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. 
https://www.amazon.com/New-Age-Rebels-Anthony-Labson/dp/151535993X
https://www.facebook.com/NewAgeRebels2016/?ref=aymt_homepage_panel

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. 

https://www.facebook.com/NewAgeRebels2016/?ref=aymt_homepage_panel

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

Venti


Walking in 30 degree weather,

wearing shorts and sandals

in the middle of the night,

and for what?



Venti.

 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

By

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.


Sunday, April 23, 2017

Nice Guys Finish Best


Who was it that said,

“Nice guys finished last?”

Was it a philosopher or a doctor

who made that claim off years of study

and research?



Or was it some douche that

had nothing better to do than sit around

and not make a thing of himself

and spend so much time in regret that

he would make one claim make his life have meaning?



Who turned life into a race?

I haven’t lived a fast life, and here’s why.

I wasn’t the bad boy in high school who

got in trouble with the police, but

I also wasn’t the nerd who didn’t go out

and studied every minute of the day.



I was just a guy who did what felt right

whether it was studying for a test

or going out to spend time

with the people that made my life great.



I am not a millionaire like so many others

that have taken the fast route.

Some went down the path of drugs,

others the path of sports and entertainment,

and some just became thieves in the political or financial ring.

They all started getting what they wanted quick --



the money, cars, house, company.

But then came all the stuff that took up their time:

promotions, shoots, and meetings.

Twenty-two-hour days that go by so fast

it only feels like an eight-hour shift.

The price for being a millionaire.



I took the slow route --a job that may not make me rich but

will give me the time I need with my family.

I may not have the fancy cars or the big house but

there are some things I have that make me

better than any millionaire out there.



I have my privacy because nobody wants to hear

from someone who isn’t on the top of the mountain.

I have children whom I can recall their birthday, know their favorite color,

go to all of their soccer and baseball games, and go to their school plays.



People know the shape of my heart

when I have time to donate the little money I have

and spend time with the ones who lost their way

and spun off the track.



Unlike the millionaire who gives just for

“Good publicity,”

who throws money at the problems

thinking that’s all that’s needed to solve it.



I have a wife who also has a good job

and does her part by the kids.

She knows me and knows she’s my reason for living.

My muse, my love.



Unlike the millionaires wife.

She sits around and watches “The View”

or the food network, like she could cook anyway.

She is probably some teen out of high school that’s obviously

digging for gold and waiting for her husband to die.

When that happens, she won’t be there for him,

and that’s when he’ll realize his mistakes and cry.



When it’s my time, my family will rejoice,

and I will be thankful for all that I’ve experienced

because, unlike some, I may have finished last,

but that just means I had more time

before I reached that line.



Life may be a race, but that doesn’t mean the fastest ones win.

Remember the hare lost the race for a reason.

We only get one chance at life.

It’s a shame to go so fast that you don’t know

where you’ve been.

Friday, April 21, 2017

A Helping Hand.

As an aspiring writer and author, it's important to always offer a helping hand to others in the same pursuits as myself. So I was asked to listen to The Acoustic Project and here is the link to their page. It's a five track project that's available for a purchase of $4.00 and was well done by this group of independents. While their feature track is Forget the Truth, my personal favorite is Prayers for Peace. I think that's what we all need right now considering where this world is heading. Good luck to the group and I wish them good fortune in their future.

https://taptheacousticproject.bandcamp.com/releases

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Doctor Who Arrives to Welcome The Class


Peter Capaldi returns for his confirmed final season as the universe’s favorite doctor with a new companion in Pearl Mackie who plays Bill Potts. Bill Potts is a worker at a university that catches the eye of the doctor and a friendship immediately emerges when a new threat arrives. Her introduction comes off clueless at times, but it’s forgivable considering she’s dealing with extraterrestrial forces and the Doctor must explain everything. The Pilot foreshadows a plot when it’s revealed why the Doctor is at the university and there’s several eggs in the episode that will have people reflecting on the doctor’s past. There was some issue considering Pearl Mackie’s character because she’s gay in the series.

Personally, I think it’s sad but overall, that’s how people feel, so whatever. The only problem I had with her again is she’s clueless. Probably the most clueless out of all the new generation of the Doctor’s companions but it’s forgivable. Bill Potts comes off as a good-hearted individual who makes the most out of life with what she has. Being without a mother, she sees the doctor as the one figure in her life that she can rely on for guidance. It was a good first episode for her and it’ll be interesting to see how she’s connected to the season in the same way most of the doctor’s companions are.  

The episode was moderate at best considering the roller coaster ride that season nine was. After losing Clara Oswald, it was clear that Peter Capaldi’s reign as the Doctor would soon come to an end as he enters his third season. It’s normal timing considering famous doctors such as David Tennant and Matt Smith. Don’t know how many of you feel, but Peter Capaldi isn’t one of my favorite doctors but he will be missed. There’s no word on who will replace him as the doctor but we will find out when the doctor regenerates in the Christmas special this year.

Class kicked off last night and I had to watch it twice because I didn’t know how to feel about it the first time. It starts off slow with the introduction of the main characters at Coal Hill School which was featured in the first episode of Dr. Who back in the 1960s. The school has been seen in several different seasons since and so this is almost a homage to that. The chemistry between certain characters is strong but some characters feel irrelevant or replaceable. Things get serious when one of the main characters reveal his origin and why a mysterious creature is hunting him and his “protector.”

The main villain comes off strong which saves the show and the Doctor makes a special appearance which was nice. By the end of the first episode, it’s clear where the series will go if it continues production. Class is a 50/50 considering how much of a fan you are, but I’m willing to give it a few more episodes. The only thing that could hurt it is if it relied too much on the doctor’s presence in the series. So far, Class gets a grade of C but the season is far from over and there’s time to improve.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

We Are All Equal


The Deviant

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 the fuck 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 balls

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 fuck 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.