A Series of Unfortunate Events

The final season of this series of unfortunate events, but I feel fortunate to have watched it. The third season covers book 10, 11, 12 and 13. Much like the previous seasons, the show adds more context and clues for the viewers. VFD and their history is woven in much more. There are other changes, though. For instance, Captain Widdershins doesn’t appear.

This is a strong ending to the show with the main cast giving stronger performances than ever. Everyone has improved. Esme is even larger and crazier than before. Olaf gets his more somber and serious moments. The Baudelaires get several powerful scenes as they struggle with more and more darkness. The henchmen also get great scenes showing their growth as characters. Lemony Snicket feels wearier than ever as he relives events he has been a part of. Carmelita is also back, and she is fantastic. She strikes a great balance between being annoying but not so much that you dread her scenes. Her annoyance is the kind that makes me want to look forward to more of her antics. Everyone is fantastic.

Perhaps my favorite episode of the show is The Penultimate Peril, part one. It is just great in mystery, wordplay and more. There are clever conversations abound as the Baudelaires try to accomplish a secret mission at a hotel. The actor for the hotel managers does a great job at being likeable and secretive.

The show keeps the same surreal tone where things aren’t quite real. The people don’t act quite like people. But it still works fantastically. This season also keeps the pacing problems. Sometimes, things that should be dramatic and impactful aren’t because they don’t linger enough. The show moves on too fast to the next thing so I didn’t get the chance to truly absorb what had happened. I like the humor, though. It helps keep the show light among all the darkness.

The final season of A Series of Unfortunate Events is a great conclusion to the story. It answers more questions than the book ending and is a bit lighter in tone. It was a fun ride all the way through.

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Disney’s Descendants 3

The third and likely last film of this franchise. What is it about? The children of Disney characters all together at school with lots of fancy modern sensibilities and styles. It is a musical with fun costumes, dancing and great songs. Within that is a story about not writing people off because of their circumstances or origins.

The kids of villains are all trapped on a slum island while the heroes have the rest of the world. Four villain kids, Mal, Evie, Jay and Carlos are trying to convince the heroes to let the villain kids go because they haven’t done anything wrong, but things aren’t that easy. Every time they go back to the island, villains wreak havoc. This time, Hades is threatening, but he’s not the main antagonist.

The main antagonist is someone that our heroes don’t expect. The plot is fun, but I always enjoyed the film more for the music, dancing and styles. The costumes are great and fits all the characters well. There are many new fun songs that I enjoyed, especially that villain song by the main antagonist. Mal also gets another duet song that’s rocking.

The story is good. All of the main characters get some fun scenes, though Mal gets a lot of focus as the most important one of the group. Uma is back, and she’s even better this time around. Uma and Mal do a lot of the emotional lifting of the movie while the others are more comedic.

This movie is a great conclusion to the story with several fantastic songs. The nature of villains gets explored and they wrestle with is it right to lock entire families away to keep the worst of the worst contained. It’s a fun blend of different characters from the movies, though the kid characters all grow to be great on their own. Disney crossover stuff is always fun.

Elementary

Aw, it’s finally over. Perhaps the best recent interpretation of Sherlock Holmes. Elementary takes place in New York instead of Londong. It was fun with interesting side characters, but what made it work was Holmes and Watson. Here, Watson is a woman names Joan. While she’s not from the military, she is tough and a great compliment to Holmes.

A strength of a television show is bring able to properly develop the characters over a long time. Earlier seasons start off with Holmes learning how to interact with people and his struggles with drug addiction. Early on, Watson was recently out as a doctor and turned to new work as a sober companion.

Along with them was Marcus Bell, the detective working with Holmes at the NYPD, and Captain Gregson, the, well, captain of the precinct. Both of them are capable and while they have less screen time, they can easily match up with Holmes when the occasion calls for it.

Over the years, they face off against simple criminals to organized crime masterminds. Sometimes, Holmes has to resort to drastic measures to see justice done.

The Holmes and Watson relationship is done fantastic in the show. Here, Holmes knows how abrasive he can be and really cherishes the people close to him. This also includes Captain Gregson and Detective Bell, but the one he relies on most is Watson.

