October 2019

Harriet

by Alan Rapp on October 31, 2019

in Movie Reviews 

  • Title: Harriet
  • IMDb: link

Harriet movie reviewWhile watching director Kasi Lemmons‘ take on the story of Harriet Tubman (played by Cynthia Erivo) I was constantly reminded of Walt Disney’s old tall tale cartoons exploring characters such as Paul Bunyan. While Erivo is terrific in the leading role, Harriet‘s main struggle is the director and screenwriters (Gregory Allen Howard and Kasi Lemmons) stalwart refusal to simply tell the fascinating life of a slave turned abolitionist in favor of building up Tubman’s legacy to mythic proportions by spending so much time focusing on her visions from God and refusing to acknowledge (even after showing on-screen) those who helped Harriet escape the South be immediately rewriting events in favor of a single-handed narrative.

Lemmons’ style of filmmaking also adds very little to the film’s production leading to a rather bland cinematic experience any moment where the camera isn’t on Erivo. The choice of visually representing Harriet’s “spells” comes off rather amateurish as well. Because the legend of Harriet Tumban smothers every frame of film, it leaves little air for any of the actors who come across mostly as cliched slave owners or unremarkable side notes to history.

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Jack Ryan – Cargo

by Alan Rapp on October 31, 2019

in Television Reviews 

  • Title: Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan – Cargo
  • wiki: link

Jack Ryan - Cargo TV review

Set an indeterminate length after the the show’s First Season, “Cargo” opens with Jack Ryan (John Krasinski) and Greer (Wendell Pierce) both investigating the same case from different angles. In Moscow, Greer struggles to uncover intelligence about a secret satellite launched from a ship in the China Sea. In Washington, Ryan links the same ship to Russian weapons smuggling and a secret government facility in the politically-unstable Venezuela where the two will meet up once more. Benito Martinez guest-stars as Jack’s longtime friend Senator Moreno who, along with Jack, confronts the Venezuelan President (Benito Martinez) who denies any knowledge of the ship, the secret compound, or any smuggling into the country.

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Hellmouth #1

by Alan Rapp on October 31, 2019

in Comics

Hellmouth #1 comic reviewHellmouth #1 officially begins the five-issue crossover event that has been building in both Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel. Drusilla has the key and the Hellmouth is open. Get ready, ’cause Hell is literally set to break loose. And if you missed anything, Cordelia is here to sum up things for you.

The first issue of the mini-series offers the first official meeting of Buffy and Angel as the ground underneath Sunnydale cracks open and all manner of creatures begin to pour out. Hellmouth #1 also explains why Drusilla needed to stab Spike with the key (other than her being bat-shit crazy).

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The Flash – There Will Be Blood

by Alan Rapp on October 31, 2019

in Television Reviews 

  • Title: The Flash – There Will Be Blood
  • wiki: link

The Flash - There Will Be Blood television review

The looming Crisis continues to loom large in “There Will Be Blood” as Barry (Grant Gustin) enlists the help of Cisco (Carlos Valdes) and Harrison Nash Wells (Tom Cavanagh) in an attempt to save Dr. Ramsey Rosso (Sendhil Ramamurthy) by stealing an alien cure. Even before learning that the scientist is a crazed killer whose victims turn into zombies, Cisco makes a choice putting Barry’s life before the mad scientist’s that creates some friction between the pair for most of the episode. Don’t worry, they’ll work things out before the credits roll. The cure (itself a call back to an earlier crossover) isn’t successful as goes full on murdery confirming the character’s role as the season’s main villain pre-Crisis (begging the question, what happened to the serum… and will we be seeing it again?).

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Arrow – Leap of Faith

by Alan Rapp on October 30, 2019

in Television Reviews 

  • Title: Arrow – Leap of Faith
  • wiki: link

Arrow - Leap of Faith television review

Oliver Queen‘s (Stephen Amell) this is your life tour takes him to Nanda Parbat and a reunion with Thea (Willa Holland) where the pair will race both Taila al Ghul (Lexa Doig) and Athena (Kyra Zagorsky) to an ancient tomb. While Talia and Athena are both after a sword each believes can be used as a symbol to reform the League of Assassins, Oliver is after the League’s knowledge of the Monitor (LaMonica Garrett) in order to confirm he is backing the right side in the coming Crisis. After some fun (but really not all that difficult) tomb raiding, Oliver doesn’t get the clarity he hoped (although the show does offer the first mention of the Anti-Monitor – even if the reference is lost on the Queen children).

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