Tuesday, November 21, 2017

My Review of Gotham's 4x09: "Let Them Eat Pie"

Written by Iturri Sosa
Directed by Nathan Hope

Pyg (to Oswald/guests): "You have it coming! You have it coming!"

Meat Pie Tango anyone? Even for this show, this was an episode that really upped the craziness as Pyg really came up with the most diabolical of plots this week. Having the city's elite chowing down on pies made of homeless people? How did this show manage to pull that off in an 8pm timeslot?

I've enjoyed Pyg as a villain and I certainly think that Michael Cerveris is one of the best guest actors we've had this season and this episode really utilised his talents for terror and camp in equal measure. Having Pyg go to the lengths he did to make a point about Gotham's rich (one that Bruce will make in the future) feeding off the poor was executed a little too well here.

Seeing both Oswald and even Sofia being forced to eat some human pie was definitely something I did not need to see but both of them did so that Pyg wouldn't kill Martin, the latter whom Oswald has grown accustomed to but even Sofia seemed to have some concern for the boy's safety as well as she got Oswald to help her with Pyg's special meal.

However while Sofia showed her loyalty there, the episode ended with Martin revealing to Oswald that Sofia and Gordon were a couple to Oswald. which the latter didn't take well at all. I'm actually happy that this is out of the way, even if the trailer for next week's episode seems to amount to Oswald throwing the biggest tantrum ever.

As for Pyg, he did get caught this time by Gordon, who also managed to save Harper as well but it seems like we're not done with the character just yet. Of course when Gordon wasn't catching Pyg and getting some actual thanks for it by journalists, there was still a lot of tension between himself and Bullock.

Speaking of tension, this week certainly saw Bruce and Alfred on the outs as Bruce seemed more interested in partying with Alfred's attempts of getting him to see sense falling on deaf ears. I don't mind this plot for now but I do hope it's not dragged out for too long though.

- Pyg went through some more disguises this week when he was charming the homeless and setting up clues for Gordon to find him.
- Standout music: Meat Pie Tango. Is it really bad that I wanted to hear Pyg sing a bit longer than he did?
- No Selina, Barbara, Tabitha, Leslie, Nygma or Grundy this week and Zsasz is still missing too.
- Chronology: Not long from where Stop Hitting Yourself left.

Not quite as strong as previous episodes, Let Them Eat Pie however is the show at it's most gruesome and darkly comic with Pyg truly earning his stripes as one of the best adapted villains on the show. The Captain subplot and Bruce's story did lag in parts though.

Rating: 7 out of 10

Saturday, November 18, 2017

My Review of Justice League (2017)

Written by Zack Snyder & Chris Terrio & Joss Whedon
Directed by Zack Snyder

Superman: "I'm a big fan of of the truth. I'm also a big fan of justice!"

The world needs Superman. No, really, it does and not just because of who a certain country has as president but also because this movie goes out it's way to remind viewers that Superman is needed by everyone and especially because of the impending war that was hinted during Batman V. Superman after the latter's heroic sacrifice to save the world.

For those in the dark, yes this is a movie about Batman (Ben Affleck) and Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) assembling a team of meta humans - The Flash (Ezra Miller), Aquaman (Jason Momoa) and Cyborg (Ray Fisher) in order to defeat the rather powerful alien Steppenwolf (Ciaran Hinds) and stop his plans to use three mother boxes from destroying the world but the only way they can do that is with Superman's (Henry Cavill) help and he's currently dead.

The first half of the movie succeeds in portraying a miopic world without the man of steel as Lois Lane (Amy Adams) and Martha Kent (Diane Lane) struggle without Clark and both Bruce and Diana are determined to honour his memory by making their team work but when Steppenwolf proved to be more of a bother than anticipated, the plan to revive Superman suddenly became viable and needed for the second half of the movie.

I was surprised with how quick it seemed that Superman re-entered the fray and delighted that he was in more of this movie than the trailers would let you believe he'd be. Pithy comments about Cavill's moustache to one side, Superman's return is actually pretty glorious as his initial past tensions with Batman are dealt with swiftly, his reunions with Lois and Martha beautifully poignant and his assault on Steppenwolf glorious.

The team are fantastic to watch but once Superman is added into the mix during the final act, it feels complete. Until then, it's mostly forming with both Aquaman and Cyborg being somewhat reluctant to join the team to counteract with The Flash's boyish enthusiasm while Batman and Wonder Woman, despite some of their own conflict and exorcising their own demons are the ring leaders of this new gang of friends.

Steppenwolf on the other hand, is probably one of the movie's problems. He's given a decent amount of screen time, has a simple motive, proves himself to be pretty dangerous as a baddie and is voice well enough but he's not the most charismatic or engaging of villains. He's admittedly better utilised than Doomsday but he's definitely not going to go down as a classic cinematic villain. The Parademons on the other hand are pretty effective, feeding on fear and also playing their role into Steppenwolf's eventual defeat.

On the other hand, Steppenwolf is successful at connecting the characters together though. For instance, his mission to retrieve the mother boxes gives us looks into both Themyscira and Atlantis with the likes of Hippolyta (Connie Nielson) and Mera (Amber Heard) getting some screen time while Silas Stone (James Morton) also returns, playing his role into Victor's backstory and being one of the few civilians willing to stand up to the baddie of the piece before being rescued by the League.

The personal stakes are done pretty well. There is insight given into each hero as Arthur's issues with his mother are hinted along with Barry's determined to exonerate his father, Henry Allen (Billy Crudup) along with Victor's own anger towards his own father for saving and cursing him at the same time. The one thing the movie completely succeeds in is that it gives every single member of the team the perfect amount of screen time. No one character dominated the other, all of them complimented each other and we're given a good look into all of their distinctive personalities and traits,

As for the humour, this is definitely where Joss Whedon's rewrites over Zack Snyder come into play and while my opinion of the former has soured in recent times, most of the humour does work in the movie's favour and helps to make the team more joyful. I'll admit there are some bits that seem forced but overall, it adds a lot of levity to proceedings and after critics going after previous movies for not having enough humour, it's a tad hypocritical of them to pick the movie apart for injecting some lighter moments into proceedings.

In a lot of ways though, this movie does feel like the ending of a chapter though. If rumours are to be believed, we might be getting a new Caped Crusader in later installments of the franchise and even this movie hinted at Bruce struggling a little bit over the alien threat at times. However, Affleck acquits himself well in this movie but it's really Gadot, Miller and Cavill that are the standouts of the team though both Momoa and Fisher are also on fine form.

Regardless of critical bashing, this is a movie that justifies it's existence as well as a potential sequel to boot. I want to see more of this team along with hinted other members joining up as well. This movie blended both humour and the danger well and made me root for each team member as well. There needs to be another outing for them.

- Post Credit 1: Superman and The Flash having a race, which is played for laughs. We don't get to see who wins though.
- Post Credit 2: Lex Luthor escaping prison and meeting up with Deathstroke (Joe Manganiello) to set up his own little Injustice League.
- While Iris (Kiersey Clemons) was cut from the movie in order to make the thing two hours, JK Simmons appeared as Commissioner Gordon. We also got some great snarky humour counrtesy of Alfred in a few scenes.
- There's a few Easter Eggs in this movie, including Green Lanterns and Shazam parts, which should nicely set up some future movies.
- Standout music: Sigrid's Everybody Knows, Junkie XL's Come Together, Danny Elfman's Batman theme, John Williams Superman theme, most of the score music was pretty on point to be honest.
- Chronology: I think a year has passed since Batman V. Superman. We had a lot of the action in Gotham, Metropolis, Central City, Iceland and Russia as well as Paris too for scenes.

I'm not going to pretend that Justice League is the best superhero movie ever made or that it's even the DCEU's best effort either. It has it's flaws, which I've already pointed out but the good far outweighs the bad and for me, it's a successful attempt of bringing some of the franchise major's heroes together and it's deserving of a fair chance and a sequel in my opinion. It also feels like the end of one chapter for the DCEU but not the end in itself. This movie might be far from perfect but it's nowhere near as deserving of the bile it's unfortunately generated and this movie itself did display that it's taken previous criticism on board and is trying to find a compromise without losing it's identity for the most part. That in itself deserves credit.

Rating: 8 out of 10

Thursday, November 16, 2017

My Review of Legends Of Tomorrow's 3x06: "Helen Hunt"

Written by Keto Shimizu & Ubah Mohamed
Directed by David Geddes

Sara: "Everyone put on your best digs because we are going to save Hollywood."

