REVIEW: Arrow The Final Season Premiere!

Hey Everyone,

With Episode 2 of Arrow Season 8 airing tonight at 9pm on The CW, I wanted to post my review of last week’s season premiere….

Arrow deserves a lot of credit for being the show that changed the landscape of superhero television. Arrow’s the show that started it all, they don’t call it The Arrowverse for nothing. Besides being the birth place of The Flash, Supergirl, and Legends of Tomorrow, I’d even go so far as to say that shows like Titans, Doom Patrol, and a lot of other series, would not have existed without Arrow. Other high profile TV projects have taken the spotlight from Arrow a bit over the years, but going into it’s final season, the series deserves a lot of recognition for making superhero television main stream. The series certainly has it’s critics, but I’ve always been a big Arrow fan. 

  Crisis On Infinite Earths loomed large in the Season Premiere. I think it was pretty clear after last year’s Elseworlds Crossover, that Arrow was setting things up for the series to end with Oliver Queen’s death. I think it’s a good way to end the heroic journey Oliver has been on. Plus, he still has a debt to pay to Mar Novu (The Monitor), as we saw in last season’s finale. 

      In the finale episode of Elseworlds, Oliver faced down The Monitor and made a deal with the cosmic being to save the lives of Supergirl and The Flash, in exchange for his own. As Oliver puts it his confrontation with The Monitor “ They are the best of us! And if you can’t see that… well, as gods go, you’re not a very smart one.“. So it was only a matter of time before The Monitor came around to collect. However, in classic Arrow fashion, Oliver has achieved a hard-fought peace and happiness. No more running around the city and putting himself in mortal danger, instead he’s living happily in his new cabin in the woods with Felicity and their newborn daughter Mia. But surprise, surprise! That’s when The Monitor decides to crash the party. A lot of the set up for the Season 8 was accomplished in last season’s finale, so the show hits the ground running in an awesome way.

   When it comes to Arrow, they are not fucking around for their final season. Thins show clearly wants to go out on a high note and that’s very apparent from the thrilling season premiere. This episode of Arrow just kicked all kinds of ass. The whole thing was a blast from start to finish. If the rest of the season lives up to (or surpasses) the excellent standard set by this premiere episode, then we are in for one hell of a final season of Arrow.

   Leading up to Arrow‘s final season, interviews with the cast, as well as the show’s writers and producers, have indicated that the structure of the final 10 episodes would look like each episode would serve to both be in homage to past seasons while also tying up certain loose ends from the series. Along with Oliver helping The Monitor prepare from the coming Crisis. This episode did a damn near perfect job of marrying those ideas. If each episode is going to be an homage to past seasons, this episode was a excellent call back to Season One, it’s the mission that Oliver is sent on by The Monitor that precipitates this celebration of the show’s past. It was very impressive how they weave together saying goodbye to the show in it’s final season, without forgetting that a lot of prep work needs to be done to lead into Crisis On Infinite Earths.

  Of course this wouldn’t be Arrow without some spectacular action sequences and the episode delivers in a big way. There are a few fights scenes in particular that are very well executed. There’s a brutality and viciousness to the fights that adds an emotional edge. Especially because a few of the people Oliver finds himself fighting are surprising to see on the show again. One or two of the fights have a few small moments of confusion just because two characters in one of the fight scenes happen to be dressed very similarly, but that’s just a nitpick. Like I alluded to before, this episode has the added benefit of having some of the show’s best actors and characters from the show’s long run, return in this episode. Many of whom are in vastly different places in their lives than they were when Oliver last encountered them. There are also one or two killer Easter eggs that will put a big smile on this face of any DC fan. And this episode has on hell of an ending!

  Overall this wasn’t just a great season premiere, it was a great episode and the beginning of a great send off to one of the most beloved shows in recent memory. If you haven’t been watching Arrow for a while, tune back in. It’s pretty easy to follow what’s going on and it’s definitely worth going out of your way to check it out again if you’re a lapsed fan. This was probably my pick of the week for best episode on TV (really my pick for LAST week because I didn’t get the damn article up in time). Make sure you check it out! Thanks for reading!

Episode Score

Arrow Season 8 Premiere: 9/10

Episode 2 of Arrow Season 8 airs tonight at 9pm on The CW!

-Paul

TRAILER: Birds of Prey (My Thoughts)

Hey Everyone,

Paul here…

If it wasn’t for Justice League, the DC films would be on quite the streak right now. Yes, if you look at all of their films besides Justice League, after Suicide Squad, you have Wonder Woman, Aquaman, and SHAZAM!, each a success in their own way. Aquaman in particular made a shitload of money at the box office. Now, later this week we have the much hyped and much anticipated premier of JOKER. I think the direction of the DC Cinematic Universe from here on will be largely predicated upon how JOKER performs financially. If it’s a smash hit, I think they’ll probably continue trying stand-alone, “Elseworlds” style stories like JOKER that are independent of The DCEU (I’m not calling it The Worlds of DC! I’m not fucking doing it!!!). If the film under performs I would imagine they will go back to embracing universe building, single continuity films like the upcoming Wonder Woman 1984 and Aquaman 2. 

