Archive for the ‘Television’ Category

Assorted TV/Comics thoughts

October 5, 2010

Several opinions on various shows from the young TV season, plus some quick hits on some comics, including New Mutants, X-23, my upcoming PROJECT post, and since I’m here, this week’s new releases.

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Spiffy and AA talk TV

September 26, 2010

So, Saturday night, Spiffy started texting me incessantly about all kinds of shit, but his one noteworthy idea was he and I teaming up for a Previews Reviews-style post on the first week of season premieres from the fall TV schedule. Due to my lack of AIM on the computer I was using, we ended up on Facebook (he’s Andy, I’m Me). This was the result.

One of us was drunk, but I’m not telling who; try to guess for yourself.

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Andy’s Femmy (Fake Emmy’s 2009/2010) Response

September 10, 2010

Inspired by David’s post, I ended up writing 7 pages in Word, so I thought that merited an entirely new page rather than a simple reply to the original  (more…)

Thieves’ Gambit

February 20, 2009

Last time, the X-Men came to the rescue of one of their own, narrowly avoiding a disaster that would’ve no doubt brought the human/mutant struggle to a quick boil. With the vital assistance of Emma Frost, the team defeat the Shadow King, and Storm rejoined the team.

Today is a bit different. Mysterious forces are moving against the X-Men. And it all centers around a convenient little device developed by Forge that negates a mutant’s abilities. The device, a collar, manages to curb Amara Aquilla, aka Magma’s abilities before they bring down a block of apartment buildings that the MRD forced her into. After releasing Amara to her father, Wolverine brings the collar home where it is safely locked away.

But while the X-Men sleep, a familiar face, contracted to steal the device, sneaks in and out of the mansion without being seen. But Logan’s heightened senses make finding him a snap. And all it takes is a little cash to convert this thief to Wolverine’s point of view and help him steal it back.

Do us all a favor, Wolverine!

Do us all a favor, Wolverine!

Yawn. I’m not a huge Gambit fan. The episode doesn’t serve much of a purpose other than to introduce him. And if he isn’t going to be part of the team, it seems a bit gratuitous to introduce him in the 5th episode. The accent is also a bit off, and the voice-acting for Gambit in the 90’s cartoon was much better.

Other than that, there is the introduction of a mysterious woman in white, as well as Bolivar Trask, who attempts to reverse engineer the collar (whether he is successful or not is unknown). Trask mentions the woman’s name but it is drowned out by background noise.  We also get a peak at plans for a Master Mold, which could lead to something down the road. We also get a moment between the comatose Charles and Logan where he reveals that he doesn’t feel he is up to snuff when it comes to guiding young mutants.

Wolverine enjoys conversations with vegetables.

Wolverine enjoys conversations with vegetables.

Next time, however…

One of the X-Men that hasn’t been around since the explosion at the mansion returns. And he’s in quite a bit of hot water.

The Eyes of Despero

February 12, 2009

Hey! Kinda forgot about this last week. “The Eyes of Despero” was the latest episode of Batman: The Brave and the Bold. We’ve got Batman in space, Despero on a path to control the minds of the entire universe…and it’s loaded with Green Lanterns. The uh, sad part? It ain’t exactly Hal Jordan and Kyle Rayner you’re gonna be watching save the universe.

Instilling the universe with uh... "hope"... Right.

Instilling the universe with uh... "hope"... Right.

Yeah. It’s G’Nort, Sinestro, and Guy Gardner. What the hell? Well let’s slow down. We open with a Doctor Fate/Batman team-up against the master sorcerer, Wotan. Its a trippy little segment, with some weird visuals in the Library of Infinity.

As we move on to the main story, the Green Lantern Corps in its entirety is taking on Despero near the planet Oa. Despero seems easily capable of overpowering their will and using them as his personal army to conquer the universe. Hal Jordan takes matters into his own hands and destroys the Corps… Only one thing remains of the Corps. A ring. And it is seeking out the most qualified individual it can find… Batman. The ring transports him to Oa where he finds the GL Corps reject club, locked in the brig.

Unable to wear the ring, the remaining Lanterns use their ring to augment Batman and provide him with armor and ring-like powers. But Batman’s got a few issues. One hot-head, a subversive GL with ulterior motives, and one useless GL doing a great Woody Allen impression.

"One punch." You know you saw it coming.

"One punch." You know you saw it coming.