The timing for this episode in light of so many scandals at the moment is certainly interesting. What happens when you take one of the most legendary historical female figures, add some 1930's Hollywood glamour and sexism and then throw the Legends and a few baddies into the mix? The answer is another gem of an episode.

For weeks, the title for this episode somewhat confused me and while there was no reference to the Mad About You actress, the Helen of the piece did however come from Troy, having been displaced into Hollywood and suddenly thrust into the spotlight overnight with Damien Darhk as her agent for good measure.

Every week this show pulls something off that's so mad it shouldn't work but yet it does and here was no exception. Bar Paly herself was pretty spot on casting for Helen Of Troy and played the role with the right amount of sympathy for the character as Helen was desperate not to go back to her own time while at the same time bonding with the Legends, mostly Zari throughout the course of this episode.

With a delightfully barbed commentary on Hollywood ethics throughout this one, the episode could've ran the risk of being too preachy but avoided that with some jovial humour, especially with the girls freeing Helen from the sleazy executives while at the same time also coming up with a solution that didn't involve sending her back to Troy.

Instead Zari came up with the brilliant idea of sending Helen to Themyscira, which now means that Wonder Woman does exist in the Arrow universe after all, even if we're unlikely to see the character on the small screen any time soon though (still, there's Justice League tomorrow). Zari's overall role in the Helen side of this episode just continued to highlight why she's quickly become a fantastic addition to the series.

As for everything else, we had the delight of a Freaky Friday with Jax and Stein swapping bodies, which got played for laughs but also had a serious undertone to it as well. The addition of the duo helping out Stein's crush, Hedy Lamarr and the episode highlighting the latter's inventive side too was another excellent move on this show's part.

In general though, this episode was pretty exceptional with the female characters. I mean it's always been great with it's female characters but this week, it did feel like they went the extra mile. Along with Sara, Amaya and Zari helping Helen, Hedy solving the body swap with Jax and Stein, the episode also utilized both Eleanor and Kuasa well as Sara discovered the former's connection to Damien while Amaya also learned of her connection with the latter to boot.

- Sara was taken out of commission by Eleanor in this episode, so I guess she'll be sitting most of next week's Grodd adventure out.
- Jax being a fan of the Police Academy movies didn't surprise me but Stein's reaction to it was funny nonetheless. I also hoped that Nate took a shower between scenes this week.
- Damien wanted Sara and the gang to stop interfering with the anachronism, probably for Mallus though.
- Chronology: 1937 Hollywood and 1263 BC on Themyscira.

Helen Hunt was another in a slew of impressive episodes we've had this season. When it comes to female characters, this show has always been great but this episode did a far better job with it's girl power than another show did last week and I loved the mix of Helen and Hollywood as well.

Rating: 8 out of 10

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

My Review of American Horror Story: Cult - Great Again

Written by Tim Minear
Directed by Jennifer Lynch

Ally (to Kai): "There is something more dangerous in this world than a humiliated man. A nasty woman."

The fact that the show waited for the finale to have Ally turn that particular turn of phrase into a moment of female empowerment might have shown some restraint on a season that was as far from restrained when it came to the political commentary this season.

At times, it's even surpassed Supergirl in terms of laying it on a bit thick at times but unlike the latter, it was also able to mine it a little better as Kai's downfall was played out in a manner that felt less eventful for his ego than he probably would've wanted it to be. Ally managed to convince him that Speedwagon (RIP?) framed Winter before she had the FBI put a stop to his night of 100 Tates plan and send him to prison.

I don't think anyone was shocked that prison wouldn't be a deterrent for Kai. It was obviously going to be the perfect breeding ground for another cult, one that he could easily control and Ally was obviously smart enough to see that he would make an attempt of getting even with her. For a woman who spent the first half of the season panicking over clowns, she's certainly come a long way these last four episodes.

I liked that she anticipated that Kai would manipulate someone like Gloria and was smart enough to get the prison officer first. Kai didn't see it coming and it led to his actual death when his misogynistic tirade against Ally during the debate with the other councilman led to Beverly blowing his brains out.

This episode stripped Kai of his dignity and made him suffer for his misogyny in a pretty big way. It also brought the end of his regime while also ending the series with Ally now in a bigger seat of power with the ambiguity of whether or not the SCUM manifesto really will be acted upon. If Ally's learned anything from Kai, it should be that she can't murder everyone who doesn't bend to her will and she's already killed a lot of people the last few episodes.

Funnily enough, I'm actually surprised that Beverly didn't end up being part of her kill ratio. Beverly admitted her role in Ally's early season breakdown and she worked out pretty fast that Ally killed Ivy in revenge of that but instead she ended up being Ally's campaign manager and Kai's killer. I'm not sure if that's enough in itself to redeem Beverly but neither is it a major issue for me as well and I can't really complain, considering that Ally herself has gotten away with multiple murders as well.

- Lana Winters got a mention in this episode but not an appearance. I guess having her play Susan Atkins in the previous episode was enough double duty for Sarah Paulson this season.
- Oz had a plush elephant and mint green cupcakes for his birthday, so he was getting visual reminders of his other mother. I do wonder if he suspects that Ally killed Ivy too.
- No appearance from Lily Rabe or any past murdered character this season. We did get another Manson hallucination though.
- Chronology: Straight to 2018 for most of this episode.

Great Again rounded off what was an initially shaky before becoming brilliant but still pretty full on politically charged season to a brilliant ending. I actually think this is one of the show's strongest finales with both Sarah Paulson and Evan Peters really owning their characters and this season alone along with Adina Porter, so I definitely hope she's back once again and that we won't have to wait too long to know what the next theme will be.

Rating: 9 out of 10

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

My Review of Empire's 4x05: "The Fool"

Written by Janeika James & Jasheika James
Directed by Howie Deutch

Lucious (to Claudia): "Stop calling me Dwight. My name is Lucious."

And he's back people. Well, it only took five episodes and while I was expecting something slightly bigger to have Lucious resurface and Dwight slip from Claudia's grasp but getting a glorified spoof scene from Demi Moore's most infamous movie, Ghost was as good a way to trigger Lucious's memories as anything.

The timing is great for the show as entertaining as Dwight has been, it was time for Lucious to make a return and it's timing for Claudia wasn't great. Her slow but determined campaign to get Dwight to herself came crashing down after they (predictably) had sex following their music/colour/paint session.

Speaking of colours, Claudia well and truly showed her own when she revealed to Lucious that she was interested in writing a book and became visibly angry when Lucious reminded her that he now knew who he was even if Cookie herself was too distracted to actually take that on board. Then again there is next week for Cookie to really process that Lucious is back and it seems that we're not rid of Claudia yet even if her grip on Lucious has diminished.

Of course when the episode wasn't drip feeding us Lucious coming back to the fore, Cookie also had to deal with the board wanting to oust her, so she roped in Eddie to help keep her seat and make some music with Lucious and Jamal. Forrest Whitaker really does class the series up and I do like his interactions with the Lyons so I'm hoping he's going to be around for a bit longer this season.

As for Angelo - anyone else getting bored of this guy now? Like Shyne, he's a character I feel the show could afford to lose and this week, he was even more annoying than the latter. His constant slut shaming remarks to Warren to one side, the vitriol he showed for both Jamal and Hakeem (including getting the latter to punch him) was too much. Like I said, can we just lose him already?

Of course Hakeem responded rashly by trying to run away with Bella, but at least he was stopped by having both Tiana and Cookie working in his best interests while Jamal still couldn't get a clue that Warren is betraying him, even if the latter seems to be showing some genuine feelings for Jamal at this rate.

- Detective Rose managed to play Andre and Shyne off each other this week. Does she know more than she's letting on?
- No Tory or Anika this week. They're also really spacing out Diana's appearances as well.
- Standout music: Hate The Game by Tiana and Do You Remember Me by V. Bozeman.
- Chronology: Not long from where the last episode left off.

The Fool did a good one in bringing Lucious back to the fore and while it's nice he's back, the show really needs to take the likes of Andre and Shyne out of the equation as neither of them add anything to proceedings nowadays.

Rating: 7 out of 10

Saturday, November 11, 2017

My Review of How To Get Away With Murder's 4x07: "Nobody Roots For Goliath"

Written by Daniel Robinson
Directed by Nzingha Stewart

Oliver (to Connor): "I'm sorry. I've been lying to you. We know who killed Wes."

And thanks to this episode, we also know that it's a male victim and right now, there seems to be only two candidates as to whom might be dead by next week's mid-season finale. One candidate would be a bad move on the show's part and the other would be a case of not tapping into some further potential.

