Saturday, April 30, 2016

When We Rise - More Cast Added To Miniseries

The casting for When We Rise really does keep getting more and more impressive.

Whoopi Goldberg whose recent TV appearances have included voiceover work for Once Upon A Time In Wonderland and appearances on shows such as Glee and Blue Bloods has bagged a recurring role in the seven part miniseries. Goldberg will take on the role of Pat Norman, the first openly gay employee of the San Francisco Health Department.

Rosie O'Donnell, recently seen in a guest appearance in the second season of Empire will be taking on the role of Del Martin, co-founder of the first Lesbian organization in the country.

Denis O'Hare, best known for his roles on True Blood and American Horror Story will be playing the role of Jim Foster, openly gay Democratic party organizer. Filling out the cast includes Frasier's David Hyde Pierce as Dr. Jones the father of Guy Pierce's character, Cleve, while Ivory Aquino is transgender activist Cecilia Chung and Michael K. Williams will play African American Community Organizer Ken Jones.

Press Release:

When We Rise is currently filming and is rumoured to be airing on ABC from 2017.

Friday, April 29, 2016

My Review of Legends Of Tomorrow's 1x13: "Leviathan"

Written by Sarah Nicole Jones & Ray Utarnachitt
Directed by Gregory Smith

Savage (to Rip): "I see so you still think there is hope then for your family? Time will tell, Captain. Time will tell."

Oh boy. Thirteen episodes in and this one might have been the first genuine disappointment we've had. Sure, we've had the odd clunky episode here and there but this episode gave us a chance to finally see the gang take Savage out once and for all, only for Kendra to balk when she had the perfect killing blow lined up.

The writing for Kendra has not always been the strongest on the show but this was some pretty writing nonetheless. Having a future version of Carter pop up with no memories as one of Savage's co-horts could've been a decent twist had the show not decided to have Kendra spare Savage. Now we're still stuck with him for the remaining three episodes. On the plus side, at least his progeny is a more interesting character.

Taking on the role of Cassandra, Jessica Sipos turned in a likeable performance as Vandal's faithful daughter whose faith then took a nosedive upon being kidnapped by Snart and Rory and then by the former giving her a crash course into what her father was really like. The plus side is that along with betraying her own father, Cassandra now lives to fight another day so maybe we'll get to see her again.

As for Savage, they didn't kill but he's now a pernament guest on the Waverider along with the no memory version of Carter so I assume that's another disaster waiting to unfold for the gang fairly soon. Ugh, the fact that they didn't kill him is such a frustration in an episode that should've been a lot better than it turned out to be.

As for the rest of the episode, well I did get a kick out Mick and Kendra briefly working together, I quite liked seeing Sara and Kendra talk again and there was the surprisingly fun team up with Ray and Jax while the episode ended with Savage taunting Rip over the fact that he'll fail to save his family, which going by Rip's reaction is only too true.

- For the briefest of moments I actually they were going to actually kill off Stein in this episode. I'm really glad they didn't though.
- Surprised the show didn't properly go for Scandal instead of Cassandra for Savage's daughters. Then again, Arrow gave Nyssa more prominence over Talia and that worked out brilliantly.
- Ray versus the Leviathan robot really did look and feel like a scene out of Power Rangers.
- Chronology: London 2166 for this episode.

I really wanted to love this one but Leviathan was such a cop out as an episode. The show had the perfect chance to take out Savage and then came with a way too convenient and annoying plot contrivance in order not to do so. Plus side, at least Cassandra was great.

Rating: 6 out of 10

Thursday, April 28, 2016

My Review of Empire's 2x15: "More Than Kin"

Written by Eric Haywood And Michael Spellman
Directed by Sanaa Hamri

Lucious (to Cookie): "You and me finally working together side by side. I wouldn't have it any other way. Congratulations baby."

I didn't expect that particular outcome but I actually really, really like it. Lucious and Cookie running Empire together has the potential to the best decision ever or the start of the bloodiest war known to man. It really is an outcome that could spectacularly go either way and instead of dragging this storyline out, it came to a natural and believable conclusion.

Lucious when he puts the effort can be charismatic and charming as hell and even when trash talking his own sons (mainly Jamal this week, Acer stuff, yadda yadda), he was still able to woo everyone by bringing a 'human' face to mental illness. Yeah, the hypocrisy was strong with Lucious, even more so when a vengeful Harper made it her mission to make sure that Andre knew that his grandmother was alive and residing in a home in Philadelphia.

Then there was Cookie. Last week, she prevented bloodshed between Lucious and Hakeem and this week, she was also doing more peace keeping, promotion and schmoozing between bitchy barbs with Harper and not being horrible to Anika (more on that in a bit), so by the end of this episode it actually made a tonne of sense for the board to want her as co-CEO as well. Like I said, there's great potential with this storyline.

Speaking of Anika, this week we had her in hospital with a health scare for the baby which not only introduced audiences to her mother but it saw both Cookie and Lucious showing some sympathy for Anika while Hakeem decided to step up as a soon to be father (a good thing, considering how dull the opening scenes of his hedonism were) while Laura seemed conflicted about being with a man who got another woman pregnant.

Elsewhere while Jamal spent too much of the episode sniping at Lucious, we did get some moments of his past in this one. One was that cafe that he used to perform in prior to his fame and another was meeting up with Michael once again. This episode was probably Michael at his most likeable in a while but at the same, what does this show want to do with him? Will we see him again as both him and Jamal seemed to have cleared the air?

Also in "More Than Kin"

The logo sequence now has a golden disc instead of either Lucious or Hakeem.

Lucious: "I'm ready to play, are you ready to play?"
Jamal: "I was born to play."

Michael has become a waiter since we've last seen him. Rafael De La Fuente will also be in ABC's LGBT miniseries When We Rise.

Cookie (to Lucious, re Harper): "Are you trying to save your company or catch an STD?"

Hakeem: "You don't care that I got Anika pregnant?"
Laura: "What?"
Hakeem: "Nika got pregnant before we got together."

Jamal and Freda seem to be maintaining their friendship. I'm guessing she's going to find out about her father pretty soon though.

Cookie: "Hakeem will kill me if something happens to this baby."
Anika: "You mean your grandchild."

Hakeem (to Anika, re Lucious): "What did he do?"
Cookie: "What boy? It's your father. What hasn't he done?"

Standout music: A new version of Jamal's "Good Enough", Jamal/Fantastic Negrito's "Lost In The Crowd" and Hakeem's "Got That Work".

Lucious (to Harper): "I didn't know anything sweetheart but I like to share my stories."

Chronology: Not long where Time Shall Unfold left off.

A solid episode. I liked the outcome of the CEO situation that More Than Kin laid out, Michael's brief return (the guy was only in two scenes) was nice enough and seeing Hakeem trying to step up to the plate is never a bad thing either.

