Beauty and the Beast (2017) – In Review

In 1991, Disney released their animated version of Beauty and the Beast, an animated musical take on the fairy tale that I would argue is the best animated film they ever did. It featured the tale of a young restless woman who sacrifices her freedom to save her father, becoming the prisoner of a beast in an enchanted castle, with the two characters bantering as they got to know each other. The film also subverted the traditional animated fairy tale motif by having the handsome local lad end up revealed as the true monster of the story. <continue reading>

Wonder Woman (2017) – In Review

Seven decades after the character first emerged into the world of comics, a solo film finally brings Wonder Woman to the big screen in a blockbuster directed by Patty Jenkins (Monster) and starring Gal Gadot as the title character. Having had appeared in Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice (and proving to be the best part of the movie), Gadot’s Diana gets a solo start that proves to be the best in the DC Cinematic Universe series of four films that started with Man of Steel, and will carry on with other projects yet to come. <continue reading>

Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2 (2017) – In Review

After the success of 2014’s Guardians of the Galaxy, of course a sequel would be in order. The comic book adaptation of cosmic Marvel characters bickering with each other and dealing with galactic level threats proved to be popular with audiences, opening up new parts of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Now the cast and crew have returned for the second film in the series, helmed once again by director James Gunn, in a story that maintains the banter, humour, and cosmic scope of the previous film, while opening up new horizons. <continue reading>

Rogue One (2016) – In Review

When the Disney studios got their hands on Lucasfilm and the Star Wars franchise, the decision was made not only to continue to make more films, hence the release in 2015 of The Force Awakens, but also some tie-in self contained stories set in that universe, basically an anthology of tales firmly set in the galaxy of Imperial forces and courageous rebels. Rogue One is the first of those stories, set shortly before the events of the 1977 original film, featuring a small band of rebels racing to retrieve the plans for the Empire’s ultimate weapon. <continue reading>

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016) – In Review

When J.K. Rowling finished her series about that boy wizard with the lightning scar and the two best friends with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, she said that was the end of the line for her with that world, and so moved on to other literary genres, both under her own name and under a penname. And yet the world of Potter kept drawing her back time and again, whether it was tidbits of information at her site, or the more recent stage play that she’s had a hand in. <continue reading>

Star Trek “What Are Little Girls Made Of?” (1966.10.20) – In Review

Star Trek premiered in 1966, and today marks the 50th anniversary of the airing of “What Are Little Girls Made Of?”.  Captain Kirk escorts Nurse Chapel to an alien planet to reunite with old love Roger Corby, but things take a bad turn when they discover Corby has been keeping a secret during his long absence with the technology to create perfect android duplicates of human beings.  Capes (Optional) will revisit each episode of Star Trek on the anniversary of its original release with a review and trivia.  Join us for the ride. <continue reading>.

Star Trek “Mudd’s Women” (1966.10.13) – In Review

Star Trek premiered in 1966, and today marks the 50th anniversary of the airing of “Mudd’s Women”.  Captain Kirk and his crew must deal with the roguish Harcourt Fenton Mudd and his trio of irresistible ladies, while the Enterprise gradually loses power.  Capes (Optional) will revisit each episode of Star Trek on the anniversary of its original release with a review and trivia.  Join us for the ride. <continue reading>

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. “Emancipation” (2016.05.10) – In Review

“Emancipation” features the backdrop of events unfolding in Captain America: Civil War, while also moving plot threads for the third season of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. forward. The Sokovia Accords, named in respect to the victims of the Ultron attack in Avengers: Age of Ultron, is meant to establish a U.N. panel to oversee superhumans. That underlies the episode itself, and tints certain character dynamics along the way. <continue reading>

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. “Failed Experiments” (2016.05.03) – In Review

“Failed Experiments” is an apt title for this episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., as it features experiments of a scientific nature undertaken by more than one party, each not going in the direction the researchers would prefer. Mind you, there’s a good deal of action along the way, and an appearance by space faring aliens already familiar to the series and to comics fans. <continue reading>

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. “The Singularity” (2016.04.26) – In Review

“The Singularity” picks up where things left off for Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., with the base heavily damaged by an earthquake triggered by one of their own, who’s now in the sway of the Big Bad of the season. It also starts pressing the series towards the end of the season by leaving the viewer with the impression that we’ve passed the point of no return. It also brings in a guest actor for a stint, a welcome character actor who’s one of those people who can make reading the telephone book interesting (they still have telephone books, right?). <continue reading>

Star Trek “The Enemy Within” (1966.10.06) – In Review

It has been 50 years since Star Trek premiered and today marks the anniversary of the airing of the fifth episode. Captain Kirk is forced to face his inner demons directly in “The Enemy Within” when a transporter malfunction separates him a ‘good’ half and a ‘bad’ half.  Every week Capes (Optional) will revisit each episode on the anniversary of its original release with a review and trivia, and we want you to join us for the ride. <continue reading>

