The Adventures of Supergirl: A Recap

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The beginning of the second season picks up where the first season left off, with Supergirl and Martian Manhunter discovering a mysterious pod from Krypton. Supergirl looks inside and discovers a Kryptonian man inside. After discovering this mysterious Kryptonian, J’onn takes Supergirl to a new DEO facility, with some jokes at the old base from the first season. This is the first indicator of the network jump. Since the show films in Vancouver as opposed to Los Angeles, it makes sense that some locations would change as well. It also explains why Lucy Lane, who joined up with the DEO last season, is nowhere to be seen in this episode.

Kara returns to work the following morning and discusses her new promotion with her boss, Cat Grant. At first, Kara thinks her ideal career would be marketing because she got that result from an online quiz. Cat, of course, ain’t buying it.

Kara is given some time off (48 hours to be exact) to figure out what career she wants, but she spends some of that time on her first date with James Olsen. However, the date gets interrupted by breaking news of a spacecraft called the Venture crashing into Earth. Supergirl goes to save it, but this time, she’s not alone. Her cousin, Superman (played by Tyler Hoechlin), also arrives to help. Once they land the Venture on the ground, the two of them revel in the moment of working together for the first time. Supergirl then proceeds to tease her cousin in front of a few civilians who were biking along the way.

When the SuperCousins arrive at the DEO, everyone reacts as if, to quote my brother, “the President just came in.” Winn goes into total fanboy mode. The only one who greeted Superman in a less than friendly demeanor is J’onn and Alex takes notice. The SuperCousins examine the mysterious Kryptonian, but not much information is given aside from the fact that he’s around their age. Then they decide, along with Martian Manhunter, to investigate why the Venture almost crash-landed, starting with Clark doing some work at CatCo.

It is hilarious to see the usually unflappable Cat Grant falling all over herself for Clark. What’s even more hilarious is how Clark is totally aware of said crush. Thankfully, he’s perfectly happy with Lois Lane. Kara gets a call and tells Clark that one of the passengers who was supposed to be on the Venture was Lena Luthor, Lex Luthor’s sister.

We cut to a mysterious underground lair where a man named Corben tests out a drone weapon. He kills the man selling him the drone and gets a call from someone who works for the Luthors. Meanwhile, the SuperCousins investigate Lena Luthor (played by Katie McGrath aka Morgana LeFay from Merlin). She tells them that she’s planning on renaming the company to try and restore the company’s reputation and get it out of Luthor’s menacing shadow. She gives them information on the part of the Venture that exploded since it was created by a subsidiary of LutherCorp.

After investigating LutherCorp, Clark and Kara take a walk out on the street. Kara asks him for advice because her life feels out of balance while Clark seems to have it all. He tells her that she’ll figure things out eventually.

Back at the DEO, Alex finds out that J’onn and Superman had a falling out after they found a meteor made entirely out of Kryptonite. J’onn made the decision to keep it. Superman did not agree with it. Winn gets information that indicates Lena was targeted in the Venture crash. The show cuts to Lena on a helicopter, surrounded by attack drones.

Corben, speaking through the drones, gives the SuperCousins an ultimatum of either letting him kill Lena or have his attack drones let loose on the city. Thankfully, the two of them are able to work together. Supergirl saves Lena from the helicopter while Superman took care of the drones that were let loose onto the city.

Kara returns to work and has another talk with Cat, who tells her that starting a new chapter in life means becoming a new version of yourself. She tells Kara to keep taking risks, to take the plunge, so to speak.

At the DEO, Winn examines the drone and forensics links the drone to Corben. Martian Manhunter and Superman have a talk after Alex’s prompting. They discuss J’onn keeping the Kryptonite.

Kara walks with Lena to the press conference announcing the LuthorCorp rebranding. Alex and James are in the crowd, keeping an eye on things. Suddenly, the whole plaza is riddled with explosions, including one at the LutherCorp building. The SuperCousins keep the building from falling while Alex fights off Corben, who is dressed as a police officer. Supergirl goes to fix the building, with some information that J’onn and Winn provide her.

The action in this scene is top notch, with Alex fighting off Corben and Supergirl using her laser vision to weld some I-beams onto a broken column. Once that’s done, she comes to her sister’s rescue, only for Lena to shoot Corben.

Things settle down at the newly made L-Corp with Lena congratulating Clark on his article and complimenting Kara on her investigative skills. This prompts Kara to return to CatCorp with her decision as to what she wants to do: she decides to be a field reporter. Cat congratulates Kara on her decision and then shows Kara the resume she submitted. Cat had a feeling that Kara would eventually become a reporter because of the kind of person Kara is.

