Speed and Superheroes

I haven’t been much aware of a good number of superheroes during my childhood, most of these people being popular ones these days – it was mostly the game of four at that time, with the four people with names ending with “man”; Spider-Man, He-Man, Batman and Superman along with some regular dose from The Phantom and Mandrake the Magician. Due to Defenders of the Earth cartoon, the one Flash whom I came to know later was Flash Gordon and I never really liked him.

The Flash became known to me more with those animated movies having Justice League of America as the centre of attraction. But the first version of him which was not animated, came to me with the television series called Arrow about which I have mentioned before on this blog. The episode featuring him as the superhero was not that interesting, but he surely caught some attention with that one. Then there was this television series with him as the central character, more like a spin-off from Arrow.

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The television series has been a pretty interesting one; The Flash is without doubt another nice superhero stuff for us to watch. I have felt that a movie would do just fine with this superhero and the stories of lightning speed. As you would guess, I had my doubts about this superhero, but they were erased in a flash. Grant Gustin rightly makes the character enjoyable here. My favourite one here would be Danielle Panabaker as Dr. Caitlin Snow whom I surely remember from a number of horror movies – Friday the 13th, The Crazies, The Ward and Piranha 3DD; that is a nice list even though not exactly the ones to be rated very highly as individual movies.

Tom Cavanagh as Dr. Harrison Wells and Jesse L. Martin as Joe West are two others whom I have felt to be deserving the mention – I have felt something special about these characters too. Carlos Valdes provides the humour here as Cisco Ramon. Well, the characters work really well with this television series, and there are some episodes which really make us want to watch the next – I have only watched the first season, and all my thoughts about the series came from there. With how that season ended and from what I have heard about the next season, I am surely looking forward to watching season two soon.

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Even though I like both Arrow and The Flash, I have been more attached to Arrow than the latter as it is darker, and has the super-powers kept to minimum – there is just the presence of some vaccines rather than the meta-human, super-villain, superhero collection in The Flash. I have also felt that all the characters in Arrow have something more – the love angle of The Flash remains a let-down too, with the two main characters. Emily Bett Rickards as Felicity Smoak is the best possible factor in both the series combined, and the hardworking hero also makes Arrow closer to the heart.

You know that the action sequences are better with Arrow too; but The Flash uses the special effects to its advantage, and this difference between the two has been more like the same between Batman and Superman – I used to like that latter more when I was a kid, and now I prefer the former. There is one is the grand hero with those special powers and the other, a millionaire who has changed to become the vigilante who fights in the darkness. The world itself has changed, and so the change of preference was to come at some point.

The suspense factor also has Arrow edging ahead, and the tension in both series remains pretty much high, even though The Flash has the terrible romance between the two main characters making things go wrong. The love triangle of The Flash is the one thing that stretches the series and brings it down. Romantic melodrama should be the least of one’s concern in a superhero flick or series, if you ask me. But in the end, you will love this television series too. Well, The Flash has some very nice villains, and that is a strong point there – the series also remains steady, unlike Arrow which has its ups and downs.

***The images used in this blog post are from the Official Facebook Page of the television series, The Flash.

TeNy

Saving the Idiot Box

Even though television has managed to become the big star of entertainment overtaking its predecessors like radio, the internet hasn’t really become the substitute of television – not completely, and not yet. Even though some channels come up with the most pathetic programmes, television continues to survive, as it has become part of life. But this television, which is more of an idiot box, will need better programmes to survive, and I am coming up with such an idea here to save it.

During this season of terrible serials showing pathetic humans who hate each other, what people need is a regular dose of goodness and kindness. In each and every popular television serial, there is too much foolishness in store, and so much of hate is in store, and the same thing repeats for so many episodes. To remove this abomination, there has to be light, as it is the only thing that can get rid of this highest level of darkness. So removing the pitch-black will require new and a lot better programmes.

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We need a new sunrise to make television better, by a long way!

The complete annihilation of the fake reality shows have to happen first, because on the ruins of the same, should the new programme be built. The ruins of such pathetic shows will make us remember how terrible these were, and it will serve as inspiration for new and better things. Reality shows and serials remain the big curse for the idiot box, and make sure that they remain the great idiot box. So, the new television programme which will replace these should just have good men and women; those who have made a difference.

