Saturday, June 30, 2018

Batman 66 - Episodes 45-48 Reviews

Into another slew of episodes and this time around, both the dilemma of time and eggs play a part with our baddies in question.

2x11: The Clock King's Crazy Crimes

Ah, the Clock King. A man who is a stickler for timing and can often be something of a mixed bag, baddie wise. Here he is played by Walter Slezak who does a pretty good job in making the character interesting enough as the Clock King uses the guise of a pop up artist to fool the Dynamic Duo in one rather interesting scene. Another and keeping with the theme of this baddie was having both Batman and Robin trapped within an hourglass as part of the cliffhanger for this one, which I found pretty great. There's also a rather nice cameo from Sammy Davis, Jr in this one too. 7/10

2x12: The Clock King Gets Crowned

With the Dynamic Duo out of the hourglass pretty sharpish, the second half of this story focuses on the Clock King's attempts to rob Wayne Manor and even try to take poor Aunt Harriet as a hostage before being outwitted by Bruce and Dick. It's a bit of a letdown after the first part being the stronger of the two. This is the only time we see the Clock King and while Slezak is good in the role, the story does peter out a little in this part. 6/10

2x13: An Egg Grows In Gotham

After King Tut, my favourite original villain for this series is Egghead and with Vincent Price in the role and fully mebracing the silliness of his eggscellent punning character, it's hard not to have love Egghead here. In this story he kidnaps Bruce Wayne, Dick Grayson and two other billionaires and quickly deduces through his own instincts that Bruce must be Batman. There's also a subplot with an Indian Chief that's amusing enough and Egghead's own batches of eggs seem to range from the acidic to the infectious laughter kind. An eggscellent debut for this baddie. 8/10

2x14: The Yegg Foes In Gotham

Thanks to his alliance with Egghead, Screaming Chicken is now the owner of Gotham and it's not long before he's betrayed by the latter and the city has gone into some mini-chaos due to Egghead's control over things. This also included trying to get the Dynamic Duo banned from the city before Egghead literally ended up with egg on his face following a fun confrontation with Batman and Robin in Old MacDonald's coop. There's also another moment where it looks like Gordon is addressing the audience when talking to Mayor Linseed over the city needing the Caped Crusaders as well. 8/10

Next blog I'll delve into The Devil's Fingers/The Dead Ringers and Hizzonner the Penguin/Dizzoner the Penguin

Superman: The Animated Series - Episodes 1-4 Reviews

It's been overdue and I would've started this a bit earlier in the month but got distracted with real life for a while. Without a further ado, it's time to dive into this animated show, which opens with a three parter and has a creepy Toyman in the mix.

Episode 1: The Last Son Of Krypton, Part 1

Like I said, this series opened with a three parter and the first part of that one is set during Krypton's final day. Jor El (Christopher McDonald) is worried about his planet's destruction and despite not being initially believed by his wife, Lara (Finola Hughes), he soon discovers that Brainiac (Corey Burton) is aware of the planet's imminent demise and is more interested in saving himself than figuring out a solution to save Krypton. As the planet begins it's final moments, there's only enough time for Jor El and Lara to put their son in a pod and send him to Earth. 7/10

Episode 2: The Last Son Of Krypton, Part 2

Speeding things up a bit here, we open with Jonathan (Mike Farrell) and Martha Kent (Shelley Faberes) finding baby Kal El's pod, adopting the child inside it and calling him Clark Kent. as a teenager we also see Clark (Jason Marsden) develop his powers in front of his best friend and crush, Lana Lang (Kelly Schmidt) before learning of his heritage and moving to Metropolis and getting himself a job at the Daily Planet. There our adult Clark (Tim Daly) becomes Superman and develops a fun rivarly with fellow reporter Lois Lane (Dana Delany) while a media event with Lex Luthor (Clancy Brown) ends in disaster. 8/10

Episode 3: The Last Son Of Krypton, Part 3

Ending this three parter, the focus shifts onto Lex's own corruption as he happily admits to Superman that he's played a huge role in building Metropolis while Lois herself ends up in danger when she uncovered  Lex's plot to sell the LEXO-SKEL SUIT 5000 to Kaznian terrorists, via their agent John Corben. This won't be the first time in the series where Lois winds up in danger but already I am loving the rapport with her and Clark and even the added rivalry between herself and fellow reporter, Angela Chen (Lauren Tom). The episode also ends on the note of an escaped Brainiac looking for Clark as well, which should be interesting to see unfold throughout the series. 8/10

