Posts

Showing posts from 2016

First Thoughts On 'Arrow' Season 5 (Episodes 1-9)

Image
The fifth season of DC's Arrow has reached its mid-season point, and nine episodes in it's been quite a ride with a new team, new villain and a new tonal approach. It seemed as if the series was really putting me off with its fifth installment of 23 episodes when it mentioned essentially ripping-off the second season of Daredevil and introducing a brand-new team of Arrow when none of the main characters died in Season 4 to make room. I'm not sure if its my lowered expectations for Season 5 that gave me the response I've gotten from it, but I have absolutely loved this new season of Arrow so far.
With Season 4 basically wiping the slate clean, 5 kicks off several months later with Oliver fighting crime as the Green Arrow, having now gone back on his rule of not killing after murdering Damien Darhk. Oliver now also lives a double-life as Star City's new Mayor, a decision that allows us to focus on Oliver's double life - an aspect severely lacking since basically…

Rogue One: a Star Wars Story (2016) - Written Review

Image
Rogue One: a Star Wars Story is the latest installment in the Star Wars saga, and acts as both a spin-off to the main series and also a prequel to the 1977 original. Directed by questionable choice Gareth Edwards, Rogue One has had a steady build-up of hype and anticipation for its December release, and, for me at least, doesn't live up to it. The first thing to note is that the movie being sold is not the movie you get. Or, at least, the movie I was sold isn't the one I saw. Rogue One was sold as a gritty war movie with loose ties to the original trilogy and a radical departure from the main Star Wars saga, with the potential to go to some dark places the main films wouldn't dare touch. The result is a movie that's very clearly being made as a Disney nostalgia cash machine directed by Gareth Edwards, and it really should've been better. Now, to talk about Rogue One's plot at all, I'm going to have to actually explain the plot of the movie. I'm going to a…

Class: The Lost (2016) - Mini Review

Image
(Sorry for the lateness with this one guys! I completely forgot to post this a few weeks ago.)

Class: The Metaphysical Engine, or What Quill Did (2016) - Mini Review

Image

Class: Detained (2016) - Mini Review

Image

Class: Co-Owner of a Lonely Heart / Brave-Ish Heart (2016) - Mini Review

Image

Class: Co-Owner of a Lonely Heart (2016) - Mini Review

Image

Class: Nightvisiting (2016) - Mini Review

Image

Marvel's Doctor Strange (2016) - Written Review

Image
***SPOILER-FREE***The impossibilities are endless, promises Doctor Strange - the latest in a long line of Marvel movies which introduces us to a brand-new corner of this shared universe with mysticism, magic and alternate realities - not to mention another significant sci-fi element I won't mention in case of spoilers. The trailers made everyone stare at their laptop or cinema screens in awe at the sheer scale of the movie, and if you think that's pretty out-there, the full film itself is gonna be one huge shock to the system for you. So Doctor Strange follows....well, Doctor Strange, who used to an acclaimed neurosurgeon who became a medical celebrity and also very, very rich until a car accident causes his hands to be horribly damaged to the extent that Strange can no longer write properly, let alone perform surgery. In a desperate attempt to get his life back on track he spends as much money as he has - and more - to find a cure, leading him to Kathmandu where he meets the A…

Class: For Tonight We Might Die / The Coach With The Dragon Tattoo (2016) - Video Review

Image
Class is in session...

Class: For Tonight We Might Die / The Coach with the Dragon Tattoo (2016).
By Patrick Ness.
Starring Greg Austin, Fady Elsayed, Sophie Hopkins, Vivian Oparah and Katherine Kelly with Peter Capaldi.
Plot: A new term starts at Coal Hill Academy, and students April, Charlie, Ram and Tanya have to face sinister alien forces coming out of space-time portals. With the help of Physics teacher Miss Quill and a certain time traveler, the students face down their first two threats - the Shadow Kin and a real-life dragon!

Class is owned by the BBC, including the promotional clips used in this video used under FAIR USE, for critical, analytical and educational purposes only. No copyright infringement intended.

Class: For Tonight We Might Die / The Coach With The Dragon Tattoo (2016) - Mini Review

Image

Supergirl: Season 1 (2015/16) - Video Review

Image
Is the series as super as the title suggests?

