Thursday, December 28, 2017

Goodbye Peter Capaldi

It’s over fellow Whovians. Peter Capaldi’s reign as the 12th doctor has come to an end and the era of Jodie Whittaker is ready to debut in 2018. Peter Capaldi has passed on the torch years after his debut with the episode Deep Breath, leaving in spectacular fashion. When Peter Capaldi was selected to be the new doctor, fans were divided, but now they can’t seem to imagine what the series will be like without him. Peter Capaldi brought a unique style to the famous British icon that Whovians connected with immediately. Twice Upon a Time was truly a bittersweet goodbye that was a pleasure to see in theaters.

I didn’t see the Christmas Special until I saw in at the Regal near me, so you can only imagine how hard it was to avoid spoilers. Peter Capaldi was chosen to fill the shoes of his predecessor, Matt Smith, which left fans mixed for several reasons. The first reason is the age difference; the past three doctors have been young, attractive, and portrayed witty humor. The kind of person you wouldn’t mind having a beer with and proud to call your best friend. Peter Capaldi’s doctor was more serious and gave off more a serious but compassionate protector.

Just like this Doctor, the stories for Peter Capaldi came off darker than any other seasons, but was also groundbreaking that would pave the way for Jodie Whittaker. Groundbreaking in the name of Michelle Gomez who would take up the mantel of the doctor’s worst enemy, The Master. Many fans didn’t understand how come the show decided to change the gender of The Master, but ultimately, she was accepted by a many Whovians. As Peter Capaldi’s time was coming, many people wondered if it was possible that The Doctor would change gender, then the obvious happened. Some see it as a fantastic opportunity, others see it as a way of pushing a political agenda, and other simply just don’t want a female doctor.

So how did she look in the Christmas Special and did it do Peter Capaldi Justice? Twice Upon a Time introduced a unique story that involved the first doctor, once played by the famous William Hartnell and now played by David Bradley (Game of Thrones). Bradley was great both as the character and looking like the first doctor. The story itself was kind of a let down because I was expecting some grand send off by fighting an enemy one last time, but it didn’t turn out that way. The only time that I couldn’t take my eyes off the screen was when it was time to regenerate and hear Peter’s last words.

It was poetic, heartbreaking, and enough to make you wish that this wasn’t the end. The Doctor is known for not liking the end because you have to say goodbye and this time, I understand. When Jodie Whittaker appeared, some still showed signs of criticism, but a majority were willing to give it a try. The cliffhanger definitely teased a new Tardis and I love her look because it almost feels similar to Tom Baker, so I’m looking forward to seeing her debut in 2018. To those of you who say you’ll never watch Doctor Who again after Peter Capaldi, take his advice and be kind. 

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Netflix Does Frank Castle Justice

The Punisher is arguably Marvel’s darkest, yet most attractive anti-hero. For those of you that don’t know, The Punisher is a comic based around Frank Castle. The ex-marine turned vigilante following the massacre of his family that immediately caught the interest of Marvel readers. After appearing in an issue of The Amazing Spider-Man back in 1974, fans were instantly draw to the brutal world of the man who would bring a one-man war to the criminal world. A war where he takes no prisoners and the only mercy he gives is a quick death.

Frank Castle’s rise to popularity has been slow considering the numerous failed attempts to bring him into the public eye. The first attempt was in 1989 with a film starring action star Dolph Lundgren that failed miserably both critically and financially. The second time would be in 2004 staring Thomas Jane, and it was more acceptable to fans, but still lacking financial success. The final blow came in 2008 with Punisher: War Zone, starring Ray Stevenson, and that’s when Marvel threw in the towel for good reason.

Many thought they had seen the last of a live action punisher until the success of Daredevil, another anti-hero of Marvel that was produced into a series by Netflix. When it was time for season two, many fans rejoiced when they heard that Frank Castle would take part and he was being played by Jon Bernthal. Fans widely accepted the new punisher with open arms and a spin-off staring Bernthal was inevitable. The question is, did the Netflix series succeed where three films failed? The answer is a bloody, broken yes!

The Punisher takes off sometime after the season two events of Daredevil and Frank Castle has gone into hiding after getting justice for his family. Much like any soldier coming home, Frank is having a hard time adjusting to a quiet civilian lifestyle. Frank soon finds that the war he left behind didn’t just come back to haunt him, but also shed more light about the massacre of his family. With the help of a friend, Frank once again finds he must fight this war that never ended if he wants to put it behind him and put certain dreams to rest. It’s arguably Netflix’s bloodiest show that punisher fans would expect from their favorite anti-hero.

The show starts off with a bang but then slowly drags in a few episodes as it heads towards the finale. Once you hit two thirds of the way, the action really picks up and that’s when you want to start the binge watching. Jon Bernthal delivered once again, by bringing the methodical, brutal savagery of Frank Castle. What I love the most about the series is that it took the time to show the mental torment that Frank experiences as he attempts to find a reason to live. Fans will not be disappointed by this show, but they might be bored midway through.

There are several antagonists in this series that make it a mess for a few episodes, but the main antagonist is Billy Russo, played by Ben Barnes. Billy is someone who has a history with Frank Castle. If fans don’t recognize who Billy is, then I promise you that you will at the finale when you see the Easter egg. There’s also an appearance by fan favorite out of Daredevil, Deborah Ann Woll, who plays Karen, a former assistant turned reporter. The show also expresses certain political issues such as gun control and the treatment of soldiers returning home from war.

There was a lot riding on this show and fans were waiting patiently to see this in October, but because of the massacre that occurred in Las Vegas, it was pushed back a month. It’s been a long history of failures for this Marvel character; almost as horrible as the Fantastic Four franchise owned by Fox. Thanks to Netflix and great story telling, Frank Castle has gotten the treatment he deserves and fans can’t be more grateful. It’s a long but brutal, dark and deep story that grabs your attention and for that I give this series nine out of ten stars. The Punisher is a must see for anyone who is a fan of the character or Marvel in general, because this series does Frank Castle justice. 

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving everyone. Eat well, enjoy the holiday, and be safe if you're going out for Black Friday shopping.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Justice League Review

Warner Bros. and DC Comics have once again managed to produce a film that fans love and critics love to hate. Justice League has finally come after the success of its predecessor, Wonder Woman, and it delivers a punch, but not as powerful. Some saw the debut of the amazon as the turning point for their cinematic universe, but I’m afraid the league still has a few kinks to work out. This film was not as good as Wonder Woman, but I will say this film was a vast improvement from Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Justice League is a fun, action packed film that fans of DC comics will enjoy and seems to be a step in the right direction.

The movie is mostly centered around Batman, but the focus of the film was on Superman and how the world fell into chaos after his death. So, instead of an invincible alien, Batman and Wonder Woman decide to recruit Flash, Cyborg, and Aquaman to fight an incoming threat. A threat with unmatched power that convinces Batman to take an unexpected risk to bring back Superman and solidify the league. It’s a mission that brings everyone together and creates a powerful, but chaotic bond which happens rather quickly. In the end, there was laughter and applause at the end of the film.

Justice League is probably the most comedic film DC has produced, but still manages to keep its dark tone in certain scenes. The best comedy came in the form of Ezra Miller, who plays the Flash, and arguably steals the show. Seeing Flash run and go through the speed force is one of the coolest moments in the film. Ezra brings a witty and almost nerdish feel to the team that entertains the audience every time he’s on screen. Another debut is Jason Momoa as Aquaman and Ray Fisher as Cyborg.

