By: Justin Hopkins
It has been way to long since I did a B Movie Sunday Review. Had a bunch going on as is life, but I am back and decided to go back and pluck out a classic from 1985, The Stuff. A movie that I haven’t watched in about 15 years so I couldn’t remember a whole lot when I sat down to give it a watch. Without further delay, lets dive back in shall we.
The movie kicks off with two homeless men eating some white goo, that was bubbling out of the snow. Deciding that it tastes so good. They might as well try and sell it. We jump forward a bit to a kid, Jason, waking up in the middle of the night and heading downstairs for a drink and a bite to eat. When he sees the container of, The Stuff, knocked over and it’s contents moving about in the refrigerator. His Dad comes up behind him too late to see it moving and scares him back upstairs. Helping himself to a bit of The Stuff afterward. After a commercial selling The Stuff as being better then Ice Cream. We see a group of business tycoons talking about how they have failed to find out how The Stuff was made and a Chocolate Chip company had been sold to them as well. Deciding that drastic attempts must be taken and are going to hire Industry Spy David “Mo” Rutherford to steal the ingredients for them. Proving himself capable after already knowing everything due to having bugged one of them the night before and after getting his check. Knocked out the guy who was giving him a hard time for being ousted from the FBI. Meanwhile, Jason is trying to warn his family about The Stuff but they are not listening. Back to Moe, we see him posing as a wealthy Oil Tycoon to get into a Sound Stage where they are recording the next commercial. Full of scantily clad women who are walking down runways and feeding each other. Being directed by Nicole. The woman who pretty much got their advertisement up and running. After smooth talking her into believing he was a potential buyer of the entire ad agency and agrees to go back to his hotel to talk more. Leaving us free to rejoin Jason in his destruction of as much of The Stuff as he can at the grocery store, before workers manage to grab him. After an Interview with someone with the FDA, who is killed by his dog after. Mo follows a lead to Stader, Virginia. A ghost town, with just a postmen and Gas Station Worker. After an altercation with a man named Chocolate Chip Charlie. The former owner of the Chocolate Chip Company. Turned out he was swindled out of his company by his Family and wants to find evidence to use to get his company back. Together they confront the postman. Finding out that everyone’s mail was being routed to Midland, Georgia. He excuses himself to the bathroom. Where The Stuff begins pouring out of his mouth. After hearing strange noises, break down the door. Finding him dead on the ground. Mouth opened outstretched. They go out the window to find who did it. Are attacked by a group of men, who are hollow and break under their attacks. Finally getting away by boat and somewhere safe. Mo sends Chocolate Chip to get the FBI while he pushes on with his investigation. Goal shifting more from the ingredients to what exactly is The Stuff and I will leave it there for now.
This was a compelling tale of consumerism. How easily it is to get people hooked on a product. With several sexy, flashy commercials, songs and radio advertisements. People eating it all up without even wondering what exactly they were putting into their bodies. Only people asking were the ones who wanted to use it to do the same thing for the sake of cashing in on it. Even after knowing, still willing to put it in their products as low doses to get people hooked, without the mind control effects. A story that not only stands the test of time, but can easily be re-done today to similar affects.
Of course, being a horror movie from the 80’s, we got to talk about the effects. Which were pretty good. Affects of The Stuff coming out of people’s mouths looks good and they did a good job for the most part making pools of The Stuff move about rooms and shooting out of beds. A bit of the green screen and CG are a bit dodgy but passable for its age.
Michael Moriarty was easily the standout in the cast. Bringing a suave swagger to his character. Likable right from the gate, when he showed his prowess with the bug and the way he knocked out the guy who mocked him from the gate. Putting together a good guy, who believed his own hype and knew how to back it up at the same time. Garret Morris’s Chocolate Chip Charlie was criminally under-utilized. When he was on screen he was so good. Entertaining and had good chemistry with Moriarty and a shame we didn’t get more screen time. The same can kind of be said for Andrea Marcovicci. Played her role well enough, just felt like her character needed more fleshing out.