Rating: 7 out of 10

Monday, April 25, 2016

Doctor Who - Series 10: Pearl Mackie Is The New Companion

Three weeks ago, we learned about the casting for upcoming BBC3 online spin-off, Class and last weekend during half time at a football match on BBC1 we were finally introduced to the new companion for Series 10 of Doctor Who.

Pearl Mackie, whose credits have included an episode of Doctors and a recent performance in the West End production, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time has been cast in the role of new companion, Bill. A two minute scene debuted the character alongside Peter Capaldi's Twelfth Doctor as the pair of them flee a Dalek chase. The scene is titled Friend From The Future, which can be seen on the official BBC site and YouTube channels.

Going by the press release for Mackie's casting, Pearl herself has described Bill as "wicked", as well as describing her character as "cool, strong, sharp, a little bit vulnerable with a bit of geekiness thrown in". It's also possible from Bill's attire that she might not be a completely modern companion with speculation that she could be picked up from either the 1980s or 1990s. I also liked in the minisode/trailer/whatever you want to refer to it as that Bill seemed pretty unaware of the Daleks and that mostly she was a total contrast to previous companions in Moffat's era such as Amy, River and Clara. The rapport between the 12th Doctor and Bill certainly has shades of the 7th Doctor and Ace, which I find quite amusing. As for the character's name - any chance it's short for Billie, Wilhelmina, Sybil or something else altogether? It could also be a nod to either Billie Piper who played Rose Tyler or possibly even William Hartnell who played the First Doctor but either way, I cannot wait to see this particular TARDIS team in action come 2017.

Press Release:

Series 10 of Doctor Who will begin filming next month. A Christmas special will air in December and the series will air in Spring 2017.

Friday, April 22, 2016

My Review of Legends Of Tomorrow's 1x12: "Last Refuge"

Written by Chris Fedak & Matthew Maala
Directed by Rachel Talalay

Stein: "You'd murder a child?"
The Pilgrim: "I'd murder as many children as necessary to accomplish my mission."

Anyone else get the impression that this week's episode seemed to be a mashup of The Deadly Assassin and Father's Day? If you didn't, you probably should've as this week, the Time Masters really did highlight how ruthless they actually were by sending out their deadliest of assassins - a woman named the Pilgrim (Faye Kingslee) to go back in time and snuff out each of Rip's team members as quickly as possible.

First there was meeting a younger Mick on the night his house burned to the ground and then there was Sara, prior to getting on the boat with Oliver who was also having a work day with Quentin sort of thing going on. I have to admit seeing Mick and Sara's younger selves interact with each other was amusing but then things sort of changed up a little here.

The Pilgrim went after Ray as recent as 2014 and with Kendra's reincarnation abilities making her a pointless target, the show then focused on grabbing baby versions (yes, really) of Snart, Stein and Jax which forced the Pilgrim into kidnapping some actual loved ones from the gang. Onscreen we saw Jax's father, Lance and Clarissa as well as some images of Lisa and Anna. As a villain, she meant business and yet again proved to be a far more interesting antagonist than Vandal Savage has emerged to be.

Of course, the Pilgrim did underestimate Rip and in a moment where one of the latter's plans actually worked out, she ended up being bested by little Michael. It was a little strange meeting Rip as a youngster and also rather interesting that his backstory isn't entirely dissimilar to the ones we've seen with with Mick and Leonard. However it wasn't the only backstory that took a surprising turn in this episode.

Jax himself finally got some brilliant screen time as he finally met and saved his father from the Pilgrim and I have to admit, it really helped to flesh his character out a bit more. Watching his scenes with his father were every bit as affecting as Sara's scenes with Quentin, Mick's with his younger self, Stein's brief moment with his wife, Ray/Kendra's back and forth (they ended up engaged) and even Rip's scenes with his own adoptive mother.

Of course with the gang's younger selves still being tended to by Rip's mother at the refuge, the need to kill Savage just got bigger and now it seems like Rip is willing to actually risk going into the 22nd century in order to take down Savage once and for all. Well, there are four episodes left to go now.

- Rip's adoptive mother was played Celia Imrie and is called Mary Xavier. Doctor Who connection wise, she appeared in The Bells Of Saint John while this episode's director, Rachel Talalay has directed the episodes Dark Water/Death In Heaven and Heaven Sent/Hell Bent.
- Now that Ray and Kendra are engaged, it seems like they're setting up the latter to meet Carter again.
- Also, was the episode unable to get the actresses for Anna and Lisa to make an onscreen appearance?
- Chronology really did vary this week with jumps into the 1950s, 1972, 1993, 2007 and 2014 to name a few.

I liked this one a lot. Last Refuge gave us a strong guest assassin with the Pilgrim, some much needed backstory for Jax, more insight into both Rip and Mick's pasts and a reminder of how far Sara has come as a character too. The Ray/Kendra scenes could've been plotted a little better but other than that, this was great.

Rating: 8 out of 10

Thursday, April 21, 2016

My Review of Empire's 2x14: "Time Shall Unfold"

Written by Ayanna Floyd Davis
Directed by Cherien Dabis

Jamal: "This family uses the term as if we're in some Shakespearian play. Technically if we're talking about heirs, we need to find Lola."

I'm surprised we had to wait this long for Anika to finally reveal that she was pregnant but between bumping off Camilla/Mimi and Lucious delving into his past and continuing to piss off everyone in the present, this episode finally got round to it and all because Andre and Rhonda caught Anika puking in the toilet.

I'm not sure if Anika really does just want a family for her kid but I don't blame her for threatening Lucious. He broke into her house and tried to buy his potential grandson and was pretty hypocritical towards her sleeping with Hakeem but at the same time, I can see wanting to get back in with the Lyon due to the fact that she is carrying the 'heir' to the throne at this point.

Leading to another thing - did this episode really rule out Lola? I thought last season she was supposed to actually be Lucious's offspring rather than Jamal but this episode saw Thirsty steal a hair sample from the child and Lucious then tell everyone that she was fathered by someone who isn't a Lyon. It seems more likely for Lucious to be lying than for this to be true but either way, it was a bit strange the episode dealt with the whole thing.

Keeping with Lucious, he really did play dirty this week to undermine Hakeem. Messing with Anthony and Cleopatra, planting drugs and getting equipment confiscated was one thing but he really went to town to humiliate Hakeem during the Shareholders meeting. It's lucky Cookie was able to step in at the eleventh hour but ultimately Hakeem found himself getting voted out and Lucious will inevitably get back in too.

Of course that wasn't the only shocking thing Lucious did in this episode. He took Andre to see his grandmother's grave, explained a bit more about Leah's condition and then the episode ended with a scene in Philadelphia where we learned that Leah is anything but dead. I can't wait to see this one blow up in Lucious's face when it's undoubtedly discovered.

