Wednesday, August 31, 2022

The Umbrella Academy - World's Biggest Ball of Twine

While Luther (Tom Hopper) spends a little time with the Sparrows, Vanya (Elliot Page) makes an important change, Diego (David Castañeda) spends some time with his son, Allison (Emmy Raver-Lampman) returns dejected, and Klaus (Robert Sheehan) and Five (Aidan Gallagher) take a road trip (giving us the episode's title) that leads to an important discovery about the Umbrella Academy's existence in this new timeline. The episode carefully, but quickly, deals with Vanya becoming Viktor which is accepted by his family allowing the story to continue, and despite being a hostage of the Sparrows for most of the episode Luther continues to fall for Sloane (Genesis Rodriguez).

Super Giant Robot Brothers - Gone and Back Again

More like Pacific Rim for toddlers than Voltron, Super Giant Robot Brothers - Gone and Back Again features two bickering giant robot brothers (Eric Lopez and Chris Diamantopoulos) working for a world agency, run in part by a young genius (Eva Ariel Binder), working to save the world against invading kaiju that come from a black hole where the more annoying of the robots disappeared into for a decade. Filmed and then animated through motion capture, making the making of the series more interesting than the series itself, has an odd look with often minimal effort made to animated backgrounds in frame.

Riverdale - The Complete First Season

Adapted from one of the longest running comic series, Riverdale brought the characters of Archie Comics to television albeit with a less wholesome vibe than their source material. In some ways it's so unrecognizable, it took me some time to sit down and give the show a chance. However, despite the modern updates the show turns out to have more going on that you might expect.

The First Season introduces us to the core characters Archie Andrews (KJ Apa), Betty Cooper (Lili Reinhart), Veronica Lodge (Camila Mendes), and Jughead Jones (Cole Sprouse) providing various friendship and relationship drama and a mystery to solve involving the disappearance of one of their classmates. In terms of crime solving it delivers, and thankfully with a lack of supernatural causes (unlike The CW's Nancy Drew.).

Tuesday, August 30, 2022

Locke & Key - The Head and the Heart

"The Head and the Heart" introduces new characters in Josh Bennett (Brendan Hines) and his daughter Jamie (Liyou Abere) as potential new friends for Nina (Darby Stanchfield) and Bode (Jackson Robert Scott), although the elder Bennett may have more nefarious motivations in striking up a friendship with Nina. The episode also sees the return of a fully conscious Erin Voss (Joy Tanner and Nicole James) who Kinsey (Emilia Jones) and Tyler (Connor Jessup) are able to save from her own mind using the Head Key while searching for answers about how to keep remembering the magic of the keys after they become adults.

Red Notice

An overly-convoluted heist flick from writer/director Rawson Marshall Thurber, Red Notice relies on the odd-couple buddy-comedy interactions between smart-ass thief Nolan Booth (Ryan Reynolds) and FBI Agent John Hartley (Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson) forced to work together to beat another thief (Gal Gadot) from acquiring all three of Cleopatra's legendary jeweled eggs while being chased by an agent of Interpol (Ritu Arya).

There's certainly fun to be had with barbs traded by Reynolds and The Rock, and Gadot is enjoyable in far-less screentime, but the story quickly gets away from Thurber leading to a film that, as a whole, is decidedly less than the sum of its individual parts. As a fan of both con and heist flicks, there are moments here, but the movie overstays its welcome before ending with a thud after a series of unnecessary twists.

He-Man and the Masters of the Universe - The Champions of Grayskull

More of a reimagining of its source material than Netflix's other He-Man show, which took an approach closer in design to the original He-Man toys and cartoon (at least before it started killing off characters), the first four episodes of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe introduce us to the key characters while offering some new origins and ideas on the power of Grayskull. While still a prince, Adam (Yuri Lowenthal) has been raised as an orphan with no past (adapting it a bit of She-Ra's story for Adam?) by the Tiger Tribe whose world is turned upside down by the arrival of magic thief Teela (Kimberly Brooks) and her stolen Sword of Power which leads her to Adam.

