Say it ain’t so, another Suicide Squad trailer 

Say it ain’t so, another Suicide Squad trailer 

We are days away from the release of Suicide Squad and what do we get? Another trailer.

Suicide Squad, another trailer…
An obvious advertising ploy given the Comic Con schedule. Maybe a little redundant because of all the other trailers.

The movie does look like it’s going to be good, even though there doesn’t seem much footage that hasn’t already been in the trailers. I don’t think I have the patience, but I wonder how much of the film could be created from the trailers. 

I am also curious whether there will be a post film trailer. 

12 Monkeys: Is change possible through time travel?

12_Monkeys_Intertitle12 Monkeys is running through a pretty solid second season. The show might not have Terry Gilliam’s aesthetic, Bruce Willis’ confused gruffness or Brad Pitt’s all too convincing insanity, but it is providing consistently gripping narratives and a whole host of insights into the characters.

 In an effective development on the original plot, the virus that drove the first season and the original movie has been defeated and yet the future still looks bleak. The ability to navigate the thin line of consistency and change is one of the show’s strengths.

The post-apocalyptic world is crucial to the narrative, but to suggest that time travel changes nothing undermines the whole narrative. Balancing the two produces those mind-squeezing moments when you think you know how time travel works and then it slips away.

The show has included a number of excellent moments of the future defining the past. As the Traveller, Ramse defined Cole’s actions for the whole first season and still gave us a redemptive moment when Cole and Ramse were reunited. The existence of the Witness as a time travelling manipulator with the objective of collapsing all time, is a threat who seems to be connected to an irreversible existence of time alongside changes that define the problems encountered by the opposition to the Army of the 12 Monkeys.

The ability of the show to throw up questions of indirect causality is one of its higher-function achievements.

When Cole and then Ramse and then Cassie travel back in time, do they merely enact what has already happened or what was already going to happen or do they merely support the events that have already happened because they went back in time?

The most recent moment was when Cole and Charlie saved Victoria Mason from Slade, the serial killing primary in episode 6 Immortal. Do we think a little Mason is going to appear as a significant figure in the army of the 12 Monkeys?

However, episode 8 Lullaby creates a time loop experienced by Jennifer Goines (thanks for the Groundhog Day reference, Jennifer’s 80s film references are great. The future intention to kill Jones and stop time travel creates a problem with Cole and Cassie repeating the same day until they are able to change the day while keeping it the same. They leave Jones thinking her daughter is dead while saving her daughter and leaving her in the care of Jennifer. In the future, Jones is reunited with her daughter. The actor who plays Jones’ daughter interesting appeared in a previous episode. Beyond the question whether the writers already preparing for this eventual plot line is the real question about time travel driving the show, had the change already taken place? Was Hanna always alive or was Jones and Cole experiencing a timeline without Hanna until Cole and Cassie return to save her?

Maintaining this balance between time travel change and consistency is what is making 12 Monkeys compulsive watching. How long can 12 Monkeys keep up the balance between change and the irreversible nature of time? Hopefully long enough to show us the identity of the Witness. Then who knows what the future holds…

 

RIP Prince

Prince died toady.

People will commiserate with hashtags. Facebook will be aglow with tributes. Memes will explode in sympathy.

But when all is swept aside, the music remains. We can say it’s probably what he wanted, but I am pretty sure he would have rather lived. It doesn’t matter. We have the music and it will remain.

We might have seen him in concert or followed him in the media, when all is considered, the music was what we had to begin with and what we have now.

He left us with so much. His was a talent above almost all others and we should be thankful.

1958 -2016

Listen for him.

prince

Stan Lee’s Lucky Man Season Finale

Lucky Man

Lucky Man has been delivering a high standard of contemporary crime drama with a supernatural twist all season…until the finale. I think I was watching a first edit or an uncut draft. Or maybe I missed a section. All season it has been gripping drama. I think I tuned out for a while in the episode because I ended up finding myself folding laundry and finding that much more interesting.

