About reidfinn

I desire to be a writer. I really enjoy world building, mainly fantasy and science-fiction stuff. It's pretty great getting something out from my mind onto the page.

Cloak and Dagger, Season Finale

Cloak and Dagger are back. Is back. I guess it depends on if I’m talking about the show or the characters. Anyway, they’re back with new problems. This show is still very much all about Tandy and Tyrone. Lots of episodes are slow-paced meant to show off the main character’s responses to things. How well this works depends on how much you enjoy the characters rather than heroics.

I am not certain how much I prefer characterization to solving problems, but they are still teenagers, and their lives are still both in upheaval. This time around, both Tyrone and Tandy are trying to do good with their powers. Unfortunately, the world is more complicated than that, so they have their share of mess-ups. Slowly, they get better.

This time, the villain is something more sinister and realistic, a human trafficker. Being a superhero show, the villain has more reason to doing things than just money. A lot of voudoun themes run through this season.

There are a lot of strange parts this season as Tyrone and Tandy explore the mysterious dark world that Tyrone is a portal to. There, they must face lots of strange things, including the home base of the villain.

I think the main problem I have is that this is too much of a Tandy and Tyrone show. The only other character that shows up a lot is the police detective. She gets a cool plotline. Everyone else, Tandy’s mom, Tyrone’s parents, Evita, they have mainly functional appearances. What I mean is that when they’re on screen, some kind of plot is moving forwards. It leaves them feeling rather dry as characters. They need more time to let loose rather than be so serious whenever they’re on screen.

The main characters are both still great, though. Seeing them deal with new problems as well as resolving old issues is great. The pace of the season is still slow. Some episodes get a bit strange, especially when they get into the dark world. The action scenes are pretty cool, though. Both Tyrone and Tandy have gotten upgrades and use their powers in cool ways.

So, do you want to watch troubled teens try to solve serious problems with a side of strangeness? Hmm, I think it’s a bit too focused on the main characters, but the villain was interesting and a lot of the scenes were cool. The show does feel really dark in terms of brightness, though.


TV Season Finales

These are just some quick notes on shows I’ve been watching. Some of them, I’ve talked about already and think a summary of my feelings will do. Others are more fun and don’t need an in depth look.

First up, Supergirl. This season is really good. It’s doing much better with the whole why doesn’t Supergirl use her powers to solve everything. The new characters are great, too. I really liked Nia and her story. Colonel Hayley is interesting, though her shifts in ideology are perhaps too fast or subtle. Agent Liberty was a pretty interesting villain that couldn’t just be punched. This season really leans into some of the current politics in the USA.

Legends of Tomorrow. This show is fun and crazy as always. Only here, can you hear the words nipnotized. New addition John Constantine is fantastic. He fits in really well as the guy that doesn’t want to be there. Charlie, another new character that’s played by the actress that played Amaya, is fun, too. Mona is more of a hit and miss character. There are times she’s good and adds to the story, but a lot of the time, she is whiny and unhelpful. Overall, a really fun season dealing with magical creatures.

The Rookie. A show starring Nathan Fillion as the oldest rookie in the force. It’s pretty fun and all of the main characters are enjoyable. It starts out a bit heavy ragging on Nathon Fillion’s character for being the oldest rookie, but that settles down soon to good-natured ribbing. It helps that his character acknowledges and goes along with it. The best way to prove people wrong is to do a good job, right? And these characters are normal police, so they get called to wide variety of situations making the show fun. There are both light-hearted calls and serious calls, and episodes usually have both. It switches between the two well.

Whiskey Cavalier. This is a spy show about a team assembled from different government agencies. The primary characters are Will, a sensitive guy; and Frankie, a a no-nonsense woman. The show leans more into the comedy side of things, but there are some moments where things feel really serious. The other characters are fun, too. All of them have their funny problems, and all of them grow by being part of a team.

Despicable Me 3

Hmm, what to say about this? The continuing adventures of Gru, the girls and Lucy. If you enjoyed the previous movies, this one is alright. I think the first one is still the best, both in terms of emotional moments and characters, but this movie has its moments. This time, we meet Gru’s unknown twin brother, Dru!

