Into the Badlands, Season finale

This show is all, like, I want kung fu, but I also want it to be in some kind of post-apocalyptic future. What are we going to do about the guns? Ban them all. And the, awesome kung fu everywhere.

Wirework wuxia style kung fu is fun to watch, and I am glad that there is a show doing it. No one cares about kungs when people can leap up to the second floor of a building or throw shurikens with great accuracy across a field. And it’s great. The actions scenes are fantastically fun. I wish they would do more longer shots, though. I mean, I’ve been spoiled a bit by John Wick that does a lot of long shots with their fighting, though this show also has more inhuman moves about.

The world they developed is really interesting, too. It’s gone back to the days of serfdom where barons own large plots of land that people work. The barons all have a personal kung-fu force known as the clippers, and one of our protagonists, Sunny, is the best clipper in the land. That means you get to see Sunny kick a lot of ass.

The other main character, M.K., is a boy from a mysterious place outside of the Badlands. His arrival sets into the motion the plan for Sunny to leave the Badlands. Of course the baron he works for won’t allow it. And the baron is busy fighting the other four barons in a struggle for power.

Quinn, Sunny’s baron, has the most delightful way of speaking, even if he is extremely cruel. In fact, the three baron’s that have showed up so far have all been exciting.

Why, oh why was this season so short? I really wanted more because everything in the show feels novel. I’m not saying it’s never been done before, I’m saying it hasn’t been done recently in that combination. Guns would just turn the show into any other. The kung-fu even has it’s own mythology. There are even monks that have not been fully explored yet.

The plot is alright, too, but I’m mostly here for the martial arts, even that magical fighting that has been thrown in there. It would be cool if there were more styles of fighting, and maybe even more weapon specialists. Just imagine the character possibilities within this show.

The world of the Badlands is populated by colorful and outrageous characters. It has great action scenes, an interesting setting and potential mythology that has been laid out. that last episode was such a cliffhanger. The show needs a second season, and hopefully a longer one.

Advertisements

Star Wars, Episode VII: The Force Awakens

Awww yeah! It’s out, the next installment in Star Wars! I will try to have a non-spoiler section and a spoiler section.

For the non-spoiler section, I’m not sure how much I could say. The feel of this is much closer to the original trilogy than the new trilogy. Lightsaber battles are more low-key, which makes sense as the only Jedi left wasn’t trained to fight like the original Jedi. It’s actually pretty great to watch since less flipping is needed.

It is a lot less about politics. In fact, there’s pretty much no politics, just people in over their heads trying to fight the new enemy, the First Order. It does bring back the sense of mystery and intrigue about the Jedi, though I have no idea how well that would work for first time viewers. For everyone else, it does feel more mystical. Though I still think it’s ridiculous that the entire Jedi ways have been reduced to myth in just 18 years or something.

Its grand and awesome. The main thing I liked the prequel trilogy for were the action scenes. This one feels just as much about the characters and their struggles. So, if you want to have the feeling of the original trilogy, this will give it to you.

 

 

Spoiler Section

The bad parts of the movie for me was that it felt way too much like a greatest hits remix of the original trilogy. Want a cute and useful droid? BB-8 is your guy. Want a giant mouth with tentacles? Got that. Want a planet destroyer? It’s back, bigger than ever with scatter shot, now. Want father/son facing off against each other? It’s here. Want yoda? We have that scene at the end and a mysterious female cantina owner. Oh yeah, want a cantina? Have some music, too.

Now, does any of that make me not like the movie? Not in the least. All of the scenes are actually fun and work really well. I just hope they explore new stuff starting in the next movie.

Also, I am disappointed at how little Captain Phasma did this movie, and then they left her fate ambiguous. I’ve read she will be in the later movies, but I would have liked a scene of her and General Hux picking up Kylo Ren.

Also, Kylo Ren is certainly no Vader. What would be potentially interesting is to see him grow more powerful and dark as ther series goes in a similar way the main characters will certainly get more powerful. So Kylo Ren is more of a mirror journey rather than starting out as an unstoppable force.

Now for the good. Pretty much the movie for a Star Wars fan. There are great space battles, blaster battles and lightsaber battles. Jedi are a rarity and the force is magical again. And that baton Storm Trooper, man, that baton Storm Trooper.

As of right now, I think Finn is the more potentially interesting character. He’s not the force sensitive one! That was an awesome move by the trailers to misdirect us, but now, what will he do? He’s a former member of the First Order and that kind of character has not been explored before.

