Sunday, February 23, 2014

Return of The Walking Dead: Season 4, Part 2

The Walking Dead has finally returned and these two episodes really set the tone for where I think this series is going. One thing that sort of bugged me about TWD is the realism. For me somewhere around the second half of the 3rd season the show dipped a bit in quality. The dramatic realistic tension the show pulled off masterfully in the Darabont days faded a bit giving way to some story tropes and the characters seemed to have a "business as usual" approach to there situation. However, this season (specifically) from "Too Far Gone" until now the real world drama returned to the series. The events the survivors were enduring seem to really land and have gravity. In the first episode back entitled, "After," we focus on 3 characters: Rick, Carl, and Michonne. I love the way that the writers have slowed the story a bit to let the fact that these people lost their only sanctuary soak in. 

Everyone in the cast is feeling the sting of loss and grieving in their own way. Carl is acting out and trying to defy his father. Which did bug me a bit, I mean I get that the kid was angry, but I don't feel that he would naturally take it out on his father, but hey we were all pre-teens once, right? Rick was in a coma which is to be expected after the battle and Michonne reverted back to her old ways of blocking out the world and traveling through it alone. So the first episode back is definitely slower in pace which I thought was a good move on the writers part. 

The second episode entitled "Inmates" however was not. Right from the start, our heroes are in a desperate situation. Beth and Daryl are on their own and we get a great opening monologue by Beth writing in her diary when the prison was a hopeful sanctuary. She went on saying how great life was going to be and how the sun was rising in this dark world. She was right, they did make a great community out of the prison, and it did work out for a long time, nearly a year in fact. Of course crazy half blind man had to ruin the party. So I really enjoyed how episode 10 opened. I did have a problem that stuck out like a sore thumb to me. These lead characters have a bad case of main character-itus. Meaning THEY CAN'T GET BIT. It actually made me a little angry that when some random extra fights a walker they get chunks ripped out of them instantly, but when a main character is doing battle with a corpse they suddenly get stricken with Saturday night fever. Instead of biting them, they do a little tango in the woods. I mean seriously that scene with Beth and the attacking walker could have been choreographed a lot better.

But there was a lot to like in "Inmates" specifically Judith. Personally, I wish they would have killed the baby off, that sounds morbid, but the death of baby Judith is a major turning point in the Rick/ Carl relationship. And I assume they will eventually find Judith alive and that cheapens things for me a bit. Also, it seems like carrying a baby around in the zombie apocalypse is going to be a bit of a metaphorical iron ball attached to the story's legs causing the audience to suspended disbelief even more. However, if you were hoping the child was alive, good for you. I'm happy someones glad the lil tot survived. Judith being alive isn't all bad, it did give us what I thought was a great scene with the older sister pulling a "Good Son" and going all psycho on the baby. I'm liking where they are taking that character. Very interesting plus that baby is just too cute!

So Tyreese is on daddy duty taking care of the baby, gets interrupted by screaming survivors, and rushes off to save them. While he's away, the kids get saved from incoming walkers by none other than... Carol! She might be one of my favorite characters on this show because she's really becoming the Ripley of the zombie world. Also, I'm a huge fan of the very cool pairing between her and Tyreese. I personally don't think Carol killed Ty's girl, I think she's covering for Lizzy, but I'm still anxious to see where they're going with that story thread. So they go off together like one big fucked up post-apocalyptic family until they run into a sign pointing to sanctuary. The same strong hold we heard on the radio earlier in the season. Terminous, even the name sounds suspicious. I don't know if I trust this safe haven, having avidly read the ongoing graphic novel, I think I may know where they're going with this, and its nothing good.  I could be wrong but the arrive, survive thing sounds a little too convenient to me. 

