Television

Mon
26
Oct

Arya Stark meets The Doctor ( Doctor Who Series 9 - Episode 5 and 6)

Doctor Who Series 9 - Episode 5 and 6 – The Girl Who Died/The Woman Who Lived

The Girl Who Died

Written by: Jamie Mathieson and Steven Moffat
Directed by: Ed Bazalgette

Cast:
Peter Capaldi - The Doctor
Jenna Coleman  - Clara Oswald
Maisie Williams – Ashildr
David Schofield – Odin
Simon Lipkin – Nollarr
Ian Conningham – Chuckles
Tom Stourton – Lofty
Alastair Parker – Limpy
Murray McArthur – Hasten
Barnaby Kay – Heidi

Mon
26
Oct

STAR WARS ON TRIAL--The Blog Tour Charges Star Wars with Dumbing Down Science Fiction

CriticalBlast.com prosecutes the charge of STAR WARS dumbing down science fiction with the STAR WARS ON TRIAL BLOG TOUR

The charge is "STAR WARS has dumbed down the perception of science fiction in the popular imagination." Jeff Ritter of CriticalBlast.com represents the Prosecution. 

The very notion of STAR WARS being somehow responsible for “dumbing down” modern science fiction seems preposterous. Of course, the notion is not entirely objective—how does one quantify merit or mediocrity in art, which by its very nature is subjective? How does one quantify the tangible effect of a film from 1977, that wasn’t expected to do much business itself, has had on movies, television, video games, novels, graphic  arts, American and even global pop culture more than 30 years later? I’m sure somebody with a better mind for statistical analysis could find numbers to crunch in this regard, but I find it to be less of a matter of arithmetic and more of a matter of personal taste. Since I can only speak for myself, allow me to take you on a little flashback to the halcyon days of my youth.

Fri
23
Oct

Marvel releases full Jessica Jones trailer

After a series of really cool teasers, Marvel has finally released the first real trailer for Netflix's Jessica Jones:


 

This is a real good trailer.  David Tennant seems like he's going to be absolutely terrifying as "Purple Man."  And Krysten Ritter looks like she is going to be perfect as Jessica Jones.  That has to be a real tricky role to play.  Jessica is a character with great physical strength and a strong cynical shell, but inside, she's dealt with great trauma that continues to haunt her and effect her judgement.  Ritter seems to have all that down pat, and even if this quick trailer shows that she's going to be very different from anyone else we've seen in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Thu
22
Oct

Catching Up: The Flash Episode 203, "Family of Rogues"

Flash Family of Rogues Season 2 RJ Carter Critical Blast

Family matters on both sides of the law become the focal point of this latest episode of THE FLASH, "Family of Rogues." Joe West (Jesse L. Martin) grapples with the unexpected return of his wife, Francine (Vanessa Williams), who abandoned the family when Iris (Candice Patton) was just a child. He's told Iris that she died and painted a picture of her as a perfect mother, rather than tell her the truth -- that she was an addict who fled from rehab. Now Francine is back in Central City, and Joe has to decide whether or not to tell Iris the truth.

Thu
15
Oct

Catching Up: The Flash Episode 202, "Flash of Two Worlds"

Flash of Two Worlds CW Critical Blast

The world of THE FLASH just got infinitely more diverse with the arrival of Jay Garrick (Teddy Sears, 666 PARK AVENUE), who comes from another Earth where he was called The Flash. But after his arrival on our Earth, shortly after his battle on his world with Zoom, he was brought to our world through the singularity that Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) fought at the end of Season One.

He comes with a warning, but the team doesn't know what to make of him -- and Barry certainly doesn't trust him. In fact, he's a real jerk towards Jay. So their response is to run tests on Jay -- and keep him locked up in the STAR Labs facility.

Tue
13
Oct

Ghosts in a underwater mining base...who you gonna call? The Doctor (Doctor Who Series 9, Episodes 3 and 4)

Doctor Who Series 9 - Episode 3 and 4 - Under the Lake/ Before the Flood

Writer: Toby Whithouse

Director: Daniel O'Hara

Cast:

Wed
07
Oct

Catching Up: The Flash Episode 201, "The Man Who Saved Central City"

Flash 201 Man Saved Central City

So last night was the hotly anticipated return of CW's hit series, THE FLASH, now entering its second season. When we open, we are well past the cliffhanger ending of season one, which saw Central City, the Earth, and everything else about to be sucked into a singularity caused by the wormhole opened by the Reverse-Flash. In fact, Central City is preparing a "Flash Day" to present their hero the key to the city for having saved them.

