Assault on Precinct Elk Grove-Ash vs Evil Dead Season 2 Episode 5 ‘Confined’ Review

As I missed last week’s episode due to reasons, lemme recap Episode 4 quickly for you: DELTA DESTRUCTION DERBY FUCK YEAH. Now that’s out of the way, onto the fifth episode and we’re already halfway through season 3. And how.

Baal finally makes an appearance here, cutting into the scene in one of the best gore scenes I’ve seen in the franchise so far.

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CRAAAAAAWLING IIIIN MY SKIIINNNN

Meanwhile, our heroes (and assorted others) are holed up in a police station, just in time for Baal to make his debut. This episode plays very different from most other Evil Dead things so far, though, concentrating instead on tension between characters and a little claustrophobic horror thrown in.

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It’s a Michigan Standoff!

This episode tries to do something very different, by concentrating on character work and the building of tension between them, sort of like The Thing only with the threat of Baal looming over them.

But when Ruby goes down to retrieve the Kandarian dagger, all the suspicion the others are putting each other through turns out to be for nothing as Baal is actually downstairs with her. Cue awkward reunion.

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HEEEEEERE’S BAAL!

Oddly, even with an action set piece near the end, the tense interactions between everyone held up in the police station is what makes this episode a great one for me. This episode provides a lot of insight into the characters and sets up a lot of potential plot points for the coming episodes. Plus it’s a lot of fun seeing Ash trying (and subsequently failing) to woo Linda.

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Sumerian letters on your body. Never a good sign

 

Only five episodes left, and the stakes couldn’t be higher! Bring on the next five!

 

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A Strange Trip-Doctor Strange Review

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In an increasingly expanding Marvel Cinematic Universe, Doctor Strange chooses to explore an uncharted territory in the mystic side of Marvel’s titanic franchise.

The result from this is an entertaining trip (in more ways than one) into worlds and wonders without end, that might just open an equally infinite amount of doors to potential properties for future exploration.

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He couldn’t HANDle this

The clear winning feature of Scott Derrickson’s foray into the MCU is its visuals. From Inception-on-steroids style folding buildings to just pure psychedelic imagery that’d make Steve Ditko himself proud, Strange’s visuals are nothing we’ve ever seen before. This lends itself into its action scenes, giving us fights that are literally off the wall–No, these fights don’t even /need/ walls. If I saw this in IMAX, my head would probably still be spinning as I write this.


With a star-studded cast, almost everyone shines in their own way. Benedict Cumberbatch, no stranger to arrogant and insufferable characters, plays the admittedly clichéd character arc well with a dry wit and a fair bit of magical ineptitude. Tilda Swinton’s Ancient One is a more affable, more ‘human’ take of the traditional old master stereotype, and one more easy to be emotionally invested into. Chiwetel Ejiofor as Karl Mordo is one of the movie’s standouts, turning the traditionally villainous character into the ‘straight man’ in the Strange-Mordo double act and a worthy foil to Strange, while building on his eventual rise of darkness well. Mads Mikkelsen is, to be blunt, sadly an origin story victim in his role as Kaecillius, in another example of Marvel squandering great actors in forgettable villain roles. With a little more development, Kaecillius would’ve been the perfect Anti-Strange but alas, it was not to be. Benedict Wong’s…Wong differs from the tea-serving manservant of Strange in the comics into more of Strange’s take no shit peer im a way, and provides a healthy helping of humor in most of his scenes. Rachel McAdams’ Christine ‘Not-Night Nurse’ Palmer, does well as the muggle caught up in magic and provides a good enough anchor for Strange, but sadly she wasn’t quite memorable enough.

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Just a typical tea ceremony in Kamar-Taj

As with most origin stories, Doctor Strange suffers from a case of Originitis, with its almost wholly predictable plot that hits all the beats of your usual Superhero Origin. That’s not to say the script isn’t anything to write home about, though. The movie still manages to distill and simplify the concept of Marvel magic into an almost-science, leaving not many questions as to how it works. The film seems to also take a few cues from Brian K. Vaughan and Marcos Martin’s excellent Doctor Strange: The Oath, with several notable scenes and characters echoing the book. Michael Giacchino’s scoring also works really well for the movie, sounding very much different from past Marvel movies with its use of strings that’s slightly reminiscent to JRPGs or just RPGs in general.


