I also stayed up past my bedtime to watch the first two episodes of Frank Darabont’s Mob City (formerly Lost Angels, formerly L.A. Noir). I was really looking forward to this, but I wasn’t terribly impressed with what I saw last night. The dialogue wasn’t great and it seemed to revel in all the cliches of the genre (Alexa Davalos, for example, is so vampy as the femme fatale I can hardly take her seriously). Somehow, I was hoping for a fresh take on the 1940s LA crime story (especially after just playing L.A. Noire), but probably hoping for too much. I’ll stick with it (it’s only six episodes) and see how it all plays out.
Also, Simon Pegg guest starred in the first episode, and had an American accent! It was wild.
So, Barry Allen, as portrayed by Grant Gustin, made his debut on Arrow last night. While I still think he looks awfully young (to be fair, they highlighted this fact in the episode, with Oliver teasing him more than once about his youthful appearance), Gustin was pretty good, and I could definitely see him holding his own as the lead on a Flash series.
Speaking of a Flash series, Bludhaven Banter reports the CW is looking for actors to play the following characters:
IRIS, 22-28, African-American: As smart as she is beautiful, Iris is in grad school studying psychology. She’s also Barry’s mile a minute, fast-talking, quick-witted best friend. Her father, Detective West, took in Barry when his mother was murdered, and his father was wrongly accused and imprisoned for her murder. In a tough childhood for Barry, she was the one “not tough” thing. She’s unaware of Barry’s strong feelings for her.
DETECTIVE WEST, late 40s to early 50s, African-American: Detective West is an honest, blue-collar cop who’s seen it all. A soulful, funny caring father to Iris, and a surrogate father to Barry, West came up through the foster system himself. He took in Barry after his mother’s murder and his father’s imprisonment. He believes in Barry and supports Barry’s efforts to prove his father’s innocence.
Iris is a no-brainer for a Flash show, sure, but does her father really have to be a detective? Love interest with detective father has already been done on Arrow. We’ll see.
You could definitely tell last night’s episode, “The Scientist,” was co-written by Geoff Johns. It just had that Geoff Johns-ian feel that his previous Arrow episodes and his Smallville episodes had. While the Arrow showrunners (and the Smallville showrunners before them) typically take some liberties with the DC Universe, Johns’ approach is a bit more literal. So we get references to David Singh and the Reverse-Flash, and the more recent Johns-created backstory about Barry’s mom being murdered and his dad going to jail for it. Johns is not known for his subtlety, so we also get a scene where, during a lightning storm, Barry is standing next to a shelf of chemicals and comments to Felicity how dangerous it is to keep them all together.
This episode was also significant in that it introduced some more overtly supernatural elements to Arrow, which has always thus far tried to copy the Christopher Nolan ethos of a “realistic” superhero portrayal. There were the references to Reverse-Flash, of course, and now the “mirakuru” serum which Brother Blood uses to turn Cyrus Gold into a superstrong monster. From the flashback segments, it looks like the mirakuru will push Slade over the edge into Deathstroke territory? It wouldn’t surprise me if at the end of the season, Slade shows up in present day Starling City, possibly working for R’as al Ghul? I almost though he’d show up during the scene with Moira and Merlyn, as Moira’s insurance against Malcolm revealing to Thea her true parentage.
Anyway, another solid episode in a so-far excellent season. Next week continues this story in the mid-season finale.
Also, as Bleeding Cool notes, this is Shailene Woodley as Mary-Jane Watson, who has been cut from the movie. I wouldn’t read too much into it. This is probably all we’ll see of her, just a random extra watching as Spider-Man gets cars thrown at him.
And the trailer of the day: Amazing Spider-Man 2.
Looks a’ight. Not sure about the design of Green Goblin, but then again, we never really get a clear shot of him. I want to hope Goblin is more than just Harry in a gimp suit on a flying skateboard, which was pretty much what Franco was in Spider-Man 3. Electro looks pretty silly, and that whole pursuit/fight between him and Spider-Man looks like a cartoon, but this isn’t a huge deal for me.
Also, note the appearances of Vulture’s wings and Doctor Octopus’ arms. Let’s count:
- Green Goblin
- Dr. Octopus
Goblin isn’t traditionally a member of the Sinister Six, but it looks like Harry and daddy Norman are responsible for their creation (rather than Otto Octavius) in this movie series (note the six doors opening at about 1:20 in). They may or may not be including him as part of the six in future movies, which leaves a spot or two open for, say, Venom (also not traditionally part of the six), or Sandman, or Kraven, or whoever.
Also note the mysterious man in the hat at about 1:15. Looks like this could be the same guy (played by Michael Massee) that visits Curt Connors’ cell at the end of the first ASM.
I also note they’re keeping the title of Amazing Spider-Man 2 (at least for now). There were suggestions that it might be called Rise of Electro, which is a bad title, in my opinion. I hate titles like that anyway, plus who gives a shit if Electro is rising. I never saw Electro as a major villain anyway, not in the same league as Goblin or Octopus.
Before I had the internet it was torture NEVER knowing when my show was coming back. Like a captain’s wife watching the sea…