Archive for the Romance Category

‘The Defenders Ep 1 The H Word’: The Hand Resurrects … again?!

Posted in Action, comedy, drama, Fantasy, Romance, Sci-Fi, suspense with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 20, 2017 by aliciamovie

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By Steve The Space Wizard

There is no defense against all the Spoilers ahead!

‘The Defenders’ is probably my second most anticipated Marvel production of the year, the first being ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2’. Ever since we were introduced to the Marvel Netflix characters we’ve been dying for an epic team up, like the Avengers except on television, where we actually have the luxury of time for authentic character development. We’ve met Matt Murdock, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Danny Rand, and their entire supporting casts. We’ve had at least one season of each hero (in Matt’s case we got two).

Although the Marvel Netflix series have been somewhat uneven, they have delivered a cast of very grounded characters who hurt and bleed. One of my beefs with the Marvel movie universe is the stakes always seem so low, not just because characters don’t die very often, but they don’t even look like they get hurt very much, with cartoon-y action sequences where heroes and villains get pummeled like Wile E. Coyote and just shrug it off in the next scene. But with our street-level heroes, we genuinely worry about the stakes. They can get hurt, both physically and emotionally. The people they care about can die. We know the main characters will be fine, but the visceral, bloody, and often unglorified violence that follow the lives of our protagonists, who have to make difficult choices, just makes for realistic and compelling storytelling, even in the world of weird superheroes. ‘The Defenders’ is a slow burn, just like all the other Marvel Netflix series, and we’re grateful for this. A good buildup means a good payoff, when done well, and early reviews seem to indicate ‘The Defenders’ is firing on all cylinders.

Episode 1 (The H Word) opens with a brief re-introduction to our heroes, exactly where they left off when we last saw them. We see Danny Rand and Colleen Wing hunting members of the Hand in Cambodia. Matt Murdock has apparently given up being Daredevil, and is in full lawyer mode. Luke Cage gets released from jail, thanks to the efforts of Foggy Nelson, who now works for Jeri Hogarth. Jessica Jones is reluctantly going back into business as a private investigator. While Danny and Colleen are in full mission mode, the rest of the characters are trying to pick up the pieces of their lives. Matt’s trying to maintain the only relationship left in his life with Karen Page. After a successful court case, Matt and Karen share a quiet moment having coffee together in a cafe. Luke on the other hand, looks for Claire Temple to also “have coffee”, but in their case they want to fuck, and boy do they want to do it badly; they break furniture while doing it. Jessica, like Luke, has joined the ranks of superheroes, much to her chagrin. Although she wants to just lie low and bum around, her friends Patsy Walker and Malcolm Ducasse egg her on to start doing hero stuff again.

The most interesting new character though, is Sigourney Weaver’s villain Alexandra. She’s a mysterious, wealthy woman who’s pulling puppet strings. She’s been diagnosed with a fatal disease, and she has a matter of weeks before she dies. Before she does, she’s got plans for New York City. Evil plans. Weaver plays the villain with tremendous screen presence, and we believe she is the terrifying boss queen that she is. Who is she? What does she want? Even Madame Gao seems to be scared of her. She tells Gao to set events in motion that is her evil plan, and by the end of the episode, we see her on a rooftop as the city literally crumbles in an earthquake-like disaster. At her side is Elektra, whom the Hand has apparently resurrected. Danny and Colleen return to New York after they are ominously warned by a dying man in Cambodia that there is where their fight will be.

One of the cool things about the series is how color is used to frame the characters. Matt’s scenes are awash in red. Luke’s is in yellow, while Jessica and Danny get blue and green filters respectively. Alexandra’s scenes are bright and white, which contrasts ironically with how dark her character is. It’ll be interesting how the color mixes when they all finally come together.

Be amazed as ‘The Defenders’ come together on Netflix, out now!

SDCC 2017 ‘Colony’: The Enemy of my Enemy

Posted in Action, comedy, drama, Fantasy, horror, Romance, Sci-Fi, suspense with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 7, 2017 by aliciamovie

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By Alicia Glass

Welcome back to our alien invasion occupation, already in progress! Season Two of the USA hit Colony brought us way more intrigue, betrayal, and sacrifice than the first season, and it all culminated in total rendition of the Los Angeles bloc! The Bowmans have survived mostly intact but forever altered, gained new allies and enemies, and further embroiled themselves in the mess of collaboration versus resistance!

