Sunday, November 30, 2014

Previously on The Walking Dead…Episode 507:Crossed

This episode was all about lining things up for next week’s mid-season finale.  We see that Noah was the one coming out of the woods with Daryl, as they reunite with Rick and company to form a plan to rescue Beth and Carol.  Rick is all for going in with guns blazing, but Tyreese suggests an alternate plan in an attempt to keep from having to kill more people.  Daryl supports Tyreese’s plan and Rick reluctantly gives in.

Maggie and Glenn are off trying to deal with Eugene and Abraham with the help of Rosita who wants to contribute to the group.  Eugene stays unconscious for most of the episode and Abraham refuses to be consoled.  Rosita shows her usefulness by helping to make a filter for safe drinking water and catch fish in a nearby river.

Before leaving for the hospital, the group begins busting up pews and looking for anything and everything to board up the building to make it as safe as possible against the Walkers.  Father Gabriel continues to struggle with his guilt, the church being torn up, and the massacre that took place inside the church with Gareth’s group.  Carl offers him a weapon to protect himself and he chooses a machete.  Gabriel uses the machete to take up the floorboards and leave the church without alerting the others.  He walks off into the woods by himself and is unable to kill an attacking Walker when he sees that he has a cross necklace.  He pushes the Walker off of him and continues heading away from the church.  Tyreese tries to comfort Sasha and get her to open up about Bob, which she declines.  She feels guilt for not having killed Bob herself.
Beth and Dawn have their confrontation and Dawn orders Officer O’Donnell to take the woman in Room 2 off the machines, “she’s not worth the effort.” After O’Donnell leaves Dawn gives Beth the key to the medicine cabinet. Dawn defends her actions by saying that Beth undermined her authority in front of one of her subordinates and she needed to assert her control.  Beth seeks advice from Dr. Edwards and injects Carol, who is indeed the woman in Room 2, with a dose of Epinephrine in an effort to revive her.
Tyreese’s plan to take hostages from the hospital and trade them for Beth and Carol does not go as planned.  The hostages seem eager to help take down Dawn and agree to cooperate.  However, one of the hostages tricks Sasha into letting her guard down long enough to knock her unconscious and make his getaway.
Our heroes have a gruesome fight with some Walkers lying out in the street.  At first glance it appears that they are all dead and melted, apparently due to a napalm raid conducted shortly after the outbreak.  Of course, as the humans start to walk by the dead they start to perk up.  Daryl’s matchup is particularly gory as he is forced to rip the head off one of the Walkers and use it as a weapon.
The Talking Dead panel consisted of comedian Paul F. Tompkins and Walking Dead actors Christian Serratos (Rosita) and Sonequa Martin-Green (Sasha).  Serratos and Martin-Green both discuss their characters’ backgrounds and give a little insight into their actions.  It is host Chris Hardwick’s birthday and he has a birthday cake decorated with Bob’s roasting foot done in fondant.  He apologizes to Sonequa for trying to serve Bob’s “foot” to her.  The audience poll shows that 78% of viewers do no trust those at the hospital and feel that Rick was justified in his original plan to go in and slay them all.

Next week’s episode is entitled “Coda.”  I suspect we will be seeing the end of not only the first half of the season, but one of our characters.  Norman Reedus has hinted at some highly emotional scenes that he filmed for this episode, so I’m scared for Carol and/or Beth.  I can’t wait to find out what happens with Father Gabriel as I have a feeling there is still more to him than he has revealed.  I’m sure they will leave us with a major cliff-hanger, keeping us on the edge of our seats until February.

Written By: @HGirl75 (aka Jen S.)

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Jurassic World teaser before the teaser trailer before the movie trailer.

Thanks to Comic Book Movies, we were able to watch this, and rewatch it for a hour already. The full Jurassic World trailer goes viral on Thanksgiving. Enjoy every second of it. 

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Interstellar Reminds Us to Return to the Movies

Obligatory spoiler warning.

