Monday, October 31, 2016

Halt and Catch Fire 2.05

Extract and Defend

- Donna and Gordon have secrets that they haven't revealed to one another; he learns from his doctor that he has brain damage which will likely get worse; she is pregnant; he has yet to tell anyone; she ends up telling Boz after he finds a home pregnancy test kit and confides in her that he thinks Cameron is pregnant; this situation is a time bomb; it is just a matter of when it will explode; it is kind of sad watching Gordon go through his day after he learns what is wrong with him as he tries to connect with others (Donna, their daughters, his mother-in-law) but can't seem to find the wherewithal to tell anyone
- Gordon reveals to Donna who then shares with Cameron that Joe is the one helping them with bandwidth; this does not go over well with Cameron, who then has to meet with Joe and his future father-in-law; the meeting goes reasonably well but it does not heal the schism between Joe and Cameron
- Boz seems a bit like a fish out of water; his credit card is declined while he is on a date and he has to turn to Cameron for help; he tries to get Mutiny running more efficiently but ends up pissing off Cameron
- it is starting to look like I was way off base when I wondered if Tom was gay as he and Cameron are shown in bed together in this episode; I do wonder about the longevity of their relationship, especially after seeing on imdb how many total episodes his character is around for; one of the other employees of Mutiny is accidentally outed as being gay which leads to a very awkward moment where nobody knows what to say; it definitely could have gone worse than it did
- things are not good between Joe and his fiancee; Sara is concerned about Joe becoming too close to her father; her father wants him to sign a pre-nuptial agreement
- I'm still very engaged by this show; I really enjoy seeing how the different relationships are playing out

Frasier 1.02

Space Quest

- Frasier is still adjusting to having his father and Dafne live with him and can't seem to get the peace and quiet he craves at home
- first appearance of Bulldog, the sports talk radio host who works at the same station as Frasier
- Niles still has yet to meet Dafne
- solidly good and lives up to my memories of it, although I'm not sure I was watching the show when it first started airing in 1993

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Star Trek: The Next Generation 5.23

I, Borg

- A lone Borg survivor of a crash landing is found and brought back to the Enterprise; at first he sticks to his programming but through his interactions with members of the crew, especially Commander La Forge and Doctor Crusher, he starts to break from his programming and begins to think as an individual
- In the process of repairing Hugh, the Borg whose original designation was Third of Five, Geordi implants in him a program that contains a paradox; Captain Picard's hope is that the program will be propagated to the Borg Collective and eventually destroy them from within
- As Hugh seems more like an individual Commander La Forge and Captain Picard, among others, start to have their doubts about the ethics of returning him to the Borg Collective; Hugh seems to have bonded to some degree with Geordie and expresses a desire to stay on the Enterprise but ultimately opts to be returned to the crash site where a Borg rescue team can find him because he doesn't want harm to come to Geordie

- I love the idea of what is proposed here in terms of a solution to the problem of the Borg but I'm not sure if it ever bore fruit or was ever mentioned again
- possibly the most impressive aspect of this episode is the evolution of the opinions of the crew members (Picard, La Forge, Crusher, Guinan) who come in contact and interact with the Borg on a meaningful level; most of them start resistant to the idea that Third of Five, later Hugh, is an individual who is capable of feelings and emotions and should be being treated fairly; it isn't just their interactions with Hugh but also their interactions with one another as they consider the implications of their actions
- excellent episode although it does end on a somewhat muted tone

Third Rock from the Sun 4.04

Collect Call for Dick

- Dick starts collecting Fuzzy Buddies, toys that are given away in fast food meals, after learning how much they are worth; this quickly spins out of control as he spends more and more money on Fuzzy Buddies
- The Rutherford High basketball coach notices that Tommy is studying instead of cheering at a basketball game and does what he can to teach him a lesson about pep; this leads to Tommy becoming the school mascot for pep rallies and basketball games

- I loved this episode when it first came out; I still like it a lot; what I remembered most was the Dick's part of the story which was in part a commentary on the Beanie Baby craze of the time

Samurai Jack 2.11

XXIV: Jack Is Naked

- Jack bathes after getting muddy battling a swamp creature; his sword and clothes are stolen by a white rabbit; naked, he chases the rabbit but falls down a hole
- Jack unknowingly assumes the identity of a burglar after taking the man's clothes which leads to further complications when he is spotted by an angry mob who mistake him for the burglar; after another change of clothing Jack winds up on stage looking very much like Alice from Alice in Wonderland; later he winds up on a train after spotting the white rabbit boarding the train
- this is a wonderfully wacky episode; there are lots of little moments in  it that I like and I love the overall sense of whimsy; loved the desperation on Jack's face when he tries to control the flying train using the track ball
- Aku, or something that looks like Aku, make a brief appearance but other than that this episode has little to nothing to do with the central of the series; there is no magic portal that Jack is questing for; it is all about tracking down the white rabbit and getting back his sword and his clothes

