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Showing posts from February, 2014

Arrow 2-14: “Time of Death”

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Well. Let's dive into this overcooked mess of gluey instant oatmeal that The CW is trying to pass off as an Arrow episode, shall we?
The villain du jour is William Tockman (Robert Knepper), a criminal mastermind with a clock fetish who orchestrates high-profile robberies with clockwork precision; he’s the type of baddie who quotes War and Peace for gravitas and stabs insubordinate henchmen with novelty-sized clock hands. I'm always happy to see Knepper—I dug the sordid brand of villainy he brought to Prison Break—but his appearance on a show is never the mark of quality. He played a villain on an alarmingly ghastly episode of Criminal Minds, he played a villain on an alarmingly ghastly season of Heroes, and here... well, it's certainly not the worst-ever episode of Arrow, but it sure isn’t good. This continues Arrow’s hot streak of squandering name actors in crummy one-shot villain roles; I’m thinking of Battlestar Galactica’s James Callis, Farscape’s Ben Browder, and Fir…

G.I. Joe: “The Gamemaster”

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Just in case anyone’s trying to make sense of all the pieces I’ve been posting here lately, there’s no cohesive theme, unless it’s all under a nebulous umbrella of “Random Crap I Like.” Ergo, today we’ve got a recap of a 1985 episode of the syndicated G.I. Joe cartoon.
Not just any episode, though: “The Gamemaster” is probably the very best G.I. Joe episode, though I’m willing to hear arguments in support of “Skeletons in the Closet”, in which a negligee-clad Lady Jaye storms around her haunted Scottish castle wielding a golf club while hunting ghosts before getting offered up by a Druidic cult as a sacrifice to the multi-tentacled alien creature living in her basement. Oh, and she discovers Destro is her cousin or something. It’s an amazing episode. Still, I give a slight edge to “The Gamemaster” because the Joes and Cobra end up setting aside their differences and working together against a common enemy and, gosh darn it, I’m a sucker for that sort of thing.

Firstborn

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Aside from those pesky Arrow recaps, there’s been nothing but reviews of old Christopher Collet-Corey Haim movies around these parts lately. Weird, right?
Reviewing Prayer of the Rollerboys last month got me thinking about Michael Apted’s tense family drama Firstborn (1984), which, like Rollerboys, also stars Collet and Haim. Tense family dramas weren’t my genre of choice in 1984 (I was ten; Ghostbusters and The Karate Kid were more my speed. Come to think of it, Ghostbusters and The Karate Kid are still more my speed), but I remembered liking Firstborn anyway. So I took another look to see how it holds up.

Arrow 2-13: “Heir to the Demon”

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There might be worse episodes of Arrow out there, but there are none I’ve hated with the fiery white-hot wrath I feel for this one. Arrow, you’ve got to stop turning your female characters—particularly the female characters who either are currently superheroes (Sara), are predestined to become superheroes (Laurel), or are the brains behind superheroes (Felicity)—into neurotic messes. It’s offensive. If you wouldn’t make Oliver, Digg, and Roy act in neurotic ways, don’t do it to Sara, Laurel and Felicity, or you’ll end up with people like me calling you out on your overreliance on crappy gender stereotypes.
We open, promisingly, with Nyssa (Katrina Law), deadly assassin and high-powered daughter of Ra’s al Ghul, making her way through the immigration checkpoint at the Starling City airport. When armed officers try to apprehend her, she calmly slaughters them and saunters off. No complaints about Nyssa. She’s competent, and, even though she has an emotionally-fraught plotline, at no po…