Fear The Walking Dead Season 4, Episode 4 Quick Thoughts.

We are not at the end of our surprises apparently in Fear the Walking Dead. Indeed, in this new episode we follow Alicia, Strand and Luciana in their adventures. We understand then what embodies the characters in this quest for revenge against the Vultures. The series then decides to reveal a little more information, and very well kept secrets are revealed in order to once again break the trick and advance the series. Casually, I feel that Fear the Walking Dead has done more in four episodes than the last season’s first four episodes. It’s not Alicia and Naomi who are talking about papers and rags that will really advance the story but in the rest of the episode there are a lot of good elements that can just please a viewer who may want to see more. The inventiveness of Fear the Walking Dead goes much further as the credits change episodes into episodes in order to highlight the things that should be followed very soon. The episode was full of good surprises from start to finish in order to see a little more of the group’s life at The Diamond. But the way it’s all done has never seemed surreal and it’s very good news, especially when we remember some of the problematic intrigues we’ve seen in Fear the Walking Dead.

The water park is a welcome change of place in the series. I would say that the season would have been much more terrifying if it had happened at night but hey, it’s already well enough done so that we do not have to criticize. If I like the character of Naomi, recently arrived this year, I still have some doubts about his real intentions. She seems to be someone trustworthy but like Charlie finally. Even her innocent conversation with Alicia about the churros leaves me a little pensive about it. I guess Fear the Walking Dead has something in store with her that might implicate her in something much less friendly to our group of characters. But at times, I wonder what justifies the killing of others when behind there is nothing to recover. The back and forth between flashbacks during the episode can still be polarizing for viewers (four episodes straight!), but the story development is quite good so far. Lets hope that there will be less flashbacks for the rest of the season. The water park? I will give it without any problem to the bad guys if it is to have life saved. But in the world of Fear the Walking Dead they could still be killed, even if they do not rebel. It’s still damn strange at times. But man is a wolf for the man. This is what we must remember from this series and his big sister. The big revelation is that Naomi is John’s girlfriend. All this surprised me in the good sense of the term, which allows once again to change the story and characters.

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Fear The Walking Dead just pulled off the biggest death since Carl Grimes on The Walking Dead

Three episodes into the newest season of Fear The Walking Dead and the new show runners pulled a major plot twist. Yes, they killed Nick Clark on yesterday’s episode “Good Out Here” as social media across all platforms exploded as everyone wanted to know why would they do this to the main character of the show. He has been the focal point of the show since the very first episode and he was the only character besides Madison and Walker that was very interesting for me to get behind. During the episode, Nick kills one of The Vultures while he was debating with Morgan. The Vulture that he killed is also the guardian of the young girl, Charlie, that we have seen on last week’s episode. Morgan has warned Nick beforehand about killing the guy and he did so and in retaliation, the girl shoots Nick at the stomach. He then fell down as the other characters watched in horror realizing that he has died.

Although i will praise AMC for their unpredictably for doing this move, this makes me question why did they not have him killed off at the season 3 finale when the large dam exploded. Everyone was about to send their pitchforks towards Scott Gimple but that was not the case as he (Frank Dillane) requested to leave the show.

“It actually goes back to season three, before Ian and I even came aboard,” Fear The Walking Dead co-showrunner Andrew Chambliss told the Hollywood Reporter. “Frank Dillane had asked the producers and AMC if he could leave the show, because he wanted to pursue other opportunities. One of the first things we were tasked with when we came on to run season four was to really find a story that would give Nick a fitting sendoff. He’s been with the show from day one, so it was very important to us and to Frank to find a death for him that was emotional and one that would ripple forward throughout the storytelling. “

Killing a very popular character right in the beginning of the season is a huge risk. Last season, Travis was killed off and he was starting to become a popular character. Will the rest of the season actually be saved after this major death, Time will tell and all of us will have to find out. The biggest problem is, the other characters are not fully developed yet and it will take more than Morgan to save the rest of the season.

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The Walking Dead Season 8 Review

Season 7 of AMC’s The Walking Dead had hits and misses especially with the sheer amount of bottle episodes after the season 7 premiere that turned a number of viewers away. I did not turn away however since i am a fan of the series whether if there is a good episode or not. Season 8 corrected most of the mistakes that season 7 had with a great story with very shocking moments with a great conclusion at the end. Here is my review of AMC’s The Walking Dead season 8.

Season 8 uses material from the comic series of the same name and it covered the All Out War arc from that series. If you would like to read the comic series’ story line that matched the episodes of this season, i would suggest to pick up issues #115-#126. The three communities of Alexandria lead by Rick Grimes, Hilltop led by Maggie Rhee and The Kingdom led by Ezekiel join together to go to war with Negan and The Saviors. The other communities of The Junkyard and The Oceanside played their parts of the war as well. The first battle happened at The Sanctuary as the three units attacked the place and at the same time, navigated zombies to The Sanctuary. While Negan and his group were stuck there, Rick and gang attacked the other outposts that Dwight told them about. During these outposts attacks, Rick met Morales (who has been missing since season 1) and to find out that he is not part of The Saviors, Ezekiel’s tiger Shiva dies, Aaron’s partner Eric dies, and soldiers from each community dies during the attacks. Jesus also convinced everyone to not kill the members who are prisoners or surrendered as other characters debated on why he made this decision.

