Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Doctor Who Season 11: "Arachnids in the UK" and "The Tsuranga Conundrum"

What happens when the crew finally go home after traveling time and space? Will the adventures be a good escape for the trio - Graham, Ryan, and Yaz - or prove to be a little too much? Catching up with the new season, here are my thoughts on the Doctor's travels so far in the fourth episode Arachnids in the UK and the fifth episode The Tsuranga Conundrum. This week's recap is a bit back-to-back, so hope you enjoy! Spoilers are behind this cut - you've been warned! What did you think of these episodes? Let me know in the comments below!

Friday, November 9, 2018

5 Ways to Recover When Your Favorite Show Ruins Everything

Sometimes we love a television show or fandom too much to let it go. Maybe the writing or direction declines but we hold on to see if it gets better...or out of respect for the actors we love, we want to see how their characters' arcs turn out. And, suddenly, or tortuously, the end of a series comes along and we're feel confused about where it all went wrong; tricked because the writers took stories in a completely different direction than what they had set up; robbed of having a satisfactory ending to what was a truly brilliant beginning. I've been there before over and over again, where I try to give a show every benefit of the doubt - Hello, Once Upon A TimeThe Walking DeadMad Men, Castle, The X-Files - until I just inevitably accept that my favorite show ruined everything.

When a fandom takes a turn for the worst from character arcs to possible plots, it's quite the grieving process when it all goes downhill. Yes, I said grieving process because there's a big loss when a show fails to show up for you the way you supported it for over five, or even ten years. Fortunately, there's a small bit of light at the end of the tunnel, a little survival guide you can use to recover when your favorite fandom is truly a life ruiner. Well, here some things that I like to do and hope they help you out and enjoy! Has a show ever ruined everything for you and you still feel the effects years later? Let me know in the comments!

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Doctor Who Season 11: "The Ghost Monument" and "Rosa"

After the groundbreaking and epic premiere of Jodie Whittaker as the 13th Doctor, fans were left on the edge of their seats as the recently-regenerated Doctor and her companions were floating in space...without a Tardis or seemingly anyone to save them.

Catching up with the new season, here are my thoughts on the Doctor's travels so far in the second episode The Ghost Monument and third episode Rosa. This week's recap is a bit back-to-back, so hope you enjoy! Spoilers are behind this cut - you've been warned! What did you think of these episodes? Let me know in the comments below!

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Venom (2018) Makes Comic Book Movies Fun Again

Venom Movie Review
Sony Pictures
Why so serious comic book genre? This is the big question that pops up in my mind over the intense division, even backlash, over Venom. Sony's latest attempt at their own comic book universe is an unexpected detour from the expected adaptations we've seen over the years, and reminds us of how the genre used to be: purely fun for fun's sakes. Venom's splash of action, sci-fi, and rom-com is not the most traditional story of its kind, and that works both for and against the film.

Humankind is depleting all of its natural resources. So much so that it's gonna need a better planet. Creator and inventor of the Life Foundation Carlton Drake (Riz Ahmed) uses his spaceships to bring back aliens known as symbiotes with the hopes of finding human hosts, but they’re much more deadlier and dangerous than even his multi-million dollar corporation ever planned for. Enter Eddie Brock (Tom Hardy), an investigative journalist who uncovers shady dealings with Drake’s corporation and inadvertently becomes the host of a violent symbiote called Venom. Forced to act as a hybrid, Eddie and Venom work together to take down the Life Foundation.

Venom is an absurd comic book movie that embraces how absurd it is, and honestly, the pure joy of the film comes out of its leading performance by Hardy. Already having a reputation for going all in for his characters, he makes no shift in changing his methods now, and here it really works – he’s not only playing Eddie but gives Venom his voice and comically, awkwardly, and believably acts like there’s an alien taking over his body - it's some of the best, and most importantly playful (and not method-esque performances) he’s ever given. As much as the film includes the typical CGI combat scenes between the two of them against Drake's cronies, there's quite a few set pieces of Eddie fighting his body's reaction to Venom's invasion or embracing Venom until they end up creating a weird bond of compromise and trust. Their arc from enemies to frenemies and friends is one of the best on-screen relationships to come along in a long time, especially in the "superhero" genre. It’s almost impossible to think that another actor could’ve carried the film as entertaining as he does.

