Posted in Blog Posts, Flick Central

Stargate Universe, created by Brad Wright and Robert C. Cooper: a Television Review

Synopsis:

Icarus Base is located on a remote planet as part of the SGC.  The current team run by Dr. Nicholas Rush believe that they could extend the range of the Stargate by utilizing the naqudria located in the core of the planet that is currently powering the Stargate.

To date only 7 chevrons have been used with regularity on any Stargate allowing travelers to pass through to other planets within their galaxy.  Adding an 8th chevron allows for travel to another galaxy but takes on a huge amount of power usually from something like a ZPM (a very powerful battery).  To fathom a 9th chevron is seen as boarding on insanity.

When Dr. Rush creates a video game to try and find the most brilliant minds across Earth to help him solve and test his theory he is presented with Eli Wallace, a mathematics genius.  Rush is joined by Wallace as well as Chloe Armstrong (the daughter of the Senator funding the Icarus Project) and several of the military members on the base in order to solve what the Ancients have laid out as a possibility.

As the group tries to figure out how to achieve the connection of a 9th chevron, they get devastating news.  The core of the planet is rendered unstable after an attack from an alien race known as the Lucian Alliance.  Attempting to contact earth Rush realizes that the impending explosion of the planet will just follow them through the wormhole and takes the chance at dialing a 9th chevron.  As it locks the survivors make it through the gate and end up aboard an old starship.

Destiny has its own abilities and mission, only dropping out of hyperspace in order to connect its Stargate to others in the network.  No one can control the ship.  The survivors are at the mercy of the ship itself as it drops in and out of hyperspace for limited amounts of time.

What are the survivors to do when they have no control over the ship they are stranded on?  Will they ever get back to Earth?  And just what problem is Destiny supposed to be solving…

General Information:

-Genre: Science-Fiction, Military

-Creator: created by Brad Wright and Robert C. Cooper

-Length: 2 Seasons, 40 Episodes (43 minutes each), with an additional 34 Webisodes

-Rating: currently unrated- most likely TV-14 based on other country codes (for mild sex and nudity, mild violence and gore, mild profanity, mild use of alcohol and other substances, mild frightening and intense scenes)

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

-Main Cast: Robert Carlyle, Lousi Ferreira, brian J. Smith, Elyse Levesque, David Blue, Alaina Huffman, Jamil Walker Smith, Ming-Na Wen

-Page of Reference in RP1:

Review (contains spoilers):

I’m only 3 episodes into this series at them moment.  Who ever had the genius idea to make the first five episodes of this show a 3-part episode and a 2-part episode was seriously overestimating the fact that people can or will want pay attention to brand new characters for that long…  it was a bad move on the part of Wright and Cooper in this case. 

Even with SG-1 and Atlantis the first few episodes did introduce new characters but they were amidst characters we were already familiar with from either the film or the previous series.

There just isn’t a lot to say at this point…I really think going with the set up they did with the first season was not only detrimental to the composition of the show but is also difficult for long time fans. Especially on the heels of a BRILLIANT series in the Stargate world with Atlantis.

Season 1:

Season 2:

Rating:

Posted in Blog Posts, DC Comics, Flick Central

Smallville, created by Alfred Gough and Miles Miller based on the comics by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster: a Television Series Review

Synopsis:

Smallville, Kansas seems like your regular, every day, small, Midwest American town.  The city center is quaint and full of mom-and-pop shops.  Cornfields and farms line the edges as far as the eye can see.  And football is the local religion.

Until one day when a series of meteors strike down around the town.  Little does the town know how much of a ripple effect this event will have.

Twelve years later, Clark Kent is going to high school.  The all American boy.  Corn fed and farm raised.  Except he as a secret.  A deep dark secret that may be exposed.  Hes super fast, super strong…and apparently impervious to the sports car that hit him going 60 miles per hour hurtling him and the driver into the river below.

When they emerge from the water something seems to have changed in the small town.  Weird occurrences start to happen more frequently around town…and always seem to be tied to the strange green meteor rocks.  Lex Luthor has moved in and is trying to investigate the crash that nearly took his life. Clark’s friend Chloe is trying to tie all the strange things in town to the meteor strike and write about them in the school paper…

But all Clark wants to do is figure out how to ask out cheerleader Lana Lang…if only he could stop being so clumsy around her. 

Who knew high school could be so tough?

General Information:

-Genre: Superhero, Action/Adventure, Drama, Teen Drama

-Creator: Alfred Gough and Miles Miller based on the comics by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster

-Length: 10 Seasons, 21 Episodes each (44-52 minutes per episode)

-Rating: TV-14 (for superhero violence, mild sex and nudity including implied sexual relationships and discussions, moderate violence and gore, mild profanity, mild use of drugs, alcohol and smoking, mild frightening and intense scenes)  

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

-Main Cast: Tom Welling, Kristen Kreuk, Michael Rosenbaum, Eric Johnson, Sam Jones III, Allison Mack, Annette O’Toole, John Schneider, John Clover, Jensen Ackles, Erica Durance, Aaron Ashmore, Laura Vandervoort, Cassidy Freeman, Sam Witwer, Justin Hartley, Callum Blue

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

Review (contains spoilers):

General Overview:

I am going to preface this by saying that I did watch this show when it was running so some of my review may be colored by the fact that I really loved the show when it was on.

Overall, the show is a really interesting take on the beginnings of Superman and Clark Kent as a teenager.  But because it starts with Clark and his friends in high school there are a lot of plot lines that focus on things that adults really need to remember were the end of the world when they were a teenager.  Between love triangles, the school dances, cheerleading and football, school sports and arts, and even the vote for school president…the first few seasons are kind of cheesy and harder to get through as an adult. 

But as I hold onto the fact that these were life or death situations as a teen (just without the superpowers and the crazy meteor rocks) the show becomes really fun and a cool extension of the Superman world that we have been introduced to over the year.

Season 1:

Oof.  Just as drama ridden and cringy as I remember.  But that is because it all takes place their freshman year of high school.

I appreciate the parallels in the new characters that have been introduced to the characters we know later on in the comics and other films.  Chloe and her school paper as well as Lana Lang both have characteristics of Clark Kent’s later love interest, Lois Lane.  And old favorites have returned but with a more youthful twist such as Lex Luthor.

With the long form seasonal format of a tv series instead of a series of movies we really get to explore the friendship between Lex and Clark, the effects that the Kryptonian meteor rocks have on humans that were in the vicinity of the crashes and even later, the relationships Clark forms with his parents and other friends….even the conflicts that arise from keeping his secret safe. 

It is really enjoyable to watch the stories unfold.  Even if parts of it are still a little more than unbelievable…like a teenager running an entire coffee shop by themselves, or the fact that the Kents keep their son’s spaceship in the basement…without any decent locks.

Season 2:

Season 3:

Season 4:

Season 5:

Season 6:

Season 7:

Season 8:

Season 9:

Season 10:

Additional Notes:

Tom Welling and Erica Durance did reprise their roles as Clark Kent/Superman and Lois Lane in the DCEU multi-television show crossover mini-series/storyline “Crisis on Infinite Earth”.  This crossover officially tied the early 2000s series into the new DCEU Arrowverse. 

To see the review for the “Crisis on Infinite Earth” crossover mini-series: Crisis on Infinite Earth

To see our article on how the Arrowverse is connected and the shows tied into it: Arrowverse and the new DCEU

Rating:

Rating: 3.5 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, MARVEL

REPOST: The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, created by MARVEL Cinematic Universe, based on characters from MARVEL Comics: a Television Review

Synopsis:

Six months have passed since Steve handed off the Shield to Sam Wilson.  As the world readjusts to the snap back to reality he is forced to team up with Bucky Barns on an adventure that has them chasing a rogue group known as the Flag Smashers across the globe.

General Information:

-Genre: Superhero, Buddy Cop, Spy and Espionage

-Creator: Malcolm Spellman for the MARVEL Cinematic Universe, based on characters from MARVEL Comics

-Length: 2 episodes, 45-60 minutes each

-Rating: TV-14 (moderate violence and gore, mild profanity, mild use of alcohol, moderate frightening and intense scenes)

-Where to Watch: Disney+ (with subscription)

-Main Cast: Sebastian Stan, Anthony Mackie, Wyatt Russell, Erin Kellyman, Danny Ramirez, Georges St-Pierre, Adepero Oduye, Don Cheadle, Daniel Bruhl, Emily VanCamp

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

Review (contains spoilers):

Episode 1: New World Order

This is a really fascinating story line.

The idea that a new group has popped up that is something like Anonymous.  It’s the result of the five years between the first snap and everyone coming back.  The chaos of both of those events has caused so many issues in the world from the destruction and the reunification of the world.

I like the idea that Sam really wanted to leave Captain America’s mantel for Steve and that should be that.  Its insane that the government decided to replace Steve with this…guy.  He just doesn’t feel ok to me.  I’m not sure what is up with him.

The costuming for the Flag Smashers did make me a bit uncomfortable.  I understand that the character was created long before what I associate the red handprint on the face with, but it did make me a little irritated that they didn’t decide to modify the symbol.  It could have gone on a breast plate or another article of clothing.  Because what I associate the red handprint on the face with (not in the same place but still) is the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women movement.  The red handprint over the mouth is a huge sign to bring awareness to the women who have been kidnapped, murdered, and are often still missing.  I think the costumer could have done a better job adapting the trademark costume for Flag Smasher into something new and different that didn’t detract from this cause. 

If you would like more information on this issue and how to help with the cause, then please visit: https://mmiwusa.org/ or search for “Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women”

Episode 2: The Star-Spangled Man

I just don’t trust this guy…the guy who is the new Captain America.  There is just something about him that feels wrong. Off somehow.  Its just not okay on a few different levels. But I’m not so sure what has me feeling this way.  I don’t know anything about how the comics play out so I’m just going on what I feel.

YES….we now have White Wolf!  So excited.  I love that Bucky has given up the Winter Soldier name and become White Wolf!  I’m super interested to see where this goes.  I’m also loving that Sam is getting to spread his wings as the Falcon.  Some of his maneuvers are just beautifully done.

The more that we get the new Captain America interacting with Sam and Bucky the less and less I like him!

But seriously the “couples counseling” moment in this episode was CLASSIC.  Just wonderful.

I’m glad we are quickly getting to put faces with the Flag Smashers. I’m really interested in where they are going to go and connect to ULTIMATUM in the comics.

Oh yay…Zemo…

Episode 3: Power Broker

I’m liking the new Captain America less and less.

Oh Bucky.  Breaking people out of jail.  You know Zemo is going to stab all of you in the back.

