All posts by Mike Patterson

Dads, Dark Matter, and the Diggle Shakes: It’s this week’s Arrowverse Weekly Round-Up!

We know. We missed last week, making this not all that weekly of a round-up. You can thank illness of the face for that. But we’re back this week! So let’s break this one down before another week slips by us.  Worst to First, let’s do it! (A bit spoilery, but not too bad)

Supergirl

Bless her little Kryptonian heart, she’s trying. She really is. But what do you do with an all-powerful, god-like character? A question that’s plagued the Superfamily since forever.  At first, the showrunners decided to borrow some of the best of the MAN of Steel’s history the first season, then had him actually show up in National City  for what was arguably the best episode of season 2. Well, the answer this year seems to be ignore the question, because other characters not named in the title have a lot going on, and we’ll get to Kara. Promise.

This season has a lot happening to be sure. There’s Alex and Maggie’s wedding that is CLEARLY doomed to not happen as hinted at these first three episodes, Nathan Petrelli is doing his best at megolomaniacal industrialist (until his isn’t? Maybe next week?), Lena Luthor bought Catco because…um…reasons, and Odette Annable will at some point be “making it Reign”. (That’s her quote, not our quote. It’s punny as hell, but admittedly better than what we would have come up with.) Oh, and that one girl is sad about her boyfriend being maybe dead. What’s her na–OH! Kara! Right!

To be FAIR, Kara did some stuff this week. J’onn did most of it assisting M’gann and the white martian resistance though, but Supergirl helped. It was a decent bit of business with J’onn reuniting with his father he previously thought deceased.

A darker, distracted Supergirl was kind of fun. Not Snyder dark, but Kara with a chip on her shoulder that first episode would have made for an interesting sub-plot this season as she works through the idea that even with all the power in the world, she can’t save everyone she loves. It’s a good third season plot that could flesh out Kara and grow her as character. Because if she’s the role model for a generation of young girls, they need to see that even our heroes struggle and we all need to find it in ourselves to overcome.

…No? You’d rather wrap that up half-assedly after 2 eps? Alright, how about a wedding shower then? Yeah to hell with it.

Arrow

…What are we going to do with this show? The time slot change is  bad enough as it makes it a lot more difficult to get these reviews done in a timely manner–on top of all the other reasons– but the writers insist on recycling the same storylines the way Flash recycled Ollie’s apartment in last week’s episode. Yeah, we noticed. All of us noticed.

Anyway, Oliver is again this season spending more time as the mayor than as the Green Arrow like last year. Because when we go to watch superhero dramas, it’s important to us that we spend at least 10 minutes an episode worrying about new legislation.  

This week, Diggle takes over as Green Arrow as Oliver is under the watchful eye of FBI Agent Mrs. Plot Device, and wants to be a better father to William “Exasperated Sigh” Clayton. Digs got the shakes though as is having confidence issues thanks to his last season visit to Lian Yu. I don’t speak any languages beyond this sort of English and “I am a pineapple” in French, but I have to assume Lian Yu is Mandarin for “No Real Stakes Island”.  We’ll come back to that.

From there, the never-ending, white hot poker in the eye that will not be named came on screen. I  was suddenly overwhelmed by my own form of Diggle Shakes and slapped the video halfway across the room. I came to outside, standing over a burn barrel holding a box of matches as my tablet sat on top of the pile, reeking of gasoline. The tablet’s fine, but I can’t finish a review for you, because I’m on a kind of expensive laptop and I don’t want to risk another blackout.

Even with the imminent destruction of my tablet, Arrow still ranks ahead of Supergirl this week. This show is still trying to find it’s way back, and we feel like it still can, but it needs to bring back the high stakes that the first two seasons had.  Yeah, they killed Laurel, and for this, we will never forgive them, but this show has lost it’s nerve. If you’re going to have every character on an island, and you’re going to explode that island, then have every character survive, you’ve wasted a perfectly good island explosion. They had the chance to course correct, (same as with Flashpoint) and they didn’t take it.  They keep letting all the plucky sidekicks survive. They have so many, they could Game of Thrones the hell out of the show once every two weeks, and by season end, there’s still six characters left. My math’s off, but you get the idea. Trim the fat. You have two quirky scientists. Axe one of them. You have 2 gun-toting hard asses. Axe one. You have 2 Canaries. Break one’s neck after you’ve injected bleach into her veins and set her on fire, then reform Laurel, you canon-destroying-on-a-whim, Felicity-fellating jackasses.

