With ‘Shazam!’ coming up, here are all 6 DC Extended Universe movies, ranked (Commentary)

With “Shazam!” – the superhero answer to “Big,” starring Zachary Levi – hitting theaters April 5 and “Aquaman” available for rental March 26, it’s a good time to look back at the DC Extended Universe as it stands so far. While I admit the DCEU can’t hold a candle to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which again owns the superhero calendar with three 2019 films, or even the in-flux X-Men Universe, I’m probably in the role of DCEU apologist in most conversations about superhero movies.

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‘Buffy’ flashback: All 8 short stories from ‘Tales of the Slayer, Vol. 4’ (2004), ranked (Book review)

The fourth and final “Tales of the Slayer” collection (November 2004) is also the only one centered around a theme: specifically, the Cruciamentum – as seen in “Helpless” (3.12) — wherein the Slayer is weakened by drugs and forced to defeat a vampire via only her wits and fighting skills. Remarkably, these aren’t just eight tales of Slayers being betrayed by their Watchers and feeling horrible; the authors find a variety of angles with which to approach the concept. Here are my rankings, from best to weakest, although there isn’t a bad story in the bunch:

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First episode impressions: ‘Titans’ and ‘Doom Patrol’ (TV reviews)

Believe it or not, there was a time when there were zero superhero shows on TV. Now there are so many that they don’t all fit on TV. Even though most of The CW’s lineup is DC Comics adaptations, there isn’t room for all of them. “Titans,” which premiered last fall, and “Doom Patrol,” which launched last month, are both on the DC Universe streaming channel. The pilot episodes are available for free through March 29.

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Throwback Thursday: ‘Pirate Latitudes’ (2009) isn’t Crichton’s richest novel, but it’s an adventurous way to learn about 17th century pirating (Book review)

In our Throwback Thursday series, we’re looking back at movies, TV shows, books or comics that are more than a year old and don’t fit with our regular “flashback” features. Maybe we missed it when it was new, or we want to revisit an old favorite. Basically, we’re reviewing old stuff because we feel like it.

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Marvel Cinematic Universe flashback: All 13 episodes of ‘Daredevil’ Season 3 (2018), ranked (TV review)

There’s something to be said about keeping good villains around, and “Daredevil” Season 3 (October 2018, Netflix) is a case in point. Although Wilson Fisk (Vincent D’Onofrio) was the Big Bad of Season 1, he again fits that bill here, in 13 episodes that explore how one ingenious sociopath can take control of the very systems – the FBI, the justice department – that should theoretically protect society from him.

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‘Angel & Faith’ flashback: Season 9, Issues 21-25 (2013) (Comic book reviews)

“Angel & Faith” Season 9 comes to an epic conclusion that’s not quite as great as the end of “Buffy” Season 9, but still pretty darn good, especially with the way it charts a new course for Giles. In the end, the best thing about Season 9 in the Buffyverse is that it was split into two monthly titles, rather than one 40-issue run.

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Mamet Monday: ‘Things Change’ (1988) is an understated rendition of what could’ve been a wild and fun Mamet plot (Movie review)

In our Mamet Monday series, we’re looking at the catalog of filmmaker David Mamet.

With his directorial follow-up to his noteworthy debut “House of Games,” David Mamet takes a step back with “Things Change” (1988). It does have twists that made me sit up and take notice in the final moments. But it’s short on memorable Mamet-speak, and it doesn’t illustrate the contrast between sweet-natured shoe-shiner Gino (Don Ameche) and low-on-the-totem-pole gangster Jerry (Joe Mantegna) as crisply as I would’ve liked.

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‘Buffy’ flashback: ‘Wicked Willow III: Broken Sunrise’ (2004) (Book review)

I thought the alternate-reality “Wicked Willow” trilogy was starting to get good with its second book, “Shattered Twilight,” but it comes crashing down again with “Broken Sunrise” (September 2004). In my reviews, I’ve somewhat facetiously said author Yvonne Navarro is exploring what would happen if Willow was evil for a longer time period, and unfortunately, that – and Willow being even more evil, but for no apparent reason – is what it comes down to.

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Throwback Thursday: Before she was Captain Marvel, Brie Larson grabbed attention in the much smaller-scale ‘Room’ (2015) (Movie review)

In our Throwback Thursday series, we’re looking back at movies, TV shows, books or comics that are more than a year old and don’t fit with our regular “flashback” features. Maybe we missed it when it was new, or we want to revisit an old favorite. Basically, we’re reviewing old stuff because we feel like it.

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Peter Farrelly’s ‘Green Book’ a sweet story of friendship against backdrop of mid-century American racism (Movie review)

Writer-director Peter Farrelly smooths out the excesses of his filmmaking traits for the surprisingly mainstream and easy-to-like “Green Book” (2018), now back in theaters and also available for home viewing. It’s not as funny as his best films like “Dumb and Dumber” and not as high-concept as the likes of “Stuck on You” and “Shallow Hal.” It’s possibly a crass grab at mainstream and critical acceptance, but it’s hard to quibble with the finished product.

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