Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Agents of Shield Season 3 "The Singularity" review

The Singularity is already another one of my favorites as Daisy's thrall is actually more complex than originally thought. She's biologically addicted to Hive because of the amount of Dopamine (which is a happy chemical in the brain) that Hive's infection has given her.

I found this development very compelling and refreshing to see rather than her stereo typically just being controlled and forced to take destructive action. Daisy still seems to be herself but is so consumed with having a family and being happy that she almost kills Fitz!

Also, the episode allowed some hidden conflict between Coulson and May to rise to the surface as May feels like he can make everyone else take the shot but views himself as clean. It was great to see May actually show a little emotion; we got a smile and I saw her eyes fill up with tears when she admitted she cares for Daisy.

Lincoln had an effective role as well as he almost killed an Inhuman when his rage nearly overloaded. I think Daisy is definitely his weakness seeing how much he needs her to keep stable.

I loved that Fitz and Simmons got their own mission to try and track down the one scientist that could find a cure for Daisy. Their relationship is so adorable, truthful and sweet and it felt a nice subplot to have running alongside the chaos and destruction. This was probably a signal that something terrible will happen..... again.

So now Hive has a cool looking Kree experiment contraption that will ultimately turn humankind into Inhumans. What I like about Hive is that he's always so calm and relaxed like he's so confident that he doesn't need to rush.

The threat is really starting to boil now to a point where I honestly don't know how the team can stop Hive. They haven't got the scientist to cure Daisy and they have no idea about the Kree technology.

Hopefully, they can retrieve the scientist.... somehow, but not without a sacrifice.

Friday, 22 April 2016

Agents of Shield Season 3 'The Team' review

Season 3 enters a groundbreaking and compelling four story finale as Hive plans to form an Inhuman army to destroy humankind. 

The Team is the beginning of the Secret Warriors and the end of them apparently. The takeover of this new team was really thrilling to watch as each character really kicked some Hydra butt with their cool powers.

Daisy has a great line,' For one reason or another, we were each given a gift, let's put them to good use' was a really heroic moment for the Shield agent.

With the Shield team saved, Fitz/Simmons begins examining the Inhuman with the eye paralyzing power who has Hive's parasites embedded in his brain. I loved seeing these two back in the science environment and being themselves again.

It was fascinating to learn more about Hive's powers but also gross. Applause for the production team for making him truly unique in his grotesque ability.

Coulson now has Malick in his custody and asks for his help in stopping Hive. He is then killed and Fitz and Simmons are blasted by a bomb that was left by his body. All of the Inhumans are in the frame.

I felt particularly disheveled when Coulson told Mac to shut down the base because of them had been infected by Hive. I think the conflict between Shield and the Secret Warriors was very relevant and complex within the Marvel Universe.

There was still room to explore Fitz and Simmons relationship. Simmons anguish at not being able to help her friends makes her even more amazing and I thought the progression of their relationship took a lovely and heartwarming turn as Simmons says, 'Too fast, Fitz it's been ten years'.

They are both magnificent and I hope that they can have some happiness but with the fallen agent phrase embedded in the four part finale, I can't see much happiness to come.

For a moment I thought that Hive's parasites were causing everyone to pull on each other's weaknesses. They were such a strong team and to see them being pulled apart was difficult. I certainly thought it strange for Daisy to try and escape with her team. 

However, it is revealed that she brings them to Coulson and Lincoln is the one infected. But the twists don't stop there, Daisy asks him to leave with her and I couldn't understand why at first, she didn't seem in love with him to strand her Shield team.

All is revealed- Daisy is actually the Inhuman who was infected by Hive. It happened at the Hydra base just before she makes her way back to the team. Also, she killed Malick, his blood dripping from his eye sockets and mouth. I was truly gobsmacked and thought this development was extremely smart and compelling.

Chloe Bennett's performance really engaged me with how she played on how she has felt different from the Shield team since her transformation and truly believes that what Hive is doing is beautiful. That word in itself is quite disturbing.

The drama didn't stop there though. She steals the Kree orb and all of the Terragin crystals, framing Lincoln and then crumbling the Shield base with her powers. I felt so betrayed by her but couldn't help but be fascinated as to what she and Hive will do next.

