It’s no secret that the DCEU of movies has met with harsh criticism, and in some cases rightfully so. Man of Steel and Batman vs Superman were split down the middle by fans and Suicide Squad was an absolute disaster. Even before those the films were less than perfect. Bad interpretations of villains in the previous Batman movies, a heavily CGI Green Lantern film, and the 5 prior Superman films were only good for the first two. So the track record of DC films hasn’t been anything spectacular over the years. Sure there were high points, but it really had me worry for Wonder Woman.
Then I saw it, and while the story felt similar to Captain America the First Avenger, it was Gal Gadot who really made this a great watch. The actress is not only stunning, but connects with audiences on an emotional end, and then turns into a complete badass. Chris Pine as Steve Trevor added a great amount of chemistry and humor needed.
The supporting cast did well, and the visual effects with the lasso were straight from the pages of the comic books. The director’s decision to add more color to Wonder Woman’s costume was a smart one as well. It made her stand out more in a very cold looking era film.
My complaints would be minor overall but still bothersome. Ares was a great villain, but I saw the twist coming from the moment the actor stepped on screen. It was way too predictable. The over usage of Wonder Woman’s theme song grew tiresome, and some of the Amazonian fights looked off in the CGI department.
What I did like is that for the most part this was a true interpretation of the character. I’d watch Gal Gadot in anything, but the comic fan in me couldn’t be happier. I’m not sure I enjoyed the sort of force blast she showed with her gauntlets, but I think this was to show how she can ricochet most attacks that way.
Finally, DC films has something to list as their best movie to date (Yes that includes all other movies mentioned above). We now have a female hero who is both a princess and warrior hero. I give Wonder Woman 4 out of 5 sCrypt ratings. What did you think?
Season 1 of Ash vs Evil Dead was a great throwback to the Evil Dead/Army of Darkness franchise. It cemented itself as the perfect installment for fans of old and new. I thought season 2 would have been more of the same approach, but I was thankfully wrong.
Sure there was some of the B movie humor, which had me laughing hysterically at one point (The Morgue scene when Ash is going after the book). But there was also some sincerity to it in a very Evil Dead 1 sort of way. When Ash is in the asylum it is downright creepy. Baal vs Ash in a mental battle was fun to watch. Ruby joining the team was a step in the right direction of adding tension and mistrust. Pablo becoming the book was interesting. Lee Majors as Brock (Ash’s father) was perfect casting, and it made me miss his old 6 million dollar man days.
Then they took a completely unexpected turn and went back to prevent the events in the first movie from ever happening, only to change them for the worse. My question is who picked up the Necronomicon in the post credits scene? If the writers wanted to really throw the viewers for a loop they would make it one of the kids from the remake a few years back. In that movie Ash shows up to pick up the surviving girl. With that epilogue and him in the shadows there, it could easily be explained that he brought her in as a new team member. This would make that movie canon. Even if it was not a good interpretation it would still fit in what could become an even more exciting series.
I mean there really isn’t anything I can complain about here. If B-movie horror/comedy isn’t your thing, then you won’t like this, but for any fan of the original films I highly recommend it. I give it 4.5 out of 5 sCrypt ratings. What did you think of Ash vs Evil Dead season 2?
The Alien franchise has been a favorite of mine since I was a kid. Each installment has me on the edge of my seat waiting for release. Well I finally got to sit down and watch Alien: Covenant, and found it to be familiar, yet refreshing.
Slight Spoilers ahead…
At first I found myself confused thinking that they wouldn’t even touch on the events in Prometheus, but thankfully they wrapped up that story fairly well, and in a shocking way. It explains a lot for the rest of the series.
The twist with David and Walter at the end however was slightly predictable. I saw it coming a mile away. The whole premise to the crew going to the planet that Prometheus had been on was a little far fetched. You would think for a technologically advanced crew of astronauts, that there’d be some sort of record of what happened to the crew of Prometheus or at least where they were going. There were also a few places where the CGI seemed off to me, but not terrible. I’m just used to the original films where the effects were all practical.
That was the only real faults I found with the movie. On the positive side, Michael Fassbender is becoming one of my favorite actors. His dual roles in this movie were spectacular, and Katherine Waterson’s female lead was as likeable as Sigourney Weaver’s Ripley.
