GOTG Holiday Special is just what the doctor ordered. It is a fun, silly seasonal romp. There is one revelation that comes to bear but for the most part it is exactly what it purports to be – a Christmas special. My review follows below.

GOTGHS is a one off. Like “Werewolf by Night” that precedes it, it manages to greatly entertain with a tight time line. Gunn’s latest is a taut forty one minutes. The show opening with an animated sequence – and an old school style animation at that – played exceedingly well, channelling all the vibes of standard Christmas specials many of us grew up with. As with such specials, there is an element of sadness and a negative experience. Kudos must be given to James Gunn and Co. for using the animation as a plot device/technique to allow for Yondu’s (Michael Rooker) return to the franchise in an organic way- as his character is presently deceased.

The shift to the present with Kraglin (Sean Gunn) recounting Yondu’s sabotaging Peter Quill’s (Chris Pratt) Christmas frames the show. Enter Mantis (Pom Klementieff) and Drax (Dave Bautista) whose madcap perspective kicks the show into high gear. There is a revelation about Mantis’ heritage that stands to push the GOTG franchise moving forward and grounds central characters. Seeing Mantis take the lead was funny. Seeing her lose her #%@ with Drax repeatedly was hilarious. After hearing Kraglin’s story and recognising Peter still grieves for Gamora; she plans an errand to lift his spirits with Drax along as her partner in hijinx. Their task is naturally to bring Peter (aka Starlord) his idol – and star of his favourite movie – to see him.

What follows is an absolute blast from a night on the town to some B & E at Kevin Bacon’s before some outright kidnapping. The action with the zany duo chasing Bacon was as un-serious as it could possibly get. Bacon plays his part…himself…with self deprecation and an every man perspective.The musical number at the beginning was fun via “the 97s” and a later moment featuring Bacon on lead vocals seals the deal. Quill’s ‘human trafficking” comment was probably the funniest line of the seasonal event. The sentiment was however heartfelt and Quill, along with the viewer gets it. The moment between Mantis and Quill was genuine and will have proper resonance. From set up to final hilarious gift exchange we get something light, fluffy and probably a regular re-watch during holiday seasons moving forward. James Gunn delivers another win.

Another very solid episode was offered up by Titans. We got a deep delve into Mother Mayhem (Franka Potente) with this run. We get a great deviation from the source material but her back story is nonetheless well done. Her arc tying into the first season’s plot lines, including its big bad, occurred with smooth precision. My review follows below.

We discover early on that “May” (Potente) has talent…that is magic… which until ongoing poor treatment permeates her life, she seems to have used for good. Upon tapping into the darker heart of her abilities and obtaining a negative result, she is approached by a representative of “the Organization”, a call back to the series’ first season.

May’s journey as a disciple connects seamlessly with Raven’s/Rachel’s (Teagan Croft) narrative as well as Kory’s/Starfire’s (Anna Diop). May does not seem on the surface to be a bad person. Her friendship with Gina (Nicole Correia-Damude) illustrates her humanity. This is especially notable when Gina betrays May horribly in a quest to become the chosen of the demon we know as Trigon. The cultish behavior and rituals maintain the horror aspect that informs this season and really this series. May’s ascension still allows her to retain loyalty – and her genuinely forgiving Gina – shows grace of character. When we learn what May is subjected to regarding births of children and her quest to protect her son against established prophecy, we even feel a bit of sympathy for her.

Her release being inadvertent played well into the narrative. Her forming a group outside or the Organization was solid story telling. Her ‘recycling’ previous assets including one of the Titans’ tougher nemeses made for some great action sequences. The addition of Jinx (Lisa Ambalavanar) adds both an element of play via her banter with Dick/Nightwing (Brenton Thwaites) and Kory. The demonstration of her abilities affords the team what they presently lack via Raven’s depowering. Seeing her stop a horde then take out a reanimated big bad was both fun and “badass”. Jinx’s banter with Superboy/Connor (Joshua Orpin) is playful but hearkens to an exploitable vulnerability.

The series has often been derided for its inability to stick the landing and provide uneven righting but powerful moments. So far, this season seems well on point, delivering an excitingly dark offering to make us want more.

After last week’s exceptional ending segment, could this series possibly one up itself? The answer is a resounding yes. We get solid performances, slick action visuals and a dark foreboding tone that frames the series beautifully as it makes its way to its finale. My review follows below.