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Luke Cage 1.05

Just to Get a Rep

- Cottonmouth is still short on money and sends his men out to shakedown Harlem for money; Luke strikes back at Cottonmouth and his men which leads to a confrontation at the club; Cottonmouth and Shades get to see first hand that Luke Cage is bulletproof; Shades also finally recognizes him as the man he once knew as Carl Lucas in Seagate Prison
- Claire Temple (Rosario Dawson) makes her first appearance on Luke Cage; she previously encountered Cage in season 1 of Jessica Jones; Claire goes to visit Soledad (Sonia Braga), her mother, but doesn't have any encounters with Cage; based on what I'm seeing on imdb it looks like she appears in almost all of the remaining episodes of this season; based on the conversations she has with her mother it seems she has lost her job at the hospital and is edging closer to becoming Night Nurse
- Misty Knight learns that Detective Scarfe, her partner, is under investigation by Internal Affairs from Captain Audrey (Sonja Sohn); she refuses to consider that he might have done anything illegal and disputes the captain's suggestions about Scarfe
- At the funeral for Pops both Luke and Cottonmouth speak, but not in that order; the crowd seems to respond positively to Cottonmouth but Luke is the only one to get a rousing ovation
- Shades tells Cottonmouth about a weapon that could probably take down Cage but the cost is prohibitively expensive; considering Cottonmouth's cash shortage since Luke

- this is not a straight-up superhero show; I have to wonder if that is why some people don't like it although usually the complaint seems to be that these Netflix runs just a bit too long and should be 10 episodes instead of 13; either way I'm still intrigued and still interested in watching more
- it helps a great deal that they've got two great performances from the guys playing the parts of Cottonmouth (Mahershala Ali) and Shades (Theo Rossi)

Frasier 1.01

The Good Son (Pilot)

- sets the scene for the series and for the first season
- Frasier has moved from Boston to Seattle, his hometown; he anticipates living a solitary life but that dream quickly dies; all of the supporting cast (Roz, Niles, Martin, Dafney) are introduced, each in their own little scene
- it is a bit rushed but it works; there were some genuinely funny scenes but there were also some that were filled with canned laughter that were not quite so funny

- I loved watching this show when it first aired back in the 1990s although I don't think I stuck with it for more than the first 2-3 years; I love how the humor varies from high brow to low brow
- it was listening to Iliza Shlesinger's podcast conversations with Jane Leeves and Peri Gilpin that reminded me of how much I enjoyed watching this show 20 years ago and made me think I should give it another try

Friday, October 28, 2016

Across the Universe (2007)

- tried watching this once before a few years ago  and probably didn't get more than a half hour into it before giving up; I wish I could say that I was wrong for giving up so quickly but I still was less than impressed with the movie on the whole
- the good parts are some of the musical numbers, but the ones that I really liked probably account for 20-25 percent of the total number; there was the occasional innovative moment or performance but for the most part I was unimpressed
- the story left a lot to be desired; it felt very choppy and episodic; I didn't feel particularly attactched to or interested in what happened to any of the characters
- I'm glad that I finally sat down and watched the whole movie; it probably took me about 6-8 sittings to get through it all; I was a fan of the Beatles music when I was growing up; I only had two of their albums (both on cassette) which I bought around 1980: Revolver and the Blue Album; I listened to them religiously for years; there were a number of songs from those albums in the movie plus some others that weren't but that I was familiar with and a few that I didn't know at all; I can't see myself watching this movie again in its entirety but I might go back and watch clips of some of the performances that I did like

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Rick and Morty 2.03

Auto Erotic Assimilation

- Rick runs into a former lover, Unity, while traveling with his grandchildren, Autumn and Morty; Unity is an entity that assimilates others; Rick throws himself into giving his relationship with Unity and the people of the planet it has assimilated another try; this has unfortunate effects on Unity
- Autumn objects to Unity and what it is up to, assimilating, until she sees the impact of freeing people from Unity's control when a race war breaks out; Morty is usually the one to object to something like Unity but in this case he cautions Autumn against disrupting the status quo
- Meanwhile back on Earth, Jerry and Beth discover Rick's secret underground lair beneath their garage where Rick has a captive alien creature; I love how they are totally nonplused by the alien in the secret underground lair because they are arguing so much
- the episode ends in a weird, not-typical place after their relationship ends Rick leaves Unity and goes back to Earth in a funk; I suppose that everything has returned to the way it was but Rick really seems to be depressed over the breakup which leaves me wondering if Unity will show up again or at the very least the breakup will get referenced in future episodes as a turning point for Rick
- overall a fun episode; Rick is his usual debaucherous self until the end of the episode; for the first time this season Autumn is the one trying to change the status quo and "make things right" while Morty is the cautious voice warning her against the possible implications of getting what she think is right, a role usually played by Rick

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Flash 1.04

Going Rogue

- Felicity (from Arrow) comes to Central City to see Barry; Iris does what she can to push Barry to get something going with Felicity but unbeknownst to Iris, Felicity isn't the one that Barry really has eyes for
- a new villain appears on the scene, Captain Cold; he doesn't have superpowers of his own but he does have a super powerful weapon, a cold gun, which was stolen from STAR Labs; the gun was invented by Cisco; having already seen season 1 of Legends of Tomorrow I knew more or less what to expect from Captain Cold so no surprises there
- Joe continues to have problems with Iris dating his partner although by the end of the episode he seems a little more accepting of their relationship that he was in the beginning; there are some great comedic moments when Eddie tries talking to Joe about Iris and Joe doesn't want to have anything to do with it; once again Jessie L. Martin nails it and adds that touch of reality that the show needs
- Captain Cold gets away in the end and the final scene doesn't involve Dr Wells; instead the final features Captain Cold and someone in the shadows who has to be Heat Wave; although it is hard to tell if it is the same actor doing that scene that will play Heat Wave later on (Dominic Purcell) according to IMdb it is the same actor
- Barry and Felicity finally kiss at the end of the episode although it doesn't seem much more than friendly
- all in all a really good episode

