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Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Supergirl Season 2 'Distant Sun' Review

Distant Sun leaves season two with some unanswered questions as to where the season is heading as a whole. This episode left us with multiple threats which could ultimately culminate towards this season's final threat. Could it be Cadmus, the alien disguised as the President or Mon-El's vengeful mother, Rhea?

Firstly, this episode explored the fractured relationship between Mon-El and his parents as his mother, Rhea, places a bounty on Supergirl's head. Her motivation certainly gives a relatable context to her paternal control and dominance.





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From a wider social perspective, Rhea's beliefs that Earth's cultures have poisoned Mon-El is an interesting avenue to analysis how certain social groups may believe in something even if it's immoral. 

Supergirl's hope to change Rhea's mind about allowing her son to remain on Earth was an inspiring moment, proving the difficult situations Supergirl has to contend with everyday.

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Even though Alex/Maggie's drama didn't connect with the main plot, it was really engaging to learn more about Maggie and her past. The awkward confrontation of Alex meeting Maggie's ex-girlfriend lead to an important development in their relationship, strengthening it for the better.

 Likewise, Kara and Mon-El's separation and reunion was emotionally apt and proved Mon-El's acceptance into the 'Super' family. The themes of change and Mon-El questioning whether people can ever really change provided the foundations for his mother's decision to murder her husband, because his perception began to shift.

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It raises questions as to the people who are willing to change, whether other members of a social system will retaliate because they are afraid of the new change. In this case, Rhea felt betrayed and sought to avenge her family's split by taking revenge on the Earth, her fear evidently propelling her into revenge mode. 

Finally, this episode gave us some wonderful moments between Kara/Mon-El and Alex/Maggie as both explored the strengths of their relationships. There was engaging drama involving Mon-El's parents which raised questions of patriarchy and whether people can really change. 

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Beauty and the Beast Review

The live action version of the much-loved Beauty and the Beast has finally arrived, but was it worth the wait? A resounding YES!

The film follows the basic structure of the animated original but adds its own flaw of relevant themes that continue to affect our society today. Belle's thirst for adventure and something more than 'this provincial life' is something many can relate too. 

Emma Watson's portrayal is gracious, strong, intelligent and curious, which in comparison to Gaston's egotistical and selfish nature, is sublimely an inspiring character for everyone to look up too. 


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 More so, the musical elements are simply beautiful, voracious and funny, culminating in one of the most addictive and heartwarming soundtracks. The soothing rhythms and tinkly softness of the music sets a rich atmosphere to the character's stories. 

Belle and the Beast's relationship is portrayed beautifully and truthfully; the progression of their feelings towards one another is true of the song, 'Just a little change/Small to say the least.' The lyrics movingly describe the relationship with clarity and rawness.









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One character that added a fantastic diversity to the fairytale community is LeFou. His undying love for Gaston was sweet and tragic, especially when Gaston led his hideous march to the Beast's tower, hell bent on destroying his adversary. The positivity he brought to every scene was lovely; his happy ending was much deserved!

 The ultimate battle between Gaston and the Beast was an epic and incredibly emotional story as Belle pleaded her love for him before his last breath. As the sorrow intensified, the uplifting vision of the Enchantress (who was actually Agathe) brought new life to the Beast, making him human again. 
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Belle's friendship with Cogsworth, Lumiere and Mrs Potts was endearing and further explored the deeper meaning of how social status can make people only feel 'useful' if they serve others.  

It was wonderful to see all the characters have a happy ending; to see them all dancing in the most dazzling ballroom was like watching melting chocolate falling into pieces of gold.

Personally, I think it would have grounded the theme of beauty coming from within more powerfully, if the Prince had remained the Beast, because the juxposition was that once he fell in love with Belle, he was no longer a Beast and so his appearance didn't matter.

Disney's live action of one of the most beautiful and inspiring musicals is an elegant masterpiece of beautiful storytelling, playful humour and teaches an important theme of self-value and that beauty is not about not being what you are but who you are. 

 

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Supergirl Season 2 'Star-Crossed' Review

'Star-Crossed achieved some enticing emotional moments with Kara and Mon-El as his Daxamite parents- the King and Queen of Daxam, arrived on Earth searching for their Prince. 

What this episode allows is for Mon-El to confront his hidden identity; forcibly admitting all to Kara around a rather civilised dinner. More so, Kara and Mon-El's relationships falls into a mess of unknown certainty; one that is both relatable and truthful.

