Saturday, October 31, 2015

Star Wars Lost Stars Book Review: It’s all from a Certain Point of View

Romeo and Juliet for the Star Wars universe. The book isn’t quite as tragic, but it has elements of star crossed lovers. Above all else this book feels like Star Wars. It captures what is the essence of the Star Wars universe. Author Claudia Gray weaves a magical masterpiece through the events of the original trilogy. She is able to give a fresh and different perspective on what happens during this time. I can’t help but marvel at how she introduced two new characters into the Star Wars universe and placed them effortlessly into all of the major aspects of the original movies.
The story starts with two kids on an outer rim world who come from vastly different backgrounds. Ciena comes from a lower income segment of society on the world Jelucan whose traditions are steeped with honor and loyalty. She dreams of making her family proud by becoming a pilot in the Empire. Thane on the other hand comes from the upper crust of Jelucan society. All he dreams about is escaping from his abusive parents and getting as far away from them as possible. The Imperial Academy offers both of them this opportunity. They befriend each other at a young age and work together to get off the planet and become Imperial Officers.
The story takes them through their time at the Imperial academy, The Battle of Yavin, Hoth, Endor and one new battle. What’s fantastic about the story is how Gray is able to switch the perspective to the Imperial point of view. Ciena has nothing but praise for the Empire. They gave her Mother a higher paying job and afforded her the opportunity to make something of herself. She pledged an oath to the Empire and has to keep it. The Rebels through her eyes are nothing but terrorists. Ciena has friends on the Death Star when the Rebels destroy it, which cements her hatred for the Rebellion. She is blinded to the Empires evils for a long time not wanting to believe the stories, or just simply not knowing about them. She even finds ways to justify the destruction of Alderaan. They aren’t great justifications and she sees the evilness behind the Death Star and “thinks” the Empire will have learned its lesson after the first was destroyed.
Thane on the other hand is more of a cynic. He sees the corruption of the Empire at every turn. He just accepts that all forms of government are going to be corrupt. He would rather serve and do something that he loves than worry about the overall politics of what he is doing. Gray presents and excellent character study about the people who serve a totalitarian regime. Not everyone living under or serving for that regime would be evil. Not everyone who served in the German army was a Nazi, but I’m sure many saw things they did not agree with and still did not act. Is this right? No, but it can at least be understood.  Thane sees enough of the Empire to know he can’t serve with a clean conscious and leaves the Empire. He eventually finds his way to the Rebellion and our two heroes must fight against each other.
This is where the star crossed lover aspect of the story comes into play. Both Thane and Ciera have been attached to each other since they were children. They were close friends which blossomed into a passionate romance. They love one another and have a strong connection because of their deep friendship. I don’t mind a love story when it’s done well (Empire’s Strikes back good: Clone Wars very very bad). This love story is excellent and very believable. We care about each of these characters and want to see them together. Gray paints a picture were both characters are justified in their decisions they make because of who they are. They want to be together, but have opposite ideals about what each is fighting for. She did a fantastic job of fitting this story into the current framework of the galaxy far far away.
The only extremely small nitpick I have of the book is the way Thane reacts to Luke Skywalker. Thane acts jealous of the hero of Yavin. This is the only aspect were I think Thane acts out of character. I don’t think Thane would act jealous, I think Thane would be Luke’s friend. He would want to pick his brain. I understand Thane lost friends on the Death Star, but he also understood the necessity in destroying it. Maybe he still couldn’t get over Luke being the instrument who destroyed the Death Star.  I just found the jealous aspect out of character. I’m guessing Gray might not have been allowed to use Luke in her story, and had to find a way to mention him without any direct interaction with Thane. This would make more since than how Thane acts in the book anytime he hears Luke’s name.
Noting else negatively sticks out in the book for me. We get some great tidbits about things we have already seen in Force Awakens footage, and a great story to go along with it. I did not hate Aftermath as much as others, but I still didn’t love it. The first half of that book was hard to get through. This is not the case with Lost Stars. It was engrossing from the first few pages. Claudia Gray wrote an excellent addition to the New Cannon and it is my favorite of anything published to date. Lords of the Sith was great, this was just a bit better. If you have not picked this book up and you are a Star Wars fan this is a must read. If you are picking and choosing sparingly from the new cannon this is a must. Personally three things have been essential reading from the new cannon. Lost Stars, Shattered Empire (comic book) and Lords of the Sith. Other things have been great, but these are the gold standard for now.

Let me know what you think if you have finished Lost Stars. Do you think my list of essintal new cannon reading material is right? What did I miss?  Comment, like, share, and all that other fun jazz. Thanks for reading. 

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Star Wars Rebels S2E4 Always Two There Are Recap/Review (Spoilers!!): Wait, Buffy is Bad Now??

Should Star Wars Rebels be expanded to an hour long show?  Half the season down from 22 to 12 and let them tell more engrossing stories for an hour. This episode just felt rushed. There seemed to be more story to tell, and not enough time to tell it in. This is still a children’s show, so having it be an hour might make some kids tune out after a period of time. Personally I don’t think this would be the case and it would allow the showrunners to expand each episode. The first two episodes with the clone troopers was truly one episode with two story arcs. The episode tonight was exciting, but it felt shoehorned into a thirty minute time slot.
Sabine, Ezra, and Zeb go on a supply run to an old Republic base to obtain medical supplies. The episode started off very light hearted. There was great banter between Zeb, Ezra, and Chopper the droid.  Here is my big problem with the episode. How did the Inquisitor make it to the base so quickly? There was a probe droid, but was the Seventh Sister already on the base, or get notified and show up? If this was the case why was there a probe droid on the base? If this wasn’t the case, why was the Inquisitor on the base? They didn’t answer either of those questions. We saw the other Inquisitor leave from the Star Destroyer, but nothing from the Seventh Sister voiced by Sarah Michelle Geller. I think with more time to tell the story they could have shown how the Inquisitors knew the Rebels would come to the base, or how they were able to arrive so quickly.  
Even though I took issue with how she got on the base, the Seventh Sister was a fantastic character to introduce in tonight’s episodes. She was menacing with a touch of sweetness. She was polite while torturing Ezra for information. While also enjoying it immensely. I almost wish they would have left her introduction a complete mystery until tonight. It would have been a great reveal for us only to see the Fifth Brother (Pirate Inquisitor) go to the base, and then her jump out and ambush the Rebel crew. The Inquisitor’s relationship seems interesting and very strained. Since they are Sith they want to eliminate one another, but also see the need to corporate grudgingly. It should make for a fascinating dynamic. Another great tidbit of information dropped tonight is the fact the Inquisitors know about Ahsoka. I would assume this means Vader let them know who she is and that they must take her out.
This of course upsets Ezra and Sabine. Ezra had an intriguing episode tonight. He kept his cool in the face of great danger and was willing to sacrifice himself for Sabine. His story arc could go one of two ways: 1. He buckles down and becomes a staunch disciple of the Jedi ways and ends up getting killed this season or next. 2. Sabine gets killed this season which causes Ezra to take a turn for the darkside and he becomes a main antagonist for season 3 or 4. From the way he was able to handle himself tonight it seems like the former, but I could still easily see it being the latter. I’ve enjoyed his character more since the end of last season, but he still seems the weak link.
The escape sequence was well done. I liked how Zeb was able to orchestrate a plan. He doesn’t get much screen time, and it was nice for him to be the hero of the episode. They seem to use him and Chopper as comedic relief most of the time. The usual screw-ups of the team were able to save the day and it made for a nice change of pace. Then the episode took an unexpected dark turn once the team got back to the base. We saw for the first time how worried Kanan truly is about what they are up against. The Emperor’s theme playing to close out the episode was a nice touch to heighten the mood. The show is starting to prepare us for a more menacing tone.  