I’m feeling woozy..let’s move on.

FLASH

The Flash, what do you say about it? It’s a consistently good show. This week and last week were no exceptions. The writer’s have loosened up on the overly dramatic reins for the time being and everyone is having fun. We didn’t get to cover this, so we’ll touch on it here, last week’s episode made it enjoyable to watch Barry and Iris together for the first time in a while. She wasn’t constantly harping on him all episode and he didn’t spend the tenth week in a row explaining how he’ll never let anything bad happen to her. For the first time in a while, there was natural chemistry between them, and it was good to see. 

As far as the fun goes, they introduced Hazard this week; a girl with the worst luck in the world, until she’s introduced to dark matter, thanks to Barry’s return from the Speed Force. She’s a petite blonde that’s  funny and fun to watch. In the end, she’s monster of the week, so they wrap her story quick, but she’s got a bigger part to play in Junior Brainiac’s no good, very bad scheme.

This week also saw the return of Tom Cavanaugh (It’s about time you got here! Welcome home!)  and Earth 2 Harry Wells. Always good to have him back so Cisco has someone to properly bicker with. The problem there is Harry seems a bit too…not scatterbrained, but less full of himself than when he was around previously and that felt like it lost something. Still good to have him back.

Oh, and poor Wally. This town’s not big enough for two speedsters apparently. Tough Luck, Bro.

Also, I spent the episode deciding that Cecil needs to back the hell up a step. But, that’s obviously not going to happen. Nice cut to black on that one.

Legends of Tomorrow

Understand that before we get too far into this that we know. We do. We know and we understand any trepidation you might be feeling with this being the second Round-Up in a row that Legends came out as top dog. If the illness hadn’t struck last week, Legends would have been number one then too. WE KNOW! It doesn’t make sense!  After the first two seasons, we get all of it. 

Listen up, though: Legends is the current champion of the CW’s Arrowverse. If you aren’t watching, you’re missing out. Allow us to explain.

Is it a perfect show? No. Some of the worst extra acting around. Sometimes the mains’ acting isn’t all that great either. But what is it about Legends that we find so damn convincing? We said it last time: They’ve found their voice. The writers and showrunners know what they are, and they’re making it work. Not everyone wants the light-hearted approach that Marvel takes with it’s properties muddling in with the super serious world of DC, but this is exactly what the show needs to be.

The Legends aren’t a stoic band of heroes that save the space time continuum while attempting to bone each other in the meanwhile. They’re an imperfect group of screw-ups and also-rans that are doing the best they can with what they’ve got. The showrunners finally cracked that code and allowed themselves and their characters to be fun.

The introduction of the Time Bureau, run by previous captain Rip Hunter, is the perfect adversary for the Legends as they skip through time striving to put right what once went wrong (thanks to their incompetence).

Thats not to say that there aren’t moments of them potentially falling back into old habits, but we’re still cautiously optimistic. The reintroduction of Amaya to the Waverider is a slippery slope. We’re waiting for the moment when they fall back into the well-trodden drama of a relationship between her and Nate, but so far they’ve avoided it. We can only hope that they continue to steer around it so as to not get bogged down with the heavy-handedness of their relationship.

It probably feels unnatural to you, but unless you’re staunchly opposed to humor in your Arrowverse, this is the show to watch. It’s been consistently entertaining for these first three weeks, and with Matt Ryan’s Constantine slated to come aboard, hopefully it can only get better.

The Goofs, The Girl, The Green and the Lazy: Arrowverse Week One Round-Up

Well, Berlanti’s Arrowverse is back for another season of humor, heart, and spectacle. Here’s the  (Spoiler Free) Breakdown of how the first week went from worst to first.

The Flash:

I believe it was Huey Lewis, of the Marin County Lewis’s that first said that the power of love is curious thing. For example, it can make one man weep, another man sing. No better evidence is there of the power of love and it’s curious (read super ass convenient) capabilities than the Season 4 opener of The Flash. It is here where love times love divided by love will conquer all.

