Television

Wed
30
Jan

Catching Up: The Flash Episode 512, "Memorabilia"

Flash Memorabilia

With this episode, we finally delve deeper into the mystery of why Nora Allen (JESSICA PARKER KENNEDY) is visiting from the future -- and it's not just because she wants to capture Cicada (CHRIS KLEIN). She's taking direction from none other than Eobard Thawne, the Reverse-Flash (TOM CAVANAGH), to change history.

Of course, stopping Cicada is part of that, and the hope is that they can appeal to him to stop his meta-killing crusade if they can resolve the core of his motivations: his comatose niece, Grace (ISLIE HIRVONEN). To awaken her, the team utilizes a memory machine from another Earth, brought over by Sherloque Wells (also CAVANAGH), that will allow them to enter Grace's memories. But when Nora learns that it will also allow her father to potentially see her own memories, she decides to go in early, and alone, becoming trapped in Grace's mind.

Wed
16
Jan

Catching Up: The Flash Episode 510, "The Flash & The Furious"

Flash 510

THE FLASH has been having some really great episodes in this fifth season.

"The Flash & The Furious" is not one of them.

This mid-season premiere introduces us to the Silver Ghost (GABRIELLE WALSH), whose meta-tech ability is...a key fob that controls any car. She's a car thief.

And when she steals a Lamborghini while Barry Allen (GRANT GUSTIN) is supposed to testify in court as a CSI for the trial of the Weather Witch (REINA HARDESTY), he gets paged to deal with it as The Flash.

Let's reiterate: a CAR is stolen, and because it's faster than a standard issue police cruiser, S.T.A.R. Labs thinks it's important enough to buzz in a pair of superheroes.

What next? Shining the Batsignal in response to a stickup? Firing up Jimmy Olsen's signal watch for a kitten in a tree?

Tue
01
Jan

Voting Open for Best of 2018 Awards

2018 Award Voting

Another year has come and gone. 2018 is officially in the rear-view mirror, and we've gone hurtling into 2019 like the Sweet Meteor o' Death.

But before we get too deep into the New Year, we've reached that point where we reflect on all that happened in the previous year that was good and notable, and cast our votes as to what was the best of the best ("of the best, sir!")

So here we go again! It's time to pick the Critical Blast Best of the Year for Movies, Television, Actors, Books, and Comics -- and, of course, to pick our CRITICAL BLAST BOMBSHELL OF THE YEAR! So use the handy form below to pick from this year's nominees -- or suggest one that you think is deserving that we missed (so long as the work happened during 2018). Voting is open through the end of January, and on February 1 we'll start tabulating the results and announcing the winners!

So long, 2018! You gave us some great entertainment!

Sat
29
Dec

Westworld Season Two Takes a Disjointed, Non-Linear Approach to Storytelling

Westworld Season 2

One of the frequently repeated questions during WESTWORLD is, "Is this now?" It's a question the viewer struggles with as well, as we are never quite sure where we are in the narrative. How many times do we have to see Bernard (JEFFREY WRIGHT) found on that beach after the massacre that occurred at the end of first season? How can we tell what's truly happening if he's with Elsie (SHANNON WOODWARD) one moment, and then with corporate goons in the next scene with no transition?

Fri
14
Dec

Voltron: Legendary Defender's 8th and FINAL Season Trailer Debut

Every battle. Every challenge. Every character arc. Every episode has led to this, the 8th and FINAL season of VOLTRON: LEGENDARY DEFENDER!

For eight seasons we have watched this re-imagination of the classic animated series exceed expectations. The character development, while demonstrating a love for the original series, has allowed the paladins to grow into themselves organically. The trailer offers no dialogue but delivers the synthesized music we've come to love, as it flashes images across the screen to offer a glimpse of what we can expect. First shown at the New York City Comic-Con, you can now watch the trailer for the upcoming epic finale to what has been one of the best re-imagined shows in recent memory.

Thu
06
Dec

Pep Talk: Riverdale Episode 307, "The Man in Black"

Riverdale 307 Man in Black

The boys from Riverdale fled across the country, and the Man in Black followed.

Archie (KJ APA) and Jughead (COLE SPROUSE) have headed out on foot, following Archie's escape from a corrupt juvenile detention facility. Despite Archie's exoneration and reversal of the verdict, Archie still has to be on the run or run the risk of Hiram Lodge (MARK CONSUELOS) finding him. It was Hiram who set him up for a murder rap in the first place, and the mob boss isn't about to let Archie free so easily.

Thu
29
Nov

Pep Talk: Riverdale Episode 306: "Manhunter"

Things are getting seriously weird in RIVERDALE as Betty (LILI REINHART) and Jughead (COLE SPROUSE) won't let go of their investigation into the Gargoyle King and the addictive role-playing game of Griffins & Gargoyles. With the Warden having commited suicide via the traditional means of ascendance -- cyanide and blue fruit-like-flavored drink (Kraft Foods will seemingly never break the link to them and the Jim Jones tragedy that forever tainted their brand) -- Jughead is left without a primary suspect for the Gargoyle King. But Betty uncovers that their parents knew the Warden when they were playing G&G in high school, when he was the RROTC instructor. She lures all the parents to Veronica's speakeasy through forged invitations from the Gargoyle King, intent on interrogating them to find out which of yhem might have committed the first G&G murder. The finger of suspicion points conveniently to Darryl Doiley -- convenient, because he killed himself years ago.

