REVIEW: MAN ON A LEDGE

CAST

Sam Worthington (Avatar)
Elizabeth Banks (Power Rangers)
Jamie Bell (King Kong)
Anthony Mackie (Captain America: The Winter Soldier)
Génesis Rodríguez (Hours)
Ed Harris (Westworld)
Kyra Sedgwick (The Woodsman)
Edward Burns (One Missed Call)
Titus Welliver (Gone Baby Gone)
Felix Solis (The West Wing)
William Sadler (Iron Man 3)

In New York City, Nick Cassidy (Sam Worthington) checks into the Roosevelt Hotel under the false name of Walker, goes to his hotel room on the 21st floor, and climbs on the ledge, ready to commit suicide. The crowd below calls the police, with Dante Marcus (Titus Welliver) controlling the crowd, while Jack Dougherty (Edward Burns) tries to talk with Nick. However, Nick will only speak to negotiator Lydia Mercer (Elizabeth Banks), who is on a leave of absence, after failing to save a suicidal policeman. Lydia arrives at the hotel room and manages to acquire Nick’s fingerprints from a cigarette they share. Dougherty has them analyzed and discovers that Nick is an ex-policeman, arrested for stealing the $40 million Monarch diamond from businessman David Englander (Ed Harris). Nick was given a 25-year sentence but escaped from the Sing Sing Correctional Facility one month earlier, after being allowed to attend his father’s funeral. Nick, however, maintains his innocence and accuses Englander of framing him for the theft of the diamond, as Englander lost his fortune and was too proud to sell the diamond.Unknown to the police, Nick is merely distracting them while his brother, Joey (Jamie Bell), and Joey’s girlfriend, Angie (Génesis Rodríguez), break into Englander’s vault across the street, to steal the diamond and prove Nick’s innocence. Meanwhile, Dougherty informs Marcus of Nick’s identity, and Marcus orders the jewelry store’s security to check the vault. Joey and Angie are able to evade them but do not find the diamond. They set off the alarms, tricking Englander into retrieving the diamond and ambush him, stealing the diamond at gunpoint. Meanwhile, Nick’s ex-partner, Mike Ackerman (Anthony Mackie), arrives at the hotel with evidence that Nick is planning something and demands to be allowed into the hotel room. Lydia does not trust him, and Dougherty backs her up. Ackerman claims he has found bomb schematics in a storage unit Nick rented and is convinced that he will detonate an explosive somewhere. While the crowd is evacuated by the bomb squad, Lydia, believing in Nick’s innocence, calls Internal Affairs and discovers that three of the cops employed by Englander were suspected of being corrupt: Ackerman, Marcus and a deceased officer called Walker.Joey and Angie enter the hotel and hand the bag containing the diamond to the hotel concierge (William Sadler). The concierge pockets the diamond. Englander calls Marcus, one of the men who helped him frame Nick, and has him capture Joey and Angie. Nick begins to make his escape through the hotel, at one point being aided by the concierge who tells him “everyone is rooting for you, kid,” while handing him a disguise (and the diamond). Marcus chases Nick to the roof, where he has Lydia arrested for obstruction. Englander brings Joey and Angie, threatening to throw Joey off the roof, if Nick does not give him the diamond. Nick turns it over, and Englander leaves. Meanwhile, Lydia escapes custody and rushes back to the roof. Marcus attempts to force Nick to jump off the roof, but Ackerman arrives and shoots Marcus, who wounds Ackerman. Nick rushes to Ackerman’s side, who apologizes and reveals that he had no idea that Englander would frame Nick for stealing the diamond. Marcus survives, as he is wearing a bulletproof vest, and is preparing to kill Nick, when Lydia shoots him, but does not kill him. Nick jumps from the roof onto an airbag set up earlier by the police, catches up to Englander, beats him and pulls the diamond he had only just recently given him from his jacket, proving Nick’s innocence in front of both the police and public, resulting in Englander being arrested.Later, Nick is cleared of all charges and released from custody and meets Joey, Angie, and Lydia at a bar. There it is revealed that the hotel concierge is in fact Nick and Joey’s father, Frank Cassidy, who had faked his own death in order to help Nick break out of prison and prove his innocence. Joey proposes to Angie with a diamond ring presumably stolen from Englander’s vault. She accepts and they all celebrate together.Man on a ledge is a good film, and if you stick with it & follow it’s threads you will find it worthy of your time.