The first person the body could be that's been looked over could be Connor. Last season, Wes was killed and it really cemented that even the Keating 5 (now 4) weren't immune to death but after killing Wes off so soon and having his death still drive the narrative of this current season, would they really bump off another main character so soon? Also if Wes's death generated outrage from fans, I'd dread to think what a possible Connor death would do to fans as well.

On the other hand, in the last two episodes, Connor has been ridiculously content. Working with Annalise has given him a spring in his step and things are going so good with Oliver that he tried to propose to the latter before being told about who killed Wes. I don't want to read too much into it but given the way TV works, it might not look good for Connor.

The other possibility though is Simon, whom this week was a little humanised through his interactions with Oliver. We learned this week that he needed the job at Caplan & Gold to prevent him from being deported and despite his hostility towards the Keating 4, he has been nice to Oliver any time they've interacted this season.

In some respects, Simon is likely to be the dead man walking more than Connor as he's a character that's about to get caught up in the gang's scheme against Laurel's father. Despite hating himself for even thinking it, Oliver was willing to throw Simon under the bus and in previous seasons, Oliver never would've done that one. He's become as complicit as the rest of them in his own way.

On the other hand, Asher did do his best to try and act like a moral conscience to the whole scheme as did Frank but both Laurel and Michaela got them on board and with Connor in the know, that just leaves both Bonnie and Annalise (and Isaac) to get roped in as well by next week.

As for the rest of the episode, we saw an interesting dynamic with Annalise's scenes with both Isaac and Jackie as she realised what both of them were like while the class action storyline came to a satisfying enough conclusion as well but it also felt like it was a little rushed so the focus could squarely be on that fateful night.

- Michaela proved her love for Asher by destroying her wedding dress. She would've been better off selling the dress, not dousing it in ketchup.
- Going by this episode, at least we can rule out Asher/Bonnie hooking up and Simon does seem to like flirting with Oliver as well.
- Nate came in handy for one scene with Annalise and Bonnie but other than the show really doesn't know what to do with him any more.
- Chronology: Two days until the events of Live, Live, Live.

Nobody Roots For Goliath would be the calm before the storm but it seems more like it was bringing about the inevitable storm as the gang united in outing Laurel's father as a murderer. With either Connor or Simon likely to be on that operating table, at least it's not long til we find out who the unfortunate victim is.

Rating: 8 out of 10

Friday, November 10, 2017

My Review of Gotham's 4x08: "Stop Hitting Yourself"

Written by Charlie Huston
Directed by Rob Bailey

Nygma: "Winner takes me and featuring your champion, Solomon Grundy."

Oh Ed, I'm actually surprised with that motormouth of yours that someone hasn't actually succeeded in killing you at this rate. Then again, you are the Riddler and plot armour exists for a good reason, even if your attempts of antagonising Oswald from afar were always going to backfire on you.

A part of me wasn't surprised that Nygma would take his grudge out on Penguin by lampooning the shit out of him during the fights in the Narrows and while he might have played his former friend like a certain fella who shall not be named here, the one thing I took out of it was Cory Michael Smith's flair for physical comedy.

The bummer though for me was the fact that Oswald didn't directly confront Ed on his open mocking of him and instead decided to send both the Sirens and Firefly in order to deal with the blabbermouth riddle man as a result.

For Eddie, the worst thing that happened to him as getting tied up and gagged by Selina but other than that, he nearly succeeded in turning Butch/Grundy against Tabitha and thanks to Leslie and Barbara dealing with Firefly and a treacherous Cherry alone, Nygma lives to mock Oswald for another day.

The arc with Nygma has been fun to watch and I quite liked that even when he was being a jackass he actually managed be rather helpful with Leslie. Her decision to defy and turn everyone on Cherry (along with Babs shooting the latter) meant that she now became the leader of the fight clubs and if she can rein Eddie in a little, then Leslie truly might find her calling in the city without having to cross paths with Gordon again.

Speaking of Gordon though, this episode he became Captain and Bullock got a demotion. While I haven't been as invested in their bromance as everyone else, I did feel bad watching the two friends fall apart in this episode but on the other hand, Harvey wasn't the only being dumped by Jim this week. It seems that Sofia too also got the cold shoulder from Jim as he made his annoyance towards her manipulation of his promotion more apparent.

For all of Sofia's strategic moves, it seems that her luck might be running out a little though. This week when Oswald wasn't smart over Ed taking the piss out of him and training up a kid into becoming a future serial killer, he also seemed to be getting a clue that Sofia isn't quite the friend she's making out. I really hope for Sofia's sake she's got a back up plan because she'll probably need it by next week.

- As Nygma dressed up in Oswald's usual look, the latter has been updating it as well. I'm actually starting to miss them interacting now.
- Leslie got to smack Barbara and the latter seemed not disappointed that Butch/Grundy was alive in this episode too. Nygma also referred to Tabitha as Tigress and wore some outfits not dissimilar from Batman Forever.
- No Bruce or Alfred this week.
- Chronology: Not long from where the previous episode left off.

Stop Hitting Yourself was a bit of a fun episode. The Narrows plot could've gone the way all these Fight Club type stories on genre tend to go and be utterly dire but it turned out to be rather entertaining and I'm loving this current Sirens line up as well as Nygma getting some of the lines along with his ass handed to him a little.

Rating: 8 out of 10

Thursday, November 09, 2017

My Review of Legends Of Tomorrow's 3x05: "Return Of The Mack"

Written by Grainne Godfree & Morgan Faust
Directed by Alexandra La Roche

Sara (to Rip): "Do you remember when you told me you had nothing left to teach me?"

Last week: the ET meets Stranger Things homage but this week it's "vampires" and the return of a certain guy who won't stay down in a rather delightful and bonkers episode that also saw the Legends finally made away that Mallus is going to be an ongoing problem for them, but only because Rip didn't have a choice in telling them.

While the show has survived and even thrived without Rip and Sara continues to prove why she's a better leader than Oliver/Barry/Kara combined, I am also glad that the show isn't a 100% done with him even if by the end of this one, it seems like Sara and the rest of the Legends (and even the Time Bureau) might well be.

Taking the action into 1895 Victorian London due to Nate looking for outliers, the main plot revolved around men being kidnapped and drained of their blood in order to raise Damien Darhk from the dead and of course, Nate ended up being "vampire" bait if not actually drained himself. This coupled with Mick's previously unknown obsession with vampire slaying added to the comedy of an episode that took some serious turns.

First of all, this Mallus threat is emerging as the most compelling of the main baddies in the CW DC shows at the moment. While it does seem like this universe might be overly relying on Damien (this is literally the third time he's either been the Big Bad or in a group of them), the addition of his daughter Eleanor, along with Kuasa does show that Mallus is smart in who they're recruiting even if they're also giving me a Great Intelligence vibe.

Speaking of Eleanor, the episode never reveals that she's Damien's daughter but with Courtney Ford's casting (she's also Brandon Routh's real life wife) that cat was already out of the bag. I enjoyed her scenes with Zari and along with Kuasa, I'm glad that the show is adding more female antagonists into the mix. Plus it really does seem like she's pretty similar to her father in a lot of ways.

Keeping with Zari, this episode confronted the notion of her wanting to save her brother head on and also used it as a means of getting Eleanor to steal Zari's totem as well before the latter reclaimed it. Three episodes in and Zari is working out well for them and I am loving the friendship/connection they're building between her and Amaya as well.

Another thing I loved about this episode was the fact that Stein had more to do as well. First of all, one of his ancestors was responsible for Nate getting kidnapped while present Stein realised what Jax and Ray were doing and although initially angry, he also understood why Jax wanted to help him get back home. The show's continuing strength is how it's mixes up the character interactions and there was plenty of that this week. Also, it really is dawning on me that Stein won't be on the Waverider much longer and that's a bit sad, but not if he gets a happy ending though.

- We got a cameo from Curtis this week, who also told Ray and Jax about Damien just as Sara, Rip and Nate discovered the body. Oh and Rip had way too much with the Sherlock references. Ava also seems to warming to Sara as well.
- Vampire connections: Dominic Purcell appeared in one of the Blade movies, Mick was reading Dracula, the actress playing Eleanor has been in The Vampire Diaries and True Blood and Nate outed himself as a Twilight fan.
- Standout music: I'll give you three guesses. No, I'll do one better .... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uB1D9wWxd2w - who'd have thought that Damien was a 90's r'n'b fan?
- Chronology: 1895 Victorian London.

Return Of The Mack continues the fun streak the show has been having this season but at the same time, it really went out of it's way to advance the Mallus plot, add Damien and Eleanor in the mix and show us why Sara has become a better captain than Rip as well.