Wed
28
Nov

Catching Up: The Flash Episode 507, "Oh Come All Ye Thankful"

Flash 507 Come All Ye Thankful

It's Thanksgiving on THE FLASH, and the parallel themes running triplicate through this plot are all about fathers and daughters, and the relationships that build between them.

Thu
15
Nov

Pop Talk: Riverdale Episode 305, "The Great Escape"

For all it's suspense, this episode of RIVERDALE isn't without some problems.

Betty (LILI REINHART), having learned the dark secret behind the game Griffons and Gargoyles and it's connection to the last generation, finds Jughead (COLE SPROUSE) steeped in the lore of the game as he continues to progress in it, in his attempt to get into the mind of the person behind it -- and the murders that follow it. The game is so addictive that even the aloof Cheryl Blossom (MADELAINE PETSCH) has gone full-on cosplay geek in the roleplay involved. And Jug is already finding secrets that confirms Griffons and Gargoyles is tied specifically to Riverdale itself: the mythical land, Eldevair, is an anagram for their town.

Thu
15
Nov

SYFY's Groundbreaking Hit, KRYPTON, Coming to Blu-Ray

While it didn't get off the ground very fast, after it was announced, SYFY produced a planet-shattering 1st season that exceeded most expectations.

With jaw-dropping plot twists and shocking revelations, KRYPTON "flipped the table" and turned everything we knew about Superman's lineage and history on its head. Starring Cameron Cuffe as Seg-El, "Superman's Grandfather", Krypton features a clash of ideologies, as a society that thrives off of its caste system is threatened by multiple outside sources.

Thu
08
Nov

Pep Talk: Riverdale Episode 304, "The Midnight Club"

Riverdale Midnight Club

As dark as RIVERDALE has gotten -- and remains even in this episode -- this was a fun chapter in that we get to go back to the late 80s / early 90s and see all the Riverdale parents when they were high school students -- played by the actors who portray their children in the current-time setting of the series.

When Alice Cooper (MADCHEN AMICK) realizes Betty (LILI REINHART) isn't going to drop her investigation into the deadly game Griffins & Gargoyles, she sits her down and reveals to her a dark chapter from her past, back when she was Alice Smith, a southside teen who had just discovered she was pregnant. When she get into a catfight with uptight Penelope Blossom (MADELAINE PETSCH), involving Sierra Samuels (ASHLEIGH MURRAY) and Hermione Gomez (CAMILA MENDES), the four girls find themselves in Saturday detention, joined by Fred Andrews (KJ APA) and FP Jones Jr (COLE SPROUSE).

Tue
06
Nov

Christmas Comes Early with Batman: The Complete Animated Series on Blu-ray

Batman Animated Series

The year 1992 marked a turning point for animated superhero adventure. After years of shows like SUPER FRIENDS and THE NEW ADVENTURES OF BATMAN AND ROBIN, the time was ripe for the Dark Knight to return to the screen, especially after the second coming of Batmania that followed the Tim Burton film starring Michael Keaton. Rumors began swirling on the prenatal Internet (BBSs in those days) of an animated Batman in the works, and there was even leaked a writers bible for the series written by J.M. Straczynski.  

Wed
31
Oct

Catching Up: The Flash Episode 504, "News Flash"

Flash 504 News Flash

Sometimes I watch an episode of THE FLASH and I'm all excited about the cool things that happened in the story. And then I catalog them in preparation for reviewing, and I thing, "Yeah, it was great except for this... and this... and this..." Eventually, I've picked it apart enough to realize that maybe I didn't like the episode as much as I initially thought I did.

Which is why "News Flash," in retrospect, is such a stinkeroo.

Here's what you need to know: When Flash (GRANT GUSTIN) and X/S (JESSICA PARKER KENNEDY) punched The Thinker's satellite into smithereens, those smithereens -- all infused with the same dark matter that once bathed the city at the beginning of the series -- fell where they had consequences. One of them created Cicada and his lightning-bolt dagger-of-power-dampening.

Wed
24
Oct

Catching Up: The Flash Episode 503, "The Death of Vibe"

Flash 503, Death of Vibe

I'm going on the record right now declaring that this episodes title is (a) a lie or (b) better be a lie.

This season's big bad, Cicada, wants to finish what he started with Vibe: killing him. Why he picked Vibe over Flash, or even Elongated Man, we can't say. Guess a man's got to have his priorities. Meanwhile, Team Flash is on the hunt for Cicada, who we learn from XS is a sort of metahuman serial killer -- who was never captured; not by Team Flash, the Legends, even the League (yes, that's a reference to a future Justice League).