Supergirl 'Better Angels' review

The last episode of Supergirl explores her relationships with family but bluntly deals with the villain of the season. But I think that this was intentional as the season wanted to focus more of how Supergirl deals with these threats with the help of her human family.

I really liked the beginning where Alex reverts back to herself with the some wise words  from her mother. It emphasizes how important family is to the show and how powerful they can be. The resolution to Myriad was done with grace and science as Supergirl pleaded to her friends and the citizens of National City with hope and strength.

It was even more exciting to see that Myriad was amplifying a signal that will cause everyone's brains to explode. The enormous danger surrounding the situation was made clear as Kara made subtle goodbyes to her loved ones.

The battle between Supergirl and Non finished too soon but was pretty epic in the short amount of time. I felt really proud of Supergirl when she lifted the ship that contained Myriad into space, with no doubt for own survival.

She has developed a great deal in this season and her strength, bravery, kindness and determination was presented in fine form. I honestly didn't see a way back for her but then the pod she traveled in was driven by Alex.

The relationship of these two sisters has been such a focus for the whole story arc and it was very fulfilling to see them back together.  

It was really special and moving to see Kara among her family and her and James in a contended place..... for now.

But there was a surprise when an identical pod to Kara's crashes to Earth, Supergirl opens it and utters, 'O my god'...........  I wander who it could be?

Sunday, 17 April 2016

Disney's The Jungle Book review

With many adaptations of The Jungle Book ranging from the 1967 classic animation to the 1994 full cast with Brendan Fraser, this story has always been taken in many media platforms.

The latest re-telling beautifully captures the characterization of Mowgli and his animal friends. There is a stubbornness to Mowgli but his kindness is what ultimately makes his story all the more heartwarming.

Visually, the cinema-photography and animation is so intricate and striking, that there was always something to engage with on the screen. The colours were greatly realised with the greens, pinks and browns of the jungle enraptured with creative and dynamic direction.

I really enjoyed Scarlet Johannson as the snake as there was a real creepy, playful and terrifying tone to her voice. Again, the animation was really astonishing with the scales easily visible.

However, I think that the casting of the other characters could have gone to less well-known actors because sometimes no matter how much work they put into creating a character with their voice, all you hear is the famous actor talking which distracts from the fictitious world.

Also, the pace was really strong as each famous scene from the book is given commitment to portraying the characters with heart whilst bringing something fresh with the latest technology.

King Louie was a really visual treat with his facial expressions and movement perfectly realised. The theme of the film is held throughout as Mowgli uses his tricks to defeat Khan the Tiger.

It really promotes how individuality should be encouraged and that family is extremely important and that you don't have to be blood related to have one. 

The music score gave a unique twist to songs like, 'I wanna be like you', given a drum and percussion sequence. 

I think this has to be one of the best adaptations of one of the best loved stories; the script is full of love and friendship, the direction is imaginative, characters are played with energy and flair, the music is really uplifting and the animation is quite extraordinary!

Friday, 15 April 2016

Agents of Shield 'Paradise Lost' review

Paradise Lost explores Lincoln and Malick's characters, an mysterious Kree orb is retrieved by Daisy and Lincoln, we discover the morality of Coulson's decision to kill Ward and the team needs the Secret Warriors to save them!

This episode conjures an interesting backstory for Malick as he sees Hive kill him in a vision and we discover he betrays his brother in their family tradition of blood sacrifice. I thought it was very clever for the episode to take another twist when Hive kills Malick's daughter to teach him about sacrifice.

However, I was confused when Hive started talking like Malick's brother. Is he just playing games or is he actually the brother that was lost, and if so how can he be the ancient Inhuman that Malick has been striving to bring back?

Anyway, a part from that I thought that the progression of Coulson exploring whether his decision to kill Ward was right and he admits that by killing Ward, Ward won, was certainly a positive element to the story arc. I think it was really great to put Coulson in this position and show some vulnerability and instability in his role as Director.

Also, it was really cool to see Daisy explode multiple landmines in a pose that looked awesome! I was fascinated to learn about the history of the Inhumans and the Kree orb. The idiot that was the Australian Inhuman was definitely used to bring some of Lincoln's past to the surface.

Finally, I actually found him interesting and it was effective to see Daisy tell him that someone on the team is going to die. Another part I felt was tense and exhilarating was the fight between May and Malick's right hand man. 