There’s also some foreshadowing in this scene that implies that Cat might retire or change her job somehow. This is because Calista Flockhart is now a recurring cast member as opposed to a member of the main cast due to her refusal to move away from Los Angeles. I’m glad that she still wants to be a part of this show in spite of the distance between LA and Vancouver, and I hope I can still see as much of Cat as possible in this season.

Meanwhile, Winn joins up with the DEO since he can do more than just IT work there. Kara and Clark have another rapport where Clark decides on staying in National City for a little longer to help Kara out and reconnect with the stuff he misses about Krypton. Then they go on to save the day, up, up, and away.

The episode ends with Corben in some kind of dark laboratory in Cadmus with a woman injecting him with something that turns him into Metallo. It’s clear that Cadmus Labs, or whatever they’re called here, will be the Big Bad for this season.

This episode centers on Kara trying to figure out what she wants to do with her civilian life, given that she has finally hit her stride as Supergirl. Cat advises her that she needs to figure out her career beyond an internet search. I know that Cat’s speeches can be a bit overbearing at times, but I related to what she told Kara in this instance. Like Kara, I feel stuck in life and there are times in life when I don’t really know what I want. Trying new things, such as going to cons, and meeting new people helped me with understanding my vocation.

Clark Kent’s establishing scene was pitch-perfect, showing Clark as the mild-mannered reporter who answers to a very demanding Perry White. They cast a wonderful actor for the role because he’s able to carry that mild-mannered demeanor while having a totally different air when he becomes Superman. It’s so weird for me to say this, but I like Tyler when he’s Clark rather than as Superman. He’s way cuter being the clumsy adorkable reporter. I just hope that he doesn’t stay for the whole season. I want the season to focus on Kara standing on her own as Supergirl and it’ll be hard to do that when she finds herself under Superman’s shadow.

Another subplot in this episode focused Kara’s relationship with James Olsen. I know that I was really rooting for them last season, but I only wanted James to be with Kara because my first priority was that Kara would be happy. (Translation: I shipped them, but they were not my OTP.) I was essentially happy with any guy she wanted to be with, which was why I never shipped her with Winn. I still think that while Kara and James could’ve taken things slow while Kara got used to her new job, I’m glad they broke things off amicably. Mostly because the guy I really ship her with exists in another show. You might know him. He’s the fastest man alive, totally adorkable, and perfect for Kara given how they teamed up before.

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Yeah, I ship Superflash. Save the hate for tumblr. I don’t care!

This episode gets a 9/10. Season 2 is off to a great start!

Jurassic World: Larger than Life, But Needs Some Bite

 

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I’ll admit that while I like sci-fi shows and the occasional horror movie, creature features aren’t usually on my radar. I came into Jurassic World as a casual fan of the franchise, having only seen Jurassic Park and vlogs that ripped the sequels apart. Critics are divided on whether or not this is a good movie, so I wanted to see it to form my own opinion on it.

Right off the bat, I’ll say that this movie isn’t perfect, so for this review, I’ll look into the good, the bad, and the overall feel of the film.

The Good

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The scale of the movie is amazing. The first scene shows some kind of dinosaur hatching from an egg and the establishing shot of the island is breathtaking. Then, it takes you into the jungle just like in the original movie, but also includes scenes from the park.

I also liked that they got actors like Chris Pratt (from Parks and Recreation, Guardians of the Galaxy, and The Lego Movie), Bryce Dallas Howard (from Lady in the Water and Terminator Salvation), Vincent D’Onofrio (better known as Wilson Fisk/Kingpin from Marvel’s Daredevil), and Katie McGrath (Morgana from Merlin and Lucy from Dracula) to be in this movie. Dr. Henry Wu from the original movie plays a larger role here as head of the genetics lab.

As far as characters go, I love Chris Pratt’s character Owen. He was a proto-Indiana Jones (which makes sense because Pratt is rumored to be starring in an Indiana Jones remake sooner or later) with a cool head and a carefree style. Owen is a raptor trainer and he has a great affection for his raptor pack.

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I liked Claire’s development from being the cold-hearted park coordinator to caring for the dinosaurs to being brave enough to get Rexie (as the original T-Rex from Jurassic Park is called) out of her cage to take on the iRex. The part where she tied up her shirt to look like Ellie from the original movie was a nice call back.

I liked Lowery, the nerdy guy (played by Jake Johnson from New Girl). He seems to represent the fans of the classic movie, pointing out all the things that the fans of the original would also call this movie out on, like the wrongness about creating the Indominous Rex (heceforth called iRex for short).

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I loved the part where Gray and Zach find themselves in the original Jurassic Park and used the jeeps from the original movie for their escape. There are a lot of nice call-backs to the original that I’m sure diehard fans will like.

I also liked that Barry, the only black guy in this movie, did not get killed. I just wish he did more in the movie. But for what it’s worth, he was good.