Easter egg hunters will have a field day with this. Just about almost every entity Strange has ever invoked in the comics, with a few notable exceptions, were namedropped in the film, even other cosmic entities. And with some of the secondary characters’ relations to major players in the Marvel universe, one can’t help but wonder how these more famous relatives will figure into the MCU next.

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Aperture’s branching out

While the plot is nothing special, by merit of its eye-popping visuals and amazing scoring, Doctor Strange is another very solid addition to the ever-expanding Marvel Cinematic Universe. Or could we be expanding beyond universes?

Digital Wonders (and Horrors) Never Cease-Black Mirror Season 3 Review

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With Black Mirror returning for a double-dose third season, digital life just got a little bit scarier. Charlie Brooker’s Twilight Zone for the digital age once again serves up a healthy helping of suspense, thrills, and general uneasiness that’ll make you just a little bit more wary the next time you pull out your phone.

Since Black Mirror is a dish best served cold, I’ll stay light on the spoilers on this article and stick to personal observations and opinions on each episode.

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The first of the bunch, Nosedive, stars Bryce Dallas Howard in an anvilicious sendup to the social media and ratings-obsessed world of today, set in a world where your ‘ratings’ determine what you can and can’t do, like if Yelp took over the world.

With all the subtlety of a Nokia 3310 in your face, this episode makes its intentions clear from the get-go, the in-your-face fakeness of almost its whole cast, and its sickeningly saccharine diabetes-inducing yet aggresively bland aesthetic completely sells the concept in a great season opener that might just make you think twice about Instagramming your next meal or that next status update.

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Episode numero dos, Playtest, stars Wyatt Russell as Cooper, a thrillseeker who might’ve bitten a bit more than he could chew when he took a job playtesting new augmented reality tech for a games company. In true Black Mirror fashion, this is exactly where things go wrong.

Dan Trachtenberg, of 10 Clovefield Lane fame, takes us on a horror trip combining the best of horror games and movies into one genre-savvy package that just might be a little bit savvier than we are, keeping us guessing until the end. Wunmi Mosaku also excels as Cooper’s ‘handler’ Katie and the always enchanting Hannah John-Kamen as the witty Sonja rounds out the cast in this clever horror tale, one of my personal favourites this season.

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On to round three with Shut Up And Dance, this tale starring Jerome Flynn and Alex Lawther is a thriller where blackmail is the name of the game. Because when you have someone by their dick pics, it’s hard to break free.

While it’s an effective enough cautionary tale to keep in mind before doing anything genital-related in front of a webcam and a depressing look at how blackmail ruins someone, this episode didn’t resonate well with me. It does have its darkly funny and actual thrill moments and hits rather close to home as it’s something that could happen to any of us, but for some reason I found it a bit lacking. Even so, it’s still a well-made thriller and a nice watch.

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Past the halfway point, we flash back to San Junipero in the 80s. Or was it the 90s? Not a problem, it’s San Junipero! Mackenzie Davis is shy nerd Yorkie and Gugu Mbatha-Raw is outgoing party girl Kelly. A chance encounter in San Junipero kicks off a bond between them that transcends space, time, and maybe even existence itself.

Owen Harris, a Black Mirror alum of Be Right Back fame helms yet another deeply emotional tale of love, loss, and dealing with grief. At its very core, this episode is a romance story, and it feels that way all the way through. Supported by the visuals and aesthetics of San Junipero as it changes through the years, alongside a kickin’ soundtrack and one of the most clever song-to-scene puns I’ve ever seen, San Junipero is a rare episode of Black Mirror that keeps you smiling for most of its runtime and one of the season’s strongest.

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The penultimate episode, Men Against Fire stars Malachi Kirby in a military-centered tale about soldiers fighting a vague Nosferatu-like enemy simply called ‘roaches’. But this wouldn’t be Black Mirror without an extra twist, am I right?

A scathing commentary on military propaganda and the toll battle takes on soldiers, Men Against Fire delivers its point with no more subtletly than a .50 through the eye socket. That said, the acting is great and the action scenes are intense, making for a suspenseful first half and an uneasy second half, if a bit predictable at times.

