13 reasons why: a justification of life by A. Kirana

There is so much high profile  conversation surrounding Netflix’s newest hit show 13 REASONS WHY.  There are those  that feel it’s a “dangerous” show, one that could potentially glamorizes the horrible act of suicide; Then there are people, like myself, who feel the show’s importance can’t be understated and that everyone must watch it.

The fact that it is prompting strong conversations about suicide and bullying is important.  Talks of suicide should never be dismissed, a life can truly depend on it.
For those that don’t know what the show is about here is it’s synopsis.  Clay Jensen, a shy high school student, returns home from school one day to find that he has received a mysterious package in the mail. It contains seven double-sided cassette tapes used by Hannah Baker, a classmate who has recently committed suicide. Each tape details a reason that she killed herself.

The show resonated with me on a deep personal level. I can see my 16 year old self in Hannah.  I know what it was like to feel broken, lost, and alone. Just like a lot of people I have personally battled depression far longer than I would like to admit, which then opened the door to anxiety.  I have stood of the precipice of despair, teetering on the edge of the abyss, but unlike Hannah, I had those that saw the signs and heard my pleas, without me ever having to utter a word.
I was lucky.  I have known more than a few who were not so lucky.  Lost in the depths of their own pain, and succumbing to their demons.  I’ve felt the grief of unanswered questions and the colossal weight of guilt.  I only hope they found the peace, which so eluded them while they walked this earth.
Feeling suicidal is lonely.  You are consumed with thoughts that nobody would understand, or thoughts and emotions, so easily and readily dismissed.  13 REASONS WHY shines a massive light on those feelings.  Connecting with, and knowing you are not alone in these thoughts, may help.
I’ve had friends who’ve told me, I was like a beacon for the broken.  Those lost had a way of gravitating towards me.  I have helped them weather through their darkest storms; showing how I understood, allowing them to see they were not alone.  Just as those who have helped me have done before.  That is how I see the show – a beacon for the broken.
13 REASON WHY also spotlights the destructive effects bullying can have.  With the technological advances and social media sites of today, there no longer is an easy escape from constant bullying.  When even home is no longer safe, how can one ‘just ignore it’, as is the usual advice to a complaint of bullying.  We should no longer excuse it by simply saying, ‘boys will be boys’ or ‘girls can be so catty/jealous’.  Whether the results are suicide, there should never be an excuse to bullying.
The conversations and debates 13 REASON WHY is causing speaks volumes to how relatable it is to so many.  No matter which side you are on, it is important the conversations continue.  We should never remain silent about suicide.
We here at Alternative Mindz encourage families and friends to talk and support each other. For more please check out American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

afsp.org

Or call 1-800-273-8255

Available 24 hours everyday

24 The Complete Series DVD Box Set Overview 

On the lookout for a new box set to spend your evenings devouring? Today i recommend 24 the complete series (seasons 1-8, Live another day, and Redemption)


WHAT IS 24?

The concept is a simple one. The 24 complete series, features 24 episodes in each season, with all the episodes lasting for an hour each as we follow the life of Counter Terrorist Unit (CTU) agent Jack Bauer.


Needless to say, these are fraught, tension-filled days, so there’s no sleeping and little time for eating. Throughout the show’s 8 seasons, we saw Jack battling presidential assassination attempts, nuclear bomb threats, deadly viruses and everything in between.

WHO IS IN 24?

Kiefer Sutherland starring as the aforementioned Bauer is the show’s only constant, appearing in every single one of the 24 complete series. Other regulars were Sarah Clarke (who also starred in Twilight) playing Bauer’s close colleague Nina Meyers, Elisha Cuthbert (The Girl Next Door) who played Bauer’s daughter Kim and Major League’s Dennis Haysbert is also a regular, playing President David Palmer.

The only other constants in the show’s life are Mary Lynn Rajskub, who played Chloe O’Brien, analyst at CTU Los Angeles, and Carlos Bernand, who portrayed Tony Almeida, another member of Bauer’s CTU.