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Halt and Catch Fire 2.04

Play with Friends

- Joe tries to lure Gordon into working with him on a project at his future father-in-law's company; Gordon goes along with Joe's idea but only after some negotiations about how the work will proceed; Gordon is hoping that his efforts will help raise mutiny after he almost destroyed their network in the previous episode.
- Donna and Cameron continue to squabble over the Community application after the network crashed; the usage of the Community application continues to outpace the growth or recovery of users on the game platform which Donna heralds as a reason to keep it but Cameron fails to see the value of Community until she finally gives it a try and then inadvertently posts something snarky about Donna for everyone to see
- Boz starts working for Mutiny; his first job is (in the wake of the network's meltdown) reaching out to some of their most active users but soon thereafter Cameron enlists him to try and get the company into better shape since they are so cash poor that they can't afford to pay their employees
- Gordon collapses while working on the mainframe for Joe; he shrugs it off but I'm starting to wonder if it isn't connected to the nose bleed from the first episode of the season
- Tom and Cameron kiss; I was starting to wonder if he was gay; at first I thought I saw a spark between the two of them but then there was nothing and I started to read him as possibly being gay; now I'm a bit disappointed that he isn't but maybe he is and this is just a phase; I hate it when people assume that somebody is gay just because they don't date or show interest in members of the opposite sex frequently; there was more to my assumption of his sexual preference than the fact that he didn't seem to be interested in Cameron after they first met; it had a lot to do with the way he acted, dressed, and didn't seem to want to be one of the guys at Mutiny, until towards the end of this episode
- at the very end of the episode Donna is locked in the bathroom with what I'm guessing is a 1980s style home pregnancy test; this of course comes after Cameron's snarky message board comment about her getting saddled with two kids; if she is pregnant, whether she chooses to keep the baby or not, whether she is able to keep it or has a miscarriage, there is lots of fodder for future episodes in this development
- another great episode; I keep getting sucked in; I don't love everything about it; there is a scene where the gang at mutiny are playing a game in the house that is similar to the game that she wants to create for the network; the way that it is shot just didn't speak to me, although it was pretty clear what they were doing
- you couldn't pay me enough to stop watching this show

Monday, October 24, 2016

Easy 1.05

Art and Life

- Jacob (Marc Maron) is a comic book artist in the mold of Maron even though Maron isn't a comic book artist; Jacob writes semi-autobiographical books, the latest of which (Obscurity) angers one of his ex-wives because he mined their relationship for material when it came to creating the book
- at a book signing he meets Allison (Emily Ratajkowski), a young grad student who then takes pictures of herself and him in his apartment while he is sleeping; after she displays the pictures in a gallery he feels violated
- this is a story of an older man feeling taken advantage of by a younger woman only to realize that what she has done to him is what he does to other people in his life; it felt a little too neat and compact or maybe that's just the way that I've summed it up
- I'm not interested in watching any more of this series; I can't find enough here to keep my interest

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Samurai Jack 2.10

XXIII: Jack vs. Demongo, the Soul Collector

- Aku summons Demongo, one of his disciples, a demon, and sends him on a mission to capture Samurai Jack; Demongo uses the souls he has stolen from warriors he has defeated to battle Jack; Demongo has the upper hand until Jack finds a way to free the souls that Demongo holds captive; once freed the warriors turn on Demongo
- this episode lacked a setting of note; not all episodes have one but most of my favorites have one; this one took place in a desert with no apparent native flora or fauna; there were no other people in the episode other than the ones mentioned above; my recollection is that none of the warriors had any lines
- not a bad episode but it didn't really stand out either

Friday, October 21, 2016

Luke Cage 1.04

Step into the Arena

- Luke works to get himself and Mrs. Lin out from the rubble of the building that Cottonmouth destroyed with a rocket at the end of the last episode but the bulk of this episode is focused on Luke's past: his life in Seagate Prison, how he met his wife, how he got his superpowers, and his early encounters with Shades
- there's some information dropped about Cage that I did not know: he is a former policeman or law enforcement officer; Luke Cage is not the name he was born with (Carl) but the name he adopts after he gains his powers and breaks out of prison; although his law enforcement career would seem to be a liability in prison I can't recall any negative reprecussions specifically because of that
- I did not recognize or remember Reva Connors, his future wife, from her appearances in Jessica Jones; I don't think she had many lines in those 3 episodes of Jessica Jones; she played a significant role in this episode
- Aside from Shades there are only two other prisoners who are named; one is Comanche, the enforcer who together with Shades beats Carl almost to death; the other is Squabbles, who arrives at Seagate at the same time as Carl, is a repeat offender, and becomes his (sorta) sidekick
- loved the moment, and it was only a moment, when he looked very much like he did back in the day with the tiara, bracelets, yellow shirt, and green pants
- the prison doctor who tries using some super technology to heal him is played by an actor who played a lawyer on the Wire

