Monday, May 30, 2016

Daredevil 2.09

Seven Minutes in Heaven

- lots of Punisher and Kingpin in prison in this one, not much Elektra
- a bit slow and plodding with some moments of action
- in prison, Kingpin's early days are shown, how he tries to lay low at first but then hooks up with some black cons, for protection, but then starts to make moves
- when Punisher arrives Kingpin talks him into going after the guy (the convict) who runs most of the gang activity
- Dutton (played brilliantly by William Forsythe) is the man who runs things; Kingpin convinces Punisher that Dutton was behind the murder of his family
- Punisher goes after Dutton, with some help getting access from Kingpin; he wrecks havoc in Dutton's cell block; it looks like he fatally stabs Dutton but he shows up later on in the prison ICU
- Kingpin turns on Punisher and leaves him locked in Dutton's cell block facing brutal odds against survival but he makes it out alive
- Kingpin then uses his influence to get Punisher out of prison because he sees Castle as more valuable to him on the outside wrecking havoc than in prison doing the same
- Daredevil is on his own for most of the episode and only has two interactions with regular members of the cast: (1) he argues with Elektra (after she heals him) about her hitting the young ninja in Episode 8; she tries to explain to him that they are at war with the Hand but he thinks that they can take it to the police; (2) Foggy comes by after Elektra leaves Matt's apartment; Foggy wants to put their professional an personal relationships on hold
- Karen does some more sleuthing and works with the newspaper editor some more; together they visit the medical examiner
- Daredevil tracks down the Hand's accountant, tries to help him get his son back, faces off against Nobu who was thought to be dead (last season) but Nobu escapes with a large sarcophagus that was being fed by the blood of living people including the accountant's son
- not a great episode but it had it's moments; lots of setup without much payoff
- Frank got out of prison much faster than I thought he would
- Prediction: no more Frank this season; mostly ninjas and Elektra and Stick; Kingpin? naaah...

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Teen Titans 1.07


- Teen Titans vs. Puppet King
- Titans vs. Titans; Boys vs. Girls
- A package with puppets in it is delivered to the Titans Tower; there are 5 puppets, each one resembles one of the Titans
- That night the Puppet King strikes and traps the spirits of Robin, Cyborg, and Beast boy in their puppets; their bodies are then his to control Puppet King tries doing the same to Starfire and Raven but Raven's magic instead causes the Puppet King's spell to make their souls switch bodies
- Much hilarity ensues; this is the best part of the episode; how they deal with one another trapped in the other's body, Raven can't figure out how to make Starfire's powers work, Starfire can't help but use Raven's powers too much; the key to their situation is that Raven needs to be more emotional to get Starfire's powers to work and Starfire needs to calm down in order to get a better hold on Raven's powers
- Raven and Starfire end up having to battle their friends after getting a better hold on their powers; in the end everything gets switched back and Raven and Starfire grow closer

- probably my favorite episode yet, even though it was mostly Raven and Starfire with very little of Cyborg, Robin, and Beast Boy

Friday, May 27, 2016

Legends of Tomorrow 1.15


- A very Star Wars: A New Hope like episode
- Kendra/Chay Ara gets dragged off by Vandal Savage; he claims to have Carter/Khufu but he isn't in this episode
- In 2016 Jackson arrives and finds Dr. Stein; its a little unclear what is achieved here but they spend some time together; Jackson for the most part refuses to talk about the future
- Mick gets brainwashed again into becoming Chronos but that doesn't last too long; once he is armed and equipped he turns on the Time Masters and sides with Rip and Co.
- While captured Rip learns that in about 10 years an invasion from Thanagar will come to Earth and lay it to waste
- The Time Masters believe that Vandal Savage is the only hope for Earth; that's why they've been siding with him; moreover they've been manipulating Rip and Co. to do whatever they want
- Lenard and Sarah break into the prison and almost get snagged themselves but with a big assist from Chronos they escape with the others
- Rip's plan is to destroy the Occulus Wellspring which will cut the Time Masteres off from their source of info; it works but Lenard is killed in the process; at first it looked like it would be Ray who would stay and die and then Mick, before Lenard stepped in and cold cocked his friend and sacrificed himself
- Tractor beam; Lenard's sacrifice; both very Star Wars moments
- The Lenard/Katie relationship moments seemed kind of tacked on and out of nowhere; sure they were friends but I wasn't feeling anything more than that

