Short Thoughts

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This is a new weekly article from me that will focus on everything I’ve enjoyed for the week in Television, Film, Comics and Gaming with a short 5minute review of my take on each item. So here’s my first Short Thoughts.

Raw- 17/11
This episode was the go home show for Survivor Series, and was an improvment over the last few weeks worth of action. We got a surprise Intercontinental Title match, that led to a champioship switch and I’m excited to see where Luke Harper can go with this run. We got the total decimation of Sheamus, so he’s no longer within contention to take his place within Team Cena- and this spot got filled at the end of the show by none other than Rowan. This face turn is shocking.
However the highlight of this show was the match between Cesaro and Ryback- not the regular technical classic we get from Cesaro but it was a really good television match. And the authority laid out at the end of the show makes me believe they could be victorious at Survivor series at this point.

Walking Dead- Consumed S5 Ep 6
This weeks show was another episode that put the spotlight on only one section of the group, this time focusing on Carol and Daryll. This weeks show gave us a nice recap on what Carol has been doing sincce we last saw her and how she survived to return to ‘Terminus’ and save the group. We then got to see how Carol arrived at the hospital and who Daryl had with him on his return to Ricks group several episodes ago.
This episode was light on the zombie gore- but gave us some more amazing character interactions and moments between two of the most interesting characters within the show and for that reason is one of the better episodes this season.

Marvel Agents of SHIELD- S2 Ep 7The Things We Bury
This was another solid episode from SHIELD, that has really improved since season2 began and the whole Tahiti mystery was solved at the end of the first season. This episode gave us some more of Skye’s father, and allowed us to see the lengths he will go too in order to get his daughter back. However the real hook this episode was with Daniel Whitehall and how he was linked to Hydra’s creation and directly to the Red Skull. This was a geat episode to tie together all of the loose string relating to the Inhuman teases so far this season- and we finally saw the fate of Skyes mother and learned that Hydra were resposible for her death not SHIELD. Add to this the first reall appearance of Peggy Carter post Captain America and this was a great episode that delivered in every aspect.

The Flash- S1 Ep6 The Flash is Born
The Flash is doing many things right, but still gets a few bits wrong. However todays episode was good, we finally got to see the Flash reach Mach1 speed and deliver sonic boom. However the filming of said moment wasnt brilliant- it lacked the visual brilliance of the one in Snyder’s Man of Steel but was still a feel good moment. We got some more development on the ‘Reverse Flash’ which was really nice as he seems to be the over arching theme for this series and that desperately needs some  more focus as the Villain of the week formula is starting to wear thin. This may have something to do with the lack of real A-list villains that the Flash has, but some more focus on Reverse Flash should help iron this out. However atleast Barry official got the name ‘The Flash’ this week so thats something.

Gotham- S1 Ep9 Harvey Dent
As you can guess the big thing to happen this episode was the arrival of Harvey Dent, however that wasnt the best part of this issue by far infact it was possibly the low point. Harvey Dent looked too smug and self confident, and seemed to want to take a chance with the law purely to solve a personal grudge rather than because it served a purpose and this is a complete u-turn from the comic book character. Add to this the fact that he was shown to have a massive anger and rage outburst/issue and the character feels like they have removed any real layers to his personality to just give us the two sides of the personality on the surface early so we arent shocked by his suddent madness when hes disfigured- and this is a shame as Two Face can be a real asset to the show. However the show really delivered in its portrayal of the relationship between ‘Selina Kyle’ and ‘Bruce Wayne’ this week- and while its a deviation from the comic book lore it was heartwarming and entertaining in equal measures and was a highlight any time the two interacted on the screen- i wouldnt be adverse to seeing much more of this.

Amazing Spider-Man #10
This was the second episode of Spider-Verse and moved the story along nicely, introducing some more new ‘spiders’ alongside giving us the first real conflict between the ‘spiders’ and the ‘Inheritors” which was fairly short but a decisive win for the Inheritors and worth reading.  WE also got some more knowledge as to why Kaine and Silk are important and we also got to see the re-union between ‘Amazing Spider-man’ and ‘Superior Spider-man’ which goes aswell as you can imagine. However at times this book did feel a little bit like and advert for the mini-series spinning out of it- it was still a real written issue by Slott that delivered on everything it should.

Sons of Anarchy- S7 Ep11 Suit of Woe
This episode is the epitomy of everything that this show is about, and that’s great character work and amazingly in depth and layered story telling. Yes it may be wrapped up around a biker club and a huge level of violence that naturally goes with it,but this episode saw no violence and very little action but was possibly the best of the series so far. Sometimes the brutality lying in the emotions and motives of the characters and the rawness that rips through in these moments is more than enough for anyone, and this episode contained multiple moments like this- the worst being when Jax got the news from Juice that Gemma had killed Tara.