Supergirl: season 1 (2015/16).
Starring: Melissa Benoist, Mehcad Brooks, Chyler Leigh, Jeremy Jordan, David Harewood and Calista Flochart.
Creators: Greg Berlanti, Ali Adler and Andrew Kreisberg.
Plot: Supergirl follows Kara Zor El, a Kryptonian who was sent to Earth by her family protect her younger cousin Kal. As they travel to the planet, however, Krypton's destruction causes Kara's pod to become knocked off-course into the Phantom Zone - where time doesn't even exist. 24 years later, Kara finally arrives on Earth, but discovers that Kal has grown up to become Superman. With her cousin saving the world, Kara resorts to living a normal life until a crashing plane causes her to reveal herself to the world as a superhero. Now called Supergirl, Kara joins her sister and her boss Hank Henshaw of the DEO to save National City from any extraterrestrial threats...

Supergirl: season one belongs to CBS / Warner Bros / DC Entertainmen…

Arrow: Season 4 (2015/16) - Video Review

Image
Arrow aims higher for its fourth season, but does it hit the mark?

Arrow: Season 4 (2015/16).
Starring: Stephen Amell, Katie Cassidy, David Ramsey, Willa Holland, Emily Bett Rickards, Echo Kellum with John Barrowman and Paul Blackthorne.
Creators: Greg Berlanti, Marc Guggenheim and Andrew Kreisberg.
Plot: Oliver and Felicity return to the newly-renamed Star City to join Thea, Laurel and Diggle to fight off new threat Damien Darhk...

Arrow: season 4 belongs to the CW / Warner Bros / DC Entertainment. Music is by Kevin Macleod and is royalty free. This video is for critical and entertainment purposes only. All copyright belongs to the rightful owners. No profit is made from the  production of this video or any others.

The Flash: Season 2 (2015/16) - Video Review

Image
Does lightning strike twice?

The Flash: Season 2 (2015/16).
Starring: Grant Gustin, Candice Patton, Danielle Panabaker, Teddy Sears, Carlos Valdes with Tom Cavanagh and Jesse L Martin.
Creators: Greg Berlanti, Geoff Johns and Andrew Kreisberg.
Plot: With the barriers between universes ruptured, Barry and the team at Star Labs face new threats from parallel worlds, led by the mysterious speedster Zoom...

The Flash: season 2 belongs to the CW / Warner Bros / DC Entertainment. Music is by Kevin Macleod and is royalty free. This video is for critical and entertainment purposes only. All copyright belongs to the rightful owners. No profit is made from the  production of this video or any others.

Stranger Things: Season 1 (2016) - Video Review

Image
Stranger things have happened...

Stranger Things (2016).
Starring: Winona Ryder, David Harbour, Finn Wolfhard, and Millie Bobbie Brown.
Created by: the Duffer Brothers.
Plot: The disappearance of Will Byers in the small town of Hawkins prompts the whole town to search for him. While Chief Jim Hopper investigates the shady government agents there, Will's mother believes he is haunting their house, and his three friends believe Will's disappearance is linked to the mysterious 'Eleven'...

Stranger Things belongs to Netflix. Music by Kevin Macleod and is royalty-free. Review is for critical, analytical and entertainment purposes only. No copyright infringement intended.

Hooten and the Lady - Episode 1 Review

Image
Let's be honest here: Hooten and the Lady isn't the most original series to come out on Sky 1, and nor is it the sort of thing TV channels seem to want to commission anymore. It seems to be an almost out of time piece of TV that feels more at home several years ago in the Saturday evening family drama faze of Doctor Who, Primeval, Merlin and numerous others. Perhaps this means that it'll have greater appeal, but given Sky 1's limited audience - and the terrible choice of a Friday post-watershed slot - it just seems a bit bizarre for Hooten and the Lady.
So the plot follows British Museum expert Alex (the titular lady, played by Elementary's Ophelia Lovibond) joining forces with American adventurer Hooten (played by some guy I've never heard of) to make basically a TV-budget Indiana Jones homage. Mix it in with a modern setting and an even more forgettable antagonist than you ever thought possible, Hooten and the Lady probably sounds very familiar, and if the t…

First Thoughts On 'The Shannara Chronicles' (Episodes 9-10)

Image
I'm not entirely sure how to finish off this series of first thoughts on The Shannara Chronicles. I started off with pretty much a detailed breakdown of the plot, and then a hell of a lot of ranting, so...I guess I'll just wrap up then. So, basically in these final two episodes everything concludes as Amberle realizes she's a tree, so has to go right back to her home (which takes a lot less time than going to the fire-thingy) and replace the Ellcrys, even though the Ellcrys is dead. Somehow this kills/teleports all the demon armies and the Dagda Mor and everything's completely fine. Except for that bit where Eretria recognizes a troll with a gas mask cos you know...second season set-up. Long story short: The Shannara Chronicles is a mini-series that didn't even need to be a mini-series. The whole plot of the series basically comes down to Amberle needing to turn into a tree, and for whatever reason that doesn't just happen. How does that even work? I have abso…

