Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance

Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance ~ I'm in the minority. I'm one of the few people on Earth, other than Nicholas Cage, who liked the first Ghost Rider movie. There are folks who hate Cage, folks who disliked the mixing and matching of different Riders in it, and the campiness of it. I thought it worked. There was an earnestness that I liked, and honestly I'm not that well versed in GR continuity to argue those points. But I liked it.

When I heard Cage was making another one, I was pleased and couldn't wait to see it. I mean, really, how bad could it be? Now months later I finally get to see it on DVD. Wow. I was wrong.

There are moments of animation throughout that have promise, but they are only moments and soon replaced by the plodding terrible acting of Cage and the rest of the cast. He can be good, but here he's just phoning it in, long distance from a bad cell. Wow. Even terrific actors like Idris Elba and okay actors like Christopher Lambert are pulled down into this vortex of stink.

Even the special effect of a skull on fire is done badly here. Visually at least, this should have been as stunning as the first. The script is by David S. Goyer, so this is another craptacular for him to notch on his belt. When he's good, he's good, but when Goyer is bad... man oh man, is he bad. Avoid this flick.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

HBO Digitals

I love HBO Go, absolutely love it. Since I installed it in my iPhone, I have watched the entire runs of "Big Love," "Deadwood," and "Oz," all awesome television in their own right. Recently, while exploring HBO Go, I found a section hidden off in the Comedy category called HBO Digitals. These are mini-shows, could-have-beens I guess. There are four, and they are really something special. I would almost want to watch these mini-series than some of the real stuff that does make it to 'real' TV.

"Garfunkel and Oates"

If you've seen this terrific musical comedy duo, you know what to expect. I love them. They are sly and funny, and even better in their own three to five minute mini-episodes. The episodes are more or less frameworks for their songs, but still, damn funny. Oh, and sooo not work or family safe.

"The Boring Life of Jacqueline"

The opening episode is a test in cringe - how long will you hold out? Yes, when they say boring, they mean boooring. It is almost like a dare gone too far, or a staring contest. If you get past the first episode, it's worth it. The show does kick in eventually and becomes a rather disturbing picture of a lonely but pitiful, and suicidal sociopath. Jaclyn Jonet plays an out of work actress obsessed with the building maintenance man. Don't let the description or first episode scare you off, this is wonderful and subtle brilliance from Mike White, and deserves a spot on HBO's regular line-up.

"Brody Stevens: Enjoy It"

This one is about BS, a comedian, manic depressive, compulsive Twitterer, performance artist, stalker, baseball player, and god knows what else. You might know him from "Chelsea Lately," or the Hangover movies. I don't really know what this program is about, besides Brody Stevens wrecking his life, even after a half-dozen episodes, and I like that about it. He's abrasive, specializes again in cringe humor, has animation, and always surprises. Co-produced, co-written, and co-starring Zach Galifianakis. It's fun, not for everyone, but fun.

"Single Long"

At first this seemed like a failed hipster/slacker sitcom about a dating site, but eventually it turns into a sweet love story between two reluctant friends. Like "Jacqueline," it takes a while to kick in, but it's well worth it. The show is fully saved by the charisma of spunky Sarra Jahedi. I just can't get enough of her. All great finds on the iPhone with HBO Go.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Arrow: Dodger

Lots of stuff going on in this episode, even though it seems a bit like a fill-in issue from the comics. First and foremost there's a new baddie in town, the Dodger, who uses hostages to do his dirty work in robberies. Basically if the hostage doesn't do what he says, he blows their head off by remote control. He also has a nifty taser stick similar to the old TV Green Hornet's Hornet Sting. For the record, Dodger is a minor Green Arrow villain from the comics, notably affiliated with the League of Assassins - the group headed by Ras al Ghul over in the Batman universe.

Also thrown in for good measure is Moira meeting with an old family friend named Frank who I suspect could be China White's father. Whatever the folks on The List are up to, it's coming soon, and the writers have given it a name - The Undertaking. Supposedly, according to Moira at least, it started as a way to help the Glades, the dilapidated area of Starling City where the 'Arrowcave' is.

Then there's also the grumbling fit Felicity has made on the Arrow team. For a temporary member, all she seems to be doing is causing trouble. She not only interferes with tactics in pursuing The List, she makes Diggle ask out his widowed sister-in-law Carly from Big Belly Burger, and Oliver ask out the beautiful Detective McKenna Hall from a few episodes back. Felicity has some kind of pull, eh? Neither date goes very well, sadly, at first at least.