It is interesting the bits and pieces we are getting of the Flag Smashers.  They are Super Soldiers, but their cause is fairly relatable.  The world united was probably extremely helpful during the Blip.  Much easier to keep track of things in a few places instead of over one hundred individual countries.  Its their methods that aren’t exactly commendable.

Who is the Power Broker?… obviously its not Selby.  Though of course Sarah had to call at exactly the wrong moment.

Woohoo Sharon!  I hope she becomes a main character in this mess.  I love Sharon and her attitude.  She is fantastic. 

That is a LOT of Super Serum.  Or at least enough stuff to make a lot of it.  And 20 vials is still a lot.

Of course, Zemo takes off after killing the doctor.  And assumes his other identity.  It wouldn’t be a show if that didn’t happen.  He’s still on their side (at least for now) but he’s not trustworthy.

And as always Sharon is awesome.  The boys need to get their act together.

I don’t want to like Karli but she’s kind of sad in a lot of ways.  And, never mind.  The explosion kind of changed my view.  They have done a great job with the story telling as well as the ups and downs of the situation and what is going on in the world.

Where is Bucky off to? Little bread crumbs.  Where do they lead?

*squeal* YES!!!!!!!!!!

Episode 4: The Whole World is Watching

So a little flash back to get us to where we are today.  The deprogramming that Bucky went through in Wakanda.

What is Zemo up to?

Karli is really easy to relate to.  I am really enjoying the fact that we have a “villain” who is relatable.  It really shows the depth of human struggle.  That sometimes your heart is right, but your methods aren’t.

Oh boy.  I just keep liking the new Captain America less and less.  He’s harsh and brisk and just doesn’t seem to really know what he is supposed to be doing.  He has no trust in the people around him.  I feel like that is how he was as a soldier too.

Finally, we get Sam and Karli to talk.  I wonder what is actually going to happen in that conversation.  Its all about HOW it is being done.  The cause isn’t the issue.  And its great that the “good guys” recognize it.

Damn, Zemo.  I’m not surprised because he is all about ending the Super Soldiers once and for all.  But I actually like Karli.  Its hard to see her shot at.  And of course, our new shiny Captain America is going to hide one and take it. Ugh.  I knew I didn’t like him.

Speak of the devil and he shall appear.

I just…blah.  I’m not sure I’d actually be mad if Karli managed to kill John.

I LOVE the Dora Milaja.  They are such incredible women.  And not afraid to fight.  Ayo is awesome.  Taking off Bucky’s arm. And capturing the shield.  They handed John Walker a LOT to think about.

And Zemo is finally gone?  Maybe…

Karli is good.  Calling Sarah to get Sam to take her seriously.  But how much is John going to mess this up for everyone?

Well John took the serum.  That was a bad decision. And now Lemar is dead.  That is going to change everything about John Walker.  He’s no longer fighting the Flag Smashers for the fact that they are terrorists.  He’s now got a personal vendetta.  That is NOT how Captain America does anything.  He does not deserve to wear that uniform.

Episode 5: Truth

Oh, this isn’t going to go well.  Walker is not in a good place.  And Bucky is always ready for a fight.  He’s been looking for a reason to take back that shield.

This is not good.  Whatever that serum is doing to him it is not good.  I can’t believe he pulled off Falcon’s wings and tried to kill both Bucky and Sam by cutting off their heads.  This is atrocious.  I knew I didn’t like him from the start but this is something else.  I know nothing about the storyline this is based on but this is just insane.

I think Sam is realizing he may not have made the best choice in giving up the shield.  I do like that there was a tiny detail that I’m not sure many people caught.  But that entire fight was done with the Captain’s shield held upside down with the star pointing down.  Had the feel of turning the American flag upside down to show the country is in distress.  Very clear message that Walker wasn’t in a good state of mind.

Oh. My. Gods. Val….Val is in the Universe now?!?  This. Is. NOT. Good.

Karli is something else.  I’m not sure how that is all going to play out.  While Walker killed with passion she kills without emotion.  Its interesting how the serum changes you…or enhances your desires and underlying personality.

Hmmm. Sokovia.  What is Zemo up to?  Time for the Dora Milaje to take him.  It is good that he has decided to not kill Bucky.  The Raft is harder to escape at least.

Poor Sam.  There is a lot for him to process.  I hope Isaiah will help.  I’m glad we are getting his story. 

That was a lot to process.  I’m so glad stories like this are coming to the forefront.  We need these stories told.  We need to see these struggles and history confronted.  Because, for as made up as comics are, the stories are rooted in what is actually going on…what has gone on in our history.  Isaiah’s story isn’t unusual.  His confinement. His service.  Everything that happened to him.  Sadly, it isn’t an unheard-of story.

Ooooh.  New wings for Sam. And a montage scene of everyone helping to fix up the family boat.  Bucky and Sarah are kind of adorable…Sam obviously doesn’t think so. Haha.

What is Sharon up to? And why is she talking to Batrok?  Is Sharon the Power Broker?  I’ve had suspicions….but I’m just not sure.  We will see.

Aw.  I love that they are becoming friends.  Its nice to see the two of them get along.  But not as a team.  Its so adorable.  They keep dancing around each other.  Just be friends.

Batrok is now with the Flag Smashers.  Or maybe not.  They are in NYC with a LOT more people on their side.  This isn’t going to be good at all.

Yeah. This is going to be big trouble.

Are those actually wings for Sam? Or is it something else?

After Credits Scene:  What is John making? His own shield?  Are we finally going to get his reveal…not quite?

Episode 6: One World. One People.

So this is the one episode that I watched completely and then am reviewing after.

This story was so important.  So very important.

I can’t speak to the experiences of anyone who is Black (I have a whole article on Racism and the world of Ready Player One here).  But I can say that as part of another community that is marginalized…the LGBT+ and being neurodivergent I can speak to HOW important representation in media is. 

Telling these stories is so essential.  Its so essential for people to hear their voices.  Their stories.

And this show had so many of them to tell. 

That of refugees.

That of marginalized people fighting for their cause.

That of the oppression of Black Americans by so many others from our government to the people around them in everyday life.

The story of forgiveness and redemption.

The reality of the world around us.

I’m absolutely floored by how much went into this show.  So much depth.  So many feelings.  Just completely and utterly beautifully told.

I’m so glad that Sam took up being Captain America (or Captain Falcon).  I love Bucky’s redemption…though I would have been even happier if the final title had said “Captain America and the White Wolf” as Bucky has finally put the Winter Soldier completely away.

What we get next is anyone’s guess.  We are getting Captain America 4! That was announced today.  But we have so many characters introduced in this show.  Between Lady Hydra, U.S. Agent, The Power Broker/a “new” Agent Carter (that was a great combo), new Captain America/Captain Falcon, Bucky/White Wolf….. there is just so much that could happen from here on out. 

And honestly?

I CANNOT WAIT!

Also…Loki better be good after how incredible this and Wandavision were.

Rating:  

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

REPOST: Wandavision, created by MARVEL Cinematic Universe: a Television Review

Synopsis:

Just over three weeks have passed since Thanos was defeated and half the universe was snapped back into being.  Wanda and Vision are pursuing an idyllic life in the rural town of Westview, New Jersey.  But things may not be what they seem as the couple’s world changes bit by bit from vintage black and white sitcom to modern television.  What is going on with Wandavision?  And is everyone safe?

General Information:

-Genre: Mixed Sitcom, Superhero

-Creator: MARVEL Cinematic Universe, based on characters and story created by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Roy Thomas, and John Buscema

-Length: 1 season, 9 episodes (episodes vary in length from 29-49 minutes for a total of around 6 hours)

-Rating: TV-14 (mild violence, mild use of alcohol, mild frightening and intense scenes, superhero action, use of witchcraft and the occult in the context of superpowers, very mild innuendos of sex in the context and style of vintage sitcom tropes)

-Where to Watch: Disney+ (with subscription)

-Main Cast: Elizabeth Olson, Paul Bettany, Debora Jo Rupp, Fred Melamed, Katheryn Hahn, Teyona Parris, Randall Park, Kat Dennings, Evan Peters

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

Review (contains spoilers):

Episode 1: Filmed Before a Live Studio Audience

Such an excellent rendition of 1950s sitcom cinema. From the sets to the costumes and even the time period effects the whole episode just screamed vintage television.  Everything seemed to fit the 1950s like they were intending but with some twists.  It is so nice to notice the small details like the costumes that set the two of them apart from the others around them.  I hope that they are going to continue this through the series.

I am loving the fact that they have made the effects fit the aesthetic of the episode!  They are on the side of cheesy which is exactly what they would have been in the 1950s. From the flying plates to the entire kitchen exploding.  All practical effects. The costumes are completely on point.  Most of the other characters are in darker colors and patterns but Wanda and Vision are in lighter and/or solid colors.  It’s a very subtle way to show that they are somehow different or Other in the world they are in.

There is a subtle red tint to the whole episode.  Like the black and white isn’t the true black and white of old television.  I wonder if this was intentional or not.  I do like that they changed the aspect ratio of the episode to take on the feeling of watching it on an old 3:4 television.  It adds to the authenticity of the episode.

The set is also incredibly familiar.  Like it was pulled directly out of a sitcom from the 1950s.  Leave It To Bever…or maybe The Dick Van Dyke Show.  I’m not sure exactly but it is incredibly familiar.  They just did such and incredible job with putting everything together.  If I wasn’t familiar with the characters, it honestly could have been on television during that time period.

There seemed to be a little break in the illusion at the end of the episode at the dinner party.  Something is defiantly going on.

Also the fact that there are commercials is so great.  Little nods to things like Vision being called a human toaster and Stark Industries.

Episode 2: Don’t Touch That Dial

I loved the 1960s Bewitched vibe going on in this episode. 

The costuming and sets are still on point and it is really cool to see how they continue to set Vision and Wanda apart in their clothing.  From the pants that Wanda is wearing to the fact that vision is in slacks and a sweater.

The commercials are great too. More mentions of side bits and characters.  Baron Von Strucker as a pocket watch.  Interesting choice.

I’m also really interested about how the overarching story is going to play out since we got to see some of the out of place items in color.  The move to color television near the end of the episode is interesting too. I had to look it up and found it interesting that in Europe color TV was mostly standardized in the 1960s.  The symbol on the side of the helicopter was familiar too.  I’m not sure where I have seen it…maybe in Captain Marvel…or another more recent MARVEL film.