REVIEW: SHE-RA AND THE PRINCESSES OF POWER – SEASON 5

She-Ra and the Princesses of Power (2018)

CAST (VOICES)

Aimee Carrero (The Last Witch Hunter)
Karen Fukuhara (Suicide Squad)
AJ Michalka (Super 8)
Marcus Scribner (The Good Dinosaur)
Reshma Shetty (Blindspot)
Lorraine Toussaint (The Night Before)
Keston John (The Good Place)
Lauren Ash (The Disaster Artist)
Christine Woods (Flashforward)
Genesis Rodriguez (Tusk)
Jordan Fisher (Teen Wolf)
Vella Lovell (Crazy Ex-Girlfriend)
Sandra Oh (Sideways)
Krystal Joy Brown (Castle)
Grey DeLisle (Paradise PD)
Merit Leighton (Alexa & Katie)

AAAABS-evQywrlFcF4ls3lbnJOtFodpyTeFRLYd-sifnMSdGj7cBs-CeZBvnDR4WquYU-cEa_Ys5zP3k6w5CsommLb1gK-DlIt hasn’t even been two years since Netflix and DreamWorks’ animated series She-Ra and the Princesses of Power, created by Noelle Stevenson, premiered on November 13, 2018, and yet, we’re already at the series’ fifth and final season. It’s bittersweet in that the final season of this beloved series is incredibly satisfying (at least, the ten out of thirteen total episodes that were released to the press are), but it’s also difficult to say goodbye to a show that has made such an impact in the short time it’s been on the air. After fifth season drops on Netflix on May 15 (an auspicious day for animation on Netflix, as Avatar: The Last Airbender gets added to Netflix the same day) and we’ve all binged all the episodes, what are we going to do without more She-Ra to look forward to? I, personally, am hoping Stevenson decides to do a spin-off series, but for now, let’s discuss season 5.she-ra-season-5-images-catra-1536x864-1We left off season 4  with Etheria being brought out of its pocket dimension, and now at the mercy of the planet-conquering Horde army, lead by Horde Prime (Keston John). The sword is broken, which is too bad because the rebellion could really use the powers of She-Ra right now. The princesses face all out war this season in a way they never did when they were fighting Lord Hordak (John). Because of that, the pacing of the season runs at breakneck speed as it burns through plot (I mean this in the best possible way). Each episode has at least one “oh-my-God” epic moment, as the show puts the pieces in place needed to end the story. Every word and moment of this season has a purpose, contributing to a masterful puzzle.
she-ra-season-5-images-catra-horde-prime-1536x862-1Even with everything going on though, the show still finds time give all the characters the time and development they deserve. In fact, I would say that the character-work drives most of the plot. Adora (Aimee Carrero) has to learn how to be of value without her powers, while Bow (Marcus Scribner) tries to take care of her…and everybody else. Catra (the fantastic AJ Michalka) gets probably the most attention, and for those wondering how the show is going to resolve the arc for the fan-favorite villain, I can only say that it’s very satisfying. Catra’s relationship with Adora is put in the spotlight, and it reminds viewers that this show started with them, it’s only fair that they end it with them too. Catra and Glimmer (Karen Fukuhara) get a lot of scenes together this season – they were both captured by the Horde in the season 4 finale – and their dynamic is great. Oftentimes it seems that Glimmer understands Catra better than Adora does. After all, both Catra and Glimmer share the constant strive for value and approval. What’s great about this series is it never makes the mistake of neatly wrapping up character arcs. It knows that true character development takes work, and it never takes the easy way out.MV5BMTUyMzE5Mzk4Ml5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMjk0MjUyMDI@._V1_SX1777_CR0,0,1777,942_AL_The other princesses also get some time and attention. Mermista (Vella Lovell), Frosta (Merit Leighton), Perfuma (Genesis Rodriguez), and Scorpia (Lauren Ash) all get mini arcs. Mermista learns how to step up and be a leader, while Perfuma and Scorpia deepen their friendship, and Scorpia continues to realize her own worth. Entrapta (Christine Woods) gets a lot of screen time as she learns to balance her love of machines with her desire to connect with people. She is entirely adorkable, and gives us some of the most touching moments in the show, as well as the funniest. Two characters that get big upgrades this season are Spinnerella (Stevenson) and Netossa (Krystal Joy Brown). Introduced, it seemed, purely to be the butt of jokes in season 1, they finally become fully fleshed out characters this season. Their relationship (one of the few romantic couples on the show) plays a crucial part in the plot, and you’d be surprised just how powerful net and wind powers can be.MV5BMzI2NDNkODYtZjZmOC00MmVlLTllMDctY2U5YTcxN2JhZDFiXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNTM5NjkxMzM@._V1_The Horde, and Horde Prime, meanwhile, play the classic über villains. All this time we’ve been dealing with the B-team – Lord Hordak, Catra, Shadow Weaver (Lorraine Toussaint) – but Horde Prime is the true big bad. While previously, as evil as they were, all of the show’s villains still had boatloads of humanity, Horde Prime’s desire is to suck all the humanity right out of people. To him, feelings are the enemy, and his goal is to make the entire universe the same, completely uniform. In a show that espouses love and friendship, the fight against Horde Prime, and his army of robot clones (all voiced by John), is the chance it has to prove that love is truly the most powerful of all.she-ra-s1There are so many things I would love to elaborate on, but for the sake of spoilers, I’m going to end it here. It’s so hard to end a series satisfyingly, but She-Ra accomplishes it here (assuming those last three episodes of the season are as amazing as the first ten). The season is powerful, passionate, incredibly exciting, alternating emotional and hilarious. It is well written and plotted, ascribing purpose to every move it makes. I’ll be sad to say goodbye, but so, so grateful we got to go on this journey in the first place.MV5BMTY1MDI3OTI3Ml5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNzc0MjUyMDI@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,1503,1000_AL_P.S. Pay attention to the theme song pictures each episode, because it changes as events in the show changes, just in case you were wondering about the level of detail put into this season.