Episode 4: Fun And Games

After a three part opening story to debut the series, it was time to see what the show could do with something more standalone and the result are rather creepy. Toyman is a villain I'm a little lukewarm on but here, thanks to a chilling design and voice performance from Bud Cort. This Toyman goes out of his way to get revenge on a mobster while also dressing up Lois in a creepy doll costume and forcing her to report what he wants her to before Superman arrives to save the day. It's a pretty strong episode and surprisingly a little dark in parts. 8/10

Next blog I will look into A Little Piece Of Home, Feeding Time, The Way Of All Flesh and Stolen Memories.

My Review of Superman IV: The Quest For Peace (1987)

Written by Christopher Reeve & Lawrence Konner & Mark Rosenthal
Directed by Sidney J. Furie

Lex Luthor (to Superman): "Goodnight, sweet prince. Parting is... inevitable."

Going by this line, a part of me wonders if there's some UST between the Man of Steel and his most popular adversary. It certainly would explain a lot about Lex's obsession with Superman but at the same time, it's this movie.

The very movie that despite actor Christopher Reeve had some story involvement in was also the same one where he'd tell co-star Jon Cryer that they were basically filming a turkey. Is Reeve right on that matter? Let's face it, this movie is far from loved, even if it has the bonuses of a third outing for Gene Hackman's Lex Luthor and Margot Kidder back in a far bigger role as Lois Lane.

Unfortunately though, this movie is also another reason as to why these superhero movies are better off expanding on other prominent baddies though. You would've thought by this time someone would've attempted to have used the likes of Bizarro, Doomsday or Darkseid for one of these movies instead of having Lex coming back for another round.

This time around, he's sprung from prison by his dimwitted (but we're supposed to believe he's an actual genius) nephew Lenny (Jon Cryer) and by stealing a strand of Superman's hair that the latter donated to a museum (bit of a reckless thing to do there, Clark), Lex then creates his own super soldier unimaginatively called Nuclear Man (Mark Pillow).

Nuclear Man is another baddie specifically made for the movies and he's not a very engaging baddie. Namely he's a mindless drone for Luthor, even copying his 'father's' speech pattern at various points in the movie but there is a decent enough battle between Nuclear Man and Superman in space before Lex is sent to prison yet again and Lenny is sent to an all boys school where hopefully he's never seen again either.

In terms of threats, the quest for peace had the potential to be interesting but it just didn't come together that well. On the other hand, we also had Perry White (Jackie Cooper) temporarily lose control of the Daily Planet to David Warfield (Sam Wanamaker) and his daughter, Lacy (Mariel Hemingway) - the latter with an overt interest in Clark and who actually a far better written character than her father was in the whole movie. Needless to say though, Perry did get control of the Daily Planet before the very movie did end.

As for Lois, this was a better movie for her than the third one but even still aside from an odd quadrangle involving herself, Lacy and both Clark/Superman and realising that she cares for Clark, her role still isn't hugely satisfying though. There was even a brief moment when it felt like she was going to remember Clark and Superman being the same person but that came to nothing though.

- Aside from appearing in all four of these movies, Marc McClure (Jimmy Olsen) also appeared in Supergirl, which was released between the third and fourth movies. I will be reviewing that one too.
- There was tension between both Christopher Reeve and Margot Kidder during filming of this one.
- Apparently this film was meant to be 134 minutes but was scaled down to 90 minutes. It was also a box office failure.
- There was nice opening scenes set in Smallville where Clark talked to Lara before talking about not selling his parents farm.

Superman IV: The Quest For Peace like Batman & Robin a decade later brought something of halt to a disappointing end to an overall great movie saga. Despite the behind the scenes chaos, Reeve does try his best but compared to even the third movie, it does feel like he's going through the motions a bit at times and the results of this movie are seriously undercooked at best.

Rating: 5 out of 10

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

My Review of The Sword In The Stone (1963)

Written by Bill Peet
Directed by Wolfgang Reitherman

Arthur:"Knowledge and wisdom is the real power."
Merlin: "Right you are,Wart, so stick to your schooling, boy."

I really do have an unbridled love for this movie. Adaptations of Merlin and Arthur are ten a penny with some obviously being better than others and this lovely little movie from Disney is definitely in the category of one of my favourites.

