“The Accountant” Calculates, But With Some Error

It’s been an interesting year for actor/director Ben Affleck, who, after donning the cape and cowl earlier this year in the mega blockbuster, Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, plays an autistic accountant, moonlighting as an assassin and financial consultant for foreign and domestic criminal organizations in Gavin O’Connor’s (Warrior) low-budget action mystery thriller, The Accountant. After Christian Wolff (Affleck) and another more inexperienced accountant, Dana Cummings (Anna Kendrick), uncover a potential money laundering scheme in a robotics company, they’re both sent on the run from assassins hired by its CEO, Lamar Blackburn (John Lithgow), and led by hitman, Brax (Jon Bernthal), all while being investigated by treasury department agents, King (JK Si
mmons) and Medina (Cynthia Addai Robinson)

Image courtesy of Warner Bros.

This is a film that has every right to be generic, but the fact that autism plays a pivotal role within the larger thematic framework prevents it from being so.  It also organically incorporates aspects of family drama in its well coordinated use of flashbacks. It’s in these moments that The Accountant become another movie altogether, but in a good way, creating sympathy for a morally conflicted character with the distressing scenes of Christian undergoing brutal fight training or his mother leaving him. It’s beautiful character growth showing him actively conquering his obstacles as a youth to eventually becoming an action bad-ass racking up a fairly robust body count. Because of this, The Accountant also manages to solidly function as a shadow empowerment film for the mentally impaired.

Affleck has been repeatedly mocked for his acting career since the early 2000’s, but since 2010’s The Town, he has proven himself to the critics and audiences to be a formidable actor and as much as I loved his cinematic iteration of Batman, I think The Accountant displays his best work yet. He delivers a thrilling, yet poignant performance as a man torn among his professional obligations, mental disabilities, and troubled past. He’s more on the reserved and emotionless side, but Affleck utilizes those qualities to craft a three-dimensional character, additionally injecting well-timed situational humor in a generally bleak film.

Anna Kendrick is decent, but nothing special in her role, but that’s more due to her lack of screen time. However, she and Affleck have fine chemistry, even having a good heart-to-heart moment about how she gambled to scrounge up money for a prom dress. On a side note, it felt refreshing for her not to be another obligatory love interest/damsel in distress type in a genre weighed down by that cliché.

With great character work, also comes enthralling action. The sound design for the guns is downright cacophonous with every shot from Christian’s sniper rifle piercing the audience’s ears. The action is gritty, but also highly entertaining, blending steady and handheld camerawork proficiently. It essentially combines the shaky cam and brutal hand to hand combat of The Raid with the mesmerizingly bloody gun-play of John Wick. It’s frequent in these bloody and gruesome scenes that Affleck makes smart use of his comedic wit, with his last kill in particular being his best instance.

At its core, The Accountant is a character study and it works well for the most part, while also factoring in some fun action. However, its plot is overly complex, and even convoluted at times. It’s easy to get lost in the sea of financial jargon and various threads in this one fabric of a story, if not paid close examination. Granted, some mesh well, such as Christian’s childhood flashbacks. However, others like those involving the treasury department agents’ investigation aren’t particularly engrossing as Simmons and Robinson are relegated to delivering exposition or telling us information rather than becoming fully fleshed out characters. They could be removed and the film wouldn’t suffer for it.

Additionally, the use of twists is hit or miss. The one at the end of the second act involving King is somewhat tacked on. Its inclusion makes sense because it adds some more atypical traits to Christian and tries to give King more development, but the execution is faulty since it halts the story’s progression and feels like an exposition dump. However, the twist at the climax involving Brax and Christian works, despite it being the only scene in which they meet. The bounce-back between  Bernthal and Affleck is emotionally compelling as it is darkly comical. I won’t get into these plot points any further as I wouldn’t want potential viewers to have their experience soiled.

Despite narrative gaps, The Accountant is worth your time because of Ben Affleck’s committed performance and the unique nature of protagonist he portrays.

Arrow Season 5: Ep 2 – “The Recruits”

Through two episodes of “Arrow” season 5, one thing remains abundantly clear: This season is doing so much good stuff that seasons 3 and 4 should be insanely jealous of it. There is action, there is drama, and there are genuinely funny moments dispersed throughout. The Oliver and Felicity relationship is reminiscent of when our Olicity love was at its peak in season 2, while the villain at the center of this story of mysterious for all the right reasons.


Ultimately, it feels like season 5 to date is proof that sometimes, going back to the drawing board after a polarizing season is not altogether terrible.

To us, the coolest introduction of this episode was that of Ragman, a very mysterious character dressed in rags and looking to avenge the death of his far. He’s got some sort of special ability that makes him stand out from the typical vigilantes of Star City, and while looking at first like an adversary of Oliver Queen’s, he now understands his motive: Vengeance for those responsible for Havenrock, as he is the last survivor of it. This meant trying to do away with the healthcare company who was in part behind some of the technology. The great twist in here is that it is Felicity who redirected the missile there in the first place, and all of a sudden, she’s got her own powerful bit of storytelling she will need to contend with over time.


