Double-Double! The Death of Superman/Reign of the Supermen Double Feature!

Fans will soon have two options to watch the two-part DC UNIVERSE feature-length animated films, “The Death of Superman” & “Reign of the Supermen” TOGETHER!

First, Superman’s greatest adventure – his death and rebirth – will be unveiled in a special two-day exclusive theatrical event as Warner Bros. and DC join forces with Fathom Events for a double feature presentation of the previously released “The Death of Superman” and the first in-theater screening of the all-new “Reign of the Supermen” nationwide. The films will screen in more than 500 select movie theaters on Sunday, January 13 at 12:55 p.m. and Monday, January 14 at 8:00 p.m. (all local times) through Fathom’s Digital Broadcast Network (DBN). Tickets for The Death of Superman/ Reign of the SupermenDouble Feature can be purchased at www.FathomEvents.comand participating theater box offices. 
And later this year, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment will release the two movies as a single, full-length film with never-before-seen extended footage and a collectible item within the box set. Details will be released in the coming months.

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Gotham Season 5, Episode 2 Review

Last week, we left the shattered remains of Gotham City with an exhausted boy begging Jim Gordon for help. With a profound lack of Penguin this week, Episode 2 instead focuses predominantly on Bruce Wayne and Jim Gordon as they embark on separate missions to save those in need of help. While the episode lacks the same big set-piece driven action and meaningful plot development the first episode had, the final few scenes are likely to be a highlight for fans of the show. In many ways, Trespassers follows the rigid formula of Gotham episodes gone by with the added danger of feeling like Gotham could implode at any moment.

The story this week sees Jim gather his limited forces at the precinct, determined to drive into The Dark Zone where a whole group of kids are being held captive. It turns out they’ve been forced to dig a tunnel to the mainland at the hands of a ruthless gang. After navigating a myriad of dangerous locations, Jim finds himself caught in the crossfire between two rival gangs who erupt into a flurry of gunfire. It’s at this point where Jim finds help from the most unlikely of sources with one promise in return – kill Penguin and end this nightmare.

Interspersed between Jim Gordon’s heroic rescue are two predominant storylines, one involving Bruce Wayne and the other, The Riddler. The latter sees Ed wake up chained to a bed, patting himself on the back for beating his sleep walking problem. Only to find out he’s captured and evidently tortured a street gang member who’s left tied up in his bath. After some less-than-friendly negotiations, the gang member reluctantly takes Ed to his hideout only to find someone’s been there before him and left a message on the wall, with all fingers pointing at The Penguin.

Rounding out this trio of stories is Bruce Wayne’s journey into the depths of Gotham’s underbelly to find The Witch to help Salina. Once he arrives, it turns out the witch is actually Poison Ivy who’s ensnared various people who’s stumbled into her territory. After a tense confrontation, she agrees to help for the sake of Salina, giving Bruce something that’ll help herget better. It’s at this point where the episode cuts to the final credits, teasing the beginnings of Salina’s origin story and her destined transformation into Catwoman.

While the episode itself doesn’t push the overall narrative of Gotham forward, it does set up some intriguing questions going forward. In true Gotham fashion, the episodes are chock full of action accompanied by many twists and turns along the way. If there’s one thing Gotham’s always done well, it’s embracing the manic nature of Gotham’s various colourful inhabitants and this episode is no exception. The Riddler is one of the stand outs here, and has been since very early in the show’s run. Given there’s only 12 episodes to play with this season, it’ll be a real shame if the bulk of that time is used up with his amnesia rather than the manic Riddle-obsessed villain we’ve come to know over the years.

Along with the great acting that perfectly captures the persona for many of Gotham’s heroes and villains, it’s worth mentioning the underrated camera work and use of colour here too. There’s some really nice 45 degree angled shots throughout the episode and they’re used perfectly to really capture the off-kilter feel of Gotham. The use of colour, although slightly predictable, changes from dull and grey to full of vibrant brightness toward the end of the episode too, a nice touch to reflect Jim successfully completing his mission.

With a profound lack of Penguin this week, the trio of stories at play here work really well together. These are perfectly balanced through the majority of the episode’s run time too and for the most part, does well to hold your attention until the final scenes. This is likely to be the talking point this week though and it’ll be really interesting to see where they go with Bruce Wayne’s story. Of course, a lot of this season has been focused on the various villains and the ongoing feuds that are gripping Gotham’s new world order but Bruce’s transformation into Batman is something everyone is waiting to see. I’m guessing we’re going to be given a fair amount of character development for Master Wayne this season, perhaps ending with Batman saving the day in the finale. It’s still early days though but like the inhabitants of Gotham City, we’re hungry for more. Also to note, Part of this episode was filmed only two blocks from where my girlfriend lives and this was great to see on screen.

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Julian’s Thoughts: Black Mirror Bandersnatch Review

For the most part, I don’t tend to rush and watch Netflix’s original films unless the reception is very high. most of them typically feel like movies that are either not good enough to make money at the box office or bizarre concept films.  I guess “Black Mirror: Bandersnatch” falls into the bizarre concept category.  Still, as a fan of “Black Mirror” and someone intrigued by the premise of an interactive film, I had to check this film out as soon as possible.