Star Trek “The Naked Time” (1966.09.29) – In Review

It has been 50 years since Star Trek premiered and today marks the anniversary of the airing of the fourth episode. “The Naked Now” features an anemy never dealt with by the crew of the Enterprise before.  The must deal with a pathogen which pits the members of the crew against each other.  Every week Capes (Optional) will revisit each episode on the anniversary of its original release with a review and trivia, and want you to join us for the ride. <continue reading>

Star Trek “Where No Man Has Gone Before” (1966.09.22) – In Review

It has been 50 years since Star Trek premiered. Today marks the anniversary of the airing of the third episode, which was also meant to be the pilot for the series “Where No Man Has Gone Before”.  This time the ominous foe was once a good friend of Captain Kirk’s who has gained almost limitless powers while exploring the galaxy.  Every week Capes (Optional) will revisit each episode on the anniversary of its original release with a review and trivia, and want you to join us for the ride. <continue reading>

Star Trek “Charlie X” (1966.09.15) – In Review

Star Trek premiered 50 years ago, and today marks the anniversary of the airing of the second episode, “Charlie X” and, once again, the crew of the Enterprise face off against an ominous foe in the guise of a 17-year-old boy with unimaginable powers.  Join Capes (Optional) each week as we revisit each episode on the anniversary of its original release with a review and trivia. <continue reading>

Gotham “A Legion of Horribles” (2016.05.16) – In Review

“A Legion of Horribles” moves things forward in the penultimate episode of season two of Gotham, and the sub-title ‘Wrath of the Villains’ that has underlined the second half of the season seems entirely fitting. The episode is dominated by the machinations of Hugo Strange (B.D. Wong), his agenda, and the efforts of more than one party to find a way to bring the professor down once and for all. <continue reading>

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. “Paradise Lost” (2016.04.12) – In Review

“Paradise Lost” – it is an epic poem by John Milton, one that everyone’s heard of and no one has read. It deals with the fall of man, and that makes it appropriate for an episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. that literally includes the book, while incorporating the ongoing Hydra story line and the sense of its members giving themselves over to a dark force. <continue reading>

Gotham “Pinewood” (2016.04.18) – In Review

“Pinewood” – an enigmatic title for the latest episode of Gotham, but as things go along, the reason for that title becomes clear, and has links to the overlying story arcs of this season and far before, with the Wayne murders and Hugo Strange’s work linked into what basically comes down to a code word for a secret project. Along the way, three primary story lines play out. <continue reading>

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. “Spacetime” (2016.04.05) – In Review

“Spacetime” moves things into a new direction for Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. as the agents find themselves dealing with the idea of fate and the future, all courtesy of an Inhuman with a rather unusual ability. As has been the case this season, with S.H.I.E.L.D. and Hydra working against each other to identify new Inhumans, this one becomes the subject of a struggle for both of them. <continue reading>

Marvel’s Agent Carter “Hollywood Ending” (2016.03.01) – In Review

“Hollywood Ending” brings the second season of Agent Carter to a close, an appropriate title since the majority of season two’s action has been in Los Angeles. A lot has to be resolved before it’s all said and done though, with the major story line coming to an end, while resolving the fate of a multitude of characters – and leaving one character in an unresolved state. <continue reading>

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. “Parting Shot” (2016.03.22) – In Review

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. reaches a crossroads with the new episode “Parting Shot”, with the team caught up in a case out of Russia, while the machinations of Hydra continue to play out. Before it’s all said and done, though, there’s a point of no return for two members of the team, backed into a corner and out of luck. <continue reading>

Marvel’s Agent Carter “Monsters” (2016.02.16) – In Review

“Monsters” carries on the plotline for Agent Carter and the second season; with Whitney Frost (Wynn Everett) descending deeper into the darkness. She’s wiped out half the Council and her husband, taking control of it for herself, with Joseph Manfredi (Ken Marino) as her right hand man. Much of the episode concerns itself with hidden agendas, intrigue, and the stakes presented by Zero Matter. <continue reading>

X-Files “Babylon” (2016.02.15) – In Review

“Babylon” – a reference to the biblical and historical city and the tale of the Tower of Babel. It’s also the title for the fifth episode of season ten for The X-Files, an episode that is light on the supernatural elements of the series, and yet fitting in with the mood of the series. It takes on the issue of international terrorism, mixes in the tensions of religion and bigotry, and brings in a couple of younger agents who are counterparts to the protagonists of the series. <continue reading>

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. “Bouncing Back” (2016.03.08) – In Review

“Bouncing Back” brings the third season of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. back after a hiatus for Agent Carter. It has been awhile, but with the second series taking up the time, it hasn’t felt like there’s been a huge void – unlike such is the case with Gotham. As has been the case through a good part of the season, Inhumans are a big issue this time out, while the ongoing efforts against Hydra and Gideon Malick (Powers Boothe) are part of the backdrop. <continue reading>

