Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice

This movie, this movie. It had all the hype leading up to the release. So, how is it? It’s alright. I mean, it averages out to being alright, but the fun parts are wonderful. It’s just that the rest is not quite so successful.

If I could make a comparison, parts of the movie feel like a TV special of web shorts. Imagine those short web episodes, 2-3 minute stuff. Then, once they have enough of it, they put it on TV in a 30 minute episode. But each 2-3 scene does not flow well at all from one to another because they weren’t made that way. This film is a lot like that. Things just happen and then they don’t matter anymore.

Taken individually, these scenes work well. Put together, they start to slog, drag and pull in all directions. This movie really feels like it is two different movies put into one. And because of that, it takes twice the amount of time to set up leaving lots of slow pacing all around.

The titular Batman V Superman fight is fantastic, however. The visuals of this movie are fantastic. And it really shows how powerful Superman and what he is fighting really is. Things have punch, impact. It’s great. The fights really show just what happens when super-powered beings duke it out. Hint, they tear through buildings like paper.

Tonally, the movie is a lot like Man of Steel. Very gritty and brooding. The tone does feel off. These new takes on characters just aren’t as much fun to watch interacting with people. That problem goes away when they’re fighting, though.

Batman, though, he works as the brooding guy because that’s how he always is. And Batman is great in this film. He has some great moments showing off ninja skills, he’s smooth when he needs to be and threatening at other times. And you see a lot of caring that brings him to fight with Superman.

Superman is alright. I mean, I think he hits exactly what the writers wanted, though it’s not what the well-known previous versions of him were like. Lex, too, I enjoyed, but not as Lex Luthor. He does not feel like Lex one bit.

Overall, if you enjoyed the tone of Man of Steel, this one will be good. If you did not, this one does not change from that at all. I enjoyed it, but not as much as I could have given the amount of hype surrounding this movie. I mean, if it was possible, turning this into 2 movies would have worked great. Have a Batman V Superman Movie and then a Dawn of Justice Movie.

 

Time for some more spoilery thoughts! Spoilers ahoy. Though there’s not much you haven’t seen from that one trailer already. Zing.

Cameos! Not important to the plot but I certainly enjoyed them. I would enjoy them more if they didn’t seem so shoehorned in, though. And time-traveling Flash, stop being so vague in your warning! Wonder Woman is great and I’m looking forward to her solo movie. I am glad how much ass she kicks in this movie.

The final fight was great, even if they were fighting a CGI monster. The whole throwing the spear into the water thing was pointless if they were going to get it back 3 minutes later! And I wanted Superman to be out of the fight for longer after getting hit by that one thing.

Huh… nothing else spoilery worth mentioning, I guess. I’m still excited for future DCU movies, but I hope they shift the tone of things. Don’t be so dark and gritty. Not all characters are like that or need that!

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Teachers, Season Finale

I’m not even sure how I stumbled onto this show. I think it was on the suggested list based on what I watched. I started with the third episode, which I enjoyed, and then went back to catch the first two.

Teachers is, unsurprisingly, about a group of elementary school teachers and how they should not be doing that job. I mean, they must do great off-screen since their students seem to really like them, but on-screen, wackiness ensues.

There are six main teachers, all weird and probably shouldn’t be teaching. One is super self-absorbed. Another is an activist in all sorts of things. One is even a wiccan. There is also an uptight and unlucky with love teacher, a religious fundamentalist that is really repressed, and a teacher that may or may not be stoned all the time. The characters won’t win any inventive character awards, but they are fun to follow. They are really different, yet they mesh and interact together well.

What I really liked about the third episode, and I tend to like these plots, is three separate plots all colliding together in a crazy fashion. They are always fun to me, and I think it also shows off the friendship the teachers have really well. All six of the main teachers banded together perfectly at the end to get each other out of trouble, all without any talking to each other. They just knew.

The finale I also really enjoyed. While I don’t find all episodes laugh-out-loud funny, they were all enjoyable to me seeing just how much the teacher’s personality will mess with their students. It’s interesting how the real threat of being fired is a plot point. Usually, shows will just accept the characters being weird, but on this show, the teachers have to try and hide it.

Oh, I also had to do a double-take on the names of the actresses in the credits. They are all based on the name Katherine. Huh. Hi, random and unimportant paragraph.

Anyway, Teachers is about dysfunctional people trying to teach kids to be better. They may or may not succeed, but all of them do care a great amount. And I think that really helps mitigate all of the disasters, tiny and large, that they get into. That and their friendship with each other.

