Arrow: A.W.O.L/Unchained

cw arrow show review oliver queen

aka Wheels and the Legman

Arrow Episode Review

AWOL and Unchained

I was quite sick last week I didn’t get around to watching A.W.O.L until tonight, so we’re getting a 2 in one review. A.W.O.L and Unchained, so let’s get into it. Hopefully you’ve read my Arrow reviews before, so you know how I do this.

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Rear Window meets Fight Club

A.W.O.L.

This episode was the first time we got to see Felicity’s new role in the crew, not that it has  changed that much, but she is certainly in a different head space at the start of this episode. She is understandably upset about her paralysis. She’s been confronted with the rest of her life. Where it once contained so much promise, she’s been confined to a chair with wheels. At least that’s how Felicity feels. She’s not really in a ‘glass half full’ place this episode.

She actually started to hallucinate and go a bit stir crazy. She’s even managed to manifest her own Tyler Durden, in the form of Goth Felicity. She constantly bugs Felicity about her situation, her blonde hair, and her glasses. Fuck off goth Felicity. You’re not interesting and you’re annoying. A fuck off double whammy.

So Felicity is having a personality crisis and it’s showing in her hacker performance, luckily, this was one of the more interesting arcs of the episode. She slipped and someone almost bought it.

Goth felicity arrow season 3 death

No, Goth Felicity!!! You’re not welcome here, I CAST YOU OUT, UNCLEAN SPIRIT!!!!!!!!!!

Brothers

So this brings me to the next point. The Andy/Diggle brother arc seems to have come to a conclusion in this episode. Andy finally came around and patched things up with Diggle, as they come together at the end to go up against Shadowspire. This storyline has been brewing for a long time during this season and it seemed like Diggle was slamming himself up against a brick wall, and couldn’t reach Andy no matter what he said.

In this episode it seems like he had chipped away enough to finally make a hole and get through to Andy. We also moved away from the Oliver flashbacks in this episode, and shed a little light on Diggle and Andy’s past.

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Bring me a burger and i’ll come around no problem

I enjoyed Diggle’s selective memory when it comes to his brother. He convinced Andy to enlist in order to get his little brother on the straight and narrow, but some men just aren’t meant t0 walk the righteous path. As soon as Andy arrives in camp he falls in with a bad crowd in order to make a little extra scratch on the side.  Diggle wanted his brother to straighten out, so that’s exactly what he saw.

This brings us to the big conflict of the episode, Team Arrow vs Shadowspire.  Shadowspire’s bread and butter is misdirection, as stated by former member Andy Diggle. Guess what?

Whoops

Shadowspire makes Team Arrow believe that they are after a shipment of rail guns, so we get Oliver, Thea and Laurel waiting at the truck depot for Shadowspire.   When they don’t show our heroes know something is wrong. Upon this realization Shadowspire takes over an A.R.G.U.S base and holds Amanda Waller, and Lila Diggle, at gunpoint looking for something called Rubicon, which is some nasty bullshit. [Mighty Dale falters] I don’t know, I didn’t pay attention at this part, fucking sue me, sadly this resulted in the death of Amanda Waller.

That kind of sucks since Waller is such a huge part of the DC/Suicide Squad universe. It was nice having her around, and she was cold as goddamn ice, which was awesome. She was willing to watch everybody in that room get shot in the face before giving up Rubicon.

So, after learning of the A.R.G.U.S situation via a panic button, the Diggle brothers (that would make a sick 70’s band name. The Diggle Brothers Band) concoct an elaborate plan where Andy pretends to be returning to Shadowspire, and brings John in as a fake hostage (the ol’ Chewie prisoner trick).