Fables #154

Although we don't get any of Cinderella in the latest issue, several of the other stories inch forward with the forest creatures no to keen on their new neighbors, Jack setting out on her first quest, and the various separate adventures of the Wolf children. After a shocking twist to Ambrose's adventure, the monster gets a surprise of its own when it discovers its trapped houseguest is anything but.

Monday, August 29, 2022

Samurai Rabbit: The Usagi Chronicles - Yokai

The second episode of Samurai Rabbit: The Usagi Chronicles finishes the set-up for the series as Yuichi Usagi (Darren Barnet) is imprisoned for the various trouble he has caused in the city with those he has met eventually coming to his aid (and getting arrested as well). However, the city's new Yokai problem needs a solution and Yuichi, Gen (Aleks Le), Kitsune (Shelby Rabara), and Chizu (Mallory Low) working together appear to be the solution.

Tales of the Human Target #1

An interlude for the ongoing The Human Target twelve-issue maxi-series, the Tales of the Human Target one-shot gives us a look at three members of the Justice League and their separate attempts to do the right thing, not realizing the person that each was dealing with was the Human Target Christopher Chance

Dragons: The Nine Realms - Follow the Lightning

Tom (Jeremy Shada) and the other Dragon Riders search for the missing Thunder in the two-part Second Season finale which plays on the previously-established themes of Tom and Thunder often going out on their own and not sharing with the rest of the group. The Riders eventually find Thunder in a previously unexplored portion of the underground world where he is caught in a battle between a much larger Skrill. Several other types of dragons make cameo appearances on the way, reminding viewers of past experiences, but the main story involves surviving the Skrill and the discovery of deeper caverns and artifacts that tie back to How to Train Your Dragon.

Friday, August 26, 2022

The Gray Man

Ryan Gosling stars as a convicted murder turned killer for the CIA in a film with so much excessive overblown action in would make Arnold Schwarzenegger blush. The crux of the story involves Six's (Gosling) villainous boss (Regé-Jean Page) putting out a hit on Six after proof of his corruption falls into the agent's hands. Every action taken by Page's character is the wrong one, including alienating another agent (Ana de Armas) enough to have her join Six's cause of seeing the proof exposed and rescuing Six's mentor (Billy Bob Thornton) and niece (Julia Butters) from the sociopath (Chris Evans) hired to find Six.

The movie is so ridiculous we can't take events seriously, yet that seems to be what the Russos want us to do. The script steals from movies like Commando, but neither the story or action build to satisfying conclusion. Instead we get a series of over-the-top action scenes without a nod, smirk, or twinkle.

Oh, and we get some graphic torture and Six's dark past mixed in as well. Joy.

Thursday, August 25, 2022

The Sandman - Imperfect Hosts

Except for a scene of The Corinthian (Boyd Holbrook) tracking down Ethel Cripps (Niamh Walsh) and proposing a partnerships of sorts, which is quickly rebuffed, the rest of "Imperfect Hosts' stays within the Dreaming where Dream (Tom Sturridge) visits Cain (Sanjeev Bhaskar) and Abel (Asim Chaudhry) asking the most loyal subjects who didn't flee to give up that which they love the most to help him put right his world. The odd brothers are well-cast as we glimpse into their relationship without needing to explain or explore it fully. Giving us a few minutes with Gregory also proves to make a difference in feeling the character's loss, although Dream does leave the brothers a new gift.

Lucifer - Bloody Celestial Karaoke Jam

An unforeseen consequence of God's(Dennis Haysbert) appearance on Earth is revealed in "Bloody Celestial Karaoke Jam" as people begin breaking into song and dance in his prescence, although no one but Lucifer (Tom Ellis) is aware of it afterwards. All the main characters get a number here highlighted by Lucifer's duet of "I Dreamed a Dream" with his father and the surprise of Trixie (Scarlett Estevez) singing "Smile." While not all the members of the cast have the singing voice of the show's star, the staging of the numbers proves quite entertaining such as in Ella (Aimee Garcia) and Mazikeen's (Lesley-Ann Brandt) mashup of "Bad to the Bone" and "No Scrubs."

