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The Weekly TV, Movie, & Games Discussion Post For Week Of July 30th, 2023

9 min read
This week looks at multiple shows, a new Nintendo Switch game, and a pair of movie reviews. Whew!

It’s a new season and a new round of shows getting ready to come on as well as a lot of returning favorites in the broadcast realm. We’ve covered a lot of shows and movies in 2022 and have had a whole lot of fun with them. There were a lot of standouts with Star Wars: Andor being my top show of 2022. And that has me excited to see what 2023 will bring as there are a lot of properties I’m looking forward to. We’re also going to be doing Foundation reviews but had to push the first episode review due to some family medical issues.

With a lot of shows wrapping up recently with things like Silo and the quick run of The Bear, we also have the main broadcast networks largely having wrapped up. And as I watch less and less there, it’s time to start thinking about summer viewing. My frustration now is the loss of Viaplay as the service is closing down in the US and that’s sent me back to Britbox. Thankfully, I’ve also got the new season of Sweet Magnolias to watch.

First up, we’ve got a look at the recently streamed Shazam! Fury of the Gods film. While I do have issues with the film it’s also one where I’m left wondering why there was such vitriol toward it. Enough of the online discourse pushed me from seeing it for a while and some admitted exhaustion with what the fandom around these films have been like. But it is a perfectly serviceable sequel and continuation of what we had before with the thing most sophomore films of this nature do – they overcompensate on the action and special effects instead of digging into character more. This one suffers a bit more in that the gap between the two films mean the kids are older and that takes you of it more, especially in an age where there are still so few young superhero characters. In the end, I may not like it as much as the first film and all of its early teenage awkwardness, but it has a lot of fun moments and still has that strange tonal problem that I think works in its favor of silly material that bounds hard into significant violence. That said, it’s still a film I broke up into two nights because it is just nearly constant set pieces of action and that can get exhausting.

Check out our full review of the film.

Next up, we have a look at the newly released Justice League: Warworld Blu-ray. The story is one that works in one sense but the way it’s presented undercuts it completely, especially with the pacing of it all. It simply doesn’t come together and even as much of a fan as I am I was tempted to cut my losses after the first ten minutes when I realized it wasn’t just a short being shown before the main feature. The release has some decent moments throughout but as a whole, it’s hampered by the design of it and it’s pretty much impossible to come back after that. The release itself is pretty solid with a clean encoding, solid audio for its presentation, and a couple of extras that are standard press junket pieces, totaling about fifteen minutes. It’s nice to see the concept artwork and the voice cast and all, but it doesn’t add too much – especially compared to older releases that included episodes from other DC shows that were related. All in all, this feels like something of a rush job that wasn’t fleshed out and ended up just being pushed through the pipeline.

Check out our full review of the release.

Cody has a new game review for us with the Nintendo Switch release of Master Detective Archives: Rain Code. In it, he says, “Master Detective Archives: Rain Code is the bright glimmer of hope fans of Zero Escape, Danganronpa, and Ace Attorney have been waiting for. While about half of its cases feel like filler with predictable villains and twists, this game at least nails how to begin and end a story-driven game like this right. Two of its cases are better than the vast majority of Danganronpa and Ace Attorney murder mysteries, propelled by tight, varied gameplay that doesn’t overstay its welcome and characters that set the stage for a powerful new potential series that I hope to see more of.”

Check out our full review.

Next up, we’ve got a look at the second episode of Foundation with its second season. Sometimes it just takes certain things to make you pull back from a show after enjoying it. I wasn’t happy about a lot of changes but I could make some sense of it. But everything with Gaal and Salvor has left me frustrated in this season with the leap forward and it made it worse with The Mule and what it’s trying to do with Hober Mallow. I’m more than willing to live an adaptation a lot of leeway but so many things done in the show have now reached a critical mass of going against the spirit and ideals of the original work that it’s incredibly frustrating. There are good areas, there are great visuals, and some fantastic costume design and concept work. But once you get away from Empire, very little works.

Check out our full review.

Next up, we’ve got a look at the fifth episode of the new series My Adventures With Superman. With a subplot focusing on Jimmy that didn’t work well for me since it’s connected to Steve and we all hate Steve, the time with Lois and Clark is fun but you can easily see how she’s going about this all wrong. Clark as Superman gets some great stuff here as he faces off against Intergang first and then Task Force X as we get that explored. I’ll admit that I would like to see more time spent before we get Lois and Clark being aware of each other and all that but I also understand why it doesn’t work quite so well in the modern sense and the trust issues and all of it. The core of why superheroes hide identities is one that still makes sense but I can understand the reason for pushing this the way they do and how it alters their relationship in a way that could be quite interesting to watch unfold as it’s not leading directly into a romance or anything but rather greater distance and uncertainty. Jimmy’s subplot at least provides for a great end episode stinger for next week, but this episode was all about Lois getting to the bottom of who Clark is.

Check out our full review.