And then, yeah, then there's the kid in the red hood. He steals Thea's purse while she's walking with Laurel. His name? Yeah, you guessed it. Who else would be wearing red in a show about Green Arrow? His name is Roy Harper.

For those who read the comics, Roy Harper was Oliver Queen's ward, Green Arrow's sidekick in red, and the first hero to go by the name Speedy. He later became addicted to heroin, which Black Canary (Laurel in the show) helped him kick. He was later known as Arsenal and then Red Arrow when he took his mentor's place in the Justice League. Just for the record, Green Arrow later trained a second Speedy - her name was Mia Dearborn. "Arrow" has a close counterpart in Oliver's sister Thea Dearborn Queen.

The TV version of Roy Harper survives on petty theft, neglected by his parents. In a switch, mom is addicted to Vertigo, and dad is dead, buried in Norris Cemetery, a nod to Paul Norris, the artist who co-created Speedy back in 1941 with writer Mort Weisinger. Other comics call outs this episode include the corner of Adams and O'Neil, the writer/artist team that brought us the award winning Green Lantern/Green Arrow series in the early 1970s.

Apparently the Starling City Police, except McKenna, but Lance is included, are a lot like the old Philly cops or Gotham's cops. They have lots of ammo and don't give a crap about property damage. When they try to ambush the Dodger, they just open fire on an illegal fence's warehouse like they were in a Rambo movie. Who knows what kind of priceless antiquities were destroyed forever?

Emily Bett Rickards cleans up really nice as Felicity later in the episode when the Dodger turns her into a human bomb. I'd like to see her like this more often. As a bombshell that is, not as a bomb. And as far as bombshells go - our cliffhanger this episode? Moira has hired China White to take out Merlyn. Oh yeah, this is going to be bad... for everyone...

Sunday, February 24, 2013

My Oscar Picks 2013

My opinion really doesn't count for all that much this year as some personal issues have kept me from seeing many of the films this year, but folks expect to see my picks, so this year, I will choose by instinct and odds rather than any educated guesses. I still might get lucky. Here you go...

  • Best animated feature - Brave
  • Best animated short film - Paperman
  • Best visual effects - Marvel's The Avengers
  • Best original screenplay - Django Unchained
  • Best original score, and song - Skyfall
  • Best costume design - Snow White and the Huntsman
  • Best direction - Steven Spielberg for Lincoln
  • Best supporting actress - Sally Field for Lincoln
  • Best supporting actor - Christoph Waltz for Django Unchained
  • Best actress - Jennifer Lawrence for Silver Linings Playbook
  • Best actor - Denzel Washington for Flight
  • Best picture - Silver Linings Playbook

  • Yep, that's right. I'm predicting a complete shut out for Le Miz. Nothing against the flick, but that's just how it played out as I picked category by category.

    What do you folks think?

    Saturday, February 23, 2013

    Silver Linings Playbook

    Silver Linings Playbook ~ You might have noticed its been quite a while since I posted about any movies currently in theaters. Well, it's been a while since I've been out to a movie. Tonight, after dinner with good friends we haven't seen in a while, we decided to hit a flick last minute. I wanted Die Hard or The Hobbit, but the ladies settled on multiple Oscar nom rom com drama Silver Linings Playbook.

    What a pleasant surprise. I didn't know all that much about it beyond the noms for best picture, best actor Bradley Cooper, best actress Jennifer Lawrence, best supportings Robert DeNiro and Jacki Weaver, and best director David O. Russell. Surprisingly all of the noms are well deserved, some might not win, but all well deserved.

    Based on the book "The Silver Linings Playbook" by local teacher turned novelist Matthew Quick. That alone lends credibility to the locale of the flick - Philadelphia, as well as the passion for Eagles football so important to the story. That story has bi-polar Patrick (Cooper) trying to repair his life and get his wife back, even though she's moved on while he was in a mental hospital. Enter Tiffany (Lawrence) widowed and equally flawed, trying to get him back on his feet.

    Cooper and Lawrence are no strangers to Oscar, and recently she has gained serious genre cred as Catniss and young Mystique. I think Jennifer Lawrence's best years are ahead of her, and right now she's better than most other actresses her age. I loved her here. DeNiro and Weaver are just as good as Cooper's parents. The whole film is full of terrific performances, including Julia Stiles, Shea Whigham of "Boardwalk Empire," Anupam Kher, and believe it or not, a completely non-annoying Chris Tucker.