Ms. Marvel & Moon Knight #1

Continuing the story of someone sending out highly adaptable swarms of ratbots which began in Ms. Marvel & Wolverine #1, Ms. Marvel's search for answers takes her to the Midnight Mission to enlist the help of Moon Knight. Despite the bizarre naming and numbering of a series of separate team-ups which are connected, the odd pairing of Ms. Marvel and Moon Knight against a creepy threat works well. We even get Hunter's Moon thrown in as a bonus.

Only Murders in the Building - Flipping the Pieces

Along with offering glimpses of Mabel's (Selena Gomez) relationship with her father, "Flipping the Pieces" unexpectedly pairs the youngest podcaster with Theo Dimas (James Caverly) who takes her in after the subway stabbing. With only a single clue to go on, the pair hit Coney Island searching for the identity of glitter guy. Charles (Steve Martin) and Oliver (Martin Short) sit down with Detective Williams (Da'Vine Joy Randolph) who is correct in assuming the pair have something to hide (and also have no idea how thin the walls of their apartments are).

Wednesday, August 24, 2022

The Umbrella Academy - Meet the Family

The season opener picks up directly from the Second Season finale with the Umbrella Academy returning to the future only to find that after their experiences in the 1960s Reginald Hargreeves (Colm Feore) chose to adopt seven different children and raise them as the Sparrow Academy. The opener gives us quick introductions to the various characters making up the new squad (which hands the Umbrella Academy a solid ass kicking) along with some fun involving Jayme (Cazzie David) using her hallucinatory spitting powers to offer humorous visions for both Diego (David Castañeda) and Five (Aidan Gallagher).

Usagi Yojimbo #30

The Komori Ninja continue to search for the lost treasure in "The Secret of the Green Dragon: Part Two." Relying on some help from some still loyal Neko Ninja, Chizu is able to offer our wandering rabbit ronin shelter for the night before the trio set out once more headed south with news of treachery and betrayal. The comic continues to play on Yukichi's discomfort with what must be done while giving us a glimpse into the hidden world of the Neko.

She-Hulk: Attorney at Law - Episode 2 / Episode 3

Returned to her life, and with her new super-secret out in the open, Jennifer Walters (Tatiana Maslany) deals with the fallout of being a powerful woman (who is occasionally 8-feet tall and green) in a man's world. Keeping the same lighter tone, even when dealing with a crisis for our heroine, the second and third episodes focus on a new direction for Jennifer's role in a courtroom, attempting to work her alter-ego into her social life, and her struggles with how the world begins to fashion its own narrative about who She-Hulk is as our heroine remains reluctant to turn into the media storm. The focus of a super-woman in a man's world can very much be felt here (especially with every male character a shmuck, a mansplaining Hulk, asshole, or creep with only a single exception who is about as asexual as you can get in the MCU).

Tuesday, August 23, 2022

The Sandman - Sleep of the Just

Adapted from Neil Gaiman's comic series, the opening episode of Netflix's stylish adaptation introduces us to Dream (Tom Sturridge), one of the seven Endless entities, who is captured while attempting to retrieve a rogue nightmare known as The Corinthian (Boyd Holbrook) and return it to the Realm of Dreams. Caught up in a spell by Roderick Burgess (Charles Dance) whose target was not Dream but Death, to try and force the return of his lost son to the land of the living, our character is kept caged for over a century on Earth while the world without dreams (along with his abandoned realm) begins to decay.

The Adam Project

Ryan Reynolds stars in this convoluted story of a time-traveler looking for a disruption in the timeline who travels back from 2050 to 2022 and is forced to work with his preteen self (Walker Scobell) to avoid other time travelers following him. The premise allows for an older and younger version of the same character on-screen, a very Disney Channel kind of tale, although the lengths the story goes to to explain and support this get unnecessarily complicated for the kind of film The Adam Project is in its willingness to both change time in very important ways and at the same time avoid other changes that its writers just decide shouldn't be messed with.

Jennifer Garner has a role of Adam's mother who takes the brunt of her kid's frustration after the death of his father (Mark Ruffalo). We also get Zoe Saldana in an all-too-short appearance as future Adam's wife.