The Colony panel of Comic-con 2017 featured Josh Holloway (Will Bowman), Sarah Wayne Callies (Katie Bowman), Peter Jacobson (Snyder), Tory Kittles (Broussard), and Executive Producers Carlton Cuse, Wes Tooke, and Ryan Condal.

Josh Holloway is obviously one of the major heroes of the show, despite his being forced to collaborate, and though the journey for his character in particular through Season Two was dark and hard, “Will went through Hell, and I loved it. Season Two really elevated everything on the show and it was amazing, but I’m glad to be out of that suit and away from those bloodsuckers I was working for.”

Sarah Wayne Callies is a fan favorite purveyor of strong female characters on several shows she’s already been in, same with her character Katie Bowman on Colony. She waxed poetic on the brutal choices Katie Bowman had to make in Season Two, “Is it better to die standing than to live on your knees, yes absolutely, but it’s also a question of what General do you follow into battle? I think one of the big challenges of Season One and going into Season Two, had to do with the costs of waging that war, and in whom do you place your trust? Quail was not a man worthy of that trust, and so I think over Season Two you have the evolution of Katie leaning more and more into Broussard’s leadership, which itself evolves into something more of a partnership.”

And speaking of Broussard, Tory Kittles talked about the more in-depth role his character played in Season Two: “It’s such a grey area with all the characters, the morality changes. Like he (Broussard) was playing both sides to get information, and that does something to a person, to a character. And then he found himself working with Will Bowman, which I don’t think he thought would ever happen, in this world and under these circumstances. Everything is changing, not only for him but for all the characters. At the heart of him I know he’s a good guy, I think he’s doing it for all the right reasons, but sometimes he might be … excessive.” Only when asked where he would like to his character go on the show, did he laughingly reply, “Hopefully to Season Ten!”

Peter Jacobson, who plays everyones’ favorite weasel character Snyder on the show, tried to convince the crowd and himself of Snyder’s survival-only intentions. “It’s so fun to play a morally complex character; I can thank the writers for making me a character to play in that ‘who the hell is he?’ kind of zone, which Snyder really does. For me as an actor, Snyder doesn’t think ‘oh I’m a bad guy,’ no, he’s a master survivor, he will do whatever the hell it takes to survive. He’s not your sort of typical Snidely Whiplash kind of villain, and I think that’s really compelling, that he’s just a normal guy.”

Callies went on to speak proudly of her character Katie Bowman and her great strengths: “There are moments where she seems to be willing to put her own children at risk, in order to take a stand, for all of the children of the bloc. It’s a really complicated space to inhabit as a parent, but also as a woman. By and large in our storytelling, women are defined by our ability to be faithful to our husband, and saintly to our children. And to have a woman who, from the outset, is willing to be devious with her husband and to put her own childrens needs at least on par with the other children of the bloc; I just think its one of the most interesting female characters I’ve ever had the chance to play.”

Newcomer to this years panel Executive Producer Wes Tooke talked about having a clear vision for where the show wanted to go in Season Two, and how it will lead to a seriously more dynamic Season Three. “The challenge of Season Two is how do we create something that’s emotionally engaging, tells a great story and sets us up for where we want to go and the huge leap we want to make to Season Three, which is going to dramatically re-frame the entire show.”

Colony mainstay Ryan Condal spoke of the fascinating challenges in creating such a story for television and the lead-in to Season Three: “We’ve always seen the show as being a series of concentric rings of story, so Season One had to be small, we’re seeing this world through the singular point of view of the Bowman family. But now the show has evolved and we’re now twenty-three episodes into it and we have another thirteen episodes coming this year, so we’re able to expand out those rings and see the world larger and different, more diverse, points of view. There are things that are yet to be revealed, and there are things we’ve given you already, so I would challenge you to go back and take another look (before Season Three airs). There’s a lot of big answers to come, and (after the showing of Season Three preview exclusive to Comic-Con) you’ll have a really good sense of all the big questions that you’re probably asking yourself, and us, right now, will be revealed pretty early in Season Three.”

The panel went through fan questions and ended with a quest for hardy SDCC-goers: the  picture below, along with coordinates and the code-phrase “The enemy of my enemy” was flashed on the big screen, so make of it what you will, Colony fans.