WHY SHOULD I WATCH 24?

What set 24 apart from any other show was its format. All the events happen in real time, over the course of 1 day, giving us 24 hours (episodes) in a season. Don’t let the real-time element fool you, there’s no downtime in 24, it’s one of the most high-octane, thrilling TV shows in history, full of drama and action!

Here’s 24 interesting facts about the 24 TV series. It contains some plot spoilers, so look away now if you’ve not yet seen it…

1. In total the show has 192 episodes…

2. The show started in 2001 and ran until 2010. Season 9 was titled “Live Another Day” and it debuted in 2014 and 24 Redemption takes place between seasons 6 and 7.

3. Awards: 24 won two Golden Globes, had 191 nominations and won a further 62 awards…

4. 24 Season 7 has had scenes that were censored on Television but the scenes made it to DVD

5. During filming the actors weren’t told what would happen from each episode to the next…

6. In 2008, 24 was ranked the sixth greatest TV show of all time by Empire Magazine…

7. It was a requirement that all the cast had their hair trimmed every five days…

8. Approximately 25 hours of footage is edited down for just one show…

9. During season two, Kiefer Sutherland injured his leg whilst filming. To explain his limp, his character Bauer pulled a piece of debris from his leg in the aftermath of the plane crash…

10. Whilst filming season two, Elisha Cuthbert who plays Kim Bauer was bitten by a lion…

11. Completing a season (including post-production) takes approximately 42 weeks…

12. It was revealed that Jack Bauer had a tattoo in season three. Instead of recreating this each time with make-up, Kiefer Sutherland had the tattoo done in real life…

13. Season one is the only season that doesn’t feature the President of the USA…

14. Kiefer Sutherland signed up for three more series, during the filming of the fifth series…

15. After working together on the show, Freddie Prinze Junior said working with Kiefer Sutherland nearly made him stop acting for good…

16. Season one is the only season that takes place over a single day…

17. Kiefer Sutherland has never seen a full episode of 24…

18. Jack Bauer has killed a total of 267 people throughout the 24 complete series…

19. In season 3, the canister which contains the virus changes colour and size throughout the scene…

20. Sarah Clarke, who played Nina Myers, had to spend the entire first season in the clothes she wore to the audition, as she was cast on the morning filming began…

21. The series is produced by the Fox network…

22. 24 is the only Fox network drama to win an Emmy (as of 2015)…

23. Every even-numbered season features more kills than an odd-numbered season…

24. 24 was originally supposed to be a romantic comedy, showing 24 hours in the day of a wedding…

Movie review: Weaponized

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By Steven Biscotti

Weaponized, the latest film to be released by Cinedigm, “a leading independent content distributor”, released earlier this month on Blu-ray, DVD, and digital.  Starring Johnny Messner, the go to tough guy in action films of this genre, and sporting an impressive supporting cast of actors like Mickey Rourke and Tom Sizemore seems like just the kind of movie we’d see advertised theatrically.  Yet we have it available direct to the home video format.  Is the fast paced actioner quite the “white-knuckle, stunt-fueled film” that it’s hailed as?  Alternative Mindz gave it a watch and we have the word on whether or not you should check this one out!

The market for films like Weaponized is out there.  While for many that are excitedly counting down the days until the next major film release, it’s easy to overlook the likes of films like Weaponized.  Especially as one scans the new releases and sci-fi/action genre department at a store like Target.  Despite the class of movies that can sometimes go unnoticed and unspoken of, there are many solid entries out there that feature the talent we normally respond to.  Director Timothy Woodward Jr.’s Weaponized is just that kind of movie.  Quiet release yet it features a notable cast.  During the late 80’s and throughout the 90’s (and early 00’s), Tom Sizemore was the ultra cool tough guy on camera.  While he was never a leading man, he was surely one of the finest character actors in the business.  With roles in pictures like Saving Private RyanBlack Hawk Down, and Pearl Harbor, it’s hard to recall a picture that Sizemore wasn’t in.  Yup, he was the undercover agent in Point Break and he fought that alien/creature/monster in Relic.  But sometime after the Michael Mann series Robbery Homicide Division, he fell off the map – for reasons we won’t go into here.  But, here we are in 2016, and Tom Sizemore is back and in a co-starring role inWeaponized.  Not to mention he’s also next to the likes of Mickey Rourke, a man who needs no introduction.  So, we have Sizemore and we have Rourke.  The cast of Timothy Woodward Jr.’s futuristic action film holds up, but what about the picture itself?