Character Competence

This will be a super opinion piece. What is a super opinion? Nothing, really. I just mean this will be super filled with just opinions on my view about character competence. I suppose this was brought out by my watching Legends of Tomorrow and me thinking about Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD. Note that I do like Legends of Tomorrow despite what I’m about to say. This rant also applies to some other shows. It’s by no means unique to Legends of Tomorrow.

So what am I talking about? The huge number of ways a super-powered team could take down Vandal Savage. I know that means the end of the story, but come on, they missed so many opportunities. I would understand it if they made a plan and it went bad, but often times, their initial plan is already bad! It also makes the villains feel not quite as threatening. The villains doesn’t escape because the good guys are good at what they do. The villain escapes because the good guys give him every opportunity to.

Some examples? Ray, having a shrinking suit not having it on him at all times. The Jax and Stein thing where they aren’t always together is a bit more understandable since sometimes, they can’t stand each other. But how about the times they actually managed to kill Savage and then just left. The body is right there. Pick it up. Or even if you don’t want to pick it up, stay in that timeline and find the magic dagger.

Or take the episode where Vandal Savage is just pretending to be a doctor with no army at his back. Kidnap him or something!

Why am I comparing it to Agents of SHIELD? Well, there are few encounters in there where I thought that with what the characters had, they could have made a better plan. The villains in SHIELD escape or win because you know they are skilled, not that the good guys are ineffectual. And making the good guy effective in no ways cuts down on character drama or growth or anything like that.

Gotham, I feel that’s another good example of characters behaving as competently as they can given their resources and abilities. Gordon is doing the best they can against freeze rays, corrupt politicians and the like.

Supergirl would be a bad example of being competent. Pretty much all the time Supergirl lets the bad guy get away on their first encounter. WIth X-ray vision and super speed, you would think she could track them. Now I get that she’s new and starting out, so I’m not ragging on her that much. Yet. We’ll see how she is next season, though she does succeed in most episodes, so yay.

The DEO could stand to be a bit more competent. Hank, you go spying in some place, shapeshifted as someone else, and then you shift back into your normal form? Why? Alex, you do not have mission specific dining clothes and gear for spying? Well, I’d buy that since the organization isn’t a spy agency.

Basically, for me, it’s a bit frustrating when characters act stupidly with poor justifications for doing so. I do like all the characters in Legends of Tomorrow, it’s just that their planning skills are horrible. Rip needs to draft a strategist for his next team.

Make villains threatening because they are just that good, not because the heroes are bumbling through everything.

The Shannara Chronicles

The Shannara Chronicles is a fantasy film. An ancient tree is dying, it’s keeping the monsters sealed away so they’re coming back, and our heroes are the only ones that can save the tree and stop the evil army! Does that sound exciting? It sure does. But I feel this show also suffers from underutilizing its more interesting characters and not having enough budget.

I have not read the book, so I am only going off the TV show. There will be some spoilers. Hopefully nothing major.

The first few episodes were good. They set up the world. They had neat effects. And they showed off some great locations. The last few were good, too. There was action, magic and all the fantasy stuff you want.

The stuff in between, though, is not that great. Those episodes feel really samey. This is an epic fantasy of traveling through strange lands, but each episode just really grates. A character, probably one of the main characters, are kidnapped every episode. The others then need to mount a rescue mission.

If the show wanted to do something every week, they should have a new monster attacking them each time, instead. As it is, the main characters are just dealing with random assholes who are stopping them for petty reasons. I mean, like, dudes, you have heard of the monster attacks, right? Stop getting in the way of the people saying they’re trying to stop it!

That especially goes for you, Cephalo. You fought with one face to face and you still somehow are trying to screw the main characters over.

I have a feeling budget is a lot of the reason why the main characters did not face more monsters. I mean, the reaper got two short scenes and that’s it. The dragon thing that can be ridden appears in one episode. The rider gives the main character something to call them with, and then poof. You would think having a flying taxi would be really useful, but nope.

On to the characters themselves. Allanon is great. He feels like he knows how to get things done. Actually, I liked most of the scenes at the Elves’ palace, and their subplot. They just feel like they’re dealing with the enemy so much more directly.

The actual heroes, Wil, Amberle and Eretreia deal with random assholes most of the time. And out of the three of them, two of them feel mostly useless. Wil is only good when fighting monsters. Amberle is required to complete the quest, and that’s about it. Only Eretreia feels like a hardened adventurer. Which, given each character’s backstory makes sense, but they still feel like they need to take the quest more seriously.

Though I did really like the post apocalyptic world thing. Most people don’t like it because it doesn’t make sense for all those structure to still be up after so long, but it helps differentiate the world. So even if it doesn’t make sense, I still like it.

If they get a second season, I want the characters to be more competent. They’re facing danger. Get trained. Get hard.

