Saturday, June 2, 2007

Angel—Auld Lang Syne

by Scott Tipton, art and colors by David Messina.

Another five-issue Angel miniseries from IDW, Auld Lang Syne finds Angel and Spike teaming up, post-series, to battle a mysterious foe who's rattling them both by causing the appearance of people from their pasts. The highlight of the story is a vicious knock-down dragout confrontation between the two vampires. Those are always fun. And seriously, it's a big fight. It takes up almost all of issue #3.

This wasn't a bad comic, and had some nice moments, including the reappearance of some long-lost characters like Darla in order to mess with our vamps' heads. However, I felt the storyline was too much like Old Friends, and the final conclusion, as far as who was behind the plot to unsettle the Soul Boys and how she was defeated, wasn't entirely satisfying.

The trade paperback version, with all five issues under single cover, is available for preorder.

Friday, June 1, 2007

Day Break

When last we saw Detective Brett Hopper, he was still having a Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, over and over and over. But he'd finally gotten Chad to think maybe he wasn't entirely nuts, and had managed to change a couple of things permanently, which could be considered progress. Then ABC rudely canceled his show, leaving him stuck in limbo forever and ever.

But lucky for us, we have the Internet now, and the remaining episodes of Day Break were made available on not long after the cancellation was announced.

In the additional, unaired episodes, the story continues to build, with various pieces falling together as the day changes based on Hopper's activities.

What If He's Not Alone?

Hopper's starting to lose it as the constant repetition begins to wear on him. Hopper meets another man who's also reliving days--a man he encountered earlier in the police station, who appeared to be crazy.

What if She's Lying?

Brett looks for a medical reason for his experiences. Jennifer's involvement with Detweiler is revealed; she's in possession of a briefcase with incriminating evidence about the Isabella Contrares case.

What if They're Connected?

The day changes again as Jennifer asks Brett for help straight off, thus taking her out of danger. Isabella's murder is traced to Tobias Booth, a political figure who had her murdered because she was pregnant. Brett finds evidence Garza's murder is tied to a building gang war.

By the end of this episode, it seems Hopper has made significant progress toward clearing himself of Garza's murder.

What if He's Free?

Brett finally proves Miguel Dominguez killed Garza, and clears his own name. Relieved, he waits for tomorrow to finally come...but it doesn't. We should have known things would go bad when the Yellow-Eyed Demon showed up (Frederic Lane in a guest role).

I have a feeling that having Harper's day start over yet again, even after he's solved the Garza case, is going to be a bad move, story-wise. We'll see. There are still three more episodes--I'll talk about them in an upcoming post.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

DVD News

Supernatural Season 2 is available for pre-order at It'll be released on 9-11. Season 2 of Bones will be available 9-11 as well, but isn't up for pre-order yet.

Season 1 of Dexter is also available for pre-order, releasing 8-21.

Season 1 of Heroes releases 8-28, in standardand HD formats.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

House—Human Error

A Cuban refugee wants to see House to have her medical condition diagnosed. Unfortunately, her medical records were lost in the ocean. The team tries to convince House to talk Foreman into staying, but House isn't interested. The Cuban woman's condition of course proves to have convoluted and weird symptoms, including spontaneous heart stoppage (although she can still talk), and House is cantankerous about Foreman and the rest of the team, to the point of firing Chase (which Wilson thinks is a ploy to get Foreman back). By the end, House diagnoses the mysterious ailment as a heart defect, fights with God for credit, and all of House's team has either resigned or been fired except Wilson. Well, that's not too likely to continue into next season, since as far as I know nobody's leaving the show. I think that's what we call a non-cliffhanger cliffhanger. As far as a season ender, kind of meh, but still overall a stronger last third of the season, as I said in my Catching Up post.

Josh Ritter--Good Man
Josh Ritter - The Animal Years - Good Man

Christian Kane's New Blog

Found via Whedonesque.

Christian Kane (Angel, Close to Home) and his band Kane have set up a new blog with news about what they're up to. It's called Smoke Signals. Check it out. And if you haven't taken a listen to their music, check that out, too. Unfortunately, they're not available at iTunes, but there are links to Kane's main site on the blog. They're a fun band, and very much worth a listen.

Monday, May 28, 2007

House—Catching Up

Yes, I know that's not an episode title--that's just me, you know, catching up.

With the long weekend proving to be happily productive on other fronts, I decided to indulge in some catchup TV viewage. Since I was a few episodes behind on House, I buzzed through the DVR listings and finished up the episodes waiting there to be watched. And there's still one more, with House's season finale airing tomorrow night.

I have to say I think the last third of this season has been far stronger than the middle third was. So, in my estimation, this season went--good first third, weak middle third (with the long arc involving House's Vicodin addiction), good last third. Which is not too bad, and has made for some good entertainment overall. I'm hoping to finish watching Season 2 over the summer (I've watched about half of it), so I'll check in later with progress reports on that front.

