Category Archives: Video

Clarence New Season!

You all remember I love Clarence. (In case you don’t, that’s a super handy hyperlink right here…)

Anyway, Cartoon Networks fun-loving, overly enthousiastic kid is back! Starting next week, a new season will air. And leading up to it, there’s non-stop Clarency goodness being aired all month. All episodes are little tidbits of childlike glee. Like this one:

See? That made you smile, didn’t it? I knew it.
Clarence rules.

Jan

DC’s Legends of Tomorrow – Season 2

legendsThe Legends of Tomorrow are back. After succesfully thwarting the cooperation between Vandal Savage and the Timelords in season 1, the team is faced with new problems. Rip Hunter has disappeared, only to re-appear throughout time as different versions of himself. While the legends are searching for him, they are confronted by the Legion of Doom, a new supervillain team fronted by reverse Flash Eobard Thawne.
The Legion of Doom is looking for the Spear of Destiny, of biblical fame. You know, the big toothpick that they used to stab Christ in the ribs with?
That thing.
It is said the spear has reality-changing abilities, and it is also said Rip Hunter has it.

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So we’re back in for some juicy timetravelling adventures, some time paradoxes and lots of action. I’m psyched! Season 2 even ups the ante: there’s episodes set in feudal japan, the wild west, the raving sixties… There’s even an episode where they have to save george Lucas so he can go on and make Star Wars which, in turn, inspires the Atom and Steel to become a scientist and a historian respectively. Which will make them into superheroes later on. It’s all mind-boggingly complex and yet very simple at the same time. I’m loving it!legends3

Alas, the gripes I had with season 1, resurface for season 2. The cringeworthy acting for instance. Where I could live with it in season 1, it evolved into something that I can’t overlook. Some, if not most actors, seem as if they’re either trying too hard, or not trying at all. It leads to some very lackluster, stiff deliveries in stark contrast with the overacted ones.

And some of the dialogue is just… bad. When
“What are you doing?”
“Brainsurgery, what does it look like?”
feels like a very funny, and whimsical bit of dialogue, you know the rest has got to be bad…

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I had high hopes for Legends of Tomorrow. Unfortunately, it disappoints on some very basic levels. Here’s to hoping season 3 will pick itself up again…

Jan

The Flash – Season 3

fs3cThe Flash Season 3 is here! I’m so excited, I could run a loop around myself at mach 3!
Or maybe that’s the caffeine coursing through my system.
I did just have eight cups of strong coffee in the past hour… So yeah, probably caffeine, not Speedforce.

In season 3 Barry Allen is happily living the new life he created for himself at the end of season 2. By stopping Thawne murdering his mother, Barry set in motion a whole series of events that lead to him still having both parents. Iris West is also no longer his stepsister, so he’s free to pursue her. And, even more important: she’s interested in being pursued.

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So life can’t be better for Barry. He doesn’t even have to don his spandex, ’cause there’s a new speeder protecting Central City. Everything is just peachy. Until everything starts to unravel. Barry is left with no choice, but to leave this alternate timeline and head back to his own. But messing with time always has consequences, and the old timeline has changed as well, with a new archvillain crossing over hot on Barry’s heels.

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I’ve been a fan of the Flash since season 1. Season 2 even pusehed me further into the arms of fandom, and season 3 now has me locked into it’s fan-servicing arms. Holy cow, this season is so good! I simply adore how they’ve managed to write a plot involving so many intertwined different realities and timelines, yet still keep it comprehensible for the viewer.

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Acting is still going strong, the new villain Alchemy is so cool, those crossover with other DC-series are awesome, and all those subplots!

I’m starting to sound fangirlish, aren’t I? Yeah, I figure it’s best to stop.
Just remember, Flash Season 3 just keeps on going strong!

Jan

Will I Like It? – The 100

100cTime for another installment of Will I like it?

Subject of the horrendous treatment will be The 100. Another show I’ve not read/seen anything of since the boxset of season 4 dropped on my desk. The boxset looks nice enough, sports 13 episodes of about 45 minutes length each and a ton of extras. Without further ado, I plop in the first DVD and sit through episode 4.01.

