Mad Max: Fury Road (Review)


Mad Max: Fury Road currently has a 98% freshness rating and upon seeing the film for yourself, it quickly becomes entirely apparent just why. George Miller's post-apocalyptic drama is loaded with high-octane adrenaline combined with a brilliant critique on the mistreatment of women.

Mild spoilers below.

Tom Hardy stars as the titular Mad Max, but by in large, the film isn't so much about him. In looking at the film on its own, as opposed to stacking it up against it's decades-old prequels, there is little we learn about Max. With only brief flashes of his past and visions of his lost loved ones, much of his story remains a mystery. It is not difficult to argue that the film's true first-lead is that of Charlize Theron's Imperator Furiosa, whose back-story may not be presented with any live-action shots but is still explored more deeply than Max's. Theron's emotionality is often highly potent, as it simmers just beneath the surface of her tough exterior.

But the strength of Mad Max: Fury Road is not derived from any one single performance. It is a machine in which each and every cog is of the highest calibre. The action sequences are visually stunning, with the very real-explosions and pyro-techniques elevating the scale of the battles fought. While other actions films can often spiral into a comedic mess due to the painfully obvious transitions between lead actors and their stunt doubles, this one makes use of closer shots in the sequences with its lead actors that leave little doubt that this film cast actors who weren't afraid to pull their own weight.


The commentary is ripe in this film, as the antagonist is a totalitarian-dictator who greedily and hedonistically takes multiple wives to be used for breeding as much as his old and rotting body will allow him to. The women who fight for their freedom and to stop him from further perpetrating his misogyny-riddled violence are all allotted their own agency and distinct character traits, even when in the status of supporting character. It's a rare sight to see in films given wide distribution by Hollywood, but we are hopeful that this film can be a trail-blazer for more quality material for women in large blockbusters. 

Hugh Keays-Byrne gives a strong performance as Immortal Joe, with much of his wild rage being present in his gaze. With his face being largely covered, he still played the madness of his character well. Nicholas Hoult is also worthy of recognition, as his ability to play the both manic and vulnerable parts of Nux's journey beautifully. Indeed there is hardly a less-than-stellar performance to be seen in this film, as even the supporting characters are able to make a lasting impression and have a moving story to tell, regardless of their shorter amount of screen time. 

In short, Mad Max: Fury Road is the first film to have me truly excited about the future of film since Snowpiercer. With both of these films, we have large-scale sets to backdrop compelling tales of fighting against totalitarian systems and quality material for more characters than just the white-male lead. This is precisely the sort of film that the industry needed. Don't miss out on this exciting and beautifully crafted piece of art!

Terminator: Genisys (2015) Review

Genre:
Science Fiction/Action
Rating:
PG-13
Run Time:
2 hr 6 min
Release Date:
July 1, 2015
Distributor:
Paramount Pictures
 
Official Site:
Directed by:
Alan Taylor
 
Screenplay by:
Patrick Lussier & Laeta Kalogridis
 
Produced by:
David Ellison & Dana Goldberg

Plot Summary:
When John Connor (Jason Clarke), leader of the human resistance, sends Sgt. Kyle Reese (Jai Courtney) back to 1984 to protect Sarah Connor (Emilia Clarke) and safeguard the future, an unexpected turn of events creates a fractured timeline. Now, Sgt. Reese finds himself in a new and unfamiliar version of the past, where he is faced with unlikely allies, including the Guardian (Arnold Schwarzenegger), dangerous new enemies, and an unexpected new mission: To reset the future...
 
Cast:
Arnold Schwarzenegger, Emilia Clarke, Jason Clarke, Jai Courtney, J.K. Simmons, Matt Smith, Dayo Okeniyi, Byung-hun Lee, Courtney B. Vance
 



*My Thoughts*

Note: This review contains NO spoilers

Well, I am absolutely gushing with glee as a fangirl...haha! Yes, despite the mixed reviews by critics, I loved this new installment in the Terminator franchise, especially after the dismal and disappointing third and fourth installments. But, because I love the Terminator films, I watched those films. Of course, I had mixed feelings about it... considering the whole time travel and changing the future concept. Anyways, enough of that... onto Terminator: Genisys.

