September 2019

Ad Astra

by Alan Rapp on September 20, 2019

in Movie Reviews 

  • Title: Ad Astra
  • IMDb: link

Ad Astra movie reviewAd Astra is a slow, thoughtful film at least as interested in the character study of an astronaut as the dangers lurking in outer space. Set in the “near future,” Brad Pitt stars as astronaut Roy McBride sent to Mars on a top secret mission to end the power surges that are affecting the planet (and nearly killing Roy in the opening scene). The surges are coming from the edge of the solar system where Roy’s father H. Clifford McBride (Tommy Lee Jones) and his expedition disappeared decades ago.

While not as engaging as The Martian or as ambitious as Gravity or Contact, Ad Astra does provide a fine performance by Pitt to center its story. The always reliable, but not remarkable, McBride is put through the paces in the latest mission that gets personal far too easily for the stoic astronaut who has made a career by ignoring his feelings.

Sci-fi fans will no doubt enjoy various space obstacles that Roy will struggle to work through in order to reach Neptune, although there’s no much we haven’t seen done better before (and the space monkeys are best forgotten altogether).

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Remington Steele – Steele Flying High

by Alan Rapp on September 19, 2019

in Television Reviews 

  • Title: Remington Steele – Steele Flying High
  • IMDb: link

Remington Steele - Steele Flying High TV review

Throwback Thursday takes us back to the 80s detective show Remington Steele. What starts out as a simple way to get rid of Steele (Pierce Brosnan) for a couple of hours and earn some nice publicity for the agency soon becomes more complicated when a murder is uncovered, Steele goes missing, and everyone involved has suspicious motives concerning land being donated to a wild life preserve for the bald eagle. Offering nods from everything from The Maltese Falcon to Chinatown, Steele begins enjoying himself a bit too much for Laura (Stephanie Zimbalist) as he takes on more of a Sam Spade personality. His kidnapping, and the attempt to kill both Steele and Laura, are only minor speed bumps on the way to unmasking a killer.

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Batman & the Outsiders #5

by Alan Rapp on September 19, 2019

in Comics

Batman & the Outsiders #5 comic reviewThe Outsiders have arrived in Khadym to search for the missing Sofia Ramos. The search ends up leading the team into not one but two separate traps. For the first, Black Lightning, Katana, and Kaliber walk into with their eyes open having found Sofia. The second is sprung on the remaining members of the team while the rest fight for their lives in the desert.

Sofia is both the goal and an obstacle after being brainwashed by Ra’s al Ghul. She puts up a spirited defense before Katana is able to get through to her. Or is this yet another part of the demon’s trap, with Sofia still under his control, which will reveal itself at the proper moment? There’s a good amount of action here, and also some team building as Black Lightning learns a bit more about Katana’s past and world view.

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Scooby Doo! – What a Night for a Knight

by Alan Rapp on September 19, 2019

in Television Reviews 

  • Title: Scooby Doo, Where Are You! – What a Night for a Knight
  • wiki: link

Scooby Doo! - What a Night for a Knight TV review

Today’s Throwback Thursday takes us back 50 years to the very first episode of Scooby Doo, Where Are You! “What a Night for a Knight” introduces us to Scooby-Doo (Don Messick) and Shaggy (Casey Kasem) coming home late from a movie when they stumble upon an abandoned truck with a the empty armor of a knight behind the wheel. After collecting Fred (Frank Welker), Velma (Nicole Jaffe), and Daphne (Stefanianna Christopherson), the gang return the armor to the museum where they learn about a missing archeologist, a legend about the knight coming to life during the full moon, and uncover a mystery that they seem determined to solve (even if that means breaking into the museum after hours in order to snoop around).

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Batman #78

by Alan Rapp on September 19, 2019

in Comics

Batman #78 comic review“City of Bane” catches up with Batman and Catwoman on the road back to Gotham City. On an unnamed beach, somewhere still far from home, Catwoman continues to help Bruce Wayne get back to full strength (both physically and mentally). This means a bit of training, and quite a bit of dialogue between the pair who recognize, but are not willing to give into, the attraction that still exists between them.

Other comic writers should take note of Batman #78 which works wonderfully well as a character-driven mid-arc story (and not simply another “City of Bane” issue that marginally moves the larger arc forward). Slow-paced, but important for both Batman’s recovery and his relationship with Catwoman going forward, Batman #78 is my favorite issue of the arc so far.

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