So we also get caught up with Maggie, Sasha and my man Bob. I think it's just the actor, but I love that character. Naturally, Maggie heads off to find her man, and the two follow to help out. They find the bus full of extras and they're all re-animated. Maggie fears Glenn's on there and this leads to a great scene. The actress who plays Maggie, her names escapes me at the moment does an amazing job at doing some trickery with the audience with her great silent acting chops. Although,  I loved and hated this scene at the same time and its not really the shows fault. This scene could have been so much more tense if AMC didn't drop the ball and spoil they're OWN show by giving away the fact that Glenn wasn't going to be on the bus. The whole scene felt a bit pointless because in the back of my mind I know Glenn's going to be OK, because we all saw the promo of him laying on the shattered bridge. I mean c'mon AMC how could you drop the ball on that, that's just sloppy! As an actor who is  starting to work in this business, I've learned that the marketing department isn't always in communication with the production department, but seriously AMC you really wet the bed on this one.

So we cut to our favorite ex-pizza boy back in the prison. I assume he got off the bus and went looking for Maggie. I was really glad to learn that we were going to get to see the prison again. It really carried a ton of emotional weight to see the home base that we knew and had grown to love for a season and a half in complete ruin. I really felt scared for Glenn seeing him surrounded by the ruble of his home and a couple hundred walkers around him. He makes it back inside and before leaving has what I would say perfect scene of him just quietly looking around his home and really feeling the loss. Again like I said before, I think Gimple and his writing staff are consciously taking the time to let the emotional beats land. While letting the audience take time to soak in the destruction and devastation these people are going through. After that we get to see riot gear Glenn push through an army of zombies. Something taken straight out of the comic! I love when they do that stuff. He also finds Tara which I think is a pretty cool pairing, Tara is starting to grow on me a bit I'll admit. 

Once the two escape the destroyed prison they get to the main road. And I think this will be the last time they show the ol' corrections facility. It really was a fantastic set, great location, and the show did the prison story arc right in most parts. It felt like its own character and seeing it in pieces felt like we lost an old love. By the end of the episode, the two run into a trio of popular comic book characters, and seeing these three got me really excited! We are now entering a whole new chapter in The Walking Dead, and its staring to feel fresh and brand new again, and brings me back to the days of season 1. I'm super excited to see where they go from here, the balls in Gimple's court now that we're done with the prison, we can move forward, really see what Gimple does with a fresh new chapter in the zombie saga. So all in all, I'm giving episode 9 "After" a 7 out of 10. I liked the Michonne's stuff especially the dream sequence and I hope in the future we get to see some more flashbacks with her. And I liked most of the Carl story even if his interactions with his father felt a bit disjointed for me. I'm giving episode 10 "Inmates" a solid 9 out of 10, could have been a perfect episode if it weren't for the few problems I had. What did you guys think of the first two? Leave your reactions in the comments below and I'll see you all next episode!

Written by Isaiah Mueller

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

T.I.N. Soldier Reviews for Community and Arrow

Community: Pierce's Last Will & Testament

This episode opens with the study group coming back from Pierce’s cult ceremony/ funeral. I thought this was a really great and touching episode with a pretty sweet guest star. In what is basically a bottle episode, the group spends it in the library getting questioned, and getting bequeathed upon from the late member of the group. The whole time they are wired to lie detectors that are run by a scientist who is also a pretty shitty person.

The episode ties up Pierce's time in the series without the character even being there, but he still manages to cause chaos within the group, and gets them to reveal awkwardly truthful things about themselves.  In the end, this only brought them closer together. The character, "Pierce" Hawthorne, gives his final goodbyes to each member of the group, and also gives them some obligatory sperm.

Except for Troy, he still gets sperm, but he also gets the opportunity to sail around the world, and inherit Pierce's fortune. As we already know, this is the beginning of the end for Troy. This episode also touched on a sort of unseen subplot that happened in seasons past where Troy lived with Pierce for a while. Even from the beginning, these two had a pretty nice relationship. Pierce was kind of Troy’s mentors so it made sense. Still I can't believe next episode will be Troy’s last, but more importantly what the hell is Abed going do now that his sidekick is gone? It should be interesting.              

As usual this cast shows that they're able to carry an episode that relay’s entirely on their performances. The episode is a real character piece and every actor on this show is at the top of their game. It is kind of sad now that Pierce is off the show for good, but this one was a great send off to the character. I'm giving this one an 8 out of 10. This episode also had a great tag, apparently Pierce died from masturbating to death. I’m going to miss Pierce, but at least he became a Level 5 Laser Lotus, and died rich.