I loved the warrior look of Jason Momoa and he his performance was great, but Ray Fisher’s performance is blocked by bad CGI that could’ve been done better in my opinion. The other victim of bad CGI was the main villain, Steppenwolf. He was an ok choice to be the main antagonist, but I’m sure DC fans would’ve rather it had been Darkseid, a popular DC villain hellbent on destroying Superman and Earth. My guess is that DC is saving him for hopefully another film. It’s a good action movie that all about what’s happening, but lacks the support beams that explains why it’s happening.

The story overall was decent, but it could’ve been way better if it was longer. For a story that involves so many iconic heroes, you don’t see much of their lives outside of their uniforms. There’s little time to know the characters or see their homes like Atlantis or Central City. I’m guessing that DC will probably come out with an extended cut on Blu-ray like they did with Suicide Squad and Dawn of Justice. This has always been the handicap with films from DC and why they are trailing behind their competition, Marvel Studios.

DC and Warner Bros. make films with the expectation of the audience to already know the characters and their backgrounds. That’s an alright tactic for the fans, but that creates problems for the general audience who may not have in depth knowledge of each character. If they don’t start giving characters proper time to connect with the audience, then critics will keep bashing their movies every time.

Warner Bros. and DC have had a bad run as of late with their films when Zack Snyder was chosen to direct Superman in Man of Steel. That started this issue of dividing fans and critics as the films kept rolling out. Things hit their lowest when the sequel, Dawn of Justice, came out and began to cast doubt on whether to pull the plug or not. Then there was another bomb with Suicide Squad, but then the princess of the amazons came and the rest is history. Luckily DC’s cinematic universe survived long enough to get to this point, but it’s not for lack of unfortunate events that began to worry DC Comics and its fans.

Rumors started to speculate on whether Ben Affleck was leaving Batman behind due to internal struggles with DC. So far, he’s still onboard with the upcoming solo film The Batman, but things could change. The biggest hit was the announcement that Zack Snyder was leaving production early due to a death in the family. Joss Whedon would take over the rest of way; this lead to various reshoots and cuts that began to raise eyebrows. The change in directors midway turned out to be a blessing because Whedon mixed Snyder’s direction with a bit of what Whedon did with Marvel to bring lighter tones to the film.

My heart wants to give this film a perfect ten as a fan of superheroes, but it gets a seven from a neutral point of view. Justice League could be a step in the right direction if it becomes a success financially, but fans are skeptical with good reason. It’s worth your time if you like superheroes, a fan of action movies and know a little about each character. If you only know who the characters are and not their backgrounds, then you’re going to be lost quick. Hoping for the best; because judging from the two post credits, there’s good things on the horizon if Justice League is successful. 

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Thor: God of Thunder

When it comes to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Thor is probably my least favorable character. The past two films have been visually appealing, but lacking in some areas that keeps this hero dragging next to Iron Man and Captain America. That isn’t the case with the third film in this franchise, Thor: Ragnarok. This film took a more drastic turn in order to keep up with other Marvel characters with director Taika Waititi making this a more comedic action film. All of Thor’s previous movies have been action mixed with drama, and some believe that’s what’s been dragging the god of thunder down.

Thor, played by Chris Hemsworth, has always seemed like a lost character who was always outshined his arch nemesis, Loki, played by Tom Hiddleston. Now things have come full circle as the legendary tale of Ragnarok has arrived. In Norse mythology, Ragnarok is basically the Vikings vision of Armageddon that includes a Midgard serpent that devours the world. Then a fire giant named Surtur will destroy Asgard, the home of the Viking gods. In the film, Ragnarok mostly focuses on the fall of Asgard and the death of the gods.

As the Ragnarok on the rise, Thor must realize his place amongst his people and lead them before the Asgard burns to the ground. Things don’t get any easier for Thor when he realizes a terrible family secret that brings the goddess of death, Hela, at his door. After proving to be no match for her, Thor is exiled to another world and must find his way back before it’s too late. Cate Blanchett, who plays Hela, did an excellent job portraying one of the most dangerous villains in the Marvel Universe. Taika Waititi did her justice by portraying the dark character, but showing a decent backstory to explain her motives.

The film was funny in some areas and the action made the two hours fly, but that’s where one problem reveals itself. Events were happening so fast that it was hard to digest what had just happened with certain characters. The other problem I had with the film was Grandmaster, leader of Sakaar and played by Jeff Goldblum. Sakaar is a savage planet that has significance to Hulk, but that’s a story for another time. The Grandmaster is more annoying than comedic, and could’ve done better if he appeared more serious instead of acting like the creepy uncle.

Thor has more character development in this film than any film before and it’s appropriate considering the stakes. The only problem is some fans of the god of thunder may have a problem with how this series concludes. I was shocked by certain events that took place and I had to wait till after the movie was done to finally digest what happened. Overall, I’m happy with the direction that the film took with the character and this is probably my favorite Thor film out of the three.

I can’t guarantee that some fans of Thor will feel the same because I can guarantee that Thor will never be the same after this film. Making this a film a comedy was probably the best thing that Taika Waititi could’ve done for the franchise and the audience I was with were entertained. This film would’ve been perfect if it was just a little bit longer to give the audience time to digest the events and Grandmaster was redesigned to look more like a world conqueror. This film gets an eight out of ten and there is a mid-credit scene and a post credit scene after the film. Thor will return for the highly anticipated Avengers: Infinity Wars and it’ll be interesting to see how everyone reacts to the god of thunder.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Kingsman: The Golden Sequel

Kingsman: The Secret Service went from being an unknown film to a global phenomenon after its release back in 2014. The film would be a big break for star Taron Egerton who plays the main character of the film, Eggsy, and the femme fatale, Sofia Boutella. The overall success of the film came from the fantastic story-telling and star power of actors such as Samuel Jackson, Michael Caine and Colin Firth. The film almost resembled the very elements that made the old Bond films such a success in its day. Spies that must save the world by using out of this world gadgets to survive unique death traps and get the girl in the end.

Kingsman: The Golden Circle delivers the same punch that made the first film a success, but with a special twist. This film takes off sometime after the events of the last film; the Kingsman have regrown after the events of Valentine and the loss of certain Kingsman. Eggsy has moved up and become one of the best agents in the service, but his personal life is beginning to suffer. It only gets worse when an attack cripples the Kingsman and events lead them to find allies from across the seas. It’s an action-packed story full of new gadgets and action sequences that make this two and a half hour film feel shorter.

The story is nothing new; there’s an outlandish plot that threatens the lives of millions and Eggsy is now on a mission to save them all and get the girl. Taron Egerton performed as well as expected by being both comedian and action star. Colin Firth makes a surprising return as Eggsy’s father figure and mentor, Harry. Colin comes off almost like an English Nick Fury, but without the loud voice and the harsh leadership. The best addition to the Kingsman franchise is the main antagonist, played by Hollywood icon, Julianne Moore.

While it first comes off as corny, she immediately turns into the pharmacist from hell with a sadistic plot and disturbing sense of nostalgia. There are other additions such as Jeff Bridges and Channing Tatum; their parts were short, but sweet. Halle Berry makes a surprise entrance in the film as her organization’s lead analyst and technical support. There’s other surprises in store for the audience and we’ll leave it at that. Kingsman: The Golden Circle is the perfect fall movie that’s guaranteed to end the month with a profitable outcome.

