This Week in DCTV – 12/3/21

So we have a new member joining our little group of DCTV reviewers this week, April has decided that doing Smallville reviews wasn’t quite enough and wanted to get in on all the new action and what an exciting time it is!

Season 1 Episode 3 ‘The Perks of Not Being a Wallflower’

Jim – Ok so it’s clear, I have a new favourite show! I love everything they’re doing in this and episode 3 is no exception. the balance between Superman heroics and Smallville daily life is great I loved the Superman Vs unknown meta fight, how he turned up when Lois hit her emergency signal button was just awesome. I’m defintely seeing the breakdown in the relationship of the twins, I think we might be getting a Superboy Prime kind of scenario, which I am totally cool with, also a new big bad at the end with heat vision, who could it be??

Rob – I felt like we got a lot more Superman action this week which was great. I’m really enjoying the relationship between Jordan and Jonathan and I think we are witnessing the seeds of a broken relationship between the two of them. Jonathan is having a very different high school experience to what he was previously used to and sports seemed to be his thing. Now that Jordan is muscling in on that surely there’s going to be a rift!?

The scene in the motel was the highlight for me this week. Who the hell was that guy and what the hell is going on? I can’t wait to find out.

Alan – A slight dip in quality for me this week, but only very slight. Mainly because  I got a sense of “movie special effects on TV budget” with the early bridge sequence.

That’s a minor gripe however and, outside of that, still a very enjoyable episode. We got to see Lois doing more into Morgan Edge, while being told she’s not at the Daily Planet any more, and the nerdy kid getting some sweet revenge on the football bullies with some maybe not quite super strength, but certainly what appears to be elevated.

I didn’t think it was quite on the level of the first two, but it’s still the best thing the CW have done with DC for a while.

A worthy successor to Arrow as the flagship show.

Justin – This show continues to deliver high quality storytelling and brilliant visuals. I am thoroughly impressed with each new episode. The writing and acting are simply stellar. Jordan Elsass and Alex Garfin shine as the twins navigate high school and football. Their brotherly relationship is a joy to watch. It is great to see brothers that honestly respect each other even though they get on each other’s nerves at times.

I also find the mother-daughter relationship between Inde Navarette’s Sarah and Emanuelle Chriqui’s Lana very compelling. It was great seeing their bond strengthen in this episode. This show does an incredible job balancing drama and action. Speaking of action, the Superman versus Subjekt-11 fight is just another example of the top notch fight choreography and visual effects on this series.

Can’t wait to see where the story goes from here!

April – This show ticks all the right boxes for me in that it has just the right amount of epic action scenes, combined with family drama, intrigue and most importantly a lot of heart. This week it focussed more on Jonathan and Jordan’s struggles with fitting in at high school, and as a bonus we got to see Tyler play the dorky Dad role to perfection!

The episode also continued to progress Lois’ investigation into Morgan Edge. I enjoyed the scene where Superman fought off a seemingly super powered human to save Lois, as it wouldn’t be a Superman show without Lois getting herself into trouble on a frequent basis. We also got a little more insight into the Cushing family, specifically Lana’s turbulent relationship with her daughter. I hope we get to see more of a friendship build between Lana and Lois as opposed to some sort of rivalry. Already looking forward to next week!

Season 7 Episode 2 ‘The Speed of Thought’

JimSo episode 2 of the Flash is a big improvement over the premiere, the team is back together and things are getting very interesting! Barry’s new speed thinking starts off well but that doesnt last long much is the way for team Flash lol Grant is defintely getting to stretch his acting muscles early in the season and it’s nice to see, he plays this character so well, I hope we can get back to a fun Flash soon though.

its great to see Cisco and Caitlyn back, I’ve missed them but I am intrigued how all of the crew work together now, there sure is a lot of them! Also we didnt have to wait long for the ressurection of Wells, but how is this version going to differ, does he know everything the other Wells did or is he coming in with no memory at all, either way, awesome!