The moments throughout the episodes that are inherently 1960s are just lovely and are very distinguishable by those who are familiar with this era of cinema.  From the laugh tracks to the music playing to the animation of the intro and Vision’s insides to the effects that Wanda uses to make the magic act more “normal” for everyone.  Its really interesting to see the cracks that are forming in whatever is going on in the world. From the cut in on the radio and the blood to the little moments in the act that they have to cover up.

Wanda being pregnant at the end is really interesting too.  I know that Vision and Wanda have two children in the comics…eventually.  I’m kind of surprised it is happening this early in the show.

And what was with the beekeeper….and the rewind.

Episode 3: Now In Color

Woohoo. We have hit the 1970’s.  So many little homages to this era of television and wonderful little tropes like the overflowing washing machine and sink, getting the nursery ready, the pipes in the ceiling bursting…

The commercial in this one is funny too.  Hydra Soak.  So silly. 

I loved the little “camera trick” of Wanda putting something in front of her belly and SUDDENLY no one could tell she was pregnant. The doll from the Brady Bunch makes an appearance.

And the sets continue to change along with the clothing.  The Brady Bunch house makes a BIG appearance here.  So distinct. The effects are still right up there with the practical and fitting the time period that the episode is set in. 

 And those moments when Vision is on the verge of figuring out what is going out are just getting worse and worst. I’m honestly not sure what will happen when or if he actually figures out what is going on.  She wound it back again… like she doesn’t want Vision to figure out what is happening.

And who is Geraldine.  She seems like she doesn’t quite fit with everything that is going on around Wanda and Vision… the other characters have a certain affect to them.  They seem rehearsed. And when something goes “wrong” they panic.  But Geraldine.  She seems out of place.  She knows more about Wanda…and Pietro.  And apparently Ultron.  Who is she and who does she work for?

And now we are in wide screen… what is going on?

Episode 4: We Interrupt This Program

Oh goodness…now we get to see what is actually going on outside of Wandavision.  I’m beyond impressed with all of the subtle little things that they show is doing to show different times and different styles.  The morphing of the margins to indicate what realities we are in.  Its nice to have gotten the background of what is happening in the real world.  But now I have questions…

Monica RAMBEAU?!?! As in MARIA RAMBEAU’s DAUGHTER? As in CAPTAIN MARVEL??? And S.W.O.R.D????

And the town doesn’t WANT him to go in?  What the hell is that about?

And what made the force field…was it Wanda or something else?

Are the episodes continuing beyond what we are seeing?  Darcy does say “once an episode”… and “Monica has a speaking part NOW..” like there is way more that we aren’t seeing.   Do we see all of the important details, but Wanda is broadcasting to the outside world? Why are we only getting one season of 6 or so episodes?  I want to be as invested as Darcy is on this. I want to see more of the details of what is going on.

This very much feels like it’s a way for Wanda to deal with that happened to Vision.  As we clearly see with the moment of her truly seeing Vision dead….

This is really just bonkers.  But the twins are really cute.

Episode 5: On A Very Special Episode….

1980s here we come. Maybe with the early 1990s thrown in.  Defiantly enjoying the cracks that are happening and seeing how Wanda is dealing with the grief that she is obviously struggling with.  The last five years since the first snap.  Losing her twin brother…losing the love of her life…. The final battle with Thanos.  It’s clearly taken a toll and we are seeing how she is dealing with it.

I’m still really loving the nature of the sitcom and how, as we move through the decades, we are getting more and more of that feeling.  Very Who’s the Boss vibes in this one.  And we get to see a lot more of the issues that Wanda and Vision are having despite the fact that things seem to be going alright overall.

Reality is kind of starting to hit really hard for Wanda.  It’s really interesting to see all of the little breaks that are going on and just how dangerous Wanda really can be.  I’m really worried about what is going to happen when Vision finally sees what is going on with the whole world they are trapped in.

Wanda is insanely powerful.  She is literally rewriting reality. Very smart for Monica to try and use the technology from the time period the “show” is in to try and infiltrate the Hex.  The amount of power she has is off the charts…and Monica stands up for her which is incredible.  She knows that Wanda is just grieving.

Poor Vision.  He can’t remember who he was…who he is.  She obviously isn’t all powerful if she can’t give him back that.

She RECAST Pietro?  Nice little nod to the times MARVEL has done things outside of Disney…

Episode 6: All-New Halloween Spooktackular!

The late ‘90s Dennis the Menace and Malcom in the Middle vibes in this one.  I love the “breaking the 4th wall trope”.  it’s something that we have continued to use in cinema to this day especially in television.  The whole “reality tv” or “kids’ program” idea that is going on with this shows that the kiddos are going to be so much more important in the long run to this whole show.  I hope that they are actually alive and not just a figment of Wanda’s imagination.

The COSTUMES! They are in the costumes from the comics!  I love that they made a nod to this in the show.  The original Scarlet Witch Costume is one of my favorites…and is one of the most covered of the female superhero outfits.  And Quicksilver’s is great.

The Claymation “go-gurt” commercial is incredible.  And is a little terrifying.  But I defiantly remember commercials like that.

The further that Vision goes out of the center of town the less of an active hold that Wanda has on things.  Its basically a ghost town out there with everyone doing just enough to stay alive.

Something about Hayward is hinky.  I’m not liking the fact that he is hiding things from the team.  He obviously has more to him than meets the eye.  That coupled with the fact that he won’t listen to and kicks Monica, Jimmy and Darcy out of the facility do not bode well with what is going on overall.  Does he even care about what is actually happening or just on getting Vision back?

Agnes is also suspicious.  There is something about her that doesn’t seem right…its off… I’m not sure why.  But now Vision has so much more information than Wanda ever intended.  I’m not sure if this was all just an act or if Wanda really has a good grip on her as a person.

Is this Monica’s Origin Story?  It would be super interesting if they compacted everything she goes through to become Spectrum (and eventually taking on the mantle of Captain Marvel).

Oh no.  Vision cannot step past the barrier.  This isn’t going to end well for him if he tries.  We get to see the twins get some of their powers as well.  That is an interesting twist to see.  The fact that they writers included them at all, let along gave them their powers.

Now to see just how powerful Wanda really is… dang…. That is one way to save Vision…

I’m also super interested in how Darcy is going to help with everything along with Monica and Jimmy.  It’s just a very multi-layered situation that is going to take a lot to unfold.  I really am not liking Hayward. 

Episode 7: Breaking the Fourth Wall

Modern Family!  Not my favorite sitcom but kind of cool to have the feel of the Office… very typical of the sitcoms that went on in the early 2000s.

I love that the kids are in the colors their comic counterparts are dressed in.

Wanda is obviously incredibly stressed.  Its clear she can’t hold onto the whole world she is built (and now expanded).  She is about to lose it.  The things under her control are starting to revert or change through the time periods she has created shows for.  She isn’t broadcasting any more. And she is super depressed.

And, of course, the commercial will be about depression meds… oh yay.  Nexus.  Very Doctor Strange.

Ooo…Billy can’t hear Agnes.  She’s “quiet”.  That is interesting.  The “Ralph” trope is great…and hilarious that it is still going on.

Did we just get Spectrum’s origin story?  I hope so.  Monica is badass.  Carol was right when she told Maria she got the bravest kid.

Go Darcy!  I hate that she has to be the one to tell Vision what happened to him and his past.  That is not something I would want to have to do because its so much.  He and Wanda have been through so much.

Hmmm…. who and what is Agnes up to? Where are the kids?  And what is in the basement?

Oh yay… this is very occulty. And magic spell ish.

“Who’s been messing up EVERYTHING? It’s been Agatha all along!”  Catchy tune.

An after-credit scene: Pietro is a bad guy too…or at least being manipulated by Agatha.

Episode 8: Previously On

It’s the “flashback” sitcom episode.

I guess we are going to get a lot of different backstories here.  I like that we are still getting some of the traditional sitcom tropes even in the “real world”. Every good sitcom that is getting cancelled has a “flashback” episode.

Agatha is definitely not a good witch.  She has stolen her magic in the worst way possible.  By betraying her coven.  That is so not okay.

It’s remarkably interesting that the rules of magic apply in the MARVEL world.  I don’t know much about how magic works in the comics, but the ideas seem to be the same as what I’ve learned as a Pagan.  Only witches that make the protection spell (be it out of runes or standard spell work) can use their magic within the circle.  Quite noteworthy that the writers of both the comic and the show might have pulled from real witchcraft to get the rules.

Wanda is on another level.  If Agatha (who has been studying for over 300 years) cannot fathom the amount of brute power that Wanda has.  She must really be full of raw strength and talent.

Now we are going to get Wanda’s origin story.

Yeah…this is going to hurt.  We know the basics from the movies but to actually see how loving her family was.  How much they cared about each other and tried to make the home happy and warm despite what was happening outside in their country.  It makes sense how and why they were radicalized.

Agatha has some interesting takes on who exactly Wanda is.  But I’m not sure how correct she is with the observations.

 Its not clear in the movies if Wanda had powers before Hydra and Strucker got ahold of her.  All we know to this point is that she was experimented on and somehow ended up with the powers she has.  The Mind Stone works in mysterious ways.  It could have given them to her by unlocking part of her brain that we all have inside.  Or it could have just opened the door to drawing what she was predisposed to be.

Oh maybe we will get to see what actually happened on that tape that Hayward manipulated.

That is beyond manipulative.  Not just the fact that the video was manipulated to show Wanda as the aggressor.  There was so much more going on.  He had to have planned out the timing and having Vision being decommissioned at that exact moment.  There was FIVE years to do that.  We know Wanda was snapped away…so why did it take S.W.O.R.D FIVE YEARS to decide to decommission Vision.

So much raw emotion.  I can’t believe that she and Vision had bought land for a home.  Away from everything else.  They had plans.  They wanted to grow old together away from everything.  Their love was and is one of the things that I hate got taken from us with Thanos and his stupidity.

Agatha knows just where to hit Wanda too… there is definitely more than meets the eye with her and this idea of a Scarlet Witch.

After Credit Scene: WE GET WHITE VISION????? WHAT THE HELL?!?!

Episode 9: The Series Finale

This is going to be fun.

We have several battles going on.  Vision vs. White Vision.  Wanda vs. Agatha. Monica vs. “Pietro”.  The Boys vs The Military.  Jimmy vs. Hayward… which may be my favorite battle in the show.  We will see how everything pans out.

And we have now seen RALPH… another little “sitcom is ending” trope.

The boys are coming Wanda! 

Ah….so much in this episode.  I guess I’m going to have to go battle by battle overall.

