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Author Archive for Matt Fowler

The Walking Dead’s Midseason Premiere is Sad, Too Long

Warning: Full spoilers for the episode below.

Ohhhh.

So it was all a dream! Or was it? Or...I don't know.

I guess the mystery seasonal "flash-forward" snippets weren't a flash-forward at all - which many fans started doubting back when Carl revealed he was bitten (and therefore couldn't be in the bearded-Rick future like he was, off-screen, in the season premiere). It was all Carl's idealized endgame. It's the world of mercy and forgiveness and cooperation he's been dreaming of. Which was basically the future Rick once wanted for everyone, particularly Carl and Judith, back before he became consumed with eliminating Negan.

And the little girl we thought might be baby Grace, because of how much older Rick looked in these scenes, was actually Judith. Carl, as it turned out, was just imagining an overly-aged version of Rick even though it was only supposed to be six or seven years from now. And a Rick a mysterious limp too (a nod to the comics here...designed to make some fans think it was a time jump?).

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The Tick’s Second Half is Sloppy But Silly

This is a spoiler-free review of episodes 7-12 of Amazon's The Tick - the second half of the show's first season.

The Tick - which has already been renewed for a second season by Amazon - drops the final six episodes of its first season this Friday, February 23rd. And whereas the first half of this run was dedicated to the set up and formation of Tick and Arthur as a team (along with the idea Tick might even be imaginary), these remaining chapters round out the full adventure aspects of the series - including a final showdown with The Terror.

The humor still holds up here, thankfully, as does this show's merging of daffiness with a TV-MA language grid. None of the f-bombs take away from the goofiness and Peter Serafinowicz's Tick is still marvelous. Since this particular Tick story is solidly an Arthur redemption arc, having focused heavily on the poor young man's trauma during the first half of the season, Tick is relegated, more often than not, to being Arthur's booming, boneheaded sidekick - capable of feverishly funny platitude-salads and thunderous feats of strength.

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How Many People Know Who Batman Is in the DCEU?

While not as easy to piece together as - say - figuring out Clark Kent is actually Superman, anyone who's determined enough, and searches hard enough, could surely surmise that Batman is billionaire Bruce Wayne.

Still, you want it to be a challenge for that person, right? They shouldn't just be able to stumble across the information, especially if they weren't even actively looking for it. But ever since Alfred escorted Vicki Vale into the Batcave back in 1989 because he thought she was Bruce's soulmate after one date, the Batman films have had some issues when it comes to keeping secrets. Even Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy had the Caped Crusader clueing in those close to him about his alter ego.

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Every Upcoming Star Wars Movie

With the first trailer for Solo: A Star Wars Story dropping this past Monday, and news breaking of Game of Thrones' David Benioff and D. B. Weiss developing their own new series of Star Wars films, it's time to get the full rundown on all the Star Wars movies on the horizon.

From scoundrels to Jedi masters to bounty hunters, we've cooked up a list featuring all the upcoming Star Wars projects. While some are locked and others are just strong rumors, one thing's for sure - there are passionate plans in the works to give us A LOT of Star Wars, whether it's a story centered on a known beloved character or an entirely new cosmic adventure.

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The X-Files Digs into Skinner’s Past…and it’s Kind of Dull

Warning: Full spoilers for the episode below.

Guest star Haley Joel Osment (who's making headlines these days thanks to bizarre airport meltdowns in Las Vegas) added a sprinkle of spice to an otherwise humdrum outing in "Kitten" - a chapter centered on Skinner's experience with experimental fear gas in Vietnam.

I don't think anyone is outwardly opposed to a Skinner-centric episode - and "Kitten" wasn't even a full solo adventure since half the story featured Mulder and Scully looking for him - but how invested are we really in the question "How did Skinner first come to mistrust shadowy government agencies?" Were any of us actively losing sleep over Walter's "stalled career," or wondering why a company man of three plus decades hadn't been promoted? It's TV. I feel like most of us might not be wholly interested in supporting characters' career paths.

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Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD Delivers Some Dark Twists

Warning: Full spoilers for the episode below.

Agents of SHIELD delivered up some really dark twists this week, injecting the entire Season 5 space saga with some new life. And not a moment too soon, right?