This film gets a nine out of 10, because this film gives fans of the original everything they loved about the first one. Julianne Moore was a fantastic villain and the action is a fast-paced thriller that makes the film feel shorter. However, I don’t think there needed to be so many high-priced actors in roles that could’ve been done by others, but it could be used to make a spinoff or use for another sequel. Plus, there were some moments in the film that felt dragged out and could’ve been cut from the final print. Kingsman: The Golden Circle is a spectacular film that lives up to what fans love about the first film and I can’t wait until the next film. 

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Destiny Reclaimed!

Bungie has come a long way since breaking away from Microsoft and their groundbreaking series, Halo. When they developed their new game Destiny back in 2014, it was clear that Bungie hadn’t lost its touch when it comes to creating a unique first person shooter experience. Destiny 2 delivers that same experience that will bring veterans deeper into the universe they’ve been accustomed with for three years. For people who are new to the Destiny universe, you may need to be brought up to speed, but that’s a minimal concern. This anticipated game delivers all the goods and goes beyond with new additions that better the gameplay.

For those who haven’t touched Destiny, here’s the quick rundown to help you understand this critique. Destiny revolves around a single guardian that can be one of three classes: Titan, Warlock and a Hunter. You can choose from various races and have options to choose other skin tones, facial scars, etc. Once you’ve selected, you’re brought to life by a machine called a Ghost that has the ability to resurrect you. This is because in the long future, mankind is brought to the brink of extinction until the arrival of an entity called The Traveler.

The Traveler brings it’s “Light” that brings forth a golden age until the light brings the attention of several threats. Three individuals known as the Vanguard, assemble a legion of protectors known as guardians to combat these threats.  I’ll end it there, so if you want to know more, then buy Destiny and it’ll only be a couple of bucks right now. This game takes off some time after the events of the expansion Age of Triumph and a new threat has brought the fight to the Vanguard’s front door. Ghaul, the leader of the Cabal empire which was introduced in the first game and has a deep understanding of the traveler.

The attack leaves the guardians without the ability to resurrect and it quickly cripples the Vanguard. This begins a new journey for your guardian to reclaim the light and retake the city that’s occupied by the Cabal. You’re taken to various worlds where you will reunite with old enemies that you may or may not like. The story is my favorite by far, next to The Taken King because it shows the guardians in a state never seen before. The ending of the game promises to close the door on some chapters and open a new one after the credits; that is something you don’t want to miss.

The game pays incredible attention to detail when it comes to the various planets and the villains you face both new and old. Water on one world looks more realistic, enemies have actual shields around them instead of just a glowing background, and the new powers are attractive. For veteran players who may not know, you have to beat the game in order to do the strikes, nightfall and crucible. My favorite feature about Destiny 2 is you don’t have to go to the tower every day to get new bounties because they’re posted automatically when you go to different worlds. I don’t have a high enough light level to play the nightfall which is 240, so I can’t comment on that.

Old enemies are given a makeover to look more realistic, especially if you have a Playstation Pro or Xbox One S and a 4k television. Engrams are easier to gain; Engrams are items that drop randomly from accomplishing missions and killing enemies. There’s different levels depending on the engram. It’s also a lot easier to go places both on a planet or switching to a new planet with the directory option. Bungie learned a lot from the flaws of the last game and has found a lot of ways to cut time, so gamers can keep playing. I can honestly say there’s nothing bad I found with the sequel to Bungie’s masterpiece.

I give this game a 9.5 out of 10 because of the lack of backstory for new gamers. Personally, this game is perfect in my opinion if you’re a fan of Destiny or first person shooters. The graphics are top notch, the gameplaying is faster, the missions are fun, the story is fantastic, and there’s much to look forward to in the future with D.L.C. expansions. If you’re a veteran, then you won’t be disappointed with the next chapter in Bungie’s Destiny Universe. If you’re a newbie, then buy this game and enjoy the experience that only Bungie can provide.  

Thursday, September 7, 2017

IT Floats!

This is coming from someone who is tired and frustrated from all the remakes and reboots. IT is by far the best remake of a horror movie since Texas Chainsaw Massacre back in 2003. This film succeeds in many areas that make it surpass the original that came out back in 1990 with acting icon, Tim Curry. IT is arguably one of Stephen King’s most famous novels and Tim Curry brought the infamous clown, Pennywise, to life with his performance. Some fans of the original became skeptical when Bill Skarsgard (Hemlock Groove) was selected to fill the freaky clown shoes.

IT is a novel about a group of individuals that are being haunted by a mysterious clown that terrifies their town and they must confront it. This film focuses on one part and that’s when the individuals were children in their “Losers Club.” As more and more children disappear, they set out to find out who it is and why it is specifically targeting them in their small town. They soon find that they must conquer their own fears before they can confront the demonic clown that is hell bent on making them the next meal. It’s a two hour and 15-minute film full of suspense that gives fans of the original their money’s worth.

The film also gains more momentum by using CGI to show more of the monster that Pennywise was, and giving more to his illusions to frighten the children. Pennywise outfit didn’t get me too excited, but it works well with this film. The illusions that the children suffered were more eerie and shocking than in the original. The main characters have good chemistry together, but the acting was lacking in one of the children for some scenes. I couldn’t say that I was scared because of the original and the novel, but the music and certain scenes gave me plenty to jump about and people were jumping in the theater.

IT isn’t like most horror films that rely solely on the blood, guts and gore. The use of silence, shock and suspense is key to this film’s success and the director did a good job fitting the music to the motion. The film touches on several issues that face children today like: bullying, isolation and child abuse. The film is left wide open at the end with the expectation that there will be a sequel and I anticipate there will be. This was a packed show and more than half of the audience were clapping when the title showed up at the end.

IT doesn’t fall prey to the disaster that was The Dark Tower, this film gives fans what they truly expect to see from something by Stephen King. This is a darker take of the famous novel that will take longer to tell, and we will see that in another film after the success of this one. I’m not expecting a major box office smash, but this film will do well for a few weeks. Congratulations to Bill Skarsgard for doing a good job with Pennywise and I’m sure Tim Curry would approve. IT gets a nine out of ten because I’m still not crazy about Pennywise’s look and the acting in some scenes, but this movie is well worth the price of admission. 

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Why Does a Rose Represent Love?


"A rose is supposed to be the representation of love. If that's true then why does a rose have thorns that cut you and why does it have to die." Amber, a friend of mine once asked me that a long time ago and it took me a long time to finally answer this question. It takes a long time because love is a very powerful marvel. I believe a simply "I love you" answers a lot of complicated questions. When there is a great truth to be discovered, then you must first experience this before you can see the truth. Here is why a rose represents love, but also has thorns and must die.

A rose represents love, but has thorns because like being in love, it must be handled carefully. You need to treat it with respect and be careful not to mishandle it. You can't be careless handling the one you hold just because there may be roses with less thorns. If you do then eventually, you will be cut and when that happens, you’re scarred for life. You will have a scar that will take a lifetime to heal and never go away, that cut will always remind you of your loss. That is why the rose has its thorns.

Now why does a rose die? That's the hardest part of the question, but I remembered everyone I ever loved and it came to me. A rose must die because love must be cherished. If love was eternal and always around then the inevitable outcome is that it would be taken for granted. Love should never be taken for granted. Like with people, roses must be loved while we have them because everything that is born must die, so we must appreciate the time we have with them. A rose is the perfect representation of love and these are my reasons why I believe so.

