Posts Tagged ‘Jimmy Olsen’

Smallville Season 9 episode mini-reviews Part Uno

Sunday, 11 July 2010

Source material can be found here PLUS watching the show.

Already wrote about the first two eps so we’re starting with the third one…

Rabid – It’s a zombie movie, only with no gore!  I always hate rip-offs of other shit, be they of effects, plots or both.  Which means I am unhappy most of the time.

Echo – I understand how difficult it is to write balanced stories with nearly-indestructable characters, but I’ll always resent the pain-in-the-ass Jor-El Easy Button.  The Jor-El of Smallville can strip Clark of his regular powers at will; in this ep we learn he can also bestow new ones (only to remove them again at a critical moment).  Clark’s imperfect humanity is what makes him a hero, so having a mind-reading ability cheated him (and us) out of having to work up the courage to ask out Lois without knowing the outcome. The Toyman (Christopher Gauthier) is played by a guy who can really act (always good to have a few of those around) and the same, as always, goes for Hartley’s Green Arrow.  Oliver’s rock-bottom suicide attempt transcended dramatic expectations, and weren’t you pleasantly freaked out by the robot?  One more thing:  that poor dude in the bomb mask at the beginning was an innocent kidnap victim. It was probably bad editing, but it seemed like Clark let that guy die in the explosion.  WTF?

Roulette – I can’t watch anyone “buried alive” or even trapped in a coffin above ground so I had trouble breathing and had to TIVO through that shit.  If it wasn’t Oliver as the victim of this lame The Game rip-off it would be unwatchable.  No, I take that back, this was a pretty damned good ep overall.

Crossfire – Don’t really remember this one, except the threat of a potential Oliverarrow sidekick worried me.  Even though it ripped-off the effects of Superman Returns, the ending kicked ass, and the “pimp” who got served looked like a fat-faced clone of Justin Timberlake.  Oh yeah, and Clark kissed Lois.

Kandor – This is the one where this season shit the cot, for me anyway.  It was cool to start the show on Krypton, but it got me thinking (uh oh).  Kryptonians were supposed to be this very “advanced” alien race, but there they were, fighting in trenches like it was WW1.  And what exactly were they fighting about?  Seems there should have been some kind of super-suit that duplicated the yellow sun, so that at least Krypton’s armies or police force would be Superbeings, thus shortening, ah, wars and conflicts and such.

The story of the blood wasn’t explained very well, and to this moment I don’t really care enough to explore it.  THE Moment of Logic Fail:  all the Kandorians on earth are CLONES.  That means the real people (Zod, Jor-El, etc.) are LONG DEAD and these clones should be free to chart their own destinies.  If they were so dangerous, Clark should have (painlessly) killed them all, it would’ve been like tearing up copies of an obsolete original document, OR he could’ve just killed Baby Zod as he seemed to be the only troublemaker (obviously there would be no stories at all if Clark did what he was supposed to do in a timely manner).

The greatest WTF moment of the season also occurs during this episode.  As Jor-El faces criminal charges we get to see the Kryptonian “Council of Faces” and they added an old broad to the mix (ah, diversity!).  I really think that was the whole point of the scene, showing off the broad, but the WTF occurs when the Faces sentence Jor-El…..to DEATH.  ??????  According to the first two Superman movies the Kryptonians had no death penalty; they were stupid liberals, launching Zod and Friends into space in the Phantom Zone mirror-thingy where the odds of them being freed were infinitesmal yet dangerous enough not to do it (“forever” is a time long enough for even God to screw up, witness Earth).  And apparently the Kryps couldn’t program the Phantom Zone to avoid galaxies with yellow suns.  For the record, actor Callum Blue as Baby Zod is entertaining, and did well all season considering what he had to work with.

Idol – Wonder Twins?  All right, all right, but they kept the bullshit to a minimum, so really it was like watching any episode with additional super-powered beings.  And Allison Scagliotti as Jayna was cute as a bug’s ear.  Every actress on Smallville should be named Allison in real life.

This ends Part Uno of Smallville Season 9 episode mini-reviews.  When Part Deux is up, this sentence will become a link to it.

