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The Walking Dead Podcast Episode 55: “Strangers”

56 minutes ago

After last week’s action extravaganza, “Strangers” is unsurprisingly a much quieter episode of The Walking Dead. Written by comic creator Robert Kirkman, “Strangers” follows the entire group traveling side by side, and introduces us to a new character (the mysterious Father Gabriel played by Seth Gilliam). Joining us this week to discuss the second episode of season five is guest Randy Dankievitch.

Playlist:

Roky Erickson – “I Walk With A Zombie”

Pattie Smith – “Summer Cannibals”

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The post The Walking Dead Podcast Episode 55: “Strangers” appeared first on Sound On Sight. »

- Ricky

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Twin Peaks, Ep. 1.01: “Northwest Passage” is brilliant world-building, wrapped in plastic

1 hour ago

Twin Peaks, Season 1, Episode 1, “Northwest Passage

Written by Mark Frost and David Lynch

Directed by David Lynch

Aired April 8, 1990 on ABC

“Diane, 7:30 am, February 24th. Entering town of Twin Peaks. Five miles south of the Canadian border, twelve miles west of the state line. Never seen so many trees in my life. As W.C. Fields would say, I’d rather be here than Philadelphia. … Lunch was $6.31 at the Lamplighter Inn. That’s on Highway Two near Lewis Fork. That was a tuna fish sandwich on whole wheat, a slice of cherry pie and a cup of coffee. Damn good food. Diane, if you ever get up this way, that cherry pie is worth a stop.” – Dale Cooper

In the nearly 25 years since Twin Peaks debuted on ABC, the show has achieved an almost mythic status in the canon of television. Not only has it influenced a legion of other shows, »

- Les Chappell

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Monster Mashup: Superman vs. Dracula

3 hours ago

Superman #120

Written by Jeph Loeb and Geoff Johns

Art by Ian Churchill

May 2002

DC Comics

Unlike Marvel, with its successful Tomb of Dracula series, DC never integrated a specific iteration of Dracula into their superhero universe. However, once the loosening of the Comics Code allowed for them, vampires of all different sorts certainly found their way into the pages of DC’s comics, but there was never a definitive Dracula that existed alongside Superman, Batman, and the rest. As such, the DC heroes have encountered a handful of different Dracula-esque characters through the years. Once such example can be found in 2002′s Superman #180.

Written by Jeph Loeb & Geoff Johns, with art by Ian Churchill, the issue finds Clark Kent, Lois Lane and Jimmy Olsen arriving in the Eastern European home of Dracula stand-in Count Rominoff. What follows is a loose adaption of the first act of Tod Browning’s »

- Austin Gorton

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Ed Brubaker Reinvents Catwoman as an Anti-Hero and Champion of the Oppressed

3 hours ago

Catwoman #1-4 (2002)

Written by Ed Brubaker

Pencilled by Darwyn Cooke

Inked by Mike Allred

Colors by Matt Hollingsworth

Published by DC Comics

In “Anodyne”, the opening storyline of the long running third volume of Catwoman, Ed Brubaker and Darwyn Cooke put a fresh new spin on the assumed dead Selina Kyle/Catwoman with the help of inker Mike Allred and colorist Matt Hollingsworth. The first issue of the series examines Catwoman’s inner life and demons and is quite introspective. Brubaker uses captions to examine her motivation for putting on the Catwoman costume on again as well as her dialogue with Dr. Leslie Thompkins, a close friend to Bruce Wayne. Darwyn Cooke’s pencils go wild as he draws a variety of scenes from a dark dream sequence filled with symbolism, like blood, a cross, and of course, cats to chase scenes across the rooftops with a sunset and an »

- Logan Dalton

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Scandal, Ep. 4.05, “The Key” introduces impressive character development

4 hours ago

Scandal, Season 4, Episode 5, “The Key”

Written by Chris Van Dusen

Directed by Paul McCrane

Airs Thursdays at 9pm Est on ABC

On this week’s Scandal, Olivia frets over Jake’s radio silence, Huck attempts to visit his son, David reveals private information to Abby, and Fitz takes matters into his own hands.

“The Key” opens dark and remains dark throughout the course of the episode. In what is continuously proving to be an excellent decision, Scandal refuses to let the deaths of James, Jerry, and Harrison be forgotten. Their deaths overshadow every episode, and a majority of the characters, so much so that this season of Scandal is probably the darkest, and moodiest, season of the series yet.