- I know I'm missing some hip hop references on this show; I'm enjoying the music but I don't know most of the artists or tracks; when I googled the name of this episode I discovered that it is also the name of a track by Gang Starr, am artist that I am familiar with by name only
- I don't get the criticisms about the show moving too slowly; I wouldn't say it is fast paced but I like the pacing so far; I remember hearing the same sort of comments about Jessica Jones; I think most of these comments come from people who binge watch these shows
- overall I think this is a good episode; I think I would still say that season 1 of Jessica Jones is my favorite of the Marvel Netflix shows but I am enjoying season 1 of Luke Cage and plan to continue watching

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Flash 1.03

Things You Can't Outrun

- Barry battles a new super-villain, the Mist, who is looking to revenge on the people who led to his death sentence; he isn't back from the dead; he never died; instead he gained superpowers the night of his execution which was the same night that Barry got his superpowers
- Caitlin confronts her fear and visits the spot where Ronnie, her fiancee, was killed; his death had been mentioned before but in this episode they show some flashbacks; Ronnie is played by Robbie Amell, who has to be Stephen (Arrow) Amell's brother because he looks a lot like him
- Iris and Eddie finally tell Joe that they are dating, although he claims to have known about it, which isn't all that outrageous a claim considering how they almost get caught by him early in the episode
- there a visit to Iron Heights Prison where Henry Allen, Barry's father makes another appearance; he sees the Flash but it isn't clear if he is able to tell that it is Barry; he does get a quick look at his masked face just before Barry starts vibrating at super-speed to blur his features
- overall a great episode; so far I don't have any complaints; I like the show much more than Arrow; Jesse L. Martin who plays Joe West is a big part of that but the entire cast is good to great
- I was a little disappointed that Barry didn't use his super-speed effectively in an offensive way against the Mist but I guess it will take time for him to learn some tricks
- once again the episode ends with a cryptic scene involving Dr. Wells which this time hints that he is responsible for the accident that gave Barry his superpowers
- hungry for more

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Easy 1.01

The F**king Report

- Man and woman, married with two young kids, try to spice up their sex lives on Halloween after hearing about a report on sex between married couples where the woman is the primary bread winner.
- Humorous? Yes. A bit cliched? Yes.
- Not bad but it just didn't seem all that special
- I would have passed on this series but what got my interest is that Marc Maron is in it, but now that I have looked at the IMdb page for this series I can see that he only shows up in one episode and none of the actors shows up in more than two episodes; this looks like it is an anthology-type series; I probably should just watch the episode that Maron is in and leave it at that

Monday, October 17, 2016

Halt and Catch Fire 2.03

The Way In

- there's a whole going on in this episode
- Joe goes to his fiancee's father to complain about the inefficiencies in the department he works in; Mr. Wheeler gives him the department and permission to restructure it as he sees fit; that is such a simplistic explanation of what happens, it is really how this comes to pass and how it is portrayed that make it so good to watch
- Joe and Sara invite Gordon and Donna over for dinner; things go well enough but while they are having fun a computer virus hits Mutiny; Cameron is forced to shut everything down; she tried calling Donna but when she heard Joe's voice on the line she froze
- Boz sees his ex-wife, who doesn't want him to show up at their son's wedding or the rehearsal dinner; Boz manages to get his son's attention and get a moment alone with him but it is a bit bittersweet; I love the way this part of the episode unfolds; it isn't clear what is happening until it happens
- Cameron's new hire, Tom, isn't playing ball; he seems to have nothing but negative things to say about Cameron's new chapter to Mutiny's big game, Parallax; but he is there for Cameron when she has a meltdown moment near the end of the episode
- Gordon is bored; his boredom leads him to do something destructive in the name of innovation; his act is not well received by others once they learn what he did; honest mistake? no it seems more like carelessness on Gordon's part

- this feels like an inbetweener but it has so many great moments in it, lots of which occur without dialogue or at least with moments that unfold in part or in whole visually; I don't feel short changed at all; things are definitely in flux; I definitely want to stay on this ride

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Third Rock from the Sun 4.03

Feelin' Albright

- Mary tries to keep Dick happy by pandering to him, it works for a while but in the end he sees what she is up to and calls foul
- Sally insists on tracking down Don's former girlfriends
- Harry and Tommy decided to open up a lemonade stand

- better than average episode
- Dick's and Sally's stories get the bulk of the spotlight and both shine; love how the show uses their insecurities to create comedy
- the fashion show scene was much funnier than I imagined it would or even could be

