonja will make a deal with the sea goddess which will allow her to continue her fight and her family's name. However, should she fall, her bloodline will be erased from history.

Ms. Marvel - Destined

The third episode of the series continues to focus on the interpersonal relationships of Kamala Khan (Iman Vellani), whose friends both share their own good fortunes while she struggles with what to do with her new-found power and a family legacy. We also get Aamir's (Saagar Shaikh) wedding along with some background about the bangle and the introduction of a larger external threat (at least one separate from the government forces hunting the city's new hero who are revealed to be the MCU's version of Damage Control).

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Minions: The Rise of Gru

The first movie of the Despicable Me franchise since 2015's fun if forgettable Minions, the series continues with Minions: The Rise of Gru as 11 year-old Gru (Steve Carell) attempts to prove himself as a super-villain to his idols the Vicious 6 (voiced by Alan Arkin, Taraji P. Henson, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Dolph Lundgren, Danny Trejo, and Lucy Lawless). More entertaining than Minions, but still packing plenty of wacky problems for both Gru and the small yellow henchmen to get into, Minions: The Rise of Gru is a pleasant surprise that made me laugh and kept me entertained throughout.

The film gets off to a bit of a rocky start introducing six new characters mid-heist in under a minute, setting the stage for Gru's audition as a new member and the fallout of him attempting to prove himself, but once Gru and the Minions hit the screen the movie finds its stride in a tale that refuses to overstay its welcome and clocks in under 90 minutes.

Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Warhunt

Set in Germany towards the end of 1945, Sergeant Brewer (Robert Knepper) and his men are sent behind enemy lines (note: we never see enemy lines in this movie) to find a crashed Allied plane with vital information Major Johnson (Mickey Rourke) doesn't want falling into Axis hands. What they find are witches (Lou Stassen and Anna Paliga) in the Black Forest who torment and kill the soldiers, just as they do to all warriors who enter their realm to feed their own power.

Warhunt is a goofy supernatural thriller with the witches spooking the soldiers and driving them mad. Rourke is ridiculous here as the eye-patch wearing brains of the operation who sends his own man (Jackson Rathbone) along with the soldiers. Warhunt is more weird then spooky offering us a toothless supernatural thriller. To call it a B-movie is a bit of an insult to the genre.

Moon Knight #12

Moon Knight's long battle with Zodiac comes to an abrupt end in Moon Knight #12. The anti-climactic end to the pair's battle finds Moon Knight bringing along some of the zombie former Fists of Khonshu he brings with him while straddling a path between the living and dead hoping in vain to get to Zodiac in time before the villain adds to his body count.

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds - Lift Us Where Suffering Cannot Reach

"Lift Us Where Suffering Cannot Reach" has the feel of a mix between a classic Star Trek episode (with the captain making sweet, sweet love to an alien woman) and one from Star Trek: The Next Generation (dealing with alien customs in conflict with Starfleet directives and human morality) when Captain Pike (Anson Mount) is reunited with a woman he saved years ago. Saving Alora (Lindy Booth) again leads to problematic discoveries about her idyllic world involving a chosen child (Ian Ho) who is destined to save their world albeit by paying a terrible price which is hidden from Starfleet for most of the episode.

Monday, June 27, 2022

Black Adam #1

Despite reading about the character for decades, I'll admit to being a bit lost with Black Adam #1 which takes place before the death of the Justice League (which happened several weeks ago) and features Adam jumping between his super-powered state and into the body of Teth-Adam (who looks pretty damn good for how old it is). As originally conceived, Black Adam couldn't transform back to Teth as the body would wither away and die. Apparently that's been "fixed" with modern continuity.

Fairfax - So You Think You Can Grieve?

As the students of fight over who can turn their grief into the largest spectacle and earn the most social media likes following the news that Principal Weston (Colton Dunn) has died, Dale (Skyler Gisondo) discovers Weston faked his own death and is living in the bowels of the school. Weston blackmailing Dale to keep his secret, however, nearly gets the principal killed for real.

G.I. JOE: A Real American Hero – Saturday Morning Adventures #4

The four-issue mini-series concludes with the genie forcing G.I. JOE and Cobra into battle where no one can escape until at least one side is wiped out. There's plenty of action to close things out, but the real story comes when Destro clues in the Joes on how to stop the genie leading to Shipwreck and Polly saving the day (and only Shipwreck remembering the crazy events of the past few days).

