Monthly Archives: October 2016

“The Walking Dead” Season 7 Premiere Reaction

Yeah… so THAT happened. Before I begin, I’m going to start off by giving a major spoiler warning about what happened on Sunday night. If you think it’s okay to read this because you don’t get what the deal was over what happened on the Season 7 premiere, get catch up on the show. For the rest of you, let’s gather to try and cope with the rapture of the shit that went down a few nights ago. I wasn’t even going to do a post on this episode. I thought everyone online would be fine and anxiously await next week’s episode as always. But nope, they had to pull the rug from under us and reduce us viewers to sniffling little creature! *Sigh* Sorry about that. I’m just still reeling. Right after it aired, I figured I should do a reaction post. Okay, so what happened? At the very end of last Season, Rick, Sasha, Abraham, Eugene, Aaron, and Carl were all trying to get a sick Maggie over to the Hilltop Colony to get her pregnancy checked out. But on their way, they are abruptly stopped by a small army of survivors called the Saviors, who gather them and all of the other group members, with the exceptions of Morgan and Carol, in front of their leader, Negan. After giving a speech about the new world order, Negan plays a sadistic game of eeny, meany, miny, moe to randomly select a group member to viciously kill with Lucille, his baseball bat wrapped in barb-wire. And… that was it. Fans all theorized about who it could be over the summer, but now we know. However, the majority of this premiere was Rick and Negan riding around the woods, with Negan trying to get it to Rick that he owns him. It wasn’t until after the second commercial break that we discovered who won the game of eeny, meany, miny, moe… it was Abraham. It was a particularly gruesome affair, but stubborn as always, his last words were, “Suck my nuts.” And Negan bashed his little brain bits into the gravel even after his death. Right now, I will praise the makeup and design crew. Each week they impress me more, but this one particularly was standout. Now for a brief moment, we all believe that we’re safe. But then Daryl Dixon stands up and decks him in the jaw out of anger. Even though Dwight seems determined on killing him, I knew that Daryl dies, we riot. Negan reiterates that he will shut that shit down, no exceptions. And as camera tilts to the right you think you can tell who will get punished. He then turns right around and pummels Glenn with Lucille. He’s in terrible shape afterwards. Blood is trickling down from skull, his left eye is popped out. He tries saying something, but can only make out,  “Maggie, I’ll find you.” And with a few more blows, the would-be father is killed off like he’s nothing more than an insect to be crushed. That is the reason why I made this post. I jumped from my seat when this happened onscreen. In the comics, Glenn is the one who gets killed in the sadistic game, but the fact that both he and Abraham got killed shows me one thing: no one is safe. I know that sounds like a cliché but honestly there hasn’t been an original cast member killed off for a few seasons now. Steven Yeun and Michael Cudlitz will be fine and have good careers. It’s been a fun run with you guys, and it won’t be the same without you. This is looking like only the start of potentially the darkest season of The Walking Dead yet. Jeffrey Dean Morgan absolutely slays his role of Negan, and I can’t wait to see him more over the show. If you like what you see here, please leave a comment and be sure to Follow my blog for more awesome content.

 

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“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1” Movie Review

For my oldest Followers, I began doing posts on my blog a few years after the Harry Potter film series wrapped up. And with the new Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them movie coming out in theaters about a month, I decided it would feel appropriate to review the final two films, i.e. the best ones. The first half of the final installment of this British fantasy franchise opened on November 19th, 2010, grossing $960.1 million worldwide. Fair warning, this review is going to have big spoilers in it for fans, so read at your own discretion. Adapting the first half of J.K. Rowling’s final novel in the series, the story picks up roughly a few months after the death of Albus Dumbledore. The world is growing darker, Hermione has Charmed her parent’s memory, and the Dursleys have abandoned Harry Potter for good. A couple days before he can turn seventeen years old, The Order of the Phoenix moves Harry to the Weasley Burrow, with Polyjuice Potion creating six decoys of him. An ensuing chase with the Death Eaters results in the sudden and tragic deaths of Harry’s owl Hedwig and Mad-Eye Moody. That scene, in particular, is easily one of the most entertaining moments of the movie, and certainly the most intense. Ron, Harry, and Hermione then receive three gifts from Dumbledore’s last will and testament: a Deluminator for Ron, The Tales of Beedle the Bard for Hermione, and the first Golden Snitch Harry ever caught in a game of Quidditch. The day of Ron’s brother Bill Weasley’s wedding with Fleur Delacour, the Ministry of Magic is taken by Lord Voldemort and the reception is interrupted by a group of attacking Death Eaters. Having been Disapparated and now on the run, the trio now go around England searching for Horcruxes, seven little pieces that, if destroyed, could finally end Lord Voldemort. Getting it right off the bat, I’m a huge fan of the Harry Potter books, as they were what got into loving reading more and more. When I heard about the plans for the final book to be split into two movies, I had mixed feelings. On the one hand, it could have a chance to be more faithful than previous entries, but then it feels like Warner Bros. was trying to squeeze more money out of my pockets. Thankfully, the last two movies of Harry Potter are arguably the closest to the pages out of all of them. The first movie really deals out like a road movie, as the trio spend a majority of the movie in the woods or somewhere else searching for the Horcruxes. Because of this, however, the plot really slows down when they have downtime. Almost as if nothing is happening. I will say that most of the movie felt like a big exposition since much of the time is spent filling in backstory for certain main characters, specifically that of Albus Dumbledore. The deceased Headmaster of Hogwarts may appear lovable on the surface, but underneath is a man tortured by guilt of the things he’s brought upon those he loves. Namely, his conflict with Gellert Grindelwald resulted in the accidental death of his sister Arianna. This adds fallible layers to a great character, hampered by Michael Gambon’s marvelous performance. Anyway, in the last act of the movie, after Harry, Ron, and Hermione have destroyed a Horcrux locket, they learn of the Deathly Hallows via The Tale of The Three Brothers. Basically, three brothers cheated death and in exchange received a powerful wand, a Resurrection Stone, and a Cloak of Invisibility. Though Death eventually claimed each brother, the three items went missing, later named a myth called the Deathly Hallows. They learn that Dumbledore had attempted to find all of them, but are suddenly interrupted by a group of Snatchers who kidnap them and take them to the Malfoy Mansion. It was a very intense chase sequence with quick cuts in cinematography and excellent sound design. This was followed by a rather uncomfortable interrogation scene with Bellatrix Lestrange. Remember the chick from Order of the Phoenix that killed Sirius Black? Helena Bonham Carter returns as a crazy, evil, and wholly despicable villain who’s arguably worse than her superior. But the gang escapes with fellow captives Luna Lovegood, Ollivander, and the goblin Griphook. They Disapparate to a beach house the Weasleys own. There, Dobby suddenly dies from a knife wound, and no one is able to save him. It’s a heartbreaking scene that gets me crying every time I watch because even Dobby wasn’t in the movies for much, he was a truly innocent character who didn’t deserve any cruelty. But the final scene was when Voldemort went to Dumbledore’s grave and took the Elder Wand. Because his wand has the same core as Harry’s, the Dark Lord needed a powerful wand to truly end Harry Potter. This sets the stage for the next movie. Overall, despite pacing issues and an exorbitant amount of exposition, Deathly Hallows Part 1 was a solid fantasy road trip thriller that keeps you intrigued. I recommend watching this movie before Part 2. It will make things easier to understand.

