“Stranger Things” Review

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I’ve had Netflix’s new show “Stranger Things” on my queue since it came out but I only got to watching it two days ago and I have to say I was not disappointed. I binged the entire series within a day, it was so addictive. The plot revolves around a group of dorky tween boys in the 1980’s; when one of their friends mysteriously disappears one night all sorts of weird shit happens. The boys find a weird little girl in the woods with telepathic powers, there is a questionable research facility, the missing boy’s mother begins to sense that her son is somehow trying to communicate with her through electricity, and a freaky monster is out for blood. This sci-fi piece of gold is not only reminiscent of some of the greatest 80’s flicks but also harbors a timeless appeal of mystery, suspense, and wonder that made me feel like a kid again. If you are not hooked by the first 20 minutes of the pilot, something is wrong with you. This show feels like more of an 8 hour long movie than a tv series, definitely binge-worthy and packs a killer opening theme.

9/10

 

 

X-Men: Apocalypse Review

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So I went to see the late X-Men yesterday, and although I was aware of the mixed reviews I was still super excited to see the film because the X-Men have always been my favorite Marvel team and I’ve been watching the films for 15 years now. I was always a fan of the Apocalypse story line, but after the huge success of Days of Future Past, Bryan Singer had a lot of weight on his shoulders to really deliver another satisfying film. While the film definitely had its flaws, I think Singer did a pretty good job overall, and the film was saved by some truly fantastic special effects and the performances of the new X-Men additions (Nightcrawler, Jean Grey, Cyclops), however just like the previous film, Evan Peter’s Quicksilver stole the show delivering the best sequence of the entire movie. Apocalypse unfortunately was slightly underwhelming as a villain compared to the formidable foe he is in the comics. My main issues in the film were the completely wasted characters, most notably Psylocke, Jubilee, and Angel. Jubilee never seems to be given any real substance whenever she is shown in the X-Men films so I don’t understand why they even bring her in at all. Olivia Munn’s Psylocke was super lame and added absolutely nothing to the table, she’s an awesome character but the film (just like her pathetic role in Last Stand) did not do her any justice. The other problem I had was with the whole Alkali Lake sequence which was totally unnecessary to the film’s overall plot, but was merely added in to tie in with the post-credits scene to set up the future films involving Wolverine’s clone, X-23. For most, the post-credit scene was super ambiguous, the only thing that tipped me off was the name “Essex” on the briefcase of the man stealing DNA samples from Alkali Lake, leading me to make the connection to Nathaniel Essex AKA Mister Sinister, badass X-Men super-villain.

All in all I found the film perfectly enjoyable, but mainly because I was so excited to see the characters I love so much. I don’t think the film deserves a 47% on Rotten Tomatoes, the 60 seconds of Jean Grey’s Phoenix fire did more justice to the character than the entirety of Last Stand. Seriously fuck Last Stand (even Jean Grey was like fuck Last Stand with her little dig at the third movie always being the worst). With some solid performances, awesome CGI, a fantastic score, and the final sequence of the new young X-Men, I’d give the film a 7/10. I think the future for the X-Men franchise is as strong as ever, and now they have the opportunity to truly do justice and explore different storylines with a younger cast. Can’t wait for the New Mutants film, I wanna see some Magik!

Top 15 TV Shows of 2015

To go along with the last post it’s now time for TV shows! We are currently in a golden age for television which is awesome for bingers like me. Prominent on the list are surprisingly CW shows, I know surprising, considering that the CW has also been responsible for some of the worst more recent shows (e.g. Star-Crossed, Melrose Place, The Tomorrow People, etc.). What has really upped the CW’s game are their DC Comics shows (Arrow, The Flash, and soon to be Legends of Tomorrow). So here’s my list of the top 15 shows of the year…

15. Limitless

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I was particularly shocked that this show turned out to be good, considering I fell asleep at the movie theater watching the movie it was based on. However the premise is far more enjoyable and fun thanks to the chemistry between the two leads: Jake McDorman and Jennifer Carpenter. Sure Bradley Cooper pops in every once and while, but the true great parts of this show are the smart plot lines.

14. Game of Thrones

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I was never actually a fan of this show initially, I found the plot lines way too hard to keep up with and all the weird names and gratuitous nudity was a little too much for me. However the show’s most recent season gave some better stories and some truly masterful episodes. Yeah Jon Snow is dead but he was a little too whiny anyway.

