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Friday, December 11, 2015

Week Of December 11th 2015 In Review #Supergirl #ScreamQueens #XMenApocalypse #NewYearCountdown

Week Of December 11th 2015 In Review #Supergirl #ScreamQueens #XMenApocalypse #NewYearCountdown

All Supergirl pictures courtesy of CBS unless otherwise noted.

With my little mini-vacation over for the next week and a half before my big year-end finale vacation which goes from the 21st or 22nd until MLK day in the New Year, I've been biding my time soaking up all the latest news and events going on in the world of entertainment. And even though it's two weeks after Thanksgiving--the time when normally the TV wasteland kicks in--and Star Wars is the movie that will clearly dominate this holiday season, there is still plenty else to talk about on all levels. We'll begin with Supergirl (#Supergirl).

Monday's Supergirl on CBS, while not the winter finale, supplied more than enough wow, shock and awe for fans to light up the internet and Twitterverse with mind-blown reactions. The funniest thing is that much of the episode was rather bland for the titular character. After overexerting herself fighting Red Tornado, Kara experienced her first short circuit, temporarily losing her powers. As she suffered through the throes of being Human For A Day (ha! That was the title of the episode. I snuck that in there. Huh? In hindsight I don't know why I thought that was clever. Moving on), National City suffered through an earthquake.

In her humanity, Kara bleeds for the first time, gets a cold or some other sneezy disease, breaks her arm and needs rescuing by James. Sadly, the one lesson she learns comes when she cannot save a man from dying on the street. Just as the comic book Superman learns, she can't save everyone.

She eventually regains her powers when she is told by the dork that likes her (again, not bothering to shoot an email, private message tweet or phone call her cousin's way) that she can regain her powers more rapidly by having a burst of Kyrptonian adrenaline. She gets this burst when she sees James in deathly trouble in an elevator shaft after having saved some people from the upper levels. Her powers back, she rescues him from falling to his death and the day is saved.

The biggest shock for the fans came in the form of gloriously over-the-top Black guy--that beautiful man of ridiculous looks, perfectly delivered one-liners and overly awkward protectiveness over Supergirl and her sister. While at the DEO headquarters (that's the Department of Extraterrestrial Operations) the earthquake accidentally knocks out the power temporarily while he and Kara's sister are in the middle of moving a villain to a different cell. With the power of mind control, the villain escapes to roam the halls before they can get back-up generators running.

Now in lock down, over-the-top Black guy orders his crew to stay in the one safe place they know he isn't while he and two others go hunting. The alien takes over the brain of the two other soldiers, making them kill each other. Kara's sister disobeys orders and runs after her boss, taking another soldier with her who also falls prey to the mind control. Having learned the previous week that her Black superior not only worked with her father but was around when he died, she distrusts him and handcuffs him to a shelf while she tries to go stop the alien alone.

Bullets not working, her anti-mind-control device about to stop, Black guy swoops in and saves the day, defeating the rock hard alien with his bare hands. Now, she has hella questions. How could he defeat the alien in a game of fisticuffs, and all sorts of craziness. He tells her the story of her father dying and the real original Black guy dying while in pursuit of a perceived hostile alien. The alien turned out to be friendly but in trying to capture him, somehow the two DEO agents died, but not before the alien tried saving the life of Kara's adoptive father played by Dean Cain. Cain told the alien to look after his daughters which Black guy has been doing ever since. The big reveal came at the end of the story when over-the-top Black guy revealed himself to be J'onn J'onzz AKA Martian Manhunter.

Didn't See That Coming 

For those that don't know, in the comics, Martian Manhunter is a big deal. While never the most popular on his own, he is most famous for two things: being the sole survivor of the once thriving Martian race and being one of the founding members of the Justice League. Yes, he routinely fights alongside Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, The Flash, and Green Lantern. Unlike the other aliens, he is not humanoid looking enough to blend in, but does have the power to shape-shift into anyone. 