By: Isaiah Mueller

Arrow Episode 12-Heir to The Demon

Since the start of season two, Arrow has consistently featured an engaging story, and surprising plot twists. This trend continues with the newest episode "Heir to The Demon." Even though it is not quite as successful as the last few episodes, it still is an engaging, and enthralling view. I fully expected this week’s episode to continue the overarching plot involving Brother Blood and Slade Wilson, not to mention last week’s move by Oliver to reveal his identity to Roy. However, it went in a completely different direction, introducing Ra’s al Ghul's daughter Nyssa into the fray. I was a bit surprised/disappointed that al Ghul’s daughter in the show was not in fact Talia, but Nyssa. However, she soon made me forget all about Talia. Throughout the course of the episode, she quickly cemented herself as a formidable Arrow villain by not being a full on villain. She had some redeeming values and showed a human side, unpredictability, if you will. Her romantic relationship with Sarah was unexpected, but also very natural and not shoehorned in. Kudos to The C.W. for that.

The overall plot of this episode is that Nyssa al Ghul's coming to get Sarah and bring her back to The League of Assassins. But with help from Oliver, and her dad, she decides to stay and fight. After an emotional fight, Nyssa eventually releases her from the League and leaves her alone and free. The episode ends with Sarah revealing that she is alive to her family and suffice it to say that Laurel doesn't respond to the news positively. Sarah's return and Laurel's reaction to it will certainly make for an interesting dynamic in the coming episodes. The episode ends with Oliver and Sarah making out in a scene that had me screaming at my tv (I really want Laurel and Oliver to be together).

The flashbacks that are synonymous with Arrow are present in this episode, but like this episode are far different than anything from season two. It flashes back to the Lance home, the day before the fateful shipwreck. It introduces Sarah and Laurel's relationship and explores The Lance's, especially Laurel and Quentin's reaction to Sarah's presumed death. It was certainly one of the high point of the episodes, littered with raw emotion and background on these characters that we've seen grow and struggle for over 30 episodes. The weakest part of the episode was the moments that involved Moira's bid for mayor ship. It seemed rushed and really took away from the main story line. That being said it still had an amazing moment to it in which Oliver learns that his mom had an affair with Malcolm Merlin, and that Thea was the result of the affair. This leaves Oliver and Moira's relationship all, but destroyed. I'll admit I was disappointed by Moira's actions, after all that she'd been through I had really thought that she'd changed. But if there's one thing I've learned about this show, it's that things are never as they seem. Also there was a weird scene that involved Oliver with his shirt off, hitting a tire with a hammer. But come to think of it there haven’t been that many topless, pointless workout scenes lately, so I'll give C.W. the pass this time. All in all "Heir to The Demon" is a welcome change of pace that explores different dynamics of the Arrow world, while still maintaining the characteristics that make the show great.


+Welcome Change of Pace
+Nyssa's serves as a formidable and multi-faceted villain
+Great insight into The Lance family life via flashback
+A bunch of  new status quo's created
-Moira's candidacy feels shoehorned in
-Weird training scene

By: Alex Handziuk

Friday, February 7, 2014

Are There No Secrets in Movies Anymore?

Are there no secrets in movies anymore?

       Paul Bettany being cast as Vision is great news, sure. He’s perfect. It’ll be a cool transition to see him going from JARVIS to Vision. But why tell us about it?? Wouldn’t this have been an awesome reveal in The Avengers: Age of Ultron? It’s not even like people would be wondering why Paul Bettany was in the movie or on set. He’s already been in the movies!! So why tell us about it? Is it getting people psyched for the movie? No, not really. The sequel to the Avengers is already guaranteed to gross over a billion dollars, and do you think anyone who wasn’t going to see it will now because Paul Bettany is Vision? No. 

