Lameazoid.com Rotating Header Image

Movies & TV

Game of Thrones – S07E02 – Stormborn

Dragonstone, Stormborn, this season certainly has some Daenerys themed names for it’s episodes. Things are certainly moving quickly with new alliances and everyone seems to be against Cersei Lannister, with good reason really. Even with those who may still believe Joffrey and Tommen were the proper heirs to the throne, I really don’t see any scenario where Cersei has any rightful claim to the throne. I don’t know the exact line of succession but surely there is some uncle or cousin or something that would be next in succession.

Daenerys gathers together her allies and lays out her plans to take Casterly Rock from the Lannisters while the others lay siege to King’s Landing. Unfortunately, Yara’s fleet encounters Euron’s Iron Fleet mid transport.  Things don’t go particilarly great and Theon abandons his poor sister to Euron, so much for his redemption arc.

Melisandre also shows up and advises Dani to align with Jon Snow in the North. Kind of convenient since Jon is on a quest to get Dragonglass from Dragonstone, where Daenerys now sits. unfortunately the other houses of the North don’t feel the same way and don’t trust the Targarians or Tyrion Lannister.  Jon insists that they need Dani’s army and dragons to defeat the Night King, and heads south to pledge his allegiance to Daenerys.

We also got a nice little reunion between Arya and Hot Pie. I’m not sure we have seen Hot Pie since Season 2. As well as a reunion with her wolf, Nymeria.  Hot Pie suggests she head north to meet with her brother Jon, which she does.  Apparently killing Cersei isn’t all she wants.

Game of Thrones – S07E01 – Dragonstone

Arya really got a lot of good moments here, we get a secondary wrap up with the Freys. Jon and Sansa seem to have a bit of friction going on but things are rolling along alright in the north, we get some Sam moments at the Citidel, and it seems not all is well between Cersei and Jaime in King’s Landing. I have to say the moment with Arya and the Freys was a little bit disappointing, if only because it was so incredibly obvious what was going on. We know she killed Walder last episode, and we know she can replace people, and here we are, suddenly Walder is alive again.

Poor Sam, it seems that living in the Citidel isn’t quite what he had hoped. He’s spending his days cleaning up shit and putting away books int he library. It seems being a maester is less glamorous than expected. Meanwhile Euron Greyjoy is trying to court Cersei in exchange for his armada, and promises to bring her a priceless gift, which I suspect is a dragon (yeah right, that will happen). I know the show is known for doing the unexpected, but there is no way after 6 season of build up Dani and her army will be defeated by Euron and these Iron Fleet jokers given how much of a nobody he is in the grand scheme of things. Not to mention Dani has already demonstrated that a Dragon is not a slave and basically won’t listen to some random loser.

We also got a bit more with The Hound, Sandor Clegane. It’s not real clear what role he has yet to play here, though I suspect it’ll involve his brother, Gregor, aka The Mountain aka Cersei’s big intimidating possibly undead body guard. Poor Sandor really has nowhere to go, pretty much everyone on all sides hates him with good reason. Unlike Theon Greyjoy, he doesn’t really seem to be interested in trying to redeem himself.

Then of course there is the dramatic return to Westeros of Daenerys Targaryen.  I guess this is the end of the Essos moments and Slaver’s Bay.

I want to wrap up with a bit of speculation. There are a few characters, Sandor Clegane, The Red Woman, Lord Berric, they all are sort of peripheral to the whole grander story, but also keep reoccurring and coming back. They also often have some association with The Gods. I almost wonder if there is something to this, like these people are special, possibly even direct agents of The Gods perhaps, though they may not be aware (though some more aware then others, such as The Red Woman). Like these handful of people will ultimately serve some higher purpose, together. Only time will tell on that one though.