Weaponized takes place in the not too distant future.  After a series of terrorist attacks, one in which sees “a blatant attack” on the Pentagon, we learn of a private operation that allows soldiers to swap consciousness with a target, which allows American soldiers to combat terrorism in a more effective way.  However, we are talking about a sci-fi/action film and, of course, the military program is severely abused.  Johnny Messner’s homicide detective, named Walker, gets involved after an incident out in public and the rest is an hour and a half of reliable action that is both entertaining and a bit borrow some of other films.

Timothy Woodward Jr.’s Weaponized isn’t a bad movie.  It’s just not terribly inspired.  The story by Sean Ryan feels like a sort of distant cousin to the far superior Universal Soldier.  If anything, Weaponized feels like a movie that should have starred Jean Claude Van Damme in the nineties, but for whatever reason, just never happened.  Weaponized is enjoyable and the action is steady, but the most intriguing aspect of the movie is found within its cast.  Tom Sizemore and Mickey Rourke are fun to watch and even though Johnny Messner is the go to tough guy, he does entertain us in a role that could have been played by many others.

Cinedigm does have a movie worth being discovered in Weaponized.  More films by Cinedigm should be recognized as it is a healthy and vital aspect of the movie-making business.  The cast and crew make up a movie that has as much put into it as many of the other films granted a larger release.  At the end of the day, people wrote, produced, and created a film – going far beyond a stage that so many could only dream of.  For that reason alone, Cinedigm should be applauded.

Alternative Mindz gives Weaponized two and a half stars.

2016 Winter Film Awards Indie Film Festival Short Recap

Last week i had the chance to cover the 2016 Winter Film Awards Indie Film Festival and i had a great time attending it. The Winter Film Awards focuses on diversity in Independent Film, with a special emphasis on highlighting women and minority filmmakers. There was a large selection of over 60 films that were shown to us ranging from horror, drama, romance, animation and documentaries and i have seen them all. My favorite ones were “Dad and Mum” (comedy), “Strings” (animated), “Oblivion Season” (drama), and “Ron Taylor: Dr. Baseball”(documentary). There were also music videos and Q and A panels as well
  

   
    
There was also the Award show on the final day of the event and here are the results

Best Picture: Ben & Ara, Directed by Nnegest Likké

Best Actress: Constance Ejuma, Ben & Ara

Best Actor: Kevin Baggott, Why Do You Smell Like the Ocean

Best Director: Isaac Ezban, The Similars

Best Animated Film: Strings, Directed by Pedro Solís

Best Documentary Film:  The Real Miyagi, Directed by Kevin Derek

Best Horror Featured Film: Tuyul: Part 1, Directed by Billy Christian

Best Horror Short Film: The Bridge Partner, Directed by Gabriel Olson

Best Short Film:  Letter to God, Directed by Tamas Yvan Topolanszky

Best Student Film: Fulfilament, Directed by Rhiannon Evans

Hollywood might ignore women and people of color, but Winter Film Awards celebrates everyone! #WFA2016 #WFASoDiverse

I will do a followup article later this week

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From Dusk till Dawn: “There Will Be Blood”

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By Steven Biscotti

“There Will Be Blood” – 10/20/2015 – five stars

Written by Matt Morgan & Ian Sobel

Directed by Joe Menendez

In the second to last episode of El Rey’s second season of From Dusk Till Dawn, “there will be blood.”  It’s not just the title of the episode, but also a running motif of sorts throughout the Matt Morgan and Ian Sobel penned episode.  For those that have been watching the series, you will be familiar with the dark, twisty, and violent subject matter that nearly guarantees a high body count, action, and blood!  Yes, plenty of blood!  For those that still haven’t tuned in (and what are you waiting for?) it is of no stretch of words that you are missing out on one of television’s cleverest, most stylized, and theatrical of shows.  And, yes, there will be blood.