The amount of options you have is amazing and leads to fascinating paths.  The premise of the film is also delightfully meta as it focuses on a game designer in 1984 developing his own make your own adventure game.  Seeing how the filmmakers play around with this concept is genius. I used to read some of the choose your own adventure books when I was younger so I fully knew what I was getting into. The acting was great in the film.  I thought Fionn Whitehead and Will Poulter really pulled you in.  Through different choices, Whitehead and Poulter manage to display varying states of emotions and mental statuses. “Black Mirror: Bandersnatch” has at least five different endings and one of them cannot be accessed as of right now and It may never see the light of day until someone figures how to trigger it (many speculate that it branches from the five number password selection).  There are countless numbers of possibilities the story can take with reports that not all scenes have been unlocked by viewers. Some of the choices from the beginning of the film will be referenced later at some point as well. If you watch this movie on a gaming console, Your controller will rumble to let you know when it is time to make a choice. I watched some different paths with some different endings and they vary quite a bit. The theme of this movie is also how one person can be controlled in different ways even though they would not notice it and that played very well during this movie. The film is one of the most ambitious projects ever to be filmed.  That same ambition I admire might also be the only complaint I might have because it would be almost impossible to see all the different paths that can be taken.  Some critics said the film was too gimmicky but I disagree.  I think it could be the future of streaming films if they are done right.

With so many possible story outcomes, it’s hard to dismiss the fun you have controlling the direction the story takes.  Also, with seamless editing, the film never “feels” like an interactive experience.  “Black Mirror: Bandersnatch” manages to pull off the rare win for original Netflix films, I just hope it becomes the first of many. I would also like to note that you cannot watch this movie with older streaming devices or an Apple TV as of right now.

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Gotham Season 5, Episode 1 Review

 

I am happy that Gotham is back, but I am also sad that the show is coming to an end very soon. No matter if you have watched one episode or all of them, this show is severely underrated. Contrasting this are some of the best episodes in any superhero show and Gotham’s attempt at fleshing out a prequel for The Dark Knight has been extremely enjoyable. Most of this has been thanks to the excellent origin stories given to the most iconic villains in Batman’s illustrious history. Season 5 begins strongly, with a tease of what’s to come and a look ahead at the chaos now gripping Gotham City.

The story begins with a welcome recap, reflecting on the events leading up to the start of this final season. It’s been 391 days since the government blew the bridges to Gotham, effectively trapping everyone inside and preventing anyone from entering or leaving. After a brief opening few shots, we’re shown the forces of good and evil coming together; “For Gotham!” Jim Gordon screams and the screen erupts into a strobe of gunfire and anarchy.

It’s at this point where we skip back to 87 days. Gotham has broken down into a lawless, anarchistic state. All the villains have carved out their own plot of land with Scarecrow, Victor Freeze, Barbara and more all going it alone and fighting over dwindling resources. Jeremiah is no one to be seen and seeking the chance to capitalize on this anarchy is Penguin. Continuing to manipulate those around him, Penguin controls a prolific enterprise of ammunition which seems to be the leading currency for negotiations.

The government has all but abandoned Gotham by this point. Jim Gordon and a very thin line of police officers hold up at the GCPD, trying desperately to get supplies for a continued flurry of refugees who have got caught in the crossfire between gangs and weren’t able to evacuate. After a desperate plea to the forces outside the city, there seems to be light at the end of the tunnel in the form of a Wayne Enterprises helicopter. In true Gotham fashion, the extent of chaos is fully realized when a mysterious figure shoots the chopper out of the sky and various forces converge on its location.

This then leads to different gangs coming to blows over the supplies and the extent of Gotham’s ambitions for the season ahead fully realized. Knowing this is the final season, the stakes are higher than they’ve ever been before and during this fight, more than one casualty is realized as the battle lines are drawn. Tabitha is also killed in this episode which is the most shocking moment of the entire episode. It’s a bold move from the writers too and something that appears to set the tone going forward. We also see more of Scarecrow here too although given his brief appearance last season, we’ll hold our cards close to our chest before presuming he’ll be a focal figure for the season to come.

The episode ends with a look ahead at what’s to come. Penguin continues to antagonize, putting out a bounty on Jim Gordan’s head. Barbara has been pushed over the edge and seeks vengeance while Bruce Wayne is determined to follow a new path to help Selina recover from her paralysis. The Riddler is waking up in different places around the city and seems even more agitated than usual. All of this while Jim Gordon follows an ominous message from an exhausted child who passes out soon after revealing his message. There’s an awful lot to chew over for the week but there’s no denying that this episode sets a very high bar for the season ahead.

The fifth season of Gotham opens with a real banger of an episode. There’s some explosive action and crucial questions raised for the forthcoming season ahead. If there’s one thing Fox’s superhero prequel has always done well, it’s the characters and this episode does not disappoint. In the season where we finally close the curtain on Gotham, the first episode gets off to a flier and it’ll be interesting to see if the show can keep this momentum going next week when we return to the lawless streets of Gotham City.