Rating: 9 out of 10

Wednesday, November 08, 2017

My Review of American Horror Story: Cult - Charles (Manson) In Charge

Written by Ryan Murphy & Brad Falchuk
Directed by Bradley Buecker

Bebe (to Kai): "For thousands of years mankind has built civilization with a single intention: to keep women contained."

And if Kai's misogyny wasn't apparent all season long, then this episode and the trailer for the finale really cemented it all the more. For a penultimate episode, this was pretty strong going as Kai has seemingly escalated into full on paranoia and further members of his dwindling cult ended up being killed in this episode.

Before we get into that - all season long the show has been hyping about Evan Peters playing Charles Manson and after previous episodes going to town with him as Warhol, Jones, Koresh, Applewhite and even Jesus, this was the chance for Peters to shine and to be honest, I thought his take on Charles was merely okay. Not bad but out of all the cult leaders he's portrayed this season, I still think Warhol was the one that he got right.

As Charles, he did a serviceable enough job and I did somewhat like that Charles was a manifestation to highlight Kai's growing madness as he couldn't get solace from seeing Vincent and ended the episode fully convinced that Winter was the mole and as a result, Kai killed his sister in front of his remaining members, falling into Ally's little gaslighting plan of her own.

I can't admit to feeling bad that Winter actually died in this episode, even if her desire to want Kai to see sense about everything was genuine. Ally was right about Winter never taking responsibility for anything and Winter played her role in Kai's dangerous cult being a thing. I get that this episode she tried to amend things with Beverly but it was a case of being too little, too late.

As for Ally, she's gotten better at this game. I'm surprised there wasn't any further continuity with her deception over Oz being Kai's "son" but I did love how she fed into his paranoia and now that she knows Speedwagon was the actual mole, she's got another advantage in her slow burning quest to take down Kai next week.

As for the rest of the episode - it was sad to see Beverly broken but she's also as complicit as Winter, so again my sympathy for her is rather limited while Gary himself ended up getting butchered inside a planned parenthood clinic. The more interesting thing was the fact that Bebe was revealed to be the one to have actually masterminded Kai's cult in the first as well as being his anger management therapist. However she was also another death, this time by Ally who saved Kai from being killed by the OG feminist. Again, another nice twist for the episode.

- The episode opened with an October 2016 flashback where Kai slapped one of Winter's friends and met Bebe in therapy.
- Sarah Paulson, Leslie Grossman, Billy Eichner and Billie Lourd played Manson's acolytes Susan Atkins, Patricia Krenwinkel, Charles "Tex" Watson and Linda Kasabian respectively. Paulson especially needs to play a villain next season. Rachel Roberts however was Sharon Tate.
- Ally now has directly murdered two people that she didn't have to.
- Chronology: Not long since the previous episode left off.

Charles (Manson) In Charge was a good penultimate episode. The flashbacks weren't quite as long as previous flashback episodes have been but they certainly were as effective though. With Kai's cult shrinking, his paranoia growing, it really should be a home stretch for Ally to complete her vengeance.

Rating: 8 out of 10

Tuesday, November 07, 2017

Upside Down Again

And here's a look at some of the shows I've been catching up with in the last few weeks.

Arrow: The first four episodes of the show have been a bit. Aside from the premiere delving into the fallout of the previous finale's explosive ending, I have not missed the flashbacks and cutting away from them has actually helped the show so far. Saying that, I'm not taken with either Rene or Dinah this season, am wary about the return of Olicity but on the other hand, Michael Emerson is already great as Cayden James, the Oliver/William scenes have been decent and Black Siren is far more entertaining to watch than Diggle posing as the Green Arrow or the not so newbies. Swings and roundabouts really.

Once Upon A Time: Five episodes into the latest season and it's clear to me the show ended back in May and what we've got is a very hit miss spin-off in it's place. Getting the negatives out of the way first: Henry/Jacinda's epic romance is a damp squib with neither being well written and Victoria is a pretty poor villain and I miss the gang who are gone, while the ones who've stayed seemed a little lost in this 'requel' to be honest. On the other hand though, the Witch is an interesting would be villain while Tiana, Alice and Drizella are better than expected character but this new curse and location is already losing momentum and we're not even half way into the season, which is a worrying sign. This season hasn't been terrible but it's undeniably lacking something though.

Stranger Things: Quick note - I have only watched the first episode of Season 2 so far and between the controversies the show is generating both on and off the camera and being swamped with other shows, I might take my time with this one. Anyways one episode in and things are off to an interesting enough start. We've got new characters like Max, Bob and Billy who seem intriguing enough, the show didn't waste time in reintroducing Eleven into the mix and Will's nightmare about his time in the Upside Down world are being dealt with well enough on screen. So far, a very good start to the new season.

Supergirl: I have to admit the first two episodes this season were okay while episodes 3 and 4, the former exploring J'onn and introducing his father with the latter dealing with a faith cult were stronger efforts. The plus side to this season so far has been the slow introduction of Samantha's Reign arc (though less Ruby would be nice) and Kara snapping out of her Mon El shaped funk for a bit while the imminent Alex/Maggie break up has been a bit more wearing to be honest. Slightly the weakest of the returning CW DC shows so far but yay to more of Lena though.

The Flash: So far, there are a few things really working in this season's favour. First of all, not having a speedster antagonist was really overdue and The Thinker is working out well, despite having yet to properly interact with Barry while the overall lighter tone has been a good thing along with Barry/Iris getting their own issues out of the way first. We've also had Wally exit and Ralph added into the mix as well as Jekyll & Hyde aspect to Caitlin's Killer Frost and more of Cisco/Gypsy in the mix with some decent guest baddies. I'm waiting for something really big to happen yet but other than that, this is an improvement on last season.

- Nathan Parson has been cast as a character named Nick for an arc in Once Upon A Time. We will also be meeting an older version of Robin in later episodes.
- Peyton List will be replacing Maggie Geha as Poison Ivy in the second half of Gotham's fourth season.
- Wentworth Miller is currently filming his final episodes for both Legends Of Tomorrow and The Flash.
- Jesse Rath has been cast as Brainiac 5 for Supergirl. Blake Ritson will also play Brainiac for Krypton.
- Grey's Anatomy's 300th episode will feature Izzie "in spirit".
- Star Trek: Discovery has been renewed for a second season. CBS All Access have also expressed interest in reviving The Twilight Zone for their streaming service.
- Tatiana Maslany, Evan Peters and James Van Der Beek have been cast for Ryan Murphy's 80's LGBT series, Pose, which is currently filming.
- A series adaptation of The Lord Of The Rings could be happening with Amazon.
- FOX have cancelled Wayward Pines after two seasons.
- FOX are also developing a female led 24 spin off series.

Saturday, November 04, 2017

My Review of How To Get Away With Murder's 4x06: "Stay Strong, Mama"

Written by Morenike Balogun
Directed by Cherie Nowlan

Isaac (to Annalise): "Where the hell are you? She's awake. Answer the damn phone."

Well, it's certainly hotting up with this episode. In the space of 45 minutes, we got a better look into why Isaac is so fixated with Annalise while Laurel's mission to avenge Wes might also have contributed to Michaela and Asher breaking up among other things. This was certainly a busy one alright.

Isaac has seemed a little off and overly involved in Annalise since we've first met him and his attempts of getting her to open up about Sam and the baby she lost certainly make more sense now that we know he's lost a child of his own. I should've realised that the scenes with his own therapist Jackie would reveal that but by the end, it did come across as a genuine surprise.

Also surprising is the fact that not only is Jackie Isaac's therapist but also his ex-wife and the mother of the child they lost together. It was a nice twist moment as the episode made some uncomfortable parallels between Isaac and Annalise, which is why the latter seems so fixated on her when he wasn't also trying to get Bonnie to get professional help as well.

Keeping with the mystery angle though, we can now cross Annalise off the list as the last moment revealed that she was in the shower washing blood but with two episodes til the mid series finale, there's also Connor and Laurel's baby that has still yet to be counted for.

Speaking of Connor, I think this was his best episode so far this season. No moping or being nasty to people, just him and Annalise working together over the class action suit, helping Claudia's family keep her mother's house, shaming Denver's office and eating and confiding in each other. Given that they're my two favourite characters, every scene with them was a joy to watch this week. And we got a nice lap dance scene with Oliver in the mix too.

As for the rest of the episode, Laurel is overly pushing everyone this week and when it turned out that her father was making some deal public, it didn't stop Laurel from asking even more of Oliver and Michaela than she's done this season. I can see why Michaela given her growing closeness to Tegan doesn't want to ruin her life or career and even Oliver has plenty to lose himself.