The return of Jordan Mahkent (Neil Jackson) is significant. His effortlessly eliminating the Crocks is followed by his ‘reunion’ with his family and proclamations of peace. Jackson’s Icicle/Mahkent is by times a subtle villain. His hiding in plain sight was his calling card at the series inception and it is no less so now as he reveals himself to family, the JSA and Blue Valley at large. Jordan’s parents along with the community are delighted to have him back. His enemies not so much. What is somewhat galling is the trope that defines DC and most modern cinematic superhero genre fare…the notion that everyone can be redeemed. No… not everyone…Mahkent is such an entity. As viewers, we take his peace making and justifications as seriously as Starman (Joel McHale) does. In fact, Starman becomes the everyman in this story as while he is somewhat unstable, his perspective is both logical and justifiable. His outrage at Icicle’s return is a normal reaction.

Courtney/Stargirl (Brec Bressinger) has been more her civilian self this season than her heroic mantle. Her desire for a relationship with Cameron Mahkent (Hunter Sansome) is doomed to fail, though she is successful in planting some seed of doubt within him as evidenced by his reaction upon his father’s return. Courtney’s own journey to trust and rehabilitate is noble but not sustainable, particularly not with a murderer of children and potential genocidal world rebuilding mindset.

Jordan’s admission that he was simply keeping watch over everyone, via his surveillance, as he regained his sentience rings false. His very existence rings false. His offer to team up with a group whose progenitors he helped assassinate should be the reddest of flags. His resurrection, and Starman’s, I believe may very well be inextricably linked. The Ultra Humanite is fully outed as the series’ real nemesis and is pushed as such until an end credit moment upends this notion and expands the reality of who the real enemy is.

Another suspenseful, intense ride was had. Props must be given to Stella Smith as Artemis Crock upon her discovering her parents are murdered. Unfortunately, we never got the build- up of this character that both she and the viewers deserved, but for depicting primal, agonizing grief in a few powerful scenes, Smith does a terrific job. Barbara (Amy Smart) as the resident den mother of the JSA shines as well in her scenes with Artemis.

Really, this series is poised for a great finish and with an extra episode at its end will hopefully be allowed to deliver the ending fans need along with the hope for what might have been. Stargirl continues to shine.

‘Silk’ Series Finds Its Showrunner In ‘The Walking Dead’ Producer Angela Kang

Angela Kang is working on her first Marvel project!

by MICHAEL BEZANIDIS on NOVEMBER 17, 2022

The Silk series has found its showrunner in The Walking Dead producer Angela Kang.

Amazon is teaming up with Sony Pictures Television to develop a live-action series revolving around the Spider-Man character Cindy Moon, a.k.a. Silk. The Walking Dead showrunner Angela Kang is overseeing the project, titled Silk: Spider Society, as part of her new, multi-year television deal with Amazon, replacing Tom Spezialy and Lauren Moon.

Who else is attached to the Silk series?

In addition to serving as the showrunner of the series, Angela Kang is also producing Silk: Spider Society alongside Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, the masterminds behind Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. Former Sony chief Amy Pascal is also on board as a producer.

“Amy Pascal, Phil Lord, Chris Miller and Sony’s recent live-action and animated reimagining of the Spider-Man franchise has represented some of the most dynamic superhero storytelling in film,” said Amazon Studios head Jennifer Salke. “Together with Angela Kang’s creative vision, we couldn’t be more pleased to bring Silk: Spider Society to our MGM+ and Prime Video customers.”

Angela Kang added: “I’m beyond thrilled to be joining the Amazon Studios family for this next chapter of my career. I look forward to working with the executive team on diverse, character-forward, watercooler shows for a global audience and am so excited to dive in to my first challenge — bringing Korean-American superhero Silk to life on screen.”

Silk: Spider Society is the first series from a slate of live-action television projects based on the Marvel characters that currently are in the possession of Sony. The company owns the rights to more than 900 characters with ties to Spider-Man. The projects are set to premiere on MGM+ and Amazon’s Prime Video platform.

Silk is the alias of Cindy Moon, who was bitten by the same radioactive spider as Peter Parker, granting her superhuman abilities. Created by Dan Slott and Humberto Ramos, Cindy made her first appearance in the pages of 2014’s The Amazing Spider-Man #1.