This is an excerpt from my novel, Faces of the Masses. Available now on Amazon.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

The Defenders

The Defenders has been anticipated ever since the success of Daredevil that premiered back in 2015. With the continued success of Jessica Jones and Luke Cage, it seemed that Iron Fist was going to foreshadow an epic saga. The tale of Danny Rand would turn out to be a stone around the neck of the fearsome foursome as Iron Fist was littered with flaws. Those flaws would carry over to the eight-episode season, but it wouldn’t damage the series too much. The Defenders first season was worthy of the hype, but it could’ve been better than what it was.
The show kicks off some time after the events of all four character seasons and some fans will be surprised by how some of the characters have moved on (spoiler alert). Matt Murdock has moved on without Foggy and has retired from being a vigilante to resume work as an attorney. Jessica Jones is still an angry, drunk private investigator who is trying to move on after killing her mind controlling stalker, Kilgrave. Luke Cage is freed thanks to certain help and finally gets the coffee that he’s been wanting for a while. Danny Rand, however, is continuing his fight against the hand and that’s what’s lead him back to New York.
 Each character has a sub story that would eventually lead them together and force them to work together to bring down The Hand, an organization that’s been a problem from the start. Things don’t go smoothly for several factors both externally and internally with the four heroes thanks to the leader of the Hand, Alexandra Reid (Sigourney Weaver). It’s a roller coaster ride that takes off after the third episode with great choreographed fights and a story that delivers plenty of twists and turns. The few problems that I have are mostly with the characters Matt Murdock and Danny Rand.
As mentioned, Matt Murdock has retired from being a vigilante but there wasn’t any real explanation given for leaving the mask locked up. It takes forever for him to finally put the suit back on and when he does, that’s when things picked up. To be honest, the first three episodes are boring, but that’s mostly because the story is setting up. Danny Rand’s dialogue was repetitive to the point it makes you want to fast forward his parts. Most of the time, he’s reminding everyone who he is, what his mission is and why he must complete his mission.
Most of the series focused on Iron Fist and it might be the last we see of this character in Netflix’s plans for the Marvel characters. The ending of this series closes a lot of doors related to his story the most, so it might be implied that Marvel and Netflix are moving on from this character because of the lousy reviews from fans and critics. Time will tell if Iron Fist survives, but right now Marvel and Netflix will be releasing The Punisher later this year. Fans of the famous anti-hero are chomping at the bits to see Jon Bernthal reprise the role. Jessica Jones will return for her own season, Luke Cage is starting production and Daredevil will begin filming soon.

The Defenders gets a 7.5 out of 10, it was a great show, but it could’ve been better by having more episodes. The fact that it’s only eight episodes and not 10 or 12 is a bummer, but the series is still worth watching; even if it starts off slow. The chemistry is spot on with the main characters, Sigourney Weaver plays a great antagonist, and the series brings closure to everyone. This will allow for a fresh start to everyone’s solo season and it’ll be interesting to see what happens with Daredevil in particular after the end of this series. If you want to know what I’m talking about, then start binge watching. 

Monday, August 14, 2017

Excerpt from New Age Rebels

The future is chaos; America is divided by a corporate president, the government is broken by corrupt politicians, and a new rebellion is born. Corporations rule the country and a fragile peace is close to breaking down. Here's an excerpt from New Age Rebels, available on Amazon in the first link. If you like the novel, then please follow the link and like on Facebook. Thank you and until the next is written.

The Only Friend I Trust
At Thomas Air Force Base located outside of San Antonito is Senior Airman Zachery Irons in a hanger. Checking the oil pressure of the left engine of his plane and listening to the radio. He’s a young man in his late twenties and joined the air force because of his passion for flying. He’s not as passionate about the military as his older brother, and that’s why he never took a higher rank. Zack was always more passive and a playboy. If anything, he thinks all this drama between the Union and the Restricted Zones is irrelevant.
Zack always believed that dividing the United States was no different than starting a civil war, the only difference it’s more of a cold civil war which is slightly better because Zack values the lives of all Americans.
He looks over to the hanger door and sees other pilots walking out after checking their planes, expecting to go out after a night of flying around Texas. Zack was always the last one to leave because workman’s tools such as hammers, screwdrivers and such are hard to come by since the United States was divided, and tools aren’t considered a necessity in the treaty.
Zack keeps his tools under lock and key because they’ve been taken more than once by other pilots. Every night he takes his tools and locks them in a toolbox and places them in his locker. While he picks up his oiled covered towel off the floor next to the front wheels of his plane and places it over his shirt, a voice comes over the speakers, “Zack Irons! You have a call waiting in the office.”
Zack quickly heads over to the office; he’s been waiting for this phone call all day because he knows who it is and why he’s calling. Zack has been anticipating this since he sent him to investigate who's been attacking the convoys. He goes to the manager’s office where the manager, Beth Thompson is waiting and hands him the phone.
Zack takes it and says, “Hey Tony, what’s the word?”
Tony says, “How many times do I have to tell you? My name is Wacko now.”
Zack says, “Well that’s an improvement from your last name but what’s with all the nicknames?”
Wacko says, “Code names bro, we don’t know who else could be listening. If I worked for the Union, then I have people listening in on everything that came out of the Restricted Zones. Call me Wacko, it’s not my fault I’m the only one who is cares about who might be listening.”
Zack laughs, looks at Beth and says, “Well someone is listening in on this and trust me she doesn’t give a shit who you are or why you’re calling me.”
Wacko says, “Oh you mean the cougar Beth? Yeah, I’m not a fan of red heads, but I do her if she offered.”
Zack says, “You do a wild animal if someone would hold it down. Now, what did you find out?”
Wacko says, “I ran into a group of wannabe thugs that were trying to raid a convoy. A pack of drifters but the problem is I took fingerprints from one of the guys I killed and he’s not registered.”
Zack looks at Beth and walks to the corner of the room. Hearing that last sentence sent a chill up his spine, and his mind became troubled by the likely possibility that someone is purposely trying to start the war. Zack says, “Wacko, are you entirely sure that the prints didn’t come up with anyone?”
Wacko says, “Everyone gets registered no mattered what side they go to and they’re identities are nowhere to be found. So some people crossed over undetected, or someone on our side fucked up. Considering that they’ve been having the same problems in other states, I’m willing to bet on the first scenario. I also took the weapons and some of them are good, too good to be available in the Restricted Zones.”
Zack wipes his face and puts the phone down for a minute; he rests his head on the wall while thoughts of bombs falling and gunshots in the air spark his fear.
Zack picks the phone up and says, “Alright. I’ll call David and let him know what you find out. How soon can you be back in San Antonio?”
 Wacko says, “I can be there in a few hours but I’m still cleaning up some loose ends over here, and I’m finishing the report right now, so the other states know what’s been going on down here. I’ll head up when I’m done with my job here.”
Zack says, “Ok, thank you for everything Wacko. I knew if anyone could catch these guys it be you, but now we have a bigger picture to figure out. See you in a few hours.” Zack hangs up the phone and turns to see Beth curling her long red hair; she looks at him with her beautiful green eyes.
She says, “You know that guy freaks everyone here out. You’re the only one that gives him the time of day, and everyone either thinks you’re a saint or crazy. Why are you around him?”
Zack walks over and hands her the phone while saying, “He’s the only friend I trust. Both to talk to and to get the job done, no matter how crazy or suicidal a job may be. That’s why we call him Wacko, it’s his code name. Besides, it’s the crazy ones who hide it that are dangerous.”
Beth stands next to Zack and says, “And what about me Zack? Am I dangerous? What would your code name for me be?”
Zack thinks about it for a minute and says, “Puma.” He walks out the office leaving Beth with a smile on her face. The smile goes away after she realizes she has no idea why her code name would be Puma.