There is no shortage of such people in India, and so running the show for an hour every day from Monday to Saturday won’t be a problem at all – we will only have more and more of such amazing people because there is such potential, as long as the whole new generation is not consumed by the evil of modernity in such a way that they are not lost forever. But in any situation, there will be one person or the other, making some difference, and we will be looking for such people to base our television shows on.

There are people who work for the poor without asking anything in return. The friends of the rich might not like them that much, and will brand them as having some other hidden agenda – they will abuse these people for their religion, caste or community, but it is the kind of people whom we should be focusing on. We should give absolutely no importance to the celebrities who feed on the blind affection and love of the common man – they are not heroes at all; the one who does his or her duty to fellow beings is the true hero.

We take any person who has worked for the upliftment of the poor – his or her religion and other details won’t matter, and the mistakes are of less significance, because that person is doing something which most of us won’t do. We are going through with our own lives and these people are doing something for the lives of others – it is a beautiful thing, which is why we will need an episode for one such person each and every day, except for maybe Sunday which can be left for the special programmes – ours is not special, but real and of daily life.

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We should go on a new path with television; take a big turn!

An hour a day for six days at a time between eight and nine will be appropriate tribute to these people who spend their time and energy for the others, as they are the real heroes. They should be seen at the representation of India in the right way, and not the selfish ones – no actor, actress, model, politician, businessman, cricketer or anyone else who keeps earning so much money and appreciation from the nation, but provides nothing in return deserve a chance. We need television shows on the real great people!

This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda.

***The images used in this blog post were taken by me on my Sony Cybershot DSC-W310.

TeNy

Deep into the Quiver

So, after watching three seasons of Arrow, I have managed to come up with my favourite characters. Yes, the Green Arrow is the protagonist, and Stephen Amell as Oliver Queen a.k.a. the Arrow will be a face that I won’t be forgetting soon. He will be co-starring with Megan Fox in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows, and so we will be seeing him on the big screen, and it will be a first time at this part of the world. Let that happen in style, and for now, I will deal with my favourite characters in Arrow.

Felicity Smoak (Emily Bett Rickards) – The smartest person around, and providing all the needed humour, this character came up to make things a lot more interesting. Emily Bett Rickards is undoubtedly the right choice, as she makes us feel that we want more of her during each and every episode. I have my own doubts if the television series would have caught my interest this much without her; I would have still watched Arrow, but this one makes the same a certainty.

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Sara Lance/Canary (Caity Marie Lotz) – Here is one character that keeps coming back from the dead again and again, only matched by the Arrow himself in doing that, except for the fact that she even gets buried in a grave. You see that she comes and goes, but leaves a charming effect. We remember Caity Lotz from The Pact and its sequel, and so you will be able to recollect that face if you have been following the horror movies regularly. I felt that she makes an amazing Canary/assassin, and I look forward to see her in similar roles.

Nyssa al Ghul (Katrina Law) – Ra’s al Ghul does have some warrior daughters who change the situation whenever there is a chance. We had one in The Dark Knight Rises in the form of Talia al Ghul, and here we have her step-sister who makes her way into Starling City instead of Gotham City. Here, once again the heir to the demon has more than what meets the eye. I remember seeing Katrina Law last time in Spartacus, and I loved her here as much as there. I feel that the bow and arrow looks the best in her hands.

Floyd Lawton/Deadshot (Michael Rowe) – What is it about a vigilante television series if we can’t like its villains? Well, Batman as the Dark Knight had us falling for the villains, and here is someone who is not the usual villain. One of the better members of the Suicide Squad, he surely has his moments, and will keep reminding us of him. Some of the best episodes of this television series had him. Unlike the rest of the characters, most of whom are too complicated, this one turns out to be rather straight and clear! Will Smith will play Deadshot in the upcoming movie Suicide Squad.

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Slade Wilson/Deathstroke (Manu Bennett) – There are not many villains who live up-to their promise, but this one does; hate has a certain amount of charm when concerning this particular villain who hasn’t always been that though. Both in the island as well as after becoming the mercenary known as Deathstroke, this one is surely the villain to look out for. He was really good as Crixus in Spartacus, and he is one of the two performers from Spartacus whom I am glad to see again, unlike those not-so-actors/actresses whom the mindless fans will support!

Helena Bertinelli/Huntress (Jessica De Gouw) and Carrie Cutter/Cupid (Amy Gumenick) – I really wanted to see these two villains a lot more, the former with the crossbow and the latter with those special heart arrows. The former’s never-ending desire for vengeance and the latter’s hope for some weird infatuation and love are two things which contradict each other, but if I have to choose my favourite villains from the television series, I will select these two along with the two just above.

