Television Review : CWs THE FLASH

cwposter

Two episodes in and I like but don’t love CW’s THE FLASH. The casting of the lead actor, CW going for a 20 something Kid-Flash like Flash, does not initially endear.

It reminds too much of DAWSON’S CREEK meets ‘insert-superhero-title-here’. That said, actor Grant Gustin does have some range, and I can see him growing into the role. Particularly the dynamic between Gustin as the young Barry Allen and Jesse L. Foster as Detective Joe West, his Foster Dad, is particularly good.

However that inventive relationship is married to one that doesn’t feel inventive at all, the relationship between Candice Patton as Iris West and her triangle between Grant Gustin as Barry Allen and Rick Cosnett as Detective Eddie Thawne. I am not a fan of there being a distinct lack of representation on Film or Television of male characters of color getting the girl. It’s a bit tired all these shows with Black actresses tossing themselves at White actors.

It would be different if these shows were offset by an equal number of shows and movies with actors of color getting the girl. Unfortunately there isn’t. It’s a telling and glaring discrepancy. In the absence of that parity, all this sameness of storytelling feels more like a programming/propaganda than storytelling. It seems more like Black Faces and White Messages.

It’s the reason shows like MARY JANE and ARROW (the only real standout CW show) work for me. They embrace a needed and neglected dynamic, of romance and sex being a purview of more than the White Male.

CW’s FLASH, if it was not engulfed by a sea of movies and tv shows selling the same dynamic to the same impressionable audience, would be easier show to enjoy on its own merits. However it’s only two episodes in and I’m hopeful the show grows beyond its sophomore ticks, to be something the equal of its sibling show… ARROW.

Advertisements

Roku On-Demand Watching Guide NETFLIX Edition

This Week’s (Sunday 19 Jan 2014 to Saturday 25 Jan 2014) On-Demand Recommended watching Guide for NetFlix!

You’ll need ideally a Roku device Roku 3 Streaming Media Player
and a Netflix account: NETFLIX

For the young and young at heart I recommend the following cartoons:

DEXTER’S LABORATORY
BATMAN THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD
THE SUPERHERO SQUAD

For the action fans:

ip_man_ver3_xlgIP MAN (all three movies are available, I’ve seen the first two so far and they are great. Director Wilson Yip and star Donnie Yen crafting a dramatic biopic anchored with brutal and impressive martial arts scenes. That one man could have lived such an influential and pivotal life is truly inspiring)

SOLOMON KANE – this disappeared out of the theaters quickly, but once you get past the weak opening, it is an enjoyable fantasy, action film, led by the always solid James Purefoy.

arrow_ver11 arrow_ver7 arrow_ver10ARROW- probably my favorite television show discovery in a while, nearly every episode of the ARROW has been outstanding (I tend to like my heroes, to not be killers, so the later episodes, are getting a bit bloody and hypocritical for my liking. I’m starting to root for anyone except the titular hero. The series creators will need to watch that) .

Who knew the CW could make a show I actually like. The first season is on NetFlix, and sports fun stories, a strong lead, and perhaps a particular selling point for me, a large and diverse cast with multiple actors and actresses of color. I personally just can’t be bothered with shows that sport no characters of color or only the one token character of color. ARROW is a well acted, directed, and written show and provides lots of diverse actors in non-stereotypical roles. It’s a gem in a sea of sameness. Loving that first season enough to pick up the Bluray.

For the SciFi and Horror Fans out there I recommend:

EUROPA REPORT, THE FRANKENSTEIN THEORY and TROLL HUNTER are all three, enjoyable examples of the found footage film.
RIPPER STREET
THE WALKING DEAD – I’m not a Darabont fan, typically because he doesn’t have a subtle bone in his body, and his usage of characters of color shows a pattern of being unflattering at best. I understand the Walking Dead TV show is going to be a different animal from the Walking Dead book, that said changes when they happen should improve upon the source material, not diminish it. And I feel the first few episodes of THE WALKING DEAD unnecessarily takes a dumbed down approach, to very innovative material.