Rob – I’m going to have to say this episode is up there as one of the best episodes we’ve ever had of The Flash. It was slower paced than last week which is good, but still manage to pack a huge amount in. Was it hugely convenient that Barry gained super fast thinking for the benefit of the plot? Yes! Was it still absolute brilliance? Yes!

It was a fun time watching Barry discover his super smarts and in particular, the scene with the different boards was great. I’m really pleased Cisco and Caitlin/ Frost are back even if this episode has created a whole new battle between Cisco and Barry. Seeing Frost take Barry’s speed was something I never knew I needed, Danielle Panabaker must have loved that brief moment of being a speedster (albeit an icy one). Iris is free from the mirrorverse!! Barry’s decision is sure to have huge repercussions for him and the rest of the team.
… and let’s just get to it … OMG!!!! OG Harrison Wells is back! That scene really tied in brilliantly with the opening homage to all the different Wells. This is going to be SO interesting! I really, really hope season 7 keeps to this standard.

Justin – Only two episodes in and this season of The Flash is simply stellar! This episode, clearly meant to be a finale lead-in, was full of surprises and tension. Grant Gustin once again delivers an incredible performance as a Spock-like emotionless Barry. This well written episode reflects the passion that the cast and crew has for these characters and the source material. Eric Wallace has done an incredible job at the helm of this series and has taken it to new heights.

It was great to have Carlos Valdes and Danielle Panabaker back as well. I missed Cisco’s humor and Frost’s sarcastic wit. Speaking of Frost, I was completely blown away by the speedster Frost vs Flash sequence. The visual effects were top notch! Also, color me intrigued with the reveal of the original Earth-1 Harrison Wells returning.

Can’t wait for the next episode!

Season 4 Episode 5 ‘The Book Of Ruin Chapter One: Picking Up The Pieces’

Justin – This episode, while compelling overall, fell flat in a few places for me. The acting and family moments were strong, but the constant discord is beginning to weigh the season down. I also found the surprising recasting to be a bit strange given that this is the final season. Given China McClain’s decision to leave the series, I felt that writing her character off, while not ideal, would’ve been more appropriate. Simply put: a recasting in the final season of the show is more than awkward. However, I look forward to seeing Laura Kariuki in this role and wish her the best.

Hopefully the season picks up and finishes strong!

 

This Week in DCTV – 5/3/21

He’s back!! The Flash joins our screens once again, lets find out what the team thought of the season 7 opener among the other shows this week…

Season 1 Episode 2 ‘Heritage’

Jim – I thought it might be difficult to follow up what was an amazing pilot but episode 2 kept things on par! We get more development for Jonathan on Jordan (who as expected is named after Jor-El, nice touch) I loved the scenes in the Fortress meeting the new Jor-El and Angus Macfadyen brings a new version to the screen and a new version of the Kryptonian costume which I really dig.

I feel like this show is going to be very character heavy and I like that, quite often a Superman show can focus on his feats more than anything else but this is breaking down the character in a very human way and tbh I love it!

Rob – Wow, wow, bloody wow! I will admit I was worried that the second episode wouldn’t stand up to the brilliance of the pilot but wow – it totally did.

For me, this episode was very much showcasing Lois as the head of the family and as an accomplished journalist. Elizabeth Tulloch is giving us brilliance! I also liked the take on Jonathan starting school in Smallville and seeing this kid who was clearly very popular at his old school dealing with being the underdog now is interesting. The end of the episode was flipping awesome and this storyline with Captain Luthor has completely reeled me in. I’m already finding myself looking forward to the new episode each week.

Alan – I was really pressed for time this week, but I made sure I found time to watch this show to see if the quality continued from episode one. What can I say? Superman & Lois smashed it again. A journey to the Fortress of Solitude to see Jor-El! Awesome, it felt like I was a kid watching Superman The Movie again.

I know we are only two episodes in, but so far so good. I really like the characters, I think Tyler Hoechlin makes a great Superman, and Bitsie Tulloch is great as Lois. Lois is already off and, well, being Lois Lane, and I’m enjoying the family group dynamic. I’m really looking forward to seeing how they build on it and what more we get. Roll on next week!!