Marvel’s Agent Carter “Life of the Party” (2016.02.16) – In Review

“Life of the Party” – a curious episode title for Agent Carter, given that this episode, in carrying on with the plotlines of season two, features a considerable amount of death. Zero Matter (aka the McGuffin of the season), the fate of Doctor Wilkes (Reggie Austin), and the machinations of Whitney Frost (Wynn Everett) dominate the episode. <continue reading>

X-Files “Home Again” (2016.02.08) – In Review

“Home Again” turns out to be an up and down episode for season ten of The X-Files. Glen Morgan, who had a hand in many episodes of the initial run, such as “Squeeze”, “Tooms”, “Home”, and “Beyond the Sea”, writes and directs this episode. That last episode, from season one, which featured the death of William Scully (Don S. Davis) and its effect on Scully (Gillian Anderson), figures prominently in this episode. <continue reading>

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016) – In review

After much hype and production time, the follow up to Man of Steel has arrived in theatres. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice pits two of the biggest members of DC’s Trinity against each other, while bringing in the third member as a wild card. The Dark Knight and the Man of Steel go head to head in a grudge match with a whole lot of destruction, a villain pulling the strings, and hints of the impending Justice League yet to come. <continue reading>

X-Files “Mulder and Scully Meet the Were-Monster” (2016.02.01) – In Review

“Mulder and Scully Meet the Were-Monster”; the very title suggests this is going to be the sort of episode that shouldn’t be taken seriously. As much as The X-Files in the past has featured science fiction, horror, and supernatural elements throughout, there’s always been an underlying sense of humour, often shown through the interactions of the characters. Occasionally though there have been episodes winking at the audience, fused with a rich satirical, quirky edge that leave the audience laughing. <continue reading>

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. “Maveth” (2015.12.08) – In Review

“Maveth” closes out the first half of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s third season with a return visit to the mysterious world Simmons (Elizabeth Henstridge) was trapped in for a time. It’s also the name of the planet itself, among other things. The episode gives particular emphasis to Coulson (Clark Gregg), Fitz (Iain De Caestecker), and Ward (Brett Dalton), heightening the mutual tensions between both sides, while allowing the rest of the cast lots to do. <continue reading>

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. “Closure” (2015.12.01) – In Review

“Closure” opens in a quiet way as a new episode for Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., with a little romantic dinner between Coulson (Clark Gregg) and Price (Constance Zimmer). It’s mixed with a bit of future agenda conversation, what with the discovery last time out that Gideon Malick (Powers Boothe) is in fact a Big Bad. <continue reading>

Marvel’s Agent Carter “Smoke & Mirrors” (2016.02.02) – In Review

“Smoke & Mirrors” bounces back and forth in time for two characters this time out, as we see a steady amount of flashbacks for both the protagonist and Big Bad of season two for Agent Carter. Both Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell) and Whitney Frost (Wynn Everett) get their pasts fleshed out somewhat in this episode, which nonetheless moves the current narrative forward in terms of the SSR’s investigation of Isodyne Energy, as well as the predicament Jason Wilkes (Reggie Austin) finds himself in. <continue reading>

X-Files “Founder’s Mutation” (2016.01.25) – In Review

“Founder’s Mutation” is the second episode of The X-Files season ten, written and directed by James Wong, who was one of the regular writer – directors of the series through its initial run. His work includes the classic episodes “Home” and “Musings of a Cigarette Smoking Man”, and this episode continues with the theme of the mythology arc, while bringing into the equation Mulder and Scully’s feelings about the son they gave up for adoption in order to protect him. <continue reading>

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. “Many Heads, One Tail” (2015.11.17) – In Review

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. starts a new direction with “Many Heads, One Tail”, an appropriate title since the subject of much of the intrigue this time out is the nefarious agency Hydra. Gideon Malick (Powers Boothe) represents part of that group, the establishment side of things, having had managed to evade the attention that’s brought down so many other people in high places after Hydra’s exposure in Captain America: The Winter Soldier (not to mention earlier in season one of this series). <continue reading>

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. “Chaos Theory” (2015.11.10) – In Review

“Chaos Theory” picks up where things left off last time for Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. – with the revelation of who the Inhuman mystery Lash really is. For Agent May (Ming Na Wen), it’s particularly personal, since she used to be married to him. Doctor Garner (Blair Underwood) is the Inhuman in question, and what he’s been up to since the transformation comes to light for May. <continue reading>

X-Files “My Struggle” (2016.01.24) – In Review

The X-Files returns to television for a six episode limited run, a curious thing. The first episode makes it clear that this is not a reboot (incidentally, I hate that word), but a continuation, with time having had passed, but the main characters still being played by the same actors, and the sense of paranoia and strong science fiction playing out through the episode. <continue reading>

 

 

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. “Among Us Hide…” (2015.11.03) – In Review

“Among Us Hide…” picks up things after the interlude of the previous episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., with a whole lot going on. The machinations of Hydra, the mysterious Inhuman Lash, the ongoing sparring between S.H.I.E.L.D. and the ATCU all form the backdrop for this episode, which brings back a familiar face from The Avengers and gives the audience some answers on where things will be going next. <continue reading>