As for Jamal, I quite liked his scenes with Freda in this episode. It seems that pairing her up (musically) with Jamal has actually done the character a world of good even if Cookie is dreading the fact that Freda might find out what really happened to her father. The subplot with viral rapper Stacey though was a little tedious but other than that, I like the budding friendship between Jamal and Freda though.

Also in "Time Shall Unfold"

Lucious's generating acclaim again with the Dwight Walker video. And next week we're finally getting the Acer awards out of the way.

Rhonda: "Are you pregnant?"
Andre: "Who's the father?"
Anika: "It's Hakeem's."

The toy lion Lucious gave Anika was a nice touch. We also found out that she never slept with Beretti as well.

Hakeem: "You gonna take me out like Jamal or treat me like garbage like Dre but know this old man, I ain't never bowing to you."
Lucious: "I thought you might say something like that."

Cookie (to Hakeem): "You don't know how to use a condom, stupid?"

I did get a laugh out of Jamal making that Shakespeare reference in this episode, given that it's an obvious influence for the series.

Anika: "What took you so long?"
Lucious: "Well, if I knew you felt like that, I'd have come sooner."

Standout music: Jamal/Freda's "Last Night" and Tiana's "Body Speak".

Thirsty: "As long as everything's dandy, I won't bother."

Chronology: Not long from where The Tameness Of A Wolf left off. I also notice that Porscha herself along with Jake Hamilton does a After Show thing for each episode now.

Well, that was an interesting episode. I certainly didn't see certain moments from Time Shall Unfold coming but I was definitely gripped by the whole hour, even if Cookie is the one who should be running the company rather than Lucious will inevitably do again.

Rating: 8 out of 10

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

My Review of Gotham's 2x18: "Pinewood"

Written by Robert Hull And Megan Mostyn-Brown
Directed by John Stephens

Gordon: "Why are you doing this?"
Barbara: "I was there, remember. When you first got the Wayne case. I know what this means to you."

It's fair to say that since tapping into her villainous side that Barbara has mostly improved for the better as a character but there are still some shaky bits with her from time to time. Having spent most of the second half of this season in a coma and now newly released from Arkham, Barbara seems to be on a mission to make things right .... or was she?

I genuinely don't know to be honest. Maybe if Gordon hadn't rejected her at the end of their little adventure with the Lady together perhaps she might have stepped back into the light but things did end with her going back to Butch and Tabitha (whom the show is struggling to do anything decent with), so perhaps not.

I did like that for the first time though, Barbara felt genuinely unpredictable as a character. One minute she seemed eager to help Gordon with tracking the Lady down and helping him with the Wayne case. The next moment he's tied to a chair and it looked like that Barbara was back to her old tricks. Gordon is absolutely right in not wanting to forgive her but without a doubt was Barbara the highlight of the episode.

As for the Lady, it's always fun seeing Michelle Gomez on the show (and I hope she appears again) but two episodes in and I still don't know much about the Lady as a character. She did seem to like Barbara's flattery towards her though, so that was something but maybe next time, give the character a little scope.

Of course, the one thing we took away from this episode was learning about the Philosopher who turned out to be Hugo Strange. This happened around the same time that Bruce, Alfred and Lucius did their own diggings into Pinewood, met up with the unfortunate but likeable Karen and also encountered Victor in full Mr Freeze form along with Gordon. And that wasn't the only insane thing connected to Strange that happened this week.

The episode spent a lot of time talking about Strange trying to raise someone from the dead and by the end of this episode, Patient 44 turned out to be a success story for Strange and the sceptical Peabody. Patient 44 also turned out to be Theo Galavan and keeping with this show's love of playing around with continuity, Galavan is now going by the name of Azrael. This is going to be an interesting one to see play out.

Also in "Pinewood"

Bullock's reaction to seeing Barbara coming out of the apartment is the funniest thing the show has ever done.

Barbara: "I'm telling the truth. That's what I do now."
Gordon: "It's hard to believe."

Karen's claw arm was pretty interesting. It's a shame that the character didn't survive the episode though. I liked her.

Alfred: "That's far enough, drop the knife."
Karen: "It's not a knife."

Barbara: "I'm kind of famous."
The Lady: "Oh, the notorious Barbara Kean."

Is Hugo really going to be the one responsible for the Wayne murders? I really don't know how I feel about that to be honest.

Barbara: "Don't be mad."
Gordon: "I was tied to a chair and nearly killed again. What should I be feeling?"
Barbara: "Gratitude."

Oswald, Nygma and Selina were all absent in this episode and Barnes was back to be fairly ineffectual as well.

Hugo: "Oh, Peabody we did it. We brought someone back. We actually did it."

Chronology: From where the end of Into The Woods left off.

Pinewood certainly had it's moments. With a smaller cast, it does feel like the show can flow a little better as the Gordon/Barbara and Bruce/Alfred/Karen team up all worked well seperately and then managed to merge together pretty well too.

Rating: 8 out of 10

Friday, April 15, 2016

My Review of Legends Of Tomorrow's 1x11: "The Magnificent Eight"

Written by Greg Berlanti & Marc Guggenheim
Directed by Thor Freudenthal

Rip: "Perhaps we will see each other again, my friend."
Jonah: "Yeah, I reckon that'd be okay."

I have to admit, I'm not the biggest western aficionado going (more my dad's thing) but you're gonna time travel, it's one of those era you just have to visit. We've seen Back To The Future go there and we've also seen Doctor Who go there twice in the space of 53 years so for this show to go there in their eleventh episode is great going.

This week, the gang were putting their quest to stop Vandal Savage to one side so they could hang out in a town not called Mercy but Salvation and keep to themselves while figuring out what to do about the Hunters who were desperate to kill them. Of course, this being the Wild West, there was fun to be had and between drinking sessions, bar fights and pissing off bandits the gang also came face to face with Jonah Hex himself.

To say the character is a massive step up from the movie he was given a few years ago would be an understatement but Johnathon Schaech really was great in the role. A slightly less feral version of the character we already know, Jonah seemed to be intrigued by Rip's motley crew when he wasn't hashing out some past issues with Rip as well.

It's been evident for a while now that Rip isn't a great leader and the revelation about Calvert definitely his remorse over a past failure but it does make you wonder that if maybe Rip actually planned then maybe he would have some actual success. His lack of preparation has been a consistent factor in why Savage has constantly gotten the upper hand in their ongoing back. As for Hex, I really liked the character and I'm hoping he pops up again next season.

Of course between Ray being appointed the sheriff and the gang try to rescue Salvation from a gang of baddies, there were also some other developments worth noting. Kendra and Sara banded together and the former met another version of herself (played by Anna Deavere Smith) who had some uncomfortable truths for Kendra. Plot wise, I really enjoyed the Kendra stuff this week even if it were too disconnected from the main action.

Also a bit disconnected from the main action but equally affecting was Stein's need to save a little boy from consumption. I've felt the last few episodes the character had been a tad underused but between learning more about his past and discovering that the boy whose life he saved was a little HG Wells, this was definitely a strong episode for Victor Garber's Stein. Actually aside from Sara, Jax and Snart, every other character had a fair amount of prominent screen time this week.

