- Lost Hits of the New Wave
- The All Things Fun! New Comics Vidcast
- The Cape
- The Following
- Bionic Nostalgia
- True Blood
- Doctor Who
- The Flash
- Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
- Agent Carter
- Avengers Assemble
- Age of Ultron
- Legion of Super-Heroes
- Jessica Jones
- Young Justice
- Guardians of the Galaxy
- Legends of Tomorrow
- Civil War II
- Luke Cage
Tuesday, September 30, 2014
The GAR! Podcast already know some of my feelings on Fox's new pre-Batman series "Gotham," or at least the first episode, and if you haven't heard, you check it out here. I hate to say it, but after viewing the second episode, my feelings haven't changed much.
"Gotham" tells the tale of Jim Gordon (Ben McKenzie) joining the Gotham City police force and finding every bit of the department, as well as the city, completely corrupt. Partnered with Harvey Bullock (Donal Logue), he weaves his way through early versions of Batman's rogues gallery as he tries to solve the murder of Bruce Wayne's parents. So it's a lofty goal we know our hero will never obtain. Batman finds the Waynes' killer, every comics fan knows this, so we know from the get-go that the hero of this piece can not even win.
The worst part of "Gotham" is the part that one might think all of the fanboys and fangirls want - the winks and nudges from the comics. Oh, look, it's Catwoman, and Penguin, and Riddler, oh and that must be the Joker. The problem is they beat these references like a dead horse and they take away from the parts of the show that actually are good. "Gotham" is a pretty good police drama, and I said it on the podcast, and I'll say it again here, it would be a great police drama without all the Batman stuff.
The casting is wonderful. I love Donal Logue, no matter what he's in, and the casting of the various Bat-villains is inspired. Robin Lord Taylor is a perfect Penguin, if not in shape, in performance, mannerisms, and behavior. Camren Bicondova is almost a young Michelle Pfeiffer stunt and face double. Cory Michael Smith is the perfect Riddler in the same way Taylor is to Penguin.
Standing head and shoulders above the rest of the cast is Jada Pinkett-Smith as Fish Mooney, the one character who has no counterpart in the comics. Every other character when you meet them, as a comics reader, you already now what to expect. You have some idea of what they are like before they open their mouth or do anything. Fish Mooney is the wild card, the unpredictable element that makes "Gotham" fun. The show needs more of those, and less of the Batman stuff.
I may hang in for a few more episodes, but I can't see myself, or the series itself, holding on much longer.
Monday, September 29, 2014
So why am I watching this Lifetime drama about the show? You could say I'm a masochist, or a glutton for punishment, or, like testing weird potato chip flavors over at French Fry Diary, I do it so you won't have to.
Again, I can't say whether it's true or not, but it was fairly entertaining, even if there were a lot of subplots left unresolved. A pleasant pass of two hours, even if I had to sit through ads for the new Brittany Murphy movie fifty times.
Friday, September 26, 2014
Adrien Brody is in the title role and it's one that fits him well. Not only does he look like Harry Houdini both facially and in body type, he has that mysterious air about him. Despite his miscasting in Peter Jackson's King Kong, he's perfect here. Kristen Connolly is pretty fair in the role of Bess, and even though it's a cameo, it is always good to see Barry from "EastEnders."
The mini-series takes us from the magician's childhood to Harry and Bess Houdini's days on the road before he became famous to his death on stage in 1926. There is both truth and fiction here as with all Houdini stories. This version even takes into account Houdini's supposed service to the US government as a spy. And then there's a lot more iffy stuff here for a program that aired on The History Channel.
Wild About Harry website had a lot to say about how far from the truth this mini-series strayed, and it's not pretty.
Now the 1960s Tony Curtis film and the 1970s Paul Michael Glaser telemovie weren't that great on the facts either, and I loved them. And I admit to liking this one as well, but in its four hours it lacks the heart the other two had in half the time. Recommended for those who aren't depending on facts or looking for more than a story that barely touches the surface.
Thursday, September 25, 2014
The film focuses on a young girl and her new friend running from fascist government spies and military, as well as air pirates, as all pursue a mythical city in the sky called Laputa. As it turns out, she is the long lost princess of Laputa and only her pendant can find the city and release its secrets, which include, not only a treasure, but also a weapon of mass destruction. The legends are pulled from not only Jonathan Swift's book "Gulliver's Travels" but also the Hindu epic "The Ramayana" as well with its Indra's arrow.
The Wind Rises), and a firm foundation in all things steampink. The Goliath and Tiger Moth airships, and the amazing flaptors of Dola's air pirates are excellent examples of that.
I love this film, and it's easily in my top ten or twenty favorite films of all time. If you like anime, or adventure, or steampunk - this is absolutely must see, but really I think everyone will enjoy Castle in the Sky.