Negative wise is the Militia scenes. They really add very little outside of humor. Which could have easily have gone to Chocolate Chip and been a lot better. Even the fact that they had a radio station could have gone to Nicole or one of many of Mo Contacts. Just felt like they were tacked on for time and not much more. Although, did chuckle at the ‘Nam joke.
Before we round this out. Let me say something that will certainly rock the boat with some people. In a world that loves dusting off movies and giving them a new shine. The Stuff would actually be perfect for a remake. Like I said, The Consumerism Story they told is still prevalent today. Quite a few Horror Directors active today could tell a chilling tale today with a bit higher budget and newer practical effects. Especially if they get the nerve to give it a much darker ending.
With that said, The Stuff is definitely a movie you should give watch if you haven’t already seen. Have some good laughs and decent horror spread out. As always, I hope you enjoyed and…
Thank You For Reading.
By: Justin Hopkins
Psych was one of my favorite TV Shows during it’s run on USA. Telling the story of super sleuth, Shawn Spencer. A guy capable of picking up every detail in a room the moment he walks into it. Who uses this to help the Santa Barbara Police, under the guise of being a Psychic Detective along his reluctant friend Burton Guster. Eight season of funny and charming moments and a pretty goods movie along the way. Was over the moon excited to hear about this one and what they had in store this time around. So, with this being late as it is, (Sorry), lets dive in shall we.
We get things started with little Lassiter, on a walk through the woods with his Dad. Talking about the strength of the Lassiter families ability to grow legendary beards, but the most important part is their queen, before his Dad disappears. Leaving him scared and alone. Before jumping back to modern day, and Lassie is on the ground. Two bullets in his chest and a gunman in front of him. Doesn’t remember how he got there. Begging for him not to kill him. A plea that goes unheard and shot again. A shot that leads to a stroke. He wakes up in a nursing home, to Shawn and Gus. Surprising him with a dog Morrissey. When the nurse tries to get them to take the Dog away. They leave with her convincing her to let the dog to stay is they tell her why they are really there. Where we learn that he had called them in secretly for things he has been seeing and doesn’t want anyone to know, for fear people will think he is crazy. While she tells them that what he has been seeing is delusions in his mind. From stress, medication, and the Stroke and they are not doing him any favors by feeding into it. When they go back, find the dog had jumped out of the window. They are going to turn him down, but the dog returns with a severed hand. They ship the hand to Woody and return to their old office. Finding it had been turned into a pop-up Cat Restaurant. Due to Shawn’s Dad sub-renting the office space when they failed to notify the owner of their departure. After some bickering agrees to help them find the stuff they left behind. Meanwhile, we see Juliet arriving at Lassiter’s room. She too is working on his case. Showing him a picture of the guy who had been arrested for shooting him, only Lassiter doesn’t seem to convinced by this, but doesn’t want her to look into it. Having already been told twice to stop getting involved. Despite the fact she thinks there is more to it. Such as a missing bullet. Instead gets a 90 plus to do list. When she goes to leave, spots Morrissey’s dish. Calling Shawn to yell about him being there. Telling him it was fine and so was she. Only she tells him she is at the airport. When in reality, is at the scene where Lassie was shot. Find a homeless woman with a bullet wound in her leg. Later that night, neither of them share information just that they wouldn’t be working the case. Shawn especially, after getting the call that the hand belongs to a tech mogul who committed suicide by jumping off a bridge. Back with Lassiter though, after a sad, scared confession over his fears of not getting better and being a burden on his loved ones. Sees a man with a gun shot, going into the stables outside of his window. The next day Shawn and Gus try to turns down the job again, but he asks them to please keep looking into it. After finding nothing in the stables, they start to investigate the Mogul, Devon Tileback. Which leads them to a Viking Bar, and after an altercation and motorcycle chase that goes awry immediately. Find that Devon is alive. Having faked his death, but is shot before he could answer any of their questions. Turning out that Lassie may in fact be onto something much larger than what it seems and perfect spot for me to leave off with for the moment.
