Archive for October 2017

Why Legends of Tomorrow’s Halloween Parody Was a Success

Full spoilers for DC's Legends of Tomorrow episode “Phone Home” continue below.

It looks like Stranger Things isn’t the only show embracing all that '80s goodness, as DC's Legends of Tomorrow continues its third season by delivering the perfect Halloween treat. Remember those pesky Dominators from last season’s crossover? Well, they're back, but in a different way than you might expect.

With the team fearing for Ray’s life, they journey back in time to Ivy Town circa 1988 to see what kind of time aberration could have caused this. To their surprise, it was a baby Dominator! The cute little guy, aptly named Gumball, perfectly parodies Steven Spielberg's 1982 classic film, E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial. The writers did an incredible job embracing the film, while also crafting a memorable episode that shines a new light on Ray Palmer’s backstory.

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DC’s Legends of Tomorrow: “Phone Home” Review

Warning: Full spoilers for the episode below.

Sometimes I wonder if Legends of Tomorrow will ever become too cute and lighthearted for its own good. The trailer for "Phone Home" made it seem as though this episode might go over the top, with its depiction of the team joining forces with young Ray Palmer for a saccharine-sweet spoof of E.T.: The Extra Terrestrial. But as always, the series manages to temper its goofy, earnest sense of humor with a touch of serious drama and a strong, if very dysfunctional team dynamic. "Phone Home" captures Legends at its most charming and lovable.

This episode makes no bones about the fact that it's lampooning E.T. Sure, there are plenty of other amusing references and callbacks to other films (including a great Aliens reference courtesy of Amaya), but this isn't a Stranger Things-style mashup of all things '80s. That said, the E.T. formula lent itself very well to this episode. The whole point was to explore the root of Ray's inflappably cheerful and optimistic personality. Who else would befriend a hungry alien he met in a sewer pipe?

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The Reason The Flash’s Main Villain Isn’t Very Mysterious

Tonight’s episode of The Flash saw Team Flash take another big step toward figuring out the identity of the Thinker and the nature of his master plan, which is strange considering we usually don’t learn important details about the main villain until much later in the season. As it turns out, that’s by design. We attended a press event where showrunner Andrew Kreisberg explained why the writers are taking a different approach this time around.

Warning: this article contains spoilers for “Elongated Journey Into Night”!

At the end of the episode, Ralphy Dibny finally comes around and gives Barry the name of mysterious villain, DeVoe. But this wasn’t the first time Barry heard the name (thanks to the wonders of time-travel, natch), so he already has a headstart when he goes to work on the clue with the rest of Team Flash. As Kreisberg explains, the show usually keeps the main villain’s identity a secret until the endgame, but holding onto that information for too long can cause issues, so now they’re revealing just about everything to Team Flash (and the audience) in the first nine episodes of the season, which will all lead to a big confrontation with the Thinker.

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The Flash: “Elongated Journey Into Night” Review

Warning: Full spoilers for the episode below.

The Flash seems to be in decent shape right now. It’s lighter and sillier than it’s been in a while and finally breaking the mold with its main, season-long villain. But I wish I could muster up a better adjective than “decent.” There’s just something missing with the show’s current direction, and nothing about this guest star-driven episode did much to change that.

“Elongated Journey Into Night” introduced two new characters to the Arrowverse, one of whom seems like a fun but forgettable one-off guest star and the other who promises to play a big role in the unfolding Thinker conflict. The former is Gypsy’s superhumanly cranky father, Breacher (Machete’s Danny Trejo). The latter is Ralph Dibny (The Young and the Restless’ Hartley Sawyer).

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Henry Cavill: DC Films Would’ve Struggled “Even If Marvel Didn’t Exist”

Henry Cavill has acknowledged that DC's cinematic universe - or whatever we're calling it now - hasn't exactly had the smoothest ride.

In an extremely candid interview with The Rake Magazine (captured by this Tweet), the Superman actor said that comparisons to rival Marvel haven't exactly been its biggest problem.

"Even if Marvel didn't exist, we'd struggle," he told the publication. "There was a style that

were going for, an attempt to be different and look at things from a slightly different perspective, which hasn't necessarily worked."

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Planet Hulk Comic Writer Loves Thor: Ragnarok

Planet Hulk comic writer Greg Pak has expressed his love for the newest Marvel Cinematic Universe movie Thor: Ragnarok.

In a series of tweets, Pak praised director Taika Waititi's work on the film, saying, "Just got back from a Thor: Ragnarok screening—and I absolutely loved it. Huge, huge high five, Taika Waititi!"

Pak went on to say it was a "total thrill seeing all those Planet Hulk elements and characters" in the film.

Thor: Ragnarok pays homage to the Planet Hulk ark and features aspects of Hulk's alien world adventures despite being a Thor title. In fact, Bruce Banner actor Mark Ruffalo told IGN that Ragnarok is the first in a three-movie story arc for the Hulk.

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The Flash: Danny Trejo Couldn’t Stop Laughing While Playing His Grizzled Bounty Hunter

Tonight’s episode of The Flash, “Elongated Journey Into Night,” introduces a new character named Breacher played by action star Danny Trejo. Trejo is known for using his cold stares and gravelly voice to play tough, intimidating characters, and while Breacher is certainly in that vein, calling for a dead-serious performance, Trejo couldn’t keep it together during filming.

“I love comedy. Being fierce ain't that hard, you just show up. I like the way they put both menacing and funny together. The whole thing would sometimes just crack me up,” Trejo said at a press event to screen and talk about the episode.

On top of being one of the most feared and ruthless bounty hunters across the Multiverse, Breacher is Gypsy’s father, so you won’t be surprised to hear he’s not happy to find her in Cisco’s arms when he comes for a visit. It’s not long before he tells Cisco he’s going to hunt him like one of his bounties, and unceremoniously begins a countdown from 10. To say Breacher is extreme is an understatement, with the way he switches in the blink of an eye from showing affection for his daughter to murderous disdain for Cisco. Trejo said they had to keep redoing scenes because he kept laughing at his lines where he had to make ridiculous threats on Cisco’s life while keeping a straight face.

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This Comic Belongs on Your Horror Movie Binge List

Now that it’s October 31st, Halloween devotees might be winding down on their horror must-watch lists, but there’s one more essential piece of frightful storytelling you should experience: Saga of the Swamp Thing, Book 3 (issues 35-41 of the Swamp Thing series, previously collected and published as Swamp Thing Vol. 3: The Curse). The entire series is a fantastic example of the pulp/horror genre, but this story arc is one of the best works to come from the brilliant collaborative team of writer Alan Moore and artists Stephen Bissette and John Totleben, certainly deserving of a place on your shelf between classic Frankenstein movies and Tales From the Crypt DVDs.

Some background information is helpful, but for the most part you’d be fine diving into the series at the point that Book 3 begins. Anthropomorphic vegetable swamp creature Alec just wants to protect his fellow humans, animals, and earth from threats to their existence, which usually take the shape of big game hunters, power-hungry scientists, and supernatural entities. That’s about it in a nutshell. From Book 3’s exciting plot featuring updated classic horror monsters to its mindblowing (and occasionally stomach-churning) artwork, below we’ve outlined a few of the reasons you should spend some valuable Halloween hours on this series, and give your Cronenberg and Carpenter films a much-deserved rest.

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