KGBeast? Looks more like Martian Manhunter
Why is this a big deal? Recently, an article came out discussing the make-up of the film version of Martian Manhunter and if he would even be part of the Justice League. A few studio insiders said they didn't know if they'd include this iconic character because he may be too difficult to do on screen authentically. Well, if they needed a format, they just got one in a big way. This leads me to the rumor that Callan Mulvey pictured there, is actually going to be playing Martian Manhunter in the new Batman v Superman. I know that there was a very persistent rumor that he was actually going to be playing K.G. Beast, however, that was never fully confirmed and in the spirit of not packing the film with too many Justice Leaguers, it's no wonder why the producers would want to keep him under wraps, but to me he naturally looks like the alien and wouldn't have to have any kind of reveal save for saying his name in the movie since he is a shapeshifter.

Moving on, FOX's Scream Queens (#ScreamQueens) had its season finale this week and boy was it... long. For those that remember my initial three week roundup review on this (click #ScreamQueens up top to read it), I initially gave this a fairly low grade as it was a little too ridiculous. While it toned down some, I did skip three or four episodes at a time only to binge them when I got the chance, as wasting an hour each week on this wasn't to my liking. I almost didn't watch it at all during November and binged at least four episodes on Thanksgiving night, but I digress.

All pictures of Scream Queen courtesy of FOX unless otherwise noted.

Ending the shortened season with a two-hour episode, the first hour moved along nicely with Grace's psuedo-boyfriend confessing to being the 4th killer who joined only after non-gay gay Boone caught him snooping around and was about to kill him. Oh yeah, side note Boone (played by Nick Jonas) was one of the killers just in case you didn't know. Back to the boyfriend, he said he believed in what Boone was trying to do by wiping out the KKT sorority house and only joined because of that, but then he killed Boone and crazy Gigi (the loon that raised Boone and his twin sister in a mental asylum) in order to stop all the killing, but the third killer, Boone's twin sister, remained.

After sending the missive of all missives (which I thought was technically done very well with the writing being on the wall) The Chanel or Chanel #1 or Chanel Oberlin (played by Emma Roberts) became the most hated person in the world when it accidentally went out to everyone on campus. Gag! This whole set-up really did nothing but waste time to me and was a poor lead-in into a ridiculous scene that had my mouth gaping and asking, "did these fools just try to fit in an after-school special message on suicide?" Yes. Yes, they did. Quite possibly the most disingenuous show where everything was a gag, satire, or spoof on the horror genre, and had almost no real emotion explored on any level suddenly stopped about 25 minutes in to give us a PSA on "Suicide is never the answer. You shouldn't even joke about that." Look, I've dealt with the issue in my works before too, but never did it not fit the tone of what I was doing. This whole scene from the missive to the idiotic death attempt to Zayday trying to make a point that young people shouldn't kill themselves all could have been cut without anyone noticing or caring.

In fact, I felt this way about half of the episode which had me questioning why it was two hours long. Listen, outside of the real King (that guy Stephen King. Maybe you've heard of him), I am the king of long-windedness. I just finished writing a book during NaNoWriMo that is 118,000 words long unedited and will probably increase by 2000 words before the final draft. However, I try to make every scene relevant in some way that thrusts along either the character development or the action. On this last episode, there was more exposition and flashback than anything. Little action, little killing and scenes that went on and on.

The big reveal came at the beginning of the second hour which preceded a full half hour accuse-fest to finger each of the remaining Chanels as the killer (don't shake your head at me. I'll ignore it if you will). After the first hour of Zayday and Grace going through the school records of each of the remaining girls--a feat made possible by a sex scene betwixt Jamie Lee Curtis and Oliver "Dad-bod" Hudson--they came back to reveal that Chanel number six AKA neck brace girl played by Lea Michele was the killer. The only reason she was believed not to be the killer was because she had a stiletto heel stuck in her eye supposedly put there by Chanel number five played by Abigail Breslin.

The first half hour became so ridiculous that it was revealed that Chanel five's parents wanted to disown her and took this opportunity to throw her under the bus. But apparently Breslin wasn't alone as Chanel number three played by Billie Lourd (surprise, she's Princess Leia's real life daughter; didn't know it until I saw this picture.) helped her. The most ludicrous and convoluted story of them all, she supposedly had split personality disorder and had been taking killing advice from her father Charles Manson. Her other dark half would use the advice to kill her fellow sisters which she would be completely unaware that she did.