I got to give the writers so much credit for crafting this story so much around the limitations of Timothy Omundson. Who only had a brief cameo in the first movie, due to a real life stroke. They not only tailored Lassiter’s story arc so he could spent it in a bed or chair, but sure some of the lines must come from a real place in him after his stroke and giving us the tear jerking moment of him walking to Marlowe. Showed just how important every member of the group is and just nice to see them do what they had to do to give him a place in the movie.
The group doesn’t feel like they have missed a beat. everyone’s chemistry still going strong. The humor was way more hits than misses. From Morrissey to the back and forth between Shawn and Gus and pretty much everyone that had to deal with their hi-jinks. Felt like they were right back into the swing of things. The mystery seemed to take a back seat at times, but was passable enough for the story they were trying to tell, and the pregnancy angle, was kind of obvious that it was not Juliet’s. Did give us a heartfelt moment between Shawn and Henry, which are always the best, and the stellar proposal between Gus and Selene. I so, hope we get to see that wedding. It would just be outrageously over the top and I am one hundred percent all for it.
On the negative side of the ball. Probably could have done the reveal of Dolores being behind everything a little better than what they did. It works as it gives Lassiter his sense of power back, but felt lacking especially with the conversations she was having with Shawn and Gus and Mary’s part felt really just dumb and his lines were the worse part of the movie. Love seeing Mary, but he didn’t work at all here.
I normally talk about the cast, but they all do fantastic at this point. They know their characters so well that it’s magic anytime they are together. If you haven’t seen it, download peacock and give it a watch. Going to have a great time with it and hope this is not the last time we see them all together. Final Grade – A +
As always, I hope you enjoyed and…
Thank You For Reading
By: Justin Hopkins
It is time to finish what was started last week and bring the arc to a close in fallout to an end in season 2. Like before, only going to cover some points. so not going to cover everything. So, in between what I am covering, Legion are tearing through both tribes and NCR Bases and Boone will slowly go from being torn between choosing sides to their sides. As a former member of the First Recon, he will be having a hard time picking sides throughout. With that, lets dive in and get started shall we.
We kick the season off where we left things. In the hotel room with Yes Man going over the details of Benny’s plans to use the chip to activate the robot army and implant Yes man into House’s system take over New Vegas and the Mojave. Driving out the NCR and Legion and anyone they want. Up to them. Veronica is all for it and Boone is the voice of the NCR. Admits their issues but more responsible then they are. Raul is trying to keep the peace. Behind them, Maria is helping herself to the little bar. Pouring herself a drink. Joined by Cassidy and they each share a drink. Maria confides in her that she was kind of hoping to be celebrating her successfully getting her vengeance by having this drink while she is watching the strippers next door. Leave it to Veronica to start pulling the morale card and she can’t find a reason to dispute her. She doesn’t believe the NCR is outright bad, just not capable or has the people’s best interest in heart. Only wanting the resources and to look more powerful on the outside and House just wanted to lord over the place, but the Legion was still a threat to everyone. So, while Boone is on the fence. A plan is made and the episode ends with Legate and his men taking down the base at Neelson.
Two begins with a sign reading Boomers. Maria and Cassidy limbering up for the road. Starting the countdown when Veronica bolts past them both and the bombs begin to drop. Meeting the leaders, reluctant to follow along, but after a bit of persuading and helping out. They gain their trust and agree to fight in the battle to come. During this, Lanis is getting word from Legate. That he would be moving toward Echo and Caesar issues a request to locate the Courier known as Maria.We go back to Nellis as the three are walking back down the hill and are attacked. Maria and Cassidy are dropped by electrical based weapons. Maria remaining conscious just long enough to see four men in heavy duty armor dragging off a screaming Veronica.