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TV Shows to Binge Before The Winter Break Ends

Happy 2019 everyone. I hope that everyone that is reading this enjoyed their time off during the holidays. 2018 was a great year for television with current shows such as The Walking Dead, West World, Gotham, and Legends of Tomorrow and new shows that landed on television and the streaming services. Some are a hit or miss, but they are watchable during the winter break. When the winter break ends, it is back to reality for the world to get back to either school or work as the normal life resumes. But it does not have to be all normal as you can still do some activities after the day ends. Although there will be minimal time during the week, the weekend is where you can do whatever you want and one of those things is watching television. Gone are the days of sitting in front of your TV staring at commercials every seven to ten minutes as you can pause the show you are watching on your streaming account. Today, I will recommend a few shows to watch during the winter break. It is January now and many people will be inside (if you are in the northeast region) due to cold weather so why not binge a TV show.

Black Mirror (Netflix)

This series can challenge the viewer’s mind in many different ways and the best part about this show is that you can watch all of the episodes in any order that you want to. It is one of those shows where you do not have to watch the first episode since each episode has a different story. There are also mind bending plot twists on some of the episodes of this show that will have your mind blown. A perfect example is the ending of the episode “Shut Up and Dance”. I will not spoil the ending, but it makes you think of how far can you go to hide a secret. Give Black Mirror a chance and recently, a movie called Black Mirror: Bandersnatch has made it’s way to Netflix and it is an interactive movie with five possible endings.

Everything Sucks (Netflix)

 

This show takes place in the year 1996 at Boring High School in Oregon (I am not joking, that is the name of the high school) and most of the show’s plot revolves around the A/V club in that school. The characters on this teen comedy has different personalities and one of them is also closet gay which becomes another sub plot of the show when the way it was revealed during the show. Another good aspect of the show is that it was not just about how everyone looked at the 90’s as it felt natural and not forced in your face. The acting of all of the characters during that time period fits the narrative of what the show was about. And this is the freshman year of high school so there is also drama with other students and parents as well. I recently found out that Netflix pulled the plug on this show due to high production costs and I was bummed to find out about that news. Take a chance to watch this show as I think that it is underrated.

Gotham (FOX)

The fifth and final season of Gotham premiers this week and this is another show where I feel that should have not ended this quick. Gotham showcases the characters of the Batman comic book series in their younger days as Commissioner James Gordon and Harvey Bullock are the main stars of the show. There is intense action in every episode that will keep you on the edge of your seat. We are also shown the younger versions of Bruce Wayne, Catwoman, Poison Ivy, The Riddler, The Penguin, Scarecrow, and even The Joker. There was a concern about continuity issues since most of the stoylines from the show that are in the comic happens when all of the characters are older, but it blended in well on the show especially The Court of Owls plot arc on the show. If you want to see a young Batman on television, then this show is for you. It is also not connected to the Arrowverse shows at all so you will not be confused with trying to catch up with the other shows at all.

Unreal (Lifetime/Hulu)

Another good show with an interesting concept as it is about a production of a “Bachelor/Bachelorette” reality show. This is not a reality show at all and I was intrigued about it. The head of the production is a woman named Quinn and her on and off again producer is Rachel and they have a team with them to produce the show. You will find out real quick who is the enemy and who is not and the show has many moments that will make you laugh especially when Quinn makes funny comments about the contestants as she sees them from her production room. I will not spoil too much about the show, but there is also drama with the cast and the contestants and it all makes up for good TV. If you are into TV production, I would fully recommend the show. Plus, I know that reality shows are over produced, but it was not until this show where it exposed how over produced those reality shows are.

You (Lifetime/Netflix)

If you want a psychological thriller that is based off a novel, then this show is for you. Taking place in New York City, This show is about a male that stalks his love interest with social media and he does everything he can to be in a relationship with her and to protect her. He does this by killing people that are close to her such as her boyfriend and her best friend. The best parts about the show is the narration sequences that blends in with the scenes to give the viewer what is on his (and sometimes hers) mind as the scenes go forward. The concept is interesting and this show took advantage of the use of social media the most out of any scripted show from the first episode, to the season finale. Good thing that Netflix picked the show up because season 2 is coming soon.

The Edge and Christian Show That Totally Reeks of Awesomeness (WWE Network)

Of all of the WWE Network original shows, this show I would recommend the most. Edge and Christian are a former tag team in WWE in which they have won the tag team championships together seven times. They would both have a successful careers without each other winning multiple World Heavyweight Championships on their own. The team was known for their highly praised comedy skits inside and outside the ring and a show about them doing comedy skits is so totally worth watching. There are great skits on this show that breaks the fourth wall such as “Will WWE Talk About It” which is the funniest part of the show. During the episodes, Edge and Christian go on a mini adventure and there are also sometimes Easter eggs that are included in their dialogue. For example, one of their most recent episodes, they traveled to a dark cave and everyone in the scene commented about how dark it is inside the cave. Then Christian says “are we in the impact zone?!” and I laughed to tears hearing that unexpected line. There are also game show skits within the show such as the “Chumpstain Challenge” as Charly Caruso is the host and Edge and Christian answers themed questions. This show has a mix of everything packaged into one show on the WWE Network.

 

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The Walking Dead News: Another Character is Crossing Over to Fear The Walking Dead

The first news of the year of The Walking Dead universe is a great one. Austin Amellio who has played as Dwight from Seasons 6-8 will reprise his role on the sister show Fear The Walking Dead.