However, Laurel's actions are already causing damage. You can tell whatever arrangement Frank and Bonnie have will end when she become privy of Frank sniffing after Laurel and this week Asher and Michaela broke up when he realised what his girlfriend and Oliver were up with Laurel and he went to comfort Bonnie, who was also in her own mess this week. Out of everyone, Connor had the least amount of angst this week.

- Tegan is gay and I have a feeling we're going to see either her seduce Michaela (or vice versa) within the next two episode.
- The teddy bear spy cam - really, Asher? That threw me a little. Laurel is still hiding her pregnancy from her father and Frank passed his test.
- Standout music: Veko's Zola Jesus at the end of this episode.
- Chronology: A week until the mid-season finale in the show's timeline.

Stay Strong, Mama builds up nicely with it's main plots bubbling away. Isaac and Tegan have been two great new additions to the series that their scenes have enhanced both Annalise and Michaela's characters along with adding to the general mystery as well. As for where Connor and Laurel's baby are, we're not long off from knowing now.

Rating: 8 out of 10

Friday, November 03, 2017

My Review of Gotham's 4x07: "A Day In The Narrows"

Written by Peter Blake
Directed by John Behring

Harvey (to Gordon): "I'm ordering you to stand down."
Oswald: "Finally, a good idea!"

Well, in theory not listening to bull in a china shop thinking Gordon would be a good idea but in reality, it seems that him not taking orders from Bullock is what led to the day being saved from Pyg's latest scheming as Gordon went rogue - yet again in order to do the right thing.

Two episodes in and Pyg is definitely emerging as a brilliant villain to me. Though there's a part of me that wishes he'd turn on Gordon too, I can see why Pyg is a little determined to instead try and mold James into his own image, even if it's a losing battle for him. As a baddie though, he continues to be eerie as anything and despite having very little screen time in the episode itself, he certainly knew how to make his presence felt.

I loved the hiding in plain sight interaction he had with Gordon. It was clever and nicely done and I did like the back and forth between the GCPD and Oswald's Headhunter trying to catch Pyg while at the same time, falling into his trap quite so easily. By Gordon saving the day, it's given Pyg his own little victory for now.

As for Jim, he was pretty annoying in this episode and he could've made more of an effort to try and understand why Bullock had been on Oswald's payroll but on the other hand, I don't think Bullock did himself much favours this week. It's a little disappointing seeing the two of them fall out and having Oswald encourage with his own meddling this week.

Speaking of Oswald, he really doesn't tolerate failure anymore does he? While the Headhunter was an okay stand in for an absent Zsasz this week, even I found it a bit OTT that Oswald just randomly killed him by the end of this one. I did however find his brief interactions with Sofia and the kids this week rather amusing.

In other fun stuff this week, this episode gave us the formation of the Sirens as Barbara, Selina and Tabitha went from nearly going their own separate into forming their crime group and taking out a biker gang as a direct result. While this little group could do with adding Ivy into the mix, I am glad to see the Sirens storyline actually start to play and hopefully it's one the show can really have fun with during the season.

As for Bruce, he really went for the billionaire playboy route this week. Getting away from Alfred, hooking up with Grace, befriending a nicer (and recast) Tommy Elliott (Gordon Winarick) and even buying a posh club and partying the night away. You could see at the end that Bruce was faking it but at least he's convincing his new friends otherwise though.

- Given the title of this episode, you'd think we would've had some stuff involving Leslie, Nygma, Grundy and Cherry. Bit odd they sat out this episode.
- Harper seems to be on Gordon's side, which seems a little different from her previous appearances.
- No Ivy, Lucious, Leslie, Grundy or Nygma this week.
- Chronology: Not long from where the previous episode left off.

A Day In The Narrows didn't entirely live up to it's title as such but in terms of cementing Pyg as a threat, causing more dissent between Gordon and Bullock, setting up the Sirens and exploring Bruce's party boy side, the episode was a success.

Rating: 7 out of 10

Thursday, November 02, 2017

My Review of Legends Of Tomorrow 3x04: "Phone Home"

Written by Matthew Maala
Directed by Kevin Mock

"Good morning, good morning. It’s great to stay up late.Good morning, good morning to you" - Singing In The Rain

Halloween was so two days ago but seeing as this episode aired on the night in question and was set during the event, my remaining spirit for the occasion can come out to play with this review. Last week ended on the cliffhanger with young Ray meeting a new friends, while this week opened up with being shot by a bunch of agents.

Even with a death hanging over his head, the current Ray can't shift his enthusiasm for wanting to help Zari to get to know her fellow teammates better by playing the trust fall/two truths and a lie game but both were pushed aside to stop Ray from actually dying in 1988 when the young lad befriended a baby Dominator and opened himself up to danger with that decision.

Shamelessly lifting from both ET and Stranger Things, this episode gave us a hell of an insight into Ray's childhood as he was a lonely nerdy kid who didn't really have any friends and was picked on for his smarts. However with an anachronism looming about, this little Ray was also stealing candy bars, playing truant and doing a little arson on the side too.

On paper this episode could've been a bit of a disaster area but the casting for younger Ray is one of the best I've seen for the show. Not only was the young actor a good match for Brandon Routh but you really got the sense that the kid would grow up to be the ever optimistic Ray Palmer that we've grown to love over the last three seasons in the Arrow universe.

The plotline with Gumball the baby Dominator was cheesy but it really did pull at the heartstrings. I got why younger Ray was so keen to protect the baby at all costs and I even found the reunion between Gumball and his mother rather sweet and that was despite the fact that the latter almost seduced and killed Nate during the episode. Again, Nate was a bit of a low point in another great episode. His attempts of making Amaya jealous were just annoying at times here.

Equally as important, the episode really threw Zari into the thick of things as the latest member of the Waverider. When she wasn't sussing everyone's motives out (except Sara's), she was the one who got through to Ray's younger self and her exasperation with him and getting used to actually being able to time travel was amusing to watch. Two episodes in and she's already a natural member of the gang.

As for Stein, he spent most of this episode being secretive, only for Mick and Jax to realise that he was just in a rush to see his grandchild being born. It was a nice enough subplot but it's also a stark reminder that we're losing Stein soon and it seems that they're also paving the way for Jax to continue to be Firestorm by himself as well.

- Seeing a bunch of agents dancing to Singing In The Rain (Ray's favourite movie) was hilarious. Also funny was Mick's declaration of love for Fiddler On The Roof as well. Musical episode anyone?
- Lily called her baby Ronnie, which was a nice touch. Ray's twin brother, Sidney was mentioned but we didn't actually see him in this one.
- Lovely moment with the whole gang going trick or treating with little Ray. We also got Sara's new White Canary costume and Zari's 80's looking outfit for good measure.
- Chronology: Halloween 1988 Ivy Town for this episode.

What an absolute joy of an episode. Yes, Phone Home was cheesy as hell, shamelessly ripping off what I mentioned earlier in the review and did nothing to advance the Mallus storyline but the episode made me smile from start to finish. I really do love this unashamedly cheesy show.

Rating: 9 out of 10

Wednesday, November 01, 2017

My Review of American Horror Story: Cult - Drink The Kool-Aid

Written by Adam Penn
Directed by Angela Bassett

Kai (to Ally/Oz): "Now we can be a real family."

Holy shit, they really went there, didn't they? All season long I've been reading theories about Kai actually being Oz's father (and clearly the writers were aware they'd be a thing as well) and this episode subverts the idea by actually having Ally trick Kai into believing that he actually has fathered a messiah child. Interesting move there, Ally.

Ally this week really upped her game. I did think for all of her talk in the previous episode that she'd crack and it certainly looked like she was going to due Kai's kool-aid session but it turns out that this steelier version of Ally might actually be here to stay after all and it wasn't just Kai who was flustered by Ally this week.

Nope, Ivy really didn't see being poisoned by her wife coming a mile off and she really should've done. Ivy was stupid enough to actually challenge Ally's newfound confidence and came a cropper when Ally calmly revealed that she had given her arsenic along with the pasta and wine for dinner. There's a part of me that should feel a bit bad for Ivy but she somewhat had this coming to her and she won't be missed, though I'd be fine with Alison Pill in another role next season though.

Ally being on fire this week was a good thing because none of the other female characters were. When Ivy wasn't blasting Ally, she was worrying over Winter, who spent most of the episode finally realising that her brother is actually deranged when she wasn't getting bitch slapped by Ally and Beverly for good measure.