The two of them are actually pretty great together. Dru is the rich, but incompetent one that wants Gru to teach him the ways of the criminal. He’s different enough that there is never the feeling of 2 Gru’s in the movie. I did want him to interact more with other characters, like the girls and Lucy. He has a few scenes, but I think more would be great.

Speaking about Lucy and the girls, they sort of just feel like they’re around. Lucy and Margo has some plot. Edith and Agnes also do stuff. They’re all still adorable, but it’s not as connected. Then the girls get into trouble again later on to give more stakes to things.

It’s a fairly standard movie, but it’s done well. I do like the antagonist of the film, Balthazar Bratt. I think the antagonist of each film is different with their own great flair. They’re really fun, and Balthazar is no different.

Overall, Despicable Me 3 is fun for a viewing. Probably not for more than that, but it has some fun moments.

Atomic Blonde

A spy movie set at the fall of the Berlin Wall. Lorraine, an agent at MI6 is sent there to retrieve a list of other MI6 spies. Things happen and lots of fighting occurs as everyone is trying to get their hands on the same list.

The movie has a lot of style, and the fight scenes are pretty cool. I did have a problem with the action scenes, which I’ll get into later. I enjoyed the film without ever really understanding it all the way. I didn’t recognize some of the secondary characters on sight, which is a problem since while they have small parts, they do somewhat important things. This might be a film that I should watch twice to understand more, but I don’t really have the desire to. Once is enough.

Being a spy film, there are a lot of sides, a lot of smoking, and a lot of thinking on whether it was all worth it. The answer to the last question? Probably not. The plot feels like something I’ve seen before. I didn’t care that much about if the characters succeeded or not. I did enjoy the characters, though. Lorraine, played by Charlize Theron, has a quiet fortitude. She is put through a lot, and manages to march her way through. Percival, played by James McAvoy, has that sleezy feel that works really well.

The other characters are all fine. Delphine stands out a bit as someone not totally a spy jerk, yet. She’s young and still has some hope.

The film does try to make you guess at who’s playing what sides, but it doesn’t fully commit. Lorraine’s impression of who’s a jerk and who’s nice is pretty much spot on. Not to say that they’re all on her side or against her, but the film does present characters in a certain way that’s not subtle enough. And I did sort of figure out certain other things by the way they framed shots. I guess that’s fine. A movie’s twists shouldn’t come totally out of nowhere.

The style and tone of the movie is great, though. It has good atmosphere, music and lack of music. It knows when to be quiet and let the happenings on screen do the work.

On to my final point. The fighting. It’s brutal. Lorraine is not some super agent. She gets beat up a lot and has to figure out how to defeat multiple enemies by using her environment. There are great long action shots.

So what is my problem with the fight scenes? Somehow, it lacks a sense that things happen outside of the camera. Whenever a character is no longer the focus of a shot, it feels like they no longer move. Once the shot returns to them, they start moving again. This is noticeable because Lorraine does not instantly take out people. She’s fighting the same foes for a while, and whenever they are not on screen, they’re practically doing nothing, waiting for the next cue to strike.

Still, it’s a fine spy movie with a bit of a simple plot. It works on the characters more than the intrigue.

Pokemon: Detective Pikachu

I have been so excited for this film since I saw the first trailers. It actually looked really fun, and the design of the pokemon were fantastic. This is a live-action Pokemon movie, where pokemon and live actors live in a world. Rather than trying to be like the real world, this is the pokemon world. There is the Sinnoh Region and the Kanton Region. There are lots of references to the games and anime. Lots about this movie is pure joy for those that are a fan of Pokemon.

What if you’re not? How does this movie hold up? I think it’s still pretty good. It is a kids movie, so don’t expect anything too deep or new, but the main characters are great together. It has nice pacing and constant exciting visuals. The jokes are pretty funny. There are some nice emotional bonding moments. It’s a good movie that follows a well-tread path.

So what is Detective Pikachu about? Tim a human that doesn’t care for pokemon suddenly finds himself thrust into a city where pokemon and people live side by side. There, he must team up with Detective Pikachu to solve the mystery of what happened to Tim’s father. Along the way, they are in for a great pokemon adventure.