 

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This episode lacked the richer moments between what could have been a compelling piece of drama, between Mon-El and his parents. As of yet, their true intentions are faded but it felt right that they weren't another couple who wanted to invade or destroy Earth.

The decision to balance the episode's drama with Winn and Lyra's relationship felt out of sync with the main themes of the story, but it was interesting to learn more about Lyra's character, however, she still doesn't feel like a fully rounded character.







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 Lyra's betrayal led to strengthening her relationship with Winn, as he believed a woman who would sacrifice herself for someone she cared about was worth forgiving. (Yes to that!) I'm not sure where I see their relationship heading but I praise the writers for establishing a interspecies relationship.

Certainly, there's potential for their relationship to be a truly unique and amazing one; especially if they explore the cultural and psychological aspects of both characters.



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There were some subtle and brilliant moments with Alex and Maggie, an example being Maggie intentionally scaring Winn, and another, with Alex bargaining with a guy at the alien bar with Hamilton tickets. 

Kara's decision to end her relationship with Mon-El felt like it was an incredibly difficult decision, one that made the last scene heartbreaking for the both of them. I do agree with Kara that she deserves better, but I did admire Mon-El for standing up to his parents and even without Kara, begin to develop into the hero he's always wanted to be. 

This episode was a mixture of great relationship development and subtle humour but failed to balance Winn's relationship effectively to make his story as engaging as the rest. 


Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Supergirl Season 2 'Exodus' Review

This week, Supergirl struggles to contend with Catmus's plans to deport the kidnapped aliens and Alex goes on her own mission to find her father. 'Exodus' delivers a relevant and compelling story as Catmus's diabolical mission to capture every alien and deport them from Earth explores the need for heroes like the Danvers sisters.

Immediately, there is a tense atmosphere as the DEO follows the abductions as they happen, propelling Kara to write her own news story to warn the alien community. At this point, Kara's career as a journalist doesn't seem to fit in with her role as Supergirl, but after following her own instincts and getting fired, it may be a good opportunity for Kara to write her own stories away from Catco.

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This episode was definitely Alex focused as her emotional turmoil over Jeremiah caused her to go on her own mission to find him, and with the help of Maggie, she does, resulting in an emotional and complicated confrontation, beautifully played by Chyler Leigh.

The emotional strain of her father's betrayal has definitely given her character lots of fantastic scenes where hope and loss have conflicted. Her rage against Catmus was strongly felt and the scenes with Alex/Maggie were both funny, sweet and empowering. 

 
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Alex's suspension at the DEO added to her faded logic but gave her the means to prove how resilient, strong and courageous she is that she would risk her own life to find her father and the alien community.

One of the most emotional moments was when Supergirl had to stop the spaceship, containing Alex and the aliens, from entering into space. The silent exchange between the Danvers sisters, and the Supergirl theme, blended to form a heartwrenching scene of self-doubt and support. 

 'Exodus' achieved some beautifully emotional scenes with Alex and her father. Her solo mission of self-discovery, bravery and love for her family showcased what a vivid and complex character she is.

Friday, 3 March 2017

Supergirl Season 2 'Homecoming' Review

The Danvers sisterhood is jeopardised when their father, Jeremiah, is found after Supergirl apprehends a Catmus transportation truck. The likelihood of Jeremiah being found after fifteen years of absense is at a low probability, which the episode addresses as Mon-El remains highly suspicious of his return. 

This allows for Mon-El and Kara's relationship to be further explored as his suspicion escalates at the Danvers homecoming gathering. Clearly, Mon-El has a long way to becoming the person he wishes he could be but his struggle is what makes him an interesting character. The conflict between his selfishness and heroism is a juxtaposing dilemma for his character to contend with.

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Besides the turbulent reunion, it did give Alex a chance to introduce Maggie to her father that was a truthful scene of reflection for Alex to connect with her father again after such a long time apart. 

Unsurprisingly, Mon-El's suspicions are proved correct but the discourse behind Jeremiah's motivations are left unclear which provides great psychological drama between Kara's doubt and Alex's trust. Chyler Leigh and Dean Cain performed a beautiful and tragic scene in the woods as Alex points a gun at her fleeing father. 

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Embedded within the episode was a fractured sense of vulnerability and loneliness felt by those betrayed. Catmus's presence didn't feel powerful in the threat they posed but this was probably because they weren't the focus here. 

Homecoming really tears at the core of the Danvers family; their disconnection from each other is both compelling and terrifying as this could be their greatest weakness. The family orientated drama was moving and complicated, providing some quality character moments.