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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Strong performances, action, ’90s nostalgia outweigh ‘Captain Marvel’s’ head-scratching mythology (Movie review)

It’s been a cliché for more than four decades now that spectacle can’t overcome a bad screenplay, but it’s still remarkable how many films can nail everything except communicating to a viewer what the heck is going on. With “Captain Marvel,” the fun and technically amazing 21st Marvel Cinematic Universe movie, I can’t discount that I may have spaced out on important details, but I do suspect I was spending too much time trying to figure out the nature of Carol Danvers’ (Brie Larson) superpowers rather than kicking back for the ride.

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Marvel Cinematic Universe flashback: All 13 episodes of ‘Luke Cage’ Season 2 (2018), ranked (TV review)

Burning slowly like a 1970s urban street thriller, “Luke Cage” feels more comfortable in its suits and shades and bullet-riddled sweatshirts than it did in its first season. Bushmaster (Mustafa Shakir) and his Jamaican cohorts – all of the actors doing a wonderful job with the dialect – are entertaining antagonists, but we slowly realize the uber-villain of Season 2 (2018, Netflix) is slick Harlem councilwoman Mariah Stokes Dillard (Alfre Woodard). Cheo Hodari Coker’s series – after many examples illustrating what powerful people can get away with – morphs into a smart meditation on the cost of holding on to power, and how a few bad decisions can see that power spiral away.

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John’s top 10 movies of 2018

The dominant genre of 2018 continued to be superheroes; even with the “X-Men” Universe and DC Extended Universe releasing only one film each, the three Marvel Cinematic Universe movies were impossible to overlook. Still, this was a less blockbustery year than 2017, and by year’s end I had seen at least one really good film in every genre. From a throwback thriller to an arthouse gem, here are my 10 favorite films of 2018.

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Black’s take on the ‘Predator’ saga is a briskly paced blast, but the tone is a bit off (Movie review)

“Iron Man 3” is one of my favorite Marvel Cinematic Universe movies, but I’ve heard it criticized for being a Shane Black movie in a genre where that doesn’t fit, and I have a feeling that critique might come up again with “The Predator.” Recently released on home video, this is another fun film from the director, but I admit the tone is off.

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Garner’s ‘Peppermint’ has good action, but adds little to the revenge genre (Movie review)

“Peppermint” is basically a gender flip of “The Punisher.” Jennifer Garner plays Riley North, whose husband and daughter are gunned down by gang-bangers due to some poor decisions the husband had made. After an outburst in court when the killers are set free, Riley is to be sent to a mental hospital; however, she escapes and disappears.

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Annoyances bring down brisk and otherwise solid actioner ‘Mile 22’ (Movie review)

“Mile 22,” directed by Paul Berg and starring Mark Wahlberg, comes on the heels of “Lone Survivor,” “Deepwater Horizon” and “Patriot’s Day,” all of which were really good movies.  In fact, “Lone Survivor” and “Patriot’s Day” were in my top 10 for their respective years.  However, that may change with Wahlberg’s newest entry.

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