As you may recall, at the end of Season 3, Barry decides that he will become the Speed Force’s captive, leaving Team Flash to fend for themselves. Jumping to present day, Iris (You’ll remember her as the one whose foretold death wasted half of every episode last season) is running point for Team Kid Flash, made up of Wally, Cisco/Vibe and Joe in a police issued SUV. They’re on the job, chasing down and capturing Metas, all the while having fun as they go. But it’s bittersweet, as everyone misses Barry. This is about as far as we can go without specifically ruining anything. Oh and Caitlin isn’t evil anymore. Yeah. Like that.

The Flash, while having been one of the best shows the last couple years while Arrow dipped into whatever the hell it dipped into, has a bad habit of high stakes cliffhangers with very underwhelming pay offs. Remember Flashpoint? The jaw-dropping season 2 ender that had all of our minds racing? What was going to happen?! A ripple in the fabric of time and space so big that it could help undo all of Arrow’s missteps! It could be the catalyst for a full season of plotlines and story arcs about Barry’s selfish mistake and–oh it’s done? With very little real consequence? Except for you, Diggle of course.  RIP Baby Sarah.

This opener was lazy. It was lazy, uninspired, and underwhelming. I’m talking Moffatt Doctor Who levels of lazy. Eric Bischoff’s Monday Nitro levels of underwhelming. My inability to come up with a third example’s level of uninspired. The writers once again couldn’t paint themselves out of the giant corner they were stuck in so they HAHA SCIENCE!!’d and YAY FOR LOVE!!’d themselves an answer.  This is getting to be a nasty habit, and it needs to change fast before the average viewer catches on. Guys, get it together. You’re better than this.

SUPERGIRL:

The Girl of Steel is back and broody as hell. That’s what happens when the alien love of your life gets lead poisoining and is sent off planet. Typical.

Well, Kara’s in a bad mood and in an attempt to cope has thrown herself into her work as Supergirl. National City is grateful for the drop in crime, but her friends and family are worried about her.

Meanwhile, Nathan Petrelli…no…Glenn Talbot…no…Morgan Edge…no…Nathan Petrelli is in National City to fill the male megalomaniacal CEO void left by Peter Facinelli’s Max Lord after the network switch.

Supergirl is a steadily consistent show, if not a little on the bland side. She serves as a strong role model for young and not as young girls alike, which is always a good thing. Season 1 and 2 benefitted from using the plots of some of Superman’s better stories, but that can also hinder it in the long run. We like the show, but it feels like it’s still finding it’s voice. It bounces back and forth between light-hearted and overly serious. There’s a medium there, and if they keep working at it, they’ll find it. (Hint: It’s more to the light-hearted side). It could really benefit from somehow finding itself on the same universal plane as the rest of the Arrowverse. A little crossover action, if even a simple cameo, never hurts. The first crossover with Flash in season one is one of the best episodes to date.

ARROW: 

At the end of last season, there were a lot of promises made. More accurately, vows. Even more accurately, ONE vow: Arrow had until the crossover to sort itself out or I was done forever. What was once my favorite hour of the Arrowverse managed to adorably trip over itself like an at first likeable but long term annoying as hell nerdy girl sidekick turned non-canonical love interest, much like the other real-world super powers predecessor, Heroes. The difference being that Heroes went bad almost immediately, while Arrow got through 2 seasons before it started to turn.
If you remember, we left our heroes on the banks of Lian Yu, where Adrian blew up all the sidekicks with an extraordinary amount of C-4 for a DA to procur. Well, we find out early on that they all survived. Well, almost all of them, you find out, as the show’s decided not to ditch the flashbacks as previously hoped, but flashback to the story of how they survived.

Meanwhile, in the present, Ollie has his hands full with fighting off a new group of terrorists led by Black Canary, while also raising his son Conn…sorry, William…who is having problems trusting his dual identitied father, if you can imagine such a thing. Also, Felicity isn’t as annoying thus far, but they made two separate hints that her and Oliver have “the talk” coming just over the horizon…there was a whole island of C-4! She couldn’t just have caught even one…never mind.