The news broke today as many fans speculated when he would return and if he would return on the main show or the sister show. Austin Amellio said in a recent panel at Walker Stalker Con New Jersey that he would love to return on the show to reprise his role.

He last appeared on the Season Finale of the eighth season of the show as Daryl exiled him from Alexandria and he was looking for his wife Sherry ever since. With the current show doing a six year time skip, Fans would wonder how and where he will make his appearance on Fear The Walking Dead but hopefully, our questions will be answered in a few months when the show returns. In fact, how would Morgan react to seeing him return on the show? Dwight will also be the second character from the original show to cross over to Fear The Walking Dead and it looks like that more characters could cross over in the future.

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Bi-Coastal Premieres for “Reign of the Supermen” in January 2019

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment

Announces Bi-Coastal Premieres of

REIGN OF THE SUPERMEN

in Los Angeles & New York

Latest DC Universe Movie to Debut in LA (1/10/19) and NYC (1/28/19);

Limited Free Tickets Available to Fans on First Come, First Served Basis

 

 

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment proudly presents the bi-coastal premieres of Reign of the Supermen, the next entry in the popular, ongoing series of DC Universe Movies, at The Paley Center for Media in Beverly Hills on January 10, 2019 and at the Directors Guild of America in New York on January 28, 2019. Filmmakers and members of the voice cast will attend the events for red carpet media interviews and a post-screening panel discussion.

 

Executive producer James Tucker, director/producer Sam Liu, character designer Phil Bourassa, writers Jim Krieg & Tim Sheridan and members of the all-star voice cast will attend the World Premiere festivities in Los Angeles and East Coast Premiere in New York. Additional talent participating at the two premieres will be announced as confirmed.

Both screenings will begin at 7:00 pm. The Paley Center for Media in Los Angeles is located at 465 North Beverly Drive in Beverly Hills. The Director’s Guild of America is located at 110 West 57th Street in New York City.

 

A limited number of free tickets are available to the general public.

Fans wishing to receive free tickets to the Los Angeles event on Thursday, January 10 must RSVP via email to ReignSupermenLA@gmail.com.

Fans wishing to receive free tickets to the New York event on Monday, January 28 must RSVP via email to ReignSupermenNY@gmail.com.

The subject of all fan email entries should include which location (LA or NY) they wish to attend. The body of all fan RSVP emails need ONLY include the (1) name of the entrant, (2) number of tickets requested (limit four per entry), and (3) valid email address (again, within the body of the email text). Fans should keep their entry simple – here’s an example of exactly how the body of the RSVP email should appear:

 

Bruce Wayne

2 tickets

Batman@gmail.com

 

Tickets to the event will be distributed on a “first come, first served” basis, and fans will be notified via email.

 

Reign of the Supermen finds Earth’s citizens – and the Man of Steel’s heroic contemporaries – dealing with a world without Superman. But the aftermath of Superman’s death, and the subsequent disappearance of his body, leads to a new mystery – is Superman still alive? The question is further complicated when four new super-powered individuals – Steel, Cyborg Superman, Superboy and the Eradicator – emerge to proclaim themselves as the ultimate hero. In the end, only one will be able to proclaim himself the world’s true Superman.

 

Reign of the Supermen is the second half of a two-part DC Universe Movies experience that began in August 2018 with The Death of Superman – the two films telling a more faithful animated version of “The Death of Superman,” DC’s landmark 1992-93 comic phenomenon. Superman Doomsday, the inaugural film in the DC Universe Movies series, told an abridged version of that comics story, but with a runtime of 75 minutes, the film was only able to focus on a core, singular storyline. The Death of Superman and Reign of the Supermen restore many of the moments and characters that fans hold dear to their hearts.

 

The Reign of the Supermen all-star cast is led by Jerry O’Connell (Carter, Bravo’s Play by Play, Stand by Me), Rebecca Romijn (X-Men, The Librarians) and Rainn Wilson (The Office, The Meg) as the voices of Superman, Lois Lane and Lex Luthor, respectively. The potent trio is joined by the DC Universe Movies’ returning voices of the Justice League: Jason O’Mara (The Man in the High Castle, Terra Nova) as Batman, Rosario Dawson (Sin City, Rent, Daredevil) as Wonder Woman, Shemar Moore (S.W.A.T., Criminal Minds) as Cyborg, Nathan Fillion (Castle, The Rookie) as Green Lantern/Hal Jordan, Christopher Gorham (Covert Affairs, Insatiable, Ugly Betty) as The Flash, and Nyambi Nyambi (Mike & Molly, The Good Fight) as Martian Manhunter.

 

Newly featured cast members include Cress Williams (Black Lightning) as Steel, Cameron Monaghan (Gotham) as Superboy, Patrick Fabian (Better Call Saul) as Hank Henshaw, and Tony Todd (Candyman) as Darkseid. In addition, the cast includes Charles Halford (Constantine) as Bibbo Bibbowski and The Eradicator, Rocky Carroll (NCIS) as Perry White, Toks Olagundoye (Castle) as Cat Grant, Max Mittleman (Justice League Action) as Jimmy Olsen, Paul Eiding (Ben 10: Omniverse) as Jonathan Kent, Jennifer Hale (Green Lantern: The Animated Series) as Martha Kent, Trevor Devall (Suicide Squad: Hell To Pay) as Dabney Donovan and Erica Luttrell (Salvation) as Mercy.