The whole notion of "the loop" got addressed fully this week (it was briefly discussed in "Best Laid Plans," and only sort of danced around before that) when Yo-Yo came face to face with her future self - a tortured and tormented version who'd been killed and resurrected an obscene amount of times and now acted as Kasius' subservient "seer."

It was a really warped turn and I kind of loved it. It provided this story with the shot in the arm it needed while directly addressing the possibility that everything our heroes have been doing up until this point was futile. The agents were always destined to see the destruction they cause before they go back in time and wind up causing it. And poor future Yo-Yo knows, from having been on the other side, that nothing she says to her past self in this face-to-face moment will change anything.

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Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD Delivers Some Dark Twists

Warning: Full spoilers for the episode below.

Agents of SHIELD delivered up some really dark twists this week, injecting the entire Season 5 space saga with some new life. And not a moment too soon, right?

The whole notion of "the loop" got addressed fully this week (it was briefly discussed in "Best Laid Plans," and only sort of danced around before that) when Yo-Yo came face to face with her future self - a tortured and tormented version who'd been killed and resurrected an obscene amount of times and now acted as Kasius' subservient "seer."

It was a really warped turn and I kind of loved it. It provided this story with the shot in the arm it needed while directly addressing the possibility that everything our heroes have been doing up until this point was futile. The agents were always destined to see the destruction they cause before they go back in time and wind up causing it. And poor future Yo-Yo knows, from having been on the other side, that nothing she says to her past self in this face-to-face moment will change anything.

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Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD: “Best Laid Plans” Review

Warning: Full spoilers for the episode below.

Marvel's Agents of SHIELD worked to simplify and streamline its convoluted time-travel story this week, with "Best Laid Plans" - but not by much.

The biggest stride here was the full-on acknowledgment, by Fitz, that the team was in a time-loop. That they were destined to travel a certain path that constantly pushed them ahead through time and then back through time. They're brought to the future to be told how, basically, they inadvertently destroyed the world - while trying to save it (from aliens pursuers that they bring back with them from the future, probably). They then, forever and always, figure out a way to go back and...do the thing where they inadvertently destroy the world.

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The X-Files: “The Lost Art of Forehead Sweat” Review

Warning: Full spoilers for the episode below.

"I'm Fox freakin' Mulder, you punks!" 

Perhaps one of the reasons that X-Files' modern-era mythology episodes don't land well (aside from them also being a turgid mess) is that the show, now decades removed from its heyday, works best when it's lovingly skewering itself and presenting us with parody.

Season 10's "Mulder and Scully Meet the Were-Monster," was arguably (though I have a fairly strong argument) the best chapter of that 2016 run, and a big part of its success rested with the stars, their chemistry, and how much fun it seemed like they were having cutting loose, free from the usual bump-in-the-night dourness. As we've witnessed with latter day X-Files, there are definitely moments where it feels like Duchovny and Anderson "show up" more than others. Such was the case, this year, with "The Lost Art of Forehead Sweat" - an outrageously funny, outside-looking-in chapter that explored/skewered the phenomenon known as the Mandela Effect (or is it the Mengele Effect? or am having a Mengele Effect about the Mandela Effect?)

Continue reading…

The X-Files: “The Lost Art of Forehead Sweat” Review

Warning: Full spoilers for the episode below.

"I'm Fox freakin' Mulder, you punks!" 

Perhaps one of the reasons that X-Files' modern-era mythology episodes don't land well (aside from them also being a turgid mess) is that the show, now decades removed from its heyday, works best when it's lovingly skewering itself and presenting us with parody.

Season 10's "Mulder and Scully Meet the Were-Monster," was arguably (though I have a fairly strong argument) the best chapter of that 2016 run, and a big part of its success rested with the stars, their chemistry, and how much fun it seemed like they were having cutting loose, free from the usual bump-in-the-night dourness. As we've witnessed with latter day X-Files, there are definitely moments where it feels like Duchovny and Anderson "show up" more than others. Such was the case, this year, with "The Lost Art of Forehead Sweat" - an outrageously funny, outside-looking-in chapter that explored/skewered the phenomenon known as the Mandela Effect (or is it the Mengele Effect? or am having a Mengele Effect about the Mandela Effect?)

Continue reading…