This was a fun thirty minute episode with major implications. Our merry band of Rebels now know about two new Inquisitors. It would have been nice to see the Inquisitors get a bit more screen time tonight as they tried to get more information out of Sabine and Ezra. It seems they would have liked to give them more time if the episode was a bit longer. This would have been a nice two episode story arc if nothing else. Still an entertaining half-hour of Star Wars television and I am excited to see the Clone Wars favorite Hondo back in action next week. 

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

The Flash S2E4 The Fury of Firestorm (Spoilers!): Ummm Where’s Jay Garrick??

CW’s The Flash is simply fun television. It has action, great characters, and is starting to throw in some well-acted drama. This episode was thoroughly enjoyable and started thinning down Team Flash to a manageable number.  There was a noticeable absence tonight, Earth’s Two Flash, Jay Garrick. Where did he disappear too tonight? It was a full episode without Jay in it, but they could have at least mentioned that he was up to something and couldn’t help. Other than this absence it was a fun filled filler episode with some great teases to the overall season story arc.
The overall focus tonight was getting Dr. Stein stable again. Caitlyn did some voodoo science and determined two candidates who could possibly merge with Dr. Stein and become Firestorm.  This would have been a good place for Jay to make an appearance. The man helped stabilize a singularity to another dimension. I think he would have been useful in helping with Dr. Stein.  Just a minor nitpick in storytelling, but I thought his absence was strange. Two candidates are found, one a former football star, and another who is a scientist.  They obviously gravitate to the scientist, but Barry wants to make sure they check out both options.
Barry is starting to grow into a team leader, and he started to step forward in this regard tonight. This would be a reason why Jay was not shown tonight. They want to set Barry up as a leader, and didn’t want Garrick confusing this message. Barry wants to be cautious about being all gung-ho for one candidate for the Firestorm Matrix over the other. He makes sure they go and talk to both candidates. You can see Barry is a bit perturbed at Caitlyn when he gets back and she has already told Dr. Hewitt about Star Labs and all he could do after he becomes Firestorm. When it doesn’t work Dr. Hewitt is upset and walks out.  The team has to convince the former football star to become Firestorm. Barry again steps up and helps Caitlin realize not everyone is eager and willing to become a super-hero at a drop of a hat. This is the second week in a row where Barry has given great advice to his team. This week to Caitlin and last week to Joe about Iris and her mom.
The Iris’s Mom storyline still doesn’t seem to add anything of value to the overall arc of the season. I get where they are going with it now, the son they mentioned in the episode is Wally West. It just is taking an extremely long time to get to the payoff. Francine keeps hiding things from both Joe and Iris. First she just wants to be a part of her life, then she’s dying. Iris is the one who discovers the existence of a possible brother. Having Wally West being introduced to the show will be great, but I just wish they would get to the conclusion. The acting and scenes have all been well done for the show, but it doesn’t seem necessary. Francine should have started with: Joe I’m dying and I want to get to know my daughter, and by the way you have a son. We are going to get there, just wish the pace would pick up.
The pacing for the other aspects of the episode was great. Jax Jackson, the football star, decides to merge with Dr. Stein and become Firestorm. They have to quickly team up and fight Dr. Hewitt who has become a literal hot head. It was a great fight sequence, and the special effects for this episode were fantastic. The fire around Dr. Hewitt and Jackson as Firestorm was fantastic. We didn’t get much of Barry running tonight, but what we did was still well done.  Barry’s quipping and verbally jabbing at Hewitt was extremely effective and funny. I want to see more of Barry making fun of the villains and teasing them.  They should have him do this more to the main villains of the weak. Hopefully as Barry grows more as the team leader and in his own confidence we will get this.
Barry’s confidence with women is another area where the show could move quicker. He got some sage advice from Joe about going after Patty, and by the end of the episode he is finally ready to make his move. The chemistry between the two has been great and I would like to see a good relationship develop between Patty and him this season. I think eventually tragedy will strike, which will force the eventual union of Barry and Iris. Before Barry can go and try and start something with Patty, a killer Man Shark shows up and decides to take down Barry. The special effects for the shark were great. It looked fantastic. We finally get Dr. Wells revealing himself in the episode as he takes down the shark with tech he stole from another lab.
I’m still of the mindset that this Dr. Wells isn’t evil. He is just simply a brilliant scientist here to help. This is going to be a bitter pill for the team to swallow, but I’m looking forward to having Tom Cavanagh as Dr. Wells back on the show. We saw a bit of what next episode will be about in the tease for next week. It seems he will just be a scientist from Earth Two, but he also knows about Zoom, and wants to stop him. I wonder if Jay will be able to shed light on Dr. Wells and if he is the real deal. I’m also curious if the fact Joe hid Dr. Wells arrival back from Barry will affect their relationship. It would in Arrow, but hopefully it is minor plot point or one not even brought up next episode.

This episode was more of a filler episode with no true movement in the search for Zoom. We did get a new Firestorm, and Barry stepping up as the team leader of the group. It will be interesting to see what happens when Dr. Wells starts to help and how much Jay will step in. This season has been excellent so far, with no major missteps. The show is just fun and entertaining, and you can’t ask for more than that ever week. 

Sunday, October 25, 2015

The Walking Dead S6E3 Thank You Review/Recap (Spoilers!): Gut Punched

This recap/review is going to be more cathartic than fun this week. I’m not sure I have lost a character on the show who I have generally loved watching. Glen was that character for me. He was someone who I could relate too on the show. One of the only people in the group who hadn’t totally lost his humanity. He was a pillar of dependability, someone who could always be relied on.  His love for Maggie drove him to grow as a person.
The first thirty minutes of the episode was a bit of a drag for me. I thought I knew exactly where the episode was going. We were going to get a plethora of zombie kills, and a few deaths from the inexperienced Alexandrians. For the first half hour that is exactly what we got. A few of the town people did meet an unfortunate end. The guy Sturgis who ran off, got what he deserved for leaving the group. The poor chick who hurt her ankle also met a brutal end. I didn’t really understand why the others in the group didn’t spare them getting eaten alive by shooting the unlucky ones in the head. I can see maybe not being able to help the girl, but not helping the guy who got dragged down by the fence made no sense. Michonne could have ran him through with the sword, or someone else could have shot him. These deaths where brutal and gruesome, and I’m surprised the others didn’t help them out.
This of course was all in preparation for the death of Glen. Even typing that hurts. I know it’s just a character on a television show, but even a few hours after watching I’m still in shock. His death really shocked and hurt. Now if you watched talking dead you herd one of the showrunners say we will see Glenn in one form or another again in the show. This left some to speculate that Glenn wasn’t eaten, and that Nick’s body fell on top of him and this is what the Walkers were tearing through. I don’t really think this is the case. It truly looked like he was sadly being ripped apart. Man that really hurts to type, and really hurts to think about. They say we could get a flashback or a walker shot. I’m not sure how I feel about either of those scenarios, but at least we might get a proper goodbye. I watched the replay of the episode up until the killing of Nick, and stopped after that point. I couldn’t get through it again. Maggie’s reaction when we get back to Alexandria is going to be brutal. She has lost everyone and it could finally break her.
I had originally speculated in my last review that I thought Maggie and Glenn could be a bridge between the two groups. This idea is right out the window. Not just because of Glenn being killed, but because it will destroy Maggie. She won’t be able to bring the two groups together. So either Rick will have to regain some of his humanity, or Deanna is going to have to step up in a big way. I’m not sure either situation is likely, but I don’t see Rick being able to lead the entire community in his current state. Deanna is going to have to deal with her grief so she can handle Rick and the rest of the citizens of Alexandria. This has to be the case with the mounting threats to everyone involved.
The episode didn’t end with Glenn though, we still had another extremely tense filled sequence with Rick. I honestly thought they may have killed him off too when the wolf broke into the camper and fired at him. I was on the edge of my seat the entire commercial break until they went back to him dealing with the threat. Rick proved again just how capable a person he is in this savage world. He was able to quickly dispatch the wolves who Morgan let get away twice. No quarter or mercy from Rick Grimes. He seems to always kill first and ask questions later. Who can blame him with all of the events he has had to go through during the past five years.
Michonne pointed this fact out to Heath in a great scene during the first half of the episode. She let him know just how far her group had come and what they had to go through to survive in the world they all now live in. Even though Heath seems to be one of the more capable members of the community, he still fails to grasp just how much everything has changed. I loved this scene and the slow realization on Heath’s face as he started to grasp what Michonne was saying. This was an incredibly well acted scene and hopefully we will get more interaction between these two actors. They seem to play well off one another.
This was a hard episode to watch Losing Glenn hurt, but it was also because they threw us a huge curveball. They almost lulled us to sleep in the first thirty minutes and then hit us with a huge sucker punch. We thought we knew where the show was going tonight, and not seeing it coming added to the pain.  The first three episodes of this season have been extremely strong. Last year after the first few episodes the story split to Beth and we had to catch up with her. This year it looks like we are going to get more information about Morgan, and how he was able to pull himself together after the events of the Clear episode. I hope we get some knowledge about what is happening during the current timeline, but I desperately want to know how Morgan came to use his staff.