Next up, we’re super excited to see Star Trek: Strange New Worlds back. With the seventh episode of the season, Strange New Worlds may not light the world on fire with some of its stories, but each episode delivers something that just has me super excited about what it does for either the cast or the worldbuilding. This is like peak ensemble cast design for me and while some still need a bit more fleshing out, the end result is a show that I can’t get enough of. Bringing in some catalyst characters from Lower Decks with a smartly done time travel and medium-travel trick takes it to a whole other level. Everything about this worked for me from top to bottom and I completely understand why some or all of it doesn’t for others. I know a lot of Trek fans just can’t stomach Lower Decks at all so I get it and that’s totally fine. For me, this was the marriage of two worlds that I want more of and has me wishing for a full Lower Decks live-action episode or future project that they can work some of them into.

Check out our full review of the episode.

Because we got the seventh episode early as part of SDCC, the eighth episode took its regular slot and we have a look at that too. While I had some problems with the first season of Discovery, I’m glad to see them touching on the fallout from that war here a bit and the way it has impacted so many people. The lack of reference at times is understandable but it reminded me sometimes of how Voyager went right into easily working with the Maquis once in the Gamma quadrant. Here, we get to look at a thin slice of the war with two characters we know that were in it and the feelings of a few others throughout. It’s well presented, serious, and doesn’t try to add snark or lightness where it shouldn’t exist. It’s a good showpiece for everyone involved and again makes me feel that both Babs Olusanmoku and Jess Bush are some of the best characters from TOS being expanded upon here as I want to follow the entirety of their journey.

Check out our full review of the episode.

It’s been a bit since the last Marvel Disney+ series but we’re back in it again with Secret Invasion. With the sixth and final episode, I had some hopes for Secret Invasion but the reality of how Marvel’s shows on Disney+ have operated tempered a lot of expectations. And that’s definitely colored my grading with a bit of generosity as I’ve mostly enjoyed it but I understand the, shall we say, imperfections. I want better but that’s not where things are at the moment and it’s unclear if Marvel really gets it. Or a lot of studios at this point, considering everything with both the writers and actors strikes. We’re in a downward spiral of quality writing and sometimes it feels like it’s by design in order to push a particular agenda. Secret Invasion has some good moments and the concept is generally solid, but it comes down to how some of it is executed and the lack of really thinking through the impact of what they’re doing and the way characters react. Half the time I wish they’d just find a select group of fans and critics that would go “hey, did you think about this?” before finalizing a script. These projects operate inside a bubble and the secrecy between projects and creatives is making the shows about as good as the comics are these days, which is pretty bad.

Check out our full review of the episode.

Movie reviews:

  1. Shazam! Fury of the Gods Review
  2. Justice League: Warworld Blu-ray Review
  3. The Little Mermaid
  4. The Boxtrolls Review
  5. Kubo and the Two-Strings Review
  6. Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania Review
  7. Kaguya-sama: Love Is War – The First Kiss That Never Ends Anime Movie Review
  8. Sword Art Online The Movie – Progressive- Scherzo of Deep Night Movie Review
  9. Mobile Suit Gundam Cucuruz Doan’s Island
  10. Missing Review
  11. The Whale Review
  12. Point of No Return Review
  13. Blonde Review
  14. Wendell & Wild
  15. Clerks III Review
  16. Luck Review
  17. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness
  18. Fortune Favors Lady Nikuko
  19. Hustle Review
  20. Top Gun: Maverick Review
  21. The Bob’s Burgers Movie Review
  22. Chip n’ Dale: Rescue Rangers Review
  23. Stu’s Show Review
  24. Star Trek: The Motion Picture – The Director’s Edition Review
  25. Bubble Anime Review
  26. Ryoma! The Prince of Tennis Anime Review
  27. Sonic the Hedgehog 2 Review
  28. Turning Red Review
  29. The Batman Review
  30. Belle Review
  31. Drive My Car Review
  32. The Power of the Dog Review
  33. Robin Robin Review
  34. BoxBallet Review
  35. Bestia Review
  36. Eternals Review
  37. Encanto Review
  38. 8-Bit Christmas Review
  39. Music Box: Jagged Review
  40. Ghostbusters: Afterlife Review
  41. Tick, Tick…BOOM! Review
  42. Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings Review
  43. Free Guy Review
  44. My Hero Academia: World Heroes’ Mission Review
  45. Dune (2021) Review
  46. Black Widow
  47. Jungle Cruise Review
  48. As the Village Sleeps Review
  49. Space Jam: A New Legacy Review
  50. A Quiet Place Part II Review
  51. Knots: A Forced Marriage Story Review
  52. School-Live! The Movie Blu-ray Review
  53. In the Heights Review
  54. Over the Moon Review
  55. Feeling Through Review
  56. Two Distant Strangers review
  57. Yes-People Review
  58. A Love Song for Latasha Review
  59. If Anything Happens I Love You Review
  60. Burrow Review
  61. Godzilla vs Kong
  62. Happy Happy Joy Joy: The Ren & Stimpy Story Review
  63. Kamp Koral: SpongeBob’s Under Years Preview
  64. Raya and the Last Dragon Review
  65. The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run Review
  66. The Little Things Review
  67. In Other Words Review
  68. Earwig and the Witch Review

What did you watch this past week?