Saturday, June 27, 2015

Wisdom from a Muse

Wisdom from a Muse


Anthony Labson

Tell her about her hair.

The way she waves it

As she turns her head

And looks at you with her eyes.

The way she uses them

To burn a hole through your heart

and tell her how there’s only one way

to get it started.

To feel the touch of her lips.

So full and luscious

And the thought of them touching your skin

sends a paralyzing chill up your spine.  

A spine you would use to defend her

even if it cost you your own life.

Never allowing it to break in half

even if it was the weight of the world,

the world that is nothing without her.

The only reason that you live

Is because you know she’ll be there

and seeing her by your side

makes the world a jewel in the universe.

Oh wait a minute,

You’re just in the friend zone?

Move on and find someone else.

These words are too good for her.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Proud Supporter of Marriage Equality. Poem Dedicated to a Friend.

The Deviant (Edited)
by Anthony Labson

If God forgives killers, rapists,
and all forms of evil,
why is being what I am
a one way ticket to hell?

I have a common name
you would give to any other child.
Yet you look at me like my name should be
Hitler, Bundy, or Dahmer.

If God is my judge, jury, and executioner,
if his judgment is the only one that matters,
then who are you
to tell me where I’m going when I’m gone?

To say I will burn for eternity
in a constant lake of fire.
Compared to the pain I’ve suffered from you,
the lake of fire sounds like a blessing.

You say my culture is evil,
yet you’ve never experienced my culture.
You’re like a blind man,
speaking about violence in television.

Where do you get the nerve
to talk trash about the way that I live?
The way you talk trash about our culture
is like how a child doesn’t want to eat spinach.

Without even touching it,
you see something that looks disgusting.
Even though it can make you a strong person,
you still turn it away and you hate it
because of how it looks.

If Jesus says love your enemies as well as your friends,
then why do you harass me?
You insult me with words
and hit me with your fists.

Your souls must be dried up
because I’ve been surrounded by mountains of salt.

All because you don’t know me.
You only know that I love something you don’t.
I’ve done nothing wrong except being me,
And, what hurts the most is, you’ll never change.

You’re completely dead from head to toe.
You can make a quadriplegic feel grateful.
For that I will always pray and yet pity you
and this is the reason why.

You live by the book,
always fearful of the very word damnation.
But, in reality, you’ve hardly ever paid attention
to the simple meaning of life:
“To live and let live.”

You judge me because you want to be God yourself.
Who the hell are you to be telling me how to live
and how to act with my life when you’re as mortal as me?
Maybe it’s you that should be named Hitler.

You’re being more of a heretic
than I ever could be.

You hurt me with your words
because your being so devoted.
Have you’ve ever listened to the word?
Deaf men look at you and think God made you
as a joke to make them feel better.

You beat me with your fists
because you’re getting tired of beating your wife.
who only wishes that she could be just as happy as me.
Since she’s stayed with you so long,
this shows that she has bigger balls than you.

You can’t love me like other enemies
because I’m not your enemy.
I’m something you want to be:
a person.

So I will go on ignoring you.
What happens to me when I die
I will leave that up to God,
the creator of you and I.

(Excerpt from my book Madness in a Recession).

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Batman Arkham Knight Review

Rocksteady Studio’s final installment of the Arkham series, Batman: Arkham Knight has finally been released after a much anticipated year and a half. The studio finally decided to put an end to the series in a sizable fashion years after the release of Batman: Arkham Asylum, arguably the highest rated game featuring a superhero since Spiderman 2. Virtually everyone is coming back for one last shot at the bat after nine months without crime due to the finale of Batman: Arkham City. The game is nothing short of amazing visually and stays true to the darkness of Batman’s world. There will be moments that will shock you and moments that will leave you asking, “Did that really just happen?”

After a credible threat made by Scarecrow, Gotham is forced to evacuate which leaves the city wide open for the appearance of several notable villains. With Commissioner Gordon and his police force out manned and out gunned, Batman returns to find Scarecrow before he can carry out his threat. The fighting style is still the same so if you’ve played any of the previous games then you won’t have a problem. There are new functions that have forced Rocksteady to change the command codes such as using detective mode, establishing crime scenes, using gadgets and calling for the Batmobile. The first 20 minutes like every other game is pure tutorial so you’ll be taught along the way.

As far as the Batmobile goes, this provides an alternate means of traveling around Arkham City and parts of Gotham. While it looks cool and is arguably a fan favorite among Batman’s toys, the controlling systems is complicated due to different patterns when you’re switching between driving and battle mode. If you’re the gamer that wants to get somewhere quickly then just stick to gliding. Plus when you’re driving it’s hard to pick up on crimes in progress so that’s another reason why gliding is a better option. Don’t ignore it completely because there will be missions where you’ll be dependent on it to progress in the game.

Of course The Riddler’s riddles were coming back which everyone who has played an Arkham game knew was going to happen, the amount of riddles is about the same as Arkham City. Other missions will include legions of foot soldiers for the gamer to beat on using various new gadgets and techniques. The main mission will force Batman to call upon his most trusted allies in order to stop the city from tearing itself apart. The game is a vast open world full of events going on that will drain hours out of your life but the deeper you go into the story, the darker things will become that will lead to Batman’s ultimate fate.