It starts with a small recap of events that happened in previous seasons. Which is nice. This’ll help me understand, and gently ease me into season 4 before I…
Aaaand the recap is already over.

What just happened? I literally just blinked my eyes and I missed the recap!

Against my own rules, I hit rewind.

And yep, nearly as quick as it starts, the recap is over, segueing into the main titles. Which are nicely done, but offer no context whatsoever.

My mind frantically tries making sense of what it just witnessed: Earth is dying. Some people are still alive (I’m guessing 100 of them?) and they’re trying to survive. But end up fighting amongst each other. Lots of people die (And I mean lots. Half of the really short recap is shots of people getting stabbed, shot and slashed.) Some of them seem to have been captured by some evil woman, who explains to their leader that Earth’s surface will become uninhabitable within 6 months due to the meltdown of leftover nuclear power plants.

And then I’m full-on smack dab in the middle of the action, as people after being subjected to the evil woman’s tyranny. There’s apparently 13 clans, that live together, but tensions are now high since one of the clan’s kings has been shot and mortally wounded in the battle of season’s 3 cliffhanger. This clan, that looks the most like they enjoy cosplaying as vikings and Mad Max characters, wants control. They capture our heroes (at least, I assume that’s what they are) and force them into negotiations. As these negotiations go on, our heroes escape and break into the kings room to try and operate on him. For when he’s out of a coma, he’s the only one that can put a stop on his clan’s ambitions.

Surprisingly, using some thongs and some gauze, the resident doctor succeeds in removing a bullet from the king. The very bullet which was applying pressure to a vein that leads to the kings brain, which caused the coma. Once removed, the king miraculously gains consciousness and puts everything on hold. It now falls to the heroine of the story to try and convince him to work together to stop the meltdowns from happening.
End episode.

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There’s more going on, but that’s about the gist of it. And I’m sorry to say: I did not like it. I mean, apart from the story (which I didn’t get, and that’s my own fault completely), The 100 doesn’t have much going for it. There’s scenery, but it just looks fake. That medieval castle with steampunk and scifi elements to it? Cool, but you can just see a stagehand going “Oh, if I glue this piece of old circuitboard to this wall, it’ll look cool!” And that tech lab? Sure it looks gritty and techy, but if you turn up the lights in my dad’s garage down to about fifty percent, you’d get the exact same location, but with ten pairs of reading glasses strewn about.

And the acting? Some people may like the “OMG, everything is superbad for us, and we suffer so we have to grimace our way through our lines”-approach, but I’m not a fan. It just adds to the air of fakeness already seeping from the props…

And I know, I shouldn’t complain about not getting the story, ‘cause I started with season 4, but hasn’t this particular plot been done before? Several times? Sure, the packaging may be different, but at it’s very core, the story of a ragtag band of survivors living on a ravaged Earth in a not-so-distant future, is such a familiar one…

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I wasn’t compelled to delve deeper into the world of The 100. And at the same time, I felt oddly relieved that I haven’t been with this series since the first season. What a waste that would’ve been…

Jan

Will I like it? – The Leftovers

You know those lazy evenings when you just wanna hang in the couch and do nothing but watch the tube? Then you also know the frustration of nothing being on that tube. So you just flip through the channels, until you come across that might be good, but it’s already halfway started. But still, you hang in there. Hoping it will turn out good, and you try to make sense of the plot as you go along.

Know that exact feeling?
Then you’ll feel right at home in nerd Times Geek’s new feature:

Will I like it?

A feature in which I will try shows based solely on the DVD cover, a friend’s recommendation or a blurb written by someone in marketing.

The catch?

I start midway into a season, and from there on decide wether it’s worth it to go back and watch previous episodes.
And without further ado, I present the first show submitted to this atrocious method:

locoverThe leftovers.

I’ve heard of this show before. I know it’s about half the Earth’s population vanishing one day, and the other half having to cope with that.
Interesting premise.
I’ve also heard Damon Lindeloff is involved somehow, you know, that guy that’s not JJ Abrams that was behind that other little show called Lost.

Now I’m all for trying.

