Wednesday, August 30, 2023

Moon Knight: City of the Dead #2

The five-issue mini-series continues with Moon Knight searching Duat for the missing Khalil and searching for answers in the underworld with the help of his former girlfriend now spending her days protecting the realm as the Scarlet Scarab. The comic gives us a one-page Cliff's Notes version of Layla's journey from archeologist to protector of the City of the Dead in a lull in the pair's search before things heat up once more.

Almost Paradise - Ghost Month

After scoffing at the island's tradition of Ghost Month, Alex (Christian Kane) is haunted by a hungry ghost looking for justice after his murder. While only half believing what he's seeing, Alex begins investigating the man's wife (Arci Muñoz) and her new husband who he ties to a drug dealer on Interpol's most wanted list engaging the interest of Ernesto (Art Acuñ), Kai (Samantha Richelle), and even Ocampo (Nonie Buencamino). The show doesn't back away from the supernatural setup, ending with Alex trusting a vision and getting one last visit from the ghost after closing the case.

Tuesday, August 29, 2023


Babylon is a hot mess. Writer/director Damien Chazelle's look at the excess and self-indulgence of 1920s Hollywood at the end of the silent film era is itself a bloated, self-indulgent, clusterfuck of a film that weaves through the lives of troubled star Jack Conrad (Brad Pitt), newly discovered Nellie LaRoy (Margot Robbie), and behind-the-scenes up-and-comer Manny Torres (Diego Calva).

Bolstered by a litany of supporting characters and events (most notably the lavish party that opens the film), the film boasts some strong scenes and individual moments over its exhaustive, more than three-hour, running time before ultimately limping to the finish line struggling to make some kind of point to justify its bright and colorful, but ultimately empty, journey. Babylon is a movie of moments which can be viewed best by keeping your fast-forward button handy.

Darkwing Duck #8

The search for Launchpad's stolen compass hits a snag with Darkwing Duck and Gosalyn discover the sidekick can't fly without one, and doesn't seem willing to use a substitute. Gosalyn's solution to the problem is to enlist the help of another hero, much to her father's dismay, leading to a team-up with Gizmoduck. Darkwing Duck #8 is a fun middle issue to a larger tale fueled by the heroes' inability to get along.

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds - Those Old Scientists

Given the fact that's it the second time travel episode of the season, and the third in the show's last eight episodes, I nearly skipped over "Those Old Scientists." Despite not watching Star Trek: Lower Decks, I'm glad to have stuck around for this one which finds Ensign Brad Boimler (Jack Quaid), and later Ensign Beckett Mariner (Tawny Newsome), trapped in the past after traveling back in time through a portal. Nerding out over meeting their heroes, while also struggling with aspects of the past they don't completely understand, the pair attempt to keep history on the right track while creating more than a few confusing moments for the crew of the Enterprise.

Monday, August 28, 2023

My Adventures with Superman - Kiss Kiss Fall in Portal

"Kiss Kiss Fall in Portal" seeks to take advantage of the current interest in the multiverse in an episode that introduces us to Lois Lanes from across dimensions who banded together to form this series' version of the Council of Ricks. A small group of Lanes intercept Lois (Alice Lee) and Jimmy (Ishmel Sahid) while elsewhere Clark (Jack Quaid) is being tricked by Mr. Mxyzptlk (David Errigo Jr.) into increasing his power. This version of Mxyzptlk isn't so much the prankster seeking mischief, but a deceiver wanting to accrew great power.


It's a Barbie world. Writer/director Greta Gerwig brings Mattel's famous doll to life in this comedy that lovingly recreates, and then plays with, the world of Stereotypical Barbie (Margot Robbie) who discovers her effect on the real world is quite different than she believes. Robbie is perfect for the role on the rollercoaster of the doll's existential crisis and journey to self-discovery.

There's much to celebrate here including the gorgeous sets for Barbieland and the crazy script with some meaty subjects weaved in involving social commentary of Barbie's utopic feminist world, that was still flawed enough to allow events caused by Ken's exposure to the patriarchy (or his limited understanding of it) in the real world, and a discussion of the positive and negative reactions to Barbie over the years. Along for the ride are Ken (Ryan Gosling), and also several other versions of both Barbie and Ken, and lesser known dolls such as Skipper (Erica Ford) and Allan (Michael Cera).