During this time also, Carl Grimes meets a new character named Siddiq as he ran into him twice this season. Rick was also captured by Jadis and then set free after he convinced her to join the battle with the gang. While this is happening, Eugene who has been on Negan’s side since season 7 made a plan to clear all of the zombies that flooded into The Sanctuary and Negan then plans to attack Alexandria and The Kingdom. The attack on The Kingdom failed as Gavin was killed during the attempted attack, but the bombing of Alexandria happened as Carl tried to sacrifice himself to not only prevent the attack, but to stall Negan as the people of Alexandria secretly leave. Houses were exploded along with cars as Rick and Negan had their first fight. As Negan escaped, Rick finds everyone in the sewers and the big reveal down there was that Carl was bitten. Carl says his goodbyes to everyone and wrote everyone letters (including Negan) along with telling his dad Rick about the visions of the future (those visions of the future is what happens after the time skip after All Out War ends).

The rest of the war involved the infected weapons attack at The Hilltop, Tara wanting to kill Dwight for killing Denise back in season 6 and the deeper conflict between Rick and Negan. Carl’s death affected everyone no matter which side is good or bad. Carl wanted them both to end the war and Negan and Rick were still bloodthirsty to try to kill each other. The final battle took place in an open area as all of the guns of The Saviors deflected thanks to Eugene secretly plotting against Negan (the trick he did goes back to the Vietnam War). Rick and Negan had their final fight as Rick cut Negan’s throat with a broken glass. As Negan falls, Rick told Siddiq to save his life as Maggie screamed out in anger to kill him. Negan lives but Rick will put him in the cell that Morgan built back in season 6. Speaking of Morgan, he went back and forth with his emotional state to whether if killing was worth it or not. He is off now to the spinoff show Fear The Walking Dead.

Overall, i loved this season. I loved season 7 as well, but this season did not have filler or bottle episodes that took away from the main plot. Scott Gimple said that this season will not have bottle episodes and that actually came out true. The most controversial death of all time in this show will have to go to Carl Grimes and that is a decision i will never agree with. But his death actually did bridge in the gap between the final battle that he [Gimple] thought had a gap in the comic series. There was behind the scenes drama also especially when the actor died on set during the filming of one of their episodes and much more. Despite having a decline in the ratings, The show still pulls in an average of 6 plus million viewers a week and is still the number 1 show on Sundays. Season 9 will have a new show runner and i believe we will finally get The Whisperers in that season. Who will play as Alpha and Beta boggles me but we will have to see once it premieres.

The acting is very phenominal. Jeffrey Dean Morgan knocks it right out of the park with his role as Negan and Andrew Lincoln, Danai Gurria, Lennie James, Austin Amellio, Steven Ogg and Melissa McBribe stole the show this year in my opinion with an honorable mention to Chandler Riggs as both the 8th and 9th episodes of this season were his best performances since season 4, episode 9.

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C2E2 2018 Recap

Last weekend was the Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo or otherwise known as C2E2 and all of the attendees went to the show to check out cosplayers, buy rare comics, attend panels and to get their exclusive merchandise at the ReedPop area. It is a show for all ages whether if you love comics or entertainment and there were also celebrities there in attendance such as Dave Bautista, Sean Gunn, Charlie Cox, CM Punk, Dominic Purcell, Khary Payton much more where anyone could have had a chance to buy photo ops or autographs.

The panels i have attended were great. Bautista and Sean Gunn talked about Guardians of the Galaxy and Avengers:Infinity War and the fans asked questions about those movies along with Bautista’s time in WWE.

I also went to the Khary Payton spotlight panel as he talked about The Walking Dead, Teen Titans and Teen Titans Go.

Tom Kenny, the voice actor of Spongebob Squarepants also had a panel as they celebrated 20 years of the show and he talked about that along with his best moments of doing the show and his favorite episodes and characters. It is crazy to think that the show is still going strong to this day.

The cosplayers that were at C2E2 were amazing and these were the best i have seen below.

I also had the chance to interview key people for the show Supermansion and the upcoming film Daphne & Velma and those are now up on these links below the photos.

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Toy Fair 2018-McFarlane Toys Stranger Things

I had the chance to take part of the McFarlane Toys Showcase at Toy Fair NY and it was a great showcase. Here is the line of 7-inch figures of the Stranger Things line that are to come out this year.

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NYCC 2017-The Tick Cast Roundtable Interview (Video)

I had the opportunity to interview the cast of Amazon’s The Tick at New York Comic Con. Check it out as they discuss the previous season and what to expect for the next season.

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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.