JustinSuperman & Lois delivers once again! With Lois front and center this episode, this exciting and revelatory hour made up for what seemed like a lack of the strong intrepid reporter in the premiere. Bitsie Tulloch shines as Lane, who begins her quest to bring down the charming, but secretly devilish Morgan Edge (who now is British due to Crisis apparently). I loved seeing her stick to her guns against both Edge and Kyle Cushing, who continues to be blind to the billionaire’s shady dealings. I am intrigued to see how she continues her investigation now under the banner of the Smallville Gazette.

The writers also do a beautiful job of tying Lois to her son Jonathan as the two non-powered members of the family. They both make sacrifices by moving to Smallville. They do it though out of love for Clark and Jordan, who gain more by the move than they do. Speaking of Jordan and Clark, I enjoyed seeing them bond at the Fortress though their journey ends in disappointment. It is also refreshing to see the twins still have that brotherly love for each other though they are still jealous of each other at times. Captain Luhtor’s backstory was fascinating as well!

Can’t wait for more!

Season 7 Episode 1 ‘All’s Well That Ends Wells’

Jim – So season 7 starts off with trying to tie up all the things that we should’ve got at the end of season 6 so with that I think the season premiere felt a little over full, there were just so many stories going that probably would’ve been spread over the last couple of eps last season.

However, I have always enjoyed the Flash, it has all the heart and comedy that just makes it a joy to watch and I’m looking forward to this season maybe slowing down a touch and opening out the story again, though I would like to move away from the Eva story sooner rather than later and it has to be said I dont know if I like a world of Flash without Wells in it, he has always been one of my favourite characters and I hope they find a way to bring him back somehow!

Rob – I feel like at this point The Flash is like an old friend so I am very happy to have the show back and the comfort it brings. Jumping straight back into the story made the opening scene feel grand and they dealt with Ralph’s absence pretty swiftly. One thing the show always does well is humour and I do really enjoy it’s more light hearted moments. I totally appreciated how brilliant Grant Gustin was when Barry was infused with the spirits of the other Wells. Who knew he was so good at accents!

I missed Cisco and Caitlin but it gave us a chance to reacquaint with Allegra and Chester and see them take place in the team and interact with Barry. Tom Cavanagh, as always, was excellent!!! The ending with Eva was intriguing and I’m wondering how that reveal will impact on what’s going to happen. Someone needs to hurry up and save Iris though.

JustinThe Flash is finally back after nearly a year! This premiere (though not initially intended to be one) kicked off the season in grand and emotional fashion. “All’s Wells That Ends Wells” proved to be quite a literal title.

Surprisingly, this exciting episode served as a beautiful send-off for the various versions of Harrison Wells as played brilliantly by Tom Cavanagh. Wells has been a major part of this series since the start so this “goodbye” hit hard for me. I admit I was nearly brought to tears (as Barry was) during the emotional sequence. Cavanagh and Grant Gustin delivered incredible performances once again in this episode. However, as noted by showrunner Eric Wallace, this is not the end of Tom Cavanagh on the series as Wells did not bid farewell to Cisco or Caitlin whom he was also close with. I for one am glad at this news as Cavanagh is one of my favorite actors in the Arrowverse. It will be interesting to see what’s next for him.

Season 2 Episode 6 ‘Do Not Resuscitate’

Justin – This episode was perhaps my favorite episode of the season so far. The writers continue to do a commendable job juggling the various characters while properly giving each of them compelling motivations. Coryana has now become a major focus for all of the characters. It is not just a race to find Kate, but now the Desert Rose.

This episode also focused on the various relationships of the series. While Ryan and Angelique’s relationship fell apart once again, her bond with Luke strengthened finally. In addition, Ryan saves Sophie, despite her feelings about her and the Crows. I hope this is the beginning of a partnership and friendship between the two. Another highlight of the episode for me was the Mary and Jacob dynamic. It was refreshing to see their father-daughter relationship explored more as it isn’t usually a focus.

I look forward to what is next!