I give this show grief because I love it, and only want the best for it. And I’m not alone, thankfully, as my voice will continue to go unheard. Stephen Amell’s voice, however, that has a little more sway, and he’s made his point.
In a recent interview, while discussing a conversation that he had with Arrowverse creator Greg Berlanti, Stephen Amell said this about the show back in Season 5:

“You know, I think that there’s a lot of things that we do well,” and Greg goes, “I would agree,” and I go, “Can we do those things?”

I have to be honest, we’re only one episode in, but it feels like they really are trying to do them. Arrow was the second place winner this week. They genuinely seem to want to get back to where we all know Arrow can be, but there’s a lot of work left to do. I can’t figure that the introduction of Michael Emerson (Lost, Person of Interest) as a big bad is anything but a further step in the right direction. So I’m staying true to Arrow, but so help me if the wedding storyline comes back on the table, I will burn that bridge once and for all.
But please don’t, guys. Seriously. What am I going to watch instead? S.H.I.E.L.D.? Come on.

LEGENDS OF TOMORROW

There is a clear winner this week, and that winner is Legends.

This is the third season for this show, and if this opener is any indication, they’ve found their tone. The Legends work as a goofy band of screw-ups that really do want to do right, but can’t get out of their own way. The episode where they have to save George Lucas from becoming an insurance agent is one of the strongest of the series thus far.

In this episode, their former captain, Rip Hunter has left them on their own, and formed the Time Bureau: a group of suits that go around fixing anachronisms in the space-time continuum, a lot of which are the doing of the Legends themselves. Not to be outdone, and as a way of proving their worth, the Legends defy the Time Bureau and try to fix the mistakes themselves.

This one has finally found the humor. They aren’t all trying to look tougher by brooding or sex each other, at least not so far, they’re trying to prove to everyone that they really are the good guys, even if they get it wrong sometimes. Their new motto is “Sometimes we screw things up for the better”.  They aren’t quite as zany and quippy as the Guardians of the Galaxy, (and hopefully they never will be), but they have that flare to them.

I enjoyed Legends most of all, and I hope they stick with this new “we do what we want” attitude as it will strengthen the core and bring this show up in the ranks as a contender instead of what it’s been so far, an also-ran.  It certainly did this week.

The Flash/Supergirl Crossover Musical: So that’s out of the way now. (Spoiler Free Review)

So from the title, you might surmise how well this article is going to go. Please do not judge too quickly though. We promise we will try our very best to be objective and cover it as fairly as possible. We good? OK.

From the screeching, hormonally charged, twittering brains with bank accounts behind the show-crushing beast that was and most assuredly will be again Ollicity, comes the inevitable response to hiring two former Glee castmates as your leads.

What? We said we would TRY to be objective. Not our fault that it didn’t take. Alright, fine. Come back. We’ll try to salvage this. Admittedly, we didn’t come into this with the most open of minds so maybe we’re not giving it a fair shake. Let’s try again and break this down to the good and bad.

Well where to start? The only place one should start with a musical: the singing. There is no doubt that the cast members of these shows are very talented musically, and they get to show off exactly what they can do with this episode.

While everyone who sang did a genuinely good job, the stand out for us was John Barrowman, normally playing Malcolm Merlyn in the Arrowverse, but this time playing club owner Cutter Moran. He didn’t have a lot to do, but he took what little he had and made the very best of it. Unsurprising really from such an amazing stage performer as he is. In a scene whose random and awful lyrics caused us to physically look away, his voice actually brought us back with eyebrows raised. Not damn bad, Captain Harkness. Not damn bad at all.

Jesse L. Martin nailed his part as well. Another great stage presence, the man can sing. We saw some of in last year’s Earth 2 episode, but he doesn’t get enough to do we didn’t feel for reasons we will come back to later.

Kara, Barry, Cisco and even Winn: They all sounded terrific and it was nice that they got to show off their great singing abilities. Melissa Benoist (Supergirl) does a beautiful rendition of Moon River right at the start and even though we knew she could sing, it was still a pleasant surprise to hear how well.

The Barry/Kara song at just over the halfway mark (the title we’re withholding for the sake of the reveal) did start to win us over, despite everything that came before it. Rao help us, the two have brilliant chemistry and you can’t help but love them together.