REVIEW: YOGA HOSERS

CAST

Harley Quinn Smith (Tusk)
Lily-Rose Depp (The Dancer)
Adam Brody (Jennifers Body)
Austin Butler (Arrow)
Tyler Posey (Teen Wolf)
Justin Long (New Girl)
Tony Hale (Chuck)
Natasha Lyonne (American Pie)
Genesis Rodriguez (Hours)
Haley Joel Osment (A.I.)
Jennifer Schwalbach Smith (Now You Know)
Vanessa Paradis (Heartbreaker)
Ralph Garman (Ted)
Johnny Depp (Into The Woods)
Kevin Conroy (Batman: TAS)
Kevin Smith (Dogma)
Stan Lee (Avengers Assemble)
Jason Mewes (R.S.V.P.)

Colleen Collette and Colleen McKenzie are two average 15-year-old girls that spend their days studying yoga with their guru, Yogi Bayer, and working an after-school job at a Manitoba convenience store called Eh-2-Zed. The two are invited to a party by a popular senior, Hunter Calloway, who is the object of Colleen M’s affections.

The next day at school, the girls’ history teacher informs the class that the Nazi Party once had an influence in Winnipeg. Led by the self-proclaimed “Canadian Führer” Adrien Arcand and his right-hand-man, Andronicus Arcane, the Canadian Nazis were once a great force of terror. Arcand was later arrested by Federal authorities, but Andronicus Arcane was never found.

Colleen C’s father Bob, who own the Eh-2-Zed, and his girlfriend Tabitha, the store’s manager, decide to take a spontaneous trip to Niagara Falls, leaving the girls to run the store on the night of Hunter’s party. The Colleens invite Hunter to bring the party to the store so that they won’t miss out. Colleen M escorts Hunter to the back room at his request, only to discover that Hunter and Gordon are actually Satanists who wish to sacrifice and dismember the Colleens. Before this can occur, an army of little monsters called Bratzis (one-foot-tall Nazis made from bratwurst) attack and kill Hunter and Gordon. Using their yoga skills, the Colleens fight and defeat the Bratzis, but are soon arrested for the murder of Hunter and Gordon.
MV5BNTg2OTkzMGUtYjgwMi00Zjg4LTg0ZWEtNjljYmY3YjY3MmRlXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNzI1NzMxNzM@._V1_Legendary man-hunter Guy LaPointe, who had an encounter with the Colleens once before, arrives at the police station to interrogate the girls. Having obtained some of his own evidence of the Bratzis, he believes the girls’ testimony and wishes to help them prove their innocence. After sneaking them out of the station and taking them back to the Eh-2-Zed, LaPointe and the Colleens are knocked unconscious by the Bratzis. They are taken to an underground lair beneath the store where they find the Bratzis’ master, Andronicus Arcane.
51n-dzerjqlArcane reveals to LaPointe and the Colleens that he once had dreams of becoming an artist. After having his work ridiculed by various critics, he decided to become a scientist for the Canadian Nazi movement. The Nazis hid him in the underground lair to create a clone army to conquer Canada and the United States. The clones, made from bratwurst and Arcane’s DNA, needed to incubate for 100 years before they were fully grown, so Arcane cryogenically froze himself until a time where he and his clones could rise again. This process was interrupted when a power outage at the Eh-2-Zed 70 years later caused Arcane to thaw and the clones’ incubation to stop, rendering them at just one foot in height.

