There’s been no doubt that this movie would be a success, so in order to avoid seeing spoilers I rushed out with my son this morning and saw Rogue One. We found this one to be a good stand alone movie that fills in some back story, and introduces new characters that fit in well to the canon. But does Rogue One live up to the hype? If you don’t want spoilers, then scroll down to the last paragraph for my rating, otherwise here is the breakdown of what I thought per character:
Jyn Erso: Felicity Jones’ character didn’t need to have more than ten minutes of back story to understand why she is who she is. They did a great job of explaining a lot in a little bit of time, and it feels as if she’s been key to the main episodes all along. (In truth she has). The fact that she dies in the end (along with every other member of this main cast) quells any fan boy theories about her being Rey’s mom. This was the biggest shocker (the death of everyone), that didn’t really shock me after I thought about it. It explains why we never see or hear of these characters again. It also was a great thing, as we know they won’t try to pump out useless sequels to something that’s supposed to be a spinoff one shot.
Cassian Andor: Diego Luna had me thinking he was going to be a real prick from the moment he was on screen, but his rough exterior and approach was a façade. Jyn and he made the perfect team. His motives are clear, and despite anything he’d done wrong in the past, he has a reason to back Jyn up on her mission in order to right those wrongs. I loved this angle.
Krennic: Was a completely unlikeable villain. This is good for story telling. He reminded me of a teenager not getting his way and throwing temper tantrums. Adolescent demeanor aside he provided a big threat to Erso and Andor’s plans, but got his karma paid back in the end.
Chirrut Îmwe: He was perhaps my favorite new character. A blind monk who lives by the Force, and provided a bit of comic relief. I like how there was a brief mention that he was a guardian of the Force Temple. (That’s the place we see Luke at at the end of episode 7.) So we get a bit of what those people were like.
Baze Malbus: was an equally badass partner to Chirrut. Although he didn’t believe so much in the Force, he stood by his friend’s side til the end. His heavy weapon pack was one of the coolest Star Wars weapons to date.
Galen Erso: Mads Mikkelsen is one of my favorite actors of today, so you can already see where I’m going with his assessment. It’s odd to see him in the role of a good guy lately, but he plays the part of father well, and this now makes A New Hope that much better. One of my all time complaints with episode 4 was that the Death Star was too easily destroyed for such a massive and seemingly impervious machine. Galen building the exhaust port as a way to access the main core is a genius way of making that which happens next make more sense.
K-2SO: As always with these films, the droids are a highlight, and he’s no exception. Finally we get to see a droid in action and with no filter on his mouth he seems more relatable than any of the previous droids we’ve met.
Bodhi Rook: seemed unstable to me, even before that creepy squid leech thing latched onto his mind. Despite that concern, he proved to be a reliable character that fleshed out well. I only wish we’d have gotten to understand a little more about his motives. He betrayed the empire. We get Galen’s reason, but why did Bodhi?
Saw Gerrera: was in the Clone Wars, so this is the first character we actually get to see from that era who was key to the plot. Unfortunately for us we don’t know (without watching the cartoon) how he got so damaged physically. He needed oxygen not so differently than Vader does. He’s a heaping mess of bio and mechanical parts. His demise so soon was unexpected as I thought Forest Whittaker would have been in it longer, but I think how he was utilized was done so with a smart approach.
Bail Organa, Mon Mothma, C-3PO, and R2-D2 – all had good placement in their cameos/small roles. It connected this movie to the others in a way to show continuity, without using them as the driving force (pun intended) behind the new characters. We also get a few other nods and cameos in the background or in quick passing that made me smile.
Grand Moff Tarkin and Princess Leia – And here’s what left a bad taste in my mouth. The special effects here were off with Tarkin in a way that made him uncomfortable to watch. I think it’s awesome that they brought back the character, as he is crucial to the next chapter in the main story. He had to be there, but the digital recreation of the face didn’t work when he was speaking. It was almost as if his face was moving too much, yet not at all in some spots. I understand this is nitpicky, but then we get the cameo from Princess Leia at the end, and she looked flawless. I mean it was like she was pulled right from episode 4. Aside from the looks the presence of these two was perfect. This shows how Tarkin gained control of the Death Star, as well as how Leia got the plans. Even my son’s eyes went wide with Leia’s cameo at the end.
Storm Troopers: My son always loves the storm troopers, as do I. I found that the addition of the Sand troopers was a bit much. They didn’t really need them as there were standard troopers everywhere. It’s not like they were trying to blend in. This was a pure merchandising move, but one I won’t argue with. The same can be said for the newly added ships. Not necessary, but a welcome addition.
Darth Vader: I have to say that by the end of the movie I was a little upset at his lack of use, but then the second I thought that he came on screen and went on a rampage. This was the best Vader scene we get to see in full attire. It shows him at the peak of his rage, and connects him more to his former Annakin self than the other movies do. I love how we also get to see how he takes a bath. A Sith Lord must keep clean after all. My complaint may be picky, but I’ve two here. 1) The lightsaber looked out of proportion. It looked entirely too short in the final shot of him, and I feel it didn’t match up with what we’ve seen of the weapon in all its other appearances. It was more a short sword than anything else here. 2) James Earl Jones was a welcome return to the voice, but something about his portrayal didn’t feel energetic or convincing enough. It could be that he’s quite a bit older now, but I feel he lacked some emotion that could have made Vader much more menacing than he already was.
Time period wise I was a little off in my assumptions of when this took place. I thought this happened a few years before episode IV, but I was mistaken as it leads directly into A New Hope. Either way it was a great interpretation with lots of surprises that caught me off guard. With the exception of some special effects irregularities, this stands well with the franchise, but does not exceed the greatness of a couple of the other entries in the series. All in all I’d give it a solid 4 out of 5 sCrypt Coffins.
What do you think? Did you like Rogue One? Comment below.
There are dozens of lists about which movies make the Christmas list and which take place during Christmas. The problem with these lists is that they are almost all the same. Sure, there are a few repeats in here, but I wanted to share with you my choices for movies that take place during Christmas time, but are not actually Holiday movies. Here we go in no particular order:
1: Harry Potter – Why did I not mention which Harry Potter movie? The answer is that a few of the films take place during the Holiday season, so therefore the whole franchise gets thrown in the lot. These are perfect for the kids and family.