Obi-Wan Kenobi - Part VI

Taken in a vacuum, there's some interesting aspects to the closing episode of Obi-Wan Kenobi. Taken as part of the whole, "Part VI" continues the trend of uneven writing and bad decision making leaving the finale, like many of the episodes before it, being pretty damn infuriating. After a strong opening episode, the show fell into traps thanks to some bad writing, ignoring Star Wars canon while constantly stealing from it and building its story from its now shaky foundations, and some questionable choices by nearly every single character who appears on-screen. While it delivers a handful of moments fans were salivating for, how it gets to them (and even how it uses them) are often mediocre at best. Is Obi-Wan Kenobi fun? At times. Was it a good show? No, not really.

Friday, June 24, 2022

GameStop: Rise of the Players

The documentary from director Jonah Tulis, after prolonged introductions of longtime stock supporters of the long-flailing company, looks back on the volatility of GameStop stock in 2021 that saw the stock shoot to historic heights helped by the movement to attack the hedge funds who had been betting against the company creating "the GameStop short squeeze."

GameStop: Rise of the Players does a fairly good job of simplifying the events for the casual viewer, although it does take quite a bit of time to get into the event while spending most of the first hour of the film with the GameStop loyalists who continued to bet on the company well before the craziness began while more briefly touching on the Congressional hearing on market manipulation after Robinhood suspended trading of the stock to the detriment of GameStop and monetary relief to the hemorrhaging hedge funds.

Only Murders in the Building - Open and Shut

The First Season finale of Only Murders in the Building finally solves the murder that occured in the The Arconia which brought together three strangers to make a podcast, solve a crime, and break out of their comfort zones. Believing they have uncovered evidence that points to Jan (Amy Ryan) having a relationship with Tim Kono (Julian Cihi), which makes her a prime suspect in his murder, Oliver (Martin Short) and Mabel (Selena Gomez) attempt to prove their theory to Charles (Steve Martin) who elicits his own confession from his girlfriend (but not before she successfully poisons him as well and sets out to murder everyone in the building to cover her tracks). 

Thursday, June 23, 2022

This is IKKiCON 2022 Best Cosplay Music Video

Halo - Reckoning

With the larger artifact within the grasp of the UNSC, and Master Chief (Pablo Schreiber) dealing with some serious trust issues with Dr. Halsey (Natascha McElhone), various internal drama is put on hold with the arrival of the Covenant whose arrival not only leads to their aliens the artifact from the humans but also Kai (Kate Kennedy) struggling with the emotions of battle and the show finally interjecting Makee (Charlie Murphy) into the main storyline. Meanwhile, the storyline of Kwan (Yerin Ha) continues along its own path that feels increasingly disconnected from the other characters of the show. While far from a great episode, "Reckoning" does at least manage to push events forward for multiple characters and offer quite a bit of furious action in its final moments.

The History of The Black Cauldron

It's Star Wars Celebration 2022 Rise of the Costumers Part I

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds - Spock Amok

Following the tense and dramatic "Memento Mori," Star Trek: Strange New Worlds shift gears for a far lighter episode featuring the Enterprise in space dock that turns out to be the best episode of the series so far. The title of the episode comes from the arrival of Spock's fiancé T'Pring (Gia Sandhu). In an attempt to bridge the gap between them and understand each other's position, the Vulcans take part in a ritual that unintentionally swaps their consciousness into each other's bodies. Despite neither being happy about it, hijinks ensue as Spock (who is actually T'Pring in Spock's body) is needed in delicate trade negotiations with the R'ongovian Protectorate and T'Pring (who is actually Spock in T'Pring's body) is called into duty to help with a Vulcan who will only meet with her.

Angel #6

There's more preening in front of the camera, and bemoaning and introspection off-camera, than monster fighting in the latest issue of Angel. With Angel having moved on to film a Dracula movie, Cordelia enlists a new vampire for her show. However, both our leading men have trouble when attacked on set. Angel's set gets attacked by a vampire visiting his wardrobe trailer and Spike and Cordelia get a visit from Holtz.

Dragons: The Nine Realms - Dragons of the Undead

"Dragons of the Undead" is all about getting the shyest member of Dragon Club some confidence as Alex (Aimee Garcia) is forced to step-up after her dragon Feathers is kidnapped by what the kids mistake for a crowd of zombie dragons. The truth to the dragons turns out to be far different that what appearance may suggest. The look of the dragons works, even if that means we get stuck with D'Angelo (Marcus Scribner) thinking he might be turning into a zombie in what becomes the episode's running gag. Thanks to Alex's quick thinking, Feathers is saved, and their work together helps uncover the true nature of the strange dragons.