For those keeping score, the episodes I watched yesterday were "Fetal Position" (I held this one back for quite a while because of the subject matter), "Family," and "Resignation." I caught "The Jerk" when it aired because I was at a friend's house at the time, so that leaves me with just the season finale to watch tomorrow.

Season Three on iTunes:
House - House, Season 3

Sunday, May 27, 2007

The Hard Easy—Review

The Hard Easy is a direct-to-DVD movie starring David Boreanaz, which was released this week. Of course I had my copy preordered, just waiting for the long weekend so I could pop it in and watch it in a leisurely fashion. Well, as much of a leisurely fashion as I can manage, anyway.

The plot goes thusly: Down on his luck gambler Paul (Henry Thomas) needs money--a lot of it--because, well, he's down on his luck, and owes people a ton of money. Stockbroker Roger (David Boreanaz) needs money--a lot of it--because a scheme concocted by his marginally insane boss Buckaroo Banzai Ed (Peter Weller) went sideways. Both of them end up involved in a plan to rob a jewelry store of a shipment of diamonds. Unfortunately, it's the same jewelry store, and the same diamonds. Hilarity Chaos ensues.

In spite of a few rather annoying (and unsuccessful) attempts to make itself look like a Guy Ritchie movie, The Hard Easy is a fairly solid caper movie, with plenty of plot twists, most of which actually even make sense--always a plus. The last act is almost absurdly violent, although that's pretty common for this type of movie, but it never quite veers dark enough to jar the slightly smirky tone established from the beginning. Overall, not a bad movie, and well worth a watch.

For Boreanaz fans, there's a long expository scene between Boreanaz and Peter Weller which is conducted with Boreanaz shirtless throughout for no really good reason. Kudos to the screenwriters for gratuitous Boreanaz shirtlessness. It makes any movie better.

Rated R for pervasive naughty words and lots of people getting shot.

Also starring Vera Farmiga, Bruce Dern, Nick Lachey and Gary Busey.

Robin Hood—A Clue: No

For the second half of the season finale, we pick up where we left off, with the sheriff approaching Robin's hideout and Robin mourning over Marian's body. Unfortunately, Robin has yet to perfect the Dean Winchester Single Perfect Emo Tear of Man Pain®, and has settled for his own patented Grim Scowl of Determination. Much and Little John hold off the Sheriff and his men. John says it's a good day to die--when did he turn into a Klingon? Robin joins the fray, and I have to say he's hotter when he's shooting things, especially with that nifty multiple arrow technique. With Marian dead, Robin has pretty much turned into Screaming Berserker Man. In spite of the bad odds, Robin and his men--with Alan and Will returning--wipe the forest floor with the sheriff's men, while Guy stands around gaping in astonishment.

With that little confrontation taken care of, Robin tries to deal with the practicalities of Marian's death. The Merry Men deliver lovely eulogies, like, "She was all right," "Her, we liked," and finally, "She's breathing." Apparently Djaq overdosed her with sedatives. Ah, well. Sedatives can be tricky.

The sheriff informs Guy that the king really isn't coming at all. He's bringing a fake king to town to ferret out all the plots against him.

Robin and his buds bring not-dead Marian to her father. Dad has a plan to defend the king, but it involves leaving Marian to marry Guy, which Robin, having his priorities in order as usual, isn't crazy about. He proceeds to drive off everyone around him with his single-minded focus on Marian, including Much, to whom he's unnecessarily nasty.

Marian has her own plans, and somehow is back on her feet merely hours after primitive abdominal surgery with no antibiotics. She goes to speak to Guy and asks him point blank if he tried to kill the King in the Holy Land. He equivocates. Marian buys it even though he never really quite answers her question. I think she's distracted by the leather and the eyeliner.

Robin's men join with Marian's father, since Robin is just sitting around in the field moping while Marian meets up with Guy for the wedding.

As the Merry Men and Edward put their plan into place, Much bugs out and goes to find Robin. On the way, he runs into the faux king and realizes he is, indeed, faux. One would think the sheriff would have known this ruse wouldn't work--he knows Much and Robin fought in the Holy Land, so why would he assume they wouldn't notice a faux king? But I digress.

Faux King orders the sheriff arrested. The trial proceeds as the king takes "French evidence" from the townsfolk. They go into other rooms to give their private evidence, but if they choose the "testify against" room, the sheriff kills them.

Much barges in on the wedding, announcing that the king is faux. Guy is totally busted. He coerces Marian into continuing with the wedding by threatening her father. But she slugs him in the face with his own wedding ring and escapes. She's surprisingly hearty after that whole abdominal surgery thing. Yes, I continue to harp on that.

Marian runs off to be with Robin even though he's been a brat for most of the season. Robin barges in on the sheriff's setup. Much exposes the faux king and the merry men create general havoc, as usual. They're about to make their escape when the sheriff grabs Much. Robin rescues Much with some fancy schmancy shootin'. Robin and the Merry Men finish the episode--and the season--with a power shot. There is much rejoicing.