This might have been enough if the show didn't spend another seven minutes putting The Chanel in a similar scenario, fingering her as the mastermind behind it all. Why did she do it? Kind of because she could. All three of them arrested by major sleuthing all-star Chief of police Denise Hemphill (played by Niecy Nash who was literally the best part of this show for me), all was solved and fair.

And then the real killer continued revealing her plan. Yes, the real killer was Lea Michelle's Chanel number six, the "brainy" twin of Boone who, not only jabbed the heel into her own eye making sure not to puncture the actual eye, but methodically planned her entry into the inner-sanctuary of KKT all to get revenge for her dead bathtub-birthing mama. After growing up in the asylum, she was only allowed in because she posed as a handicapped student and Dean Mensch needed more diversity, unlike her brother Boone who just pretended to be a Dickie Dollar scholar while never enrolling in the school in the first place. My god, if you think this review is long you should have watched the episode.

The Chanels all disowned by their parents (Chanel number one's parents disowned her after the world-hating thing), all three of them tried representing themselves in court to which the Black judge determined they were crazy as they had slept through much of the trial. He sentenced them to life in the asylum where they each actually found happiness.

The dean and Grace's father engaged in a real relationship as she wrote a best-selling book on new new feminism which basically says the same as current feminism. While she figured out Lea Michele was the killer she didn't turn the girl in after having killed her husband and the deceptive minx knowing about it.

Now, Grace and Zayday with the help of Chanel six all turned around the KKT house to be inclusive. Those two were spared because they were nice to Chanel 6 on the first pledge day at the beginning of the year, not to mention Grace is her half sister by blood through their father. All was well, save for at the very end when the red devil killer snuck into the asylum as The Chanel slept and lorded over her with a knife. One last scream of horror for everyone and the end. Why the episodes felt so laborious, I don't know. As I said, I think they could have cut out entire scenes and it wouldn't have mattered. They could also have cut some scenes shorter like the goodbye between Denise and Chad which wasted four minutes of screen time on nothing. This honestly felt like they knew they had been commissioned for a certain amount of episodes and needed a ton of filler to make that goal.

Can't move on fast enough from that one. Maybe if they have another season next year as it was originally intended as an anthology like American Horror Story, it will be better but until then, I am left with a bland taste in my brain-mouth.

Finally, the week ended today on the release of the new X-Men Apocalypse trailer. Check it out below if you haven't seen it yet.

Quick caveat, I am not a huge X-Men fan and never was. While I enjoyed the exploits of Wolverine, the group as a whole was too varied, too angsty, too everything for me. Not that I hated any of the movies, books, or cartoons I just always thought, "oh, those are nice." With that said, I have to say I am very unimpressed with this trailer. Just as the music for the Batman v. Superman trailer disappointed me with it's one note-ness, so too did this with its lackluster ominous tone. If this is the end, why doesn't it seem like it? Maybe because we know it isn't from the Days of Future Past? I don't know.

Also, I have to say I never liked the choice of Oscar Isaacs as the villain. In stature, face, and voice, he never seemed foreboding enough to me. Forgetting his height as he can grow or shrink to infinite sizes as shown in the trailer, his voice doesn't instill terror and his face still looks silly to me like it did in the first images from the movie. Will this be good? Maybe, but from the first trailer, I am not impressed nor eager to even see it at this point.

What do you think? Were you watching any TV or film this week or were you too busy with holiday preparations? Did you see the big reveal on Supergirl? Are you excited to see Martian Manhunter? What about Scream Queens? Was this show even on your radar? How did you feel about the finale? And what of the new X-Men trailer? Did it get you excited to see the movie or are you apprehensive about the visuals? Let me know in the comments below (hint: click the no comments button if you see no comments).  

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Until next time, "he calls them the four horsemen."
'He got that one from the Bible.'

P.S. A quote from the trailer, but seriously what is up with all the God and religious references in comic book movies these days, especially when referring to the villain? Can we stop trying to make all religion evil? I'll think of a better sign-off next time.

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