Post by Ian J. Ball Post by Ubiquitous
What did you watch?
The Next Step (Prime) - Ep's #3.23-3.26.
They finally get to internationals, as season #3 starts to wrap up.
Internationals are in Miami, and they do actually spring for some
exterior filming in Miami. But it was weird - only about *half* the cast
was definitely in Miami to film: James, Eldon, West, Giselle, Stephanie,
and Amanda definitely were sent to Miami to film. But even Riley and
Kate, who were definitely supposed to be there, did no "exterior"
scenes, so probably didn't actually go. The rest of the cast (esp.
Michelle) was very conspicuously absent from the Miami-centric ep's.
Ep's #3.23 & 3.24 were the ep's with "Miami exterior shots" - it was
mostly the 6 members who actually went to Miami to film goofing around
at the beach, or at various Miami landmarks. The second of these
involved an Everglades trip. No competition took place in these episoes.
The competition stars in ep. #3.25 (when were back to 100% interior
scenes!). It's solos day at internationals, which is not an
"elimination" round. After a lot of pre-performance nerves, Eldon
delivers a really strong solo, and I thought the writers might let him
win this one, but he loses to Sweden's soloist. Meanwhile, Riley(! she
should never have been soloist!) is up against the earlier British
exchange student, Ella. Ella goes first, and it is revealed that Ella
outright *stole* Riley's whole routine!! (They gloss over the fact that
Ella's scheme only works if Ella goes "first" in competition, and there
was only a 50/50 chance of that!!) Anyway, Riley is screwed, as now she
can't compete! - So they throw Giselle onstage who manages a strong
last-minute solo performance, but Ella *wins* the solos round, by
stealing Riley's routine! (They also gloss over the fact the Ella seemed
like a relatively weak dancer on the show. Which makes it stranger that
Ella's performer never went into acting as a career!)
Ep. #3.26 wasn't as interesting. Thalia has to perform in an ad hoc
"small group" with dancers from 3 other countries. There are obvious
language-barrier problems, but Thalia speaks Polish (so does the Thalia
actress!), so she makes it work. Meanwhile, Stephanie is "marking" TNS's
small group routine in practice, and when Michelle challenges Stephanie
about, she realizes that Stephanie feels like she doesn't belong there.
Michelle bucks up Stephanie's courage... In the end, Thalia's routine
gets The Next Step (and three other countries!) through to the Round of 16!
I should get through 3.27-3.28 today. I'll finish out season #3 on
Friday - then I switch to watching the spinoff series, before I get back
to watching season #4 (the first season with few of the "original" cast)
soaps: DOOL - Tues' ep. The Devil *really* has plans for Ben's and
which Marlena impotently objects to! Ben tells Ciara he
Post by Ian J. Ball
agrees to have a baby, and they do it! but the Devil pulls some creepy
magical sh*t on them at the end! And Marlena is levitating again!!
Meanwhile, Roman pulls his investment from Johnny's film upon
discovering the change in focus to Marlena's earlier possession. And
John is also on the warpath about Johnny's film! EJ interrupts Chad and
RedAbby "having a moment", and then offers to fund Johnny's film in
Roman's place... provided EJ can play John in the film! EJ wants to kiss
RedAbby on set, and cause trouble for Chad!!
GH - Wed's ep. Sonny shows up to "lay down the law" to Nina if she
insists upon staying in town, but all he seemed to do is stoke Nina's
romantic interest in him! Carly takes the "high road" with Nina, and
refuses to retaliate; later, I enjoyed Ava subtly backhandedly sticking
it to Carly! And Brook Lynn plots to get Austin fired for a medical
ethics breach, while Olivia discovers that Austin and everyone else now
think her son is autistic.
Recorded for later: Stargirl, and La Brea. (And I can't say I'm looking
forward to either!!)
I'm also behind on LA Brea, and I'm not particularly looking forward to
I was once again involuntarily away thanks to my news reader not
working. I am using a beta version that's definitely not ready for
prime time, but at least it lets me read and post again. This will be a
multi-day catch up. I'll try to break it down by day.
On Saturday I watched:
The Butterfly Effect (blu-ray) 2004 sci-fi movie staring Ashton Kutcher
as a young man who discovers he can travel to any point in his life by
reading his journals and traveling to the events he wrote about. At
first he uses the power to create a better timeline for himself and his
friends, but when something goes horribly wrong his attempts to rewrite
the timeline keeps making things worse and worse. Amy Smart co-stars as
his on again off again girlfriend depending on the timeline. The movie
runs on the dark and depressing side of things, but holds up well enough.
The Butterfly Effect 2 (blu-ray) 2006 direct to video sequel. I knew
this movie existed, but I had *completely* forgotten the plot. This
time around Eric Lively stars as the man who can manipulate his own
personal timeline. And Erica Durance co-stars as his on again off again
girlfriend depending on the timeline. While Kutcher focused on
manipulating the timeline to have a happy life with his girlfriend,
Lively's primary motivation seemed to be rising the corporate ladder.
This was a mediocre cash grab sequel.
The Butterfly Effect 3: Revelations (blu-ray) 2009 direct to video
sequel which actually tries to tell an interesting story like the first
one. Chris Carmack plays the time traveler, and when the movie starts
he has a network of people who know he can manipulate time and help him.
He's also working with the police to try and stop a serial killer.
But this one has a very interesting twist. It turns out the serial
killer can also manipulate time, and not only that, but she's also his
sister, who is romantically in love with her brother. The romantic
feelings are *not* mutual! Her ability to manipulate time explains why
every time he tries to change history, he not only winds up worse off,
but more under her thumb. While her life gets progressively better.