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“Tonight on Top Prick”

Oliver, Thea and Laurel arrive to get into the fight, which brings us to Arrow’s douchiest line this season. Oliver gets on his communicator and calls Felicity, who is back to her keyboard crunching self, Overwatch. This is fine except she’s confused about the name and Oliver says, “I thought it was about time you got a code name what do you think?”, to which Felicity responds, “It’s perfect.”  Oliver responds, “I was going to go with Oracle but it was taken.” wink wink nod nod puke. FUCK……….YOU, Oliver Queen., Fuck you 10 ways from Sunday. Stop making Batman references!  It’s not cute. They’re not funny little references for the DC fandom. It’s annoying, and every time you do that it makes me want Batman more.

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Right here, Oliver.

Unchained

So let’s move on to Unchained, Unchained was actually quite a good episode and saw the return of a few familiar faces, so let’s… hit the ground running.

Unchained really didn’t stand out that much, and if it weren’t for the interesting returns of some great characters, it wouldn’t have been anything to write home about. It did have some great action and obviously as I’ve mentioned, the returns of Nyssa Al Ghul, Roy Harper and Katana, it also boasted some great action sequences, finally.

This episode saw the return of Roy Harper (not this Roy Harper) albeit a brainwashed Roy Harper.  He was being controlled via a contact lens in his eye. He was trying to steal parts from Palmer Tech in order to build a big tech bomb that would basically destroy the internet, and erase everything.  Who was controlling him was the big mystery in this episode. It was a new villain known as The Calculator, a genius level hacker to rival even Felicity Smoak. blah blah blah, this wasn’t very interesting at all.

Where this episode shined was in the emotional aspect of a character like Roy being returned to the fold, albeit all too briefly. His reunion with the crew was interesting, especially since at the beginning of the episode, he started off as a Team Arrow adversary.

Obviously his reunion with Thea was going to be a huge moment.  These two are set up to be the loves of each other’s lives, and it was unfortunate to see them have to part ways, when they would clearly rather spend the rest of their lives together. I

also thought it was hilarious how Roy left his Red Arrow suit for Thea after his first departure.  I assume Team Arrow took Roy’s suit, stitched it up to fit the tiny Thea and redesigned it. Somehow,  when Roy puts it on it reverts to the original design and somehow still fits him. SCIENCE. But whatever, TV logic I guess. I can look past it.

Team Arrow.

Since when did superhero suit = fetish night?

Nyssa vs Katana

We also got some fantastic action in this episode. Nyssa’s escape was great, but the fight between Nyssa and Katana was incredible. Sadly it didn’t last too long, but the choreography was excellent, and felt like we were watching 2 highly skilled fighters. Plus, it’s always nice seeing both Nyssa and Katana, but Nyssa had to get to Star City to serve a bigger purpose. She holds the Lotus, a mystery cure for Thea’s blood lust. Because apparently Oliver can’t call John Constantine again. It always makes me giggle about how once characters leave the show it’s like they don’t exist.

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It’s always awesome seeing two strong females back in the mix and get some killer action scenes. The TV and movie world can never have enough tough chicks.

Sadly it felt like this episode simply existed to lead up to the big reveal that Calculator is Felicity’s dad. This  was actually no reveal at all considering this had been predicted on the internet long before the show revealed it.

So overall, Roy, Nyssa and Katana came back and Felicity has daddy issues. That’s basically the whole episode. We’ll see you guys next week.

Legend’s of Tomorrow: Pilot Review

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DC’s Legend’s of Tomorrow

Does It Stack Up?

Guys and girls, DC’s Legend’s of Tomorrow premiered on Thursday and it is definitely worth talking about so let’s do just that.

Legend’s of Tomorrow is CW’s third DC property, along with Flash and Arrow,  so does it stack up? Not yet.  I can’t stress the phrase “not yet” enough. This show was fun and has a ton of room to grow. LoT is the story of Rip Hunter, a time master from dystopian future who comes back to our time to recruit heroes, and villains, from the Arrow & Flash universe. Why?  To come together and help stop the catalyst of this horrible future, the immortal Vandal Savage. now we’ve already encountered Vandal Savage once before, during the big Arrow/Flash team up episode.