51n-dzerjqlLearning that the Nazi Party had long since been defeated, Arcane began a new mission to kill all critics as revenge for those that poorly reviewed his early work. He reveals he has constructed a ten-foot-tall goaltender from body parts of the Bratzis’ victims to carry out his murderous deeds. This “Goalie Golem” is controlled by the Bratzis who operate it from its insides. No longer wishing to follow Arcane’s orders, the Golem kills him and then turns on the Colleens. The Colleens once again use their yoga skills to defeat the Golem and soon after, clear their names. After being dubbed “Hero Clerks” by the media, the Colleens return to their normal lives and end the film with a cover of “O, Canada”, accompanied on guitar by Guy LaPointe.thumbnail_24847Overall, I enjoyed the movie. It had much of Kevin Smith’s normal humor and those girls really had great chemistry as best friends.

REVIEW: TUSK

CAST

Michael Parks (Red State)
Justin Long (Jeepers Creepers)
Génesis Rodríguez (Hours)
Haley Joel Osment (A.I.)
Johnny Depp (Into The Woods)
Harley Morenstein (Holidays)
Ralph Garman (Ted)
Jennifer Schwalbach Smith (Now You Know)
Harley Quinn Smith (Supergirl)
Lily-Rose Depp (The Dancer)
Zak Knutson (Clerks II)
Scott Mosier (Free Birds)
Best friends Wallace Bryton and Teddy Craft host the popular podcast The Not-See Party, where they find and mock humiliating viral videos. Wallace announces plans to fly to Canada to interview the “Kill Bill” Kid, an Internet celebrity famous for severing his leg with a samurai sword. In flashbacks spread throughout the film, it is revealed that Wallace was originally a failed stand-up comic who became popular with his increasingly vicious podcasts, and that he frequently cheats on his girlfriend, Ally.
Upon arriving in Manitoba, Wallace is surprised to learn that the Kill Bill Kid committed suicide. Upset that he flew to Canada for nothing, Wallace decides to stay an extra day and find another person to interview. He finds a handbill from someone offering a room in his home for free and the guarantee of hearing a lifetime of interesting stories. His interest piqued, Wallace arrives at the mansion of Howard Howe, a retired seaman in a wheelchair. Howard tells the story of how a walrus, whom he named Mr. Tusk, rescued him after a shipwreck. Wallace then passes out from the secobarbital laced in his tea that Howard made for him.
The next morning, Wallace wakes up to find himself strapped into a wheelchair and his left leg amputated. Howard tells him he was bitten by a brown recluse spider and a local doctor had to amputate it to save Wallace’s life. Howard not only reveals that he can still walk, but lays out his plans for Wallace: he plans to fit Wallace into a perfectly constructed walrus costume. Wallace’s attempts to contact Teddy and Ally fail when neither answer their phone. It is then revealed that Ally and Teddy are in fact lovers. Wallace leaves Ally a voicemail apologizing for how he treated her, and Howard knocks him unconscious.
Now aware that Wallace is in danger, Ally and Teddy fly to Canada to look for him. Back at the mansion, Howard continues to mutilate and alter Wallace, to whom he tells his backstory: a Duplessis orphan, he was sexually abused for years by the clergy who fostered him, and as a result is very misanthropic. He sews Wallace into a walrus costume made of human skin, complete with tusks made of the tibia bones from Wallace’s severed legs.
A local detective puts Ally and Teddy in touch with Guy LaPointe, a former Sûreté du Québec inspector who has been hunting Howard for years. LaPointe reveals that Howard, nicknamed “The First Wife”, has been kidnapping and murdering people for years; he says he believes Wallace may still be alive, but not as they remember him. They eventually find Howard’s address through two convenience store clerks, whom Wallace had annoyed earlier.
By now, Wallace’s psyche has been completely broken and has been conditioned to think and behave like a walrus. Howard reveals that his obsession with walruses comes from killing and eating Mr. Tusk six months after living on the island, although a rescue boat arrived soon after. For the past 15 years, he has attempted to turn his victims into his beloved savior in order to relive their last day and give Mr. Tusk another chance at survival. Dressed in his own homemade pelt, Howard engages in a fight with Wallace that ends with Wallace angrily impaling Howard’s chest with his tusks while Howard becomes satisfied with what Wallace has become. Ally and Teddy enter the enclave as Wallace bellows victoriously and viciously as a walrus does, much to their horror. LaPointe later enters the room and reluctantly aims a shotgun at Wallace.
One year later, Wallace, still sewn into the pelt, lives in a wildlife sanctuary. Ally and Teddy visit him and feed him a mackerel. Ally remembers a discussion she had with Wallace the day before he left for Canada about how crying separates humans from animals, because crying shows that you have a soul. Ally tells Wallace she still loves him before walking off crying. Tears run down Wallace’s face as he bellows, implying that the human part of Wallace may not be completely gone.Yes, it’s a weird film but it’s trying to be different and is a nice change of pace from most horror films these days. If you want a film that will make you genuinely say ‘WTF’ at the end, tusk is for you. I