    This was a great flick, I definitely see a couple (at least) Oscars coming its way this weekend, but let's face it. It's no Die Hard. ;-)

    Friday, February 22, 2013

    Vogues of 1938

    Vogues of 1938 ~ Regular readers of this blog know I love "Dark Shadows" - the TV series, not last summer's Johnny Depp vehicle. Well, when I saw this movie listed, starring Joan Bennett, DS' Elizabeth Collins Stoddard, the Collins family matriarch. I know she had a serious film career before DS, over seventy movies, but I'd never seen any, that I know of, so I had to check this out.

    Walter Wanger's Vogues of 1938 is a lavish color musical that also stars Warren Baxter as the male lead opposite Bennett. She's a socialite who becomes a model after a failed marriage. The sets and costumes are terrific for the time, and the print is crisp and bright.

    The movie is clever and snappy, like most from the decade. The story is weak, but plays second to the terrific musical numbers and the visuals so it's okay. The worst part is ...Joan Bennett! She's stiff, fake, and unappealing. Literally everything works on this flick except her. I'm glad she found her home finally in soap operas. Worth seeing, but be forewarned.

    Thursday, February 21, 2013

    Arrow: The Odyssey

    We had a pretty fierce cliffhanger last time, the Hood confronted his mom, and with arrow nocked, he says his trademarked line, "Moira Queen, you have failed this city." Da da dum.

    We pick up this episode exactly where we left off, and find Moira rather resourceful. She uses her family as a shield, begging for her life as a mother. When the Hood lowers his bow and drops his guard - she shoots him in the chest. Damn... it would seem Mom is a bit more proactive than Vanch, Bertinelli, China White, or The Count. She's hardcore.

    Oliver escapes and finds Felicity, who after another identity reveal, takes him to Diggle at the Arrowcave. I guess now we not only officially have our Alfred, we have our Oracle. Oliver is hurt bad, and unconscious, so what better time for an island flashback, right, or even an all island episode?

    Last episode, in "Betrayal," it was established that Slade Wilson, at least one of the Deathstrokes in the TV continuity, trains Oliver to fight. Their goal is to take an airstrip on the island where a supply plane lands. That's what he trains Oliver for.

    We also get a bit of background. Slade is Australian special forces, and his partner, Billy Wintergreen is the Deathstroke who tortured Oliver. He was also the godfather of Slade's son Joe. In comics, Wintergreen is the butler/valet of Deathstroke, essentially his Alfred. And Joseph Wilson is the Teen Titan known as Jericho, frequently in opposition to Deathstroke.

    We get some nice albeit brief scenes with Diggle and Feicity, but we all know two things. One, Oliver will survive the bullet, and two, Oliver is not getting off the island this time, at least not in this flashback. Diggle tries to rationalize Oliver's murders. I feel him, but it's still not enough.

    In the end, we learn a bit more about Yao Fei, one particularly juicy bit I'll get to in a minute, Oliver goes up against Eddie Fyers and his men, and, yeah baby, Deathstroke vs. Deathstroke. What's keeping Yao Fei under Fyers' thumb is a young lady (his daughter?) named Shado, who is Fyers' prisoner. Oliver and Shado share the same tattoo, and comics fans know who Shado is. This should be very interesting...

    Wednesday, February 20, 2013

    Following Not So Much

    I think this one is the last one. I might watch "The Following" a couple more times, but I doubt I'll be writing about it. Even Fox has tired of hyping it as much as they had been. Ratings have slipped even though Fox insists they will catch up through other pathways like DVR and streaming to other devices.

    There was a Marvel Comics event a few years back called "Secret Invasion." The premise followed (pardon the pun) that shape-changing aliens had infiltrated the human race. These Skrull, as they were called, looked like us, they acted like us. Anyone could be a Skrull. No one could be trusted. After a while, it became cliche. Any bad plot element could be resolved by that person or persons being a Skrull. If you couldn't trust anyone, you couldn't care about anyone. Epic character writing fail.

    That's the problem here. Anyone could be a serial killer under Joe Carroll's influence. The known serial killers are unlikable, and the known good guys, even Kevin Bacon, are unlikable or ineffective. Who to root for at this point? Only James Purefoy, as the main big bad, has any charisma, and we barely see him.

    As I stated early in my reviews of this series, the story was better suited as a movie or mini-series with a clear ending. I suspect "The Following" will now have an ending similar to that of "Alcatraz" - eventual cancellation.

