Posted in Blog Posts, DC Comics, Flick Central

iZombie, based on the comic series iZombie, created by DC Comics: a Television Review

Synopsis:

Olivia “Liv” Moore is a promising Seattle medical resident.  She is excelling at work.  She has an incredible fiancé that she loves.  A great family.  Is planning her dream wedding.  Life is great.

Until she ends up one of the few survivors of a boat party gone wrong.  So wrong in fact that she ends up as a Zombie.

When her life is turned upside down, she decides to break up with her fiancé, change jobs, and cut herself off from society as much as possible in an effort to keep from killing innocent people in her pursuit for brains! 

Her new boss, Ravi, head of the morgue she is working at, guesses her secret he ends up as one of her best friends and confidant…and completely fascinated with her condition.  As Liv continues to eat brains, she realizes that she can see and learn the things of the person whose brain she consumes. 

Suddenly a Jane Doe ends up in the morgue and Liv is confronted with the fact that she may be able to help police solve the poor girl’s murder.  What is a Zombie to do?

General Information:

-Genre: Supernatural Procedural Crime Drama

-Creator: based on the comic series iZombie, created by DC Comics

-Length: 5 Seasons, 71 Episodes, 42 minutes per episode

-Rating: TV-14 (mild sexual jokes and implied sexual situations, moderate violence and gore particularly supernatural violence and gore, mild profanity, mild use of alcohol, drugs and smoking, mild frightening and intense scenes particularly with the consumption of brains)

-Where to Watch: Netflix (with subscription), DVD, Blu-Ray, or look for it at your local library

-Main Cast: Rose McIver, Malcolm Goodwin, Rahul Kohli, Robert Buckley, David Anders, Aly Michalka, Robert Knepper, Bryce Hodgson

-Page of Reference in RP1: DC Comics is mentioned throughout the book

Review (contains spoilers):

Season 1:

This is a very promising start to a show.  Funny, snarky, kind of gory.  And the actors are just fantastic.

I have a feeling that this show is going to follow the issues that I have with DC Comics… their shows are amazing…and their movies are just mediocre with a few exceptions.

The little bits of the comic book that they work into the show is really a great concept.  It adds to that fantastical feel of the whole show.   

Solid first season.  The show held its own the whole time with very few downs.  The humor and cases were consistent which doesn’t often happen across a whole season of a show. The character development was there, as were the character relationships.

This was an incredible first season.  Between the idea that Zombies exist, Major hunting them down. The mental health issues.  The gaslighting and the lying.  Finding a cure.

So many different things happening. The storyline and the writing are spectacular.  The characters are deep and meaningful.  The twists and turns are well written.

And the ending is just a bit shocking.  What I don’t understand is why Liv doesn’t just say that she was diagnosed with a disease (like and immunodeficiency) which is why she can’t give blood.  It could be why she changed paths…quit being a doctor.  All of it.  Then again…we wouldn’t really have a show if that was the case.

Season 2:

Season 3:

Season 4:

Season 5:

Rating:

Rating: 4 out of 5.
Posted in Blog Posts, Flick Central

Harley Quinn, created by Justin Halpern, Patrick Schumacker, and Dean Lorey, based on comics by Paul Dini and Bruce Timm: an Animated Television Series Review

Synopsis:

Based on the comic series of the same name, this animated series follows Harley Quinn as she builds herself up after her breakup with Joker.  While she begins to deal with the aftermath of her relationship with Joker, Harley tries to put together a crew to help her show the Legion of Doom that she isn’t just a sidekick but a fully fledged super villain.

PLEASE BE AWARE THAT THIS IS NOT A SHOW MADE FOR CHILDREN.  PLEASE SEE THE RATING BELOW.

General Information:

-Genre: Superhero/Supervillain, Black Comedy, ADULT Animated Series

-Creator: created by Justin Halpern, Patrick Schumacker, and Dean Lorey, based on comics by Paul Dini and Bruce Timm

-Length: 2 seasons, 26 episodes (around 22-25 minutes each)

-Rating: TV-MA (for mild sex and nudity, severe violence and gore, severe profanity, moderate use of alcohol, drugs and smoking, moderate to severe frightening and intense scenes)

-Where to Watch: HBO Max (with subscription), DVD, Blu-Ray, or look for it at your local library

-Main Cast: Kaley Cuoco, Lake Bell, Ron Funches, Tony Hale, Jason Alexander, J. B. Smoove, Alan Tudyk

-Page of Reference in RP1: DC is mentioned throughout the book

Review (contains spoilers):

PLEASE BE AWARE THAT THIS IS NOT A SHOW MADE FOR CHILDREN.  THIS SHOW WAS CREATED FOR ADULTS, EVEN THOUGH IT IS ANIMATED. THERE IS SEVERE LANGUAGE AND VIOLENCE FROM THE FIRST SCENE ON.

