Into the Badlands, Season 2

Into the Badlands was a great surprise when I saw it last year. It’s a cool, inventive take on the kung-fu and wuxia style. It takes place in a post-apocalyptic world where barons control everything inside the badlands. Then there’s a world outside, much of which was mysterious in the first season. And then there’s a supposed shining jewel of a city called Azra. The gunless nature of the world works wonderfully with all of the martial arts going on.

Now, it’s time for season 2. At the end of the first season, our heroes Sunny and MK were separated. Sunny is outside of the wall, but he must find his way back in to save his family. And MK is training with the Abbots, people who all have the same, mysterious power that he has. The world is fun. The acting is passable for the most part. There are some stand out performances. And the fighting is great.

I didn’t notice it in the first season, probably because most characters were in uniform, but Into the Badlands has some great character design. It’s much more noticeable on the parts outside of the badlands, where people aren’t so orderly. There’s a lot of details out there that make the world feel alive and exciting.

Newcomer to the show, Bajie, is a great addition. He’s the talker of the show, but he’s not too shabby at all in a fight. That gives him more to be than just a funny sidekick to Sunny. And he gets increasingly more important as the season goes on.

Okay, here’s some spoilers for the first season, Quinn survives! And the show is great for it. Quinn is my favorite character in the show. He just has a gravitas and manner of behaving that makes him grand. He just takes every scene he’s in.

Also, I think season 2 is more violent than season 1. There’s blood and a lot of limbs being cut off. It’s a really stylized kind of violence that mixes in with the martial arts well. And while some fighting scenes are choppy, the important fights look great.

Season 2 doesn’t reveal more information about the why’s of the world, but we do get to see a lot more of it, especially outside of the wall. And we learn a bit more about some mysteries such as Azra. And we have an even longer season 3! I’m hoping for a lot more world building.

I can’t wait for more Into the Badlands. It’s a fun, stylish and unlike other shows on TV.

Mission Impossible, Rogue Nation

The fifth in the highly successful Mission Impossible film franchise with Tom Cruise. More action, more spying, more awesom stunts. This might be a spoiler-free review. I’ll aim for that and take out anything spoilery later.

Actually, I don’t have much to say on Rogue Nation. Pretty much if you like the previous films, you’ll like this film. This movie is well done with some wow moments. It has all the staples from the previous movies such as a devious villain, a new female that has some connection to the main plot and references to the mask thing.

While the movie is overall fun, I find it tough to say anything that can’t be said about the previous movies. That’s the main reason why this is shorter. This movie is solid, but nothing really new. It’s kind of feeling like a super expensive, 2 hour-ish TV show now.

Don’t get me wrong. The stunts are great in this. You’ve all seen the plane scene from the trailers. Pretty nice. And there’s more, too. And they of course have to use their smarts to help them along the way. This is Mission Impossible, still fun, still possible.

I think the Mission Impossible 3 might be the favorite out of the ones I’ve seen. Which I think I’ve seen every one but the first movie. But this one is pretty great, too. Though I’m not sure how much of Rogue Nation I’ll remember.

Once Upon a Time

This season, more magic mumbo-jumbo, more feelgood tomfoolery, more fairy tales! Geeze, the season has been so long that I almost forgot it started out with the land of untold tales along with Jekyll and Hyde. That was a really cool part of the story, and so was the land of untold tales. But they revert back to Storybrooke soon enough. I wanted to spend more time in the other world. It was interesting and cool.

This season was quite a ride, actually. They had the savior storyline running throughout, but threats came and went every few episodes. There was a long-lasting one, of course, but it didn’t feel like it while watching the show. Still, less things were dropped this season, I think.

Overall, this show is fairy tale fun. There’s a magical solution to everything, and the good guys are usually too dumb or reactionary to win without pulling some kind of magic out. I just kind of want Emma and the others to be smarter. Stop trusting Gold! Check up on him if you ask him to do stuff! If you hold something important in your hand, stop people from magicking it away! Or magic it back from them.


Still, I watch this show for the magic and for the fun family bonding. Regina is still great. And I really like Zelena, now, too. I enjoy the hopeful tone of the story, and how most people will be good. Seeing Regina and Zelena happy just makes me happy.