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Arrow 2.06

Keep Your Enemies Closer

- Oliver, Diggle, Felicity, and Isabel travel to Moscow to rescue Lyla, who in this episode is revealed to Diggle's ex-wife
- Lyla is being kept in a prison or gulag; in order to get her out Diggle gets arrested smuggling drugs and thrown in the same prison; he has a contact on the inside but that part of the plan falls to pieces when the contact is killed by Deadshot
- Diggle has to work with Deadshot, the man who killed his brother, in order to find Lyla and break them all out of prison
- Amanda Waller (much younger and slimmer than in the comics) makes her first appearance and is the one who tells Diggle where Layla is and how she got there
- Ollie's Russian contact is also in the flashbacks on the prison ship
- Deadshot tells Diggle that it wasn't an accident that he killed his brother and that HIVE is the organization behind the contract on his brother's life
- Ollie and Isabel have a quick roll in the hay
- Isabel suspects that Ollie and Felicity have a thing going on; Felicity is hurt when she finds out that Ollie slept with Isabel; they are definitely teasing the idea that Ollie and Felicity should hook up
- Jean Loring, Moira's lawyer, tries to get Thea and Roy to break up for her mother's sake, but Moira steps in and approves of their relationship
- In the flashbacks Ollie gets fooled by Sarah into revealing to Dr. Ivo that Slade and Shado are still alive

Friday, May 20, 2016

Daredevil 2.08

Guilty as Sin

- Foggy and Karen do their best to keep the defense of Frank Castle together but Matt and Frank blow the case wide open and Frank goes to prison
- Matt and Elektra encounter the Hand; Stick shows up to give them a -- er -- help them out, or is it the other way around; Matt learns more about Elektra and her ties to Stick
- not great but not awful; it had its moments but some of them weren't so great
- glad to see Stick back in the story; he really knows how to push Matt's buttons; I don't think we've seen the last of him; he will be back, probably this season
- no great Karen or Foggy moments
- loved seeing Clancy Brown in this episode playing Frank's former commanding officer; doubtful that he will show up again in Daredevil but hopefully in the Punisher series he will
- Karen finally got to meet Elektra, not that she even knew Matt was running around with her
- Elektra sees the good in Matt and wants to be good too but ultimately her true nature shows through as she kills the ninja
- Matt's pollyanish attitude about not using deadly force against the Hand is annoying; he thinks he can have it all his way; seems like he might be headed for a breakdown
- Elektra's reveal that she was working for Stick, when she first met Matt, hit him kind of hard
- just as the 4th episode seemed to end the 1st part of this season, as it ended with the capture of Punisher and the introduction of Elektra, this episode seemed to end the 2nd part of this season, as Frank's trial ends and he heads off to prison and Matt's life seems to be in bad shape as he blows it in court, blows it with Karen, and learns the truth about Elektra