Samurai Rabbit: The Usagi Chronicles - The Big City

Poor Usagi, what has Netflix done to you? Inspired by the rabbit ronin creation of Stan Sakai, but feeling more like a watered down version of the TV adventures of Kung Fu Panda (which themselves were watered-down version of the Kung Fu Panda films), Samurai Rabbit: The Usagi Chronicles introduces us to Yuichi Usagi (Darren Barnet). Unlike his ancestor, Miyamoto Usagi, our new Usagi is a bit of a screw-up who dreams of becoming a samurai although his only true skill is bringing chaos and disaster with him. 

Daredevil #2

In an issue that continues to put off Daredevil's battle with the Hand for at least another issue, Daredevil #2 (which Marvel Comics is also marketing as Daredevil #650 had it not rebooted the hero every few years) deals with Robert Goldman and the fallout from his recent actions. The idea of a villain, or anti-hero, working behind-the-scenes to pull a hero's puppet strings for his own purposes would have more impact if it hadn't been done so often in comics (see Moon Knight's recent arc). Goldy doesn't see himself as a villain and believes his actions, such as crashing a subway, are all in Daredevil's best interests.

Monday, August 22, 2022

Locke & Key - The Premiere

The Second Season of Locke & Key offers the premiere of The Splattering at the local theater as the Locke children continue to use the various keys they've found, their mother (Darby Stanchfield) continues to be oblivious to the magic of the house, the police continue to search for the missing Ellie, and Dodge (Griffin Gluck/Laysla De Oliveira) and an out-of-control Eden (Hallea Jones) turn one of the unused bullets from the Black Door into the Demon Key. The movie is a hit with the locals, and also for Scot (Petrice Jones) who returns with news about an overseas school offering him a spot leading to mixed feeling for Kinsey (Emilia Jones), even without knowing her current boyfriend is a deranged killer.

Iron Cat #3

The battle between Black Cat and Tamara Blake continues as each counters the other's latest move while neither is able to make the knockout blow. Tamara springs the trap laid by Felicia and Iron Man only to reveal her new partner taking control of Tony Stark's LMDs leading to Black Cat donning a secret second set of armor (in classic red and yellow) to fight the Iron Cat.

Masters of the Universe: Revelation - The Power of Grayskull

You can feel the influence of Kevin Smith in the first episode of Masters of the Universe: Revelation, both in his fandom of the original TV-show and toyline and his attempt to put his own spin on the concept diving into questions never answering previously concerning the nature of magic in Masters of the Universe and the secrets of Castle Grayskull. It's certainly less cheesy than the earlier cartoon, with a polished updated look, and taking some dark turns near the end with disillusionment and death.

Lucifer - Family Dinner

The arrival of God (Dennis Haysbert) on Earth, continuing to work in mysterious ways, drives Lucifer (Tom Ellis) into a tailspin and leads to one hell of an uncomfortable family dinner. The case of the week involves a barbequed victim at a miniature golf course which also follows the theme of a dysfunctional family. Realizing Lucifer is dealing with family drama, but not its source, Chloe (Lauren German) steers the investigation both to find a killer and to see if will help her partner work through his own issues.  Despite the confession of the victim's father (John Glover), the truth behind the murder turns out to be a bit more complicated.

Friday, August 19, 2022

Secret Headquarters

A mediocre mash-up of teen misadventures and a super-hero film, Secret Headquarters follows the actions of Charlie (Walker Scobell) and his friends (Momona Tamada, Keith L. Williams, and Abby James Witherspoon) who discover a super-hero cave in the basement of his estranged deadbeat dad (Owen Wilson) and proceed to have a blast while accidentally alert an evil cooperate goon (Michael Peña) and his minions to the location of the super-hero's alien power source.

The story and part of the screenplay credit goes to Thor: Ragnarok co-writer Christopher L. Yost making you wonder what went so very wrong here. Maybe it was giving it to the directors who gave us Nerve and Project Power. The film feels very much like a Disney Channel made-for-TV movie with an admittedly impressive budget. Young kids may have some fun with it, but Secret Headquarters is more of a forgettable timewaster than anything else.

Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Only Murders in the Building - Performance Review

"Performance Review" brings back rival podcaster Cinda Canning (Tina Fey) her assistant Poppy (Adina Verson) who begin digging into Mabel's past for dirt uncovering an ex-coworker (Johnny Hopkins) with an axe to grind. Both groups are warned to stop broadcasting their private theories by Det. Kreps (Michael Rapaport), although neither take his demands seriously. Meanwhile, our podcasters discover the friend on the police force they have been texting isn't who they thought it was leading to planning to trap who they believe may be the killer, although it doesn't exactly go as planned.

Hellboy and the B.P.R.D.: 1957 - Falling Sky

After the introduction of Dr. Woody Farrier as the new Cryptozoologist for the B.P.R.D. we get a few single-panel snapshots of his adventures with Hellboy over a few years (leading to resentment over time at the pull of field work versus scientific exploration in the lab) before the two show up in Sutton, West Virginia, in 1957 to investigate a flying saucer.

She-Hulk: Attorney at Law - A Normal Amount of Rage

Originally introduced back in 1980, She-Hulk has been around the Marvel Universe as a member of various teams include the Avengers and the Fantastic Four but her greatest success came from the 1989 series by John Byrne who kept the character in Hulk mode permanently, allowed her to break the fourth-wall and talk directly to the writer, and often had fun satirizing the hero genre and pushing the limits of the Comics Code. She-Hulk: Attorney at Law attempts to find a way to bring that sensibility to the screen while offering an earlier version of Jennifer Walters (Tatiana Maslany) who, like her cousin Bruce (Mark Ruffalo), can transform between human and Hulk.

Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Battle of the Worlds

There were a number of science fiction movies released in the 1950s and 1960s. Battle of the Worlds was not one of the better ones. Far from it. Claude Rains stars as a pompous and unlikable scientist predicting an asteroid's arrival to Earth, and later that it is being controlled by aliens. He happens to be right, although the film is more about his bluster than the events unfolding.

Saddled with bad writing, bad acting, cheap special effects even for the time, with an eerie score that doesn't fit events unfolding on-screen, Battle of the Worlds is a boring slog of exposition that will make you wish the asteroid had crashed into the Earth in the first 5-minutes of the film. The only interesting aspect of the proceedings is the interior set design that is so perfectly 60s view of the future (in stark contrast to any scene outside a scientific facility). 

The Toxic Fandom Game Show!

Once and Future #28

The end of the year arrives in Once and Future #28. As agreed, Mary resumes the role of Nimue and helps DuncanBridgette, and Rose in choosing to bestow Excalibur on the Zombie Arthur (the Arthur that they know best and believe they can most easily manipulate) so that he might thin the herd of the various Arthurs looking to pull the sword from the stone and claim the world as their own. It seems Nimue has come to peace with saving the world over immediate vengeance for her son.

Monday, August 15, 2022

Dragons: The Nine Realms - The Tangled Web

While working out some internal conflict between Tom (Jeremy Shada) and D'Angelo (Marcus Scribner), "The Tangled Web" introduces a new species of Spdierwings to the series whose robust webs nearly prove to be the end of and the arachnophobic Jun (Ashley Liao). While the Tom/D'Angelo tension seems ramp-up and then be diffused a bit too conveniently to fit all in the single episode, it does deal with the more rule-abiding and structured Dragon Rider's conflict over his actions in the caves.

007 #1

A new volume of James Bond begins with a mission gone wrong. Although Bond isn't responsible for the bad intel that led to the death of a key asset and nearly got Bond killed as well, returning to MI6 bruised, battered, and shot, he discovers the blame is being laid at his feet making the world's most famous spy think twice about his life.