13. Arrow

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Arrow finished its last season on not a super high note in my opinion, the last season was weaker than its second. However this fall Arrow came back with an interesting premise and a very shocking twist in it’s premiere. We’ve gotten a look at the new spin-off and they had a fun episode guest-starring Constantine (who I hope they bring back). Arrow (or should I say the Green Arrow) is finally returning to form, and Stephen Amell has given way more in depth performances this season.

12. The Flash

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The Flash had a fantastic first season and an amazing finale, and this second season has also been almost equally entertaining. We got a new freaky villain in Zoom, and a whole new array of Meta humans thanks to the whole Earth 2 thing. Keep it coming Flash.

11. Hannibal

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Damn was I sad when NBC announced they were canceling Hannibal after only three seasons. Hannibal was one of those shows, while it didn’t last long it gained a loyal cult following and it was consistently good. Each episode was visually stunning and amazingly acted. Mads Mikkelsen is chilling in his performance as Hannibal Lector. I wish it could have gone on but it went out with a bang.

10. Supernatural

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Sam and Dean are back. Again. For the eleventh year. I think that alone shows that Supernatural has been consistently good throughout its run. Always entertaining and full of bigger and bigger enemies to defeat, Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki have given viewers two of the most lovable characters ever (but mainly Dean, Sam is a bit of a buzzkill).

9. IZombie

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The CW has done it again, IZombie is weirdly a great idea. Thank you to Rob Thomas who we all love for bringing Veronica Mars to life. This time he has gifted us with another short, witty blonde, Rose McIver (who is absolutely terrific). Fun twist on zombies and crime solving, IZombie is definitely worth binging on Netflix ASAP.

8. The 1oo

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Yes one more CW show, what can I say they’ve had a killer two years. The 100 returned for its second season early in the year and will be coming back in less than a month for season 3. The show follows a group of teens in the future who come down from space to see if Earth is still inhabitable (chaos and conspiracy ensues…). This last season we got more of a glimpse of what was out there on the mysterious dilapidated Earth with some complicated character development and new relationships. The 100 is a great show.

7. Marvel’s Daredevil

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Finally now when we think of Daredevil we no longer have to be scarred by the thought of Ben Affleck’s dreadful version. Instead we have the wonderful Charlie Cox, who brought great depth and intrigue to the character and finally did some justice to the beloved Marvel hero. Fisk was a fantastic villain and Netflix did an awesome job. Go Marvel.

6. Scream Queens

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Scream Queens was pretty underrated during the first half of its run, however people soon got on the SQ train as soon as they realized how fucking hilarious it is. I was a fan from the first episode, Jamie Lee Curtis is an absolute queen as is the wonderfully bitchy Emma Roberts. And let’s just take a second to appreciate the best part of the show: Glen Powell who gave us CHAD RADWELL. Oh and also Bille Lourd’s earmuffs as a cute reference to her Momma Princess Leia. Great writing, a fantastic cast, Scream Queens better be renewed for another season, especially after that god awful AHS season we’ve had this fall.

5. The Affair

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The Affair’s second season gave us a deeper look into the complex lives of Noah, Alison, Helen, and Cole. Who killed Scotty? Well we finally find out in the season finale. This amazing show is told from four totally different perspectives which offer a refreshing look at human nature. Deadly good and plenty of drama, The Affair is easily one of the best shows of the year.

4. Fargo

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It was hard to top Fargo’s first season, however the second season came back with even more blood, weirdness, and good old Minnesotan accents. Kirsten Dunst played a super crazy psychopathic 1970’s hairdresser, but somehow was able to make viewers root for her till the end. Wildly entertaining, you know Fargo’s next season is to be equally as good as its predecessors.

3. Outlander

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I just love Outlander so much. I just discovered it when it began its second half of its first season and boy did I binge. Caitriona Balfe and Sam Heughan have undeniable chemistry and this period drama has some of the best acting and story lines on television. Tobias Menzies is absolutely terrifying in his role of the villainous Jack Randall. I think women around the world agree, going back in time to a shitty time period is totally worth it when you land straight into the arms of Jamie Fraser.