The high points for me were the explanation of where the Aliens came from and how they were engineered. They aren’t yet the species we meet in the first Alien movie. They are something else, but by the end of the movie we see where it is going to lead. I’ll admit that the white colored alien was downright eerie to see. It gave me the creeps.
One thing that I really like is that this is definitely NOT the movie that takes place right before Alien. There obviously has to be another film to explain more. While it answered quite a few questions, it opened the door for more lore. I still would like to see one more adventure for Ellen Ripley, but if I can’t get that this is just as good.
Overall I give it 3.5 out of 5 stars. It’s be no means a spectacular film, but has an important place in the franchise. It was fun, and you could feel the mortality of the characters involved. What did you think of Alien Covenant?
Netflix surely has a hit with its Marvel TV shows, but that doesn’t mean they have all been great. Daredevil season 1 and 2 as well as Luke Cage were outstanding. Iron Fist started strong, but underwhelmed in the latter half of the season. Jessica Jones had a great concept, but could have been done in 4 episodes because 13 was much too long and drawn out. So with the Defenders coming out I had a bag of mixed emotions. How did it fare?
The Defenders had an amazing first two episodes. They filled in the gap of what was happening with each character after we last saw them all. It was story building at its finest. People complained that they all don’t even meet until episode 3, but they obviously have no desire for substance. It is well worth the wait.
At that point I was worried that with such a great buildup, that the last 4 episodes would fall short. They did not. The action sequences and story held up to standards, and even though the post climax was drawn out, the 8 episodes made for in my opinion the best Marvel Netflix show yet. Even at the end of the credits we get a surprise teaser trailer for the Punisher coming later this year.
There were plenty of twists and turns, and a few things left unsaid. The ending left me wondering whether the Hand was done, and who survived of the four stuck at the bottom of the shaft? Surely Matt Murdock could not have escaped on his own. So, who got him to the surface?
As for the characters individually here’s how I see them:
Luke Cage & Daredevil were as expected. I think both were flawless and exactly how portrayed before. Jessica Jones was still herself at the core, but her interactions with the other characters, in particular Matt Murdock, were so much more likeable. She worked better with a team than alone. Iron Fist finally made that transition to hero. He was much more deserving of the title in this than his own show, making it more exciting anticipation for his next season. Colleen Wing, Misty Knight, Karen Page, Foggy, Trish, and Stick were all used sparingly enough to not overcrowd the plot.
Overall it was an enjoyable and fun ride. I’d call it the Avengers for adults, and am eager to see them all team up again. I’ll give it 4.5 out of 5 sCrypt ratings. What did you think?
Cape May, New Jersey is one of my favorite places to escape to for writing and inspiration. I’ve been wrapped up with a few books in process, but needed a little escape, and this weekend was perfect. Instead of staying at our normal place, my wife Roberta was invited to review the Congress Hall hotel. (Check out http://www.homemadedelish.com for her review).
The history in that place alone is amazing, but the town has so much more going on than just that one land mark. The Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts and Humanities (www.capemaymac.org) has a wide array of tours and events available all year round.
We’ve previously done the horse and buggy tour, but decided to go for something a little more in my realm of writing. I originally intended to do the ghost trolley tour, but Susan Krysiak (director of media relations) suggested I check out the Cape Mayhem Trolley Tour.
This goes beyond just telling about the many haunted tales of the town, but delves into the history of some bizarre rituals and practices that people did during the Victorian Era.
I don’t want to spoil much about the ride itself on the history end, because it is something you need to see for yourself. What I can say is that even if you aren’t a history buff or fan of the weird and spooky, this is a very relaxing and fun half hour ride.
One place I will mention that was the highlight of the tour was the story about the Emlen Physick Estate. I’d always seen the house but didn’t know how intriguing its history was. My next trip to town will definitely include a tour of the estate, which is also run by the same knowledgeable people as the trolley tours.
If you’ve ever been on one of these tours, then please comment below and share your experiences. If you haven’t then make sure to visit http://www.capemaymac.org to see what you’re missing. Feel free to contact their media relations at 609-224-6036 or email@example.com #capemaymac
Fairy tales have certainly influenced my writing of children’s books, and even come to life to some extent in my novels (particularly BONES AT BREAKFAST). It is no secret that I enjoy them, but am very picky about what I choose to watch. Once Upon a Time has always grabbed my attention because of its inclusion of not just Disney versions of the tales, but also classic literature.
