Monday, October 17, 2011

The Walking Dead: What Lies Ahead

Directed by Ernest Dickerson and Gwyneth Horder-Payton

Written by Robert Kirkman and "Ardeth Bay" (a.k.a. Frank Darabont)

Season 2, Episode 1

Original Air date: October 16th, 2011

Picking up after Season 1's finale "TS-19", we see the remainder of Rick's group deciding to leave Atlanta behind for Fort Benning. Soon enough, there are new troubles for the group as they stumble across a church......

Some people I have noticed do not favor Rick using the walkie-talkie as a means for getting across exposition or vocalizing his inner thoughts, as this is awkward or monotonous to them: I have to disagree. I find that this means of relaying information to the audience is a good way to tie-back to Morgan and Duane (even if, as of this review, they have yet to reappear in their own separate plot lines), a way to make internal monologues work for the televised adaptation of The Walking Dead and to catch-up anyone who may have missed out on Season 1. That being said, let's take a look at the season opener.


For the most part, the episode has 3 major locations: an cluttered highway, a church, and a forest. Thankfully, the episode's directors  use the highway to his advantage, making it into a dangerous maze our group must dodge and overcome after being attacked by a pack of Zombies. There is a great deal of tension as the group hides under cars and in the motor homes rather than take a flashy and ill-fated battle against the zombies. That is what works about TDW as a comic: the group learns how to better avoid the zombies by using their minds rather than take a 'John Rambo' approach to the situation. Also, there is a great deal of discussion about the topic of faith in the episode, which I assume will be a major theme this season.

Rating: * * * * of 5 

Monday, October 10, 2011

Comic books

Hey everyone!

So, I have been told that there are some people out there who read my blog that made a request for me to review comic books, particularly Hellboy. However, I would like to know if I should review the more recent stories or start from the beginning. When I hear back from those interested, I will get on to that review. That being said, is there anything else out there that you'd like to request? If possible, I'd like to avoid being a copy-cat of LINKARA from TGWTG's Atop the Fourth Wall; I'll do good comics and some bad, but check what he's done first before you ask me.


Friday, October 7, 2011

The Ides of March

Starring Ryan Gosling, George Clooney, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, and Paul Giamatti

Directed by George Clooney

Release Date: October 7th, 2011

 Beneath the handshaking and campaign day promises there is more betrayal and deception than most people know about political campaigns, particularly in America. Director George Clooney adapts the play Farragut North into a political thriller about a political strategist who has to struggle through moral grays and shady decisions.

Clooney does a masterful job of creating tension with how the characters deal with how they undermine each other, and how often such ideals as trust and dedication to one's political beliefs. In fact, I think this is the type of film that should be shown in a politics class for students to see that politics is not cut and dry, that people try to destroy each other simply because they can.

Ryan Gosling does an impressive job of making Stephen Myers into an idealistic and likeable protagonist, someone who understands the business of politics but has yet to be sullied by mudslinging or empty promises. George Clooney does a competent job of playing the candidate Mike Morris, a politican who's all smiles for the press, but has a darker side. Clooney definitely looks the part of a politician, but I feel that his part may have been better served as a character in the background, someone the audience sees from time to time while the focus is on Myers and the other campaign workers. Hoffman and Giamatti play senior advisers, both of them making powerful monologues and getting some fantastic performances opposite Gosling.

Rating: * * * * of 5

Sunday, October 2, 2011


Starring Brad Pitt, Jonah Hill, and Philip Seymour Hoffman

Directed by Bennett Miller

Release Date: September 23rd, 2011

Based on the book Moneyball: The art of winning an unfair game by Michael Lewis, the film stars Brad Pitt as GM Billy Beane and Jonah Hill as "Peter Brand", a fictional character created for the film. Beane worked against the budget given him and used a system known as "Moneyball", using player statistics rather than try to break the bank for the best players available. Soon, members of Beane's own team and A's fans begin to question his decisions and whether he should still be manager the following season.

I had heard that Moneyball would be The Social Network in 2011. Would I agree to that? Yes and no. Yes, in that both films take a relatively complex subject and summarize them for a general audience. No, in that Moneyball isn't as entertaining or well acted as The Social Network was. Brad Pitt is fine, but he really doesn't do anything memorable; it's just a very standard performance from him. Philip Seymour Hoffman, playing manager Art Howe, is just wasted in this regard. Hoffman is an award-winning actor, showcasing a wide range of talent in such films as Red Dragon, The Savages, and Charlie Wilson's War. Sadly, there's nothing for him to work with, as anyone could have played this part.

Rating: * * * * of 5