2: When Harry Met Sally – Who hasn’t seen this movie? It’s one of the best romantic comedies of all time in my opinion. Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan deliver a perfect date night movie that will never get “oh, oh oh…..” old.
3: Die Hard 1 & 2 – Okay, so the second installment was basically the same as the first, but with a different location and terrorists, but it still fits in as a kick ass movie. Any action fan will be saying “Yippie Kayay, Mister Falcon” after watching the TV edited version.
4: Batman Returns – Michael Keaton suits up for the second time as the Dark Knight in this slightly campy, but dark movie. When better to fight the Penguin and kiss Catwoman under the mistletoe, than during the holidays.
5: Gremlins – For the horror fan. Okay, it’s not super horror because it’s got that cute little Gizmo, but it falls into the scary category, and will never get old despite the practical effects. Just don’t eat popcorn after midnight if you’re still up watching it.
6: Rocky 4 – Stallone brings in another emotion grabbing chapter of the Philadelphia boxing franchise. This time you get to watch as faces off against Dolph Lundgren. Make sure to have your presents wrapped in time though or Ivan “Must break you.”
7: Trading Places – Ah, Eddie Murphy and Dan Aykroyd at their finest. Comedy used to be so witty and smart instead of over the top shock humor. This is no exception to the intelligence behind the writing. I wish I could switch places with a millionaire for a day (at least my bank account does).
8: Lethal Weapon – What? You think I’d put Die Hard in here and not Lethal Weapon? Please. This may actually be my favorite non-Christmas Christmas movie of all time. Every time I hear “Jingle Bell Rock” I immediately think of the opening scene to this great action movie.
9: Friday After Next – As a huge fan of the Friday movies (yes I can actually quote most of the first movie), I feel the need to go back and watch this one. All I remember is that it involved Ice Cube hunting down a thief who was dressed as Santa. This makes me still hold out hope for a “Final Friday” sequel.
10: Nightmare Before Christmas – I struggled with putting this one in here as it technically can be a Christmas movie, but in reality it revolves mostly around the characters from Halloweentown, so While Jack Skellington may be trying to take Santa’s place, he will always in my mind be someone who belongs in the month of October.
11: Ironman 3 – There are many things wrong with this movie, but the few things it got right make me enjoy rewatching it on occasion. Plus it takes place during the holidays, so you have to love seeing Tony Stark get the best gift of all… the hole in his chest repaired.
12: Just Friends – This is probably one of the most underrated Ryan Reynolds movies ever, but I don’t get the distaste for it. It’s a funny movie about a kid who was not everyone’s picture perfect person, who grew up to prove them all wrong.
* (Runner up) – Star Wars Holiday Special – This didn’t make the list of 12 because well, it never came out in the theater, and George Lucas still denies its existence to a certain level. But what we have here is a classic WTF moment in film making. Okay it was a TV special, but who cares. It was the first Star Wars show during Christmas time, and man is it terrible. If you’re a fan of Star Wars, then you MUST give it a watch, or at least try to. The original cast reprise their roles in a thin plot with bad everything. I mean beyond bad. So bad it’s good? No! It’s very very bad. But you HAVE to watch it at least once to get an idea for how bad it is. It’s like George Lucas is Santa Clause and he crapped coal into your VCR while you were amped to tape this from TV when it aired.
There you have it! My list for the 12 days. What are some of your favorites? Do you have any non-Christmas holiday movies that you think should be on this list? Comment below.
I feel like I have to review all of these shows in one article, as they co-exist in the same universe. Notice I kept Gotham separate, because it’s its own entity. This will cover the first half of Supergirl Season 2, The Flash Season 3, Arrow Season 5, & Legends of Tomorrow Season 2. This brings everything up to the winter finales of these shows, so I’ll review the latter halves later. There will be spoilers, so if you’d like my full review without those, then scroll down to the last paragraph of each section to get my ratings.
SUPERGIRL SEASON 2 PART 1:
Kara / Supergirl is easily the strong point of this show. Her and Martian Manhunter are what really makes it fun to watch.
Sadly Cat Grant has left for at least a little while, but she’s been replaced with a decent interpretation of Snapper Carr. He adds a little more to the dynamic.
Miss Tessmacher and The President (played by Lynda Carter) were fun little throw backs to the Superman and Wonder Woman movies and show. Plus we got a little Batman reference in there as well.
Superman was a very pleasant addition, and though I didn’t feel the actor quite had the look down, we ended up with arguably the best interpretation of Superman for the fans. He was a cross between Chris Reeve and Tom Welling’s portrayals in their best moments. Hopefully he’ll return for more.
Miss Martian and Mon-El are welcome additions though they are likeable to the point of making me wonder who they are going to turn bad or kill first. Still each scene is done well with these two, and their origin stories are pretty close to the comic versions.
Scorch, Roulette, and Parasite were done very well with the latter two easily being the highlights. Even though Parasite’s history was altered, I can’t tell you how excited I was to see a good version of him on screen. Of course then they killed him off, so that’s a bit upsetting.
Jimmy /Guardian & Wynn – having James take on the role of Guardian was initially upsetting to me. After it played out a bit I realized that he’s better off in this role. Let’s face it… this isn’t the Jimmy Olsen we know and love. He fits in the Guardian shoes better. Wynn works well as a compliment here, so all I’d like to say is I hope they add some color to his outfit to reflect the comic counterpart well. I am eager to see how Supergirl will take the news of these two working behind her back.
Lena Luthor – Something makes me want to believe her, but the Luthor name just has me skeptical. Lena’s presence feels a bit off. I think Lillian plays a better fitted role as the director of Cadmus, and that should be the focus… not redeeming the company’s name by Lena.
Speaking of Cadmus… we were given two great comic book villains that came off quite differently. Metallo was perfect in every way, but Cyborg Superman was downright stupid. First off…. it was stupid to call himself that because he isn’t Superman at all, nor does he have any connection to him in this universe. Secondly he’s more of a Cyborg Martian at this point than anything else. I know this is me being nitpicky, but the actor playing Superman could have easily done this as the real Cyborg Superman and it’d have been much better. OR they could have turned Mon-El into him. Instead we were left with a pretty lame take on the character.