***The images used in this blog post are from the Official Facebook Page of the television series, Arrow.

TeNy

What About an Arrow?

I have never thought that I would watch so many television series in English. But it has been proven otherwise though, as I have watched so many of them; I couldn’t stand some of them, which I decided to skip immediately, and the others including Game of Thrones, Hannibal, Constantine, Gotham, Sherlock and Spartacus. They have kept me interested for such long time that the only thing I wanted was the next episode; to that long list, there is one more and it is Arrow.

Having one billionaire vigilante as the protagonist again, Arrow reminded me of Batman right in the beginning. We know that Arrow or rather the Green Arrow and even the Flash were not the popular names around here, and I am pretty confident that the names were not even known around here. The popular ones had their titles ending with “man” except for The Phantom and Mandrake. Spider-Man, Batman, Super-Man and the He-Man – these were the superheroes of those times.

During my childhood, I remember believing that the most powerful of the heroes always required their superhero name to end with “man”. For some reasons, a few superheroes were always more popular than others around here. One surely wouldn’t doubt the case of Superman though, as everyone wanted such powers. Batman and Spider-Man successfully represented two creatures, and He-Man provided a certain not-that-super alien side to it, and it was the most watched cartoon series of my childhood. The one memorable team of superheroes was X-Men which followed.

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The Avengers is one of those movies which expanded that horizon further after Marvel had come up with a few earlier and also with the Age of Ultron later. We have quite a lot of superheroes right now, and those like Captain America, Iron Man, Thor and The Hulk has reached the next level with their popularity. As of now, it seems that if you watch the television series Arrow, there will be another one added to the list of the big superheroes; there will the Green Arrow, and the Black Canary, and something more.

So, in Arrow, Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell), the well-known billionaire playboy from Starling City returns there after being shipwrecked and lost on an island. With his father dead in the shipwreck, his remaining family of his mother Moira Queen (Susanna Thompson) and sister Thea Queen (Willa Holland) welcomes him. But he is no longer the man that he used to be, and intends to correct the mistakes of his father and that of himself while getting back to his world after five years of absence.

Arrow has a little bit too much of drama at times if you ask me. There is something repetitive about it when coming to the real lives of the superheroes and the rest of the mysterious people especially when related to their flashbacks which keep going on and on, but otherwise Arrow is a very interesting watch. I initially liked the flashbacks, but when there were too many of the same, that made me feel strange, and later even stopped looking at the screen when the flashbacks arrived.

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Still, Arrow is the kind of television series which you can just keep watching because it is thrilling and entertaining, and you keep wondering what is to happen next. Green Arrow will remind you of Batman as the Dark Knight a lot. Starling/Star City’s problems are not so different from that of Gotham City. There are no superpowers to our protagonist once again, and the darkness stays throughout its run. After you watch this one, among the three better known superheroes with names starting in the form of “Green” this one surely will be your favourite.

***The images used in this blog post are from the Official Facebook Page of the television series, Arrow.

TeNy

Angels, Demons and Humans

There was a certain supernatural action-thriller released in 2005 which became my instant favourite at that time. With Keanu Reeves playing the protagonist, I ended up knowing more as John Constantine rather than being part of Speed and The Matrix. Constantine was a movie which created such a huge impact on my mind. It redefined my ideas about this world and the other. There was even a game based on the movie, and it also helped; that one was an interesting third person shooter.

Along with being the shooting game, Constantine reflected the movie and had those spells too. The weapons were interesting and there were some captivating cutscenes. The darkness was something even more interesting, and it was my second favourite action game featuring the slaying of demons after Undying. Coming back to the movie, it even had Rachel Weisz in a double role. I loved the depiction of hell in that movie, the shot of a particular cat, the special mixed qualities of the movie, and how the story developed.

The movie and the game are exactly the big reasons why I wanted to watch the television series following the same story and one of the most interesting protagonists in a movie featuring the supernatural. I did have my doubts about this one in the absence of Keanu Reeves who has been the true Constantine for long. But that one never had the sequel it deserved, and here we get used to Matt Ryan as the titular character, and by the half of first season, we are over the film and take him as Constantine.

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I had loved Lucy Griffiths as Liv Aberdine, but that character disappeared after the first episode. She seemed to be the one who was going to assist the protagonist, but that was not to be. But there was Angélica Celaya as Zed Martin, the psychic who assisted Constantine for the rest of his missions. I have felt that she did an amazing job there; this character is mysterious, and becomes the best thing about this television series. I would still love to see a few appearances from Lucy Griffiths at some point.