Friday, August 25, 2023

Ahsoka - Toil and Trouble

In typical Disney fashion, which we've seen playout with the Marvel series especially, the second episode of Ahsoka finishes the preamble allowing the story to actually kick off in the next episode. "Toil and Trouble" ends with Ahsoka (Rosario Dawson) and Sabine Wren (Natasha Liu Bordizzo) back on the same page and the show finally catching up with the final scene of Star Wars Rebels as fans watched the pair of them sail off into the unknown seeking Ezra Bridger (Eman Esfandi) and Thrawn (Lars Mikkelsen). Getting that search finally started seems to have given Sabine back some energy in the final moments of the episode (and got her back into her trademark Mandalorian armor) as sticking her in a hospital bed sidelining her for an entire episode doesn't do much for either the character or the series at this point.

Darth Vader #37

Having regained only a fraction of control over his Force abilities, Darth Vader has returned to Mustafar with his droid army for training. However, another droid uprising, this one aboard the Super Star Destroyer Executor pushes Vader back into the fight prior to regaining full use and control. It's a fun enough issue, with plenty of Sith-on-droid violence, but one you could skip over without missing any important story beats.

Wednesday, August 23, 2023

Ahsoka - Master and Apprentice

A live-action adaptation of Star Wars Rebels in all but name, the first episode of Ahsoka continues the path we saw Ahsoka (Rosario Dawson) on during her appearance in The Mandalorian: a search for Thrawn (Lars Mikkelsen). I do love me some Star Wars Rebels, and seeing the characters and locales of the show lovingly recreated is certainly a feather in Ahsoka's cap. A fully realized live-action Lothal, complete with Loth-Cats, is a joy to behold. With the lone exception of The Last Jedi, for me Rebels is the best property Star Wars has produced in the last 40 years. That's not to say I didn't have some problems with this first episode (such as bringing back the hidden map idea used to mixed results in The Force Awakens).

It's SDCC 2023 (Part 2)

Tuesday, August 22, 2023

Abominable and the Invisible City - The Ditch Sitch

"The Ditch Sitch" suffers from one of oldest cliches of children's television with adults being dumb and/or unreasonable in order for the plot to play out. In this case the adult is a building developer () irate of a creature continuously stopping her construction of her latest project that goes to extremes to see it destroyed. The episode does feature an interesting creature in the magical jellyfish along with a nice message with Yi (Chloe Bennet), Jin (Tenzing Norgay Trainor), and Peng's (Ethan Loh) teaching her a lesson about living with the magical creatures, although it's possible you might get whiplash from how quickly that lesson is taken to heart.

Uncanny Avengers #1

With mutants becoming the target of a new fascist terrorist organization known as Orchis, Charles Xavier has moved most Mutants to Krakoa. Those that remain, however, are in danger. The first issue gives us the liberation of an Orchis camp by two X-Men who are aided, and then recruited, by Captain America looking to complete his mashup team of Avengers and X-Men that already includes Deadpool, Rogue, and Quicksilver.

Only Murders in the Building - The Beat Goes On

"The Beat Goes On" offers flashbacks to early days of rehearsal while in the present events surrounding Ben's (Paul Rudd) funeral put Charles (Steve Martin) and Mabel (Selena Gomez) in harms way chasing down leads to the murder. Meanwhile, the failure of Oliver's (Martin Short) comeback brings on a heart attack. The episode is notable for revealing the issue Ben had with Charles, Oliver's dream sequence leading to an epiphany and a way to save the play, and Charles and Mabel deciding that (once again) the police have the wrong man and the true murderer is part of the theatrical production Oliver has now saved. I'm just guessing, but I don't think this was the low-stress situation his doctor recommended.

The Vigil #4

As has been the framework of the previous issues, The Vigil #4 introduces us to another member of the team in Dodge whose quick metabolism allows her the ability of intangibility making the former professional fighter who killed one of her opponents in the ring not someone you would want to fight with. In terms of the ongoing story, the issue takes us along one the team's investigation into a facility owned by the mysterious stranger working against them.