Following the death of Uther Pendragon, England is in disarray with no heir in sight, which means there's competition to be seated on the throne. This is where Sir Ector (Sebastian Cabot) comes in, determined that his boorish son, Sir Kay (Norman Alden) could be the next king, while at the same time, the former's foster kid, or Kay's squire known as Wart (Rickie Sorenson) comes into wizened wizard Merlin (Karl Swenson) who is determined to educate the boy along with his snarky owl, Archimedes (Junius Matthews).

Wart's education seems to be mostly changing him into different animals and putting him into a series of dangers. As a fish, Wart has to avoid a crocodile from trying to eat him while as a squirrel, he's forced to fight off the affections of a female squirrel as well as a hungry and malnourished looking wolf. Then he's turned into a little bird and soon finds himself in danger of Madam Mim (Martha Wentworth), the closest to a proper antagonist that the movies seems to have.

Madam Mim is a fun baddie to watch as she revels in human suffering with a song in her heart and an ability to change into various animals. This leads to a brilliant battle of wits between Mim and Merlin as the two try to outdo each other on the animal front before the latter comes up with an underhanded way to deal with Mim. Unlike some other Disney baddies, Mim actually managed to survive this movie.

As for the rest of the movie, there's a bit of a falling out between Merlin and Arthur when the latter shows an interest in being Sir Kay's squire but given what this is based on, it's not long before Arthur discovers his true destiny and removes a sword from a certain stone and ends the movie by becoming England's newest King.

For an adaptation, this one is a lot of fun with Arthur, Merlin and Archimedes making for a joyful trio. There's a few allusions to Merlin's abilities to travel into the future and one hilarious moment where Archimedes takes satisfaction in Merlin being wrong about humans being able to fly.

- This movie is based on T.H White's book of the same title. The book was released a few years before this movie's release.
- There's a few obvious riffs to Sleeping Beauty in this movie.
- Bill Peet largely drew on Disney himself in his depiction of Merlin for this movie.
- The movie is also getting a live action version.

The Sword In The Stone is probably one of the more underrated Disney movies but it's a lot of fun. I really loved this one as a kid and even now having watched it again recently, it still holds up pretty well for an animated take on the Arthurian legend.

Rating: 8 out of 10

Monday, June 25, 2018

Batman 66 - Episodes 41-44 Reviews

In the batch of episodes I'm looking at now, a sinister Pharaoh has resurfaced and we meet a crime family with a deadly matriarch.

2x07: The Spell Of Tut

My favourite original villain returns for his second story and thankfully, it's as enjoyable as his first one. Last time we saw Tut, he kidnapped Bruce Wayne, so this time around, it seems that he's taking his talents and minions in order to revive Scarabs while his Cleopatra is posing as Gordon's secretary and drugging him. There's an amusing cameo from both the Green Hornet (Van Williams) and Kato (Jackie Chan) that now seems like a precursor for the crossover two parter later in the season but here is just a rather pleasant moment. Things also got a little choppy for Robin as his attempts to infiltrate Tut's lair resulted in him nearly being fed to the mad Pharoah's crocodiles. 8/10

2x08: Tut's Case Is Shut

Well, needless to say Robin survived nearly being din dins for the crocodiles but that didn't stop Tut from getting both O'Hara and Gordon under his control as well as Batman during the second half of this episode. Again we had the cliche of Cleo Patrick not wanting any harm to come to the Caped Crusader and unabashedly fancying him but Tut's scheme to basically turn everyone in Gotham into his mind controlled puppet more or less backfired on him. Second time around, Victor Buono delivered a fabulous guest performance and the episode ends on an odd note with Commissioner Gordon directly talking to the audience. It's not a bad way to end the two parter but a little odd though. 8/10

2x09: The Greatest Mother Of The All

And now for something a little maternal. The family that commits crime together also stays together ... in prison. For any other crime family, that might be the end of their reign of terror but for Ma Parker (Shelley Winters) and her children - Legs, Pretty Boy, Machine Gun and Mad Dog, it was only the beginning. The fact that she was able to trick the Dynamite Duo into getting her family into the prison and the meticulous way she took over the joint, much to Criton's horror was absolutely brilliant. As for the little bit of dynamite left in the Batmobile, that felt like an afterthought compared to all the excellent scheming beforehand. Good cliffhanger moment though. 8/10