This is definitely a refreshing new take on the Terminator franchise. Although reminiscent of the first two films, The Terminator and Terminator 2: Judgment Day, this film also add a new story (if you will) to this theme. Talk about time travel, changing the future, and fragmented timelines. Apparently, the past, as well as the future, was changed. The action-filled movie was super-charged... with some scenes similar to the past two films. I even loved how there were scenes from the previous films integrated and interacted with the present scenes. Pretty interesting. Totally enjoyed seeing a CGI young Arnold... again! Speaking of which, Arnold is back! Yes, he is back reprising his role as that Terminator that many fans have loved since the beginning. Can't forget those famous one-liners that has continued to be popular to this day. And... in this new installment, we will have another famous one-liner by Arnold... sure enough, there is...haha!

As for the casting, I loved it! Emilia Clarke and Jai Courtney did an amazing job as Sarah Connor and Kyle Reese, respectively. Although I loved Linda Hamilton and Michael Biehn from the original film, I think they would be proud of these performances. I cannot compare... it wouldn't be fair. They are all amazing actors/actresses; and they all brought their own tenacity to these characters. But, Arnold.... yeah, it's Arnold freakiin' Schwarzenegger! Heck yeah! Can't see anyone else portraying the original Terminator...lol!  He still brought on that same character that I loved since the first movie. Not disappointed with that...at all!

Throughout the film, the common factor was the mission of changing the future. But, this time, everything has changed. With that...I will say no more. I don't want to spoil it for those Terminator fans and new fans that hasn't watched it yet. But then again, the trailers and TV spots pretty much spoil it as it is...revealing too much.

All in all, I think this is the start of reviving a franchise that has become a classic...I hope. I would love to see more to come, especially after watching the after-credits scene. Yes, there is a scene after... Sooo, don't leave yet...haha!

My rating:
 
Terminator: Genisys Character Posters  
  
 
 

Hannibal S3E5 - “Contorno” Recap


Will and Chiyoh are on a train headed south from Lithuania in order to find Hannibal together. She shares about meeting him and being mentored by him. Will knows that Hannibal is in Florence because of Bottecelli's "Primavera," which is currently in the Uffizi gallery. They discuss how snails are carried across the world by birds that eat them. Chiyoh also shares how she was originally Hannibal's Aunt, Lady Murasaki's attendant.

Meanwhile, Hannibal and Bedelia are discussing reciprocity and how they know Will must currently be on the hunt to find and kill Hannibal, while Hannibal in turn is waiting for Will so that he can kill him too.

Jack says goodbye to Bella by sprinkling her ashes into the Arno. He tosses his wedding ring in too afterwards. Jack then heads to the home of Inspector Pazzi and his wife to have dinner. Jack warns him about operating outside of the law to pursue Hannibal, as this was something he himself did and it didn't end well. Pazzi's investigation of Hannibal has been done without anyone in his department knowing.

Mason and Alana are still following their pursuit of Hannibal by tracking his expensive tastes. She orders the sort of things Hannibal would like and is able to find the truffles and wine Bedelia bought at a local Florence shop.

Pazzi has followed the missing Florentine professors to Hannibal and questions him about these disappearances. Of course Hannibal is using an alias but Pazzi knows who he is really talking to. Of course the smartest thing for him to do would be to let official law enforcement know that he has found this wanted criminal. So what does he do? Not that. He tracks down Mason Verger's contact information, as he has put out a bounty for Hannibal.

Hannibal remembers meeting Pazzi in his youth and he knows that Pazzi is operating outside the confines of the law, as he will prefer to profit from selling Hannibal then to simply get credit for catching him.

It's night and Chiyoh leaves the train compartment to look at the moon. Will has visions of her being impaled by antlers. He couldn't save Abigail but now he seems to hope to save Chiyoh instead. He goes out to meet her and she says she knows exactly where Hannibal is: Florence. She kisses Will and tells him violence is what he understands, before pushing him off the back of the train.