While Season 5 was a big dud in my mind, it had its high points. Season 6 goes back to what made Season 1 so good, and included more classics. It escaped the fairy tale world and made its way into some great fiction literature.
The Good: The additions of Aladdin, Mr. Hyde, Count of Monte Cristo, and a few others worked quite well, while characters like Cinderella finally got a proper back story. The Evil queen vs Regina started out a little rough, but by the end I liked what they did with it. The whole season provided a great canvas to end the current run of characters and it properly sets up season 7 as a reboot with Henry being an adult.
The Bad: There were still flaws with some of the narratives. I feel that the Wicked Witch was wasted here, and Rumpelstiltskin was slightly under used, even though they both played a key role. Emma and Hook were great together, but to me it seemed very redundant with Emma’s role this season. Her performance didn’t move me at all, nor her story. Even though they used other classic tales, I feel like it still lacked for the most part in diversity (as far as types of stories).
Overall: It wasn’t the best season, but way better than the worst. The fact that they are rebooting next season is a welcome addition, but I’m still cautious with my hopes. It could go two ways… 1) it could end up being a fantastic reboot, pretty much ignoring or only referencing the original characters. Using them as cameos as fine, but I no longer want to see those people as a focus (except Henry’s story). Although I wouldn’t mind Regina and Rumple still having significant roles. They have a blank slate where they can go more horror with Dracula, more Frankenstein, etc etc that would really make it feel new. Or 2) They could just rehash the same formula and have nothing new to bring to the table. I’m hoping for the former, but in the meantime I’ll rate Season 6 with 4 out of 5 sCrypt coffins.
What were your thoughts? And Where would you like the series to go from here? Comment below.
It’s time to review DC Comics’ Television properties, and how they fared this season. I’ll keep it fairly simple this time around, but will take an overall look at the following: DC’s Legends of Tomorrow season 2, The Flash season 3, Arrow season 5, Supergirl season 2, Powerless season 1, and Gotham season 3. I’ll also mention the crossover episode “Invasion” as a separate entity.
First up is Legends of Tomorrow Season 2:
While the first season was subpar, the concept improved for the second season. The good: The characters were all done well. They were really the focus of what made this year work. Finally seeing a version of the Legion of Doom was a much better antagonist than Vandal Savage the year before. The cliff hanger at the end of the finale was also really great segue into making me want to come back for at least the premier of ssn 3. The Bad: The writers of this show have no idea what they are doing with time travel. They talk about time aberrations and how they are supposed to stop them from happening, but the characters have no problem sleeping with other people from different timelines or killing them. Then they worry about one mistake that Stein made by talking to his younger self which created a daughter he never had. I call B.S. that this would be their worst problem. Overall: This show is just painful to watch. I keep watching because the comic book nerd in me desires to see these great characters. There are moments that make me smile, but overall it’s not something a regular audience of non-comic book fans would want to see. If they could understand a little more about the potential of traveling through time, then it’d have potential, but otherwise it’s just sloppy writing. I give season 2 a sCrypt rating of 2.5/5.
