Friday, February 24, 2017

My Review of How To Get Away With Murder's 3x14: "He Made A Terrible Mistake"

Written by Joe Fazzio
Directed by Jet Wilkinson

Connor: "All your sons are dead. They're all dead and you can't use me to replace them."
Annalise: "Look me in the eye right here. You said you didn't hurt Wes, so I believe you but I need you to believe me too."

For the two part finale (and like with the first season one), I am watching and seperately reviewing the episodes. The review for the second one will be up tomorrow and after the ending for this one, perhaps the breather is a good thing. This was something else altogether.

I had no doubts whatsoever that Connor would be innocent. I mean, he's not always the most likeable of people but he's not a killer and the flashbacks showed that he tried and failed to save Wes before fleeing the house and even had contemplated suicide afterwards.

The gang's reactions to learning that Connor was there were predictable but not in a bad way. I don't blame Laurel and Asher for losing it with Connor in the same way I don't blame Oliver and Michaela for siding with him as well. I also adored the scene between Connor and Annalise where both of them gave the other some stunning home truths. An absolutely incredible scene between Jack Falahee and Viola Davis.

Of course while Connor's innocence was proved in the episode, Denvers guilt also came around the same time Connor tried to bag an immunity deal. I suppose it makes sense to have Denvers play a larger role in the attempt of taking Annalise down. It was also interesting that Connor became privy to this at the most crucial moment for him while Annalise and Bonnie also pieced things together when Nate wasn't filling in more blanks.

Speaking of Annalise, this week we had Laurel testifying for her, only for Denvers to use her past kidnapping against her. Because I'm already privy for what's going to happen in the second part of this episode, I know that there's more of Laurel's shaky family backstory to come and I'm definitely intrigued by that mysterious stranger who watched Connor leave the house before it blew up the night before.

Not to mention that this part also laid it on fairly thick with the Mahoneys. Charles got released from prison and Sylvia seemed determined to find out who murdered her husband as well from last season. Basically that's another problem along with clearing Annalise's name for the gang to fix as we head into the finale for real.

- The Connor flashbacks were always going to up my enjoyment for this episode, including a more graphic scene with him and Thomas as well.
- The therapy scene with Annalise cutting from Connor's near suicide attempt worked brilliantly. I also liked Frank in the courtroom scenes.
- Annalise got a new look for this episode as well.
- Chronology: Not long from where It's War left off.

A strong start to the finale. He Made A Terrible Mistake really could've been about Wes but it was also about Connor and having him come forward and try to amend for some of his behaviour this season as well. I definitely can't wait to see how this all ends now.

Rating: 9 out of 10

Thursday, February 23, 2017

My Review of Legends Of Tomorrow's 2x12: "Camelot/3000"

Written by Anderson Mackenzie
Directed by Antonio Negret

Sara: "I enjoyed meeting you."
Guinevere: "And I you, Sara Lance. A lot."

Well, that was an interesting and obvious spin on things, weren't it? It's not particularly original to gender swap characters these days but having Sara take on the Lancelot role while Stargirl assumed the Merlin one still added to the episode nonetheless.

This week, the gang ended up in Camelot but only after poor Doctor Midnite died in the year 3000 courtesy of Rip's mission to acquire more bits from the Spear of Destiny. With the other bit stuck in a certain time period, it was time for Amaya to reunite with her former teammate and also clash as the pair of them couldn't quite agree on how to handle Rip's invading force at the castle.

It was nice to see Amaya reunited with another member of her former team and I do think both her and Stargirl raised some fair points before eventually banding together to help save the day. I wasn't however remotely surprised that Stargirl also had feelings for Arthur, who as a character got pretty much the short straw in this episode.

Yup, Arthur was reduced to being a pawn in Rip and Damien's machinations this week with technology that Rip seized from Midnite but his unflattering role in this episode did mean that Mick, Jax and Stein were able to work together in order to break Rip's mind control during the battle scenes towards the final act of the episode.

Seeing those three work together outside of the action was a little more entertaining than the constant sparring between Nate and Ray for most of the episode. I don't know who was more annoying this week - Ray for his desperation to be a hero, which led to him endangering himself several times or Nate's history pedantry kicking into obnoxious levels. If ever there was an episode where both of these characters could've sat out, it probably should've been this one to be honest.