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Catch the expanding world of Colony on USA in 2018!

SDCC 2017 ‘Krypton’: What House are you backing?

Posted in Action, comedy, drama, Fantasy, Romance, Sci-Fi, suspense with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 1, 2017 by aliciamovie

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By Alicia Glass

It takes real nerve to come out and do a Comic-con panel for a highly anticipated show that technically hasn’t aired yet. That is one giant way to generate interest in the new show, true, but it’s still a big gamble, because what if even an SDCC panel isn’t enough. However, The Originals panel (I think) being before Krypton, there was plenty enough audience left to give a good showing.

The panel featured Cameron Cuffe (Seg-El), Executive Producers David S. Goyer, Cameron Welsh and Damian Kindler, and was moderated by DC universe amazement Geoff Johns himself. Johns is the President and Chief Creative Officer of DC comics, y’all, and has held these posts since 2010, so bow down.

Set two generations before the long-legendary Man of Steel’s time on earth, the new show Krypton features Seg-El on the titular planet fighting to redeem his ostracized families honor and engaging in forbidden romance with, who else, the House of Zod. Given that this is yet another attempt at a TV show having to do with the Big Blue Boy Scouts family and the House of El, Krypton seems to have set their standards almost impossibly high, and are working on giving a sweeping epic backstory to what is arguably the most well-known comic character in history, so we’re talking planet-sized hero boots to fill.

Almost immediately the EPs and Mod Johns launched into a list of well-known DC characters that will be featured on Krypton – Brainiac, with his own immersive storyline; that monster Doomsday; Adam Strange in an appropriately oracular role; even a new take on Hawkgirl. Jones happily went on to spoil that a Black Mercy (I thought he meant a car) would be in the pilot episode, it belongs to a character named Mongul, and if you’re any kind of fan-atic about the Superman part of the DCU, you’ll know why the audience erupted into cheers. EP Cameron Welsh talked briefly about the forbidden romance between Seg-El and the House of Zod, saying that Lyta Zod the youngest is the heartthrob in question, while her mother Alura Zod is the Primus of the Kryptonian military guild which makes her, say it with me, General Zod.

Jones was very personable and effortlessly charmed all the fans in the audience, many of whom were at least 40+something and lifelong Superman fans. Recalling the early days of terrible villain costumes, Johns laughed, “No, there will not be any headbands for the bad guys. That’s not until Season two!” Johns raved about the production values for the show, the all-encompassing effort at world-building, prompting Damian Kindler to practically wax poetic about the same: “We are attempting to build one of the most beautiful, grand TV series on the air. One of the things that’s constantly coming back in conversations is a sense of scope – we want you to be watching and going, ‘wow, this really is another world’. We have some of the most wonderful special effects houses in like 5 or 6 different countries building effects for us this season, we have one of the most talented production design teams I’ve ever worked with. And having Geoff (Johns) right in your house, saying, ‘This is the world, go build it’, has easily been the most exciting job I’ve ever had.”

Of course Johns was asked about cross-overs with other DCU characters, and made the very clear statement that, “Krypton is a stand-alone show,” for which I personally am very grateful. After a great spoiler-laden panel and a bunch of fan-squee and questions, Johns wound up the panel by saying they all tried very hard to make a show where the legions of DC fans out there would finally say, ‘They got it right.’ I sure hope so too, Geoff Johns, and I’ll be watching Krypton when it airs in 2018 on the Syfy channel!

SDCC 2017 ‘Stitchers’: Keep it all in the Family

Posted in Action, comedy, drama, Fantasy, Romance, Sci-Fi, suspense with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on July 28, 2017 by aliciamovie

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By Alicia Glass

Stitchers is a breakout hit on the Freeform TV channel, featuring Kirsten Clark, a woman suffering temporal dysplasia (a fictional condition that prevents her from sensing the passage of time) who is recruited to a super-secret NSA program. The program uses technology they call “stitching”, that allows Kirsten to dive into the memories of the newly-deceased. Kirsten is joined by neuroscientist Cameron Goodkin, bioelectrical engineer Linus Ahluwalia, computer scientist and roommate Camille Engelson, LAPD officer Detective Quincy Fisher, and headed by the redoubtable Maggie Baptiste.