Monday, August 21, 2023

Justified: City Primeval - Kokomo

The fallout of Clement Mansell (Boyd Holbrook) recent actions begins with the Albanian mob searching for the man responsible for crippling and robbing Skender (Alexander Pobutsky). Believing the Albanians can find him faster than the police, Norbet (Norbert Leo Butz) slips his name to the head of the mob which turns out to be bad for both Sandy's (Adelaide Clemens) roommate (Jessika Van) and boss (Ravi Patel), although Raylan (Timothy Olyphant) is able to prevent a similar meeting for Caroline (Aunjanue Ellis-Taylor). The sad truth is had Raylan sacrificed Sandy's roommate, Norbet's plan would likely have worked, instead Clement and Sandy arrive, and leave, the scene after all the action.

Harley Quinn: Black + White + Redder #2

The anthology series continues as Harley Quinn: Black + White + Redder #2 delivers three more tales of Harley Quinn in black, white, and red. In "Origin Stories for Dummies" Harley Quinn kidnaps Zatanna demanding a new origin story feeling that she isn't being taken seriously. Despite the objections of both Z and Ivy, Zatanna does what she's asked multiple times (the Aquaman origin being my favorite) but in the end Harley finally realizes her origin is the best of all.

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds - Lost in Translation

"Lost in Translation" is an episode that previous Star Trek series have used before, with one member dimly aware something isn't right and needing to solve a mystery to explain what is really going on (often due to some kind of yet undiscovered alien). In the case here it's Uhura (Celia Rose Gooding) who begins experiencing hallucinations which the ship's medical team initially diagnose to be nothing more that a case of exhaustion and low-levels of deuterium poisoning, something more is obviously going on. In order to discover what, she'll need to face difficult moments from her past and potential future and decipher the meaning of the hallucinogenic messages being shown to her.

Thursday, August 17, 2023

The Batman & Scooby-Doo Mysteries #11

After Wayne Tech's new artificial intelligence is corrupted by a villain calling themselves the Ghost in the Machine, taking control of the Internet and communication across the city and holding Gotham City hostage, Batman and Mystery, Inc. are on the case. The latest issue of the series reintroduces Barbara as Oracle who guides Shaggy, Scooby-Doo, and Velma into the virtual world of cyber-space eventually leading to Mystery, Inc. unmasking the Ghost and discovering it's an old Batman villain (and one with specific ties to Oracle's complicated comic's history).

Maid Droid

This low-budget sci-fi thriller stars Jose Adam Alvarez as a man struggling to get over the break-up with his girlfriend (Kylee Michael). Prompted by a friend (Quentin Boyer), he contacts a company offering the use of a cleaning sexbot he names Mako (Faith West) designed to provide for his every need. Although unsure how much the service costs, and ignoring red flags, it doesn't take long for our lonely white male to become addicted to the service.

Your basic male power fantasy which will inevitably take a dark turn when old experiences are triggered and Mako begins malfunctioning, writer/director Rich Mallery's film isn't notable for much of anything. The entire movie takes place within a suburb home that's as equally bland as the movie's leading man. Even for what amounts to little more than the modern equivalent of a Skinamax After Dark flick, the acting is second-rate (although the dialogue does the actors no favors) and the sex scenes aren't enough to overcome Maid Droid's other shortcomings.

Wednesday, August 16, 2023

Futurama - How the West Was 1010001

"How the West Was 1010001" is one of those one-joke episodes, this one featured around the group mining for Bitcoin in Futurama's version of the Old West (despite that making absolutely no sense). While I'm all for the show taking some cheap shots at Bitcoin, there's not much else here. The episode is notable for the Mexican standoff we get near the end between several characters in the middle of main street and some usual goofiness by the characters in a different setting than normal, this time in the obligatory cowboy hats.

Alyson Tabbitha Creates Mandalorian Armor in 3 Days

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.