2x10: Ma Parker

With the criminals running Gotham State Penitentiary, you have to hand it to Ma Parker for having the most genius of plans. I love that she's so much of a force to be reckoned with that she can even get the Joker and Penguin thrown into solitary confinement for not falling in line with her while Catwoman briefly pops up to show some support. It's a shame that Catwoman isn't actually utilised in the episode or that she didn't try to undermine Parker but either way, it's a nice but too brief use of the character. As for Ma herself, she did let her mistreatment of Legs play a role into her downfall when Batman and Robin were able to trick the latter but it still doesn't detract from the fact that Shelley Winters is a delight in the role. It's a shame that Ma and her motley kids were a one off set of baddies. I would've loved to have seen them in another story. 8/10

Next blog I'll delve into The Clock King's Crazy Crimes/The Clock King Gets Crowned and An Egg Grows In Gotham/The Yegg Foes In Gotham.

My Review of Superman III (1983)

Written by David Newman & Leslie Newman
Directed by Richard Lester

Ross Webster: "I ask you to kill Superman, and you're telling me you couldn't even do that one, simple thing."

With the first movie being an undeniable classic and the second being a pretty strong sequel, there are reasons why this movie and it's next one are looked on less favourably. It's not that the Man of Steel's third outing is awful but at the same time, there's a lot that's somewhat lacking too.

In the first two movies, you had the familiarity of villains such as Lex Luthor and Zod/Ursa/Non. Instead of tackling another prominent baddie from Superman's gallery, this movie went for an original foe in Robert Vaughn's corrupt businessman, Ross Webster aided by his ditzy girlfriend, Lorelei Ambrosia (Pamela Stephenson) and just as ruthless sister, Vera Webster (Annie Ross).

The trio's not so great scheme seemed to involved taking Superman (Christopher Reeve) out of the picture by blackmailing hapless and down on his luck loser, Gus Gorman (Richard Pryor) into giving our hero that would bring out his less noble side and the results are somewhat interesting. There's also the classic villain plot of wanting to rule the world but it's not done as well as other movies though.

Reeves has certainly captured both Superman and Clark Kent's sense of innocence, duty and all round kindness in previous movies and here he gets to revel a little in being something of a bad boy as Superman's self streak includes that infamous bar scene, ignoring a kid, being cavalier about saving people and even an interesting battle between both the good and bad versions resulting in the former regaining his senses and saving the day from Webster's big scheme.

As villains, Webster and company are just not gripping baddies to watch. I don't want to make unfair comparisons but if you compare Ross to both Lex and Zod, then he really does come across rather poorly to be honest. Robert Vaughn does a decent job but it's a rather poor role and neither Lorelei or Vera far much better either, even if the latter is given a rather grisly fate.

There are some bright enough spots though in the movie. Richard Pryor is a decent enough foil turned ally in Gorman and I really liked Annette O'Toole's take on Lana Lang as Clark got reacquainted with his old high school sweetheart and her son for a good portion of the movie. Even the lack of Lois wasn't so bad with Lana being a nice contrast and I did like seeing the pair of them meet up at the end of the movie. Not to mention the fact that we got a bit of a Clark and Jimmy team up earlier in the movie, even if the latter ended up being injured and yet again, Perry White had very little to do.

- We almost didn't get Reeve for this movie, given that he protested Richard Donner being sacked and that he hated the script. Without him, this film probably would've been much worse.
- Both Martha and Jonathan are now dead. I had forgotten about Martha being dead until Lana actually mentioned. Annette O'Toole would go on to play Martha Kent in Smallville.
- Actually it turns out that the movie originally was going to have Mister Mxyzptlk with Dudley Moore in the role. Now that they should've gone through with.
- The first movie where Christopher Reeve gets top billing.

Superman III is definitely not a classic. It's got the weakest villains going and lacks the magic of the first two movies but the brief bad spell of the titular hero, an okay supporting character in Gus and a nice use for Smallville and I guess it could've been a lot worse though.

Rating: 6 out of 10

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Finale Rundown

So, I've got a few shows I seriously need to catch up with but before I do, here's a rundown of some of the recent genre finales I've watched.

Arrow: This season has been very hit and miss in parts but on the plus side, at least we're finally rid of Guggenheim and Mericle and with any luck, a sense of cohesion and back to basics will benefit the next season. Finale wise, it was nice to see Sara back briefly, Laurel continuing her potential to being redeeming and even the newbies stepping up a bit to help Oliver and company. Less pleasant was Oliver heading to jail, being outed as the Green Arrow and the ridiculous to keep Ricardo alive for next season. Kill him off early in Season Seven please.

