Betrayal! Thy Name Is Krieger!

Considering how ISIS (the International Secret Intelligence Service)–not the terrorist organization currently in vogue–seemingly did everything they could undermine their own efforts, they hardly needed help from outside.

Or inside, for that matter.

That being said, I feel reasonably certain that there there was someone within ISIS doing just that.  Perhaps they were too caught up in their struggle with ODIN (the Organization of Democratic Intelligence Networks) and various flavors of international terrorists/arms dealers to notice what was going on right under their noses.

And the name of their Manchurian Candidate?  Doctor KriegerDr. Krieger!  A man so stupid–or was his ignorance a deliberate ruse to lull his fellow agents into a sense of false complacency?–that he regularly operated on people, yet couldn’t name any of the bones of the human body!

And while ISIS imploded at the end of the fourth season, but Krieger’s antics sped it along the way.

As proof I offer Conway Stern (Coby Bell), who worked for ISIS before it was discovered that he was attempting to steal the plans for a device known as a ‘whisper drive,’ which could render submarines undetectable.  Due to the Truckasaurs-like strength of Agent Lana Kane (Aisha Taylor), Conway lost his hand as well as the drive, though he was still able to escape.



If you’ve followed Archer you’re probably aware that Krieger (Lucky Yates) was probably a clone of Hitler, which if you’ve seen The Boys From Brazil you’d know that Hitler clones are usually up to no good.

Conway 2

The most blatant example of Krieger’s perfidy?  There are quite a few, but the one that sticks in my craw is from the third episode of the first season, Diversity Hire, when ISIS hired Conway Stern, an African-American Jew (“A diversity double-whammy!“) mainly because Archer (accidentally) outed all the other agents of color, resulting in their deaths.

Conway 3Could Dr. Krieger have betrayed ISIS because of some deep-seated hatred of everything they stood for (I honestly have no idea what that is) or is the truth more mundane, and Krieger was just an monumental asshole?

I think the latter.

No Crossovers: Why 20th Century Fox & Sony Need To Go It Alone

I understand why some fans of characters like the Fantastic Four, Wolverine, Spider-Man and The Avengers want to see all their favorite heroes on the screen at the same time.  Imagine the Avengers..avenging, when Spider-Man swings by or the X-Men encountering Iron man or Captain America?  It’s not impossible, though it is very unlikely because Iron Man and Captain America are owned by Marvel Studios, while Spider-Man is licensed to Sony/Columbia and the X-Men, which includes Wolverine, are licensed to 20th Century Fox.

As I said, I get it, though unlike some what I also understand is that there are even more reasons why it shouldn’t (any time soon, at any rate).

Let’s look at this on a studio-by-studio basis.

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‘Birdman’ Trailer

I don’t quite know what to make of Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Birdman.  On one level it appears to be a superhero drama, on another it appears to be a dark comedy.  I get the feeling that this Birdman only exists in the imagination of Riggan Thomson (Michael Keaton) whom appears to be a washed-up actor.

What his potentially means is that people may go into this movie expecting one thing, and getting another; which is never a good thing.

Besides, we all know that there’s only one ‘Birdman.’

The Signal

Ecclesiastes 1:4-11 said: What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun.

Most movies seem to have taken those words to heart, because they tend to be be all the same, no matter whether they’re comedies, action movies, or Biblical epics.  Sure, actors may change, special effects improve, but when all is said and done, they’re still the same.

Though there are exceptions, such as William Eubank‘s The Signal.  What makes this movie so remarkable is that it takes ideas that you have seen before, and mixes them up in such a way as to create something that at least feels new.   

And that’s saying something.

There were a few instances that I though that I had this picture made, and I was often sort of right; though it’s that little bit of uncertainty, that small helping of doubt, that made it such a clever and enjoyable ride.

This perspective even filtered down to the way the film was directed because The Signal starts as one thing, and before you know it, right under your nose, morphs into a bigger, more interesting thing.

Most movies are made in a way that the audience knows what’s going to happen before the characters on screen or the director (deliberately?) neglects to show you information that would make everything that unfolds a whole lot clearer.

Which is one reason that I can’t watch Bryan Singer’s The Usual Suspects without getting irritated.  Keyser Söze literally builds an life out of found items in the police station, which is clever but I don’t recall the character acting with the high level of scrutiny that such an act would have required.