And finally we get to the part that makes me cringe. When Maggie Sawyer stepped onto the scene I was excited. I love her in the comics. Her sexual preference doesn’t feel forced in the comic pages, and it really doesn’t here either. My problem isn’t with Maggie. It’s with Alex Danvers. Her coming out wasn’t handled well at all. Instead we got 5 episodes of her realizing she was gay, having very uncomfortable dialogue (it would have been uncomfortable were she straight too), and a drawn out forced plot line that fell short. What does this mean? It means the writers saw an opportunity to introduce a gay character, but didn’t take time to flesh out the scenes. Instead of a natural flow we get a very forced, and very bad dialogued few scenes that are almost unwatchable. I’m glad she’s found her true feelings, but the constant focus on this is too much. It should only be a minor side thing, and not a primary focus. This is SUPERGIRL after all.
Despite the villains being high points, and the appearance of Superman, this season has so far been bad. I feel as though they didn’t take time to develop anything, and are just throwing characters and situations in without giving the viewer time to understand or adjust to what’s going on. So far this season gets 2 out of 5 sCrypt ratings. Let’s hope when it returns on January 16th they get their heads on straight and deliver some really fun and good writing.
THE FLASH SEASON 3 PART 1
The Flash (Barry Allen) is struggling this season with his decisions to alter the past. By creating Flashpoint, he managed to really screw things up for everyone. What I don’t understand is everyone being pissed at him, but we will get into that down bottom during the crossover event. Grant Gustin continues to shine in the role.
Iris & Joe – Sometimes feel out of place, but they are necessary over all. I love their presence here, so while it isn’t always written well, they make up for it in their delivery and support of Barry.
Jay Garrick / Flash, Wally West / Kid Flash, and Jesse Quick in no way feel like they are overshadowing Barry. They work well as compliments to him. To me however, I want to constantly see Jay Garrick. John Wesley Shipp is the flash I grew up with and the cameo of “his” earth’s Trickster (Mark Hamill) was really fun to see. He’s playing Jay the way he played Barry back in the day, so for fans of the old series this is a very pleasing thing to see. I can’t get enough Jay Garrick in this show.
The Rival, Magenta, Top, Reverse Flash, and Alchemy were good villains for an episode or two. Though the Rival’s costume reminded me of Bale’s Batman, I still liked the villain he played. My favorites so far are Mirror Master and Shade. The first of those two should really have had some closer costume to his comic book one, but I’m glad to have finally see him debut. Although Shade was a bit underwhelming, he was always a character I liked, so performance didn’t matter because the threat was there.
Killer Frost and Vibe – are now direct results of Barry’s altering of the timeline. I love the slow shift of Kaitlyn into her evil half, but am a little upset at how much of a dick Cisco has become. I understand him being upset at his brother’s death, but he was the comic relief on the show, and now we’ve barely got that. It leaves us with a very serious season, that is great for story, but brings the tone too close to that of Arrow (which is meant to be that way).
Savitar is finally an interesting villain, but he looks like a Transformer. I’m not sure why only Barry can see him, but perhaps its the speed his molecules vibrate at that makes this possible. Will we find out if he really is a god like he says? Time will tell.
Overall this season has become too dark. It’s not bad at all and the additions were done well on the hero and villain side. Flashpoint was touched upon in a way that worked nicely, but I hope we get some more lighthearted moments back for the second half of the season in January. I give Season 3 part 1 a 4 out of 5 sCrypt rating.
ARROW SEASON 5 PART 1
Let’s start with Green Arrow, Diggle, Felicity, and Speedy. These staples in the series remain the way they have been with not much change to them. From acting to character arcs I find them at times annoying, but overall enjoyable. It is Quentin Lance that bothers me. Grow up, man. I get it. You’re heart broken and on multiple levels, but the city can use you and that is a way to distract you from it. The drunk issue is a real issue, but we can move on from that. Plus how much longer is Oliver going to be able to have dual roles of Mayor and Green Arrow? When does he sleep? Oh, and Thea just decides during Invasion that she’s in? WTF? You’ll fight aliens, but not save your city? Seems like they just wanted to throw her in there. (Still it was nice to see her back in action).
The new team is a mess. Wild Dog is nothing but a thug who doesn’t care for the rules. How many times does this guy have to screw up? Mr. Terrific needs to be more like his comic counterpart. Instead, he feels like he’s just shoved in there to be another character. Don’t get me wrong… I love what they are doing with Curtis, but as Mr. Terrific I don’t buy it. Artemis? Well who didn’t see that coming? I only wish they’d have used Sportsmaster (since he’s her dad) instead of Prometheus for her betrayal twist. Finally Ragman. While I love that he’s on the team, I also hate it. It’s almost like he could do it all himself because of his powers. Why wouldn’t he have been more of a help during Invasion? There’s just many plot holes with these characters because we were bombarded with them all at once.
Adrian Chase / Vigilante – is not quite like the comic version, and to be honest, I’m not sure I like him either. So far he’s just someone who kills anybody in his way. I mean he tried to murder team Arrow even though he knew they were doing the right thing. The guy is a nutcase that makes all gun owners look bad.
On another note, Christopher Chance aka Human Target, was awesome! He was used perfectly, and with no fanfare. I hope we see him again at some point.
Anatoli is the KG Beast in the comics. He’s less of that and more of a mob boss here. This is neither a good nor a bad thing, as the actor does well.
If anything, the awesome cameo from Dolph Lundgren should have been in the KG Beast role. I was waiting for him to whip out some Rocky 4 lines, but for a role on TV, I have to admit, this was some of Dolph’s best acting so far.
Tobias Church was an intimidating villain who seemed to be too easy a pickoff when Prometheus was done with him, but the latter character gives me mixed feelings. I don’t like the costume or the rehashed feel of this season, but I love that it all ties back to season 1 here.
Black Canary is back!? Is this a result of Flashpoint somehow or the time travel in the Invasion episode? Who knows? But I really don’t care! I Love that Laurel is back, and she better stay that way.