       Let me start by saying this review does not do it's film justice. There is too much to be said and discussed to be done within a single blog post. So, without any more preamble or exaggeration, Interstellar is one of the best movies of the 21st century. This is a movie that reminds us why we go to the movies. I, admittedly, have spent a good portion of my time in recent memory watching movies on Popcorn Time, Netflix or a number of less than legal sites (please don't judge me too harshly, Hollywood). With the ridiculous ticket prices, easy-internet accessibility and quick DVD/Blu-Ray release-time of movies, it's becoming less and less necessary for people to actually go to the movies. Which, Interstellar reminds us, is a goddamn shame. Like Inception before it, and, dare I say, Avatar, Interstellar is a movie that needs to be seen in theaters. Forget about how good the movie actually is (which is really freaking good). This is a movie you'll walk out having felt that you actually experienced and not just saw. Nolan clearly made this film as a love letter to the spectacle movies he saw in the same vein that JJ Abrams wrote his homage to Close Encounters of the Third Kind and ET with 2011's Super 8. You walk out of this movie feeling like a child again, in the best way possible. Interstellar leaves you with a sense of wonderment, confusion, sentimentality and, ultimately, satisfaction. It is truly a movie for movie-lovers. The film is framed by a quote by Coop early in the film, that tells the audience both of the terrible plight faced by the characters but also reminds the audience of the hope and wonderment mankind once felt: "We used to look up at the sky and wonder at our place in the stars, now we just look down and worry about our place in the dirt."

       With that off my chest, I'd like to focus on what I feel is the most important theme/idea presented by the film. The most resounding and prevalent theme that needs to be discussed is the selfishness of man (note, not mankind, but man). This is a theme that is presented a number of different times in a number of different ways. Several characters throughout the movie make it abundantly clear that mankind cannot be trusted to save itself. This is because of individuals. While it's easy for mankind as a people to recognize the sacrifices that must be made for the benefit of mankind, individuals are selfish, belligerent, ignorant and blinded by their own attachments. This theme comes up a number of times throughout the film in Tom Cooper, Coop, Amelia Brand and Dr. Brand.

       However, nowhere is this trait more obvious than in the oft-praised hero, Dr. Mann. The man who is seemingly a selfless savior and hero of mankind ends up being the most selfish character in the film, particularly in two acts: calling the Endurance to his uninhabitable, icy planet under false pretenses, and attempting/succeeding in killing anyone who discovers his secret (head-butting Cooper and blowing up Romiley through KIPP). I think Nolan is certainly attempting to make a point in naming Matt Damon's character Dr. Mann. Dr. Mann represents man himself/herself. Mann/man proves himself to be selfish in his inability to sacrifice himself for the greater good of mankind, ignorant in his self-service or inability to listen to reason because of personal attachments, and belligerent in his aggressive unwillingness to listen to people who are genuinely trying to help mankind. While this  can certainly be seen in many characters throughout the film (Amelia Brand wanting to go to Edmonds because of her love of Wolf, Coop wanting to return home despite the mission so he can fulfill his promise to Murph), Dr. Mann is a microcosm for this trait in mankind as he embodies all of the selfish traits of man without showing the redeeming qualities that other, more selfless characters, inhibit. While all other characters (the true heroes of mankind) are able to embody self-sacrifice and show true altruism towards the ultimate goal, Dr. Mann falls short where most of mankind falls short. He, like most of humanity, is unable to sacrifice himself for the benefit of mankind when it matters the most.

       While I've focused on one aspect of this brilliant film, without delving into other fascinating ideas presented by the movie like the 5th dimension, black-hole travel, the touching human loss, the undeniable comparisons to seminal sci-fi classics like 2001: A Space Odyssey and Rendezvous with Rama, the undeniable confusion felt while watching much of the film, or any of the thousands of other ideas that come to mind that cannot be presented in under 1000 words, suffice it to say that this movie presents human emotions and loss in a way that no other film has done in recent memory. That is one of the reasons this movie strikes the audience in the heart so fully. It is a movie about heroes. It shows mankind at their absolute worst and most selfish, but also at their most altruistic and self-sacrificing. The sacrifices and decisions made by characters (particularly Coop) reminds us, in a overly-sentimental way (and this is not said in a negative way), of what is worth fighting for, dying for and coming back for.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Previously on The Walking Dead…Episode 506: Consumed

In Sunday's episode, we see what happened to Carol after Rick turned her away. She’s still one tough cookie, but she finally started showing some feeling. Watching her go out alone and then back to the prison only to find it in flames was heart-wrenching. Poor Carol! Burning and flames are recurring themes for her. But as Daryl said, “We ain’t ashes.” While I can’t say that Rick was wrong for what he did, I was glad to see Carol come back and to see them welcome her into the fold a couple of shows back. However, as we all know, any happiness or peace in The Walking Dead world is surely temporary, and she and Daryl almost immediately ended up leaving the group to follow a lead on Beth.

This week was a very much-needed Carol/Daryl centric episode. They are television’s best “will they or won’t they” couple to come along in years. Who knew braining some zombies and burning their dead bodies could be so romantic and endearing? Not to mention falling off a bridge…in a van! Both are continuing to work at overcoming their past actions and history of abuse.