   Out of all their upcoming projects, I am by far most intrigued by Matt Reeves’ new Batman film. I think Robert Pattinson is a great choice for Batman. I think he’s underestimated as an actor by a lot of people who don’t know his work outside of the Twilight series. Also Matt Reeves is a great filmmaker and writer, who wants to bring Batman back to his detective roots. Reeves seems to finally be making a Batman film that’s a noir-detective story, which is something we’ve never really seen from the character, ironically enough. Despite it being such a massive part of who he is and his mythology, we’ve never seen “Batman: The World’s Greatest Detective” on the big screen.

   Then, we had the trailer for Birds of Prey (And The Fantabulous Emancipation Of One Harley Quinn) drop like a ton of shit today. I’ll be honest with you,this movie kind of came out of nowhere for me. For someone who follows comic books movies so closely, I had no idea the movie was this close to release until I saw a teaser for during my screening of It: Chapter 2. First things first, I want you guys to get a chance to check out the trailer, which I’ve posted below and I’ll give you my thoughts after…

First of all, regardless of what I think about this film as a DC Comics adaptation, this is just a bad trailer. There’s no clear indication of what’s really going on, who the good guys and the bad guys are, what the hell the story is, it’s just a big goddamn mess. The only thing that is clear is that we’re getting a shitload of Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn front and center. If I didn’t know better I would say this is just a straight up Harley Quinn solo film. It looks nothing like up what I would imagine a Birds of Prey movie would look like (I’ll get back to that in a minute). Don’t get me wrong, I really like Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn and I thought she was one of the high points of the otherwise abysmal Suicide Squad. Unfortunately, Harley Quinn is one of those characters that’s really popular with fans and tends to get over used. Just to give you an example from the world of comics, DC has at least three or four Harley Quinn-centric books being published right now. Four Harley Quinn comics is three Harley Quinn comics too many. Even though they’re very different characters, Wolverine came to mind as I watched this trailer. Some of the greatest X-Men comic book writers of all time have understood one thing: less is more with Wolverine when he’s with The X-Men. He such a popular character that the temptation for most writers is to put him front and center, make him the most important character in the story. However with Wolverine, (at least when he’s in the X-Men, not his solo books) if he’s used in small doses, the moments the writers let him off the chain and really allow the character to shine, the moment is that much more special because they showed restraint. With Birds of Prey, all I’ve seen is the trailer and I’m already sick of Harley Quinn.

   In the comics Birds of Prey is a long running, very beloved series about 3 great female DC heroes, who come together to pool their skills, and eventually become a little family. The team classically consist of the wheelchair bound Barbara Gordon, who after retiring as Batgirl due to her injuries at the hands of The Joker, has taken up the mantle of Oracle. She is the ultimate hacker, she’s the hub of all knowledge and information for the heroes of the DC Universe. She handles everything from tracking criminals to hacking into The Pentagon, she’s the ultimate field support team. As Ned from the Spider-Man films likes to say that he’s the “man in the chair“, well Oracle is the original “woman in the chair“. Everything Felicity did on the TV show Arrow was basically Oracle. They even make a joke on the show about how Felicity should get a code name like everyone else on Team Arrow and Oliver mentioned he wanted her code name to be Oracle “but it’s taken”. She is the best of the best at what she does. Heroes all the way from Batman and Superman come to her for her help and expertise. 

    The field team usually consists of Helena Bertinelli a.k.a. Huntress, a violent Gotham vigilante who is almost always an outsider/pariah within the community of Gotham City vigilantes. Huntress is not afraid to kill to get the job done, which of course Batman does not approve of. But Huntress doesn’t particularly give a shit what Batman does and does not approve of.  

    Finally,there is Dinah Lance a.k.a. Black Canary, she is one of the greatest martial artists in the DC Universe, she could easily go toe to toe with the very best hand to hand fighters in the DCU. She’s also a meta-human who can emit intense sonic “canary cries“. She can modulate the power of her sonic blasts so it can be used as a simple distraction or powerful enough to rip through a concrete wall. Gail Simone was the writer who made this series what it was. There have been a lot of other writers who’ve worked on Birds of Prey, but Gail Simone is by far the most well-known and beloved. 

  My point is Birds of Prey is about these 3 female Gotham vigilantes coming together to fight the good fight. There’s nothing wrong with throwing Harley Quinn into the mix, in fact I think that could be really fun. However, based on the trailer none of that seems to be there, it’s just all Harley Quinn, all the time.