Hopefully reading my recap helped with the pain, that sounds silly, but typing helped me process it. Again I know it’s just a silly character on a show, but it still hurt. I was yelling on my couch and my wife and son who don’t watch with me ran down to see what was wrong. Knowing we will get some other closure helps, but not knowing when is maddening. Let me know what you think of tonight’s episode. What are your theories about how Glenn will show back up?  Do you think he is still alive? Comment, share, and discuss. 

SuperGirl Movie Review: Campy Comic Book Movies at it's Finest.... Well maybe not.

In honor of the new SuperGirl Television show starting, I busted out the "classic" SuperGirl movie and decided to review it. Let me know what you think of my video review and if you have seen SuperGirl before.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Star Wars Shattered Empire #4 Recap/Review (Spoilers): Finally LUKE!

A fantastic conclusion to a great four issue run of comics. Shattered Empire #4 showcased Shara Bey again, but this time she got to tag along on an adventure with everyone’s favorite Jedi, Luke. Okay maybe he’s not everyone’s favorite, but he’s mine dammit. Luke has been suspiciously absent in everything to do with the journey to the Force Awakens. Yes he has been in the main marvel comics, and has had one young adult book, but that all takes place before the Battle of Endor. They are starving us with the lack of information on Luke, and the fourth issue of Shattered Empire seemed like a small feast when he finally showed up.
Luke recruits Bey to go with him on a mission to an Imperial base. He wants Bey to impersonate an Imperial officer so they can infiltrate the base and take back something the Emperor stole form the Jedi. Simple adventure plot, but the execution is exquisite. The artwork again in this comic stands apart. The battle sequences with Luke felt like I was watching a show instead of reading a comic. The comic had me wanting to speed through and to find out what happened next, but also stay on each page and marvel in the art work. I can’t believe a comic can have you on the edge of your seat, but this issue did.
Once Luke and Shara make it to the Imperial base they are able to get to the room where what Luke is after is being held. The Imperial Commandant knows something is up because the Imperial Bey is impersonating only has one eye. He tries an ambush and the action picks up, and our heroes have to escape with the relics Luke came for. The relics are trees from the Jedi temple on Coruscant. Now I can see how some would think the trees are a bit lame, but I loved it. The fact that they introduced these relics from the Jedi Temple opens up many more questions which need to be answered.
How did Luke learn about the trees? What special things can these trees do? Will they have any impact on Star Wars The Force Awakens? Just by creating this one issue of the comic there are now numerous new story possibilities, and it’s fantastic. The first I think can be answered in the main Star Wars comic story line. Since Luke has found many Jedi artifacts with the Hutt crime lord who has captured him, he could have learned about these trees from some of this information.  The next is the interesting question, what can these trees actually do? Luke says they are of the force in the comic. The fact the Emperor had them so heavily guarded means they can do something. Hopefully other comics or books will explore what they are.
The biggest question the force trees open up, is if they will affect The Force Awakens. I’m guessing they will. The Emperor was guarding them, and Luke wanted them. They must have some meaning and power. The interesting thing is Luke gave one to Shara to plant on whatever world she decided to settle down on. I could be mistaken, but it looked like Yavin. So the one of the force trees is on Yavin, and the other is with Luke.  Did Luke have a reason for splitting them up? Will Poe have some interaction with them in the movie? So many questions and so few answers!!
Hopefully we will get another special set of comics or books to find out more information about what happens to the special trees. Yes even as I’m typing this, force trees sound lame, but the whole comic is done so well it doesn’t bother me. I want to find out more information and know how they will affect the story going forward.  I don’t think we will get any more information before The Force Awakens, so the next time we see the trees could be in the movie.
The fourth installment of this short run of comics was fantastic. It is exciting, expertly drawn, and opens up multiple other story lines to explore.  All of the Star Wars comics have been great, but this one stands above the rest. This short four issue run would be the one I would recommend for any Star Wars fan to pick up. Three things of the new cannon are must reads for fans: Lords of the Sith, Lost Stars and Shattered Empire. Other things have been fun and entertaining, but these are essential if fans are picking and choosing what to read.  

Let me know what you thought of the 4th issue. Did you think the trees are lame, or where you just excited for what it possibly means for The Force Awakens? Comment and let me know. 

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Star Wars Rebels S2E2 Relics of the Old Republic (Spoilers!): Tank Chase

Relics of the Old Republic finished the quick two episode story arc of Kanan and the crew going to find clone troopers who could provide intelligence on new Rebel base locations. It provided good insight on Kanan and showcased some great action sequences. The episodes were a good way to kick off the season and bring in fans of Star Wars The Clone Wars who may have not watched the Rebels.
This episode is basically a slow chase sequence for the Rebels to get away from the Empire.  Wolfe had to report in and try to cover for his previous mistake of turning the Jedi in. He tried, but failed because the probe droid caught a glimpse of the Rebels. After a great dig by Rex at the Stormtroopers, the Empire comes after clones and rebels. The fight between the Tie Fighter and the tanks was well done, and the clone trooper Gregor made me chuckle. I like the crazy old clone, and he added some great levity to the episode. Ezra again made a point that the two groups work better as a team. Teamwork is good, and is a good message to promote for a show for kids
Once the clones and the rebels enter the sandstorm Kanan and Ezra must use the force to avoid the Imperial walkers. It was a well done sequence, with Ezra having to trust in the force to shoot down the Imperial Walker. We knew Ezra could shoot the canon by him getting some instructions earlier in the episode from Rex. It was a good use of callback for the show. We saw him being trained how to shoot, and then he was able to use that teaching and the force to take down a walker.
The end sequence was well fantastic, and I wasn’t sure if the clones were going to make it out alive. I really thought they may give themselves up since the show is supposed to have a darker tone this year. Kanan with the prodding of Ezra made the right call and went back to help the clones and take out the other two walkers. It was interesting to see just how much pride the clones still had in following a Jedi. I wonder if we will meet some clones later in this season who don’t hold the same sentiment. It would make for a good story arc for Rex and the other clones to have to go up against some of their brothers.
The ending of the episode was extremely touching. The reunion between Rex and Ahsoka was the best moment of the episode.  The voice actors Dee Bradley Baker and Ashley Eckstein should be highly commended for their ability to add so much emotion to this scene. The animation is great, but if the actors behind the characters don’t buy into the weight of the situation it doesn’t have any impact. You felt the emotion from each character jump off the screen. You felt Ahsoka and Rex where generally happy and touched to be finally seeing each other again. It was a fantastic way to end the second episode.
The only issue I had with the tonight was some of the dialogue used. The “Great Shot Kid” line after Ezra took out a walker seemed forced. You don’t have to put in former Star Wars lines to make the show feel like Star Wars. I felt the show did this a bit too much in the early episodes last season, and when they went away from this is when the season hit its stride. They made these characters their own people, and not individuals who rehashed old bits of jargon.  It was only done a couple of times tonight and just it took me out of the show. It probably didn’t for others, and is probably because I have every bit of dialogue from the original trilogy memorized. It’s a small nitpick in an otherwise good episode.