In the end, nothing will ever be the same again for Gotham and it’s a tearful goodbye between Rocksteady and fans of their work with the dark knight. After the game is finished, the game comes with several online challenges and after story activities that keep the gamers playing. Strong DLCs include story packs featuring the lonely Harley Quinn and the anti-hero The Red Hood but my favorite part of these games is the various suits including Batman Beyond, The Dark Knight Returns, Adam West, and several others. This game is a 9.5 out of 10 simply due to complex control system but beyond that, everything is awesome. Congratulations to Rocksteady Studios for their incredible work and I anxiously look forward to their next project. 

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Business is Booming for Jurassic World

Congratulations to the 4th installment of the Jurassic Park franchise Jurassic World earning over 200 million dollars domestically here in the U.S. and over 300 million world-wide. It’s been the biggest opening for the franchise since the release of Jurassic Park back in 1993. Another reason to congratulate the franchise is because from the film is just as good as the first one with a fresh batch of brand new characters that separate this film from the first. While the other films have relied on former stars returning to give it appeal, this next installment features a new line-up of fresh faces. The professional and comical experience of Chris Pratt who is hot off the release of his last film Guardians of the Galaxy, Bryce Dallas Howard from The Help and Vincent D’Onofrio of Daredevil and Law and Order: Criminal Intent.

This film is set after the events after the first two films and before the third film, so it’s a prequel is a sense to what happened on the island of Isla Nublar before it went to hell. With the Jurassic franchise now under new ownership, Jurassic world has become a massive amusement park with a population of 22,000 visitors. When revenues start to decline, Claire (Howard) comes to the realization that the answer to bringing people back is a new attraction. So plans are set to create a new dinosaur that is genetically modified to be bigger and scarier, in other words more deadly. In the end they created the gigantic Indominus Rex.

Of course keeping with the same plot of the series, when mankind thinks that we have control over creatures and nature, we’re reminded of how small we are. Raptor trainer Owen (Pratt) is called in to give advice on the dinosaur and of course he’s already against it when he hears it’s genetically modified. When it escapes, efforts are made to stop the creature but it becomes clear that this isn’t a mere dinosaur. With the Indominus Rex still on the loose and the island on high alert, Owen is asked by Claire to help find her nephews who are lost in the park. With the dinosaur loose, the company repeatedly continues attempts to stop the creature but eventually fail and it leads to dinosaurs wreaking havoc on the park.

In the background, Hoskins (D’Onofrio) works to take advantage of the situation and show how dinosaurs can be used as weapons instead of tourist attractions. So he develops a plan to use the raptors to hunt down the Indominus Rex and while Owen is against the idea, he cares too much for his raptors to let them go alone. As the hunt continues, secrets are revealed that prove that there are times when even human beings can be more dangerous than the dinosaurs they created. This film was a fantastic roller coaster ride that carried brought in a lot of memorable items from the first movie. Items such as the cartoon “Mr. DNA,” the classic shirts, Jurassic Park Jeeps, and the night vision goggles.

For a franchise that’s over 20 years old, this was a much needed fresh start and it’s no surprise that a sequel has already been announced. There was plenty of comedy and action that kept people entertained and a welcomed applause when a certain dinosaur finally came out into the movie. If you’re looking for a good summer movie then this would have to be it because quite frankly, most people the franchise was dead after the third film. So this movie needed to be good in order to save it and not only did it save the franchise but reignited people’s interest in dinosaurs. Really looking forward to this sequel as I give this film a 9 out of 10 solely because it’s using an old message but with a new story and fresh characters.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Season 3 is more Black than Orange

Netflix released the third season of their arguably most popular series Orange is the New Black last Thursday. It was an early release so I had an extra day to hurry up, relax and enjoy the ongoing adventures of Piper and her mischief inmates. While the show has been known to carry an equal amount of drama and comedy, this season seems to have been more dramatic than the rest. Armed with new backstories and characters making their debut appearance, this season started off where the last one left us some time after the death of last season’s antagonist Vee. By the end of this season, a lot of questions will be answered and we will be losing people that have been there since the beginning.  

For those of you who don’t have Netflix or have never heard of the show, the main character is Piper Chapman played by Taylor Schilling who is imprisoned because of drug offenses. Since the show blew up in 2013, audiences have fell in love with the ongoing drama that goes on inside a woman’s prison now ran by Joe Caputo.  It holds a resemblance of the old HBO hit series OZ with the difference obviously being gender. Just like in a prison, there are different groups that hang out in their own sections and each have a different offense. With every episode, you learn the backstory of someone inside that prison and it somehow always interlocks with the episode playing.