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Samurai Jack 2.09

XXII: Jack and the Hunters

- Aku engages (hires doesn't seem like the right word here since they won't accept pay) a foursome of hunters from a distant planet to hunt and capture Jack for him; the hunters are called Imakandi in the episode but in the credits they are just referred to as aliens; their leader, the only one who speaks is named Lionor in the credits
- the first third of the episode is given to a demonstration of the hunters' prowess as they stalk a hapless group of grazing creatures on what is presumably their home planet
- after they accept Aku's challenge to capture Jack they travel to earth by mystical means and land in a big city; the rest of the episode focuses on their attempt to capture Jack; they track him throughout the city; the climax of the hunt is a sequence that takes at the very top of the city; in the end the hunters are successful but then refuse to turn Jack over to Aku
- so many things to love about this episode; much of it is wordless and visual; there is little that is played for laughs; the elevator chase scene was great; the scene at the top of the city made me think of Cloud City in Empire Strikes Back even though is didn't really resemble it all that much; the arrow that became a snake made me think of Conan the Barbarian movie
- definitely a superior episode and worth watching if one is just skimming through and not watching every episode of the show; one of the more intelligently devised episodes

Amanda Knox (2016)

- I watched this primarily because they discussed it on a recent episode of the Crime Writers On podcast (which I have not listened to yet) but also because there was something about this case that I found interesting; I recall reading about this case in the past but had not heard anything about it recently
- to put it succinctly this movie is about Amanda Knox, the young American woman who in 2007 along with her Raffaele Sollecito, her boyfriend at the time, was accused and convicted of murdering Meredith Kercher, her British roommate, when they were both living in Perugia, Italy; the case was appealed and after spending 4 years in prison Amanda and Raffaele were acquitted
- Rody Guede, in a separate trial, was accused and convicted of the murder of Meredith Kercher; he is still in prison serving out a 16 year prison term
- Amanda and Raffaele were acquitted because upon closer examination the DNA evidence the prosecutor used to make his case was contaminated and inconclusive, although there was evidence to suggest that more than one person was involved in the murder
- Unfortunately the movie isn't about the murder case but is about Amanda, but there it falls short of providing a picture of who she is; a good deal of the movie is given to discussing the case and showing images from the crime scene; in the end the movie seems very inconclusive
- a number of people were interviewed for the documentary but the four primary interview subjects are Amanda, Raffaele, the lead prosecutor, and a British journalist

Links: imdbCrime Writers On

Friday, October 14, 2016

Luke Cage 1.03

Who's Gonna Take the Weight?

- as this season (and I use the term lightly because season isn't the right word to describe a show that drops 13 episodes on the same day) unfolds, as the story unfolds it seems to be revolving around three characters: Luke Cage, Misty Knight, and Cottonmouth; I'm enjoying watching them evolve although Misty Knight is the one that I find the most interesting; she seems to be caught somewhere in the middle unlike Cage and Cottonmouth
- Luke decides to hit Cottonmouth where it will hurt him the most, in his wallet
- Misty first suspects that Cage is behind the killing of Pops because of his proximity to Pops and Cottonmouth; later, after Luke busts up Crispus Attucks and leaves most of the money behind, she suspects he is responsible for that too; slowly she starts to come around to the idea that maybe Luke is a good guy
- Cottonmouth has a lot on his hands; first some of his boys get hit; then he gets a not so friendly visit from Domingo; then everything really take a turn for the worst after his big stash at Crispus Attucks gets hit; when he gets the news that Cage is behind it all he takes some drastic measures that I wasn't expecting
- the critical scene with Detective Scarfe and Chico is the only scene that I can think of that doesn't involve one of the three mentioned above; I wasn't surprised by what happened to Chico, but I was a bit stunned by the way it happened
- the very last scene also left me a bit stunned; I was expecting something but not that something and not something that extreme

- once again the music was great
- not as crazy about this episode as I was the last one but I'm still hungry for more

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Flash 1.02

Fastest Man Alive

- Barry starts experiencing fainting spells after using his super speed; after some analysis by the scientists at STAR Labs it becomes clear that he needs to considerably more in order to compensate for the energy he expends when he uses his super power
- Iris confronts Barry about what he is hiding from her; he manages to evade the question throughout the episode but I've got a feeling that eventually she is going to learn his secret; I'm also pretty sure that Eddie, her current boyfriend is going to turn out to be or become a super-villain; it is obvious that Barry has a major crush on Iris and can't bring himself to say anything; I assume that eventually that's going to change; at the very least I don't expect her to stay with Eddie after he is revealed to be a super-villain
- Detective West is the only person outside of STAR Labs who knows Barry's secret; at first he questions Barry's decision to become a crime fighter; later he acknowledges the need for Barry to use his abilities to fight crime and agrees to help Barry solve the mystery of who really killed his mother; the scenes with Barry and Detective West were all excellent; Detective West is probably my favorite character on the show right now
- Multiplex, the super-villain of this episode, is one I remember vaguely from the comic books; he has the ability to many multiple copies of himself; he tries to murder his former employer, Simon Stagg, but is stopped by the Flash; I have my doubts as to whether Multiplex is really dead; maybe the body was just one of his duplicates
- there is a reference to Ronnie Raymond (Firestorm) and his death in an explosion
- Simon Stagg and Java are a couple more characters from the comic books, who I believe originally appeared in stories of Metamorpho; Rex Mason was the boyfriend of Stagg's daughter, Sapphire, before he was turned into Metamorpho
- I'm not so crazy about the flashback scenes; they help to color things in a little bit but they also felt a bit unnecessary
- overall a really good episode; I love how they are pulling things in from the comic books and also changing the things they pull in; on the whole, so far I have no real complaints or misgivings about the show and the way they are handing the material

