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Even the staunchest of Walking Dead fans has to admit that, with the exception of the bloodbath in the season premiere, the first half of season seven was absolutely boring. Fans were lead to believe that Negan was a villain who would make his grand entrance on the show and do things that would make The Governor look like a boy scout. Sadly, this was far from the case and fans were left with a very milquetoast first half of the season. However, it was a necessary evil. We needed to see that Rick had been broken. We needed to see what it was like for Daryl to be Negan’s captive. We needed to see Maggie and Sasha take the lead and protect the people of Hilltop. With Rick and company back in the fighting spirit, hopefully the show will rebound from being such a stick in the mud.

“The Rock in the Road” had a lot of things it needed to get right in order to not lose any more viewers. For the most part, the episode succeeds where several others did not. As always SPOILERS FOR THE WALKING DEAD!!!!!!  (more…)

The first John Wick movie was a bit of a surprise. Outside of The Matrix Trilogy (and various kung-fu movies he filmed since then), Keanu Reeves has not had a huge action hit. Sure, the actor picks and chooses his parts wisely, but this is what we have been missing from him. The first John Wick had an almost embarrassingly simple plot: retired assassin’s girlfriend dies, she gets him a dog, a moron kills his dog and steals his car, he gets revenge on EVERYONE. That’s pretty much the plot for every B-Action movie.

However, John Wick is magical in its execution. Besides The Raid and its sequels, there hasn’t been a mainstream film that was just perfection when it comes to execution of highly stylized violence. The film was directed by Chad Stahelski and David Leitch, both stunt coordinators by craft, and it really showed. It’s a no-brainer that a sequel would be greenlit. Enter: John Wick: Chapter 2.

NOTE: This review does contain some descriptive spoilers. 

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Less a sequel than a spin-off, The LEGO Batman Movie takes a key, scene-stealing mini-fig from the earlier film, Batman/Bruce Wayne (voiced by Will Arnett), and gives him his own absurdist corner of the teeming LEGO universe. Like its predecessor, The LEGO Batman Movie overflows with meta-humor, self-parody, and subversive satire, not to mention enough imagination to fill three or four LEGO big-screen adventures and, of course, enough commercial branding/advertising to convince toy-averse moviegoers to purchase the entirety of the LEGO catalog. The LEGO Batman Movie may actually suffer from too much imagination crammed into an incident- and twist-heavy plot. It comes at you so fast (like life) that you’ll end exhausted trying to follow the sheer comic brilliance of it all. And unless there’s any doubt, The LEGO Batman Movie is brilliant, from the first moments of Arnett’s egocentric, egotistical Batman taking a sly dig at a recent trend in serious dramas (i.e., they always begin with an ominous black screen) through the final scene of a family laughing hysterically to Jerry Maguires iconic “You had me at hello” scene. (more…)

Two Martians enter, only one Martian leaves. Actually, that’s not right. On tonight’s Very Special Episode of Supergirl, “The Martian Chronicles,” it’s White Martian (evil) vs. Green Martian (good) with a self-hating White Martian (for good reason, since she’s not evil), M’gann M’orzz (Sharon Leal), turned Green Martian pretending to be human (standard for Martians of any hue or color) on the side of our resident superheroes, Supergirl/Kara Zor-El/Danvers (Melissa Benoist) and the Martian Manhunter/J’onn J’onzz (David Harewood), with Kara’s adoptive sister, Alex (Chyler Leigh), on perpetual back-up. The battle royale – like all battle royales – doesn’t happen until the last few minutes and when it does, it’s confined to a single, closed location (TV budget, in effect) that deliberately, consciously borrows from James Cameron’s Aliens and John Carpenter’s The Thing, but it’s less about the fight than the subtext: It’s all about overcoming our/their differences and fighting/defeating a common foe. (more…)

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The Walking Dead has been an emotional rollercoaster so far this season. It opened with a mighty bang with the deaths of major characters. But then something strange happened. The show absolutely deflated after the season premiere, to the point where the show started losing an alarming number of viewers. The show blandly followed the journey of all the separated main survivors and struggled with pacing and entertainment value. For the most part, Jeffrey Dean Morgan‘s turn as Negan has been the highlight of the show, but even that has become stale and routine. But then the mid season finale rolls along and renews much of our faith in the show.

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Supergirl

Don’t call it the first part of a four-part crossover event. The “it” in the previous sentence refers to Supergirl’s fall finale, “Medusa.” Every TV and internet ad touted “Medusa” as the first part of a mega-crossover connecting Supergirl with The Flash (Tuesday), Arrow (Wednesday), and Legends of Tomorrow (Thursday), pitting the CW’s DC superheroes against an intergalactic, world-conquering alien menace/existential threat, the Dominators. Unfortunately, the Dominators don’t make an appearance in “Medusa.” They don’t even get a shout out from a single character. On the plus side, we do get seven or eight seconds of Barry Allen/The Flash (Grant Gustin) and comrade-in-superhero-arms, Cisco Ramon/Vibe (Carlos Valdes), dropping into Supergirl’s (Melissa Benoist) National City apartment via a space-time portal/wormhole moments before the credits roll and a “To Be Continued … on The Flash” title card. (more…)

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The Walking Dead has been dragging on slowly like a walker in mud since the murderous season opener. Thankfully, there have been some bright spots in the season such as “The Cell”, despite that godforsaken “Easy Street” song. Now we can add the Tara-centric “Swear” to that painfully small list of enjoyable episodes that have been aired thus far. You read that right: an episode all about Tara was actually a pretty good one. To be honest, most people had probably forgotten that Tara and Heath had gone off on a “two weeker” scavenging run immediately after the ambush at the satellite bunker.

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“Hank Henshaw is dead. I’m … Cyborg/Superman.” That’s not a line from a decades old comic book about the death and rebirth of one Superman. It’s from tonight’s very special episode of Supergirl, “The Darkest Place.” It comes earlier than expected too as Supergirl/Kara Zor-El (Melissa Benoist) loses a fight against the real Hank Henshaw (David Harewood), the anti-alien, xenophobic head of the DEO who presumably lost his life a decade and a half earlier, only to be replaced by the pro-alien Martian Manhunter in human disguise. This Henshaw hates aliens with the fire of a thousand dying suns. Thanks to Project Cadmus, a super-secret, privately funded organization, he has the cybernetic enhancements necessary to defeat Supergirl.

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There’s a new (super) hero on Supergirl, but it’s not Mon-El (Chris Ward), the last – or one of the last – survivors of Daxam, Krypton’s ill-fated sister planet. Mon-El’s frat-bro behavior repeatedly annoys the fun-averse Supergirl/Kara Danvers (Melissa Benoist), but it doesn’t stop Mon-El and Kara from hanging out at the local, alien-inclusive dive bar, the same bar where Alex (Chyler Leigh), Kara’s adopted sister and DEO Special Agent, and Maggie Sawyer (Floriana Lima), a National City police detective, spend quality bonding time together. It helps – or maybe it doesn’t – that Alex has begun taking the first tentative steps toward coming out to herself and later, to her sister.

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The Walking Dead continues its push into the Negan storyline as he and his motley crew pay their first visit to Alexandria. Some aspects of the visit were fairly predictable, while others were mildly surprising. Yet still, some moves were head-scratchingly confusing. It is understandable that the show has to hit its marks in order to further the story, but for those who even have a vague sense of what is coming, it’s hard to tell how long it will take things to play out. We already know that the show has been renewed for Season 8, but does that mean things will take on a slower, more deliberate pace? Granted, this is only the 4th episode of the season, but is two seasons too long for a build up to the inevitable confrontation? (more…)