Wanda and Agatha first: Agatha is horrible.  She is great at manipulation.  She is great at physical magic and psychological torture.  At least Wanda tries to be good and let people out of the Hex. And tries to destroy Agatha.  The magic is incredibly strong.  And we are finally getting Scarlet Witch…the real one.  Damn.  Get wrecked Agatha!  This is why you don’t teach people lessons… then they can use that knowledge against you.

Vision and White Vision: Oh.  Vision with the LOGICAL argument.  The Ship of Theseus argument.  One of my favorite logic arguments. What truly makes something that thing?  If the ship is being destroyed by rot and being replaced plank by plank when no original plank remains will it still be the Ship of Theseus?  And if the rot were taken from the planks and the ship reassembled free from rot is it the Ship of Theseus?  Are they both the ship and yet not the ship?  So what make the ship real.  What makes us real?  Fascinating argument and leaves room for Vision to return…and to be with Wanda later.

Monica and “Pietro”/Ralph: Monica just needs to take him out…and there she did.  Bam.  Where is she off to next.

The Boys and the Military: So well done… and I love that Monica showed up and helped to save them.

Jimmy and Hayward:  I love that Jimmy bluffed his way to getting ahold of Hayward.  Thank goodness the FBI was able to get to where he needed him.  WOOT! Darcy finally made it!

I cannot get over the fact that we all knew Wanda was going to be Scarlet Witch but she never actually was called that until now.  Her costume is INCREDIBLE…and her powers more so.  She’s beyond powerful.  I wonder how that will play out in the future.

Oh this is going to hurt.  One last bedtime.  One last goodbye. As she sets everything to rights.  I hate that the boys aren’t “real”….they were just her creation just as her Vision was.  Thanks. I didn’t need my heart today.

After Credits Scene:  I’m psyched that Jimmy is doing well with authority.  And that Darcy just took off.  Hopefully, we get to see more of her.  Ooooo…that’s a good set up for Monica. Major implications that she is going to become Spectrum and show up in Captain Marvel 2.

After Credits Scene 2: Wow.  Nice set up for Doctor Strange and the

Rating:

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

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., created by MARVEL Cinematic Studios, based on characters by Stan Lee: a Television Review

Synopsis:

Agent Phil Coulson of the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is alive and has been tasked with putting together a small taskforce to handle the strange new cases that are popping up throughout the globe in the wake of the attack on New York.  As their team grows, they begin to catch the ire of several different groups from the Rising Tide to Project Centipede.  It is their job to assess, fix and report on the anomalies that are occurring throughout the world…and fight the forces that oppose them when needed.

General Information:

-Genre: Superhero, Spy and Espionage

-Creator: created by MARVEL Cinematic Studios, based on characters by Stan Lee

-Length: 7 Seasons, 136 total episodes, 41-45 minutes each

-Rating: TV-14 (mild sex and nudity, moderate violence and gore, mild profanity, mild alcohol use, mild use of medications and modifications to physical bodies treated as drugs, moderate frightening and intense scenes)

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

-Main Cast: Clark Gregg, Ming-Na Wen, Brett Dalton, Chloe Bennet, Iain De Caestecker, Elizabeth Henstridge, Nick Blood, Adrianne Palicki, Henry Simmons, Luke Mitchell, John Hannah, Natalia Cordova-Buckley, Jeff Ward, Cobie Smolders

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

Review (contains spoilers):

Ok so this is one of the few shows that kind of happened during the beginning of things so its going to be a little different in the review than the stuff that I’ve done before.  The current series have about 6 hours of content.  The ones before those were standalones.  This one…this one was changed by the movies.  So, it seems best to try and review the series in chunks between the movies and several of the shows.

Season 1, Episodes 1-7:

I’m so glad that Coulson is ok…no matter how he is ok.  I’m not sure about Ward.  Melinda May is awesome…not sure how she is just the pilot.  Fitz and Simmons are adorable.  They are super enthusiastic about all of the scientific stuff that is going on around them.

Skye is going to be an interesting character.  I love that Coulson captures her.  Not sure if she is the head of Rising Tide…or just helping out with things.  If I remember from when I watched the first bit of this originally, she ends up on the team.

Hmmm…I’m not sure how all of this is going to play out with Mike.  He’s dangerous and the technology to create his powers are unstable.

This is a decent start to the series but I’m not super impressed like I usually am with shows that Joss Whedon (for all of his faults and major issues) has created.  I hope that it gets better from here on out.

The second episode was a little better.  I liked the side characters that were brought in… it was cool to see people that know Coulson before everything with S.H.I.E.L.D.  and it was nice to see the team work together for the first time.  Though May is super scary.

So obviously Skye isn’t in charge of Rising Tide. But she was a big part of what was going on.  It’s interesting to see all the moving parts that are going on in the show.  Are we finally getting to see part of Project Centipede?

I appreciate that Skye sticks to her convictions.  I don’t like Miles. 

The stories seem to be getting a little better as the episodes go on.  We are just starting to see what some of the characters are capable of.

I’m interested to see how some of what I know happens plays out.  Its just a really slow to start show.  I’m glad I didn’t really watch it when it was on.  I’m not sure I would have kept coming back for the episodes week after week.

It would not have been cool to lose Jemma this early.  She is one of the characters that I keep coming back to the show for.

Episode 7 was actually really intriguing.  It was really the first time that we see all of them work together for one common goal.  They’ve done assignments yes, but out of their own loyalty….there hasn’t been a lot of that yet.

Rating:

Posted in Blog Posts, Flick Central, Star Wars

The Mandalorian, created by Jon Favreau, based on the world created by George Lucas: a Television Review

Note: I am currently still watching this show. Season 2 review will come soon.

Synopsis:

Five years have passed since the Empire has fallen.  The republic is broken in more ways than it was before, and the Rebellion hasn’t had the chance to completely pick up the pieces and reinstate the governing bodies of the original Republic.

In the Outer Rim, a bounty hunter seeks out a new bounty.  The Mandalorian finds himself face to face with something that so many have sought before…yet none have been able to capture.  A 50-year-old being…with untold powers.

General Information:

-Genre: Space Western

-Creator: Jon Favreau, based on the universe created by George Lucas

-Length: 2 seasons, 16 total episodes (32-55 minutes per episode)

-Rating: TV-14 (moderate violence and gore, moderate frightening and intense scenes)

-Where to Watch: Disney+ (with subscription)

-Main Cast: Pedro Pascal, The Child

-Page of Reference in RP1: 22

Review (contains spoilers):

Season 1:

Chapter 1: The Mandalorian

11 minutes in and there is so much that we have learned about the lore and the universe after the fall of the empire.  From the currency of the Empire no longer being acceptable currency to the way that bounty hunters find their next bounty.  That there is a Guild for bounty hunters which I find interesting…like it is an acceptable profession in the new world. It also seems like the Empire may not be as dead as we once thought.

The Fringe is alive and well as we see with The Mandalorian entering their territory.  Beskar has been offered to The Mandalorian as payment for his latest bounty.  So much information is being presented but not in the condescending and forced way that we saw with Episodes 1-3.  The Beskar is obviously highly valuable.  The children in the hands of the bounty hunters are often foundlings. 

And The Mandalorian has a reputation as the best and most expensive bounty hunter.

Its really interesting how they have done the character development visually.  Our bounty hunter only has a Beskar helmet to start with and the rest of his armor is haphazardly put together (probably cobbled from pieces he has found or won).  His entire outfit, including the new piece of Beskar armor, tells a story.

The bounty is so stinking CUTE.

Chapter 2: The Child

I just can’t with how cute they made The Child.  I am so glad that Favreau insisted that it be done as a Muppet type of creature just like the original Yoda.  There are just so many cases where the practical effects hold up so much better in the long run than any sort of CGI effects.  However, the Unreal Engine technology that is coming into play and is used throughout the filming of this series.

“Weapons are part of my religion.” That is a fascinating statement.  I am really interested in how that is going out play out in the long run.

Oh…that feels like a side quest.  Yep…. this is defiantly a side quest.  Did we step into a RPG? Its basically just a fetch quest episode.  His ship gets stripped, so he needs to get the parts.  To get the parts he needs to trade.  To trade he needs to get an egg to trade…and of course there is a boss battle to get it.  It is really cool that they have pulled from creatures that we already have seen in the greater universe.  This creature looks like one that we saw in Episode 2 that gets thrown into the ring to attack Anakin, Padme and Obi-wan.

But I will say he’s being such a good dad to The Child in this episode.

I am really enjoying how they are introducing and expanding the world that is just known in the Skywalker Saga.  For fans like myself who have only ever watched the movies and maybe played a video game or two it is so wonderful to get to see the extended universe and not feel like we are being talked down to for not knowing something.  From the Jawas valuing something more than trade to the details of the Ugnaught’s skills.  We are continuing to learn more and more about the world in a way that feels conducive to the story and not contrived.

But honestly…did we end up in an RPG?

Chaper 3: The Sin

Once again so much new information.  Only one Mandalorian allowed out at a time? That is a LOT of Beskar that Mando ended up with…and its crazy that there is so much left over after making his armor….

And I knew I didn’t feel good about the guy who wanted The Child found.  I’m so glad that Mando went back for him. His weapons are awesome.

I really am interested into the whole dynamic of the Guild (who do they really serve? Themselves or the fallen Empire?) and the Mandalorians.  I find it incredible that they would step out of hiding to help one of their own commits a crime.  No matter that it was a rescue of a foundling. 

He’s going to be a great dad to the little guy.  I’m so interested to see how the relationship between the two of them builds.

Its also really fascinating to see that after only about 30 years somehow the Force is just a myth…and no longer something that is so well known that people knew who the Jedi were instantly.  It truly shows just how short term our shared history and memories are.  Or how people just don’t want to get involved with what isn’t their business.

Chapter 4: Sanctuary

I love getting to see new planets.  There is just so much of the galaxy in Star Wars that we don’t get to see in the films.  Shows like this allow us to expand our view.  That was a fun intro to a whole new race of peoples we’ve never seen on screen before.

Don’t trust him to do what you want him to do…he’s a kid.  He’s not good at that.  Mando is trying so hard to be a good dad.  Its kind of adorable.

That is some nice tech.  I wonder what else Mando has up his sleeve.

Man.  She basically took down Mando with out any other equipment.  Its astonishing that someone is able to punch that hard into a Beskar helmet.  It was really impressive.

Cool so we get introduced to a new group of people.  They seem like a pretty calm people, farmers, brewers.  And we got to learn a little bit about what it was like after the war.  This is such a nice little planet.  Too bad there are pesky raiders around.

Mandalorian lore.  I really like how they give it to us in bits and pieces.  Its not overwhelming like other shows can be with their mythos.  The little drips and drabs of what the Mandalorians are…how they function.  How they live.  Its going to be so important as we build on the characters. But it’s a relief to not get the information piled on all at once.