Gotham “Mommy’s Little Monster” (2015.11.02) – In Review

“Mommy’s Little Monster” is an apt title for this episode of Gotham, since Oswald Cobblepot (Robin Lord Taylor) is the driving force for much of the episode. The Penguin, who’s been coerced into working for Theo and Tabitha Galavan (James Frain and Jessica Lucas) by their holding his mother (Carol Kane) hostage, finds himself on the run after a betrayal and after a point of no return. <continue reading>

Marvel’s Agent Carter “The Lady in the Lake” (2016.01.19) – In Review

Agent Carter returns for a second season, carrying on the adventures of Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell) as she serves as an agent of the SSR in the years after the Second World War. It takes the action away from the New York City of the first season and brings things into Los Angeles for a new season of action, big bads, and dark conspiracy. <continue reading>

Deadpool (2016) – In Review

Back in the day, writer Fabien Nicieza and artist Rob Liefeld (who’s established a well-deserved reputation as one of the worst comic book artists of all time) created an unlikely character named Wade Wilson, otherwise known as Deadpool, a mercenary with a smart aleck attitude, a healing factor, and an ability to understand that he was a comic book character, thus breaking the Fourth Wall. <continue reading>

Justice is Served: The Scourge Files – Chapter Six

Between 1985 and 1993 villains of the Marvel Universe were the targeted by a mysterious character known as the Scourge.
Capes (Optional) continues a look back with Chapter Six of his nine-year reign of terror with The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe volume 2 #11, #19 and volume 4 #33, Captain America #347, Captain America #350, and Captain American #351. <continue reading>

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. “4,722 Hours” (2015.10.27) – In Review

“4,722 Hours” is a first for Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., in that it tells its story mainly as a flashback this time out, and that most of the cast is absent for this episode. Simmons (Elizabeth Henstridge) and Fitz (Iain De Caestecker) are the only regular cast members appearing this time out (aside from a video clip on a mobile). And aside from one guest character, Will Daniels (Dillon Casey), the only other guest characters are fleeting figures. <continue reading>

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. “Devils You Know” (2015.10.20) – In Review

“Devils You Know” is an apt term for the latest episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., as the series deals with a familiar antagonist for the team. Grant Ward (Brett Dalton), the one time member of the team who’s gotten ambitious and has decided to rebuild Hydra with himself in charge, has proven to be a thorn in the side for Coulson (Clark Gregg) and his team, all of whom would like to see him dead, in a very painful way. <continue reading>

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. “A Wanted (Inhu)man” (2015.10.13) – In Review

“A Wanted (Inhum)man” carries on where things left off with Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. as the agents deal with threats from multiple angles, played out in three different storylines. Lincoln (Luke Mitchell) is the focus of things, as both Coulson’s team and the ACTU are seeking him out in this episode. Coulson (Clark Gregg) finds himself in a bit of an ethical dilemma this time out between reaching his goal and looking out for one of his own, and where things end up find us at something of a diplomatic solution. <continue reading>

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. “Purpose in the Machine” (2015.10.06) – In Review

“Purpose in the Machine” picks up where the previous episode left off. The storyline takes different characters in different directions. Part of that is an answer to where May (Ming-Na Wen) has been- she’s taken a leave of absence and is spending time with her recovering father, trying to figure out where her life is headed. Her father, a cantankerous but wise man, seems to understand her better than she understands herself. <continue reading>

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. “Laws of Nature” (2015.09.29) – In Review

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. returns for season three with the new episode “Laws of Nature”. It starts off with a bang – a new Inhuman, Joey Gutierrez (Juan Pablo Raba) finding his powers out of control, and potentially lethal – he can melt metal. One group is seeking him out in with their own purposes – the Advanced Threat Containment Unit (ACTU) – while the team safely extract him and take him to safety. There’s another player in the mix though, one who has an agenda of his own. <continue reading>

Gotham “Damned If You Do…” (2015.09.21) – In Review

“Damned If You Do” brings Gotham back for a new season, with the city in a time of change since last we saw it. The Penguin (Robin Lord Taylor) is now the boss of the underworld in Gotham City, having had seen Carmine Falcone off into retirement and having had killed off Fish Mooney (though as they say, if you haven’t seen the body, don’t believe they’re dead). <continue reading>

Back to the Future Part III (1990) – In Review

Director Robert Zemeckis brought the Back to the Future trilogy to a conclusion with 1990’s Back to the Future Part III, blending the science fiction and comedy of the previous films with a healthy dose of Western. Zemeckis and Bob Gale’s story, transferred into a screenplay by Gale, pays off in numerous ways and makes nods both to where the films have come from, as well as the genre of movie Westerns. And it brings back the leading actors, Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd, as well as a number of supporting actors, some of whom are in new roles this time out – characters who are nonetheless familiar to us already. <continue reading>