I hadn’t thought Stitchers was popular enough to get their own panel at Comic-Con, but then again, Season 3 of the show started fairly recently and the line to get in to the panel was out the door and down the sidewalk, so color me pleasantly surprised! The panel featured Emma Ishta (Kirsten), Kyle Harris (Cameron), Ritesh Rajan (Linus), Damon Dayoub (Fisher), Executive Producer Jeff Schechter, and was moderated by TV Guide’s Damian Holbrook!

EP Jeff talked about how the Cam-sten shippers are making things actually a bit harder for him, as Cameron and Kirsten were tossed together pretty much in Episode 1 of the entire show and for the next ten episodes they turned into like the perfect couple. And while that may be good for the characters, it makes for poor drama, even he was bored. So we’ll make it rain on their parade, rain on these two saps with all sorts of troubles that prevent their romantic relationship moving forward, especially that thing discovered recently, that if Cameron and Kirsten raise their oxytocin levels by means naughty or nice even a little, it prevents them from stitching effectively!

It’s not a spoiler to mention that Linus lost his father in the very first episode of Season Three, and Ritesh Rajan went on to talk about how such a storyline has massively affected his character. “He’s a character who wears his heart on his sleeve, very open and genuine, so for him to go through something so shocking and heartbreaking, it does leave him with an emotional scar that’s going to change him for the rest of his life,” Ritesh said. “It started the season that way and just catapults the character in a direction of massive growth. He’s forced to deal with these changes and this heartache, and he wonders, where is it going to lead him?”

Damon Dayoub good-naturedly endured ribbing about his being the father figure of the stitchers team and kind of the class clown of the cast of the show too. He laughingly went on to state that he became an actor so he wouldn’t have to wear a suit and tie every day, and yet here he is as this character who, inevitably, wears a suit and tie every day. “So, that sucks,” Dayoub grinned, “And I’ve got to shave every day, and as you can see I’m not a big shaver, so maybe next season,” as he nudged Schechter down the row, “Fisher could go undercover! A big beard and no showers, come on, what do you say?” To which Schechter smirked, “We’ve had this conversation before, and it’s still no.”

Rajan had a fun Comic-Con exclusive moment when Moderator Holbrook mentioned Linus knowing pi to umpti-squat-decimal-place and asked him what number he, Ritesh Rajan knew it to, which was rather small. Of course a fan in the front rows had to shout out a correct answer, and got applauded by the entire Stitchers cast!

Kyle Harris was charming and funny, struggling to recall all the nicknames Cameron has tossed at Kirsten so far, “Stretch, ‘K, Cupcake, Sunshine, Blondie, Chewie (as in Chewbacca from Star Wars),” and of course some helpful wag from the audience shouted, “Princess!” as well. Harris grinned when Holbrook mentioned Cameron’s gamer-geek-god experience in a recent episode and asked what games he likes to play in real life, answering with, “Mario Kart,” and challenging the cast to play the game on the giant SDCC screen to see who’s best! Harris didn’t deny it either, when Ishta told the entire panel about how Harris had donned (and broke) her stitch suit and climbed into the tank they use for stitching on the show, actually finding a photograph of that instance on her phone to share!

Harris got his own good-natured ribbing to endure too, as the entire cast and the EP goaded him about checking his hairstyle in every single last reflective surface he could find, including but not limited to the shooting cameras and the tank itself! And of course the fans wanted to hear, as soon as they heard that Harris does voice impressions from some of the geek culture references on the show, so Kyle obligingly mussed his hair and growled a line from as Doc from Back to the Future!

Some interesting trivia, it turns out that Kyle Harris and Grant Gustin of CW’s The Flash fame are super best pals in real life, and even share a musical background, as do many of the main cast members of Stitchers. Of course this sent the fans slavering for a musical Stitchers episode, which I don’t think would be too hard, but I personally am more interested in what else Schechter teasingly stated, which was a cross-over episode between the major Freeform shows, Shadowhunters or Beyond, and Stitchers, now there’s a real challenge!