All in all this season is shaping up to be mediocre. It’s better than the last season, but feels rushed at points. I am eager to see where it all leads, and for the first time in the history of the show I want to know how it will affect everything. I feel like there is way more on the line, other than crazy villain trying to destroy a city. It’s a breath of fresh air in most places, while still stale in others. Arrow Season 5 Part 1 gets 2.5 out of 5 sCrypt ratings from me.
LEGENDS OF TOMORROW SEASON 2 PART 1
Firestorm finally has an interesting turmoil plot point where Stein is dealing with the existence of a daughter that initially wasn’t there.
Atom is all over the place. First he’s Iron Man, then he’s a brief Captain Cold replacement, then he’s got a suit again, but there is hope… He mentioned that he needs to update the suit, so maybe we will be getting a more Atom appropriate costume soon.
White Canary must have every STD ever known because she just sleeps with every woman she meets in history, instead of focusing on her being the new leader of the team.
Heatwave is perfect the way he is, and always has been the stronger point of this show.
Both newcomers Vixen and Citizen Steel have been given interesting stories and their substance hashed out well. If anything I enjoy this show for these two the most.
Rip Hunter just up and left? WTF? And to top it off now he seems to be just a movie producer? It makes little sense at this point, but hopefully we get some resolution as to why he left in the first place, and why he has no recollection as a time master.
The Justice Society of America was placed well with decent representations of Commander Steel, Stargirl, Obsidian, Dr. Midnight, and Hourman. Likewise was the utilization and return of Jonah Hex done well.
Damien Dahrk and the Reverse Flash are interesting villains in this. With Dark Archer/Malcom Merlyn coming on board, it’s bound to be not just a legenday hero team up, but also a villain team up. Throw in Captain Cold, and have Rory betray the team, and we’ll have a Legion of Doom that will be way better than the heroes they are facing.
Captain Nazi Baron Krieger and Quentin Turnbull were nice comic book cameo villains. The zombies and historical figures were a welcome addition too, but I sometimes feel like this show only has to do with time travel so that they can throw stuff like that in there. It’s called subpar writing, something DC struggles with recently.
In all I am enjoying Legends much more this season than the previous one. It’s a little more developed. While it shines in some areas, it’s still lackluster in others. I think with the Legion coming on that it will become much more interesting the rest of the season. I’ll give Season 2 Part 1 of Legends Of Tomorrow 3 out of 5 sCrypt logos.
The 4 part crossover “Invasion”
I wanted to include this as a separate entity because it really remains a standalone miniseries without affecting much of the main shows’ content.
Invasion was a lot of fun. Supergirl’s episode was really only a stepping stone. Arrow’s 100th episode was filled with cameos. Flash’s episode was filled with everyone hating on Barry. And Legends’ episode was downright kick ass.
I have to address two major problems with this whole thing. 1) They are not the “Earth’s Mightiest Heroes”, that’s the Avengers, but even if that wasn’t an already taken tagline, they still aren’t. A true crossover of this scale would have brought Superman & Martian Manhunter to fight against the Dominators.
The Dominator storyline was actually a bit interesting, and the CGI was good in most parts. My second complaint isn’t with that though. It’s with time travel. Everyone is blaming Barry for everything, yet these idiots in Legends are traveling through time every week and killing countless people in history. How is their tampering not having ramifications? Even Vibe said he felt guilty realizing he changed the past a little. But this whole future Barry sending a message back to blame himself is BS. If anyone’s to blame for screwing up the timeline while trying to protect it, it’s the Legends. Every. Single. One of Them.
It was a kickass team up though, and I think handled better in the future (pun intended), that they can get rid of the problems I had with it. On a side note that doesn’t affect my rating. Don’t they all look like a bunch of cosplayers above? Just saying. 🙂
Invasion gets 3 out of 5 sCrypt ratings. So what did you think of the 4 shows and the crossover? Chime in with your comments below.
Season 4 Part 1 of Agents of SHIELD focuses on Ghost Rider, and it made me enjoy a take I wasn’t sure about. Read my spoiler filled review of the first half of this season. If you don’t want spoilers, then scroll to the bottom paragraph for my rating.
The Agents: We are getting more of the same here with slightly adjusted roles, but they are less of a focus this season, and seem more of a supporting cast to those with powers.
Robbie Reyes / Ghost Rider – let’s get this out of the way now. I never thought I’d like the Robbie Reyes version. I grew up on Dan Ketch and Johnny Blaze. I was completely unfamiliar with him except I knew he had a cool car. That being said, Robbie’s Ghost Rider is the best thing about this show so far. His origin even brought in who we can only assume by his attire and motorcycle is Johnny Blaze’s Ghost Rider. And he gets a face to face with the demon itself. Mac gained the GR abilities briefly making us really see how desperate this demon is. While we’ve seen his story end in SHIELD’s current season, I wouldn’t be shocked to see him come back soon or get the rumored spinoff. Either way we know there’s more to come.
Gabe Reyes – Unlike his brother, Gabe’s role was only supporting to serve for an origin story. At times it felt like the actor was merely present on set, but there wasn’t much more for him to do. It was wise to work it the way that they did.
Yo-Yo / Slingshot – While she took a slight backseat role this season, they used her when it was necessary. She even pulled a cool Quicksilver moment, and is now getting a 6 episode mini-series on the web. What was initially to me an unknown character, I feel has become a staple in the show.
Dr. Radcliffe and AIDA – I was worried that they were going to pull another Ultron event, but the creators are handling this quite well. AIDA has already replaced May with a Life Model Decoy (LMD), so it begs to question how she did it, and what’s her motive? We still have yet to find out if she’s going to help or hinder everything, but this will be the focus of the second half of the season.
Jeffrey Mace – Known as the Patriot (and one time replacement Captain America for Steve Rogers) his timing couldn’t have been more appropriate. Now that Steve is no longer Cap, it’ll be interesting to see where they take this Inhuman. In the comics he didn’t have powers, but his enhanced strength and athletic abilities here make sense as an addition. We could very well see him suit up as Cap or at the least, the Patriot. What are his motives though? He’s done good, but also shady things.
Quake / Daisy – While I enjoyed her being a vigilante I was getting sick of her arms constantly breaking. Don’t get me wrong. I think this was a good story element, but it made no sense that she had shattered arms, yet she was still fighting without any issue. She should have been an invalid for the most part based on the description of what was happening to her with every use of her powers. Now that she’s back as an agent of SHIELD, we don’t have to worry about it, but it still feels like a weak plot point.
