Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Agents of Shield Season 3 "Watchdogs" review

Watchdogs provides character development for Mac, Daisy and Simmons as a terrorist organisation- Watchdogs rises from the web to declare war against the Inhumans. 

Hearing about the Watchdogs in previous episodes, finally getting to see the damage and hatred they have spread throughout the world was really gripping and frightening. What strikes me as odd is that this group are clearly fighting against a group of super powered people who they don't know much about.

They're obviously afraid but too ignorant to actually learn about them and their powers. This leads to frustration for Daisy as takes on her own mission to find out where the group hangs out. I could understand her rebellious nature to take down the leader of the group but isn't she kind of proving the group right when she threatens one of them with her powers?

Also, I think it would engaging to see Mac and Daisy disagree about the group and bringing Fitz into her not so great plan was another worthy thread to the team seeing how the powers can manipulate a person and how they carry out missions.

Another part of the episode which was very tense and complex was Simmons telling May that she feels guilty for what Andrew has done. This allows us to see that Simmons is still dealing with a lot of negative emotions. I liked seeing these two work together to find Andrew and seeing that May has been trying to find Andrew is an interesting sub-text for her own guilt.

The story focused on the relationship between Mac and his brother and how Shield interferes with the agents personal lives and doesn't allow them to recuperate. I found his brother interesting who clearly wants to see more of his sibling and is also scared of the Inhumans.

What is more grounded though is that his worries relate to more common problems of mortgage repayments which in the world of Marvel is a rather unseen dilemma for a character.

Additionally, I think this episode tested the flaws of Daisy and when she doesn't think about her actions but bringing the people who don't agree with the Inhumans to justice, she endangers other members of the team and ignores Coulson's orders.

I actually warmed to Lincoln this episode as he actually proved he could be a valuable agent and that working together with Shield is actually a better decision than just tagging along because Daisy works for them.

A grounded, tense and entertaining episode with lots of development for the characters, showing both their strengths and weaknesses.

Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Supergirl "World's Finest" review

World's Finest pays tribute to two superheroes who are adorable and make a brilliant team! 
This was my first introduction to The Flash and I have to admit, he is really a refreshingly charming and adorable superhero in comparison to Batman and Marvel's Daredevil.

He is given a great introduction as he saves Kara as Siobhan tries to kill her with her new found powers. I loved it when The Flash was listing other DC characters and Supergirl had no idea who they were.

The story focuses on Siobhan understanding her powers, she discovers Livewire has the same desire to kill Supergirl so they both become a part of their own plans.

 I wasn't really that invested with the villains this week because I was having so much fun with Kara and Barry, but they did provide some entertaining action scenes and posed an admirable threat. However, that kind of dissipated when they were defeated by water hoses, but moving on.....

There was interesting sub-text in this episode when Supergirl asks for The Flash's help and he says they should make a plan, but Supergirl is adamant to take down Livewire & the Silver Banshee as quick as they can.

It relates to her fear of wanting desperately to protect the city and making sure they can't cause too much damage but that reckless thinking causes her to get knocked down badly by the opposition.

Additionally, it was really fun to see Cat giving Kara advice on trying to make James jealous and Winn geeking out over The Flash was quite funny. They would all make a giggly but fantastic team.

The title lives up its stature as Supergirl team up for one last round as Cat is kidnapped. When Supergirl absorbed the electricity to save the people in the Helicopter from being fried, it was a heartwarming moment when the people of the city formed a barrier between the villains and Supergirl. It proved that the Flash was right that they would begin to trust her again.

Admittedly, I was very saddened when the Flash departed because he has a similar personality to Supergirl which gave them engaging chemistry and he's smart, has cool powers and is kind and generous.

It has to be said that the cliffhanger was unexpected, but in a great way. Finally, Kara kissed James and then he was frozen. At first I didn't know what was happening but then he and others had turned into zombies and the evil Kryptonians revealed that they had activated 'Myriad', I was glad that this story arc was gearing up to the finale.

Saturday, 26 March 2016

Supergirl "Manhunter" review

Manhunter is an examination of the characters pasts and a secret is revealed that takes Alex on a new path.

Following on from the consequences of Supergirl's actions, the city still is wary of her mental state. However, the episode allows Supergirl to take a step back and allow other characters to be explored further.