Season 4 Episode 4 ‘The Book of Reconstruction: Chapter Four: A Light in the Darkness’

Justin – This is easily my favorite episode of the season so far. The emotional core of the show continues to shine as Jefferson and his family deal with their collective trauma. Tobias’s plans begin to take shape with his secret assassination of the Mayor and his interest in Lynn’s research. Marvin “Krondon” Jones III continues to deliver brilliant performances as this now beloved villain. His one liner calling the Pierce family “the chocolate covered Incredibles” was hilarious.

This episode featured some deeply emotional moments with Jefferson, Lynn and Jennifer. Speaking of Jen, this chapter also delivered a shocking moment as Jen seemingly disintegrated. I sincerely hope that this is not the official end of the character. China Anne McClain is to appear in only a few episodes this season so it is entirely possible that this could be what leads to her exit. All in all, this was another great episode!

 

This Week in DCTV – 26/2/21

Superman & Lois join the line up this week along with Batwoman and Black Lightning, lets see what the team thought of them!

Superman & Lois

Jim – Wow what a debut!! I have to say this was possibly the strongest pilot the Arrowverse has ever had, the longer run time made it feel epic and the introduction to the Kent kids is fantastic, a new take on a story that we thought we knew! Tyler is great as both Clark and Superman and the chemistry with Elizabeth’s Lois is just so natural and their role as parents to Jordan and Jonathan fits so well.

The whole episode flows really nicely between Superman doing what he does best and the challenge of him and Lois being parents to two teenagers. The Easter eggs and plots twists really added to the whole story. This episode made me laugh, cry and I just want more now!

Rob – YES YES YES!!!!! What a fantastic pilot. This has such a different tone to the other CW shows and I don’t think I’ve been this invested in any of the others after just one episode. I felt like I was watching a movie. Tyler and Elizabeth have great on screen chemistry. Tyler plays both Clark and Superman brilliantly. Love the new look, love the new suit. Jordan and Alex are great as the twins and I’m digging the aspect of Clark and Lois being parents. This is fresh and exciting and I’m already buzzing for the next episode. Lastly, I loved the scene with Jordan Kent playing Injustice 2!

Alan – What a start!! I loved every second of this! The show feels different to any other the “Arrowverse” shows which, for me, makes if feel fresh, but at the same time it felt like Superman.

The show is full of little references and Easter eggs and references, I’ve watched it twice to try and spot them after I saw a few the first time. I love that it puts Superman in a world where he is dealing with all stuff real people have to deal with. Moody kids, work troubles, family issues. This felt like parts of my life, and was so relatable.

I’m all in, and looking forward to seeing where they go with it. For me, it’s the best pilot of any CW DC show so far. If the whole season keeps at this level, it will be must watch TV.

Justin – UP, UP, AND AWAY!!

At long last, the highly anticipated series, Superman & Lois, has finally premiered! The Man Of Steel has officially returned to the silver screen in a new series which places him in a new position: fatherhood! This exciting addition to the CW’s Arrowverse sees Clark Kent (Tyler Hoechlin) and his beloved wife and world famous reporter Lois Lane (Elizabeth Tulloch) face parenthood while juggling their respective jobs.

Now this is what a Superman and Lois series is supposed to be! Full of hope, heroics, and optimism, this series captures the best of these characters and places them in a fascinating situation: parenthood. The cast and crew deliver a simply superb pilot featuring great action, powerful emotion, and compelling storytelling. Tyler Hoechlin and Bitsie Tulloch are phenomenal in the title roles continuing from their appearances in previous Arrowverse shows. Jordan Elsass and Alexander Garfin shine as the Kent twins delivering powerful performances. The rest of the supporting casting compliment them nicely fleshing out this fascinating world. I am thoroughly impressed by not only the writing and performances, but the visual effects and movie quality cinematography. This is shot beautifully and though it shares the same continuity with the other Arrowverse shows, its look sets it apart and allows it to be its own thing. I personally feel that this trend was started with DC’s Stargirl, which also has the same quality. All in all, I am fully on board with this series and can’t wait to see where the story goes!