‘Carnival Row’ Season 2: Cast, Plot Details & Everything You Need to Know

BY REMUS NORONHA (Collider)

UPDATED 18 HOURS AGO

All roads lead back to Carnival Row!

Amazon Prime Video’s steampunk neo-noir fantasy series Carnival Row has garnered a lot of attention with its first season. A heady combination of the political thriller, murder mystery, and dark fantasy genres, Carnival Row has an intriguing premise that’s proven quite popular with the audience. So it’s no surprise that the series was already renewed for Season 2 even before the first season premiered.

Created by René Echevarria and Travis BeachamCarnival Row is based on Beacham’s film script A Killing on Carnival Row. The show stars Orlando Bloom and Cara Delevingne in the lead roles. Season 2 is expected to raise the bar for the series in terms of action, intrigue, and high-concept fantasy, it will also mark the conclusion of Carnival Row.

Carnival Row Season 2 will also have a bunch of changes behind the camera. Marc Guggenheim (Eli StoneArrow), who was the showrunner for the first season, will not be returning for Season 2. The new showrunner is Erik Oleson (UnforgettableDaredevil), who has also penned the first episode of Season 2. Series co-creator Travis Beacham has also reportedly left the project citing creative differences. So the new episodes are likely to bring a different vibe to the show, building off what has already been established.

With a dedicated fanbase waiting with bated breath, Carnival Row Season 2 has a lot of expectations riding on it. So we’ve put together this handy guide that pulls together all the details that have been revealed so far about the new season, including plot, cast, characters, and more.

How Many Episodes Does Carnival Row Season 2 Have?

Like Season 1, Carnival Row Season 2 will also consist of eight episodes. While the titles of the episodes haven’t been revealed yet, we do know who’s written most of them.

The first episode of Season 2 is based on a story by Erik Oleson, Travis Beacham, and Marc Guggenheim, with the teleplay written by Erik Oleson. Episode 2 was written by Sarah Byrd, Episode 3 by Wesley Strick, Episode 4 by Dylan Gallagher and Mateja Bozicevic, and Episode 5 by Tania Lotia. Hopefully, we’ll have the episode titles as well once we get closer to the season’s premiere.

The first official teaser trailer for Carnival Row Season 2 was released on November 7, 2022. The thirty-second spot doesn’t reveal much at all and is only a short sequence between Philo and Vignette.

Watch this space because we will be updating it with the latest teasers and trailers as and when they are released.

When Is Carnival Row Season 2’s Release Date?

Season 2 of Carnival Row is set to premiere on February 17, with the ten episodes releasing weekly, a similar release strategy as other Prime Video originals such as The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power and The Boys.

Who Is in Carnival Row Season 2’s Cast?

Carnival Row boasts a talented cast of actors, most of whom are expected to return for Season 2. Returning cast members include Cara Delevingne, Orlando Bloom, Tamzin MerchantDavid GyasiKarla CromeSimon McBurneyAndrew GowerCaroline Ford, and Arty Froushan. Additionally, Jamie Harris, who had a recurring role in the first season, has been promoted to the main cast for season 2. New actors are expected to join the cast as well but there haven’t been any announcements about this yet.

Who Are the Key Characters of Carnival Row?

Carnival Row features a number of interesting magical and human characters. Here are the most important ones:

  • Orlando Bloom stars as Rycroft “Philo” Philostrate. A half-fae posing as a human, Philo is an Inspector of the Burgue Constabulary and in Season 1, he is placed in charge of investigating a conspiracy brewing in the shadows of the city. Philo is a war veteran and he sympathizes with the fae, which puts him at odds with most of his colleagues.
  • Cara Delevingne plays Vignette Stonemoss, a fae who has lived a rather troubled life. She was once romantically involved with Philo but she believed he died during the war. Season 1 saw her getting involved with a group of fae criminals called the Black Raven while also dealing with the feelings brought up by seeing Philo alive again.
  • Simon McBurney plays Runyon Millworthy, a human who makes a living as a street performer, working with a troupe of kobolds (small goblin-like creatures).
  • David Gyasi appears as Agreus Astrayon, a faun who is quite wealthy but still ostracized by the rest of Burgue high society because of his appearance and fae origins.
  • Tamzin Merchant plays Imogen Spurnrose, an heiress without a fortune who gets involved with Agreus in order to support her plush lifestyle.
  • Andrew Gower plays Imogen’s brother Ezra Spurnrose, who manages the family business and whose mistakes have driven them deep into debt.
  • Karla Crome appears as Tourmaline Larou, an old friend of Vignette’s who was also once her lover. In Tirnanoc, the fae homeland, she was a Poet Laureate but now she’s a courtesan at the Tetterby Hotel in Carnival Row.
  • Jared Harris played Absalom Breakspear in Season 1. Absalom was the Chancellor of the Republic of the Burgue. In Season 1, it was revealed that Absalom is Philo’s father and he was killed shortly after.
  • Indira Varma appeared as Absalom’s manipulative wife Piety Breakspear, who also died in Season 1, killed by Vignette.
  • Arty Froushan plays Jonah Breakspear, Absalom and Piety’s rebellious son who becomes Acting Chancellor after the death of his father.