The Old Man - V

Although we're given more flashbacks, including a crucial scene between younger Dan Chase (Bill Heck) and Abbey (Leem Lubany), and also a couple of short scenes of Morgan Bote (Joel Grey) continuing to work behind the scenes, the vast majority of the fifth episode of The Old Man involves two separate conversations of characters on the move. On one side we get the older Dan Chase (Jeff Bridges) dealing with Zoe (Amy Brenneman) ultimatum and explaining the situation to her (mostly off-camera, so not to clue the audience into the full facts just yet). Now on-board with his mission, Zoe helps him out again proving herself worthy in the trust Dan has shown in her, although the true tests are yet to come.

Friday, August 12, 2022

Emily the Criminal

"You're a very bad influence."

Aubrey Plaza stars as Emily, a former artist with a chip on her shoulder, a mountain of debt, and a felony conviction limiting her job opportunities. And then walks in the charming Youcef (Theo Rossi) and the chance to earn a little easy money buying items with fake credit cards. And after a little success that one-time opportunity becomes two, and then three, and then more as Emily falls deeper down the rabbit hole seeing a way out of her old life and ignoring the dangers her new life will bring as she begins taking larger and larger chances.

We've seen plenty of films about people dipping their toes into crime and being seduced by booze, drugs, and all the material items their newfound wealth can buy. That's not what writer/director John Patton Ford is after here. Emily isn't seduced by the money but by the potential freedom from her life it can provide. 

The History of Darkwing Duck

Thursday, August 11, 2022

Swimsuit Cosplay Awesome Pack

It's been a hot summer, so why not celebrate a few cosplayers giving us the swimsuit version of some of their favorite characters?

Wednesday, August 10, 2022

The Hardy Boys - The Missing Camera

As Frank (Rohan Campbell) goes down a wrong turn snooping into a town recluse who he mistakes for the man responsible for Dennis' (Leonidas Castrounis) disappearance, Callie (Keana Lyn) makes a trip to see Gloria (Linda Thorson) who offers an opportunity to help with her scholarship problems (and what is she offering Fenton?), and Phil (Cristian Perri) helps Biff (Riley O'Donnell) look into finding her birth mother. The main takeaway for the Hardy Boys is that Frank's extra-sight turns out to be far less reliable than he was hoping, leaving the young detectives back at square one.

Zorro: Black & White Noir #1

Zorro: Black & White Noir #1 takes us back to 19th Century California for thee tales of Zorro in black and white. Although none of stories is a standout, each features a fun tale for Zorro fans with different takes on the character. An older Zorro near the end of his career makes an appearance in London to prevent the theft of a giant diamond from a technology exhibition in "A Thing of the Past" which features Zorro relying more on his wits against the giant robot.

Only Murders in the Building - The Tell

Returning supporting characters play key roles in "The Tell" as Charles (Steve Martin) begins corresponding with Jan (Amy Ryan) who puts his suspicions on to Mabel's (Selena Gomez) new friend Alice (Cara Delevingne) as the possible killer. Oliver (Martin Short) finds the timing of Alice's arrival so close after Bunny's (Jayne Houdyshell) murder suspicious, a theory he quite publicly during a party where he pulls out one his favorite games. Although he doesn't get the confession he sought, there is obviously more going on with Alice than meets the eye as a more than capable liar with the ability to keep her cards close to the vest (or hide them in her purse).

Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Moon Knight #14

Marc Spector fights two battles in the latest issue of Moon Knight. The first is against the pair of assassins, Nemean and Grand Mal, the Tutor sends after Moon Knight. Hidden to the world, taking place entirely within his psyche at the same time of the attack, Marc talks through the concerns of Steven Grant and Jake Lockley who have allowed Marc to take the lead but have grown increasingly concerned with not only his choices but the reasons behind them.

Big Hero 6 - Issue 188

Hiro's (Ryan Potter) life at San Fransokyo Institute of Technology  gets more complicated when Professor Granville (Jenifer Lewis) pairs him up with another younger student. While similar in age, Karmi (Haley Tju) is certainly not similar in temperament wanting nothing to do with the student who took her spot as the youngest student ever accepted to the university. The relationship is further complicated by Karmi's huge crush on Big Hero 6's Hiro who she doesn't notice is the exact same person.

