Marvel Studios has done it again. With movies they were the first to create a united universe of characters that began with Iron Man, and continued with “The Incredible Hulk,” “Captain America: The First Avenger” and “Thor,” culminating with the blockbuster, “The Avengers.”
Now they’re bringing the same approach of a unified universe to Netflix, with individual series based upon Luke Cage (also known as ‘Power Man), Iron Fist, Jessica Jones, and Daredevil, to culminate in a mini-series event, The Defenders.
Though based upon the news, I have to ask: Where’s Misty Knight?
Netflix has been looking for ways to differentiate itself from other networks, such as HBO and other cable networks for awhile now, though I never suspected that they would take such a bold approach.
‘Born Again’ is the 22nd episode of “The X-Files” and is a clever twist on evil children (which is apt, considering we’re coming up on Halloween) in that the child, Michelle Bishop (Andrea Libman) isn’t evil, but is somehow attached to the spirit of a police officer, Detective Charlie Morris, that had been wronged by those that should have protected him.
Which is why the episode is so interesting: Michelle never actually does anything bad – though the hang-dog expression on her face is at times unnerving – but since Morris’ spirit is attached to her, she’s always present when someone is killed.
Det. Charlie Morris also had a thing for origami, as does Michelle. Scully, as usual is very skeptical, but I have tried to make origami figures before and if an eight-year-old child had discovered the patience to do so, there must be something otherworldly going on.
Mulder believes that it is a case of reincarnation, but that doesn’t quite make sense to me, if only because once he makes peace (kills the people that killed him) he leaves, though as far as I am aware idea of reincarnation doesn’t quite work that way.
This episode also starred Maggie Wheeler as Det. Sharon Lazard. If she looks at all familiar, it’s perhaps because she played Janice Litman, Chandler Bing‘s girlfriend in the NBC series “Friends,” which ran from 1994 to 2004.
“Rob Zombie’s remake of John Carpenter’s classic horror film makes some bold choices, but cannot escape the long shadow of the original.”
I get what Rob Zombie is trying to do with his remake of John Carpenter’s groundbreaking 1978 film, Halloween,” but it fails for me primarily because it gives so much information. The first half-hour or so is spent laying the groundwork for the existence of Carpenter’s monstrous creation, something Carpenter himself didn’t do (quite deliberately, in fact). Zombie’s film is admittedly more grounded in a reality (of sorts) than Carpenter’s original.
What’s most interesting is that it’s that same realism that not only separates it from John Carpenter’s original, but by contrast shows you how much more effective it was, as well.
The Shape, the demonic charter created by John Carpenter and Debra Hill, was most interesting BECAUSE you had no idea why he did what he did. The character was essentially a violent force of nature, more akin to a tornado or hurricane than a human being.
Under Zombie’s reinterpretation, he’s a psychotic kid, who grows up to be a psychotic adult.
I recently caught the entire run of “666 Park Avenue” on Netflix recently. It was a clearly expensive, good-looking and well-designed series, though its portrayal of evil, personified by Terry O’ Quinn, was somewhat bland (due less to O’ Quinn, who can play sinister with the best of them, than the writing, which leaned toward soapiness) as the owner of a hotel who could be Satan (or someone relatively high in that unholy hierarchy).
I mention it because I read recently that “Ironside” was cancelled on NBC after airing only three episodes. I am getting the feeling that Blair Underwood needs to steer clear of NBC, considering that his last show for the network “The Event,” had a similar fate (though like ‘Park Avenue,’ it at least lasted a season).
“Tooms” is the twenty-first episode of The X-Files, and marks the return of Eugene Victor Tooms (Doug Hutchinson), last seen in episode 3, “Squeeze.”
Somehow Tooms comes up for trial, and is released. This is, of course, a bad decision because as soon as he’s freed he gets back to his old habits (extracting, and eating, the livers of unwilling donors, all without a scalpel or anesthesia).
The psychiatrist who managed his care, Dr. Aaron Monte (Paul Ben-Victor) and led the effort to free him would have regretted his decision, if it weren’t for his unwanted contribution to Tooms very specific dietary habits.
Fox Mulder (David Ducovhny) is usually played as pretty intense and clever though his inability to compromise (or blatantly lie) during the review makes him come off as a bit nutty because there are occasions when the truth is more dangerous than any lie.