For fans of time travel / "butterfly effect" type of stories, it's worth
About Time (blu-ray) 2013 romantic comedy about a man Domhnall Gleeson
who discovers he can can travel to any point in his life by. He uses
his "butterfly effect" to improve his dating life. After failing to
land Margot Robbie, he uses his powers to get Rachel McAdams. The movie
and powers are mostly played for laughs. But there is one serious scene
that could have come straight out of any of the "Butterfly Effect"
movies when Gleeson's sister is seriously injured in a car accident, he
uses his powers to prevent it. But the after effect is his daughter is
turned into a son. You can see the serious look on his face and the
wheels turning in his head when he decides what he's going to do. The
next scene his sister is banged up in the hospital, but he has his
On Sunday I watched:
The Missing (Netflix rental) 2003 western directed by Ron Howard and
staring Tommy Lee Jones, Cate Blanchett, and Evan Rachel Wood.
Blanchett stars as a woman living in the frontier with her two
daughters. When one is kidnapped by Native Americans looking to sale
the young woman into slavery Blanchett is forced to ask her estranged
father (Jones) for help. It was an OK movie, but I greatly prefer "The
Last of the Mohicans" which told a somewhat similar story. I'm
surprised I had no awareness of this movie before now.
The Equalizer (CBS) - "Aftermath" - Season two premier which has
McCall's cop friend reaching out to her for some help equalizing the
Lower Decks (Paramount+) "wej Duj" - I think this was the penultimate
episode. It had two connected stories. In one set of stories they
featured the "Lower Decks" crews of different ships. And in what I
guess was the B story they revealed a rogue Klingon captain was secretly
arming the Pakleds, and he's the reason the Pakleds have been such a big
threat this season. At the end of the episode one of the Lower Decks
crew members from a Vulcan ship was getting transferred to the Cerritos.
Evil (Paramount+) - "C Is for Cannibal" - I think this was the season 2
finale. Unfortunately, it was perhaps the weakest episode this season.
And it didn't really resolve anything.
On Monday I watched:
9-1-1 - "Home and Away" - This episode focused too much on personal
lives and relationships with Han looking for his missing wife (Is
Jennifer Love Hewitt leaving the show?) and May dealing with a new 9-1-1
dispatcher who is being mean to her.
Curse of Chucky (blu-ray) The is the sixth entry in the Child's Play
franchise. This was written and directed by Don Mancini. Brad Dourif
returns to once again voice the killer doll, and this time he's joined
by his real life daughter Fiona Dourif who stars as the final girl.
Jennifer Tilly cameos at the end as Tiffany. And the big reveal at the
end was the return of the original movie's Alex Vincent as a now grown
up and hardened Andy Barclay.
Cult of Chucky (blu-ray) Seventh entry in the Child's Play franchise
which picks up where "Curse" ended. At the end of "Curse" Fiona Dourif
had been framed by Chucky for all of his murders and sent to a mental
institution. Chucky follows for more mayhem. Also picking up where
the last movie ended is Alex Vincent who is back for a much larger role
this time around. He spends the movie trying to be one step ahead of
Chucky and getting a bit of payback against the doll that destroyed his
childhood. In addition to Jennifer Tilly of course once again
returning, there is also a cameo at the end by Christine Elise who
starred as Kyle in Child's Play 2. I love these cameos by the original
actors. This was also written and directed by Don Mancini.
On Tuesday I watched:
Creepshow (AMC) "Survivor Type" This was an animated episode based on a
story by Stephen King. The story focused on a man stranded on an island
who has to slowly cut off and eat his limbs to survive. I didn't care
for this one, mainly because of the cheap motion comic style animation.
"Twitterings from the Circus of the Dead" - This second episode was a
slightly better story and focused on a young girl tweeting her
experience at a deadly circus that she thinks is all fake but finds out
the hard way it's all real. This was also animated using cheap motion
comic style animation.
Supergirl - "Hope for Tomorrow" - Team Supergirl against Nyxlygsptlnz
for yet another totem.
Stargirl - "Summer School: Chapter Ten" - There's a bit of backstory on
Shade who shows up with an offer to help stop Eclipso.
Chucky (SyFy) - "Death by Misadventure" - New TV series based on the
Child's Play franchise. It's from Don Mancini who wrote all of the
Child's Play movies and directed the last three. The first episode
which is within continuity with the movies finds Chucky being bought at
a yard sale by a young teenage boy. Chucky helps the boy with his bully
problem at school, but this is Chucky and by the episode's end Chuck has
orphaned the boy. So far, I'm liking the series. I would say this is a
must watch for fans of the franchise.
On Wednesday I watched:
Just Beyond (Disney+) This is a new horror anthology from R.L. Stine. I
watched the first two episodes.
"Leave Them Kids Alone" - In this first episode a teenage girl is sent
by her parents to a private school for bad girls. The girl quickly
discovers all the other students at the school are always on their best
behavior, and they have plans to do the same to her. This was basically
a remake of "The Stepford Children" mixed with some "Disturbing Behavior."
"Parents Are From Mars, Kids Are From Venus" - Kids suspect their
parents may be aliens. This was basically a remake of an old "Amazing
Stories" episode with the same plot. Henry Thomas had a small role as a
conspiracy spouting friend the kids go to for advice.
The Foundation (AppleTV+) - "Barbarians at the Gate" - On Terminus the
settlers deal with the invading Barbarians who showed up last week.
Meanwhile the emperors start to realize that their empire may be coming
to an end.