Three kicks off with Maria flipping over a table, in a fit of rage. Wanting to know who hit them and get Veronica back, but they don’t have enough to run off of. Her description is too vague. Anyone could have been in them, but they certainly feel like they targeting Veronica since they left them laying them in the dirt. Dawning on them just how little they actually knew about Veronica. Enter Boone. Carrying a black lock box, with a not so happy Rex following. Already forcing the lock and pulled out a stack of photos, with Veronica and three men, standing in front of The Brotherhood of Steel Emblem. Raul and Cassidy each let out a sigh. Her picking at Boone making a lot more sense. After checking on the chip, they start to make a plan. Figuring on Rex can lead them to the bunker, but they don’t want Maria anywhere near this. This needs perfect timing and she is clearly not in the right mindset for that, she isn’t happy. Threatens everyone if they fail. Creating a plan they don’t really like. Following Rex to a hidden bunker. Using the Dust Storm as cover. Boone blows out a vent. Managing to fall inside and fights his way to where they are keeping Veronica. Making a whole lot of noise along the way. Almost making it to the door, when they are finally surrounded by security and the Elder comes out. Scolding them both for different reasons. When a man in full armor drops. Exposing Cassidy armored with a Pulse Gun from their Silver Side collection. With everyone distracted, allowed Raul to get the door open and they came right through the front door. After some harsh words. They leave with Veronica and her and Boone settle their differences.
Raul goes off to Jacobstown, in episode 4, to meet with the Super Mutants. Hoping to have more luck talking to a ghoul than a human. Where he bites off more than he can chew. Finds the town on the verge of going to war with the town at the base of the Mountain. Each blaming the other for starting it and they have no idea who has been attacking their town. He looks into it and finds a Super Mutant name Fawkes who breaks down in tears. He heard people were nicer out West and just wanted a place to fit in, but was heckled a group wearing solider clothes. He tried to leave but they shoved him and things escalated. Too ashamed to go on and doesn’t know what he is doing anymore. Raul gets to him and after confronting the troops that started it. Walks him up to Jacobstown and in doing so. Makes a new ally along the way. While that is going on, Veronica, Boone and Rex are meeting with the Followers of the Apocalypse who will help with medical, if they were to win and Veronica helps improve their tech along the way. Veronica agrees, but insists on taking the abandoned eye bot, with the words, Ed-E spray painted on the side. Cassidy and Maria are busy running various chores. Meeting with Mr. House and doing away with a group of Omerita’s men. People they are overlooking and will take care of after everything is done. A group of NCR Men then has them meeting with their man outside of Vegas. Questioning them about the rumors they are hearing, but neither tell him anything of use. They are stressing over everything, but are having a great time. Laughing and getting closer. When they are again confronted, this time, by disguised and armed Legion. Caesar has requested a meeting with Maria. She agrees, but only if they leave Cassidy alone and off they went.
In 5, Maria is insulting the boatman as they arrive to the Legion 4. She is pretty much snarky to anyone who looks her way too long and makes it clear she is not thrilled to be here. Making it clear that they won’t be taking her weapons as she enters the tent. Meeting Caesar. A lengthy back and forth commence. He knows that they are planning something around the chip and why she has been meeting with the other tribes. Congratulating her on her killing Benny. Genuinely blown away by her vigor and warrior spirit. Seeing right through this and fires up a cigarette. Telling him to get to the point. Caesar holds up his hand and receives a holodex. He is also aware that she has no memory of who she is. Lucky, his men are the best at finding things out and he has ever detail about one courier named, Maria and it is all hers, if she aligns herself with The Legion and proves it by helping his right hand man, Lanis on a mission to take down the Brotherhood base. After a long pause, agrees. Telling them of a place she knows can get them in and leads the way in… to the same Death claw pit she barely made it out of. During the chaos kicks Lanis into an incoming Deathclaw and for the second time. Makes it out alive. While she is looking over her shoulder. Doesn’t see the incoming Cazador. Managing to kill it, but gets stung in the process. Immediately, getting dizzy when she starts to run.