Who Are The Legends Of Tomorrow?

In the pilot we were also introduced to Hawkman who appeared in search of Hawkgirl for reasons we won’t get into here, its a long story. So who is on the roster here?

We have:

  • Sara Lance/White Canary
  • Ray Palmer/The Atom
  • Leonard Snart/Captain Cold
  • Mick Rory/Heat Wave
  • Martin Stein and Jefferson “Jax” Jackson who together make up Firestorm
  • Carter Hall/Hawkman
  • Kendra Saunders/Hawkgirl
  • and Rip Hunter himself.

Overall they make up a surprisingly fun team, especially given the aspect of time travel. In episode 1 they go back to 1975. Not too dangerous but fun as hell. Watching these 9 people try to navigate the world of bell bottoms and jive turkeys, was rewarding. I had a blast watching White Canary, Captain Cold, and Heat Wave decide to head to a bar, since the rest of the team left them behind to go consult an expert on Vandal Savage.

Heat Wave is delightfully insane, and his love of Captain and Tennille made me laugh, especially when the bar erupts into a fight. Captain & Tennille isn’t exactly brawl music, but hey, don’t fuck with Sara Lance. I was perfectly enjoying her solo dance scene until some shit head biker decided to sexually harass her. In fact, I could watch an entire episode of just White Canary dancing to 70’s music.

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My kinda bird………see what I did there?

Legends Thinks Big

The area where the show shines is that it is epic in scope. The time travel is a cool concept and it allows for us to see the heroes in multiple different situations, and it also raises the stakes. If they fuck up the entire trajectory of history changes. It also allows us to see some very cool stuff. Different time periods mainly but also how the characters interact with these people. What will people who don’t even have electricity yet think of a super suit, and two men with a cold and heat gun. It also allows us to see some cool characters, it has already been confirmed that at some point we’re going to run into Jonah Hex, which hopefully will be super cool. The movie was a total botch.  Jonah Hex desperately needs a mulligan, more than Constantine even.

jonah hex dc universe comic books legends of tomorrow.

I can’t wait to see this guy on TV

Rip Hunter, Your Pants Are On Fire

One thing that also really stood out to me was when it was revealed that Rip Hunter had lied to the team. He says “In my time you aren’t just heroes, you’re legends.”, but later it is revealed that the group are not legends in the future.  They’re nobodies who’s names have been forgotten by time, and they were assembled because they have no heavy impact on the future, so therefore their deaths won’t fuck up the timeline. They’ve been assembled because they’re safe, and I found that an interesting direction to take the show. It explains why Rip Hunter didn’t simply try to assemble Flash and  Green Arrow, because if either of two die it will send major ripples through time.

Finally

A few stray observations, Rip Hunter has an interesting line where he says “In my time I’ve seen men of steel die, and dark knights fall.” Is this a reference to Batman and Superman? Of course it is, but does it mean anything is the real question. Will these two titans exist at some point in this universe or is it just a fun throw away reference, like the Wayne Tech/Queen Enterprises merger in Flash? We don’t know, but unless something gives or Batman V Superman is a massive flop, I doubt we’ll see either of them on the CW DC shows. It’s still a fun thing to reference though.

Overall guys, Legends of Tomorrow is fun, has an epic scope, cool special effects, and an interesting cast of characters. It’s acted well and written well. I just hope that this show busts wide open and starts having some real fun with their awesome premise, and characters. Given the premise and the time travel aspect, I can potentially see some really fun things in this shows future. So watch it, have fun with it, don’t take it too seriously, and think of it as more of a sci fi romp, than a superhero show.

Arrow: Blood Debts

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Disappointing return from hiatus.

TV Reviews

Arrow Sucked This Week

Wednesday (1.20.16) marked the return of Arrow and how did it fare after the ending from the mid season finale? Not well.  Let’s talk about it.