Wrath of Man

Guy Ritchie and Jason Statham unite for a by-the-numbers revenge flick. Statham stars as a notorious violent crime lord who takes a job as the new security guard for an armored car company that has been the target of several recent robberies, including one that killed his son. It doesn't take long for the other members of the company to discover H (Statham) is way overqualified for the job and there's obviously something more to the story of what he's doing there (which will be exposed slowly in a series of flashbacks that lead to inevitable questions of how blind everyone working for the company is in not recognizing H).

Wrath of Man is pretty dumb, as you may expect, but the action is serviceable and it's fun to root for the bad guy taking out other bad guys. Had it been made 25 years ago you could see Steven Seagal or Jean-Claude Van Damme in the role (albeit with more humor and/or high kicks).

Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Legacies - Just Don't Be a Stranger, Okay?

After four seasons, Legacies comes to a close. The season had some ups and downs but finally delivered on Hope's (Danielle Rose Russell) big tribrid turn and returned several familiar faces from The Originals in "Everything That Can Be Lost May Also Be Found." There was just one more thing fans were hoping to see. In the aftermath of the latest attack on the school, and the funeral for Ethan (Leo Howard), Alaric (Matthew Davis) considers closing the school much to the dismay of the Super Squad. Finding a familiar face in Limbo allows Ethan to move on to peace, Landon (Aria Shahghasemi) to get one more moment with Hope, and for the show to bring in Klaus Michaelson (Joseph Morgan) for a single appearance in the farewell episode.

Moon Knight: Black, White & Blood #2

Three more tales of Moon Knight are collected in the latest issue of the black, white, and red anthology. None of the three tales is a real stand-out, although there are some interesting ideas explored about Marc Spector and his alter-egos in Moon Knight: Black, White & Blood #2.

Obi-Wan Kenobi - Part V

The writing for Obi-Wan Kenobi reminds me of that of WWE who consistently write themselves into a corner and have to write even worse outcomes to break the downward spiral they've trapped themselves in only to later complain they had no choice (other than, you know, not making the initial bad decisions that led them into such untenable situations). For Obi-Wan Kenobi the big takeaway appears to be that lightsabers are far less lethal than we've been led to believe. In a move that reeks of desperation after the discovery of a huge timeline mistake, Grand Inquisitor (Rupert Friend) returns. Turns out he's fine. Lightsaber through the chest? Nah, that's not enough to keep a good Sith down.

Alyson Tabbitha Jinx (Arcane) Cosplay Tutorial

Monday, June 20, 2022

Kung Fu - The Source

Kung Fu wraps up its Second Season with Nicky (Olivia Liang) and Zhilan (Yvonne Chapman) follow Russell Tan (Ludi Lin) through a mystical door to Narni..., er, the Source (which turns out to look an awful lot like some of the woods the show has shot in before). All three meet ghosts that hinder their path (although you wonder why ghosts are trying to prevent Nicky and Zhilan from saving the realm from destruction). Mia (Vanessa Yao) follows as well, leading to a three-on-one fight against the super-powered Tan in an attempt to prevent him from escaping the crumbling realm with his new power. While not all three (apparently) survive, Zhilan is giving a bit of a redemptive hero moment in what may be her exit from the show.

Immortal Red Sonja #3

Red Sonja's journeys through the strange new realm (some time around, or just after, that of King Arthur) continue as the She-Devil with a Sword fights her cursed sword, fights and argues against her cursed chain mail which continues to narrate her tale, and fights against the host of creatures which cross her path (including warring Magogs) while searching for Merlyn.

G.I. JOE: A Real American Hero #293

G.I. JOE: A Real American Hero #293 continues the current storylines with several of the Joes sneaking into the Cobra Casino on Cobra Island as high rollers. And... that's about it. Despite being front and center on the cover, we don't get any movement on a new Serpentor. And, despite Dr. Mindbender spilling his plans about a clone of Snake Eyes (whose various versions feature prominently on one of the comic's variant covers) under Cobra's control within in earshot of a Joe, there's no new movement there either.

Fairfax - Fairfax at Night

Don't be in too big a hurry to grow up seems to be the lesson of "Fairfax at Night." The bizarre misadventures of middle school best-friends Dale (Skyler Gisondo), Derica (Kiersey Clemons), Benny (Peter S. Kim), and Truman (Jaboukie Young-White) continue in the show's Second Season premiere where camping out overnight for the release of Off-Brian's (Timothy Simons) new Tennis Ball Shoe leads to all kinds of problems for the kids. Before the night each will have their own bizarre adventure leading them back to Dale's house with no shoes but certainly enough wacky experiences to cover their first night outing as a group.