The first two episodes were a good start to what is going to be a longer second season of Star Wars Rebels. They did enough to tie up the loose ends from the Siege of Lothal and introduce us to one of the new inquisitors. Ezra is progressing in the force with Kanan growing into his teaching role. It will be interesting to see were the story goes and how the Empire starts to deal with the new Rebel threat. 

The Flash S2E3 Family of Rogues Review/Recap (Spoilers!): Jester’s Dead

Captain Cold returns this week with his dastardly father played by the fantastic Michael Ironside. Mr. Ironside is in one of my favorite movies of the year Turbo Kid. If you are a fan of classic 80’s action/adventure movies check it out, it’s fantastic. Ironside plays a more evil villain than his son Leonard/Captain Cold. Leonard at least has honor; his father, it appears, doesn’t by placing bombs in his associates and daughter’s head.
This episode felt like the season is starting to get into a groove. It didn’t have the standard villain of the week, since Captain Cold and his sister made an appearance. You could count their father as the main foil, but it was a good twist on the standard weekly story. Captain Cold and his sister Golden Glider should be extremely silly villains and be unbelievable for the show. However the performances by Wentworth Miller and Peyton List are terrific and they sell the characters for all they are worth. They buy in completely and make them believable individuals in the show. I think one of the nice touches of tonight’s episode is the budding romance between Cisco and Lisa Snart. It’s good to see someone else besides Barry have some romantic entanglement.
Barry took a bit of a back seat tonight. He still saved the day, but I felt the main focus tonight was off of him. It focused more on Cisco and his relationship with Lisa, and the relationship between Leonard and his father. Making Leonard a more complex villain is setting him up to be part of the Legends of Tomorrow television show, but it’s still well done. The fact that the only thing he does care about is his sister was handled well in the episode. Ironside is bit of a one note evil dude in the episode, but still does a good job for the role he is provided.
On the overall season story arc, there wasn’t much movement. There was some good exposition about what the worm hole in star labs basement is, and how they can make a speed cannon. Once they got the cannon working, I thought the reasons for Garrick to stay on Earth one were a little weak. It was both a bit selfish on our team’s part, and unrealistic for him to stay. There isn’t anyone back on his world that is missing him?? I would think there would at least be one person who is worried about where he is.  This is a bit nitpicky, but I think they could have had a better reason for him to stay other than what was provided. How about Jay is staying so he can figure out how to get his power back? This would have fit within the show better, and given his reasons for staying more weight.
The only other part of the episode which didn’t flow was the Joe, Iris and her Mom storyline. This felt just thrown into this episode and had no real purpose. I’m guessing it’s going to have more impact on the season overall, but it just didn’t fit with tonight’s story. Maybe I can see a parallel with Leonard and his father and Iris and her mother, but that is a stretch. If those storylines somehow crossed paths this week I could see parental relationships being a theme of the episode. Since they didn’t the theme was still there, the point was just a little muted by not having everything tie together. The story and theme could have been just as meaningful with just one of the stories in the episode, not both.
Now what about the end of the episode? Is Dr. Wells a bad guy this time around, is he Zoom? I don’t think so. I stand by my assumption from last week. He is the true Harrison Wells from another earth. He is still a genius and discovered the portals the same way our group did on Earth One. He created his own speed cannon so he could travel to the multiple earths. I think he is going to help Team Flash for a few episodes. Though they are obviously going to be wary of him. It just seems a bit too obvious to have him as the villain again. The show likes to throw twists, so maybe I’m wrong.
Overall it was a strong “filler” episode. Not as strong as the first two episodes, but still extremely well done and an enjoying hour of television. The groundwork of the season was laid down in the first two episodes and the train is now leaving the station. It was a good first stop in the journey. I had interesting villains and some good but slow progression of the overall arc of the season. The tease and hook for next week was set well.  I’ll be tuning in to see if Dr. Wells is good or evil and how Team Flash reacts.

What did you think of tonight’s episode? Comment and let me know. If you enjoy my recap follow my page on Facebook or follow me on twitter, and share with others. Greatly appreciated! 

Sunday, October 18, 2015

The Walking Dead S6E2 JSS Recap/Review (Spoilers!): Visceral, Haunting and Full of Action