What Went Wrong

When it comes to CW’s DC properties the jewel in the crown is clearly Flash, and episodes like this one really show why. Whereas Flash returned from it’s break fresh and ready to keep up the momentum of the first half of the season, Arrow ended their first half running and slammed face first into a brick wall with “Blood Debts”.

Spoilers follow. You’ve been warned.

 

 

Seriously, no bitching.

At the end of the first half of the season we had Oliver standing up to Damien Darhk. Not just in the light of day, but also very very publicly. This resulted in Darhk’s goons surrounding and shooting up Oliver’s car Sonny Corleone style, and hitting Felicity Smoak in the process. Obviously, given the flashes of Barry and Oliver at a grave in the beginning of the season, we are willing to assume it’s Felicity. Just kidding, nobody thought it was Felicity. Sadly, Arrow isn’t ballsy enough to kill Felicity, even though it would make for incredible story telling. So how can they keep Felicity but still make the situation dangerous? Cripple her. That’s right, folks. The bullets causes irreparable damage to Felicity’s spine and she will be confined to a wheel chair for the rest of her life. She’s a computer whiz, who works for team Arrow. She was shot by a villain and is crippled from spinal damage……………… ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME, ARROW?!?!?!?!

Deja Bruce

The similarities between Oliver Queen and Bruce Wayne are fairly obvious, but we were all willing to look past it, but now you’re turning Felicity into Barbara Gordon aka Oracle.  Arrow, please. I like the show but you need to accept that you exist in a universe without Batman.  You can’t just take characters and situations out of the Batman universe, and inject into the Arrowverse just because you want to. It’s sloppy creatively and it’s goddamn lazy. Find ways that make Oliver and the Green Arrow interesting without making him Batman. Your writers are paid to be creative. CREATE. Seriously, it’s going too far. And I say this as a fan who has stuck with the show since the beginning. I am by no means shitting on the show, but the show has the potential to be great. I just want to see it get there.

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ALFRED?!

Where this episode really hit a wall was with the villain. They sidestepped Damien Darhk, who has been great, to bring in yet another Batman villain, Anarky. The presence of Anarky was completely unnecessary, and only served to prolong the inevitable showdown between Darhk and Green Arrow.

Anarky In The CW

The Anarky stuff was flat. They didn’t do a very good job of fleshing him out as a character. He has neither the political agenda nor the personality of  Anarky from the comic books.  Both times Anarky appeared on Arrow i was left with the same response, “Why the fuck is Anarky on this show?” He has no reason to be in the Arrowverse and he shouldn’t be.

The Damien Darhk plot slowed to almost a crawl in Blood Debts.  We did get a quick fight between Darhk and Oliver. It was after Oliver freed Anarky from police custody so he could lead them to Darhk, which he kinda sorta did, in a round about way.

After freeing Anarky, like a dipshit, Oliver puts a tracking device on him. Long story short Anarky finds the tracking device and ditches it. Oliver, Thea and Black Magneto track Anarky to the house of Darhk’s family, where he has taken them hostage in hopes of killing Darhk.

Oliver saves Darhk’s family and encounters Darhk while leaving. They fight for a little bit and Oliver obviously can’t beat Darhk, which Darhk points out. In possibly the dumbest thing I’ve seen on tv ever, Darhk looks at Oliver and says “You saved my family. I’ll give you a week to spend with yours. Enjoy it” then leaves.  Apparently nobody could come up with a more interesting way to put off the final showdown. Again, lazy writing. Good guy, that Damien Darhk.

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Neal McDonough as Damien Darhk is amazing though

Nothing Else Going On

Unfortunately nobody else had much to do in this episode.  There were a few minor subplots such as Anarky’s new obsession with Thea, because she’s the one who burned his face (or just because she looks good in red leather. Either way I don’t care.) Captain Lance is banging Felicity’s mom. Diggle is interrogating his own brother, and his interrogation involves beatings. And Laurel………..well……..I don’t really know. I tune out whenever Laurel is around. Her character is garbage and she looks like an idiot whenever she does her canary cry.

