The start of Chris Chibnall’s Doctor Who tenure wasn’t my cup of tea. Rather than being a fluke, it turns out “The Woman Who Fell To Earth” was in line with how the rest of his his first series/season would go. I felt both RTD & Moffat overstayed their welcomes as showrunners, but not in their debut seasons! After a string of blogs discussing things I’m excited to recommend like Gotham’s swansong, writing this one felt like a chore. I kept putting it off because writing it was a bummer. A comprehensive essay of how Doctor Who squandered fantastic opportunities is no fun. Lots of SPOILERS for the latest season follow.
This may be my most punctual review ever as I had nearly a month’s head-start to get it done! In December I attended “Meanwhile, Back in Gotham: Preview Screening and Discussion” at The Paley Center. The last time I went to an advance screening of a season premiere it was for Doctor Who season six (in reboot numbering), & I got Steven Moffat to sign my sonic screwdriver. (PHRASING!) This time I was unable to obtain any autographs & it cost more, but I did avoid stress induced vomiting connecting to writing a monograph whilst waiting on line for hours. So I’m counting it as a success!
The two times I’ve attended NYCC, the Gotham panels were always on another day. Last year’s didn’t even announce there’d be one until the week before when all the tickets were sold out. With the series ending, this Paley Center event seemed like my last opportunity to see them. They finished filming literally the day before. I feared the entire cast would be executed after the finale wrapped (That’s what they do for TV shows. The trend of reviving long dead shows is due to conceal a spate of zombieosis.), yet they did not fall into a pit of fire or revolving blades beneath the stage. This cast has excellent camaraderie, although I’ll never be able to tell whether it’s genuine or the thespians are contractually obligated to keep up appearances. It’s pretty surreal to hear them discuss how they’re all suddenly unemployed.
At this point, my core purpose for blogging is so I have ready typed anecdotes on nerdy esoterica prepped to go in the off chance they’re tangentially relevant to online discourse. (Apparently I’ve done over 200 of these, & I still don’t know what I’m doing?) Nothing exciting happens in November, so I guess this entry will be filled up with long delayed ramblings. (Scheduling Giving Tuesday after Cyberman Monday, the international holiday of Mondas, was a bad idea.) Some of them are Marvelous. And I thought no installment this month would be less appealing than a repainted Ronan! Continue reading
Doctor Who & some DC shows, The Flash & Black Lightning, (plus Riverdale) returned for new seasons. (Meanwhile The Venture Brothers & Lodge 49 just had great season finales.) The Whovian portion could’ve been published separately sooner, but I sacrificed timeliness for a rhyming headline because my priorities are in order! You know the drill: SPOILER reviews down under!
We have another misleading title this week, as Doctor Who doesn’t interact with The Shape Of Water. I write about both of them though (plus Justice League Action), so this was another byproduct of needing an SEO friendly title for an overview of disparate topics. Onward to the year’s final blog!
It feels like I’ve been waiting forever to see Guillermo del Toro’s The Shape Of Water. (I doubt this staggered release did its box office any favors.) Co-writen by Vanessa Taylor, it’s The Creature From The Black Lagoon meets Amélie. The costumes & furnishings aren’t as sumptuous as Crimson Peak due to the setting, but it’s a more captivating film. It’s as gorgeous as a GdT movie ought be!
A Wonder Woman, Squirrel Girl, & The Doctor team-up … is not something that is happening. Sorry! If I had my druthers, it would’ve happened already. Their joint powers & can-do attitudes would need to be pitted against a combined mega-obstacle just to be sporting! Okay, maybe that team-up would be too successful at solving all the multiverse’s problems for any successive fiction to matter. But now that Spider-Man: Homecoming is out of the way, we can finally resume talking about these lovely ladies!
Fifteen years later, the Resident Evil film series is finally ending with Resident Evil: The Final Chapter! I’m unduly excited by this momentous event! If you’d prefer to experience it completely unspoiled, scroll past to get to my third in a series of pre-Toy Fair wish lists. Yep, two things that nobody else has been eager for in one big package!
I unilaterally admitted the first Resident Evil to the ranks of the Good Video Game Films along with the original Mortal Kombat & Silent Hill. Rather than attempting a direct adaptation of Capcom’s BioHazard games, it was intended to be a side story running parallel with a unique protagonist, Alice. As sequels progressed, however, more key characters from the game franchise were imported over even though she was an amalgam of their traits. Smushed between Alice & several less memorable new redshirts, the canon ones didn’t have much room to develop. (Claire Redfield & Albert Wesker are the only canon characters in this as Wesker conveniently killed the rest off-screen in ravaged Washington, D.C.) For hardcore fans of the games, watching these movies must be like watching X-Men films are for me.
A key reason why Milla Jovovich’s career revolves around her playing an action heroine is that she’s damn good at it! (I still think she would be more credible as Black Widow than ScarJo.) Unlike Underworld’s stoic Selene, her Alice is allowed a broader range of emotions & vulnerabilities. Her former superpowers have been diminished to standard action movie protagonist levels, but it’s still utterly believable she can wreck anyone. In the the annoying instances when she does have trouble in a fight, I wasn’t sure if the movie didn’t make her foes seem formidable or whether she was just fatigued by all the previous ass-kickings she (& her stunt doubles) handed out. My favorite scene is when Alice (bearing a striking resemblance to Metal Gear Solid’s Meryl Silverberg) gets strung upside-down & still defeats a squad of Umbrella Corp goons.