Almost Paradise - Deus Ex-Wife Machina

The problem with introducing a character's ex on a show like Almost Paradise is the narrow focus on the current contentious relationship without also providing a glimpse of how these characters ever got together. "Deus Ex-Wife Machina" introduces us to Lisa Brenner as Claire who arrives on the island with her new fiancé (Josh Adamson) to force Alex (Christian Kane) to sign divorce papers. Realizing she needs something from him, and he could drag out the process preventing her new marriage, does she come in cordially playing up their history? No, she goes immediately into the ball-busting mode of the cliched ex giving neither Alex nor the audience a reason to offer her the benefit of the doubt. After being married to Alex for long enough to have a child together, she'd definitely know she's picked the wrong tact.

Tuesday, August 15, 2023

Justice Society of America #5

Helena Wayne's journey through time to save the Justice Society of America, and her father, comes to a head with the team battling Degaton throughout time. Once the super-villain defeated, everyone returns to their own timelines, everyone except the Huntress (who has no timeline to return to).

Justice Society of America #5 is the kind of star-studded affair that writer Geoff Johns does best. Some of his best work has been on different iterations of the JSA and you can see his love for these characters come through the pages.

My Adventures with Superman - Let's Go to Ivo Tower, You Say

"Let's Go to Ivo Tower, You Say" is the weakest of episode of the series so far with Clark (Jack Quaid) debating about whether or not to tell Lois (Alice Lee) the truth while she goes overboard in her attempts to uncover Superman's secrets and find out what exactly he's hiding. This dynamic continues into our trio's first official assignment for The Daily Planet covering a gala at Ivo Tower, offering more attempts for Lois to go overboard in her investigative journalist mode which seems incapable of understanding how to actually work information out of subject, where a crazed Anthony Ivo (Jake Green), out to prove the worth of his latest invention, takes the Parasite armor out for a test spin terrifying his guests and leading to the arrival of Superman.

The Lazarus Project - Episode 7

After resetting the timeline in the last episode, we see the next year in the life of George (Paapa Essiedu). Although successful in bringing Sarah (Charly Clive) back to life, and hiding his actions by framing Shiv (Rudi Dharmalingam), the couple don't manage to make it even a year together. Eventually breaking up, George is left alone again. We jump in and out of this year, never getting a reset only for new trouble to pop-up just after midnight in the new checkpoint with a problematic death in George's apartment leading into the show's season finale.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles/Usagi Yojimbo: WhereWhen #5

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles/Usagi Yojimbo: WhereWhen comes to a close with the final battle against Dr. WhereWhen and his mechanical forces both within the castle where the Turtles and Usagi's friends have been able to reach as well as out on the battle field. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles/Usagi Yojimbo: WhereWhen #5 offers an action-packed conclusion to the series with one big surprise in the death of a recurring Usagi Yojimbo character. The death of Yukichi, who has been a large role is recent Usagi storylines, is unexpected, but he's given a heroic death here to save his friends.

Monday, August 14, 2023

Only Murders in the Building - The Show Must...

As was teased in last season's epilogue, the show's Third Season opens up with a murder. Well, technically it opens up with two murders, of the same victim (Paul Rudd). The first takes place on stage during the Broadway premiere of Oliver's (Martin Short) comeback. We get some conversations among our trio about the sudden death, and an awkward afterparty turned wake, but the majority of the episode begins to fill in events between the solving of the last murder and opening night through a series of flashbacks. Oh, and then the victim shows up after being miraculously resurrected at the hospital only to be killed again that night (this time in the building). You know what that means, podcast listeners!

Moon Knight #26

Moon Knight #26 steps away from Marc Spector and his mission for a single issue look at Hunter's Moon. We get the other Fist of Khonshu dealing with his recent resurrection with Doctor Andrea Sterman and helping the Moloids deal with invaders tunneling in their underground realm for nefarious purposes. A Moon Knight comic without Moon Knight can't help but be slightly disappointing. That said, the issue does attempt to flesh out Hunter's Moon more than just the more stoic and faithful servant to Khonshu.