Batwoman

Rob – The issue I’m having is that for us to truly see Javicia as Batwoman we need to move on from Ruby Rose. The Kate storyline seems to be getting bigger and bigger rather than just quickly wrapping up her character. It’s boring me and it’s distracting. Just give us Ryan – we love her! So unfortunately this episode was another miss for me, even the Jack Napier name drop couldn’t save it.

Alan – The hunt for Alice continues, fine I guess. The problem that I have is that there are now something like three separate searches for Kate all running alongside each other, and I’m struggling to see where this is going. Unless they’ve managed to talk Ruby Rose into some kind of appearance, I’m not sure what the payoff is, maybe I’m missing something.

What was  interesting thing for me was that Ryan seems to having some kind of lasting effects or slowly developing effects to the Kryptonite that pierced the Batsuit previously, so we’ll have to see what that means.

I watched it after Superman and Lois, which showed me that that’s the thing Batwoman is only just fine. It’s not exceptional. I’ll stick with it for now, but if I find myself short of time in a week, at the moment it’s now the one that would be dropped.

JustinBatwoman once again delivers an intriguing and compelling episode. This season is doing a fantastic job of weaving together each character’s storylines together as well as including important social themes. Javicia Leslie’s Ryan is now fully integrated into this show for me personally. She no longer feels like a placeholder, although the spectre of Kate still looms. It is great to see her bond with the rest of Team Batwoman especially Luke (Camrus Johnson). Their scene on the balcony of Wayne Tower was deeply moving. Luke is finally starting to warm up to her and realizes they have things in common. This episode delves further into social issues such as corruption in law enforcement which is especially relevant today. The show handles this well unlike others that are oftentimes too heavy handed.

Lincoln Clauss’s Wolf Spider was a great addition to the show this episode. I enjoyed this take on the character and the representation it provides.

Rachel Skarsten continues to shine as Alice! I for one am glad the writers have more stories to tell with her that are not solely tied to Kate.

I am intrigued to see where the story goes from here!

Black Lightning

JustinBlack Lightning continues its streak of enjoyable episodes! This episode asks two interesting questions: “Who is Jefferson without Black Lightning?” and “What is Freeland without Black Lightning?” The series begins to answer these questions with Jefferson beginning to step out from behind his alter-ego’s shadow. In addition, the city is in shambles after Black Lightning’s disappearance. Crime is on the rise and his kids are left to save the city themselves. This episode also continues to showcase Lynn’s struggle with identity and being her true self. I must commend the writers and actors for showcasing this aspect of superheroism and presenting more human stories. So far, this season has the potential to be a special closing chapter for the series.

 

Man Of Steel Review

So here is my next review in my Superman movie series, Man Of Steel, the first in what was supposed to be the new Zack Snyder DC Universe otherwise known as the Snyderverse, funny looking back after all this time as to how exactly that all went! But that’s a conversation for another review, this time we are just going to look at this movie on its own, what it did well, what I wasn’t a fan of and my overall feeling now after rewatching it again.

So lets start with this, visually this film is stunning, one thing Zack Snyder knows how to do well is make a fantastic looking film. The first thing we are introduced to is this incredible vision of Krypton, very different from the other movies but much close in my opinion to the comics, the landscapes, the scope of it, the suits, this planet is fully realised and adds so much more gravitas to it when the inevitable happens! I’m gonna come right out and say it Russell Crowe is my favourite interpretation of Jor-El, he cares about this planet and you can tell, he’s spent so long trying to save it and even at the end he does everything he can to save what he can of his homeworld, I love it all…… well all except those prison pods that look like they were bought from Love Honey, that’s definitely an artistic choice lol

Michael Shannon as Zod is excellent, different enough from Terrance Stamp that you don’t really compare them but still with enough passion that you can kinda see where he’s coming from at points, you know until he tries to terraform Earth, not cool Zod, no cool!! And all the additional Kryptonian zealots really add to the overall threat to Earth and Antje Traue as Faora is an absolute badass!