The episode’s cold open sets the hour’s stage brilliantly–it immediately puts Olivia and Quinn in a very helpless, and thus scary, position. The whole scene is incredibly intense, »

- Ashley Laggan

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Foreign Horror Fridays: ‘Mother Joan of the Angels’ a Cartesian tale of possession

8 hours ago

Mother Joan of the Angels

Written by Jaroslaw Iwaszkiewicz, Tadeusz Konwicki, and Jerzy Kawalerowicz

Directed by Jerzy Kawalerowicz

Poland, 1961

Tales of possession run deep through any religious or formerly religious society. They may act as a primitive explanation for madness, a cultural example of the physical manifestation of evil, or, on some occasions, a political tool. Though the horror of these events comes in accounts early enough to be placed in the Old Testament, there exists an intellectual horror of possession that pervades the modern world. Though not explicitly speaking of possession, René Descartes hypothesized an omnipotent “evil demon” thought experiment that may help with our idea of the “self”. The idea goes that this demon may be altering the physical world around us, such that our bodies, our environment, all our sensations, as well as the fundamentals of logic and mathematics may simply be an illusion. Whatever is left, »

- Zach Lewis

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Week in Review: Disney’s ‘Moana’ sets sail for 2016

11 hours ago

Disney’s Princesses are some of the most beloved cartoon figures in history, but even they have come under scrutiny as Hollywood pushes for more diversity in their films. Disney’s latest princess will be the first of Pacific Islander descent (unless you count Lilo of Lilo & Stitch as a princess). The CG-animated film is Moana, the story of a born navigator who travels through ancient Oceania along with a demi-God pal named Maui in order to find a secret island.

Deadline reported Monday that the film would be aiming for a November 2016 release date and would be directed by Ron Clements and John Musker (The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, The Princess and the Frog). In the meantime, we’ll be awaiting Pixar’s Inside Out and Finding Dory, both anticipated for 2015. And Deadline reported back in 2013 several other slots for two other Disney and Pixar films in both March and »

- Brian Welk

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‘Five Ghosts’ #13 Brings Out The Monsters

12 hours ago

Five Ghosts #13

Writer: Frank J. Barbiere

Art: Chris Mooneyham

Colors: Lauren Affe

Publisher: Image Comics

The Archer. The Wizard. The Detective. The Samurai. The Vampire. If you were to add ‘walked into a bar’ to these subjects, this might turn into a joke someone might have told you at one time. Five Ghosts is no joke. It is highly entertaining and is easily one of the most underrated series on the shelves. Frank J. Barbiere writes stories that harken back to the magic one would feel as a kid when reading about Robin Hood or Sherlock Holmes. If the concept of having a treasure hunter possessed by the five ghosts (Robin Hood, Merlin the Wizard, Sherlock Holmes, Musashi Miyamoto, Dracula) of five famous literary figures doesn’t grab you, the artwork of Chris Mooneyham will make you a believer. On top of the creative team, the creased look on the »

- Anthony Spataro

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‘John Wick’ kicks butt

19 hours ago

John Wick

Written by Derek Kolstad

Directed by David Leitch & Chad Stahelski

China/Canada/USA, 2014

 

John Wick is a beautiful ballet of death and destruction.  It combines the brutal hand-to-hand combat of Jason Bourne with Ridley Scott’s visual sensibilities to create the perfect vehicle for Keanu Reeves.  Here, Reeves struts his physicality and underrated comic timing to ratchet up the fun while he amasses a huge body count.  It’s an ultra-slick, violence-worshipping extravaganza that will have you eating from the palm of its bloodstained hand.

John Wick tells a story as ancient as time itself…

Boy meets girl.  Boy marries girl.  Girl gets terminal illness.  Girl leaves boy a dog to help him grieve.  Russian mafia kills dog.  Boy goes on murderous quest for vengeance.

Ah, the classics.

Of course, this merely serves as the framework that allows Keanu Reeves to kick all manner of butt in a »

- J.R. Kinnard

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‘White Bird in a Blizzard’ flies nowhere

19 hours ago

White Bird in a Blizzard

Written & Directed by Gregg Araki

USA, 2014

 

Just in case the title wasn’t enough of a hint, White Bird in a Blizzard provides enough ponderous dialogue and artsy flourishes to reveal itself as the pretentious mess that it is.  Unsure whether it’s an indie mind-screw or a conventional potboiler, Blizzard splits the difference, interspersing clumsy dream sequences with a laughably-predictable mystery plot.  This film actually seems determined to squash any chance for dramatic tension.  On that count, at least, it succeeds wildly.