For awhile I was wondering if the Third Season of “The Walking Dead” was ever going to show up. The first episode, “Seed” is a particularly strong entry, as Rick and the gang discover an abandoned prison. I have noticed that whenever an episode is directed by Ernest Dickerson, as ’Seed’ is, you know that you are going to get a strong entry.
For awhile I was thinking that I would re-watch the first two seasons – as I have become accustomed to binge-viewing – but I have waited too long for this season to turn up to spend my time covering territory I have already covered.
And while Season Three just arrived, here’s the Comic-con trailer for Season Four.
I really hope that George Romero directs an episode or two because, as essentially the Father of the genre, it would be good to see him helm a few.
Netflix is currently airing Seasons One through Five of AMC’s monster hit drama, “Breaking Bad,” which is awesome.
What’s not so awesome is that they have yet to get the remaining episodes of the Fifth, and last, season. This means that there are all sort of spoilers floating about, which I and anyone else that doesn’t have cable have been working to avoid.
Netflix feels our pain, and is helping by introducing a feature called Spoiler Foiler. It searches your Twitter feed for actors or anything related to Breaking Bad, and redacts it.
Now the article doesn’t say how to activate the feature, though anything that keeps the rest of Season Five on the down low is fine with me.
The only disadvantage, and it’s a minor one, is that tweets that reference the series end up looking like a document accessed through the Freedom of Information Act, but anything that keeps the secrets of Breaking Bad secret is worth the the bother.
“Darkness Falls” is the twentieth episode of the first season of The X-Flies, and despite its ‘monster of the week’ nature, is a favorite of mine. The story takes place in Olympic National Forest, in Northwest Washington State (though I am reasonably sure that it really doesn’t).
A logging crew vanishes without a trace, though it isn’t the first time that such an event happened. That would have been1934, also when an entire crew in the same area vanished without a trace (one hand on the ground, one hand in space!).
It’s later determined that the cause of the disappearance of the most recent group of loggers – and probably those from the 1930’s as well – was an insect that had somehow survived living within old growth trees for hundreds of years, which in the present time were being cut illegally.
As I said, the episode itself is pretty suspenseful, with ample amounts of tension. The only problem is that the insect antagonist plays like something out of a Doctor Who episode. Instead of being based on anything resembling logic, Chris Carter (creator of The X-Flies and the writer of this episode) created an insect that glows like a firefly, captures it’s prey in a cocoon like a spider, swarms like hornets, wasps, or Africanized bees, and looks like a mite under the microscope.
Major spoilers below.
Mitchell Altieri and Phil Flores’ (otherwise known as The Butcher Brothers) “The Hamiltons,” while essentially a vampire film, is a post-modern take – vampirism is treated as a disease that you are born with, and can be spread by no other means. It shares more in common with films like “Near Dark” than more traditional interpretations.
As far as I am aware it was part of After Dark’s Horrorfest and was made in 2006, as was the sequel, “The Thompsons,” that came out six years later.
There are certain advantages to this interpretation of vampirism – they can travel during the day, and religious iconography (as far as I can tell) means absolutely nothing to them – as well as disadvantages – they appear to be no stronger than a normal human, can’t shape-shift, and they have no fangs or claws.
They also don’t sparkle, which I am thankful for.
Pete Travis’ Dredd is currently on Netflix, and after watching it again – I originally saw it in the theater – I can see why it did significantly better via rentals, DVD and Blue ray.
It did so much better that it has resulted in a petition for a sequel, which is pretty impressive considering that it earned $35 million on a $50 million dollar budget.
The story, essentially Dredd takes down a drug dealer and her organization, is at heart a small one, and it’s made even smaller by the fact that it takes place in essentially one place.
It’s an almost intimate story that plays well on television, where the lack of scope and scale works to its benefit.
It’s also significantly gorier than I recall it being. The ‘Slo-Mo’ effect in the movies appears to be almost an artistic conceit, while in at home you can see all sorts of details become apparent.
For instance, is this Armand Assante?
I have seen no evidence to indicate that it is, despite the resemblance, though he would hardly be the first actor to appear in a film uncredited.
Most of all it would be an awfully meta thing for the producers of the film to have done, considering that Assante had a co-starring role in 1995’s “Judge Dredd” with Sylvester Stallone.