Produced by Warner Bros. Animation and DC Entertainment, the feature-length animated Reign of the Supermen arrives from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment on Digital starting January 15, 2019, and on Ultra HD Blu-ray Combo Pack and Blu-ray Combo Pack on January 29, 2019.

Julian’s Thoughts: Aquaman Review

The DC Extended Universe has had a few more issues than the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Not for nothing, but Man of Steel was two thirds of a great take of the original superhero that turned into a CGI 9/11 mess, Batman v Superman was a dull, overlong, muddled mess that crammed six films worth of story into a single film with only fleeting moments of brilliance, Suicide Squad was a compromised but fun enough mess with enough ideas to warrant a second viewing. Then came Wonder Woman, Patty Jenkins’ game-changing story of love conquering all troubles and being the greatest thing in the world; it smashed records and was a fun ride that called to mind Richard Donner’s Superman (the granddaddy of the genre). Justice League was a mess,  but now with a slate of intriguing films on the horizon, the DC universe can do anything, which leads us to James Wan’s Aquaman.

Aquaman is the first post-Justice League film from DC, and it shows that the lessons from previous DC adaptations have been learnt. Gone is the dark colour pallette, the reluctance to have fun, the overstuffing of storylines and the dour tone. Welcome a bright, epic adventure film with plenty of things going boom, and laughs to be had along the way. James Wan has had an extraordinary fourteen year career. Having made Saw and then moving on to lesser seen films like Dead Silence and Death Sentence (the latter being a great little revenge flick) he made films like The Conjuring 1 & 2, Insidious 1 & 2 and then out of nowhere directed Furious 7, the best of the Fast and Furious franchise even with a sad loss of Paul Walker during filming. Here, Wan crams everything into the film like a child playing with action figures.

Jason Momoa returns as Arthur Curry, half human half Atlantean, the first born child of Queen Atlanna and heir to the throne. His destiny is forced upon him when his half-brother King Orm begins manipulating the seven underwater kingdoms into attacking the surface world, and things go bonkers.

From the off, Wan might as well be handing out copies of his favorite 80s movies. It’s no secret that most superhero directors want to show you the movies they’re inspired by, but here it shows more than ever. For people who like old-school adventure films like Romancing the Stone (brilliant), Raiders of the Lost Ark (brilliant) and The Goonies (brilliant) you’re in for a fun ride. There are moments that look like throwbacks to Stephen Sommers original The Mummy (brilliant but less so), and the film is all the better for it.

Momoa plays his superhero like a slightly hungover bouncer, reluctant to get involved in a world he has no real stake in, his only tether to the human world being his father (a very well used Temuera Morrison), and his claim to the throne of the ocean holds no interest. Having rocked up to the party in Justice League like a absolute dudebro and yelled things like “my man” and “i dig it”, this time around he has a bit more heavy lifting to do. Given his frame, his eyebrow scar and his voice like gravel there is so much to relish in his performance here – he stands confidently with other heroes of the DC universe as being distinct but of that world.

The film also has that old-fashioned feel, thanks to a great supporting cast – Morrison along with Nicole Kidman play Curry’s parents well, in a well-done prologue showing the quick romance between the two that leads to young Arthur being born. Patrick Wilson decides to chew his scenery as the villainous Orm, deciding that other royal sibling-relation superheroes are OTT enough, with none of the charm of Loki, the nuance of Killmonger or even the manipulation of Ares, this time around we get a shouting Wilson, going for absolute broke and clearly having an absolute blast. Willem Dafoe and Dolph Lundgren aren’t used to their full potential, but they flesh out the world, and are convincing even as they pretend to swim in the underwater world.

It’s actually the secondary villain of the revenge-driven Black Manta played by Yahya Abdul-Mateen II that gets some of the best sequences, he has a cool suit and the guy looks like he means business, laying waste to a small Sicilian village in his revenge quest against Curry.

There are some fun cameos along the way (Julie Andrews voices a giant sea monster for one), and the score by Rupert Greyson-Williams flips between a superhero score and something resembling Tron’s soundtrack, but it works. This is a love letter to those swashbuckling adventures of days gone by, and the film doesn’t mind being silly.

There are some awkward issues: a lot of action sequences begin with someone being blindsided by an explosion, and the underwater hair effects seem a little uneasy, but even so, neither undo the film because Wan knows not to do the same old action sequence. There’s a fun Tron/Star Wars style escape from Atlantis, there are sword fights, parkour rooftop running, and good old-fashioned fisticuffs.

By no means does this make for a perfect viewing, and at two and a half hours the film does sometimes go into overlong time, but even as the CGI heavy third act begins to weigh hard, there’s another bizarre sea monster ready to show up, including giant angry sharks, big crab people, a CGI Djimon Hounsou, seahorses big enough to ride and enough jokes to keep you going.