Doctor Who: The War Games (1969) - Written Review

Image
In Doctor Who's 50 year history, very few stories seem to have held a significant impact on the show. The sixties were Doctor Who's beginning, but very few ideas, stories and monsters have stuck over the years. This makes The War Games even more special than it already is.
Not only is The War Games Patrick Troughton's final story but it is the final black-and-white Doctor Who serial, the last to be made in the 1960's, the final to feature Jamie and Zoe as regular companions and the first to feature the Time Lords and Gallifrey (although the Doctor's home planer remains unnamed in this story). The story also begins the Doctor's exile to Earth - maintained until The Three Doctors (1972-73) - as well as establishing the constant antagonism between the Doctor and the Time Lords only previously hinted at in An Unearthly Child.
The War Games sees the Doctor, Jamie and Zoe arrive in what appears to be the First World War. Joining forces with the curious Lieutenant Car…

Suicide Squad (2016) - Video Review

Image

Suicide Squad (2016) - Written Review

Image
Wow, this movie is just...a mess. Suicide Squad was initially announced back in 2014 by Warner Bros and DC after the huge success of Guardians of the Galaxy, and after apparently only six weeks of writing the screenplay, David Ayer directed the film. Apparently various issues plagued this production, from the rushed pre-production through the extensive and costly re-shoots. There were also reportedly at least 3 completely different edits of the film, and Warner Bros have been desperately marketing this as their big fun DC movie of the year, especially after the hugely disappointing reception to Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. So, despite all of these problems, is Suicide Squad any good? Well, I'm sure it is...just not this theatrical cut at least. Now, before I go any further into this review, I am going to have to address certain plot points in the film not revealed in the trailers - and there is a very good reason as to why - so bear in mind there will be some minor spoilers. …

Suicide Squad (2016) - Mini-Review

Image
I will get on to writing a full-length review of Suicide Squad at some point soon, but in a nutshell: the cast are mostly great, the script is actually pretty darn good but the editing creates loads of plot-holes, continuity errors and obvious missing scenes, causing the film to nearly fall apart - although the resolution was terrible.

Arrow: Season 4 (2015/16) - Written Review

Image
Anyone who read/watched my review of Season Three of Arrow will know just how disappointing and at points terrible it was, so I had very, very low expectations for this fourth season. Arrow: Season Four is, in a nutshell, an average season. It's not bad, it's not good, it's just average. There's enough good in this season to keep me watching the show, but I can't deny that the problems I have with the show are pretty major ones. Most of this season did seem to be damage control in the aftermath of Season Three, sorting out Thea's whole resurrection storyline that just got dropped last season, following Nyssa al Ghul's revenge against Merlyn, resurrecting Sara Lance, bringing Oliver back into Team Arrow, repairing his friendship with Diggle, trying desperately to forget about the stupid Al-Sahim/Ra's al Ghul arc that just went absolutely nowhere and also trying to justify the show's continuing existence. I can't deny that the writers had a lot to …

Supergirl: Season One (2015-16) - Written Review

Image
Supergirl follows Kara Zor El, a Kryptonian who was sent to Earth by her family protect her younger cousin Kal. As they travel to the planet, however, Krypton's destruction causes Kara's pod to become knocked off-course into the Phantom Zone - where time doesn't even exist. 24 years later, Kara finally arrives on Earth, but discovers that Kal has grown up to become Superman. With her cousin saving the world, Kara resorts to living a normal life until a crashing plane causes her to reveal herself to the world as a superhero. Now called Supergirl, Kara joins her sister and her boss Hank Henshaw of the DEO to save National City from any extraterrestrial threats... Based upon the character created by Otto Binder and Al Plastino, Supergirl was developed by Ali Adler, Greg Berlanti and Andrew Kreisberg - the latter two of which developed Arrow, The Flash and DC's Legends of Tomorrow - for CBS Television. The show follows a similar format to that of The Flash, with many villai…

First Thoughts On 'The Shannara Chronicles' (Episodes 4-8)

Image
I've been putting this off for a little while, and I think it's ultimately because The Shannara Chronicles brings nothing to the fantasy genre that's not been done before and is a very disappointing adaptation. Although, from what I've heard about the books, they're not much better anyway.
Now, none of my problems can be excused with "it's just a TV show", as I understand that the story has to be spread over a certain number of episodes, actors have certain contracts and the budget has to be equally spread out, etc. Does this mean that we require a stupid love triangle, obvious character arcs and dull sub-plots though? Case and point: Daredevil season 1 is spread over 13, hour long episodes with hardly any money to spend and minimal effects work. So, how do they fill up this time? Well, they work on building interesting and empathetic characters with motivations, personality and who actually add something greater to the story. Sure, the plot fades in…