Darren Criss, this crossover’s villain Music Meister was a lot of fun to watch. Again, he didn’t have a huge amount of stuff to do as they tried to get in as much as they could, but the guy has charisma and charm oozing out of his little boyish face. He won us over fairly quickly in his introduction on Supergirl. His few minutes of screentime on that show actually had us anticipating what was to come.

There’s an action sequence here with Martian Manhunter teaming up with Wally and Vibe, and it is on par with the fun and excitement of the Flash’s usual action scenes. That was another great moment from the episode.

Now let’s get to it.

The biggest obstacle that this episode faces is time. It has 45 minutes to pull off a musical, as well as tie up subplots from both The Flash and Supergirl, and boy can you feel the time crunch. They have Kara and Barry play it off a few times with the meta joke that “wow, everything is so much easier in musicals”. Luckily, we were able to unstick our eyes after they rolled so hard up into their sockets, otherwise we’d have had to start the episode over.

So beyond skipping what should have been a longer, more complicated conflict, we got too easy resolutions for the sake of moving the plot along. If the resolution is so simplistic, it begs the question of why even bother? Individual shows’ subplots is why, but still.

What needed to be done, and once again wasn’t, is it being a true crossover. We had exactly 2 minutes of the plot discussed at the tail end of Supergirl, same as it was with the Invasion crossover last fall. Musicals take time to get everything explained, broken and fixed again. This is going to sound hypocritical after everything that’s come before it, but there needed to be more time for more songs. And the one thing this didn’t have was time. Were they to have stretched it out fully across both shows, we would still spend two hours cringing, yes, but the story would be a lot stronger than it was. It wouldn’t feel so hastily duct taped together.

If crossovers are going to be a consistent thing in the Arrowverse, (YES PLEASE) they have to let Supergirl come out to play for the whole recess. Her being on another universe isn’t excuse enough to hinder that relationship, especially now with Cisco’s doohickey.

The other bit, the one we’ll close with, was the writing. All the actors that they have hired in the Arrowverse are exceptional. If the actors don’t have long careers in the stage/fim business like Victor Garbor, Jesse L Martin, and John Barrowman, they have proven their abilities on these shows. They can act. We’ve seen it. But watching them try to choke back some of the dialogue from this episode made them look like amateur dinner theater workers.

We noticed it specifically with a few of David Harewood’s
(Supergirl’s Martian Manhunter) lines. He gets through them, same with the others, but it pulled us out of the moment with how clunky it was. Also, don’t get us started on the jokes. You want to? OK, fine. At one point Supergirl said, “My sister says I put the Kara in Karaoke.”
We literally almost closed the laptop and walked away at that. It was early in the episode though, and we thought of your faces, your sweet reviewless faces, and we knew we had to press on. So we did and what was our reward?

Honestly, we can’t tell you. Partially due to not giving away the ending of the episode, but mostly due to we don’t genuinely know what happened. Nothing is really explained, it simply transpired for the sake of transpiring. They knew they wanted to sing, but they didn’t know how to make that fit into a cohesive, solidly written story. It was like the ending of a Stephen Moffat Doctor Who episode: aggravatingly underwhelming.

Look, there are a lot of good moments in the episode. It was a fun little one shot stuck in the middle, but they once again did not utilize Supergirl’s hour to help flesh out their crossovers and the time crunch really cripples them from making a solid story. Perhaps though, given the rush job they did with the script, that’s for the better.

Our final analysis of this crossover is the same as our analysis of BvS’s handling of the Death of Superman: Everyone has been wanting it for so long, and yeah, that was not the best way to handle it, but hey, it’s out of the way now and we can move on to bigger and better things.

Supergirl returns Monday March 27th and The Flash Tuesday March 28th.

Netflix’s The OA: A Partial Review

Full Disclosure: I labelled this a partial review as I am only 3 episodes into the series. Christmas time will do that to a man’s binging abilities.

I first caught wind of Brit Marling in the 2011 sci-fi drama Another Earth, which she starred in as well as co-wrote with director Mike Cahill. The film’s pacing is a slow burn, but the simple and immediate pay off of the film’s finale is so effective and impactful that you can forgive all prior sins it might have committed. I found the same to be true with her other 2011 sci-fi film, Sound of My Voice, (this one written with Zal Batmanglij). Also a slow burn, but this time I was ready for it. Again, simple yet impactful wrap-up that made the movie for me.