In 6, Raul and Cassidy rushes into the NCR Base, where Yes Man has pinned her Pip Boy. The Solider at the gate confirming that she was in fact in the medical ward. Found her passed out at the gate. Taking a sigh of relief. Raul opens up about his past and how he looks at them like family. Never seeing this level of kindness before. Cassidy agreeing, but is interrupted by the rest of the group and the Doctor, with some question of his own. The Auto Doc picked up several previous injuries. Some, from being shot in the head, such as a dislocated retina. Getting a chuckle from Raul. But fades away as the Doctor continues. Pointing out scars from several broken ribs and fingers and damage to shoulders and slew of others. Putting Raul on edge. Sure the Wasteland was a dangerous place, but not to this extreme. How much more stress and torment could she handle and if she could survive a battle of which they are preparing for. She lurches awake in the middle of the conversation and sits up. Laughing and coughing. Cracking her neck and shoulders. Starting to say she had good news, but upon seeing the looks she was getting. Asked what was wrong.
7 is back in Vegas. Veronica is working on Ed-E. Trying to drown out the argument from Raul and Maria. Well past the point of no return and should have said something before she killed Caesar’s right hand man. While Raul is pointing out how dumb that was. Before the door slams and Raul has gone off to cool down. Cassidy goes to check on her, when Yes man chimes in with news. While, surfing through Ed-E’s files. Found plans of an Enclave base nearby. Maria takes the directions to go on a treasure hunt, Cassidy going along to talk to her. Trying to explain that they are just worried about her and she kind of laughs it off. Saying that she knows she isn’t going to survive a fight with the Legion and she is fine with that. She is expendable. Doesn’t have her knowledge of the Caravans and how they work. Lacks Raul’s repair skills, Boone’s Military prowess or Veronica’s knowledge in general. She was going to be forced to take them on head on and as long as she had a breath, would take as many down as she possibly can, as long as it meant they crossed the finish line. Cassidy obviously takes offense to that. Pointing out how she has united the Mojave in a way no one thought was possible. Through her they can actually make something of the wasteland for a change. Maria goes to argue, but falls through the ground. Falling into the base and crashing hard on a table below. Filed with power armor, weapons and a Veritabird.
9 starts with Raul being snatched by members of the Omerta. Who want to know what they are doing in Vegas. When it becomes clear he isn’t talking. Send a goon to inform Maria and lucky for them. Run into her on her way into town. She laughs when they tell her. Scribbling out a note to take back to their boss. Which she proceeds to stab into his shoulder with the pen. Pressed for time. The Legion were nearly want them and they had to get going. Instructs Boone to go collect Loyal from the Boomers, Cassidy to get in tough with Jacobstown and Veronica to get the Enclave base prepped and she is going to get Raul alone and she runs her way through the Gomorrah. Only missing one, who has her line up, but Raul finally picks up a gun. Showing her marksmanship by shooting him between her eyes. The two reconcile on their way out.
10 sees the fall of Mr. House. Maria knows from Yes Man that his body is inside and with a push of a button, he is gone. With Yes man, transferred into Ed-E. Follows her up to the penthouse. Waiting till she got close and picks off securitrons with the Pulse Gun. House is frantic trying to stop her. Following her through monitors. Throwing out every bit of information on who she was. That she was a nobody. Some homeless woman who The Thorns took pity on when she was just a teenager and had to fight for food, becoming their prized piece of entertainment. Only let her out because she earned the eye and heart of Red Lucy. She persuaded to go on a hunt and ran away. He could offer protection, safety and more caps than she would ever see. She doesn’t say a word during any of this. Not even breaks stride till she hits the pod. “Imagine the Irony.” she says. ” Caesar falling to a slave.” Then hits the button. Watching the pod be sanitized. Thinking about what was just said. She doesn’t remember any of it, could be a lie, but deep down. Believes it. Plugging in yes man. Who successfully takes control of the system and updates her Pip Boy, of everyone’s locations. Before she leaves, tells him to keep that conversation to himself. Heading back to the Enclave base, where everyone is waiting, including Loyal and the Boomers who tagged along are gushing over the Vertibird, Fawkes and Marcus, and the leader last remaining group who hasn’t committed yet, Papa Khan. Who is quick to agree when he hears them out.