He is a really dangerous opponent and seeing the whole plane being taken down with some quick shots and slow motion sequences was really effective in creating the danger, tension and limitless safety of the team.

Hive was a strange addition to this episode as I'm still not quite sure what his goals are but the scientific explanation of what his powers actually do was interesting and really disgusting which makes him all the more fearsome.

The cliffhanger has to be my favourite part as Daisy says, 'Let's call them in' as Lincoln suggests the secret warriors are the only people who can save the team from Hydra. Secret Warriors unite!

Supergirl 'Myriad' review

Myriad succeeds in setting up the last episode with Non's plan revealed- save the Earth from the Humans by making them zombies who can't think for themselves.

Supergirl has to try and find a way to stop Myriad but of course there is no easy way to achieve a positive solution. I think this episode manages to portray the unimaginable decisions that Kara has to make in this situation.

There were definitely some great realism aspects to how the episode was structured. Supergirl doesn't know whether to agree to Maxwell Lord's plan because she can't think of another way to resolve the situation but she doesn't want to make the same mistake her mother did.

One of the highlights was the conversation between Supergirl and Cat about what Supergirl means to her and that hope is more powerful than fear was a moving addition to the story. But Cat has to know that Supergirl is Kara, right? Surely, being that close to Supergirl has to show correlation to Kara's personality?

In addition, I think James and Winn jumping to their deaths was a really shocking twist and I definitely felt like it brought some real danger and unpredictability to Non's power. The loss of one of Cat's workers was quite powerful in showing how helpless Supergirl was in that she can't save everyone.

However, I don't feel like Myriad has brought the ambition and almighty force that I expected but I was glad to see Alex and J'honn again which led to a surprising cliffhanger as Non fitted Alex with a Kryptonian suit to send into battle against her sister.

Supergirl was certainly faced with some challenges in this episode as her loss of hope and fear making the ultimate fate of the world unknown. An entertaining, dramatic, tense and powerful lead up the the last episode.

Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Agents of Shield "Spacetime" review

Spacetime delves into the fourth dimension, visions of the future and moving developments for Daisy and May as Daisy jeopardizes her own life to save the life of an Inhuman, used as a pawn by Hydra.

The episode begins with an homeless man, an Inhuman who can show the person he touches a certain death from the future. A beautifully lyrical opening with the wooden robin. This provides subtext for this new character, is it for someone or a representation of someone he loves?

There is a great pace to the episode as the team immediately arrive on the scene, the man who knew Daisy is thrown into a war zone, Daisy doesn't even have time to save him as he's shot by Hydra.

They feel like an ever dangerous threat here as Hive sets his plans on taking over a company and giving Malick as sense of real power, killing the head of the company to give him some sort of higher status.

I loved the sequence where Daisy realises the homeless man is the Inhuman but is too late to save him. It was brilliantly directed with lots of great angled shots to emphasis the chaos.

Also, the conflict between the team and Fitz when he believes what Daisy saw cannot be changed allows room for the audience to feel anguish that he may be right but still hope that Daisy can save the new Inhuman.

There were some great comedic moments when Daisy orchestrates the team through how she saw her vision, each member slowly falling to the ground was hilarious. I think the slices of the May and Andrew thread that were placed in between the main plot was really effective because it made the reappearance of Andrew more surprising and out of character.

It meant that what Daisy saw actually came true although Coulson doesn't shot at her but at a mirror, Charles (Inhuman) is there to save her from Malick and the snow that falls over FitzSimmons is actually ash. I loved the Simmons line, "I think this is the part where we hold hands" was so adorable and romantic in amidst the amount of death and fire.

I think this episode was a fantastic exploration for Daisy because she has to tackle her own insecurities about whether she is unstoppable and follow this desired path that she seems to be leading into. Her powers seem to be a design for something which is really interesting.

Another effective aspect was May and Andrew finally discussing everything that has happened and conclusively, I did wish that he could have been cured because yes, he did kill people but even he felt like it was for a reason. 

In the end though he did the right thing by handing himself in to say goodbye to May, I felt very moved when I saw his last shred of humanity just disappear, I could in May's face as well, she was utterly destroyed emotionally.

Spacetime explores how and if futures can be changed, there was action, deep emotional scenes, comedy, twists, romance and a lovely theme of the robin that gave Charles the new Inhuman an important weight to the story.