On the other hand, Sara had some interesting moments in this one. She had that wobble moment over whether or not to leave Ray behind but I particularly loved her scenes with Guinevere (who unsurprisingly was far more interesting to watch than brainwashed Arthur) and the shipping moments with the pair of them also worked pretty well.

As for Rip, he continues to be a better villain than expected and it's clear that Arthur Darvill is having a blast with this version of the character. That being said, the first chance to abandon Rip that Damien was given, the latter seized upon and at the end of the episode, Rip had managed to get himself captured by the gang, locked up in the Waverider, threatened by Jax before turning everything to his advantage once again.

- Where were Eobard and Malcolm this week? I'm surprised that they weren't also a part of this grand plan.
- Amaya pulling out the sword in the stone (also parts of the spear) was a pretty bad ass moment.
- Another break next week and then the remaining five episodes to air from March 7th onwards.
- Chronology: 3000 Detroit and Camelot of course.

Camelot/3000 was a fun enough variation on the similarly titled comic series. Not quite as fun as the previous episode (especially with both Ray and Nate testing my patience at times) but still enjoyable and I'm loving the evil side of Rip at the moment too.

Rating: 7 out of 10

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Anti Valentine's Day

It's a week later and a certain episode of one of the show I'm covering here might have inspired that title.

24 Legacy: In the UK and Ireland, we're a bit behind on this 12 part event series but so far, it's not really that gripping. I mean, it's a bit better than some of the trailers promoted it to be and Corey Hawkins agent Eric Carter is likeable enough but after nine seasons of seeing Jack Bauer being put into some impossible scrapes (one of which is now currently unresolved), it doesn't feel quite as dynamic as it could be. Then again, the show is only starting so it might need a little more time to naturally bed itself in but so far, it's only makes for okay viewing.

Arrow: I think the show really did it this time. How do you solve a problem like not having a Black Canary? Do you admit defeat, revive Laurel and put her back in the suit or do you take her Earth 2 doppelganger and give her a redemptive arc? In this show's case, neither were the desired option so instead a new Canary by the name of Dinah Drake was roped into fill the void, not just left by Laurel but also by Thea and Evelyn too and so far, the character is likeable enough. Also on the likeable front have been the flashbacks involving Talia Al Ghul but the less said about the recent 'guns are bad' episode, the better to be honest.

Santa Clarita Diet: Netflix, there are still shows you've got that I need to catch up with (Luke Cage, I'll see you soon) but having watched the absolutely bonkers promos for this half hour comedy, I just had to watch the first two episodes. The results seem to be a mash up of Weeds, Desperate Housewives, Dexter and Hannibal with realtor/zombie mom, Sheila (Drew Barrymore) getting used to her new diet of human flesh while husband Joel (Timothy Olyphant) is somewhat exasperated by his wife's new eating habits. It's an amusing little series with both Barrymore and Olyphant at their comedic best. There's a decent amount of gore too but generally this is a show that's being played for laugh in it's suburban setting.

Supergirl: Five episodes have aired since the last time I covered this show on my blog and they've been somewhat hit and miss. We've had returns galore - Dominators, Roulette, Livewire, Parasite,  Cyborg Superman, Metallo and so on and there's been the forming of Kara/Mon El's relationship as well as the continuing developing of Alex and Maggie's. Of course, we had the blossoming of J'onn and M'Gann but that was cut short while Winn's hooking up with Lyre. Of course the show does need more of the lovely Lena and her evil mother, Lillian but at least Mxyzptlk made for a fun antagonist on Valentine's Day though.

The Flash: When I last watched the show, it seemed that Iris West's days were numbered, courtesy of Savitar. The last few episodes since it's return has focused on a few things (introducing Gypsy, testing Wally's speeding ability, Julian becoming part of the team etc) but the focus has also been on trying to alter Iris's imminent fate too. Speaking of which, there has been an actual lack of Savitar onscreen since Christmas but we've had some decent guest baddies like Plunder though to keep things ticking along for a bit.

- Darren Criss aside from playing Music Meister in the upcoming Supergirl/The Flash crossover episodes will also be playing killer Andrew Cunanan in the Vesrace series of American Crime Story. Edgar Ramirez will play the title role for that particular series.
- Teri Hatcher and Kevin Sorbo will be appearing as a villainous couple in Supergirl soon.
- American Horror Story's seventh season will focus on the US Election.
- Nina Dobrev will reprise her role as Elena Gilbert for the series finale of The Vampire Diaries.
- Once Upon A Time will also be doing a musical episode this season.
- Eva Longoria will be guesting in Empire.
- Chris Colfer is currently developing a sci-fi series.
- E! are doing their own version of 90's movie Jawbreakers as a television series.
- The Big Bang Theory is being lined up for a two season renewal at CBS.
- Outlander's third season will air on Starz from September.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

My Review of How To Get Away With Murder's 3x13: "It's War"

Written by Brendan Kelly
Directed by Hanelle Culpepper

Annalise: "What do you think?"
Bonnie: "It's war."
Annalise: "Exactly."