Review – Movie – Warcraft (2016)

I have to say, I was pretty excited to see the Warcraft movie.  I don’t currently play World of Warcraft but I got pretty deep into the game in recent years.  I played all of the original Warcraft games back in the day as well, especially Warcraft 2.  I also enjoy films such as The Lord of the Rings, which kind of felt like the same idea, a large sweeping epic.

Ultimately, I ended up really let down by this movie.  I’m not sure that it’s really a bad movie, it’s just not particularly amazing, despite the pretty impressive visuals.  The entire film, something just felt really off.  I worry a bit that my experience with the video game series was part of the reason for the sense of distraction I felt throughout the movie.  Warcraft isn’t a straight retelling of the Warcraft story, it’s simply, heavily influence by the lore.

It’s also important to know that the movie Warcraft is intended to be based more on the video game Warcraft, that old RTS game, and not World of Warcraft or the books.  This feels like it shouldn’t be notable, but it is, because World of Warcraft has expanded and mildly retconned things to make them work for it’s story.  It’s also worth pointing out because the original Warcraft didn’t exactly have an amazing, deep story.  Orcs come through the Dark Portal, Orca and Humans battle it out in a series of medieval battles.

All of the proper players are present on both sides, Gul’dan, Doomhammer, Blackhand, King Wrynn, Lothar, Medivh, Khadgar are all characters who would have had some hand in the events of this time period of the Lore.  The movie shows the Orcs baely leaving the area around the Dark Portal, though the game was a large war across several regions and Stormwind was eventually raided by Orcs.  I mostly wanted to mention this because the movie presents a really odd mix of set up for sequels while not quite explaining things that really could be important later in sequels.

The main set up element is Durotan’s Orc baby, who makes several appearances in the film though doesn’t do much, since he is a baby.  This baby orc, in the Lore will grow up to be Thrall, aka Green Jesus, who is the first leader and founder of the modern Horde.  The real missed opportunities though come from what feels like the complete omission of anything before the orcs enter the portal at the start of the movie.

I really feel like even a narrated montage of events leading up to why the Orcs are entering the portal would have really helped.  There isn’t any mention of Sargeras or the Burning Legion that I recall, though Fel Energy is a large part of the plot.  There also isn’t any mention of Grom Hellscream.  Grom isn’t part of the “First War” featured in this film, but he was the first Orc to be corrupted by the Blood of Mannoroth which lead to the downfall and corruption of the Orcs.  He later becomes friends with Thrall and in general is a very pivotal character in many later plot elements.  He is also the father of Garrosh Hellscream, though it would take a dozen movies to get to the events that make Garrosh Hellscream important.  Maybe the plan is to tell his story with flashbacks in a later film.

Like I said, the little things like this kept coming up as distractions, which may have tainted my enjoyment of the film, though there’s definitely more to it.  It’s easy to compare this movie to The Lord of the Rings, both are grand tales of high fantasy with a large following of fans.  Visually the effects, especially the orcs look great, but there’s also this odd factor where everything just feels extremely clean, TOO clean.  You never really get the feel for the grittiness of the war, it just feels, much like the original game, like an excuse to have some Orcs and Humans fight each other.

The other major problem is the schizoid all over the place plot.  This is also part of where a bit more fleshing out of the back story would have really helped a lot.  Giving us some better glimpses as to the corruption that seduced Gul’Dan and Medivh would have gone a long way to show the motivation behind these two.  A montage sequence at the opening of the power of Sargeras (effectively, the devil), and the Burning Legion, and their quest for power and how it led to the fall of the once peaceful and noble Orcs would have done a lot to make characters like Durotan and Garona, who question the actions of their people, more sympathetic.  Instead the movie just opens on a giant portal and Gul’dan sucking the life from a bunch of blue people to power said portal.  No real premise provided.