Eli Morrow / Darkhold – For a very small villain, he played a very intimidating role. This half of the season presented us with a threat that seemed to put everything on the line. We haven’t truly had that before, so despite his lack of grandeur, Eli was a great antagonist (as well as the ghosts of Darkhold and their link to the afterlife).
Agents of SHIELD Ghost Rider started season 6 off with a bang, and ended it on a high note. When it returns next year I hope to see it continue on this high note. For this part I give it 4 out of 5 sCrypt logos as my rating. What did you think? As always it’s open for discussion.
Well the winter finale has happened, so how is this season shaping up so far? Last year we were left with a mostly unwatchable series, but now we seem to be going back to what originally made this show great. Below will be spoilers, so be warned. If you want my rating without the spoilery material, then scroll down to the last paragraph.
The Snow White family: Snow White, Prince Charming, Emma, and Henry are exactly what they started out as. Henry’s holding everything together, Emma is doubting herself, Snow and the Prince are acting like real leaders. My question is what happened to their other baby? Has he been written out of the show? This seems like a plot point that needs to be addressed. Other than that, I have no complaints so far. Even the return of the sleeping curse (with a major twist) was very creative.
Regina vs The Evil Queen and where the Wicked Witch lies: This just reminds me how much I missed the Evil Queen. I love Regina as a good guy, but she’s so much better when she’s bad. I’m not sure I like the dynamic between her and Rumple, but it doesn’t take away from anything. Zelena is always better showing her wicked side, and we’ve gotten away from that a bit, but it’s starting to return, which I love.
Captain Hook and Nemo – Hook has proven to be quite the hero all around. Even his past seems to haunt him in ways I didn’t think possible. The 20,000 Leagues under the sea episode was one of my favorite this season. It proved Hook can be like a father to Henry, and leaves me with no doubt that he has good intentions.
Belle and the Beast: Rumplestiltskin proves to be a thorn in his own side. As evil as he is, he still doesn’t seem like the threat he used to be. Instead of everyone fearing him, it is really Belle who does for their baby. Rumple is a beast to himself more than anything and causes much of his own sorrow. I want the secure beast to return and be the ultimate bad with his ways. Otherwise the portrayal falls a little flat for me at times.
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde – What a twist! I had no idea the roles would be reversed, but they did it in traditional Once Upon a Time fashion. They were a short lived arc, but given just the right amount of time.
Aladdin, Jasmine, & Jafaar – Even Iago the parrot got his little cameo this time. Jafaar has been recast since Wonderland, but the transition was smooth. I only question when this happens in the timeline. Since Wonderland a few seasons ago seemed off time wise, it makes for confusion for long time fans. Aside from that, I like how they told the story of these three, and look forward to more. There were nods to the late Robin Williams (who played the Genie in the animated film), and to Abu the monkey. I think Aladdin deciding to put on the cuffs and becoming the next Genie was an interesting approach.
Morpheus: He appears in a dream to Rumple and Belle as their unborn son. It was a small nod to the Greek leftovers from last season, but it didn’t feel forced or out of place any of the times he was there.
The Count Of Monte Cristo – This was the first episode in a few seasons that had me feeling refreshed. It finally focused on something new, and added to the already great arc of Jekyll and Hyde. It may have been a one timer, but the land of untold stories is great source material for many one shots.
The return of Cinderella, Dr. Frankenstein, & Jiminy Cricket – Ella’s back story was a great episode, and finally answered some things that were left hanging since the first season. The Cricket and Doctor have supporting roles, but I’m happy to have them back, since they’ve been virtually missing since 2 seasons ago.
The Woodcutter (Huntsman) – A small villain role that served as a very interesting addition to a crowded snow white back story. It shoehorned in nicely as filler material to the main couple’s true love.
The Black Fairy and Blue Fairy – I always enjoy the Blue fairy, but the addition and identity of the Black Fairy was decent. It shows that Gold has ancestry of an evil entity, and this contributes to why he is the way he is.
The Mirror and the Dragon – If you missed earlier seasons, it is implied that the Dragon is Mushu from Mulan. The episode with the Mirror trapping, and how the original entity was trying to escape took us to another dimension entirely. It also showed the power that the evil Queen really does hold.
The Wish Realm, and the return of a hero? – Emma and Regina are trapped in an alternate world where Emma was never the savior. It took some convincing, but as they are ready to return, Robin Hood arrives. In this universe he never died, which leaves us waiting until March to see what will happen. With Emma and Regina trapped away from Storybrooke, how will the real world get through it all?
In conclusion, Once Upon a Time Season 6 part 1 has utilized some of the old, and brought in some untold stories anew. The potential for this show could continue for years, and I’d like to see that happen if they keep on this route. I’m sad that I have to wait until March to find out what happens, but at the same time I feel the break is needed to keep the show going like this. Dare I say season 6 could be the best season yet? Yes. I dare to. If you haven’t watched in a while, then you should tune back in, and if you never have watched, then now is the time to. Cheers to the writers this season. I give it 4.5 out of 5 sCrypt ratings.
Since seasons of TV shows seem to be split into two mini seasons with certain ones, I figured I’d review this fur the break. Gotham Season 3 has so far made some good decisions, but some very very bad ones. Let’s take a look at the characters and what worked or what didn’t. There will be spoilers, so if you want my non-spoilery rating, scroll down to the last paragraph.
James Gordon – I’m a little disappointed so far. This is not the guy who becomes commissioner. This is a guy who is lost in every sense of the way. They really need to step up his character in the second half of the season to rectify what they are doing here. Prime example of this culminates at the end of the winter finale. WHY would he go alone to find Mario? He has to be the dumbest detective ever to see how many ways this would go wrong. Plus it felt rushed. Everything he’s done so far this season is very amateur, and I hope we aren’t seeing him go back to prison again because of his actions.
Lee Thompkins: Now that she isn’t attached to Gordon, she’s much more bearable to watch. So far her story arc is convincing and enjoyable. The aftermath of this last episode will be interesting to see.