Agent Carter

Second season of Agent Carter. I wanted to add something like marvelous or amazing onto the front, but other superheroes have already used it. Anyway, season 2 is the continuing adventure of what happened before SHIELD. This time, in Hollywood!

I enjoyed this season much more than the first one, and the first season was pretty good. I felt the first season started a bit confusingly. In the first season I’ll admit to not knowing exactly who the first few antagonists were. It wasn’t until Leviathan popped up that things became clear.

For the second season, Isodyne and the main antagonist were front and center from the start, and it really helped. I feel this season is both funnier and more dramatic at the same time. There is still a lot of sneaking, spying stuff. Also a scary and powerful villain.

Peggy is great as always, and Jarvis is getting more awesome by the episode. The new characters are all pretty interesting. And I am liking Jack Thompson’s role in being obstructionist while still (really deep down) believing in Peggy. I mean, I would hope you all have more faith in Jack Thompson after that first season.

The final episode, I felt they dealt with the main villain a bit too easily, but its nice they made a plan and executed it. The episode is still great and helps tie up all of the emotional highs brought about by the series.

The second season moves at a great pace with a fun event each episode. All the characters get some great scenes and developments. We actually learn about Peggy’s past! The Hollywood setting isn’t used as much as it could be, but it’s still a fun place to have the season.

 

 

Time for some more spoiler thoughts on the season.

Ana Jarvis is finally on screen! And she is delightful. They made her character perfect. The right amount of worry and assurance. She pushes both Peggy and Jarvis to do more and greater, all while being worried sicka bout both of them. And she is involved more than that. A great addition to the show.

Doctor Wilkes. Hmm. I understand his motivations but have no real thoughts on him. I guess he’s just too normal, even if he is the one with powers. Out of everyone, he just feels the most plain.

The council and Whitney Frost. The council itself was kinda disappointing, but I also never expected them to be big players. You just know Whitney Frost is going to take over once she gets her super powers. And she is great. The facial makeup works really well on her.

The gangster, too, was a pleasant surprise.

And lastly, more Dottie! She is still awesome in this season even if she doesn’t appear as much. She does make the most of her time on screen, though.

So, thus ends season 2 of Agent Carter. A great new season to follow up season one, though the finale of season one was better.

Fuller House

I have been unreasonably excited for this show, which is strange since I wasn’t even a full time watcher of the original Full House. I caught a lot of episodes to be sure, but all reruns. Back when that show was going, I wasn’t a watch things immediately as they come out kind of guy.

I just love real time stories, that is when 20 years passing in real life means the story also picks up 20 years later. And I also really like seeing all of the original cast from back then. It’s all about catching up with old friends that you haven’t seen in a long time, and that’s a great feeling.

But onto the show itself. Fuller House is a lot like Full House, just with more modern situations thrown in and hidden parental jokes. I was just recently rewatching the original Full House, so unless the TV showed an editted version, the original had less of those hidden jokes.

This show is still just as ham and cheesy and feel-good with those little sad moments thrown in to pull the family together. There are no jerks or anything, just like in the original. This is family viewing. And it’s what I want from Fuller House, it’s why I enjoyed the original so much. The original cast still has it! Stephanie was always my favorite character in Full House, so I’m really glad to see her here and having fun.

The first episode hits a lot on the nostalgia points. The show does break the fourth wall a bit more than the original. Possibly a bit too much. I think they they went too big with some of the episodes. Almost every other episode had some big number or event. There were clubs, parties, a luchador wrestling match! I will say that Jeff Davis was an apt guest for that episode. From Mike Rowe’s Somebody’s Got to Do It, I know that Jeff Davis is or was a Luchador announcer.

Having more episodes focused closer to home family stuff would be great. And while guest appearances from old cast members are great, I feel that the new cast needs more time with each other first. Guest appearances can come later. Prop the current cast up first.

The original show really hit payday with the child actors. It might have been the style of the 90’s, but they were all adorable. Fuller House has a more modern take on kids with them being savvier thanks to the internet. They really grew on me as the season went on. And I really enjoyed the Stephanie and Tommy interaction in episode 4. That one really felt spot on.

Of the new additions to the cast, I like Fernando and Ramona the best. Kimmy’s family, awesome. Fernando is the most lovable cheat ever. He’s just always so bright, happy and dramatic. Ramona just has charm, and I think is more into the groove of Full House than the rest of the kids.

Fuller House is a family friendly comedy with 1990’s sensibilities for a 2010’s world. It’s fun, hammy and cheesy and what I want out of Fuller House. I really want a second season of this. And more. I just get really excited for seeing what’s become of the Tanner family since I have watched those characters grow up on TV.

Spoilers

 

 

Pin a rose on my nose. Harry Takayama!?! Aww, different actor.