       This is true for all casting rumors/announcements. The internet has ruined movies. Fanboys are constantly speculating and demanding answers to casting rumors and decisions that the studios then has to acknowledge them and come right out and say “Yup, Vin Diesel is Groot" or "Benicio del Toro will be the Collector" instead of letting us wonder: who could he be? Will he be Thanos??
Why is that David Bowie, by the way?
       Speaking of del Toro as the Collector, it seems like the only “surprises” in any of these movies are from the post-credit scenes. And even that doesn’t ring true anymore. I can’t go on any comic book site without seeing “Post-credit scene for (insert nerdy movie here) revealed??” Where’s your sense of wonder people! Don’t you want to go into a movie and be shocked, surprised, awed, and wowed again?

       This rings doubly true for trailers. These five minute long trailers that show us every act of the film (including the climax or major hints at the big reveal) are completely out of control. And what’s with showing us the first five minutes of a movie for certain trailers. YOU CAN’T WAIT FOR IT?

       Just give me a trailer that tells me the director, the type of movie it is and one or two things blowing up. I hate seeing fourth, fifth and sixth trailers. I like the teaser trailers. Because isn’t that what a trailer is supposed to be?? Tease us with a glimpse, a glimpse of what’s to come in the movie. That’s why I liked the trailer for Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar, while a lot of people hated it. A trailer is supposed to make you go “Oh, I’m intrigued” not “Oh, I know LITERALLY EVERYTHING THERE IS TO KNOW ABOUT THIS MOVIE NOW”.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Polarizing Man of Steel Theory Leads to Nerd Uproar!

When our buddy, TJ Kiss, approached us with, we laughed in his face. Then he showed us the video and our view of the movie changed entirely. It should only be appropriate that the most polarizing character choice in recent film history would continue to churn out new controversy almost 7 months later. When we posted this article, we only hoped that a few people would nod their heads and think "huh, wow. Did Supes just decapitate an innocent family?" This certainly would lend credence to Superman's adoption of his Absolutely-No-Killing rule, because look at the collateral damage he caused last time he killed. What we didn't see coming is the mass outcry from comic book fans and comic book sites. It seems that the comic book community is highly vocal and opinionated. Who knew! His seemingly madcap theory is now being discussed by some of the most prestigious comic book websites and is only gaining steam. We've compiled a list of some of the sites discussing it.

Reddit has gone crazy with the theory, contribute here!'s Sarah Gibson talks about it here!

The always wonderful and intuitive has an article about the controversy here!

And of course, any good theory must have it's detractors, so check out Jon Negroni's rebbuttle here!

In the end, our theory was wrong, but it was definitely interesting.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Man of Steel: The Forgotten Victims of Superman Versus Zod

Zach Snyder’s “Man of Steel” struck a cord with fanboys everywhere.  There was a moment in that film, however, that I feel went completely overlooked.  During the climactic battle between Zod and Kal-El we are presented with a very interesting scene.  Before you continue reading, I urge you to Youtube the final battle and Zod's death.  Seriously. Do it.

Notice anything? I did. As Kal is holding the head of Zod, we see an innocent family who had no intention of dealing with crazed ex-General from a blown up far away planet.  As the beams from Zod’s eyes are getting closer and closer to this family, Kal shuts his eyes, and snaps his Kryptonian neck like a twig!  Way to go Superman right….WRONG!  It takes a moment, but Kal looks up, and lets out an ungodly scream while we also see a shot of a horrified Lois Lane.  What do we not see?  We don’t see that family again.  Why? Because when Kal twisted Zod’s head like a bottle cap off a beer, that family was sliced in half by the beams! Pretty sick and twisted. Just to clarify, Superman essentially killed these people when he killed Zod. So, in my not so humble opinion, this is where Superman gains his “never kill” stance in Snyder’s re-boot. 

Written by: TJ Kiss

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 trailer you deserve after that pretty shitty Super Bowl.

Remember that time you complained about Electro? I'm almost positive that is going to change.

More Emma, more Electro, more Spidey quips, and villains galore.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Captain America: The Winter Soldier trailer that you did not see during the Super Bowl

Remember that time the Denver Broncos sucked and we were utterly disappointed in movie trailers during the Super Bowl? I honestly believe this trailer makes up for that really boring Sunday night you just had.

Lots of Steve Rogers, so much more Winter Soldier, and a fun sneak peak at Marvels' Falcon.