Friday, September 19, 2014
The Asylum is perhaps best known for their low budget 'homages' to current blockbusters currently in theaters. They have also earned the term 'mockbusters.' They have treated us to such great flicks as Abraham Lincoln Vs. Zombies, Snakes on a Train, and, ahem, Atlantic Rim. And of course they have also been responsible for Mega Python Vs. Gatoroid, Nazis at the Center of the Earth, and the absolute classic Sharknado.
The cast is surprising. Harold Perrineau in an action lead role (shame he's only in the first episode), DJ Qualls in a fairly serious role, at least at first, ditto for Tom Everett Scott, and all are indeed very impressive. It's almost enough to make us forget this is an Asylum production. I was very impressed, this show is good. The only thing I didn't like about it was the inclusion of a baby in the first episode, but even that exceeded expectations.
And if you'd like more of "The Walking Dead," check out my friend Marie Gilbert's reviews of the series here at Biff Bam Pop!, and more on "Z Nation" over at The Nerd Signal.
Friday, September 05, 2014
Biff Bam Pop! know that I recently wrote an overview of the most recent Batman animated series - "Beware the Batman." The show continues to air at the ungodly hour of 2:30 AM on the Cartoon Network late Saturday nights/early Sunday mornings. Thank goodness for DVRs.
A couple weeks back Batman finished a large story arc where he faced off against Ras Al Ghul and an odd assemblage of his foes
Here, in what is possibly the best episode of the series so far, "Nexus," Dent is the adversary and the force behind capturing the masked vigilante Batman. So simple, so pure, and so back to basics, I liked this a lot. Batman and Katana are working well as partners, Gordon is finally in place as Police Commissioner, the Bat-Signal is in use, and Dent is anti-Batman.
Speaking of the anti-Batman, Anarky is also here to play. Originally, in the comics, Anarky was a potential Robin, but here in "Beware the Batman," he is more like a subtle version of the Joker, with a bit less insanity, and wearing a cross between Batman's traditional costume and Moon Knight's.
This is an awesome episode, and a great introduction to the series if you're coming in late. And of course, you'll have to be coming in late because that when Cartoon Network airs it. Good stuff is coming, Metamorpho returns this weekend, and then, the Paul Kirk Manhunter!
Thursday, September 04, 2014
Joan Rivers has been around as long as I can remember. While still fairly young she first started showing up on Johnny Carson's "The Tonight Show" around the time I was born. She was always a hit, always hilarious. Later as the show entered its guest host phase, when Johnny would take weeks off at a time and they would have a fill-in for a week at a time, Joan rose to prominence.
Sadly her career turn a bad turn when she chose to go against Johnny as his competitor on the fledgling Fox network. The show, which eventually fell into the hands of Arsenio Hall, was not a good move. It's even been said that the stress of the show may have killed her husband. Joan drifted after that, falling into crazed and botched plastic surgery and hosting home shopping shows before she found a new career on the red carpet with the E! network.
I will still remember sneaking downstairs at 11:35 PM weeknights to see Joan's monologue on "The Tonight Show" as I also did with Johnny, and David Brenner, and Jerry Seinfeld, etc. I'll remember how much everyone wanted to see her movie Rabbit Test in eighth grade, and how bad it actually was. Joan was funny, and yes, she'll be missed.
Wednesday, September 03, 2014
La Jetee is almost exactly the stereotype we mainstream American movie goers think of when we think of a French film. It's arty, subtitled or dubbed (from two different languages), avant garde, hard to understand, and makes 1980s jeans commercials seem to have more depth. And then there's the weirdness of it not actually being a 'motion picture' at all - it's composed of all still shots with voiceover.
Not being what one would expect is not necessarily bad. La Jetee is just different, very different from 12 Monkeys, but thematically so however. We're still dealing with time travel, just not traditionally so, like its American cousin. In post-nuclear World War III Paris, scientists are trying to send people to the past and to the future in order to save their present, prevent the war, and save civilization. Paradoxes occur and our hero is on the run, haunted by a childhood memory, but eventually things come full circle in an ending that would make O. Henry smile.
Tuesday, September 02, 2014
While many who weren't there, listening to the radio or watching MTV, might believe Survivor was a one-hit wonder with their biggest hit, "Eye of the Tiger," the song of the summer of 1982 and the musical vibe of Rocky III, that just wouldn't be true. Several hits from Survivor came and went, unfortunately now unremembered, in the 1980s, like "High on You," "Burning Heart" (from Rocky IV), "I Can't Hold Back," "American Heartbeat," and "The Search Is Over."
Jimi was also the lead singer of Cobra before joining Survivor, and was also noted for writing the theme song of "Baywatch."