Love in Taipei

Adapted from Abigail Hing Wen's 2020 novel, Love in Taipei is a coming of age story centering around introverted pre-med student Ever Wong (Ashley Liao) in the summer after her high school graduation being sent from Ohio to Taipei to take part in an exclusive summer cultural program which the students call Loveboat because of all the partying and hooking up that goes on during the summer.

The film will chronicle Ever breaking out of her shell with the help of her roommate (Chelsea Zhang), perusing a dancing dream with the help of her Aunt Shu (Cindy Cheung), and falling in love not once but twice (albeit in a far more chaste Disney-ish version than that of the original novel). While not initially pleased about making the journey to her parents' home country, Ever connects with her heritage as well as discovering new parts of herself while growing into the woman she will become by the end of the film.

Friday, August 11, 2023

Married by Mistake

Knowing Chloe Bennet is fantastic, I'll forgive her quite a bit, even dragging me into this convoluted romcom tale of a woman who finds herself in a triangle between the brother she married (Blair Penner) after a drunken night of shared sorrow and the one she immediately falls for (Anthony Konechny). Despite the fact that she doesn't really know either brother very well, and the bland looking catalog models make Tom Brady look exotic by comparison, Riley (Bennet) finds herself living a lie with one brother while pinning for the other and attempting to help save the family business from recent poor management by the pair's father (Eric Keenleyside).

When the film leaves the romance to the side and focuses on Riley working to save the company and putting her good business sense to work, or dipping it's toes into the far more interesting backstory of her own family dynamics, Married by Mistake is actually not too shabby. With both the script and leading men lacking, director Mike Rohl puts Bennet front and center where she shines.

Wednesday, August 9, 2023

Hellboy and the B.P.R.D.: 1957 - From Below

The Hellboy and the B.P.R.D.: 1957 - From Below one-shot is set near the end of 1957 as the B.P.R.D. travel to Coos Bay, Oregon, and a haunted sawmill with a history of reported odd occurrences. The comic is your basic haunted house mystery with Hellboy and his team looking for what may cause commotion every few years and then go quiet. It builds up fairly well to the reveal, leading right up to an ominous door which some monstrosity hides behind, although the truth behind the the trouble at the sawmill isn't as exciting as one may have hoped.

Justified: City Primeval - Backstabbers

Recent events force Raylan Givens (Timothy Olyphant) into making an unpopular decision about his daughter Willa (Vivian Olyphant) while local police roust the various suspects in the judge's murder hoping to uncover the two illusive pieces to the puzzle in the missing murder weapon and motive for the crime. "Backstabbers" also picks up the thread of Clement Mansell (Boyd Holbrook) and Sandy (Adelaide Clemens) stealing from their Albanian mark which is a decision that will likely have consequences for all concerned. The episode does have a treading-water feel to it throughout with the only notable movement happening at the very end, leaving consequences to follow, and drawing out the story a bit more than necessary.

Buffy: The Last Vampire Slayer #1

Set four years after the initial run of the comic of the same name set in an alternate dimension where a 50 year-old Buffy Summers trains Thessaly, the daughter of Willow and Tara, to be a vampire slayer. Not having read the previous series, or really knowing any details on just how different this world is that of the canonical Buffyverse, not to mention a slew of new characters (or a few recognizable figures in different roles), there is a bit of a curve getting up to speed (even if this is a first issue of the series).

Tuesday, August 8, 2023

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds - Charades

One of the oddest and most unexpected aspects of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds is the running theme of wacky Freaky Friday-style romcoms centered around Spock's (Ethan Peck) love life. And both times it has produced some wonderful television. As in "Spock Amok," events swirl around engagement to T'Pring (Gia Sandhu) and a Vulcan ceremony to cement their engagement. Also at play here is Nurse Chapel's (Jess Bush) feelings for the Enterprise's science officer who has been noticeably avoiding her of late, unsure how to deal with the feelings he harbors for her. When a shuttle accident leaves Spock injured, and then healed improperly by aliens, a now fully human Spock needs to master his human emotions and prepare for the arrival of T'Pring... and her parents.

