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The nanobots are here. The nanobots are here. It was only a matter of time, of course, before Supergirl’s latest episode, “Ace Reporter,” went where comic books – and science fiction for that matter – have gone before: Nanotechnology run amok. As always, it’s not a good idea to mess with Father time or Mother Nature. And it’s definitely not a good idea to introduce an entirely new, revolutionary product that will change the world without running a few tests, maybe even a few tests on human subjects, especially since said revolutionary product, flying, drone-like nanobots, operate in a swarm, complete with swarm intelligence. The culprit for unleashing the nanobot swarm on Nation City, the city Supergirl has promised to protect? One Jack Spheer (Rahul Kohli, iZombie), an Elon Musk-like inventor with massive amounts of venture behind him and a messiah complex. He’s also Lena Luthor’s (Katie McGrath) ex, as in ex-boyfriend and ex-partner in a onetime start-up that went nowhere. That is , until Spheer shows up in National City with his shiny, new toys.

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The idea of a movie about criminals in a room growing steadily more paranoid and violent as they try to figure out who’s betrayed who, isn’t original. That’s Free Fire in a nutshell, although there’s one notable difference between this new film from Ben Wheatley (Kill List, High Rise) and the early work of Quentin Tarantino and his many imitators, it’s purposefully very funny. It’s gallows humour taken to absurdist levels! It’s a comedy of violent errors as our “heroes” never lose their cynical detachment as the drag themselves around the ground with many holes! Watching people slowly kill each other has never been this much fun. (more…)

It took 10 episodes, but they finally did it: A Riverdale ragger! Where was the debauchery? Where was the revelry? Where were the forced errors from drunken escapades and the sober regret? Well, it just turns out that we had to wait for Jughead’s birthday, the bizarro confluence of the capped one’s hatred of birthdays, his girlfriend’s desire to put on a perfect facade, and his best friend’s deep seeded need to forget that his parents are divorcing and he doesn’t know what to do. Yes, this was a consequential Riverdale, and not just because that girl from Sixteen Candles appeared at the end. (more…)

A few decades back, an advert for a big-budget, superhero adaptation claimed moviegoers would “believe a man could fly.” Except, of course, he wasn’t a man. He was a Superman and the movie, Superman: The Movie officially kickstarted big-screen, comic-book superheroes (Superman and Batman, the only superheroes who really counted back then). Soon enough audiences took the whole flying thing for granted, wanted more and eventually, got more. It took almost four decades, though, before the whole superhero thing took over pop culture completely. Even a one-time illegal street racing flick, a Point Break knock-off no less, eventually mutated into the equivalent of superheroes with muscle cars. Forget believing a man could fly. Now moviegoers will not only believe a muscle car can jump over a submarine, they’ll willing applaud the utter and total ridiculousness of it all. And “ridiculous” is exactly the right word where the multi-billion dollar Fast & Furious series is concerned: It’s turned into a gravity- and logic-defying live-action cartoon, pure escapist, sensory-overloading fun. (more…)

It’s time again for another episode of Riverdale, or as I like to call it, “Archie is the Worst.” This week on “Archie is the Worst,” our red-headed teenage scamp couldn’t see what was right in front of him as the Blossoms crafted him into the perfect tool to prove that they were not a fading dynasty. This is unlikely to be the last time that “Archie” and “tool” will be used in the same sentence, because it took him about 50 minutes longer than it should have to realize that’s exactly what he was being groomed to be, and now it looks like he will pay the price. (more…)

In these next episodes of Twin Peaks we start to see the various plot lines coalesce as progress is not just made on the murder mystery of Laura Palmer, but on the backstabbing and double-dealing between the town’s business interests both legitimate and illicit. Circumstances now force us to take this series two episodes at a time if we hope to catch up before the launch of Showtime‘s new season next month, which suits (Burns better) me because the impulse to binge the show is getting stronger as all the elements starting coming together to resolve some of the central mysteries, and take us deeper into others. (more…)

 

The seventh season of The Walking Dead has not been without its ups and downs. Let’s face it, the only good episode to air during the first half of the season was the season premiere itself. The second half of the season was far from perfect, but thankfully, some adjustments were made and the show got back to telling stories that the audience could care about. So before we take that trip to Spoiler-town, it should be said that the season finale contained elements that were easily predictable and elements that were not. (more…)

Welcome back to Riverdale, where skies are always gloomy, your neighbours are ready to stab you in the back, and where Pop’s still open 24 hours a day for damn good coffee and cherry pie… Wait, wrong murder mystery. The mysteries on this first new Riverdale after a two week break had more to do with the parents then it had to do with the still dead Jason Blossom, which is okay because the storyline gave us an opportunity to be reminded of a very important point: Archie is the worst. (more…)

There’s almost nothing Scarlett Johansson can’t do on the big screen (or the small screen, if she was wanted, but she doesn’t right now). She’s played a superhero multiple times (Black Widow, minus the superpowers). She’s played a superhuman (Lucy, the next step in evolution). She’s even played an alien (using her physical beauty to seduce unwitting men to their deaths). But what Johansson can’t do, though, is save her latest film, Ghost in the Shell, the live-action remake of Mamoru Oshii’s 1995 animated adaptation of Masamune Shirow’s manga series.  The remake – or reimagining or whatever you want to call it – never fails to impress on a visual level, even as it borrows its aesthetics from Ridley Scott’s seminal cyperpunk classic, Blade Runner, updating it with the best 21st-century CGI money can buy, but story and character wise, it goes where too many genre entries have gone before, into stale, rehashed ideas about identity, consciousness, artificial intelligence and what have you. (more…)