Season 2 will also feature Jamie Harris’s Sergeant Dombey as a main character. A colleague of Philo’s, Dombey harbors some very racist beliefs against the fae and hates Philo’s guts for siding with them.

Aside from these characters, fans can expect to see some new faces joining the fray as well once the new season is released, though Amazon is yet to release any information on who they might be.

When Is Carnival Row Season 2 Filming?

Production on Carnival Row Season 2 began on November 11, 2019, in the Czech Republic. Filming was put on hold on March 12, 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, though a good chunk of the season had been completed. Once the Czech Republic reopened for production, the filming was restarted and continued till August 2020.

After another pause, production was restarted again in May 2021 to shoot the scenes involving Orlando Bloom, who was unavailable for some time during the first schedule due to the birth of his child. In February 2021, Tamzin Merchant confirmed that only five out of eight episodes had been completed. The production finally wrapped on September 16, 2021, so unless there are any last minute reshoots planned, it looks like Season 2 is all set.

What Is the Setting of Carnival Row Season 2?

The events of Carnival Row take place in a Victorian fantasy world. Most of the story is set in a fictional city called The Burgue where humans co-exist with magical faeries (or fae), with high tensions between the two groups. Despite the historical aesthetic, the story itself is pretty time-agnostic and is really not of this world at all. The Burgue is the capital city of the Republic of The Burgue, an independent nation. The fae are refugees from their home continent of Tirnanoc, which has been colonized by human empires, particularly the forces of the Pact.

The majority of the protagonists are humans and fae who live in The Burgue, which is something of a safe haven for faerie refugees. But it’s not exactly a good life for them there either as they are forced to work menial jobs and face a lot of discrimination. Within the Burgue, the fae are mostly restricted to living in the eponymous neighborhood of Carnival Row. Season 2 is expected to further explore the secrets of the Burgue, as well as the history of the world at large.

What Is Carnival Row Season 2’s Plot?

Carnival Row Season 1 introduced the world of the show and the tensions that run high in the city of The Burgue. Season 2 will likely see those tensions exacerbated by the events of the first season.

In the aftermath of Season 1, the fae have been placed in what’s essentially a concentration camp, with Philo embracing his fae heritage and joining them there. Things have never been worse in the city-state with the new Acting Chancellor Jonah declaring war on all non-humans. So the plot of Season 2 will likely deal with the fae rising up against their oppressors and Philo and Vignette will probably have important roles to play in the coming revolution.

According to former showrunner Marc Guggenheim, Philo will also continue to wrestle with his sense of identity. Even though he’s accepted his heritage, that doesn’t mean Philo’s journey of self-exploration is even close to over.

“The trick for Philo is, it’s not, unfortunately, as simple as him embracing the fact that he’s fae,” Guggenheim told EW.

“To the fae, he’s not really fae. He’s a half-blood. So, he basically is a man without a country. You know, he’s not human enough for the humans, but he’s not fae enough for the fae. He kind of exists in this sort of status Twilight Zone. So that’s another thing that he’ll be wrestling with in season 2.”

Outside the Burgue, Imogen and Agreus ended Season 1 by setting sail for distant lands. Their story will help further explore the world of the show and bring even more color to this vibrant world.

All things considered, it looks like Season 2 is going to be even more exciting than the first installment. Will the fae and the humans end up in a bloody war, or will they finally find common ground? And will Philo and Vignette get a chance to find peace amid all this unrest? We’ll just have to wait and see.

From Taylor Sheridan we get a series that could just as easily have been written by Elmore Leonard. This is a very good thing. Lightly paced with a trace of drama, we get a role that Stallone was meant to play and an entertaining near hour of television. My review follows below.

