January 2016

Kung Fu Panda 3

by Alan Rapp on January 29, 2016

in Movie Reviews 

  • Title: Kung Fu Panda 3
  • IMDb: link

Kung Fu Panda 3Building on the epilogue of Kung Fu Panda 2, the latest sequel introduces Po (Jack Black) to his father Li (Bryan Cranston) and an entire tribe of Pandas hidden away in a secret valley deep in the mountains. Along the way Po will also struggle with passing on his knowledge of Kung Fu in the role of teacher, first to the Furious Five and later to his Panda students, when an old threat returns and begins stealing the chi of Kung Fu masters across China.

While not as good as the first film, Kung Fu Panda 3 stands up pretty well against Kung Fu Panda 2 – even if it ignores the most intriguing subplot of the first sequel involving Po’s evolving relationship with Tigress (Angelina Jolie). J.K. Simmons proves to be a good choice for the film’s villain Kai: Oogway‘s (Randall Duk Kim) one-time friend who escapes the spirit realm in his search of ultimate power.

And the film introduces us to an entire village of thinly drawn but (mostly) entertaining Panda characters while still finding time to deal with Mr. Ping‘s (James Hong) jealousy and insecurity at Po exploring a relationship with his “real” father.

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  • Title: Star Wars Rebels – The Protector of Concord Dawn
  • wiki: link

Star Wars Rebels - The Protector of Concord Dawn

After Hera (Vanessa Marshall) is injured while acting on Sabine‘s (Tiya Sircar) plan to negotiate with Mandalorians whose planet could offer the Rebellion an alternate hyperspace route to Lothal, Sabine stows away on Kanan’s follow-up mission. While the Jedi attempts once again to appeal to the Mandalorian leader Fenn Rau, Sabine provides an explosive back-up plan for when things inevitably go wrong.

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The Shannara Chronicles – Reaper

by Alan Rapp on January 28, 2016

in Television Reviews 

  • Title: The Shannara Chronicles – Reaper
  • wiki: link

The Shannara Chronicles - Reaper

Amberle‘s (Poppy Drayton) quest to take the seed to the Bloodfire gets off to a rocky start when the company is taken captive by the Rovers. Leaving Wil (Austin Butler) and the soldiers to die, Cephelo (James Remar) takes the Elf Stones and the Elven princess as his payment for Eretria‘s (Ivana Baquero) freedom. Eretria’s betrayal of her father figure marks an important turning point for her character choosing to become part of the quest (while also saving the series from going down a dark path given the desires of the Rovers’ leader). Despite his assistance later in the episode, it’s hard to forgive or forget Cephelo’s attempted rape of Amberle.

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Astro City #31

by Alan Rapp on January 28, 2016

in Comics

Astro City #31With the help of guest-artist Jesus Merino, with Astro City #31 writer Kurt Busiek offers up a story from the perspective of a monster who, it turns out, isn’t all that monstrous. Told from the perspective of the Living Nightmare, a nightmarish creature that feeds on the fear of others, who escapes captivity not to wreak havoc but to do some serious soul searching, the story is one of introspection about what the creature is and who it wants to become.

Frankenstein Monster stories are hardly new, but in this day and age taking the time to explore the empathy of the creature rather than let it wreak wanton destruction down on innocents is something unexpected, anywhere but Astro City that is.

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  • Title: The Flash – The Reverse-Flash Returns
  • wiki: link

The Flash - The Reverse-Flash Returns

The return of the Reverse-Flash (Matt Letscher) is only one of many storylines in an episode that also features Patty‘s (Shantel VanSanten) farewell, Harrison Wells (Tom Cavanagh) helping Cisco (Carlos Valdes) unlock his powers, the return of Amanda Pays as Tina McGee, a little bonding between Iris (Candice Patton) and her brother and the deteriorating health of their mother, and the show touching on the idea of Earth-1 and Earth-2 doppelgangers (which it will no doubt continue to explore over the rest of the season).

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