2. Mr. Robot

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Rami Malek totally nails it in his portrayal of the awkward, paranoid, morphine-dependant hacker Elliot in Mr. Robot. I had heard how great the show was so I finally decided to check it out and I was blown away from the first episode. Great acting and thrilling plot lines make Mr. Robot a must-see.

1. Marvel’s Jessica Jones

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Here we are finally at number one: Jessica Jones. After the world got to see Daredevil and how amazing it was, high hopes were placed on Jessica Jones. And it did not disappoint. I watched the entire season in the 24 hour period after it was released. Krysten Ritter as the alcoholic super-strong P.I. gave us an undeniably fantastic performance. She KILLED it. Jones’ complicated romance with Luke Cage, David Tennant’s performance as the psychotic Kilgrave, and great writing make Jessica Jones the best show of 2015.

There you have it, there’s my list. 2015 was an amazing year for television. Feel free to comment and let me know if  you think there were any shows I missed or any that deserve an honorable mention. Happy New Year! May 2016 gift us with even more binge-worthy shows.

 

 

My Top 10 Movies of 2015

There’s only a few days left of this year so I thought I’d go over my favorite films of this year. 2015 was a year full of blockbuster hits, however not all of them made my list (**cough**Jurassic World**cough**)…

10. Spy

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Spy was one of those movies that you don’t expect to be anything more than a silly comedy used to pass a couple of hours. However it turned out to be brutally entertaining and Melissa McCartney restored my faith in her after that awful Identity Thief film from last year. Great writing and humor, and Jason Statham really stole the show for me.

9. Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation

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Tom Cruise doin Tom Cruise. The dude is always pushing his limits and this MI went farther than ever. Lots of fun action, interesting story, and complex characters made this film almost as good as MI3 (which in my opinion was highly underrated).

8. Trainwreck

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Amy Schumer won over just about everyone this year. Trainwreck was a smart comedy about a woman struggling to grow up and Schumer is positively hilarious and unbelievably lovable in this raunchy flick.

7. Ant-Man

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I’ll be the first to admit I had very far from high hopes for Ant-Man. However, Marvel proved they can create a fun and enjoyable film from even the lamest sounding superheroes. Quips, quips, and more quips, except this time we have Paul Rudd so expect 10 times more quipping.

6. Avengers: Age of Ultron

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Speaking of the Gods of quippers: The fucking Avengers! (sorry Steve, I’ll try to watch my language). Fun movie, made a gazillion bucks, of course this film was gonna make the list.

5. Kingsman: The Secret Service

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Two Words: Colin Firth. A refreshing take on the spy genre, that has enough humor and wit to make up for James Bond’s lack there of.

4. The Martian

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Matt Damon finally gets his chance to play a real Astronaut who is not a super dick (I’m talking to you Interstellar). The Martian was emotional and Damon proved once again that he is one of the best actors in Hollywood.

3. Mad Max: Fury Road

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Based on its visual effects alone, Mad Max is highly considered one of the best films of the year. Miller took forever to finish this film but the final product was totally worth it. Charlize Theron slays all and while Tom Hardy only says about three full words throughout the film, his grunts are Oscar-worthy…lol just kidding about that last part, but Hardy is cool nonetheless.

2. Ex-Machina

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This movie gave me absolute chills. It was artfully filmed and provided an eery look towards the future of AI technology. It also provided us with one of the biggest young breakout stars of the year: Alicia Vikander. The Swedish beauty is already set to star in a number of huge films to come and has been nominated for two Golden Globes (most likely an Oscar too) for her outstanding work.

1. STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS

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Come on did you expect anything else?? I feel like this was a pretty obvious choice, given its the biggest film in the last decade. If not for just the sentimental factor alone, the Force Awakens brought back the universe we all know and love (from the original trilogy anyway). I think we are all just grateful we no longer have to watch Hayden Christensen struggle to act anymore, and for that we thank you JJ.

Ant-Man Review

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So let me just say I have absolute faith in Marvel. Last year I was so happily surprised with how amazing Guardians of the Galaxy turned out to be but Ant-Man truly solidified my faith. MARVEL CAN DO NO WRONG. Ant-Man was simply fANtastic. It is a well-balanced film and Paul Rudd is the perfect guy for this role. There was plenty of humor and cool action sequences and a really great supporting cast (T.I. surprisingly). Falcon made an awesome cameo in one of the highlights of the film: a hilarious fight scene with Ant-Man when he tries to rob the new Avenger’s facility.