Harvey Bullock: Easily one of my favorite parts of the show, though I don’t get him being Captain all the time. Sure he’s the highest ranking officer at the force after Barnes, but it doesn’t work well for his persona.
Ivy Pepper (Poison Ivy): I’m not sure of how she’ll play into the future of the show, but there’s good character development here. Her rapid aging to a mature woman fits well with her adolescent demeanor. I can’t wait til she throws another temper tantrum and goes full on Ivy. So far so good here, and they are playing up her sexuality which is a key part of her character.
Valerie Val, Lucius Fox, Alfred Pennyworth, and Carmine Falcone – all seem to have a solid role in the season. The first of the group I was wondering how they’d use her. Is she related to Vicki Vale? Who knows, but her short lived presence worked well. Lucius and Alfred were as they should be. Carmine’s return was amazing, because I feel he really is the most convincing person to be in that role.
Tabitha, Barbara, and Butch: While in prior seasons these three annoyed me, but this season is doing much better. In fact, Barbara, who was my least favorite character (aside from Fish), is shaping up to having a much better place. She’s no longer annoying, but more of a Harley Quinn. I hope she doesn’t end up becoming the Joker’s love interest, but she’s starting to be interesting to say the least, and the three of them teaming with Riddler has potential to make the second half of the season a wild ride. Will we see more of the Red Hood gang?
Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle – Both are beginning to take on more of the characters they will one day become. They don’t act the best in the show, but as the actors mature, so do their skills. Wayne’s doppleganger was strange to me. What is he supposed to be? Is he a precursor to Hush? It felt a little strange, but the possibilities are intriguing.
Isabella – speaking of look alikes, WTF was this? Worst story arc ever. I don’t even want to go into it. Sure it served a purpose, but the writers on this show make some really stupid decisions that make no sense. Motive for Riddler could have been handled much better.
Riddler – Edward is just awesome. He IS the Riddler already, just not calling himself that. What he did to Tabitha and Butch was a classic scenario that made him even more fun to watch. Can’t wait to see how he exacts vengeance on Penguin.
Penguin – AAAAnd here’s where I got really upset. F You, DC! This is stupid! Again, you’ve changed a character. Penguin now is gay and is in love with Riddler. If you spent half the time focused on who Penguin is rather than his infatuation with another man, then you’d realize you butchered one of the best characters in the show. This has nothing to do with the focus on the sexuality, but rather the fact that he was an intimidating and interesting character to watch because he was so unpredictable. Now he’s very predictable, and a bit of a tantrum thrower without much of a cause. Penguin doesn’t need to have any romantic interest (male or female) to make him work, and here we are seeing someone stray away from what made him great (a loner who relied on only himself, and his henchmen).
Fish Mooney: Do I really need to revisit how much I hate this character, and the need for her to stay dead or off the show? Horrendous acting on Jada Pinkett’s part, and now that she’s got powers it has made the cheese factor with her unbearable.
Mario Calvi: Although a smaller role, he was crucial to the story for this first half. I was sad to see him die, but it served a greater purpose in the long run. Perhaps now we will see Carmine in full mob mode again, making him the antithesis to Gordon and the GCPD.
Chief Barnes – Michael Chiklis plays his roles well. It seems like he’s a proto version of the Executioner here. I thought it felt a little forced when it all happened, but his swift turn of motives made for interesting TV.
Zzasz and the Court of Owls – Zzasz needs to become more like his comic counterpart in order for him to be interesting. This hired gun thing doesn’t feel right and its time for him to become full blown serial killer. Perhaps Gordon’s punch to his head will change his personality to become that darker version. Otherwise it’s just a name on a different person. There isn’t much to say about the Court other than their presence is well known now. It’ll be interesting to see what exactly Selina and Bruce stole, and how her mom plays into the whole story. Even Falcone seems to be afraid of the Court. So the question needs to be answered “Why are they so intimidating?”
Jervis Tech (Mad Hatter), Alice, White Rabbit, Tweedledee and Tweedledum: I put them all together because it plays hand in hand. Alice’s story gave us a little history of Jervis and how he is. He’s a sick man that it is implied raped his own sister. He’s so mentally disturbed that he’s easily one of the best villains so far. The minor roles of the White Rabbit and the Tweedles fit well and worked. For this I can say the writers did something right.
Assessment: I’ve many unanswered questions… for instance: Was that supposed to be Man-Bat or a vampire early on in the season? Who are all these other “freaks?” I’m glad they’ve killed a few off. Where does this all lead? It truly did end on a cliffhanger.
In conclusion I have to say this. These writers are out of their minds and clearly don’t care for source material. There’s enough here to keep me watching, but I don’t know for how long. The Batman universe is so vast that there is no need to add countless new characters, short of a few here and there. To top it off they need to stop changing key characters into something they aren’t, or adding pointless story arcs. As a writer I’m appalled that this show even continues with its countless plot holes and rushed nature. As a Batman fan I’m aggravated at what they’ve done to the existing characters. As a comic book fan, I’m always interested in seeing what they will do, but I have my limits.
I will continue to watch in the hopes that they keep the things that work, and fix the things that don’t. For part 1 of Season 3 (Gotham: Mad City), I give it 2 sCrypt logos out of 5. It’s certainly not the worst comic adaptation, but it could quickly become that. It has potential to get better though, so here’s hoping.
I finally had time to sit down and watch the newest Star Trek film, and came out of it with mixed feelings. It was not a bad movie at all, but instead a slower paced installment than most of the others in the series. So what made the 13th movie work, and what didn’t? Here’s my brief review with some spoilery material. If you just want my rating and skip all of the other comments, then scroll down to the last paragraph.
As I mentioned, the narrative was slow. It felt like the first half of the movie was void of energy. I was surprised at this, but it didn’t turn me away. I wanted to see what was going on, and though the second half more than satisfied me I was left with a few questions unanswered.
Idris Elba’s character was a decent villain, but I felt like we didn’t get enough explanation as to how he’d extended his life and why he changed appearances. It was awkward at times. We also didn’t get further explanation on the weapon he was using. We only got a brief origin of both of these and they could have used more clarity.