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Smallville: Review of Season 9 Premiere and Episode 2

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Smallville_Dark_Clark

Since last we spake of all things Smallville, the season premiere of Season 9 has come and gone: “Baby” Zod introduced, Tess the not-quite-hot Lex replacement reintroduced, Chloe weepy, Lois flummoxed, Green Oliver shirtless. And, of course, Kal-Neo with the black trenchcoat. To my surprise, early on in the plot there was a brief argument with Jor-El (The Useless) about flight, which the writers are setting up to be something of a reverse-impotence problem: whenever Clark thinks of Lois he can’t get it up, or rather, he’s never gotten it up. There’s even a throwaway scene where Clark leaps from the Statue of Liberty and plummets (the outcome is never shown so we can assume he went straight into the ground).

Most of the show was TIVO chow, that is, filler and needless exposition, but that’s true of most shows. The Kryptnonian Ninja-Girl who looked like a rip-off of a Mortal Kombat character made little sense. In the “sky train” she and Lois trade blows but later on KNG is seen using heat-vision. Well, does she have The Powers or not?

KNG introduces an extra minute or so of hot barn combat that comes free-of-charge with every Season Premiere. It was pleasing to see Clark FINALLY kicking some ass/holding his own after ninja-girl uses blue K to temporarily strip his powers. Before exiting stage left KNG warns Clark that he betrays everyone ‘one year from now’. Even Marty McFly had the good sense to write a goddamned letter explaining WTF is going on; just seems like common sense for any time traveler to have a ready explanation DVD or other media for when she meets herself, knowing she might be killed or knocked out on arrival.

Ah yes, I almost forgot, the most magical MacGuffin of all, the Power Ring which can alter entire plotlines in a single bound, and which in future eps will no doubt be used to bring Jimmy Olsen back and possibly even Lex.

The scenes with “Baby Zod” were all right, Callum is trying his best. The best thing about Zod and Friends are those Kryptonian army dog tags they wear, which I hope the WB has the good sense to make and sell to many nerds such as me.

“Special Guest” Brian Austin Green I’ve saved for last because his character runs right into the second episode, where he, as John Corbin, mysteriously becomes Metallo. It’s a mostly useless, predictable transformation, using the absurd and totally fake-looking CG hit-by-a-speeding-bus effect. Corbin awakens not knowing how or who or why he suddenly has a kryptonite heart (in case he seems too sympathetic, writer laziness also has the kryptonite affecting his brain to make him ‘eviler’).

Actually, 9-0-2-1-Metall-0 makes a surprisingly strong case against Clark and his meddling. Turns out Clark saved a busload of prisoners from crashing…except one escaped and raped and killed Corbin’s sister. To Corbin (and me) Clark is ultimately responsible for this negative outcome. It may not be right, it may not be fair, but godlike powers = godlike blame. Now we all know Superman doesn’t kill, but given the choice between saving a runaway bus loaded with rapists and killers blessedly heading for a tall rocky cliff of taxpayer savings or rescuing a kitten from a tree 100 miles away in the other direction…

Smallville Season 9 is off to a better-than-average start, but before anyone gets a big head over at the CW, let it be known when I mention the very name Smallville, almost universally the response is, “Wow, is that still on?

The witty primer to this Season 9 ep review can be found here.


Smallville Season 9: “And then there’s Zod…”

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

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SMALLVILLE is back!

I, like so many other nerds will be there Friday night (or TIVO will) for the premiere of Season 9 . The first ep of a new season is usually the most exciting because of the deceptively well-edited recap of the last season (ugh), spending a tad more on the effects and well, there’s just a lot of promise and potential…at least for the first half of episode one.

I don’t know what to make of the Season 9 promo. Clark in an all-black Matrix Reloaded Neo getup…minus flight. So many people would sacrifice 20 or even 30 years off their lifespan to be able to fly, yet for some reason Clark has no interest in it. Even if he hated to fly, shouldn’t he realize flight would enable him to save more people faster?