So lets talk Superman, Henry Cavill is an amazing Superman he has that quiet strength but immense passion for life that is a fundamental part of Superman as a character and I really like that, he looks great in that suit and overall just awesome, however here is where things don’t really gel for me, obviously this is a different take on the character and I dig that I don’t want to see the same things over and over again and I really don’t mind sad Clark trying to find his place in the world, what I do struggle with is this version of Ma and Pa Kent, they have always been Kal-Els humanity, they ground him and show him how to be a good person, in this film they are definitely not that! Its odd to say but Jor-El has more humanity than Jonathan Kent, my favourite line of this film will always be this from Jor-El –‘You will give the people of Earth an ideal to strive towards. They will race behind you, they will stumble, they will fall. But in time, they will join you in the sun, Kal. In time, you will help them accomplish wonders.’ all of this is what Superman is, but then you have Pa Kent telling Clark to hide who he is, I dunno It just doesn’t sit right with me.

Lois can be a difficult character to crack, you need strength and tenacity without making her a unlikeable and Amy Adams nails it, I have no issue with her knowing Clark’s secret straight away, she’s a world class reporter it just makes sense and the scenes between them are exactly how you’d imagine their relationship to be, they work best as a team not Superman just saving her all the time and I really like that about this film.

Now to tackle the controversial ending of ‘Superman doesn’t kill’ well he does, he has, probably will again, does he like it, of course not but if there are no other options he does what is needed to save the world, he has to make the hard decisions for the betterment of mankind and always puts them first, that’s what Superman is, that’s why he’s an inspiration, so ultimately that didnt really bother me too much.

Overall I really like this film, it’s aged really well and sure while there are things that I’m not a huge fan of there’s more than enough that I love to make this an enjoyable film and one that I’ll happily watch over and over again. Oh also Hanz Zimmers soundtrack is incredible and for me Superman’s main theme from it is nearly as iconic as John Williams, not quite, but very nearly!!

If you haven’t seen this in a while definitely have a rewatch and enjoy it as a stand alone Superman movie, we will get into the DCU issues next review when I tackle Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice!

Superman: Man of Tomorrow Review

Superman: Man of Tomorrow opens a new chapter for the DC animated universe, telling the character’s all familiar origin story but with a fresh spin throwing in some badass villains.

This movie doesn’t focus too much on Clark’s early years and instead practically throws us straight into the action. Darren Criss voices the man of steel and his talents give us a fresh faced, younger hero than we may have seen before. We see him experience pivotal moments such as starting work at The Daily Planet, meeting Lois Lane and being presented with his super suit, which was one of the highlights of the movie. We definitely need more Darren as Superman!

As much as we all love Superman, the villains really compliment each other well, all bringing something different for Superman to battle. The arrival of bounty hunter, Lobo (Ryan Hurst) gives Superman a chance to explore his powers. Lobo is a fantastic character and as big as the threat he poses when he arrives on Earth, the humour he brings almost has you willing him to succeed. Ryan Hurst does a truly fantastic job. The evolution of Parasite (Brett Dalton) plays out so well and really does convey the aspect that villains aren’t always ALL bad. What I especially liked about having Parasite in this movie is that it introduced an element of horror to it. Of course it wouldn’t be a Superman movie without Lex Luthor. Zachary Quinto does a great job in portraying a sneaky, scheming, slithering Lex.

As action packed as Man of Tomorrow is, there are some emotionally fuelled moments thrown in. Superman’s relationship with Martian Manhunter (Ike Amadi) is another real highlight of the movie and there’s a big moment which will have you gasping and maybe even shedding a tear. The initial sparks between Superman/ Clark and Lois Lane (Alexandra Daddario) are captured brilliantly too.

Overall, Man of Tomorrow is really enjoyable. It has heart, humour, hijinks and even a little nudity which will keep you entertained and the vocal talent really is superb. More importantly it leaves you feeling like Superman really is the man of tomorrow.

Superman: Man of Tomorrow, available on digital download Now and Blu-ray™, DVD & Limited-Edition Blu-ray™ with Mini-Figure September 7th.