4 Contributor

Recent Achievements

About Billo0255

Living the life in Southern California just a few miles from Venice Beach (which should be a reality show all by itself). Jack-of-a few-trades. Had about 4 careers that included Healthcare, Information Technology, Legal/Purchasing/Contract Negotiator, and writing for a tech website. So, why am I here? Good question. Short version I've been watching TV for a really, really, long time now. I've also been collecting comic books for a really, really.. well you get the idea. Unil the 21st century came along I had no real hope that comic... err.. graphic novels would be taken seriously but when they were my faith in humanity rose, and my somewhat noticeable disdain for producers who wouldn't know the difference between Clark Kent and Bruce Wayne, and couldn't name at least one alternate universe if the Red Hulk came crashing through their doors and their life depended on it, lessened somewhat.

So, I'm a science fiction, graphic novel (or comic book), mystery, action, supernatural and other more eclectic genre fan in the printed word, picture, and on TV and movies. I'm not a critic but I do have opinions which will likely clash with at least one or more individuals. But, that's okay. There's a reason that MacDonalds, Taco Bell, KFC haven't closed down. They cater to the masses and so they've found a formula that works for them. But, not everyone eats there. The point? Different tastes.

I'm not going to spend time insulting shows or actors. I've got a really high tolerance for shows that I love. If I drank wine, I probably would never make it as a snobbish wine conisieur. Same in the TV / Movie space. But, if there is some really bad acting (and if I notice it it's probably going to be pretty bad), or poor special effects (if that's something that is core to the story), or if the story just didn't fit, then I'll probably point it out.

So, if you are a fan of the same stuff I am, or even if your aren't, sit back read my insightful <cough>, insanely brilliant (no ego here, very humble), and hopefully intelligible reivews and commentary and then 'prepare to be whelmed.

  • Registered since: Dec 4, 2015

Articles written

Comments left

Demons of the Punjab Episode

Demons of the Punjab

After watching six episodes of the new Doctor I believe the "companions" are settling in nicely. A complaint from some might be that the stories have been less focused on the Doctor and on the companions. I don't see that as a negative. While each of the Doctor's incarnations personalities differ there are still some basic traits they all seem to share. Courage, spontaneity, stubborness/determination, leadership, intelligence, ability to stay calm under pressure, occassional self-absorption and social awkwardness, and an uncompromising drive to be protectors. Viewers who have followed Doctor Who for any amount of time know The Doctor far better than the companions so I'd expect the writers to put in some effort to focus on the companions in order to establish their strengths and weaknesses, at least for the first season. With four companions that is going to take more air time than it would for the typical one or two companion

Everyone will always have their favorite and least favorite Doctor. Transitioning from one to the next can be difficult. When the transition occurred from David Tennant to Matt Smith it took me many episodes before I finally accepted Matt Smith. David Tennant was just that good. Plus his being in the role for 4 years made it difficult to accept a new Doctor in his place. Then I felt the same way when Matt Smith left and Peter Capaldi took over. After the fierce intensity of David Tennant and the hyperactive energy of Matt Smith I was less than enthusiastic to see Peter Capaldi's more mature, stable, and intellectual approach to the role. But it didn't stop me from watching and enjoying the show. I just missed some of the energy.

Jodie Whittaker, like those actors who precede her in this role, will have fans and detractors. Some because she's a woman taking on the role that has been filled by a male since ths show's inception. Some will criticize the show because she's a woman, but instead of admitting that will say it's because of bad writing, acting, or some other vague rationale.

In some cases, those critiques may be justified. But, not every show will be a 10 star production no matter who is in the role.

Writers who have written for, what has traditionally been, a male character may choose to make some adjustments to fit a female character. So far, that hasn't happened, or at least the character has not falling into a stereotype. While some of the stories have been more weighted towards some sensitive social issues, which I don't consider to be a negative although some clearly do, this latest incarnation of The Doctor still reacts to our terrestrial problems the same way she would react to the same issues if they were occurring in another galaxy. That's nothing new either. Doctor Who is meant to entertain and if it did not do that it would not still be on the air or have such a vast following. Throughout it's history, it has shown the horrors of war, the darker side of aliens and humans personalities including injustice, greed, lack of compassion, prejudice, hate, bigotry, and intolerance.

It has also shown The Doctors and their companions optimism, hope, and a dedicated perserverance to fighting injustice, and at times, winning against impossible odds.

There may be a lesson or moral to some stories that makes some feel uncomfortable enough to criticize the show without any real justification. Also, in my opinion, not a negative. That's the part of the art of good storytelling. To make people think, to feel, and maybe to become better versions of themselves.

MacGyver, Jr.? Article

MacGyver, Jr.?

@zutroy - I agree with you on the theme song. The new version just doesn't fit. The two intro's above also show one other major difference and that is that the old MacGyver was a lot more physical than the newer version. Like you, I'll keep watching. It may not be the best show out there but it is still watchable,

@Stelth - Hopefully the producers, writers, showrunners, powers-that-be will make some adjustments. It's not a terrible show but it could stand some improvements here and there. Like foo mentioned, there is some decent chemistry between the two main characters that you don't always see in a first season. While it won't save the show it is at least a nice change from the traditional bickering that starts out on more than a few shows that inevitably evolves into the characters becoming friends, lovers, married couples, or whatever. The rest of the characters in this cast are a bit too cliche'd and could use some more depth that does not currently exists.

One character I'm having trouble with is played by actor Justin Hires. He just came off of Rush Hour, another reboot, that only lasted a season. Nothing against the actor but I'm puzzled why the writers decided to include him as comic relief. So far it doesn't seem like the character really adds much to the story. Maybe they have plans for him in the future, otherwise I think he's wasted in this show. Plus, if I were him, if MacGyver fails, as an actor I might be a bit worried about being on two different reboots that didn't make it.

