Garm Wars: The Last Druid

I caught this movie when it showed up on the Television. I had no idea what it was. Just decided to go in and watch it. Really. I had zero idea what it was about other than the title.

This movie. It’s strange, to say the least, and not in a quirky way. Really, it feels like an anime or video game brought to live action, but as far as I know, it’s an original story. The movie is directed by Mamoru Oshii, who also did Ghost in the Shell.

There are eight tribes of Garms in the world that are unable to create new life. That’s why they use cloning technology to perpetuate their wars for Garm tribe supremacy. This only occurs after their creator leaves and all of the Druids die off. From the title, you already know there’s going to be another druid, though the druid character oddly sits on the sidelines for pretty much the whole movie.

The visuals are pretty good, though also really CGI. The colors for the film are just so muted. It was actually straining for me to watch it at times because things wash together so much. The plot pretty much drops you into the last days of the war. They catch you up to speed by name dropping all eight tribes. It’s like the movie knew viewers would be confused, so the first time important characters come up, they get nameplate introductions. Only the beginning still a bit confusing on the first viewing, and I didn’t really feel like watching it a second time.

The movie is really stylish, but that’s about it. The world never really finds its footing in the rather short film. I never cared why they were fighting. And real people don’t do stylish action scenes as well, so they didn’t have that either. There seems to be no normal people in the world. Just a bunch of Garms fighting and the main characters wondering why things are the way they are.

With only a hurried introduction, the movie more quieter times that gives some more character motivations.

Some spoilers for the movie follow. Just vague things, no specifics.

Then comes the last act, which I think is act 4? Yes, the movie divides itself into acts. Stuff gets super crazy and it all ends on massive cliffhanger. Pun intended for those that have seen the movie. It really makes the entire journey just feel not worth it.

This movie is just strange. It plays out like it expects you to know a lot of backstory material, only I don’t think there actually is any backstory material around. It’s trying to be stylish but real people can’t do that as well as animated people, not in the physics defying anime way. The the cliffhanger makes the journey feel not worth. It’s a pretty weird piece of film that would have benefitted greatly by giving viewers a reason to care about anything that’s going on.

Advertisements

Gotham, Season Finale

Gotham season 2 is so much densier and wackier than season one. It’s great! I already gave my thoughts about the first half of the season previously here, so this will just be about the second half.

This time, it’s all about Arkham, the pysciatric hospital, and the secret lab underneath it, Indian Hill. It is there that all sorts of freaks and monsters are being created by Doctor Hugo Strange, played by BD Wong. Hugo Strange is great here. He has a sort of suaveness and calm no matter the situation. Well, until the final episode, anyway. His assistant, Ms. Peabody is also fun to watch. She’s more practical and worried about the rules. He just wants to see what happens when he does things.

The first few episodes are about Mister Fries, who wants to save his wife, Nora from dying. You know, I never knew I wanted to meet Nora Fries and see how she interacts with other people until Gotham, but it was great! She reacts to the whole thing kind of how I expected her to.

Then Hugo Strange really kicks into gear with his experiments. And Bruce heavily suspects that what his father worked on had something to do with the project Strange is running. I really liked the episode with the raptor-handed girl. I couldn’t remember her name, but I really liked her character.

Bruce is really getting into the Batman vibe now. He’s still a few years away going for serious combat training, but he’s already has a lot of great Batman ideas going through his head. I’m liking Selina a lot more this season, too. In the first season, she sometimes appear just to appear. This time, she’s much more involved with what’s going on.

Penguin and Butch are still great as always. In fact, they’re even better together now. Just that RPG scene, man. Just that scene. Best part of the whole season. Crazy Ed is really great, too. And Barbara is still kicking! She’s sort of a wild card right now. I hope she doesn’t just attach herself to all the different groups, but it is kinda her personality. Harvey is great as always.

The new police captain, Barnes, is alright. Even though he comes at odds with Gordan, he’s not that annoying for doing so. Still, his fate is kind of up in the air right now. So let’s see what happens in the third season.

The finale, it was just so well built up. Spoiler time!

Everyone important is at Arkham or going there, so you know stuff is going down. Just the final moments to the episode before the season finale was great. You saw every character (except Penguin and Butch) at Indian Hill just being crazy.