This season, they take on a new villain, one that has the name Reichenbach. For those that know the original stories, Reichenbach Falls was the famous place where Holmes plunged off the waterfall. So this will be a big struggle for the detectives.

Also as the last season, the show brings back characters from previous season sort of as tying up their story and giving another showing. It’s great seeing the old characters again.

Elementary was a fun take on Sherlock Holmes. Sure, some of the cases were wild, but the characters at the core of the story are great together.

Infinity Train

Infinity Train, a short cartoon series that’s full of strange and creepy things. But it also has wonderful characters that are full of wonder and heart. Infinity Train is about Tulip. Her world has been shattered with the divorce of her parents, and both of them are still pretty bad at being single parents. That leaves her feeling alone and neglected. She runs away only to encounter the strange Infinity Train, a massive train where each car is its own ecosystem. The train doesn’t even run on Earth. It runs in some strange desolate wasteland dominated by energy-sucking monsters. Not that the train is safe exactly.

Unsettling would be a good word to describe the atmosphere. There’s cool unsettling, cute unsettling and plain creepy unsettling. Each episode takes place in a new train car while usually implying that Tulips has been passing through several other cars. She is an upset child that just wants the world to make sense again, but how does that relate to the train?

Joining her are One-One, a pair of robots that are usually joined together. One is upbeat. Other One is crestfallen, like Marvin from Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Also coming along is Atticus, king of the corgis and an adorable companion.

Our three main characters are full of heart, though for Tulip, she needs to dig a bit deeper to find it. Seeing them grow to be closer together is great. One-One and Atticus are her only friends on board the strange train, and One-One is even stranger in his constant quest to find his mother.

The mystery and presentation of the show is grand and spectacular. The Infinite Train is enormous, almost like an insurmountable obstacle. That’s not including the Steward trying to stop Tulip from progressing. The entire place has a sense of wrongness hidden underneath all of the fun stuff. The feel and tone of the show is great. It moves between lighthearted things and real soul-searching stuff for Tulip. As she moves through the train, she is forced to grow and change.

So, join Tulip on her journey and see what awaits her at the front of the train. What is up with One-One. How regal and cute can Atticus get? Infinity Train is a kid’s story that’s not afraid of being a bit mature. The show keeps the serious stuff hidden away until it is ready to pounce in a most impactful way.

It’s a short series, so go watch it all at once!

Legion

The end of a strange, strange show. Legion is about David, a man with lots of problems including mental health issues, a mutant living inside him for almost thirty years and lots of other stuff. Did I say mutant? Yeah, this is based on an X-Men story about Legion, the mutant that is Charles Xavier’s son. The show is pretty far removed from the X-Men story, though. They don’t reference any of that. X-Men probably don’t even exist in that world. This show is more exploring David as well as putting out plenty of strange but well-crafted episodes.

Seasons 1 and 2 were strange with lots of wonderful moments. Season 3 continues on with the a lot of odd things happening. There is a new major character, Switch, a time traveler. She is how David plans on fixing everything. He wants to go back in time to stop his life from getting so messed up. But in doing so, he unleashes something on the world that makes Syd and the rest of Division 3 ramp up their efforts to stop him with Farouk’s help.

Hearing the plot typed out doesn’t do the presentation any justice. This show is something to be experienced. That’s the way to get engrossed in all of the visuals and wonder set up. Somehow, Legion turns what should be minor flashbacks or side plots on other shows and turns them into an entire episode, such as Charles Xavier meeting his wife. They make it work. The show moves at it’s own pace, even at the last season.

Some episodes can feel like why was it there? Why did it take a full episode to do? But other times, I really enjoyed how different each episode was from each other.

Still, the characters that are not David, Syd, Switch or Farouk might as well not exist. They only get some minor importance before going back to being background stuff. It’s sad since most of those characters are really interesting even in the small amount of focus time they get.

