Legion Pilot – A (Mostly) Spoiler-Free Review

The newest addition to the ever-growing series of television shows based on Marvel properties arrived last week, with the FX show Legion.

Legion

The show, co-produced by Marvel and Fox, is the first live-action adaptation of Fox’s X-Men and mutant roster. (At the moment, it’s unclear if the show is going to tie into the X-Men Cinematic Universe or not.) The show follows the life of lead character David Haller, based of the Marvel character of the same name, who’s comic alias also gives the show it’s name. At the start of the show, David is a middle-aged man who has been diagnosed with  a severe case of schizophrenia from a young age — he constantly hears voices and sees things that don’t exist. David is currently being housed in a long-term mental health facility, where he meets the show’s lead female protagonist, a mysterious young woman named Sydney with a severe phobia of physical contact.

As the show progresses, David begins to form a relationship with Sydney, who largely rebels against the hospital’s treatments. Things go awry, however, when Sydney is set to be released, setting off a chain of events that leads David to start to believe what we, the viewer, probably already knew: that he’s not crazy, but he (and Sydney) seem to have super powers.

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Jack’s Bad Movies – The Wraith (1986)

IMDB’s description:

A mysterious figure suddenly appears to challenge a gang of motorhead thugs.

When cars can travel through space.

The alien from the Abyss has escaped the ocean and is terrorizing small town Arizona. Or at least that is what I think as two balls of light fly around the desert. Oh, they collided and made a car, so I guess they are transformers. Transformers and an astronaut (Wraith).

Now we cut to a man and woman driving when they suddenly are stopped by thugs and rapists (I assume grabby hands is a rapist). The ring leader wants to race for the guy’s car, and the guy doesn’t seem to have a choice. Totally unfair that the leader forcing this race gets to wear a helmet, he obviously knows racing can be dangerous. The bad guy randomly runs the poor schmuck off the road, and suddenly the race is over as he declares “the car is ours, nice and legal.” I guess they have never heard of coercion. The guy and girl are then left in the desert to walk back to wherever. At least they didn’t actually rape her.

And it’s Charlie Sheen. He rolls up on a dirt bike and asks a girl who just left her house for directions. “I’m Keri Johnson, I take rides from strangers on motorcycles.” Is what she must say in her mind, because she immediately decides to get a ride from him. Oh wait, the legally confused ring leader shows up and Keri jumps to get in his car. Keri doesn’t seem to like her jerk boyfriend though. We interrupt this movie for women putting on tanning oil… Jake (Charlie Sheen) is brand new in town, but immediately goes to the popular swimming spot to sun bathe. For a guy who rides a dirt bike with his shirt open, he doesn’t have much of a tan. A kid named Billy joins him and tells him his brother was murdered and the body never found. To this Charlie Sheen says “I’m sorry man I had no idea.” Less emotion has never been put into a consoling remark. This brother used to date Keri. I wonder if Packard murdered his brother (not really though, because it is obvious).

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Powerless – Pilot

Follow the staff of an insurance company, specialising in products to protect defenseless bystanders from the collateral damage of Superheroes and Supervillains. – IMDB

Powerless, starring Vanessa Hudges as Emily Locke, Alan Tudyk as Van Wayne (Firefly, Conman), Christina Kirk as Jackie, Ron Funches as Ron, Danny Pudi (Community), and Atlin Mitchell as Crimson Fox is set in the DC multiverse.

Emily Locke is a brand new employee of Wayne Security, run by Van Wayne at the behest of Bruce, moving from a quiet “fly over town” (where superheroes never stop) to Charm City. On her first day into work riding the train, Jack-o-Lantern attacks the city and the train is derailed, only to be stopped by Crimson Fox. An amazing experience for Emily, but an annoying and all too common experience for everyone else on the train. She’s the new head of R&D, but everyone appears to lack motivation, it will be up to Emily to make this team successful.

