Author Archives: sidekickreviews

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Season 3, Episode 1 “Laws of Nature” Review

agents of shield season 3 cast photo

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 3 Premiere Recap (Full Spoilers Ahead)

The best way I can describe the Season 3 premiere of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is that it satisfied my comic book TV craving that had been building up during the off-season and whet my appetite for the possibilities to come. 

The premiere did a good job of finding the balance between setting up a number of story arcs and picking up on a couple of big cliffhangers from last season’s brilliant finale.

Between the rise of the Inhumans, the Kree monolith, Simmon’s fate, and introducing new characters & new threats, the premiere covered a lot of ground. Let’s discuss what happened!

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iZombie: Veronica Mars Creator Proves the Zombie Craze Still Has Bite

izombie season 1 rose mciver hot sauce

  iZombie Season 1 Got Spunk and Brains … lots of brains.

Liv Moore (Rose McIver) has taken on many different personas since the night she nearly died.

She’s an expert sniper perched atop a high-rise building. She’s a snarky radio talk show host giving unsolicited relationship advice to her friends.

She’s a young pregnant lady with strong motherly instincts, except she doesn’t have a baby belly.

The only person she can never become is her old self; a promising medical doctor engaged to a picture perfect fiancé.

There’s an explanation to all of this which is going to sound far out there but why not have fun and go with it?

After getting scratched by a zombie, Liv must feed on human brains or she’ll turn into a mindless, undead creature. It’s a good thing she works in a morgue which is an all-you-can-eat buffet of gray matter.

The catch is that Liv temporarily retains the character traits, skills and memory flashes from the brains she eats. Using these visions and new abilities, she helps the Seattle police department solve murders each week.

Liv is the central character in iZombie, which after starting off as a serviceable television show has become not only thoroughly enjoyable but one I excitedly look forward to.

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Battle Of The Movies: Iron Man (2008) vs Ant-Man (2015)

Which is Marvel Studio’s best solo origin movie? That’s a question worth discussing after Ant-Man became a refreshing summer blockbuster.

There’s certainly fan support for Captain America: The First Avenger, The Incredible Hulk and Thor. But to prevent an all out civil war, this post will focus on what many regard are the two top contenders for best solo debut movie.

Time to pick a side! It’s a battle of the movies between Iron Man (2008) versus Ant-Man (2015). After going head to head in several categories such as Story, Heroes and Villains we’ll turn the floor over to the people’s decision (that’s you!) for your all important vote.

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Fall TV Preview: New and Returning Shows We Are Excited For

 Which Television Shows Will You Be Watching This Fall?

The Fall TV season is already under way. As usual, there’s a glut of shows to cut a swath through. Because there’s way too many shows to humanly keep up with, I’ll have to be ultra selective. I’m going to breakdown the new and returning shows into a few different categories.

The first category is the returning shows I plan on watching, these lean towards comic book based and sci-fi dramas. The second category is returning shows that are on the bubble, meaning I haven’t completely given up on them but they are in danger of being dropped if they don’t hook me in quickly or I might check them out when the whole season is out on home video/streaming services.  And then I’ll peer into the crystal ball to try to pick out the best new Fall shows I might be interested in.

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Gotham: Season 2 Episode 1 “Rise of the Villains: Damned If You Do” Review

Bruce-Alfred-Batcave-Gotham Season 2 Premiere Review

Gotham Season 2 Premiere Review (Full Spoilers Ahead)

Gotham is back! Is that the sound of excitement I hear or an apathetic grumble? Like a lot of viewers, I have mixed feelings about Gotham Season 1. However, the beginning of a new season gives the producers an opportunity to make adjustments and tweak areas of the show that aren’t working so I went into this premiere with an open mind.

Gotham is in an interesting situation in that Season 1’s ratings were fairly consistent, though it did slightly dip in the later episodes, which isn’t a huge incentive for the writers to make wholesale changes. As the saying goes, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it.  

If the Season 2 premiere is any indication, one aspect from the first season that is dropped is the case or villain of the week. Instead what this premiere is setting up are longer story and character arcs. The trick to doing a serialized show is that each episode should still offer a beginning, middle and an end or some form of resolution.

This premiere accomplished that but as it stands, Gotham still has ways to go before I can whole heartedly recommend it to others. I don’t believe Gotham needs to be a universally beloved show, few shows are, but it should strive to be a show that is championed by the fans who make the effort to tune in each week. If that is too much to ask, I simply want Gotham to be a show I look forward to and get excited about unfortunately it’s not there yet. At this point, it’s decent enough to hang in there in hopes the show can turn things up a notch.

