Category: TV


Review by C.J. Bunce

Would the real Man from Toronto please stand up?

One of the best elements of the 2009-2015 crime/action series White Collar was the late Willie Garson as Moz.  And Moz’s best episode featured his backstory as the dreaded crime boss, the “Dentist of Detroit,” a partially mythical mercenary you’d never want to meet in person.  Casting Woody Harrelson as a similar character was an inspired choice for this year’s direct-to-Netflix movie, The Man from Toronto.  Pair Harrelson with the current funniest funnyman at the movies, Kevin Hart, and you have the makings of a summer hit.  Add the year’s best cinema action sequences, and you have an action movie you can’t miss.  Oddly enough, it’s also the year’s best Jason Statham movie–without Jason Statham.

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Review by C.J. Bunce

Just as the classic 1970s first responder television series Emergency! is celebrating its 50th anniversary today on COZI TV (with a new documentary and appearances by stars Randy Mantooth and Kevin Tighe), the medical/rescue genre is getting adapted to superheroes in a new comic book series.

It’s a time of conflict.  One faction is open-minded and willing to take on anything that comes its way with arms wide open.  The other is ready to shut the door on those who aren’t the same.  It all happens in a world where some people have superpowers and some don’t.  In the tradition of Dark Horse Comics’ The Ward, with the action of Hotel Artemis, and the secrecy of The Star Chamber, the new monthly medical thriller Crashing from IDW Publishing follows a doctor in triage addressing patients who are “different” in the emergency room.

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It’s been a year since Kevin Costner returned to Dyersville, Iowa, to lead the ultimate movie event follow-up.  Last year the Chicago White Sox faced the New York Yankees in vintage uniforms to provide fans of Major League Baseball with the ultimate gift, a regular season game at the most beloved stadium in the country–the Field of Dreams, setting for the Phil Alden Robinson’s 1989 film classic (find out more about last year’s game here).  Last night the second major league game to take place in Iowa–and second annual Field of Dreams game–featured the Chicago Cubs and the Cincinnati Reds.  Spoilers ahead–in case you missed the game.

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Review by C.J. Bunce

Last year Netflix delivered what Blade Runner creator Philip K. Dick would have flipped over–the futurism and dark beauty of Adult Swim and Crunchyroll’s Japanese and American half-hour anime series Blade Runner: Black Lotus With a second season of the brilliant Blade Runner anime up in the air, Titan Comics is offering the next best thing.  This week the TV series continues in the first issue of Blade Runner: Black Lotus–the monthly comic.  This past May we previewed the comic here at borg.

So how does the comic compare to the TV series that made our annual best TV of the year, kick-ass heroines, and the Borg Hall of Fame?

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Review by C.J. Bunce

In the world of zombie stories, Resident Evil has more than established itself as the big winner.  Box office billions aside, after this year’s better than expected, big-budget fun zombie flick Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City (reviewed here) and last year’s anime Resident Evil: Infinite Darkness, the most successful video game tie-in franchise ever only gets better.  Netflix’s eight-part Resident Evil live-action television series isn’t perfect, but fans aren’t really looking for perfect.  What you get is the ultimate genre-bending mash-up.  Sure, you’d expect the sci-fi horror, but full-fledged kaiju monster action?  Edgy-Terminator level cautionary themes?  Orphan Black-inspired clones?  Evil Dead-level action and fun?  Skip the drama of The Walking Dead–this is the kind of action, acting, and storytelling game fans really want.  And you don’t even need to care about the zombie genre to dig it.

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Review by C.J. Bunce

Don’t turn around, Der Kommissar’s in town. 

Marc Warren is a rock star.  Or at least he looks and acts like one.  He’s starred and guest-starred in dozens of series and in each one he’s a stand-out, most famously in Doctor Who and Life on Mars, State of Play and Band of Brothers, and Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, just to name a few.  As a Dutch detective on a stylish crime series created by British network ITV, TV audiences will meet the next Sam Tyler, Aurelio Zen, John Luther, and Jimmy Perez.  Warren plays Commissaris Piet van der Valk, Amsterdam’s best detective, on the series Van Der Valk, which saw its first season of three movie-length episodes make its way to the U.S. in 2020.  The first episode of the second season is coming to the States in September on PBS Masterpiece.  So who is this crime fighter from Amsterdam?