Friday, June 17, 2022

Elvis

No one can be told what Elvis is. You must see it for yourself. Now, to be clear, I cannot recommend Elvis to anyone. That said, I selfishly want people to see one of the most bizarre movie experiences I have ever had in a theater, if only so I can discuss what I still can't quite put into words. What I witnessed, nearly three hours worth, simply defies description. It's a mesmerizing train wreck of a film that makes psychotic choices in character, tone, and plot with disastrous results. And, yet, I couldn't look away.

The musical biopic of Elvis Pressley (Austin Butler) is the most over-the-top creation writer/director Baz Luhrmann has ever produced. Yeah, I said it. Let that sink in. It's so bonkers it blurs the line between drama and parody to such an extent that there are full scenes you could cut out of Elvis and drop into Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story (or vice-versa) and they would not seem out of place (such as young Elvis' orgasmic childhood discovery of music).

Ms. Marvel - Crushed

Aside from a SHAZAM!-ish montage of Kamala Khan (Iman Vellani) testing out her powers and the mixed results of a late save attempt, the second episode of Ms. Marvel continues to keep the focus on , her friends, and her family. Kamala convinces Nakia (Yasmeen Fletcher) to run for an election at the temple and, in her attempt to earn the vote of Kamal's father (Mohan Kapur) we discover why you don't want to get on her bad side. We get a potential love interest with a new boy at school (Rish Shah), although there are plenty of hints throughout there is more to him than what he seems which will confirmed in the cliffhanger ending as he saves Kamala from the creepy government agency who attacks her for daring to attempt to save a young boy in trouble (did Captain America have to put up with this?).

Thursday, June 16, 2022

Star Wars Tales: Krrsantan

Making a little money off the character's appearance in The Book of Fett, the Star Wars Tales: Krrsantan one-shot collects various appearances by the bounty hunter in previously-published Star Wars comics. In terms of bang for you buck, you certainly get quite a bit of action in 112 pages from across three monthly issues and an over-sided annual, although none of the stories aren't likely to be much of a stand-out for anyone but those already fans of the character.

Halo - Homecoming

The appropriately-titled "Homecoming" offers stories of both Master Chief (Pablo Schreiber) and Kwan (Yerin Ha) returning home. While Kwan discovers she can't really go home again and the revolution she hoped to rejoin is dead, John makes some discoveries in returning to his childhood home as he leads Dr. Halsey (Natascha McElhone) to the larger artifact. While the artifact is the big find, John's discovery of meeting Halsey before his parents' death, something the doctor inelegantly sidesteps when it's brought up, suggests there is much more hidden about John's past than has so far been revealed. As for Kwan, that storyline continues to spin its wheels, although hopefully Makee's (Charlie Murphy) eventual arrival on Madrigal might help.

Jane Foster & the Mighty Thor #1

Seeking to take advantage of events hitting theaters in early July, Jane Foster & the Mighty Thor #1 offers the first issue of a story where Mjolnir shows up in Jane Foster's living room after Thor disappears from Asgard. Foster, who only imagines picking up the hammer here in a single panel, is overshadowed by other aspects of the story involving an masked villain brining together a host of characters to attack Asgard including Algrim, Ulik, Tyr Odinson, and the Enchantress. Our mysterious antagonist also attempts, and fails, to earn Hela's support.

Tuesday, June 14, 2022

Lightyear

Disney and Pixar find a way to return to the Toy Story franchise without returning to the Toy Story franchise with Lightyear which is meant to represent the movie young Andy saw in 1992 which would inspire the Buzz Lightyear toy line. While it might not look or sound like a 90s film, a minor quibble, Lightyear does entertain by offering us the misadventures of the Space Ranger who struggles to get home after getting stranded on a hostile planet light-years from Earth. Although Buzz isn't a toy, Lightyear demands a toy be made for the adorable robotic cat Sox (Peter Sohn) who is just about the best thing ever.

Recasting Chris Evans as Buzz Lightyear, the story is your basic sci-fi action tale with a good amount of Disney/Pixar heart thrown in as Buzz blames himself for stranding the crew and will not stop until he finds them a way home. We also get Zurg (James Brolin) and his backstory.