11 starts off with the fall of Camp Delta to Legate’s troops. Men tossing women and children around. Seeing which was good to take and who would join the troops on crosses or head’s on pikes. When they hear a loud sound. Finding one of their own, dead. Pike going through their chin, but can’t find the attacker. Another Legionary goes flying. Then another and hear sounds coming from everywhere. Grouping together, when one of their own turn and slices the throat of another and the last three are taken out by appearing Nightkin and Super Mutants lead by Faweks and Marcus. Leaving Legate by himself. Maria removes the headgear. Legate starts to talk. Going for his weapon, but she beats him to the punch. Putting her weapon into his stomach and takes off his head. Putting it in her bag, making sure to thank each of them and will be seeing them soon.
We are getting closer to the end with episode 10. We see Maria on her own, in a row boat. Going across Lake Mead. only seeing her whistling away. Flashing back to the bunker. Telling them she doesn’t have any speeches. Just that… things need to change. The Mojave is so broken it is no surprise that bot sides feel like they can take over. No one talks, everyone holds on to grudges and everyone thinks the least of them. It doesn’t have to be that way. Today is the day things can change, but it will be up to them to see that this actually sticks beyond today. Goes through her talking to everyone one on one. How proud she is of Veronica. Talk with Boone and hugs Raul. Then, Cassidy. They share another drink and she opens up and Cassidy tells her to save it till the end. Not wanting to have the end of the World speech, but hugs her tight telling her that she can’t die. Back on the lake, The Legion see her coming and can hear the screams coming. Managing to make it to the shore and got up. Showing herself decked out in Enclave armor. Caesar standing above on the hill looking down at her. While Legionnaire are coming down the make shift stairwell. He yells down that she was foolish coming alone. To which she replies, that she had something of his. For his collection. Reaching into her pouch and pulls out Legate’s head. Holding it up and says that she didn’t come alone. From behind her, the Vertibird comes into sight and the fight is on.
11 is an outright brawl. The Boomers are opening fire and dropping explosives from the sky. Keeping clear of the slave pens and Maria’s position. Getting low enough to drop Great Khans and Cassidy. Super Mutants are coming out of the lake on all sides. Boone is notifying the action to the NCR. Who go into immediate panic. Trying to figure out what was going on and starts to send in troops of their own. Wanting to catch everyone in one swoop. Meanwhile, Maria is wasting no time. Armed with two bladed gauntlets and cutting through anyone getting in her way and tracks Caesar down to his tent and they go at it and it goes back and forth. She doesn’t have his level of training and can’t finish him off. While Caesar has the advantage does a lot of damage. Shattering her nose and busts her open above her eye, but she uses his desire to talk to catch her breath and trick him in to close and sticks him with one of her gauntlet. Bringing him down to his knees. Picking up his blade. Telling him that he isn’t a god, but a monster who has preyed off of scared and desperate people. Only thing inevitable was his failure and stuck him in his chest with his own weapon. Walking out of the tent and seeing her people had taken loses, but pulled off this crazy plan. Just one more part to go and her came the NCR. Starting to limp away, when Cassidy joined her side. Grinning from ear-to-ear and they hooked arms around one another. Making their way down the hill. Where NCR Troops and Commander Oliver are waiting demanding answers. She says they are about to find out. When their radios all chime out with the sound of Yes Man. While they were distracted, Veronica and Raul slipped by and into the control panel. Sending power to where it was needed and into their computers. They had taken control over everything. Oliver berates her, saying she has no idea how to run a country and she agrees. On her own she is nothing, but look around. There will be in fighting and learning curves much like anything else, but they have the means to pull it off. They have got the people who do. Cassidy runs caravans and Veronica and the Followers have tech knowledge. Khans can run security and a home to Super Mutants and ghouls. Even have Doctors who can patch up bullets to the dome. The NCR are free to trade and visit Vegas and can make great friends, but this is The Mojave. Run by them and them alone. Backed into a corner, and the Vertibird still flying overhead. Oliver has nothing left to do but give in and retreat.