We are introduced to Dwight Manfredi (Sylvester Stallone) as he ends his twenty-five year stint and protecting his Capo. He returns to ‘civilian’ life expecting a reward but is instead in his own words “banished” to Tulsa, Oklahoma. His reaction is swagger laden but belies a slow boiling outrage as he has given much and is given very little.

It is upon his arrival in Tulsa that things take off as Dwight endeavors to rapidly make connections and build an empire. The fish out of water/old school paradigm is quickly surmounted and with a combination of charm and hard edged ‘brokering’,Dwight begins to earn a foothold. While this seems like nothing new, Stallone’s charm and screen presence make this undertaking believable. His easy chemistry with Asac Hendricks (Miles Mussenden) adds a slick coolness to the series. His ‘takeover’ of Bohdi’s (Mark Starr) marijuana dispensary is more standard gangster fare. Dwight’s connecting with bar owner and fellow convict Mitch (Garrett Hedlund) seems poised to be more. Dwight’s interactions at the bar allow him a hook up which yields both hilarity via Stacy Beale (Andrea Savage) and a later foretelling of troubles to come. Line of the night upon discovering the disparity of her age and Dwight’s was duly funny… “It’s not an age gap…it’s an age canyon.” The series is off to an auspicious start.

Amsterdam: A Review

Posted: 11/14/2022 in Uncategorized

Well this was truly something. It is very rare to have this loaded a cast and not have a terrific movie. Is this a bad movie? Absolutely not. Is it a great movie? Same answer. ‘Amsterdam’ does not rise above the sum of its parts. Christian Bale, Margot Robbie and John David Washington are certainly all A list. Performances are fun and even entertaining and yet the depth the director seeks never seems to get mined. My review follows below.

Christian Bale is the best actor of our and possibly any generation. His character is manic, by times giddy…by other times, nearly unhinged. At all times, his Burt Berendsen is entertaining. He is highly empathetic but has a martyr complex.This is highly evidenced by his relationship with his estranged wife and her crappy family. A doctor by trade, Burt advocates for the health of his fellow wounded soldiers, often by incredibly illegal means. Burt is instantaneously likeable. We get a refresher that Bale can actually sing in this film hearkening to his first film “Empire of the Sun”. His harmonies with Margot Robbie’s Valerie Vose and John David Washington’s Harold Woodman are solid. Their “nonsense song” is smile inducing. The three radiate a wild chemistry etching and finding beauty out of the violent and ugly. Washington’s Woodman, the lawyer, is composed, intelligent and the most cerebral of trio. Robie’s Valerie is the group’s soul while Berendsen remains the core’s heart. The trio meet by chance after a pact of protection is struck between Burt and Harold as they are stationed in France during WWI. After both men are wounded; they are tended to by Valerie, a “French” nurse.

The three live a fun, Bohemian existence in Amsterdam afterwards until a brokered meeting with the shadowy Paul Canterbury (Mike Myers), in an understated yet solid performance, and Henry Norcross (Michael Shannon) sets the trajectory for the remainder of the film. The film is loosely based on a 1933 coup attempt by a group of business men trying to overthrow Franklin D. Roosevelt. A later segment depicting Robert Deniro’s General Dillenbeck’s indicting speech and an actual general giving a deposition is matched word for word.

Sadly, while well intended the film dips into and falls into farce when a more measured tone is required. The story at the film’s heart is solid but we never really stick with it, with so many zany characters and madcap moments framing the bulk of the narrative. Rami Malek’s Tom Voze is more of a rote performance for an actor who of late is refining creepy villainy. Anya Taylor- Joy as Libby Voze, Tom’s spouse is funnily insane but again this is hardly challenging for an actress as versatile as her.

Overall, the film is a success if only to present Bale just having a blast. The interactions and banter between him, Robbie and Washington could have been its own story and a more linear and engaging one at that. Ultimately the conspiracy at the root of this film is timely and could play in current political clime. While Amsterdam never really settles into an even pacing or fully linear story line, it does manage to entertain and provide the viewer with a little over two hours escapism without coming off a overly preachy.

Well, this was a powerful, emotional, grief laden tribute to Chadwick Boseman’s Black Panther. Ryan Coogler was tasked with the un-enviable Herculean chore of trying to make a Black Panther movie without Black Panther essentially. While we all understand a new Black Panther will rise up, the unshakeable feeling that Boseman’s legacy is too haunting a shadow to surpass looms heavily. Was Coogler successful in providing a powerful follow up that will carry Wakanda’s cinematic future onward? My review follows below.

