Thursday, October 23, 2014

Gotham Episode 3 "The Balloonman" Review

by Snow Drift

  On this episode, directed by Dermott Downs and written by John Stephens, a mysterious killer nicknamed “Balloonman” (Dan Bakkedahl) is strapping Gotham’s corrupt public figures to weather balloons and sending them to the sky to die. Detectives James Gordon (Ben McKenzie) and Harvey Bullock (Donal Logue) are on the case, but Bullock is no longer as safe from suspicion of being corrupt as he though.

  I’m honestly a bit conflicted about this episode. On one hand, I found it a bit jarring that the method of the murders by the Balloonman clashed with the atmosphere of the rest of the series. However, when I thought about it, I realized that the murderer and his method worked to portray the state of desperation of the citizens of Gotham. A regular adult man, who had nothing remarkable to his name, decides to take it upon himself to save Gotham with his only talent: balloons. This episode showed that a citizen of Gotham had finally had enough. Nevertheless, I still would have liked it if the episode had handled the portrayal and direction of the murders to better match the dark and gritty atmosphere of the series. 

  Among the subplots, the one matching Renee Montoya (Victoria Cartagena) and Barbara Kean (Erin Richards) is an interesting one, for it brings out to the forefront the romantic relationship between these two women and who they were before the start of the series. It also portrays the powerful force of doubt that prevails throughout the innocent of Gotham. Those that are not corrupt doubt the system, forcing them to live on the edge.

  Meanwhile, Oswald Cobblepot’s (Robin Lord Taylor) indiscriminate murders throughout Gotham and his visible presence makes it a bit unbelievable that very few people know that he is still alive. I’m surprised that only one person has discovered him and that there hasn’t been any talk of the random murders in and around Gotham. However, I am still glad that his false murder is still a topic that connects Gordon, Montoya, Crispus Allen (Andrew Stewart-Jones), Fish Mooney (Jada Pinkett Smith) and the rest of the criminal underworld to each other and further expands on their conflicts.

  In addition, Alfred Pennyworth’s (Sean Pertwee) portrayal in this episode was, in my opinion, better than the last. His extreme discipline upon Bruce Wayne (David Mazouz) worried me, yet in this episode he is shown trying to make Bruce happy in his own way, which is a bit more consistent with the essence of his comic book counterpart. 

  All the while, I do like how Bruce, even though he outwardly seems to be in the process of moving on from his parents’ murder by having a bit more fun, while still holding unto his anger and fear. He lashes out at times and seems to be taking every event that happens in Gotham personal. 

  McKenzie’s and Logue’s acting was more convincing than before, which may be based on the fact that they’re getting used to their characters or the script itself. The villains acting was relatively well, but it could have been better. The rest of the cast was consistent with the last two episodes, although I have to say that I love Pinkett Smith, for she portrays a character that feigns a relative goodness, yet makes it known to everyone around her that she is not one to mess with. 

  The episode in its entirety could have been better directed to portray the sense of terror from being forcefully lifted to the sky. However, I liked the elements that were implemented into the series and the fact that events that have happened in previous episodes are affecting the future.

Monday, October 20, 2014




VOLTRON: FROM DAYS OF LONG AGO – A 30th ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION Charts The History And Impact of The Iconic Franchise On Pop Culture

   San Francisco, CA, October 20, 2014 – VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), the largest distributor and licensor of anime and manga in North America, takes readers on an exciting journey to explore the history and legacy of VOLTRON®, the legendary giant robot anime series that marks the 30th Anniversary of its original North American broadcast premiere.
VOLTRON: FROM DAYS OF LONG AGO, A 30th ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION examines the entire VOLTRON universe and the property’s notable impact on pop culture and will be released in-print on October 28th from the company’s Perfect Square imprint. The hardcover oversized edition will carry an MSRP of $29.99 U.S. / $34.99 CAN. 

  A digital version of VOLTRON: FROM DAYS OF LONG AGO, A 30th ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION also will launch on October 28th for $14.99 U.S. / CAN from the Perfect Square App, which has titles available for the Apple iPad® and iPad® Mini. The Perfect Square App is available from the iTunes store. Readers also will be able to find a digital version for the NOOK, Kindle Fire, and Kobo eReaders, as well as in the iBooks and GooglePlay Stores.

  Thirty years ago, Voltron: Defender of the Universe hit the airwaves, and the world hasn't been the same. Now, VOLTRON: FROM DAYS OF LONG AGO chronicles the story of VOLTRON and its cultural relevance, taking a detailed look at the story behind the show and the many related toy releases, the mythology of both Lion Force and Vehicle Voltron (with a nod to Albegas), and concludes the exciting Voltron Force saga. This new book is truly for fans, by fans: authored by Brian Smith, a former Marvel Comics editor and writer for Perfect Square's VOLTRON FORCE® series of original graphic novels, Marc Morrell, co-host of the official "Let's Voltron!" podcast, and Joshua Bernard, founder of CollectionDX, a popular website devoted to covering the world of Japanese toys, action figures and pop culture; with a bonus VOLTRON comic written by Smith and illustrated by Jacob Chabot, artist on the VOLTRON FORCE series; with a foreword by Jeremy Corray, former Creative Director of World Events Productions, the company behind the classic Voltron TV series.

  “Voltron premiered on North American television in 1984 and the media landscape changed forever. There are so many VOLTRON fans, and we wanted to both honor their devotion and invite them to be a part of this project,” says Traci Todd, Senior Editor.VOLTRON: FROM DAYS OF LONG AGO, A 30th ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION offers fans a treasure trove of insights, history, and little-known facts about the evolution of the series and the show’s lasting pop culture impact.”
Additional information on VOLTRON FORCE and other titles published by Perfect Square is available at

  For more information on manga and other titles from VIZ Media, please visit