On the Drama/Thriller side I recommend:

hummingbird_ver7_xlrgREDEMPTION (aka by the less intriguing title HUMMINGBIRD)- starring Jason Statham, is a surprisingly well acted film from the typically taciturn action star. Along with SAFE and THE EXPENDABLES it is one of his best films.

LIE TO ME- Based on an Israeli TV show, this is one of the few police procedurals I enjoy.  Incredibly engrossing and informative.

BURN NOTICE- is another enjoyable series. I like to describe it as, Macgyver if it was good. :).

For the gastronomically inclined among you I recommend:

MARCEL’S QUANTUM KITCHEN
KITCHEN NIGHTMARES US Version

Those are the ones to seek out, some to avoid on Netflix are:

KILL ‘EM ALL
TACTICAL FORCE- interesting cast, but the directing, writing is subpar
THE FROZEN – couple stranded in the cold and hunted, sounds like an intriguing premise. But is a recipe for boredom in this film.
THE INNKEEPERS- I was and am a huge fan of Ti West’s HOUSE OF THE DEVIL, so was very much looking forward to watching THE INNKEEPERS, but unfortunately while it sports the wonderful Ti West use of Framing and Camera angles, the movie has no real substance or interest. The writing, plot is a major failing, with dumb and annoying characters choosing to do dumb things which immediately takes me out of a movie. Plus the scare scenes are poorly done and edited, the movie lacks any real power, and end of day is both predictable and empty. Rating is: Avoid.

As far as the ones to own:

Arrow: The Complete First Season [Blu-ray]

Ip Man [Blu-ray]

DVD REVIEW: BAND OF BROTHERS?!!— You’re kidding me right?

What I’m Watching:

BAND OF BROTHERS- They call this BAND OF BROTHERS, and there ain’t no Brothers in the movie? WTF? 🙂

I’m only half joking though.

Film kinda ignores the heavy colored presence, to include such decorated veterans as Walter Morris, of the nationality: American, of the ethnicity: Black, of the occupation: Bad Ass, who was a paratrooper and spearheaded the 555th during the same 1944 period this series covers.

Don’t get me wrong BAND OF BROTHERS is not a bad show from the bit I watched of it, it just seems a bit… opaque. I mean even if your central story is of this certain company… fine, that’s fine, but then I look at the major massings, the troop movements with the group transports when they get on the boats, there’s like two Black faces in a crowd, that if you blink you missed it.

It just seems the filmmakers went out of their way to portray an entire war fought sans persons of color, and that if I might say, in my best British accent, is… bollocks!

Ahhh feel better now. But my feeling better aside, that… shortsightedness, that tendency to ignore, is increasingly the cinema of 21st century America, a cinema of turning back the clock.

It’s pretty much a big eff you to the people of color who lost their lives in yet another War for liberty, a liberty that, at V days end, again failed to extend to them and their families. Yet fight they did. So to paint an entire war as absent of that perspective, even that awareness, (hell RED TAILS had white people in it :)) well that just strikes me from every angle as whitewashed bs.

Because if you can’t acknowledge that inexplicable fact of every American War, from the revolution down,,, that people denied equality fought for it, fought for the dream that lives behind the lie, the promise of America… then you make a lie of the sacrifice, not just of those of color who fought and bled and gave their last best measure, but a lie of all who fought, of all who served, of all who gave, of all who lost.

Because the war, was about the very rights of man… and to forget that, to not acknowledge that, with every generation, with every nation, with every breath… is to savior the axis philosophy… rather than to slay it.

Ohhh… deep.

So to be less deep… Goddamn producer Tom Hanks! Even damn racist John Wayne put a couple people of color in his films. WTF? And to think I liked you in FOREST GUMP! :).

Yeah I can’t watch anymore of this BAND OF WHITE BROTHERS :). Grade: I’ll pass. Nicely acted, from what I can see, just have no interest in finishing it. Damn I ain’t saying make Billy D. Williams the star, but would it have killed you to acknowledge the war was fought by more than CW stars?! :).

‘CW stars’, that’s a good one. I slay me. 🙂