Magneto #1

While I understand the concept of Magneto #1, I have absolutely no idea what is going on, when events are set, or why this is a New Mutants comic. The comic opens with the New Mutants battling in the Danger Room run by Magneto who, apparently, has taken over their training. The set up for the comic is exploring different sides of Magneto who has been, over the years, both a friend and the most bitter enemy to the X-Men.

It's SDCC 2023 (Part 1)

Transformers: Rise of the Beasts

Set between the events of Bumblebee and Michael Bay's first Transformers movie, Transformers: Rise of the Beast pulls in characters from Beast Wars: Transformers and The Transformers: The Movie without a basic understanding of either one while  not making much use of any of them. Instead, events around a genius archeologist intern (Dominique Fishback) and a former soldier on hard times (Anthony Ramos) who attempt to keep a magic crystal out of the hands of the Terrorcons who want to use it to bring forth Unicron (Colman Domingo) who is somehow trapped in another region of space.

Monday, August 7, 2023

Futurama - Children of a Lesser Bog

"Children of a Lesser Bog" offers one of those episodes of Futurama more memorable for specific moments that an overall story. The episode is the follow-up to the Fourth Season episode involving involving Kif (Maurice LaMarche) giving birth. Now, 20 years later, he and Amy (Lauren Tom) head into the swamps of his homeworld to collect his children (those that aren't massacred in the episode's most gruesome joke). With the children developing in different parts of the swamp the two parents end up with a baby, a teenager, and middle in-between child. The episode plays on the usual tropes of early parenthood and on Leela's (Katey Sagal) role as the biological mother of the children who are drawn to her. It's not one of most memorable episodes of the series, but it does have a nice message about non-biological parenting while giving us a minimum amount of Zapp Brannigan (Billy West) zaniness as well.

Darth Vader: Black, White & Red #4

The Star Wars anthology following the adventures of Darth Vader in black, white, and red concludes in this final issue. The ongoing storyline, "Hard Shutdown," told across all four issues wraps up here with Vader breaking out of Sendvall's trap, wiping out his minions, and then taking his revenge on the man who temporarily successfully immobilized Dark Lord of the Sith but couldn't kill him.

My Adventures with Superman - My Interview with Superman

"My Interview with Superman" highlights one glaring issue with the otherwise strong series in its weak and thoroughly uninteresting choice of villains. After being scooped by Perry (Darrell Brown) assigning the Superman story to other reporters, Clark Kent (Jack Quaid), Lois Lane (Alice Lee), and Jimmy Olsen (Ishmel Sahid) begin looking into various unremarkable thugs from Intergang using the same alien tech they've seen before which includes sneaking into the prison to look for clues. However, Lois plans to use the chaos Intergang is causing to ultimately get her interview. Strong episode when focusing on the interactions between Lois and Clark (and later Superman), but the reporter introductions are a bit too goofy and Intergang is a disappointment.

Friday, August 4, 2023


The English-language Spanish film follows a trio of Egyptian mummies who leave the underworld and travel to London in search of a ring stolen by a modern-day graverobber (Hugh Bonneville). Our trio includes pair of mismatched mummies in a spoiled princess (Eleanor Tomlinson) and former chariot racer (Joe Thomas) suffering from PTSD, chosen to be wed by a flaming bird against their will (albeit through a mistake), and his younger brother (Santiago Winder) and pet lizard.

The predictable tale follows the characters searching for the ring, being mesmerized by the modern world, and fighting of the evil archeologist who eventually follows them back into the underworld. The story is more than a little hit-and-miss, never really deciding how human the mummies should be or how exactly their underworld works. It features a number of original songs all of which are overshadowed by the use of The Bangles' "Walk Like an Egyptian" during the mummies' shopping spree (so obviously a highlight it's brought back for the closing scene).

Only Murders in the Building - Sparring Partners / I Know Who Did It

The final two episodes of the Second Season of Only Murders in the Building allow for Charles (Steve Martin) and Oliver (Martin Short) to deal with their own personal discoveries while Mabel (Selena Gomez) makes the pivotal connections to solve the case connecting Detective Kreps (Michael Rapaport) to the All Is Not OK in Oklahoma podcast. While our intrepid trio initially suspect Cinda Canning (Tina Fey) of being the mastermind behind the murder in order to create a more popular podcast, for the true brains behind the crime they need to look no further than her assistant Poppy (Adina Verson) who has her own twisted tale to tell.