Shailene Woodley continues her reign of terror with a third lackluster offering in 2014.  In contrast to Divergent and The Fault in Our Stars, she gets to play a bad girl in White Bird in a Blizzard, though the results are similarly mediocre.  Things start with a 17 year-old Kat Connor (Woodley) recalling the day her unstable mother, Eve (Eva Green), disappeared without a trace. »

- J.R. Kinnard

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‘The Good Lie’ delivers a wholesome glimpse at modern heroes

19 hours ago

The Good Lie

Written by Margaret Nagle

Directed by Philippe Falardeau

Kenya/India/USA, 2014

 

The Good Lie is an earnest, well-meaning film that overcomes its many flaws to tell a life-affirming story about survival and second chances.  No work of fiction could ever convey the atrocities of the Second Sudanese Civil War, but this is an effective glimpse into the lives of a lucky few who escaped.  It’s not looking to raise awareness or rabble-rouse.  It only wants to show us that as long as there is life, there is hope.  On that count, it most certainly succeeds.

Mamere (Arnold Oceng) and his older brother, Theo (Femi Oguns), are like any other young boys; they fight, they test each other’s limits, they play games reciting their familial names down through the generations.  To the cattlemen of the Sudan, tribal connections are a source of both history and renewal. »

- J.R. Kinnard

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Video of the Day: ‘Boardwalk Empire” says farewell in a cast and crew retrospective

21 hours ago

With HBO’s Boardwalk Empire only a single episode from its series finale, HBO has released a series retrospective. Featuring all cast members from past and present, as well as writers, producers, directors, and Martin Scorsese himself, this video offers a satisfying sideline for the series encroaching end.

Boardwalk Empire focused on Atlantic City, New Jersey during prohibition-era America, with Steve Buscemi’s politician/gangster, Nucky Thompson, as the primary focus. Offering new and nuanced looks at well-known historical figures like Al Capone, Lucky Luciano, Arnold Rothstein, and dozens of others, Boardwalk Empire has been a mainstay for HBO for five years.

Capping at nearly 30 minutes, the video, shown below, offers a grand send-off to a standout series.

 

The post Video of the Day: ‘Boardwalk Empire” says farewell in a cast and crew retrospective appeared first on Sound On Sight. »

- Mike Worby

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‘Revenge of the Green Dragons’: Ambition is not enough

22 hours ago

Revenge of the Green Dragons

USA/China, 2014

Written by Andrew Loo and Michael Di Jiacomo

Directed by Andrew Lau and Andrew Loo

The problem with the new Revenge of the Green Dragons is that co-director Andrew Lau and executive producer Martin Scorsese are already joined at the hip over a previous story, which Lau made as Infernal Affairs before Scorsese re-made it as The Departed. Although Revenge of the Green Dragons is an entirely different type of story than those two films, it will inevitably be compared to them, as well as every other classic that the two men have made, and it suffers badly from the comparison.

Of all the films in Lau’s and Scorsese’s catalogs, this most closely resembles Goodfellas, right down to the omnipresent voiceover narration by the lead character. Sonny (Justin Chon of the Twilight series) immigrates to America as a small child, and »

- Mark Young

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‘Xenosaga’ Revisited, Part 2: Beyond Good and Evil (and creative control)

23 hours ago

Xenosaga, Episode II: Jenseits von Gut und Böse

Monolith Soft

Namco Bandai

PS2, PS3, DS

As mentioned in the first part of this series, Xenosaga Episode I: Der Wille Zur Macht had debuted to middling sales in spite of its high critical acclaim. Unfortunately, this lead to interference from Monolith Soft, and Episode II was heavily altered leading up to its release.

The first, and most noticeable, shift was that of the art style. While the original title painted itself with an anime aesthetic, its sequel was revealed to have surprisingly realistic character models. Granted, the game was by no means ugly, it did, however, come across as bland in relation to its predecessor, and even rendered some of its characters unrecognizable. Consider the main character, Shion, for example. Here she would be introduced without her trademark glasses, in different clothing, with a different hairstyle, and completely different facial features. »

- Mike Worby

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Hammer Horror Thursdays: ‘Brides of Dracula’ with no brides and no Dracula

23 hours ago

 

The Brides of Dracula

Directed by Terence Fisher

Written by  Jimmy Sangster, Peter BryanEdward Percy

UK, 1960

After the success of Horror of Dracula (1958), it only made sense to make a sequel. The Brides of Dracula tells the story of a young Marianne who happens to stay the night at a baroness’ castle only to discover her host’s dashing son is locked up in an adjacent wing. Feeling sorry for the Baron Meinster, she releases him from his bonds with no clue that she just unleashed a vampire to wreak havoc on all the ladies of Transylvania. It’s a psycho-sexual scenario peppered with mommy issues that Hitchcock would certainly appreciate – his film Psycho was released the same year as Brides.