Working with Ragman also helped Oliver establish some trust with some of the other potential new recruits, which to date has not come easily. That includes Wild Dog, Evelyn Sharp, and even Curtis Holt. He used some of his super-intense training techniques from the Bratva on them, and that did not translate so well as just revealing to him that he is in fact the Mayor. This is all it took in order for them to realize that he in fact can be trusted with their lives.

Unfortunately, the larger problem for Oliver now is that Tobias Church is still running Star City behind the scenes, and he only seems to be continuing to get a wide array of resources and people on his side. There’s just one more problem that is there: The presence of Prometheus, our resident super-evil dude and a guy who seems to have zero problem whatsoever tormenting people in his way.


The difference between him and your standard everyday villain, though, is that he has a particular agenda, and it is one revolving killing Oliver himself. He’s not cool with anyone else doing it.

Elsewhere in the episode, we gotta give kudos to the writers for keeping things relative simple. Diggle was working through his issues in the military, only to realize that he may have even less of a family with his brothers there than he does in Star City with Oliver. Meanwhile, Thea brought on Quentin Lance to be Deputy Mayor, knowing that it could give him a mission, keep him sober, and allow him to be of use to the city given his love for it and respect among the police.


Overall, this episode was all sorts of compelling, entertaining, and a reminder of the show we loved. So far through two episodes, the “Arrow” of old is not only back, it’s glorious.
Arrow airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. on The CW.

New Doctor Strange Footage Takes Audiences to a Whole New Dimension

Tonight, Marvel held special events in select theaters across the country, previewing 15 minutes of footage, in IMAX 3D, from their upcoming release, Doctor Strange. Thankfully, I was able to snag a ticket to one of the venues hosting the event.

I must admit that before going in, I wasn’t all that excited about Doctor Strange. I’m feeling burnt out by the MCU at this point and was one of the few who didn’t care for Captain America: Civil War all that much.

With that out of the way, the sizzle reel displayed was quite entertaining. Think Batman Begins meets Iron Man meets the visuals of Life of Pi. Benedict Cumberbatch stars as the titular protagonist, Stephen Strange, a highly skilled surgeon who seeks out the mystic arts. From what I’ve seen so far, I think you can expect yet another engrossing performance by Cumberbatch. white washing controversies aside. The first clip previewed was him talking to the Night Nurse, encouraging her to see one of his talks (Rachel McAdams). He inhabits traits of Tony Stark, but doesn’t become a carbon copy of him. He’s so self-centered to the point that he brushes off requests to operate on gruesome injuries such as a soldier being crushed by an armored suit or a woman who suffers from a severe aneurysm. The clip showcased the protagonist, but the next couple displayed the most appealing aspect of the footage, in my opinion.

The second clip takes place in a dojo in Tibet, where the grandmaster of a cult, The Ancient One (Tilda Swinton) berates Strange for marginalizing the mystic arts and soul. To instill discipline, she strikes Strange so hard that his soul actually leaves his body, which was seen in the very first teaser Marvel released. However, this particular clip continued on from that point.

Remember that quantum realm scene in Ant Man? Yeah, this clip manages to top it in terms of trippiness. The sea of bright and flashy colors, multiplying hands, and rigid dimensions Strange flew through was absolutely mind warping. The many quick zooms and close ups in this sequence added joy and intensity, reminding me of Superman’s first flight scene in Man of Steel, but in a way zanier fashion. Director Scott Derrickson certainly wasn’t kidding when he said that this movie is one that would feel like an acid trip. The visuals are, literally and metaphorically, out of this world.

In another clip, we see Strange and his newfound ally, Mordo (Chiwetel Ejiofor), flee from the villain (Mads Mikkelsen), who is unnamed as of now. The buildings in New York City fold upon one another, Inception-style, as he and his friend run on the walls to avoid their attackers. Judging by this clip, I think we can expect to get some creative action. While the fighting scenes in Ant Man enlarged the environments, Doctor Strange goes a different route, choosing to manipulate and reshape them, giving the action a woozier feel.

However, some common MCU flaws were present in these fifteen minutes. The villain seems to be yet another shallow one-off in the MCU, which has been a problem bogging down a fair share of its installments. In the clips shown, Mads Mikkelsen does the best he can with his role, but so far, his character’s motivations come off as generic, i.e. destroy the universe, but it’s too early for me to judge.

The comedy was pretty hit or miss with the Wi-Fi password joke (featured in the SDCC trailer) getting a chuckle out of me, but the one-word name exchange with Benedict Wong’s character, Wong, leaving me indifferent. One of my gripes with Marvel movies is that the levity veers a bit more on the pedestrian side. The quips are a little overdone due to either awkward timing or excessive use, but enough on the negatives.

The footage did its job in that it increased my anticipation for this film.  As of now, I’m finally looking forward to seeing the full, finished film (looking at you, Suicide Squad).

Doctor Strange releases in the UK on October 25th and in the US on November 4th.