Those were my complaints. It’s not a lot, but then again I don’t have many compliments either. Here’s what I felt really worked… The feeling of a family. They used the Kirk, Spock, McCoy connection to its finest. Their feelings of doubt and wanting something other than what they had ended up being replaced by knowing that they are all a family of sorts, and it’d be dull without each other.
Leonard Nimoy’s death was addressed by having Spock learn of Spock Prime’s death. It was written in well, and served as the catalyst for younger Spock’s feelings on life. The picture of the original crew in Prime’s belongings was a surreal moment, that probably is the best tribute to the original series we will ever get.
Finally, onto Chekov. Sadly Anton Yelchin has passed tragically at a young age. He did such an amazing job bringing the character to life. I don’t know how they will write him out of the series. In the original series he was absent from season 1. However they go about it I could see them tastefully replacing the character with Jayla as she easily shined in this film. Plus it would be good to see more of her species and back story.
All in all it was far from the best Trek film, but certainly not the worst. Its low moments were balanced by nostalgiac high moments making it a worthwhile rental. I will always be a trek fan, so my hopes for the 14th movie are even higher now, as it will have to step up. My final rating is 2.5 out of 5 sCrypt Coffins. What did you think of Star Trek Beyond?
Ah, it’s almost over. The wait that is. Here in the United States Facebook feeds are filled with rhetoric, memes, links, and jokes that are all in bad taste toward other candidates. Yes, I’m talking about election time. We are about to elect our 45th President, and it is downright ugly.
The divide is more than its ever been, and people seem to have forgotten that our founding Presidents tried to find a common ground. That isn’t the case any more. Now it’s a very angry right and a hateful left. Things have gotten violent in some cases. It’s almost as if you are no longer allowed to have an opinion because someone will scream at you if it’s different from theirs.
In all honesty we are at a scary point in history. If something can’t be agreed upon we may end up in dare I say another Civil War. (Some already claim this is happening). Thomas Jefferson once said, “Our country is now taking so steady a course as to show by what road it will pass to destruction, to wit: by consolidation of power first, and then corruption, its necessary consequence.” That was 200 years ago, and it couldn’t be more fitting now.
Part of what makes this country an amazing place is that no matter if you are Black, White, Straight, Gay, Christian, Jewish, or of any other denomination or group, you are ALL American. So why is it that our passions have gone and made us embarrass ourselves? Why can’t I sit at a holiday dinner with family or friends, and have a conversation that is rational and respectful toward other stances?
I blame this on the media as a whole. If you’re watching CNN, Fox News, or any of the other mainstream go tos, you’ve probably only gotten a biased reporting. I say probably, but we know that’s the case. The fact is as Americans we have the right to vote, but we have the DUTY to do it responsibly. Taking someone else’s word for it (media or not) is irresponsible.
So how do you figure out the facts? They are out there if you look. Stop voting for Hillary because she’s a Democrat… Stop voting for Trump because he’s Republican. START voting AMERICAN… if you do your research and feel that either of the above, or a third party are what is best for America, then I encourage you to vote that way, but ONLY if you do your research. Otherwise you’re just one of the irresponsible angry or hateful ones.
I want a country fit for my children and generations to come, but politics seem to divide us more each time. I was asked by a friend, “How do you do proper research on the candidates?” The answer is simple. Click on those links you don’t want to view. If you’re an avid Left or Right of center person challenge yourself to honestly look at what the other side is offering. It may irritate you, but you may actually gain a piece of information that your side isn’t giving.
Look, I’m using politics as my main line here, because it is what is happening right now. But this goes for anything. No matter how correct you think you are, you aren’t perfect. No one is. If you’re sitting there behind a screen sharing “information” about how bad the other side is, then you should be looking at your own candidate’s flaws too. If you’re constantly on the offense, then no one will ever take you serious. You will NEVER win an argument or convince someone of your ways because you will seem irrational, and in most cases no one will want to be around you.
I wrote a book a few years ago about arguing, where I presented some facts from both sides of common disputes. I presented it without bias despite having strong feelings about some of the issues. Each chapter is introduced and ended with a humorous experience from my own life. I hope to update it one day soon as it could use an extra fact or two added because of changes in events.
The goal of the book is to find a common ground, or something near common so that we can be civil with each other instead of civil warring each other. Sure there is a chapter about Conservative vs Liberal, but other arguments (some silly and some serious) are presented as well… Cats vs Dogs, Star Wars vs Star Trek, Religion, Sports, Music. The list continues on.
NO, IT’S NOT. YES, IT IS: ARGUMENTS is available in print at lulu.com and in digital at Amazon. Feel free to check it out.
In the meantime, let’s all get along or at least try. Stop doing things such as “voting for the lesser of two evils.” That’s still evil. Stop voting AGAINST a candidate, because if you are doing that, then you aren’t voting FOR someone. Vote for something in which you believe. If you aren’t fighting for something you believe in, then you are just fighting because you’re intolerant of other people.
As a side note, yes I AM voting in this election. I do lean toward one side more. I have toyed with voting third party. I’ve taken into account ALL angles and have decided on one that I believe is the correct choice to lead. I hope this post helps you realize that it is important to negotiate with facts, and not bias. If not facts, then at least have common sense in your stance.
Wrapping up my rant I’d like to say that those who claim “Third party voting is throwing your vote away,” well I agree and disagree. I agree because let’s face it… one of the big two will win (at least in this election). I disagree because if you are voting for someone who isn’t Republican or Democrat, then you are telling the establishment that you don’t like their choices. I’m by no means saying to do that, but if you are then I don’t believe your vote is being wasted. Again, research is the key, not what media and others tell you.
I haven’t pushed my view in this post or who I’m voting for, because that would go against everything I’ve mentioned. Stating my stance would negate the purpose of forgetting outside influence. I encourage comments below. Please do not go off on political rants for or against your choice. Let’s see how civil we can be in a forum, and maybe there is hope for the future. And with that I say cheers.
For a change I’m going to do a virtually spoiler free review. I’ll mention some minor things that could be considered spoilery, but they aren’t crucial to the story. What can I say about this movie? The trailers did not do it justice. I frankly was slightly irritated at the previews because it looked downright terrible. I thought they’d gone and just remade the original movie with a different cast of characters and some other minor subplots. I am happy I was wrong.