Episode 208 features two memorable guest stars – Gary Busey and Demi Lovato.  Gary Busey, the wild and eccentric father of From Dusk Till Dawn series regular, Jake Busey, is featured in a small, but rather important role that starts off the episode.  Director Joe Menendez opens “There Will Be Blood” in 1912.  We see a group of weather beaten and over worked men digging in Texas.  It’s not quite certain what they’re looking for, but they soon realize that they are in over their heads as their work soon unearths the “future.”  Gary Busey discovers a well of blood that soon infects a cut on his arm with a snake like blood creature.  Later that night, Busey walks up to his compatriots and kills them in a gruesome, but stylized fashion befitting of Robert Rodriguez’s El Rey Network.

Demi Lovato stars as Maia.  She’s the right hand woman and muscle to Wilmer Valderrama’s Carlos Madrigal.  We saw her appear briefly and cloaked in last week’s episode, “The Last Temptation of Richard Gecko.”  She’s finally unveiled in “There Will Be Blood” and it’s well worth the nearly 40 minute wait.  While she still doesn’t have all that much to do it’s almost a guarantee that she’ll have a smackdown with Eiza Gonzalez’ Santanico in the season finale next week, “Santa Sangre.”  Lovato, all intensity and confidence, is remarkably good and is one of the best additions to the From Dusk Till Dawn series.

Robert Rodriguez has managed a terrific amount of talented individuals who exude creativity and imagination.  From Dusk Till Dawn is a wildly entertaining ride through the Mesoamamerican Macabre Mythology!  It’s also a shining beacon for the giant hub that is everything El Rey.  “There Will Be Blood” continues to tease the series concept of El Rey which Lord Mulvado (Esai Morales) is desperately trying to get to.  We’re told it’s “a place where you can walk in the sun” and we are teased ever so briefly of it after Mulvado his his villainous way with Santanico.  There’s a rich mythology for the series based in real research into the Mesoamerican culture and it adds another contextual layer to not just the original film, but the whole brand.  From Dusk Till Dawn is a fountain of creative blood bubbling at the well.  The cast and crew have managed to interestingly re-approach the vampire iconography and they’ve done it devilishly well.

“There Will Be Blood” spends time with Kate Fuller (Madison Davenport) and Richard Gecko (Zane Holtz) while they make their way out of the frying pan and into the furnace.  After having escaped Lord Mulvado, Kate and Richie begin to understand each other even more after Richie had looked into her soul, courtesy of a nifty ability certain culebras (vampires) have.  Madison Davenport gets to have one of the bests scenes in the episode when she scolds Richie about not having “another Gecko boy push [her] to the curb.”  We also learn just how much Seth (DJ Cotrona) missed his brother in the time spent away from him during the beginning part of season two.  The level of care both actors give to their characters is impressive and some serious acting is done here.  Davenport as Kate also gets to continue the role of her father, played by Robert Patrick in season one, as a sort of moral compass.  She’s also feisty and written as strong as the other female characters such as Santanico.  That’s another trend on the series, similar to the Tarantino trait, of developing each female as a fully developed character.

From Dusk Till Dawn is a series unlike any other.  That’s one of the reasons it’s so perfectly suited for El Rey and eventually Netflix.  It’s nearly an anything goes kind of show and we have three major deaths within “There Will Be Blood.”  We won’t spoil who doesn’t make it to the season two finale, but we will say that faces get burned off, arms get ripped off, there’s a lot of culebra ash, and there will be blood.

From Dusk Till Dawn airs on the El Rey Network, Tuesday nights at 9 pm ET.  The season two finale airs next week.