Back to the Future Part II (1989) – In Review

After the success of Back to the Future, it was inevitable that there would be sequels. Director Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale fashioned two screenplays to complete a trilogy and filmed the second and third films together, releasing Back to the Future Part II in 1989, picking up right where things left off and sending the two heroes thirty years into the future, an alternate present, and back where it all began in 1955. It retains the sense of humour and good pacing of the original, takes things into some dark directions, and ends up giving us a thrilling cliffhanger ending. <continue reading>

Back to the Future (1985) – In Review

Thirty years ago director Robert Zemeckis brought Back to the Future to the big screen, a comedic science fiction film starring Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd. Taken from a script by Zemeckis and Bob Gale, the story grew out of the notion by Gale as to whether or not he and his father could have been friends had he met him in high school. The film became a big success at the box office and won critical acclaim, establishing itself as a classic. <continue reading>

Justice is Served: The Scourge Files – Chapter Two

Between 1985 and 1993 villains of the Marvel Universe were the targeted by a mysterious character known as the Scourge.

Capes (Optional) continues a look back with Chapter Two of his nine-year reign of terror with West Coast Avengers #3, Avengers #263, The Thing #33, Fantastic Four #289, and Marvel Fanfare #29. <continue reading>

Justice is Served: The Scourge Files – Chapter One

Between 1985 and 1993 villains of the Marvel Universe were the targeted by a mysterious character known as the Scourge.

Capes (Optional) begins a look back with Chapter One of his nine-year reign of terror with Iron Man #194, The Thing #24, Secret Wars II #2, Thor #358, Marvel Age Annual #1, and Captain America #311. <continue reading>

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. “Scars” (2015.05.05) – In Review

‘Scars’ follows up in the wake of Avengers: Age of Ultron, both in how Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. interacts with the events of the film and how the series deals with the fallout. Starting out with a well timed flashback, the episode plays out the plotlines of the Inhumans coming to terms with a world that is becoming curious about them, while the new S.H.I.E.L.D. takes shape. <continue reading>

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. “The Dirty Half Dozen” (2015.04.28) – In Review

‘The Dirty Half Dozen’ reunites the team as it was in season one of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., bringing together Coulson (Clark Gregg) with May (Ming Na Wen), Skye (Chloe Bennet), Fitz (Iain De Caestecker), Simmons (Elizabeth Henstridge), and the rogue agent Ward (Brett Dalton) for one more mission with more than one objective, while sealing the rift between two S.H.I.E.L.D. factions – at least mostly. <continue reading>

Blade of the Destroyer (2015) – In Review

Meet The Hunter, contract killer in the world of Einan, perhaps not of Einan – but that is not all; he his also a slave to a dagger called Soulhunger which demands souls, leaving a tally mark for each collected somewhere on his body. A killer he may seem to be, but he is not what he appears – and is certainly much more. A master of disguise, he is old – older than should be natural – and he remembers nothing beyond his life here, but he should. <continue reading>

Gotham “Beasts of Prey” (2015.04.13) – In Review

‘Beasts of Prey’ – an interesting variation on the Birds of Prey comics title that’s integral to the world of the Batman. In this case, it refers to a serial killer, and the episode kicks off an arc. While the series thus far has advanced several plotlines through multiple episodes, generally speaking the A-plot threat has been shut down within an episode. This is not the case this time out. <continue reading>

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. “Afterlife” (2015.04.07) – In Review

‘Afterlife’ picks up the threads for Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. pretty much where we left off: two factions of S.H.I.E.L.D. with different agendas. One in control of the headquarters of the other. Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg) having had linked up with Lance Hunter (Nick Blood) and making plans to get back at the competition. And Agent Skye (Chloe Bennet) having had vanished into the ether with the mysterious Inhuman Gordon (Jamie Harris). <continue reading>

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. “Love in the Time of Hydra” (2015.03.24) – In Review

‘Love in the Time of Hydra’: a creative title for the latest episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., all the more since it doesn’t really involve the nefarious organization directly. As seen last time out, Hunter (Nick Blood) has been brought by Mack (Henry Simmons) to a place he’s referred to as the real S.H.I.E.L.D., a cryptic sort of notion, given that we’ve been following a S.H.I.E.L.D. agency under the command of Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg). <continue reading>

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. “One of Us” (2015.03.17) – In Review

Beware a man with a grudge. Calvin Zabo (Kyle MacLachlan) has been unhinged for years, which of course makes him all the more of a problem. And he’s got a particular dislike for Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg). On the one hand, there’s the whole issue with his daughter Skye (Chloe Bennet) still being among Coulson’s people instead of where he thinks she belongs – with dear ol’ Dad (Cal could use some intensive therapy). <continue reading>

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. “Who We Really Are” (2015.03.10) – In Review

Lady Sif (Jaime Alexander) of Asgard returns to Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. in the new episode ‘Who You Really Are’. The title refers not only to a dilemma Sif finds herself in, but what one of the main players is going through. The aftermath of Skye (Chloe Bennet) undergoing the Terrigen mists transformation continue to play out, while some expository dialogue by a guest player conveys information about the Inhumans that comics readers already know about. It makes for a handy way to continue to set the groundwork for the eventual Inhumans film. <continue reading>