Emma and her family are also still fun to watch. Overall, this season is about the same as the previous ones. Though it does tout as having the final battle. I didn’t watch from the beginning, so I don’t know about the entire Savior lore, but apparently, the savior is only around when a great evil is? And that evil is not the Dark One since the Dark One seems to be from another thing entirely.

Well, it’s all in good fun. The writing isn’t fantastically smart, but it is hopeful and full of goodness. People will be saved by magic, but the good guys will never plan for the bad guys just taking things by magic. And there is a next season, too. It’s making me curious based on all the news about the series.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D

My favorite comic book show. Even among non-comic book shows, this is still tops. This season, Ghost Rider! Robbie Reyes one. I do not know of this character. Still, they did Ghost Rider fantastically in the show. He’s an unstoppable force, especially once the Rider takes over.

There will be spoilers for the season throughout, though not much for the last few episodes.

It takes a while for Daisy to finally get over the Hive thing, but it’s great once she does. Shield also has a new director, Jeffrey Mace. I always thought the guy was alright. What this show does great is that it doesn’t make characters outright dislikable. Everyone has a point, and Jeffery Mace had some good points about Coulson’s team just doing what they want.

Radcliffe, too, despite him going off and betraying Shield, he is still very much their friend. It makes him a great character. He thinks what he’s doing is right, and he still likes all of the Shield agents despite them trying to stop him.

The show does long seasons really well. They divide up the season into several smaller arcs, three this time. But there still is a running thing that ties the season together. This one is the Darkhold. It starts and ends with it.

The best arc out of the bunch has got to the the Framework arc. Yeah, they have the standard if you die in the simulation you die in real life, but it’s what gives the arc the sense of danger. What’s best is the acting during the arc. Everyone is great, and seeing the world all topsy-turvy is just devious. It produces, perhaps, some of the best acting on the show.

Though the LMD arc was also fantastic. LMD stands for Life Model Decoy, which are basically robot replacements of people to help the real person stay safe. And AIDA, the main LMD, is fantastic. The actress, Mallory Jansen, does so well in this show. She plays so many different variations of AIDA and has so many subtle things doing on. She’s great.

The fight scenes in this show is still great, and so are the special effects. They know how to do what they want to do, and they don’t try to overreach. They show off the powers great.

What this show does so well is they set up expectations and then shatters them. Like during the LMD arc, LMD detected among a group of people coming in. Who’s the LMD? All of them. All of them are the LMDs. It happens a lot in the show. They don’t take the easy way out at all. Talking the enemy down rarely works. The agents struggle for each victory and each one is well deserved.

Yeah, season 5! Let’s go!


Riverdale, the once quiet little town. Alright, actually, I’m not sure how large the town is. It does have at least 2 high schools and a bad side of town. I have not read any of the Archie comics before, but I do know about the characters a bit. Archie and his ever triangle with Betty and Veronica. However, this show is not that relationship drama heavy. It’s a murdery mystery!

Riverdale is a more gritty take on the town of Riverdale, and everything kicks off with the death of Jason Blossom, son of one of the town’s most prominent families. As this show is based around a mystery, I’ll probably have a longer spoiler section than regular section. So let’s do this.

To start with, these main characters are all gorgeous. Whoa. Archie, Betty, Veronica, Jughead and Cheryl are all styling. And the characters they’re playing are only supposed to be fifteen to seventeen-ish. Yet the show wants to show off the bodies of the actors, who are all at least 20 (I think). Beyond their looks, the acting is all really good, too. It just that their mood sometimes shift too fast between scenes, but that’s more on the writing than the actors. Each of the actors can pull off really great emotions, sadness, anger, joy, CoverGirl.

The town has a great look and feel to it. The lighting in the scenes are great. It has an old-feeling kind of glow that really works. I think the town of Riverdale really adds to the story they’re trying to tell, which makes sense as the name of the show is named after the town and not anything else.

I will admit watching the show as it comes out is not a high priority for me, but I did enjoy the craziness that’s happening in Riverdale. It creates a great atmosphere with the characters, even the side characters. There’s the feeling that everyone is hiding something. Except Fred Andrews. Maybe even Fred Andrews. Who knows?

But I do want to continue watching the show. It’s a fun show.

Spoiler section!