Once Upon A Time: I don't think it's a controversial opinion to say that this show probably should've ended in 2017. Season Seven tried its best to breathe new life into it but the reboot was too little too late for most fans and the central romance with Henry and Jacinda ultimately left viewers cold. It's not surprising then in the last few episodes, the romance with Alice and Robyn generated more focus as both Gothel and Facilier's storylines came to middling conclusions while a Wish Realm Rumple was wheeled out one last time. The best moment though was seeing Emma, Hook, Snow, Charming and Zelena back in the series finale where Regina got her happy ending. Truthfully, it was a better series finale than I expected it to be.

Supergirl: Like Arrow, this season has been largely hit and miss and the last few episodes seem to have been slowly dragging out the Reign storyline where Sam rather predictably survived and left town with Ruby for good measure. Actually the finale really was a clearing of the decks with Winn, Mon El, J'onn, M'yrnn all exited while more conflict between Lena and Kara was being set up for next season along with a clear adaptation of the Red Son arc as well.  Alex's storyline about wanting to be a mother has been somewhat boring to watch and Alura's return while nice, should've felt bigger along with Argo's survival as well. Hopefully next season will be better focused.

The Flash: Somewhat a better season than either Arrow or Supergirl but not without it's problems as well. Still though, the Thinker turned out to be the most engaging main antagonist since Reverse Flash in the first season and his defeat with the team relying on Marlize for help was pretty satisfying. It was also nice to see Wally reappear for the finale and I even didn't mind Ralph being saved as well. As for Nora, well she's going to be an interesting addition next season. How are Barry and Iris going to deal with their grown up future daughter and how long will we have to wait before Caitlin becomes Killer Frost again?

- Despite FOX cancelling both shows, both Brooklyn Nine Nine and Lucifer will return for both sixth and fourth season respectively. The former being snapped up by NBC and the latter by Netflix.
- Jeremy Jordan will be recurring in Supergirl's fourth season as Winn while Chris Wood and Odette Annable will not be returning for the time being. Jesse Rath will be a regular as Brainiac 5 while new characters such as Nia Nal (the show's first trans character), Chester Green, Ben and Colonel Hadley are being added to the new season.
- Danielle Nicolet, Hartley Sawyer and Jessica Parker Kennedy will be returning as regulars for Season 5 of The Flash.
- Keiynan Lonsdale will not be a regular for either The Flash or Legends Of Tomorrow next season. The latter show will be introducing Nate's father and a new female character named Ali.
-  Richard Flood will be a regular for the ninth season of Shameless US.
- Andrew Lincoln will be departing The Walking Dead during it's ninth season.
- The Murder House/Coven crossover will be happening in this season of American Horror Story with some old favourites returning as well.
- Gotham's final season will begin filming next season, now rumoured to be 10 episodes, though FOX have yet to confirm that.
- Tyler Posey will be playing a love interest for Avan Jogia's character in upcoming Starz series, Now Apocalypse.
- While Star Trek: Discovery is going through another showrunner change, there are now rumours that more spin-offs are on the way.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

My Review of Superman II (1980)

Written by Mario Puzo & David Newman & Leslie Newman
Directed by Richard Lester & Richard Donner

Superman: "We'd better talk."
Lois Lane: "I'm in love with you."
Superman: "We'd really better talk."

I really like this movie and as a sequel, it's actually a pretty strong one. Saying that, it also commits the one cardinal sin that I absolutely hate with anything sc-fi/fantasy/superhero/comic related and that's having an important character find out something and then undoing it towards the end.

I've preferred for Lois to only go so long in not knowing that Clark Kent and Superman are the same person and when she does find out, I usually prefer for it to stick. In a four movie series, having Lois realise that Clark and Superman are the same in the second movie seemed the right time to do it and the way she figured out felt true to the character. It's why the kiss at the end to reset the status quo between Clark and Lois bugs me in a movie I otherwise enjoy.

I do think this movie did speed up Lois and Clark's friendly rivalry to romance a little quickly but there's no denying that both Christopher Reeve and Margot Kidder are still bringing the chemistry in this movie in spades that Clark's brief decision to renounce his abilities so he can live a human life with Lois does feel a tad believable, even if it's another trope that I don't particularly care for.