So, Constantine as the television series brings the adventures of the demon hunter, exorcist and master of the dark arts back to the scene. Here, he starts at a mental institution after a failed exorcism from where he immediately gets out, and starts saving the souls and sending the demons to their own worlds. As the worlds get closer, more paranormal activities occur, and investigations become necessary. After leaving Liv Aberdine and meeting Zed Martin, things get a lot better from the fifth episode, if you ask me. I have actually found the seventh one, “Blessed Are the Damned” to be the best of them all.

So, even if you are not going to be impressed by the first episode which losses its main lady character by the end after wasting too much of its ideas on her, you can keep going, because things are only going to get more interesting. You get the demons, angels, strange humans, fallen angels, and so many kinds of creatures from the other world that you will wish to keep the whole thing going. Even though it started in a rather funny way, things do get more serious later, and also more complex.

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The types of evil has rather increased here and the creatures catch our interest in an easier way, but compared to the movie, I have found the television series lighter. There are some moments and dialogues which are rather memorable, and will keep us wishing to return to the series. What this television series has left me more though, is a desire to watch a sequel to the Constantine movie, but that is not going to come anytime soon, I guess. But as I have nothing to do, and have been keeping my patience level high, I shall still wait. I have read that this series will see no more light, and so what other choice do we really have?

***The images used in this blog post are from the Official Facebook of the television series, Constantine.

TeNy

Bat and the Metropolis

As a child, I was less of an admirer of Batman than a number of other superheroes. But there was still something that I have always loved about the story. It was all about the villains then; none of the heroes had the villains like Batman could face. They were special and Batman was not. I did like the movies on Batman at that time too, but that was about villains too. The Nolan trilogy of Batman Begins, The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises made that clear, many years later.

So when I read that there was a television series about the origins of the wonderful villains as well as the city itself, I was certain that I wanted to watch it – The Penguin, Catwoman, Poison Ivy, The Scarecrow, The Riddler, The Joker, Hugo Strange, Two-Face, and Mr. Freeze. The story here revolves around James Gordon (Ben McKenzie) of the Gotham City Police Department during his earlier days of his service. Paired with elder and the more experienced detective Harvey Bullock (Donal Logue), he will have a lot to do.

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So, the Gotham City is the kind of world which has quite a lot of crime, as you would expect. The corruption is everywhere, and a long time before Batman, there were the two officers doing their duty, surrounded by crime lords and their henchmen who control so much. It is not easy to handle crime and corruption without going through them, as the crime lords have their people in the government as well as the police department. With morals and the hope to change the city for the good, James Gordon will do what he can.

Gotham television series actually starts very slowly, and it took some time for me to get into the story, characters and the environment, it was with the sixth episode that things got a lot more interesting. It is mostly due to the return of Oswald Cobblepot known better as The Penguin, the future villain of Batman who has the most interesting past. Robin Lord Taylor as the intelligent thug who makes it big despite his troubles, has some moments which are just top-class.

After The Penguin and his master manipulations, there is Camren Bicondova as the young Selina Kyle, long before the Catwoman had a chance to be the big cat. I knew that I had seen her before, and that was in the 2014 movie Girl House, with that first sequence. The Cat is the next most interesting character in this series, and this girl has so much talent; The Catwoman is a character who has always deserved an origin story like this, close to the oiriginal Batman story and not alone.

Meanwhile, Benjamin McKenzie and Donal Logue manage to do some great job at the same time as the police officers doing their work, against all odds as you can guess. The prettiest face should be Morena Baccarin as Leslie Thompkins, the love interest of James Gordon after Erin Richards as Barbara Kean had brought the charm earlier. But everything in the city is connected and revolves around the murder of the parents of Bruce Wayne (David Mazouz). It is all about the name “Wayne” in the end.

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I have only watched the first season, and it was nice to watch such a prequel to Batman and his villains. I believe that it can only be better with our villains transforming into what they are to be later. Even though The Penguin and Catwoman are the ones who were in focus here, The Riddler was very close to being there as the bad guy. We also know that Poison Ivy, Scarecrow and Two-Face are already there in the present form before the transformation. What comes with them is the past of Batman as the little Bruce Wayne.

***The images used in this blog post are from the Official Facebook Page of Gotham television series.

TeNy