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Doctor Who: Series 9 Episode 1 “The Magician’s Apprentice (Part 1)” Recap

doctor_who_series 9x01

Quick Impressions on Doctor Who S9 x 1 (Full Spoilers Ahead)

Doctor Who Series 9 kicked off with a super solid episode. Before I get into what I liked and a couple of things that didn’t work in the premiere, you should know, I’m diving into this series with little knowledge of series 8. I know this is a weird place to start watching again, although I have watched series 5. 

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Movie Roundup: What’s Your Favorite Jake Gyllenhaal Performance?

Movie Roundup is where I give quick impressions on a bunch of films. You might find a movie that catches your curiosity. Or maybe there’ll be a film to avoid, which means I watched a terrible movie so you wouldn’t have to! :)

I’m really liking Jake Gyllenhaal’s movie choices lately, especially over the last five years. Even though I generally like commercial movies, I’m glad he’s not doing stuff like the disaster flick The Day After Tomorrow or the video game based movie Prince of Persia anymore (I had little interest in watching those). In his more recent stuff, you can see he’s shifted to this whole other gear as an actor. What’s your favorite Jake Gyllenhaal performance or movie?

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Sense8: The Wachowskis’ Netflix Series is Better Than Their Feature Films

Netflix Sense8 Cast Photo

 A Spoiler Free Look At Netflix’s Sense8 Season 1

From the creators of the Matrix“, the promotional tagline to Netflix’s Sense8 series about 8 telepathically connected people around the world, is a double-edged sword. For those whose imagination was captured by the 1999 sci-fi classic, they might be curious enough to check out what the Wachowskis can do in a long form narrative. On the other hand, it’s been a while since the directing duo hit a creative peak and their most recent film, Jupiter Ascending, was critically panned.

Sense8 ranks as the Wachowksis’ strongest recent effort, not that 2008’s Speed Racer or 2012’s Cloud Atlas set a high bar. The Wachowskis and co-creator J. Michael Straczynski wisely ground the sci-fi premise in smaller, personal stories to start off the series. The sensates’ ability to mentally visit and share emotions, skills and knowledge with those they are psychically bonded with gets around the problem of disjointed storytelling which often plagued Heroes, another show about gifted individuals spread across the globe.  

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Mr. Robot: Season 1 is Amazing Even If You Saw the Big Twist Coming


It’s been a while since I’ve talked to you.

You’ve seen in countless movies and TV shows how the hacker types up a storm on a keyboard or dances their fingers across their tablet screen. And voila! The computer system is hacked. Instant access to networks, dirty little secrets or that last second rescue.

People can be hacked too. Scanning recent news headlines it’s all too real how a security breach can expose the parts of people’s lives they’d rather keep under the covers. In USA Network’s cyber drama/thriller titled Mr. Robot, hacking is not a convenient plot device, it’s the avenue by which many relevant issues of today are explored.

To put it succinctly, Mr. Robot is a damn great show. It’s exceptionally written and well acted. The story revelations are deftly handled and respect the viewer’s intelligence. There are certain parallels with Fight Club and American Psycho, yet I’d argue Mr. Robot has its own identity.

Mr. Robot is shot with a cinematic flair but you never get the sense that it’s trying too hard to be artsy. The eclectic song choices are spot on and add to the impact of the scene. The music score is intensely atmospheric, fitting in perfectly with the cyber thriller tone. 

The series stars Rami Malek as Elliot Alderson, a security engineer by day and a cyber vigilante by night. Elliot isn’t a person who can be easily summed up in a neat little sentence. Are any of us?

There’s a lot going on in Elliot’s head, which is where he spends a lot of his time. You see, Elliot suffers from social anxiety disorder. He’d rather be alone than struggling to awkwardly relate to his co-workers and friends.  When we first meet him, he’s morphine dependent and on the edge of spiraling out of control. 

I won’t set up the show any further, other than to say it’s a wild entertaining ride. You can watch the full episode of Mr. Robot Season 1, Episode 1 on YouTube. If you’re in Canada, you can watch Mr. Robot at   

Please be warned that there will be a spoiled filled discussion ahead on Season 1 including the finale. You may want to catch up on the show first before reading further.

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Fear The Walking Dead Season 1 Episode 1: Pilot Review

fear the walking dead cast photo

After five seasons of The Walking Dead, the survivors have journeyed from Atlanta to Washington DC, struggling to keep and regain their humanity in the zombie apocalypse. AMC’s new companion series Fear the Walking Dead starts off at the beginning of the outbreak, centering on a blended family in Los Angeles.

One of the biggest challenges in creating a companion series is developing its own identity and purpose, but still have a general feel and tone that fits with the original show. As a prequel, Fear can paint a bigger picture of how civilization collapsed which was not depicted on The Walking Dead.  By placing the story at the initial stages of the outbreak, the focus at this point is not on the horrors of survival but on a family trying to stay together as the world falls apart.

If you’re on the fence whether to watch Fear the Walking Dead, continue reading for a spoiler free reaction to the premiere episode.

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