THE FLASH Recap: “The Flash Is Born”

by     Posted 30 days ago

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Tonight, The Flash decided to take on the topics of school bullies and domestic abuse, albeit in a very cursory manner with very little in the way of practical advice of how to handle such confrontations.  Unless your abuser happens to be made of metal and you happen to develop superspeed, The CW is not the place to turn for conflict resolution.  However, if you want to see some excellent action scenes involving some fun supervillains from the pages of DC Comics, then this is a great place to start.  The Flash continues to be a fun hour of television with perfectly cast characters playing out not only action-packed story arcs but also dramatic relationships that easily draw viewers in.  At six episodes in, it easily remains one of the most entertaining shows on TV today.

Hit the jump for The Flash recap.

GOTHAM Recap: “Harvey Dent”

by     Posted 31 days ago

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Gotham has the strangest approach to Easter eggs I’ve seen in a comicbook adaptation so far.  It’s as if the showrunners are well within their rights to feature James Gordon and Bruce Wayne, The Penguin and Harvey Dent, but refuse to explore the rest of Batman’s lesser villains for the weekly antagonists.  The Balloonman?  The Spirit of the Goat?  Really?  Where are Killer Moth, Kite Man, and Calendar Man?  If the creative forces behind this Batman prequel are “saving” these gems for future episodes, I have to ask “Why?”; if they’re not planning to include them at all, I have to ask, “Why bother?”  Though tonight’s introduction of the episode’s title character was a decent one, the show has a long way to go to bring back the Bat-fans.

Hit the jump for our Gotham recap.

BATMAN: ASSAULT ON ARKHAM Blu-ray Review

by     Posted 31 days ago

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Batman: Assault on Arkham, the latest effort from DC Entertainment and Warner Bros. Animation, casts Batman aside (for the most part) in order to focus on Amanda Waller’s Suicide Squad.  The anti-hero team has gotten quite a bit of press lately for its planned live-action adaptation, so now’s a great time to take a look at one of the Suicide Squad’s animated iterations, now available on Blu-ray.

While Batman: Assault on Arkham takes the opportunity to cast Batman villains in lead roles, it doesn’t come close to exploring all the potential those characters offer.  The voice acting is spot on as usual and the animation style is a visual joy, but the half-baked plot and immature on-screen antics makes this a weak adaptation rather than a must-have addition to your collection.  Hit the jump for our Batman: Assault on Arkham Blu-ray review.

THE WALKING DEAD Recap: “Consumed”

by     Posted 32 days ago

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Tonight’s episode of AMC’s The Walking Dead gave viewers the long-awaited road trip with Daryl (Norman Reedus) and Carol (Melissa McBride), but was it everything it was cracked up to be?  Arguably, these two are the strongest members of the group when it comes down to sheer survivability, so even hordes of Walkers in a dense urban setting wouldn’t stand a chance, right?  And surely we’d see lots of break-neck action peppered in between moments of post-apocalyptic romance, yes?  Eh, perhaps this hour was not exactly what viewers had been waiting for, as it was little more than a placeholder between episodes.  Honestly, it’s best moments came as a cautionary tale for reckless drivers.

Hit the jump for The Walking Dead recap.

CONSTANTINE Recap: “A Feast of Friends”

by     Posted 34 days ago

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NBC’s Constantine gets stronger by the week, even as the rising darkness makes things just that much harder for the title antihero.  By all rights, tonight’s episode, “A Feast of Friends”, shouldn’t have worked quite as well as it did: the goofiness of dancing hypnotized security guards, the horror of possessions by third-world hunger demons, and a heightened portrayal of addiction and, ultimately, redeeming self-sacrifice all seem too disparate to work together.  Somehow, tonight’s hour came together by combining plenty of gross-outs with an engrossing story of a beleaguered friendship between two old mates.  While you might want to skip out on the late-night snack while watching this episode, this installment of Constantine should leave audiences hungry for more.

Hit the jump for our Constantine recap.

ARROW Recap: “Guilty”

by     Posted 36 days ago

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Boy oh boy did The CW’s Arrow do an awful lot of comicbook fan servicing tonight!  Some DC characters mentioned tonight we’ve already seen on previous episodes of the show, and some are currently transforming into their villainous/heroic alter egos, and still others are likely relatively unknown to the general viewing audience.  Staying true to its comicbook source is certainly a great way to keep the fans happy, but it helps when the show’s writing, acting, and stuntwork is so much better than network TV has any right to be.

Arrow continues to introduce compelling plot twists and dramatic character conflicts that really ratchet up the tension in each hour, but wisely never become so attached to these arcs that they linger on them for endless episodes.  This taut writing keeps Arrow freshly paced and exciting to watch week after week.  Plus, what other show has boxing glove arrows?

Hit the jump for our Arrow recap.

THE FLASH Recap: “Plastique”

by     Posted 37 days ago

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Congratulations, The CW!  The Flash is one of the rare shows that I actually miss when it skips a week.  It came back with a bang this week in the explosive episode “Plastique,” which gave nods to no less than three DC characters in a fashion that should please comicbook fans.  It manages to do so without ever feeling forced, as the characters have every reason to pop up in the episode’s storyline and it actually makes sense when they do so.  The Flash continues to be a high-energy hour of television with compelling stories, sympathetic character relationships, and excellent action sequences week to week.  It’s one of the more enjoyable shows on TV at the moment and doesn’t look to change that any time soon.

Hit the jump for The Flash recap.