    Tuesday, February 19, 2013

    Quickies 2-19-2013

    Steel Against the Sky ~ A classic Warner Bros. two-reeler from 1941, this has stock characters and a predictable end, but all in all is great fun. Two brothers, Lloyd Nolan and Craig Stevens, high rise construction workers, compete for the same girl, sexy dame Alexis Smith. Thrills abound in the climax high above a bridge construction in a raging ice storm. Classic forties Hollywood melodrama at its best - snappy banter, comedy, romance, and adventure. And watch out for the young Jackie Gleason. Worth watching.

    Spaceship Yamato ~ This 2010 live action version of the animated TV series "Star Blazers" is everything you would expect it to be. I liken it to seeing my comic book heroes, the Avengers, on the big screen. It's something I never thought I would see in a million years, and yet here it is. Fabulous special effects bring the animation to life. So worth seeing, even if you just look at it with no subtitles on YouTube. Absolutely must see for any "Star Blazers" fans.

    21 Jump Street ~ I really only watched the first season of this show when it was originally on, so I'm not a fan by any real stretch, but I do hate the idea of remaking old TV series into comedy movies, especially when the source material was not a comedy. I can forgive "Bewitched," but this one doesn't quite fit. About the only thing I liked about this was the Johnny Depp reveal at the end. The rest of this mess is really like Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum just got stoned and improv-ed what they thought "21 Jump Street" might be about. Hill is so not funny here, and I equally don't get what all the fuss over Tatum is. Avoid this like a salad bar without a sneeze guard.

    The Cabin in the Woods ~ Joss Whedon strikes again. There's really not much I can say about this one, other than it is always more than you expect, and always goes one better. Unpredictability at its best, a modern horror classic. If I told you anything else, I'd spoil it. You're on your own.

    Double or Nothing ~ This great one-reeler from 1936 stars Phil Harris as a stunt double in Hollywood who while under gas dreams he goes to 'Doubles Heaven,' home to lookalikes of the stars. An amusing musical romp, and lots of fun for fans of classic Hollywood, starring many doubles of the day.

    Monday, February 18, 2013

    The Americans

    FX has been hyping this new series for a while. Quite honestly I was getting tired of seeing ads for it during this past season of "Sons of Anarchy," but I guess the saturation effect worked. I did DVR the pilot and I did watch it.

    At first glance "The Americans" appears to be a Reagan era Cold War drama about Soviet sleeper agents, designed to cash in as some sort of hybrid of both "Mad Men" and "Homeland," but it's just a little bit more. As a survivor of the period, I can tell you the music is time correct, and I have to say the opening sequence using Fleetwood Mac's "Tusk" is just short of amazing. Serious props to writer and creator Joe Weisberg and director Gavin O'Connor.

    The problem is my interest plummeted after that opening sequence. The characters were not engaging, and neither was the acting. Maybe if they had stuck with the slick MTV vibe of the opening, or washed us more in the nostalgia of the 1980s, this could have been good...

    Notably, it was nice to see Richard (John-Boy Walton) on TV again, but even his brief presence couldn't save this. Of course there's always the possibility that FX could retool or fix this, but it might be too little, too late.

    Sunday, February 17, 2013

    Arrow: Betrayal

    "Arrow" is at a point now where you need a score card to know what's what and who's who. I'm not sure that's a place this show should be at right now. I'm sure there's a core audience, but despite the handy elevator pitch origin story in the opening of every episode, I'm not sure that any new viewers wouldn't be hopelessly lost. No matter how you slice it, even I was having trouble keeping all the balls in the air at the beginning of "Betrayal."

    Oliver confronts his mom about the notebook full of names that he got from Felicity last episode. She throws it in the fireplace, suggesting the only way the family can heal is to stop asking questions. Diggle tails her throughout the episode, discovering some nasty secrets. When Oliver confronts her later as Arrow, heh, well, that's this episode's cliffhanger.

    In the main story this episode, Cyrus Vanch, former muckety-muck of the Starling City underworld has been released from prison, Iron Heights specifically - nice shout out to the comics. He wants what's his back, as well as the Triad's and the Bertinelli family's (I guess that means we haven't seen the last of China White or the Huntress). And he also wants Arrow out of the way. Using his contacts on the police force, he learns Laurel knows Arrow, so he kidnaps her. This forces Dad to cooperate with The Hood.

    In the attack on Vanch, I am again struck by the violence of this so-called hero's methods. By my count, there are at least eight of Vanch's men who take arrows right in the chest. Can you live through that? It's what bothered me about previews of the show before it aired. Have they made Green Arrow into a serial killer? Man, give me an old-fashioned boxing glove arrow any day.