Meh At Best

Overall guys the episode was mediocre at best. They didn’t commit to killing Felicity which would have been fine, if the red herring wasn’t so obvious. They brought in a underwhelming and unnecessary side villain, and instead of dipping into the Batman universe, they dove right into the deep end.  I wasn’t impressed. Oliver consistently manages to underwhelm with his inability to use his brain on the spot. Seriously, buddy? Your future bride got shot and is now paralyzed.  You have a friend who created nano tech and used it on himself, and you have a friend who can go back in time. You’re telling me that out of Flash, Ray Palmer, Cisco, Caitlyn, Harrison Wells, and John Constantine, not a SINGLE one of them can do anything to help Felicity? Come on.

Arrow needs to build it’s own universe instead of taking bits and pieces from Batman’s. They have the parts, they just need to be put together. And they need to begin with populating the world with interesting characters. I’d start with making John Constantine a more permanent part of the show. Watching Oliver let John Constantine walk, with his knowledge of Darhk, magic and the occult, after 1 episode was the dumbest thing he’s ever done. Get back on track, Arrow. I believe in you.

The Flash: Potential Energy

the flash tv show review

The Flash returned to us tonight with “Potential Energy”, and overall it was a great episode, though it did involve a few infuriating components. Let’s get into it.

The… Turtle?

The Turtle was an intriguing villain with a power that’s the complete opposite of Barry’s. The Turtle has the power to slow down time to the point that it seems like he’s  going fast,when in fact everybody around him is just going slow. Cool concept, but when it really comes into play is how they can use Turtle’s power to stop Zoom.

It didn’t hurt that he was portrayed by Aaron Douglas of Battlestar Galactica fame. This villain was much more intimidating than I imagined. He was portrayed as more of a serial killer; a man who keeps his victims in cases as trophies.

I liked this because with a villain like this it could be easy to  drift into camp territory, especially when he makes the comment “killing is to quick and messy, I like to do things nice and………..slow.” It would have been easy to laugh if he wasn’t surrounded by the preserved corpse of his wife.

However

One area in which the show made me actively groan in frustration was in Barry’s inability to tell his awesome and gorgeous girlfriend that he is The Flash………….again. Patty needs, and deserves, to know. Watching Barry constantly ditch her to go do Flash stuff is kind of heartbreaking, due to Patty being so sweet.

What truly infuriates me about Barry not telling Patty is the superhero bullshit about how their loved ones will be targeted  and killed to get to the hero. This is a reasonable concern, but I’d like to point out that NOT ONE of the people who know Barry’s identity have been killed. Maybe with the exception of Eddie Thawn, but I’d argue he killed himself to defeat the Reverse Flash. Iris, Joe, Cisco, Caitlin and a few others are all still alive and for the most part doing fine. Barry knows he is capable of protecting the ones he cares about, so stop being a knucklehead and do it. It’s a stupid plot device to simply build friction.

What About Wally?

For me, the Wally West stuff hasn’t quite clicked yet. He was just introduced so soon that I felt we didn’t get enough time with him.

You have a hit show guys, don’t introduce everybody all at once. The scene of Wally drag racing was entirely unnecessary in my opinion. that was all time that could have been spent with Barry and Patty, I understand that it was used to give Jesse L Martin a little meat to sink his teeth into and don’t get me wrong watching him do it is always a pleasure, he is hands down the best actor on the show but I feel the drag racing scene was typical “I hate my dad” teenage angst bullshit, Jesse L Martin needs more to work with.

No Zoom

Unfortunately we didn’t get much development on the Zoom front. He didn’t even make an appearance, but we did see the ramifications of his last little visit.