Ant-Man is consistently entertaining throughout and even made me think ants are cute. While I felt we didn’t see enough of the awesome looking villain Yellow-Jacket, at least we got a sneak peek of Wasp in the mid-credit scene.

Verdict: 8/10 I seriously recommend this film, its great fun (and for any Marvel fans theres a bunch of cool easter eggs to look out for). Oh and as usual make sure you stick around for a sneak peek at next year’s Civil War! You won’t regret it!

Jurassic World Review

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I know I’m super late on this post, I saw the movie like a week and a half ago but never got the chance to write about it. But right now I’m super energized from having to murder the biggest fucking spider I have ever seen so I figured I might as well do something productive.

First off, this movie bored the hell out of me. I NEVER take bathroom breaks during movies but I took THREE during this dud (granted that could be attributed to the two glasses of Riesling I chugged beforehand, but still I didn’t even make the effort to hold it). Jurassic World was a plethora of clichés and unnecessary characters. For example the two brothers: completely pointless. Just a horny teenager who creepily stares at every single girl he sees. Then there’s Bryce Dallas Howard’s completely useless character who is dumb as shit and can’t even tell that the giant fucking dinosaur thingy didn’t actually escape but is still in its tiny ass cage. Then there’s the totally convenient abilities of the weird giant white dinosaur thingy who can apparently turn invisible/camouflage and is super fast and just generally won’t die, not to mention it’s somehow a super genius and is smart enough to fake an escape.

Last but not least there’s Chris Pratt in possibly his most humorless role yet. I love Chris Pratt because he’s funny and likable, however in this film he was nothing but a hunky raptor trainer who somehow knew everything there is to know about hunting dinosaurs. Speaking of raptors, that whole part where the raptors turn on Owen and follow the giant freaky dinosaur was completely pointless since like two minutes later they turn against it and follow Owen again so WTF.

All in all this movie was basically just a two hour rip-off of the latest Godzilla movie that tried waaay too hard to play on our nostalgia for the original film.

Whenever you have to rely solely on the guy from New Girl as comedic relief, you’re in trouble.

Verdict: 6/10 Don’t waste your time.

Avengers: Age of Ultron Review

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I can’t believe I had to wait a whole week to see this movie but like finals and shit…so what are you gonna do. Just as like a thing, **SPOILER ALERT**

It’s hard to really compare Age of Ultron to the first Avengers because they are so different and in this case we didn’t need to spend half the movie setting up character relationships so that was a plus. Overall this movie was awesome, I’ve been waiting forever to see it and was dying of excitement when I saw the first trailer. However I did have a few issues with it so lemme just make you a Pros and Cons list:

Pros:

-VISION!!! I was about to pee myself waiting for Vision to finally be revealed and it was awesome and he was awesome.

-The Avengers actually made an effort to save innocent bystanders from all the destruction they caused

-Great action sequences, especially the final battle

-Awesome writing by Joss Whedon (i mean who doesn’t love Buffy, the guy’s a genius)

-The Hulkbuster

-Mid credit scene with Thanos & the Infinity Gauntlet

-Did Hulk shoot himself into space? Cuz that’d be awesome

Cons:

-Ultron was more sarcastic and jokey than menacing

-Too much background on Hawkeye and Romanoff (they’re supporting members for a reason, I don’t care that Hawkeye has a bunch of kids and lives on a farm when he’s not shooting people with arrows)

-Too much Jeremy Renner in general

-Not enough Cap/Thor

-Romancey scenes with Black Widow/Bruce Banner

-Where the fuck was Black Panther? They were even in Wakanda and everything

-Kind of glossed over the whole A.I. thing in the beginning

-Too many one-liners (especially by War Machine. Go away Don Cheadle, you were not relevant to the story)

Overall I’d give the movie an 8 out of 10, it was extremely entertaining and fun. However I have to say I am way more excited to see Captain America: Civil War next year because its basically gonna be an Avengers movie but like with way more awesome characters added in, e.g. Black Panther, Spiderman, & Winter Soldier. (only downside is no Thor or Hulk.)

Keep em coming MARVEL!!