As for Kai, well he's definitely become victim of his own hype. He played the kool aid game to test his cult's loyalty and had one of his cute/bland frat boy followers killed when the latter showed some semblance of sanity. Not to mention the fact that he lost his shit when Oz corrected him, only to completely believe Ally's story of actually fathering the boy in the first place. Either way, like all cult leaders, Kai's hubris is going to be his undoing and with two episodes left, it's about damn time.

- Evan Peters had the job of playing both David Koresh and Jim Jones in flashbacks and even Jesus Christ, which made me burst out laughing. We also saw Marshall Applewhite too.
- Vincent/Rudy has been added to his parents bedroom along with Ivy's corpse. If I were Winter, I'd definitely be worried about being next now.
- I'm guessing Wikipedia will be added to the list of sites that Kai will now be trying to ban before he's killed, right?
- Chronology: Not long from where the previous episode left off.

Drink The Kool Aid was another great episode and while I've missed not seeing her this season, it's nice that Angela Bassett came back to direct the episode. We're seeing the beginning of the end for Kai and his insane cult and the emerging of a strong, more ruthless Ally is also fun to watch.

Rating: 8 out of 10

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

My Review of Halloween 4: The Return Of Michael Myers (1988)

Written by Dhani Lipsius & Larry Rattner & Benjamin Ruffner & Alan B. McElroy
Directed by Dwight H. Little

Dr. Loomis (re Michael Myers and Jamie): "Ten years ago, he tried to kill Laurie Strode. Now he wants her daughter."

After the criminally underrated third movie decided to take a break from Michael Myers and unfortunately suffered the consequences of that decision, it was time for Haddonfield's most deadly to come out of a ten year retirement (in the movie's chronology of course) and wreck more havoc, only this time, Laurie Strode wouldn't be the target of his obsessive killing spree.

With Jamie Lee Curtis deciding to distance herself from the franchise until 1998, the target in question became Laurie Strode's younger daughter, Jamie Lloyd (Danielle Harris), recently fostered into the Carruther family and suffering terrible nightmares about her murderous uncle that soon become a reality when he escapes from the hospital and makes it back to Haddonfield a decade from his last visit to the place.

Of course while Laurie's a no show in the movie, Donald Pleasance is however back as Sam Loomis and he's every bit as doom sounding as he was in his previous appearances as he tries to get the local Sheriff to help him try and stop Michael from killing his only other blood relative along with other innocent people as well.

Outside of the first movie, this one definitely did a great job of building something of a bigger world for the franchise. Casting child actors isn't an easy task but this movie did well with Danielle Harris, who is great as Jamie, even if it does seem a little contrived that Laurie had a child that she then might or might have abandoned but at the same time, it's a continuation of the family linked that somewhat restricted the franchise to a point.

Jamie is technically the final girl of the movie as she does her best to avoid being killed by her murderous uncle (George P. Wilbur) with the help of Loomis and 'sister' Rachel (Ellie Cornell), the latter of whom even makes for a more compelling protagonist than even Laurie did in her later movies, until the movie ends on a note that shows that the apple doesn't fall too far from the tree.

The  movie deserves points for making Michael a little scarier than his second appearance, although none of the deaths, bar the opening kill are too shocking. I also like that Rachel and her friends are fairly dimensional characters before Michael picked off the majority of them and the various callbacks to the first movie actually work in this one's favour to boot.

- Danielle Harris would later go on to play Annie Brackett in the Rob Zombie remakes.
- Although it's not really revealed as such both Tommy Doyle and Lindsey Wallace from the first two movies are actually in this one.
- This movie along with the next two will then be erased from canon by the time Halloween H20: Twenty Years Later came out.
- The script was done in 11 days and it was also done while a writers strike was looming.

Halloween 4: The Return Of Michael Myers might arguably be the last great movie in the franchise until 1998 (and hopefully 2018) and it certainly helped to expand a world that would later be scrapped when the franchise decided to reboot itself but as a movie, it's a worthy entry into this particular universe.

Rating: 8 out of 10

My Review of Halloween 3: Season Of The Witch (1982)

Written & Directed by Tommy Lee Wallace

Daniel: "Witchcraft."
Cochran: "To us, it was a way of controlling our environment. It's not so different now... it's time again. In the end, we don't decide these things, you know; the planets do. They're in alignment, and it's time again. The world's going to change tonight, Doctor, I'm glad you'll be able to watch it. And... Happy Halloween."

Probably the most controversial thing you can do in the Halloween movie franchise was done back in 1982 when for the series third entry, they decided to take Michael Myers out of the equation and it went down like a lead balloon. However time is a great thing as this movie has garnered more affection over the last couple of decades and it's easy to see why.

Instead of seeing Laurie Strode getting terrorised for the third time by her knife wielding indestructible older brother, this time the action takes place in California where womanizing doctor Daniel Challis (Tom Atkins) finds himself embroiled in a dark conspiracy when a toy store owner ends up dying in mysterious circumstances at the hospital and with the aid of the man's daughter, Ellie (Stacey Nelkin), the two of them soon realise the trouble is in a small town, which harbours the Silver Shamrock factory, run by Cork man Conal Cochran (Dan O'Herlihy), who has his own sinister agenda for Samhain/Halloween.

This is certainly a dark movie and arguably even a little more scary without Michael Myers hacking up the main cast every five to ten minutes as well. Unlike the first two movies, this one has no problem with actually killing children as Cochran's grand scheme involves a jingle that activates the Silver Shamrock mask to murder kids and we're given one pretty graphic demonstration in the movie halfway through.

In the original script Cochran was meant to be a 2000 year old demon and it's certainly implied in his heated exchanges with our hero, Challis that he's been around for a couple of centuries alright. I'm not entirely sure if his scheme to murder people on Halloween and essentially replace them with robots (which significantly happens to Ellie towards the end of this movie) actually holds up but they're definitely menacing as we get to see some rather unfortunate people meet their demise at the hands of Cochran's robotic henchmen, including one particularly gory scene involving a drill.

The ending itself is also a rather suitably grim moment that also reminds you that even without a certain knife wielding maniac you're watching a Halloween movie and to be honest, much as I love Michael Myers (not morally obviously), it's a shame the idea of an actual anthology series with different stories didn't properly catch on as this was a great starting template for the idea.

- Jamie Lee Curtis actually has an uncredited voiceover role while Nancy Loomis (Annie) also plays Challis's ex-wife for a scene or two.
- Yup, there's also the scene where a tied up Dan is actually forced to watch the original Halloween movie before he escapes. At least Cochran didn't butcher the word Samhain like Sam Loomis did in the previous movie.
- The movie's tagline "the night no-one came home" is one of the best taglines I've seen for a movie. I'm just throwing that out there.
- You're going to hate me for this, but here's a link to Silver Shamrock to enjoy .... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W7-uC0LDllM

Halloween 3: Season Of The Witch might be the oddity of the franchise but in it's own right, it's a genuinely great movie, ripe with memorable moments from start to finish and a bloody great antagonist in Cochran. This is definitely a movie that deserves more love than it's gotten in the past.

Rating: 7 out of 10

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Shazam! - Zachary Levi Cast In Title Role

With the DCEU announcing so many movies, I was wondering if we were ever going to get some casting on Shazam and finally we did. The guy playing the role has been revealed as ....

Zachary Levi. Yup, the guy known for roles such as Flynn Rider in Tangled and the title character of Chuck, which ran for five seasons on NBC will be our Shazam!/Billy Batson for the DCEU and to be honest, it's interesting casting choice. Zachary seems to be adept at heroic roles given that he was also in the Heroes: Reborn revival series and also appeared as Fandral in Thor: The Dark World and Ragnorak recently. Casting for the younger Billy Batson though has yet to be confirmed but after months of very little to go on, it's nice that we now have our title hero cast. The character of Billy Batson an adult superhero by saying the name “Shazam!”, which is an acronym for ancient gods and historical figures Solomon, Hercules, Atlas, Zeus, Achilles, and Mercury.

Of course every hero needs their villain and while the casting for Black Adam has been known for ages, need I remind everyone again that it's Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson for the role. The Fast & Furious actor was cast a while ago with rumours of him getting his own solo movie as well. Other DC movies in the lineup include sequels for Wonder Woman, Suicide Squad and Justice League, Justice League Dark, Flashpoint, The Batman and Batgirl along with rumoured movies for Joker/Harley, Deadshot and Deathstroke while Aquaman is also finished filming, due for release in December 2018.