David Peel doesn’t have the same animalistic ferocity as Christopher Lee’s Count Dracula, instead he plays Baron Meinster as the Prince Charming-type who is probably slipping »

- Jae K. Renfrow

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Memetic #1 Offers The Meme That Won

23 October 2014 7:26 PM, PDT

Memetic #1

Written by James Tynion IV

Illustrated by Eryk Donovan

Colors by Adam Guzowski

Letters by Steve Wands

Published by Boom! Studios

You are reading this review on a laptop, smartphone, tablet… some sort of personal computing device. How did you get here? What else is dancing, pulsing on the outer rim of this review and where will you click to next? How long have you been at it, staring at this screen in front of you? We live in a world overrun with social-networking, buzzfeeds, text messages, viral videos. Earlier today I received one of those “have you seeeen the [insert trending pic/vid/etc*]?” Commonplace in 2014, but James Tynion IV and Eryk Donovan’s new limited series Memetic serves up a somewhat cautionary tale on the new normal.

(*In this case, it was the Avengers: Age Of Ultron trailer.)

Aaron is a skeptical but involved college student and member of Generation Y. He leads an open Lgbt lifestyle, »

- Dan Black

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Netflix’s drama series from the creators of Damages now has a release month, title, and teaser

23 October 2014 5:59 PM, PDT

While Netflix has established itself as the destination for people looking to begin or catch up on numerous tv shows, the company has also found recent success with its own original programming, with shows such as Orange is the New Black and BoJack Horseman garnering critical and commercial acclaim. Alongside numerous Marvel-related shows currently in production, the company also has an upcoming series from the team of Daniel Zelman, Glenn Kessler, and Todd A. Kessler. The trio is best known for creating the legal thriller Damages, and details on the new show had been previously kept under wraps, with the only knowledge about the story coming in the show synopsis, which declared it to be about “A family of adult siblings whose secrets and scars are revealed when their black sheep brother returns home”. The show, however, has assembled a cast that includes Sissy Spacek, Sam Shepard, Kyle Chandler, Linda Cardellini, »

- Deepayan Sengupta

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Arrow, Ep 5.03: “Corto Maltese” is an over-stuffed hour with some intriguing table-setting

23 October 2014 5:10 PM, PDT

Arrow Season 3, Episode 3: “Corto Maltese”

Written by Erik Oleson & Beth Schwartz

Directed by Stephen Surjik

Airs Wednesdays at 8pm Et on The CW

Remember when Arrow was just the story of a guy getting revenge on the people who fucked over his less-than-honorable father? Arrow‘s grown (and grown up) quite a bit since the first season of the show, a rapid expansion of settings, characters, and people who know that Oliver Queen is Arrow (seriously: remember how many people found out last season?). And every now and then, Arrow stumbles a bit under the weight of keeping so many people and plot lines up and running at any given time in Starling City – unfortunately, “Corto Maltese” is one of those hours, an entertaining episode held back by the sheer amount of material it’s trying to cram in (and in some cases, straight rush through) as it begins »

- Randy Dankievitch

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Lff 2014: ‘Thou Wast Mild and Lovely’ is wild and creepy

23 October 2014 3:34 PM, PDT

Thou Wast Mild and Lovely

Written and directed by Josephine Decker

USA, 2014

The rustic, lyrical sophomore feature of writer-director Josephine Decker, Thou Wast Mild and Lovely proves as slippery and elusive a film as its characters do to one another. A work of atmospheric dread enhanced through loose editing and heightened colours and sound design, it opens with a sensual female voice discussing an unknown lover – “But the way my lover opened and closed my legs, the way my lover folded and unfolded me into my lover’s breast, my lover knows how to love me” – over the image of a perturbed, barking dog, this coming right after footage of a father and adult daughter playing in a field with a headless chicken, each with the exuberance of running puppies. What follows rarely deviates from that enigmatic prologue’s register.

That father is Jeremiah (Robert Longstreet), who lives on a »

- Josh Slater-Williams

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Kingdom, Ep. 1.03, “Piece of Plastic” tests thresholds for pain

23 October 2014 11:37 AM, PDT

Kingdom, Season 1, Episode 3, “Piece of Plastic”

Directed by Michael Morris

Written by Alex Metcalf

Airs Wednesdays at 9pm Et on the Audience Network

Everyone has their own threshold for pain, whether it’s barely a pinch or an agonizing round in the ring that makes them go over the edge. The third episode of Kingdom, “Piece of Plastic”, spends most of its time giving a long, hard look at the maximum level of emotional and physical pain each member of this gym family can go through before it becomes too much. Each of them reach or come close to their breaking points in the span of a few days, but each tribulation is woven together in such a way that they don’t seem like everything is going to hell in a hand basket. These stormy seas seem like something the Kulinas routinely go through at least once a year »

- Whitney McIntosh

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