The panel was wrapped up with loving fan questions, but before that the Mod asked what we can expect to see from each character in further coming episodes of Stitchers. Dayoub of course replied mysteriously about his character getting back together with his wife and making some big decisions; Harris intimated about Cameron getting into a row with Maggie; Rajan lamented the difficult-to-read women in Linus’ life; and of course Emma Ishta flip-flopped between Kirsten’s mom, dad, and sister. We were also treated to a genuine San Diego Comic-Con 2017 exclusive bite: we the fans will meet Cameron’s mother in the next few upcoming episodes of Stitchers!

Catch Stitchers on Freeform, Mondays @ 9/8c!

Portland Horror Film Festival 2017: Short-Length Horror Shorts Part 2

Posted in Action, comedy, drama, Fantasy, horror, Movies, Romance, Sci-Fi, suspense with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 21, 2017 by aliciamovie

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‘Blackbird’

Country: UK

Director: Tim Fellingham & Charlotte Stente Nielsen

Review Rating: 7 out of 10

What happens when the one you think is your savior, turns out to have been your tormentor all along? Here on a lonely stretch of nowhere, a man with a concussion and severe memory loss, apparently from getting tossed from his motorcycle, goes to save a runaway maiden in a nightgown. The both of them hole up together trying to figure out what they’re running from, and through a series of dreams and flashbacks and one horrible “gotcha!” moment involving a blackbird tattoo, discover they really do know each-other, a little too well for either ones comfort.

The use of Memento-like timelines and flashbacks can be perfectly fine, but I thought a little too much emphasis was placed on atmosphere and not enough on the story itself. If a movie, either short or feature-length, has only two actors in it, it is very likely that the villain is one of them; it kind of lessens the potential shock value. Nevertheless, should the story be expanded, the short could have real potential.

‘The Dark Hunger’

Country: USA

Director: Anthony Williams

Review Rating: 8 out of 10

What to do when one discovers a supernatural cannibal terrorizing your neighborhood? No calling in the CIA or some paranormal equivalent, no, some sort of mafia-like gang kidnaps the man they call Dead Fred and stick him in a cell, to be fed their enemies. Because Dead Fred is a full cannibal and always cleans his plate, so there’s no evidence left behind. And when we meet up with our cannibal hero, it looks like he’s been enduring this setup for awhile.  His Dark Passenger, the actual cannibal vampire in his skull with the awesome deep voice, is content to stay in prison so long as the captors keep feeding it, but Fred has other ideas. Despite that not actually being his real name, Dead Fred decides to embrace the pseudonym and make a deal with his Dark Passenger to get out of this prison and find the man at the top, the real mastermind monster who put Fred here in the first place!

It’s never easy to combine a supernatural element with an attempt at Hannibal Lecter-like characters, and yet somehow The Dark Hunger manages it nicely. The short reads like a trailer for a film that I would certainly watch, and I sincerely wished the short was one of the longer short films, so I could pretend it was a movie. With even some of the better notes of 30 Days of Night thrown in, The Dark Hunger should make Director Williams an up-and-comer worthy of keeping an eye on.

‘Chateau Sauvignon: Terroir’

Country: USA

Director: David E. Munz-Maire

Review Rating: 7.5 out of 10 

If you could ever imagine what a winery run by Children of the Corn would be like, then the Chateau Sauvignon is for you. The stark landscape, dead animal skulls and eerie wine-making equipment that looks suspiciously like butchery pressings all serve to provide an atmosphere that screams Horror. And almost immediately, it turns out, the vitner equipment really does still make wine for the tourists and all, but is also being used in the butchery of at least some of those tourists, to keep Mom alive. (Whether Mom is a zombie, some kind of vampire, cannibal or anything else, is unclear.) But the meat juice is beginning to run out, Son is becoming concerned, and Dad is just trying to hold everything together, despite Moms condition. Two new tourists have come late to the winery and Son wants to give them the full tour, no matter what Dad says – here sample some of our wine, over here is some of the processes we use to make our vintages, and by the way, your son is a jackass, here’s a glass pouring beaker shoved into your skull. Because Mom needs to be fed, and wine isn’t cutting it anymore.

A very fine short, all kinds of atmospheric and moody, though I would have liked to have a bit more to the story. What kind of creature is Mom now, how did she get this way, what happens to all of them when the meat juice finally runs out? Perhaps for the next series of Horror shorts from Director Munz-Maire, or, he could turn the whole thing into a feature-length jaunt – I would watch it.