The new character, Cara Dune, is interesting as well.  It’s different to see someone who fought for the Rebellion but in a different way than we have seen up until now.

That was a great way to introduce the AT-ST.  its kind of a terrifying piece of machinery.  And Mando handed over one of his weapons.  Those are so important to Mandalorians.  That is a huge show of faith in her.

I mean…you’re not wrong.  I love that Cara just called him out.  If the penalty for taking off the helmet is that you just can’t’ put it back on then that isn’t the worst thing in the world.  It’s a way to retire.  Be done with that life.  There’s are beautiful lady.  A safe home for the Child.  It’s a great offer.

Oof.  Cara smoked that bounty hunter.

The Child gets cuter every single episode.  The writers have done an incredible job with this show.  Its only a single episode with some of these characters and you just feel for them.

Chapter 5: The Gunslinger

And that is how you do it.  Mando is great at his job.  The other bounty hunters just don’t have the same skills.

Never expected Tatooine again.  Its really starting to feel like a western. Between the shoot out and the double cross this episode really felt like a true old western film.

That was all impressive.  But seems way too easy.  I’m not sure I trust either this new guy or how easily our elite assassin went down.  Its great to see Ming-Na Wen.  She’s a great actress…too bad we don’t get to see her for long.

Something big is coming I can feel it.  And as always, the concept art for the episode at the end is beautiful.

Chapter 6: The Prisoner

Hmmm…. what is going on here?  This feels very Firefly “The Bank Job” to me and its not even five minutes in.  I like that we find out the name of Mando’s ship finally.

Oh its so good to see Clancy Brown in this show.  He’s such a great guy and a joy to work with.

That guy is going to lose a hand if he hurts The Child.  And I don’t trust the four of these guys.  There is something more going on here.

The set looks so good.  This ship looks exactly like the inside of other Republic ships that we have been on in the past like Princess Leia’s transport in a New Hope.  The cockpit is so well done with all of the buttons and things that they had in the 1980s when George Lucas and his team designed everything.  They have done a fantastic job with keeping everything consistent with the time period this show is supposed to fall under.  Wonderful settings.  Familiar enough to feel that you are in the correct space in the world but not so off putting that they feel old or outdated.

I was waiting for that double cross.  I don’t trust anything when it gets to drive the ship.  There is too much information that a droid can get from your ship.  And with The Child on the ship that is going to be a big problem for Mando. This isn’t going to end well for the five of them.

I love The Child more and more every episode.  It has such incredible little parts to play that just enhance the episodes.  The little game of hide and seek that The Child is playing with Zero is absolutely brilliant.

Oh, good job Mando.  Nice to see some Rebel X-Wings around.  Putting the tracking beacon on Qin was a great idea. And to not have actually killed any of the team but the people who deserved it was great.  Its lots of little moments like this that give us bits and pieces of the Code that Mando lives by.

Chapter 7: The Reckoning

Mmmm.  I’m not sure I trust this whole situation with the Guild.  That sounds quite suspicious to me.

Cara is back.  Of course, Mando would go back to get her.  He knows he can trust her with The Child and his own lively hood.  Looks like we have to gather up the crew.  Mando, The Child, Cara, Kuiil, and IG-11…. That’s an interesting team.  Mando doesn’t trust Droids at all.

More use of the Force by The Child.  He doesn’t understand that Cara is a friend and she and Mando were just having fun.

This plan doesn’t seem super sound.  I really don’t trust this AT ALL.

What the hell?  How strong is The Child in the Force if he can not only heal himself but heal OTHERS?  That is bonkers.

Now that seems like a better plan.  And that was not a shock that they were supposed to kill Mando and take The Child.  I saw that coming from the start of the episode.  I don’t trust this guy as far as I can throw him.

So Mandalore is a planet?  I know I’m showing how little I know about the expanded universe when I ask these things.  I know they is so much more I just don’t know.

Oh no.  Oh no.  This is NOT good.

Moff Gideon.  Oh my god.  It is awesome to see him in this show!!!  I couldn’t ask for a better actor to play a better villain.  A ton of new Stormtroopers and Darktroopers.  This is not going to end well at all.

NO!

Chapter 8: Redemption

That trooper is the most hated man in the universe.  I can’t believe that he hit The Child twice.  At least IG-11 got ahold of the little guy before too much damage was done.

Cara is Alderaani?  And now we get some more of Mando’s background.  Man, the Moff knows a LOT about all of them. 

So much more information.  Between Mando’s name and background and the fact that Mandalorian is a Creed (which was kind of apparent if you were paying attention to everything that was happening before this).

The IG unit is impressive, and I love the way he moves.  It’s so different than other droids and how I personally expected him to move.

Oh no.  Mando is in big trouble.  I don’t like this at all.

Firetroopers.  This isn’t good.  So much untapped power in The Child.  He’s got such a raw and powerful use of the Force.

Little loopholes.  I am so surprised they let us see his face!  I know it’s been 8 episodes, but I was seriously expecting to never see his face the whole show.

Oh no.  the Mandalorians have been destroyed.  At least the ones here.  Or the majority of them.

Now we get some of the story of Mandalore the Great and the war with the Jedi.  Also some more of the Creed of the Mandalorians.  A foundling is the responsibility of the Mandalorian that finds them until which time they can be trained and eventually take the Creed, or they can be retuned to their family or own kind.

Wow.  The Armorer is an incredible character. 

That was some ending to the season.  The Darksaber.  Just so much.

Posted in Blog Posts, Flick Central, Star Wars

Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Series, created by George Lucas: a Television Review

Note: I am currently watching this series. Story Arc updates will be forthcoming.

Synopsis:

The Clone Wars have officially begun.  As the Jedi Order lead scores of troopers against the Droid armies of the Separatists, the Galactic Republic is falling apart at the seams.

Anakin Skywalker has moved from Padawan to Jedi Knight and General, even being granted his own Padawan, the snarky Ahsoka Tano.  General Obi-Wan Kenobi is on missions of his own.  And General Yoda is fighting right alongside the troops.  As the Jedi are spread across the galaxy

Yet not everything is as it seems.

General Information:

-Genre: Computer-Animated Military Action/Adventure

-Creator: George Lucas

-Length: 7 Seasons, 133 Total Episodes (19-26 minutes per episode)

-Rating: TV-PG (mild sexual innuendos, kissing, and risqué clothing choices, mild to moderate cartoon violence and gore depending on the season, use of the word “hell” throughout the first 6 seasons, mild use of alcohol, smoking and mentions of a drug called “spice” though it is never used on screen, moderate frightening and intense scenes with many later episodes being very dark)

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

-Main Cast: Anakin Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Ahsoka Tano, Yoda, General Grievous, Chancellor Palpatine, Padme Amidala, C-3P0, R2-D2

-Page of Reference in RP1: 62

Review (contains spoilers):

Ok so I am going to try and do this review in the most comprehensive way for my brain.  First things first is a general review.  I love the narration of the film.  It feels like old 1940s News Reels that would play before movies in the theatre.  The whole “see the front lines as they advance against the enemy!” and “buy bonds! Help our troops” stuff.  The paint on their uniforms reminds me of how WW2 pilots used to paint their planes before going on a mission.  The pinups and the souvenirs that some of the troops have taken from the battlefield all scream this as well. It’s a really nice little nod to the fact that this is all about a war.

The animation style is a little odd, but it should be ok after a while.  And I do love the fact that they are treating the animation as an action movie with dynamic animation, film angles and action.

I am going to try to review this in “story arcs” since the officially released (and highly suggested) viewing order is not in the order they aired.

S2:E16 “Cat and Mouse”, S1:E16 “The Hidden Enemy”, Star Wars: The Clone Wars (animated film)

This is a really a great start to the series.  Everything is being explained in a way that is important and essential to the story.  There are internal conflicts that will come up.  And so many little things that I think will become subtle nuances and nods to World War II and The Cold War.

There was some use of obviously derogatory words in the series which don’t exist in our world, but you can tell were based off the inherent bias that comes when you are fighting an enemy.  It isn’t ok but I defiantly got the feeling from some of the terms that they are meant to be acceptable. 

Ventress is an interesting new character.  I’m digging the little flirty thing that she and Kenobi have going on. It s really funny and obviously ties back to unseen moments between them before we start watching what is going on during the war.

I’m really interested to see where all of this goes, and I hope that we get a lot of the other characters that I’ve heard so much about.

S3:E1 “Clone Cadets”

So, we get to see the behind the scenes of the Clone Soldiers training.  Its something that is really important to see.  Obviously, we know that the soldiers need training as any other military outfit will need to do.  Yet in the main films all we see is them working and fighting.  I like seeing these little details.

Its also kind of fascinating that they Jedi aren’t training them…though that does make sense because there aren’t enough of them to go around.  But I find it intriguing that bounty hunters are being used to train the troops.  It is a group of people that can train others and have the fighting abilities.

The show also brings up the question of morality of clones.  Are the clones their own persons? Or do you treat them the same as a non-sentient droid?  Is numbering them a way to dehumanize them?  What do you do when they malfunction due to the issues with the cloned DNA?  We also get to see the attitudes that different characters and even races have towards the clones from irritated to compassionate to indifferent.

S3:E3 “Supply Lines”, S1:E1 “Ambush”

At first, I thought “Supply Lines” was a continuation of “Clone Cadets” but that isn’t the case.

We got to see some of Senator Organa’s negotiation tactics.  We are getting the stories of how the Republic is getting around recruiting…or even is recruiting…the assistance of neutral planets.

Ventress is back.  We get to see how she is going to act and negotiate in the war.  And of course, seeing Yoda work in awesome because he’s so very small compared to the droid army, the clones…basically everyone around them.

The are doing a great job showing how fluid war is between the current fights on the ground, trying to protect the people of the planets they are on… the war and the battles are constantly in flux and you have to think on your feet.

The Separatists don’t mind being evil and sneaky when it comes to any of their missions.  Which I’m not surprised about.

S1:E2 “Rising Malevolence”, S1:E3 “Shadow of Malevolence”, S1:E4 “Destroy Malevolence”

Yay! Anakin and Ahsoka are back.  I can’t wait to see more of them in action. 

Of course, they go off course and seek out a rescue mission. And of course, it ends up being for the greater good.  They have saved a great Jedi General (and learned some more about Ahsoka’s past).

We get to figure out the weapon and hopefully they can get back to report on it.

This is the first time that we get to see General Grievous.  He’s an interesting specimen.

