TV Review: The Umbrella Academy (S2) | History, Mystery, Action & Twists that Surpasses Expectations

The first season of The Umbrella Academy was an excellent surprise, an adaptation that managed to be different enough from the comics by Gerard Way and Gabriel Bá but still keep the core idea of the property. Creator Steve Blackman (Legion) and Showrunner Jeremy Slater (The Exorcist) whipped up quite the incredible series. The show has a big ensemble cast and the returning members includes Ellen Page (Days of Future Past), Tom Hopper (Game of Thrones), David Casteñeda (Sicario: Day of the Soldado), Emmy Raver-Lampman (Hamilton), Aidan Gallagher, Robert Sheehan (Mortal Engines), Justin H. Min, and Cameron Britton (The Girl in the Spider’s Web). There are also new additions the cast which are Rita Arya (Last Christmas, Humans), Sheila McCarthy (The Day After Tomorrow), and Yusuf Gatewood (The Originals).

Last season: The Hargreeves, a troubled family of seven adopted siblings including six ex child superheroes, are reunited for their father’s funeral after years apart. Their long lost brother reappears with news of an impending apocalypse that they must prevent. In solving the mystery of this cataclysmic event, they uncover secrets about members of their own family that brings them closer to their doom.

Premise: After time traveling to the past to escape their apocalyptic present, the members of The Umbrella Academy, the Hargreeves find themselves stranded in 1960s Dallas, Texas as an unexpected Doomsday event approaches.

S2 Openning Scene

Review: I know the premise sounds very similar to the first season, but it’s much more than that. I have watched the ad campaigns for this season, and I’m glad to say that there is a lot more to be revealed and discovered this season. I almost expected having a clear picture of over what half season two might be about from the trailers and clips but they barely scratch the surface.

This season is really built around all of the characters. All of the siblings, particularly the ones that might have been short changed before, are given fleshed out, interesting, important and interconnected story-lines. Allison’s reflects the character we were introduced to and the era, the Hargreeves are now in. The same can be said for Diego, who’s storyline is as rich and intricate as Allison’s. Every members of the Hargreeves family are further developed to give us a compelling arc this season and a great set up for the next. The new additions to the cast elevates all if the storylines they are involved in. They’re not just new faces, they are engines to the story.

The actors own their roles and sell the drama, the subtle comedy, and the action very well. Speaking of the action, the show is not stingy on it. There are movie level VFX throughout the series. Sometimes it dips in qualities a bit but stay at a very respectable level.

Although I knew that season one was inspired by vol.1 of the comics, this season does the same with “The Umbrella Academy vol.2: Dallas” they’ve kept the setting and enough to please the readers while keeping them guessing. In season 2, we’ve been reintroduced to the Hargreaves, they seem even more like siblings in their shared history, interactions, and quips. The show was not afraid to touch on the issues the era and location provided finale feels like a transitional episode, a salve, like coming down after a wild ride.

Rating: 9.5 out of 10.

You can check out or get the comics for S2 here

TV Review: The Umbrella Academy (S1) | A Real Family in a Superhero Setting

The comic book series “The Umbrella Academy” by Gerard Way and Gabriel Bá is the inspiration for this Netflix show created by Steve Blackman (Altered Carbon, Legion) and developed by Jeremy Slater (Death Note). The show has a big ensemble cast with a variety of personalities and abilities.
Members of the cast includes Ellen Page (Days of Future Past) as number seven, a meek violinist with no apparent supernatural abilities, which somewhat alienated her from her siblings. Tom Hopper (Game of Thrones) as spaceboy / Number One, an astronaut with super strength. David Casteñeda (Sicario: Day of the Soldado) as The Kraken / Number Two, a troublemaker with the ability to curve the trajectory of anything he throws. Emmy Raver-Lampman (Hamilton) as The Rumor / Number Three, who has the ability to control minds with the phrase “I heard a rumor…” Robert Sheehan (City of Bones, Mortal Engines), as The Séance / Number Four who has the ability to communicate with the dead and temporarily make them corporeal. Aidan Gallagher as Number Five / The Boy, who has the ability to jump through space and time. Justin H. Min, as The Horror / Number Six, a boy who can summon tentacled monsters through his body. Cameron Britton (Mindhunter, The Girl in the Spider’s Web) and Mary J. Blige (Mudbound) as Hazel and Cha-Cha respectively, two assassins for the Commission.