So, I will further split up this section into pre mystery reveal and post mystery reveal.

This show is shot in a way that makes it seem everyone is guilty. It’s just the lingering shots on peoples faces watching stuff. And pretty much all of the parents have something to hide, especially the Blossoms and the Coopers. Even Hermione Lodge (Veronica’s mother) isn’t as decent of a person as she first appears. The only really good parent in the show is Fred Andrews (father of Archie). He’s the one that wants what’s best for his kid in a way where they work together.

Though I will say FP Jones (Jughead’s father) really grew on me over the season. I will say that feels like the second-most qualified to be a parent. And that’s saying something since he’s in a gang and is too drunk to hold a steady job. I mean, he’s still probably not, but he feels that way.

The Blossom family is done really well as a sort of power family. They do what they want all while being creepy. Every last one of them. Cheryl, in particular, just swings between being friendly and being one step away from crazy. And the season might push her  too far.

You know what I find sort of hilarious? Jason Blossom, the guy that dies in the first episode and kicks everything off, is in pretty much all of the episodes. He’s not credited as a regular, but he could be. He’s in there all the time. His scenes are short and always sort of creepy. I like how he never says a word. It makes him seem really like a memory.

Josie and the Pussycats are in this show, too. They aren’t too important to the overall plot, but there are some nice scenes with them, or rather, two of them. The pussycat that’s not Valerie has no importance at all other than being a band member. It would be nice if she gets some spotlight in the second season.

Alrighty, time for the post mystery reveal spoilers.

Actually, I’ll only talk about the last scene for a bit. The one that sets up season 2. You can see the season for yourself for the mystery of who killed Jason Blossom.

Fred Andrews was shot! And Jughead thinks it’s not an accident. Now I don’t think Fred Andrews will die because that means Archie will be sent to Chicago to live with his mother. Unless his mother comes back and lives in Riverdale. But who shot him if it wasn’t random?

The two obvious choices are the Lodges, either Hermione or Hiram. The other choice, though less likely, are the South Side Serpents, the gang in town. Fred and the Serpents aren’t exactly enemies, but who knows. Fred might have some stuff going on, too, instead of being the good parent. And the two of them have dealings with each other. The Serpents worked for him before Hermione fired all of them, after all.

Hermione is a candidate because she wants Fred out of their business partnership. Hiram, who has not been in the show yet, is also a possibility. Hiram has just been set up wonderfully. You never see him, but his presence is felt a lot around the Lodge household. And he’s finally coming home for season 2. He’s going to be really interesting to see since he does not like Fred Andrews, and probably won’t like Archie dating his daughter.

My out of left field choice is Archie’s mom. She wants to show Archie how dangerous Riverdale is. This way, she both shows him the danger and makes it difficult for him to stay as he has no one taking care of him there.

Time for more Riverdale, and a recast Reggie, and CoverGirl!

Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2

They’re back, the Guardians of the Galaxy! This movie is more colorful, more bombastic, and more fun than the first one. It’s also funnier, perhaps too much so. The humor cuts into the serious scenes sometimes, but the movie is still a great space romp within the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

The main characters are all still great. Gamora is the exasperated one. Drax, having moved on from the pain of his family’s death, is now the big fun one. Rocket is the technical guy and still kind of a jerk. Groot is the cute one. And Peter is their leader that they only listen to when they feel like it.

They also have Mantis, an empath that’s innocent and has some great funny scenes with the rest of the cast. While she doesn’t fight, she’s probably pretty tough. As seen from the trailer scene, a piece of metal only knocks her out. And she has great landing skills. I really like her addition to the movie and want to see how she works moving forwards with the rest of the team.

Each of the guardians has a nice arc over the course of the movie, except maybe Drax. Not to say Drax is unimportant in the film, but he is more about his interaction with other character rather than changing himself. I’ll go more into their individual stuff in the spoiler section.

I enjoyed the main badguy for the film. There are multiple factions once again, and the movie balances them all well. None of them are unimportant. They all get the right amount of screen time and development. I’ll also get into that more later.

The movie still has great old music to go with the scenes. The humor is cranked up from the first film. Sometimes, I think it’s too funny when they should strive for a more serious tone, but I still liked all of the jokes. Baby Groot is adorable. I mean, I want one. I’m like the Collector.