I know their hands are chained by all kinds of legal and story continuity/canon reasons, but Smallville’s producers/writers have shown time and again, they’re not overly interested in the logic or story shards they CAN work with, not even comic book logic. Season 8 sucked, there’s no way around it…the only interesting moment I can remember is Lois possessed by Faora, Wife of Zod. Season 7 was even more atrocious than 8, and would’ve been redeemable only by having Lana thrown into the sun, any sun, red or yellow. Lex Luthor’s character arc was ultimately a bust. Doomsday should’ve been a one or two episode character, not a dragged out, go-nowhere, season-long fugazi.

Brian Austin Green as Metallo? Well, Green’s been working with robots the past few years, but Metallo is Metallo…ultimately just another one of 50 or so characters that have thrown Clark across schools, labs, forests, caves, icicles or fields. Every time Clark meets new villains, he seems completely clueless how to fight them; like he has no prior experience. Which after 8 years has gotten very, very old.

And then there’s Zod.

I Was A Teenaged Zod. Oh look, finally, a roomful of kneelers to actually listen to Zod command them!

I’m going to take a guess about the origin of this new younger Zod, who is supposed to be not yet as evil and powerful. Instead of being born evil, this Zod will be a cynical military officer who was somehow betrayed by Krypton’s government in a none-too-subtle liberal allegory of the Iraq War (or Afghanistan). Hey, my guess is as good as any.

Actor Callum Blue* seems interesting enough and even has a “Zod-like” voice, but who knows? Sam Witwer was a superior actor last season and his character went nowhere.

Word is that a Season 10 of Smallville is official. Instead of committing to it, now would be a damned good time to end Smallville and begin “Metropolis”, a fan-inspired idea for a show about “grown-up” Superman. Put Welling in the suit already! No blame to Routh, but Superman Returns was a bad, illogical movie. Let Metropolis rock for a few years on the tube, then do a Superman reboot for the big screen.

For all your Smallville needs (minus my bullshit) be sure to visit KryptonSite.

* The name “Callum” means “dove”. Irony!

 

Read the follow-up review to this post here!

Smallville Season 8 Finale – Sucked

Thursday, 14 May 2009

I’m not gonna put any more effort into this review than the writers did with Smallville’s season finale.

Really, the show is so bad that I’m more impressed with how little the producers are offering fans and how much they’re getting away with rather than how well any story is told.

Doomsday, both character and storyline, was a total flop, and the featured non-battle lasting less than a minute was exactly what I figured they’d do, with the exception that Super-Lana was nowhere to be seen.

I didn’t look for any announcements online that a Season 9 had been approved, hell, maybe it hasn’t been. It would almost be a blessing to leave it all in limbo.

The obscenities against fans are stacking up: power orbs, talismans, prophecies, the female Lex wannabe, a dumbfuck Clark whose powers are stripped from him or their limitations rewritten every other episode, and now future/time travel shit with the League from the Future or whoever they are, brought in as a plot-saving cheap stunt in the vein of “it was all a dream”: I can’t believe there’s any Smallville fan over the age of 12 who shed a tear when Jimmy Olsen “died”.

I’m wondering if the one guy who actually visited M39 to argue that ‘you’re not being forced to watch the show’ would still show his face after tonight’s miscarriage.

Why do I still subject myself to Smallville? Because I love Superman and the Superman mythos.

Unfortunately for the still-millions of Smallville fans, we’re not being entertained and rewarded for caring.

We’re only watching for signs of life.

Smallville In Extremis

Tuesday, 13 May 2008

It’s sheer kryptonite masochism to even write about Smallville anymore. The last 3 episodes have been as dismal as the previous.

Jimmy Olsen as 007/Bourne – Another “20 hours earlier” crapfest. My favorite part is when Olsen soundlessly drops from an AC duct. Must be a great feeling to start out an aw-shucks camera-wielding doofus only to discover you’re a ninja who can dance like Arthur Murray when forced into service by an agent of the “Department of Domestic Security.”

What if? – What if Clark had never made it to earth for some reason? Who knows, nobody bothered to come up with an interesting answer. Clark and his idiot super-cheekboned cousin can’t dodge a bullet across the room just because it’s made with kryptonite. This after countless previous seasons’ encounters where Clark had time to yawn and cook eggs at superspeed while various bullets crawled out of the ends of guns. If k-bullets were all it took to kill him, every villain would have such a gun.