I just really want Episode VIII to explore new ground. Even the political rise of the Emperor was new in the prequel trilogies. But this is a return to form for Star Wars, and it’s great to see the gang back again.

Limitless, Winter Finale

This is for the new TV show, not the movie. I still have not seen the movie, so I won’t be making any comparisons to that. Now, Limitless is like a whole lot of other crime procedurals. Have one out there guy, this time due to the NZT drug, and have him work with an official organization, in this case, the FBI. And of course the main character is the one that avoids all the proper procedures when doing things, but because he gets things done, he stays around.

This time, it’s Brian Finch, man that had nothing much going on in his life until he stumbles upon NZT, a drug that turns his mind super. And thankfully for everyone else, he’s a great, fun-loving guy that would much rather use NZT to help people than anything else.

And this show is fun. Sometimes, I think that’s the main purpose of the episodes more than anything. It reminds of my Psych a lot of the time. The episodes get their own mini-themes and it brings about a different feel each time, though always aimed towards fun.

It is mostly a case of the week type show with a bit of mixing it up. The ongoing plots are usually the most serious parts of the show. Thus far, there are three of them ranging from Brian Finch’s dad to Rebecca’s boyfriend. The last one actually ties into the movie! I never seen the movie, yet I think it is fantastic to set it up in the same world with the movie character coming in. That one hasn’t gone too far, yet. It’ll probably be the season long thing.

Sure, it might be a procedural, but I enjoy those kinds of shows, and Limitless is really fun. Brian is just a happy guy that’s enjoying his time as the FBI’s research subject.

Supergirl, Winter Finale

It’s strange. I don’t think I’ve ever seen much of Supergirl in the cartoons, and I certainly don’t read the comics, but I was really looking forward to this show. I guess Superman, but a girl, really does sell that easily. And I really do like female main characters.

So I will not be comparing this to the comics at all since I don’t know much about Supergirl from the comics.

This show can be hit or miss, but it hits hard when it connects. It just needs to hit so more often than it does now. But more on that in the spoiler section.

This show does push the feminist views. It was a bit much in the first episode, but I think the other episodes do it better. It becomes more about how Supergirl learns and grows into being a hero isntead of her being a female hero. I also think Melissa Benoist is wonderful at Supergirl. She brings the right amount of adorkableness and happiness, yet when she is angry, it is just scary.

There are some stuff that doesn’t completely mesh on the show. Superman at times seems forced in, but most of the time he’s fine. The fights, though, they could be much better. It might be TV budget and actors that are not experienced in it, but the fights overall are not all that interesting. I hope as Supergirl grows, so does their fight budget. They do way too many jump cuts.

Aside from Supergirl, the other actors are alright. I’m pretty alright with Jimmy being a cool guy. The show does give him moments that shows he’s only this way after a lot of growing. Cat is a real highlight, though. I am surprised that she’s become one of my favorite characters, especially after the first episode where she just seems to be an overmean boss.

Maxwell Lord is also a fun character to watch. I just really hope the Superman parallels don’t turn him into Supergirl’s Lex Luthor. Come on, show, this doesn’t need everything from Superman.

The show does Supergirl really good, the struggle and growth she has in each episode is done well. The actual resolution can feel weak at times, though. I’m going to continue watching, though. The midseason finale really kicks things up, and I hope it continues in that quality.

Spoiler section

Wow, Supergirl blasting Red Tornado apart was my favorite scene of the season. And if this show had the budget, I would have really liked the winter finale’s fight scenes. As it was, the winter finale was still great! It’s a multi-parter and comes with a bunch of action. Maxwell Lord is still awesome just facing down an alien attack squad like it was nothing.

More of the big plot like that. Don’t have the main villain disappear for several episodes at a time, have them be a constant threat. I am certain they will explore the dynami between Supergirl and her aunt more, and that is great. It makes both of them more interesting.

Once Upon a Time, Winter Finale

Once Upon a Time, my favorite Disney/fairytale mashup story around. This season, they are going into Merlin and the Dark One! After the second half of last season, they really had to deliver with Merlin. I’ll give you more thoughts about that in my spoilers section later down.

I’ve only started watching the show since season 4. This season feels about the same. Introduce Disney character, give them some back story and tie them into the running plot going on the town. This time, though, there is no Savior. She has turned dark with a most ridiculous getup. Rumple looks cool. Emma just looks kind of angsty as the dark one. Though to be fair, she probably is really angsty.