Oh my God, this episode certainly didn't bullshit with that title. There's nothing more glorious than a vengeance stricken Annalise and in this episode alone, it was played to perfection. We've seen her humiliated, disgraced, beaten and falsely accused of murdering Wes. This was the episode where she truly started to fight back.

Atwood's been begging for a comeuppance all season long and this episode hopefully the beginning of a well deserved downfall for the woman. I loved that Annalise went above Renee's head and issued a letter of complaint of Atwood's conduct over the investigation and when that didn't quite take, Annalise took advantage of Oliver's hacking skills and made Atwood's incompetence into a public event.

Granted it was also a stunt that nearly blew up in Annalise's face, only for Frank to step in and save the day. I always do something of a groan when characters decide to represent themselves in courtroom scenes but in Frank's case, it was actually a stroke of genius. Not only was he able to command the room, but he also bought himself and Annalise more time and managed to ensure that Atwood suffered some consequences for her witch hunt of Annalise as well. Basically a good episode for Frank.

It also turned out to be a good episode for Nate too. Not that he did anything too extraordinary but more that he got off with signing over the papers to transfer Wes's body to another morgue while at the same time being ruled out as a suspect too thanks to the flashbacks. Nate's scenes with Annalise in this one were generally a mixed bag though.

Speaking of Annalise, you really could cut the tension between her and the gang with a knife in this one. Michaela tried to be aloof when Annalise was praising her for holding the fort while Asher was quite sympathetic to Annalise's plight. Laurel was more mad at Annalise while at the same time doing her own investigating while at the same time eventually coming around to her mentor.

As for Connor, even I wanted to slap him in this episode. His cynicism went into annoying levels of overdrive but I did like that Asher ended up accusing him of being the anonymous source before the flashbacks revealed something very interesting. Having Connor trying to revive Wes before abandoning him was unexpected but I can't wait to see where it leads to next though.

- Laurel hired a private investigator who revealed that Mahoney's wife had a DNA test done on Wes.
- Annalise figured out pretty quickly that Hargrove had been gotten to by Atwood. Expected but a bit of a shame as I do enjoy their sort of friendship.
- The last two episodes of the season will be aired as a double bill. The show did this before for the first season finale. Oh and it's been renewed for a fourth season.
- Chronology: Not long from where Go Cry Somewhere Else left off.

It's War certainly had a lot of bang to it's buck. Having Annalise back in fighting mode certainly helped and the pre death Wes flashbacks are still exciting week in, week out. With the last two episodes set to resolve this storyline,  the killer really could be anyone.

Rating: 8 out of 10

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

My Review of Justice League Dark (2017)

Written by J.M. DeMatteis & Ernie Altbacker
Directed by Jay Oliva

Constantine (to Destiny): "Is that a sword in your chest, or are you just glad to see me?"

And he's back! Following a short lived TV series on NBC, an appearance in a fourth season episode of Arrow and a possible big screen appearance if the DCEU go ahead with their plans for Dark Universe (albeit I assume with a different actor), John Constantine (Matt Ryan) is back and make no mistake, this is very much his movie, though other characters are not short changed here.

It seems that there's been some mystical goings on that even the Justice League themselves cannot seem to solve and so it forces Batman (Jason O'Mara) to look for a magical solution. First he catches up with Zatanna (Camilla Luddington) before Deadman (Nicholas Turturro) hijacks Batman's body to bring a message from Constantine himself.

Having Batman in the middle of mostly a magical group of misfits does work pretty well, especially as he proves that he doesn't need magic to still pose a threat to the series of baddies on offer here. The first one being the rather sexist Felix Faust (Enrico Colantoni) who puts the gang through something of a ringer until Zatanna gets the better of him.

Of course, it's soon revealed that Faust is actually the false baddie of the movie as a desperate and easily swayed Ritchie (Jeremy Davies) whose actions end up summoning the rather deadly Destiny (Alfred Molina) into the mix and as a threat, Destiny is certainly a brilliant choice to play around with here.