Supergirl Season 2:
Where to begin… hmmm… The transition of this show to the CW really hurt it, but I can’t just blame the station move. The Good: Martian Manhunter, Superman, Mon-El, The Guardian and Teri Hatcher were the best things about the season. Their stories were good, and though I had reservations about the Guardian, he turned out to be quite enjoyable. The Bad: Oh where to begin. Fire all the writers. It’s the only thing that will save this show because it’s downright hard to watch. First off is the Alex and Maggie relationship. I get it. They are an item. I have no problem with a lesbian couple in the show, but this was so forced and hard to watch it made me cringe. They spent more time focusing on this unnatural progression into a gay relationship that it often overshadowed the main narrative. I knew we’d have Maggie in some sort of relationship with a woman too, but it could have been anyone else. They changed Alex (who showed that she had an attraction to men in the first season) to being an item with Maggie. The two characters on their own could be great, but the way this was forced was so bad the writers seemed like amateurs. And before anyone claims that I’m bashing the LGBTQRSTUV community, that is not the case at all. I’ve got friends and family who fall into that category. I would have the exact same issues if they did this with straight characters because it was so badly done and took center stage over the rest of the plot. Then they cut Cat Grant out of the picture… then they had Supergirl beat Superman in a really lame fighting scene that went on way too long for its lack of showmanship, then they changed Cat from one political standing to another without explanation and tried to force a message, then they had Lynda Carter as an alien president without much explanation as to why they would not feel threatened by a president who had the biggest lie of any president (and that’s saying a lot nowadays), then there’s that weird ending which I can only assume means we are getting Doomsday on a TV budget when they couldn’t even do it right in the movies. WTF writers? Did anyone watch this heaping bag of horse manure before they decided to air it on television? Ugh I’m done my rant. Overall: When a hero like Supergirl with some major characters is worse than watching a show with bad time travel in its writing, there is something amiss. I can barely give this second season a 1 out of 5 sCrypt Ratings.
Arrow Season 5:
Thank goodness this got better. While last season was subpar, this season was my favorite by far. The Good: Everything in the latter half of the season was great. I was upset at first that they were going to do ANOTHER Black Canary instead of reforming Laurel of Earth 2, but when it turned out her name was Dinah Drake, I accepted it. Hopefully we see her and Oliver as an item and keep that Arrow / Black Canary love story. Deathstroke’s return and the whole final episode was very emotional. Season 6 could quite literally be a reboot to the whole series with just Oliver and his son, but I’m assuming one or two people will escape the island. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for Diggle, Dinah, Speedy, and Slade to have survived. The Bad: In the beginning of the season it was very rushed. They jam packed all these new recruits onto the team, and it took away from story. Wild Dog was annoying at first, but I grew to really like the character. Other than the expansion of “Team Arrow”, I didn’t find much wrong here. Overall: There’s a lot they can do for the next season now that the flashbacks are all caught up. I have no idea where they will go with it, but if they continue this approach it’d be more than welcome. I give season 5 of arrow a 4.5 out of 5 sCrypt ratings.
Invasion Crossover episode:
I didn’t think they’d be able to pull off crossing over Supergirl, Arrow, Flash, and Legends of Tomorrow, but they managed… sort of. Obviously their budget had limitations, but the story worked and each character was utilized well. If I had one complaint it would be that it really wasn’t a 4 part episode, because it began as a stinger at the end of the Supergirl episode, which was rehashed in Flash. Despite this false advertisement in my mind, it was enjoyable. I give it a 3 out of 5 sCrypt ratings.
The Flash Season 3:
This season had its ups and downs. The Good: Jay Garrick and Wally West were very welcome in this season. The Flashpoint approach was done well, and Killer Frost’s story really hit the mark; even if I wanted to see her become a full fledged villain at the end. Who knows where that’ll go. They hit an emotional level with the viewers too that won’t be forgotten. The Bad: Savitar, while not all that horrible of a villain just looked really stupid. I hated the costume, and wasn’t really sold on the true reveal of his identity. The story felt drawn out with some great filler episodes to break it up, but that detracted from the continual plot. There was a point during the Grodd storyline (which I loved, so it’s not all bad), that I almost forgot about Savitar’s threat. Overall: They managed to clear up some of the cluster-F that was last season, and created a pretty decent flow. The twists and shocking reveals really held it high on the standards chart. If there is any season finale that sets up the premier of next season it would be this one. I hope we see more of Jay Garrick and even Wally suiting up as the Flash would be great. As long as there isn’t another speedster as the main villain I think Flash can do a whole lot more. I give it 3.5 out of 5 sCrypt ratings.
Powerless Season 1:
I’ll get straight to it. The Good: If you enjoy the Office, and it’s type of humor, then this show is for you. It’s funny and creative. I loved the characters, and the fact that they are a little over the top. It sounds like a dumb idea, but the show really worked for me. It was a break from all the other comic book shows on television right now. The Bad: Aside from very horrible budget effects and cosplay looking costumes, the only other bad thing I can say is that it was cancelled. Overall: If I had to say that there was one show that paid homage to the comics, while feeling refreshing it was this one. I only got to see the first 9 episodes, as the final 3 were pulled when the show was cancelled. If more people gave it a chance, I think it’d have been a hit. I give it a 4 out of 5 sCrypt ratings, which would have gotten a whole other point if not for the costumes and effects.