Thankfully the main villains of the piece though spur Clark to get his powers back. Bringing in Zod (Terrance Stamp), Ursa (Sarah Douglas) and Non (Jack O'Halloran) into the mix along with a fraught alliance with an escaped Lex Luthor (Gene Hackman) was a good move for this movie.

Zod and his gang had promise in their brief appearance in the first movie. Here they're given the chance to shine, show their menace and even excitement at the fact that being on Earth has increased their powers (something which Ursa especially took the most delight in) while Lex does try his damndest to use Zod and company for his own gains.

The battles between Zod, Ursa and Non with Superman and Lois both in/around the Daily Planet and the Fortress of Solitude make up some of the best scenes of the movie along with Zod's eventual defeat at the exact moment Lex also tried to get out of going back to prison. As for Lex, I really don't think this movie actually needed him at all, though he's better served here than he will be in his next one, which I think we can all agree on.

- Gene Hackman actually didn't film anything for this movie, with footage used from previous filming, hence the Richard Donner credit for this movie.
- There wasn't a huge amount for either Jimmy Olsen or Perry White in this movie but I did like seeing Eve Teschmacher again as she helped Lex escape from prison. Also no scenes in Smallville as well.
- Otis really didn't fare well in this movie. Ladders are clearly not a strong suit with the guy.
- Chronology: I don't think much time passed since the first movie, though this movie was released several months in Europe before the US.

Superman II makes for a strong enough sequel. Despite two rather annoying tropes on display, neither of them hamper what essentially is a worthwhile sequel. Zod, Ursa and Non make for great villains and both Reeve and Kidder excel in their second outing as well. As for the next two entries in this particular universe, they're going to be interesting to review.

Rating: 8 out of 10

Monday, June 11, 2018

Sense8 - Amor Vincit Omnia

Written by Lana Wachowski & David Mitchell & Aleksandar Hemon
Directed by Lana Wachowski

Rajan (to Kala and the Clusters): "My God, I didn't think such things were possible."

Last year after a trailblazing second season, Netflix unfortunately bore the bad news of cancelling this show. A month later, fans got a brief reprieve when Netflix also announced a two hour series finale to wrap up the show. Add an extra thirty minutes into the mix and they made good on their promise.

Yup, this was one hell of an extended series finale but it certainly didn't waste any time though. First of all, the gang had kidnapped both Whispers and Jonas the last time we saw them and they were determined to rescue Wolfgang. While it took over half of this special to do that, the journey to getting to that point was something else altogether.

We got a better insight into Wolfgang's childhood and it was certainly messier than previously thought but more importantly, we did see him trying to save himself before the exchange for Whispers went predictably awry with Lila in a nightclub. Speaking of Lila, she somewhat stepped up a little as an antagonist here with Whispers mostly reduced to be a pathetic nonentity of a baddie. I mean, there was a moment where he nearly got away from Amanita and Daniella but other than that, he wasn't quite the villain of the piece.

Lila stepped into that role a little better, managing to strong arm the Chairman (who despite some focus on did lack a little as a baddie too) into getting her own way but as this episode needed to wrap things up, the Chairman, Whispers and Lila were all disposed off rather quickly. Normally this would be something to complain about but I found there was more than enough to keep this episode going and their deaths did happen at the end of Jonas and Angelica's long game plan coming to fruition though.

The highlight of this finale wasn't just seeing all the Clusters working together to stop the BPO. It was seeing them bringing everyone else into the mix as well. This show has done wonders with it's supporting cast and it was fantastic to see Hernando, Amanita, Daniella, Rajan, Bug, Mun, Felix and Diego all step into the fray to help save the day along with the Old Man of Hoy, Puck and his Clusters and even new BPO lady River promising a better era for the shady organisation as well as Zakia popping as well afterwards.

Then there was Nomi and Amanita's wedding in Paris. It was a beautiful way to end things, except for the fact that following both Demons and Happy Fucking New Year, one more orgy had to take place and it was as tastefully done and as sexy as the previous two we've seen and with a certain final image, it's really timely this special came out in the month of Pride.

- The title aptly means Love Conquers All. If that isn't a perfect title for this show's finale, I don't know what else would've been.
- The show featured Linda Perry in a brief scene and also had a For The Fans dedication to it.
- Standout music: Clean Bandit's Rather Be and Experience by Ludovico Einaudi during a certain scene.
- Chronology: From where You Want A War more or less left off.