Rick and Morty 2.02

Mortynight Run

- Rick sells a weapon to an assassin and then using the money takes Morty to play video games; Morty can't abide with that decision and while Rick is playing games he goes to stop the assassin; Morty accidentally kills the assassin and then frees the creature the assassin was sent to kill, a sentient cloud of gas; Morty almost gets himself killed until Rick shows up to help out, even though he is pissed at Morty for doing what he did
- Rick drops Jerry, his son-in-law and Morty's dad, off at an interdimensional daycare center that he (or one of his counterparts from another dimension) set up specifically to care for the various iterations of his son-in-law; Jerry meets many versions of himself including some that that are very much like him and some that are not so much
- the crux of the episode is that Rick is fine with selling weapons which will be used to kill people and Morty is morally opposed to it; in the end Morty kills intentionally because if he doesn't things will get much worse
- loved the trippy musical moments and the overall arc of the this episode

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Halt and Catch Fire 2.02

New Coke

- Joe takes a job working for Sara's father; Joe's expectation is that he will be starting at the top but Mr. Wheeler (James Cromwell) has other plans for him; he winds up in the basement working on a project to digitize the company's records; his new coworkers have no idea who his girlfriend is and he does nothing to illuminate them
- Gordon grows bored at home; goes to see the doctor and learns that the nose bleed may be due his cocaine habit that he developed when he was still working at Cardiff; he claims that he doesn't have a habit; he also starts playing some of Mutiny's games, discovers some bugs, and starts proposing solutions
- Boz winds up being the butt of a number of practical jokes; he doesn't feel at home at Mutiny and lets Cameron know that he is going to need some time
- Cameron and Donna try to secure some VC capital and track down a hacker who has broken into their mainframe and found ways to do things that they didn't even know were possible; they don't make any  progress on the VC funding front but after a couple confrontations with the hacker they wind up hiring the him; Donna and Cameron's working relationship seems to backslide a little bit as they don't do a very good job of communicating with one another but in the end they still seem to be on speaking terms

- still loving it, this show that is; I was never into computers the way that the people on this show are but the fact that I was using some of these machines and learning about them at the same time that the show takes places gives it some special meaning to me
- it doesn't hurt that I am impressed with all the main characters and enjoy seeing their stories unfold

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Third Rock from the Sun 4.02

Power Mad Dick

- Dick gets a little out of hand after Mary gets a promotion; he acts as though he is the one who got promoted and fires Lucille the lunch lady
- Sally and Don finally have sex, it is Sally's first time; Tommy, Dick, and Harry want details afterwards but Sally doesn't want to talk about it

- not a bad episode but not a particularly good one either; if not for John Lithgow's silly performance in this one I probably wouldn't have liked it much at all

Monday, October 10, 2016

Falling Down (1993)

- even though the poster for this movie only features Michael Douglas this movie is as much about Los Angeles Police Detective Pendergast (Robert Duvall) as it is about Michael Douglas' character who is only credited as D-FENS in the end credits (which is his license plate number) but who's name is revealed to be Bill Foster in the course of the movie
- the back stories for both men are slowly revealed as the movie unfolds
- D-FENS is a disgruntled man who has gotten fired from his job and can't seem to accept for the world for what it is; he seems to believe fiercely in a version of the American dream which leads him do things such as smash up a convenience store when he feels he is being overcharged for a can of Coke and pull a gun at a fast food restaurant when they refuse to serve him breakfast after 11:30 AM
- Pendergast is about to retire and move from Los Angeles to Arizona; he seems devoted to his wife but doesn't seem to know how to stand up to her; he had a daughter who dies when she was very young; he gets badgered quite a bit by his coworkers because it is his last day on the job
- in a big way the movie seems to be about how one reacts to the pressures that he or she encounters on a daily basis and at pivotal times in their lives; both D-FENS and Pendergast seem like before the movie started they were the quiet reserved type who kept their emotions in check; D-FENS gets off that track at the beginning of the movie and never gets back on it; Pendergast does his best to stay on the track but in the end in a telephone encounter with his wife, with how he deals with a coworker who insults his wife, and how he deals with D-FENS jumps off the track at least temporarily to deal with the situation at hand
- most of the humor in the movie or at least the more memorable humorous moments seem to involve D-FENS and the culture shock he experiences as the day progresses
- it isn't until the last ten minutes of the movie that D-FENS and Pendergast finally meet
- the supporting cast includes Barbara Hershey (as D-FENS ex-wife), Tuesday Weld as Pendergast's wife, and Rachel Ticotin as his partner
- the movie opened stronger than it closed, not a great movie but a solidly good one in my book; I was more impressed with Michael Douglas' performance than I was with Robert Duvall's

Samurai Jack 2.08

XXI: Jack and the Farting Dragon

- Jack comes across a village that is being assaulted by noxious clouds of gas; the gas is emanating from a nearby mountain; Jack scales the mountain and finds a dragon which can't seem to control it's noxious emissions and asks for Jack's help
- Jack enters the dragon through it's mouth and goes on a fantastic voyage-type journey through the beast's body until he discovers the source of the problem an egg which contains a tiny fragon that is blowing fire inside the larger dragon's body