XS's plan to find Cicada involves bringing in a detective. And it's not Ralph, which has to sting. No, it's time to approach... the Council of Wells. Yes, the WORST idea ever to inhabit the Flash Writers' Room is back -- or at least one of them is back. And he refers them to yet another Wells we've not yet met: Sherloque Wells, consulting detective with a string of ex-wives to whom he owes alimony.

Thu
18
Oct

Is a SUPERMAN TV Series from The CW On The Way?

With all the buzz around the upcoming ELSEWORLD's storyline for this year's CW Crossover event, Superman seems to be leading the charge.

Pictures have been leaked of Tyler Hoechlin wearing the black suit, which many fans are aware was cut from the JUSTICE LEAGUE movie. While it feels like maybe the CW was just trolling the DC Cinematic Universe, now it's starting to feel like something more.

Thu
18
Oct

Pep Talk: Riverdale Episode 302, "Fortune and Men's Eyes"

Riverdale 302 Fortune and Men's Eyes

Okay, I've got to quit saying how messed up RIVERDALE is, because every time I do so the writers find a way to make things even darker and more twisted.

Last episode, Jughead (COLE SPROUSE) found two bodies in the woods, with runes carved into their backs, while Betty (LILI REINHART) saw her mother (MADCHEN AMICK) and sister Polly (TIERA SKOVBYE) drop Polly's twin babies into a bonfire -- right before they floated up into the air and Betty collapsed in a seizure.

But the thing you were supposed to remember was that Archie went to a juvenile detention center, framed for a murder he didn't commit (but certainly knew about).

Wed
17
Oct

Catching Up: The Flash Episode 502, "Blocked"

Flash 502 Blocked

The fifth season of THE FLASH makes it two-in-a-row with some great storytelling. With Team Flash now knowing that Nora (JESSICA PARKER KENNEDY) is not trapped in this time period but here because The Flash (GRANT GUSTIN) never returns from his disappearance in the Crisis that sits five years down the road, Barry settles into the role of mentor to teach his future-daughter how to become the best Flash she can be. But XS is too eager to prove herself, and takes chances that put both her and her dad in danger.

It takes a conversation with Joe (JESSE L MARTIN) for Barry to realize what XS is doing, with the understanding that all the knowledge of her father comes to a museum built in tribute to him. So he takes the time to show her some Season 1 highlights where he made mistakes on his path to becoming a capable hero.

Thu
11
Oct

Pep Talk: Riverdale Episode 301, "Labor Day"

Riverdale 301 Labor Day

There's so much jaw-dropping suspension of disbelief in this premiere episode of RIVERDALE's third season, you'd almost think it was based on a comic book.

Archie (KJ APA) has been on trial all summer long for a murder he did not commit. Of course, he was there when it happened, he told nobody about it, and he knew who did it, but other than that he was innocent. And sure, he really did organize two vigilante gangs and physically assault an injured, bedridden teenager, but at heart he's just the boy next door.

Archie's defense lawyer really has his back on this one. She's his mother, Mary Andrews (MOLLY RINGWALD). Normally I'd have thought a lawyer would have to recuse herself from representing a close family member, but I'll confess I could be wrong on that, since I'm not a lawyer but just a casual viewer of proceedings. And she puts up a pretty good defense, too, given all the rational arguments made by the prosecution.

Wed
10
Oct

Catching Up: The Flash Episode 501, "Nora"

Flash 501, Nora

If you’ve ever wanted a practical demonstration of Einsteinian relativity, you can always rely on the man’s simple explanation: “An hour spent talking to a pretty girl can feel like a minute. A minute touching a hot stove can feel like an hour.” For us fans of THE FLASH, a summer waiting for the new season to begin can feel like an eternity, and the hour we spend watching it can go by in a second.

We pick up immediately where Season 4 finished: with the family and friends all gathered at the West home, when a young lady shows up claiming to be Nora West-Allen — Barry and Iris’s daughter from the future. She’s also a speedster who goes by the name XS. This, and a throwaway reference to Lightning Lad means the future of the Legion of Super-Heroes is closer than we thought. It also means there’s a Legion on this Earth — or is it the same Legion we saw on SUPERGIRL last season?

Mon
08
Oct

Yes, There Were Problems with Doctor Who's Premiere, But Jodie Whittaker Wasn't One of Them

Doctor Who - Jodie Whittaker

Meet Jodie Whittaker. For the foreseeable future, she’s The Doctor — and I’m completely fine with that. The idea that Doctor Who could regenerate in a female form had been telegraphed ever since we learned The Master had been reborn as Missy all those episodes ago. It was an intriguing concept, and one that could open up a cornucopia of new story ideas. For my part, I was hoping that the female Doctor was going to be Jenna Coleman, who as a prior companion had announced “I’m the Doctor” on more than one occasion, so that I hoped it was a bit of foreshadowing.

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