Then there was the Hunters. They popped up as the episode was concluding and we got our second coolest fight sequence moment in the episode. Of course the gang beat them pretty easily but not before both Mick and Rip realised that deadly assassin the Pilgrim was going to wipe out the gang by going back in their individual timelines, which managed to set up next week's episode pretty well.

- Sara and Mick's drinking/bonding session was brilliant. I also laughed when Mick was passed out as everyone else was fighting in the saloon.
- Rip and Jonah, we need flashbacks next season to their previous encounters. There was a bit of a slash vibe between those two as well. Other Kendra's "Carter" was called Hannibal. Ray calling himself John Wayne as well was amusing.
- Kendra needs to get a bracelet as part of her her arsenal to take out Vandal Savage.
- The episode took place in 1871 Salvation.

Well, The Magnificent Eight certainly lived up to it's title. An absolutely fun and chaotic episode with some delightful character moments, a great appearance from Jonah Hex and a nice set up for the Time Masters showing themselves to be as bad as Savage himself. One of my favourites.

Rating: 9 out of 10

Thursday, April 14, 2016

My Review of Empire's 2x13: "The Tameness Of A Wolf"

Written by Attica Locke And Joshua Allen
Directed by Paris Barclay

Jamal: "Sorry your birthday got ruined."
Cookie: "Yeah, well at least we were all together for a little bit before everything went to hell."

Well, that was a pretty incredible episode, wasn't it? We had Cookie's birthday as a backdrop to one of the most explosive moments in the series as the rest of the characters learned more about Lucious than they thought they knew.

First of all, I had actually forgotten that everyone except Lucious knew that Freda was actually Frank Gathers daughter so Cookie, Jamal and Hakeem's shock at the end of the episode when she revealed who she was actually surprised me. Cookie's reaction was perfect, in light of both Lucious killing Frank to protect her and also because we learned that it had been Frank who got Lucious into hustling back in the day.

I haven't been that interested in Freda as a character but suddenly this episode made her more interesting. When Lucious rightfully took her out of the Boom Boom Bang video shoot (made sense, it really was his story), pairing her up with Jamal for a song was a stroke of genius and I felt that even before the last scene that this episode had done a much better job of fleshing out the character than previous ones have done. It'll be interesting when she finds out her father figure murdered her father though.

Speaking of Lucious, this was a big episode for him. He may be the devil incarnate at times but I like that the show gave him some vulnerability as he let Cookie in about his past with his mother as he made the video for his song. Unfortunately any decency Lucious shows then got thrown out the window when he turned on Andre as the latter was rightfully annoyed with not knowing about his grandmother's history with bipolar before.

Then we had a stressed out Rhonda being conveniently picked by Anika at the end of this one as well. I get that Rhonda is at breaking point between losing a baby, fearing for Andre's health and her in laws general craziness but I'm not sure Anika is the best person to stay with at the moment either.

As for the rest of the episode, I didn't really the implication of a triangle between Tiana, Hakeem and Laura in this one and the engagement between Hakeem and Laura definitely feels like it's going to end badly, especially with Anika back on the scene too.

Also in "The Tameness Of A Wolf"

Hakeem's face is still in the logo for the opening credits.

Hakeem: "Make some noise for Anthony and Cleopatra."
Cookie (to Jamal): "Always hate that dumb name, come on, boy."

For anyone hoping that Camilla didn't die, the opening scene of this one confirmed that she most definitely did.

Jamal: "It's not good for a CEO to be banging his artists, Hakeem."
Hakeem: "What's the point of being a mogul then?"

Harper: "I'll be shadowing Lucious for the next few weeks."
Cookie: "I didn't know vampires had shadows."

Was one of the kids who rapped for Jamal and Hakeem pulled from a talent show? Good rapping by the way.

Cookie (re Frank): "We did what we had to do."
Lucious: "Damn right, cos he would've killed you twice."

Cookie (re her family): "How did you manage to pull this off?"
Lucious: "Well, apparently they love you more than hate me."

Standout music: The Lyons singing "Happy Birthday" to Cookie, Jamal's "Shine On Me" with Freda and Hakeem/Laura/Tiana's "All Nite".

Lucious (to Andre): "The real truth is that my mother was a nutjob. I was embarrassed by her, the same way I am embarrassed by you. How does it help you with that truth?"

Chronology: Not long from where A Rose By Any Other Name left off.

I loved this one. The Tameness Of The Wolf was anything but tame in terms of the material we got this week. Lucious might be an awful human being but he's a consistently a fascinating character who can still shock and horrify his family and audiences in equal measures. This episode certainly acknowledged that in spades.

Rating: 9 out of 10

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

When We Rise - Further Casting Announced

While we're still a bit off this seven part miniseries from Dustin Lance Black and Gus Van Sant from airing on ABC, more casting news has surfaced for the upcoming, When We Rise.

Kevin McHale, best known for his role as Artie Abrams in six seasons of musical drama Glee and for presenting E4 show, Virtually Famous will be taking on the recurring role of AIDS activist, Bobbi Campbell. However, McHale isn't the only former actor from a Ryan Murphy show that will appear in this miniseries.

Dylan Walsh, best known for his roles in both Nip/Tuck and Unforgettable has also scored a recurring role in the miniseries. Walsh will take on the role of Dr. Marcus Conant, a role based on leading American dermatologist Conant, a pioneer in the diagnosis and treatment of AIDS.

Also confirmed for a role in the miniseries, via his own Twitter and Instagram accounts is Rafael De La Fuente. The Empire hunk posted a script page where it appears he'll be playing a character named Ricardo but whether the character is a regular or recurring, I'm not yet sure. I'll post more spoiler information as it becomes available.

Press Release:
RDLF's Instagram:

When We Rise is currently in production and will air later this year on ABC.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

My Review of Gotham's 2x17: "Into The Woods"

Written by Rebecca Perry Cutter
Directed by Oz Scott

Nygma (to Gordon): "Guess what? I knew that you knew that I knew."

Oh boy, I did not expect to see this one happening. I mean, yeah, I expected that Gordon would somehow clear his name but I didn't actually think in one fell swoop that virtually all of Nygma's crimes would come back to haunt him all at once too. Then he tried and failed to kill Gordon, fell for an obvious trap and ended up in Arkham. This was definitely not Ed's week, was it?

On the plus side, Cory Michael Smith gave one hell of a performance as Nygma's mask well and truly slipped and he definitely felt like an actual danger when he knocked out Gordon and later confronted him in the woods. Sending him to Arkham now means that Hugo has another project to play around with, given his previous works on Galavan, Oswald, Fries and Barbara but more on two of them in a bit.