Ok so now that I have that warning out of the way (because I wasn’t expecting the first slew of cursing in the first 3 minutes), I have to say this show is great so far.

My overall review of this is that I am absolutely in love with the storytelling and the character development that the creators are manifesting in this show.  They are showing a Harley that is dealing with the trauma of her relationship with the Joker.  Ivy is doing what she can to help and to be a good friend but ultimately this is the journey that Harley Quinn needs to make to become her own person.

Season 1:

This was a wild ride.  I knew it wasn’t made for kids but having the first five minutes riddled with curse words wasn’t what I was expecting when I turned on this animated television show.

The trauma that Harley sustains and is dealing with throughout the season is well done.  She is by no means playing the victim card at any point but the back and forth between wanting to be her own person and wanting the Joker to actually take her seriously is quite common amongst abuse victims.  It is extremely difficult to believe in yourself as a person…you do believe everything you’ve been told about yourself by your abuser.  And they handled this beautifully.

Harley’s team is funny, silly, and a little deranged.  They all fit together in the “odd men out” kind of way but they are quite effective when they are working together.

I haven’t completely read though all of the comics that are tied and that influenced this show but if they are anything like this I know that I am going to love it.

Overall, a strong first season start to the show and I can’t wait to get into season 2. 

Season 2:

Rating:

Rating: 4 out of 5.
Posted in Blog Posts, Flick Central

Better off Dead, created by Savage Steve Holland: a Film Review

Synopsis:

High school student Lane Myer’s two major interests are his popular girlfriend, Beth, and skiing. When Beth dumps him for handsome and popular Roy Stalin, head of the ski team, Lane is thrown into a suicidal tailspin as the Christmas season starts.

Between attempts to take his own life, he works on plans to either show Beth he can get over her, deciding to show Stalin that he can beat him at the K12 ski route. While trying to win her back, Lane begins to realize that maybe his life isn’t so bad.  His best friend, and junkie, Charles is right by his side encouraging him step by step.  The French exchange student, Monique, across the street, befriends him as a way to get out of the horrible house she is living in.  And his crazy family goes about their days doing their own little things from fighting with the newspaper boy to making creative meals that occasionally walk away of their own accord.

As Monique and Lane become closer, bonding over rebuilding his 1967 Camaro, his hallucinations about trying to get back together with Beth or to take his life continue.  He eventually challenges Stalin to racing on the K12 in order to prove that he is better and to win Beth back in the process.

General Information:

-Genre: Teen Black Comedy

-Creator: Savage Steve Holland

-Length: 97 minutes

-Rating: PG (for mild violence, mild drug use and innuendo, suicide attempts and suicidal ideology, some surreal violence)

-Where to Watch: Amazon Prime Video (Buy/Rent), iTunes (Buy/Rent), DVD, Blu-Ray, or look for it at your local library

-Main Cast: John Cusack, Curtis Armstrong, Diane Franklin, David Ogden Stiers, Kim Darby

-Page of Reference in RP1: 62

Review (contains spoilers):

This is a frequently watched film in my house and has been since I was young.  Its to the point that I can, and often do, repeat lines throughout the entire film.

It’s a fun and quite silly look into the teenage brain.  Lane is absolutely obsessed with Beth and it is NOT healthy.  But this does commonly happen in teenagers.  They can become so obsessed with someone or something that death seems easier than living without that person/thing.

Even with presented with different options it really takes a LOT for Lane to snap out of it.  Of course, his parents are completely oblivious to the entire thing happening (though his father does try to connect with him at one point).  He is left to deal with everything his own way.

And overall, he does a decent job.  Seeing into his mind is a blast.  The over exaggeration of everyone around him wanting something or other is just fantastic.

I definitely recommend it to families with teens…or really anyone who enjoys 1980s comedy. The “Everybody wants SOME” scene is CLASSIC 1980s surreal Claymation perfection.

Rating:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Posted in Blog Posts, Flick Central

The Addams Family Values, based on the The Addams Family by Charles Addams: a Film Review

Synopsis:

The Addams Family has welcomed a new member.  And not everyone in the family is happy about this.  Morticia hires a nanny as Wednesday and Pugsley’s attempts to murder their little brother go unfinished.