Now that we know who the enemy is, we are good to go to follow the rest of the story line with an attack on the ship and the new ion cannon.  Attempt number one to take out General Grievous.  We know how this will work if you’ve seen Episode 3.  This is all super interesting to see in the long run.

Anakin is off on another dangerous mission as per usual.  And he pulls it off.  We get to finally get a little bit of Padme.  She is one of my favorite characters in the universe but her storyline in the movies is quite unsatisfying.  I hope we get more of who she really is and what she is capable of.

The relationship between Anakin and Padme is going to be fun to see as it unfolds. 

S1:E5 “Rookies”

I don’t know if I can say it enough but the theming for this whole show is incredibly well done.  Between the old war reel feel of the intros to the war radio to how they get their armor painted.  It just has such a satisfying feel to it.

Ooh…I guess I’ve not really paid attention to the armor that Obi-wan and Anakin are wearing.  It’s a really nice combination of their Jedi robes and the armor the clones wear.  It’s a nice touch of solidarity with their armies.

And there is a Hoth-style situation with the droids infiltrating the quiet base in the midst of an asteroid shower.  I guess Domino team is getting the action they were hoping for.  The fact that the show gives us stories from all different levels of the military.  It isn’t just focused on Kenobi, Anakin and Ahsoka…  obviously Grievous and Dooku play major rolls but the fact that we see all the levels from training to the Generals makes for a very dynamic show.

S1:E6 “Downfall of a Droid”, S1:E7 “Duel of the Droids”

Yay a storyline where we will hopefully get more about Grievous and Anakin and Ahsoka.  I love seeing the two of them work together even though Ahsoka is so tiny.  She’s so young.

The way Grievous moves is so cool.  The animators have done and incredible job of giving him that balance between his old human self and the movements that humans would kind of stick to (things like a limp, his cough, the slouch) but then he does things that are so distinctively droid from his flips and the way he handles his weapons.  Its really an interesting feat of animation.

Poor R2-D2.  Though it is interesting to find out bits and bobs about droids as well.  I don’t know much about the extended Star Wars universe so its really interesting to me to get to find out things like the types of droids, what they look like, and their series numbers.  I like the little details that are super subtle.

Ahsoka verses Grievous.  That is a great battle.  The fights in this are so much fun to watch.  They really treat it like an action movie not a traditional animated show. 

S1:E8 “Bombad Jedi”, S1:E9 “Cloak of Darkness”

Padme Going to do this diplomatic mission alone will henceforth be known as mistake number one.

Cool we get to see Greedo’s people.  Grodians.  They haven’t’ really been in anything to date.  This was defiantly a trap.

I have no idea how no one figured out that Anakin and Padme were together.  Like there is a Jedi robe literally hanging in her private ship.  There are so many moments like this in the films that its insane to think that nobody figured out their more intimate and personal connection.

Its always great to get to see Padme working to get herself out of bad situations.  This is the Padme I love.  Not the lovesick girl that is in Episode 3.  The headstrong and courageous person she shows off in Episode 2.  I’m sol glad they decided to keep that in this show.

Seeing other Jedi is always a treat.  Since the focus of the main movies is the Skywalker story we just get to see so many of them in passing.  Shows like this are giving a chance to actually see not only the greater universe but to experience so many of the different worlds and the people on them.

More Ventress.  I’m all for that.  She’s an incredibly interesting character.  I still can’t figure out exactly what she wants out of everything.

Ahsoka is very brash.  She needs to get under control.  I understand that her Master isn’t always the most levelheaded…particularly when it comes to his attachments but still.  Though I guess being able to read the Viceroy well enough that she knew he would only respond to fear is a big deal.

Ooh.  Are we getting Ventress and Ahsoka?  The last fight se was in was great.  I love the way she holds her lightsaber. Its so different than many of the other force sensitive fighters.  Man.  Ventress is a beast.  And Ahsoka has so much raw and untapped power.  Geeze.  Where did she come from?

S1:E10 “Lair of Grievous”, S1:E11 “Dooku Captured”, S1:E12 “The Gungan General”

The lair of Grievous is fascinating.  We finally get an answer to how he has so many lightsabers.  This is the first time we see Grievous kill a Jedi and take the saber.  Its kind of horrible that these are his spoils from war.

Seeing more Jedi, how they fight, their personalities is going to make Order 66 even worse when it finally happens in Episode 3.  I’m glad to get more stories and more of the backgrounds of the world but it will make their deaths even worse in the long run.  It was bad enough that you know the majority of them die before or during this order.

Hmmm.  A set of bounty hunters actually captured Dooku and took his lightsabers.  That’s fascinating.  And the payment that they want to return him is a LOT of money.  This is one of the episodes that mentions “spice” which is implied to be a drug of sorts worth quite a bit of money.  It is mentioned at other times throughout the universe, but this is the first real mention of it in this series.

I’m sure Padme does not feel great about sending Anakin and Obi-wan into the fray without weapons.  It would be quite unsettling to send your partner into that situation in order to get ahold of a war criminal.

Anakin and Obi-wan always getting in trouble.  Let’s see how they get out of all of this.  That name sounds familiar.  Hando.  Where do I know that from?

Honestly, this is one of the less riveting storylines, but it is essential to the overall plot of the Clone Wars.

S1:E13 “Jedi Crash”, S1:E14 “Defenders of Peace”

Getting to see all of the different Jedi in this series is just a treat.  In my mind I knew that there were many of them from different races across the galaxy but since the main films focus on the Skywalker line this is the first time, we get to see other Jedi in more than just passing…or that one big battle scene in Episode 2 where a bunch of them come to the aid of Padme, Anakin, and Obi-wan.

Anakin and Ahsoka always getting into trouble.

Ooh that was a rough landing.  Such a crazy situation to be in with Anakin possibly dying, almost ending up in a star…. That was a lot.  I’m sure this will not be the first nor the last time these two will be in this kind of situation.

Sometimes I forget that this was meant to be for older kid and teens.  There are so many deep lessons in it.  This one makes an excellent point. 

While liberty is worth fighting for, is it worth killing for?

What is courage?  Is it fighting for a cause or sticking to your beliefs?

Are your beliefs worth dying for?  Does mounting a defense the same as fighting in a war?

When you don’t agree with the Creed you were raised under do you still defend it?

So many important questions that people often don’t think about.

S1:E15 “Trespass”

A new frozen planet that we haven’t seen before.  Just like we know that there are more desert planets like Tatooine its nice to see that there are other snowy and frozen planets, swamp planets…etc.  It shows so much diversity in the people that evolved from these kinds of worlds.

This episode is interesting because it’s the first time we are dealing with something that isn’t the Separatists.  There is obviously an internal conflict between the elected Senator and her people.  Everything points to something besides the Droid Army doing the damage here.  Maybe the planet/moon isn’t as uninhabited as everyone believed.

Oh, I don’t like the Chairman.  He’s really horrible.  He has the mentality of the Imperial Army and later the First Order.  This idea that there are people who are less than…who are not worthy or advanced enough to be protected.  That there are savages in the world.  It’s a horrible viewpoint.  All races and species are worth protecting.  He’s a hideous leader.

Diplomacy should always be tried first.  Finding peaceful resolutions and negotiations should be the first choice.

S1:E19 “Storm Over Ryloth”, S1:E20 “Innocents of Ryloth”, S1:E21 “Liberty on Ryloth”

So Ahsoka gets her first squad.  Let’s see how she handles losing men for the first time.  Such a teachable moment for Anakin.  This side is one that we don’t get to see from him in the Saga films.

There are so many heavy things that they deal with in this show.  Not just the morality of decisions that need to be made in war but how to deal with grief, survivor’s guilt, PTSD…the fear and pain that comes with it.  

Its time to come up with a better plan.  The reactions they have created are so incredible.  They not only fit the characters but also align with typical reactions seen in different situations of war and trauma.

Another of Anakin’s crazy plans.  Ahsoka gets the chance to be in charge.

For once we get to see them use a ship in a different kind of situation. I know that we often turn ships in space in a way that makes the most sense to our brains, but the fact is they don’t have to come from the same “up” direction.  Ahsoka using the bottom of the ship to protect the most important parts of the ship like there it is a blockade on the ground is absolutely genius.  There is no reason that these kinds of maneuvers shouldn’t be used more often.

Seeing so much diversity in the different species that are presented in the show is wonderful.  We don’t get much of the stories and interactions like this in the Saga films because it isn’t totally relevant to the story.  But in the extended universe like this we actually get to see what is happening on many of these planets.

Those are fun little mini AT-ST walkers.  It’s a great way to get around some of the battle fields.

Always more to the story than what is seen on the surface.  The Separatists are absolutely horrible.  You can see where the ideals of the later Empire come from.  We are seeing it through both the Separatists army as well as in some of the different worlds we have come across.  This idea that some people are meant to be possessed. That they are lesser.  Its only an ideology that leads to what happens later.

S2:E1 “Holocron Heist”, S2:E2 “Cargo of Doom”, S2:E3 “Children of the Force”

Ahsoka is grounded.  Its nice to see that even Jedi Padawan get grounded.

Cad Bane, a changling, and a droid walk into a bar…. Ok sorry but seriously.  It’s a good thing that Ahsoka had to answer for her indiscretion and that means that Anakin and Obi-wan were at the temple temporarily.

Interesting.  Kyber crystals with all of the information about every force sensitive child in the galaxy.  That is fascinating but makes sense that you would have to have some sort of list.

I like that we are getting to see what happens when Jedi work in tandem.  They can see greater futures, manipulate the Force in greater ways, and even break into strong minds if they work together to a particular goal.

Cad Bane is going to be another one of those fascinating characters.  I’m sure that we will see more of him in the long run.

Rating:

Posted in Blog Posts, Flick Central

Mindhunter, created by Joe Penhall: a Television Review

Synopsis:

Based off of the true-crime novel Mindhunter: Inside the FBI’s Elite Serial Crime Unit, this series follows FBI Special Agents Holden Ford and Bill Tench, as well as Psychologist Wendy Carr, who eventually come to build and run the Behavioral Science Unit in the Training Division of the FBI Academy. 

As the beginnings of criminal psychology begin to become known in the world of the FBI and other detectives we are drawn into a world before Criminal Minds and other shows like Disappeared or Who the Bleep did I Marry? when crime was often committed by a loved one and more often a romantic partner.  Before Charles Manson and Dennis Rader…Ted Bundy and Ed Gein… the world was simpler when it came to crime.