REVIEW: SHE-RA AND THE PRINCESSES OF POWER – SEASON 4

She-Ra and the Princesses of Power (2018)

CAST (VOICES)

Aimee Carrero (The Last Witch Hunter)
Karen Fukuhara (Suicide Squad)
AJ Michalka (Super 8)
Marcus Scribner (The Good Dinosaur)
Reshma Shetty (Blindspot)
Lorraine Toussaint (The Night Before)
Keston John (The Good Place)
Lauren Ash (The Disaster Artist)
Christine Woods (Flashforward)
Genesis Rodriguez (Tusk)
Jordan Fisher (Teen Wolf)
Vella Lovell (Crazy Ex-Girlfriend)
Sandra Oh (Sideways)
Krystal Joy Brown (Castle)
Grey DeLisle (Paradise PD)
Merit Leighton (Alexa & Katie)
Antony Del Rio (Avengers Assemble)
Geena Davis (The Fly)

She-RaOn November 4, Netflix’s She-Ra and the Princesses of Power is back with season 4, which includes a full thirteen episodes like season 1 did (seasons 2 and 3 split the 13 episodes). This season takes a dark turn as the Horde gains the advantage over the princesses, the threat of Horde Prime looms, terrible secrets are discovered about the First Ones, and a rift develops between Adora (Aimee Carrero) and Glimmer (Karen Fukuhara). It’s a fully packed season, with plenty of goofy humor just like any other season of She-Ra, but this one definitely feels darker overall, for better or worse.downloadTo recap, season 3 left off with Catra (AJ Michalka) opening the portal even after being warned by both Adora and Entrapta (Christine Woods) that it was faulty. To stop it from destroying everything, Queen Angella (Reshma Shetty) gave her life to shut it down. Catra exiled Entrapta to Beast Island for trying to stop her. Adora found out that she’s a First One who came to Etheria as a baby through a portal, which is why the sword responded to her. Most importantly, Hordak’s (Keston John) message to Horde Prime went through before the portal was destroyed. Season 4 begins with Queen Glimmer’s coronation.she-ra-s4-review-1194462A lot of the season revolves around Glimmer learning how to embody her new role as queen, and it is not a smooth journey. As she feels more and more of the pressure of being responsible for everyone, she starts lashing out, mostly at Adora. Part of the appeal of She-Ra is the friendship between Adora, Glimmer, and Bow (Marcus Scribner). They’re supportive, adorable, and always work to resolve any issues between them. There’s a reason Bow likes to call them “the best friend squad.” But this season, all of that breaks down. Glimmer and Adora hardly have a pleasant and friendly moment all season long – something new character Double Trouble (Jacob Tobia), a shapeshifter, encourages – and the bitterness puts a damper on what’s usually a fun tone. What’s worse is that they don’t work out their issues and make up by the time the season ends, making the season feel unresolved. It’s also a shame that Glimmer doesn’t find her way as a queen. She only gets more cold and controlling as the season goes on, especially as she continues to take advice from Shadow Weaver. As it stands, fans will have to wait until season 5 for Adora and Glimmer to, hopefully, work things out. Poor Bow, all he wants is for everyone to get along.she-ra-season-4-images-4