In the end, this is a movie that doesn’t want to upset or bore, it wants to entertain, offering good old-fashioned thrills without being too tethered to the movies before it, taking a leaf from Wonder Woman’s book and like that film heralding a brighter future for the DC Universe. If Shazam! and Birds of Prey can keep up this momentum, DC might have a future after all, and as for Aquaman, if there was ever a reason to go see a big movie it might be the sight of an octopus playing the drums.

Final Grade: A

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The Worst of Video Gaming in 2018

This year in the world of video gaming, we have had many widespread acclaim of great games such as Red Dead Redemption 2, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Spider-Man for PS4, Monster Hunter World, God of War, and Dead Cells. When you think of the positive of gaming in 2018, Those games come to mind first on the top of my head. Even some of the major gaming headlines made the news around the net as we found out in reveal trailers that The Elder Scrolls VI is in development, along with Doom Eternal, and The Last of Us 2. And we were even shown gameplay of Cyberpunk 2077 and Death Stranding which has been anticipated for some time now which made the gaming community happy.

In between the great releases and great news that shocked the industry, there has been bad news and disappointing games that has been released to the public and the reception ranged from negative, to downright universally panned by not only the gaming community, but also by the major outlets that covered the news. The news did not sit well with the developers and studios that were producing the games and their damage control of these situations were met with an even bigger backlash than it originally started. Today, I give you the worst in gaming of 2018 and I shall begin with the handling of the Playstation Classic.

In 2016, Nintendo released the NES Classic Mini which featured the best games of that console at the time. I remember trying to buy one, but they were sold out everywhere and the lines to get one at various stores were endless. Nintendo also released the Super Nintendo Classic in 2017 and even though they produced more of the consoles, the same effect happened as they were sold out everywhere. I did eventually got one a few months later and I am satisfied. Trying to follow suit, Sony announced in the fall that they would release the Playstation Classic in December. I loved the Playstation and I was excited for this. This was until we found out that many games such as Crash, Spyro, and more would not be included in the game roster that was already lackluster. The bigger news is that many games that were included in the console were not the American versions of the games as they were the PAL versions of the games and the PAL versions were notorious for not running in full speed when you play them. Sony has had potential with this console, but it has flopped and the sales of the PlayStation Classic has been much lower than the Nintendo counterparts to the point that many retailers are putting it on sale now.

One of the biggest news stories in the fall is the major news of TellTale Games studious is shutting down. This news broke shortly after the release of the second episode of The Walking Dead: The Final Season as it came out of nowhere to the public as this studio has made great games from the IP’s of The Walking Dead, Batman, Game of Thrones, and much more. About 90% of the staff were let go without warning and only kept a number of them to finish a Netflix series. The rest of the former staff got picked up from different gaming developers since the public outcry and I have interviewed one of them about the situation a few days after the news. Skybound eventually announced that they plan to finish the final season of the game and although that is great news, the damage has been done already. There were more stories that came out about the company, but not to the level of how Konami treated their staff before Metal Gear Solid V was finished.

Bethesda could not escape bad news ever since the reveal of Fallout 76 has made it to light. A few months before its release, The developers stated in many interviews of what features would be in the game and what could players expect differently in this game than the last game and boy oh boy did almost none of it matched up to the final product. What we got, was a product that was a buggy, unplayable mess that angered the players and the fans of the series. It is so bad, that the guys at GiantBomb refused to finish the game to review it since it was frustrating for any of their staff members to play it all the way through. The fact that the developers has taken out NCP’s in this game which was needed in the first place can tell you how out of touch they are with their fans. But it does not end there.

The Pre-order bonuses included a high quality duffel bag if you bought the Power Armor edition of the game. The picture of what was ad is completely different from what the customers got when it arrived to them and it was not good at all. The closest that anyone has received great quality duffel bags was at a press gaming event where they were given out for free. Bethesda originally did not accept refunds at all, but they offered affected customers that bought the edition of the game an in-game currency that is worth only $5.00 and that did not sit well along with the data breach that happened a few days later. What a crappy year for Bethesda overall.

As i quote the former WCW Champion and current member of the WWE Hall of Fame Goldberg, “Who’s Next? Blizzard, You’re Next”. At BlizzCon, Blizzard held a showcase for their upcoming titles and many fans speculated that the fourth installment of Diablo would be announced. But that did not happen as we got an announcement of a mobile game Diablo Immortal. With the age of micro-transactions and lootcrates are here today in mobile and console gaming, the fans reacted negatively to this announcement because of those possible factors and due to the fact that this announcement was made at the near end of the conference. They even held a Q and A afterwards and one person asked them if this was an April Fool’s joke which gained a huge laughter from the audience. Another question that was asked is if the game would be released on PC and when the developer answered that there would be no plans for a PC release, the audience booed even louder. You would think that it is Roman Reigns out there during the height of his main event status in WWE talking on the microphone with the way the crowd responded. It was that bad.