So why doesn't Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) want to attend, and why is he moping around, pushing away all his friends and rebuilding Central City building-by-building every night?

Well, it turns out Barry doesn't think he saved Central City -- that it was accomplished by someone else, at a great sacrifice. And when we flash back to the events to see them play out, he's partly right. He did get help, and that help came with (apparently) tragic losses.

Wed
07
Oct

Netflix Exclusive: The Mr Peabody and Sherman Show

Following up on the 2014 hit movie MR. PEABODY & SHERMAN, Netflix has announced an all-new original series titled: THE MR PEABODY & SHERMAN SHOW. Adding to their growing list of original content, the show will debut on Friday, October 9th. This will be Dreamworks Animation Television's seventh show, quickly making them a leader in producing high-quality television series.

Netflix continues to provide content that sets them apart from cable providers and other digital subscription services. Adding to a growing list of kid-friendly shows such as SOME ASSEMBLY REQUIRED and DINOTRUX, Netflix has solidified itself as the leader in original digital content. Chris Parnell will lend his voice to Mr. Sherman, while Max Charles reprises his role from the movie as Sherman.

Mon
28
Sep

Has the Doctor come to praise Davros or bury him? (Doctor Who Season 9, Episodes 1+2 review)

This was probably the best season opener since The Eleventh Hour. It gave us some real depth to dig in to, and showed us some new tweaks on the Doctor’s relationships with his enemies, Davros and Missy. There was quite a few genuinely funny lines in the episodes, and the story was pretty easy to follow. Moffat can get a little far out there at times, but he kept things under control and the end result was one of the best Dalek stories since Doctor Who returned.

Fri
25
Sep

ABC's 'The Muppets' Was Missing One Key Element

Disclaimer: I won't bury my thoughts in this article. I absolutely loved the premiere episode and cannot wait for more. However, I understand that many people weren't happy with it and feel there was something missing. So I'm attempting to take an objective look at THE MUPPETS, to find out what prevented many fans from enjoying the show. With that out of the way...

It's time to get things started.

Fri
25
Sep

Eighth Season of The Big Bang Theory Distills Comedy onto High Definition Blu-ray Discs

Big Bang Theory Season 8 Blu-ray Critical Blast

In the annals of television comedy, some pairings are simply classic to the point of everlasting. I thus posit that the partnership of Leonard and Sheldon has already made that list (although Sheldon might point out that it would be more proper to call the team Cooper and Hofstadter, because traditionally comic pairings are known by their last names, the listing would be alphabetical, and -- most importantly -- it would list him first).

However, to simply reduce THE BIG BANG THEORY to nerdy roommates Leonard and Sheldon (Johnny Galecki and Jim Parsons) would be grossly unfair, because the show's success is due to its ensemble nature. The science squad would be woefully incomplete without the acerbic man-child Howard Wolowitz (Simon Helberg) and innocently naive Raj Koothrappali (Kunal Nayyar).

Mon
21
Sep

THE FLASH Season One Races Onto Blu-Ray

The Flash Season One Blu-Ray Grant Gustin Tom Cavanagh CW

His name is Barry Allen. And he is the fastest man alive.

When CW's SMALLVILLE began to introduce additional DC Universe characters, the trend was to stay away from anything that looked like a costume if a hoodie could suffice, finally giving way to the traditional Superman costume in the final episode. When ARROW debuted, it was, to a degree, still the hoody look, with some leather armor and facepaint added. It seemed the super-suits were definitely a no-go area for the network. So when they announced THE FLASH was coming, I was wondering what the new outfit would look like. I was ecstatic to see that it looked very Silver Age -- and that Grant Gustin was able to pull the look of Barry Allen off without it appearing to be a convention cosplay (which I love, but not in a television show).

Mon
21
Sep

The 5 Most Anticipated Shows of the 2015 Fall Season

With television premieres starting this week, let's take a look at the top 5 most anticipated shows for the 2015 Fall season. With two returning series, and three new ones, I've compiled a list that's diverse in both genre and network.