Following behind Hardy is the supporting cast who aren’t “bad” in any sense of the word, but in comparison to Hardy don’t have as much to carry in terms of showy performances or transformations. Riz Ahmed as Drake is sort of your typical Marvel villain as a rich inventor who will stop at nothing to get what he wants, but Ahmed is charismatic and tries to rise above some of the cliche tropes his character has. More minor characters are filled in nicely: Jenny Slate as one of the few doctors who questions the lengths Drake is willing to go to; Celphas Jones as Eddie’s steely boss are fine the roles that they have; Reid Scott as a doctor who tries to help Eddie. The only casting that felt out-of-place was Michelle Williams as Eddie's girlfriend Anne; she's well-balanced as stuck between loving or leaving Eddie, but the chemistry between herself and Hardy didn’t quite gel - I had a hard time trying not to imagine someone else in the role.

Therein lies a small crux to Venom: it entirely rests on Hardy’s beefy shoulders. If his performance works for you, it’s guaranteed to be a good time; if it doesn’t, well, the whole film falls apart.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Ranking The A Star Is Born Remakes

Ranking The A Star Is Born Remakes
The love between two artists surrounded by fame and loss of it is a quintessential theme in cinema. But there might be no other longstanding story in Tinseltown than that of A Star Is Born: the tragic romance of a young starlet who is discovered by a legendary veteran; as the newbie's star ascends to the top, the other one falls. With the massive attention and love director Bradley Cooper's version is bringing to the older renditions, I thought it's the perfect time to revisit the series and rank them - this list is ordered from least favorite to favorite. Which A Star Is Born film is your favorite? Let me know in the comments below!

Saturday, October 13, 2018

First Man (2018) Shoots for the Moon But Misses

First Man movie review
Universal Pictures
Most are probably familiar with Neil Armstrong and the Apollo 11 mission: the space race between the U.S. and Soviet Union, the "one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind" quote, the iconic photo of Neil's footprints on the moon. Here for First Man, director Damien Chazelle explores a deeper, not widely known story, behind one of humankind’s biggest achievements.

Following the death of their toddler Karen, Neil (Ryan Gosling) and his family gradually set a course for him through trial and error to chart the famous Apollo 11 mission. While working his way up as a pilot and surviving the Gemini missions to landing on the moon, Armstrong’s eyes are so strongly set on the stars to deal with his grief, his relationship with wife Janet (Claire Foy) and their two sons starts falling apart at the seams.

One can’t have a biopic about Neil Armstrong without the Apollo 11, and vice versa. To tackle such an elusive figure with monumental events, it’s a real balancing act for any director to want to tell both stories. There's no question that Chazelle wanted to explore Armstrong's side of the events. However in focusing the film almost entirely from his perspective, the overall journey to the moon leaves a lot to be desired. 

Friday, October 12, 2018

Let's Go To There: Halloween Horror Nights 2018

Halloween Horror Nights 2018 Universal Orlando
Every autumn Universal Studios Florida and Hollywood transforms its theme parks under the cover of darkness into scare zones and themed houses. This year, Stranger Things, Poltergeist, Halloween 4, and The Purge were just some of the iconic movies and shows to arrive at Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Orlando Resort.

To be honest, I'm not an avid horror fan, but I like the occasional scare. When my sister and I saw the line-up of houses for this year's HHN, we cast our fears aside to celebrate Halloween a little differently this year. Because it caters to all kinds of fans (mostly 18+) who love to get more than a little freaked out, the event turned out to be perfect for me and my sister to attend.