Let's Travel to Westworld Article

Let's Travel to Westworld

It has been a long time since I watched the original Westworld so memory is a bit fuzzy on most of the movies details. I generally remember it being okay. It was pretty sanitized with a PG rating. Not unusual for a 1970's movie that wanted to appeal to a wider audience. The movie wasn't trying to be deep and insightful, (it was a sci-fi western after all). But, for anyone who got past the superficial layers of the movie it did raise some moral and ethical issues about killing and having sex with an android that, to the guests, were mostly indistinguishable from another human being.

When should entertainment be allowed to cross the boundaries of what polite society considers to be "fun" to fulfilling someone's darkest desires in the form of sadism, torture, rape, murder, and general mayhem? The answer to that is, at least based on the Westworld created in 1973 and the latest incarnation on HBO, sometime in the future.

I grew up reading Isaac Asimov's books where robots and androids were frequently the central characters (I, Robot as an example), so the idea that a robot or android could become self-aware wasn't something new. Artificial intelligence is occasionally in the media either being touted as a solution to what ails humanity or as an apocalyptic doom. The concept within the Westworld mythos takes a different approach. A.I. is neither; it is just another way to make money.

When I heard this remake was being released, I was a bit leery since most remakes rarely surpass the originals. I think this one already has. First, and a no-brainer, since the original came out in 1973, special effects are light years ahead of what they were then. However, there's not much need for CGI special effects. In the Westworld “park” you see what you would expect in most westerns, wooden buildings, dusty streets, horses, lots of deserts and mountains (and there are many great shots of these), and the people (whether human or android) look like people. Inside the command center, there's futuristic gadgetry, but it is not overdone. Second, the acting is excellent. Anthony Hopkins and Ed Harris are great as always, but it is Evan Rachel Wood that was the standout in the pilot. There is a large cast and many good actors among them. Third, it is a series that looks like a movie. That is good as long as the series doesn't get bogged down. With so much more time to fill there is always a risk of the story losing focus and forward momentum.

The one thing that the 1973 Westworld movie could not do was go into much detail about much of anything, and after watching the first episode of the HBO series, it appears that drilling down into details is what this new incarnation will be doing. Someone watching this that had never heard of the movie Westworld might be a bit confused on some points. However, the first episode covered most of the basics while still leaving some questions unanswered for future episodes.

As far as "Female violence" is concerned, I think the most violent scene was around 59 minutes into the show when one of the female outlaws guns down about 11 men and women in less than a minute. That is the most Female violence I saw.

Violence against women? In our 2016 society, it is a bad thing, and it's unacceptable (but still occurs). In the old West when women were second class citizens according to political, religious, and societal customs, it happened. However, in this pilot HBO episode, the violence was gender neutral and violence against women (as opposed to violence against men) was not the focal point of the storyline. While violent, the show did not single out one gender over the other to pick on.

After only one episode it is tough to know if this is a remake or a revisioning of the original story. I am leaning towards the latter since HBO’s Man in Black is not a robot (at least I don't think he is...).

While there is western style violence (it is a sci-fi western after all), there is also the potential of a great story that will dig deeper into the how, what, and why that weren't entirely answered in the original movie. Plus, who knows, the original Westworld was part of Devos which was made up of Roman World, Medieval World, and Westworld. Maybe there's an opportunity to get a peek inside the other two "parks."

If you like sci-fi, Anthony Hopkins, robots/androids, westerns, special effects, corporate intrigue, desert scenery, sociopathic, rude and callous technicians, or a combination of any of the former combined with an interesting story than you might want to check it out.

Everybody Runs Episode

Everybody Runs

Although I do not have pre-cognitive abilities, and even though I do not consider it to be a bad show, after watching the first two episodes I had a feeling this show would not last.

What gave me a negative vibe about the show was that it was another police procedural that paired a cop with someone who is a genius, special, gifted (or whatever term applies). The Minority Report TV show is set in the future which is where the Minority Report movie was set. However, while the TV series has sci-fi gadgets, computers, and futuristic scenery the show was about solving the mystery of the week. The twist is that instead of solving a murder with a few clues, the goal is to try to stop a murder from occurring with a few clues using the non-cop's special gift.

Shows like Perception, Unforgettable, Numbers, Bones, Almost Human, The Mentalist, White Collar, Elementary, Forever, iZombie and others have sometimes used this premise effectively and been successful and sometimes not. Since this show is ending after ten episodes, it obviously falls in the "not" category.

If you were a fan of the Minority Report movie, then these ten episodes are worth watching if only to see what happened to the pre-cogs after their release from the Pre-Crime Bureau.If you’ve never seen or know nothing about the Minority Report movie, and are still interested, this show is still watchable since the series provides enough of a backstory, so a new viewer will not be totally lost.

The final few episodes introduced a shadowy terrorist organization intent on mass murder and a greedy cop intent on doing bad things to our heroes. Since the writers knew in advance the network was likely going to pull the plug the writers gave the series a reasonable ending that makes these ten episodes a self contained mini-series of sorts.

Networks can be pretty callous in regards to ending a show on a cliffhanger or with lots of unresolved questions, so it was a nice change of pace to have this show end with a credible conclusion.

This year has seen a large crop of science fiction (or semi-science fiction) shows cancelled or ended. Just to name a few, the list includes Continuum, Dominion, Defiance, Extant, Helix, Forever, Haven (a few episodes are left), Under the Dome, Falling Skies, Lost Girl, and now Minority Report.

I have a different standard and a higher tolerance when it comes to science fiction. That is because so few quality science fiction shows seem to be able to stick around for long. Unless it's really bad sci-fi, I hate to see any sci-fi series canceled or ended, even one that some might consider to be mediocre.