Hugo Strange has been ordered to terminate his operations and move all of this experiment upstate. That means blowing up Indian Hill. The finale didn’t hit with large revalations, but it was the solid ending to Hugo Strange’s story. Fake Jim Gordan is also hilariously awesome.

Gotham season two really embraces the craziness that makes it much better and fun. It’s not overly grim, but it’s still a dark, dreary feeling of a messed up city. They might even embrace this not being a strict prequel to Batman. It gives them a lot more freedom to be surprising that way. Just go with a alternate-reality storyline instead of trying to fit this into known Batman lore.

Go forth and enjoy.

Legends of Tomorrow, Season Finale

Legends of Tomorrow, a mash-up of heroes and former villains who gathered together to stop the immortal Vandal Savage. In order to do that, they must hunt Vandal Savage through time! This makes everyone sound much more competent than they act.

This is still a fun show that does an ensemble cast right. Everyone gets their own chance to shine, and each episode mostly doesn’t feel bogged down by them. That’s because each episode, the team of eight gets split into two or three groups, and the good part is that the groups change up a lot.

This show is fun, sometimes nonsensical fun, but still fun and entertaining. Though you really need to turn off your BS detector to get through it. Think too deeply on some things and the show does fall apart a bit. So I don’t. I’m just here enjoying my super team of clashing friends on their trip through time.

The biggest problem I have with the show is just how incompetent the team feels when they go up against Vandal Savage. In non-Savage episodes, they are all much more enjoyable. Probably because they don’t make stupid decisions in the end resulting in Savage getting away.

I think that’s the problem with the villain. Aside from immortality and all the years of experience, he really should not be a match for so many people, including a guy that shoots fire, a guy that can shrink, a guy with future tech! And all the others. Therefore, the heroes always fail in some contrived way. The actual character of Vandal Savage is good, though. He is the low, slithery kind of creepy, and he pulls it off well.

Among the team, each of them have their moments, though I find Leonard Snart and Mick Rory to have the most. If they were running the show, I’m sure it would either be a total disaster or Savage would be done with by the second episode.

Sara has some nice moments with both action and keeping the team together. I like Ray at times, but he also does some of the most stupidest things around. Jax and Stein are good, though they spend far too much time apart for people that can’t fight without each other. Their conflicts and growths together is good, though. And I like Rip. He’s really flawed and kind of a horrible leader, but he grows to be more of one throughout the season. And I really like the way he talks, just the way he refers to his teammates as Mister and Miss.

Kendra. Hmm. She is used way too much in relationships. Like, she has a bit of a plot about learning how to fight, but overall, she is all about the romantic relationships. I’m not into the whole mandatory relationship thing.

Spoilers for the finale and few episodes prior to that.

The Vanishing Point looked fantastic! And the whole fighting the Time Master plot feels far better than fighting Savage. For one, the team slowly makes progress, gets to be badass and defeat the Time Masters! And it also gives a somewhat justification for the results of the team’s attempt on Savage.

The final episode is pretty good, though, because they finally defeat Savage. Multiple times. In multiple times! Funny how easy Savage is able to be beaten once the Timeforce is no longer working against the heroes.

The time travel in this show is really just an excuse to go to new and exciting locations or what-if scenarios. Time travel rules are always just confusing in general, so once again, don’t think too much about it.

The Legends of Tomorrow is a fun, superhero show that does a marvelous ensemble cast. No one character outshines the others. For season 2, they just need to make the heroes more competent. Pick a bad guy that allows the heroes to be at their best while still not defeating the bad guy. Don’t just dumb/weaken people down as plot calls for it.

Still, let’s go on more time travel shenanigans.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Season Finale

The high-flying Agents of Shield (AoS) Season 3 is finished! And wow, the show has changed a lot from season one. There are a lot of super-powered people running around, now. The whole Inhuman plot from the second season is now in full swing with powered people everywhere and Shield trying to deal with it. So now it’s both agents and superheroes!

AoS is just doing its own thing, bringing about world-ending threats and working great for it. With the addition of super-powered people, there are new tensions running all through the season, especially since Daisy is one of those inhumans. The first half of the season deals with finding more inhumans while racing against Hydra, who is also doing the same thing.