In my recap of last week’s episode I had some mild disappointment for the season opener not topping the first episode of season five for action and gruesomeness. Little did I know the showrunners where just holding back for the second episode of the season.  Leaving off from last week I figured we would get an hour long zombie kill fest for episode two. When they started out with Enid’s storyline I wasn’t sure what to think, and then they backed that up with more setup before the horn sounded. What I did not expect was wolves within the walls brutally murdering the citizens of Alexandria.
Starting off the episode with Enid and her backstory was an interesting start to the episode, and I’m guessing she is going to play a bigger role later on in the series. Her transformation in just a few short minutes at the start of the episode was nothing short of amazing. Now is it believable that she was able to survive on her own for however long? Not sure, but the framing and telling of the story didn’t make me question the decision. Her scene with the turtle was raw and believable. It was framed in a way to showcase her looking like a walker. It shows just how far this young girl came in a short amount of time. It would not have been surprising for someone to happen upon her at that moment and think she was a walker. I almost expected it to happen, and for that to be the way she was brought into Alexandria. Showing she walked and found the town, and then decided to leave tonight was a nice bookend to the episode.
Carol tonight was the true star. At the start of the episode she is still in full homemaker mode, and she quickly turns into bad ass at the drop of a hat. Calling her a hero at the start of the episode was a good use of foreshadowing of things to come.  The use of the cooking timer was brilliant. She started it and  at the end of the episode it went off showing just how short amount of time had passed. In that short amount of time, everything for the town had changed. Her quickly realizing what was going on, and taking action is what has made her a fan favorite on the show for the past three seasons. From the first season she has had the most stunning character growth of almost anyone on the show. She is as cold blooded as the wolves she is hunting. It is the only way she thinks she can survive, and she is probably correct in this thinking.
On the opposite side of Carol’s way of thinking is Morgan. He is the only person from the group who is herding the large group of walkers who makes it back. Morgan is the counter balance to Carol in this episode. He is also a hero, but he is still trying to save the wolves and not kill them. He doesn’t hesitate to kill walkers, but at every opportunity he tries to encourage the wolves to run. One of the best exchanges in the episode is after Morgan saves Gabriel and has tied up one of the wolves. Carol walks up and shoots him in the head. Methodical and necessary, she sees no reason to show them any quarter.  Morgan feels differently and lets some of the wolves go. In fact this is the second time he did not kill a particular member of their gang. He warned them off and told them not to come back. The end of the episode is a bit of a mystery. Did he end up killing the wolf in the house, or did he just knock them out? It sounded like he killed him with the apology, but we will just have to wait and find out.
The wolves of the episode are terrifying. The fact they were able to quickly enter the town and mutilate and kill so many town members was stunning and horrifying. The way they kept hacking and disfiguring bodies added to the terror of the episode. The way this season has been set up is brilliant. We have a new gang of enemies for our group to defend against, along with the always present zombies. The next episode looks to flash back to Rick and the others trying to get the herd of walkers back on the road. I am guessing they are able to manage it to a degree or a ton of walkers would have been showing up at the town during this episode.
This is probably my only complaint about the episode, and extremely small and nitpicky.  I understand wanting to separate the two storylines, but it would have been nice to at least get an update about the other group. As quick as Morgan made it back to the town, the others should had been able to make it back as well. Only when seeing a tease for next week did I realize they must have been able to reorganize the herd to try and drive it from the town. The horn didn’t go off for that long of a time, so they may have been able to distract them again. We will just have to wait until next week and see. I just kept expecting the rest of the team to show up, and was surprised when they didn’t.
Usually a director for a television show doesn’t leave their mark on an episode. Most of the time each episode follows the same type of flow and feel, however Jennifer Chambers Lynch put a firm stamp on tonight’s installment. The framing and shot selection tonight really stood out. Showing the wolves hack away, without showing the gore was masterfully done. It had the same gruesome effect as showing the body being mutilated. The shots of blood splatter, pools of blood, and blood running just heightened the feelings of tragedy for the episode. The feeling of devastation leaked through and the evolving changes coming to the town keep happening at a rapid pace.
I speculated last week that Glen is being setup to be a leader to the entire community. With the way Maggie was able to take charge, they may both become co-leaders of the entire group. They both still have their humanity and Deanna is obviously unable to cope with the way the true world works. Her whole life has crumbled around her in a few weeks. Rick is too ruthless at the moment to lead the entire group, but Maggie and Glen are a good blend to unite everyone.
It was a fantastic second episode and one of my favorites from the entire series. The setup and then the unexpected action was an excellent way to pace the episode. The first two episodes of the season have been great and are upping the ante on what is going to happen next. I know some filler character episodes are coming, but for now they are front loading the season with tons of action and high impact drama. Is it next Sunday yet??

Tell me what you thought of the second episode of season six? Did you think it was as fantastic as I did? I was stretching to find something wrong tonight, how about you? Like, share, and share please and thanks!! 

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Star Wars Rebels S2E1 The Lost Commanders Recap/Review (Spoilers!): Fishing for Success

The first few episodes of the first season of Star Wars Rebels were a little rough. I thought the show had some issues gaining a strong footing and traction about what kind of show they wanted to be. Once it hit episode five or six the show picked up steam and the final episode of the season was fantastic. The two episodes released in June were a great tease, and it was the perfect way for us to be introduced to an older Ahsoka Tano. This season got off to a fantastic start and had the perfect mix of action and character moments.
The episode kicks off with the Rebels needing to find a base to regroup and strike from. Ahsoka sends our Rebel crew in search of some former allies who she thinks can help. This is the only part of the episode I had a small problem with. I don’t remember the droids from the clone wars being able to track the way they could in this episode. Maybe I’m not remembering correctly, but it just seems a bit unrealistic for the old droid to be able to track down the former clone troopers. This was the only problem with the episode and it was minor. The rest of the show tonight was fantastic.
The droid was able to track down the former troopers and they are traveling across the desert in an old clone war tank. Rex seems happy to see the band of Rebels and is willing to accept them if they know Ahsoka. Kanan however doesn’t trust the clones and for good reason. If you have read any of the comics you know more of his back story and how he survived and escaped order 66. The clones say they have removed their control chips and are willing to help the crew find a base if they help them catch a desert creature.
The fishing sequence was the best part of the episode. It had a great action and comedy. The clone trooper Gregor was the highlight of the episode. He is a bit off his rocker, probably because his chip removal didn’t go that well. He has just a great childlike exuberance that was a perfect contrast to Rex and Kanan during the episode. He lightened the mood and was ecstatic when they were able to kill the sand creature with the help of Zeb as bait.  Using Zeb as bait and then having to reel him back in was fantastic. The whole scenario had me on the edge of my seat.  The entire crew had to work together to accomplish the goal and that’s an important aspect to the show. They can’t accomplish their goals without working together. It still is a kid show, and I can get behind promoting teamwork to my boys.
Kanan still doesn’t trust the clones, which I can’t blame him since they just used one of his team as fish bait. Sabine also discovers the clones have sent messages to the Empire betraying them. Rex denies it, but Wolffe confesses. He makes a heartfelt apology, but Kanan still doesn’t trust the people who have already betrayed him twice. Ezra bridges the gap between the clones and Kanan. He is the diplomat on the mission and smooths the situation over so the group can accomplish its goals
The only problem is that Wolffe reported in and a probe droid was able to report back to the Empire about the clones and the rebels. The Empire should be on their way and the crew is going to have to fight its way out since the Ghost is currently disabled in orbit.  It should make for a fantastic second episode and we will get more time with Kanan and the clones. It should be another half-hour  of Kanan beginning to accept the clones don’t mean him harm and want to help.
The first episode of Star Wars Rebels was a great first instalment to the second season. It had a fun adventure mixed with interesting character moments between Kanan and the clones. This looks like a minor story arc for the season, with Ahsoka going off to find more information about Darth Vader. After these first two episodes I am hoping we get some episodes focusing on Ahsoka and her hunt for more information on Darth Vader.

Comment and let me know what you thought of tonight’s episode. Like my Facebook page and follow me on twitter with the links on the page to the right. 

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Star Wars: Shattered Empire #3 Recap/Review (Spoilers!): Spectacular Art & Story

Wish I could come up with a clever title for this Shattered Empire recap, but spectacular is all I got, because that is what it is. I admittingly was a little underwhelmed with the first issue because it didn’t advance much past the battle of Endor, but the next two issues have been fantastic.  The story has been exciting and the art in the book is stunning. Can’t wait for the final installment to be released next week.
Every time I have opened up an issue of Shattered Empire the artwork is breathtaking. I’m no comic book connoisseur. I’ve only been reading comics since Marvel has been releasing new Star Wars issues at the start of the year. I love the art in these books, and it’s the first comic I can really say that about. The book opens up at an Imperial base and Rebel commandos are about to attack. Kes Dameron is helping lead the attack. Some great action panels are done here and we then get to see Han and Chewie. Threepio is with the team and the banter between him and Han is standard from the movies. I’m not sure I enjoyed that aspect, but it didn’t bother me either. I’m just indifferent. I’ve seen Han hate on Threepio, it doesn’t excite or bother me. They take the base and are able to determine the Empire has launched an offensive and is attacking Naboo. There is a great panel of an Imperial commander surrendering. His facial expression are drawn so well, his dejection and humiliation leap off the page.
On Naboo Princess Leia, Bey and the Queen are trying to figure out how to defeat the Imperial attack. The Queen has an idea to go to a sealed off hanger to try and use old Naboo Starfighters. This is the only small nitpick I had with the issue. It seems a bit unrealistic that the people of Naboo would have sealed off this part of the palace and left the fighters alone. On top of this advanced machinery like this wouldn’t have worked. Only a small gripe, and I think they could have used some other reason for why the palace had a few starfighters. The queen could have had a reserve always available for her protection and escort for example. This sequence did produce one of my favorite parts of the issue. When Leia walks into the hanger she feels cold, and the panel has background image of Darth Maul. Just great use of history and lore for the comic.
The girls launch the fighters and go to disrupt the Imperial attack. They need to take out the weather satellites that are causing the storms on the surface of Naboo. The space battle that follows leaps off the page. It was almost like watching a television show or movie rather than reading. Bae is able to keep Tie Fighters busy while the other two ladies take out the satellites. The rest of the New Republic fleet shows up just in the nick of time and is able to save all three heroines before they are overtaken by Tie Fighters.  Lando’s line was perfect when they show up to help and defeat the Imperials.
The book ends with a reunion of Kes and Bae. In the next issue it looks like we are finally going to get to see Luke. It will be one of the first times he has appeared in the journey to The Force Awakens. I’m hoping he plays a major role, and am stoked the issue comes out on 10/21/15. It is too bad this run of comics is only going to be four issues. Even though I was a little disappointed with the first issue, it was more because of what I was expecting. The story and characters has been great throughout.  These are some of the best of the star wars comics and are well worth your money if you haven’t checked them out yet.  