Unlike most shows where there is usually one or two breakout stars, this show a spawned a whole cast where virtually everyone is a main character. While most of these thespians are virtually unknown there are familiar faces that come to light like Piper’s love interest Alex Vause, played by Laura Prepon known for her role as Donna on That 70s Show. The other is the mother like character of the prison known as “Red” played by Kate Mulgrew, former captain of the starship Voyager in Star Trek Voyager. American Pie cast members Natasha Lyonne and Jason Biggs have their own storyline but Jason Biggs storyline ended last season and didn’t return for the third. Doesn’t really matter considering there were new faces to look at this season.

The season starts off with Alex returning to prison after braking her parole and Red returning after being viciously attacked by Vee. Now fearing for her life after testifying against her drug supplier, Alex becomes paranoid as she believes a new inmate is sent to kill her played by notable actress Lori Petty (A League of Their Own, Free Willy, Point Break). Caputo is struggling to maintain control of the prison after it’s bought by a corporation and things take a dark turn for the inmates. This turn of events will cause veteran cast members to be removed from the show in various ways which I won’t spoil, you’ll have to watch. If I could spoil one thing, the hardest thing for me to watch was a rape scene on an inmate, committed by a new guard.

The only one who seems to profit from the misery is Piper who takes on a new enterprise in the midst of the changes while handing a love triangle between her, Alex and a new inmate played by Ruby Rose. She eventually comes into her own as a ‘boss’ in the prison and develops a reputation that makes her a name among the inmates. The ending no doubt foreshadows a dark fate for Alex, a new beginning for the veteran inmates and a new batch of backstories that will keep the series fresh. It’s been a dark season this year for the show, I know things are dark in a prison but there are times when the light shines and it did this season. Those moments however felt like they were few and far in between.

Orange is the New Black is arguably Netflix’s most popular show right next to House of Cards and the newly released Daredevil. Every series has its season where it seems weak and while I wouldn’t say this season was weak, it definitely felt like it could’ve been better. Piper is hot one minute and then turns cold, Red has control of the kitchen but not the way she wanted, and Dayanara has the baby only for something to happen. This season was good but it took a turn that caught people off guard and many weren’t prepared for considering the tone of the last two seasons. We’ll see what happens next year but if the ending of this season showed anything, it’s that there’s light past the fence. 

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Boondock Saints Coming to Television

For anyone that is a vigilante nut like myself, if you’re going to love a group of vigilantes then you have to be a fan of the Boondock Saints. The cult classic movie about Connor and Murphy MacManus, two Irish brothers from Boston that came out in the late 90s and tore the criminal underworld apart. While a lot of vigilante movies usually start off with the protagonist being wronged like Charles Bronson in Death Wish, the saints get into the business simply because they believe they’re on a mission from God. While the message of religion may say the opposite of what the saints do, people can’t deny that their faith gives them a strong appeal and their signature stance and prayer is pretty damn cool.

While the movies haven’t been a financial success, critically the films have created a legion of die-hard fans that are anxiously awaiting the third installment. I’ve had the pleasure to meet Sean Patrick Flanery at Mega-Con in Orlando and he has confirmed that there is a script but unfortunately, he believes nothing will happen. Fortunately this week, it was announced that Troy Duffy who wrote and directed both movies is working on a prequel series thanks to the rights being acquired by IM Global Television. Now there has been confusion about what exactly the show will be a prequel of, some came under suspicion it was a prequel to the second film Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day. That it was going to be a show about the brothers tearing up Boston and destroying the criminal underground only to eventually retire to Ireland.

This rumor is false and the truth is it’s actually a prequel to the first film so nobody really has an idea of where the story is going to go from here. Another confirmation is that Troy Duffy has written the first episode and will direct it but only the first episode. He’ll remain on as an executive producer and the famous duo Sean Patrick Flanery and Norman Reedus are in talks to be producers as well. Now it’s a prequel so I don’t expect to see either of these guys in the show but it would be cool to see a cameo. Whether or not we’ll see such famous characters like Rocco or Special Agent Paul Smecker is still unclear.

The only thing that is clear is that this is an origin story much like CW’s Gotham is an origin to Batman before all the cool gadgets and ninja training. This series will be before all the righteous killing of the Boston crime families so sadly, no signature poses or awesome final prayer. While this may not be the news that many fans wanted to hear, if social media is proving one thing it’s any taste of the Boondock Saints is enough. Despite the limited releases in theaters and the low budgeting, the saints have remained a strong force in entertainment since its release in 1999. When I went to meet Sean, David Della Rocco and Clifton Collins Jr (Romeo from Boondock Saints II) at Mega-Con, there’s no denying that the following is only expanding.

The one question now is that if it’s a prequel, how will it stay true to the tone and theme that the saints provide? Will the television rating system have any impact to how far the show can go? Will it suck is basically what everyone is worried about since it’s a prequel. I don’t know and frankly it doesn’t matter because it’s way too early to form any kind of opinion on the matter. What fans should be grateful for is that if a third movie isn’t going to happen then a television series should be more than enough for now. Hopefully this series will push a third movie into production because at Mega-Con, it’s all anyone could talk about and I’m pretty sure that Sean, Rocco, Clifton and Norman are tired of repeating themselves. Stay tuned, say a special prayer because the saints are coming back and thank you to all involved for making the series possible in the first place.