The opening credits framed solely by images of Bosemen’s T’Challa and no music was devastatingly powerful and reminds us all as both viewers and human beings of what has been lost. The film opens with a funeral and the atmosphere tonally, even with a city side celebration of his life, remains funerary.

I’ll begin by saying that Letita Wright as Shuri is not a leading actor by which I mean I don’t believe her to be a solid choice to takeover this franchise. Her role in previous works allow her to shine in a supporting role, featuring her humour, heart and crazy intelligence with aplomb. I am of the mind that Marvel feels the same way as so many actors were given a goodly amount of screen time to frame out the narrative.

Especially noteworthy is Angela Basset’s Queen Ramonda. My Lord, she was absolutely terrific. Poised, beautiful, powerful and so damned regal. Her moments representing her nation at the UN damn near made me get out of my seat at the the theatre and disruptively cheer. She carries so much of the film. She is queen, mother, counsel, tactician, diplomat, etc. etc. A mid film scene featuring her and Okoye (Danai Guriria) was so goddamned powerful it simply bolted one to one’s seat. The raw emotion, outrage and Oscar level performances by both actresses were so amazingly good. You felt what they felt and for a genre that is so often derided by old school directors for being empty of true content – this scene alone acts as a powerful retort.

Winston Duke’s M’Baku character is much evolved from his introduction in Black Panther. He is still jocular, powerful and by time gamely defiant. Here, however, he is nigh fatherly. His scene with Shuri (Wright) is beautifully delivered and intimates both is growing respect and loving concern. His battle scenes are terrific as are all such scenes in this film.

The introduction of the Talocanians and Marvel’s first superhero (1939- Timely Comics) Namor (Tenoch Huerta) is one for the ages. He is essentially a rewrite from his character origins to his ethnicity. Under the capable reins of Coogler and Marvel, these factors become non issues. Huerta is excellent. From his empathy, anger, insane physical prowess with blisteringly good visuals Namor simply slays. The man once known as the “Sub-Mariner’s” origins being seamlessly tied into Wakanda’s own origins was a master stroke. Seeing the man in action backed by his people was absolutely big screen cinema at its best. Scenes featuring Namor and Co taking down planes, ships and Wakanda military with such ferocity was something to behold. We even got the “Imperious Rex” war cry so damn:)

The return of Nakia (Lupito Nyongo) brought an extra level of compassion to this film. A mid credit scene featuring her is a study in brokering hope and managing still to surprise in an age of spoiler-centric, end credit fandom. Her part in the film including her moments with Ramonda seemed gravitas laden and somehow had more depth with a later explanation as to why. Her moments with Shuri elevate the film as well.

Shuri is where the film falters. While her performance is good and her anger is incredibly justified, her “burn the world” mindset seems somehow disingenuous. She is a brilliant scientist and whatever path she takes, the rise of her new role cannot be made believable particularly in her battles with Namor who is acknowledged to be Hulk/Thor level strength. The measure taken by Namor to make Shuri his nemesis seemed excessive and unnecessary. Shuri’s ancestral plain meeting also struck me as unearned.

Everett Ross’s (Martin Freeman) moments in this film seemed tacked on. His arc seemed strictly there to tie into Valentina’s (Julia Louis-Dreyfuss) imminent and grander role expansion in the MCU. The reveal of the duo’s connection was fun surprise but really didn’t improve anything. His later rescue essentially removes him form the board as an asset to both Wakanda and the MCU overall. The introduction of Dominque Thorne’s Riri Williams/Ironheart also seemed tacked on. Her screen time offered that like Shuri, she is at best a supporting character. We will see if her imminent Disney Plus series will change my mind on the subject.

My complaints however are minor. This breadth and scope of this film is a worthy tribute to the film and character that precede it. “Wakanda Forever” will not please everyone and cannot possibly. The loss is insurmountable. Knowing this, the effort put forth becomes all the more admirable. Wakanda Forever is well worth your time and while not paving the way for future MCU ventures, it assuredly confirms that Wakanda will persevere.

Well, this episode did not maintain the traction set by the first two runs, but it did introduce an interesting character that ties into the mystical and opens up the series into more outright supernatural fare. My review follows below.