 

 

The Muppets - ABC (premieres 9/22 8:00 pm)

Mon
21
Sep

2015 Emmys Put Pressure on Traditional Networks

2015 Emmys HBO Game of Thrones Veep

Didn you notice someone missing from last night's Emmy Award ceremony? How about the former "Big Three" -- ABC, CBS and NBC? Oh, they were there, but with the onset of original programming offered through Internet channels, their presence is more of a token than ever. (We've discussed in the past, at length, that this was coming.) It was hard enough for traditional, free broadcast channels when the cable networks entered the fight, but with the advent of Netflix and Amazon, the competition for market share just got that much stiffer.

Sat
19
Sep

A Beginner's Guide to Doctor Who - Part 3

Last week, we covered the “modern” Doctors.  Today, we wrap up our coverage of Doctor Who by going back to talk about all seven classic Doctors.  I tried to list my favorite episodes for each Doctor, but I have to admit, the titles for many of these serials were so generic that I may have missed some.  

Lots to cover here, so let’s get started:

Wed
16
Sep

Pre-Batman GOTHAM an Engrossing Crime Drama with Mass Appeal

Gotham Season One Fox Batman James Gordon Bruce Wayne Ben McKenzie Critical Blast

There's an interesting, long-standing trope in comic books that posits a superhero creates his own villains; that before the arrival of the superhero, there were no super-threats to the city he calls home, and that they are attracted there solely because the hero exists there to fight them.

The theme of GOTHAM runs counter to that proposition, putting forth the story of the titular city at least a decade prior to the arrival of the Dark Knight who would make Gotham City a name known around the world. It's a grim place, where the forces of law and order and the forces of the criminal underworld aren't pitted against each other but rather are entangled so much as to be indistinguishable one from the other.

Tue
15
Sep

The Road for the Brothers Winchester remains compelling in Season Ten!

Supernatural Season 10 Winchester Brothers Critical Blast CW

I've been a fan of SUPERNATURAL for a very long time. I still remember when I first watched the show. My future wife, Patti, and I were in the midst of a cross country journey, and we stopped in Missouri for a couple days to visit my close friend Daron. He got us hooked by watching several episodes of the fledgling show's first season DVD. We picked up our own copy of the season as the journey took us to states further on down the road, and a love for the series was built traveling much the way Sam and Dean Winchester do in the series.

Thu
10
Sep

Marvel's Jessica Jones will debut November 20

Logged on this morning to a nice surprise!  We finally got a release date and a teaser trailer for Marvel's Jessica Jones.  It will begin airing on Netflix on November 20.  It also looks like they stopped calling the show AKA JESSICA JONES.  

Jessica Jones is an adaptation of Bendis and Gaydo's brilliant comic series ALIAS.  Jessica Jones (played by Krysten Ritter) is a former superhero who has become a private investigator.    The series will also feature:

Fri
04
Sep

A Beginner's Guide to Doctor Who - Part 1

Last season, I managed to do reviews for each episode of Doctor Who within a day or two of them airing, and I definitely plan on doing that again this year when Doctor Who returns on September 19.   So, what I decided to do is create this little primer on Doctor Who for anyone new to the series who might want to check it out.  
 


Actually, Doctor Who superfan Craig Ferguson beat me to this years ago, so I guess I should start with stealing from him:

Tue
01
Sep

Second Season (Part 2) for TEEN TITANS GO! Comes to DVD

Teen Titans Go House Pests Season Two Critical Blast DVD

For my own part, if I'm going to watch the animated Teen Titans, I'm going to go with the YOUNG JUSTICE series. Following that, the Filmation shorts, and then the Cartoon Network's TEEN TITANS -- all of which I would forego for a DC Universe animated movie of THE JUDAS CONTRACT, but let's not go there while there's still another BATMAN adventure to make. Watching TINY TOON ADVENTURES acted out by cutesified versions of superheroes wouldn't really top my list.

The seven-year-old boy who has taken up (and taken over) residence with me has other ideas. He thinks they're hilarious. He loves the butt-jokes. He even has a little crush on Raven. (When he grows up and sees Tara Strong, who provides the character's voice, he'll still have it and we'll have something in common.)

So while I wouldn't choose to watch TEEN TITANS GO! I nonetheless have viewed it and...I survived. In fact, some of it was actually fun, and funny.

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