For those characters, though, they get a lot of great scenes. I liked the episode dedicated to Syd. I thought Farouk was wonderfully acted as always. He’s both in control yet vulnerable. Switch is an interesting new character, and I felt for her plight. David is the most important, of course, and this season is about what he becomes.

The look and feel of this show is was draws me in. It feels different from anything else I’ve seen on TV, and the show isn’t afraid to take things further. The substance might appear more important than it really is, but the style is always fantastic.

The last season is actually decently straightforward and understandable while still keeping up with all of the uniqueness this show offers. Give it a try if you’re wanting something different. It will draw you in with wonderful scenes and atmosphere as well as a wide variety of episode styles. I really enjoyed what was presented, and I think they told a good story at the end of it.

Agents of SHIELD

I’m sad they announced the show is ending, but it has been quite a wild ride. Of course, it’s not ending just yet. This is season 6, there one more coming soon. So let’s put that off and talk about Season 6.

The show has gotten wild from it’s origins and this season kicks things up even more. Now, there are clones of dead characters, a strange woman, a wacky space adventure, alien birds that turn people into zombies, and more!

The season starts with our main characters in two groups. One in space searching for Fitz. This consists of Daisy, Jemma and side-agents Davis and Piper. Fitz is in space with Enoch. They have wild adventures that’s both fun and sad. Fitz and Simmons have some of the best scenes together, and this season is no different. They have an episode of development mostly to themselves, and they make the most of it.

Meanwhile, on Earth, May, Mack and Yo-Yo need to deal with a new threat. Guess who? It’s evil Coulson! But he doesn’t know who Coulson is and refers to himself as Sarge. He also has a new crew that clashes with Shield.

The characters are what makes this show, and they’re still doing great. Even the side characters are fantastic. Out of the new guys from Sarge’s crew, Jaco is perhaps the best.

Also, Deke is back! He’s more of a comedy relief this time around, but he’s still competent when the time calls for it.

This season has a wild plot that takes a bit before everything falls into place. Once Daisy’s group returns to Earth, things pick up a bit and the plot really gets rolling.

Season 6 is another strong showing from Agents of SHIELD. They blend super-heroics with mystery solving and investigation well. Who is this Sarge and what does he want? Go watch and find out.

Hobbs and Shaw

Well, the full title is The Fast and The Furious presents Hobbs and Shaw because this is a spin-off! Luke Hobbs is sharing a movie with former villain Decker Shaw. Two of the largest badasses within the Fast and Furious world have to team up to stop a cyborg and save the world. Just another day in the Fast and Furious world. It should be expected.

This movie is full of action and dumb, goofy fun. It works on the concept of watching Hobbs and Shaw snipe at each other while begrudgingly working together. This concept is done really well. Their interactions are fun, if over the top. But then again, this entire movie is over the top.

Because they don’t like each other, there’s no plot point where they break up the team and then get back together. This movie is them learning to come together because their enemy is a cyborg! As in man with robot and cybernetic enhancements.

The plot doesn’t take any unexpected twists or turns, but it doesn’t need to. The story knows it’s a vehicle for ridiculous action scenes and character moments, so it works within that. Perhaps the movie lasts too long, but each segment is entertaining. The jokes are funny, and the main characters steal the scenes they’re in.

For new characters, we have Shaw’s sister, Hattie. She is the more serious one of the film, but she also is in more danger during the film. She has great scenes with both Hobbs and Shaw and is a good character by herself, too.

The bad guy is Brixton, a cyborg sent to track down Hattie and the technology she stole. He will stop at nothing, not even going through a bus. He has a certain ham to hims that makes him fun to watch. He’s more than a serious, dour villain. He is enjoying himself most of the time.

I do think there needs to be more names bad guys, though, since Hobbs and Shaw pretty much walk through any of the rank and file soldiers. They only get stopped by Brixton. Having other names bad guys would be someone that gives them an actual challenge to add some more tension to the fight scenes.

This movie is plain fun that does stunts and action well. Each of the main characters is given enough scenes to make them more than just ass-kicking machines. They’re people, too, and they have solid arcs. Hobbs and Shaw may be the start of another fun franchise.