Ultimately, while I did find this film disappointing, I accept that the early Lore of the Warcraft universe is in fact, kind of bland.  There’s set up in this movie to eventually to run through Thrall’s story, which could easily have interweaving bits setting up the story of Arthas.  Both of these events are really good plot lines and would make incredible movies.  I just hope that the poor performance of this film doesn’t hurt the chances for sequels, because I’d love to see Thrall’s time as a gladiator and his eventual creation of the Horde on the big screen.  I’d definitely love to see the fall of Arthas as well, as his story is such a tragic tale that would work well as a movie.  While Warcraft kind of falls flat as a film, I’m holding out hope that things can get better in some sequels.  It’s just so bad this weak initial story pretty much has to be told first, since it’s the foundation of everything else

What’s I’m Looking Forward to in Marvel TV

As Agents of SHIELD winds down with an uncertain future, there’s still quite a bit to look forward to in the world of Marvel TV.  I worry it may end up being too much.

The Inhumans (ABC)

Instead of giving us the cancelled SHIELD spin off in Most Wanted, it seems ABC has opted to give us The Inhumans.  The Inhumans has been in a bit of production hell for a while now.  Originally it was going to come out as a movie, before Infinity War, back when Infinity war was just one movie, I think.  That hasn’t been the case for a while.  At one point it was going to happen as a movie in something crazy like 2020 (back in 2015-16 this seemed WAY out) which kind of felt like there was no way Marvel could keep up the momentum that long.  SHIELD started featuring Inhuman characters in it’s plots a while ago as well.  The Inhumans has finally found a place, as a TV series, on ABC.

Probably confusing things a bit, The Inhumans show has pretty much nothing to do with SHIELD’s Inhumans.  Quake and Yo-yo probably won’t even get a cameo, though maybe they will get a vague mention.  The Inhumans follows what is known as The Inhumans Royal Family, Black Bolt, Medusa, Karnak, Gorgon, Triton, Crystal, Lockjaw, and Maximus the Mad.  These guys are all sort of the top dogs of The Inhuman world, where characters like Yo-yo and Quake, who were “born” later from Terrigin, are basically nobody scrubs.  Something along those lines.  I feel like even with the lack of references between everything, The Inhumans would have to at least acknowledge what’s been happening in SHIELD on some level.

I am somewhat disappointed Vin Diesel won’t get to be Black Bolt though.  He’s stated Black Bolt is one of his favorite characters and he kind of looks like Black Bolt.  Vin Diesel already does the voice of Groot in Guardians of the Galaxy, but Black Bolt never speaks, his voice is so powerful it destroys things when he speaks.  It would work out really well to double dip on Vin Diesel in the MCU.

Runaways (Hulu)

I’m kind of stoked for Runaways, because it is a fun and different sort of story in the Marvel world.  The short of it, all of these kids discover they have super powers, just after discovering their parents are part of a secret group of Super villains known as The Pride.  So they runaway, and vow to stop their parents.  It’s fantastical powers, on a pretty localized level.  There was a teaser video shown somewhere that suggest this is going to be fairly faithful to the comics, at least initially.  The characters and outfits all look pretty much as you would expect them to look.  Molly looks like she might be a bit older.

Speaking of Molly, I believe this is part of the MCU proper, not a spin off or an X-men Universe show like Legion.  Molly in the comics however is a mutant, which is a no-no for the MCU since Fox owns Mutants.  They could fo course change this, Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch are also mutants, but they just sort of glossed over that in Age of Ultron.  There was a loop hole giving the MCU those two since Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver are closely associated with The Avengers, I’m sure something similar gives them rights to Molly, though they still can’t use The M word.  Maybe she’ll be reconned as Inhuman, maybe they will just avoid the issue completely and she will simply, manifest powers, somewhat at random.

The main issue I have with this show is that it’s on Hulu, which I don’t subscribe to.  I guess there is always a One Month trial or something.

Cloak and Dagger (Freeform)

Cloak and Dagger is another one that looks pretty interesting.  I admit, I’m not super sure on the details behind these two, though I do know they had a brief cameo in The Runaways comic, early on, which could easily lead to a brief crossover early on in these shows.  Basically, they have a weird sort of symbiotic relationship using themey light and dark abilities.  Cloak wears a large cloak that acts as a portal to other places and Dagger manifests light shards, or something.