I thought the opening title sequence was pretty clever, showing classic superhero panels and zooming in on citizens in the background. Emphasizing that this show is about the everyday citizen, and not the super-powered people around them. Superman and Batman are explicitly named, so we know they exist in this DC universe, but I imagine we’ll never see them. Most of the funny lines were spoiled in the trailer, but there were still a couple of clever things that I hadn’t already heard. Danny Pudi delivers his familar deadpan lines, and the other team working for Emily appear to all have something to contribute to the humorous mood.

Overall, I think this might be the nice lighthearted superhero comedy it is trying to be.

Highlights from 2016 – 4th Quarter

Top Question

Who created the Secret Stairs as a way into Mordor and for what purpose? asked by Default_User with a score of 113. Runner up was Why would Snape set his office password to ‘Dumbledore’? asked by The Dark Lord with a score of 97.


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Top Viewed

Who was the mentioned jedi in the Rogue One movie? with 38438 views asked by Sebustyan. Runner up was Why were there no Bothans in Rogue One? with 25410 views asked by Vince Scalia.


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Top Answer

Adamant answered the highest voted answer to the question If Dumbledore is the most powerful wizard (allegedly), why would he work at a glorified boarding school? Is there a role with more responsibility? with a score of 184. The runner up was Victim Of Circumstance, who answered How is Shelob’s name known? with a score of 167.


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Top Controversial

Santa’s Omniscience in “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer”, with 9 down votes to its 12 up votes. Asked by Clint Eastwood with no accepted answer.


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Bounties

There were 48 bounties awarded for a total of 4650 rep.

User Favorites

There were no submitted user favorites. Must have been a bad quarter.

Jack’s Bad Movies: Flight World War 2 (2015)

IMDB Description:

After Flight 42 travels through a storm they find themselves in France, 1940, during World war II.

The greatest battle that never happened! Based on true events!

That jacket cover makes a couple of bold assertions, and I fully expect it to live up to them.

This movie opens with the flight already in progress. Faran Tahir is captain William Strong. You might remember Tahir from such blockbusters as Iron-Man and Star Trek (2009) and such TV shows as Once Upon a Time and 12 Monkeys. What you won’t remember him from is Flight World War 2. Strong’s copilot is Daniel Prentice (Matias Ponce). They are flying International Airlines flight 42 from Washington D.C. to London. This airline wins the award for least imaginative fake airline name to ever appear in a movie. And of course there are some passengers and a flight crew, will they be relevant later? I hope not. This movie is called Flight World War 2, so I’m guessing somehow it is going to end up in the past. Best case scenario, the plane arrives over London and is shot down by flak cannons immediately.

Props to the movie, three minutes in and it brings us directly to a little thing I like to call, the inciting incident. The plane begins to experience turbulence, and the people on the ground warn the pilots of a sudden storm materializing out of nowhere. Ground control recommends flying around, but I guess that isn’t Strong’s style (ground control probably hates him almost as much as they hate Major “I love radio silence” Tom). Instead Strong decides flying into the vortex is the best idea. At this moment I experienced a terrible fear that this movie will be The Langoliers.

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Assassin’s Creed – A (mostly) spoiler-free review

It has become more than a cliche — almost a tautology — that movies based on video games are never good. The latest attempt, Assassin’s Creed, makes a strong effort to disprove that claim… but ultimately fails. Judged against others of its ilk, Assassin’s Creed is among the better video game movies, an eminently watchable two hours of simple fun. Unfortunately, it misses the mark on two of it’s most crucial audiences: die-hard fans of the game will complain about all the things wrong with the story, and (in a year that gave us Captain America: Civil War and Star Wars: Rogue One and Deadpool), the science fiction movie fan will probably find it falling to the bottom of their list.

Overall, I would give this movie a fairly mediocre 5/10 (its better than it’s RT score would indicate, but not much), and probably recommend you wait for RedBox. I saw the movie in 3-D in the theater, and there wasn’t much in it to justify the added cost. (If anything, seeing it in a theater may ruin the fun, as we’ll see later).

Here is a mostly spoiler-free review of the movie; though, fair warning: if you have never played an Assassin’s Creed game, those will be spoiled heavily here. To see where this movie did well, and where it floundered, read on…

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Jack’s Bad Movies – Alien Uprising (2012)

I typically use the IMDB description for a movie at the start of a post. Except in this case. Netflix actually tells you what might happen in the movie.