The show starts off with a little vignette about a pilgrim family waiting in vain for the rapture. Father and son give up, but the wife keeps on believing, eventually joining mass suicide with the other church members. This segues nicely into a flashback to a previous season. Some cult is waiting for the end, which comes swiftly in the form of a smartbomb, annihilating the compound. Then we jump forward to the present day, where this bearded, ripped sheriff dude on horseback is showing what I assume are pilgrims where they should go. He and his deputies are overseeing a place called Miracle, where all kinds of survivors of different beliefs come together to wait out the end. Which will happen in two weeks time. Where they got that info? I don’t know. Presumably season 1 or 2. I’m rowing with the oars I’ve got. Which are very short and broken. And splintering my hands. Ow. What have I gotten myself into?

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Anyway, sheriff Beard (who’s also sporting some impressive eyebrows. Not quite a unibrow yet, but getting there. This dude is serious about facial hair.) does some policing in the town, showing us what a benevolent dude he is. It also introduces us to his wife, adopted son and some of his friends. So far, I’m still with the program. This is going well.

From here on, however, I start getting lost. Apparently, sheriff Beardy McEyebrow has done some pretty shady things in the past two seasons. Some pretty short flashbacks hint at killing people, but kinda leave out the who and the why. Judging by the choreographed spiel his eyebrows are doing during the flashbacks, I’m guessing these killings weren’t all done in self-defense…

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Then it goes even further, showing the sherrif casually getting up in the morning and taking a plastic bag and some tape from the closet. He proceeds to tape the bag around his head, and slowly asphyxiates. What the? Is this guy some weirdo that gets off this way? Why is this relevant to the story? Did the main character just die, during the first half of the season premiere?

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Before my head explodes with all the questions, the screen cuts back from black, and there’s sheriff Facialmoss, alive and breathing. Walking around as though nothing really happened. And hey, guess what? Turns out his minister friend is writing a new New Testament, with the sheriff in the starring role as the new Messiah, that can’t die. So apparently everyone knows he’s kinda immortal, but all keep quiet about it. Especially he himself, denying it vehemently.

Wow.

This was quite a trip. I hope all shows I start halfway turn out to be nearly as good. It was like watching a David Lynch film! Except, with this, unlike Lynch’s cryptocinema, I can go back to the first two seasons for some explanations and backstory. Which I will happily do right now!

Leftovers, you’ve won yourselves a fan!

Jan

Gotham – Season 3

gs3coverI’ve written about my fascination for all things Batman before. I’ve reviewed seasons one and two of controversial show Gotham, praising it for its different take on the Bat. But this third season is teetering dangerously close to how much I can take…

I still liked it, mind you. It’s just…  I frowned more than once during my viewing. There were strange things going on. Inconsistencies with the established comic universe. normally, I’m all for that. New writers, new takes on characters, origins, etc. I get it. People don’t want to see the same things over and over. But some things shouldn’t be messed with.

Take James Gordon for example. The archetypical cop with a heart. Turning bounty hunter this season? Really? Someone with that much respect for the law starting to operate on the fringe of it? Frown n. 1.

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On to frown n. 2 and 3. I know it’s not unusual for soaps to resurrect the dead, but I didn’t expect it from a show like Gotham. Yet it happens. Twice. I won’t spoil who gets to be alive again this season, but from where things ended for them last season, I was pretty sure at least one of these characters was smoked permanently…

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Frown n. 4 (and this is the last one, I promise) has to do with some of the forced entries. I’ve had this with seasons one and two as well, but less so. Some of the villains, or supporting characters just seem forced into the plot, just so writers can make a nod to future bad guys or comic plots. It’s not necessary to add all of Batman’s opponents to the storyline, but the writers do seem intent on trying.

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But enough with the frowns. I’ve had my fun watching season 3. Acting still is spot on. In particular from Ben McKenzie (Gordon) and Robin Lord Taylor (Penguin). The overall tone of the series plot has also become darker. Who would’ve thought that was possible?

All in all, a still very much enjoyable series. It has a few flaws, which I hope will be adressed for season 4.