America is divided by a corporate president, the government is broken by corrupt politicians, and a new rebellion is born. Corporations rule the country and a fragile peace is close to breaking down. Here's an excerpt from New Age Rebels, available on Amazon and if you like, please follow the link. Thank you and until the next is written.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

The Tower Falls

Stephen King will go down as arguably one of the greatest writers of our time because of his novels and the films adapted from them. Unfortunately, even the greatest of writers won’t have a decent adaption and that’s the case for The Dark Tower. This film had a lot of promise, but couldn’t deliver in the end, even with the star power of Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey. The Dark Tower came off looking like it was going to be an action-packed kickoff to the film adaption of the series. If you’re a fan of the novels then I urge you to avoid this movie if you expect to see a fair adaption.

The Dark Tower is an eight-novel series about a lone warrior known as a gunslinger by the name of Roland Deschain. The gunslingers were an order sworn to protect the tower that has significant meaning. The tower is a structure that stands in the center of everything; it protects all the worlds from the darkness that can’t take over as long as the tower stands. This film is based off the first book, The Gunslinger. Now film adaption of novels are mostly never to the letter, but if almost feels like the director didn’t even try in the film.

The story telling is simplistic with very little backstory and it turns out to be mostly dialogue; there’s only about 20 minutes of action. There were some cool movements during the fire fights, but it was over before you could enjoy it. Matthew McConaughey did a good job portraying the man in black, but the vision the director may have had for the film may not go well with people who had their own opinions. The way the man in black uses his magic will most likely make the audience laugh than amaze them. Everything about this film was quick and for fans who read the novels, this will be the biggest complaint.

From the get go, it starts with here’s the tower and this is how it can come down, but we don’t have the right child which we find out later is Jake. Jake, played by Tom Taylor, was ok but he did have good chemistry with Idris Elba. Idris has yet to disappoint me with any role but he has had a bad habit doing some films that don’t bring in the money. This film will definitely be one of those films that will have a good first week, but that’ll be it. I be shocked if there is enough money made for a sequel.

The Dark Tower is a fast food adaption from the novels and was a huge let down for the fans. Straight to the point with no explanation of why things were the way they were and no back story describing who people are. If you’re in the mood to just watch something to pass the time, then this movie may be pleasing to you. If you’re familiar with the novel and looking for a decent adaption, then don’t even bother to wait for this to come out on Netflix. This film gets a five out of ten, because you might enjoy this if you don’t know anything about the series.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Response to a Friend's Blog

"A rose is supposed to be the representation of love. If that's true then why does a rose have thorns that cut you and why does it have to die." Amber, a friend of mine once asked me that a long time ago and it took me a long time to finally answer this question. It takes a long time because love is a very powerful marvel. I believe a simply "I love you" answers a lot of complicated questions. When there is a great truth to be discovered, then you must first experience this before you can see the truth. Here is why a rose represents love, but also has thorns and must die.
A rose represents love, but has thorns because like being in love, it must be handled carefully. You need to treat it with respect and be careful not to mishandle it. You can't be careless handling the one you hold just because there may be roses with less thorns. If you do then eventually, you will be cut and when that happens, you’re scarred for life. You will have a scar that will take a lifetime to heal and never go away, that cut will always remind you of your loss. That is why the rose has its thorns.
Now why does a rose die? That's the hardest part of the question, but I remembered everyone I ever loved and it came to me. A rose must die because love must be cherished. If love was eternal and always around then the inevitable outcome is that it would be taken for granted. Love should never be taken for granted. Like with people, roses must be loved while we have them because everything that is born must die, so we must appreciate the time we have with them. A rose is the perfect representation of love and these are my reasons why I believe so.

Monday, July 31, 2017


Walking in 30 degree weather,

wearing shorts and sandals

in the middle of the night,

and for what?


 His height reaches my ankle

and he’s a breed between a regular dog

and a farm animal.

But, unfortunately, is as fast as lightning.

When a door is left open,

it’s a mistake waiting to happen and

that’s what leads me here.

The odds of me finding this dog

in these conditions are as good as

a man with no tongue winning

a spelling bee.

So why am I doing this?

For one main reason.

I’ve been punched in the face,

kicked in the stomach,

survived a car crash,

broken my leg,

bruised ribs,

overcome illnesses.

No problem.

But the one thing that always hurts my heart

more than the unfaithful,

the materialistic,

and the dependent,

is the sight of seeing my sister’s face in a pillow,

soaking the sheets in her tears

and filling the room with her sorrow

because I failed her.

I’d rather freeze to death.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Death Didn't Part

A woman walks up a steep hill.
She does it twice every day before
she eats breakfast
and before she goes to sleep.

Her journey is long,
the air is hard to breath,
and without her cane
her muscles would give out halfway.

The hill is a high steep incline,
with rocks in certain locations.
If she were to lose her footing
then she would surely be killed.

She has never missed a day
and the weather is never a factor.
The clouds don’t control her desire
to make it up the hill.

She has struggled through
rain, wind, thunder, and snow.
She has crawled through
ice, mud and has never slipped.

She doesn’t forget the danger,
she knows all the risks
even at her old age.
It doesn’t stop her from her desire.

She goes when she has a cold,
when her temperature boils,
 and her arthritis is in effect.
What’s up that hill is her heart.

A cross that’s been there for a decade.
Underneath it, is the person
who gave his heart to her
and made a vow she broke.

They swore till death do them part
but she hasn’t left him
even after he left.
She lives, as if he still does.

She puts on a pot of coffee,
she goes up that hill,
kisses the cross
and says, “Good morning.”

During the day.
She keeps their chairs together,
 she’s watches their shows,
and tend to daily events.

She connects with his family and
shows his picture to the new generation.
She does what she can,
to keep his spirit alive.

At the end of the day.
She’ll put on a pot of soup
and go back up that hill
to kiss it and say something.

The one thing that death can’t control.
“I’ll see you tomorrow my love.”

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Games and Doctors

The internet nearly broke today with the news today that the long-anticipated doctor for the series Dr. Who is in fact, a woman. Jodie Whittaker, who is best known or her work in BBC’s show Broadchurch has been cast as the first female to take on the iconic role. This news has sparked more controversy for the show than anything before that has split fans down the middle. Some love it because it’s different, others hate it because she’s a woman, and others just wished it was someone more well known. Some have gone as far as to say that they will never watch the show again after today.

Some have speculated that this may happen as the doctor’s nemesis, The Master, regenerated into a woman three seasons ago. This opened the possibility that the doctor might have the potential to become one as well and open the door to many who would welcome the change. She will be taking over when Peter Capaldi regenerates in the Christmas Special coming at the end of this year. Michelle Gomez did a fantastic job as The Master, so why not give Jodie a chance? Let’s all wait until she debuts with her style and new look as The Doctor before we start deciding if we hate or love it.

Speaking of iconic shows that we can’t get enough of, Game of Thrones has kicked off, and it started off in spectacular fashion. If you haven’t caught up, then I’ll do my best to keep spoilers to a minimum. Arya is continuing to quench her bloodlust for revenge by going after the last person on her list, Cersei. Jon Snow is preparing for the war to come with the undead that’s marching across the North. Daenerys returns home and begins to start plotting her war to conquer King’s landing.