‘Death Metal’

Country: USA

Director: Chris McInroy

Review Rating: 7 out of 10

Dude man, I get you, hail Satan and Metal is God and all that, you bet. But if you’re handed Grand-dad’s axe (as in guitar), that he supposedly got from the Dark Prince himself, along with three important rules to follow when using it, you’d want to adhere to them and be respectful wouldn’t you? It doesn’t seem as though frustrated metal-head Lars gives two damns about any of that, and immediately goes off to break all three rules jamming in the afternoon at the park on the axe. Is it any wonder that the axe-head breaks off from the rest of the guitar and goes hog-wild?

I saw Lars and his dumbassery at another Horror film festival and thought it was hilarious then, as now. It’s always so cute to see the Metalheads tossing the horns and headbanging for all they’re worth, because of course Satan’s all kinds of into that. Just never forget, Lucifer has a very wicked sense of humor, too.

‘As They Continue to Fall’

Country: USA

Director: Nikhil Bhagat

Review Rating: 8 out of 10

Whether you’re a fan of the Prophecy series, or saw the film Legion and the short-lived Syfy show it spawned, Dominion, Angels are fairly well-known these days as something other than the be-winged halo’d bringers of light and Gods love. What we have here is the somewhat now-familiar trope of the hobo hero hunting bad guys, in this case actual Angels, and it must be said, doing a fair job of it. From the looks of the feather trophies that line his coat, keeping him warm, our hobo hero is no-one to be trifled with. (Because really, depending upon which hierarchy of Angel you’re fighting, you could strap a nuke to the Angelic type and he’d laugh at you.) Our hobo hero has been dealing with Angelic visions all his life, but now after the apparent end of the world, has taken to hunting them down with vim and vigor. And who could blame him? What is an Angel, after all, but another Devil just waiting to fall?

Many of the minds who worked on this short have made major names for themselves elsewhere (Sinister, Deus Ex, The Thing, the NBC TV show Dracula, to name only a few), and they managed to cobble together a short awesome to watch. The future dystopian world where our hobo hero hunts Angels is clear and perfectly understandable, while much is still left open to audience interpretation and judgment, and in building a world like this, that is what we would prefer.

Portland Horror Film Festival 2017: Short-Length Horror Shorts

Posted in comedy, drama, Foreign, horror, Movies, Romance, suspense with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 19, 2017 by aliciamovie

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Reviewed by Alicia Glass

Horror lives on in our hearts all year ‘round, and all across the world too. The fears we share cross all manner of cultural and gender lines, creating a fandom unique to any other. Because if we unite and share our fears, through glorious films and shorts, perhaps some of those fears will be lessened in shared fandom.

‘Last Resort’

Country: USA

Director: David Schneiderman

Review Rating: 7 out of 10

What couple thinks it’s a good idea to take a Horror vacation, when one half of the couple isn’t into Horror? Apparently these people do, and in the role reversal of the common, the female in this relationship is the Horrorphile and her boyfriend the reluctant tagalong. Mel the girlfriend wants the immersive Horror weekend promised in the Horror Haven brochure, which includes bloodstains in the shower, a purportedly dead body in the closet, and a cannibal wine host who likes to dance while ranting and isn’t too smart about where he leaves his tools. Oh, and don’t forget the singularly unhelpful delivery guy who keeps getting lost.

A campy little romp that pokes fun at “experience” camps and Horror in general, Last Resort reminds us that no matter how clever you think you’re being, the universe is still laughing at you. And inside the Horror universe, it’s a damned cackle.

‘Black Ring’

Country: Turkey

Director: Hasan Can Dagli

Review Rating: 9 out of 10

What looks like a professional photography setup in a rundown Turkish castle turns out to hide something far more sinister. Considering the men doing the initial setup look like European gangsters, one would think the chosen who participate in the lottery from hell would be more leery about being handed a black disc. But alas, these bright young beautiful things are here for their shot at fame, and for many of them, it is their very last shot. The shock value the artist and his audience are hunting seems almost gorgeous in the grotesquerie, and reminds a great many of us just how jaded we really are. You really can make art out of someone’s death, but how could you possibly top that?

This short was incredible, and I’ve seen a freaking ton of Horror shorts. To be able to do an entire art-house Horror piece, as a short film no less, where not a single character speaks, is even more mind-blowing. The images and ideas brought across come both starkly dark and breathtakingly bloody, mixing styles like an astounding master painter on the movie screen. Seriously, Director Dagli needs to get on making feature-length Horror movies, and right now.