As the changes in the world become apparent and more prevalent (and as the agents who are deep in the thick of things) are presented with a case that has all the earmarks of a psychotic killer Ford and Tench are off to teach more and more police how to better handle their cases…while Ford attempts to delve into the minds of devious minds like Edmund Kemper, Dennis Rader, Montie Rissel, Jerry Brundos and Richard Speck… all while trying to change the teaching methods and bring up an entirely new division of the FBI.

General Information:

-Genre: Crime Drama, Psychological Thriller

-Creator: Joe Penhall

-Length: 2 seasons, 19 episodes, averaging around 55 minutes each (with some as short as 35 and some as long as 73 minutes) …. A potential third season is on the books…

-Rating: TV-MA (psychological drama, true crime stories, crime drama, discussions and views of murder, severe sex and nudity, discussions of sexual deviance, murder, discussions of rape and abuse, moderate to severe profanity and use of racial slurs and racial language from the 1970s and 1980s, interviews with serial killers)

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

-Main Cast: Johnathan Groff, Hold McCallany, Hannah Gross, Cotter Smith, Anna Torv, Stacey Roca, Cameron Britton, Michael Cerveris, Joe Tuttle, Lauren Glazier, Albert Jones, Sierra McClain, June Carryl

-Page of Reference in RP1: 63

Review (contains spoilers):

General Overall Review:

This was a good series overall.  Everything seems to pull from what actually happened with the building of the BAU/BSU.  The characters are compelling and I will say the most interesting are those who play the killers they are interviewing.  Their performance and the lives they are portraying are absolutely beautifully done.  They were able to capture the essence of each of these distinct people.  It was really incredible and often what kept me watching the show.

Overall, it’s a fine show.  But I prefer others like Criminal Minds (fictional) or Disappeared (true crime).  There are so many other books and shows out there that are more compelling and more comprehensive if you are interested in this sort of case work and the building of the BSU/BAU.

The following review is going to be more of a stream of consciousness as I watch each season.  I’ll try to keep it in order of events as they happen but there maybe something that I didn’t think was important at the time but then became relevant later.

Season 1:

It’s a fascinating show.  Defiantly one that I know needs to be watched.  Its not like Criminal Minds in the way that I know I can walk away or do something else while watching it and catch the majority (and all the important things) that are going on during the course of an episode.

Only two episodes in I’m actually interested in the specific serial killers that they worked in.  I’ve never read the book that this is based on, but I am intrigued and will probably add it to the list of things that I will read since I love true crime.  Its kind of a big part of my life and I’m honestly surprised that I hadn’t made it more than 6 episodes into this show when it came out…and that I’ve never read the novel it pulled the inspiration from.

Ok…Edmund Kemper is extremely fascinating.  The actor is great.  He captured all of the mannerisms of the real Kemper.  He’s only been in the show for one episode so far but its absolutely wonderfully done.  And Ford’s obsession with him after one meeting is incredible.  And not something that is unrelatable. 

The set up is really interesting.  Telling the stories of killers who haven’t yet been caught interspersed with the trying to set up the Behavioral Science Unit.  After two episodes I’m waiting for everything to drop be it that Kemper isn’t telling the whole truth (I’m not as familiar with his story so I’m not sure this is true) or for Dennis Radar’s kills to finally be shown as we had a bit of him in the second and now at the beginning of the third episode.

I like how they made the whole show not only set in the 1970s (when the BSU was being developed) but also filmed everything like it would have been a film during the time.  From the way the show the locations to the slight yellowing of the recording it’s a really interesting to see how everything was directed and built to seem like we are actually following the pair of agents around.

The response Ford has when one of the investigations turns up a new murder with the same MO is actually funny…but totally understandable when you think about the fact that they are finally vindicated in the fact that their idea of who and what happened to the first victim is incredible.  I love it.  Its really interesting how well they have created the whole idea and how they are beginning to build up all of the ways that the FBI currently profiles serial (or sequence) killers.

I’ve said this before but the further we get into seeing what Kemper is like the more I love the actor who played him.  He had to have studied the actual Kemper.  His mannerisms and cadence is perfect.  Its just a little scary but just wonderfully done.

Its really interesting the other cases that they get into to help expand the work they are doing.  Single cases, the beginnings of serial murders… all of it is important to how the BSU was built up.  The majority of killers have a series of commonalities.  And this is what they are trying to show through the resources and research that they are doing in the show.

The costuming and set building is really well done from the on-site locations to the build outs that they have done.  Everything truly fits into he 1970s aesthetic and period they are building things off of.

The situations that the writers put everyone in are fascinating.  They do a really excellent job they do in creating and building the language that has become commonplace in today’s world of criminal behavior and analysis.  It doesn’t feel forced or coerced.  It happens naturally in the course of their work which is something I really enjoy when it comes to complicated subjects.

Hmmm…I’m not sure how I am feeling about the fact that they worked so much of the characters personal lives into the show.  Unlike shows like Criminal Minds where the stories about personal lives are really interlaced in the nuances of the overarching stories and the character relationships themselves.  I wish more of the personal lives were interlinked with what was going on in the greater scheme of the storyline.

Well now Ford is in trouble. Its never good to lie. However, I do understand where he is coming from in regard to talking to the killers.  I understand that there is a need of having a series of questions that are consistent but honestly you have to stray from those guidelines.  These creatures don’t understand the concept of morality and consistency in many cases.  They have their own language and morals.

Oof…that could almost be the end of the unit.  I hope the new guy doesn’t screw up everything.

I love how much they are showing that Ford is developing a lot of the tactics that police and FBI use to get a suspect to talk now.  Psychologically getting into their head.  Learning their language, cadence, and rhythm.  Creating “evidence” boxes and files that don’t really exist to make them squirm and reveal more than they intended to.

I am not sure I like Wendy now any more than I did when she entered the scene.  I get where she is coming from.  The idea that a death penalty case reflecting badly on the BSU rings pretty true.  However, the whole point of the research and guidelines they are creating is to use it in law enforcement to better catch and convict (and also prevent) these crimes from occurring.

And now they’ve been pulled out….oops.  That tape didn’t do well.  New guy is in trouble.

Oh man….I wouldn’t have made it that far down the hallway if Ed Kemper had cornered me, threatened me and then hugged me…oh god.  I’d have lost it.  Looks like Holden is going to be having a minor breakdown. Or at least an anxiety attack. 

I’m loving the little snippets they have worked in of BTK.  Just such a nice little touch as things are really getting going. 

And that was some ending for the season.

Season 2:

Bring on season 2.  I’m pretty sure that they jumped a few years.  This is more into the 1980’s but I’ll have to check. Ok so the first season took place over the course of 3 years… didn’t feel like it but that makes sense in the long run.  This season should cover the next year… so around 1980 to 1981.

I’m interested in everything that we will get to see in this season because this is when a lot of serial killers really came into their own.  The late 1970’s and early 1980’s was kind of the big era for serial killers. 

We’ve already gotten to see Kemper and heard about Manson.  Richard Speck.  We’ve seen little tidbits of BTK.

Poor Holden.  Doesn’t know what has happened.  Panic Attacks are the literal worst.  And when people didn’t know what they were things were even harder.  Holden doesn’t know what they are, so he’s had to be strapped down for his own safety.  I wonder if Bill even knows where Holden is at the moment.

And there is BTK. 

I’m super not sure about all of the characters at this point in the show.  Bill is seeming like a jerk…but I can’t decide if it is due to the fact that there is a new director or if he’s just tired of Holden’s antics.  Wendy is kind of a bitch honestly.  And again, I can’t tell if it is just her actual personality coming out or if she is just stuck in her ways of academia or if she’s just over the work.  The new guy is timid and kind of a tool.  And Holden is just losing it (nothing wrong with panic attacks…I get them…) but like…man.

This new director is an interesting guy. Not sure that I like him yet.

And the expansion of the BSU.  While it is good it just seems really sudden…though that is kind of how it happened in real life from what I know about the development of the BSU.

Yeah.  Saw that coming.  Holden is going to learn a lot about the fact that what he is doing isn’t always going to go over well and is going to have casualties if he isn’t careful. 

So that came out of left field.  Incredibly disturbing that their son, Brian, had anything to do with the local murder of that child.  I wasn’t really sure what was going on with the local murder.  It came out of no where as most murders do.  But this is going to add a whole other level to everything going on with Bill.

Atlanta is also being short sighted.  I hate that politics are often the reason that so many different cases don’t actually get solved or solved properly.  It’s terrible.

I’m warming up to the characters again.  I still don’t like Wendy.  She’s just not my cup of tea but her having to go into the interview herself I think helped the entire

Oh yay.  Charles Manson.  The guy who is playing him is actually really good.  Just like the actor for BTK, and Ed Kemper…. Son of Sam.  They have done an excellent job with the casting of all of the serial killers.  Yep.  He did a stunningly great job as the crazy Manson.  Between the mannerisms and the language…its so good. Ooh. So good.  I hope they talk to Tex.  He was also a fascinating subject.

So many excellent moments with Manson.  From the posing and cinematography of him being a “Jesus” figure.  From how he is sitting at the table.  To standing up and throwing his arms out like he is on a cross.  Just a fantastic moment.  And the glasses…. that last moment with him and the glasses was just like it was drawn out of photos of Manson himself.   Just classic.

Yes, we do get Tex Watson.  So good.  Honestly, Tex was the one from my research that I really felt knew about and was honest about what was happening inside the Charles Manson Family.  Now Tex does something that I really can’t stand.  He lapses into his religion.  That is one of my personal struggles with killers. That they can do terrible things and simply ask for forgiveness from G-d and they are absolved.

I wonder how into the Atlanta Child Murders we are going to get into.  And honestly how much of BTK we will really get in the end.  I am enjoying all of these little moments where we see how close he came to getting caught.  But this is going to be interesting.  They have finally been able to get into the Atlanta case…

There is a lot going on all at once.  Between Wendy interviewing more killers, the stuff going on with Brian, Bill going to the retreat, and getting called into Atlanta.  Its just bouncing around a lot and I’m not sure how it will all pan out.

We only have a few episodes left in this season with no season 3…are they going to catch the Atlanta Child Killer?  And seriously Bill needs to make a decision on what he needs to do…either stay in DC or work the case in Atlanta. This back and forth is super exhausting to watch.

Cool so Bill finally told Holden what was up.  And we are finally at the point where they ended up catching the Atlanta Child Killer.  Honestly that’s cutting it really close to the end of the show.  Which means we aren’t going to get to see BTK caught (which makes sense since that didn’t happen until 2005), we aren’t going to see Bundy in this series (at least for now) and we aren’t going to deal with Zodiac, or the Night Stalker, or even  …all of which are big names that

Hmmmm…. That was an interesting tie up.  I can clearly see how they need another season… but who knows if or when we will get it.  The Atlanta Child Killer is in custody (and once again the casting was PERFECT).  BTK is still at large.