Cersei and Daenerys have the least amount of airtime during the episode, but it feels like they’ll soon be the focus of the season. There’s plenty of blood to go around early at the beginning, but then it becomes more dialogue than anything else. The episode also feels as though the story is being rushed; possibly because this season will only have eight episodes instead of ten. Overall, it was a good introduction to this season that clearly foreshadows the ending of everything we love about the series. Many have speculated, but it’s clear that one or more of the main characters will be dead by the end of the season.

Personally, I just don’t want anything to happen to Jon Snow or Daenerys, but I have a feeling that this will be the end of Jamie and Cersei. Many believe that this may also be the end of Tyrion, Sansa, and Arya. We’ll find out in eight weeks, so back and enjoy because it looks like it’s going to be a hell of a season. It’s been an interesting day for two shows that have become cash cows for their networks. The only difference is Jodie Whittaker is the beginning of a new era for Doctor Who, and it’s the beginning of the end for Game of Thrones.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Spider-Man is Home!

Spider-Man is arguably the most popular character of Marvel next to Iron-Man, Captain America and Hulk. Unfortunately, he’s been absent from the Marvel Cinematic Universe because the movie rights for the character belong to Sony. Sony acquired the rights from Marvel when the company became financially unstable, so Marvel sold the movie rights of several characters to different companies. This lead to Sony’s attempt to bring the web-head to life with the help of Sam Raimi and Tobey Maguire. It would go on to become a trilogy and lead to a reboot with Andrew Garfield that failed in the sequel.

Marvel has grown since then to become the leading film studio for superhero films by smashing box office records since Iron-Man (2008). One thing has been missing from Marvel for the past nine years, and that’s the web-head’s return. Many thought they would never see it coming with Sony owning the rights, but a surprise announcement came during the development of Captain America: Civil War. Spider-Man would be joining Marvel Studios after a deal was reached, and that’s what leads us to Spider-Man: Homecoming. This film gives fans everything they’ve been wanting to see on the big screen.

Tom Holland fit the character perfectly by reflecting the universal stages that teenagers go through and bringing in the constant sarcasm that Peter Parker has been known for having. Fans get to see the classic version of the suit, but with a few upgrades by Tony Stark. Fans will find these upgrades to deliver hilarious comedic relief. There’s great character development as Peter is trying to discover what kind of hero he is, and what he could be while trying to balance both his lives. Marisa Tomei is terrific as Aunt May with being the wise, caring mother figure in Peter’s life; she’s probably the most popular since Sally Field’s portrayal in The Amazing Spider-Man.

There are some elements missing that fans won’t see and that may cause a problem with traditionalists. There’s no mention of the Daily Bugle or the cynical cigar smoking J. Jonah Jameson. No real origin story or backstory on Peter Parker but he does mention how he got his powers in one sentence. No mention of Norman or Harry Osborn, so don’t expect anything about the Green Goblin. The biggest change will be with a certain love interest in Peter’s life and that’s all that will be said.

Now we get to the main antagonist in the film, The Vulture, who is played by Michael Keaton (Batman). The Vulture is explained with a backstory that takes place sometime after The Avengers and Michael Keaton delivers just as good as a villain as he does as a hero by being brilliant, brutal and methodical. The motivation behind Vulture’s suit is more simplistic and industrial rather than using it to regain his youth. Marvel took a more human approach with him rather than copying the comic and it works out in this film.  

Spider-Man: Homecoming is a fun, entertaining ride for everyone to see and it lives up to the standards that Marvel Studios has been known for creating. It’s going to be no surprise that this film will bring in the cash and the critics have been raving non-stop. There’s two different end credit scenes: one is in the middle and teases a possible sequel, the other is just a video featuring a cameo and it’s hilarious. This film gets an 8 out of 10 because it’s a great reboot of a beloved comic book character, but if you’re a traditionalist, then you may have a problem with this film. The web slinger will be in Avengers: Infinity War, so a solo film won’t be coming for a while, but it will be highly anticipated when a date is announced.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Orange Is the New Black Season Six

Orange Is the New Black just kicked off its sixth season after leaving a heart dropping cliffhanger that would change the environment of the show. Season five took a dark twist when Litchfield Prison became a privately-owned facility instead of a public. The guards tormented the inmates by abusing their power, living conditions became less than moderate with poor working conditions, and the inmates began to rebel for it. They protested and did what they could to make themselves heard to a deaf corporation. In the end, Poussey Washington was accidentally killed during a protest which lead to the uprising and season finale.
The inmates are still mourning the loss of beloved character Poussey, the guards are now the prisoners, and the prison has become an asylum. The season starts after revealing the fate of the guard who caused the cliffhanger last season and that’s when things start spiraling out of control. Upset by the response in regard to Poussey’s death, the inmates hold the warden and several others hostage until certain demands are met with the help of the media. Instead, the inmates see how society views people in prison, their worth as human beings and how that needs to change. This season is unique among its previous ones for several reasons.
In the first season, Piper Chapman was the focus of the show, but her exposure this season is minimal compared to the others. The focus of this season is on Poussey’s best friend, Tasha Jefferson or Taystee. Another reason is this season only happens during the time frame of a couple days instead of different times. The final reason is this season introduces the audience to the response of a riot inside the prison and it’s a bloody response. Warden Joe Caputo tries desperately to keep it from happening, even making a point by saying both inmates and hostages get killed in the process of retaking the prison.
This season is par compared to the others story wise, but Danielle Brooks (Taystee) did a fantastic job standing in the main spot. The show starts closing a lot of doors throughout the episodes and giving great backstories on several characters just like it always has. The downside to this season is it seem to go nowhere for a few episodes and some people may not like the outcome for certain characters this season. It only gets darker in Litchfield and there’s no sign of light at the end of the season. There will be more questions left at the end of this season and the main one is, “What now?”

Orange Is the New Black is the show that put Netflix on the map and it’s trying hard to meet that bar that was set back in the first season. The show exposes a lot to the audience who may not know what happens when the inmates take over the prison and what happens in response. The show was filled with powerful messages created by painful heartbreaks that will connect with the viewers who’ve been paying attention to current events. The bad news is they’ll be wanting answers they won’t get for another season; my advice is take your time watching this season. If you watch it all at once, then you’ll be just like me waiting for football season, you’ll feel like you’ve been waiting forever.     

Friday, June 9, 2017

Are You The Mummy?

I just couldn’t resist the pun and give a quick shout out to all my fellow whovians out there who read my blog. The latest remake of a classic horror movie was released last night with mixed reactions from skeptics reeling from the previous failed trilogy. The last Mummy trilogy started off strong, but slowly died a painful death in 2008 which lead to Universal taking a hiatus from continuing its monster movie ambitions. Now Universal is following the same trend with Marvel Studios and DC Comics expanding their characters into this “Universe Era.” Universal plans on remaking all their monsters and throwing them into their recently announced Dark Universe.

The Mummy, it’s one of the most iconic monster movies since its first release back in 1932 with the legendary Boris Karloff. Universal has released several sequels and reboots since; the latest started in 1999. It was a trilogy with Brendan Fraser, Rachel Weisz and was directed by Stephen Sommers that tried to follow the original story but with a twist here and there. The first one peeked interest with a decent story and good action but delivered little horror or terror. The same goes for the reboot which is a great action film, but it’s a bust as a horror film.