The other film she co-wrote with Batmanglij, The East, was a departure from sci-fi, and more political/thriller focused that was also an engaging story.

It was with these experiences that upon seeing her name, as well as Batmanglij’s attached to the new Netflix series The OA (pronounced Oh-Ay, not like the Green Lantern’s HQ), I immediately set aside the first hour to get started. I wasn’t concerned with what it might be about because as soon as I saw she was involved, I was in.

The OA begins when Prairie, a blind girl who has been missing for the previous 7 years, randomly shows up on a bridge miraculously with her sight. She returns home to parents’ house, and while her mother and father want to help her get back to normal, that is the furthest thing from Prairie’s mind.

What I can say so far is that the slow-burn style that Brit and her co-writers have used previously is much better suited for this type of format. This way frees them up to character and world build the way their kind of writing demands. They can still hit the cliffhangers and impacting moments every time they hit the hour mark, but they aren’t confined to the space the way they are with feature films.

So far, I’m really enjoying how the story is playing out. Each episode contains its own twists and turns that, for me at least, still have me guessing as to what the hell is actually going on.

So far, and I don’t see this changing over the next 5 episodes, it is a high recommend from me. It’s on par with Netflix’s earlier hit, Stranger things as far as the mystery/thriller aspects go. Furthermore, if you want an idea of how the show will go, but don’t want to commit the full 8 hours yet, I would suggest trying out Another Earth and Sound of My Voice because besides being great films, the tone and pacing of those are almost identical to this show.

All 8 episodes of The OA are currently streaming on Netflix. Check it out.

The Awesome 80’s Podcast podshort for Rogue One. (Spoiler Heavy)

Last night, like so many of us at the GeekNerdery, I attended the late showing of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (in ultra realistic ultra 3 ultra D no less) with one Michael James Carlson, one of the fine gentlemen that runs The Awesome 80’s Podcast. Afterwards, we took to Steak N Shake and laid down our thoughts on the movie over steaks and shakes.  The bedlam that followed is below for your listening pleasure. 

Big thanks to Michael and Glen from Awesome 80’s for letting me back in the Co-Host game!

Podshort – Rogue One – A Star Wars Story

Nothing (and Everything) to see here.

It’s official, people: Telltale is releasing a Guardians of the Galaxy game in their standard 5 part series format. They unveiled the teaser trailer today (December 1st) at this years Game Awards.

From the official game announcement:

“The energizing blend of humor, emotion, teamwork, and full-on sci-fi action-adventure of the Guardians provides an enormously satisfying space to explore through Telltale’s unique style of interactive storytelling,” said Kevin Bruner, Co-Founder and CEO of Telltale Games. “In Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series, players will take on multiple roles within the ragtag band of heroes, and take the pilot’s seat in directing their escapades around the universe. We are always honored to be working with the best creative partners and storytellers in entertainment, and working with Marvel on this series leaves us excited to share what we’ve been developing when it premieres in 2017.”

“With story at the core of everything that Marvel creates, who better to team with than master storytellers Telltale Games,” said Jay Ong, Senior Vice President, Games & Innovation, Marvel Entertainment. “Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series* fully showcases Marvel and Telltale’s rich legacy of storytelling, and fans will find themselves immersed in an original, character-driven narrative. As part of our strategy to establish a new standard for Marvel games, this is certainly among the great titles to come.”

As all teasers go, there is not a lot to look at here, but it’s more than plenty to catch our interest. Telltale has had a string of hits previously with The Walking Dead, Back to the Future, and their most recent offering, Batman (which I’ve personally found to be one of the most interesting Bruce Wayne stories in recent history). With their current run of hits, as well as the subject matter of this new game, there is no doubt that this one should be a lot of fun.

Guardians of the Galaxy: the Telltale Series is due out in 2017 on PC, gaming consoles and mobile devices.

Non-news becomes news, Internet loses mind. 

In what could be the thinnest theory running right now, someone on the internet seemed convinced the other day that Zack Snyder had snuck Green Lantern into the official movie image for Justice League, posted about it, and suddenly the image went viral. 

