October 2019

Lucy in the Sky (Without Diamonds)

by Alan Rapp on October 18, 2019

in Movie Reviews 

  • Title: Lucy in the Sky
  • IMDb: link

Lucy in the Sky movie reviewLucy in the Sky offers little for audiences while struggling mightily to bring the life of astronaut Lisa Nowak to the big screen. Director Noah Hawley‘s film offers a plum role for Natalie Portman and some interesting visuals but lacks a clear purpose. I was also perplexed by a constantly changing camera frame. At first, I thought it was Hawley’s attempt to differentiate the parts of Lisa’s life that worked at NASA versus those she struggled with at home. However, it soon became apparent that there was no rhyme or reason other than, I suspect, to try and keep the audience’s interest through a tedious series of events.

The project has a star, intriguing subject matter in the astronaut’s deteriorating mental state after her return to Earth and failure to earn another trip to space, a supporting cast including Jon Hamm, and plenty of budget (the scenes of NASA training being the best of the film). So what went wrong? For starters, the script by Brian C. Brown and Elliott DiGuiseppi is mind-numbing slog that turns on a dime just in time for a bizarre final act featuring Portman’s character running far off the rails (and keeps on running) in a series of events that aren’t earned or properly established.

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Maleficent: Mistress of Evil

by Alan Rapp on October 17, 2019

in Movie Reviews 

  • Title: Maleficent: Mistress of Evil
  • IMDb: link

Maleficent: Mistress of Evil movie reviewHonestly, other than the look of Angelina Jolie as the title character, I could remember almost nothing about 2014’s Maleficent walking in to view its sequel. In five years, I’m betting I’ll remember even less about Maleficent: Mistress of Evil.

Jolie and Elle Fanning return as the sorceress Maleficent and the Queen of the Moors, Aurora. The film opens with a proposal by Prince Philip (Harris Dickinson) to wed Aurora and unite his father’s human kingdom with the magical realm that Maleficent turned over to Aurora at the conclusion of the first film. While Philip’s father (Robert Lindsay) is quite taken with the idea, neither Maleficent nor the prince’s mother (Michelle Pfeiffer) think much of the pairing as both hold bigoted views towards the other kingdom and the races that inhabit them.

The crux of Maleficent: Mistress of Evil isn’t really about Maleficent. Nor is it about Aurora and her love story. Instead, the film is focused on the evil machinations of Queen Ingrith (Pfeiffer) as she works to spur on a war that antagonists on both sides are more than willing to fight once she lights the spark.

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  • Title: Nancy Drew – The Secret of the Old Morgue
  • IMDb: link

Nancy Drew - The Secret of the Old Morgue TV review

Tensions and grudges start to soften among Nancy Drew (Kennedy McMann) and her fellow murder suspsects in the show’s second episode, despite discovering another member of the group had a motive to want Tiffany Hudson (Sinead Curry) dead. Despite being warned to let the police handle the investigation, Nancy can’t help but fall back into old habits and do a little snooping on her own (and by snooping I mean breaking and entering and potentially compromising evidence of a murder). As we saw in the first episode, “The Secret of the Old Morgue” continues the ghostly presence of Dead Lucy (Stephanie Van Dyck) albeit only just out of sight, glimpsed briefly, or seen in a reflection. That said, Nancy still sees the apparition on multiple occasions. Between that and what she finds in her family’s attic, Nancy has all the motivation she needs to delve into not one but two separate murder cases (which are linked in ways she has yet to uncover).

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Star Wars: Target Vader #4

by Alan Rapp on October 17, 2019

in Comics

Star Wars: Target Vader #4 comic reviewThe bounty hunters led by Beilert Valance have successfully cut off Darth Vader from the rest of the Imperial forces and driven him into a trap on Heva. However, the group will soon learn that cornering a Dark Lord of the Sith and killing him are two very different matters. Be careful what you wish for.

The fourth issue in the six-issue mini-series is action-heavy as the bounty hunters struggle to make good use of the small window in which before Imperial reinforcements can arrive. There are also some quick flashbacks to pasts of the various members that help fill out the issue but don’t necessarily add much to the current plot. Despite getting most of his compatriots killed, Valance’s plan did prove to have an outside chance at succeeding… although getting betrayed by a member of his team certainly didn’t help his chances.

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Arrow – Starling City

by Alan Rapp on October 17, 2019

in Television Reviews 

  • Title: Arrow – Starling City
  • wiki: link

Arrow - Starling City television review

Arrow opens its final season with a somewhat perplexing episode finding Oliver (Stephen Amell) repeating history on a parallel Earth as he’s rescued from Lian Yu and taken back to Starling City (eight years later than in his timeline). The episode allows for the show to replay scenes from the show’s First Season and return a few familiar faces. What we later learn is that Oliver is on Earth-2, the home of Laurel (Katie Cassidy) who has returned to her Earth as a hero, and his mission involves procuring an important power source necessary in the coming crisis. What isn’t ever really explained is why the the Monitor (LaMonica Garrett) needed Oliver to procure the Dwarf Star in the first place. The episode ends with Oliver successful but also with the destruction of the Earth as the Arrow offers the first look at what is at stake in the coming crisis.

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