    In the soap opera portion of the show, honesty gets between Laurel and Tommy. Disappointingly this coupling has yet to be used to its potential as far as being a plot complication. So much unused potential, but I'll keep waiting. Laurel's relationship with her dad is suffering from problems similar to hers with Tommy as well this episode. I wonder what's next on "All My Arrows"...

    On the island, Oliver meets Slade Wilson, played by Manu Bennett, Crixus of Starz' amazing "Spartacus" series. Comics readers will immediately recognize the name Slade Wilson as the not so secret identity of Deathstroke. Again, for TV they have flipped things. Wilson is apparently one of two Deathstrokes, and not the one Oliver encountered earlier. Apparently Slade is who trains Oliver. I won that bet.

    There are other cool shout outs this episode as well. Vanch's lawyer worked for Wolfman and Perez, referencing the writer/artist team of Marv Wolfman and George Perez, who created the New Teen Titans, a team that occasionally featured Speedy. They also, most notably, created Deathstroke. Laurel wants to call DA Kate Spencer for help to put Vanch back in prison. Kate is of course the civilian identity of Manhunter. Arrow and Laurel meet atop the Winick building - Judd Winick, former MTV "Real World" wrote the Green Arrow comic for a while.

    Be here next episode when Oliver tells his mom that she's failed the city, same Arrow time, same Arrow channel.

    Saturday, February 16, 2013

    The New Dumpsta Players Show Wednesday NIght!

    The Dumpsta Players Present "Honey Poo Poo's Chic-Fill-A Fashion Show"

    The Date: Wednesday, February 20, 2013
    The Time: Doors open at 10 PM, show time is 11 PM sharp!
    The Place: Bob and Barbara's, 1509 South Street, Philadelphia PA


    Honey Poo Poo is all the rage at "A List"-ing baby discos from Trenton to Chattanooga! With her new found fame comes merchandising opportunities, meet and greets at Walmart, and a list of temptations no little girl should ever read.

    Kim Katrashian is throwing her annual Spring Fashion Show benefiting Sick Babies and Puppies Without Borders and contemplating names for her own debut of celebrity spawn.

    When Miss Philippines and her agent Max Wisenheimer are added to the entertainment lineup for the Fashion Show, it's anyone's guess who will hoard the most attention and make a splash in the headlines!

    But what do Mama Poon and Miss Teen Florida have up their sleeves? And what's Lance Armstrong doing in the wings? Beware! Miss Kosovo and her scheming mother have some rather dark ideas of how they might steal the spotlight and no one is safe during The Fashion Show!

    Throw down the gauntlet, gulp your skinny latte, but don't miss - - - "HONEY POO POO'S CHIC-FILL-A FASHION SHOW"!

    A portion of the proceeds from "Honey Poo Poo's Chic-Fill-A Fashion Show" will benefit The Attic Youth Center!

    Check out The Dumpsta Players on Facebook, YouTube, Flickr, and on their own website.

    Friday, February 15, 2013

    The Following: The Poet's Fire

    Most fiction (in any medium, be it books, television, or film) works on the premise of suspension of disbelief. The target, in this case, the viewer has to believe what they are seeing. It's very important in science fiction and fantasy, because in stuff like Star Wars and Lord of the Rings, the boundaries of reality are being stretched. But in a way, it's easier in those realms.

    In something like "The Following," which is essentially based in the 'real' world, albeit a larger than life version, it's even more important. The viewer has to not just believe it can happen, but they have to believe it could really happen, if you get my understanding.

    This episode, "The Poet's Fire," opens with a nutjob in an Edgar Allan Poe mask (after just two weeks, an already old and tired gimmick for this EAP fan) sets a man on fire on a crowded city street with witnesses with cellphones and security cameras overhead. Seriously, if such a thing happened in the 'real' world, the media would go batshit crazy. I know it, you know it, and quite honestly, showrunner Kevin Williamson should know it too. Here, no one but the Feds and the cops that seem to blink at all.

    And that's just the beginning. The rest of the episode is spent flashbacking and overexplaining motivations we have already guessed. And then there's the obligatory serial killer follower of the week, whose plot twist I guessed from jump street. The blind followers are getting a bit too convenient as well. Perhaps it's Williamson's comment on reality television and sheeple. Or just lazy writing.

    "The Following" has ceased to be clever, to be unique, and even - and I'm counting the cast members I like in this statement - be interesting.