Harrison Wells has been thrown into desperation mode to get his daughter back from Zoom, and has put his own end game into motion. That resulted in the return of Eobard Thawn, the Reverse Flash. He arrived in the current timeline while Harrison experimented on The Turtle. Arewe gearing up for a return of Harrison Wells as Reverse Flash? Is he gearing up to steal Zoom’s speed and Eobard’s body again, or does he simply plan to steal Eobard’s speed and suit and use it against Zoom and Barry?

Maybe  Flash, Reverse Flash and Zoom are all on a collision course, a super powered Mexican standoff to decide the victor of season 2, and the world we’ll be entering in season 3.

In Conclusion

“Potential Energy” was a great episode of The Flash and more than a worthy opener to bring us into the second half of Season 2. It was shaky in some parts as I discussed above, but that by no means makes the episode a bad one. In the end The Flash is almost always a joy to watch, and one of the television highlights of my week.

The Revenant Review

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Inspired by true events can mean, “At one point guys wore beards”

The Revenant

Inarritu, DiCaprio, & Canada

A Few Of My Favorite Things

Holy shit, this fucking movie.

I just got back from seeing The Revenant.  I went into this movie expecting to blown away, I mean Inarritu, Dicaprio, 1800’s frontier, Canada… These are all things that are fairly incredible by themselves, but thrown in together it’s a recipe for magic, and magic is just what I saw. If you are expecting a straight up revenge flick save your cash, because that’s not what you’re getting here. This movie is a study in many things. man vs man, man vs nature, revenge, love, hate and loneliness are all at play in this film. Let’s dig in.

Hugh Glass

No Relation To George

The film is the story of 19th Century explorer Hugh Glass, who during a trapping expedition was attacked by a bear, and let me be the first to tell you, the bear attack is gnarly. I can think of no better word to describe its sheer brutality. I enjoy when filmmakers set brutal violence against a beautiful back drop. The attack itself it so intense and raw that the viewers can practically feel the bear’s breath on them, and this is a true triumph for director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu. Violence elevated to sublimity.

The action pieces are truly wonderful. My personal favorite was the Native attack at the very beginning of the film. It was incredible. Throughout the entire film the action is handled deftly. Oh, and there is NO BEAR RAPE. Whoever started that rumor was one sick bastard.

I took a moment during a break in the action to look around the theater. Every time the bear uses its claws to rip Glass’s skin to ribbons, the audience grimaced a little bit. I saw people with their jaws on the floor. One woman had her arms crossed, and was hugging herself while her maw hung open in disbelief. The girl who I saw the movie with was sitting with her hand over her face in animal terror. Her demeanor would change by the end of he movie when she began to gleefully guffaw during a gory fight scene, little psychopath. I was snapped back into the movie when the bear continued it’s onslaught of claws and jaws, the film doesn’t let you breathe for too long.

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This is going to get ugly

Inarritu Made A Gorgeous Film

What stood out most to me about the movie was the incredible use of the landscape, and the cinematography.  Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu really used the environment to his advantage in this movie. As our characters get closer to civilization, Inarritu makes sure you see the landscape change to reflect that.  The inflexible wildness of the Rocky Mountains melt into vast prairies.

The film was mostly shot in Alberta, Canada, where I am from, and the film utilized some of my home’s best features to illustrate the story.  From the towering mountain peaks to the frozen rapids, the low prairies, and foothills,  Alberta is a mostly untouched landscape, and Inarritu really puts it on display in this film.  He puts the audience into this world.

Inarritu au Naturale

Inarritu only shot using natural light, meaning if the sun was right for a scene the actors and crew had to get that scene before the sun moved, or else try again the next day. It’s daring filmmaking like this that modern Hollywood is sorely lacking. Hopefully the success of The Revenant will rattle a few cages on the West Coast and give experimental and daring filmmakers a little more wiggle room. We don’t need anymore reboots. We need new ideas.

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It’s really pretty in summer guys I promise. Come visit. We need the tourists.