The trailer looks pretty interesting at least.

 

 

The New Warriors

Marvel’s New Warriors is the latest announcement is the Marvel TV world.  I’m actually a bit worried about this one.  I like the line up, but I worry it will be a little too samey to Runaways in it’s presentation.  It also has Squirrel Girl, whos is fun in a meme sort of way but I’m not so sure in an actual manifestation sort of way.  It’s also a bit too bad this show didn’t debute a few years ago since The New Warriors were the catalyst for The Civil War in the comic iteration.  They were effectively a bunch of fuck ups who somehow landed a reality show gig fighting bad guys, who were all nobody level bad guys.  Until they decided to up the ante and attack some actual super powered villains.  During the ensuing fight, one of the bad guys blew up in a massive explosion which wiped out several members of the team and a lot of a small town, including a school full of children.  This spurred on the legislation to track and register super powered individuals, at least in the comics.

I’m looking forward to getting Debrii in the MCU though, I liked her character and powers in the comics.

The Defenders (Netflix)

Then of course, there’s the culmination of The Defenders on Netflix. We finally get the culmination of Matt Murdock, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Danny Rand in The Defenders.  It looks pretty fun, and it’ll be interesting to see how they handle things following up.  Maybe we’ll get Heroes for Hire as a followup.  Considering how much people seem to dislike the Iron Fist series, chaining him to Luke Cage might be a good way to keep him around without continuing iron Fist as a series.

 

Recap – Agents of SHIELD S04E19 and 20 – Out of the Frying Pan Edition

Yeah, I’m slacking, I skipped last week.  It’s not even that I missed the episode or didn’t have time, I just, didn’t do the write up.  Like I mentioned a bit in the Episode 18 Recap, while I enjoy the trip down memory lane, there just feels like not a lot is actually happening here, so I’m pretty much just glossing over Episode 19, though more and more Fake Ward seems to understand what’s going on.  I still really want him to pass into the real world.

Which seems possible and likely.

Episode 20 sees what is essentially the culmination of The Framework.  AIDA completed her project and becomes a real girl, though she still seems to have some sort of crazy yet to be explained abilities.  Everyone else except Mack finally wake up and free themselves from the dream.  Mack, pretty expectedly, opted to remain in The Framework, with his daughter Hope.  Daisy didn’t seem to push him too hard, or even take the route taken with Fitz where they just knock him out and drop him in the portal.  I guess she just sort of assumed they could free him from the Outside, though given previews for the next episode, that may or may not happen.

Speaking of Daisy, I was really expecting some sort of Matrix moment involving either her or Coulson, basically,, killed in The Framework, but because they realize it’s fake, they “wake up” and don’t actually die.  Especially considering Daisy was holding the portal open using her Quake Powers (didn’t we do this plot once already).  I figured there wouldn’t be any way for her to pass through the portal while also holding it open.  Apparently the writers couldn’t figure this out either, since it just sort of cuts away and she wakes up.

The real long term consequence here will be that everyone remembers the events from within The Framework.  For Coulson and May, it’s just sort of an odd sort of memory, for Fitz, it seems like it’s kind of fucked him up again, since he now suddenly realize just what he did to Agnes, among others.

I also wanted to mention how great it was for Radcliffe to get his redemption, and how it worked in the overall sense pretty damn well.  Being betrayed by AIDA and seeing the end result of his dream twisted and used against him really made his change pretty convincing.  He was always pretty misguided in his efforts but seemed to mostly mean well.  I mean all he really wanted was to created the perfect VR world for himself and Agnes to live out their days.  Hell that was pretty much the entire point of AIDA originally, to let Agnes live on as a robot.