The second half, that brings out the big guns in Ward turning into Hive, an Inhuman that rules over all over Inhumans. Brett Dalton does a great job portraying such a different character. Hive really isn’t like any human at all, and that comes across.

It’s great how Inhumans are at the forefront of this season. It feels so different from before, where it was normal agents and spies trying to deal with another secret organization. Now it’s Inhumans vs Inhumans. But that doesn’t mean the regular people don’t have much to do. They are as involved as ever, first starting with Gemma getting sucked to an alien planet, then with May and her husband Andrew.

The finale, though, that was really tense. Someone was going to die, and the show already established that it will happen. Who could it be? Well, you’ll have to watch. But I really enjoyed the final death scene in the episode. It was so well done and different than what I saw before. It was a really tranquil feeling. The sudden jump right after that, though, could have been delayed a bit. It really didn’t give enough time or weight to what happened before.

Daisy was really put through a lot this season, and it shows. Her emotions and acting is great. In fact, everyone does really well on this show. It’s hard to imagine what other craziness they can come up with in the next season. I mean, what’s going to top an ancient Inhuman? It’s just too bad that the deaths man certain actors won’t be back.

This show is getting more superhero by the episode, and crazier, too. They certainly know how to throw all the emotions at you at just the right amounts and intensity. Can’t wait for the next season to begin.

Once Upon A Time, Season Finale

Another magical season of Once Upon a Time has come and gone. Magical being there is a lot of magic in this show, a lot of it comes out to have a convenient out for the characters and then is never used again. Now I don’t mind that as much, since I view this show more as about characters rather than focusing on them trying to face unreasonable evils. I really like how the main heroes can have conversations with the arc villains.

So magic really is just a tool that the writers use when they need something to happen. It could be woven in better, but that’s not the main reason why I watch this show. I watch for Regina. And now, add in some Zelena.

I find this season about the same as the previous one, so take that how you will. There will be spoilers in here for most of the season. Go catch up on demand if you haven’t.

The plot starts with Camelot and more curses! Now the character’s can’t remember and there’s a  new curse over the Town. To free Emma from the Dark One, the main characters must travel to Camelot and find Merlin, the only one that can cleave Emma from the curse of the Dark One.

While I enjoyed most of it, the plot sort of just fizzles away towards the end. Merlin, who was built up to be a super big deal the previous season, doesn’t feel more impressive than any other magic user. It never feels like it has the proper conclusion before everyone got whisked away to the next adventure.

That’s kind of a problem that continues on from last season. We didn’t get proper closure to the Lily storyline either. I think it’s due to real life commitments with the actress, but it’s still disappointing. The Camelot ending feels much the same way. They lock up Arthur, bugger off to the underworld and that was it. I would have been so happy if when they returned, Arthur had turned Storybrooke into New Camelot. I did enjoy their take on Arthur, though.

The second half of the season brings back all of the old characters that died. It’s actually really fun. Though in a weird way, some people’s final goodbyes felt a bit weak when you see them in flashbacks later. It’s like even if a character dies in the present, they’ll still be around for flashbacks later on.

Hades, while taking visual cues from the Disney version, is more of a businessman-like guy. He hides his true motivations well while being a smooth salesman. He was alright, though I don’t think I found him as interesting.

Now then, onto the finale. There will be spoilers for the finale here, so go watch it.

Again with the super convenient magic! And this time, it’s magic to destroy magic! And then magic to bring back magic! Like, whoa. The plot with Snow, Charming, Hook and Zelena was the more interesting part of the finale for me. It brought about a sense of wonder in the form of a new world and strange new characters.

I would be up for more episodes about their adventures in the strange new world. But budgets. So they took the characters in the new world and plonked them down on Storybrooke. Still, that sets up a lot of potential fun for the next season. I’m down for that.

And it seems that Regina will be getting a potentially interesting storyline. Sounds good.

Captain America: Civil War

It’s finally here! I have been waiting for this movie since, well, Ant-man. While it’s not quite a war, it’s a grand Civil Battle. And boy was the battle scene good.

This movie overall started with a bang and then slowly built up to an even bigger explosive confrontation. There’s a lot going on that’ll be spoilers to anyone that didn’t see it, so I’ll be having that in the spoilers section as usual.