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Legends of Tomorrow 1.14

River of Time

- After leaving the 22nd century for the Vanishing Point, the year 2166 to be precise, the Wave Rider breaks down and the heroes plus Vandal Savage and brainwashed Carter Hall spend most of the episode trapped in the time stream
- Vandal Savage toys with various team members when they visit him in his cell; Vandal Savage taunts Ray Palmer until he opens the cell to fight Vandal Savage; Savage of course beats Palmer and then frees Carter Hall
- Vandal Savage is eventually recaptured, after a fight, just before they arrive at the Vanishing Point, just after Carter regains his memories
- Jackson gets infected with a time disease when he is repairing the time travel drive; his sbody dtarts to age rapidly; in order to save him Dr. Stein puts him in the jump ship and sends him back to 2016
- After they arrive at the Vanishing Point, Rip turns Vandal Savage over to the Time Masters only to discover that they have been working with him all along and they free Vandal Savage and arrest Rip and his friends/team
- not great but better than the previous episode
- We get a few flashbacks to ancient Egypt (1700 BC)
- Vandal Savage reveals to Rip that Rip was the one who gave Vandal Savage the idea to create a time machine
- Jackson is in the past; how he gets cured I don't know but I'll bet he creates a time machine and comes to the rescue in the next episode
- most of the team were shown being captured or arrested at the end of the episode, except Captain Cold and White Canary
- Ray goes through a character moment which doesn't seem entirely genuine in the way it is portrayed; he goes from resenting Carter, because he doesn't want to lose what he has with Kendra, to accepting that he has lost it, in the middle he fights with Vandal Savage

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Teen TItans 1.06


- delves into Raven's background
- mostly just Raven, Beast Boy, Cyborg
- begins with all 5 fighting Dr. Light; Raven snaps and turns dangerously scary during the fight and then again later on back at Titans Tower
- Raven retreats to her room; Cyborg and Beast Boy go to talk to her and winds up traveling through a mirror and into Ravens mind where they meet different facets of her personality
- Cyborg and Beast Boy also meet Raven's father, Trigon, while inside Raven's mind; Trigon is ultimately defeated by Raven after all her personalities merge into one white-cloaked form of herself

- the ravens in R's mind were creepy
- animation looked very polished
- just noticing that six episodes in and still no origin episode; not a problem

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Arrow 2.05

League of Assassins

- Sarah is now allied with Ollie's group; he introduces her to Diggle and Felicity; all of this happens after they (Ollie and Sarah) get attacked by another member of the league who claims to have trained Sarah and Malcolm Merlin
- Sarah fled the league; they want her back and threaten her father's and sister's lives
- Sarah reveals her presence to her father and before it is over kills her former teacher in front of Ollie and her father; Laurel does not learn of Sarah's return and still thinks she is dead
- flashbacks to the boat accident 6 years before and what happened to Sarah afterwards; but it is just a start
- Moira accepts a plea deal to keep her from getting the death sentence but then decides not to accept it after Ollie and Thea reiterate how dedicated to her they are no matter what comes out in the trial
- it is a little weird seeing Sarah 2 and 8 years prior to DC's Legends of Tomorrow; she's a very different character on the newer show

Friday, May 13, 2016

Teen Titans 1.05

The Sum of His Parts

- Cyborg experiences battery failure and before he can get the problem fixed his battery goes dead and he falls into a hole
- he is found by a creature called Fixit which at first glance seems to be all machine, but is later revealed to be partly organic
- Fixit recharges Cyborg's battery but then wants him to stick around so he can do some more work on Cyborg; he wants to replace all of Cyborg's human parts with machine parts
- the other Titans show up to rescue Cyborg but what finally does it, changes Fixit's mind, is what he sees when he attempts to download Cyborg's memories before operating on him; it makes makes Fixit change his mind about operating on Cyborg and wish he were part human
- the Titans also battle a magician named Mumbo, mostly without Cyborg

- definite body horror angle to this one; it wouldn't take much of a turn to make it very icky
- I like the little twists in this one
- the Cyborg part of this episode was much better than the Mumbo part

Captain America: Civil War (2016)

- my favorite of the Cap films; right up there with the first Avengers movie
- great mix of action, humor, and character development
- enjoyed all the fight scenes although I wish they didn't speed them up quite so much
- I thought the opening was in Wakanda and so I was a bit disappointed when Black Panther didn't show up until a little after that was over
- there's a moment in the part when they are chasing Bucky that he grabs a guy's motorcycle as he is going past that was very cool
- Spider-Man was great; I forgot he was in the movie and when Tony Stark went to recruit him I ws confused at first
- Ant-Man was also a lot of fun; and funny