So it seems there are two episodes left, let’s get some predictions.  It’s been mentioned around the news outlets that Ghost Rider will return for the final episode, which seems like it’s probably going to end up being a showdown with AIDA and a rescue mission to retrieve Fitz.  Next Episode, based on the previews, looks to be mostly a lot of escapes.  Coulson and May on the sub get to escape from the Superior and the apparently sinking sub.  Mack gets to maybe escape from drowning in the real world if he decides to escape from The Framework, maybe he drowns but creates a new body with the machine AIDA used, though considering that machine is on the sub that’s sinking, that might be hard.  There’s also the need for the rest of the remaining SHIELD agents on The failing Zephyr, Simmons, Daisy, Yo-yo and the other flunkies, to escape the impending attack by The Superior’s planes.  Of course having Quake now awake could make short work of that.

The main things that seem up in the air, aside from if there will be a Season 5.  How will Mack get rescued.  I can’t imagine they kill him off permanently.  Maybe Mack dies and the real world end of the transfer device gets destroyed in the sub, but Fitz is able to build a second one, bringing Mack and Hope back.  What role will Ghost Rider play?  I have a feeling it will mostly just be some sort of muscle along side Daisy and Yo-yo to deal with AIDA.  Lastly, will Fake Ward find his way out of the Framework and return yet again for a new season as another different character.  It’s actually kind of a fun and pretty well done gimmick.

Agents of Hydra S04E18 – Return of The Bus

I’m not sure why but there have been a lot less promotional stills for these episodes lately.  I really need to find an effective way to take my own snapshots it seems.  I’m trying to get these a bit shorter though at least, so I don’t need as many images to go with them I suppose.

It helps that these episodes lately, while good, just feel like not much actually happens.  Given that it’s all Fake and in the Framework, it’s easy to dismiss it as ultimately not important.  I mean thing happen, important things, like the end of this episode, is pretty important to the real world, but there’s just a whole lot “look how things are all backwards!  ZANY!”  I like it, it just makes for a mediocre plot summary.

Anyway, the main event in this episode was of course the return of a long lost early character from the series.  One that I didn’t expect.  Yes, we get a return of The Bus.  Before The Zephyr, there was The Bus, alas it was destroyed while attacking a Hydra base, I think, it’s been a while.  It seems that in classic Framework fashion, The Bus has had it’s one major regret changed, resulting in an alternate life.  in this case, instead of being a giant bad ass plane, The Bus is now, a school bus.

I don’t know if it was actually intentional, but I loved that they stole this bus and kept calling it The Bus.

Oh yeah, and Triplet came back from the dead also.  They went on a mission to rescue a mystery operative which I figured would end up being Lincoln or Robbie Reyes or maybe Mike Peterson (Deathlok).  Turns out it was Trip.

We also got a nice fight with May and Mace, in the end Mace won despite May being juiced on on super soldier serum.  Lady Hydra (orders the troops to fire missiles on the structure containing everyone and Mace sacrifices himself to save everyone.  It’s such a bittersweet way to go, given how ultimately fake everything is.  His sacrifice seems to wake May up however, that and the children being rescued from their brainwashing and hydra missiles.  The episode ends with May bringing Daisy a Terragin crystal allowing her to regain her inhuman powers.

Review – Movie – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows

So, the first Michael Bay Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles live action movie kind of got a lot of flack.  To be fair, though, it’s not actually directed by Michael Bay, it’s just produced, so it’s not as awful of a live action remake as The Transformers movies are, it was however quite a departure from what people think of when they think Ninja Turtles.

The second film in this series is Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows, and it seems to be the answer to what a lot of people wanted and expected from the first movie.  Where TMNT is an updated modern take on the basic Turtles vs The Foot idea, Out of the Shadows is a very blatant tribute and Nostalgia fest for the original 80s TMNT cartoon show.   It actually kind of feels a little sad with just how blatant of a tribute it is.

Rocksteady and Bebop? Check!

The Turtle Van?  Check!