“Supergirl flys to Netflix”

Netflix subscribers can now watch the first season of Supergirl starring Melissa Benoist on Netflix!


We know Netflix fans have been excited about this show for months, so this is some great news! Supergirl is now on Netflix! The first season of the series and all 20 episodes are available to stream on Netflix in the United States.

If you start right now, you should have no problem finishing the first season before the second season of Supergirl premieres on The CW on October 10, 2016. That’s more than a month away for the publishing date!

"The Last Children of Krypton"
Supergirl “The Last Children of Krypton” Season 2, Ep 2 Tyler Hoechlin as Superman and Melissa Benoist as Supergirl

For those who don’t recall, Supergirl premiered on CBS last year. The series was created by Greg Berlanti, Ali Adler, and Andrew Kreisberg, and the series was based on characters and stories created by Jerry Siegel, Joe Shuster, Otto Binder, and Al Plastino for DC Comics.

Melissa Benoist, Mehcad Brooks, Chyler Leigh, Jeremy Jordan, David Harewood, and Calista Flockhart star in Supergirl.

In the series, Kara Danvers (Melissa Benoist), a woman in her mid-20s, tries to use her superpowers for good more than a ten years after landing on Earth from the planet Krypton.

Supergirl: Season 2 premieres October 10th on its new home on the CW.

Geoff Johns & His Role in the DCEU

geoff johns2

Alright, it seems some people are confused as to what Johns does in the DCEU or why he’s involved or whatever. The simple answer is that the man is a comic book writer. Not just any writer but a DC writer who knows the characters and their stories. WB hired him for his knowledge of the DC characters, the universe, etc. He even started way back when WB had plans to launch a DC Universe on film with Man of Steel. In June 2008, Warner Bros. took pitches from comic book writers, screenwriters and directors on how to successfully restart the Superman film series. Comic book writers Grant Morrison, Mark Waid, Geoff Johns and Brad Meltzer were among those who pitched their ideas for a reboot. So yes, Johns was already writing up ideas on how to restart the DC film universe starting with Superman. He was even writing episodes for Smallville and Arrow and other DC related shows and also helped out with an episode of JLU.

geoff johns3

By the time Batman v Superman was going to be released, Johns was hired as an executive producer for the film. Executive Producer doesn’t mean a whole lot for a film. You don’t have a lot of control in a film if you’re an Executive Producer. An executive producer (EP) enables the making of a commercial entertainment product. The EP may be concerned with management accounting and/or with associated legal issues (like copyrights or royalties). An EP generally contributes to the film’s budget and may or may not work on set. Based off how Johns is, he probably was on set but his contribution to the film was limited. Now, what happened after BvS? He was promoted to co-run the DCEU as well as being a co-producer on Justice League.

geoff johns4

Why is this a good thing? Simple. He’s Geoff Johns! He knows his DC stuff. As of mid-2015, Johns and Affleck are co-writing the screenplay for a stand-alone Batman film, directed by and starring Affleck, as well as writing the screenplay for the upcoming Wonder Woman film with Allan Heinberg and writing the story for Aquaman with James Wan. It seems that Johns is mainly writing up scripts and helping future directors with their upcoming DC films by giving them advice. Johns now has more control now as opposed to back then when he was giving his thoughts on how to reboot Superman to contributing to the film’s budget and being on set observing. This is a good thing seeing how Geoff is a great writer and is passionate and cares for the characters just as much as us fans. There’s nothing bad about him joining the DCEU or anything bad about him being there, this just shows that WB/DC cares for their films that they wanted someone who was already on the inside writing comics to be there for the films as well.

Grey Damon Has Been Cast As Mirror Master in ‘The Flash’

grey damon cast as mirror master

According to sources on Comic Book Resources, The Flash has cast Grey Damon in the role of Mirror Master, one of a number of Flash’s classic rogues who hadn’t yet appeared on the show, CBR reports. He’ll be making his first appearance during the fourth episode of the third season.

When he makes his way to The Flash in the fall, classic villain Dr. Alchemy won’t be the only big-name threat looking to take the Scarlet Speedster’s head off.

Damon, who has previously appeared on Friday Night Lights and Star-Crossed, will play the role of Sam Scudder, the original Mirror Master created in the Silver Age. The character has the ability to manipulate mirrors and other reflective surfaces to a number of ends, including creating custom weapons, altering his appearance, mind control, and — perhaps most common — using them as a medium to travel through, so that he can avoid being captured by the much-faster Flash.

“One of the Flash’s most infamous Rogues, Sam Scudder — aka Mirror Master — is a smooth criminal with a huge ego. Upon discovering he now has the power to travel through any reflective surface, Scudder embarks on a massive crime spree to prove himself the greatest thief that Central City has ever seen,” says the character description from Warner Bros. Television.

Damon currently appears on Aquarius.

Playing off the events of the Season Two finale, which transformed the world of the series like the Flashpoint miniseries from the comics, The Flash returns for its third season on October 4 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on The CW.