SyFy Takes Viewers On A Journey Back To Krypton!

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By: Adam Basciano

Krypton logo

Not long ago, I wrote an article about a rumored live action tv series focusing on Superman’s alien home world. That rumor has been made a reality. “Syfy is turning to David Goyer, the man behind The Man of Steel  to develop Superman origin story Krypton, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.” Yes, the man responsible for writing the best live action version of Superman’s native land depicted in live action, is going to get to play in that sandbox for a longer period of time then just the 20 minutes we saw in “Man of Steel.” I know David Goyer has his detractors, but in my opinion his work for Warner Brothers/DC Comics properties has been consistently good. “The Dark Knight Trilogy”, “Man of Steel”, and television series “Constantine” are examples of this.  If anything, it’s been Goyer’s Marvel work that has been suspect, but maybe that’s just a case of Marvel having inferior characters? Well at least the ones he’s worked on.  Joining Goyer on the “Krypton” project is Ian Goldberg, who is best known to television audiences for “Once Upon A Time.”

The World of Krypton

Krypton is described as follows; “Years before the Superman legend we know, the House of El was shamed and ostracized. This series follows The Man of Steel’s grandfather as he brings hope and equality to Krypton, turning a planet in disarray into one worthy of giving birth to the greatest Super Hero ever known.” It’s worth noting, that I am extremely pleased that this series is headed to Syfy.  While they’ve strayed in recent years, when they focus on actual science fiction content instead of realty show’s they have a great track record. “Battlestar Galactica”, “Alphas”, “& “Dominion”, are prime examples.  If I had to guess, I’d think Goyer and Goldberg would be looking at John Byrne’s “World of Krypton” mini series for some ideas.  However, there are various stories throughout Superman’s 75 year history that delve into Krypton’s past to some degree that could be consulted.  The fact is, in live action terms, despite the Superman story constantly being retold, we know very little about “Krypton”, so the possibilities are endless.

(Sources: The Hollywood Reporter, Entertainment Weekly, Syfy)

Vampire Diaries/ The Originals Claire Holt Might Take Flight As “Supergirl”

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By: Adam Basciano

Claire Holt

A “Supergirl” television series is on the way courtesy of CBS. The Network is so excited by the prospect they’ve already given the show a series commitment.  We’ve had character breakdowns, but no casting speculation…until now. According to The Wrap, The Vampire Diaries/The Originals star Claire Holt (Rebekah) is among several actresses testing for the role of Kara Zor-El/Supergirl.  If chosen, I would support this decision. Having seen “The Vampire Diaries” and “The Originals”, I enjoy Claire Holt’s acting. She also has a good look for the character as well. I’m curious to know the names of some of the other actresses in contention for the role.  The series is described as follows; “The one-hour drama project, which has received a series commitment from CBS, will follow the exploits of Kara Zor-El. Born on the planet Krypton, Kara Zor-El escaped amid its destruction years ago. Since arriving on Earth, she’s been hiding the powers she shares with her famous cousin (also known as Superman). But now at age 24, she decides to embrace her superhuman abilities and be the hero she was always meant to be.” More to come as we have it….

Supergirl in Clouds

(Source: The Wrap)

TV Review: GOTHAM – Season 1 Episode 7 – “Penguin’s Umbrella”

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By: Darryl Frisbie

GOTHAM

The story unfolds with Penguin revealing himself at the Gotham city police station and the blood feud begins. There are a lot of intricate plot details to this episode and if I tried to make a summary, there would not be much room for my actual review of this episode. So I’ll hit basic plot points and then give my thoughts on each one. Jim Gordon has a bounty on his head now that Penguin has entered the public eye. Falcone sends out a hit man, Victor Zsasz, to put an end to Gordon. An intense gun fight ensues at the police station between Gordon and Victor. You may recognize the actor who plays Zsasz because he is also the green smoke villain from “The Flash.” Each victim that Zsasz kills he makes a tally of it by cutting himself. The altercation is probably the most intense sequence I’ve seen on “Gotham” thus far. Gordon is eventually rescued by Montoya.