Gotham Season 3:
The latter half of the season renewed my faith in the show, but it’s still got a lot of work to do. The Good: The way the villains were handled, and Bruce’s evolution were great. I feel like the creators are starting to get that Batman feel without the Bat. I can’t emphasize more that The Riddler and Jerome/The Joker were the best thing all season. The Bad: Penguin being gay isn’t the issue, but the way they made him during that story arc was flat out pathetic. He didn’t even seem like the Penguin during that batch of episodes. It makes sense to make him gay if they were going to because he’s one character that never really had a love interest in the comics. I just wish they could have made him as good a character as he was before this season, and after Ivy saved him. Gordon still seems flat to me as well. Every scene with him and Lee made me cringe. There are also inconsistencies in the writing. Why did Freeze’s gun not kill his last victim, when it did so to everyone else? There was also an opportunity to use the same casting for Ra’s Al Ghul as with Arrow to connect the shows in some way, but they failed to do that. Overall: It’s starting to really feel like it fits in with the rest of the shows, even to the point where I wouldn’t mind having a crossover if it made sense to do so. There’s a lot of things set up that make it convoluted, but can be handled well. At this point I’m not sure how they can keep with the current path without a Batman in there, and though we saw Bruce suit up as some vigilante he’s still way too young and immature with his thinking to become the full fledged Bat. Time will tell. I give the season 2.5 out of 5 sCrypt ratings.
What did you think of these shows? What were the high and low moments for you and where do you see them going? Comment below, and let’s discuss. P.S. I realize I didn’t put Izombie in here. The reason is because I just can’t watch it. It’s appalling. Maybe you disagree.
My season end reviews kick off with Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD season 4. I did a review mid season, so I won’t get into too much detail other than a few minor spoilery things, and general thoughts.
Overall, this season was superb. The writing strayed from campiness and into darker territory. While this can be a curse for a lot of shows or movies, the darkness worked here because of Ghost Rider’s inclusion and the Dark Hold. Both were handled very well.
The second half of the season gave us an alternate “What If” world created by AIDA. Her role as Madame Hydra was surprising, but also a welcome addition to the plot. Usually I’m not for the combination of characters, but in this case it was handled well. The emotional buildup especially with Mack and the loss of The Patriot, gave the show a more realistic feel.
It’ll be interesting to see where it all leads next season. There’s Mack and Yo-Yo who will obviously be in a strained relationship, but they aren’t the only ones. Fitz and Simmons have an interesting new dynamic with Fitz’s dark side having affected everyone, and Coulson and May also have some places to go.
We are left wondering a few things: 1) Where are they at the end? Is this a SWORD installation in space? 2) With the Inhumans on the run again, will this be how they introduce the new Inhumans show? I’d like to see Daisy make an appearance somehow. 3) Where did Ghost Rider go exactly? and finally 4) Who will be the big bad of season 5?
Time will tell. From what was once a cringeable series, it has now become something I look forward to. It’s not quite up there with Netflix shows, but that’s to be expected. Season 4 gets 4 out of 5 sCrypt ratings from me.
What did you think? Comment below with your thoughts and speculation.
I used to have an artist of the month section on this site, but since then I’ve gotten more away from making comics, and into main publishing and public appearances. During that time I’ve met some really amazing people. There’s such a vast range of talent out there that deserves to have recognition.
That being said, sCrypt Publishing has always been about spreading the talent, so this new “Talent Spotlight” section will include many different people in an interview type form.
If you know of someone who you think should be on this list, please send me an email rickpipito@Hotmail.com Stay tuned, as the first post is coming soon. Oh, and you can still go back and see the past artists who were in the spotlight here.
This is one of those movies where the trailer doesn’t do it justice. I went into this thinking there was going to be a corny forced humor that wouldn’t sit well with an overall semi-serious Marvel Cinematic Universe. I was proven wrong. Is that to say there weren’t some moments like that? No, of course there were, but those moments were done tactfully and worked for the moment.