This is the episode that delivered the biggest change to characters all season thus far and for that reason seems like a real high point for a show that doesnt seem to have anything but great moments, and has set the course for the final episodes and it doesnt seem like theres any way this can end happily for anyone right now.

Arrow- S3 Ep 7 Draw Back Your Bow

This weeks show gave us another archer in town to cause trouble, and leave a few bodies in her wake before inevitably being stopped by ‘Team Arrow.’ However this episode is all about Ray Palmer, from his opening scene on the exercise bars to the final scene of him designing the ATOM exoskeleton, and I have to admit Brandon Rough is a real pleasant surprise in the role. His relationship with Felicity takes a new step this week, and we get to see Oliver looking less than pleased about this, but it makes sense given Palmers clear affection for her.

The villain this week seems a little cheesy for my tastes and a little lazily planned, as she  as originally saved during the riots by ‘Arrow’ and has decided to learn archery and stalk him while taking down bad guys to get his attention whilst displaying underlining mental health issues. She wasnt even given any real moments to display character other than cheesy love lines and one line quipps, and this is a real step back to the neginnig of season1 and no-one wants this. This episode has suffered from there not being an over arching theme to the season to tie into, as last season we saw the great Deathstroke story and this year we have who killed Sarah- but it’s really on the back burner right now until Ra’S All Ghul shows up in town later in the series. This episode was watchable but by no means great.

Smackdown- 21/11
Smackdown is very often the WWE’s B-show and is filled with repeat matches from Raw, but this week the show had some decent moments such as Rusev vs Ziggler, but on the whole was lacking something for the final show before the big Survivor Series PPV. The best moment was clearly the interaction between Amnbrose and Wyatt who were both on the top of their promo game, and this led to some brilliant work from the pair that was completely engaging. The added stipulation that if Team Cena lose they’re all fired seems like to a big a give away for the end of the PPV too in my eyes. This was a good episode of Smackdown by by no means essential viewing.

NXT 20/11
NXT is rapidly becoming the best single wrestling show that airs on a weekly basis- whether its taped or not. This week we got some entertaining moments from Enzo Amore and Big Cass, along with the Vaudevillains and ‘Luch Dragons.’

However we also got some good matches, we got tweo big squash matches featuring Bull Dempsey and Baron Corbin- but the real story here was he tease that these two may meet in the future as they crossed paths on the entrance ramp. The crowd helped make this too as they counted the time for each match, and as Bull passed the 22second mark set by Corbin a loud boo was heard- this feud could be gold if NXT continue it. On the Diva front we got a Becky Lynch and Bailey Match, and we got an emotinoal plea from Zayn for a future title shot. This show was an hr long highlight of how wrestling should be done.

American Horror Story- S4 Ep7 Test of Strength

This series has been a role, i’ll admit I was unsure after the first episode but since then it has really delivered on the character build and the general creepiness. Most of the creepy moments are provided by ‘Dandy’ who once again steals the spot light in this episode as his portrayal of a killer with no soul that happens to be living under his mother in aristocracy is downright scary, you never know if he is going to throw a tantrum or murder everyone.

This week also gave us more of amazon Eve and her strength alongside the first real acquisition of a freak for the museum at the hands of someone unexpected by the end of the episode. This show is continuing to deliver and im looking forward to more of it.

Constantine- S1 Ep 5 Danse Vaudou

Constantine has been a show that has been slowly picking up, it started out poorly and has gained momemtum to the point it delivered a more true to comic book Constantine last week with a darker story and a very manipulative John getting the job done. This week was a small step backwards, as John looked cleaner again (he should look so desheaveled) and was acting a little more like a hero and less like a dick. However on the plus side we got more of Papa Midnight which is never a bad thing, and we got our first real life full ghost story out of the way along with getting a brief glimpse at the future of John Corrigan who was introduced this week.

Most of this weeks show was aimed at introducing new characters, Papa Midnight got alot of screen time and a small backstory as too why he still practices voodo along with letting the audience meet the future ‘Spectre.’ However the end of the episode delivered the most shock as its revealed someone close to Constantine will betray him- thats a twist as usual Constantine has killed, sacrificed or betrayed everyone long before they get the chance. This was a decent episode for character work but not the strongest on storyline- as once they seemed to solve the vengeful ghost cause it was over in less then 5minutes, which was truely disapointing.