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds - Memento Mori

"Memento Mori" has the feel of a submarine battle deep under the ocean which also works as a callback to the memorable space battle in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. We begin on Starfleet Remembrance Day with the Enterprise arriving to offer support to a settlement that has been attacked, unaware the survivors are only bait left by the Gorn. Offering a tense and action-packed episode, "Memento Mori" follows the trend of using the story to explore the past of a specific member of the crew. This time its Lieutenant La'an Noonien-Singh (Christina Chong), one of the few victims of the Gorn ever to make it out alive.

Dark Crisis #1

After all the various set-up and lead-in issues, Dark Crisis begins here with a memorial to the ten fallen members of the Justice League of America who perished during their fight against the Great Darkness. The issue jumps around a bit with Superman's son struggling to create a new Justice League from the heroes that are left, Hal Jordan returning to Earth far from satisfied with Black Adam's recounting of events on how the Justice League died, and Deathstroke leading a mass of villains against Titans Tower to kill those who might step-up to take the place of the fallen heroes.

Monday, June 13, 2022

Legacies - This Can Only End in Blood

The penultimate episode of Legacies caps the gods storyline in an episode that features the death of several main characters who return at the end thanks to the help of Landon (Aria Shahghasemi), who is left with his own price to pay. As for the big fight between Hope (Danielle Rose Russell) and Ken (Luke Mitchell), which the show has struggled to properly lead up to points in the season, we get another swerve with Hope first having to battle Aurora de Martel (Rebecca Breeds) albeit in a far different manner than how her father would have dealt with her. In other spots, Cleo (Omono Okojie) embraces her role as a Fury to help with Ken's final takedown. 

Kung Fu - Alliance

After exhausting all other options to find Mia (Vanessa Yao), Nicky (Olivia Liang) reaches out to Zhilan (Yvonne Chapman) for help. Despite their distrust of each other, the pair work good together, and her addition is the last piece necessary to find Russel Tan (Kee Chan). Unfortunately, despite discovering several facets of Russell Tan's plan and the location where he plans to ring the bell, our heroes aren't able to stop events as Tan uses Mia's blood, the body of his own son, and the hammer and bell to create an earthquake across the city.

Once and Future #26

Moving through Sherwood Forest, DuncanBridgette, and Rose survive most of the year and are finally ready to put their plan into action, a plan Duncan and Rose are surprised that Bridgette shares with them. While nearing the precarious precipice of victory, however, other forces continue to work in the world gone mad in another solid issue foreshadowing more trouble for our heroes.

Obi-Wan Kenobi - Part III & Part IV

Obi-Wan's (Ewan McGregor) somewhat half-assed rescue attempt continues in both "Part III" and "Part IV" which includes the series providing some stunning visuals and small emotional moments while also throwing in even more of the problematic head-scratching plot issues that can't be resolved. "Part III" is notable for the reunion between Kenobi and Darth Vader (Hayden Christensen) who easily bests his former master in combat. In a theme which which will continue into the next episode, we see Kenobi has pulled back from the Force in the decade since we last saw him, leading to much of his former abilities becoming atrophied. This of course raises the question of how exactly he planned to teach young Luke about the Force?

Thursday, June 9, 2022

Jurassic World Dominion

The corpse of the Jurassic Park franchise drags itself to the finish line in what is being marketed as the final entry to the series. Let's hope so. Only marginally better than the forgettable last entry, 2018's Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, Jurassic World Dominion weaves in the surviving characters of the original Jurassic Park in an attempt to blind viewers with nostalgia while failing to do anything all that interesting with them.

Wednesday, June 8, 2022

Ms. Marvel - Generation Why

The first episode of Ms. Marvel introduces us to Iman Vellani as plucky Muslim American teenager and Captain Marvel fangirl Kamala Khan. Set in Jersey City, the episode is very much a traditional teenage story with Kamala sneaking out of the house to attend a fan fest with her best friend (Matt Lintz) after being forbidden to go by her more traditional parents (Zenobia Shroff and Mohan Kapur). We don't get much in the way of super-heroing here, although when Kamala adds a very special bracelet to her costume during a Captain Marvel costume contest things get interesting. We should see more exploration of her new powers as the series continues.

This is WonderCon 2022 Best Cosplay Music Video

Dragons: The Nine Realms - Magma Breather

While the episode introduces a new dragon which gives the episode its title, "Magma Breather" is primarily about Tom (Jeremy Shada) attempting to prevent his mother, and her new rival, from uncovering the dragon cave while exploring the area for mineral deposits. With Tom attempting to stall his mother, the rest of Dragon Club kinda, sorta, (but not really) works to collapse the entrance into the larger club while really just getting miffed at D’Angelo's (Marcus Scribner) attempts to take command of them in Tom's absence. While tempted to tell his mother the truth, the secret remains safely hidden for another episode.