There was no revelation (unless you call the boring reason behind Golding’s name, me, I didn’t care), there was little tension, there was no insight to any of the interesting plotlines that have been running for the previous nine episodes, there were no new developments, no character advancement, no big confrontations, no cliffhangers. I couldn’t give you any spoilers if I wanted to.

The highlights of the episode were Harry jumping from a roof and winning the jackpot on a fruit machine. Yes, that would be the headline: Harry wins Fruit Machine Jackpot.

Instead, one of the bad guys lures Harry to a hotel to try and surprise him with a silenced gun. Given the whole, ‘Harry wears the lucky bracelet’ and the intricate framing of Harry and his brother for murder, it just seemed stupid. Probably more St Pancras hotel product placement than actual plot. Maybe they sent the writers home after episode nine and just told the actors to wing it.

I ended up feeling bad for Golding. All that intricate manipulation to be left with no clue what he was doing. Instead, he looks like a complete idiot standing by a pool with no idea how to get Harry to kill himself. It made it relatively fitting that he runs off into the shrubbery at the end of the episode. Hang your head in shame Golding. I suppose there is always season two.

Suicide Squad: “Going somewhere really bad”

New Year and a new Suicide Squad trailer. It’s getting to the point that I think I might have seen the whole film before I even get to the theatre, either that or it going to turn out to be a TV show with 32 episodes.

There is more of the same in the new trailer. More of the team. More lining up the characters you might not know and telling you how bad they are.

Interestingly, there are a couple of insights into the villain. Is it the Joker? Or is it more magical? Possibly to do with the Enchantress. At one point a the foot demon is seen ripping through a subway train. Related to the Joker or something else. There is evidence of the Joker with Harley Quinn. Is there evidence of the Joker downtown where all the mayhem happens? Not really. It is possible that the villain is yet to be revealed. It is possible that with all these exaggerated characters, the villain is going to be a little more ordinary (there has been rumours it is Ed Harris playing Antiphon who look like a smug looking white guy).

Hello Antiphon, you look mighty boring among such outrageous characters.

Whoever the villain is (it might just be like Guardians of the Galaxy and not really matter) it looks like the team is more than going to make up for any shortcomings. Or it could just be all released in the next trailer because there is still another seven months until it is released (5th August). More than enough time for another two, maybe three trailers.

 

Suicide Squad Trailer

Constantine Cancellation

The cancellation of Constantine after a 13 episode first series arrived before I had even watched the first episode. As I sat to watch the series, I knew that there was not going to be a second. I knew that I was watching a discontinued series and that no matter how much I enjoyed it, there would be no more. It was this aspect of finality that I found most fitting and conducive to the character of Constantine.

The character is great. In a world of anti-heroes, here is a character who makes you smile at flouting the rules and feel content at the resolution he provides. A balance between being a hero and being a complete tosser is effectively maintained. He is self-righteous and arrogant with an egotistical sense of self-interest. The character is evidence of environment effecting character. Matt Ryan does a great job of portraying Constantine in appearance, attitude and accent. However, the cancellation seems reasonably well deserved. While the supporting cast are good, the characters they portray are either too conflicted (Papa Midnight) or just a bit boring (Zed).

SPOILERS AHEAD

The series follows the plot of the Keanu Reeves film with Manny the angel bringing ultimate evil to Earth, or, at least he would have if there had been a second series. I could have gone for a Fringe season 5 or Walking Dead scenario. Forget all this trying not to let the ultimate evil take us over. Let’s start with the ultimate evil, completely change the supposedly contemporary scenario and see where the characters go. Instead of having Constantine fighting against the rising evil, let’s have him try to fight for a rising goodness. Change the context, because when it comes down the reason why it got cancelled, it didn’t do anything new. Whether you are looking at the plotlines or filming, the series relies on you having watched every other supernatural crime drama and consequently lacked a self-definition that would validate its existence.