Speaking of, the dinosaurs were, for the most part, amazing characters. It was amazing to see dinosaurs being used in a petting zoo and a show with a mosasaurus that shows her eating a shark (hello, Jaws shout-out!). The iRex is also a very believable villain and it’s implied there is some human genomes in her.

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The breakout dinos, though, were Owen’s raptor pack: Blue, Charlie, Delta, and Echo. They started out as the intimidating mad dog back, barely capable of listening to anyone other than Owen, and then turning on the humans under the influence of the iRex. However, the bond that Owen has with them causes them to turn against the iRex.

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Finally, the climax of the movie was awesome. Rexie taking on the iRex, Blue joining in on the fight, and  the mosasaurus finishing the iRex off. I was grinning as soon as I saw Claire opening Rexie’s cage and rooted for Rexie as she fought the iRex. The only thing that would’ve made this better is if Rexie dealt the killing blow and pushed the iRex into the mosasaurus tank. But that’s just me.

 

 

The Bad

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I hate to say this, but the CG is awful in this movie. I was so hoping that they would use the practical effects more, but since I never see the major characters of the film actually being hit by the dinosaurs as they’re running, I knew that it was green screen. The only scene where the dinosaurs felt real was when Chris Pratt was touching a dinosaur that the iRex killed. I also didn’t like how the dimorphodons looked because I swear they could’ve been mistaken for dinosaur hybrids themselves. Granted, I’m not a dinosaur expert, so what do I know?

I was also disappointed with how the iRex actually looked. I expected her to be way big and to have wings, maybe. I didn’t expect some kind of chimera fantasy creature, but from how everyone described her, the result that came out was sadly less than stellar. In fact, I actually hoped she would look like this stark white dimorphodon or something. It was really hard to see her being as stark white as she is described. I couldn’t differentiate from the different raptors, either.

Also, it was really hard for me to believe that Claire could’ve been running in heels for all that time. She must have feet of steel or something because I can barely walk in my favorite pair of pumps, let alone run away from rampaging dinosaurs.

My biggest problem with the movie, however, was how they wrote their human characters. The dinosaurs were awesome, but the characters could’ve been a lot more likeable. The only characters I liked straight off the bat were Owen and Lowery. Owen was a great character in the film, but the subplot of his relationship with Claire was pretty contrived. I also didn’t like that Lowery ended up not getting the girl.

I love Vincent D’Onofrio, don’t get me wrong, but the writing for his character was very reminiscent of Avatar. It’s so obvious that he’s gonna be the villain and in what world would militarizing dinosaurs be considered a logically sound idea?! I kept praying that he gets killed in the movie and actually felt relieved when it happened, although his death was particularly gruesome.

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My least favorite death, however, was Zara (played by Katie McGrath). Granted, her character didn’t really do much outside of being a beleaguered assistant/babysitter, but I’m a fan of Katie McGrath and cringed as she was killed by the pteranodon and the mosasaurus.

There were also subplots brought up that went nowhere, particularly the fact that Gray and Zach’s parents are getting divorced. They didn’t seem to be having problems at the beginning and they seemed alright at the end.  For that matter, why didn’t the parents go with the kids to begin with? The whole “spending time with kids to inspire the career woman to have a man and babies” is one of my least favorite cliches. I pretty much rolled my eyes at the Owen and Claire romantic subplot because it didn’t feel real to me.

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I also didn’t like Zach until he actually started caring for his brother. I hated that he was always checking out girls when it’s established in the beginning that he has a girl at home. He acts whiny and stupid and looks too much like a Justin Bieber wannabe. Gray was okay, though.

 

And the rest

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I will give this movie points for keeping my mother awake, as she usually falls asleep while watching movies. She also finds Chris Pratt attractive and I’m definitely crushing on him myself after this movie. (Still love you, James Marsters!) I will give this movie points for being entertaining and engaging, with lots of call backs to the original movie and some subtle take-thats at the less-than-stellar sequels. I also liked that there cameos from people like Jimmy Buffet (seen hauling margaritas in the pteranodon rampage scene) and that the product placement got some take thats (stores being smashed up and some snark from Lowery).

I also felt that the set up for the iRex felt like a commentary on blockbuster movies as a whole. People will want bigger, scarier monsters  and corporations love cashing in on trends to the point that the soul of the story can get lost in the process.
Overall, the whole thing felt like a semi-B movie rather than a blockbuster due to the way they paid more attention to the dinosaurs as opposed to the human characters. However, I honestly would recommend going out to theaters and seeing it for yourself. You’ll definitely enjoy the ride. I saw the movie in 3D and it was definitely awesome, but not what I consider necessary.

 

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All images in this blog post are copyright of Amblin Entertainment and Universal Studios and are used for editorial purposes only.