Wednesday, August 2, 2023

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem

The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles have been rebooted so many times over the years it's hard to keep track of the number of times they've changed since they first appeared on comic shelves in the mid-1980s. The latest iteration of the group found in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem is neither the best nor worst version we've seen. Presenting a grungier animation, likely in hopes of pulling in comparisons to the Spider-Verse movies (it is not on that level), the script takes various aspects of the Turtles origins, altering and updating them slightly for a familiar and fresh feel for the foursome.

When the film sticks with character interactions, and the goofiness of the teenage shut-ins who happen to have some ninja skills, there's quite a bit to enjoy. However, I found the action sequences to be mostly just chaotic and loud more than anything else, which became a growing concern once the rise to the climactic battle with the evil Superfly (Ice Cube) began.

The History of The Flash (1990)

Secret Galaxy takes a look back at the history of 1990's The Flash.

LEGO Marvel Minifigures Series 2 Revealed

This is SDCC 2023 Best Cosplay Music Video

Tuesday, August 1, 2023

Almost Paradise - A Fisherfolk Tale

"A Fisherfolk Tale" pulls Alex (Christian Kane) into a feud between two local fishing families. Introducing Alex's latest purchase, a rundown boat that will likely do nothing to keep his stress levels low, we're also introduced to his friend Ramon (Race Matias) who gets attacked by the rival family who discover his Romeo and Juliet love affair with a member of their family (Gabby Padilla). When Julia's father is murdered, all evidence points to Ramon. Inserting himself into the investigation, Alex works to clear Ramon from the charges (which, of course, would also get him out of jail to get back to work on the broken boat). The humor of the boat, and tying Ramon to it being fixed, adds a nice layer on the classic storyline which eventually leads to uncovering the real motive of the murder just in time to prevent the two families from going to war.

Harley Quinn: Black + White + Redder #1

Harley Quinn: Black + White + Redder #1 kicks off a new black, white, and red anthology series for Harley Quinn. The first issue is a nice mix focusing on the humor, tragedy, and wackiness of the character. In "The Man of Steal!" Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy travel up north to break into the Fortress of Solitude only to be surprised by first a Bat-Butler, leading to some aspersions being tossed at the Man of Steel, and then running into the Justice League's game night. 

Special Ops: Lioness - Sacrificial Soldiers

Half of the first episode of Special Ops: Lioness offers insight into the life of an agent of the CIA (Zoe Saldana) on one of her worst days in the field and the immediate aftermath. The various aspect of the story hints at spy craft and the need to route out terrorist cells overseas but really is about the human toll on Joe following the events. The rest of the episode is devoted to Cruz (Laysla De Oliveira) who leaves an unhealthy relationship to join the Marines and eventually get tasked into Joe's program. It's this half of the episode where Special Ops: Lioness leans its overtly patriotic messaging and imagery to such a degree it feels more like an Armed Forces recruitment film than drama. By the end of the episode the two women are working together, hopefully removing some of the fractured narrative found here, but the less stylish, but no less simplistic, Michael Bay-ish view of world politics is a tad concerning.

Rio Bravo

A collaboration between John Wayne and director Howard Hawks, 1959's Rio Bravo features Wayne as an Old West sheriff with the unlikely allies of a former gunslinger turned town drunk (Dean Martin), a crippled old man (Walter Brennan) who never shuts up, and a young hot shot (Ricky Nelson) who together attempt to keep a prisoner (Claude Akins) locked up in the town jail until the local U.S. Marshal can arrive.

Trouble come a calling from the prisoner's brother, a powerful local rancher (John Russell), and his supply of mercenary goons who, after being unable to either reason or scare the sheriff into releasing his prisoner, attempt several jail breaks. The cast is rounded out with the inclusion of Angie Dickinson providing the film's love interest as a traveling gambler with a complicated past who catches the sheriff's eye, often driving him crazy.