If you’re like me & too poor to afford to watch Twin Peaks’ revival on Showtime, Riverdale may tide you over. At first I scoffed at this show because it’s six years too late for a gritty melodramatic adaptation of Archie Comics, the wholesome teenage love triangle sitcom that has inexplicably been in print for seventy-six years. To my surprise, the show that aired after Powerless is actually good! It should not work nearly as well as it does. Curse you for making so much quality television, CW! (If comic book adaptations aren’t your cup of tea, I suggest The 100 & Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.)
It’s probably a lot easier to enjoy this if you’re not a die-hard Archie fan (I’ve never met one in person, but I’m sure they exist) since it takes giant liberties with such characters as Chuck Clayton, Dilton Doiley, & Ethel Muggs. Jughead isn’t asexual, although the series was well into development when the latest comics reboot made that canon. It would’ve been easy to write Veronica Lodge in her Middle Earth cape as the rich bitch, but they’ve subverted that so well by making her repentantly compassionate. (The ensemble is so wonderful it’s hard to believe this is Camila Mendes’s first TV role.) Instead of fighting with Betty Cooper for Archie’s affections, they’re an awesome friend duo. Prototypical all-American girl next door (which could mean something very different depending on where you go in the US) Betty Cooper gets layers & family drama from having a mom named Alice Cooper who’s not the shock rocker. It’s spider brooch wearing Cheryl Blossom that gets to be the over the top mean girl, but it’s surprising she turned out as well-adjusted given her Gothic upbringing in Thornhill. Josie & the Pussycats give ridiculously awesome concerts, although they can’t top the superlative Josie & the Pussycats movie. Archie Andrews is ostensibly the star yet he remains its least interesting character. He’s also gauche enough to wear a varsity jacket to a wake.
Another rejected pitch was Roverdale starring Arfie Andrews, Sheltie Cooper, Furronica Lodge, Pughead Jones, Chien Keller, Dilton Doggy, Reggie Mastiff, & Feral Blossom.
My review of Legion season one SPOILS all the
things vague object signifiers because I’m the magic man! Here’s the story of a fuzzy little bunny who got too close to the ocean!
X-Men: Apocalypse gave Andrew Birchenough such extreme PTSD that Jack Gattanella was forced to install me as his Brand-X substitute for The Wages of Cinema’s Logan review! Is Logan the best there is at what he does, or is what Logan does not very nice? Going by Wolverine’s catchphrase, these options might not be mutually exclusive.
SPOILERS below, bub! SNIKT! SNIKT!
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.
Originally slated for 2016, Sony delayed its release until after Inauguration Day.
Gotham is committed to pitting the Riddler against Penguin. This is a huge bummer since I really enjoyed them being murder besties even if they didn’t hook up. I sympathize with shippers feeling betrayed, but I also understand the writers going with this for maximum drama since it’s the relationship viewers actually care about. At least it’s making Babs & Tabs more pivotal & finding work for Clayface. You can tell the psychological warfare taking it’s toll because Oswald didn’t even eat the birthday cake of Nygma’s replacement after killing him! Will Riddler cause Disco Vampire to wear a monocle via gratuitous eye violence ala Arkham City? Then they can let eyegones be bygones. Or will they go for the “Penguin doesn’t need a reason to wear a monocle” explanation that nobody had a problem with for decades?
Unexpected fun fact: Dr. Leslie Thompkins is most effective at violating perps’ rights to get intel.
The way that they’re addressing reanimation as simultaneously bonkers & mundane is perfect. I appreciate that they turned the Joker’s face removal in the New 52 from edgy horror into a joke about poseurs. It’s only just returned & already announcing a winter break after next week? You can’t have two winter finales in the same season, Gotham! That’s madness!
If you’re reading this, congratulations on having survived 2016! Let’s all begin our venture through 2017 with low expectations! After all, 2017 is the year of The Running Man. They say to be the change you want to see in the world, so this year I’m having myself drawn & quartered!
Some good news is that both my 2016 views & visitor stats markedly increased over 2015’s, though WordPress hasn’t sent me a qualitative analysis like last year. Seeing as how my 2015 tenure was two months shy of of a full year, I’m especially glad the opposite wasn’t true. The most read blog was “Let’s All Ride Deadpool’s Coattails!,” so click through some of my lesser viewed blogs to even things out. I was going to include a Top Ten Movies of 2016 list since I saw exactly ten movies at the cinema last year, but then I realized my quantitative rankings would be mostly arbitrary. You’re better off reading my full reviews because they’re made of ambivalence & anhedonia!
Welcome to the first blog after our one hundredth! It’s also the last I’ll be writing this year. We’re almost out of 2016! At first I thought people were overreacting about how bad 2016 was, but the year wore me down too. Even my first publisher went belly up. This is specifically not a retrospective post, however, because the year hasn’t finished yet.
To the future we must point our gaze! The big question is now whether 2016 will be slain by the greenery of 2017 or will this year snuff itself out? Good riddance to 2016! Welcome, 2017!* Now I’ll use the metaphor of annual death & rebirth to segue into an iZombie & X-Men mashup that loses its mirth if you analyze it within the bounds of either fandom.
Both Anna Paquin & Rose McIver were in The Piano!