Pazzi video chats with Mason, who offers him three million dollars if he can track down Hannibal and deliver him alive, hoping to unleash some plans he has for him. He needs a fresh fingerprint of Hannibal's in exchange for an advance on the reward. Alana tells Mason in private that Hannibal is going to kill Pazzi, and Mason seems to know this too.

Pazzi arrives at Hannibal's to try to get his fingerprints. He shows Hannibal a mask supposedly worn by his ancestors and Hannibal has a gift of his own. It's a woodcut of Francesco Pazzi, one of the Inspector's ancestors. Just as Pazzi is attempting to swipe Hannibal's knife to get the fingerprints, Hannibal renders him unconscious. Meanwhile, Pazzi's wife is asking Jack why her husband isn't home and what he has done.

Pazzi wakes gagged and bound to a chair. Hannibal prepares a noose using an electrical chord as he begins to question him. Pazzi admits that Mason Verger is the one who he was working with and that he hasn't told anyone in law enforcement about him. Alana calls Pazzi's phone which is answered by Hannibal, who says that Pazzi can't come to the phone right now. Hannibal proceeds to recreate the imagery of the woodcut by disembowling Pazzi and throwing him out the side of the apartment to dangle by the electrical chord noose.

Jack then arrives and Hannibal taunts him by insinuating that he killed Bella to put her out of her misery. Jack then attacks Hannibal after turning on Rossini's "The Thieving Bagpipe" and begins beating him badly. Jack throws him through some glass, stabs his arm with a breaking wheel, and gets in several good punches. Hannibal asks Jack how he'll feel once Hannibal is gone. Jack responds, "Alive" and throws Hannibal out a window. Of course Hannibal is still alive but he's covered in blood as he limps away.

Hannibal airs on Thursdays on NBC at 10PM.

Beauty and the Beast S3E4 - “Heart of the Matter” Recap


Cat and Vincent head to a marriage counsellor after having a fight, which Vincent would rather refer to as a disagreement. Flashback one day when Vincent and Cat and talking about how they're missing being able to spend time with each other in a manner that doesn't have anything to do with a case or the investigative work they're doing. Cat is investigating the death of a woman named April whose death was ruled a suicide but she had drilled into her head. It's a highly unusual manner of death and she had a very rare blood type. Now her organs will be going to a billionaire, Marshall Zolman. She asks newly-appointed Captain Tess to let her investigate this, as Cat thinks Marshall may be the one behind this latest wave of experiments. Tess lets her go investigate but makes her promise this won't come back to bite her. Meanwhile, JT throws himself down a flight of stairs to investigate his new-found fast-healing abilities. JT's injuries heal before he can even reach a hospital. He becomes set on making an antidote because he's concerned that the superhuman serum may cause him to become unstable.

Vincent is upset with Cat when he shows up to Marshall's gala, which Cat had made him believe was a date, only to find that she is obsessively fixated on her suspicions of Marshall. He thinks she's grasping at straws. Cat proceeds to question Marshall at the party even though he's sick and in a wheelchair. Vincent keeps trying to stop her but Cat pushes, which makes Marshall admit that he had people look into his donor. This is against the law since he breached the donor registry. Cat and Vincent argue about their relationship and then Marshall falls out of his wheelchair due to a heart attack.

Cat and Vincent have a difficult time explaining all of their relationship issues in their therapy session since some of the issues are directly derived around beast-issues which the therapist can't know about. But what they are able to share is how Vincent thinks Cat is too focused on the cases they work on instead of their relationship. What they are able to agree on is that they are better together.

Marshall was rushed to the hospital where he needs to have his heart transplant immediately. But the heart gets stolen so Cat and Vincent need to track down whomever took it. However, Cat and Vincent decide to separate to hunt the heart because of their disagreements. But it doesn't take long for them to run into each other. Then they find the heart thief dead in a dumpster, so whomever wanted the heart has gotten away with it for now. They need to find it or else Marshall will die.

JT determines that April was experimented on and the reason she drilled into her head is because pressure began building in her skull and it drove her to an extreme need to relieve it. Cat and Vincent track down the heart to a freezer in a meat-packing warehouse but before they can get away, someone locks them into the freezer. Cat and Vincent have a brief argument when Cat wants him to Beast out to knock the door down and Vincent points out that all she has been doing lately is telling him not to Beast out. But Vincent does just what's needed to break them out. They get the heart to JT, whose antidote is able to de-supercharge the heart back into a normal one.