The end comes with passing shoots over celebrations. Marcus and Fawkes bringing the good news to Jacobstown. Great Khan Partying, and even the Doctor at Good springs smiles as the news comes over his radio, and Maria and everyone are celebrating at hoover dam. The last shot though is the Enclave base. Hearing the National Anthem click on followed by President Eden’s Voice come through.
And that is it. Brought the story to an end and a way to continue on if someone chooses to. Either showing their struggles to be taken serious, in fighting or even bring in the Enclave as the next enemy or just end it. I hope you enjoyed and as always…
Thank You For Reading.
By: Justin Hopkins
So, I have been racking my mind for the last week or so. Wanting to do something a little different. Something other than a review or list. Wanting to challenge myself a bit and have plenty of time at the moment so decided to go big and came up with an idea to flip a game into a movie. Not a new idea by no stretch, but enjoyed the idea of giving it a shot. Especially when I landed on the idea of using the Fallout world. A vast world with plenty to run with, almost too much to figure out what would work well in a more linear way, but made it that more enjoyable. Tossing ideas off reluctant listeners and watching it progress and become what it did. Now, originally, was going to be a movie, but the further I got with it, the more I changed my mind and figured this would be better suited for one of the numerous streaming services, and I have put together two seasons, with an ending that would allow a third, but this story arc would end at two. This will be season 1 with season 2 coming out another day. Focusing primarily on New Vegas with seeds of the other games and tie ins to 3, and I try to keep the details to just the things that matter. In between are fighting gangs and creatures. Just want to include the important bits. So, with that, lets dive in because this will probably be a long one.
The show would kick off in a first person point of view. Seeing the courier receiving the chip and going off on their way, getting ambushed and the images begin to get contorted and blurring. Not coming to focus till Benny has the gun aimed at the camera and delivering two shots to the head. Waking the courier up and the camera panning out showing the courier is a woman, it has to be a woman, due to the Legion being the big bad and their views on women make for a more interesting story. When she tries to get up, starts to topple before she can even stand up straight. Getting caught by the doctor and helped back down to the bed. Explaining that the only reason she is alive, is because the shooter used shoddy bullets lost momentum going through her head wear with enough left to crack through her skull. Leaving her with a sever concussion and two nasty wounds behind. Along with a spotty memory. She remembers her name, Maria and what the men look like who attacked her. That she was delivering a Platinum Chip for some robot who hired her, but nothing beyond that, except a red headed woman. Could see her clearly, but her name and surroundings are dark. After hearing him out and not knowing where they went. She gets up and heads out. Seeing the bar and decides to head over. Either they know something or not, but at least she would get a drink. Doesn’t make it before a group of four men, Powder Gangers, confront her. Seeing the woman, uneasy on her feet as an easy mark, but when one grabs her shoulder, she wipes out three of them, before stumbling and the fourth takes her down, but Victor, the robot takes him down before he can do anything. Helping her up and telling her what he saw. That they were talking a lot about guiding the man in the suit to Vegas. She heads off to the bar to get a drink and try to figure out how she was going to run them down. When she overhears an argument between Sunny and Trudy about what they are going to do about the Powder Gangers and Maria steps up. Needing to repay the debit. Sunny isn’t so sure, since she is clearly still a bit banged up, but she insists. Saying she can fight hand to hand and is a crack shot, except she isn’t. When the fighting starts, you get a slow motion shot of her raising a gun and firing. Seeing the bullet screaming forward, only to miss and strike a wall nearby her target. A running theme with Maria is she is going to swear she can shoot, but is constantly missing, and it is because her head wound. It has altered her perception and unless it is point blank. She won’t be hitting anything for a while. They chase them off and as a way to thank her, they give her some caps and a trinket a traveler gave Trudy to pay a tab, A Pip Boy. It is not in the best of shape and kind of on the fritz, but should be able to get it repaired and will show her a map of the area. Told North is faster, but more dangerous and she should go South instead. Episode ends with her going North.