This movie juggles so many characters together well. I think it’s because they everyone ties into the central conflict, to bring a known criminal to justice or not. There were certainly a lot of jumps in the movie, though. I can’t think of a recent movie with that many location subtitles showing up. It made the beginning a bit disjointed when they were trying to set up everything, but moving forwards, things focused up considerably.

I think the largest difference between Civil War and Batman V Superman was that we got to know everyone in Civil War so well. Also the characters in Civil War know each other really well, too. You know there background and motivations for doing things. And they actually talked with each other trying to work things out! It failed, but not because of any misunderstanding or outside factors. Batman V Superman had to come up with a super-convuluted way that Batman and Superman wouldn’t have talked it out before things got out of hand.

Everyone in the movie was just great. The emotions and portrayals of Steve, Bucky and Tony were especially on point. And I really like the MCU’s version of Scarlet Witch. She just so needs a hug. The other guys were all great. They provided the quippy stuff leaving the heavy things to Captain America and Iron Man.

Onto the spoiler section, where I’ll also talk about the two newest additions to the MCU.

One thing I thought the movie didn’t really need were three scenes of Bucky running the car off the road. Twice would be enough. Once without context, once with context. Also, Peggy Carter’s death just being thrown in there. It didn’t feel important to the overall movie, because everyone has much more problems than that. But I also don’t know when else it could have happened. Going on, there’s no planned Captain America movies. And Peggy in that time is an old lady that was already almost dying even in Winter Soldier. It had to be done, but with everything else going on, the impact is quickly lost.

Black Panther. This is how you introduce a brand new major character and make him involved in the story. At no point did he feel like an extra guy meant to set up a new movie. He is practically the fourth biggest player in the Civil War on the heroes side. And he got some great development over the course of the movie while being really awesome fighting-wise throughout. A great first impression of him even in Captain America’s movie.

Spider-man, while not as important was Black Panther, was a joy to watch. He’s just so happy fighting with all the Avengers. And Spider-man can definitely hold his own, at least when everyone is trying not to seriously hurt someone. With more experience, he would be an even more powerful force.

The ending of the movie was great. I won’t say much about it here, even in the spoiler section, because I think it’s something that should be experienced without prior knowledge. But the MCU isn’t afraid of an overarching plot that changes things up, let’s say that.

I mean, if you remotely enjoyed any of the previous movies, you’ll want to see this. It builds up from Winter Soldier and Age of Ultron, so you’ll want to see those, too.

Next up, Doctor Strange!

Limitless, Season Finale

When I first heard of this show, I didn’t think much of it. I thought it was just another in a strange adaptation of film to television shows. And I didn’t even see the movie, so I didn’t pick up this show right away. One day, I, being the boring guy that I am, had nothing to do. So I decided to check out Limitless. Am I glad that I did.

Limitless is brevity and comedy mixed in with a procedural, but as the season goes on, a web of suspense and loyalty gets woven into a longer story. Wow… that sentence was long and went everywhere. Limitless is about a special consultant to the FBI. He is the only person they have immune to the side effects of a drug that turns people into the best versions of themselves possible.

Anyway, I really like Brian Finch as the main character. He embodies the good guy that wants to have a good time. He’s just always so upbeat on cases and enjoys everything that happens. He never uses NZT (the drug) for personal gains. He’s always trying to help other people with it, whether it’s his family, the FBI or even random people that are incidental to the case. Instead of threatening people for information, something he could easily do, he always finds something to trade for information instead.

Each episode seems to have its own feel and quirks. It keeps the show fun. Yet there are many serious and somber things running throughout the season. Yet, even the season finale finds a way to inject some humor into what’s going on.

I am really glad the season finale ended in a happy note. Too many times, shows just do random cliff hangers that gets resolved in the first episode the next season anyway. This show wrapped up everything while leaving a little taste of what could come. I think that’s a great way to do it, and I really feel Brian deserves a bit of happiness after all that he’s been through.

I think it’s great that the show acts as sort of a sequel to the movie. Edward Morra, Bradley Cooper’s character, is still in it with some mysterious agenda. He even appears a few times. Even though I never saw the movie, those moments still felt really important.

The show is great fun and a pleasant surprise. The side characters are also great, such as the people that Brian found to on his team. Mike and Ike are great. What could have been just one-note characters gained a level of importance and respect as the series went on. It shows how everyone around Brian is important to him.