Here is a flashback episode where Hank is interrogated about the real head of the DEO and what happened to him. We uncover that he formed a bond with Mr Danvers and this is where we see how he comes to learn about Alex and Kara.

The real Hank was quite simply a militaristic, narrow-minded soldier who believed that protecting his country meant eradicating aliens, whether they were a threat or not.

I really enjoyed getting to see some of Alex's backstory and was surprised how different she was three years ago. She was quite rebellious and seemed to be lost, forever feeling swept up in her sisters shadow.

I think it was vital that she was given weaknesses to her character and allowed her to vulnerable and jealous of Kara's powers.

Kara's interview with Cat was really cool to see as it introduced Kara to Winn and seeing the foundations of their friendship forming was rather sweet. It relates to Kara's indecision about whether she should use her powers or start to believe that she should live as a human.

The story converges on Alex and Hank being saved by Kara and Lucy, Hank revealing that Mr Danvers is still alive, thrusting Alex onto a new mission. The fact that she is now a fugitive will bring some exciting events for Supergirl in the future. How will this affect her ability to protect the city without the support of her sister?

I'm glad that Siobhan has finally discovered her powers and turning into the Silver Banshee because now Supergirl will finally be able to take her down. I've found her to an annoying, selfish and lazy character who acts like a child, hurting anyone who doesn't give her what she wants.

A really enjoyable, entertaining episode with revelations about the characters that were complex and interesting.

Agents of Shield 'Parting Shot' review

Bobbi & Hunter are given a surprising exit that felt surprising but right for their characters. Parting Shot feels like a self-contained spy thriller that focuses on Hunter and Bobbi's role within Shield.

It was satisfying to see an episode that centres around two departing characters who have given their energy, humour and conflict to overall story arcs. I really loved how the story was structured, both are interrogated about murders on Russian officials and from then we see how they came to be in that situation.

With each new piece of information about the mission, the tension grows. Hunter is thought to be the one who committed the murders and almost executed. Bobbi's reaction to this highlighted her hidden feelings for Hunter and how strong they are.

The rest of the team felt a bit sidelined but when they do feature, they assemble and I felt a strong sense of how tight and invested they are in protecting those in danger.

There was a new Inhuman with a very unique and cool power- he is able to manipulate a dark force and control it. This makes him unstoppable but Bobbie realizes that if she can immobilize the physical body then he can be temporarily stopped.

Bobbi's sacrifice to save Hunter is rewarded with a fate that they can only protect their friends and Shield  by disavowing themselves. This is a very admirable act from them and the closing scene was very emotional. It seemed strange to me because I've never felt that connected to their characters but somehow they've just always been there and subconsciously I think I'll miss their presence.

Parting Shot was tense, brilliantly structured, adventurous and a tribute to two Shield members who can finally have the vacation they deserve.

Sunday, 20 March 2016

Disney's Zootropolis review

Disney's new film about a bunny called Judy Hopps, who moves to the city of Zootropolis to become the first bunny police officer, is one of the best!

Firstly, I love animals so when I heard Disney was making a film about animals, I kind of knew I had to go and see it! I was very surprised and enlightened. 

The two main characters; Judy Hopps and Nick Wilde (con artist fox) are in opposition to their ambitions. Judy is full of hope and optimism whilst Nick has abandoned his after a childhood trauma.

Additionally, the plot isn't as simple as Judy moving to the city and discovering it's not what she thought it was. Her perseverance and determination to prove to her boss-Chief Bogo that she deserves to be a cop is where the plot begins to unravel.

Judy has to take on the case of a missing otter and finds that Nick knew of him and blackmails him into helping her or she'll arrest him for tax evasion. She is a bright, kind and inspiring lead character for younger audiences and the plot is actually more of a crime thriller but within the animal kingdom.

This duo discover that the fourteen missing mammals that the other police officers were assigned to find have turned savage. Judy is quizzed by Nick to whether she thinks that it's in the predators DNA to resort back to their wild aggression, which reveals that she has insecurities about predators and maybe is even small-minded about them. 

However, this could be to do with her upbringing as her father had given her sprays and other forms of protection against foxes. I think it shows that even the kindest and brightest characters have flaws and weaknesses but doesn't mean they are any less of an individual.