Just Like The Bear

This film  doesn’t so much jump out and grab you as it does slowly creep inside your mind, until you’re just  sucked into it. It somehow manages to make you feel cold, lonely and desperate right along with our protagonist.  Just like the bear, the movie grabs you and doesn’t let go.

Criticisms

Now that the praise is out of the way, there are a few negative points to be made about the movie. It is extremely long, (2 hours 36 minutes) and not the kind where you walk out and say, “it didn’t feel like it was that long.”  It feels like it was that long, but I don’t necessarily think that’s a bad thing.

We constantly see for lack of a better term Westerns like these that are action packed, running and gunning, for 2 hours. This is in no way, shape, or form, what it was like to live out on the frontier in the 1800’s. It was desolate and lonely, so I imagine there are very long stretches of time where one wouldn’t have any interaction with anybody, let alone get into 3 shootouts on the same day.  As such, the movie does crawl at points, but for me that just helped to drive home the point that Glass is really, and truly, alone. The movie wouldn’t hit as hard if he was running into people and doing important stuff every 10 minutes.

ACTING!

I can’t discuss this film without discussing the actors, and they were all around phenomenal. Leo DiCaprio was fantastic,which is no surprise as he usually is, but here he is a different kind of DiCaprio. He’s not only grizzled and desperate, but also the silent type. I think he may say less in this film than Tom Hardy did in Mad Max. I’m not sure but I bet it’s pretty close.

Speaking of Tom Hardy, he did a wonderful job as John Fitzgerald, our main antagonist and total dick, Tom Hardy played him slimy but at the same time emotionally and physically scarred. He played him as a man who has been deep in the shit, and this isn’t his first rodeo.

For me though one performance that stood out was Will Poulter as famed mountain man Jim Bridger, albeit a very young version of Bridger.  I really enjoyed his portrayal of Bridger as somebody who is brave, tries to do the right thing, but is young and scared.

I also found it incredible how much Bridger trips in this film. There’s a great scene where Bridger and Fitzgerald are dragging Glass to his shallow grave, before leaving him for dead. Bridger trips while dragging him then leaves him, and runs off, and there’s a close up of Glass’s face, and in the background you see Bridger run across the screen and trip again. It had me cracking up in my seat.

Great Movie. Oscar Material.

This was one of my favorite movies of the entire year. It’s an Oscar contender for sure. The Revenant is just a great experience. Everybody needs to see this movie, if not for the story, then the cinematography and scenery.

The Revenant is visceral and relentless. It hits you in the beginning and then keeps  hitting you over and over. Guys, I can’t stress it enough.  See this movie. The scenery is great, the cinematography is great, the story is great, and the performances are all top notch. All cylinders are firing in this movie, so go see it. See it on the big screen. It’s incredible and definitely worth the price of admission. Bring a friend, bring a date (ok maybe not a date), bring whoever, or go alone, just get your ass to the theater and see the movie, and take it all in, you won’t regret it, and if you do I’ll fully take the blame.

Z Nation Hits its Stride

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Season 2 Is Fun

SyFy Starts Getting it Right

I watched Z Nation mainly because I love zombies, like millions of other folk.  The first season was … just terrible. It tried to be somber and serious with “I give you mercy” and the like. Things like killing zombies with the Liberty Bell seemed stupid, rather than purposely cheesy, because of the incongruity with the serious tone.

When they repeated the joke with a giant cheese wheel, in season two, it worked. See?

zombies rolling cheese wheel

That’s just ridiculous, but now that’s the point.

No more. Season 2 dumped all the pretense of seriousness, and just went the Evil Dead route. That was the best decision they could have made. SyFy typically churns out utter crap. They’re the Little Debbie of networks. That’s ok. Nutty Bars are fucking awesome, but they’re made to be eaten alone, in one’s room, all at once, in one marathon of self harm and loathing.

Z Nation is junk food but they embrace it. That makes it so much better. I enjoy it now. I laugh at the absurdity, and it’s obvious that the show does as well. That goes a long way toward making a show enjoyable to watch.