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. “Aftershocks” (2015.03.03) – In Review

‘Aftershocks’ brings Agents of S.H.I..E.L.D. back after a hiatus (in which Agent Carter filled the gap). When we left off, the agents had infiltrated the hidden city, all sorts of things were going wrong, and Skye and Raina (Chloe Bennet and Ruth Negga) were encased in cocoons as part of all that. Both emerged changed – while one of the agents paid the ultimate price. The death of Triplett, the aftermath of what’s happened, and big changes for Skye dominate this episode. <continue reading>

Gotham “Everyone Has a Cobblepot” (2015.03.02) – In Review

‘Everyone Has a Cobblepot’ brings new complications into the lives of the citizens of Gotham City in the latest episode of Gotham. The title alone suggests Oswald Cobblepot will be hip deep in it all. Detectives Gordon and Bullock (Ben McKenzie and Donal Logue) have themselves a problem. Detective Arnold Flass (Dash Mihok), the corrupt Narcotics cop busted earlier in the season, has been released, and Commissioner Loeb (Peter Scolari) was behind it. <continue reading>

Marvel’s Agent Carter “Valediction” (2015.02.24) – In Review

Agent Carter reaches the end of the first season with ‘Valediction’, a wrap up to the storyline, weaving to a close several outstanding plotlines while pointing its way to the potential future. In the aftermath of the death of Chief Dooley, the SSR must pick up the pieces. Doctor Ivchenko (Ralph Brown), otherwise known as the German infiltrator Johann Fennhoff, is loose and causing trouble with his purloined device and the assistance of the beautiful but deadly Dottie (Bridget Regan). <continue reading>

Gotham “The Blind Fortune Teller” (2015.02.16) – In Review

‘The Blind Fortune Teller’ shows that even in Gotham City, a date night does not exclude a cop from the possibility that he might end up in a murder investigation. Jim Gordon (Ben McKenzie) is attending the circus with Leslie Thompkins (Morena Baccarin). It’s a circus with meaning for comics fans, because this is Haly’s, the same company that the Graysons worked for. In fact, we meet the two people who, in comics lore, will marry and have a son named Richard “Dick” Grayson, though at first meeting, they’re not at that point in their lives. <continue reading>

Marvel’s Agent Carter “A Sin to Err” (2015.02.10) – In Review

‘A Sin To Err’ carries on the ongoing plotline in this first season of Agent Carter. Peggy (Hayley Atwell), who’s been running a parallel investigation into the Howard Stark case, has been exposed to her colleagues as having an agenda of her own. The fact that she’s not really working against their interests is beside the point. Chief Dooley (Shea Whigham) wants her brought in, and dispatches the SSR to find her. <continue reading>

Marvel’s Agent Carter “The Iron Ceiling” (2015.02.03) – In Review

‘The Iron Ceiling’ brings back some familiar faces from Peggy Carter’s past, in the form of the Howling Commandos, who we’ve of course seen in Captain America: The First Avenger and earlier in the season on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. in flashback. Some of them are newcomers to the audience, though not to Peggy. The episode also moves into the second half of the series run for Agent Carter. One hopes there’ll be more of this series yet to come. <continue reading>

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Doctor Who “Mummy on the Orient Express” (2014.10.11) – In Review

In the weeks following her traumatic experience on the Moon, Clara (Jenna Coleman) finds that her furious anger toward the Doctor (Peter Capaldi) has somewhat abated. She concedes, despite disapproval from Danny (Samuel Alexander), to let the Doctor take her on “one last hurrah” in the TARDIS. They arrive in the future on board an intergalactic craft modelled after an old Orient Express train, in which they and other human passengers are dressed in the style of the period. <continue reading>

Marvel’s Agent Carter “The Blitzkrieg Button” (2015.01.27) – In Review

‘The Blitzkrieg Button’ sees the return of a familiar face to Agent Carter (plus a gem of a cameo by Stan Lee), while bringing back secrets of the past and unanswered questions. This season being a self contained ongoing plotline, it advances that story along on more than one front, namely the Stark investigation and the enigmatic organization known as Leviathan. <continue reading>

Gotham “What the Little Bird Told Me” (2015.01.19) – In Review

‘What The Little Bird Told Him’ picks up where the previous episode of Gotham left off. Two inmates at Arkham have escaped, the mysterious Jack Gruber (Christopher Heyerdahl) and his brutish cohort (who he conveniently experimented on) Aaron Helzinger (Kevin McCormick). It happened under the watch of the temporarily demoted Jim Gordon (Ben McKenzie), who still considers the matter his case. <continue reading>

