Thursday, November 3, 2016

Superhero Shows Recap (10/31/2016 - 11/3/2016)

Supergirl - "Survivors": As Kara and Winn help Mon-El learn what he can and can't do, Alex, Hank, Maggie and Kara investigate a bartender's actual identity as a female Martian and work on busting an alien fight club.

Gotham - "Red Queen": Jim gets drugged by Jervis Tetch and has a bad trip and hallucinates a lot. Oswald gets cockblocked because Eddie found a new girl. Also the Court of Owls continues plotting some more. And Jervis Tetch drains his sister's corpse's blood. Just... what the hell is this show anymore?

Lucifer - "Monster": As Lucifer and Detective Decker investigate the murder of a bride at a zombie-themed wedding, Lucifer gets rather unstable, acting very erratically. Mazikeen takes Decker's daughter trick-or-treating.

The Flash - "Monster": Caitlin sees her mother to learn more about her cold-generating powers as a giant monster threatens Central City. Barry moves in with Cisco as the team learns more about the new Harrison Wells they've brought from "Earth 19." Barry manages to connect with coworker Julian a bit more.

Agents of SHIELD - "The Good Samaritan": As we prepare for a multi-week break, we learn how Robbie became Ghost Rider as the new director wants to question him. We also learn where these ghosts came from. Fitz discovers a link to the final season of Agent Carter. Robbie fights the new director of SHIELD, revealing his Ghost Rider identity to his little brother. Things aren't looking too good...

Arrow - "Human Target": Tobias Church orders a hit on the mayor, but Oliver—with help from one Christopher Chance—uses this chance to smoke him out. Oliver also has problems with the press. Oliver's secret identity gets leaked to the wrong people.

Legends of Tomorrow - "Abominations": Wow, I never expected them to crossover with Gotham. Okay, okay, just kidding... A zombie virus from the future infects soldiers during the Civil War, as well as Mick Rory. Ray and Dr. Stein stay on board the Waverider to find a cure while the other Legends deal with zombified soldiers and slavery. Actually, a very good and solid episode.

Two movie reviews this week!

Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders: A direct to video animated feature celebrating the 50th anniversary of the famous 1966 Batman TV series, complete with the surviving cast (Adam West as Batman, Burt Ward as Robin and Julie Newmar as Catwoman) returning to voice their respective characters, with soundalike voice actors filling in for the rest.

The Joker, the Riddler, the Penguin and Catwoman steal a Replica Ray for their nefarious deeds. During the events of the adventure—which takes the wackiest and best of the classic TV show and in some cases dials it up to 11—Catwoman infects Batman with a drug to turn him evil. It doesn't quite work as she expected, though.

The transformation of the world of the 1966 show into animation is done very respectfully, though with some liberties—the sound effect pop up words no longer have a solid color background behind them, Comissioner Gordon now has his signature mustache and glasses, unlike the live action TV version—but if you're familiar with the classic TV show, there are Easter Eggs galore.

Thumbs up to the writers, animators and cast, I'm looking forward to the sequel!

Doctor Strange: The latest entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe introduces a mystical side to the world we've seen in the past 13 movies. After sustaining lasting damage to his hands, skilled surgeon and arrogant cynic Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) cannot return to his practice. He's led to a mysterious place in Kathmandu, Nepal where he meets the Ancient One (Tilda Swinton) who begins training him to be a sorcerer. While Strange quickly find allies in Wong (Benedict Wong) and Karl Mordo (Chiwetel Ejiofor), he finds his training interrupted by the rogue sorcerer Kaecilius (Mads Mikkelsen) and his attempts to remove the mystical protection of earth so the Dread Dormammu can plunge Earth into the Dark Dimension.

Visually, Doctor Strange works. As a story, it takes one of Marvel's lesser known characters and creates a good story around them, as they've basically been doing with most of the MCU since Iron Man. By and large, it works very well. Examining it more as a standalone, some typical issues with Marvel films will turn up. Smaller characters (especially Rachel McAdams' Christine Palmer) seem underserved, but this is because Marvel usually plans to do two or three movies with these characters and have them take part in other films. While some will take issue with it, I can't call it a flaw because it's what the creative team decided on.

Acting, well, Marvel picked a fantastic cast for the film, just about the only thing is Benedict Cumberbatch's American accent. I don't think it was done badly, but being a fan of Sherlock, The Hobbit, The Imitation Game and other things he's been in, it's a little strange to hear a very different voice come out of him. One scene struck me as him sounding very off.

I plan to see it again before it leaves theaters, and yes, there is the now-standard mid-credits and post-credits scenes to stick around for!

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