While I've hated the serial killer aspect the show has gone with for Nygma's characterisation, I do think he's felt a bit more like the Riddler in the last few episodes and his spell in Arkham should be a lot of fun to watch as well.

Speaking of the asylum, this week we saw Hugo (in spite of Peabody's open scepticism) release Barbara back into the general population after she gave a stirring therapy speech about being reformed. It's hard to tell whether Babs is actually sincere or just playing along but Hugo is delighting in finding out for sure and her return will give Gordon something else to do other than obsess about fulfilling his promise to Bruce about finding who hired the man to kill the Waynes.

Talking of Bruce, this was a good episode for him and Selina. Both were having the time of their lives outsmarting a robber and helping Gordon take down Nygma and then they were forced to go their seperate ways after we learned that Lucius finally fixed the computer. It's nice to see that plot being advanced but I was enjoying the Bruce/Selina scenes and it's a pity they've come to something of an end for the time being.

As for the rest of the episode, I knew Oswald was going to snap at the hands of being mistreated by Grace, Sasha and Charles but even I wasn't expecting him to go off the deep end so spectacularly though. I have to admit, I felt bad for the poor dog and horrified to what Oswald did to his nasty extended family but on the other hand, it's kind of nice to have the old Oswald back as well, even if the return was pretty gruesome.

Also in "Into The Woods"

The trailer for next week's episode showed that both Victor Fries and Theo Galavan are back.

Bruce (to Selina): "I saved enough for burgers."

Bullock getting friendly with that woman so Gordon could get the tape, well I didn't expect that this week. I also liked seeing Barnes helping Gordon contact Leslie this week.

Oswald: "Where I should go?"
Charles: "Anywhere but there."

Barbara: "I don't feel insane now. I just feel sad."

Killing a dog and cannibalism. I kind of felt the show really pushed the ick factor in a big way this week.

Nygma: "Psychopath seems like such a strong word."
Gordon: "He bludgeoned a man to death with a crowbar in cold blood. He's sick."

Selina (to Bruce, re Gordon): "Great, a dead cop in my crib."

Will this season actually solve the mystery of who hired Matches to kill the Waynes though?

Alfred (to Bruce, re Selina): "It's either the work or her. You can't have both, do you understand?"

Chronology: Not long from where Prisoners left off.

A very strong and impressive episode. Into The Woods certainly brought some satisfying conclusions to particular arcs while nicely developing and setting up some more. Nygma's storyline in particular has gotten more interesting now that he's been exposed by everyone.

Rating: 8 out of 10

Saturday, April 09, 2016

My Review of Empire's 2x12: "A Rose By Any Other Name"

Written by Ilene Chaiken
Directed by Michael Engler

Camilla: "Why don't you shoot me please?"
Lucious: "After the pain you caused my family, I don't owe you any favours."

It has not been a great few weeks for lesbian and bisexual women on television. We've seen the likes of The Walking Dead, The Vampire Diaries and The 100 most controversially bump off a slew of queer female characters recently and it seems that Empire got in on the action too as this episode brought about the downfall and deaths of Mimi and Camilla.

To be honest, I'm not angry about both characters getting taken out. I should be and there's plenty of other reviewers/fans who are but for me, while I liked Mimi enough as a character, I never believed her relationship with Camilla to be anything more than a convenience and this episode had Camilla effectively plotting behind Mimi's back before Hakeem dropped Camilla in it.

I am annoyed though that they couldn't get Marissa Tomei back for this episode and that she was poisoned by Camilla but other than that, I'm far less bothered than I should be. As for Camilla poisoning herself, it was dramatic enough but it mainly highlighted that Naomi Campbell just isn't that strong enough an actress to make you care for Camilla either.

I did like that ultimately Hakeem chose the rest of his family over Camilla and the latter's downfall was certainly deserved too. Lucious got to have his pound of flesh and take pleasure in Camilla losing everything before she did herself in. I am surprised the episode resisted the temptation to have Lucious be the one to directly kill Camilla though. Also for people lamenting the show killing off LGBT characters, we still have Tiana and of course, Jamal. Speaking of whom.

This week saw more fallout over that Skye subplot as the gay community gave Jamal a public bashing over flip flopping (with actual flip flops too) and Jameson himself needed some persuasion in order to give Jamal the benefit of the doubt. As for the public dissing of Lucious, I found it sort of amusing how Lucious managed to turn Jamal's rather justified public outburst of anger against him into an advantage but that's Lucious for you.

As for the rest of the episode, the hints of Andre heading for another breakdown are certainly coming into play. His paranoia over Rhonda is one thing but he lost it during the attempts of buying back more stock. I do like that everyone is aware and are trying to help Andre this time around. Despite Cookie's moment of horrific insensitivity, she did reach out to her son and Jamal/Hakeem's attempts of helping were quite affecting too. That being said though, Andre is totally right about Rhonda losing their baby by an attacker. I still don't think it's Anika though, who was absent this week.

Also in "A Rose By Any Other Name"

Lucious was planning a Richard II themed video which Cookie seemed to be mostly impressed by.

Andre: "I need you to have faith."
Rhonda: "Well, I don't need faith that's for sure."

Hakeem using his own image for the new logo was very him. It looked silly but I love that the title sequence for this episode ran with it.

Cookie: "That's the silver lining. Maybe Hakeem did you a favour."
Lucious: "I can't wait to return the favour."

Becky (to flash mob, re Jamal): "That's not even his song, stupid."

Carol and Porscha both want to be Cookie's assistant. There's a little subplot brewing.

Cookie: "I am trying to save Empire. That bitch can burn it down anytime she wants. Do you not understand that, Hakeem?"

Jamal: "I'm saying Lucious Lyon isn't even his real name."

Tiana's dislike for Mirage A Trois made itself known in this episode. That's going to be a fresh headache for Hakeem and Cookie soon.

Hakeem: "So now you believe in me, ma?"
Cookie: "Boy, I always believed in you. I made you my partner, didn't I?"

Standout music: Jamal's "Like My Daddy", Jamal/Hakeem's "Good People" and Hakeem's "Power Of The Empire".

Camilla: "He'll never forgive you."
Lucious: "What are you talking about? It was Hakeem who sent the videos to Mimi. How does that feel?"

Chronology: Not long from where Death Will Have His Day left off.

While I was surprised that A Rose By Any Other Name resolved the Mimi/Camilla a little too quickly than expected, I do think the episode was pretty strong though. There was some nice family moments with the Lyons and with the whole 'who pushed Rhonda' mystery looming, there's still a bit to go here. Not to mention everyone finding out about Anika's pregnancy.

Rating: 7 out of 10

Friday, April 08, 2016

My Review of Legends Of Tomorrow's 1x10: "Progeny"

Written by Phil Klemmer & Marc Guggenheim
Directed by David Geddes

Rip: "Did I do the right thing, Gideon?"
Gideon: "Not committing murder is generally considered the right thing, Captain."