‘A Fathers Day’

Country: UK

Director: Mat Johns

Review Rating: 7 out of 10

What Daddy doesn’t want to protect his little girl from the Horrors of the world? Well, what happens when both you and your daughter are already zombies, does the protecting stop once you’ve died? Of course it doesn’t! You still want to protect your drooling, growling baby, and provide fresh-ish entrails for her, and push her on the merry-go-round while she twitches. And when the human survivors take aim at your zombie daughter, when she goes to protect you, is the proudest moment any Daddy, dead or alive or anything in between, can experience!

A wonderful little short done in the sympathetic style of the movie Warm Bodies, A Father’s Day reminds us that the love of a parent for their child transcends all preconceived boundaries, and that includes even death.

‘The Gift of the Woods’

Country: USA

Director: Kris Theorin

Review Rating: 8 out of 10

Everyone knows the woods are lovely, dark and deep, but also, that they’re full of ancient creatures, some of whom are monsters. The little girl in the short is an innocent, wanting nothing more than to skip along in the woods and enjoy the bug and plant life, when she happens upon a stump with a dolly on it. The dolly itself is unusual, more like a voodoo doll than anything else, with a bloody paw-print adorning its stomach. And of course when the girl takes the dolly off the stump, it wakes the creature who made the dolly, wanting it back!

Some say even monsters have nightmares. Some monsters even need a teddy, or a dolly, to sleep with to keep their own dream-monsters away. That thought basically sums up the end of this wonderful and sadly far too short Horror cartoon short. Don’t steal another nightmares’ teddy, and if you do, give it back before the sun sets!

‘Hope’

Country: Norway

Director: Adam A. Losurdo

Review Rating: 7 out of 10

So the zombie apocalypse has come and gone, and the world remains pretty much the same, with one or two tiny exceptions – the shuffling zombies still around. They don’t eat brains, they just kind of die and shuffle along, to be abused and ridiculed by the still-living. Here we have Carl, our zombie forever dressed like a soda jerk, completely without hope as he, you guessed it, shuffles along. Carl gets harassed by young girls on bikes, has his shoes stolen, gets his dumb self buried by the meanie living (not buried alive, reburied dead I guess), only to be rescued by a female zombie inevitably named Hope, and instant attraction. After a whirlwind romance, Hope is inevitably killed and that’s when poor Carl finally becomes the killer zombie he was meant to be.

The short is a fun little turnaround on who the real monsters are – the zombie who doesn’t even eat brains and never did no-one any harm, or the still-alive folk who keep bedeviling him. Everyone has a breaking point, even zombies apparently. After all, how would you react if the love of your unlife was slain (again!) in front of you?

DC’s ‘Legends of Tomorrow’ Season Two Finale: Meanwhile, at the Legion of Doom!

Posted in Action, comedy, Comics, drama, Fantasy, Historical, Romance, Sci-Fi with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 8, 2017 by aliciamovie

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 Reviewed by Alicia Glass

Spoilers are totally Legendary!

Time is never on the Legends’ side, so we’re diving right into this! So, what do we know? The beginning of the season had Captain Rip Hunter missing and Sarah Lance taking his place, mostly to the agreement of the rest of the Legends. Whilst searching for Rip, the team picked up some stray new Legends, mainly from the 1940’s Justice Society of America in the form of Amaya, and Nate Heywood, historian and time investigator who gets himself some spiffy powers along the way. The search for Rip Hunter also brought together the aptly named Legion of Doom, comprised of original members Eobard Thawne a.k.a. Zoom from the Flash-verse; Malcolm Merlyn of the Arrow world, former League of Assassins boss; and Damien Darhk, also of the Emerald Archer’s life, magic-using baddie and the slayer of the Black Canary, making him a personal mark for Captain Lance. And unfortunately the Legion gets ahold of Rip Hunter first, cuing him for a brief turn as a bad guy while everyone else gears up for the hunt of the ultimate legendary artifact, the Spear of Destiny!