And finally, I have saved the best for last and that is EA Games. That is right, EA all year has been in the gaming news for bad reasons and it was also ranked number five of the most hated companies in America this year. The year started off with them with the continued controversy of the way Star Wars Battlefront 2 was handled with their micro-transactions (which was eventually fixed, but the damage has been done). And it reached to a point where the federal government had to come in and investigate their practices. There were also rumors about Disney parting ways with EA to look for another developer to make their Star Wars games. In the early spring of the news of EA, the first trailer of Battlefield V was released and the reception to that trailer was mixed to negative due to EA and DICE changing too much historical content of World War II along with a long, dragged out press conference that did not showcase more than a few minutes of game play at all. The news got worse for them a few weeks later when they started to sell DLC’s for their DLC’s in The Sims 4. Pretty weird if you ask me why they did that, but the fans were not happy about that at all. The only good thing that came out of EA this year is A Way Out, but even that great game could not save what was going on with the slaughter of news out of EA because time and time again, they proved to have learned nothing from their mistakes and that was on full display at E3 this year when EA had their conference. They announced a streaming game cloud subscription along with a subscription to get some of their games on the PC. That did not stop at all as there was also an announcement of another Star Wars game. The way this was done was that Vince Zampella was sitting in the crowd as one of the correspondents talked to him and then and right there, he made the announcement just like that without any details and without a trailer, or even a logo or promotional art. That was one of the blandest video game announcements I have ever seen in my life and it was also funny to see the non-existing crowd reaction to the news as well. How is it that the CEO was out there saying that the conference was all about saying that the company has changed and then proceeded to talk about money and subscriptions with their out of touch agenda. How is it that years ago, EA used to be a great developer but just like Konami, they turned to the dark and greedy side. I wish I can finish what I am saying about the crappy year of EA, but I just come to find out that I cannot since the rest of my thoughts are locked away in a paid micro-transaction lootcrate.

In all seriousness, there is more gaming headlines and disappointments that made the news such as Metal Gear Survive, the lack of the news of the Final Fantasy 7 Remake, the introduction of the Event Pass of PUBG, and much more. But these headlines takes the cake for me since this is what I think about first in an awful year of headlines in the gaming industry.

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Top 10 Best Pro Wrestling Matches of 2018

This year, we have had a chance to witness great professional wrestling matches that were highly praised by pro wrestling journalists Dave Meltzer and Wade Keller and fans alike. The match quality of these ten matches were very rare ten years ago or even further and in today’s age of pro wrestling, it is common to get a great match at least once or twice per month. There are many that I have seen that were from various promotions such as WWE, Impact Wrestling, Ring of Honor, and New Japan Pro Wrestling and I will rank them all in my personal top 10 matches of 2018.

10. Seth Rollins vs. Dolph Ziggler (Summerslam)

I was in the crowd for this match at Summerslam and It was a great opener for this long Pay Per View. Rollins and Ziggler has had many matches throughout the year, but this match is their best match of every match they have had this year. There was a mix of everything in this match from the drama, to the athleticism between these two, and the energy of the crowd. There was a few points during this match where I was convinced that the match was over and that Ziggler would retain the Intercontenential Championship but Seth regained the championship in this awesome match.

9. Undisputed Era vs. Ricochet, Pete Dunn, and War Raiders “WarGames” Match (NXT Takeover: WarGames)

Last year, the WarGames match has finally made its way to WWE after many years where the fans would wonder when it would happen and it has finally arrived on WWE’s developmental brand NXT. Last year, it was three teams in this match but that changed this year when the rules reverted to the classic two teams of four. The feud between these two teams has been building up since the summer and the payoff was this excellent match as it was nonstop action from the start of the match to the finish. The War Raiders also showed off how fast these two can move despite being larger than all of the other men in the ring. There was also a camera shot during the match where the two teams are on opposite sides facing each other in the style of Captain America: Civil War. There were also weapons used during this match such as tables, trash cans, chairs, and kendo sticks and the most memorable spot of the match was when Ricochet did a reverse 450° senton from the top of the cage to everyone in the ring. Ricochet’s team got the victory after he pinned Adam Cole of the Undisputed Era to end this fantastic War Games match which is far better than last year’s version of the match.

8. Randy Orton vs. Jeff Hardy “Hell in a Cell” Match (Hell in a Cell)

It has been a long while since I can say that I liked a Randy Orton match and this is one of them. I have been a fan of both Orton and Hardy for a long time, but they both did not have a good match at all this year before this match. This is Jeff Hardy’s first match inside the Cell and it did not disappoint at all. There were a few moments during the match where it turned into a psychological horror movie such as when Orton proceeded to place a screwdriver right through his open earlobe and twisted it. That was very gruesome to watch as it took me a few minutes to resonate what I have just witnessed. The match ended as Jeff climbed to the top of the inner part of the cell with a ladder, used his hands to go to the middle of the cell like it is a monkey bar, and proceeded to do a body splash to Orton while he is laid on the table but as Jeff fell, Orton moved out of the way and Jeff’s head came crashing through the table as Orton then got the pin fall for the victory.

7. Johnny Gargano vs. Andrade “Cien” Almas (NXT Takeover: Philadelphia)

This match is the first WWE five star rated match by The Wrestling Observer Newsletter since John Cena vs CM Punk back in Money in the Bank 2011 and this match delivered in every aspect. Not only that it convinced me that Gargano can headline a WWE event one day, but it also proved the critics wrong about Almas at the time since his run as NXT Champion has gotten mixed opinions. Johnny did everything that he could to win this match and the crowd was behind him as well. In fact, there were many times during this match that there was a standing ovation to both of them due to their performances and they were very deserved. Almas got the win, but before the show ended, Tommaso Ciampa returned from his knee injury to attack Johnny thus resuming their feud which was delayed due to Tommaso needing knee surgery.