Press Release: http://deadline.com/2017/10/zachary-levi-dc-shazam-new-line-1202196486/

Filming for Shazam! will begin filming in Spring 2018 with a release scheduled for April 2019.

My Review of How To Get Away With Murder's 4x05: "I Love Her"

Written by Sarah L. Thompson
Directed by Lexi Alexander

Bonnie (to Isaac, re Annalise): "I miss the house. I miss our family. She made me feel safe. Even when I hated her. I didn’t have anyone until her. Then she just threw it away."

I was going to use Nate's mention of Bonnie being a Single White Female as my quote for this episode but I decided to be a bit more fair to Bonnie because while her vendetta with Annalise has gotten rather tiresome, this episode on the other hand was absolutely fantastic.

Back in Season 2, we got some rather graphic details about Bonnie's backstory when Annalise told Asher about her abusive father. This episode went to 2002 where Bonnie was giving evidence against one of her attackers and Annalise was defending the guy and thus their fates soon intertwined with each other as Annalise's guilt over Bonnie led to her trying to help the troubled waitress out by bringing her in as a student for her own law firm and introducing her to Sam as well.

I loved the flashbacks, dodgy wigs to one side and I certainly think the episode did a fantastic job into delving into Annalise and Bonnie's fascinating but toxic relationship with each other. In the present day, Bonnie was mulling over her 'break up' with Annalise to Isaac before the latter eventually figured out who she really was while at the same time also sabotaging Annalise's latest mission, both things which didn't exactly put Bonnie in a particularly great light this week.

I do think Annalise handled the fallout of Bonnie's actions better than expected, considering the last time Bonnie went for the kill, Annalise nearly went for her. It also helped that she still had Claudia on her side and that Connor also got roped in to help her. I'm glad they're teaming Connor and Annalise up. Aside from them being my two favourites, I'm also done with Connor just moping around the place and this episode finally gave him the kick up the backside he's needed this season.

Keeping with the kicks, are we really doing a whole 'who's the daddy?' story with Laurel's baby? It seems so as this week, it turned out that Laurel actually did cheat on Wes with Frank and that the baby might be his. Much as I do like Laurel, this episode really wasn't her best as she was kind of vexing with everyone this week, especially Oliver and Michaela who hacked into Caplan & Gold's files to get more information on Trent but they also nearly got caught by Simon, who was less annoying than usual this week.

As for Asher, he was shown in the present day to be growing increasingly insecure and frustrated with Michaela's long working hours but when Bonnie showed up at Caplan & Gold in the flash forward moment, Asher was also seen crying in a cell. Has Asher someone else and if so, who?

- Connor nearly went off with a guy on Humpr but chose to talk to Annalise instead while Simon more or less confirmed he was gay to Oliver.
- I really like that Tegan seems to actually like Michaela, so I'm bracing myself for their relationship to go south pretty fast now.
- Annalise and Sam were trying for a baby in flashbacks during this episode. I was a little surprised to see Sam this week but his appearance worked well enough.
- Chronology: Two weeks until the big mid season finale moment. In the show's chronology that is. Mostly 2002 in flashbacks though.

A brilliant episode. I Love Her delved successfully into Annalise and Bonnie's relationship, the flashbacks were fantastic, present day stuff interesting and more facets to the main mystery added on pretty well. Kudos, show.

Rating: 9 out of 10

Friday, October 27, 2017

My Review of Gotham's 4x06: "Hog Day Afternoon"

Written by Kim Newton
Directed by Mark Tonderai

Professor Pyg (to a cop): "Oink, oink, little pig."

Okay, one of the creepiest and most recent Batman villains finally got added to the show's roster of Rogue Gallery members and this was an episode that despite not being overtly gory (funny, considering the main baddie in question), did however managed to be suitably creepy while at the same time providing a disappointing if not surprising revelation about Bullock to boot.

First of all, props to guest actor Michael Cerveris for being utterly menacing as Pyg. We never get to see what he looks like outside of that pig mask he wore but all of his scenes, including that chilling last moment where he was actually feeding the pigs really struck a note for me that there's more horrible stuff to come.

Pyg as a character in general is genuinely horrifying and has gone from the comics to the Arkham games and Beware The Batman animated series in recent years. This live action foray into the character is off to a promising start with him kidnapping and killing corrupt cops and putting pigs heads on their faces to boot.

The use of opera music, the creepy sing song style rhyming, just everything about Cerveris's performance just sold Pyg as a dangerous villain but the fact that he was willing to spare Gordon, whom he viewed as a good cop was interesting while he failed in his attempt to murder Bullock though. Speaking of Bullock, this wasn't his best episode yet.

I'm not really surprised that he was revealed as being under Oswald pay packet and I almost can get his reasons for doing so but it came across as a rather predictable move and do we really need yet another reason for Gordon to get on high horse? The answer would be no and you know it's going to put a strain on their friendship for the next few episodes.

As for the rest of the episode, this plot in the Narrows with Leslie, Butch/Grundy and Nygma has gotten pretty interesting too. While these Fight Club storylines most genre shows seem to do nowadays usually tend to be rather boring, there at least a few dimensions to this one as both Leslie and Nygma interacted quite a lot here.

I like that Leslie tried to look out for Grundy with Nygma barely containing the fact that he was using the latter for his own end while at the same time having some fun at Ed's expense before agreeing to help him out. The subplot with Cherry allowing Leslie to run a free clinic in exchange for helping out with her boxers made a lot of sense. Basically this Narrows storyline is probably a lot better than most of what Leslie had going on last season.

As for Oswald, once again we had a situation where it looked like he was finally going to catch Sofia out, only for things to be turned on their head and for him to fall further under her thumb for good measure. Sofia this week revealed that she opened up an orphanage and to be honest, I think Zsasz's reaction really summed it up. I get that the Nygmobblepot shippers are hating this storyline but I'm finding it rather fascinating to be honest, though I do hope they don't go down the romance route here.

- Leslie's in the Narrows as it was the worst affected by the Tetch virus that she feels guilty over being released.
- I'm hoping the show does a bit more with Cherry before this Narrows storyline is over with. So far, she's done not too much other than being concerned about money and making sure Leslie keeps to her side of the bargain.
- No Bruce, Alfred, Selina, Lucius, Ivy, Barbara or Tabitha this week.
- Chronology: Not long from where the previous episode left off.

Hog Day Afternoon with a bit of a tweaking would've made for a good Halloween episode. It was certainly creepy enough and we have yet to see the show properly acknowledge the holiday considering that this season is meant to be influenced by The Long Halloween. A good introduction for Pyg and some great subplots as well, nicely meshed together.

Rating: 7 out of 10

Thursday, October 26, 2017

My Review of Legends Of Tomorrow's 3x03: "Zari"

Written by James Eagan & Ray Utarnachitt
Directed by Mairzee Almas

Zari: "Really? You saved the world."
Ray: "Twice."
Zari: "Then why does it still suck?"

I have to hand it to this season so far. When it comes to female characters, sometimes the show felt on a rather uneven tone with Sara, Kendra and Amaya making up the ratio for the first two seasons but with Gideon getting more personality (and hopefully another physical appearance at some point) and the debuts of Ava and Kuasa in the last two episodes, it seems like the show is getting the male/female ratio on a more even tone.

Of course, Kuasa is one of our antagonists for the season and Ava is more of a thorn for the Legends so when it comes to female characters actually joining the Waverider, Zari Tomaz (Tala Ashe) is the one to step into the plate but not quite so simply, which does suit this show to a tee.

Nope the episode opened with Kuasa on a mission to kill Zari and the rather hapless Gary forced to work with the Legends in order to keep the computer hacktivist out of harm's way. Of course, Zari isn't really that impressed with the Legends but they're useful in getting her into ARGUS under the belief they're helping to rescue her brother. The reality on the other hand turned out to be that Zari wanted to get her brother's totem, which not so funnily enough was also the same thing that Kuasa was looking for as well.

For an introduction episode to our newest regular, this did a great job with Zari. Her moments of sarcasm and defiance with the Legends never made her unlikeable and the show talked about her being Muslim pretty well to boot. I also find it interesting that Zari and Amaya are now connected with their respective totems as well as Kuasa also leaving Amaya a hint of their own connection.

Speaking of Amaya, while she was mainly out of the action until the last confrontation with Kuasa, I am enjoying this storyline with her totem. Given how quickly she encountered Kuasa in this episode, I guess it won't be long before she realises that Mari isn't her only granddaughter. Kuasa didn't say a lot in this one but she's certainly acquitted herself as an interesting foe for the Legends while Zari looks like she's going to be a great addition to the team.

