MOVIE REVIEW: ‘Mockingjay Part 1′ J-Law Keeps it Real in the YA Adaptation Full of Adult Themes

- 11-21-14Featured, Film, reviews Posted by Adam A. Donaldson

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I know some people are cynical enough to see Twilight and The Hunger Games and see apples and apples, but as anyone that’s taken the time to read the books that the movies are based on knows,  the third Hunger Games chapter, Mockingjay, is where the Suzanne Collins creation separates itself from an comparison to Stephanie Meyer‘s work. The final of Twilight, Breaking Dawn, reads like the Mary Sue wish fulfillment adventure that every hater says it is, with nothing ventured, but everything gained in the end. It’s a fairy tale ending where the monster isn’t slain, he just shrugs and gives up and everything’s cool. Mockingjay, by comparison, will mess you up by the end.

Mockingjay, now split into two chapters because money, is not a sweeping romance, or super-powered adventure. It’s got a head full of very adult themes on war and freedom which belie its young protagonists and their romantic and dramatic complications. But how do you know that Mockingjay – Part 1 is more impacting than your average movie aimed at young adult audience? I watched it in a theater full of teenagers and the whole time they were silent and nary was a cell phone light seen through the two-hour running time. That, my friends, is power. (more…)

TV REVIEW: ‘Arrow’ S3E7 – “Draw Back Your Bow”

- 11-20-14Comics, Featured, reviews, TV Posted by Adam A. Donaldson

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It’s the same old story: boy meets girl, boy saves girl from super-powered bad guy, girl falls in love with boy, girl becomes a trained archer and kills people to impress boy, boy and his friends try to stop here. This week’s Arrow was all about matters of the heart, and apropos, the bad guy was a woman named Carrie Cutter, AKA: Cupid. Obsession is nothing new for superheroes and their rogues, one might say that The Joker is obsessed with Batman for example, but I’m not quite sure if “Draw Back Your Bow” plays as a superhero Lifetime Movie of the Week, or Fatal Attraction with costumes. Either way it was a big week for our heroes and their romantic issues. (more…)

TV Review: ‘The Flash’ – S1E6 – “The Flash Is Born”

- 11-19-14Comics, reviews, TV Posted by Rush Urbalejo

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Reviewing every episode of The Flash’s freshman season is a unique opportunity.  Not only do I get to watch one of my favorite television shows and write about it, then call it “work”, but it forces me to remain completely objective about the quality of the series rather than just getting lazy and taking the ride.  For the most part, this objectivity leads me to find flaws in episodes that others may not notice or that they may just accept without a second thought.  For episodes that have several flaws, this objectivity can make my viewing experience less than completely enjoyable (I generally watch an episode twice – once as a critic, once as a fan), but for episodes like last night’s episode, The Flash is Born, watching the episode through the eyes of a critic really drives home the fact that The Flash is really one of the best shows on television right now and one of the best superhero series’ that we have ever been offered.  Warning – spoilers ahead. (more…)

TV REVIEW: ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ S2E8 – “The Things We Bury”

- 11-19-14Featured, reviews, TV Posted by Jason McAnelly

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Last time around on Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., the grand mystery of what the hell is going on with the symbols that Coulson has been carving into the walls was finally solved. As it turns out, all those circles, lines and squares were some sort of architectural schematic for an alien city. So now it’s up to the S.H.I.E.L.D. team to race H.Y.D.R.A. and find the city before they can. To make matters worse, former agent Grant Ward is on the loose again and nobody knows what side he is truly on. This week, ‘The Things We Bury’ begins the race to the city and looks a bit closer at what’s really going on in Ward’s head. (more…)

TV REVIEW: ‘Gotham’–S01E09–“Harvey Dent”

- 11-18-14Comics, Featured, reviews, TV Posted by James Daniels

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Gotham‘s ninth installment is a charming, feel-good romantic comedy about what happens when a streetwise young pickpocket (Camren Bicondova) comes to live with a traumatized preteen billionaire (David Mazouz).

So sit back and enjoy Episode 9: “Harvey Dent”….

Wait, WHAT???

(more…)

TV REVIEW: ‘The Walking Dead’ S5E6 – “Consumed”

- 11-17-14Featured, reviews, TV Posted by Regina Lizik

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“Consumed” is an episode where nothing happens, and yet you cannot take your eyes off of the screen. The action is in the chemistry between Melissa McBride (Carol) and Norman Reedus (Daryl) and their inner thoughts. What matters is what is unsaid.  (more…)

TV REVIEW: ‘Arrow’ – S3E6 – “Guilty”

- 11-13-14Comics, Featured, reviews, TV Posted by Adam A. Donaldson

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Something weird happen on last night’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., and I don’t mean the guy that went all Memento on his own body with alien markings. No, I’m referring to that scene where Skye tells Mac the intention of the GH formula, that it was meant to resurrect fallen Avengers, and Mac replies, “You mean Captain America, Iron Man, those Avengers?” No, she meant Steed and Peel. But kidding aside, what surprised me about that moment was how organic it was, it didn’t feel like it was being forced to remind the audience that Agents and Avengers were part of the same universe. Making Easter eggs go down as smooth as 12-year-old whiskey has rarely been a problem for Arrow, and tonight’s entry “Guilty” proves it again revealing Ted Grant’s back story. (more…)

TV REVIEW: ‘The Flash’ – S1EP5 – “Plastique”

- 11-12-14Comics, Featured, reviews, TV Posted by Rush Urbalejo

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Marvel may have a death grip on the box office when it comes to their cinematic universe, but WB has let them know that DC has its sights set on the production house juggernaut and is coming to take some of the wind out of their sails.  Well, at least, they plan on giving it the old college try!  While the big screen showdown won’t actually heat up until Batman v. Superman hits theaters in 2016, DC is already making its mark on the small screen and while Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has improved by leaps and bounds upon its freshman season, DC unleashed a secret weapon this season: CW’s The Flash.  Last night’s episode of the new series, Plastique, was another great example of why Marvel should be worried about DC’s future on television.  Mild spoilers ahead. (more…)

TV REVIEW: ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ S2E6 – “The Writing on the Wall”

- 11-12-14Featured, reviews, TV Posted by Jason McAnelly

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Last time on Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Coulson and the crew barely managed to thwart a H.Y.D.R.A. plan to ruin their already not-so-good name. By impersonating S.H.I.E.L.D. agents, the bad guys starting murdering important people and brought down the wrath of politics upon their rivals. Luckily, S.H.I.E.L.D. figured out what was going on and stopped H.Y.D.R.A. before things got too out of hand. In the process, (former) Agent Grant Ward was bartered off to his older brother as a show of good faith. Unfortunately, Ward the Younger managed to escape en route and is now on the loose. But what are his true motives? This week, ‘The Writing on the Wall’ not only unravels some of the mystery surrounding Ward, but it takes us to the next level as far as Coulson’s strange alien symbols are concerned. (more…)

TV REVIEW: ‘Gotham’ – S01E08 – “The Mask”

- 11-11-14Comics, Featured, reviews, TV Posted by James Daniels

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I’ve come to expect a particular quirk from shows like this–it happened quite a bit back when I was reviewing Hannibal for this site and its lovely fans: An excellent episode is ALWAYS followed by a mediocre at best episode. That being said, Gotham‘s eighth ep is no “Penguin’s Umbrella”–but for a back to business as usual-type episode–it’s not terrible. So let’s take a peek behind “The Mask”–AKA “The Apprentice Meets Thunderdome”: (more…)