Comment and let me know what you think of Shattered Empire. Are you excited to see Luke in the final installment? 

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

The Flash S2E2 Flash of Two Worlds Review/Recap (Spoilers!): They Explained the Multi-Verse!! Kind of?!?

Where last week’s season opener focused on tying up loose ends, episode two threw us full force into this year’s story. This episode was more of a setup of what is to come this year, with a good episodic villain thrown in for effect. It was a tricky episode to pull off. How can they explain the multi-verse to people who haven’t read the comics? How can there be more than one Flash and a double of every person on Earth? The showrunners pulled it off in spectacular fashion and gave us a fun hour of entertainment.
Let’s start with the exposition on what exactly is the multi-verse. It was so deftly handled with Joe being the audience’s touchstone. He seemed completely lost about the multi-dimensional paradigm the scientist in the room were theorizing about. While not many people truly understand what they are talking about, or that there is an actual hypothesis about this subject. The show did a good job of explaining the theory in a way that is plausible and relatable. There are infinite possible earths, but we are only going to deal with two (or possibly 52) for the show. Jay Garrick is the Flash on earth two and is here to help Barry defeat Zoom.
This was the only part of the episode that felt a little stiff and wooden to me. Garrick initial introduction didn’t seem to flow well with the show. I'm not sure if it was Teddy Sears who plays Garrick, or just the dialogue, but it didn't seem genuine.  It seemed like he was having to force the lines out. I enjoyed him by the end of the episode and thought the arc of Jay having to gain Barry’s trust was well done. The part I didn't buy was Iris kicking Barry into gear about trusting Jay. The chemistry between Barry and Iris seems off, and maybe it’s supposed to because of Eddy. However it may be more on the actor level, and nothing to do with the actual show. Hopefully not because Grant and Candice will share a good chunk of screen together.
A character who did have great chemistry with Barry tonight was Patty Spivot played by Shantel VanSanten. She stole the show for me tonight, and every interaction between her and Barry was extremely enjoyable. I’m not sure how Barry can get gorgeous women to immediately fall for him, but props to the guy.  Patty wants to join the meta-human task force with Joe, because her father was killed by one of the Mardon brothers. Joe doesn’t want to give into her, but she proves herself worthy.
Some might take issue with her being captured and Barry and Jay having to rush to save the day. I didn't mind it, and still think Patty is going to be a strong presence on the show, not just a person Barry has to go out and save on a constant basis. She seems smart and capable and will be welcome addition to Team Flash. I'm not sure what it was about her character that stuck out to me, but she was a refreshing presence to the show. I thought they may try to force a relationship between Barry and Caitlin on us, but looks like she has eyes for Jay. Once they start dating, it should make for some fireworks when Ronnie finds his way back to earth one.
While I thought they did a good job of explaining how there could be multiple earths, many things are still unanswered. One big question is why do other meta-humans from other worlds still have their powers and Jay Garrick does not? The Sand Demon and Atom Smasher retained their powers why not Jake? This is too big of a plot hole not to be discussed on the show and I’m interested to see where they take the story. The second question is why is Zoom bringing other villains to face Flash? He is obviously powerful enough to take out Barry, so why not strike now? Other than the obvious fact that there would be no show without him doing this. Zoom should have a larger plan. I’m sure he will, and the if last year twists were any indication of what’s in store, it should be enjoyable This batch of episodes should start to answer some of these questions and it should be exciting for them to be revealed and answered.
The villain this week was run of the mill, but I enjoyed him more than Atom Smasher. The CG this week was still a little spotty when it came to the battles with Sand Demon, but not as comical as last week. They were still a fun to watch, and the CG didn’t take away from my enjoyment. The effects that were well done were Cisco’s visions. Cisco finding out he has powers is fantastic, and I am intrigued to see where they take his progression as a hero. A couple of the other scenes were fantastic. The initial handshake between both Flash’s was cheesy, but still uplifting and fun. The nod to the comics with each Flash walking down the brick wall was awesome. I may not read the comics, but I knew that was an Easter egg.
The only other strange thing not to be addressed is that Barry has killed two villains, and not apprehended them. When did it become okay for Barry to just off the bad guys? Last year they went to painstaking efforts to capture them and not kill them. This week we just found the easiest way to defeat the bad dude and proceeded full steam ahead. Don’t get me wrong, the lighting attack was awesome, just not sure it fits. I hope they address this in the next few episodes. I don’t necessarily care how Barry handles the bad guys, but it’s an important issue for Barry’s character. He’s not a stone cold killer, and these deaths should take a toll on him. They may be setting this up for a story arc during this season.
The second episode of The Flash was strong installment to the show. While I thought the season premier was ok, this was leaps and bounds better. It seemed to have a more detailed story and flow than last week. Nothing seemed jammed in, and it easily could have with the introduction of two new characters. The show left me wanting next week’s episode to drop tonight, and that’s the best praise I can give any show. You want to keep watching, even after it has ended.

What was your thoughts on tonight’s Flash? Did you like it as much as me or have issues? Do you find it interesting that Barry has killed two villains, and do you think it will be addressed? Comment and let me know. 

Monday, October 12, 2015

The Walking Dead S6E1 First Time Again (Spoilers!!) Review/Recap: Rollin, rollin', rollin', Keep them ZOMBIES rollin', RAWHIDE!!