Also seeing conflict this season is Catra and Scorpia’s (Lauren Ash) friendship. Though she’s part of the Horde, Scorpia has always been a really positive character and a great friend to Catra. This season, however, she finally starts to realize that Catra’s not such a great friend to her, especially as Catra continuously treats everyone around her worse and worse, as the Horde gets closer than ever to its goal of world domination. This is also on the heels of Catra banishing Entrapta, who Scorpia considered a friend. It’s nice to see the show take Scorpia’s character in new directions. She’s definitely one of the best characters on the show, and we finally get to learn about some of her background.she-ra-season-5-renewal-newsWe also get to learn a lot about Adora’s background this season, which is a good follow-up to last season’s revelation about Adora being a First One. We finally find out what the First Ones were doing on Etheria, the origins of She-Ra, what happened to Mara, and why Etheria is in Despondos (the pocket dimension that cuts them off from the rest of the universe). If you want answers about everything, this season is the one to watch. It also ends with a big change, from which She-Ra will never be the same.doubletrouble_0For all of the serious stuff going on, there’s still plenty of hijinks too. This is She-Ra after all. There’s an episode called “Boys’ Night Out” where Bow, Sea Hawk (Jordan Fisher), and Swift Wind (Adam Ray) sing some ridiculously silly songs, and accidentally on purpose get kidnapped so that the girls can overcome their problems and rescue them. The “Mer-Mysteries” episode feels like a perfectly campy murder-mystery party, as the princesses try to figure out who the mole is. In two of my favorite episodes of the season, we get to revisit the Crimson Waste (episode 2), and finally get to go to Beast Island (episode 11). Beast Island holds a number of revelations that you won’t want to miss. The show does a great job of mixing the goofy with the more serious, creating a perfect mixture of high stakes and comic relief.maxresdefaultFor all of the issues between Glimmer and Adora, the show still has great things to say about friendship and loyalty. One can never assume that just because a character is from the Horde, that they are purely bad. Catra and Scorpia’s fellow soldiers, Lonnie (Dana Davis), Kyle (Antony Del Rio), and Rogelio get to demonstrate the strength of their bond this season, while Hordak grieves the loss of Entrapta as his friend. Catra thinks she doesn’t need anyone, but she finds herself the loneliest character on the show, and it motivates everything she does. The plot is packed pretty tightly this season, especially as the princesses lose more ground than ever to the Horde. The stakes are higher than ever, and you can feel that tension in every episode. It’s both exciting and fun in a way that only She-Ra can be. With the fundamental circumstances of the show changed however, it’s anyone’s guess what next season will look like.

 

REVIEW: SHE-RA AND THE PRINCESSES OF POWER – SEASON 3

she-ra-season-3

CAST (VOICES)

Aimee Carrero (The Last Witch Hunter)
Karen Fukuhara (Suicide Squad)
AJ Michalka (Super 8)
Marcus Scribner (The Good Dinosaur)
Reshma Shetty (Blindspot)
Lorraine Toussaint (The Night Before)
Keston John (The Good Place)
Lauren Ash (The Disaster Artist)
Christine Woods (Flashforward)
Genesis Rodriguez (Tusk)
Jordan Fisher (Teen Wolf)
Vella Lovell (Crazy Ex-Girlfriend)
Sandra Oh (Sideways)
Krystal Joy Brown (Castle)
Grey DeLisle (Paradise PD)
Merit Leighton (Alexa & Katie)
Antony Del Rio (Avengers Assemble)
Geena Davis (The Fly)