Marvel’s Agent Carter “Time and Tide” (2015.01.13) – In Review

‘Time and Tide’ picks up where we left off for Agent Carter, as the dangling plotlines behind the outstanding charges against Howard Stark, the enigmatic organization Leviathan, and the destruction of the Roxxon facility continue to play out. Given that the series has a brief first season run (assuming there is a second season, which is fairly reasonable), it would seem we can view this first season as essentially a miniseries of sorts playing out the arc of a single story. <continue reading>

Marvel’s Agent Carter “Now is Not the End” and “Bridge and Tunnel” (2015.01.06) – In Review

Agent Carter starts off with a bang with two episodes, ‘Now Is Not the End’ and ‘Bridge and Tunnel’, establishing the latest Marvel adaptation for the small screen after Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., which is on an extended break. The series, which focuses on Agent Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell), the one-time love of Captain America <continue reading>

The Dark Knight Strikes Back (2001) – In Review

Back in the day Frank Miller gave the world the landmark miniseries The Dark Knight Returns, telling the story of Bruce Wayne donning the cape and cowl of the Batman several years after leaving it all behind. The story remains acclaimed as an alternate future tale of a grim and gritty older Batman taking on enemies in more than one battlefield as he tries to reclaim Gotham City. <continue reading>

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. “What They Become” (2014.12.09) – In Review

‘What They Become’ marks the mid-season finale for Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., and an absence for the series until March (that’s way too long!). It brings us to more than one cliffhanger, and also establishes identities for major characters that make sense when you come to think of it. Along the line we get death stepping in, taking away characters we’ve come to love or hate. <continue reading>

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. “…Ye Who Enter Here” (2014.12.02) – In Review

‘Ye Who Enter Here’ is certainly an ominous phrase whenever used, and such is the case with the ninth episode of season two for Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Storylines move forward with the sense of setting the groundwork for what’s to come (the following episode happens to be the mid-season finale). <continue reading>

Gotham “Harvey Dent” (2014.11.17) – In Review

It’s a painful truth (for DC, that is) that most of their really interesting villains are squarely in the realm of the Dark Knight, while Marvel has always been able to spread out their villains in their comic world. In the first eight episodes of Gotham, we have already seen several future villains (or not so future, considering some of them are already into nefarious acts) at work. <continue reading>

Doctor Who “Into the Dalek” (2014.08.30) – In Review

In deep space, the Doctor (Peter Capaldi) saves a rebel fighter pilot called Journey Blue (Zawe Ashton) from destruction at the hands of the Daleks.  He returns her to her command ship, the Aristotle, only to find himself facing execution as a suspected spy for the Daleks.  Journey intervenes and suggests to her leaders that they use the Doctor to help with a special ‘patient’, a war-damaged Dalek which has somehow developed a conscience and turned good. <continue reading>

Gotham “Penguin’s Umbrella” (2014.11.03) – In Review

Further and further down the proverbial rabbit hole we go with the latest episode of Gotham, entitled ‘The Penguin’s Umbrella’, and it’s fitting that the Penguin is in the driver’s seat moving the story forward. The previous episode ended with a bang; Oswald Cobblepot (Robin Lord Taylor) revealed that he was alive, that Gordon (Ben Mckenzie) did not kill him, and this episode plays around with the fallout. <continue reading>

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. “The Writing on the Wall” (2014.11.11) – In Review

‘The Writing on the Wall’ moves Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. into a decidedly darker direction with the tying up of some loose threads – namely Coulson’s incessant carving the strange symbols onto walls motifs – while answering some questions, and hinting at the future. We first get a look at Sebastian (Brian Van Holt), who we saw in a previous teaser, with his obsession over many of the same strange symbols, as he commits cold blooded murder. <continue reading>

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. “A Fractured House” (2014.10.28) – In Review

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. picks up where things left off by answering a lingering question. Talbot has mentioned a senator who wants the rogue agency brought down. In ‘A Fractured House’, we learn who that is: Senator Christian Ward (Tim DeKay), brother of the Hydra traitor Grant Ward (Brett Dalton). <continue reading>

Gotham “Spirit of the Goat” (2014.10.27) – In Review

‘Spirit of the Goat’ takes Gotham in a different direction, lending what at first seems to be a supernatural element to a serial killer in the streets of Gotham City, targeting the first born of the city’s wealthy elite. We open up with a flashback to several years in the past, with a younger Harvey Bullock (Donal Logue) and his veteran partner, Detective Dicks (Dan Hedaya) intervening in the actions of a masked serial killer with a goat motif, which results in the death of the suspect. <continue reading>

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. “Heavy is the Head” (2014.09.30) – In Review

‘Heavy is the Head,’ the second episode of the second season of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., picks up where we last left off; two agents are dead at the hands of the Absorbing Man, and the third, Lance Hunter (Nick Blood, one of the new cast members of the series) wounded and in custody of the army, notably General Talbot (Adrian Pasdar). This gives the audience a chance to get to know more about Hunter in particular, though we also get to know a bit about another new member of the cast as things go along. <continue reading>

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. “Shadows” (2014.09.23) – In Review

The inaugural season of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. saw the team of operatives in the Marvel universe at a turning point. Their agency was in tatters after the revelations of the HYDRA infiltration. They were on the run. One of their members was badly injured. Another revealed as a HYDRA mole. And their leader was given the reins of a new, smaller, and more covert S.H.I.E.L.D. agency by his predecessor, Nick Fury. <continue reading>

Marvel Knights: Spider-Man “Fight Night” (2014.04.15) – In Review

Marvel Knights Spider-Man “Fight Night” is the collected edition of the recent five-issue miniseries under the old Marvel Knights banner; two other similar limited series featuring the Hulk and the X-Men were also released at the time. For whatever reason I didn’t pick it up when it was first released as single issues, but I got to read it recently.