As for the rest of the episode, there was some good comedy at the expense of Nate being high and Gary still being a dweeb (along with Mick's general awesomeness) but at the same time, we might need a breather or two from Sara and Ava's usual antagonistic/flirty banter and even I thought that Stein was being a little patronising over Amaya's totem problem despite meaning well. Jax also had some good moments. As for Ray, well there's another story.

I liked his scenes with Zari but the pirate/biker look was pretty ridiculous to be honest. The interesting part though occurred at the episode's end as we saw a younger version of him hiding from bullies and encountering something in a tunnel. Now that was a good set up for the next episode.

- I'm really not shocked that ARGUS went the way it did in 2042. It was a totally predictable outcome to be honest.
- Loved the trippy sequences with Amaya back in Zambesi during her vision quest. Gideon's reaction to Ava as well was fantastic.
- No mentions of Mallus this week.
- Chronology: 2042 Seattle and 1988 Ivy Town.

Zari added our latest player into the mix and did it pretty well. I think I enjoyed this episode a little more than last week and as much as the premiere episode. I also liked the set up we've got for next week's Halloween episode too.

Rating: 8 out of 10

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

My Review of American Horror Story: Cult - Winter Of Our Discontent

Written by Joshua Green
Directed by Barbara Brown

Kai (to everyone): "Let's all welcome our newest member."

Okay, so the final twist wasn't actually shocking considering what happened throughout the episode but it more than delivered the punch it set out to do nonetheless. Yes, people, Ally has officially joined Kai's batshit crazy cult and the look on Ivy's face really made the moment all the more powerful as well.

I haven't been keen on Ally and her never ending crying for most of this season but this episode was the one where she finally got a spine and delivered. When she found out from Rudy that he was related to Kai and Winter, she flipped her shit and then sold Rudy out to Kai and by doing that, obviously earned herself a spot in the original member dwindling cult.

Speaking of Rudy - I was relieved to find out that he was an actual innocent in all of this. I had thought that maybe Kai was stealing his information and it's nice the theory panned out. It was also nice that Rudy apologised to Ally and tried to make things right for both her and Kai but at the same time, it also resulted in his death, which even Winter seemed horrified by this week. With Rudy dead, Ally is the only one who take Kai out now, unless Winter and Ivy step up to the plate.

I've found Winter to be something of a polarising character this season but this episode (along with last week's to a certain extent), she's finally become interesting with Billie Lourd putting a really great performance here. Winter was determined to defend Kai's intention with Ivy and Beverly (the latter she sold out to Kai) but by the end of this episode, she was certainly done with Kai.

Kai really overstepped the mark when he tried to get her and Samuels to conceive a messiah child and when the latter later attempted to rape Winter, she shot him in the head and blamed Beverly for it. Despite being complicit in the cult's activities, the episode actually managed to generate a lot more sympathy for the character than expected and I wouldn't be shocked if Winter, Ivy and Ally end up making it out of the season alive.

As for Samuels, I really do like Colton Haynes as an actor but if any character deserved to die in this season (aside from Kai), it's certainly him. He went from being a dull, blank slate for most of the season only for his backstory to reveal his corruption as a detective, closeted homosexuality and overt misogyny in one fell swoop. Character wise, he won't be missed at least not by me.

- The 2015 flashback where Kai and Winter took out a Christian guy who was torturing 'sinners' showed that Kai originally had good intentions. That Ricky Springfield cameo though.
- Where the hell has Oz been for the last few episodes? Both Ally and Ivy haven't been looking after him.
- Standout music: All 4-One's I Swear during that horrible near sex scene with Winter, Kai and Samuels.
- Chronology: Three weeks since the previous episode.

Winter Of Our Discontent has just skyrocketed to being my favourite episode this season. It's great that after such a shaky start, this season has well and truly found it's feet and now that Ally is in the cult, things can only get more interesting.

Rating: 10 out of 10

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Doctor Who - Series 11 Companions Cast

We've been waiting ages for some news on the future of Doctor Who and now we've finally gotten some as the remaining cast members for Series 11 have been announced.

With Jodie Whittaker already confirmed as the Thirteenth Doctor back in July, there were rumours of whom her companions were going to be. The most persistent one being that Bradley Walsh was one of them and on Sunday, the BBC confirmed that Walsh, whose credits include Coronation Street, Law & Order: UK and hosting popular ITV game show, The Chase would be one of the companions. Bradley who also appeared in the second series of The Sarah Jane Adventures as the villainous Elijah Spellman will be taking on the regular role of Graham but in an interesting move, Bradley is one of three new companions to be added to the upcoming eleventh series.

The other two companions, named Yasmin and Ryan will be played by Mandip Gill and Tosin Cole, both of whom have previously worked with each other on Hollyoaks a few years ago. Mandip has also appeared in episodes of Cuckoo and Good Karma Hospital while Tosin appeared in Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

Nothing is known about any of the three new companions other than their names and casting details but it's interesting that like Doctors such as William Hartnell and Peter Davison, Jodie Whittaker will be starting her run with three new companions, following the departures of Bill Potts (Pearl Mackie) and Nardole (Matt Lucas).

Also joining the cast for Series 11 will be Sharon D. Clarke. The Holby City actress has bagged a returning role for the upcoming series, which could mean anything (is she playing a former character on the show?) but casting aside, there was more information to be had about next year. First of all, the eleventh series will not air until Autumn 2018 and that it will be 10 episodes, with the opener being feature length and the rest being 50 minutes long. It certainly confirms all the rumours of a shake up and given that the show has needed a shot in the arm for a while, this all looks pretty promising.

Press Release: http://www.bbc.co.uk/mediacentre/latestnews/2017/doctor-who-cast?ns_mchannel=social&ns_campaign=bbc_press_office&ns_source=twitter&ns_linkname=corporate

Series 11 of Doctor Who will air in Autumn 2018 on BBC1/BBCAmerica respectively with filming beginning next week. Meanwhile Series 10 will be released on DVD from November 13th while Twice Upon A Time airs on Christmas Day.

My Review of Empire's 4x04: "Bleeding War"

Written by Diane Ademu-John & Jamie Rosengard
Directed by Sanaa Hamri

Cookie: "Show me how you fight!"

Okay, in what universe does a one year old have a Prince themed birthday party? I appreciate Empire for wanting to celebrate the late singer but like Glee with some of it's themed episodes (remember when Gwyneth Paltrow sang an Adele song during an episode about neglected artists?), this wasn't the place for it.

Don't get me wrong - I loved the costumes and I loved Jamal and Hakeem's take on Let's Go Crazy but having it for Bella's birthday jarred a little bit though. Of course, it wasn't too heavily focused and the main thing was Anika having the cheek to apply for sole custody of Bella, thanks to Angelo getting his Lyon hating groove back on this week.

While Hakeem is hardly father of the year, Anika absolutely doesn't deserve custody of Bella either considering what she did to Rhonda. Speaking of Rhonda - how terrible was it that Andre actually had to remind his entire family that it was a year since her death as well? I know they weren't close to Rhonda but that came across as rather callous to me. Even the new detective was more sensitive to Andre's plight than his family. Personally I was disappointed that Andre didn't get to take Anika down a few notches but hopefully someone will this season.

When the episode wasn't remembering both Bella and Rhonda, Lucious himself was also unsure about wanting to be the man he used to be for Cookie. He was able to listen to her prison stories but found himself put out by her ruthlessness over the 2020 showcase that ate up into a lot of this episode as well.

Much as I enjoy Cookie's fiery side, even I found her a bit too blunt in this episode with most of the artists competing for a spot at times, so I liked that Lucious called her out on it a little. However it seems that Claudia has certainly sank her claws a little further into Lucious's vulnerable as the episode ended with something of a past reminder for the latter as well.

As for the rest of the episode, Jamal did a love duet with Warren, which sounded nice but at the same time, Warren is still gloating to Diana about getting information out of Jamal, which Diana went to the media about. Then again we did see Warren showing some guilt as well when Diana was at her most smug over Lucious's current state, so there's that.

- Just noticed Porsha's new hairstyle in this episode and Cookie herself had a few different looks throughout this one. Cookie's prison flashbacks were excellent as well.
- Again, who has a Prince theme for a one year old's birthday party?
- Standout music: Has to be Love Is A Drug from Jamal and Warren this week.
- Chronology: From where the previous episode left off.

Bleeding War had it's moments - good music, great flashbacks but I am starting to wonder how much longer Diana can be sustained as a villain and surely we're at the point now where Lucious's memories should resurface, right? Other than that, this was pretty enjoyable though.

Rating: 8 out of 10