Cat and Vincent are told by the therapist that they might be co-dependent on each other, as they have failed to maintain their individual selves that exist outside of their relationship. This leads them to figure out that Marshall's wife is co-dependent on him. Once Marshall was dying, he began to give away all of his money away to charity. She orchestrated the stealing of her husband's heart so that she could kill her husband and keep the money, as she had felt that after all that she had sacrificed for him had lead her to feel cheated.

Cat and Vincent arrive to the hospital and find that Marshall's wife has gotten her goons to cut the power in the hospital as well as the backup generators. Cat will go take care of her and get the power back on, while Vincent uses his beastly abilities to operate on Marshall in the dark. Cat takes care of the goons, and Marshall's wife is arrested. Cat and Vincent celebrate their ability to take care of things separately, meaning they're working past their co-dependency.

Tess tells Cat she can't keep covering for Cat and Vincent or else it will cost her her job. They don't know how they're going to balance everything but they will continue to work to figure it out. Cat encourages Tess to talk to JT, who needs someone to talk to with everything going on. As it turns out, the antidote doesn't work on him. Vincent consoles Marshall for losing his wife in this manner and thanks him for helping him to work out some issues in his own relationship.

Beauty and the Beast airs on Thursdays on the CW at 8PM.

Teen Wolf S5E2 - "Parasomnia" Review


With only 10 episodes making up this portion of the season's arc, which will consist of two 10-episode arcs, Teen Wolf is wasting no time delving into the meat of their conflict for the Beacon Hills gang to fight off.

"Parasomnia" spends much of its time introducing us to a character named Tracy, who is being plagued with, you guessed it, parasomnia. Essentially what this means is that she severe night terrors and often struggles to know whether she's awake or asleep. Jump skip ahead where it's revealed that she's being injected with some unknown substance by the same hooded figures that sent the light-up-taloned creature to attack Scott and she is apparently turning into either a werewolf or some other similarly clawed, teethed creature. The pacing, writing, and visual delivery of this plot was well-executed and served as a way to merge with Dr. Deacon's explanation that this new threat is looking to break the supernatural laws of existence. It showed just how powerful and dangerous they are and that the Beacon Hills gang will have one hell of a time fighting them off.

Also introduced is the fact that Scott is hoping to follow in Dr. Deaton's footsteps to become a veterinarian. (Obviously True-Alpha-ing isn't going to pay the bills). It entirely suits the character, as Scott is a natural at healing and nurturing those around him. He even healed Stiles' injured hand after Stiles punched his car engine in a fit of frustration over his worries about Scott's quickness to trust others, and likely his anxieties over keeping his band of friends together once high school finishes. It's nice to see these scenes where he see how deeply Scott and Stiles care for one another, as theirs is the core friendship that the show was built on.

But getting back to Scott's interest in becoming a veterinarian, it's also nice to watch this play out as we see Scott taking this goal seriously by striving to be in the AP Biology course. Besides the obvious comedic relief of Scott being entirely proud of his knowing that 'AP' stands for Advanced Placement, we appreciate this plot point because one of the irksome reasons that often prevents us from watching media content set in high school is the often blatant disregard for academics in the plot. It's often so far from the scope of realism that we can't wrap our head around watching it.

Stiles is shown to be right in his suspicions of Theo, who is shown to be holding a man and woman hostage under the threat of violence to pose as his parents. However, we're just not buying into the threat that Theo is apparently supposed to be posing. Perhaps it comes from the fact that there just isn't enough grit or menace in Cody Christian's performance or also because it just seems too obvious for him to be some big, scary threat, particularly when we already have these masked figures to be concerned about. But we'll happily tune in for more developments on this plot point.

One final question we have is, when are we going to see Derek again? We know that Tyler Hoechlin has been downgraded to a recurring role because of his wish to pursue more film work but two episodes in and only one or two mentions of Derek Hale have been made; naturally we'd be curious as to what our broodiest of werewolves is up to!

Teen Wolf airs on Mondays on MTV at 10PM.