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“Luke Cage” T.V. Show Review

Knocking down a few doors in the projects doesn’t just make you Harlem’s Hero. It actually makes you a legend. This critically acclaimed superhero web television series released all 13 episodes of its first season on Netflix on September 30th, 2016. The third collaboration between Netflix and Marvel Entertainment for adapting street-level superhumans, there were many reports of it being so popular, that many Netflix servers crashed due to overcrowding. Set a few months after the events of Jessica Jones, the titular ex-convict relocates to the city of Harlem, New York with bulletproof skin and enhanced strength. Initially wanting to lay low, he soon finds himself thrust into taking action against notorious gangster Cornell “Cottonmouth” Stokes and Mariah Dillard, the latter’s scheming politician cousin. Cage must take the pair down while battling the police system, fronted by Mercedes “Misty” Knight. Even though it’s just come out, Luke Cage may be my favorite Marvel/Netflix show to date, at least since season one of Daredevil. There is not a single actor in the cast that gives a dull performance. Everyone brings their A-game to the table. Mike Colter is absolutely perfect as the title character. Charismatic and convincing to a fault, I hardly think that they could have picked a better actor to portray Luke Cage in this universe. Simone Missick as Misty Knight is a particular standout, arguably the breakout star of this entire show. Her sarcasm makes for some funny moments, while her analytical skills make the audience feel like they are a genius detective as well. Rosario Dawson returns for the fourth time in the universe as Claire Temple, a no-nonsense nurse for enhanced beings. She makes a great love interest for Luke Cage, amplified by their fiery chemistry. Let’s get into the villains. Previously, Head of Marvel Television Jeph Loeb jokingly referred to both Cottonmouth and Dillard as “the other heroes of the story.” Netflix veteran Mahershala Ali does give us a violent, yet still human antagonist out of Cottonmouth. Similarly, Alfre Woodard channels her inner activist to depict a calculating, conflicted and despicable politician who will do anything to paint Harlem in her own black image. However, I did not find these two to be as menacing a presence as Kilgrave from Jessica Jones, or as physically imposing as Wilson Fisk/Kingpin. The soundtrack is fantastic as well. The showrunner, Cheo Hodari Coker, was originally a music journalist and was one of the last people to interview the Notorious B.I.G. before he died. He utilizes this old occupation to great effect, with a score by Adrian Younge and Ali Shaheed Muhammad that is reminiscent of hip-hop songs from the 70’s and 90’s. The Wu-Tang-ification of the Marvel world, you yourself will come to love the hip-hop genre by the last episode. It’s also fascinating in its approach to race and other social issues. This is the first property under the Marvel name to use the “n” word. It is used casually by quite a few characters in normal conversations, although some, like Cage or Dillard, prefer not to use it often. And the way they handle certain situations, such as police brutality and wrongful imprisonment, is respectful to victims without being preachy to those unfamiliar with the subject matter. Let’s be honest; the world needs a bulletproof black man right now. He shields fellow Harlem residents from certain death (literally) and singlehandedly takes down a small army money-hungry thugs simply by flicking them on the forehead. And yet, Luke Cage still professes, “I’m no hero. I’m just trying to do right by Pop.” And that’s what makes him a complete hero, and the most emotionally sympathetic protagonist of the Netflix shows. In the end, Luke Cage is the smartest, most socially relevant show to come out of the Netflix/Marvel partnership. Much like listening to a hip-hop album, you can just take a good chunk out of your day to binge-watch as many episodes as you want. It gives me hope for future Marvel shows such as Iron Fist, The Defenders, and The Punisher. Oh, and I guess people have asked me to hear what I think of how Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is introducing Robbie Reyes Ghost Rider in its fourth season. The answer is no, I’m not going to review it. I couldn’t make it through the first season. It was just dull, repetitive, and too much “Freak of the Week” kind of stuff, even for a superhero show. But many friends have told me it really improves in the next two seasons, so we’ll see what happens.

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