Krang? Check!

Baxter Stockman?  Check!

The Technodrom?  Check!

Also, unlike a lot of remakes and updates, things stay fairly true to the original, or at least, much more aligned with the spirit of the original.  Rocksteady and Bebop for example, are pretty unmistakable.  Krang is a little weird but still very much is obviously Krang with his goofy robot body.  Baxter Stockman follows the original comic and modern show versions of being African American instead of a goofy white guy with orange hair, but he’s still a goofy scientist.

This movie very much feels like a response to the “This isn’t the Turtles I remember” complaints of the first TMNT film.

Honestly, I kind of feels like it makes the film better.  I didn’t hate the original TMNT, but the nostalgia level of Out of the Shadows definitely does it’s job.

The biggest fault of this film is the some what flimsy plot.  It’s not awful, but there’s quite a few “what” moments, one of them is a pretty crucial hinge to everything.  Early on in the film, The Shredder is rescued by The Foot, amidst the rescue, he is suddenly kidnapped by Krang, who wants to recruit The Shredder to gather several McGuffin devices in order to open a portal from Dimension X so Krang can take over The Earth.  Very Classic 80s Cartoon to be sure.  It’s just very, sudden, however with zero build up.  It’s just suddenly “Hey, giant brain man, let’s work together”.  It kind of feels like it could have been massaged a little bit on the flow.

There’s also a subplot involving Casey Jones tracking down Rocksteady and Bebop which feels pretty superfluous to the everything.  It seems to exist entirely so create an excuse to throw Casey Jones into the movie.  He basically fills the role of Vernon from the first TMNT, someone for April O’Neal to pal around with when she isn’t hanging out with the turtles.

There’s also an ooze subplot that goes nowhere after Rocksteady and Bebop become a thing.  That is, it’s there to mutate Rocksteady and Bebop, which is fine, but then it lingers around a bit until the end where a choice is made, one that never really felt like it had any appropriate build up to actually give it any meaningful impact.

The real bottom line is that the plot, or plots aren’t awful ideas, it’s more that there’s just too much crammed into one film, and as a result, nothing gets fleshed out to any meaningful level.  Maybe I’m looking for too much from a movie about giant martial artist turtles, but I can’t help but think that maybe, splitting things out a across a couple of films would have helped solidify everything a bit better, giving us something much better than what we got.  Maybe run with Shredder being rescued and meeting with a shadowy unknown, creating Bebop and Rocksteady and introducing Casey Jones as more of an antagonist and foil, then keeping Krang and the idea of being forced to live “In the Shadows” as a plot for a third connected film.

Recap – Agents of HYDRA S04E17 – Slippery Soapy SHIELD Edition

So a bit of positive news, it seems Agents of SHIELD is looking more likely to be renewed.  Or at least one USA Today Article suggests it should be.  There is less to the article than I’d hoped but hey, that’s kind of a plus.  I really feel like there is room for Agents AND the new Inhumans show.  Frankly, I’m way less interested in The Inhumans show.  I’ll still watch but it just interests me less.

Anyway, I kind of wonder how long this Framework plot line is going to last.  I feel like the What If Scenario we have going on is going to drag a bit if the plan is to run for the remaining 8 episodes.  Not to mention it means no Yo-yo at all except maybe in the end when they get free and it kind of abandons the plot line with The Superior being turned into a pseudo LMD and wanting to kill Coulson.  Also it leaves the plot with Nadir cocooning up in the ocean going nowhere.

Basically, there’s too many loose ends for 8 episodes of “How do we escape The Matrix?”

On a side note before getting into spoilers, there has been a lot of pretty heavy underlying commentary these last few episodes on the state of the world.  Effectively using Hydra as a metaphor for the whole Alt-right mess.  Like how Simmons comments that “They are all Nazis” last episode and Fitz this episode uses the phrase “Make Society Great Again.”

Anyway, onto the Spoiler Section…

(more…)