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Wednesday, 18 October 2017

The Flash S4E2: Mixed Signals

The Flash
Series 4, Episode 2
Mixed Signals.

With all the guff about getting Barry out of the Speed Force and the speed madness and such out of the way, this episode -- a forty-two minute long comedy about relationships, communication, and technology -- is the first real test of The Flash's writing staff insistence that this series will be much lighter and fluffier than the two preceding it. It's the point where they have to prove that not only can they do that, but that they can do it well

When Kilg%re, a metahuman with the power to control technology via a bio-digital computer virus, starts killing off wealthy tech moguls, Barry and Iris are given their first chance to test out the new Team Flash dynamic. Barry's over-enthusiasm and his unwillingness to listen to Iris, either on the job or in their relationship, swiftly causes problems, however, resulting in Iris insisting on taking Barry to several awkward sessions of couples counselling. Meanwhile, Cisco, wrapped up in figuring out a way to stop Kilg%re, misses a date with Gypsy, earning her ire -- since on Earth-19, the day is 111 Day, their equivalent of Valentine's Day.

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Black Clover E2+E3: The Boys' Promise & To The Royal Capital Of The Clover Kingdom

Black Clover
Episode 2+Episode 3
The Boys' Promise & To The Royal Capital Of The Clover Kingdom.

Man, I think the last time we did a fortnightly ongoing was when we were doing Kamen Rider Ghost. In this case, as in that case, this is the result of there simply not being enough content in a single episode to get an entire review out of. That, and I need at least two weeks to recover from each occasion where I force myself to listen to Asta's ridiculous, crunchy voice.

So, episode one finished on the suitably dramatic note of Asta receiving his weird, demonic grimoire, with a five-leafed clover (the eponymous black clover, even) on its cover, vindicating him when he said he wasn't powerless after all.

Episode two plunges us straight into a flashback, showing Asta and Yuno's upbringing -- and the event that made both boys wish to be the Wizard King: A night when Yuno was attacked while out on an errand, forcing Asta to come and save him. In episode three, both boys prepare to set off to the capital, intending to take the examination to become Magic Knights -- but while everybody has complete confidence in Yuno, they doubt that Asta can cut it.

Monday, 16 October 2017

Fate/Apocrypha E15: Differing Paths

Episode 15
Differing Paths.

Well, we had a good run of episodes wherein things actually happen, but now we've slipped securely back into 'absolutely nothing is going on' mode. A more charitable soul might call this a character development episode, but with the exception of Sisigou and Gordes, nobody's character actually gets developed at all -- and let's face it, nobody cares about Gordes. Even the writers don't care about Gordes, they just needed a way to fill up some time.

Look, I'm not saying that I want there to be action all the time, that'd be boring. What I am saying is that every episode needs to have some kind of arc, and some kind of conflict: You can't just have an entire episode of people pottering around and doing basically nothing. You need some kind of structure, and some semblance of plot.

Anyway, in this week's episode, in the aftermath of the battle with Avicebron, Jeanne (Ruler) bestows new command spells on Sisigou and Sieg (Saber of Black), and warns Sieg to never use his third command spell. With the Shirou Faction making an escape on the Hanging Gardens, the Jeanne Faction attempts to figure out how to pursue them, and Sisigou tells Mordred of his past.

Saturday, 14 October 2017

What We're Watching 14/10/17

What We're Watching

Once Upon A Time S7.

It's odd to say this, especially since I still don't know exactly how I feel about the old cast being reduced to just Henry (who's functionally a new character now), Regina, Hook, and Rumple, but this soft reboot was exactly what the show needed, I think.

The new location, characters, and conflict (even if that conflict is, in many ways, a rehash of that of the first series) has revitalised the show in a way that it was difficult to imagine -- but at the same time, I do also find myself missing Emma and co, and the comfortable familiarity of the old show. It hadn't been good for a long time, but it was fun, at least.

Still, I'm interested to see where the show goes from here, and setting up a power trio of Henry, Hook (revealed to be wishverse doppelganger Hook), and Regina is an interesting turn.

Marvel's Inhumans.

Inhumans is a strange, strange show, from its high-budget-but-everything-looks-really-low-budget-and-it's-not-even-intentional production style, to its oddly flat and yet incredibly unsympathetic characters, to its weird political themes that seem to amount to 'sometimes slavery is good, and sometimes people who say they want social change are just jealous and petty.'

Odder still, the show seems intent on just digging its whole deeper and deeper. This week's episode decided to forego any trace of subtlety by having Maximus loudly proclaim that his sole motivation for everything is wanting superpowers; and meanwhile, we had the odd situation with Medusa, a double punch of 'Medusa acting like she has a right to invade people's privacy and personal space, and this being treated as a hi-larious social mishap even though she's from a culture that does have notions of personal property and space,' and 'Medusa's backstory being alluded to as her family wanting some kind of social change, and Medusa realising this is Bad and distancing herself from it.'

This is a really strange show.

Arrow, Supergirl, & Legends of Tomorrow.

So, most of the CW's DC superhero lot have started for the year, with only newcomer Black Lightning yet to premiere, and so far, there's been a definite turn towards the lighter and chirpier -- with the singular exception of Supergirl, which appears intent on plunging to more fraught and angsty depths.

(God, please don't let Mon-El come back. Nobody likes that guy.)

Legends of Tomorrow has gone from a silly drama with a heavy comedic elements to an out-and-out comedy with dramatic elements; Arrow makes it as clear as possible as early as possible that every main character (bar Thea, who's in a coma) escaped from the explosions just fine; and Supergirl marks itself out as the odd one out of the bunch by having an episode about Kara being depressed, and mercenaries attacking the city on the whims of Nathan Petrelli from Heroes.

Coming up next week, it looks like we have Ollie navigating a political scandal, the Legends visiting the circus, and then Kara in a brooding episode about fear. The trend of having Supergirl be the odd one out seems set to continue, then.

Friday, 13 October 2017

The Woodcutter (2010) [Reecey]

Hey, another review by Reecey today: If you enjoy Reecey's content on this blog, why not Buy Her A Coffee?

The Woodcutter (2010).
(Review by Reecey.)

There are two major sorts of plot, I find, changing the status quo and upholding the status quo.

Generally, when the status quo is shown as being bad, you know, people living in fear, being compelled to act against their own interests, having their lands forcefully annexed, being subjugated by the more powerful, that’s one of the times that the status quo being changed is the plot.

In this case, it isn’t!

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

The Flash S4E1: The Flash Reborn

The Flash
Series 4, Episode 1
The Flash Reborn.

It feels like it's been ages since the last series of The Flash, even though it's only really been a few months. Perhaps odder still (for me, at least), I haven't really kept up with any news about the series -- I somewhat half-heartedly watched the trailer, and that was about it. That having been said, I don't think my interest in this show has really waned any, despite a rather unfortunate third series.

Anyway, The Flash is back, along with Supergirl (which I'm not reviewing as an ongoing, since I'm sure Mon-El will be back) and Legends of Tomorrow, with Arrow joining them soon. When we left things last year, Savitar had been defeated and Barry had just entered the Speed Force, ostensibly forever (although we all knew it wouldn't actually be forever).

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Fate/Apocrypha E14: Prayer of Salvation

Episode 14
Prayer of Salvation.

This episode leaves me in a somewhat odd position when it comes to tallying up whether there's actually any movement on the plot. Technically, there is: Two characters die, after all. It rather feels, however, that there isn't -- that this episode really serves no purpose except to tie off a loose end in a suitably explode-y fashion. Nothing that happens in this episode really feels like it'll have a lasting effect on the story.