Once again, Rosenbaum finds himself in the natty ironic all-white Apocalypse suit while the same footage of Judgment Day missiles from Terminator 3 gets re-used. Whew! That saves us writers like, a whole minute of creating anything new!

Then we’re treated to one of the most absurd scenes in the entire series’ history when Clark holds his baby self and places him in the ship that will carry him to earth! Is this still a dream? If not, where are Jor-El and Lara? Why does Clark lose his powers 2 seconds after skipping through the portal to Krypton? (Yes, I know about the red sun, but only kryptonite drains him that fast, otherwise, he loses his powers slowly).

(We interrupt this review with a mini-rant about Brainiac. This fucking plot irritant has never been given a solid background or explanation as to why it’s programmed to be evil, nor does Clark EVER try querying the Fortress crystals/Snore-El for answers about how to defeat it [or fly]).

The current episode where Lex follows yet another MacguffinI don’t know what to say about the “Veritas” plotline other than that it’s dumb. Just…dumb.

Wait…my super-hearing is picking up a meeting of Smallville’s writing team…

Smallville Writer #1: ….so we make Lionel part of this secret society that knew about Clark “The Traveler” all along!

Smallville Writer #2: But that makes no sense! It negates whole seasons’ worth of build-up! What about the Malachi caves?

Smallville Writer #3: Kawachi caves, dummy. Malachi was the name of the brothers in Happy Days that tried to crush the Fonz in a demolition derby. Thus, the Malachi Crunch.

SW#1: How did you know that?

SW#3: I’ve got internet access on my Sprint Gigapump Phonetextthingy! Everything you need!

SW#2: Shit. I’d have known that but I left my Sprint Gigapump Phonetextthingy in my Toyota Yaris. It’s sitting between the Yaris’s standard dual airbags and mp3 jack, right next to my pack of Stride Penguinmint Gum!

SW#1: AS I WAS SAYING, Lionel was part of this Secret Society along with Christopher Reeve, I mean, Virgil Swan. We just make everyone a part of this Secret Society in order to fill in any plot holes we missed: Swan, Margot Kidder, Chloe’s Mom Lynda Carter, The Queens, Lois’s Dad The General, Lana’s Parents, The Olsens, The Olsen Twins, The Trumps, The Jeffersons, The Bunkers, The Flintstones–

SW#2: —The Kents. (The other two look at him.) No? You said everyone! What’s the name of this Secret Society, anyway?

SW#1: I don’t know, but it’s got to be something Latin. Yaritas?

SW#3: Worry about that later. This Secret Sprint society will be the reason Lionel was always busy and ignoring Lex! Even though we’re not mentioning it till now!

SW#1: Because up until now it was a secret!

SW#2: What about when Lionel was made a Kryptonian vessel by Jor-El and won that episode’s superpowers lottery? Didn’t he get all of the answers right then? How could be give a crap about the Stride Gum Society after learning everything?!

SW#1: The answer to that, my friends, is simple. We kill off Lionel.

SW#2: Can’t we just make him blind again? Or shave his head in slow motion? That was cool.

SW#3: All right, let’s get started. We need another villain this week. The rebel vampire guy from Buffy?

SW#1: What the hell! It’s lunchtime! I’m having a salad! A very-tossed salad!

SW#2: Did you just say “veritas?” Isn’t that Latin?


This week we got a dose of “The Doctor” from Voyager as the last survivor of Veritas. Once again a mere mortal gets the drop on Clark–who can move at a speed par with light–by opening a secret lead compartment on his staff, revealing that all-purpose plot device, kryptonite. Oh well, even Clark’s not fast enough to speed away from lazy writing.

There was one cool moment this episode: the workings of the creepy CGI clock. spoiled only by the rest of the episode surrounding it. One cool moment in an hour (40 minutes, if you have Tivo) ain’t enough. Lest you challenge my opinion of the lameness, when Clark speeds out of the church the candles near the doorway don’t even flutter.