The visuals are great in this film. Like the first shot of Nowhere, there’s a great, fantastical world in this one. It’s gorgeous and kind of off-putting at the same time. Really grand. We get to see more of the Ravagers, too. They are a lot larger than I first thought. But I’m glad to see more of them.

Guadians of the Galaxy 2 is another fun space film. It has no immediate connection with the rest of the MCU, but it works great on its own.

Now for some spoilers.

I liked Gamora and Nebula becoming sort of sisterly again. It should make for an interesting reunion with Thanos later on. And Drax is still a great character. He has no personal plot this time around, but his interactions with Mantis are adorable. And I really like his and Baby Groot’s stuff, too. Still, I think Drax didn’t even fight anyone past the first ten minutes. He spent the rest of the movie being the fun guy. Rocket and Yondu were great. They work really well together.

In fact, Yondu perhaps had the best personal plot out of all the characters and one of the best jokes. Also, Yondu’s arrow is shown to be really overpowered. I mean wow, that arrow scene. They’re pulling off a X-Men Quicksilver scene with that showing how powerful the arrow is.

The Sovereign are the bad guys for the film, and I really like to be annoyed by them. While they act high and might, what I really enjoyed was how they take loss. They behave like people that never lose. Anything goes wrong and out comes a tantrum. It’s really works within the movie and plays with the high and mighty people type.

And finally, Ego, Peter’s father. He’s quite a character that I’ll leave you to discover for yourself. He’s starts of cool and really gets going as the movie progresses.

And go other team!

Baahubali 2: The Conclusion

This is something different, and maybe something that you haven’t heard of before. Baahubali 2: The Conclusion is an Indian film, one of the most expensive ones made, I believe. It is a low-fantasy epic tale about the kingdom of Mahishmati. There is no English dubbing here. It’s all subtitles here, which really helps me understand what’s going on.

But first, you might ask, where’s Baahubali 1? I will answer that I have not seen it. Yes, weird. I know. I went to see the sequel of a film I have not seen mostly on a whim. After seeing this movie, I went for a quick recap of what the first one was about. I’ll put the basic plot of the first movie at the end of this post, but I do want to see it.

So, now, onto Baahubali 2. It’s pretty epic, full of grand sweeping scenes and some stylish fighting. The story follows Amarendra Baahubali, an adopted(?) prince of the most powerful kingdom around. He’s going to become the next king, passing over the older and biological child of the Queen. Of course that makes the biological child upset. While the story isn’t original, it is told with fun flare and style.

There’s dramatic and awesome music everywhere. I really liked the soundtrack. Pretty much all the songs got me pumped for what was happening on screen.

My only real complaint with the movie was that it was too long. The film runs at 2 hours 47 minutes. It got tiring to sit there. But I will also say I was entertained most of the time. The pacing felt good between the different acts right up until the end. That was when I probably needed to see the first film to get what was fully going on. But overall, I could understand Baahubali 2 fine.

I did get really involved with the characters. I understood where they were coming from and why they made the choices they did. Kattappa was a great character that I rooted for, but there were several other characters that I enoyed watching. Kumara was a character I really liked. He brought some great humor. Baahubali is pretty awesome all around. He’s super strong, super skilled and super nice. They movie drew me into its world and all of their cultures and traditions well.

The actions scenes were pretty great. They were over the top and fun. This epic tale is a fine way to spend three hours.

Alright, here’s some spoilers for the first film, a basic on what’s happening. Though I do feel that actually watching the second film first, there were things I wasn’t expecting on happening that I would have already known if I watched the first film. That’s because the second film kind of sandwiches the first film in terms of events.

So here are spoilers for the first film, which will spoil the second film as well. Baahubali 1: The Beginning tells the story of Mahendra Baahubali, son of Amarendra Baahubali. Mahendra gets brought into the conflict against the wicked king, which happens to be his uncle. He doesn’t know it at the time, though. He learns the story of his family and rescues his mother from the king’s clutches. And that is where Baahubali 2 finishes, with Mahendra fighting for his rightful place as king.

Baahubali 2 is really enjoyable, and one of my favorite parts was the callback to the beginning of the movie at the end. It really brough the film into a full circle.