The Walking Dead has an enormous amount of pressure to deliver a quality television show.  Each year it seems the madness for the show grows and they have to keep upping the stakes to keep everyone engaged. Season five’s first episode had some of the most gruesome and visceral moments ever shown on normal cable television. Not much could have topped that viewing experience. The first episode of season six didn't quite measure up to season five’s opening. It did however do a great job of being entertaining and setting up the rest of the season.
The opening scene at the quarry set the stage for everything to come. We were thrown into a chaotic scene and not given any reference for what was going on. The use of flashbacks to show the buildup to the first part of the episode was well done. The decision to show the flashbacks in black and white was an intelligent way of informing the audience what events happened in the past. If they would not have used this method the episode would have become confusing. This simple device separated the past and present and allowed the story to progress at a good pace. The action all happened in the present and was displayed with color and vibrancy. The past was shown in black and white which added a filter to the events.
The good character moments this week all happened in the past. Most of the great interactions where between Rick and Morgan. They started to see if they could co-exist and be friends with what they had become. Morgan is now the more stable individual, while Rick is more like Morgan in possibly my favorite episode of the series: Clear. The scene on the porch where Rick talks to him and gives him Judith was pitch perfect. You think Rick had a moment of sanity and humanity by not killing Carter. He actually just realizes he doesn't have to pull the trigger, the world he now lives in will destroy Carter. It’s a chilling moment, and shows just how much the world has destroyed the man Rick once was.
Though we do see some humanity leaking back into Rick. He doesn’t want to bury Peter, but does once he realizes what it will mean to his son Ron. The man was trash, but he was still the boy’s father and Rick is still a good enough leader to see the value in appeasing the boy. He also cares about Jessie and wants her to learn to protect herself. You can almost see joy in Rick’s face when Jessie says she is going to fight. It’s tinged with sadness since he won’t be the one to teach her, but he’s still happy about her wanting to fight.
Glen and Nicholas was the other big storyline of the episode. Glen probably should have killed Nicholas for the crap he has pulled. He deserves to die for trying to kill Glen and for being responsible for killing Noah. However Glen can’t bring himself to do it, because unlike Rick, Glenn still has his humanity. Maggie grounds Glenn, and he is probably going to become the moral compass for the show. Which might mean he could shortly be on the chopping block. I can see Glenn being the bridge between the people of the town and Rick’s group. He might become the overall leader with his new connection to Nicholas. The tractor store displayed just how loyal Nicholas has now become to Glenn. Nicholas is going to listen no matter what, because of the debt he owes to Glenn.
The other characters take a back seat this week.  Daryl only got a few lines telling Rick they should continue the search for other survivors to make the community strong. It’s one reason I think they are going to repel the zombies now heading for the town. The plan may have failed, but I don’t think they would have had Daryl make these comments if the town was going to fall. I think they are going to survive the attack next week in an all-out zombie kill fest. After this they will regroup and discover where the horn came from. My thought is The Wolves have been watching and timed the horn blow perfectly to disrupt the herd. The show will switch gears in the third or fourth episode to build up the conflict with the mysterious group.
The only part of the episode I didn't really care for was the Sasha and Abraham story. The storyline seemed shoehorned and didn’t fit the overall tone of the rest of the episode. It’s understandable to show’s Sasha’s recovery with Abraham, but it just didn't flow or fit. It’s a small nitpick, but I think the story could have been cut out and the episode wouldn’t have lost anything. It almost seemed they were stretching for content to get the show to ninety minutes. They should have just given us more zombie kills instead.
There wasn’t a shortage of gruesome walker kills though. While not an over the top episode, the kills were well done. It was interesting to learn during Talking Dead last night just how they made up so many zombies for the episode. Some of the best kills where from the tractor scene and when Rick has to defend Peter. Morgan gets in on the action by fighting off a few walkers when the people of Alexandria aren’t able to defend themselves.
While this season’s opener didn’t have the high tension or gruesomeness of some of the past first episodes, it was still and enjoyable ninety minutes of television. I may have wanted just a bit more from the episode, but this is just having high expectations for the show. The next episode should be nothing but action and tension as the town has to repel the walker horde. This installment set up the season and what’s to come. It had good character moments and great special effects. In other words, just another entreating night of watching The Walking Dead. Here’s too many more!

What did you think of tonight’s episode? Comment and let me know. Share, subscribe, and like if you enjoy my long winded ramblings. 

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Star Wars Lando Comic #5 Review/Recap (Spoilers!): Leaves the Door Open for more Books

Well, I may have predicted the bounty hunter, Chanath, was a women, but I was completely wrong about who she was in love with. I thought she would be a former lover of Lando, but instead she was an important fling for Lobot. I thought the sith artifacts would be what Lando would sell and use to become the leader of Cloud City, but the ship blew up. This also shot a hole in my theory that Lando held onto one of the artifacts and it effected Kylo Ren (who I think is a Skywalker/Solo).  I still think this could be the case if Lando pocketed a few on his way off the ship, but probably not. The series still showed us that sith artifacts do have an effect on individuals around them, which could play a major role in the new movies. This five issue run of Lando comics have been my favorite of all the Star Wars comics, and the last issue leaves room for countless other stories to be told.
What I liked most about the Lando comics is how they captured and expanded on the character of Lando. He’s a smooth charming leader who can rally a team around him, but it seems his plans always fall apart. Lando at the start of this issue is still trying to figure out a way to salvage some of the score off of the Imperial ship. Chanath coolly points out that if any of the artifacts are sold the Emperor will know she failed in her job and Darth Vader will soon be sent after her and him. Lando then drops the nugget that her old flame Lobot is on the ship and hurt. This really shocked me since I was sure Chanath was an old flame of Lando.  
Along with trying to save Lobot they have to deal with the two cat warriors who have been infected by the sith artifacts. Chanath takes on one, and Lando in a smooth move takes out another. I loved this scene with Lando. He’s got an image that he’s a lover not a fighter, but that’s because those who have seen him fight have never lived to tell the tale. It’s very James Bondish. Lando is a grifter James Bond in space, that’s a piece of who he is this first run of comics. He’s also something more, as he rushes to save Lobot and makes sure he’s not left behind.
Lobot in the end saved Lando and Chanath by reactivating the escape pods on the ship. In doing this he let his computer implants take over his mind, and he loses his humanity. Lando at the end of the comics wants to try and find a cure for Lobot. This prompts a message from Lobot pleading with Lando to find a better path. Lobot sees the good man in Lando and wants him to become more than just a schemer and conman. I think it is assumed Lando never did find a cure for Lobot, since he did not have a line in Empire Strikes Back, but he seems to have taken his friends advice by becoming the leader of Cloud City.
How did he become the leader of Cloud City? How did Lobot and Chanath meet? How did Lando pay off his debt that caused him to go on this crazy mission to begin with? Each of these questions could be a new run of comics, and I hope they decide to continue the line. The writer captured Lando’s character so well, it would be a shame not to get more adventures with him as the writer. I’m not much of an art critic, but I liked most of the art in the comics. It doesn’t stand out like the story does, but it’s still well done.
I didn’t have any problems with the last issue. The Cat people are a little odd, but I never had a big issue with them. They just seemed a necessary part of the team Lando assembled for the mission. It was a fitting conclusion to the first run of books, leaving the possibility open for new Lando stories to be told.

What did you think of the final issue of the run? Do you hope they will continue with more Lando comics? Thanks for reading and comment and let me know. 

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

The Flash S2E1 The Man Who Saved Central City Recap/Review (Spoilers!): Not an Atomic Start