Antman review

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By Steven Biscotti

There will be a great number of people now looking towards “Ant-Man” as the next big hero.  Ironically, he’s Marvel’s smallest, in fandom, awareness, and stature.  But after seeing “Ant-Man” opening day, it’s evident that Marvel Studios have crafted another successful series.

Ant-Man has a very interesting past, on film and on the page.  He first appeared in Tales to Astonish #27 and went on to being one of the founding members of The Avengers.  Well after a chronicled history of failed attempts to bring him to the screen, 2012’s Avengers released and there was no mention of Dr. Henry “Hank” Pym.  Fast forward to July 2015, well after director and writer Edgar Wright left the project, and we have the Peyton Reed directed film “Ant-Man.”  Not necessarily the most Marvelous of the M.C.U., “Ant-Man” is easily the most fun and family oriented of super hero pictures.  Simply put, the few minutes shy of 2 hours is a delight.

“Ant-Man” is, by far, one of the most straight-forward stories told by Marvel.  It doesn’t go on to service anything greater other than servicing the characters and our introduction to them.  Dr. Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) is a brilliant scientist who used to work for S.H.I.E.L.D.  Out of fear his work, particularly the Pym Particles, would be weaponized, he left.  It’s during this opener that we get to see a brilliantly de-aged Douglas, an older Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell), and John Slattery of Mad Men, reprising his “Iron Man 2” role as Howard Stark.  The film then catches up to the present day, and Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) is released from prison.  Borrowing certain elements from the Marvel comics Avengers issue #181, and Marvel Premiere #47 and #48, Lang eventually crosses paths with Pym, after he steals the Ant-man suit from his home safe.  Where the film really takes off is in just how much “Ant-Man” feels like a 70’s heist, caper, matinee film, along with seeming as if it belonged somewhere in the early days of big super hero films such as 2000’s X-Men and 2002’s Spider-Man.  We eventually learn that Pym’s protege, the power mad Darren Cross (Corey Stoll) has plans to rename Pym Technologies to Cross Technologies, and well, weaponize the Ant-Man suit.  This is what sets the rest of the fast-paced film in motion and is precisely a suggested moment where Edgar Wright and Marvel Studios had their “creative differences” issue.  Peyton Reed’s “Ant-Man” is a team player and understands its placement in the grander Marvel Cinematic Universe.  Edgar Wright’s version, which once sought Michael Douglas as Lang and his father Kirk as Pym, was easily much more concerned with the heist aspect and less about The Avengers.  That’s not to say that Reed’s version is completely transfixed on everything Team Downey and Marvel, it actually isn’t, but the film does feature an acknowledgment of the existence of the Avengers, along with an extended cameo by Anthony Mackie’s Falcon.

The film, largely revolves around the “Ocean’s 11” like plot of stealing back Pym’s company from Cross and ensuring that his Pym Particles don’t fall into the wrong hands.  It’s a near classic story of good vs evil and slightly unsavory vs sinister.  Again, it’s exactly this kind of story that plays so well to the heist film construct and brings to mind a fun Saturday matinee film on screen and/or on tv.  Marvel Studios have smartly approached each of their films with a theme and since the heist movie has not been done yet, they chose “Ant-Man” to be just that.  It works amazingly well and only leaves fans more excited for the “John Hughes movie” approach to their first MCU Spider-Man film, according to Kevin Feige.  Oh, and everyone’s favorite Wall-Crawler does get referenced within “Ant-Man” so pay attention for that closer to the end of the movie.

