REVIEW: CONSTANTINE (2014)

Matt Ryan in Constantine (2014)

Starring

Matt Ryan (Justice League Dark)
Lucy Griffiths (Robin Hood)
Angélica Celaya (Danger One)
Charles Halford (Reprisal)
Harold Perrineau (Lost)

Charles Halford, Matt Ryan, and Angélica Celaya in Constantine (2014)

Recurring / Notable Guest Cast

Lisa Darr (Popular)
Joelle Carter (Home Before Dark)
Michael James Shaw (Limitless)
Sean Whalen (Superstore)
Jonjo O’Neill (The Fall)
Charles Parnell (The Last Ship)
Chasty Ballesteros (The Ranch)
Emmett J Scanlan (Krypton)
Niall Matter (Eureka)
Laura Regan (Mad Men)
Amy Parrish (One Tree HIll)
Max Charles (The Neighbours)
Juliana Harkavy (Arrow)
Megan West ((This is Us)
Claire van der Boom (The Square)
Jose Pablo Cantillo (Crank)
Joelle Carter (Justified)
Paloma Guzmán (The Deuce)
Roger Floyd (Graceland)
Amanda Clayton (John Carter)
Mark Margolis (Breaking Bad)
Jeremy Davies (Lost)
William Mapother (Another Earth)
Skyler Day (Raven’s Home)
Robert Pralgo (The Vampire DIaries)
Annalise Basso (Ouija 2)
J.D. Evermore (Cloak & Dagger)

Angélica Celaya in Constantine (2014)DC/Vertigo’s John Constantine leapt from the sordid, scary pages of his Hellblazer comics thanks to EPs David Goyer (The Dark Knight, Man of Steel) and Daniel Cerone (Dexter, Charmed). Matt Ryan, as the titular hero, was really effective in bringing Constantine to life on screen. Flippant when called for. Vulnerable when need be. All the while – whether casting out a demon from some poor body or battling one within himself – creating a very commanding, likable presence on screen. John Constantine was a the sort of hero you had to get right immediately and Ryan excelled.Matt Ryan in Constantine (2014)John’s back up proved reliable from a charismatic standpoint. Chas and Zed were great characters and as the serious progressed we got to see their back story’s and what made them the way they are.I really liked that Newcastle was used as the show’s jumping off point, and that throughout the season John would have to atone in various ways with scattered members of that ill-fated team, but his own team often suffered. Even though we’re only talking about 13 episodes here, the show still made good use of a seasonal arc format. Even using the “Rising Darkness” to both inform and be the cause of a procedural “case of the week” structure .Matt Ryan in Constantine (2014)The “Scry Map” gave John demons and ghosts to chase, all under the umbrella that hell was slowly encroaching upon the world of the living. And while not every “case of the week” landed, a couple of stories ripped from the comics came alive in (remixed) cool ways (“A Feast of Friends,” “The Saint of Last Resorts: Part 1” and “Waiting for the Man”). Along with some DC notables like Felix Faust, Eclipso’s Black Diamond, and Jim Corrigan.I liked that Manny turned out to be the villain right at the end of the finale. Mostly because the “Rising Darkness” needed a face. The Brujeria were mentioned quite a bit, but never shown.Matt Ryan in Constantine (2014)Was the twist worth sitting through a handful of episodes where I wondered why Manny was even there at all? Maybe, maybe not. But the show needed a “big bad,” and whether or not Manny turns out to be Satan himself or just an evil angel, he still fits the bill nicely.Constantine had a cool look, an awesome lead, and a confidence that you don’t see in most fledgling series. As the series went on it became an intriguing show with many dimensions that would of been worth exploring in later seasons, this is a show that was cancelled too soon and now with a unresolved cliffhanger we may never know where it will lead. On the plus side Matt Ryan’s Constantine is coming too Arrow, so we at least get to see him at least one more time.

REVIEW: TREADSTONE – SEASON 1

Jeremy Irvine in Treadstone (2019)

Starring

Jeremy Irvine (War Horse)
Tracy Ifeachor (The Originals)
Omar Metwally (Munich)
Han Hyo-joo (Cold Eyes)
Brian J. Smith (Stargate Universe)
Gabrielle Scharnitzky (The Game)
Emilia Schüle (Berling Station)
Michelle Forbes (Powers)

Jeremy Irvine in Treadstone (2019)

Recurring / Notable Guest Cast

Michael Gaston (Bridge of Spies)
Jung Woo Seo (A Gentleman’s Dignity)
Tess Haubrich (Bad Mothers)
Patrick Fugit (Saved)
Lee Jong-hyuk (Shiri)
Oliver Walker (Viking Quest)
Shruti Haasan (Puli)
Tzi Ma (Arrival)
Racheal Ofori (Artermis Fowl)
Eric Kofi-Abrefa (Fury)
Emmett J Scanlan (Krypton)
Merab Ninidze (Jupiter’s Moon)