- I have a few nitpicks
- Black Panther seemed a bit like the mystical black person, a lot of the character seemed to be in the tone of voice and the accent the character was using
- the escape at the end was all off camera, WTF?!
- there was a bit of bait and switch with the super-soldiers at the end; it looked like Cap and Bucky were headed for a big fight but Zemo had killed them before they arrived; although I was a bit relieved because I worried that it would be a fight with basically no-name, no-stake baddies

- I didn't think the movie was too long; it needed the character moments in the third act between Tony, Steve, Bucky, and T'Challa
- Don Cheadle wasn't in this movie very much; quite often you just heard his voice because he was in the armor; there was more than one time when both he and Tony were in armor and Tony took his helmet off but Jim did not

Daredevil 2.07

Semper Fidelis

- a bit of misdirection with the title, although Frank (the former Marine) Castle is in it the title seems to be a reference to Matt's relationships with Foggy and Karen from whom he has been concealing Elektra and his activities with her
- Foggy, Matt, and Karen prepare for Frank's defense; Matt is supposed to handle the opening statement for the defense but shows up late because he was up late the night before with Elektra fighting Yakuza
- Foggy stumbles at first but finds his way and does a great job with the opening argument for the defense; Matt shows up halfway through it but Foggy keeps going
- Foggy confronts Matt afterwards in the men's room which is when - no wait - Foggy does confront Matt afterwards and Matt just pledges to do better
- That night Elektra spies on Matt and Karen at his apartment as they prepare for questioning the medical examiner in court the next day; they suspect he also wrote the report on Frank's family and changed the facts; they are hoping he will - or they will - be able to get him to reveal his crime in court but then they get into an argument about vigilantes; Karen seems to be in favor of them and Matt against
- the next day in court the medical examiner reveals that he was threatened by a woman (who Matt knows, who must be Elektra) and his testimony is thrown out which is damning to the defense's case
- Foggy and Matt have it out in the men's room which is when Matt finally tells him that Elektra is back and about what he has been working on with her, and that she is the rich client; Foggy flips out and questions Matt's loyalty to himself and Karen and his dedication to the case
- After the blow up in the courthouse Matt goes out with Elektra to investigate one of the sites in the ledger they stole in episode 6; after fighting some Yakuza they find a seemingly bottomless pit; and that's where it ends
- overall very excited by this episode
- Foggy had another great scene where he rises to the occasion; for the most part I'm not crazy about him but I love him in this kind of scene
- I'm convinced that they are going to lose this case, Frank will go to prison, Frank will break out of prison
- curious about the train full dirt; I think that will reappear; not sure what the deal was
- where is Stick? So wanting him and his boys to appear; where's the Kingpin? He's been mentioned but that's the extent of it

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Legends of Tomorrow 1.13


- probably my least favorite episode since the mid-season break; it feels like they are slowing the show down; still there are some things I like
- Rip & Co. travel to 2160 to try and capture/kill Vandal Savage, which they do but I didn't care for the reason why it was capture instead of kill; the reappearance of Carter (ok) but the whole bit about Vandal Savage being the key to Carter regaining his memories (ugh!); considering how many other impossible situations/problems the team has solved I don't see why they can't work their way through this one without Vandal Savage's help
- Not a fan of giant-sized Atom vs the Leviathan; on the whole not crazy about this villain; very bland
- big fan of Vandal Savage's daughter, Cassandra, her role in this episode, and her relationship with Captain Cold
- I've got a feeling that something is brewing with Dr. Stein getting injured, might lead to him leaving the show at the end of the season; or the reveal that some previously unknown villain is now controlling his mind
- they captured Vandal Savage that easily? really? either poor storytelling or Vandal Savage has something up his sleeve
- not awful but not even close to being my favorite episode