What’s the fuss you ask? See that cloud discoloraton over Superman’s head there? That’s Green Lantern. Get in there close and really look at it. We’ll wait. See how it’s people shaped? Yep. There you have it. Case closed. Repost it. Hashtag it. #GLConfirmed #HalJordanJLA #OMGL!!

While we’ll give you that this is a work of art that someone put together, and maybe, MAYBE that was always their intention to hide him in there somewhere. And yes, it does look suspiciously like a floating person. But, frankly, the whole ordeal feels a bit of a stretch. Like Elongated Man and Plastic Man holding hands around the globe kind of a stretch. It’s a dark spot in the clouds. There are other dark spots as well, could they also be allusions to more characters? There is a giant monster shaped dark area over Batman, could that mean Godzilla’s making a post-credits appearance?

We know that making another post on the internet about this non-event is both ironic and hypocritical, but fan theories and rumors around these movies hits a fever pitch sometimes, and someone needs to talk us down after a while. Seriously, remember when Jena Malone was supposed to be Batgirl? Scott Eastwood was Nightwing infiltrating Task Force X?

Wait. We just figured it out. That spot over Supes isn’t Green Lantern at all. You guys, that’s Jason Todd!  #redhoodconfirmed #OMTODD

We’ll put it to you guys. What do you think it is?

REVIEW: I Am Your Father

A little while ago, in a city within driving distance of my home, I met David Prowse –the one and true Darth Vader– for upwards of a minute after I paid either him or his handler the mandated $15 for an autographed picture. There is photographic proof of this encounter somewhere. Of course I knew who he was, but frankly at the time, I was more excited to meet Kenny Baker, Peter Mayhew and of course, Ray Park, whose face was on my undergarment at the time of meeting him…full if not completely unnecessary disclosure.

I digress.

My point being any Star Wars fan worth their salt knows who David Prowse is. That he spends almost every weekend (according to the documentary) at a con or fan festival does nothing but further reinforce this fact.

So why I Am Your Father feels as though it needs to redeem the man behind the most recognizable mask in the known world had me curious. And with Rogue One less than a month away, I gave it a shot.

The documentary itself has a few thesis points that it wants to make. Questions they want answered are: Who is David Prowse the man? Why wasn’t his the face we saw at the end of Jedi? Did Lucasfilm wrong him? Who or what is the…ahem…”force” responsible for David Prowse not yet receiving an invitation to any of the official Star Wars Celebrations?

Writer/Directors Toni Bestard and Marcos Cabota do their best to answer these questions along the way while trying to build up the mystery of whether or not David Prowse will be part of the unmasking Vader scene re-shoot.

I’m not sure how I feel about the overall success of their mission. Yes, they fill in the blanks to all the questions they want answered (to the best ability of anyone willing to talk to them) , and SPOILER ALERT: Mr. Prowse totally agrees to be in the re-shoot, but the whole thing feels a little scattershot in the end. As though they’re telling you the story first hand, but keep going off on tangents before getting back to their focus,  and “oh but also we forgot this part which may or may not be relevant by the end”.
The filmmakers say they wanted to give back recognition to him for his contribution to the Star Wars legacy. With the exception of the official Star Wars cons snubbing and infamously being replaced as Anakin by Sebastian Shaw, I personally don’t see where he isn’t getting it, even within the doc itself.

Yes, there seems to be a still open wound inside of him about his face and voice being switched that just doesn’t want to heal. And yes,maybe the filmmakers want to help repair that by re-shooting the final scene and showing it to a small group of people, but end of the day, if you’re holding on to a grudge for THAT many years, will re-shooting that scene with new actors only to be viewed by a handful of people ever really fix you?

It’s an interesting watch as it gives you a brief recap of his life and career (I took special joy in finding out that his wife considers Star Wars to be an intrusion on their life together…even HIS marriage isn’t immune). The film itself doesn’t give any big reveals to Star Wars buffs who might be looking for extra behind the scenes details. Also, due to rights, you never actually see all of the finished re-shoot. Still, I’ve spent an hour and a half doing much worse things. (Looking at you Episode I.)

I Am Your Father is currently streaming on Netflix.