The cast of “Ant-Man” may, in fact, be the best aspect of the picture as it brings to mind an underdog quality that Jon Favreau’s 2008 “Iron Man” had.  Here we have Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Corey Stoll, and Michael Douglas leading the film and not once betraying the spirit of their project.  Here you have a cast that could have easily faxed in performances for a film that had a troubled start, but instead, they treat each bit of dialogue with as much care as a non-comic book film would have.  Michael Douglas and Corey Stoll are especially fun to watch considering just how different the two are.  Douglas gives us a Hank Pym, troubled by his past and looking to atone for his sins.  It’s a nuanced performance and a fine performance by Hollywood royalty.  Up and coming, and certainly rising star Corey Stoll (The Strain, This Is Where I Leave You) gives Darren Cross a classic villain presence and a more outwardly evil turn than Jeff Bridges more reserved Obadiah Stane in Iron Man.  Stoll’s Cross is much different than the more Mr. Hyde-ish version of the character in Marvel Premiere’s The Astonishing Ant-Man #48, and the film is better off for it.  He’s evil, crazy, and just may have lost his mind due to exposure to the Pym Particles.  Douglas’ Pym, while not necessarily the one we know from the comics, feels very much like a real-world version of the scientist and I couldn’t think of a better actor to play him.

However, a more under used, but finely tuned performance is that of Evangeline Lilly as Hope Van Dyne.  The Pym/Dyne characters of the film are, quite possibly, two of the most revered of Marvel characters and have been centrally discussed by fans in the time leading up to “Ant-Man.”  The lack of Hope’s mother and Pym’s wife, Janet, has troubled many as she is The Wasp.  While no one close to the film has spoken too much of The Wasp’s presence in this first outing, I can reveal that fans will not be disappointed because, yep, she’s in it.  However, it may not be in the way that most fans would have hoped and this is mainly why an “Ant Man 2” has become my most anticipated sequel yet to be announced.  While we do know that Paul Rudd will appear in next May’s Captain America: Civil War, it has not been said when we will see Evangeline Lilly reprise her role of Hope.  And that, folks, probably is admission enough as to the potential we have of seeing Wasp on the big screen and done in a perfect way.  

Paul Rudd and Evangeline Lilly have great chemistry, especially as she provides a more serious demeanor to his more casual approach to heroics.  It’s a great pairing and the extended montage of Lang being trained by Hope Van Dyne and Hank Pym are wonderful to watch.  It has just the right amount of humor and heart that places it up there with last year’s “Guardians of the Galaxy.”  Whereas Guardiansexplored the cosmos in a way the MCU had not previously done, but only teased with Thor andAvengers, “Ant Man” explores a sub universe and is firm;y placed on our world.  If it wasn’t for the effects we have today and Reed’s ingenuity to blend macro photography into the picture, the shrinking and enlarging sequences may have come across as run of the mill.  But, in this movie, they’re anything but.  The effects, while mostly impressive, have the occasional flaw that big effects sometimes have.  It’s more of an issue of mechanics and how the eye responds to an object that is placed within real photography; just think of certain dinosaur sequences in this year’s “Jurassic World.”  Overall, a giant Thomas the Tank Engine crashing through a house and onto a car isn’t that much an iceberg to sink the Peyton Reed steered ship.

“Ant Man” is a highly impressive accomplishment, especially considering how so many wanted (and expected) this to fail.  “Ant Man” is anything but the failure that many were hoping for and is a whole lot more fun than many of the other films released this summer.  Arguably, it is a better picture than “Avengers: Age of Ultron” and is more exciting in its end credits promise that “Ant Man Will Return.”  But, what about Wasp?

“Ant-Man” gets four stars and has two important end-credit scenes.  One services a potential setup within this story during mid-credits; the other services next year’s “Captain America: Civil War” so be sure to stay in your seat.

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Jurassic world review

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By Steven Biscotti

The long anticipated Jurassic World released in theaters this Friday and looks to energize interest in new fans, while providing a nostalgic walk for theater goers such as myself.  I grew up with Jurassic Park on VHS, saw The Lost World opening weekend, and watched Jurassic Park 3 more times than I can remember.  I have the Kenner action figures and I’m positive my mini Ian Malcolm is somewhere in the house.  I was among the first people to see Jurassic World at 7 pm on Thursday, June 11 and two days later, I’m still talking about the fourth film.  If anything,Jurassic World has proven that my interest in big, entertaining, dinosaur filled adventures have not gone extinct.