Coming up next week, it appears Lex, after weeks of chasing Super Macguffins around the globe, finally discovers the Fortress and possibly Clark’s “secret” now known by at least 10 or more people. Incidentally, the Fortress of “Solitude” has seen almost as many guests as the rent-controlled apartments on Friends.

I don’t know how finding the Fortress will enable Lex to ‘control’ Clark when NO ONE, including SuperBlonde Cheekbones who lived on Krypton for many years, knows how to operate it. The thing must’ve been made in China as it’s provided ZERO help from the day it was created. You’ve got the last remnant of an advanced world and civilization yet the writers can’t make a single compelling story around it. That, friends, is a total load of Stride.

Smallville yanks the football once again, Charlie Brown

Thursday, 17 April 2008

Just finished the latest ep of Smallville.

As Lionel Luthor flew (straight down) to his death he neither shouted nor flailed but smiled enigmatically. At that moment I knew it wasn’t the character but character actor John Glover who was smiling, because except for probably a few flashbacks he’s done with the ongoing disaster my once-favorite show has become.

Once again, after waiting weeks, a new episode rewards we idiot faithful with less than a minute of action in a story that stretched 10 minutes of plot into 40 minutes of shit dialogue and uninspired acting.

Everyone responsible for this show has given up. No one gives a shit. Except for the Vancouver crew behind the camera (you know a show stinks when you’re thinking about how many crew members it took to create the sets) I sense everyone is as tired and fed-up of this show as its long-suffering fans.

So now Lionel Luthor is dead, murdered by Lex. No one knows how to react to this, including the people that wrote this crap. And no one cares.

Here’s a brief eulogy:

Lionel Luthor was a character created in probably 5 minutes. He was created as a symbol of the ruthless greed and lack of creativity of Smallville’s producers. Lionel’s creation was a risky move, since there were no comic books with his backstory to fall back on then ignore.

Depending on the Thursday at hand Lionel was many things to many people: plot device, cartoon villain, Darth Vader figure to his iconic son, sociopath, evil non-genius, corporate cutthroat, philanthropist, blind man, wife abuser, killer of his own parents, government agent puppetmaster, secret society secretary, serial murderer, kidnap victim, assassination target, organized crime dabbler, exploiter of Native American Canadians, borrower of Clark’s powers and shameless flirt with Martha Kent.

He was also a foil for Bo Duke, er, Jonathan Kent, when Jonathan was alive, but that was so long ago no one remembers.

While played with sincere competence by actor John Glover, Lionel was never a likable or interesting character. Even after he was morally “changed” by discovering Clark’s secret + getting a zap from the Jor-El ex machina, he remained more or less the same, only with a flared mullet to remind others of his ruthless leonine prowess.

Speaking of leonine, Lionel Luthor was passionately in love with the letter L. Not only did he marry a woman whose name began with an L (Lillian), there was son Lex, half-brother one-shot Lucas, Lulian the dead baby, Lana, Lason, Lhloe, Limmy Olsen, Lois and Clark. (Had Clark been named Lark, Lionel would’ve adopted him outright).

All in all, Lionel Luthor was a wonderful character who helped explain why Lex Luthor has been, is, or will be evil, except when he was used by lazy writers as filler and to put the brakes on an already plodding and tedious jalopy of a plot, or once-again threatening Ms. Sullivan.

Lionel will not just be missed but SUPER-missed until the next flashback, dream sequence or the T-1000 Brainiac replicates him to fool Lex into thinking Lex is crazy. The end……………..OR IS IT?

I also got to see the rerun of the months-old episode where Lex goes to Detroit-couver to rescue Super-Blondie. I, like the other 50 or so Smallville fans left in the world, audibly gasped (or didn’t) when Lex got shot exactly where the third eye is in meditation! I was worried Lex was going to die!–just like I was worried that girl that was Luke’s mother in Star Wars Episode 2 would die in the Willy Wonka Robot Factory before getting pregnant with Luke!

Though I still have the ep starring a pack of gum to look forward to, I still pray:

Sweet Kara, Mother of Clark, make this awful season end already.