We rejoin the Titans learning that besides being stricken platinum blonde, Raven/Rachel (Teagan Croft) is now without her powers. The team rankles at being so effortlessly beaten, and possibly having faced worse, were it not for Starfire/Kory’s (Anna Diop) intercession. Superboy/Connor (Joshua Orpin) is angry at his perceived failure and the notion of a breaking bad turn looms over him. His pairing with Jay Lycurgo’s Tim Drake serves only to illustrate that Robin rising needs an s-ton of work. Jason’s potential connection with the team’s new man in the chair Bernard (James Scully) again offers little. An off screen training might have favoured Drake more as with all the Titans have coming at them, they really can’t afford a weakest link.

Dick/Nightwing’s (Brenton Thwaites) and Kory/Starfire’s side trip to recruit some assistance yields that Dick is as much a player in this universe as he is in his written source material. Enter Jinx (Lisa Ambalayanar) as a former associate/opponent of Nightwing’s past. Jinx is saucy, playful and powerful. There is easy chemistry between the two and an awfully big tease via the declaration of the existence of John Constantine in this reality. The Jinx/Kory/Dick arc was by far the most entertaining and interesting of the three plots. Kory’s destiny arc continues a journey that began in season one and will hopefully provide a rewarding outcome by its end.

Connor’s assisting Tim with his training and keeping himself in check while Dick pursues an asset allowed for little. Near the end, he does come through in pretty epic fashion via disrupting Mother Mayhem’s (Franka Potente) plans…or so it would appear.

Potente’s Mayhem is a very solidly played performance. She is utterly ruthless and malevolent and a vintage style villain as befits the character. Too often, of late, the superhero genre favours pushes to ward anti-heroism rather than outright villainy. With Mayhem the show runners get it right. Her moments with Sebastian Blood (James Morgan) are very well played and frame the dynamic the two will eventually share as he assumes the mantle he is destined to hold.

The Raven/Beast Boy/Gar Logan (Ryan Potter) arc seems more filler than delivery. Gar is drawn by voices which tap him to visit an alternative plain of existence. His feeling that this journey will tie into the Titan’s current nemesis remains to be proven. At present it is more of a distraction. The earlier moments between Rachel and Gar, in which she enjoys normalcy, were however well earned and acted.

So far, the Titans is promising something grand and with its cast and thus far linear writing, it seems poised to deliver a powerful fourth and hopefully not last season. Kudos to the fight sequencers for the Nightwing throw down scene in a night club populated by supernatural beings. Titans is still one to watch.

Well, this was another surprise laden ep. Honestly, the show is getting better and better with every episode. Pacing is solid and the knowledge that the end is nigh gives the series and extra element of urgency and hope for a powerful finale. My review follows below.

We open with Mike (Trae Romano) and Jakeem (Alkoya Brunson) running like hell after encountering this season’s big bad. They later encounter Cindy/Shiv (Meg DeLacy) who explains she is hunting their enemy. The boys then use Thunderbolt (Seth Green) to get back to town and warn the team and their families.

Paula Brooks/Tigress (Joy Osmanski) seems a changed person. Her happy homemaker effort aside, her friendship with Barb (Amy Smart) and subsequent protection of her are sincere. Equally strange is Larry Crock/Sportsmaster’s (Neil Hopkins) transformation. He always seemed to be at the very least a douchebag but seeing him and Paula gad about town reveals they have in fact changed. Paula’s later attempt to train Barbara is earnest. The couple later meeting with Sofus (Jim France) and Lily (Kay Galvin) illustrates an outright redemption. Sofus has revealed himself to be the more reasonable of the Mahkents. Lily is ruthless, and her killing of Cameron’s (Hunter Sansome) art teacher out of spite cannot be dismissed. Cameron remains blinded to exactly how villainous his father truly was and as such harbours greater anger for his loss.

Courtney’s meeting with her team and family after her terrible encounter with Cameron, after she takes the blame for Jordan Mahkent/Icicle’s (Neil Jackson) death, pushes the notion that she is a paragon of reconciliation…or crazy. Her push to have both heroes and villains pull together to defeat the discovered ‘true’ threat is the plot device that has framed the past seasons. What follows involving the Crocks is a superior, unexpected revelation that no one saw coming. Man, Stargirl is pulling out all the stops. Here’s hoping for a continuation of form for the final 4 episodes.