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Arrow 2.04


- finally it is revealed that the mystery woman is Sarah Lance, who everyone thought had died in the same same boating accident that left Ollie stranded on the island for 5 years
- Actually Ollie reveals in this episode that he did see Sarah after the boat went down, a year later after he was captured by the group on the ship
- there are a few threads going through this one
- Ollie trying to help the city, meeting with Alderman Blood (who at the end of the episode is revealed to be Brother Blood)
- Ollie working with Sarah (after he learns her identity) to take down a group of assault weapons wielding thugs led by a man who calls himself the Mayor
- Laurel starting to abuse drugs and alcohol, despite what her father and Ollie try to do to help her
- big reveals at the end regarding Brother Blood and that in the past Sarah was Ollie's torturer (or at least slated to be); in the previous episode it was revealed that she has ties to the League of Assassins
- fun stuff, still very soap opera-ish

Friday, May 6, 2016

Daredevil 2.06

Regrets Only

- two tracks
- Matt and Elektra: first they fight yakuza, they win, then over breakfast Matt tries to get Elektra to leave, she won't, Matt agrees to help her infiltrate Roxxon Corp, they do, steal a ledger and just barely manage to escape
- Foggy, Karen, and Frank: Frank Castle is back in the picture, Nelson and Murdock decides to represent the Punisher, who is facing a death sentence, at first he has no interest in talking to them, but after Karen shows him the picture she took from his home and tells him she knows there is a cover up of the murders of his family he opens up, Foggy gets DA Reyes to agree to reduced charges (no death penalty, one life sentence with the possibility of parole after 25 years, but no protective custody) provided he pleads guilty but he chooses to plead not guilty
- anoter great episode
- didn't expect to see Frank Castle back so soon but I like the two track approach
- expecting now that Frank will go to prison and then escape from prison

Teen Titans 1.04

Forces of Nature

- the Titans clash with Thunder and Lightning, a couple of guys with powers that are appropriate given their names; Thunder and Lightning are just out to have some fun but their reckless ways endanger many lives; in the end they see the error of their ways and help to save the day
- Starfire gets caught in a trap that Beast Boy set for Cyborg; Starfire is not amused and for most of the episode holds a grudge against Beast Boy, eventually she forgives him
- Slade shows up in disguise and eggs Thunder and Lightning into creating a fire monster, inadvertently, which almost destroys the city; Robin and Slade go toe to toe while the other Titans plus Thunder and Lightning are dealing with the fire monster
- a Beast Boy-centric episode
- the highlights were definitely the Beast Boy-Starfire disagreement or feud and Robin fighting Slade for the first time

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Legends of Tomorrow 1.12

Last Refuge

- the team's younger selves are stalked by the Pilgrim after they have been marked for death by the Time Masters
- the twist is that the Pilgrim is trying to kill them by killing their younger selves; which leads the team to save or steal their younger selves, which has repercussions beyond saving themselves from execution
- there are some great character moments in this one: (a) Heatwave first bullying and then trying to talk sense to his younger self, (b) Jackson meeting his father and trying to save him, despite knowing that he was killed just a few weeks after Jackson was born
- a really good episode; I had my doubts going in; I tried not to think too much about the how part of the show; it helped a lot that there was a good amount of focus given to characters, especially Jackson and Heatwave, interacting in moving ways

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Arrow 2.03

Broken Dolls

- Best episode of the season, so far
- Lots going on but at least this ones seemed to have an A plot, with lots of other interesting stuff going on
- A Plot: A serial killer from Officer Lance's past returns, the Dollmaker (reminds me of the serial killer from the the Harry Bosch novels); not a great villain but I loved (a) seeing Arrow and Lance working together, and (b) the way it was shot; compelling
- B Plot: Moira is on trial, possibly faces the death penalty but seems to accept her fate; hints that there is more that she knows which has not been revealed yet
- C Plot: Black Canary; who is she? Laurel missing and presumed dead sister? was this the first mention of Ra's Al Ghul and the League of Assassins?
- D Plot: On the island (in the past) Ollie and Slade are attacked and taken prisones
- Officer Lance finally becomes interesting
- Roy, Diggle, Felicity, Thea are also in this one
- the serial killer was very creepy; especially the way he was killing his victims; I thought at first that Thea would be the one he threatened, and for a moment it looked like it would be Felicity, but in the end it was Laurel which made sense since she is the daughter of the man who got him locked up