There are many sub-texts to the story such as the discrimination of the predators and how a group of individuals can become separated from society and viewed as something that doesn't fit into what society has created.

 Also, there are some parallels to who you can really trust within the government as the mayor, who is a lion, and his assistant- a sheep, are revealed to be the saboteurs who have been deliberately infecting predators with a certain flower- Night Howlers, that can cause an animal to become savage.

Judy cleverly learns this when her parents tell her of one of their relatives who ate one of the night howlers and turned savage. Adorably, she races back to find Nick and together they find the evidence they need to solve the case.

There is even an uplifting and intelligent speech towards the conclusion which invokes spirit into what it's like to move somewhere new and the discovery that life is messy and complicated, which is something every generation can relate too.

More so, the supporting characters such as the hilarious sloths and Clawhauser bring injections of humor into the plot.

With this, stunning and detailed animation, a flawless soundtrack, three-dimensional characters and a plot that is layered and thrilling, this is one of Disney's best films and I look forward to a sequel.

Wednesday, 16 March 2016

Supergirl "Falling" review

 Often heroes are portrayed as the light and goodness of humanity, but in this episode we see that heroes cannot be those role models without them accepting their weaker characteristics and doing the most human action known-making mistakes.

Supergirl's role and impact in National City is summarized in the introduction which makes the result of the story ever more devastating. Kara saves a fireman but is exposed to Red Kryptonite which exposes her darkest thoughts and desires.

Melissa Benoist has done a fabulous job of giving this side to Kara a malicious and selfishness with great skill and her range of emotion and truth was engaging and exciting. I thoroughly loved seeing Kara in this unpredictable and rebellious persona especially when she revealed to James how she feels about Lucy and her confrontation with Alex. These were tense and thrilling scenes.

The story was tense and fast-paced with supporting characters who brought out some great dialogue from Supergirl. In particular, I loved the line, "Do you wanna know what real powerful is"? that Supergirl puts to Cat before she is thrown forty-feet of a building.

Also, the most fractured of relationships that is damaged by Kara in this episode is when Hank reveals his true form and decides to surrender to the DEO instead of running. It was a very sweet moment when he said that he would spent a thousand years in a cell if it meant Alex and Kara were safe.

I found it very hard to watch Cat inform the city that Supergirl was a danger to everyone and unstable. It just meant that all of the wonderful acts that she had done at the start of the episode had been destroyed.

However, I was really impressed with how far they took Kara's actions and I think that these events will greatly make Supergirl even more inspiring because the people of National City need to realize that yes, Supergirl may be a superhero but she's also a part of human society and she has flaws and weaknesses just like everyone does.

Falling was a tense, thrilling, and emotionally driven episode. 

Agents of Shield "Inside Man" review

Inside Man reveals some new character exploration, great twists and a gruesome conclusion that was laced with a horror element.

There was a strong spy theme running throughout as Coulson and Talbot attended a conference with the intention of discussing the Inhumans in the most compassionate way possible. 

This episode had a great balance of  focused character development especially with Daisy and Lincoln who had opposing opinions on Kreel's blood being used as a cure for the Inhumans. I've never really found Lincoln that substantial within the show so I think this is the right direction for him.

Hive continues to be a rather menacing and creepy villain; possibly the best that Shield has seen. His creepy voice masks the limitless power he possesses. 

Additionally, I certainly thought the twist where Talbot is the inside man for Malick because his son has been kidnapped,  a thrilling result for the plot to lead into more tense moments.

There was also room for Hunter's character to be explored as May tells him he's never been an agent and they're not friends was a rather great addition to the story. I think that the story is also about Hunter's lack of trust when Kreel is added to the team. It's entirely justifiable and I think his role in Shield is tested.

The truly disgusting and horrific conclusion was absolutely grotesque as Hive knelt in the centre of the five skeletons that he had killed or eaten, his whole body lathered in their bodily juice.

Inside Man was a spy thriller with twists, exploration for the Daisy and Lincoln and a deliciously disturbing scene for this season's villain.

Wednesday, 9 March 2016

Agents of Shield Season 3 "Bouncing Back" review

As the series returns, Shield has definitely bounced back with a thrill ride of new characters, powers and dynamics.
Immediately, the action is thrust upon the team as Mack is kidnapped by a new Inhuman who can move at incredible speed. With Hunter still providing the humour, it was a really strong opening.