Expectations can be a tricky thing. The first season of The Flash was fantastic and for me became the best superhero television show currently airing. The first episode of this season seemed to try and jam pack way to much information into a one hour time frame. The actors performances where all good, I just didn’t like the story they decided to open up with.
The show decided to go with the isolation storyline for the time we have been away from the show. We have time hopped six months into the future after Barry closed the singularity threating to destroy Central City. This was the first issue I had with the episode. I wanted to see what happened at the end of last season during the first few minutes of the show. We flashed back to the events and found out Ronnie sacrificed himself to help close the black hole. Barry blames himself and choses to cut ties with the rest of Team Flash.
I might have liked the story arc a bit better if they would have started from the top with the death and then did a flash forward to our current time. I can understand why Barry would want to shut others out after the events of last season, but I think they either should have kept this arc going for a few episodes or scrapped it all together. It just seemed an unnecessary problem for Barry and the others to solve with everything else going on.
What brings the group back together is the villain for the week Atom Smasher. The only reason for the villain was to have a common foil for the group to band together and defeat. He was a very bland villain, except for when he name dropped Zoom.  The CG wasn’t great when the Atom Smasher grew to astronomical size. Barry was able to deal with him fairly easily when the rest of the crew got back together. Dr. Stein was a good substitute for Dr. Wells and will be a welcome addition to the overall team. Victor Garber is a great actor and I enjoy almost everything he’s in.
Along with the villain and the team getting back together Barry was able to free his father because Dr. Wells/Reverse Flash confessed on a USB flash drive. Now I can suspend my disbelief a bit and believe a dead man’s confession would be enough to free a convicted murderer (honestly though, what is to stop anyone from trying to free loved if they die suddenly by confessing to their crimes), but for him then just to up and leave was ridiculous. Why would he want to leave his son and Central City after he has spent so much time in jail? I understand wanting to give Barry space, and have space for himself, but to leave altogether, not so much. I’m assuming the actor who plays Barry’s dad is still going to pop in on the show this year, so why not leave him in prison or get an apartment in the city and have Barry visit.
Barry’s true dad leaving was anchored by Joe picking up the slack in the episode. The flashback scene with young Barry after he came to live with them initially was well done, along with mirrored event in the future. This is what finally snapped Barry back into accepting the help of his friends. I really liked the moment, but again I think it could have waited a few more episodes, or have true dad storyline for the second episode.
One great thing of the episode was the teaser for what’s to come. I’m extremely excited to see Jay Garrick and where they take the multi universe aspect of the show. I was hoping to get a bit more of that during this episode. The season opener was still a fun time, but it honestly felt like a filler episode during the middle of the year rather than one supposed to kick off a season. I guess it was an ok place to start it just needed to be trimmed to be more enjoyable.
Though I didn’t love the first episode, it still was an enjoyable hour of television, I was just expecting more. Maybe the expectations where to great after the hype of last year. I still think the show will have a good second season with the new additions and villains he will have to face. Though I admittingly know very little about the actual comic book. I do have a general idea of the multiverse from some of the cartoon shows. This is also where I know Jay Garrick from and why I’m excited to see a version of him in this show. I am probably in the minority for my view of the episode tonight, but I’ll stand by it. Still love the show, just hope it gets some firm traction for the second episode.
My Rating: Ok (Could have been better)

What did you think? Did you love the episode or think it was just ok like me? Thanks for reading, give my page a like on Facebook or Google plus and follow on twitter if liked the recap/review. 

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Fear the Walking Dead S1E6 The Good Man Review/Recap (Spoilers!!): Crazy is as Crazy Does

“The only way to survive a mad world is to embrace the madness”

What a fantastic way to finish up the first season of Fear the Walking Dead. This week the episode got off to a fast start and didn’t let up until the very end. The episode wasn’t perfect, and if I had to pick I probably prefer last weeks as the best of the season. It was still great and for those who have enjoyed the season to this point the finale did not disappoint.
We start with the family packing up and going to get Nick and Liza. Travis decides to let, Andrew, the solider go, which will become a major point later in the episode. Daniel of course wants to kill him, but Andrew gives Travis the information he needs to find Nick and Liza at the military facility. We flash to the facility with the doctor and Liza as they are prepping the patients to be evacuated. Liza negotiates for the military to rescue Chris and Travis, but no one else.  Liza wanted to save the others, but those are the two who mean the most and if she is forced to choose I understood her decision.
We jump back to our group who is coming to the rescue, and I have one small nitpick at this point. Did they really leave the gate open for any walkers to get inside the fence to the neighborhood?? Sure the military has bailed, but at least close the fence back for the people inside. Maybe it automatically closes, or at least I hope it does. Would it have been that big of a deal for them to show it starting to close back? My only other real grip and nitpick with tonight’s episode is Daniel releasing the walkers from the stadium and casually strolling up to the gates of the facility. How did he get away from that horde? He just casually stayed ahead of them and led them with a flashlight? I would have liked to have seen the release and Daniel’s trek to the gates. Maybe they shot it and it got cut out, because it seemed to be a big gap in the story telling.
The rest of the episode I loved. From the walker’s attack on the base, to the groups breaking in and then escaping the facility. One of the best scenes of the night is when the walker’s enter the compound and a solider gets bit. He then promptly goes and walks into a helicopters propeller. It was a gruesome death and was fantastic. Liza witnessed it all and decided she had to go back and rescue Nick from the same fate. Nick has already made his escape with the amazing Strand.
What and interesting character Strand has turned out to be in just two short episodes. He just seems to know how to survive, yet he obviously isn’t that handy with a gun. He is cool, calm, and collected throughout the entire episode. Even in the face of the zombies and not being able to kill them he didn’t seem to panic. His quote of the night, about surviving the world was perfect for the episode and for the series. He should be a resourceful individual to have around, and I wonder if they are going to end up on his boat at the beginning of next season. The rest of the party shows up at the nick of time (see what I did there?) to save Strand and Nick.
The zombie fight scene was well done during the escape and I liked many of the kills. Everyone got in on the act and pulled together to survive the ordeal. This was an important aspect to tonight’s episode. Every other week the group has been pulling apart and not trusting each other. This week, and during this scene in particular, the group pulls together to survive which will be an overriding theme for the coming seasons. After they escape the zombies they are able to find their way out of the facility with the directions from the doctor in the medical ward.
It was an interesting scene with the doctor, and very reminiscent of the CDC scene from the first season of The Walking Dead.  She has already given up hope, and it has barely been a month into the apocalypse. She could go with them, but decides to kill herself and accept fate. Our main group makes their way back to the cars where Alicia and Chris are waiting. This is the only other part of the episode which didn’t really fit. While Alicia and Chris are waiting for the others, a group of soldiers breaks into their car, and promptly beats up Chris and steal the vehicle. I’m guessing this scene is going to come back in play next season. There is a sense the soldiers may have tried to rape Alicia after Chris was knocked out, but nothing is mentioned about the event once the two groups reunite. I think the military is going to still play a major role in the show moving forward.
Travis of course wonders what happened to Chris and want to make sure he is ok. However Andrew suddenly shows up and points a gun at Daniel. He then decides to shoot Ophelia, knowing this will cause Daniel the most pain. Travis finally reached his tipping point and pounds Andrew into a bloody pulp. For those who haven’t liked Travis’s character, hopefully this appeases them.  He is a pacifist and the entire world has shifted, it just has taken him more time to adjust. He did tonight in a big way, and his growth as a character over the first six episodes has been great. Cliff Curtis has played the character brilliantly, and his performance as Travis is by far my favorite of the show.  I get why people haven’t liked him, but for me the overall arc of his story was perfect. We saw a bit of him standing up to the military last week, and this week he let loose when Andrew came back.  He’s going to be a protector and a leader, maybe not as much as Madison, but still a strong presence in the group.
We end the episode with the first major death of the series. Liza was scratched by a walker at the facility. She asks Travis to kill her, so she doesn’t come back as a zombie. I was surprised Travis was able to do this, and it will have major repercussions next season. It will be interesting to see how Chris reacts when he learns Travis pulled the trigger. You thought the family dynamic was strained before? Wait until next season.
The Good man is an apt title for the season finale. Travis finally cracked and reacted with violence to a situation. Next season the group will face issues about where to go and how to survive in the new world. It was a fantastic well-paced six episodes to introduce us to the characters and watch them react as the world crumbles around them. Watch the first season as you would two three hour movies.  Each build to a climax and then resets. I for one am glad we have this companion series to go along with main show and will eagerly await the start of the next season.
My Rating: Fantastic

What did you think of tonight’s episode? Which episode was your favorite of the first six? Am I crazy for liking Travis’s character more than any other in show? Comment and let me know. Share subscribe and all that fun jazz. 

Friday, October 2, 2015

The Martian Movie Review: SPACE PIRATES!!

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