This show suffers a similar problem I have with Sleepy Hollow, and that is it provides too easy of a magical solution to problems. I can forgive this show more, though, because it is fairy tale based and that the magial solutions are not the main point of the show, the long running character plots are. The magical stuff is just a convenient way for the writers to get what they want to happen. Hey, I’m guilty of doing that, too. As long as the resolution is satisfying, I’m alright with it.

Now, was the resolution satisfying? Partially. But this show still has the same charm and feel from the previous season, and I just really like seeing all of the disney characters interact with each other. And the show still does have several great moments that stand out during the season. I just really want the good guys to be smarter.

Now, onto the spoilers part of the review. Stop here if you want to see for yourself.

The villain for the first half of the season is Arthur, as in King Arthur. I feel he was alright. He tried to get in the way of the heroes, though really, he does have a point about the heroes standing against him. He’s just not all that effective, though. Almost every encounter he has with the heroes ends with him losing and being bailed out by someone else.

He does have one of the great moments of the season though. It happens when he gets the dust that fixes things. Somehow, it also means he can “fix” his kingdom, turning it from a collection of huts to an awesome castle. Just having Camelot appear out of nowhere was a real, Whoa, moment for me.

Still, his plot has been left unsolved. Arthur is still running around while the heroes go off to save one of their own from the underworld. It would be so great if once the heroes come back they find that Storybrook has been turned into New Camelot, and Merida and Lancelot are leading the rebellion.

Onto the winter finale, I enjoyed it right up until Rumple being Rumple. Character development just can’t stick to that guy. He’s like teflon. As long as every other character stops trying to help him, that I would be okay with.

I am interested in the next half-season’s plot. It might be a big excuse to see a lot of old characters, but it’s fun! And I really like fun shows.

Sleepy Hollow, Winter Finale

Oh this happened a while ago. I forgot to make a post about it until now.

Despite having a sort of restart (getting rid of old characters, changing the Abbie’s job), this show, it seems to be stuck to being far too formulaic. While other shows are having snappy episodes with longer arcs, this show still tries to do the monster wof the week style while having about 5 minutes dedicated to a larger plot. Those 5 minutes are not enough, especially when I think the monsters of the week are too easily dealt with. It also took far too long before the big picture was revealed.

I still find the monsters creepy, and the show gives them the uncanny effect. Some are better than others, but for the most part, I like the monsters. Unfortunately, they are pretty much all dealt with the same way, by finding some old information with flashbacks to that time.

I think it’s fun, but it needs to change it up. My favorite episode would have to be the one with the berserkers just because the magical solution the main characters found didn’t work. They needed to improvise and come up with their own plan to deal with them.

Another thing that adds to the formula stype of the show is it pretty much always opens in on Crane harping on about modern life or not being used to modern life. I do like him playing video games, though, and he is going out into the world more, which is great.

The first season, everything was fun and fresh, but it’s been three seasons now where most of the episodes follow the same thing. Some shows can do the case of the week stuff, but Sleepy Hollow has such an interesting concept that it feels wasted on that style of show.

Also, I totally hope the headless horseman comes back, since he’s got to be Crane’s final enemy. Just got to.

Of course I’m still going to watch. I still like the characters and the monsters are cool.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Winter Finale

Oh man, this show. Just this show. It keeps on getting better. I will keep spoilers to a minimal, but this show has really grown into its own. The ride picked up speed starting in the second half of season one and it just hasn’t slowed. What I really like is that this is a look at how a secret organization operates and all of the tough calls that it entails. They want to do the right thing but don’t always know how.

Also, they show Shield as being really proactive to bad guys instead of just reactive. Shield will go to you if they can find you, and they can probably find you. They engage in actual missions with planning and spy stuff.

This season starts out with a bang and lots of new inhuman stuff! They introduce some more original characters while also giving out some comic characters, and it all works so well together. The first half of the season already ran through so many plotlines from Ward (of course) to inhuman trouble to other government agencies. Each episode is just packed and it is tense that they will leave you on a spot where you want to know more.

Also, I enjoyed Hunter before, but I am liking him more and more. I think it’s just the way he gives praise. If he feels you deserve it, he goes whole heartedly without a hint of his usual sarcasm. Daisy with her new powers are great, too, and Mac and her work together really well. I’m glad that Mac’s partner is an inhuman.

This show really shows what it’s like for normal people to deal with the sort of stuff that super heroes deal with. The people get scarred, both physically and mentally, but they come back stronger because of it. But then they have to face even greater challenges. Still great after 2 seasons, and the next half season looks to have a most dangerous foe.