Yes, LOT went there, it is a show about fighting bad guys through time and all. So in this world, the Spear of Destiny is the thing that pierced the side of Christ himself, yes that thing, that when wielded with a certain incantation of some ancient book, can rewrite reality itself according to the users desires. Of course the Legion wants the Spear, every one of them has stuff in their past they’d much rather erase or change the outcome of, but Thawne in particular was a very bad boy and is being pursued through time and space by the Black Flash. The Black Flash is a form of Death in the Speedforce and in this world the manifestation of what became of enemy Hunter Zolomon after he was carted away by two Time Wraiths. (I know; just go with it.)

So skimming Rip Hunter’s brain led them to search for the pieces of the Spear, that Rip Hunter had judiciously broken up and hidden all over time and space. The hunt for the pieces and the Spear itself, once put back together again, has a tendency to bring out the bad ghosts in our various Legends, but none more so than our firebug thief Rory, still missing his beloved partner Leonard Snart after all this time. So of course, to persuade Rory to join the purported winning side, the Legion of Doom scurries back to Central City in 2014, before Snart joined the Legends and became a reluctant Hero, and pops him out to recruit his partner into stealing the Spear for the lot of them. And yes, sadly, it does work. (I love me some Wentworth Miller forever, and yes I’m very well aware Captain Cold is originally a bad guy, but this villainous return in the latter half of LOT Season Two is a shade disheartening.)

The last couple of episodes of the season are basically an alternate version of reality even for LOT, after the Legion went Spear-happy. And while seeing our familiar characters as darker alternate versions of themselves may be amusing for a few minutes, it gets tired real fast. Then again, the season finale has the entire team going back in time to an event they already visited and changed, resulting in multiple versions of most of them arguing amongst themselves even as they try to fight the Legion for control of that damnable Spear!

So what are we doing back in 1914 with a certain soldier named John Tolkien, again? We’re going to get the blood of Christ in the hidden vial on a war-torn battlefield to get the Spear to work, but plans are being thwarted by alternate-Legends and of course the Legion of Doom’s interference too. After doubt and discussion, every single last one of our Legends is coming out swinging, even as Zoom shows up with an ass-load of yellow Speedster reinforcements! What to do?

Sara Lance has long been the standout character on this show. From her League of Assassins on Arrow origins in the Black Canary leathers that she left her sister Laurel as a legacy, to the white leathers she wore in Season One of LOT, where she swayed hearts and minds alike with sincere care of her friends and family, and unapologetic joyful bisexuality, Sara Lance was the right choice for replacement Captain in Season Two. So when Sara is holding the Spear of Destiny and everyone’s about to get annihilated by the Legion of Doom, we can trust that even though she protests she’s too full of darkness, that as Rip Hunter says, “I believe in you.” Her final method of dealing with Zoom, arguably the leader of the Legion of Doom in this incarnation, is justifiably clever and very much a White Canary move.

Of course none of that mattes when, after depositing the surviving Legion guys into summary punishments and saying some other goodbyes, the Waverider is rocked by a time-quake and our Legends are tossed out of the time-stream into some totally messed up version of reality that’s like an Escher fever-dream – skyscrapers twisted into fantastical shapes, dinosaurs roaming freely, and way too many different timeline styles all jumbled together! Captain Lance’s statement of, “Guys, I think we broke Time,” appears to be a massive understatement.

Season Two lacked a good deal of the main plot points from Season One, mainly Vandal Savage and the Hawk-peoples, but these can actually be considered strengths for this new Season. Instead we have the formation of the Legion of Doom, and honestly, the Doom-centric episodes of LOT are just some of the most adorable, bumbling arguing-amongst-yourselves villainy ever, and a sheer joy to watch. Picking up these new Legend character, Amaya and Nate, may have been a long shot, but the Hawk folk needed replacing. Amaya happens to be (or will be, whatever) the Grandmother of future Arrow heroine Mari McCabe also known as Vixen, which has already happened on the other show and is therefore canon, so Amaya struggles with the concept of proposed destiny holding her back from living her current life. As for Nate Heywood, he also has roots through his father and grandfather in the JSA, and a long comic book history of repeated use of the name Steel, both powered and not. Taken altogether, the newer parts of Legends of Tomorrow are mostly pluses, and far outweigh any comic book canon minuses. And the setup for Season Three of Legends of Tomorrow opens doors for all sorts of other well-known and lesser-known DC heroes, villains, and show cross-overs!