But as I said, The Signal is different.  The characters on screen are in the dark, though you are too, both literally and figuratively.

It’s a scary feeling, but I have to admit that I liked it.

A lot.

Mea Culpa, Bryan Singer

image courtesy of IMDB

image courtesy of IMDB

Last week, I saw Godzilla.  It was OK, but a bit dour, though what I really wanted to see was X-Men: Days Of Future Past.

I didn’t though.

The reason, I told myself, was because Bryan Singer and some other Hollywood power-players were accused of molesting Michael Egan III numerous times when he was younger.

And honestly, that bothers me (though because we’re talking about an accusation, it doesn’t put him in the same boat as Roman Polanski or Victor Salva, who are pretty excretable human beings).

Though more than a little part of my disdain was because on some levels that I am bothered by his success, combined with the fact that Singer often comes off as an entitled, arrogant prick.

Just as I am entitled to fell how I feel, now matter how petty.

Though that doesn’t make it right.  Hell, it doesn’t even make it logical, a quality that I pride myself on.

But as for Egan’s allegations, they haven’t (yet?) been shown to be true.  It doesn’t mean that Singer isn’t a prick–the jury is still out–though Alfred Hitchcock was at times scarier than anything that happened in his movies, and I still watch them when the desire to do so hits me.

So I will probably catch Days Of Future Past this weekend, and keep an eye on Egan’s case, because as far as I am concerned Singer isn’t off the hook though if Bryan Singer has done what Michael Egan III claimed he did, the things Singer will will have to contend with will be much more devastating than me not seeing one of his movies.

Postmortem: ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’

Have you ever seen a movie, like “Prometheus,” for instance, in which you were blown away when you first saw it in the theaters, only to see it again and wonder what the whole point was?  In this edition of ‘Postmortem’ I take another look at “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” a movie that I enjoyed the first time around, though I wanted to see it could stand repeated viewings.

I divided it up into six areas:  3D, Violence, Acting, Villains, Heroes and Story.

  • 3D

When I caught the 3D version of “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” having already seen the non-dimensionally enhanced version two weeks earlier, I did so primarily to see if it holds up to repeated viewings though I was also curious as to whether the 3D was necessary.  And for those individuals that haven’t seen it in 3D, don’t worry about it.  It isn’t necessary and doesn’t add much in the way of value, though in scenes where large machinery was in play, like with the S.H.I.E.L.D. helicarriers, or when there are explosions with lots of debris it was very interesting.

Other scenes, in other words most of the movie, not so much.

Verdict:  “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” isn’t markedly different–with the exception of a few scenes where it really pops–in 3D.  Check it out if you’re curious, but your money could be better spent elsewhere.  

  • Violence

“Captain America: The Winter Soldier” is without a doubt an action movie.  There’re numerous fight scenes early on, and they tend to be very visceral and physical.  Is it as violent as “Man Of Steel,” which for me sets the benchmark for superhero movie violence (including movies like “Kickass” and “Kickass 2,” though they differ in that gratuitous violence is what they’re selling to an extent.  Both are bloody and so over-the-top that they play more like a cartoon than anything else, which is their whole point)?

I’d have to say, No.  Captain America is violent, without a doubt, but that violence is of a more “realistic” nature and focused on individuals, as opposed to hundreds or thousands of people.  The scale of the violence in ‘Winter Soldier,’ as well as the way it’s edited,is focused less on the destruction itself and more on the athleticism of armed and unarmed combat.

Verdict: “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” is an action film, but one that’s on a very human scale.  As a result, comes across as thrilling, as opposed to gratuitous.

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Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: ‘The Magical Place’

Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.DIf the blogosphere is any indicator, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. may be on rocky ground.  That sentiment appears reflected in its ratings.

Speaking of which, they have dipped precariously since its premiere high of 4.7 (representing millions of households) to a rating of 2.1, tying a season low.

That may seem a bit grim, but keep in mind that network television overall has been getting pummeled by cable, video games, and the Internet for awhile now; so while a 2.1 isn’t great, its not terrible either and as a marque series for the network, it will probably be renewed as long as it remains stable (it doesn’t hurt that the ABC network is owned by Walt Disney, which Marvel is a division of).

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