- not a great episode, but not a bad one either; definitely not high brow; not as pretty or poetic as some other episodes
- Clancy Brown is the voice of the dragon

Friday, October 7, 2016

Luke Cage 1.02

Code of the Streets

- Pops talks Luke into finding Chico; Luke tries to talk Chico returning; Chico isn't interested in doing that until after he has some time to think about it; Turk, who has been hanging at Pops Barber Shop, spots Chico and tells Tone, Cottonmouth's right hand man; Tone takes matters into his own hands and lights up Pops Barber Shop'; Luke survives but Chico and Pops are killed; before Pops dies Luke swears to him, something, but it was unclear what exactly it was that he was swearing
- there's so much more to this episode than that last paragraph; Misty Knight finally gets properly introduced; I'm pretty certain now that her name was not mentioned in the last episode
- loved the hoops shooting scene; love how the camera followed the shots to show they were for real
- Misty definitely didn't look as shiny as she did in the previous episode, which makes sense considering that in this one she was on the job in all her scenes and not hanging out at a nightclub
- once again overall the production values on this show were very high
- maybe it is just this episode but this season is starting to feel like a noir story, the sort of noir story where someone gets pulled into settling a score that wasn't originally their own, which is exactly the direction the story seems to be headed
- there was a discussion at the beginning, in the barber shop, about crime noir novelists some of whom I have read (Chester Himes, George Pelecanos, Walter Mosley) and some that I have not (Dennis Lehane, Donald Goines, Richard Price).

- This might be my favorite Marvel/Netflix series; up to now it was Jessica Jones but two episodes in Luke Cage is giving JJ a run for the money
- I was very impressed with the way that this episode built on what happened in the previous one

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Flash 1.01


- good tight origin episode, which re-introduces Barry Allen (who first appeared in two episodes of Arrow) and the rest of the supporting cast of the show
- Barry Allen is struck by lightning one night while working in the lab; he crashes into a shelf full of chemicals and then goes into a coma; he wakes up 9 months later to discover he can move really fast
- his back story (which looks to be crucial to season-long story arc) is that when he was 11 his father was sent to jail for murdering his mother; he knows that his father is innocent but still isn't sure who is to blame; his father has been in prison since then; Barry was adopted by Joe West, who is a friend of the family and a police officer
- by the end of the first episode Joe knows about Barry's powers after witnessing him take down a superpowered criminal; there is also a team of three scientists at STAR Labs who also know about Barry's powers, one of whom has some secrets of his own

- all in all a great episode; considerably more fun than the last couple episodes I watched of Arrow
- the special effects are great
- I like how this episode sets the table for the season ahead

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Arrow 2.11

Blind Spot

- Definite inbetweener; there was a lot more plot fast forward than I care for in this episode; lots of developments, but no time to breathe
- Laurel is an addict and gets framed by Sebastian Blood; Blood then manages to convince Ollie that Laurel was nuts to think that he is the villain behind the mask
- Roy tries out his new super strength on a street level villain of the week and almost kills the baddie
- Deathstroke returns to mentor Blood
- I always loved the way Brother Blood was depicted in the comics; I'm less than crazy about the way he is being played in the TV show; he's just a little too silly for me to take seriously; it's apparent that he is a big part of the season long arc but I just don't like him on the tv show
- on the whole there's just way too much that they are packing in to this season; it needs to be tighter and more focused than it is; I lack to see the benefits of trying to fit quite so much into this season
- not sure I want to stick with this season; if I can I might just watch a few of the remaining 12 episodes in this season and then move on

Monday, October 3, 2016

Halt and Catch Fire 2.01


- a couple years have passed in the show since season 1 ended
- Cameron and Donna are still in business but it looks like something is getting ready to give; Mutiny, their company, is skating on thin ice; Cameron doesn't want to take charge; Donna is getting tired of cleaning up after other employees; things get a little contentious between the two of them until they bond over getting back at someone who scams them
- Gordon gets a big payout after Cardiff shuts down for good; later he gets a nosebleed which he shrugs off; I've got a feeling it is going to turn out to be something more serious than just a nosebleed
- Joe has moved on and moved to Austin; he isn't with Cameron anymore; he has met another woman, a reporter named Sara; he is expecting to get a similar payout to Gordon but doesn't because he pissed off the owner of Cardiff Electric one too many times; he was counting on that money to start a new company; I've got a feeling he's going to go back to Gordon and try and get him to invest in his idea for his new company
- John who went to jail at the end of season 1 gets out at the end of this episode; as I recall he took the fall for something that Cameron did; she's the one who meets him when he gets released

- it started a little slow but by the end of the episode I was eager to see more; it has been about 10-11 months since I watched season 1; I didn't remember all the details or all the names; there was no recap at the beginning of the episode but it didn't take me long to pick up the pieces

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Secret Diary of a Call Girl 1.04