It's strange. I thought if we were ever going to get one of those Let's Kill Hitler type of episodes, it would be the gang going back over 4000 years and actually trying and failing to kill Vandal Savage as a child. Instead, it's a boy named Per Degaton who is being heavily influenced by Savage nonetheless as the issue of whether to let him live or not is largely discussed.

These sort of episodes usually stick to a certain path and this didn't really deviate from that. You had most of the team against the idea of killing a child, which even included the mostly locked up Mick pointing out how murdering a boy isn't exactly heroic while Leonard seemed a bit more in favour of the idea as did Rip.

Sara wanted to see if Per could be brought out of the darkness and corruption that Savage had placed him in and even Rip faltered predictably enough at murder to try and reason with the boy. Except for all his good intentions, the situation was made worse with Per actually killing his father and releasing a virus years before he was originally meant to do so. Morally Rip did the right thing by not killing a child but it came at one hell of a cost though. Savage won this round pretty much.

Of course when we weren't dealing with child tyrants, we were also delving into Ray's future and Kendra's past and the overall impact that both have on their current relationship. I have to admit I'm finding their pairing a lot nicer and better written than expected and the stuff we got here was genuinely insightful.

I liked that we got some flashbacks with Carter and Aldus. In fact they were the best stuff we've ever actually seen of Kendra/Carter, despite the former's dodgy hairstyle while in the present day/future, Ray encountered someone who turned out to be his great grandniece rather than great granddaughter. Ray's reaction to this particular news while trying to his future suit/robot things from causing more carnage was absolutely priceless.

As for the rest of the episode, I liked that Sara slowly paved the way of both Cold and Heatwave to effectively kiss and make up. Provided you understand their version involved knocking seven bells out of each other before Mick informed the team that a group of Hunters are on the way to kill them. It might have been a quick way of getting Mick back on board but it had the desired effect though and I think he does genuinely want to be a part of the team in his own way.

- Ray's great grandniece was played by Firefly's Jewel Staite. She didn't really do a lot here though. Ray has a brother named Sidney and he went under the name of Hannibal Lecter here. Jax's reaction to that was hilarious.
- While this episode did have a shippy moment with Sara/Snart during their armory scene, it was nice that Gideon (who can read dreams) pointed out that Sara was dreaming about a certain nurse from two episodes ago. When is Sara going to learn about Laurel though?
- Gideon certainly had more to do but both Stein and Jax felt a little underutilised and Kendra only really interacted with Ray.
- The action was mainly in 2147 Kasnia Conglomerate for this episode but next week, it's the Wild West.

I liked Progeny as an episode overall and while it didn't do anything too new with this particular sort of time travel dilemma, the pacing was decent enough and I certainly didn't mind the flashbacks with Kendra/Carter or Ray learning more about his future but it could've been a little better though.

Rating: 7 out of 10

Thursday, April 07, 2016

Pretty Bird

You'll know who the title of this blog is referencing, right? Major spoilers, so if you haven't seen these shows, back away now.

Arrow: For months we were wondering which character would be unfortunate enough to end up in the grave and after weeks of initial fan dread, it turned out to be Laurel. I'm not going to pretend I've been the biggest fan of the character but I really do think the writers messed up big time with her exit, even if it finally cemented Damian as a baddie and had some poignant moments to boot. Bear in mind we've also had episodes centering on the Olicity angst, the unwelcome returns of both Cupid and Brie (two useless villains) as well as everyone else finding out the gang's real identities. With five episodes left and more insufferably dull flashbacks to wade through, can we just end this season with Malcolm also dying? Pretty please?

Marvel's Agents OF SHIELD: And it's back. Several months since that moment with Ward becoming something else, the last few episodes have been on a good form. The departures of both Bobbi and Lance were handled well and hopefully their upcoming spin-off fares better than Agent Carter has done. As for the rest of the show - we need more Joey, especially with Mack and I'm fairly lukewarm on Daisy/Lincoln but the Gideon plot is decent enough to watch unfold at the moment as he's proving to be a decent antagonist for Coulson and company.

Once Upon A Time: Memo to the writers: episodes focusing on Hook are dull. Same with Robin for that matter. Now episodes delving into how much of a bastard Rumple really is, having Snow get her fight back (and a past history with Hercules) and the completely rushed but still entertaining 'love' story between Zelena and Hades and you've got some winners there. Speaking of Hades, it's now five episodes in and he's shaped up to be the best villain since Ingrid on the show. The Underbrooke stuff itself is re-energising the show in a pretty good way for now.

Supergirl: So, that crossover with The Flash? If you've seen Batman V. Superman: Dawn Of Justice, it was probably a welcome contrast for you but for a meeting of Kara and Barry, it was a truly excellent piece of television along with the tag team baddie duo of Silver Banshee and Livewire. Of course the show has been getting better as it's been going along, doing some interesting things with the usual red kryptonite storyline, bringing Lucy into the fold with both the DEO and Kara's secret and then there's also Alex and Hank on the run to boot. I can't wait to see what the final two episodes bring to the table.

The Flash: Back for two episodes and then it breaks. I really don't know how US viewers put up with these stopping and starting moments. Anyways, the episode focusing on a female speedster was better for setting up Jesse's future (and perhaps hinting at Wally's) than it was for Trajectory herself while Barry going back one year and interacting with Wells/Reverse Flash, Hartley and Eddie again packed more of an emotional punch though. Now to finally tackle the Zoom problem when it returns.

- Patrick J. Adams has bagged a mysterious/recurring role for Legends Of Tomorrow.
- John Simm has been cast as the Benefactor, a recurring role for The Catch.
- Katie Cassidy will be appearing as Black Siren in the two part finale for The Flash.
- Grimm has been renewed for a sixth season by NBC.
- Ricky Whittle has discussed being bullied off The 100 by the showrunner. That show seems to be a hotbed for controversy at this point.
- Kat Graham has revealed she will leave The Vampire Diaries after it's eighth season.
- Elton John will guest star in Nashville.
- Echo Kellum has been promoted to a regular for Arrow's fifth season.

Monday, April 04, 2016

Class - Main Cast Confirmed For BBC3 Spin-Off

Six months ago, the BBC announced a Doctor Who spin-off set in Coal Hill, spearheaded by YA writer Patrick Ness, called Class and that it would be airing on BBC3 online and BBC1 respectively. Now today we finally know the main casting for the show and have been given a more intriguing synopsis for the series.

So far it seems that the show will focus on five characters - a teacher played by former Coronation Street/Mr Selfridge actress, Katherine Kelly while the students themselves will be played by Greg Austin (also from Mr Selfridge), Fady Elsayed, Vivian Oparah and Sophie Hopkins. The lack of names released for the characters aside, the press release indicates that Kelly's teacher character has been described as a powerful presence. Also rumoured but not confirmed in the press release is the return of Nigel Betts's principal Mr Armitage from the Doctor Who eighth series episodes Into The Dalek and The Caretaker. Ed Bazelgette is directing the first block of episodes, having previously helmed the ninth series episodes, The Girl Who Died and The Woman Who Lived.