Take other comic book TV shows: Gotham, Daredevil and Arrow. Gotham gives us a pre-Batman world focused (supposedly) on Jim Gordon before he takes the role we all know him for: Commission and advocate of Batman. Daredevil gives us an origin story of both a hero and a villain presented with some amazing cinematic sequences. Arrow presents a lesser known comic book character and changes the dynamics you might have known even if you had read the comics. Does anyone actually say ‘the Green Arrow’ at anytime in the whole series?

Worst of all was the final episode. For a season finale it was poor. Light on anything but a heart struck hill-billy with a devil fetish. It seems like they knew they had been cancelled and just gave up. I would have expected the opposite, if you knew this was the end, let’s make is big, brass and exciting. As for Manny’s final confession of his evil intentions to Papa Midnight, who cares?

And unfortunately, when it comes down to it, that’s the best that can be said for Constantine.

‘The Fisherman and his Soul’ Final Part

‘The Fisherman and his Soul’ by Oscar Wilde

Final Part
And in the morning the Priest went forth to bless the sea, for it had been troubled. And with him went the monks and the musicians, and the candle-bearers, and the swingers of censers, and a great company.
And when the Priest reached the shore he saw the young Fisherman lying drowned in the surf, and clasped in his arms was the body of the little Mermaid. And he drew back frowning, and having made the sign of the cross, he cried aloud and said, ‘I will not bless the sea nor anything that is in it. Accursed be the Sea-folk, and accursed be all they who traffic with them. And as for him who for love’s sake forsook God, and so lieth here with his leman slain by God’s judgment, take up his body and the body of his leman, and bury them in the corner of the Field of the Fullers, and set no mark above them, nor sign of any kind, that none may know the place of their resting. For accursed were they in their lives, and accursed shall they be in their deaths also.’
And the people did as he commanded them, and in the corner of the Field of the Fullers, where no sweet herbs grew, they dug a deep pit, and laid the dead things within it.
And when the third year was over, and on a day that was a holy day, the Priest went up to the chapel, that he might show to the people the wounds of the Lord, and speak to them about the wrath of God.
And when he had robed himself with his robes, and entered in and bowed himself before the altar, he saw that the altar was covered with strange flowers that never had he seen before. Strange were they to look at, and of curious beauty, and their beauty troubled him, and their odour was sweet in his nostrils. And he felt glad, and understood not why he was glad.
And after that he had opened the tabernacle, and incensed the monstrance that was in it, and shown the fair wafer to the people, and hid it again behind the veil of veils, he began to speak to the people, desiring to speak to them of the wrath of God. But the beauty of the white flowers troubled him, and their odour was sweet in his nostrils, and there came another word into his lips, and he spake not of the wrath of God, but of the God whose name is Love. And why he so spake, he knew not.
And when he had finished his word the people wept, and the Priest went back to the sacristy, and his eyes were full of tears. And the deacons came in and began to unrobe him, and took from him the alb and the girdle, the maniple and the stole. And he stood as one in a dream.
And after that they had unrobed him, he looked at them and said, ‘What are the flowers that stand on the altar, and whence do they come?’
And they answered him, ‘What flowers they are we cannot tell, but they come from the corner of the Fullers’ Field.’ And the Priest trembled, and returned to his own house and prayed.
And in the morning, while it was still dawn, he went forth with the monks and the musicians, and the candle-bearers and the swingers of censers, and a great company, and came to the shore of the sea, and blessed the sea, and all the wild things that are in it. The Fauns also he blessed, and the little things that dance in the woodland, and the bright-eyed things that peer through the leaves. All the things in God’s world he blessed, and the people were filled with joy and wonder. Yet never again in the corner of the Fullers’ Field grew flowers of any kind, but the field remained barren even as before. Nor came the Sea-folk into the bay as they had been wont to do, for they went to another part of the sea.

Part One

Part Two

Part Three

Part Four

Part Five

Part Six