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The Colin Trevorrow directed film primarily serves in the grey territory of reboot and sequel.  Jurassic World, taking place in the not too distant future, 20 or so years from the first, shows John Hammond’s dream of a fully realized and operating park.  Think San Diego Zoo, but on a much larger scale, and with dinosaurs!  Attendance is high, people are satisfied, but the attractions could have more “wow.”  Trevorrow, along with writers Rick Jaffa, Amanda Silver, and Derek Connolly present a surprisingly eerie and haunting statement on today’s generation with their park.  When audiences seem more focused on texting and caught up with their own personal worlds, more so than to watch the latest Mosasaurus attraction, or any dinosaur exhibit for that matter, we begin to wonder how long does our disconnected existences last when thrown into a world that existed 65 million years ago.  To keep the excitement on their animals and less on everything else, Dr. Henry Wu (BD Wong) has dreamed up even more creatures for the park; good thing Dr. Alan Grant and Ian Malcolm aren’t around.  The latest creation is something more terrifying than the Spinosaurus of JP3 and more dangerous than the T-Rex of JP 1 2.  As expected, she breaks free.  In the words of Goldblum’s Malcolm from The Lost World, “Oooh, ahhh, that’s how it always starts.  Then later there’s running and um, screaming.”

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As entertaining and fun Jurassic World is, it does fall into an issue of being original.  So much of the 2 hour and 10 minute film is built on the shoulders of the first three films.  “You stood on the shoulders of geniuses to accomplish something as fast as you could, and before you even knew what you had, you patented it, and packaged it, and slapped it on a plastic lunchbox, and now…”  It’s hilariously ironic on just how much of Goldblum’s lines from the first film represent the issues with Jurassic World.  Colin Trevorrow has created an impressive film, entertaining always, and one of the more genuinely pleasing films this summer, but so much of it is built on the work of Steven Spielberg and JP3‘s Joe Johnston.  Trevorrow is consistent with his thorough knowledge of the series and pays several visual tributes to the original trilogy.  But in moments of new creation, there’s a legitimate sense of “been there, done that.”  Sadly, we’ve grown desensitized by dinosaurs running free, people being eaten, and heroes in peril.  There’s also an issue with our heroes and villains.  While everything conceivably works for Jurassic World‘s sake, it seems as if the studio is looking to present an experience we all had with the original and repackage it for today’s generation.  They don’t request the more mature audience members to forget what came before, but simply hope we’re brought back to our more youthful days, and enjoy a nostalgic walk through their new park.  

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Chris Pratt as Owen Grady is in full action mode here and, if he isn’t the next Indiana Jones, I’m not sure who else could possibly do it.  Owen is your typicalJurassic Park hero.  He’s an adventurer through and through.  Pratt as Owen is perfect.  He’s likable, believable, and a bit of a mixture between Sam Neill’s Grant and Goldblum’s Malcolm.  He’s cynical of the science and weary of the world, but loves the creations  Let’s not forget that Owen has a pack of four raptors that he’s bonded with – Charlie, Delta, Echo, and Blue.  Oh, and if you think you’re cool, just know that you’ll never be as cool as Chris Pratt riding a motorcycle next to raptors cool!  We also have a reliable Vincent D’Onofrio as one of the film’s villains, Vic Hoskins.  He’s the head of InGen security (yup, they’re back) and wishes to use the dinosaurs as weapons.  D’Onofrio plays Hoskins as an amalgamation of all previous Jurassic villains and he’s great.  Jurassic World also gives us two children, Ty Sympkins and Nick Robinson – they play brothers visiting Isla Nublar and provide the most Spielberg-ian elements of the story.  Amidst a family riff, their parents are getting divorced and they have a strained relationship with their aunt, it’s a safe bet that by the time the last dino roars, the family will be back together.  A buffed up Bryce Dallas Howard perhaps is the most interesting character as her intentions aren’t fully clear and she provides the most growth for a film that could have easily presented her operations manager Claire Dearing as a one-note character.  Howard’s Claire, much like Pratt’s Owen and D’Onofrio’s Hoskins, seems rooted in the DNA of players we’ve seen in Jurassic Parkand The Lost World, but spins wildly out of the expectations we think we have of her over the course of Jurassic World.