Review: Doomed! The Untold Story of Roger Corman’s The Fantastic Four

Moviemaking is hard. There are a lot of forces that have to combine in just the right way for you to be successful. To get a cast and crew together requires a hundred schedules to sync. You need equipment. You need film. You need time and patience. If you’re working on an established property, as they were in this movie, you need the rights to the property and all the individual characters.  Most importantly, if you’re going to get anywhere, you need money. 

But what actually killed Roger Corman’s The Fantastic Four? WAS it money? Was it the film’s quality (or lack thereof)Was it the closed door Hollywood forces that be? Could it have been Avi Arad? The answer is maybe all of the above. 

In the same vein of The Death of Superman Lives: What Happened?Doomed! takes a look behind the scenes of the 1994 movie and where it all went wrong. Through interviews with the cast and crew –most of whom have a shoulder shrugging, water under the bridge attitude about the whole experience– the filmmakers unravel the death of the Fantastic Four almost like a murder mystery.  

To look at the footage that is shown, it feels really obvious that this was never going to work. (Even the actors began to have their doubts the further into production they got.) To be fair though, it was a different time. The superhero movie was still not the money shoveling juggernaut it is today, and with the exception of Batman, the genre was still not being taken seriously. That said, wait for the limo scene, because…damn. You’ll know it when you see it.

If you’re interested in moviemaking, this one is worth a look. (If for no other reason than as a lesson on how not to let Hollywood screw you over.) Comic book fans might enjoy it as a way to either feel sadness or elation at the movie’s ultimate demise. 

 For those of you who want to make the effort, the finished product of the movie is available around, because that’s what the internet does. If you have seen it, let us know if it’s any good. I mean, bright blue spandex aside, it HAS to be better than Fan4stic. Right?  

Doomed! The Untold Story of Roger Corman’s The Fantastic Four is out now in time for the holidays on DVD/Blu-ray. 

Why the World Doesn’t Need Superman (to have his own show)

After Tyler Hoechlin’s pitch perfect turn as the Man of Steel on Supergirl’s premiere episode, the internet lit up with demands that Supes return to the small screen with a show of his own. At first glance, it feels right; Hoechlin, as well as the writing team on Supergirl, did such a great job at bringing some levity back to the big, blue boy scout, that naturally, you want more. He took turns doing the day saving with Supergirl, he thanked random DEO agents for their service, and Rao save us, he actually smiled! Refreshing isn’t strong enough of a word to explain the feeling seeing Superman, the REAL Superman, back in action. (Remember when he told that bank robber, “If the bullets didn’t work, right? Why the punching?”? So great.) We get it. We really do.

But let’s not rush into this. Continue reading Why the World Doesn’t Need Superman (to have his own show)

Kevin Smith has proof that a girl can fly.

On his last day of his directing gig on the CW’s Supergirl, Kevin Smith decided to show fans a peek behind the magic veil of television production. In the 9 1/2 minute video that he posted to his Facebook, Smith attempts to keep composure and not geek out (spoiler alert: it doesn’t work out well) as he shows us how it “takes a village” to get a Supergirl in the air.

It’s funny to watch Smith fanboy out at the process. It’s also cool to see everything that goes into getting those moments of action. As Smith says, it really is something that we as viewers take for granted because we only see the end result.

Give it a look below.


Kevin Smith directs the 11th episode of Supergirl entitled “Supergirl Lives” (assuredly more than just a coincidental reference to his attachment to the ill-fated Superman Lives) which airs later this season on Mondays at 8/7 Central on the CW. 

Lego Batman Needs a Friend in Trailer #4

Somewhere almost dead center between the camp of the neon Schumacher Bat and the angry, ultra-violent Snyder Bat, the Lego Batman sits quietly in wait…trying to get his BatTV to work.
Today, Warner Bros dropped trailer #4 for the solo Lego Batman movie out next year. After his scene-stealing cameo in 2014’s Lego movie, the Bat is back and he’s flying solo. He’s saving the day and earning the adulation of millions of fans, but still there seems to be something missing in his life. At the insistence of Alfred, Batman reluctantly learns to take responsibility of the young boy he’s adopted, and along the way, builds a team of heroes to help him on his life’s mission.
The Lego Batman movie hits theaters in February 2017 and features the voice talents of Will Arnett, Ralph Fiennes, Rosario Dawson, Zach Galifianakis and Michael Cera.