Black Lightning, Season 2

What is going on in this season? What even? The first season had a tight story line. This season, it’s all over the place with several stories that haven’t even resolved. There were some interesting episodes in the middle of all the random stuff that might be considered filler since they weren’t related to anything else, but they were really interesting.

This season, every member of the Pierce family has plot that, most of the time, is unrelated. Tobias Whale also has his story thread that’s even more unrelated. This leaves a lot of back and forth between different plot lines making the season feel disjointed.

An issue I have with the season is how much it deals with family drama rather than actual super heroing. Black Lightning mostly shows up to help his family rather than helping Freeland. Somewhat, it makes sense as there are few bad guys of the week, so that leaves little opportunity for Black Lightning to do much.

I think the best plot of the season was between Jennifer and Khalil. They had a full story with time to develop and some consequences that lasted most of the season.

While I’m not saying every show needs a villain-of-the-week, I think Black Lightning could use something to break up story a bit, especially since things progress slowly. The Looker part was fun and different. Though I hear Looking in the comics is really different, this can be considered just Looker in name only. Still, it was different, and it was a villain-of-the-two-weeks. That’s great. It gives more time to the smaller stories.

The ending of the season feels pretty rushed as well, like it could have been a two-parter easily. Black Lightning’s season 2 has too much going on with not enough happening, if that makes sense.

Star Wars Resistance

Star Wars Resistance is the latest animated cartoon taking place in the Star Wars galaxy. This time, the show takes place shortly before Episode 7. Kaz has been recruited to be a resistance spy and figure out what the First Order wants on a remote station in a world mostly covered by water. Of course, Kaz isn’t exactly a trained spy, so he must learn on the job. BB-8 helps him and Poe is around for a few episodes too.

The show starts off slow as Kaz learns his way around the station and his job. He gets into a lot of hijinks, usually one per episode, and makes some friends along the way, such as Neeku. I think the beginning part takes a bit too long. The show could have introduced characters and concepts a bit faster. At least one character introduced doesn’t seem to have any meaning for the first season. Maybe in later seasons, but not his one, so that episode felt even more disconnected.

Later, though, once the First Order starts having more of a presence and Kaz no longer feels like the new guy on the station, the story gets more intriguing. It starts to feel more connected to the wider struggles of the galaxy. Later on in the season, things start to really pick up. There are pirates attacking, First Order scheming, and more. It’s also interesting to see how people not in the Resistance view the First Order.

A problem I have with the planet Kaz is on, is that we don’t really get to see it. The only thing we see is the ocean the station is located. What else is there? Is there any huge land masses on the planet? Trees? Anything at all? We only get to see a tiny portion of it, making the planet itself boring.

Oh, there is also no force shenanigans happening in this series as of yet. The show still manages some great shots with some mysterious things going on.

Star Wars Resistance starts off slow, but it gets better as characters get more developed and complex, and schemes start taking off. I am looking forward to what’s coming up next.

Captain Marvel

The penultimate film before Avengers: Endgame. This film introduces the most powerful hero in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, yet, Captain Marvel. She is high-flying, photon-blasting badass. That is part of the problem I have with the film. Overall, this movie is fun with great characters all around. We get to see a young Nick Fury. And a young Coulson! Coulson is around! Oh yeah, the movie takes place around 1995.

Overall, this film feels like the other Marvel Films. A solid plot, fun characters and quips. The enemy this time are the skrulls, a race of shapeshifters. They don’t play that for a lot of drama, though. The shapeshifting is mostly used for infiltration rather than messing with people. They were fun to see on screen and have fun scenes with the main heroes.

The film starts a bit rough, but once Captain Marvel arrives on Earth, things get smoother and better. She starts opening up rather than being annoyingly rebellious all the time and it helps out a lot, though I still have the problem with her character. My issue is that she really doesn’t need help at all throughout the film.

She is completely self-made. It makes for superficial scenes between her and other characters. She has the best connection with her former best friend, Maria, but even Maria doesn’t have much influence. For comparison, Wonder Woman really changes her outlook based on what she’s learned and experienced, thanks in no small part to Steve Trevor. Captain Marvel does not change from any external forces. It leads to her feeling a like a static character. I think she doesn’t even change over the film. She just returns back to who she was before losing her memory.

A second, smaller problem is that Captain Marvel feels really overpowered. Now, I think the writers of the Marvel Cinematic Universe can easily deal with that. They are great at taking people of different power levels and still making everyone contribute. I just wonder where she will go in the future?

As for the other characters, Nick Fury is great in this. He hasn’t become a super spy, yet, but he still knows what to do most of the time. And it’s great seeing him as a main character in the field rather than the commander type. Disney’s de-aging technology is turning out great.

Maria is a great character. She really gets Captain Marvel to open up, and she’s a great pilot as well.

Yon Rogg, the guy that taught Captain Marvel how to fight, feels more like a functional character. He’s in the film to serve a purpose, but he doesn’t get to do that much. I don’t think he has enough scenes with Captain Marvel. They get split up pretty early on. You do get a good sense of how they view each, but he comes off as a bit of a boring character. Though that might change in future movies.

The other members of the Star Force seem to mainly just be there. They have around Howling Commandos level of characterization.

Captain Marvel is a fun film that mostly sticks to what Marvel knows best. The character of Captain Marvel could use some more external pushes, though. The skrulls are also really fun characters. I really enjoyed their presence in the film, and I’m glad they didn’t do that shapeshifter thing where the guy is fighting their clone, and a third guy needs to figure out which one is real.

The Good Dinosaur

Hmm, The Good Dinosaur is a movie about what might happen if the dinosuars never went extinct. They go on to become the dominant species! There’s a lot I enjoy about the film, but there’s also not a lot that I can say makes it great. It’s simply good, like the title states.

The plot is a simple one about growing up, but with dinosaurs. Now I am a fan of taking cliched plots and redoing them in a fun setting. And this one works. This is about a farming child (dinosaur) learning to find his own way since he’s scrawnier than the other members of his family. Of course he has to do it without guidance, so he gets lost down the river leading to a huge adventure.

Oh, this is also an animal bonding movie, but in this case, the animal is a cavechild. It works. The movie works. So it’s about a lost dinosaur named Arlo, and his pet cavechild, Spot, trying to find their way home. Both grow and change over the course of the film, but in predictable ways. It’s a simple, tried and true story with a new coat.

There are a few scenes that I really like in the film. The rancher dinosaur family is great. One scene in the end where it was like, reverse sky sharks really made me feel anxious. I’m talking like a sea of clouds up above and fins sticking downwards out of them. That shot is fantastic.

So, while I enjoyed The Good Dinosaur, it’s only something I would watch if it came on. I wouldn’t go seek it out. The world looks nice and there are interesting situations in there. We don’t get to see much of it, though. But I’m guessing there’s no dinosaur city or anything like that. Seems they are still at the nomadic/small settlement stage. It’s a good movie, but doesn’t stand out next to Pixar’s other offerings.