    Thursday, February 14, 2013

    Lost Hits of the New Wave #25

    "True Love, Pt. #2" by X

    Man oh man, the sound and visuals are scratchy, but I still love it. I can remember a time way waaay back in early 1984 when I would wear out this track on More Fun in the Big World. I came to X quite late, and probably to many purists, this album, produced by Doors organist Ray Manzarek, represented the band selling out - but I loved it hard.

    I don't know what it was about "True Love, Pt. #2," whether it was the driving groove, the medley vibe it had featuring "Black Betty" and "Freddie's Dead," or that it simply included the first song I ever learned to sing myself - "Skip to My Lou" - I thought it was da bomb.

    X formed in Los Angeles (also the name of their perhaps greatest album) in 1977 as one of America's first punk rock bands. The charismatic line-up was composed of co-vocalists Exene Cervenka and John X. Doe, smiling guitarist Billy Zoom, and drummer DJ Bonebrake. From the 1980s through the 2000s they have released over a dozen albums (about half live and greatest hits, but hey they rule live), and today they still tour.

    Happy Valentine's Day!

    Arrow: Vertigo

    Back in the day, let's say the 1950s, back when Green Arrow was literally Batman with a bow, he had a serious rogues gallery. There were a multitude of bizarre criminals who menaced Star City on a regular basis. True, most of them spun on the unoriginal twist of using some sort of bow and arrow motif, but Green Arrow and Speedy had lots of enemies.

    The 1970s came along, Speedy got hooked on heroin and left his mentor, Green Arrow, who had changed his costume and facial hair to a more modern look, and turned his aim on social issues rather than super-villains. By the end of the decade however, things had come full circle, and costumed criminals came back in vogue. The powers that be decided Green Arrow needed a rogues gallery, albeit a more believable one, without the mandatory bow and arrow.

    Enter Count Vertigo. With a name like Werner Vertigo, what else could he become but a super-villain, right? The Count part comes from being the last member of the royal family of Vlatava, so he has the resources of a small eastern European nation behind him. Afflicted with a balance problem he had a device implanted in his head that prevented vertigo. After years of tinkering with it he found he could affect the balance of others, causing dizziness, and yes, I'll say it, vertigo. He can also fly. No idea how he does that though.

    Merlyn the Magician may the king of super-villains who use bows and arrows, and Green Arrow's natural opposite number, but when most folks think of the emerald archer's archenemy on the scale of a Joker or a Luthor, they think Count Vertigo.

    But that's the comics, on the "Arrow" TV series, things are a bit different. Vertigo is a new drug, one that got Oliver's little sister in a car accident, and arrested in but one of last week's cliffhangers. And the drug lord pushing vertigo onto the streets is called The Count.

    The hot button comics reference this episode is Thea's middle name - Dearden. Not only is her nickname Speedy, but in the comics, Mia Dearden is the young girl who was the second person to take on the Speedy identity as Green Arrow's sidekick. Is this homage or foreshadowing?

    The Count, as played by Seth Gabel of "Fringe," is very manic, theatrical, and dangerous in that mad villain unpredictable way. Brilliant casting, and great costuming, I kinda got a Captain John Hart vibe as well.

    Nice to see the writers haven't forgotten Oliver's Russian Bratva connection, I just hope that they don't forget to explain it. It's also good to see The Count has not lost his Eastern European origins as well. I also like the explanation of his name. Nice touch. And the color of the drug itself? It's green, like Count Vertigo's color scheme in the comics.

    Detective Quentin Lance's outrageous grudge against Oliver is getting old, and kind of silly too. I do however like the cast addition of Janina Gavankar from "True Blood" as Detective McKenna Hall. With Laurel tied up with Tommy, Oliver needs a good potential romantic interest. Please don't bring back the Huntress.

    The Count is taken down, of course, but with the possibility of a return, and possibly more like the comics version next time. We'll see. He reminded me a bit of Mark Hamill's turn as the Trickster on the old "Flash" series on CBS. Maybe we will get powers and costumes next time.

    In this week's island flashback, we learn more about Yao Fei, Ed Fyers, Deathstroke and the terrorists there. We also see a slick trick make folks look dead. Don't try this at home, kids. We also see, much too briefly, Emily Bett Rickards as Felicity Smoak with some bad news for Oliver. But I'm sure we'll get more of that next week, and hopefully more Felicity as well.

    Wednesday, February 13, 2013


    Hi folks,

    Just a quick note of apology for my disappearance, and the lack of blog entries here for a bit.

    The pop culture party will re-commence this afternoon. Thanks for understanding. 

    The Management