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This season’s closer is a feature-length episode entitled Hated in the Nation, which stars Kelly Macdonald, Faye Marsay, and Benedict Wong in a thriller tailor-made for the social media generation.

We’ve all sent online vitriol to someone else before, and this episode takes it to the extreme conclusion. If the people you wish death on social media actually died, would you still do it? Clocking in at 89 minutes, this is the longest Black Mirror to date and is one of the season’s highlights. Aside from the not-so-subtle jabs at keyboard warrior culture, this episode also manages to throw in a few pokes at hot-button issues like government tracking and an oddly prescient mention of a certain recent online bullying incident. Tightly written with great performance and a simple concept executed well, Hated in the Nation manages to steal the show in another amazing season of Black Mirror.

Overall, this season of Black Mirror brings a much more diverse aftertaste than the almost uniformly bleak past two seasons. You’ll laugh, you’ll shudder, you’ll cry, this season has it all. The future for Black Mirror is bright and I can’t wait to be a part of it.

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Did they tweet this through a broken Twitter or did they broke Twitter to tweet this? That’s the question

As an endnote, kudos for the Black Mirror Twitter admin for the past 24 hours of tweeting reactions to viewers and the one bomb-ass tweet they somehow posted while Twitter was down. And the trailer, my god, the trailer. The whole marketing team deserves big ups as well for another season well done.

Comics You Should Read: Doctor Strange: Into Shamballa

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Doctor Strange has always been a fascinating character. His dealings with Marvel’s magical menaces are trippy, bombastic, and impressive. But in Doctor Strange: Into Shamballa, the good doctor faces much more than that. In this book, Strange must face himself.
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With a script by J.M. Dematteis and beautiful painted art by Dan Green, Into Shamballa takes us on a trip (in more ways than one) on a journey of Strange’s self-discovery. Far from a typical superhero tale, Into Shamballa follows Stephen Strange on a pilgrimage into the Himalayas to honor the late Ancient One and his subsequent journey to enlightenment.
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The second-person perspective this book takes is certainly not something done often in superhero comics, and it puts you firmly into Stephen’s shoes. The book reads more like a story book than a comic, and while the approach is interesting, it may be a turnoff for some.
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But what I think we can all agree on is Dan Green’s amazing artwork. The paintings all throughout the book evoke a dreamlike quality not unlike what you’d see in a Sandman book. Every page, every small detail feels like it just breezes through you yet feels so real as if in a dream.
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While those looking for more straightforward actiony Doctor Strange stories are better suited reading Brian K. Vaughan and Marcos Martin’s excellent The Oath or Jason Aaron and Chris Bachalo’s current Doctor Strange run, Into Shamballa offers something different for those looking for a weighty read. This is a book that’ll make you think and maybe do a little self-reflection after putting it down. It’s well worth a read.

Helldelta-Ash vs Evil Dead Season 2 Episode 3 ‘Last Call’ Review

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#Goals

The day before this episode aired, Evil Dead celebrated its 35th anniversary of its premiere. Fittingly, this episode begins with one of the stalwarts of the Evil Dead franchise, Ash’s trusty Oldsmobile Delta, given a lovely tribute video package showing just how much the Old Classic means to Ash. And how. For all intents and purposes, the good ol’ Delta becomes more of a character in this episode.

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Not many bonds stronger than a boy and his car

After the car got stolen last episode and taken on a joyride with some high school students, the Drafter finally finds a way to the Necronomicon, possessing the Delta and ending up with it going on a murderous rampage giving even Ghost Rider and his Hellcharger a run for their money. Elsewhere, we finally meet Ash’s high school best buddy, Chet Kaminski (Ted Raimi), and it is GLORIOUS. Their friendship is exactly what you’d expect from a guy like Ash and his equally dopey buddy. It’s actually oddly heartwarming.

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It’s like the an R-rated Hellcharger

In other news, Ruby finaly gets sick of Ash’s harebrained schemes and persuades Kelly to join her, hinting there’s more to Kelly than what we’ve seen so far. And Ash finally sets aside his differences with his dad….IN A GLORIOUS DUEL OF MECHANICAL BULL. But considering this is Ash, the feel-good moment is quickly dashed and another mystery is thrown into the mix. Ash vs Evil Dead, everybody!