   I haven’t even touched on the villain, Gotham crime boss Roman Sionus a.k.a. Black Mask played by Ewan McGregor. Black Mask is known for 3 things: first, he’s one of the biggest organize crime figures in Gotham, who leans more towards the traditional criminal side of things, than over the top insanity of some of Batman‘s other rogues gallery like Scarecrow, for example. Second, his entire head and face permanently resemble a black skull. Think The Red Skull from Captain America, but completely black instead and wearing a business suit and that’s exactly what Black Mask looks like. Finally, he’s known for loving to torture his victims to death. So all around he’s a really nice, pleasant guy. You don’t see any indication of him looking anything like the traditional Black Mask in this trailer, so why not just make him a different character if you’re not gonna use that interesting visual motif Black Mask possesses? But it’s hard to be too critical because I didn’t really get enough of Ewan McGregor in the trailer to get a sense of how he’s playing the part. I love Ewan McGregor so I hope they actually give him something interesting to do. The trailer is cut together so poorly I can’t even understand some of Ewan McGregor’s lines sometimes. 

   Look, obviously I want this movie to be good. I want it to be a success. I love the DC Universe and I love these characters. I hope I’m wrong and I hope they pull it off. However, at the moment the Birds of Prey a.k.a. “Harley Quinn: The Movie”, looks pretty shitty in my opinion.

Thanks for READING! Follow me on Twitter @PJWrightWBM or type Worlds Best Media into the search bar, you can also like and follow us on our Facebook page; World’s Best Media. Those likes and follows, as well as iTunes reviews for our podcast, go a long way to supporting World’s Best Media. We really appreciate the loyalty and support shown to us by our fans, so thanks again!

-Paul

PODCAST: Crisis On Infinite Earths!

Hey Everyone,

Paul here…

On this episode of The World’s Best Podcast, I’m here to give you everything you need to know about The CW’s upcoming annual EPIC DC Superhero Crossover Event… CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS! All of The CW’s DC shows, Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl, Legends of Tomorrow, and Batwoman, along with an all star cast of characters from throughout the DC Multiverse, are crossing over for their most ambitious event yet: an adaptation of the classic DC maxiseries, Crisis On Infinite Earths! “Worlds will live, worlds will die and nothing will ever be the same!” As the old saying goes. On this week’s show I go over when you can watch the event, what you need to know before watching, all of the amazing guest stars and characters scheduled to appear, and what The Arrowverse might look like when the dust settles. This a MUST LISTEN for fans of ANY of The CW DC superhero shows and DC fans in general.

This was from a recent EW cover story about The Arrowverse

When Crisis On Infinite Earths hit stand.30 years ago, it set the standard for massive, comic book superhero, crossover events. I can say without hyperbole, that Crisis makes The Infinity Gauntlet seem like a minor skirmish by comparison and that’s not a knock at the The Infinity Gaunlet. Which is a great story in it’s own right that was largely the inspiration for The MCU’s The Infinity Saga. While The Infinity Gauntlet was about saving The Universe, Crisis is about saving The ENTIRE Multiverse. Countless realities face total annihilation at the hands of a being of immeasurable power. More of a cosmic force of nature than a being with any kind of human motivation. He is know throughout The Multiverse by many names: The Anti-God, The Unmaker, he is… The Anti-Monitor.

Concept art for The Anti-Monitor

We’re getting a lot of cool cameos and characters new and old in this Crossover. So after you listen to the episode (or before, it’s a free country… for now), come and check out some spectacular art work showcasing the characters appearing in Crisis. Some of the images are actually concept art from the incredibly talented design teams that work on these shows and some are fantastic pieces of fan art from some of the best online artists from around the world, depicting what these characters will most likely look like in the Crossover. The great artists create these images based on character descriptions from people who work on the shows, what the actors playing the characters look like, and their most iconic looks from the comics. You can find all of the concept art on this page, below the links to this episode of The World’s Best Podcast!

Both images from EW.com

Listen here or subscribe on Stitcher, iHeartRadio, Google Podcasts, and Apple Podcasts/iTunes: https://www.spreaker.com/episode/18822863

iTuneshttps://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-worlds-best-podcast/id1246038441#episodeGuid=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.spreaker.com%2Fepisode%2F18822863

Stitcherhttps://www.stitcher.com/s?eid=63229324&autoplay=1

Character Concept Art & Other Character Images:

Brandon Routh as Kingdom Come Superman-

This was done by legendary Alex Ross who was the artist for the original KINGDOM COME series

Tom Welling as Smallville Superman-

Art from Barrett Digital

Kevin Conroy as Batman Beyond era Bruce Wayne (Plus Additional Batman Beyond Images)-

With Kevin Conroy coming on to play Batman in Crisis there’s rumors that Mark Hamill, who iconically played The Joker in Batman: The Animated Series, Justice League, and Batman Beyond will be returning to plan the character in live action for Crisis. Hamill has already made multiple appearances in The Arrowverse as The Trickster on The Flash. Here’s some concept art of Hamill as The Joker and it’s pretty fucking creepy:

It looks like this piece was done by an artist who goes by SKULL 101IFY

Thanks for listening! Follow me on Twitter @PJWrightWBM or type Worlds Best Media into the search bar, you can also like and follow us on our Facebook page; World’s Best Media. Those likes and follows, as well as iTunes reviews, go a long way to supporting the show. We really appreciate the loyalty shown to us by World’s Best Media fans, so thanks again!

-Paul