The film starts off strong with introducing the audience to Ahmanet, the new mummy, played by Sofia Boutella (Star Trek Beyond, Kingsman: The Secret Service). Universal decided to take a different direction with the mummy by introducing a femme fatale type character and it works to a degree. Tom Cruise does a decent job doing his action hero routine with great CGI and intense sequences of events. It was a surprise seeing Russell Crowe in his role as another iconic character but you only see his better half for a few minutes. There’s also great Easter eggs teasing the future releases of more monster flicks, if this film is successful financially.

It’s a much darker film than the previous films and the story is creative; but that’s where the praising ends. The film begins its downward spiral with unrealistic transitions, meaningless dialogue and the absence of horror. The comic relief was barely there with Jake Johnson (Jurassic World) and the chemistry is lacking realism between Tom Cruise and Annabelle Wallis. The new look of the mummy is attractive, but one of the key signatures is the four pupils in her eyes. Those pupils are obscure most of the time and virtually irrelevant; if this was a way of separating Ahmanet from Imhotep, then it wasn’t necessary.

The biggest complaint of The Mummy is the fact that there is nothing scary about it. The reason monster movies became so popular is because they were terrifying and gave us nightmares. There’s nothing terrifying about this film; all this film is about is action and that makes for a good film but not a monster movie. I give this film a 6 out of 10 because of its creativity in trying to take a new direction with a classic, but it forgot the key element needed for The Mummy. If Universal is going to continue with their Dark Universe, then they need to take a step back and realize why Dracula, The Mummy and Frankenstein were hits to begin with.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Answer to a Friend's Blog.

"A rose is supposed to be the representation of love. If that's true then why does a rose have thorns that cut you and why does it have to die." Amber, a friend of mine once asked me that a long time ago and it took me a long time to finally answer this question. It takes a long time because love is a very powerful marvel. I believe a simply "I love you" answers a lot of complicated questions. When there is a great truth to be discovered, then you must first experience this before you can see the truth. Here is why a rose represents love, but also has thorns and must die.
A rose represents love, but has thorns because like being in love, it must be handled carefully. You need to treat it with respect and be careful not to mishandle it. You can't be careless handling the one you hold just because there may be roses with less thorns. If you do then eventually, you will be cut and when that happens, you’re scarred for life. You will have a scar that will take a lifetime to heal and never go away, that cut will always remind you of your loss. That is why the rose has its thorns.

Now why does a rose die? That's the hardest part of the question, but I remembered everyone I ever loved and it came to me. A rose must die because love must be cherished. If love was eternal and always around then the inevitable outcome is that it would be taken for granted. Love should never be taken for granted. Like with people, roses must be loved while we have them because everything that is born must die, so we must appreciate the time we have with them. A rose is the perfect representation of love and these are my reasons why I believe so.

Friday, June 2, 2017

Wonder Woman Unleashed!

DC Comics and Warner Bros didn’t have a good year with critics in 2016 with terrible reviews plaguing Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad. While both films made money and fan reactions were moderate at best, the future of the DC Cinematic Universe was in question. But last night was a revival for fans of the superhero genre and DC Comics with the release of Wonder Woman. The house was packed, the anticipation was high, and the only thing heard after the end of the film was thunderous applause. It’s a victory not only for DC comics, but for fans who want to see more film adaptions based on female comic book characters.  

The last time a film adaption based on a female comic book character was Elektra, played by Jennifer Garner in 2005. It was a film that received little praise and profit; much like another adaption, Catwoman, starring Halle Berry in 2004. With these failures looming over DC Comics and Marvel Studios, it was believed that there was no market for female characters. That all changed after the release of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice when fans were introduced to Gal Gadot who was cast as the famous amazon. While the film itself was a critical disaster, interest in Gadot as Wonder Woman pushed plans forward for her own solo film.

The film takes place sometime after Suicide Squad and introduces the audience to Diana’s private life in the modern world until she receives a gift. Upon opening this gift, she’s has her flashback which is where her origin begins. Growing up on an island where the Amazons don’t age and constantly train to fight for a war they believe will never come. Then plans come crashing down with the arrival of Steve Trevor (Chris Pine), who fans know from his appearance in the comics and cartoons. He warns the Amazons of what’s been going on outside of their home and that’s what sends Diana down her path to become the hero she’s destined to be.

This film was two and a half hours but it really didn’t feel like that because of all the action. It starts off slow with the introductions for a few minutes but that’s it. There was plenty of comedy and the fighting choreography was excellent, as was the chemistry between Gal Gadot and Chris Pine. This Wonder Woman is far more violent than the one featuring the iconic Lynda Carter who unfortunately doesn’t make a cameo. The soundtrack was amazing, the cinematography was top notch, and Gal Gadot did justice to the character and her views about “Man’s World.”

The main antagonist in the film was adequate and it was good to see a small twist near the end. The film didn’t hold back when it came to showing the horrors of World War I and Chris Pine did a fantastic job as the famous spy and love interest. The only negative thing I could say about this film was the main antagonist, who near the end became overloaded with CGI. The main fight nearly crossed the line between acceptable boundaries and flat out ridiculousness. The way the fight ended was also sort of a letdown, it didn’t end in the best way possible in my opinion.

Overall, Wonder Woman has saved DC Comics and Warner Bros from a possible grim future. It was a gamble for DC after the harsh backlash from critics and mixed fan reactions last year, but if you’re a fan of Wonder Woman or superheroes in general, this film is for you. My only hope is that DC takes notes and continues to push forward in this direction if they hope to catch up with Marvel Studios and their success. This film gets a nine out of ten and that’s only because of the overload of CGI in the main fight, but overall this is the best film DC has released since The Dark Knight. It’s well worth the price of admission and if you go, there’s nothing after the film, enjoy.  

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Injustice Has Risen Again!

Injustice 2 has finally arrived after being highly anticipated by gamers and fans of DC comics. Injustice follows the saga of Superman when he turns to the dark side after being tricked into killing his pregnant wife, Lois Lane. The once great champion of Earth would go on to kill everyone who didn’t see things his way along with several other members of the Justice League under a new faction called The Regime. Batman from that Earth would later bring in the Justice League from another Earth to ultimately defeat them and the man of steel is last seen rotten inside a cell. The game was revolutionary with introducing fans a much darker side of the superheroes and giving fans the chance to put their favorite superheroes against each other.
This game takes off several years after the events of the first game and starts off with one of the new characters, Supergirl. Her origin story gives you a brief glimpse of the same evil that’s coming to Earth to destroy it. Once that evil arrives, Batman is left with a terrible choice to either accept the help of his former best friend, or try to face the evil on his own. Through a series of events, things begin to unravel and heroes who were once villains get the chance to redeem themselves for their past deeds. It’s a well written story that gives players an option to decide how the story will end.
Injustice 2 has major upgrades as far as character selection and customization goes. Each character has tons of gear to choose from, but that depends on how quickly you earn it. You can achieve gear by winning matches, playing through the storyline, and even buying motherboxes. Motherboxes in DC comics are these boxes of advanced technology and great power that gave Victor Stone his cyborg body. In the game, they’re designed to contain different level gear that you buy or earn depending on the kind of box you get.
There are different kinds of boxes and there is a different kind of currency, coins and source crystals. Coins are used to buy the motherboxes and crystals are used in case you get a high-level gear, but you don’t like the look of it and you can use the crystals to change it. There are also different shaders to change the color of your hero or villain as you choose. Quick note for those that have the ultimate pass and downloaded the extra characters John Stewart, Reverse Flash, and Powergirl. You can access them by going into customizations and click the shaders with their names under the characters Green Lantern, Flash, and Supergirl.
The best improvement of this game has to be its multiverse mode which gives players an overwhelming amount of options. For those who are familiar with Mortal Kombat, this is how you’re going to go to tournaments and find out the special ending for each character. First you play three tutorials, then you have access to different Earths and one battle simulation, that’s your tournament to get the endings. The rest of the planets recycle various stories for you to decide to take. The bigger the planet, the better rewards will follow, and that offers hours of play time for fans of this franchise.  
While this game has surpassed the previous one, there are some let downs in the game that may disappoint some fans. One is the control system which is virtually the same for all the characters who were in the previous game. If you were looking for new powers to use, then you’re only going to get them in the new characters. There’s plenty of environmental damage, but the transitions aren’t anything spectacular. The Super Moves are about par compared to the ones seen in the first game.