Carol and Daryl come across a creepy indoor campsite overrun with walkers in sleeping bags and tents. Noah shows up, robs them of their weapons, and then leaves them for dead, though he’s pretty sure they can survive. What goes around comes around and they end up saving Noah and getting their stuff back. The show ended on another cliffhanger. If anyone doubts Daryl loves Carol, just go back and re-watch the scene where she is hit by a car and taken by the people from the hospital! I’d hate to be them when he catches up.

Every episode seems to get impossibly darker and bleaker while still making us believe that love can happen even in the midst of the zombie apocalypse. This was another great one and the soundtrack was perfection, especially Bad Blood by Alison Mosshair and Eric Arjes.

The Talking Dead had on Tyler James Williams, who portrays Noah, recent escapee of the hospital. Naturally, they begin the talk by getting insight from Tyler on his character. While I appreciate Noah eventually seeing the error of his ways…maybe…I tend to agree with CM Punk that I don’t entirely trust him. How can I when he stole THE crossbow and unzipped a tent full of zombies to attack Carol and Daryl? Noah seems to be an opportunist. He goes along with whatever he thinks will benefit him and swaps sides easily. Considering the circumstances, you can’t always blame someone for looking out for themselves, but I can if it involves my people. Time will tell if he will prove us wrong. I hope he does.

Some of the discussion centered on how Carol and Daryl are working to become more of the people that they want to be and not what their pasts have made them. Yvette gave us a run down on the fire symbolism that we saw throughout the episode. We also found out that Yvette is OCD when it comes to minute details, CM Punk doesn't trust anyone that is not from Team Rick, and I think it was unanimous that The Walking Dead should come on 52 weeks a year.

Surprisingly, the audience poll was on the fence as to whether or not we should have seen some making out between Carol and Daryl. Speaking of hooking up, they also talked about a possible connection between Beth and Noah, and…oh heck yeah…Rick and Michonne. Time will tell.

The sneak peek for next week's show is a confrontation between Beth and Dawn at the end of which Dawn tells one of the officers to take the woman in Room 2 off the machines, “she’s not worth the effort.” And then to Beth she says, “you just killed that woman.” Is the woman in Room 2 Carol? If it is her, will Daryl and Noah get there in time and/or is Carol strong enough to make it? Will we get an update on Rick and company or will we have to wait yet another week? In the words of Yvette, "if they mess with Carol, we riot." Stay tuned.

Written By: @HGirl75 (aka Jen S.)

Sunday, November 16, 2014

The Walking Dead-Episode 505: Self Help

Episode 505:  Self Help
Warning: If you have not seen episode 505, this review does contain some spoilers. gives the following description for Self Help:  "While on a mission, the group is confronted by new problems that test their ability to survive.”
This description is vague at best.  I can't name an episode where our poor group of survivors weren't on some kind of mission whether it be a food scouting trip, or something more, and every second of every day tests their ability to survive.  I guess, they don't want to give too much away.
While the fifth season of the episode has the typical Walking Dead m.o. of giving us answers, and then bringing up double the amount of new questions, this one is a little different.  Self Help centers a bit more on character development and takes a deeper than usual look at what people are willing to do to and have had to do in order to survive in this harsh new world.  Is one person's animalistic actions in defense of themselves and their families any worse than another's?
We finally find out the back story for Abraham and how he came to be Eugene's guardian.  There are some tender scenes among lovers and friends as well as a little comic relief by way of the mullet-Eugene and his voyeuristic intentions.  We also get to see a nice little scene with a fire hose that is equal parts gross and campy.
Since his introduction, Abraham has been somewhat of a comic book soldier archetype.  After his back story, we come to realize that while he is a brute with anger management issues, he is also a loving father and husband who has lost everything.  He is no less of a rich, multi-dimensional character than our other favorite survivors. In turn, Eugene goes from the likable geeky savior to a pitiful, creepy liar.  Even if his deception is no worse than other atrocities committed since the outbreak of walkers, his confession serves to crush all of our spirits, and somehow makes it seem worse.
Next week’s sneak peek hints at a reveal as to how Carol got in the hospital.  From the quick clip, we can see that Carol’s attitude has not changed since her exile.  She dispassionately suggests that Daryl simply run the car they are following off the road and end it quickly.  I for one hope that Carol can get past her self-preserving apathy and find herself again.  I am also anxious to find out more about Father Gabriel and those running the hospital.  And what will Maggie, Glenn and company do about their sidelined trip to Washington?

Written By: @HGirl75 (aka Jen)