Game of Thrones Experience the Realm returns to San Diego Comic-Con

Game of Thrones® Experience The Realm At San Diego Comic-Con

 Interactive Experience Invites Fans to Sword Train Like Arya Stark, be Scorched by a
Dragon & Turned into a WhiteWalker

HBO NOW Subscribers Can Enter for a Chance to Get VIP Tickets for Early Admission

New York, NY, June 30, 2015 – The ultimate fan event is returning to San Diego Comic-Con with Game of ThronesExperience The Realm.  Located at the Omni Hotel in the heart of the Gas Lamp District, this years’ experience features even more interactive activations designed to give fans a chance to step into the world of Westeros. Open from 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. PTThursday, July 9th through Saturday, July 11th and 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. PT on Sunday, July 12th, HBO NOW subscribers will have a chance to win early VIP access.

Paying homage to beloved character Arya Stark’s early days of sword training, the experience will feature an installation that is part sword-handling skill and part artistic process, to create a beautiful, graphic Game of Thrones-style self-portrait. Upon arrival, fans will have their portrait taken and step in front of a 10-foot projection screen on stage. There, they will use a replica of Arya’s wooden training sword to strike targets as they appear on screen. Upon completion fans will receive an artistic portrait made entirely of their sword strikes that is immediately shareable on their social networks as well as at #ExperienceTheRealm.

Fans can also create sharable animated GIFs including being incinerated into ash by Danaerys’ iconic dragons and turned into a WhiteWalker.  Additionally there will be photo opportunities with the iconic Iron Throne and the giant sword used by The Mountain.  Select costume displays from Game of Thrones will be featured along with a gallery of select work from the Game of Thrones Compendium Book, featuring original creations from the talented fan-base ranging from art, fashion, food and fans can pick up a limited-edition T-Shirt designed by Beautiful Death artist Robert Ball.

Starting today through July 3rd at noon EST, HBO NOW will offer a select number of current and former subscribers attending 2015 Comic-Con an exclusive chance to Experience the Realm early by skipping the lines with a special daily HBO NOW VIP preview Thursday-Sunday. For more details and to enter for a chance to win, eligible fans can visit ExperienceTheRealmSweeps.com.

HBO NOW is HBO’s new stand-alone premium streaming service that provides instant access to the best of HBO’s Award-winning series, exclusive hit movies, films, groundbreaking documentaries, sports, comedy and music specials. To subscribe to the streaming service, HBO NOW, consumers only need the internet.  With HBO NOW, consumers can stream HBO programming on their iPhone, iPad, Apple TV and computer. HBO NOW is currently available through Apple or Cablevision for $14.99 per month and coming soon on Android. 

**Game of Thrones Experience the Realm is open on a first-come-first-serve basis to members of the public with a valid 2015 San Diego Comic-Con badge.

Dinah Nah - "Taste Your Love" Review


Our favourite Pink Lady, Dinah Nah, is back with another single to get us shaking it in all the Swedish clubs. Dinah Nah's Melodfestivalen song, "Make Me (La La La)," was the stand-out banger of the whole contest and was utterly robbed by coming in last place at the finals. Swedes struggle to know what to do with a banger (how else can we explain the whole Slayce Wilder Melodifestivalen 2014 debacle?), and we've heard rumblings from Euro-pop fans clamouring for Dinah Nah to come gig at their local (gay) clubs so get on it, club-owners, and book this glamorous pop-Queen!

Dinah Nah's pink hair may be her signature at the moment but what she should first and foremost be remembered for is making killer tracks. "Taste Your Love" is an entirely on-point follow-up single. Dinah Nah is an excellent vocalist, something listeners might not expect considering the highly produced sound of her songs (unless you're listening to acoustic versions of those songs). "Taste Your Love" starts off with the levels low, before building its way up to its mainstream EDM chorus with a killer hook and potentially salacious lyrics, not that we're complaining. A little tongue-in-cheek never hurt anybody.

This is just the sort of song we've been wanting to hear to get us pumped up for the Rix FM tour. Dinah Nah herself will be appearing on this tour so check out the full line-up to see which cities you can catch her at!
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