I must start by saying I’m glad I didn’t pay for it. <continue reading>

Doctor Who “Deep Breath” (2014.08.23) – In Review

In Victorian-age London, a fearsome dinosaur materialises and spits out the TARDIS onto the banks of the River Thames.  The Paternoster Gang – comprised of Silurian Madame Vastra (Neve McIntosh), her human maid Jenny Flint (Catrin Stewart) and her Sontaran butler Strax (Dan Starkey) – race to the scene to find Clara (Jenna Coleman) and the Doctor (Peter Capaldi) emerging from the TARDIS. <continue reading>

Doctor Who – “Aliens of London” (2005.04.16) – In Review

After their adventure in Cardiff in 1869, the Doctor (Christopher Eccleston) intends to return in the TARDIS with Rose (Billie Piper) to London twelve hours after their original departure, but mistakenly arrives twelve months after they left.  Unaware of the error, Rose goes back home where her mother Jackie (Camille Coduri) is shocked to see her.  Having believed that her daughter was abducted and murdered, <continue reading>

24: Live Another Day – “Day 9: 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.” / “12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.” (2014.05.05) – In Review

It’s been a few years since we’ve seen Kiefer Sutherland as the ferocious agent Jack Bauer. When the series 24 came to an end, Bauer was forced to go on the run, wanted by more than one government, after repeatedly saving the world (when he wasn’t busy torturing or killing terrorists and other assorted baddies). When FOX announced a new limited series  <continue reading>

Atari Archeology

Statistically speaking, if you’re reading articles on a website like Capes (Optional), there’s a high possibility that you are what we affectionately call a “geek.” This means that you enjoy a wide range of pastimes considered marginally acceptable by modern society, including graphic forms of fiction, recorded action-plays boldly going to galaxies far, far away, <continue reading>

Doctor Who “The Unquiet Dead” (2005.04.09) – In Review

Travelling in the TARDIS, the Doctor (Christopher Eccleston) and Rose (Billie Piper) arrive in Cardiff on Christmas Eve in 1869.  At a funeral parlour close by, a strange blue gas seeps into the corpse of the recently deceased Mrs. Peace (Jennifer Hill), bringing her back to life.  The undead woman rises up out of her coffin, kills her grieving grandson (Huw Rhys) and heads off into the cold night, <continue reading>

Captain Marvel “Higher, Further, Faster, More” (2014.05) – In Review

For many years now, publishers have been creating female counterparts to pre-existing male characters but some always manage to rise above the rest. Carol Danvers is one such character. First appearing in 1968, she did not acquire superpowers until 1977 where she adopted the identity of Ms. Marvel. Over the years her powers changed and she adopted various identities until recently when, <continue reading>

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. “Yes Men” (2014.03.11) – In Review

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. carries on with its premise of a group of agents tasked with responding to threats in the larger Marvel Universe. With this recent episode, Coulson and his team find themselves dealing with Asgardians, in the form of an antagonist and a guest appearance from the Thor films. In the wake of the events of Thor: The Dark World<continue reading>

Doctor Who “Rose” (2005.03.26) – In Review

Rose Tyler (Billie Piper) is leading a perfectly normal life in London, living at home with her mother Jackie (Camille Coduri), coasting along in a non-committal relationship with boyfriend Mickey Smith (Noel Clarke), and working in a busy department store in the city centre.  Her mundane existence is disturbed one evening when the Doctor (Christopher Eccleston) arrives and rescues her from the Autons,  <continue reading>

Doctor Who “The End of the World” (20105.04.02) – In Review

Five billion years into the future, the Doctor (Christopher Eccleston) and Rose (Billie Piper) land on Platform One, a space station orbiting the Earth. The vessel is an observation deck designed for a select party of wealthy aliens to witness the last moments of Earth from behind the safety of a protective shield. Earth, once inhabited, is on the brink of destruction as the Sun now rapidly expands. <continue reading>

She-Hulk “Motion” – In Review

She-Hulk returns in grand fashion as an ongoing title, in the hands of Charles Soule (Thunderbolts) and Javier Pulido (Amazing Spider-Man). The first issue gets things re-established for Jen Walters, emphasizing character over action, and if this first issue is of any indication, the book is in good hands and might well become a favourite. This is ideal, since She-Hulk is one of my favourite Marvel characters. <continue reading>