Doctor Who: The Ambassadors of Death (1970) - Written Review

Image
Doctor Who was at the height of its popularity in the 1970s, with two of the most iconic Doctors and some of the most memorable stories and villains throughout the decade. Of course this means that many episodes are over-hyped and while most are four-parters, very early on at least the series preferred seven-part stories, such as Doctor Who and the Silurians, Inferno and the subject of today's review: The Ambassadors of Death.
If you're new to the classic series formula, I doubt you'd find much enjoyment out of this. It's definitely a product of its time, with the low production values hindering the episode from being as cinematic as it deserves, and its clearly been made to fit the seven-part structure as opposed to being a very long story in the first place. This does mean that most of the cliffhangers are quite poorly-executed, and the resolution is normally a little anti-climactic. The whole thing runs at 170 minutes long and at points it does feel it. As someone …

First Thoughts On 'The Shannara Chronicles' (Episodes 1-3)

Image
'The Shannara Chronicles' is based on a long-running fantasy book series written by Terry Brooks - a writer of whom I've never heard of and a book series which from the looks of things is just another 'Lord of the Rings'-esque fantasy epic which obviously didn't stick well in mainstream media. For all intents and purposes though, this works in the TV series' favour, being able to stand on its own two feet and aim for a more mainstream audience. Does it succeed though? I'm not actually too sure. It's very 'Lord of the Rings'-esque, which I'm sure will make it stick out to fans of that franchise (it certainly stood out to me when I saw it advertised), but at the same time it's going for more of a young adult target audience with it's two lead characters. It all seems a little odd in that respect, but as long as it can keep the rubbish young adult stuff to the background and bring some cool and badass fantasy stuff to the forefront…

Ghostbusters (2016) - Video Review

Image
I ain't afraid of no reboot...

Ghostbusters (2016).
Starring: Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Leslie Jones, Kate McKinnon and Chris Hemsworth.
Director: Paul Feig.
Plot: Paranormal researcher Abby Yates and physicist Erin Gilbert are trying to prove that ghosts exist in modern society. When strange apparitions appear in Manhattan, Gilbert and Yates turn to engineer Jillian Holtzmann for help. Also joining the team is Patty Tolan, a lifelong New Yorker who knows the city inside and out. Armed with proton packs and plenty of attitude, the four women prepare for an epic battle as more than 1,000 mischievous ghouls descend on Times Square.

Ghostbusters (2016) belongs to Sony / Columbia / Village Roadshow Pictures. Music is by Kevin Macleod and Ray Parker Jr. Review is for critical, analytical and entertainment purposes only. No copyright infringement intended.

Ghostbusters (2016) - Written Review

Image
Ghostbusters follows a new team of paranormal investigators: Abby Yates, Erin Gilbert and Jillian Holtzmann as they look into ghostly sightings in New York City. As their investigations deepen, however, they find that someone is amplifying supernatural forces. Together with the help of subway worker Patty and new receptionist Kevin, Abby, Erin and Holtzmann form the Ghostsbusters in an attempt to fight these ghosts. Cos, you know, they ain't afraid of no ghosts. So, is the movie any good? Well, I'd go as far as to call it great! Despite having pretty rubbish trailers and lots of fan backlash, the finished film is not deserving of any of these. Ghostbusters is an example of a reboot done right, with a director who wanted to do his own take on the classic film with a new cast of characters and a quite different approach overall. Not that I ever thought Ghostbusters was going to be the worst thing ever, but it didn't really sell me initially, especially given that I've nev…

The future of the DC Extended Universe - EDITORIAL

With San Diego Comic Con arriving in the next few weeks, inevitably with plenty of cool movie and TV news to share around (not to mention my personal favourite...trailers!) I thought I'd cover a topic that interests me greatly - the future of DC's Extended Universe.
The first thing to note is that DC has gone on a major re-brand over the past few months with a new logo they seem determined to slap all over their products similar to the Marvel logo - something I was expecting with Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice but apparently not. I don't mind this. It makes sense from a business sense of view and I personally prefer the new DC logo as something to ingrain in peoples' minds. It's simple and easy to recognize.
With Dawn of Justice seemingly a bit of a flop though, WB and DC Films (no longer just DC Entertainment) are betting all their chips on Suicide Squad becoming a huge hit. Now, I think/hope that the movie will become a big hit with fans and people like mysel…