Jan

The Lego Batman Movie

coverlbmAt the risk of oversaturating this site with Batman content, I popped in The Lego Batman Movie yesterday. I will now proceed to review it as detailed as possible, before the Batsaturation-alarm sounds. Here goes:

In The Lego Batman Movie, fans are reunited with Lego Batman from The Lego Movie. The overly confident, supermacho, metal-loving and beatboxing version of the caped crusader we all know and love. Batman must face off against The Joker who has a fiendish plan involving all supercriminals that are locked up inside the Phantom Zone. Luckily, Batman can count on his trusted allies for help: Alfred, newly adopted/Robin’ed Dick Grayson and freshly appointed Commissioner Barbara Gordon. Unfortunately, Lego Batman hates sharing the spotlight.

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From start to finish, I was glued to my screen.  I absolutely loved this zany film! There are tons of easter eggs, throwbacks to other franchises, digs at some of the more cringe-worthy phases of Bat-history and joke after joke after joke. Lego Batman had me in stitches for almost its entire runtime.

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The animation follows the tradition set in The Lego Movie. The entire film is 3D-animated, but it was done in such  a way that you get the impression you’re watching a stop motion with Lego’s. Simply brilliant.

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Same thing goes for the plot. Sure, it’s zany and funny and very well suited to the humorous tone of this Lego-fest, but with a few minor tweaks it would be just as suitable for a PG-13, dark and serious Bat-drama.
And that cast!  There’s no Kevin Conroy, nor Mark Hammil, but boy, what a star studded cast we get in return: Will Arnett! Michael Cera! Zack Galiafinakis! Rosaria Dawson! Ralph Fiennes! Seth green! Jonah Hill! Channing Tatum! Siri! Mariah Carrey!

Wait, did those last two?…
Really?
….

Anyway, I can’t recommend The Lego Batman Movie enough. It’s fun for die-hard fans and beginners alike. It’s a fun filled watch for both old and young! It’s Ba-

*WARNING! PEAK BAT-SATURATION LEVEL REACHED! ABORTING POST!*

The Last Ship Season 3

tlss3cWhenever a new season of a popular show presents itself to be reviewed, I’m always weary. Will the show still be the same as before? Will it have reinvented itself in a positive way? Or will the writers have jumped the shark, Fonz-style? With sweaty palms, I fed disc one of The last Ship’s third season to my designated Bluray player…

Whoever thought that all would be fine after the crew of the Nathan James found the cure for the deadly pandemic, was wrong. Said cure needed to be spread safely, and just when viewers thought dashing captain Tom Chandler had succeeded in this endeavor, the Immune showed up. Shoving sticks into the wheels of Chandler’s society-rebuilding machine. And then, at the end of the second season, when all were cured, society was rebuilt and the Immune were all but gone, the audience breathed a sigh of relief. But not for long though, because season three has a whole new set of hurdles for Captain James to overcome.

As season three begins, we learn that the American government is steadily gaining in confidence and power. Captain Chandler no longer sits at the helm of the Nathan James, but comfortably behind a desk as chief of naval operations (and head of the entire US army). Nathan James is helmed by newly promoted XO Slattery, and spends its time on humanitarian missions, spreading the cure. When the US learn that China’s new president is possibly hoarding the cure, to gain control over other Asian territories, Captain Chandler is sent to parlay. Chandler escapes an assassination attempt and at the same time the entire senior crew of Nathan James is captured by pirates. Believing both events are linked, Chandler retakes the helm of Nathan James, to try and rescue his crew and bring order to the Asian region in the process.

Whew! Who would’ve thought that after two seasons writers would still be able to keep the Last Ship a fun watch? I sure as hell didn’t. I started watching the first episode, half expecting it to be a rehash of the previous two seasons. But this time with Asian baddies instead of Russians. Boy, was I wrong! True, you still get the same structure: stuff goes wrong, Nathan James’ crew steps in, Chandler saves the day and acts a total badass doing so. But the new storyline is actually well thought of, and the addition of new supporting characters doesn’t feel forced. Two things I’ve seen later seasons of other show fail miserably at.

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With the plethora of shows available to watch these days, I fear The Last Ship’s third season will be one that gets forgotten. Lost in between the hugely popular and the extremely big budgeted shows. But heed my advice: The Last ship should not be given up on. It grows with each season!

Jan