I think this show is well written, well-acted, well-shot, and well-choreographed. The entire show is faithful to the Bourne series not only story, cinematography, style, and feel but also in its multiple global locations. It’s sort of an origin story for the indoctrination program that created Jason Bourne and the operatives like him. The fight scenes are high quality and Bourne-worthy and I have no doubt the actors trained very hard to pull these off.Jeremy Irvine in Treadstone (2019)Kudos to the fight choreographer as well. I’m a big Bourne fan-I read the books in the 1980’s and have owned and watched the movies multiple times and still think they are among the best action movies ever made. Having said that, I am enjoying this show more than The Bourne Legacy movie. Those who complain the story is confusing are likely not paying attention while watching or are so used to watching shows/movies where every detail is spelled out to the viewer. Michelle Forbes and Michael Gaston in The Seoul Asylum (2019)This is a somewhat layered espionage storyline that switches between present-day and 1973. The premise is that in 1973, the Treadstone project started creating sleeper agents cleverly named cicadas (insects that lay dormant for 17 years before returning in droves). Some unknown person is waking up these cicada operatives (who don’t even know they are badasses) and sending them on missions to kill people with the ultimate goal of selling a decommissioned and unaccounted Cold War Russian nuclear missile to the North Koreans.Hyo-Joo Han in The McKenna Erasure (2019)Through period flashbacks, we get to see the Russians re-program captured CIA officers, completely wiping their memories and allegiance to the USA and turning them into badasses. Clearly, something goes wrong with one such operative who is on a quest to figure out who he is/was, what happened to him, what he’s done, and who he needs to blame and seek vengeance on. In typical Bourne style, there is intrigue which forces you to pay attention, make connections, and wait for reveals. I know some people like to veg in front of the idiot box and not think, but not being spoon-fed a simplistic story is part of the enjoyment of this genre for me. Imagine that, TV you actually need to think about!Emilia Schüle and Jeremy Irvine in Treadstone (2019)The movies were also like this, but I suppose for some a chapter title that says “Budapest 1973” is not a big enough clue to let them know that what follows is a flashback to the early days of the Treadstone-type project.Hyo-Joo Han in The Kentucky Contract (2019)This is a good show for any Bourne fan with at least half a brain. I hope there’s a Season 2.

 

 

REVIEW: KRYPTON – SEASON 2

The Alpha and the Omega (2019)

Starring

Cameron Cuffe (The Halcyon)
Georgina Campbell (His Dark Materials)
Shaun Sipos (The Vampire Diaries)
Elliot Cowan (The Spanish Princess)
Ann Ogbomo (Wonder Woman)
Aaron Pierre (Britannia)
Rasmus Hardiker (Cockneys vs Zombies)
Wallis Day (The Royals)
Blake Ritson (Da Vinci’s Demons)
Ian McElhinney (Game of Thrones)
Colin Salmon (Resident Evil)
Hannah Waddingham (Les Misérables)

Colin Salmon in Krypton (2018)

Recurring / Notable Guest Cast

Emmett J Scanlan (Guardians of The Galaxy)
Sonita Henry (Star Trek)
Kae Alexander (Bad Education)
Aoibhinn McGinnity (Love/Hate)
Staz Nair (Game of Thrones)
Toni O’Rourke (Cold Courage)
Staz Nair (Supergirl)

Shaun Sipos, Emmett J Scanlan, and Cameron Cuffe in Krypton (2018)This is a very interesting take, from the point of view of an earthling stuck out of time “Adam Strange” from the DC universe.Blake Ritson in Krypton (2018)It features a lot of overlap with themes of economic and political divides around personal freedom verses submitting to an authoritarian system developing on Krypton under the Zod family; it’s quite fascinating and parallels a lot of today’s issues in politics worldwide.Ian McElhinney, Hannah Waddingham, and Wallis Day in Krypton (2018)When you decide on if a series is good or not, stop looking at the real world people playing the characters, and start looking at the characters and the world being built, the story being told. If you can’t get out of your own world when you watch storytelling, then you shouldn’t even be watching let alone offering your ‘expert opinion on why a series should be cancelled or renewed. Plot twists ensue! Season 2 had GREAT writing which tugged at the viewer heartstrings more than once. I love how we get to see another side of the Zod family, a commonly misunderstood Krypton family that was often thought of as nothing but tyrants and conquerors in the superman saga. We also see a darker side of the El heritage.Krypton (2018)Superman is only here in NAME, this is not a series about Superman, but the father of his father (Jor-el’s father, Jor-el’s early life may become part of the series as he was not even born until season 2)