6. Kenny Omega vs. Kazuchika Okada (NJPW Dominion)

This match has been building up ever since their WrestleKingdom match from last year and the slow build has been worth it. These two has had matches on that show along with the G1 Climax as well and every match they have had, outperformed their previous one. It is the modern day Ric Flair vs. Ricky Steamboat with these two as they tore the house down at Dominion this year. This match was a two out of three falls with no time limit and these two went all out during the one hour and four minutes of this classic. During this match, Omega has attempted to use his signature move “one winged angel” many times as Okada has found a way to counter it each time. The only time the move went through is during the final fall of the match as Kenny Omega not only won the match, but also became the new IWGP Heavyweight Champion as well. This match is as brutal as it comes and you will not find a hard hitting match like this anywhere else other than New Japan Pro Wrestling.

5. Buddy Murphy vs. Mustafa Ali (205 Live 7/03/2018)

205 Live from the beginning until the summer of 2018 has been a long afterthought as well as it’s division. Enzo Amore was the best superstar of the division for a while as well until his release and since then, 205 Live has been rebuilding itself and the first match to do that was this one. Mustafa Ali and Buddy Murphy had a no-disqualification match and it was awesome. From the high flying spots, to the innovative ways to preform high flying moves off of the table and even steel steps, and much more spots that has kept my attention to the screen as I was watching it and the fans in that arena as well loved it too and this was the beginning of the relaunch of the Crusierweight division from this point on.

4. Ronda Rousey and Kurt Angle vs. Triple H and Stephanie McMahon (WrestleMania 34)

This match is my favorite WrestleMania match this year and many peope whether if it is inside the wrestling bubble or outside of it (You know, the casual fans and the MMA fans) was curious to see how Ronda Rousey would do in her first ever match in WWE and she delivered in this awesome tag team match in which she teamed with Kurt Angle to go against Triple H and Stephanie McMahon in a mixed tag team match. Kurt and Triple H had control for most of the match as this was also Kurt’s first WrestleMania match in 12 years and once Ronda got tagged in, she did not hesitate to charge right at Stephanie and also Triple H with a fury of strikes and judo throws. The match finished once Ronda made Stephanie tap out to the arm lock as both Ronda and Kurt celebrated after the match finished.

3. Charlotte vs. Becky Lynch “Last Woman Standing” Match (Evolution)

What WWE had done with the women for the last few years has been incredible. Starting way back in NXT when the women’s matches started to be taken more seriously, to WrestleMania 32 when the Divas Championship has been retired for a new Women’s Championship. Now we are at the stage that women are now on the main event of Raw, Smackdown, and even select Pay Per Views and this all lead to the first WWE all women’s Pay Per View, Evolution. Charlotte and Becky Lynch has been feuding since the summer when Becky turned heel at Summerslam. They both had a last woman standing match on this show and it was spectacular to see these two go to war in this match and not hold anything back. My favorite spot during the match is when Charlotte applied the Figure-8 leg lock on Becky as the ladder was also in between both of them. These two gave it their all and I believe this is the best women’s match I have seen this year.

2. Chris Jericho vs. Kenny Omega (NJPW WrestleKingdom 12)

The idea of this match came from Jericho as he wanted to make pro wrestling’s version of Mayweather vs. McGreggor and once it was announced that Kenny Omega accepted the challenge, the anticipation has blew up very high. Jericho and Omega is a dream match that we did not know that we wanted and it delivered. It was also great to see Jericho wrestle a completely different style since he is used to the WWE style for the last 19 years and this was also his return to New Japan Pro Wrestling. Everything with this match from the brutal table spots, to Jericho picking up a camera and started flipping the crowd and the referee with the finger, to Omega’s brutal V-Trigger knee strikes, and with Omega’s high flying arsenal. These two had the match of the night that night as the drama and the story of the match has not slowed down at all from the start to the finish. It also gave Jericho his first ever five star rated match by Dave Meltzer.

1. Johnny Gargano vs. Tommaso Ciampa “Unsanctioned” Match (NXT Takeover: NOLA)

The match in the year in my opinion and one of the best matches in WWE in the last five years. This match felt like an old school NWA “Lights Out” match from 1980 as the vibe of those matches from that time were transferred to this match. Just like those matches in the past, The referee is only there to make the three count and the other rules are out the window as the referee is not allowed to stop it. Johnny and Ciampa’s feud started way back in Chicago in 2017 and their first match was very crazy. The ring mat was also exposed during this match for the wood to be shown and other than that, there were more dangerous visuals that happened during the match inside and outside the ring and these two put their bodies through war during the match. Johnny did not want to give up at all or hurt Ciampa at all and even his wife did a run in and tried to convince Johnny to end the match. This is also the longest match in NXT history clocking in at 37 minutes. Johnny won this match by submission, but that was only the beginning of their great rivalry.

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