Zsasz-Gotham

The great focus of this episode is the maniacal Penguin. He understands the system of organized crime and works his devious way up the power ladder. We have a showdown between the Maroni family and Falcone’s men. There is a bloody shootout in which a group of Falcone’s men are killed by Maroni’s gang. When they begin to collect Falcone’s leftover money, there is a confrontation between Oswald and one of Maroni’s top men. While Oswald is being chided by one of the top henchman, the tables turn in Penguin’s favor. Oswald reveals that these men for hire are not being paid enough by Maroni’s top man and that he has offered them a better deal. It’s quite convincing to see these men turn on one of their own, when they know they’ve been robbed of their share of money. Penguin whips out a knife and stabs the man in the stomach. Oswald confesses his twisted motive and that he’s driven by love and loyalty. This may be true in his case but he’s always ready to cut down his closest alliance if it means more power. There are some definite parallels between the Penguin and the Joker. Especially in this sequence it reminded me of the disturbing scene where Joker has a knife to Gamble’s mouth ready to give him a Glasgow smile. They both derive sympathy from their victims before killing them and they always have men turn against each other. Joker thrives on chaos and the corruption of men but The Penguin essentially weasels his way to the top. Both characters are fascinating because there is more depth to them than a handful of Marvel villains. Not to say Marvel doesn’t have its share of good villains like Magneto, but Batman has a hallway of the best and most complex villains to date.

Penguins Umbrella

We eventually see how cunning Penguin is and how he was the man behind the curtain pulling the strings the entire time. He gained the sympathy and respect needed from Falcone but in the same breadth was the very man behind sparing Jim Gordon’s life. A brilliant and complex storyline that truly delivered.

Overall Grade: 10/10

TV Review: GOTHAM – Season 1 Episode 6 – “Spirit of the Goat”

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By: Darryl Frisbie

GOTHAM

This episode involves a villain referred to as “The Spirit of the Goat”, who disguises himself under a black mask. The tone of this story felt like an Alfred Hitchcock film because the villain is shrouded in mystery. When they think that they’ve killed this murderer, a copycat rears it’s ugly head. The victims of “The Goat” are the rich and wealthy firstborns, whom he captures them and then in some form crucifies them; spreading their ligaments upon a plank. The most engaging character in this plot was surprisingly Harvey Bullock played by Donal Logue. I’m growing to really like his character and we get to see a more heroic side to him. An old partner of his named Detective Dix played by Dan Hedaya tells Harvey that there are no heroes but Harvey rushes to the scene of the crime. When they finally bring down “The Goat”, a copycat crops up. This is no common copycat but is familiar with the meticulous methods of its original murderer who cuts an opening behind the victim’s ear and places a penny inside. Not as menacing as a moth placed in the mouth of the victims like in “Silence of the Lambs”, but strange nonetheless. Harvey Bullock picks up on this particular detail and proves he’s a more intelligent detective than what we’ve seen in the past. I’m so use to the egg-headed version of Bullock we know of in “Batman: The Animated Series.” So it’s refreshing to see Harvey at his best.

The lighter aspect of this episode is Edward Nygma’s interaction with Kristin Kringle. I’ve got this strange empathy for Nygma because he’s a genius and yet he is socially awkward. I have a feeling his descent into madness will be quite tragic. And though they make some obvious references to him being The Riddler I enjoy every bit of it, including his coffee mug with the question mark on it. The Penguin keeps himself pretty low key this time considering his violent brush with Maroni. He spends some time with his mother and the relationship is quite strange, like Norman Bates strange.

The Goat

Meanwhile Renee Montoya and her team are investigating the murder of Oswald Cobblepot and get closer by getting an eye witness that saw Jim Gordon shoot Oswald. They interrogate Barbra and warn her of what’s coming to Jim.

Back to the case, Bullock talks to a family of one of the victims and even consults with the therapist. He tries to talk to an older relative but he seems unresponsive and he keeps clenching his fists compulsively. Harvey is hot on the trail of the next crime scene.