There are more serial killers that would come out over the next few seasons.

I guess in the end I probably will keep watching if the next season comes out.  More just to see if they follow through with all the little ends they left like the trial.  Bill’s family leaving him.  Holden’s PTSD stuff.  Wendy’s life…kind of… maybe not that so much.

Rating:

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.
Posted in Blog Posts, Flick Central, MARVEL

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, created by MARVEL Cinematic Universe, based on characters from MARVEL Comics: a Television Review

Synopsis:

Six months have passed since Steve handed off the Shield to Sam Wilson.  As the world readjusts to the snap back to reality he is forced to team up with Bucky Barns on an adventure that has them chasing a rogue group known as the Flag Smashers across the globe.

General Information:

-Genre: Superhero, Buddy Cop, Spy and Espionage

-Creator: Malcolm Spellman for the MARVEL Cinematic Universe, based on characters from MARVEL Comics

-Length: 2 episodes, 45-60 minutes each

-Rating: TV-14 (moderate violence and gore, mild profanity, mild use of alcohol, moderate frightening and intense scenes)

-Where to Watch: Disney+ (with subscription)

-Main Cast: Sebastian Stan, Anthony Mackie, Wyatt Russell, Erin Kellyman, Danny Ramirez, Georges St-Pierre, Adepero Oduye, Don Cheadle, Daniel Bruhl, Emily VanCamp

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

Review (contains spoilers):

Episode 1: New World Order

This is a really fascinating story line.

The idea that a new group has popped up that is something like Anonymous.  It’s the result of the five years between the first snap and everyone coming back.  The chaos of both of those events has caused so many issues in the world from the destruction and the reunification of the world.

I like the idea that Sam really wanted to leave Captain America’s mantel for Steve and that should be that.  Its insane that the government decided to replace Steve with this…guy.  He just doesn’t feel ok to me.  I’m not sure what is up with him.

The costuming for the Flag Smashers did make me a bit uncomfortable.  I understand that the character was created long before what I associate the red handprint on the face with, but it did make me a little irritated that they didn’t decide to modify the symbol.  It could have gone on a breast plate or another article of clothing.  Because what I associate the red handprint on the face with (not in the same place but still) is the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women movement.  The red handprint over the mouth is a huge sign to bring awareness to the women who have been kidnapped, murdered, and are often still missing.  I think the costumer could have done a better job adapting the trademark costume for Flag Smasher into something new and different that didn’t detract from this cause. 

If you would like more information on this issue and how to help with the cause, then please visit: https://mmiwusa.org/ or search for “Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women”

Episode 2: The Star-Spangled Man

I just don’t trust this guy…the guy who is the new Captain America.  There is just something about him that feels wrong. Off somehow.  Its just not okay on a few different levels. But I’m not so sure what has me feeling this way.  I don’t know anything about how the comics play out so I’m just going on what I feel.

YES….we now have White Wolf!  So excited.  I love that Bucky has given up the Winter Soldier name and become White Wolf!  I’m super interested to see where this goes.  I’m also loving that Sam is getting to spread his wings as the Falcon.  Some of his maneuvers are just beautifully done.

The more that we get the new Captain America interacting with Sam and Bucky the less and less I like him!

But seriously the “couples counseling” moment in this episode was CLASSIC.  Just wonderful.

I’m glad we are quickly getting to put faces with the Flag Smashers. I’m really interested in where they are going to go and connect to ULTIMATUM in the comics.

Oh yay…Zemo…

Episode 3: Power Broker

I’m liking the new Captain America less and less.

Oh Bucky.  Breaking people out of jail.  You know Zemo is going to stab all of you in the back.

It is interesting the bits and pieces we are getting of the Flag Smashers.  They are Super Soldiers, but their cause is fairly relatable.  The world united was probably extremely helpful during the Blip.  Much easier to keep track of things in a few places instead of over one hundred individual countries.  Its their methods that aren’t exactly commendable.

Who is the Power Broker?… obviously its not Selby.  Though of course Sarah had to call at exactly the wrong moment.

Woohoo Sharon!  I hope she becomes a main character in this mess.  I love Sharon and her attitude.  She is fantastic. 

That is a LOT of Super Serum.  Or at least enough stuff to make a lot of it.  And 20 vials is still a lot.

Of course, Zemo takes off after killing the doctor.  And assumes his other identity.  It wouldn’t be a show if that didn’t happen.  He’s still on their side (at least for now) but he’s not trustworthy.

And as always Sharon is awesome.  The boys need to get their act together.

I don’t want to like Karli but she’s kind of sad in a lot of ways.  And, never mind.  The explosion kind of changed my view.  They have done a great job with the story telling as well as the ups and downs of the situation and what is going on in the world.

Where is Bucky off to? Little bread crumbs.  Where do they lead?

*squeal* YES!!!!!!!!!!

Episode 4: The Whole World is Watching

So a little flash back to get us to where we are today.  The deprogramming that Bucky went through in Wakanda.

What is Zemo up to?

Karli is really easy to relate to.  I am really enjoying the fact that we have a “villain” who is relatable.  It really shows the depth of human struggle.  That sometimes your heart is right, but your methods aren’t.

Oh boy.  I just keep liking the new Captain America less and less.  He’s harsh and brisk and just doesn’t seem to really know what he is supposed to be doing.  He has no trust in the people around him.  I feel like that is how he was as a soldier too.

Finally, we get Sam and Karli to talk.  I wonder what is actually going to happen in that conversation.  Its all about HOW it is being done.  The cause isn’t the issue.  And its great that the “good guys” recognize it.

Damn, Zemo.  I’m not surprised because he is all about ending the Super Soldiers once and for all.  But I actually like Karli.  Its hard to see her shot at.  And of course, our new shiny Captain America is going to hide one and take it. Ugh.  I knew I didn’t like him.

Speak of the devil and he shall appear.

I just…blah.  I’m not sure I’d actually be mad if Karli managed to kill John.

I LOVE the Dora Milaja.  They are such incredible women.  And not afraid to fight.  Ayo is awesome.  Taking off Bucky’s arm. And capturing the shield.  They handed John Walker a LOT to think about.

And Zemo is finally gone?  Maybe…

Karli is good.  Calling Sarah to get Sam to take her seriously.  But how much is John going to mess this up for everyone?

Well John took the serum.  That was a bad decision. And now Lemar is dead.  That is going to change everything about John Walker.  He’s no longer fighting the Flag Smashers for the fact that they are terrorists.  He’s now got a personal vendetta.  That is NOT how Captain America does anything.  He does not deserve to wear that uniform.

Episode 5: Truth

Oh, this isn’t going to go well.  Walker is not in a good place.  And Bucky is always ready for a fight.  He’s been looking for a reason to take back that shield.

This is not good.  Whatever that serum is doing to him it is not good.  I can’t believe he pulled off Falcon’s wings and tried to kill both Bucky and Sam by cutting off their heads.  This is atrocious.  I knew I didn’t like him from the start but this is something else.  I know nothing about the storyline this is based on but this is just insane.

I think Sam is realizing he may not have made the best choice in giving up the shield.  I do like that there was a tiny detail that I’m not sure many people caught.  But that entire fight was done with the Captain’s shield held upside down with the star pointing down.  Had the feel of turning the American flag upside down to show the country is in distress.  Very clear message that Walker wasn’t in a good state of mind.

Oh. My. Gods. Val….Val is in the Universe now?!?  This. Is. NOT. Good.

Karli is something else.  I’m not sure how that is all going to play out.  While Walker killed with passion she kills without emotion.  Its interesting how the serum changes you…or enhances your desires and underlying personality.

Hmmm. Sokovia.  What is Zemo up to?  Time for the Dora Milaje to take him.  It is good that he has decided to not kill Bucky.  The Raft is harder to escape at least.

Poor Sam.  There is a lot for him to process.  I hope Isaiah will help.  I’m glad we are getting his story. 

That was a lot to process.  I’m so glad stories like this are coming to the forefront.  We need these stories told.  We need to see these struggles and history confronted.  Because, for as made up as comics are, the stories are rooted in what is actually going on…what has gone on in our history.  Isaiah’s story isn’t unusual.  His confinement. His service.  Everything that happened to him.  Sadly, it isn’t an unheard-of story.

Ooooh.  New wings for Sam. And a montage scene of everyone helping to fix up the family boat.  Bucky and Sarah are kind of adorable…Sam obviously doesn’t think so. Haha.

What is Sharon up to? And why is she talking to Batrok?  Is Sharon the Power Broker?  I’ve had suspicions….but I’m just not sure.  We will see.

Aw.  I love that they are becoming friends.  Its nice to see the two of them get along.  But not as a team.  Its so adorable.  They keep dancing around each other.  Just be friends.

Batrok is now with the Flag Smashers.  Or maybe not.  They are in NYC with a LOT more people on their side.  This isn’t going to be good at all.

Yeah. This is going to be big trouble.

Are those actually wings for Sam? Or is it something else?

After Credits Scene:  What is John making? His own shield?  Are we finally going to get his reveal…not quite?

Episode 6: One World. One People.

So this is the one episode that I watched completely and then am reviewing after.

This story was so important.  So very important.

I can’t speak to the experiences of anyone who is Black (I have a whole article on Racism and the world of Ready Player One here).  But I can say that as part of another community that is marginalized…the LGBT+ and being neurodivergent I can speak to HOW important representation in media is. 

Telling these stories is so essential.  Its so essential for people to hear their voices.  Their stories.

And this show had so many of them to tell. 

That of refugees.

That of marginalized people fighting for their cause.

That of the oppression of Black Americans by so many others from our government to the people around them in everyday life.

The story of forgiveness and redemption.

The reality of the world around us.

I’m absolutely floored by how much went into this show.  So much depth.  So many feelings.  Just completely and utterly beautifully told.

I’m so glad that Sam took up being Captain America (or Captain Falcon).  I love Bucky’s redemption…though I would have been even happier if the final title had said “Captain America and the White Wolf” as Bucky has finally put the Winter Soldier completely away.

What we get next is anyone’s guess.  We are getting Captain America 4! That was announced today.  But we have so many characters introduced in this show.  Between Lady Hydra, U.S. Agent, The Power Broker/a “new” Agent Carter (that was a great combo), new Captain America/Captain Falcon, Bucky/White Wolf….. there is just so much that could happen from here on out. 

And honestly?

I CANNOT WAIT!

Also…Loki better be good after how incredible this and Wandavision were.

Rating:  

Rating: 5 out of 5.