CONSTANTINE Recap: “The Saint of Last Resorts”

by     Posted 6 days ago

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And then there was one!  NBC’s Constantine is the sole comicbook adaptation on the airwaves this holiday season.  Tonight’s “The Saint of Last Resorts” was the first part of a two-part mid-season finale.  The strengths at the core of this show – creepy creatures, dark motives, and heartfelt character connections – continue to deliver, but I fear that the show’s occult focus prevents it from finding a broader audience.  If you enjoy Constantine like I do, and if you like its exploration of religious mythologies from various cultures, then make sure to talk it up while you have the chance.  I mean, where else do you get to see human fruit bleeding as it hangs from a tree, and an ancient vampire demon fleeing into the sewers with a blood-filled chicken?

Hit the jump for our Constantine recap.

ARROW Recap: “The Climb”

by     Posted 8 days ago

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The CW is all about giving its viewers heartthrobs and heart attacks if the mid-season finales of The Flash and Arrow are any indication.  While the former ended with at least a brief flare of hope for a better tomorrow, the latter ended on a literal cliffhanger.  And I don’t know if I’ve seen a braver (or bolder) conclusion to an episode than this one tonight.  Fans of DC mythology are probably equal parts excited about/confident in what’s coming up on the second half of this season, but for those of you who aren’t in the know, just trust me when I say that everything’s going to turn out (mostly) fine.

Hit the jump for our Arrow recap.

THE FLASH Recap: “The Man in the Yellow Suit”

by     Posted 9 days ago

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The Flash’s mid-season finale certainly had a lot of anticipation built into it, and I’m happy to say that it paid off in quite a few ways.  Not only did viewers get a(n arguably) definitive answer to the identity of The Man in the Yellow Suit, but we got to see quite a bit more of another fiery superheroic meta-human.  On the more down-to-Earth side of things, we also got great moments between Barry Allen and his father figures, as well as a heaping helping of romantic entanglements that will surely continue to get knottier as the season continues.  I don’t know how The CW managed to have two of the best hours of television today, but I’m happy to say that their track record remains strong.

Hit the jump for The Flash recap.

CONSTANTINE Recap: “Blessed Are the Damned”

by     Posted 13 days ago

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NBC’s Constantine has already dabbled in voodoo, demonic possession, and ancient Welsh fairy folk, but tonight’s episode “Blessed Are the Damned” get to Hellblazer’s bread-and-butter: the battle between Heaven and Hell.  In this hour, a struggling preacher finds himself apparently blessed with an incredibly powerful artifact that grants him healing abilities.  While it allows him to grow his following substantially, it also has some pretty awful side effects.  What’s causing all of this chaos?  Well, as Manny keeps reminding us, it has a little something to do with the “rising darkness.”

Hit the jump for our Constantine recap.

THE PROTECTOR 2 Blu-ray Review

by     Posted 13 days ago

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If martial arts action star Tony Jaa made one thing clear in the 2005 film The Protector, it’s that he loved elephants and would do anything to, well, protect them.  It seems that he didn’t quite get the message across to some folks in the first go round since he returns in the role of Kham for The Protector 2.  If it’s top-notch acting and taut plotting you’re looking for, look elsewhere my friend.  However, if it’s some insane action sequences and an anti-poaching sentiment you’re after, then you’ve come to the right place!

Also starring Mum Jokmok, Marrese Crump, Jija Yanin Wismitanan, Ratha Pho-ngam, Kazu Patric Tang, Kalp Hongratanaporn, David Ismalone, and RZA in a can’t-miss performance, The Protector 2 is available now on Blu-ray.  Hit the jump for The Protector 2 Blu-ray review.

ARROW Recap: “The Brave and the Bold”

by     Posted 15 days ago

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Tonight’s episode of The CW’s Arrow closed out the two-part crossover with The Flash in spectacular fashion.  Titled, “The Brave and the Bold,” it could have equally been dubbed “A Tale of Two Cities” since both heroes channel their respective cities into their character:  Barry Allen’s youthful effervescence and carefree approach to crimefighting is borne of Central City’s cutting-edge technology and, until lately, squeaky-clean streets, while even the most respectable parts of Oliver Queen’s Starling City belie a ruthless underworld, much like the personality of the masked crimefighter himself.  It was a clever bit of writing to portray these characters this way in order to let them clash at times, but also to allow them to come together in pursuit of a common goal: conquering the salmon ladder defeating supervillains.  But while the fun and games were enjoyable for the two-hour special event, things are about to get dire in the mid-season finales of both shows.

Hit the jump for our Arrow recap.

THE FLASH Recap: “Flash vs. Arrow”

by     Posted 16 days ago

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Long before Warner Bros.’ Justice League hits the big screens, The CW’s own small-screen version is already well underway.  In part one of The Flash / Arrow crossover, Barry Allen gets first billing in “Flash vs Arrow”, which will conclude with tomorrow night’s Arrow hour, “The Brave and the Bold.”  While it was certainly fun seeing both of DC’s live-action TV heroes share some screentime, tonight’s hour also managed to mutually progress the plots of each individual series.  And although one of the final scenes hinted at big changes coming up for Mr. Oliver Queen, this episode was all about Barry Allen and the many challenges he faces as a young up-and-coming crimefighter.

Hit the jump for The Flash recap.