It's felt like so much ground has been covered and it's felt like it's too soon for this show to be ending. Conflicting feelings no doubt but for a final episode, Amor Vincit Omnia certainly was a tribute to this breathtaking show. An exquisite ending for an exquisite show. Will, Riley, Nomi, Lito, Capheus, Sun, Wolfgang, Kala and all of your friends and lovers will be missed. It's a shame that Netflix didn't see this through for the five season plan it was meant to be but at least we got this beautiful finale.

Rating: 10 out of 10

Friday, June 08, 2018

Anthony Perkins/Tab Hunter's Romance To Get A Movie

It was a love story in old Hollywood when the latter place had some actual mystique and now it seems that it's going to be a movie.

Thanks to Zachary Quinto (Heroes, American Horror Story, Star Trek) and JJ Abrams (Alias, Lost, Star Trek), it seems the love affair between Hollywood hunks Anthony Perkins and Tab Hunter is going to become a movie. Made by Abrams production company, Bad Robot, produced by Quinto and Hunter's real life partner, Allan Glaser as well as Neil Koenigsberg, a legendary publicist who is the founding “K” in the PR firm PMK. The film will be written by Doug Wright, who has previously penned I Am My Own Wife and Quills.

The romance between Anthony Perkins best known for his role as Norman Bates in Psycho and it's three sequels and Tab Hunter, whose roles have included Grease 2 and his own sitcom, The Tab Hunter Show was one of Hollywood's badly kept secrets should be interesting to see played out on the big screen. A director has yet to be confirmed as well as casting for both Anthony and Tab but you can already imagine the fancasting for this movie though. I've seen people suggest Andrew Garfield for Perkins and I really like that casting idea. As for Hunter, even I'm drawing a blank for now. The film will be based on Hunter’s 2005 memoir, Tab Hunter Confidential: The Making of a Movie Star.

More Information:

So guys, who would you cast for these roles?

Wednesday, June 06, 2018

My Review of Gotham By Gaslight (2018)

Written by Jim Krieg
Directed by Sam Liu

Selina Kyle: "Gone, all gone."
Batman: "And the hope of Gotham with it."
Dickie: "It was all phony anyway. We'll make somethin' new, somethin' better."

And now for something a little different. Taking another comic series, this time it's a case of some Victorian murder mystery as Bruce Wayne/Batman (Bruce Greenwood) and stage actress Selina Kyle (Jennifer Carpenter) finds themselves teaming up to stop Jack The Ripper and his spate of killings on defenseless women and the destitute.

I'm not going to lie, I've never read the original comic that came out thirty years ago but I am aware some changes were made for this movie (just like The Killing Joke) and for an Elseworlds type of story, it's not a bad one but certainly not the strongest we could've had as well.

I do like the Victorian setting and teaming up of Batman and Selina, the latter who doesn't get to become Catwoman but certainly has enough of her alter-ego motifs throughout the animated film so it doesn't feel like people are missing out as such. Here we see Selina taking on something of a protector role for the downtrodden, a role also taken on by Sister Leslie (Grey Griffin) as well.

Then there's the Ripper's victims. Four of them are of significance - the first being an exotic dancer version of Poison Ivy (Kari Wuhrer) who only gets about three minutes of screen time before she's gutted by the Ripper. There's also a failed attempt on Selina before Sister Leslie is murdered by the Ripper along with Arkham Asylum owner Hugo Strange (William Salyers) and of course, a drunken old woman named Marleen Maloney (Tara Strong), who blatantly was meant to be an older version of another member of the Rogues Gallery.

We get a bit in the movie where Bruce is framed for the Ripper's crimes and we see a rather vindictive side to Harvey Dent (Yuri Lowenthal), who didn't seem to take to Selina connecting with Bruce more than him. However, while it might have appeared that he could be the Ripper of this particular yarn, it was in fact someone else.

Yup, Commissioner Gordon (Scott Patterson) turned out to be the baddie of the piece and I'll admit, it was a satisfying reveal, especially when we learned that even his own wife wasn't spared his misogyny and bigotry. The confrontation scenes that the Ripper had with both Batman and Selina prior to his fiery death certainly added more to proceedings even if the movie itself ended on a somewhat abrupt note.