Gotham-106-Hero-Cop

Harvey Bullock manages to have another brawl with “The Goat” and wins. He interrogates the man and discovers he suffers from mental illness, just like the prior suspect who dawned the black mask. Harvey realizes that each suspect has no prior history of violence, however, and things just don’t add up. Then he notices the man he arrested is clenching his fist. He finally has an epiphany and goes to the therapist and discovers she’s the culprit behind “The Goat” killings. She uses hypnotherapy to command the men she wants to act as “The Goat” and them clenching their fist is a subliminal trigger. Despite hypnotherapy being a stretch, it is a nice twist. He takes her into custody simultaneously when Jim Gordon is arrested by Montoya. Jim confesses that he didn’t kill Oswald and then Penguin decides to reveal himself in public. Everything implodes at this point.

Overall a great episode! I had a sneak peek into the next episode and it is probably the most intense one of this season. Continue to watch GOTHAM and promising things will come.

Question Mark mug

Overall Grade: 9/10

 

 

 

TV Review: GOTHAM – Season 1 Episode 5 – “Viper”

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By: Darryl Frisbie

GOTHAM

We enter the story with Bruce rummaging through crime files and tracing connections of crime in Gotham on a board. Alfred enters and suggests Bruce put things aside and eat. Bruce continues his research. Alfred questions Bruce’s motives and then asks the hypothetical question, “What if you never discover who killed your mom and dad? What if you never get to wreak revenge?” And then I love Bruce’s response when he says, “I don’t want revenge. I want to understand how Gotham works.” The writers seem to understand the psyche of Bruce Wayne. This young actor, David Mazouz portrays his role with very real and believable expressions and nothing is forced. Bruce is in very special circumstance and it’s understandable that the death of his parents have led him to a great degree of grief and obsession. I read one review that observed his actions were symptoms of autism and that he was of such high intellect that he cut himself off from social interaction with his peers. I do not believe this is the case, but this is what makes Bruce so intriguing as a character and especially for psychologists to study him. My personal belief is that Bruce’s only way to cope and reconcile the tragic loss of his parents is to expose any corruption that infects Gotham. We see Bruce attend a charity ball to inquire as to why his father’s company has certain irregularities in the system. He talks to Molly Mathis, who lets him know that the board is too busy for charity balls. Later we discover Molly Mathis is concealing something far more incriminating, a lab that produces the chemical Viper.

gotham_105 Bruce & Alfred

Viper is the central conflict of this episode and quite “fascinating” as Edward Nygma puts it. It is the byproduct of the ultimate drug, Venom! Venom which we all know is the steroid inducing, strength enhancing drug that Bane uses to crush the bones of his victims. A crazed biochemist who is out to expose a pharmaceutical company called Wellzyne decides to distribute the drug on the streets of Gotham. The drugs first victim is a street guitarist who inhales its green fumes and we see his veins and muscles throb. His mind and body is brought to a stat,e of euphoria. He feels invincible and endowed with great power. He breaks into a convenience store where he starts guzzling large amounts of milk, and then proceeds in his mayhem by ripping an atm out the wall and stealing it. Eventually Jim and Harvey pursue him and the man knocks them both clean off their feet. He tries to lift the atm but the drug backfires, and crushes his entire body. Soon more people are exposed to this drug and end up with the same effects. Nygma eventually enlightens the detectives to the symptoms of the drug. “It’s quite remarkable,” Nygma says. “Viper activates unused DNA. The body starts to burn calcium from the skeletal system as fuel…their bones crumble, and they suffocate and die.” They ultimately thwart this biochemist when he broadcasts himself on television, on the very rooftops of the charity ball that Bruce is attending.

Gotham - Viper

A couple of the other subplots involve Penguin being once again victimized but this time by Maroni, while Fish Mooney trains her apprentice Liz to be a weapon of seduction to be planted in Falcone’s path. But the two great highlights of this episode for me were Bruce’s investigation and the foreshadowing of the drug venom. Thus far the show has taken a realistic and grounded approach, but with this episode the writers were not afraid to tap into the more grandiose aspects of the comic lore in which this case it was the superhuman inducing drug Viper. This episode got mixed reviews on rotten tomatoes and I’m willing to bet it’s because some critics are too hung up on grounding Gotham in a gritty reality. But with the introduction of the byproduct of venom they have opened the door to the resplendent aspects of the comic books. And for as much as I love the gritty reality that Nolan introduced us to, the downside was eliminating some of the grand fantasy of the Batman universe. I’m looking forward to more episodes like this one.

Overall Grade: 9/10

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