GOTHAM Recap: “The Mask”

by     Posted 38 days ago

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At the end of tonight’s episode of Gotham, we were exactly half way through the planned 16-episode season (before Fox ordered six more installments, anyway).  So just how far have we come in those eight episodes?  Well, the murder of the Waynes is still a long way from being solved, Gordon is alienating himself from everyone (including his fiance) except Bullock, and Master Wayne is just learning that he has a taste for violence.  The only character that’s really progressed since the premiere is Robin Lord Taylor’s Penguin, who has returned from the dead in order to make a quick ascent up the crime ladder of Gotham’s underworld.  But at this point in the season, is that enough to keep viewers interested in the pre-Batman series?

Hit the jump for our Gotham recap.

THE WALKING DEAD Recap: “Self Help”

by     Posted 39 days ago

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Tonight’s episode of AMC’s The Walking Dead was all about Eugene, for better or worse.  Josh McDermitt’s character has been the sole remaining hope in this hellish post-apocalyptic world, and is at the center of Abraham Ford’s promise of a new future.  But was his story about being the savior of the human race all it was cracked up to be?  Well, this episode, “Self Help,” aims to answer that question, while opening up a whole new can of worms about just where our survivors will go from here.  This was a textbook case of an episode chock full of character development and emotional swings, while also folding in some of the best Walker-fighting scenes in the series so far.  And Rick & Co. weren’t even featured!  Season five is the strongest this show has been in quite some time, and tonight’s episode certainly did not disappoint.

Hit the jump for The Walking Dead recap.

CONSTANTINE Recap: “The Devil’s Vinyl”

by     Posted 41 days ago

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Gather ’round and crank up the old Victrola as we recap tonight’s episode of NBC’s Constantine, now on freshly pressed acetate!  The continuing adventures of the show’s titular warlock remain entertaining and otherworldly, as the plot of tonight’s hour revolves (sometimes quite literally) around a record that contains the voice of the devil himself.  No one has yet told Constantine that you can’t do that on network television, so I look forward to seeing just how crazy it gets in the weeks to come.

Hit the jump for our Constantine recap.

ARROW Recap: “The Secret Origin of Felicity Smoak”

by     Posted 43 days ago

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The CW’s The Flash took last night off, but Arrow never rests!  Well, to be fair, the normal plot line of this season takes a bit of a siesta as we focus instead on “The Secret Origin of Felicity Smoak.”  Not only do we get to see Emily Bett Rickards in her previous iteration as a Goth college hacker, and Felicity’s mom Donna, we actually get quite a bit of Stephen Amell outside of his Arrow costume.  Amell’s come a long way in these two seasons and change, and tonight’s episode was a reminder of why he’s the show’s leading man.  So it was a nice, fun, diversionary episode … and then the ending scene hits from out of nowhere.

Hit the jump for our Arrow recap.

JUDGE DREDD: SUPERFIEND Review

by     Posted 45 days ago

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A few days ago, we brought you the first trailer for Judge Dredd: Superfiend, a six-part animated series from producer Adi Shankar and writers/directors The Junquera Brothers.  The entirety of the series debuted about one week ago, and is the latest of Shankar’s projects which include producing the 2012 film Dredd starring Karl Urban, the Punisher short Dirty Laundry and the Venom short Truth in Journalism.

While I was a big fan of Dredd, I’m certainly not going to claim to be a die-hard fan of the 2000 AD comics or the title character’s own series.  I say this only to temper expectations of those of you who eat, sleep, and breathe Dredd, because you may have a different reaction to this animated take than I did.  That being said, I loved every twisted second of it.  Watching Judge Dredd: Superfiend made me want to go back to the beginning of the comics and see just what all the fuss is about.  Hit the jump for my Judge Dredd: Superfiend review.

GOTHAM Recap: “Penguin’s Umbrella”

by     Posted 45 days ago

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For the first time in Gotham, I felt a real sense of dread and dramatic tension as the hour rolled on.  While the resolution of this conflict ultimately fell short of its build-up, it’s a good sign that future episodes won’t shy away from putting the show’s leading characters in mortal peril.  What’s the driving force behind all this mayhem?  Well as tonight’s episode’s title suggests, it’s all about Penguin’s burgeoning criminal empire.  Cobblepot’s been revealed as more than just a simple snitch, but rather a mastermind capable of seeing all the pieces in play and knowing just how to manipulate them for his own gain.  Everything’s coming up Penguin!

Hit the jump for our Gotham recap.

THE WALKING DEAD Recap: “Slabtown”

by     Posted 46 days ago

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Guys, I don’t know if you know this, but everything in the post-apocalyptic zombie world is just terrible.  You can’t trust cops, danger lurks around every corner in the suburbs, and prisons are just the worst.  Even hospitals end up killing more people than they help!  Okay, so the world of The Walking Dead isn’t all that different from our own world, except of course for the wild card that is the shambling, flesh-eating Walkers.  Considering how strange life in this fictional world is on a weekly basis, I was amazed that the creative team managed to put together an hour that was even stranger than usual.  More than once I was convinced that “Slabtown” was a fever dream or a drug-induced hallucination experienced by Beth Greene (Emily Kinney), right up until the last second.  For fans of Beth/Kinney, I’d imagine this was a rather enjoyable episode, but judging by social media reactions, for most it was just torture.

Hit the jump for The Walking Dead recap.

CONSTANTINE Recap: “The Darkness Beneath”

by     Posted 48 days ago

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If you chose to spend your Halloween evening with NBC’s Constantinewell then you my friend made a wise decision indeed!  This hour was chock full of smoke, fire, and explosions, along with zombie miners, vengeful gypsies, and prophetic painters.  The spooky series has shown glimmers of its potential, and it’s clear that the players are enjoying their roles in this supernatural world.  Sure, some questionable storytelling choices and episode editing remain, but I’m surprised by just how much I’m enjoying Constantine so far.

Want to see where the series is headed?  Be sure to check out this recent interview with David S. Goyer and Daniel Cerone.  Then, hit the jump for our Constantine recap.

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