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Supergirl kicked off this week of CW DC Comics television shows with a bang. Picking up immediately from last week, Queen Rhea has invaded Earth with a Daxamite army. The DEO headquarters are compromised and Martian Manhunter is taken out of commission, so what remains of the team heads to the old alien dive bar they’ve frequented this season to regroup. Cat Grant makes an appropriately over-the-top and light-hearted return to the show in a conversation between the US president and Rhea. After Rhea’s mothership attacks Air Force One, Supergirl saves the president and Cat. There, they finally learn that the president has been an alien this entire time.

After revealing herself to have nothing but peaceful intentions, the group decides to keep the president’s secret and work with her to defeat the Daxamites. She orders Supergirl and the team to fire a massive laser cannon at the mothership, but Supergirl refuses due to Mon-El and Lena Luthor’s presence on the ship. She goes behind the president’s back and works with Lilian Luthor and Cyborg Superman to board the ship from a transportation device inside Superman’s Fortress of Solitude. After Mon-El and Lilian are freed from the ship, Supergirl stays behind to try and save Rhea from being destroyed by the laser cannon. Before this can happen, the episode ends with Superman arriving, destroying the cannon, and knocking Supergirl back, no doubt under some kind of Daxamite influence.

This is easily the best episode of Supergirl to date. Being the penultimate episode of this season, it naturally had a lot of plot to get through and it handled that quite well. It tied up many loose ends and projected the main story forward in an entertaining way. Everyone in this episode had a specific role to play and none of them were wasted on the plot. It brought back Cat Grant, a mentor character whose brief departure from the show this season ended up being much more impactful than I thought it would be. Her absence led Supergirl and the rest of the team to make incredibly absent-minded decisions throughout the season that wouldn’t have happened if she were there. This would’ve made it difficult for this season to reach the full 22 episodes.

Another aspect of this episode that really surprised me was how on point the visuals were. The CGI in the CW shows has never been great, but there were a few shots in this episode that beat anything The Flash or Arrow have ever done respectively. This coupled with the other visual elements, like the Daxamite soldiers having some really cool armor and weapons, made me feel like I was watching a live action episode of the old Justice League cartoon, in the best way possible. Also, the final shot of Superman punching Supergirl and the two of them preparing to square off in next week’s finale was amazing and will hopefully make for a pretty satisfying conclusion.

There wasn’t really much that didn’t work for me in this episode. Supergirl probably should’ve also called Barry, Oliver, Sara, or anyone from Earth 1 to help out since her first major interaction with all of them was helping them out of a similar alien invasion. Beyond that, there were just a few been there, done that moments for me. For starters, the whole forced marriage story between Mon-El and Lena is very overdone in most stories but it at least wasn’t a huge focus. Also, I finally figured out why the Lilian Luthor character feels so familiar to me. She’s the Supergirl, female incarnation of Arrow’s Malcolm Merlyn. Both love their daughters so extensively that they’re willing to go to sick, ridiculous lengths to benefit them and both are incredibly hypocritical villains that are hard to sympathize with as anti-heroes as the shows intend us to.

I’m mostly nitpicking here since it was a very solid episode of Supergirl. This will be a tough act to follow, both for The Flash and Arrow the next few days and Supergirl again next week. We’ll see how they all do.

Trailer for Next Week’s Episode:  

I spend most of my days working towards my Writing and Rhetoric degree at the University of Central Florida, but I spend a lot of my down time keeping up to date on the best TV, movies, and video games the industry has to offer. Here I put all of that extended time to use discussing each of them in-depth.

Geek Culture

‘Amazing’ Final Fantasy Movie Inspired The Marvels Director

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Generally, The Marvels is good. It has a 59 on Rotten Tomatoes, which isn’t great, but it’s better than Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania and Disney+’s Secret Invasion. Perhaps director Nia DaCosta’s video game inspirations contributed to that.

The American filmmaker said Square Enix’s Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children influenced her latest film at a press junket with IGN. “It’s just an amazing movie, with great fight scenes and a great ending sequence with the main character being thrown into the sky by all the other characters,” she said.
Despite poor reviews upon release in 2005, Advent Children has become a Final Fantasy cult classic. DaCosta seems to agree that the film is a classic. PlayStation exclusives also influenced the Marvels.