Premise: The Hargreeves, a troubled family of child heroes, now grown apart, reunite to solve the mystery of their adoptive father’s death and the threat of an impending apocalypse.

Review: This show is like a good book, a real page turner. I could hardly stop once I started. The story flows quite seamlessly despite the flashbacks and flash-forwards that trip up so many shows. The world building is unique and subtle in some ways. It feels familiar but you know you’ve stepped into another world. So when the stranger aspects of it show up, you’re not taken out of the story but drawn in.

Each characters have their lives and moments to shine, we get to know and understand them. They may seem a little one note at first but the actors – young and older versions – bring so much to their roles. The show is so well cast that even the most recognizable of the actors blend into their roles. I have to mention Mary J. Blige, I recognized the face and the voice but I forgot about the singer. She was Cha-Cha a bad-ass contract killer. I really enjoyed watching her.

Umbrella Academy really a show about family and relationships with time travel and superpowers mixed in. It’s worth the watch and worth the binge.

Rating: 8 out of 10.

You can check out or get the comics here

The Big Short | Trailer

Reaction: With the cast involved, I wasn’t exactly sure of what kind of film we were getting. I mean a lot of them have comedy chops and I wondered where this movie leaning toward and this “OK” trailer has at least answered that. It’s a drama with a dash of comedy to alleviate the heavy subject matter.

Did it excite me for the film? No, but I’m still interested in seeing it, what about you?

The Finest Hours | Trailers

Review: I saw this trailer at the movies in front of Ant-Man, and I have to say it looks epic. The trailer sucked me in within seconds, the action does not looked too CGI-ish, and it showed enough about the story and the characters to peak my interest. The Finest Hours looks like a good dramatic thriller with award worthy performances. 

I like the cast, the time period, the accents, and the action but what about you guys what did you think of trailer?

Unbroken | A Story to Admire

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The film is war drama based on Laura Hillenbrand book Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption. The film revolves around the life of Olympic Runner Louis Zamperini, it stars Jack O’Connell, Garrett Heldmund, Finn Wittrock, Jai Courtney & Domhnall Gleeson. It was directed and produced by Angelina Jolie.

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Premise: World War II hero Louis “Louie” Zamperini, a former Olympic track star, survives a plane crash in the Pacific, spends 47 days drifting on a raft, and then more than two and a half years living in several Japanese prisoner of war camps.

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Review: When I first heard about this film, I got really excited about the story but the mix reviews had me walking into the theater ready to nitpick. 

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Some people might not agree with me but the film was masterfully directed. It showcases the war, in all its aspects battles, death, starvation, and torture without inflaming the audience. I’ve seen documentaries that left me wanting vengeance for the oppressed. Unbroken is about Louie’s forgiveness, his resilience despite what was done to him and the film does just that. It’s sturdy and infused with darkness, shows the gruesome and the brutality but it does not make you angry, hopping for Japan to burn for what they did to him. On the contrary you hope for Louie to stand strong and stick it out.

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Watching the movie there’s an implied understanding for both sides, you won’t like that Louie’s brutalized and mentally tortured but at the same time you’re not hating the guys brutalizing him. It helps to know how it’ll end, which also explains the lack of emotional involvement, but it’s about Louie during WWII. Louie is not depicted as a victim but as a person. I know the general consensus would be to almost break him down in order to build him back up but that would have been like blowing things up like a Michael Bay movie.

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The performances throughout the cast was good, Angelina Jolie got the what she needed from the cast to tell this story in this particular way. The pace of the film fits to the story, the rhythm matches its narrative structure because it all flows together, it kind of sucks you in and bring you along for the ride. The side stories flows well in the overall narrative structure of the film. It’s very easy to watch with its amazing array of beautiful colors and shots. There is a lot of potential in Angelina Jolie as a director.
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Unbroken is a beautiful movie all around, the shots are mesmerizing, even the CGI ones, and the cast is on point. The story is inspiring and feels real. It’s a big studio movie but it manages to feel intimate like an indie.
What do you think of Angelina Jolie as a director? But more importantly what you think of Unbroken?