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Old man’s still got moves in him

This episode has it all. Crazy demon-possessed car, father-son bonding, laughs, tears, everything. It’s definitely the strongest in the season so far, and it opens a whole new can of worms for Ash to deal with other than the imminent coming of Baal and Ruby breaking off from the group alongside Kelly. Can’t wait for next week! And remember kids, never take a Pink Fuck.

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World’s. Worst. Swirlie.

Great Bat-Time-Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders Review


Holy animated movie, Batman! In Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders, the legendary Batman of the 60’s return, voiced of course by Adam West, accompanied by his (no longer teenaged) ward Burt Ward as Robin and Julie Newmar returning as the feline fatale Catwoman in an animated feature that pays respect both to the classic series and adds a dash of modern love for it.

 

It’s the Bat-Climb. IN SPACE.

 

The initial plot is as straightforward as it gets. The main Bat-Rogues team up, and our Dynamic Duo has to stop them. But in its execution, it both pays homage to the classic moments of the series, BANG, BIFF, ZOTs and all, plus a few references to the show’s legacy and clever behind the scenes nods.
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The movie’s second half, still closely related to the first is a veritable love letter to the show while taking a few playful jabs at the current state of Batman. It features a slightly ‘edgier’ Batman and a completely hysterical plot to replace every important person in the city with Batmen. Yes, even the bakers and street sweepers. Not to mention a great nod towards Batman’s habit of disappearing on Gordon.
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It’s raining (Bat)men!

To top it all off, the movie climaxes in a huge showdown between the show’s many Bat-Villains versus an army of Batmen. There’s even a lone Batman doing the Batusi while all of this happens!
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What ever shall we do?

Not just that, the movie provides us with loads and loads of references and nods to other pieces of the Bat-Mythology, like the intro sequence recreating classic Batman comic covers and previous/future Batsuits making a background appearance that will sure get the rise out of any Bat-Fan.
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He’s Batman. Of course he prepared.

Return of the Caped Crusaders delivers all it promised to deliver and more, giving us a chance to reexperience the classic TV show and all the while showing love to the source material at the same time. The only thing missing is Batgirl. But aside from that, it’s the Bat-Movie we need and the Bat-Movie we deserved. Until next time, same Bat-Time, same Bat-Channel!

The Biggest Asshole-Ash vs Evil Dead Season 2 ‘The Morgue’ Review

It’s the second episode of Ash vs Evil Dead’s sophomore season and the ante just keeps going up. With Team Ash (plus Ruby) finally together, all that’s left is to find the Necronomicon. Easy, right? Oh, if only. Besides, it wouldn’t be any fun if it’s all easy-peasy in Ashy-Land.

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I want his room

After a quick stop at Casa Williams and our first-ever look at Ash’s cool digs, Ash and Kelly head off to find the Necronomicon hidden in a body in the local morgue, while Pablo and Ruby play Twenty Questions. What goes down in the morgue is possibly one of the most creative, gross, and balls-out hilarious action set pieces in any Evil Dead media ever.

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I know Ash has his head pretty far up his ass, but this is getting ridiculous (WARNING: DONG)

While the ass-clenching and butt-kicking happens in the morgue, Pablo soon discovers he has some distressing new…gifts, courtesy of the Necronomicon. Did I mention there was a gym teacher Deadite trying to seduce Ash and instead ended up meeting Ash’s dad? And a pretty kickass fight with Ruby and Pablo against that Deadite. Good stuff. In the end, as always, Ash’s bumbling will be what takes us into the next episode. Just the way we like it.

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First still from Fifty Shades of Ruby

While the ass sequence definitely steals the show with Bruce Campbell selling the SHIT (pun intended) out of it, the interplay and verbal jabs between Kelly and Pablo is at an all-time great this episode. And very quotable. So far, Ruby as the exposition lady and occasional badass is great as well, and she makes a good foil to Ash’s antics. Round it up with Ash’s dad being every inch as Ash as his son, and you have another fun, bloody, and shitty (in a good way) episode of AvED.

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I heard it’s pretty old wood