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…)
If this actually happens, file it under “Smart Moves.” I’ve praised DC Entertainment in the past for their overwhelmingly stellar work in producing effective superhero TV. ‘Smallville’ was a success even thought it petered out near the end. They had a respectable run with ‘Superboy’ and ‘Lois and Clark’ definitely worked a niche market. The 90’s Flash was very cool but it was handled wrong because the hero never fought real supervillains until the Trickster showed up too late. But all things Superman, from way back during the George Reeves days, have stood the test of time. With the success of ‘Arrow’ and the lip-smacking anticipation of the new Flash series, a safe bet would be to capitalize on that ‘Super’ strength. That’s where ‘Supergirl’ comes in. Or, I should say, where Michael Green comes in. (more…)
From playing the part of Thug in ‘Manimal’ in 1983, then suddenly becoming a terror icon a year later as Freddy Krueger, Robert Englund’s sharknado of success was an immediate blessing. Like many typecast actors before him, Englund’s career as the monster from A Nightmare On Elm St.‘ locked him into horror roles ever since. Here it is 2014 and he’s got films titled ‘Death House’ and ‘Fear Clinic’ in post-production. But at least he’s working, and we haven’t seen him don the Freddy claws since 2003’s ‘Freddy Vs. Jason.’ That is, until we got wind of his latest return to the role! The dream fiend is back – but for once it’s for a greater cause beyond killing off an entire town’s population of children. (more…)
The Knick premieres tonight August 8th at 10 pm EST on Cinemax and follows Dr. John Thackery (Clive Owen), the pretentious, brilliant, drug-addicted head of surgery at New York’s Knickerbocker Hospital, as he and the rest of the staff (surgeons, nurses, and administration) navigate the challenges of healthcare in the early 1900’s. As the tagline says “Modern Medicine Had to Start Somewhere”.
It’ll be interesting to see how modern television critics respond to The Knick, Steven Soderbergh’s triumphant ten-hour return to the tube. Not easily lending itself to the Recap Industrial Complex that drives hits to its respective cogs, The Knick is a work which demands you deconstruct it from a place of mordant post-formalism and stagnancy. Yes, there is a plot that drives forward, but the constantly chameleonic director is more content with noticing how Dr. John W. Thackery (Clive Owen, reminding us all what a talent he is when challenged) remains a stoic, dilated disciple of science in the face of unending disease and death. Taking more cues from the equally clinical David Cronenberg and cribbing from the digitally anachronistic aesthetics of Michael Mann (whose Public Enemies feels like an improved upon touchstone), the retired auteur proves yet again that he’s a better artist than almost all of us, even when saddled to his rocking chair. (more…)
With the insanity of Comic Con in our rear-view mirrors, it’s back to business as usual in the geek news reporting world. This bit comes from last weekend’s panel headed by Marvel Chief Creative Officer Joe Quesada. Tagging along were writers Mark Waid and Dan Slott, all fielding questions concerning Daredevil’s 50th Anniversary. Eventually the grilling leaned toward what they and Netflix were planning to do with the upcoming 13-episode television series. Now, we’ve all heard the news about Double-D taking on a “gritty” feel with a 70’s New York City flair. But there was never any mention of when the show was expected to air. Up until now, anyway. (more…)
It seems that comic-to-TV adaptations become more and more common, and now some of those involved with making the Walking Dead television show are teaming up with one of the best comic writers, Warren Ellis. In addition, even more comic properties seem to be headed to the small screen as Night Mary and Five Ghosts (pictured above) have been optioned.
Ellis, writer of such things as Iron Man: Extremis, Red, Transmetropolitan, and much, much more, has signed up with Walking Dead produced Gale Ann Hurd and Valhalla Entertainment to create an entirely new television project with Universal Cable Productions. No word on what it is yet, but this is Ellis’ first original venture into television, so it’ll be exciting to see what he comes up with. (more…)
“Happy fucking Father’s Day.” — The Season Four Finale of Game of Thrones
The TV adaptation of George R.R. Martin’s A Storm of Swords has now come to a close and, at the end of it all, what is the overall lesson this tale has taught us? Really, it’s the same overarching message that the climax of nearly every slasher film ever made has attempted to hand down: don’t count your opponent as being out of the fight until you are setting fire to his breathless corpse. Though Joffrey may have fallen, Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage, whose work this year has been damn near transcendent) found himself at the mercy of the cruelest members of his family. For a moment, Tyrion believed he may have discovered a sliver of hope in his trial-by-combat “champion”, until Prince Oberyn of Dorne wasted one too many seconds taunting his downed foe before he found himself on his back, Ser Gregor Clegane’s thumbs deep in his eye sockets. But tonight, Tyrion got to dole out a few teachings of his own to his tyrannical father, as the imp was once again underestimated by those who look down their nose at him. The resulting patricide is one of the most heart-wrenchingly sad moments in Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire saga, and show-runners D.B. Weiss and David Benioff have translated it into the perfect capper for what may be the series’ strongest season. (more…)
Lena Headey (a/k/a Cersei Lannister on HBO’s hit fantasy series Game of Thrones) is the queen of dropping spoiler hints via her Instagram account. That major death that just occurred this week? Yeah…she spoiled that TWO MONTHS AGO (with quite the cutesy little pic of Pedro Pascal). Now she’s at it again, blowing the spot of what I’m guessing to be the final shot of Season Four. Read on…if you dare. (more…)
A trial by combat.
While the title of this is week’s Episode tells you all you need to know in terms of what to expect narratively-speaking, to focus only on the brutal one-on-one battle that occurs between Oberyn “The Viper” Martell and Gregor “The Mountain” Clegane would be doing the rest of Season Four’s eighth hour a grave disservice. Yes, the two duel to the death in an adequately shot and cut bit of medieval warfare (more on this in a minute), but the rest of “The Mountain and the Viper” is made up of thrilling moments of dogged birth and re-birth. Not only does Sansa Stark get to come into her own and finally use her family name to actually improve her status, but Ramsay Snow earns the moniker of his father and “Reek” is able to slip back into the skin of Theon Greyjoy, even if for a chilling moment of murderous complicity. Unfortunately, not all ends well for some of our favorites, as Episode Eight contains yet another grisly, shocking moment sure to upset even those who knew it was coming. (more…)
If you’re like me, you jumped ship on Dexter long ago (I bailed after the season with John Lithgow proved literally nothing could save the dramatically flailing beast). But if you stuck with Showtime’s long-running serial killer series to the bitter end, you were more-than-likely disappointed with the conclusion. Much like Lost (whose closing moments have become a thing “we do not speak of”), it’s almost universally accepted that the Dexter finale stunk up the joint, refusing to bring fans any sort of enjoyable closure. Now the blood-spatter expert himself, Michael C. Hall, has weighed in on the series closer and addresses rumors of a possible Dexter spin-off.