- Belle tries something new for one of her clients; after getting some pointers from a professional domme she tries them out on her eager client; this part of the episode is more comical than anything else although it ends with her getting a little too rough with him
- in the other part of the episode Belle gets annoyed at Ben (her best friend) when he reveals that he's getting married; he doesn't know about her professional life but a comment he makes about how little she shares with him leads her to decide to share with more with him
- so what exactly is their friendship based on, it isn't clear from this episode and it has been a while since I watched the first 3 episodes and I can't remember how much backstory of Ben and Belle's relationship was provided in them
- a good mix of serious and silly

Rick and Morty 2.01

A Rickle in Time

- picks up right where the previous season ended with everyone frozen in time except Rick, Morty, and Summer; after they clean up the mess from the party, Rick restarts the time stream
- something is wrong and according to Rick it all has to do with uncertainty; because Morty and Summer are uncertain about things the universe has split in two; then later into four; Rick can't seem to set things straight so he starts making them worse, on purpose or so it seems
- a split screen effect is used to illustrate that the universe is split in two, then four, eight, sixteen, thirty-two, and finally sixty-four
- the resolution of the problem involves a visit from some alien who chides them for messing with the nature of the universe (or something like that);
- the B plot is all about Jerry and Beth trying to save the life of a deer that Jerry hit when they were driving home after getting ice cream

- a fun episode, makes me glad I decided to watch more of this show; by no means my favorite; some of the scientific stuff went right over my head, in one ear and out the other

Third Rock from the Sun 4.01

Dr. Solomon's Traveling Alien Show

- a good start to the 4th season; I had forgot about how the 3rd season ended; according to my records I finished watching the 3rd season about 7 months ago
- After being kidnapped by Vicki's ex (Phil Hartman), Harry has been sold to a circus for his "incoming transmission from the big giant head" act; Larry Miller plays the owner of the circus
- Sally, Tommy, and Vicki going looking for Harry; they get some help from a psychic in locating Harry but then still have to convince him to return home
- Dick's brain power is greatly diminished for most of the episode because the team's latest status report is late; it isn't until the end of the episode after Harry sends the report to the big giant head that Dick returns to normal
- Mrs. Dubcek, Don, Nina, and Mary are also in this epsiode

- on the whole a good but not great episode; lots of smiles and a few laughs; Jan Hooks is great as Vicki

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Mulholland Drive (2001)

- this is the second time I watched the movie and it was just as weird this time around as it was the first time; I decided to give it another try because I enjoyed watching Twin Peaks all the way through a few years back and because they covered it recently on the Bald Movies podcast
- I'm still not sure what it was all about; it kind of made sense for the first two hours but after they open that box it is like they've entered a parallel universe; this part might explain what happened to the original Diane Selwyn but it doesn't make sense to me
- definitely not everyone's cup of tea; it has it's moments but on the whole it is a head scratcher

- when I looked up the movie on IMDB earlier today I ran across something that gave me the impression that this was originally supposed to be a pilot for a television program; considering all the elements that were introduced it probably would have made more sense as the opening chapter of a tv show than as a stand alone movie

Samurai Jack 2.07

Jack and the Three Monks

- the episode opens with Jack fighting beetle robots who are defending a magic portal; Jack defeats the robots but the portal is destroyed by one of the robots before the fight is over
- Jack is frustrated and wanders off looking dejected
- a breeze comes along and sweeps his hat off his head and it goes sailing away; he chases it and eventually recovers it but not before meeting three monks who are headed up a nearby mountain
- Jack decides to join them on their quest to reach the mountain top; along the way he fights a group of goat men, a mountain ogre or troll or possibly a yeti, and the elements; sometimes he travels with the monks other times, usually when he is fighting, he is on his own
- eventually the weather gets to be too much and he slips and falls on to a ledge; once again he feels frustrated and dejected; he has a flashback of his parents and Aku, from when he was a boy; possibly these were scenes lifted directly from the three-part story that opened season one; he gets up and starts climbing again and reaches the top of the mountain only to discover that there are other taller mountains in the distance
- Jack screams at the top of his lungs that he is coming for Aku and that he will never give up

- this is a plot light episode; it is very much about Jack falling down and getting back up again; it is very much about showing that Jack is human and can be knocked down but that he doesn't allow setbacks to break him
- the monks for the most part seem to glide everywhere they go; the exception is one of the last time Jack sees them from a distance climbing the mountain ahead of him; it isn't clear what happens to the monks in the end but that doesn't bother me because the episode is really about Jack
- it took me three tries on three different nights to get through this episode; the first two times I was just too sleepy when I turned it on and ended up missing big portions of it

Arrow 2.10

Blast Radius

- basically a villain of the week type episode with a little bit in it to advance the overall story of the season
- somebody is blowing buildings in Starling City using cell phones to detonate the bombs; why is he blowing these building up? I can't seem to remember why
- Ollie gets snippy with Felicity for losing the trace on the bomber while he was trying to catch him; later he apologizes for his behaviour after Diggle questions his actions
- Thea notices that Roy isn't quite the same any more when he easily saves Moira from being crushed by some scaffolding and in a separate moment heals faster than normal
- In the past Slade seems to have grown super-humanly strong after getting injected with the experimental drugs in an earlier episode
- Laurel investigates Sebastian Blood's background and finds his mother in a mental institution