juijujijooShe-Ra is making a return for its third outing on August 2, but we had the chance to watch all six episodes ahead of its premiere. And boy, is it a doozy. Getting into She-Ra was something of a slow burn for me. It took the more sedate pace of the second season, coupled with the fleshing out of several character ties and relationships, for it to really find its footing, but notching the action back somewhat paid dividends as the series heads into its third outing. The foundations upon which She-Ra has been built don’t just crumble away over the six episodes that showrunner Noelle Stevenson and her exceptionally talented and dedicated team have delivered to us. They’re obliterated.she-ra-huntara-adora-glimmer-bow-season-3And I certainly don’t mean that in a bad way. In fact, it’s a huge reinvigoration and looks set to take the entire show in a direction I can’t say anyone will have been expecting. It is complex, layered, and genuinely has me anticipating where it might go next — especially after the bomb-drop of a cliffhanger that the third season leaves you on. A cliffhanger that creeps up, slowly, over the course of the six episodes, and has been embedded into the DNA of the show since day one. It was just that the pieces never really come together until the third season plays out in all of its nail-biting, edge-of-your-seat glory.she-ra-season-3-images-3But the foundation that is rocked, more than any other, is the one upon which She-Ra built the bulk of its storytelling. Its true core: The relationship between Catra and Adora. It was always going to reach a tipping point, and if you thought season 2 took them right to the precipice, the third pushes them beyond the point of no return. Because, when it comes down to it, the actions of both characters, their choices, and the consequences of them irrevocably changes who and what they are to each other.  Where Adora searches for the truth — and, in some cases, finds it — about her origins and the power of She-Ra, Catra seeks to undermine her at every turn. Going back to who they were, together and apart, prior to Adora leaving the Fright Zone is never going to be possible, and both characters come to terms with what that means — with disastrous results.4201e13e-bb2c-4b04-8c4d-08e8707127b5-she-raBreadcrumbs of resentment have been littered between Catra and Adora over the course of many, many episodes. And that finally comes home to roost. The biggest catalyst being the wild-card of Shadow Weaver. The relationship that both Catra and Adora have with their pseudo-mother-figure is complex, steeped in years of emotional abuse and manipulation, but also a twisted sense of love and loyalty. Catra craves acceptance, validation, and yes, to an extent, an unconditional sense of love, but is always passed over in favor of Adora. The favorite child. In Catra’s eyes, at least. It introduces a pressure point that is something of a hot-button. People choosing Adora over her. More than anything, the need to beat Adora in all ways, shapes and forms drives and motivates Catra — when she falls, fails, and repeats the cycle, Catra gradually has nothing left to lose. And there is nothing more dangerous than a character who has nothing to lose.she-ra-animation-4And, in She-Ra’s case, that danger is more than just the degradation of a relationship — or, in some cases, several. It is universe-altering. Because when Catra is given the opportunity to go full-tilt into her darkest urges, she grasps at it with both hands, despite several characters attempting to pull her back from the edge. And once Catra commits, it is like dominoes: thing spiral at speed. There is no going back as the show enters new, uncharted territory. Not only in Catra’s choices to move further away from Adora’s reach, and her friendship with Adora, but also for how we — and in turn, the characters — understand Etheria, and the universe in which it exists. For those of us who have been waiting for the mythology and lore of the show to expand, season 3 is a veritable treasure trove.Screen-Shot-Hordak-a4erd-1024x552The truth about Hordak and where he came from, as well as the origins of the Horde and what Etheria could look like if they win, are all present and accounted for in season 3. And it is, in some ways, a villain origin story that is steeped in well-walked tropes and expectations — but there is also more to it than just that. Hordak and Entrapta’s fledgling friendship pushes them both, and provides Hordak with a side that we — as audiences — have not always been privy to. Certainly, there is more to uncover and dig into — and future seasons will undoubtedly do so — but what we learn here is rich with expanding upon the characters and their pasts. The previous She-Ra, Mara, is included in that. The clues were woven into the fabric of the second season for when Adora needed to find out more about who she is and where she came from, and Adora follows them through to their conclusion — even when it means leaving parts of her former life behind, for good. Glimmer and Bow, through it all, stand strong by her side, and the three of them will need each other more than ever when the dust settles on the third season, and the dawn of the fourth arrives — because certain catastrophic events transpire that will alter the course of their individual trajectories forever.UntitledOh, and the introduction of Huntara and the Crimson Waste is undoubtedly one of the true delights of season 3. I was disappointed not to learn more about Huntara — and eagle-eyed fans will not miss some subtle interactions between her and another character during the trio’s time in a Crimson Waste tavern — but there will be time for that. Especially, and hopefully, if she plays a bigger role moving forward. And I really, really would love for her character to be expanded upon. The hints at Huntara’s past give her a connection to Adora that is difficult for Adora’s other friends in the Princess Alliance to understand or fathom, and it is something that Adora might need moving forward. Huntara is, without a doubt, the best source to tap into for that potential — especially with Catra moving even further outside of Adora’s orbit. There was something of a safety-net hanging securely underneath She-Ra prior to season 3. These six episodes remove that net, and the show plunges deep into something unknown. Stevenson and her team are testing the boundaries of what, and who, She-Ra is, and both the character and the show are all the better for it. It’s not entirely clear where they might take She-Ra beyond this point, but that is certainly part of what makes it so exciting.