The nanny seduces Fester while Wednesday uncovers her dark secret.  Because of this she convinces Morticia to send Wednesday and Pugsley to summer camp.  A normal summer camp.

And as always…hilarity ensues because it is the Addams Family…

General Information:

-Genre: Black Comedy

-Creator: based on The Addams Family by Charles Addams

-Length: 94 minutes

-Rating: PG-13(sexual innuendo and slight sexual themes, violence and gore, some fantasy theming, mild profanity, dark comedy)

-Where to Watch: Amazon Prime Video, iTunes, YouTube, Google Play or find it at your local library!

-Main Cast: Anjelica Huston,Raul Julia, Christopher Lloyd, Christina Ricci, Jimmy Workman, Joan Cusack

-Page of Reference in RPO: 177

Review (contains spoilers):

I had forgotten how long it had been since I had seen this movie…but it was just as delightful as I remember.

The introduction of Debbie added a fun juxtaposition to the film.  She is very light, bright and pastel and incredibly evil.  A distinct contrast to the dark mysterious and incredibly loving Addams Family.  Its really a unique design choice.

They seem to use it in the obvious way… to show that outside appearance has nothing to do with what you are like underneath.

I love the portrayal of Debbie and her homicidal tendencies but Wednesday almost rivals her performance with her own at summer camp.  Rarely do the children outshine the performances in a film full of adult stars but the way this film was written the children truly get the chance to shine.

I love this movie from start to finish.  It is one of a rare few that is entertaining the whole time and on repeated watches.

Rating:

Rating: 5 out of 5.
Posted in Blog Posts, Flick Central

The Addams Family, created by David Levy and Donald Saltzman, based on The Addams Family by Charles Addams: a Television Series Review

Synopsis:

The Addams Family is all about the exploits of the eccentric and wealthy Addamses.  The Father, Gomez, is madly in love with his wife, Morticia.  They have two children, Wednesday and Pugsley.  They live in their mansion with Uncle Fester, Grandmama (Morticia’s mother), and two servants- Lurch and Thing.

From going to school for the first time to romances to dancing around the house the stories of this loving but macabre family were created as a contrast to the accepted “normal” American family with its 2.5 children, house in the suburbs and the white picket fence.  They show throughout all of their episodes that the love one has for ones family is not determined by outside appearance but by a person’s heart.

General Information:

-Genre: Black Comedy Sitcom

-Creator: David Levy and Donald Saltzman, based on the cartoons of Charles Addams

-Length: 2 seasons, 64 total episodes, 30 minutes each

-Rating: TV-8+ (morbid and macabre moments, dark comedy, some slight violence and some slight sexual innuendo)

-Where to Watch: Amazon Prime Video, iTunes, DVD, or look for it at your local library

-Main Cast: Carolyn Jones, John Astin, Jackie Coogan, Ted Cassidy, Blossom Rock, Lisa Loring, Ken Weatherwax

-Page of Reference in RPO: 177

Review (contains spoilers):

Season 1:

Such a fun show and lovely, well-developed characters right off the bat.  Jones and Astin laid a wonderful foundation for Gomez and Morticia.  They are loving, and kindhearted, and care deeply for their family.  They jump right into the troubles of their children, hate to be parted from each other and their brood. 

The eccentric acts of the family are sweet but interesting enough to keep you entertained. And the writing is amazing.  I’ve been laughing all throughout the season.

Season 2:

The show continues to be delightful.  The main cast is impeccable and I’m floored by the fact that the writers could continue to do such a good job considering the fluctuating group of side characters.   I honestly don’t understand why the show would have been done after a mere two seasons.  I am glad that I was able to watch this show for the first time ever having already fallen in love with the Addams Family.  It made seeing where they came from all the more enjoyable.

Overall the show is quite entertaining and watching it after having fallen in love with the later renditions of the family is definitely unique.  I can see how the actors in the early series laid a very detailed and comprehensive character study for later performances.  They captured the odd but loving couple.  The rather insane and morbid (but not disgusting) pastimes and various moments of chemistry that made later renditions so beautiful.  Its also fun to know that the entire set was bright pink because it was what created the shade of grey they wanted for the set.

And no matter the rendition of Gomez and Morticia they will always be my favorite couple. And their love remains #goals.

Rating:

Rating: 4 out of 5.