The visuals of the movie are fantastic. All, wait, most of the pokemon look amazing in the real world. They are so fluffy and cute. Even the non-fluffy ones are cute, like Charizard. There are a few scenes where the interaction between people and pokemon doesn’t look quite real, but it works really well for the most part. Pikachu is fantastic. And Ryan Reynolds voice does fit. Pikachu has some sass but also heart.

The visuals of the movie are just great. The film had a lot of fun showing off the world with large, sweeping shots and times where nothing is happening other than looking at what’s  going on. Those scenes are great. The world they present looks so fun that I just want to see more of it.

Detective Pikachu is a great movie based on Pokemon. For the fans, there is lots of stuff that you should recognize. For those that are not fans, this won’t totally explain the world of Pokemon, but it does do a starting job. The film won’t break new ground, but it is solidly fun and filled with action.

Into the Badlands, Finale

The third, and sadly final, season of Into the Badlands. With old enemies gone, it’s time for a new shift in how the Badlands works. Most of the barons are gone, leaving only the Widow and Chau vying for everything. A huge ware is taking place all over the area. Then there’s Pilgrim, a devout from the city of Azra, only he’s trying to build a new Azra inside the badlands. Everything will collide in blood and steel.

This is the second half of the third season. I will have spoilers from the first half. Go watch it if you haven’t. I like the show. It’s a fun, and I think non-adapted show full of martial arts action. The world of the Badlands is imaginative and brutal.

When we left in the first half, Pilgrim just got the power of the gift as well as the ability to grant it to everyone. Now he is in full takeover mode. It’s his way or death.

Together, the other main characters must band together to save the Badlands from Pilgrim’s rule. It’s great to see the characters grow closer together as allies starting with Bajie and the Widow. It does help they have a few other problems to take care of that helps them bond. Sunny and the Widow also has some good scenes.

The rest of the season wraps up most of what’s going on with the plot. This season wasn’t meant to be the last one, so unfortunately, that means a final episode that sets up new stuff. I would really like more episodes.

The second half of season three is more violent with some great actions scenes. Pilgrim and Cressida goes into full conflict with the rest of the Badlands, and both of them are creepy and unsettling.

Season three has a different feel compared to the first two. This time, there’s all out war everywhere, and a threat big enough that the main characters must put aside past grievances to deal with it. Just having them interact with each other more is great. It’s unfortunate that this original show has ended. I would be up for more.

The Orville, Season Finale

A great science fiction show. The Orville actually isn’t leaning much on the humor anymore. It’s more serious now, but still with a comedy slant. The characters are more like regular coworkers rather than an elite space exploration force, but that’s fine. It’s the charming part of the show.

I think the ratio of character-based episodes to exploration-based episodes is off, though. There are a lot of character-based episodes in season two, and usually without a science B-Plot. While I do think the more low-key stories allowed the show to save budget for some great space battles later on, I did want more adventures.

I think that was what was missing in the second season, a sense of new things. Most of the stories are about things we partially knew about from season one. There is a plot on Xelayans. A lot of Moclan stuff. Some about Kaylons. Of course the Krill, too. I think there’s only one or two episodes about things not introduced in the first season. While it is cool making the universe a more continuous place, I did want to see more new stuff.

The show is still really fun, and the characters are great. So when I say there are a lot of character-based episodes, they are still fun to watch. The humor is much more like banter between friends now rather. It’s not as prominent, but still funny when it happens. A turn to more serious stories works out really well for The Orville.

Season two feels different from the first season, but the characters are still fun to be with. It’s a place you want to go hang out and be a part of. Except for all the times where they go into really dangerous situation.

Also, there’s a new character in season two, a new xelayan. Talla Keyali replaces Alara as the chief security officer, and I think she does a really good job. She is older and more certain, so she gives off a different feel. Also, her family is considered strange by other Xelayans since they are career military. That leaves her open to other plots rather than how strange it is for one of them to be in the military.

Really hoping for more The Orville!