Other than that, this game is virtually perfect and I give Injustice 2 a 9 out of 10. There are countless hours of playtime in this game with endless possibilities of the multiverse, the roster and storyline. The graphics are good, the gameplay is simple and easy, and there will no doubt be a sequel on the way. The flaws are minor at best and fans of Injustice will not be disappointed when they put out that sixty bucks, but personally, I go ahead and pay the hundred and get the ultimate edition. Injustice 2 has been well worth the wait and I’m already waiting for the next installment. 

Monday, May 8, 2017

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2

The Guardians returned last week to marvelous number when it became Marvel Studio’s 15th film to become the number one opening movie of the week. This was the film to kick off the summer with the return of the galaxy’s favorite band of knuckle heads who went off on another beautiful adventure. The scenes involving planets were beautiful and vibrant, while the story was filled with repetitive comedy throughout a moderate storyline. I wouldn’t say that this film was better than its predecessor, but it was just as good. Worth the price for primetime, but not the price for an Imax ticket.

The Guardians of the Galaxy is a sci-fi franchise of Marvel Comics that’s based around certain characters such as Peter Quill or Star-Lord (Chris Pratt), Gamora (Zoe Saldana), Drax (Dave Batista), Rocket (Bradley Cooper), and Groot (Vin Diesel). Once misfits, assassins, thieves and warriors; now heroes for hire that go around to protect the galaxy after word spreads of their heroic deeds. This sequel takes off after the events of the first film which is some time after when Groot is now a baby, Drax has more words in his vocabulary, and Star-Lord has become the solid leader he’s meant to be. After coming to the aid of a certain planet, the gang is thrown into the void after the arrival of a celestial being (Kurt Russell), who claims to be Peter’s father.

It was revealed in the last film that Peter was only have human and the other half is a powerful mystery since he was able to withstand the power of an infinity stone. For those that don’t follow, it’s a stone that could kill you with a touch because it’s overwhelming with power. You need a special glove to contain the power and manipulate it to your benefit. Peter and others decide to humor this claim and leave with this being to investigate while others stay behind due to rising tensions within the group. The subplot in this film is centered around Peter’s former mentor Yondu (Michael Rooker). His performance was spot on with providing a mixture of depression, anger and search for redemption after receiving devastating news.

Michael Rooker, in my opinion, is the unsung hero in this film that provides a surprising twist in the film that will leave the audience crying. Kurt Russell plays an excellent villain, even though I thought some of his dialogue could’ve been altered. The story was virtually obvious because you can tell most of the time what’s going to happen. While the action was solid and the comedy keeps people laughing, it started to almost disrupt the seriousness of certain situations. In the main fight, something happens that makes you laugh, but makes you ask in the back of your mind, “Why?”

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2 is filled with action and comedy that makes this a family friendly film that’s expected from Marvel Studios. The retro soundtrack is filled with new oldies from the golden age of music and baby Groot steals the show in many scenes. There are five surprises throughout the credits, but only one of them seems relevant and the others were put in for comedic purposes. I have to give this film an 8 out of 10 because of the minor tweaks involving the overuse of comedy and obvious storyline. This film has set the standard for this year’s summer movie line-up, so let’s hope Wonder Woman meets that bar or surpasses.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Bates Motel is Closed

After five seasons, Bates Motel has come to a close with mixed reviews from fans of the original Psycho, and fans of the show itself. Bates Motel kicked off on a very slippery slope because this was a prequel leading up to the events made famous by the iconic director, Alfred Hitchcock. It immediately grabbed the attention of would be fans and fans of the original story by staying true to the eerie world of Norman Bates and Mother. The show introduced the audience to a human side of the famous serial killer while throwing a curveball here and there. Now the series is over and it’s been a hell of a ride for Freddie Highmore (Norman) and Vera Farmiga (Norma/Mother).

Allow me to digress for a minute so those who may not know what I’m talking about can catch up. In the film, Psycho, Norman Bates is a lonely man who lives with his mother in a creepy house that oversees their motel. Then a famous scene happens involving a woman in a shower with a knife and Hersey’s chocolate being poured down the shower drain. The film would go on to become a phenomenon and would spawn several sequels with Anthony Perkins, then a remake starring Vince Vaughn in 1998. In 2013, A&E would bring a different version of Norman Bates to life with the help of Vera Farmiga.

The first season was focused firmly on Vera Farmiga as Norma Bates and how her dark past was somehow passed onto Norman. Slowly but surely, things become clear as Norman begins to go down his dark path that would eventually lead him to his iconic fate. Now there were some surprises thrown into the mix with the arrival of Norman’s brother, Dylan (Max Thieriot). The other addition to this crazy pot is the local sheriff, Alex Romero (Nestor Carbonell). The world of Norma and Norman Bates only gets darker with each season that passes and the show did a superb job showing Norman’s “blackouts” from his point of view.

More light is brought into the dark mind of Norman that makes the audience connect with him as a person just when you start to think he’s just a savage killer. Norman is always trying to do the right thing to an extent until something happens that triggers his alternate personality and the rest is history. It’s been a long ride filled with homage to the classic and surprises that makes this series its own story that separates it from the original. The finale ends with an epic showdown between brothers when Dylan must realize the monster Norman has become due to his mental instability.

The series ended in the best way it could in my opinion. It didn’t end the way most fans of the original thought it should have ended, but everyone else seems to have accepted it. Instead of seeing a dark ending that leaves the possibility for a revival, fans see closure with a heartwarming ending that brings people together in different ways. I hope this won’t be the last time that I see Freddie Highmore because he did a fantastic job as Norman. Bates Motel was a short but sweet series that’s well worth the watch and so all I can say to close this is, “Goodbye mother.”

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Dedicated to all the Another Ones

Another Someone


Anthony Labson

Everyone has a job to do

but someone doesn’t care.

So someone gets lazy

and another one has to do it.

Somebody says a thing to someone.

Trying so hard, just to get someone to do their job.

But Somebody has done everything that can be thought of.

But someone is unwilling to get involved.

Another one keeps picking up the slack,

hoping that it will lead to advancements.

But the commitment turns to handicapped.

Another one becomes too valuable to lose.

Instead of another one getting what they deserve,

they are crippled by the actions of someone.

Somebody won’t make their job worse

by losing another one and be left with someone.

Another one is getting tired of dealing with someone.

Someone ignores another one’s frustration.

Someone keeps doing the same routine

and another one has had enough.

So another one leaves with

hopes that someone will finish for once.

But someone remains lazy and useless

and Somebody just gets frustrated.

Instead of just getting rid of someone,

Somebody lost another one.

Now Somebody has nightmares of what happens

if Somebody hires another someone.