With filming due to begin on the spin-off series this week, the press release certainly had a lot of interesting choice descriptions as to what viewers can expect with Class ....

Like all sixth formers, these four Coal Hill School students have hidden secrets and desires. They are facing their own worst fears, navigating a life of friends, parents, school work, sex, sorrow - and possibly the end of existence.

Coal Hill School has been a part of the Doctor Who Universe since the very beginning, but that has come at a price. All the time travelling over the years has caused the very walls of space and time to become thin. There’s something pressing in on the other side, something waiting for its chance to kill everyone and everything, to bring us all into Shadow.

Fear is coming, tragedy is coming, war is coming. Prepare yourselves, Class is coming.

And there's also this gem ....

“Time has looked at your faces now. And time never forgets…”

What if your planet was massacred and you were the sole survivor?

What if a legendary figure out of space and time found you a place to hide?

But what if the things that want to kill you have tracked you down?

And worst of all, what if you haven't studied for your A-Levels…?

Possibly one of the students is a bit cosmic? Or perhaps Katherine Kelly's teacher?

Further into the release you have both Steven Moffat and Patrick Ness citing Class as a British Buffy The Vampire Slayer and with an older cast for the younger role (all of them are in their twenties, lol), it definitely seems that Ness might not have been kidding when he said this show would tackle some darker material. The tagline itself is telling us that fear, tragedy and war are coming and it'll be interesting to see if anyone from the main show (the Doctor specifically) will appear in the series. Coal Hill still might not have been my choice for a spin-off but I have to admit that after some initial reservations that I'm on board for this show.

Class is currently in production and will air on BBC3 online, BBC1 and BBCAmerica later in 2016. Further casting is to be revealed in due course.

Saturday, April 02, 2016

My Review of Empire's 2x11: "Death Will Have His Day"

Written And Directed by Danny Strong

Cookie: "You really gonna pick this bitch over your own family, Hakeem?"
Hakeem: "At least she doesn't beat me with a purse."
Camilla: "Unless you want me to."

This show has been off the air for a while now that a part of me had it to the back of my mind and given that I was focused on the DC world even more so this week, this is why this review is happening now. It's been four months since the mid season finale but this episode picks up from where it left off.

First off all, the horrible stuff - Andre and Rhonda lost their baby and it was devastating to watch. Not only did Andre have his faith shattered as him and Rhonda lost their child, but Rhonda blamed herself before she realised that someone attacked her. I know the show is making it look like Anika was the attacker but I would be shocked if it were her. Anika is a lot of things but even I don't think she's capable of doing that, despite her insensitivity when visiting Rhonda in the hospital.

Of course with Andre and Rhonda losing their baby, Anika now is carrying a heir to the Lyon throne and it's obvious that she's going to pose more of a problem within the next few episodes now that she's done brooding over Hakeem at the moment. Speaking of Hakeem, this was a bit of a mixed bag for him, episode wise.

Betraying his family for Camilla certainly did him no favours. Lucious threatened to kill him at the end of the episode and Cookie put her skills with both a broom and a purse into handy when she attacked him. Not to mention the fact that Hakeem was a jerk to Laura before he became CEO of Empire thanks to a little persuasion from Camilla.

Of course, Camilla didn't get her way with everything. Cookie and Jamal's scheming against her worked like clockwork as Hakeem brought the rest of his family into Empire once again, which means that provided Lucious doesn't screw up (which means he clearly will), Cookie's plan to flush out Camilla should more or less go off without a hitch. The show is clearly gearing up between a physical smack down between Cookie and Camilla, aren't they?

As for the rest of the episode - I liked that there was some consequences in relation to Jamal sleeping with Sky. As much as I wished that storyline hadn't happened, at least we had Jamal reaffirm that he's a gay brother looking for a man (his words, not mine) but Jameson's annoyance over him sleeping with Sky had some justification behind it. Now can we have a male love interest for Jamal? Or Michael, who judging by the trailer for next week is back once again.

Also in "Death Will Have His Day"

There was two callbacks with the pilot - Cookie's beat down on Hakeem and Lucious taking his son to the same spot where he killed Bunkie.

Thirsty: "Excuses are the tool of the incompetent."
Andre: "Doesn't help, Thirsty."

Rhonda's attacker was definitely female if we're going her remembering the shoes. Maybe it's that deputy major who Andre slept with. I really don't think it's Anika.

Camilla: "Get out of my office."
Lucious: "Bitch, you're gonna have to drag me out of here."

Rhonda: "God doesn't exist."
Andre: "Don't say that, Rhonda."
Rhonda: "If he did, the baby would still be here."

Cookie mentioned having miscarried a baby girl to both Jamal and Andre in this episode. Cookie may have also slept with a woman too if her conversation with Jamal is anything to go by.

Jamal: "I'm still a gay brother looking for a man."
Cookie: "Yeah, me too. All night long."

Camilla: "Hello Cookie. It's never a pleasure to see you."

Standout music: Jamal's "Heavy" and "Freedom" as well as Menage a Trois's "Crown".

Lucious (to Hakeem): "If you want to be king, kill your father and sit on his throne."

Chronology: From where Et Tu, Brute left off.

Death Will Have His Day was a superb mid season premiere. It heavily focused on the main cast, abandoned the special guests of the week, had great music. Definitely one of the strongest episodes the show has done.

Rating: 9 out of 10

Friday, April 01, 2016

My Review of Batman V. Superman: Dawn Of Justice (2016)

Written by Chris Terrio And David S. Goyer
Directed by Zack Snyder

Lex: “Bruce Wayne meet Clark Kent. I love it. I love bringing people together.”

If ever there was a movie that seemed divisive in it’s inception, never mind actual release, it could possibly be this one. It would seem odd that the meeting of two of DC’s biggest superheroes on the big screen would generate such a reaction but when you have a director as polarising as Zack Snyder helming this movie, what can you expect?

I promise this review isn’t going to descend into a Snyder bashing fest but saying that, it’s hard to ignore the controversy his contributions to the DC movie universe have been so far. This movie however is not quite the disaster area that some more vocal critics seem adamant on claiming it is though and that’s something I feel should be emphasised.

It’s far from perfect and some of the mistakes that Snyder previous made with Man Of Steel resurface here as the director does seem to have an appetite for wanton city wide destruction during his climatic moments and it’s fair to say that Metropolis is possibly subjected to even more damage here than when it was just a guy in a red cape making his presence known to the world. Even I didn’t know what to make of the onscreen carnage we got during a certain segment when our heroes banded together to fight off a dodgy GCI version of Doomsday.