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For 15 years and 327 episodes, CW’s Supernatural established itself as the longest continuously running genre series of the century.  It’s the kind of series, like The X-Files, anyone can drop in on without getting lost in some ongoing story arc.  It’s no wonder that no movie mega-star gets as enormous a crowd at San Diego Comic-Con as when stars Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki enter the building.  With that kind of start, and a retro spin like the successful series Stranger Things, its coming prequel The Winchesters has the potential of doing well, and the full trailer for the series looks like it may have what it takes to stick around awhile, with a great vintage vibe and Scooby Doo look.

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Review by C.J. Bunce

The biggest draw of ITV’s first two seasons of its police procedural The Bay was its lead detective.  Morven Christie (Death in Paradise, Doctor Who) played detective Lisa Armstrong, a family liaison officer (“FLO”) with the Morcambe police.  Morcambe is the eponymous Bay, a seaside town on England’s northwest coast, near Manchester (setting of several great British crime dramas, like Life on Mars, Ashes to Ashes, and Cracker).  But that changes for the third season of The Bay, now streaming on Britbox.  Taking her place is Marsha Thomason, who played White Collar’s (American) agent Diana Barrigan.  Armstrong’s show was as much about her personal life, her kids and relationships, as the crime-solving.  Viewers get no wrap-up for her story, but for season 3 the writers try to hold that same focus on the pressure of life as a cop helping citizens who have experienced distress.  And the season opens with a dead body floating out in the bay near a buoy. 

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If it’s not your third favorite Star Wars movie, it’s probably your fourth.  It’s director Gareth Edwards’ Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, the movie that re-ignited the possibilities for Star Wars after George Lucas sold it all to Disney, and laid the groundwork for the great series The Mandalorian and The Book of Boba Fett.  We thought the May teaser looked fantastic for Andor, the prequel series to Rogue One coming to Disney+ next month, but the full trailer is even better with some great surprises, including the return of Forest Whitaker as Saw Gerrera.  And bigger news: The first season will have 12 episodes, with 12 more on the way.

Diego Luna returns as rebel hero Cassian Andor, joined by Genevieve O’Reilly in her third stint as Mon Mothma plus the MCU’s Stellan Skarsgård is a new Kenobi-like mentor named Luthen RaelAdria Arjona (Morbius, 6 Underground) is Kleya, Denise Gough (Colette) is Imperial officer Dedra, plus Kyle Soller (Fury, Poldark), The Batman’s Alex Ferns, and Harry Potter and True Blood’s Fiona Shaw co-star (and it looks like Outlaw King and Monarch of the Glen’s Alastair Mackenzie or his doppelganger as a Senator or Ambassador of some sort).

Andor is already confirmed for a second season.  The series will not have the benefit of Gareth Edwards’ input, but it does have contributions from Rogue One writer Tony Gilroy and franchise creature maker Neal Scanlan will be pulling in unused creatures and effects from the films along with new ones for the series.  Meet B2EMO:

Check out this epic trailer for Andor:

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Review by C.J. Bunce

If you’re looking to get your fix of Doctor Who, a new roleplaying game has just arrived that may be just the thing for you.  Whether you want to step into the shoes of a Time Lord yourself, become a member of an alien species (join your own Paternoster Gang!), travel anywhere to the past or future, journey into outer space, or accompany a Doctor as a Companion, the Doctor Who Doctors and Daleks Player’s Guide is a giant guide to a new RPG for three or more players.  Grab your friends and take your own time machine to explore the universe and history, help others solve problems, and share your fish fingers, just like in the six decades of the Doctor Who series.  And you’re not required to use existing Doctors and Companions–or alien races–you can make up your own.  Or play without a Doctor, like UNIT and Sarah Jane Smith in the show.  How about Captain Jack Harkness and Torchwood?  Pull them in, too.

Filled with photographs from the franchise’s six decades, Doctors and Daleks Player’s Guide is available now in PDF, with pre-orders now being taken by publisher Cubicle 7 Games for the hardcover and a Collector’s Edition.  Check out links to order below.

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