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Tuesday, June 24, 2014

TV review: DOMINION


Dominion is the new tv series on the SYFY channel based on the god awful(2010) movie Legion which someone, somewhere, thought would make an excellent idea for a television show five years later.Now, before i get into throwing stones at the broad side of the jet hangar sized barn that is Dominion,i will say that just because the movie looked to be little more than a rushed student film,by a perpetual D student, doesn't mean that it automatically disqualifies it for a regular series tv reworking,but it does stack the deck against the series in a negative way.Buffy the vampire slayer was a long forgotten B movie that became a tv series with a successful run and made a star out of  Sarah Michelle Gellar and made a god out of Joss Whedon,who would eventually write and direct the Superior The Avengers,so that alone is proof that there are many possible fates for a mediocre idea,and some stories as flat as they may be, can find new life on a different platform and succeed.

Dominion set 25 years after the end of the film and resumes in Vega( formerly Las Vegas)  Lower angels, led by the archangel Gabriel, has waged a war  against mankind. The Archangel Michael, has chosen to side with humanity against Gabriel. After the 25-year-long battle safe cities have arisen to protect the  human survivors.There is no biblical guidelines or foundation for the plot of the story,the Angels could have very well been aliens,vampires, or clowns and the actors could be stuffed sock dolls for all we know or care and the dialogue would be delivered with the same energy.


 The cast(no need to name check,they're all forgettable) which has been pulled from various similar themed tv series toggle between wooden,and over dramatic when it comes to the  acting, and of course the whole cast is vampire white,because that never gets old and the set design ,colors and mood are a mix of leftover Dune sets and Battlestar Galactica rubbish.This show reminds me of other types of genre entertainment(Christian and African american) where the creators rely on the audience to overlook the shortcomings and patron the show simply because its being offered rather than hang their hat on quality and originality.A first episode isn't always indicative of where a series is going to go,but its safe to say Dominion won't turn into Breaking Bad by the second,third,or  hundredth episode, and if Syfy channel wants to mimic the success of HBO,and AMC ( which are making better sci fi  and fantasy programming then a channel called SYFY go figure) then they will HAVE to do better than this fender bender.

Monday, June 23, 2014

A Superman for all Seasons

        Superman is back.Not like we didn't think he wasn't going to be,but after the 2006 train wreck that was Superman Returns it wasn't clear when it would be safe to see the Man of Tomorrow again on the big screen.This time, we thankfully get a more coherent,scientific,reality based last son of Krypton  story.The Man of Steel comes upon the heels of the uber successful Batman franchise run and borrows the Dark Knights lifeblood David S. Goyer (writer), and Christopher Nolan (golden boy producer) and gives it a frame that is both familiar and refreshingly new.

The story is the one we know,doomed scientist, on a dying planet, sends his infant child, and last hope across the galaxy to earth to survive and thrive under a sun that would allow their child to be a near god to its native people.The child is found by morally sound Ma and Pa Kent in Kansas,and is imbued with the structure and  righteous  foundation that is intricate to a hero with god like abilities as he grows to become one of the most popular and well recognized figures in pop culture.

What's different here then all the other Superman celluloid adventures,is that we get to see Krypton front and center,alive albeit in the twilight of its existence but alive with all the cool science and advanced technology that has only been hinted at in previous incarnations.We are introduced to Superman's father ( Russell Crowe) whose warnings of global destruction has fallen on deaf ears and he is forced to execute a daring escape from the Kryptonian council and the cope minded general Zod (Michael Shannon).We get to see a spoon full of alien animals,structures and life before an emotional farewell to Kal -el ( Superman's real name) by his parents and then hes jettisoned  to earth closer to  the story we know.

Here is where you can tell that David Goyer(screenwriter of the Batman trilogy,the cult favorite Dark City,and believe it or not the Call of Duty video games) was intent on digging deeper than his predecessors. The flashbacks of a young Clark Kent and his father(Kevin Costner) during different pivotal moments in his life inject a realness,and a sensitivity that was absent from the god awful monstrosity that came before it.(Pay attention X-men people,Bryan Singer did THAT to Superman! ).Clarks abilities aren't so much revealed as they are embarrassingly discovered (X Ray vision discovered in a really cool way) and treated as dirty secrets that the family must keep for the safety of Clark,even in the face of danger,and these little story nuances add to the humanity of the character we already know.

The Messianic imagery that has disguised itself as character development in the hands of lesser writers when it  comes to Superman, has been kept to a minimum,and Amy Adams makes Lois Lane more then a annoying damsel in distress, as she investigates a string of urban legends about a mysterious drifter "guardian angel" who we know is Clark traveling the world looking for his purpose,and saving people along the way.The rest of the cast is well rounded with Laurence Fishburne as Perry White,Diane Lane as Martha Kent,and Michael Shannon as Zod and these additions brings  acting security to cushion the untested Henry Cavills Superman, and for most of the movie it works.

Man of Steel was not perfect,(Zods henchmen did not exhibit much character, and i'm not quite sure how Clarks identity worked) but it did help right the wrongs of the previous attempts ad hopefully puts the series on the right track for the eight inevitable sequels to come.

AUTHORS NOTE:This article was intended to be the first timely review a year ago,but i went to summer school and then right into my sophomore year...so here we go,as always questions and comments are appreciated!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

...Cold Open

There is always something to say about movies.Good or bad they are great conversation starters.Take a movie like Avatar by James Cameron,or better yet Titanic and ask around at a  party what people thought about it and you'll most likely get at least ten minutes of people reliving what they liked, or dreaded about the disaster masterpiece.The beauty about movies is that you don't have to be in the same room in order to have the shared experience,but watching a movie with a gang of people can make a bad movie,fun,and a mediocre movie good, and a good movie...well,you know.

So i started this blog so that we,the movie snobs,could talk about movies,and television,and whatever garbage that we can dig up on Netflix with other people  like ourselves.It will be rocky at first,there are a lot of awful,awful movies out there some masquerading as good,and some even disguising themselves as art,but we will get through that rough together and get through to the good ones,i mean,we ALL agree on which ones are the good ones right?