I think Coulson's side mission was made very important to the future of Shield when he met with the President who didn't seem keen to let the public know that Shield is still active.

Also, I thoroughly enjoyed the capture of Slingshot and to learn about her life, but in particular I admired her faith and how she has chosen to use her powers. She is quite an extraordinary character. I am looking forward to seeing more of her.

It was exhilarating to see all of these Inhumans being a part of a team and using their own unique powers. More so, it was very interesting to discover that the Inhuman powers are not random but specific powers are given to certain people, "equilibrium" as Lincoln puts it.

Another aspect I enjoyed about this episode was the hidden Inhuman working within the police with his paralytic eyes. They were quite frightening and very effective.

Additionally, the reveal of Hive was very disturbing with the image of a skeleton like Ward eating raw meat and then seemingly melting his own body to absorb another.

As a conclusion, I found the character threads converge very neatly with Lincoln & Daisy's relationship becoming more interesting, Fitz and Simmons restarting their relationship and Coulson having to contend with General Talbot being the new head of the ATCU.

I liked seeing May be the support for Coulson as I've missed seeing them together. However, I do hope that the team do remain grounded and the show doesn't  become too revolved around the Inhumans and their powers because that is what is so original and brilliant about the show, it's the agents that are the heroes and as a team are able to defeat any force that comes up against them, and none of them ever had any powers before.

I think there should be a balance between the Inhumans and the Shield agents because they need to counteract each other. That's where the drama and strength comes from. Overall, a tense, fast-paced episode with a beautiful moral compass,  a disturbing introduction to Hive and warm moments between the characters.

Wednesday, 2 March 2016

Supergirl "Solitude" review

Supergirl's Solitude had some strong and touching moments but the villain felt flat and lifeless.

This episode focused on the revelation that Alex makes to Kara for killing Astra but in a moving twist, Kara gives her a hug, forgiving her and even holding Hank's hand in gesture for their strength in teamwork.

The villain of this week- Brainiac visually look cool and alien like but I felt her to be quite flat and lifeless in her characterization as the fact that she could be taken down by a simple computer virus didn't exactly promote he strength.

I still didn't like the relationship between Olsen and Lucy to be really boring as their characters feel really two dimensional and I did't want to invest time on them. However, it did open up an opportunity for Kara and Olsen to get together but I don't really think they should because I don't think it would work out.

Also, it was interesting to see Siobhan's manipulation of Winn to be a good sideline plot that could affect Kara in the future. Although I do think that Winn has kind of disrespected Kara by becoming intimately involved with Siobhan as she was so malicious towards Kara.

But I do look forward to the next episode with the appearance of Silver Banshee who looks seriously cool with her skeletal features.

Agent Carter Season 2 "Hollywood Ending" review

As season two comes to an end, the last episode brought much satisfaction, moving and exciting moments with a shocking cliffhanger.

I feel like another terrible void has entered my life again with the ending of this bright, unique, vibrant, intelligent and beautiful show.

The last episode neatly brings the story arc to a very satisfying conclusion as Howard, Wilkes and Samberly use the gamma cannon and X-rays to send the zero matter churning in Whitney Frost back where to where it came from.

I liked the teasing that came when Sousa quietly walked into the danger zone with the rest of the team backing him up. Even when everyone was safe and fine, I was almost looking out for something terrible to happen.

There was a lovely chemistry between all of the characters and in particular, the subtle conversation with Peggy and Thompson was refreshing and firmly grounded their relationship.

Also, I liked how Frost has now completely become insane as it's the only conclusion that could happen for her and I definitely saw her madness when she was imagining her dead husband who she never really cared much for when he was alive.

Jack Thompson's supposed death, although by the position of the blood and his body, I think he is surely dead. This was really shocking as I never fathomed that the file he had involving Peggy or could it be her brother- Michael, could be of importance to other dangerous people.

Surely, the writers have set this up for another series as there is so much yet to explore. Agent Carter is such a unique and precious show that deserves to continue telling Peggy's story because she is one of the most interesting and unique characters that we need more of on Television.

Please Marvel, bring Peggy back!