THE WALKING DEAD Recap: “Coda”

by     Posted 18 days ago

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Another The Walking Dead mid-season finale, another death of a prominent cast member.  By now you probably know who won’t be continuing to fight the good fight when The Walking Dead returns for its second half of season five next February, but I’ll save that tidbit until after the jump regardless.  Let me just say that, of all the characters the writers could have chosen to kill off, this choice was easily the safest.  Does that make the fallout any less resonant?  Does that make the loss any easier to bear?  We’ll attempt to sort it all out.

Hit the jump for The Walking Dead recap.

CONSTANTINE Recap: “Rage of Caliban”

by     Posted 20 days ago

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The bad news it that NBC has halted production on its freshman season of Constantine, stopping the paranormal investigator at an unlucky 13 episodes.  The good news is that the show isn’t necessarily canceled (yet).  If you’re a fan of the show, now’s the time to get vocal about it and encourage your friends to watch it live and check it out on NBC’s site where they’re hosting replays.  If you haven’t given this offbeat and charismatic antihero a chance just yet, then what are you waiting for?  With other comicbook adaptations getting ready to take off for the holidays, the Hellblazer frontman continues to carry the genre squarely on his trenchcoat-covered shoulders.

Hit the jump for our Constantine recap.

THE FLASH Recap: “Power Outage”

by     Posted 23 days ago

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Often, in superhero fare, fans have to wait for a sequel or a second season to feature two big bad villains in the same showing.  The Flash decided to change that up tonight by bringing two antagonists front and center, and allowing them to cause havoc on two separate fronts.  The interesting thing with “Power Outage” was that the writers didn’t let the title hero save the day in both places (even though his speed could have let him do so), choosing instead to let the not-so-helpless non-metahumans take care of their own problems.  Perhaps the more interesting thing is that the biggest villain isn’t waiting in the wings, he’s hiding in plain sight and biding his time.  And the most interesting thing is how The CW managed to take a series about a guy who runs really fast and quickly turn it into one of the most entertaining hours on television right now.

Hit the jump for The Flash recap.

GOTHAM Recap: “LoveCraft”

by     Posted 24 days ago

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For Gotham’s mid-season finale, not a whole helluva lot happened.  Sure, Bruce learned a few new lessons about life, love, and balance.  Yes, Alfred finally got to show off just how badass he can be.  Everyone else, however, somehow managed to take a step backwards during what is meant to be an hour that drives full force into a cliffhanger ending.  Some shows know how to do this; Gotham is not one of them.  However, if there’s one saving grace for the series at this point, it’s that the writers have chosen a rather interesting twist to befall the lead character.

Hit the jump for our Gotham recap.

THE WALKING DEAD Recap: “Crossed”

by     Posted 25 days ago

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AMC’s The Walking Dead will enjoy its mid-season finale next weekend, so tonight’s episode was all about the setup, as you might have expected.  Before they take a two-month break, however, Rick & Company have quite a bit of work to do.  There are two of their own who are currently in the hands of some crazed hospital employees, and any wrong moves could cost numerous lives.  While there’s a good chance that next week’s hour will end in a frustrating cliffhanger, at least tonight’s penultimate run put all the pieces in place.

Hit the jump for The Walking Dead recap.

CONSTANTINE Recap: “Danse Vaudou”

by     Posted 27 days ago

constantine-recap

Tonight’s spooky episode of NBC’s Constantine was a straight-up ghost story wrapped in a voodoo presentation.  Although “Danse Vaudou” didn’t do a whole lot to advance the season’s storyline (until the last few seconds, at least), it did have plenty of scares and style to spare.  It had the staples of urban legends – a deceased hitchhiker, a femme fatale, a love lost too soon – elevated by not only the tales of the loved ones they left behind, but by the clashing magical styles of Constantine and Papa Midnite.  While the hour didn’t have quite the heart-tugging moments of last week’s effort, it was still an enjoyable installment in what has become my surprise show of the season.

Hit the jump for our Constantine recap.

ARROW Recap: “Draw Back Your Bow”

by     Posted 29 days ago

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Happy Valentine’s Day!  Wait, what?  Oh it’s November, nevermind.  Tonight’s episode of Arrow was a bit of a one-off episode that introduced the obsessed archer character Carrie Cutter, aka Cupid (Amy Gumenick).  Though she was the night’s main antagonist, she was in good company with a plentiful amount of DC Easter eggs for fans to spot, everything from nods to somewhat obscure locations, to potential future villains, all the way up to a big reveal of a newly introduced villain to the show, right at the episode’s close.  Though “Draw Back Your Bow” didn’t leave us with any massive cliffhangers as we await the Arrow/The Flash crossover, it did a nice job of pleasing fans of the show’s comicbook origins and its relationships of ever-increasing drama.

Hit the jump for our Arrow recap.

HERCULES Blu-ray Review

by     Posted 29 days ago

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In the words of the big man himself, Dwayne Johnson was born to play Hercules.  With apologies to Kellan Lutz, there’s only one man in Hollywood these days that could convince audiences that he bested the Nemean Lion, beheaded the Lernaean Hydra, and beat back the Erymanthian Boar, and that man is The Rock.  Unfortunately, Brett Ratner’s take on the Hercules legend chose not to explore the hero’s twelve labors, but to adapt Steve Moore and Admira Wijaya’s graphic novel, “Hercules: The Thracian Wars.”  Perhaps if that had been communicated more clearly in the film’s marketing, audiences (and maybe even critics) would have given Hercules more of a chance, since it’s a surprisingly fun action-adventure film that lets Johnson swing away while surrounding him with a strong supporting cast.  Now that the film’s available on Blu-ray, you can check it out for yourself.

Hit the jump for our Hercules Blu-ray review.

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