The final quarter of the movie once Destiny is revealed and the city becomes a playground for chaos certainly sees the gang stepping up to save the day. In the end, it's the wily double act of both Constantine and Deadman that see Destiny taken out before the final blow is struck by Jason Blood/Etrigan the Demon (Ray Chase) as the character makes something of a heroic sacrifice and gets closure to his centuries long curse.

This movie certainly has a lot of fun with it's characters. The villains in both Faust and Destiny are wonderfully utilised and there's something rather tragic as Ritchie's actions come back to haunt him in the worst way possible. By the end of this movie, Constantine definitely has another soul on his conscience there.

As for Constantine, I definitely felt the movie played to Matt Ryan's strengths pretty well. He was still the wise cracking, deceptive magical con man we know and love and the back and forth he had with every character was brilliant. I especially loved his rapport with Zatanna, Batman, Jason and Swamp Thing, even if the latter only barely featured. I'm hoping another movie with this crew does flesh out some more of the remaining members, including Black Orchid.

- I'm not sure the movie needed the appearances from Superman, Wonder Woman, Hawkman and the John Stewart Green Lantern as none of them really did anything to be honest. I also loved the flashbacks for both Jason and Deadman in this movie for their backstories.
- Batman offered both Zatanna and Constantine a place in the Justice League. Zatanna seemed to be considering it but I'm not sure Constantine will though.
- Constantine will be coming back in animated form for the CW later in the year.
- No smoking for John but he was definitely more powerful than he was in the NBC series he led back in 2014-2015.

Justice League Dark is another strong movie in the DC animated universe. I am hoping though if there's a sequel or continuation, we either focus on the JLD by themselves or merge the group with the big League itself. Other than that, this is a must see movie.

Rating: 8 out of 10

Saturday, February 11, 2017

My Review of How To Get Away With Murder's 3x12: "Go Cry Somewhere Else"

Written by Daniel Robinson
Directed by Cherie Nowlan

Laurel (at the memorial): "It’s not your tragedy, it is Wes's and he deserves better than this funeral with you phony ass people. Go cry somewhere else."

Well, this was a bit of a step in the right direction. The disastrous memorial to one side where Laurel took a chomp out of the rest of the students attending and had Michaela mothering her, two things of big note surrounding Wes happened here. Actually make that three.

First of all, flashback wise we had Bonnie warning Frank not to hurt Wes, which to his credit he didn't. He just tried to follow Wes before inevitably losing him. The thing from that flashback was the fact that Wes phoned someone and referred to himself as Christophe. Now who the hell could know about him as that particular name?

Then there's the present day where his body also disappeared after Nate and Laurel went to look at him. If there wasn't the feeling that Annalise was being framed for his death beforehand, there certainly is now following this reveal. Of course, there's the end scene where it seemed that Nate signed off on Wes's body being removed.

Keeping with the last moment, both Nate and Wes were in Annalise at the same time, prior to the latter's death and the fire? While this episode completely ruled out Frank, it did now tease the idea of Nate being a suspect. I don't think it's Nate. In fact, three episodes to the finale, it's genuinely hard to figure out who could've killed Wes and whether or not his death was deliberate or accidental.

Meanwhile Annalise's current prison stint (for now) came to an end when she decided to use her own means in order to secure her own bail. Probably a good thing as Bonnie was repeatedly dropping the ball on this one but if it means seeing less of one particular cellmate, it's almost a pity to lose that environment as well.

Of course the episode also had the added sting of Annalise's parents coming back and for Ophelia to now suffer with dementia. Some beautifully touching scenes between Annalise and her mother in this one and some equally harsh ones with Annalise and her father, even if the latter's harsh words gave Annalise a bit more of a fighting spirit.

As for the rest of the episode, well, there was Connor realising that Oliver is quite the accomplished liar. Even I found the moment where Oliver was laughing a bit off. Someone was channeling their inner Joker in that scene but the fact that Oliver also kept the contents of Annalise's phone didn't shock me though. As for Bonnie and Frank, their scenes in next week's episode should be interesting.

-  For a moment I thought we were going to see a decent side to Simon until he opened his mouth to blame Annalise for Wes's death.
- I liked that Oliver owned up to the fact that he chose to get involved with the gang but again that laughing moment made me wonder about him.
- The inmate that replaced Annalise was hilarious. Beyonce she's not though.
- Chronology: Not long from where Not Everything's About Annalise left off.

