#Critics Cinema

#Critics Cinema

Supergirl - Crisis on Earth-X, Part 1

Posted: 28 Nov 2017 09:00 AM PST

Unlike last year's crossover, which tailored each episode to that particular cast, "Crisis on Earth-X" begins in earnest with jumping us right into the action and introducing (nearly) all our characters at once. This time around it feels much more like a cohesive crossover (and Supergirl gets to be in the action from the beginning). The focus on "Part 1" is primarily to get all our characters to Central City in time for Barry (Grant Gustin) and Iris' (Candice Patton) wedding. We get their wedding reception, various drama between Oliver (Stephen Amell) and Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards) and Jackson (Franz Drameh) and Stein (Victor Garber), and wedding crashers in the form of the crossover's big bad villains - Nazis from Earth-X.

The characters not invited to the wedding (or these first two episodes) are of interest. While Mick (Dominic Purcell) somehow manages an invite, half the Legends, Ray, and Diggle are left our of the first two parts of the crossover. As with the second episode, the slower moments of the episode involving character interactions, apparently designed to get everyone screentime, drag in places but the action at the end works well as does the design of Earth-X and the sequences surrounding Barry's wedding day. As for Alex (Chyler Leigh), she gets to have a little fun of her own which she will no doubt fret about for weeks to come. One final note: Jessica Parker Kennedy has a small cameo as a caterer who, I suspect, has larger ties to Barry's future than is revealed here.

Get Out

Posted: 28 Nov 2017 06:00 AM PST

The suburbs aren't really this bad. Honest. As much satire as horror, Jordan Peele's delightful film delivers a young black man (Daniel Kaluuya) into the mostly-white suburbia of his girlfriend's (Allison Williams) parents (Catherine Keener and Bradley Whitford). From the start, it's obvious to Chris that something is off with the household, the family's strange black servants (Marcus Henderson and Betty Gabriel), and the glut of odd-acting neighbors and friends Chris meets the following day.

Clever and wryly entertaining, the first-half of the movie would work terrifically as an episode of The Twilight Zone as Chris' paranoia increases to a fever-pitch. The discovery of what is really going on in the sleepy suburb is more than a little odd, as Chris' loud-mouth-conspiracy-obsessed pal (LilRel Howery) suspects, but leads the character into a final act where he's forced to confront childhood issues and make a stand if he has any hope to make it out of the suburbs alive.

Far more successful than Peele's last screenplay, Get Out is a stunning directorial debut. Presented through the eyes of Chris, we follow him down the rabbit hole from what on the surface looks to be nothing more than a slightly-racist community that in fact is something far more insidious. Surprising and unexpected, Peele gets terrific performances out of his cast, especially Kaluuya, as he leads us through his character's bizarre journey.

Available on Blu-ray and DVD, extras include an alternate ending, deleted scenes, Q&A with the cast, commentary by the director, and a featurette.

[Universal Studios Home Entertainment, Blu-ray $22.98 / DVD $19.98]

The Wild Storm #9

Posted: 27 Nov 2017 12:00 PM PST

The Wild Storm spins its wheels a bit in issue #9 which proves to be more about setting up future events in the series (IO's Jacklyn King planning a covert cyberwar attack against Skywatch, and Angela Spica being introduced to Jacob Marlowe's secret laboratory) than big reveals or takeaways. That said, the issue is highlighted by some strong art by Jon Davis-Hunt in what little we see of the lab and one hell of a silent extended action sequence set in John Colt's past in feudal Japan.

The Wild Storm #9 feels very much an issue set aside in the middle of graphic novel to lay some foundation for what is yet to come. The Japanese sequence helps to set it apart as more than just a filler issue (although, really, that's what it appears to be). The interaction we got with Jenny Mei Sparks and the new Doctor in the previous issue may have raised my hopes a bittoo much that the timeline had been accelerated, but it seems Warren Ellis is more than content to take his time and continue to build out his world. Worth a look.

[DC, $3.99]