Now, was this a great movie? No. Was it a bad movie? No. In fact I’d say it was as good or slightly better than Ghostbusters 2. To some of you that isn’t saying much, but bear with me. I loved both the original movies. Here’s my main problem with the reboot. It should have been a sequel. A loose one perhaps, but a sequel nonetheless. Here’s why…
As a total reboot it felt disrespectful to disregard the original movie which had nothing wrong with it. We’ve got a totally different story and people here, so why not change some VERY minor things about it to make it a third entry? It could still be a reboot and distance itself, while honoring what made the first one work. This would have made the fans of the originals happy with the new one, and turn a new generation onto the old ones.
My kids (ages 6 and 8) even said, “Daddy, why aren’t they (the cameos) the original characters?” I had no good answer. How could they have made it part 3 and a reboot? Here’s my answer (slight spoiler warning)…
The plot involves the Mayor of New York basically telling the new team that they had to keep ghost existence quiet. This could have explained why the original ghostbusters were no where to be found. They could have referenced that someone tried to hoax people 30 years ago and where are they now? Sure, it’s a long shot, but THAT would have worked. The cameos tie into this line of thinking…
Bill Murray could have still been Peter Venkman, who now worked for the Mayor as a paid skeptic. He’d been bought to prove that it wasn’t real. As one of the original Ghostbusters, this would have been a smart move. He had a falling out with the other guys, and was broke from no more business after GB2. He was desperate. The best part about this would have been that they wouldn’t have had to change his role at all. He still could have acted EXACTLY the same with the same role, and it would have worked.
Harold Ramis’ bust is seen. The actor is dead, so this was a very nice tribute. It could have easily been Dr. Egon Spengler’s bust, and had mention of that on a plaque.
Dan Aykroyd was a cab driver. He had no name. Why couldn’t this have been Ray Stantz current job? Nothing needed to be changed, and he was afraid of dealing with the ghosts from him being threatened by the Mayor’s office to keep quiet.
Ernie Hudson could have just as easily been Uncle Winston instead of Uncle Bill, and they could have kept him in the same role.
Annie Potts did exactly what she did in the originals. Why couldn’t this have been Jeanine Melnitz’s current job?
Slimer was Slimer. He never really spoke, so his presence wouldn’t need to be explained at all, even Mrs. Slimer wouldn’t have needed to be explained.
The ONLY one of the original characters who’d have to have a few little rewrites to fit in would have been Sigourney Weaver’s Dana Barrett. With a little ingenuity this could have been an easy tweak.
(End of spoilers)
Okay, so those are my thoughts on that. It all goes back to WHY. To me it is a slap in the face to fans. All of that aside, let’s look at the rest of the movie.
Acting wise it was decent. All of the ladies did a great job, and made some of the over the top campiness work. It was funny, and highly enjoyable.
The special effects were also on par with being amazing.
The slight remix of the original Ghostbusters theme song was great, though the Fall Out Boy Ghostbusters song was downright terrible.
One final thing about that final scene at the end of the credits. It was a nice nod, but if a sequel happens (and I hope it does), then I really hope they don’t go down that route. We need to see something entirely new for the girls in order for it to work right and last.
If this was a sequel to the originals not much would have to have been changed, and then I’d give the movie an extra point, but because it wasn’t, it won’t get 4 points… Instead I’ll award it a 3 sCrypt Coffins out of 5. It’s enough to say it wasn’t bad by any means, but was no way near as good as it could have been. It deserves a second shot, so I’m holding out for a follow up to this one.
What did you think of Ghostbusters 2016? Did you like it? Hate it? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
The possibility of time travel has always fascinated me. In college I took a class called “Paradox”, and mid semester I came up with an idea for a book on it. That was about sixteen years ago, and the book is finally in the works (well three books to be specific). Can I go back and retract that typo? Sure, that’s what the backspace key is for, but what if we could go back and change something in our past?
When I was ten years old I read H.G. Wells’ THE TIME MACHINE. It was the first book that really had me thinking about the subject. The classic movie from the 60s wasn’t as good as the book, but it’s still one of my favorites to this day. Even the remake done in the 2000s holds a special place in my heart. Am I bold enough to say it is one of the best science fiction novels ever written? Yes, and I’ll stand by that statement. Wells came up with an idea to quell his own curiosity about what the future held. While the book doesn’t go into alternate realities or changing the past (it is hinted at, but not a major component), it instead looks forward. In certain aspects it shows a bleak future (far ahead of our own time), but there is something to be taken away from it all. I feel the lesson written here is that we should appreciate what we have now. No matter how bad things can get, it can always be worse.
Once I reached my teenage years there was a show on called QUANTUM LEAP. It involved a character who was from the future and stepped into a time chamber. He woke up in the past in someone else’s body. The fun thing about this show was that each episode had him trying to figure out what he needed to make sure happened in order for him to leap to the next random time period. The show was limited only to years in which the actual character had been alive on earth. If he were to leap to another time he’d cease to exist, so it kept it very grounded in modern times (or at least the last 35 years prior to the show). This series had me tuning in every week, but sadly it fell victim to what I call the “final episode”. At the end of the series we are left with a cliffhanger of not knowing if he ever made it home or not. Was Sam stuck in time? Where did he go? I still hold out hope for a reboot/sequel that will explain it all and maybe re-launch the series.
Lastly is the TIME PATROL series by Bob Mayer. Mayer’s series takes a similar concept to leaping into a historical person’s body, but goes beyond that to actual events. He isn’t limited to one time period, but instead has a selection of multiple in each individual novel. One date throughout history is being affected by the mostly unseen antagonist in different ways. It’s difficult to go into detail about it without being spoilery, but the Time Patrol is a fun and interesting ride. It may even have you wanting to do some research on certain days or events in history. I haven’t just been entertained by the highly anticipated novels, but have learned from them. Where else can you have one story with multiple subplots going on in a book?
With the holidays fast approaching I’m frantically working on A COURSE FOR HUMANITY. It won’t be out until early 2017, but in the meantime if you are looking for a great time travel story, I highly recommend all three of the above; especially Time Patrol, since it’s a current series.
So what are some of your favorite time travel stories? Use the hashtag #scrypthalloween and you may be one of the lucky winners chosen to receive a free copy of one of my novels.