As I’ve mentioned, this series seems to flip-flop between awful and compelling. This episode is firmly on the positive side, with some great voice acting. Doctor Fate, voiced by Greg Ellis, is a pleasure. Despero and Sinestro are particular highlights as well. As a side note, the episode was written by J.M. DeMatteis

The animation is typically colorful, consistent, and crisp. There really isnt much to say about it other than that, other than an odd scene in the solar system’s asteroid belt with computer-generated asteroids floating by in the background. It reminded me of a scene out of the old Reboot cartoon!

Thumbs up over all though. It’s a fun introduction to the Green Lantern Corps, and I’m starting to see how this series may put younger viewers on a track to becoming more and more curious about the DC Universe and these characters.

What I’m really looking forward to, however, is…

Next time: Batman and Owlman of Earth 2 switch places. Batman is determined to stop the Crime Syndicate, while Owlman is framing Batman for terrible crimes. Guest staring the Flash and Red Hood!

Final bits from NY Comic-Con (UPDATED)

February 9, 2009

Here we go, in a slightly loser format:

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Overflow

February 8, 2009

Last week, the X-Men “rescued” Charles Xavier from Magneto’s iron citadel, simply by asking! The only problem is that he is brain-dead, and on life-support. But not all hope is lost, as he appeared to them from a desolate future, using Cerebro and the astral plane. Twenty years from now, mutants are pursued by Sentinels, and the world is under their control. Why? The disbanding of the X-Men. If they’re to prevent this, Xavier reveals, Wolverine must lead them. This, as you can imagine, does not sit well with Cyclops.

overflow01

GTFO, Emma.

As “Overflow” opens, Xavier pulls Logan from a deep sleep into the astral plane to reveal to him that 20 years ago to the day the continent of Africa was completely destroyed by none other than the former X-Man Storm. The last time we saw Ororo she was (predictably!) pushing Charles’ wheelchair before the explosion went off at the mansion over a year ago.

Charles catches Emma mentally spying on the two, which leads Logan to expel her from the mansion. Fortunately for her, 30 seconds later, the need to locate Ororo via Cerebro is apparent and she is brought back to do so. With that, the X-Men gather, with Kitty attempting to rouse Cyclops out of his room for the mission. It appears he won’t be joining them until the last minute when he silently and stoically boards the Blackbird.

Meanwhile, in Africa, someone has made their way to the foot of the weather goddess Storm, and taken control of her mind…

Under the influence...

Under the influence...

So, with that brief lead-in out of the way, let’s get to the meaty stuff. We get a straight forward Storm origin, which includes a particularly menacing version of the Shadow King (would they get rid of the fez, please?!) and Xavier’s intervention. We also get a look at a few budding plot points, including Kitty being quite concerned when Bobby is taken out by Storm’s raging hurricane. Emma risks her life to save Storm and take down the Shadow King, finally earning herself the unspoken trust of Logan. But to what end?

Overall, a pretty decent episode to follow up the three-part opener. The action during the fight in Africa was exceptional, and the animation I found to be particularly good, especially during the ice-shard rain and Emma’s battle with the Shadow King. As far as the plot goes, another mutant from the opening sequence is added, leaving only one mutant missing to round out the team. Where could he be? The only thing I found odd about the story was bringing along Iceman, Kitty, and Beast, if their roles were simply to be taken out of the equation seconds into the fight. What purpose did it serve to take them along at all when the focus was meant to be on Scott, Logan, and Emma?

Next week: A device that could turn the tide against mutants in the fight for the future has fall into the hands of an expert t’ief…

Spiffy Talks Super Bowl XLIII and Beer

February 3, 2009

  kurtwarner

 

          

        This night, as many do, begins with beer. Like a trumpet sounding for war, the beginning of Super Bowl XLIII is signaled by an onslaught of foam and the unmistakable aroma and sound of lukewarm Keystone Light being released from its dented aluminum prison. While Al Michaels and John Madden talk about the same things that have been talked about ad nausea for the past two weeks (or in the case of Kurt Warner’s rags to riches story, for ten years), the group of friends are, for what would be the only time in the next four plus hours, sublimely quiet, indulging in the Slumdog Millionaire of beers (or at least, beer flavored water).

            Yet, the story begins, as some do, before beer. It begins with the end of sleep, the rubbing of the eyes and the collective “Holy shit” that practically reverberates throughout the two stories of rickety, smelly, sticky college debauchery. This thought, the “Holy shit the Super Bowl is on in less than 6 hours and the house is a rickety, smelly, sticky college induced nightmare”, plops firmly in each housemate’s consciousness, satisfying the prerequisites for the rude awakening expected every day of the weekend….(to be continued after the bounce)

 

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Hindsight, Part 3

January 31, 2009

Hindsight, Part 3

Zordon, I mean Xavier, appears to the X-Men.