G.I. JOE: A Real American Hero #296

Following up the events of "High Stakes" where the Joes infiltrated the new casino on Cobra Island, IDW's final arc of the G.I. JOE: A Real American Hero comic (which continues the storyline began years earlier in Marvel Comics) begins here on the journey issue #300. Deep under the casino, our team of outnumbered and outgunned Joes including Scarlett, Helix , Sean, Jinx, and Dawn are attempting to make a stand and hold out in Dr. Mindbender's lab until help can arrive.


Throwback Tuesday takes us back to the summer of 1987 and the team-up between director John McTiernan and and action star Arnold Schwarzenegger which gave us Predator. While I wouldn't rank Predator as his best film, it's certainly worthy to be in the discussion coming during the greatest stretch of his career between 1984 and 1991 when he starred in The Terminator, Commando, Predator, The Running Man, Twins, Total Recall, Kindergarten Cop, and Terminator 2: Judgment Day

Monday, August 8, 2022

Blood & Treasure - Tales of the Golden Tiger

The search for Kate (Victoria Diamond) takes Danny (Matt Barr) and Lexi (Sofia Pernas) to Vietnam where they enlist the help of Shaw (Michael James Shaw) where they learn she isn't so much kidnapped as working for the CIA who staged her abduction to try and spur the pair into finding the Soul of Genghis Khan. Instead time is wasted looking into the people tied the shadowy organization after the banner including sneaking into an underground fighting ring where Lexi runs into her old partner Violet (Michelle Lee).

The New Champion of SHAZAM! #1

Mary has left her old life behind and started college Vassar, but it seems her old life isn't done with her just yet. Billy may be gone, but SHAZAM needs a new champion. Despite her protests, loud and awkwardly to a talking bunny only she can hear, that hero is Mary.

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

The Old Man - IV

Nothing goes exactly as planned for Dan Chase (Jeff Bridges) in the fourth episode of the series. After arriving in Los Angeles, his business dealings in hopes of putting him in touch with an enemy of his enemy are stymied, Zoe (Amy Brenneman) discovers she has some leverage in the situation after all and makes an outrageous demand, and our super-spy is unable to talk Emily (Alia Shawkat) of getting on a plane with Harold Harper (John Lithgow) for a face-to-face meeting with the boogeyman of our story.

Friday, August 5, 2022


Boys are so dumb. And Predators are cool again. With themes that simple, how can you go wrong? It only took 25 years, but someone finally found a way to make a really good sequel to 1987's Predator. Set in the 18th Century, our protagonist is a Comanche healer (Amber Midthunder) who wants nothing more to become a hunter for the tribe like her brother (Dakota Beavers). Struggling to prove herself, Naru (Midthunder) will come across our Predator cutting a bloody swath through forest creatures, the disbelieving Comanche, and the scummy French fur-trappers before turning its attention on our young warrior.

Returning our hunter to a natural setting, and setting it in the past against those with far less complex weapons, while offering a compelling emotional story focused on the human stars proves to be just the recipe for what is easily the best sequel of the franchise.

Thursday, August 4, 2022

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds - A Quality of Mercy

After getting off-track for a couple of episodes, Star Trek: Strange New Worlds rights the ship for the season finale that touches on one of the major themes of the season as well as explore one of the original series episodes in a new way. In something akin to Marvel's What If..., "A Quality of Mercy" examines what might happen if you removed the Enterprise's most famous captain from one of his biggest moments of his early career and instead left Captain Pike (Anson Mount) in command. The time travel is made possible by the arrival of Pike's older self letting him know the consequences if he attempts to change the outcome of his accident several years in the future.

The Boys - Payback

It's been awhile since I sat down and watched The Boys. A few minutes into Third Season premiere reminds me why. I'll admit, the show works as gritty fun of awful people doing awful things to each other, but it's hard for me to stay invested in a show that doesn't have a single likeable character. Following the events of the previous season, Hughie (Jack Quaid) has a desk job and is now running Butcher (Karl Urban) and The Boys, Starlight (Erin Moriarty) is offered a major promotion, and Homelander (Antony Starr) is still in damage control mode for dating a Nazi.