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In the interview, she said she didn’t want the superhero film to look “too much like a video game” but did draw from Sony’s biggest franchises, like The Last of Us and Horizon Zero Dawn. “For me, it was from the best games, the best stories that you get, that sort of inspires me to play, and I think inspires people to watch movies like this,” she said.

Since movies have shaped video games since their inception, it’s interesting to see the dynamic slowly changing. Now that technology and interactive storytelling are more complex, filmmakers are looking to PlayStation for inspiration.

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Geek Culture

Netflix raises prices again after strong subscriber growth

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Netflix reported third-quarter earnings and is doing well. Revenue increased as the company added 9 million subscribers worldwide.

Netflix is also using this opportunity to raise the prices of some of its U.S., U.K., and French plans to differentiate ad-free plans from its entry-level ad-supported plan. New subscribers to the most expensive plan will pay $22.99 per month.

Let’s step back and examine Netflix’s current situation. Netflix cracked down on password sharing in its home market and dozens of others in May. The third quarter is the first full quarter under the new rules, so we can see the effect of password sharing.

The company removed the basic tier in the U.S. and U.K. two months ago to simplify its offering. People must pay a lot to remove Netflix ads.

Reports suggest that many customers are experiencing subscription fatigue and considering canceling some streaming subscriptions, but Netflix still has room for growth, especially with advertising revenue.

The company has 247.15 million subscribers. The number of subscribers increased 8.76 million this quarter. Netflix subscribers haven’t grown that much since Q2 2020, when Covid lockdowns were enforced worldwide.

Netflix earned $3.73 per share on $8.5 billion in revenue this quarter. As ads plan subscribers rise almost 70% quarter-over-quarter, ads are contributing more to the bottom line. Nearly a third of new subscribers use ads.

Netflix shares are up 13.75% pre-market ($393.79 per share) on good news for shareholders. However, subscribers will be unhappy because the company will raise prices for some plans again in three key markets. Full breakdown here.

In the U.S.:

  • Standard with ads: $6.99 per month (no change)
  • Basic (no longer available): $11.99 per month (up from $9.99)
  • Standard: $15.49 per month (no change)
  • Premium (with 4K streaming): $22.99 per month (up from $19.99)

In the U.K.:

  • Standard with ads: £4.99 per month (no change)
  • Basic (no longer available): £7.99 per month (up from £6.99)
  • Standard: £10.99 per month (no change)
  • Premium (with 4K streaming): £17.99 per month (up from £15.99)

In France:

  • Standard with ads: €5.99 per month (no change)
  • Basic (still available in France for now): €10.99 per month (up from €8.99)
  • Standard: €13.49 per month (no change)
  • Premium (with 4K streaming): €19.99 per month (up from €17.99)

New subscriptions start at these prices today. Bills for existing subscribers will rise in the coming weeks.

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Geek Culture

Last of Us HBO Showrunner Quietly Removes Name from Troubled Borderlands Flick

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When your writer—one of Hollywood’s hottest—tries to hide their involvement, it’s a bad sign. The Borderlands film’s original script was written by Craig Mazin (The Last of Us, Chernobyl), who recently asked the WGA to use the pseudonym “Joe Crombie” instead of his name.

We hope this means Mazin considers Joe Abercrombie, Lord Grimdark, the grittiness GOAT, but that theory is unproven. Since Mazin wrote the script in 2015 for Eli Roth to direct, a steady stream of writers has been brought in. Aaron Berg, Chris Bremner, Sam Levinson, Zak Olkewicz, Tony Rettenmaier, Juel Taylor, and Oren Uziel have put around 70 fingers in the honey pot.

The name change likely avoids confusion. Mazin probably doesn’t want to be blamed for Jack Black/Claptrap madness, but he wants to keep his rights.

To clarify, the Borderlands film finished filming in 2021, but Roth was replaced by Tim Miller (Deadpool) in January.

When this surprising star-studded film (Kevin Hart, Jamie Lee Curtis, Cate Blanchet) limps out, what are your expectations? We think this was supposed to coincide with Borderlands 3’s 2019 release, but it’s overshot the mark.

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