At the end of last episode, Rogue’s betrayal became… Obvious? The question remains as to her true motives, but Logan and Warren seem to be under the impression that she was simply used by The Brotherhood to set up the X-Men, running off afterward due to guilt. When she returns to The Brotherhood’s headquarters, she’s welcomed backed with a pretty nasty grin on her face.

As the show opens, the X-Men are regrouping, with Warren taking it upon himself to rebuild the mansion using his father’s funds, and the introduction of Forge, the team’s… I guess you’d call him their Chief Engineer, charged with reconstructing the technical aspects of the mansion, including Cerebro and the Danger Room. He happens  to be a tad overwhelmed by the amount of work on his plate at the moment.

A couple of familiar faces join the team, including Emma Frost, whose motives are questionable, and Cyclops, who returns somewhat begrudgingly after an 2nd visit from Wolverine, who has info on Xavier’s whereabouts.

Those whereabouts happen to be Genosha, home to Magneto and his peaceful country of mutants. While Beast has uncovered no evidence that Magneto was responsible for the explosion at the mansion the year prior, Wolverine still decides to go in with claws popped. I’ll leave the rest for you to see for yourselves.

This episode is a bit light on the action, and heavy on build-up. This easily should’ve been it’s own episode, rather than billed as part of a three-part opener. The pacing is solid, and is giving us a chance to get a look at the personalities of the team. We get glimpses at a young, somewhat goofy Forge, a very calculating Emma (“Ask Logan, if he has his way I’ll be gone by tomorrow”), and a reckless Cyclops, who seems to have only one thing on his mind. You also get to see the fairly young members of the team hold their own against an extremely pissed, yet cool, Magneto.

Lots of set-up going on, and to me that is a pretty good thing. My only real concern, now that I’m sure everyone saw last week’s premier, is the Rogue situation. Attention Craig Kyle and Greg Johnson: Please get over your boner for Rogue flip-flopping between the X-Men and The Brotherhood. You’ve done it before. Okay, I get that it happened in the previous X-Men animated serious as well. But you wrote that too.

Next Episode: A warning from the future sends the X-Men on a mission to save one of their own from herself.

Hindsight, Parts 1 and 2

January 25, 2009
Hindsight, Parts 1 and 2

Hindsight, Parts 1 and 2

Wolverine is haunted. It has been a year since the Xavier Institute was destroyed in an inexplicable explosion that left the X-Men splintered, and Charles Xavier and Jean Grey unaccounted for. Visions of the incident continue to plague his dreams. In the X-Men’s absence, the Mutant Response Division has begun detaining “dangerous” mutants. When the MRD goes too far by kidnapping and torturing a non-mutant family that has helped Logan recoup from injuries he sustained, he decides they’ve gone too far.

The series begins strongly, by thrusting you directly into a story already in progress. Foregoing the typical origin stories, or “get to know you” episodes, the first hour of the series focuses on establishing the tone of the series, and the current state of affairs for mutants in this universe.

The characters are very familiar, and maintain most of the characteristics and personalities that many are familiar with. Rogue maintains a close, yet troubled, relationship with Wolverine, a la the X-MEN films, as well as possessing simply her absorption abilities. Many more familiar faces show up, including Angel, who declines to officially rejoin the team, but will remain on the sidelines operating from within his father’s corporation, and a seemingly broken Cyclops,who has no interest in tackling the problems facing mutantkind without Jean Grey by his side.

The X-Men are also up against quite a lot in the way of antagonists. Not only are the MRD on their heels, headed up by who appears to be Colonel Wraith (with what seem to be Wolverine-inflicted facial scars), but they’re also under political attack from Senator Kelly, supported in part by Worthington Industries. On the mutant angle, The Brotherhood of Mutants, led by Domino and Quicksilver, are heading the X-Men off at every turn. In the first hour alone they’ve recruited Rogue, and faked the X-Men into appearing to be responsible for an attack on Senator Kelly’s life.

With such a fast-paced start, the questions and mysteries that remain unanswered are many. Who attacked the mansion? What exactly happened to Jean and Charles? Whose side is Rogue truly on? And where are the rest of the X-Men? It looks like a pretty good set up for season one.

I don’t have any kind of rating system for the series, but I would say this was an A+ start. Definitely worth a watch!