Snyder-Whedon mash-up ‘Justice League’ has no surprises, but works as a theme park ride (Movie review)

Comic book writers love their heroes, and are less likely to give love and attention to their villains. That’s human nature, I suppose, but boy does it hurt modern superhero movies. “Justice League” (2017), now available for home viewing, is the latest film to suffer from a bland, predictable villain, and it keeps a fun blockbuster from becoming something substantial. Steppenwolf – no, not that Steppenwolf – wants to destroy the world because, as a Geico commercial would say, “If you’re a supervillain, it’s what you do.”

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‘Buffy’ flashback: ‘The Origin’ (1999) (Comic book review)

Dark Horse’s “Buffy” comics have been canonical for the past decade, but the first story that is officially part of the canon came out much earlier: “The Origin” (January-March 1999) takes Joss Whedon’s script for the 1992 movie, translates it into a three-issue comic series and gives it the necessary tweaks to fit with the universe and timeline of the TV show.

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The chosen 20: The all-time best ‘Buffys’ (TV commentary)

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Today marks the 20th anniversary of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” which premiered on March 10, 1997. That sentence is technically incorrect – “Buffy” debuted with a movie on July 30, 1992, so this is the 25th anniversary year. The “Buffy” we all know and love is a reboot (a fact that gives me pause whenever I scoff at reboots). The movie shouldn’t be discounted, as people who liked the film provided a good chunk of that early TV audience. (That audience has now grown to include people who were too young for the show when it was first on TV, such as my friend Devin, who was 9 when it premiered and now counts “Buffy” among his favorite shows.)

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One-season wonders: ‘Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog’ (2008) (TV review)

So I’ve finished my rewatches of all the Joss Whedon series between 1997-2010 except one – and it’s the most unusual one. “Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog” (2008) is three 15-minute web episodes that add up to length of one TV episode. It was penned by Whedon and his brothers Zack and Jed and Jed’s wife Maurissa Tancharoen (who also plays Captain Hammer Groupie No. 1) during the TV writers’ strike.

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Rewatching and reviewing the classics: ‘Dollhouse’ Season 2 (2009-10) (TV review)

It started as an anthology show that allowed Eliza Dushku to play a different character every week, but in its second season (2009-10, Fox), “Dollhouse” embraces its identity as a serial story exploring what makes a person a distinct individual. It approaches this theme from dozens of different angles, but rather than running off the rails, it’s not only comprehensible, but also compelling and insightful.

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Rewatching and reviewing the classics: ‘Dollhouse’ Season 1 (2009) (TV review)

Coming out five years after Joss Whedon’s Big Three series (“Buffy,” “Angel” and “Firefly”) left the airwaves, “Dollhouse” Season 1 (2009, Fox) had massive shoes to fill. On its original airing, I saw it as an experimental series that allowed Eliza Dushku to fulfill the actor’s dream of playing different roles while also having a steady job. And it was hard not to be distracted every time another Whedonverse alum (Amy Acker! Alan Tudyk!) popped up.

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‘Serenity’ soars, but are ‘Buffy’ and ‘Angel & Faith’ running out of ideas? (Comic book reviews)

 

This question has been creeping into the back of my mind throughout the “Buffy” franchise’s three seasons of official continuations from Dark Horse Comics, but it’s especially evident now, early in Season 10 of “Buffy” and “Angel & Faith”: Are these titles running out of good ideas?

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Sci-fi showdown: ‘Almost Human’ vs. ‘Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ (TV commentary)

 

With Fox’s “Almost Human” and ABC’s “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” both at about the halfway point of the season, I thought it’d be fun to pit the two most-hyped new sci-fi law enforcement shows against each other in a category-by-category showdown:

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First episode impressions: ‘Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ (TV review)

Joss Whedon’s first four TV series are about underdogs who are victimized or marginalized by a corrupt government or system, which they heroically battle against: Buffy is a tool of the Watcher’s Council, but she asserts her individuality; Angel is beat down by Wolfram & Hart and tries to take it over from within; the crew of the Serenity is pushed to the fringes of the galaxy by the tyrannical Alliance; and Echo is a slave of the Dollhouse, which literally can program her brain as they see fit.

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