- We got to see a group of street urchin named Dickie, Jason and Timmy whom Bruce, Alfred and Selina took in at the end. There was also Grundy cameo during the Blackgate scenes.
- Selina used her own blood in order to make a makeshift Batsignal while Batman got his own Victorian version of the Batcycle.
- Standout music: Selina's version of You Can't Tame A Wild Wimmen.
Selina Kyle, Hugo Strange, (Mrs.) Barbara Gordon, Jason Todd, Harvey Bullock, Pamela Isley (as Ivy the Plant Lady) and Cyrus Gold (future Solomon Grundy) were added to the movie and not featured in the original comic.

Gotham By Gaslight is nicely filmed, has a decent enough story and utilizes it's Victorian setting and infamous killer well enough. Saying that while it is mostly enjoyable and there's good voice acting all round, it's just not quite as gripping as it could've been. Not bad but not amazing either.

Rating: 7 out of 10

Friday, June 01, 2018

My Review of Superman (1978)

Written by Mario Puzo & David Newman & Leslie Newman & Robert Benton
Directed by Richard Donner

Superman: "I'm here to fight for truth, and justice, and the American way."
Lois Lane: "You're gonna end up fighting every elected official in this country!"

I'd resist the urge to say the world needs a Superman right now but it's true nonetheless. It's been forty years since the release of this iconic movie and it's a film that has aged beautifully. Despite some great successors in the role (and some great predecessors to it as well), it's safe to say that Christopher Reeve quite simply is Superman.

Some actors just embody a role (recently Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman) and in this movie and it's following three sequels, regardless of their quality, Reeve truly captures this role like no-one else. I could gush about how amazing he was as Superman and it would be fitting for this review and the next three I have planned as well.

The movie starts off with the Krypton in it's final days backstory and it's beautifully told out as both Jor-El (Marlon Brando) and his wife, Lara (Susanna York) send their only born in a pod to safety from their planet's destruction while the villainous, General Zod (Terrance Stamp) along with his co-horts, Non (Jack O'Halloran) and Ursa (Sarah Douglas) are banished to the Phantom Zone but don't worry, we'll get more of those three in the next movie.

From Krypton's destruction onwards, we get to see a young Clark taken in by Jonathan (Glenn Ford) and Martha Kent (Phyllis Thaxter), living a normal life in Kansas before heading to the big city of Metropolis to become a reporter for the Daily Planet, run by Perry White (Jackie Cooper) and a friendly rival and friend for budding journalist, Lois Lane (Margot Kidder).

With Reeve being the iconic Superman/Clark Kent, the same accolade can also be give to Margot Kidder. Lois is without a doubt one of the best female characters of all time and I do think from a big screen perspective a lot of that is down to Kidder's performance. The chemistry between Christopher and Margot, whether it's Lois and Clark's general sparring or the former getting her scoop with the Man of Steel, is positively electric. You cannot fake that sort of chemistry and both Reeve and Kidder had it in spades.

In terms of villains, with Zod and company put on the back burner, it's up to the scheming Lex Luthor to bring the menace here. This is probably the best use of Gene Hackman's version of Lex and he's certainly on fine form here, battling with Reeve's beautiful sense of right as Lex schemed to one of the missiles to detonate in the San Andreas Fault, sinking California and leaving Lex's desert as the new West Coast, though before subjecting Superman to some Kryptonite.

For a movie little over two hours, a lot of ground is covered and a lot of mythos are revealed too. Superman's solution for stopping Lex's great plan is something revisited in later movies as his love for the planet he's adopted is evidently shown. It's a great moment in a movie filled with many of them, including some great support scenes from the likes of Jimmy Olsen (Marc McClure) and Eve Teschmacher (Valerie Perrine), both of whom I loved as characters.

- Some of the actors from this movie would later appear in Smallville, Supergirl and Justice League. Meanwhile Kirk Alyn and Noel Neill appeared as Lois's parents.
- Donner himself did make a cameo in this movie. There's also cameos from Larry Hagman and Rex Reed too.
- This was the first movie to make use of the new Dolby stereo 70 mm split stereo surrounds.
- This was the second highest grossing movie of 1978, after Grease of course.

Superman is a triumph of a superhero movie. It's been forty years and it's legacy remains intact. Everything you'd want in a superhero movie is exemplified in this one with Reeve being utterly sublime in the title role and backed with Kidder, Hackman, Stamp etc, performance wise. This movie really will make you believe that a man can fly.

Rating: 10 out of 10