 

REVIEW: SHE-RA AND THE PRINCESSES OF POWER – SEASON 1

She-Ra and the Princesses of Power (2018)

CAST (VOICES)

Aimee Carrero (The Last Witch Hunter)
Karen Fukuhara (Suicide Squad)
AJ Michalka (Super 8)
Marcus Scribner (The Good Dinosaur)
Reshma Shetty (Blindspot)
Lorraine Toussaint (The Night Before)
Keston John (The Good Place)
Lauren Ash (The Disaster Artist)
Christine Woods (Flashforward)
Genesis Rodriguez (Tusk)
Jordan Fisher (Teen Wolf)
Vella Lovell (Crazy Ex-Girlfriend)
Sandra Oh (Sideways)
Krystal Joy Brown (Castle)
Grey DeLisle (Paradise PD)
Merit Leighton (Alexa & Katie)
Antony Del Rio (Avengers Assemble)

65e75070b848312396faa28b8863a06424bed9a8I am both happy She-Ra And The Princesses Of Power exists and deeply jealous I didn’t have it as a kid.  What struck me most in watching the series is just how different it is from anything else on TV. The sheer amount of women on screen and how different they all are shouldn’t feel so unique but it is. It’s a breath of fresh air, especially watching so many action adventure series that might only have one or two women in a cast of mostly guys. Here though it’s switched, with the guys being the side characters and all the women taking charge.Catra_She_Ra.0It gives the series a fresh perspective and a different feel. It’s not that nothing like this has been done before (Sailor Moon and the original She-Ra before it set the standard for women being amazing in action animation) but it’s the way it’s done. You can feel the excitement of every person working on this show that they’re doing something special. That they’re getting the chance to create something that’s been all too rare in television.
1047659-dreamworks-showcase-she-ra-and-princesses-power-new-york-comic-conRight from the jump She-Ra And The Princesses Of Power sheds anything that held the original series back. It’s serialised. Its characters have a tonne of depth. The animation is gorgeous. It’s incredibly inclusive. It ditches any connection to He-Man and stands on its own (though there are enough easter eggs to send hardcore fans into a frenzy). She-Ra is a character that doesn’t need to be the twin sister of He-Man, she’s powerful in her own right. It’s the strength of Adora, the characters around her, and their relationships that make this series shine. The most important of these being the slowly fracturing friendship between Adora and Catra. The two start as best friends working for the Horde but when Adora discovers the horrors they’ve caused, she decides to join the rebellion.SHE_PD102_01010418_RGB_FIN.0This angers Catra and much of the arc of the first season is devoted to the back and forth between these two. Adora desperately tries to get Catra to come to her senses while Catra can’t understand why her best friend would leave her. It’s gripping stuff and forms the backbone of the season’s best episodes. The series puts an incredible emphasis on the powerful emotions that come with deep friendship. Where other series might default to love stories to mine these depths of feelings, She-Ra And The Princesses of Power is keenly aware the pain of losing your best friend can hurt even more than a breakup. It also celebrates friendship as well, with the main trio of Adora, Glimmer, and Bow a main focus of the season. How these three come together and learn to love each other is what gives them more power than any magic sword.She-Ra-header (1)The season’s main plot arc is our trio trying to rebuild the Princess Alliance, a once great group of magical women who kept Etheria safe. These journeys not only gives the series a chance to do some excellent world building but also introduce its colorful extended cast. Each of the characters you’ll meet throughout these episodes is incredibly diverse both in appearance and personality. You’ll love them all, I promise. The series does take a little time to get going and a few character introductions are done quicker than I would have liked, but by the second half of the season the story really starts to get gripping. The world of Etheria comes into sharp focus and you see just how wide and open the universe of She-Ra can be.she-ra-and-the-princesses-of-power-reviewShe-Ra And The Princesses of Power easily steps out of the pop culture shadow of not only the original She-Ra but He-Man as well. This isn’t a series that’s stuck in the past, trying to recapture that franchise’s old glory. It’s taking the building blocks of OG She-Ra and making it something fresh and new for the audiences of today. It’s an empowering and affirming series not just for girls but anyone who watches, young or old. It shows girls and women they can be and look like whatever they want and still be strong. It shows boys and men the amazing things women can be and that they can be along for the ride. It shows everyone you don’t have to fit into societal norms. You can dress how you want, act how you want, and be with whomever you want. For that alone, She-Ra And The Princesses of Power is going to change a lot of lives for the better.