The main plot itself is a bit convoluted but the nuts and bolts seemed to be having Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg) going to some of the strangest lengths in order to get both Batman (Ben Affleck) and Superman (Henry Cavill) to respectively annihilate each other and it’s a plan that almost works too, sadly enough.

Eisenberg is possibly one of the most vile incarnations of Luthor we’ve seen in a long time. He doesn’t quite exude menace, in spite of his actions and many horrific acts but put it this way, even Joffrey Baratheon would side eye the little shit from a great distance. By the end of this movie, you’ll honestly want to bludgeon his Lex to death but revealing the actual fate of his character would be a bit too much of a spoiler, amongst many other things I’ll allude to but won’t reveal. Out of the two villains though, Lex does ultimately work better than Doomsday.

In terms of the heroes, this movie has essentially four of them. I wasn’t particularly enamoured with Amy Adams previous outing as Lois Lane but in this movie, she actually improved dramatically even if she was placed in three situations where she had to play the damsel in distress. Aside from those moments, she’s given plenty of opportunities to shine, help save the day and even break your heart and that’s a Lois Lane I can get behind.

As for the man of steel himself, I initially feared the worst for Henry Cavill with this one. I genuinely thought Superman was at risk of being sidelined in his own shared movie but thankfully I was wrong. Yes, there were certain things I didn’t like (his public shaming etc) but overall, Cavill really excelled himself, especially during the last half hour of the film.

Then there’s Ben Affleck. While I admit that I kept an open mind to his casting as Batman, a part of me did wonder if he was truly right for the part. Thankfully those reservations were allayed because Affleck genuinely felt like Batman to me onscreen. An older, more brutal version of course, semi—retired and scarred from losing many battles but motivated into maintaining his vigilantism as he feared that Superman could be a bigger threat to society before seeing the light. The movie rethreads some familiar territory with the caped crusader but not at the expense of slowing things down either. Basically, Affleck turned out to be a perfect choice to play Batman.

And of course, there’s also Wonder Woman. If there’s almost one thing all critics of this movie have been consistent of in their praising, it’s that Gal Gadot is perfect as the Amazonian demigoddess/princess/warrior and I’m not rocking the boat by suggesting otherwise. She genuinely is brilliant in the role, exudes warmth and charisma, lights up the screen and is great with both Batman and Superman during their fight scene with Doomsday. My only complaint is that I wish she had appeared in more scenes but it’s a minor quibble though.

In terms of supporting characters, the movie isn’t devoid of them. Holly Hunter is quite strong as a temporary antagonist for Lex in her role as Senator June Finch and Diane Lane has some choice moments as Martha Kent. Scoot McNairy has a bit of a pivotal role in Lex’s overall but I don’t feel much was really done with Laurence Fishbourne’s Perry White to be honest. The best supporting role however will go to Jeremy Irons as Alfred, subverting the role in a different way to Sean Pertwee’s take on the character in Gotham at the moment.

As for the cameo appearances – by now you definitely know who they are and they’re handled pretty well. They don’t intrude on things too much but they do whet the appetite for the Justice League nonetheless. The dream sequences/hallucinations on the other hand are a bit too distracting for some and probably should’ve been trimmed or scrapped altogether.

-  Opening and closing narrations truly set the tone for the movie in a big way. The retelling of Bruce’s back story was done nicely in this movie.
-  I’m genuinely surprised by one death in this movie and it’s not the one you think it is. Can you guess which one? As for the Easter Eggs we got here, nicely played.
-  Some of the stuff cut from this movie (namely the Jena Malone material) will surface on the DVD release.
-  Was it me or was there a lot of celebrity cameos in this movie? Looks like it’s not just Supergirl that’s tuned into the real world. Most of them I didn’t even know were happening until I was watching.

Batman V. Superman: Dawn Of Justice was never going to be a perfect film. It always seemed destined from the start that it would not receive the type of love that Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy did and while a lot of the criticism for the movie and Snyder’s approach is certainly justified, I still think there was a lot to love here. All the main cast members were on fine form, there were some genuinely beautiful moments, character wise and the final act was an incredible mixture of action and heartbreak. It’s not going to be every DC fan’s cup of tea and it may alienate casual cinema goers but I definitely would recommend seeing it nonetheless.

Rating: 7 out of 10

My Review of Legends Of Tomorrow's 1x09: "Left Behind"

Written by Beth Schwartz & Grainne Godfree
Directed by John F. Showalter

Kendra (to Sara): "You're not a murderer or an assassin. You're the White Canary."

And we're back. Three weeks for us, two years for Sara, Ray and Kendra and an eternity for Chronos or as we now know him to be ... Mick Rory. If you predicted that outcome for the character, congrats. Better yet was how swift the show was in revealing the information too as Snart found himself captured and reunited with his old partner in crime.

I'm perfectly cool with the idea of Mick being Chronos and I'm definitely fine with the team attempting to rehabilitate him as well. Maybe Mick can be saved, maybe he is a lost cause. I'm guessing by the finale if not before then we'll know either way. Of course Mick wasn't the only one who went through a conversion process in this episode.

Sick of playing house with Kendra and Ray, Sara took off and rejoined the League of Assassins and impressed Ras Al Ghul with her warrior skills. I wasn't a big fan of Matt Nable's version of the character in Arrow's third season but here, he was actually enjoyable. As for Sara, getting through to her wasn't particularly easy but it still happened.

Granted it took a whole fight sequence between Sara and Kendra (the latter whose powers had been dormant but reactivated fairly sharpish) before the former finally realised that she belonged on the Waverider rather than with the League of Assassins. Of course Sara did take some measures to ensure that her past with them (or future) was ensured nonetheless.

As for Ray and Kendra - we got some snapshots of them living in domestic bliss and then some bits of conflict as Kendra was more ready to get back to the mission than Ray was. I actually sided with Kendra for the most part, even if she was a tad harsh with Ray. Then again, they did make up towards the end of the episode and seemed to be taking things a little further into their relationship.

As for the rest of the main cast - Snart spent most of his time tied up, lost a hand, had it regenerated it (yup, that really happened) and showed some scepticism over the idea of Mick being reformed. Rip, Stein and Jackson on the other hand didn't really do that much, although the latter now seems to have a more direct plan for taking out Vandal Savage than before.

- Nyssa got mentioned in this episode but it was Talia who we finally met in the series. I do wonder if this means we'll see a more current version of the character in the Arrow universe soon.
- They got a Bill Gates joke into this episode. I guess they had to while Ray was a professor.
- It seems a bit convenient now that Rip had equipment that can regenerate missing limbs. What else can it do?
- Most of the action was in 1960 for this episode but we're going to 2147 next week to deal with Savage properly it seems.

This was a great episode to bring us back to. Left Behind nicely looked into the consequences of abandonment and while Ray and Kendra coped better, both Sara and Mick did not. I liked the return of the League of Assassins and having Vandal Savage be absent certainly didn't hurt things either.

Rating: 8 out of 10