Shadow War: Omega

Shadow War: Omega comes to a close here with Geo-Force revealed to be the killer behind the death of Ra's al Ghul and the attempts on the lives of both Talia al Ghul and Deathstroke as vengeance for what Leviathan did to his home country of Markovia. I'd say the story ends rather than concludes as the epilogue to Geo-Force's defeat feeds right into Dark Crisis (which is actually already started before this story wraps).

Tuesday, June 7, 2022

Halo - Emergence

The third episode of Halo is primarily focused on introducing the new character of Cortana (Jen Taylor), the artificial intelligence that is implanted inside Master Chief's (Pablo Schreiber) mind. Rightfully freaked out, and consistently annoyed by the AI's attempts to help, eventually the Master Chief does some find some use for the program which helps him experience human emotion for the first time since he was a child, unlock more memories from the artifact, and find the world the needs to return to in order to find more answers and a second artifact he connected to as a child.

Femme Fatale

Now 20 years-old, I have some definite affection for writer/director Brian De Palma's 2002 film even if it relies on a pair of problematic twists for its ultimate payoff, either one of which could easily turn a viewer off. Rebecca Romijn stars as a thief and con-woman who disappears with the loot after double-crossing her partners in the opening scene set during the Cannes Film Festival. She disappears into the life of a random stranger who just happens to look identical to her and whose life suddenly becomes available. The second twist involves life being a dream which is as least as fanciful as the first. Fast-forward seven years and our thief is living the good life as the wife of an American ambassador in Paris. However, a Spanish paparazzo (Antonio Banderas) taking her picture will bring dangers from the past flooding back.

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds - Ghosts of Illyria

"Ghosts of Illyria" offers a couple of classic Star Trek themes with members of the away mission trapped on the planet and a mysterious illness sweeping through the starship after members of the ship visit the abandoned colony on Hetemit IX. With Pike (Anson Mount) and Spock (Ethan Peck) trapped on the planet during a storm, command of the ship falls to the capable Number One (Rebecca Romijn) who is revealed to be a genetically-altered Illyrian like those who once lived on the colony. Because of her advanced physiology, she is able to burn through the infection quickly but the rest of the crew isn't nearly as lucky.

The Phalanx

Inspired by the original run of Image Comics 30 years ago, writer/artist Jonathan Luna offers this tale of a modern day mercenary on the trail of villain she follows through a portal only to discover herself in 1992 with the chance to work along side the heroes she loved as a child. Even in the early panels which take place today, The Phalanx is so 1990s that it should come with some Ace of Base or TLC to listen to while you read the comic.

Monday, June 6, 2022

Legacies - By the End of This, You'll Know Who You Were Meant to Be

Legacies returns from a month's hiatus to ramp up to the finale beginning with "By the End of This, You'll Know Who You Were Meant to Be" in which Hope (Danielle Rose Russell) has to make a hard choice about who will get the most dangerous assignment in the upcoming battle and Ken (Luke Mitchell) makes preparations of his own enlisting Aurora de Martel (Rebecca Breeds) to help Jen (Piper Curda) in crafting a weapon capable of killing the tribrid. The god will also turn his attention to the curious Cleo (Omono Okojie) attempting to gain some knowledge of what the god plans only to set a series of events in motion in which one cast member will exit the show a couple of weeks before the finale.

Classic Transformers Remix

Justice League: Road to Dark Crisis #1

The Justice League (at least most of them) are missing and presumed dead heading into DC's new Crisis event Dark Crisis. Justice League: Road to Dark Crisis #1 offers several short stories of heroes dealing with the news and a world where villains are emboldened after learning the League is gone. We get Nightwing giving Superboy comfort reminding him these heroes have died before and still found a way to return before the two team-up.

Star Trek: Picard - The Star Gazer

Despite his enjoyment in the stars last season, Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart) has returned home to his vineyard and awkward relationships. But not to fret, a new menace (which just coincidentally involves several of the characters from last season) has happened deep in space and Starfleet pulls the admiral back into action once more. "The Star Gazer" is mostly set-up, focusing on Picard's life back on Earth and teasing just what the threat may be. The reveal turns out to be something as a red herring as the characters aren't going to fight what come through the hole in space but instead the new lives in which they find themselves trapped in an alternate timeline far different than they remember.