Avengers & X-Men: Axis #6

So far Axis has been an interesting read, really giving the Marvel universe something different in a big ‘blockbuster’ type event, and that continued in this weeks issue as we got too see the X-Men take over New York as mutant haven and threaten to kill any humans who remain all under the orders of Apocalypse- who is their current leader. We got too see Tony Stark drinking and playing at being a megalomanical god (which you could argue other than the drinking is normal) but Daredevil attempted to stop the damage he is doing to the town of San Francisco and a battle ensues.

We also got to see Magneto, Mystique and Sabretooth as heroes- so this issue gave us alot of odd things but they were all really good to see and so well written by Remender that it didnt seem to out of place or too drastic a change that you couldnt believe it would occur. This is a good issue that continues to deliver on a solid stroy so far.

WWE 2K15 (PS4)

This is a really anticipated game in my house as we really enjoyed 2K’s take on the franchise last year, and were expecting good things again from them in this years update especially as its the first ‘Current gen’ release of the WWE game. Well after the reviews of the PS3 version were poor my expectations were lowered slightly and i have to say theyre was no reason to worry- from what ive played so far the game is great. It looks grapihcally fantastic on the entracnes, cut scenes and the in ring action and you cant ell that 2K have really spent their time in this element of the game as all the animations are fluid and smooth. The in ring action has changed however, not only has it slowed down but it also plays out much more like a real wrestling match thanks to the new ‘chain wreslting’ manouvers and the addition of a working stamina bar for your wrestler. This means each action needs to be thought out and theres simply no more consatly running at people or jumping off the ropes every 10seconds, you really need to think things through and use a good old rest hold now and again to regain some stamina and momentum for that finisher. My only complaint so far is that the ‘kick out’ meter from last year has returned but has been revamped making it very difficult to kick out of finishing manoveurs regardless of whether or not your truly injured before this moment. The roster is good and well balanced on the stats, I’m yet to play career mode but Showcase mode looks good and is well structured so far. This is a real winner.

Avengers #38

Time Runs Out so far has been a massive storyline that has been running through multiple titles but making all its big moves within the core Avengers title, and this months is no different. The issue sees most of the previous events tied up together into a decent explanation of how everything that Jonathan Hickman has written since taking the helm is forming part of this story while at the same time flipping the script on what we thought we knew about the Avengers, SHIELD and Costa’s team of heroes on their missions to stop each other and save the multiverse. This series is still dealing with huge stories and asking for a deep level of undestanding but is equally exciting- the last page alone is a great visual image for things to come. My only concern is im not sure where in the continuity of the current Marvel universe this all takes place, but netherless its an intersting read that is ure to pay off in the long run. And who doesnt want to see a very grumpy Thor with a metallic arm getting closer and closer to beating everything up? But the biggest moment this issue- Cyclops has a Pheonix egg hes willing to use? What really, because i’d love to see that!

Uncanny X-Men #28

The fall out from the death of Charles Xavier continues to have huge waves in the lives of the X-Men and those who truly followed his idelas and loved the man, and this story gives us just another example of how unsympathetic Xavier truly was to others that he deemed posed a threat to the dreams of co-existence. We pick up with Matthew (a mutant who had his powers subdued by Xavier) has regained his powers and taken down an entire SHIELD hellicarier and killed all on board before being confronted by Cyclops with an offer to help him control his powers, before Cyclops and Magik teleport him away. This issue is a good read as it really shows how far Cyclops has moved away from his mentors dream saving Matthew so he can use him to “Take our rightful place” and explaining his take on mutants in the new world and how he knows how dangerous real power can be- this is all backed up with some brilliantly old artwork to highlight previous powerful mutants, and this is the real highlight of the issue. The emotional breakdown of Beast was surprising and shocking and really adds weight to the current situation of the X-Men as divided and limited in number they appear to be sufficating in a world thay truly does hate them more now than ever. Magnetos appearance was too brief for my liking, as this is one of the reasons i was hooked by the issue- but does look like it could add a real hook to the next few issues.

22Jump Street
I’m going to be honest here an say that i really enjoyed the first movie, I wasnt expecting much but it truly over delivered on the comedy and the enjoyment factor and won me over. However the idea of sequel with the exact same synopsis but taking place within College didnt fill me full of hope- however the writers and the script actually acknowledged this in the first 15minutes “It’s exactly the same case, just do the same thing,” meant that I was able to watch knowing it wasnt going to do anything new and i openly welcomed the familiar comedy partnership and duo split. The film was full of random guest stars, and some hilariously funny moments from Channing Tatum which helped make this a decent movie- not as good as the first but a worthwhile watch. The end credits scene was also really done as they mock the ability to just create repeated sequels in a truly funny manner that contains a brilliantly cast cameo too- I wouldn’t recommend you rush out to watch this but its by no means in need of avoiding.
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