Jurassic World is an entertaining movie and a very enjoyable one.  I loved every second of it and Trevorrow stages the film well.  In a third act fight, we get one of the most rousing of fights between the T-Rex, raptors, and the Indominus Rex (the new dino) and if you walk out of the theater not liking that scene, well, you might just be a zombie.  The effects are what you’d expect from a big-budget picture by Universal, and it’s gotten harder to tell what exactly is animatronic and what is CGI.  Michael Giacchino scores JW, with themes based off of John Williams’ majestic score and delivers another hit soundtrack.  It’s also worth noting that Giacchino scored The Lost Word: Jurassic Park video game and for die-hard soundtrack fans, there are a few notes that pay homage to his original work.  Jurassic World is a movie that works in every way, but in every way it works for a newcomer, it could serve as a criticism for original fans.  I want Colin Trevorrow, cast and crew to succeed with their movie.  I’d also like to see director Trevorrow develop his own visual style for future films, but for now, Jurassic World deserves to win and people should flock to their movie theaters in the same capacity attendees did nearly 22 years ago to the same weekend.  By the closing moments, while your phones are hopefully off (or silent), just give in to the magic of movie-making and remember that this is the dinosaurs world, not ours.  Roar.

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Jurassic World gets four out of five stars.  The cast highlight the 2 hour and 10 minute film, particularly Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, and New Girl’s Jake Johnson as the theme park’s resident tech nerd.  It’s a big summer film that should be seen in theaters.  Jurassic World is now playing everywhere.

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WELCOME TO SWEDEN: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON

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Last year, a show debuted that seemed like it would be nothing more than just another show to fill a prime time slot.
What we got instead was something so much more. To say it’s all charm and smart would be an understatement.

This show is not only clean cut funny, it has elements that are rich and yet dark at times. You can’t help but fall in love with Bruce and Emma. Their unique situation of the concept “fish out of water” brings tons of laughs.

This DVD is not only a must buy, it can also be a great way to siphon new fans by having the full series in one DVD collection. It’s a perfect Father’s Day gift or just a great pick up for any comedy fan.

The packaging lives up to the show and looks good in your DVD library.

It’s available now wherever discs are sold and it retails for just $34.98.

WELCOME TO SWEDEN: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON

Based on Greg Poelher’s True Life Story, the Hilarious, Top-Rated Rom-Com Arrives May 19 in a 2-Disc DVD Set Containing All 10 Season One Episodes;  Guest Stars Include Amy Poehler, Will Ferrell, Aubrey Plaza and Gene Simmons

Game Of Thrones Product Showcase Event photos

Last week i was invited to an event to cover an Product Showcase from The Game Of Thrones. i took as much pictures as incan as isedn pretty cool products such as cosplay items, figures, props from the show and more merchandise. 

  
                  
   
                 

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Lego and DC Comics Presents: Justice League vs Bizarro Justice League

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In what can only be called a giant in the children’s world, Lego has dominated the world. Their crossover into the realms of licensed properties and the establishment of a film and video game empire has made Lego a global phenomenon and much more then interlocking blocks.

Enter Justice league vs Bizarro Justice League, another smash hit for the team that once again has our old established heroes microsized and absolutely adorable.

The story centers around Bizarro Superman, who (if you ask my 3 year old) steals the show. Bizarro tries in vane to help the city of Metropolis but ends up reaking havoc, forcing Superman to trick Bizarro into going to another world. Of course, things in the DC Universe aren’t as simple as that.
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What happens next, I will ask you to find out by watching the film yourselves.  It’s fast-paced and funny, a film for the whole family.
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There are two distinct reasons to buy the BluRay: first is the gag reel.
The gag real arguably is almost as, if not funnier than, the film. Second is the inclusion of the exclusive Bizarro Batman mini figure.
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I give this film a solid 3.5/5. Your kids will love it and you will too.