There will be spoilers from here on out, so if you haven’t seen it yet, you can scroll down to the last paragraph for my rating.
A flashback to 1980 has us seeing a young Kurt Russell and how his character of Ego met StarLord’s mom. I can’t help but notice something here, and let me know if you think the same. In the 80s there was a movie called “Starman.” It was about an alien man who fell in love with a woman and drove cross country with her. At the end of that movie the Starman left and she was assumingly pregnant because of the sexual scenes in it. The movie to me was a good movie, but left too many open ends never to be addressed. The character in Starman was played by Jeff Bridges. Kurt Russell’s younger CGI self looked almost identical to Bridges in that film. I know they are two different universes, but could James Gunn have used this as inspiration to give answers to a film that never gave them? Who knows, but it made it that much more enjoyable for me.
Rocket, Star-Lord, Gamora, and Drax were pretty much spot on with how they were at the end of the last movie. Star-Lord realizing he is part Celestial was worrisome, but what was a risky maneuver of changing his comic book history, really played out well. Toddler Groot was a waste to me. I know it was done for the cute factor, and it made sense as he’s more grown than the end of the last movie. I don’t think any other way would have been good for him to be presented, but at the same time he just felt like he was there. There really wasn’t much for him to do. My main example is the battle in the beginning with the alien squid like creature. All Groot did was dance, like Star Lord did in the opening sequence of the first one, which to me was the worst part of the first movie.
Skipping back to Ego, who was my second biggest concern going into this, we get an actual comic book representation of the character plus more. Ego always fascinated me, and to see that they actually showed his full on form and gave him a good origin, made the film. He was easily my favorite part of the whole movie. Everything about Ego made sense and didn’t feel stale.
The true father figure in Yondu was heartwarming, and I think it was wise to have Yondu sent off that way. Michael Rooker is always enjoyable to watch, but his character’s death brings together what was a falling apart team, and then some. Oh, and he had his longer head fin, which was my gripe about his appearance not having it before.
The Gamora vs Nebula story felt strange in a way. I’m still not sure I believe that Nebula would have spared her sister, but the explanation worked. I just think that she’d have been better beside Thanos during Infinity War than against him.
Taserface was exactly what Rocket pointed him out to be. He was nothing more than that, but served his purpose for humor and the slight bump in the road that he provided.
Finally we get the other characters. A Cameo from Jeff Goldblum’s Grandmaster was only in the scrolling credits, which makes me wonder if he originally had a role in this and in Thor Ragnarok. It was strange placement. Cosmo the Space Dog also only shows up in the scrolling credits. Howard the Duck is present again in another great few seconds of appearance. I love that they do things like this for the fans. The quick spots by David Hasselhoff and Pac-man were silly, but for my generation were great additions.
The post credits scenes were quite a mix. 1) Yondu’s dart impaling Drax by accident was funny, but not really necessary. 2) The reveal of Adam Warlock’s cocoon is huge. Although it was in the last movie as a post credit thing, this time we actually get a good look and confirmation of who is inside. I’m assuming he will start off as a villain for Volume 3. 3) Teenage Groot, while unnecessary, showed purpose. While only a funny throw away, it pretty much confirms that from here on out we will see adult Groot. Teenage Groot was great, but I really think this was done to transition the character. 4) The Ravagers original team headed by Sylvester Stallone was awesome. This sets up a potential union between them and the Guardians for either Infinity War or Guardians 3. If you didn’t know who they were, then the characters (played by well known actors) were: Starhawk, Martinex, Charlie 27, Aleta, Kruggar, and Mainframe.
5) Stan Lee being revealed as one of the Watchers makes a lot of sense, but I feel ripped off. He should have been in Watcher form here like the others. So it begs to question… was he just an informant to the Watchers, or is he an actual Watcher. It’s something that will probably never be addressed again, but time will tell. At least they are tying this in. This also makes for an interesting thought. Watchers can see many realities. This basically says that anything Stan Lee has cameoed in could in some way be tied into the Marvel universe. This includes other studios, versions of characters, etc.
So what did you think? The soundtrack to me wasn’t as good as the first, but is bound to be open to many more things from here on out. Overall it was a very funny, action packed, and visually stunning film that is worthy of being part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. I give it 4.5 out of 5 sCrypt ratings.