A solid episode. Go Cry Somewhere Else pushed things a little further with the mystery surrounding Wes's death (if Atwood isn't involved somehow, I'll be surprised). The scenes with Annalise and her parents though were a personal highlight along with Connor suddenly seeing Oliver from a new perspective.

Rating: 8 out of 10

Thursday, February 09, 2017

Doctor Who - 13 Actors For The 13th Doctor (Speculation Thread)

Last week it was announced that Peter Capaldi would be stepping down from the role of the Doctor Who along with Steven Moffat during this year's Christmas special, so the speculation for his successor has been afoot for the last week.

I've decided to do my own list in that regard and compared to other lists that have surfaced over the last week, this is one with a round up of more realistic candidates, based on talent, age range (though I do think it'll be a 30 something bloke, I have a few older suggestions), possible availability and familiarity with viewers. So without further ado, here goes.

1: Adrian Lester

Familiar For: Mainly for  Hustle for BBC1 viewers. Also recently seen in London Spy.
Whoverse Connection: None so far.

2: Alfred Enoch

Familiar For: His roles as Dean Thomas in the Harry Potter movie universe and recently Wes Gibbons in ABC drama series, How To Get Away With Murder. Also some guest appearances on Sherlock and Broadchurch.
Whoverse Connection: Alfred's father, William Russell played First Doctor companion, Ian Chesterton.

3: Ben Daniels

Familiar For: Roles in Cutting It, Law & Order UK and US productions such as House Of Cards and The Exorcist.
Whoverse Connection: Worked with both Chris Chibnall and Freema Agyeman on Law & Order: UK.

4: Bertie Carvel

Familiar For: His most recent role as a cheating spouse Simon Foster in Doctor Foster. Has also appeared in Les Miserables, Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell and Babylon to name a few things.
Whoverse Connection: He had a bit part in the episode, The Lazarus Experiment.

5: Cyril Nri

Familiar For: Playing Superintendent Adam Okaro in ITV series The Bill as well as Lance in Cucumber for Channel 4.
Whoverse Connection: Appeared in two stories of The Sarah Jane Adventures as the mysterious Shopkeeper as well as a recent appearance on Class as the equally mysterious Chairperson.

6: Damien Molony

Familiar For: Hal Yorke in the final two series of Being Human. Also roles in Ripper Street, Suspects and Crashing in recent years.
Whoverse Connection: None so far.

7: Emun Elliott

Familiar For: Roles in BBC1's The Paradise as well as Lip Service and Threesome.
Whoverse Connection: None so far.

8: James D'Arcy

Familiar For: Recently for playing butler Jarvis in the shortlived ABC series, Agent Carter and as killer Lee in the second series of Broadchurch.
Whoverse Connection: Working with Chibnall on Broadchurch really.

9: Kayvan Novak

Familiar For: Fonejacker but has also appeared in Spooks, Inside No 9, Skins and Paddington to name a few things.
Whoverse Connection: Voiced Handles in The Time Of The Doctor.

10: Kris Marshall

Familiar For: Roles in both My Family and Death In Paradise. Also appeared in Love Actually.
Whoverse Connection: None so far.

11: Paapa Essiedu

Familiar For: Stage productions mainly but has appeared on the small screen in both Utopia and Not Safe For Work.
Whoverse Connection: Appeared in BBC1's and Russell T Davies's adaptation of A Midsummer Night's Dream, which also featured Matt Lucas and Bernard Cribbins.

12: Sacha Dhawan

Familiar For: Various TV roles, including parts in In The Club, Sherlock, Being Human and Mr Selfridge.
Whoverse Connection: Played Waris Hussein in An Adventure In Space And Time and has also done some work for Big Finish recently.

13: Tom Riley

Familiar For: Playing Leonardo DaVinci in DaVinci's Demons as well as Claude in The Collection for Amazon.
Whoverse Connection: Played Robin Hood in Robot Of Sherwood.

I'm not saying it will be any one of these thirteen actors who will end up succeeding Peter Capaldi in the role but an actor of that sort of calibre and someone who is likely to commit to three full series for Chris Chibnall will definitely be who the BBC will want. Right now, I can't see the show bagging a British actor with a burgeoning Hollywood career or even a female Doctor (despite the tabloid fixation on the latter at the moment) but then again, I could be wrong. Time will tell as it always does.

Who do you want as the 13th Doctor?