Season Finale Next Week

I really enjoyed last night’s episode (the penultimate for this season). It was everyone’s “origin” story. Nice, short, and to the point. I liked it. Doc’s was (of course) silly, but showed his native altruism. Addy kills her hockey team’s best forward (that was great), and everyone else pretty much is what you expect. The best one, imo, was Citizen Z. He’s in prison for an Edward Snowden kind of whistleblower/hacker thing, and the NSA offers him a deal.
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Zombies. It’s as simple as that. Z Nation. Z is for Zombies.

You’re the Worst Is The Best

you're the worst great comedy

Sex, Drugs, and Hip Hop

You’re the Worst.

Thoughts On Season 2

Ah, You’re The Worst. I watched you one day out of sheer boredom, and you turned out to be one of the best shows on my long list of shows. Season 2 has just wrapped up an extremely strong season. We had character growth without losing the bastard factor.

When the show first started it was about cynical dicks being cynical dicks and interacting with other cynical dicks. The second season really pushed it to a new level.

I’ve heard the opinion that Gretchen’s clinical depression is a way to pander to young high school age girls who think their problems matter and believe that mental health issues is a way to make them seem interesting, a sentiment shared by our sweet friend and my co author Mark (Mark here. I never said that. I said it was stupid to humanize assholes on a show about assholes). (Dale again, He totally said that)

Feeeeelings

I don’t believe that Gretchen’s clinical depression was mere pandering. There is no way people can possibly be as shitty as Gretchen and Jimmy without some deep underlying issues. Where this season really triumphed was not in showing Gretchen sinking faster than a bowling ball, but showing how she was handcuffed to Jimmy and he was drowning too.

He tried so hard to understand what Gretchen was going through, but was completely unable to understand. Granted, Gretchen did eventually become annoying and her depression began to weigh on the show. I believe this was done on purpose to put the viewer in Jimmy’s position. Mark believes this was a bit heavy handed, and led to a couple of dud episodes.

Depression > PTSD?

One thing that annoyed me was Edgar’s PTSD. It predates Gretchen’s depression and it seems odd to not deal with that before springing more mental illness on us.  It’s has been a source of laughter and was swept under the rug in favor of Gretchen. Mark sees this as evidence of pandering to 20/30 something yearning for love and meaning. A pillow fort and company is all it takes? Welcome back Gretch, we missed you more than you can know. Hopefully in season 3 we’ll truly tackle  Edgar’s issues and the deep inner pain he must constantly struggle with. Edgar deserves peace too. Plus he’s not an asshole.

Slow Burn

The season was a slow burn, Gretchen felt off from the beginning, and that all culminated in her sneaking out of Jimmy’s house with her burner phone in the middle of the night. We all automatically thought she was cheating, but in the end she was simply driving to a spot she liked and crying alone in her car. After that it was all a slow motion train wreck. One thing about this season that rings true to the character is the moment Jimmy begins to flirt with the bartender Nina, and the viewer couldn’t blame him, Gretchen wouldn’t give him an inch. Remember? Assholes.

Nina and Jimmy at the bar foot fetish

For an incredibly douchey and average looking Brit, Jimmy gets some top shelf women

Resolution

The finale was in my opinion the strongest episode of the series to date, everything seemed to come full circle. Gretchen wasn’t completely her old self again but she had made a giant leap towards becoming the Gretch we know and love. It also puts all the key characters in the same place, literally and figuratively. Like the season 1 finale, there’s another party at Becca and Vernon’s house, and again it turns into a disaster. Thanks  in no small part to Vernon’s special trash juice.

The wonderful thing about the finale was found in the final moments. Everybody seems to be relatively good, and by relatively good I mean not completely shitty place. It mirrored real life. When it rains it pours but for the most part when the storms have cleared  they’re all still standing. Some barely, but still standing.