One night five friends are out drinking, the next they’re struggling to survive in a landscape controlled by alien invaders in this sci-fi chiller. Anarchy is in the air as an enormous spacecraft hovers overhead and order breaks down on the ground. – Netflix

The real "battle" is the insurgence within mankind itself. - IMDB

The real “battle” is the insurgence within mankind itself. – IMDB

The movie opens with a woman (Maya Grant) running out of a house in a panic, in the rain. She is looking around scared, and then suddenly looks, and appears to be the on verge of fainting. I’m only 99% sure the purpose of this first scene is to have a woman standing in the rain and allowing the camera to pan up and look down at her cleavage.

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Doctor Strange – A (mostly) spoiler-free review

The latest addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Doctor Strange, has finally arrived worldwide. For me, this was the movie I was most looking forward to — Doctor Strange is one of my favorite Marvel characters, and I was really interested to see how Marvel handled the introduction of magic to their universe. Would they be able to put together a movie so different from their previous movies, and pull it off? Would they chicken out on the whole concept of magic, like they did with Scarlet Witch? Would we just get more of Thor‘s “its not magic, it’s science”?

In the end, I wasn’t disappointed, I was satisfied, but I wasn’t exactly blown away. Doctor Strange is a good, solid, entertaining movie, and it handles the subject matter very well. But when you stack this movie up against the rest of the MCU, it’s going to suffer a bit. I think that’s an unfortunate but inevitable comparison, because the movie is a great movie on its own merits, but Marvel’s raising our expectations pretty high lately, so it’s going to happen.

I give this movie a 8/10To see why, and to see exactly how Doctor Strange stacks up against it’s siblings, and why you really should go see it, keep reading. (Warning: I’ll keep the spoilers to a minimum, but there’s a few things that will come up as we go along.)

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Timeless – Pilot

An unlikely trio traveling through time to battle unknown criminals in order to protect history as we know it. – IMDB

Timeless Pilot

The show opens with the death of the Hindenburg, showing one hypothesis about how it met its gruesome fate.

Now we cut to the present day with Lucy Preston (Abigail Spencer) teaching a lecture at some University. She tells a story how once when questioned about the Vietnam War LBJ unzipped his pants and displayed his member “this is why!” As her lecture ends she meets up with some guy who tells her she won’t be receiving tenure. She is really angry, but she also appears to be a history teacher who spends her time talking about former president’s junk. So maybe it isn’t totally out of line. She goes home to her sad life where her sister and her both live in her mother’s house because her mother is on the brink of death.

Meanwhile, somewhere else, a group of men bust into a large warehouse, shoot up a few people (mostly guards) and kidnap a few more and jump into a large machine centered in the middle of the space. The machine spins up (literally) and then disappears.

Back to Lucy, she’s complaining to her sister about not getting tenure when the doorbell rings. Someone identifies themselves as Homeland Security and Lucy says “I don’t know what you are selling but I’m not interested.” I guess in her neighborhood sales people pose as Homeland Security all the time. Despite this, she ends up going with this person and ends up at the facility where the machine disappeared.

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Highlights from 2016 – 3rd Quarter

Top Stats

Top Question

Why doesn’t Discworld run out of water? asked by Nathaniel with a score of 104. Runner up was Why doesn’t Hogwarts have more teachers? with 90.
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Top Viewed

What do the Death Stars do, other than destroying planets? with 16066 views asked by Koldito and answered by Rogue Jedi. Runner up was Why did Batman do so much better in his second fight with Bane? with 14765 views.

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Top Answer

Valorum had the highest voted answer for Why does Watney’s notebook in The Martian have four holes?asked by crmdgn with 196 votes. Runner up was Why doesn’t Discworld run out of water? with 188 votes (also by Valorum).

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Top Controversial

What is JK Rowling “bad” at?, with 13 down-votes to its 14 up-votes, asked by Skooba and answered by Valorum.

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Bounties

There were 13 bounties awarded (strangely all of them for 500 rep each) for a total of 6500 rep.

User Favorites

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