Episode 2 is kind of split into three. We are meeting the NCR and Legion. Showing how evil and depraved the Legion can get and how stretched the NCR are. Hearing a base near by calling for help, but won’t move until they get the order to move. An order that comes to late and by the time they arrive, they find the soldiers burnt remains on crosses and all of the woman and children are gone. In between all of this, Maria is having issues of her own. Between Radscorpions and other creatures. Barely makes it to a town. A guy tells her of a shortcut, but won’t tell her till she helps with a bug problem, which turns out to be Deathclaws. She manages to take down to in stealth, but everything goes awry when a group of Powder Gangers charge. Not seeing anything other than Maria till the enraged Deathclaws make themselves known and go wild, and she retreats up a path and over a fence. Not stopping to read the sign, Black Mountain. Next episode is her helping the Super Mutants there and the ghoul, Raul. We learn that she treats everyone about the same. Whether its human, ghoul or whatever. Snide and snarky and while she is dead set on getting to Vegas and get her revenge. Can be knocked off track and guided toward being helpful if she finds it to be right. When she goes to leave Raul joins her. Saying he is to old to make it on his own and doesn’t know where else to go and if it’s all the same. Would tag along with her if it’s all the same. That he might even be able to get her Pip Boy working right.
Episode four starts with them being arrested at an NCR Outpost. She scoffed at the idea to go and do any sort of freelance work. Again, she just wants to go to Vegas, but he points out that she aint getting in without being able to cover the entry price. So, she gives in, but it is too late to meet the Officer so they head to the bar. While she was flirting with one of the patrons. Someone started making fun of Raul and shoved him to the ground when he went to walk away and she levels him with enough force to knockout a tooth and a bigger brawl starts out. Turns out he is an NCR Solider and they end up in a cell. Across from them is a teenage girl named Veronica and her robo dog, Rex. She is chatty and tells them she was busted trying to steal scrap from the base. Seeing the Pip Boy she gets Maria to let her see it and fixes it with ease. Saying it was a gift and a hobby. Before they can press, the Officer comes in with a deal. An alarm at one of the nearby warehouse was tripped and if she goes to check it out. They would cut her and her ghoul friend free, with caps on top of it. She agrees, but Veronica and Rex are with her as well. As a group they head over and find one, Sierra Petrovita inside the warehouse. Traveler from the East who had heard there was Nuka Cola that was only sent to the Western half of the country and she had to try some. Deeming her to be harmless, they use Maria’s now working Pip Boy to give directions and let her head off. Taking a dead Gecko back and tells the officer he was their trouble maker. Leaving the base with caps and all four of them head off toward Vegas. Episode 5, starts with them running into a group of Powder Gangers as they round a bend. Tired and annoyed after frighting a ton of monsters and a lengthy walk. They are in no mood, but the Powder Gangers raise their hands up. Saying they are here for a truce. Their Boss is tired of trying and at this point, not worth the fighting anymore and that if Maria ever needs anything. They are there and walk away. From there it is them helping Boone find out what happened to his wife and goes with them. Only to find a new place for him to go. Despite a bit of protest from Veronica. Becoming clear that the two of them do not get along in the least. At the end we see the Powder Gangers base and the boss. Relieved that Maria has agreed to the truce. Thinking he could move on from that mess, but hears screaming from outside, then nothing. The door opens and in comes Aurelius Of Phoenix enters the room, with a simple request, everything he knows about the Courier Maria. Caersar has heard of her coming back from the dead and her killing a deathclaws without a gun and dealing with the gang and rumors about the chip and Mr. House wanting to know the moment she gets to the city and he wants to know what makes her so important. While his men are not to thrilled about seeking out one woman, but not going to challenge his leadership.
Six shows them on the outskirts of the city walls and she is getting more and more annoyed. She feels like so much time has passed and doesn’t want to give him a chance to escape, but it is more than that. She isn’t sleeping, due to vivid dreams of the Redheaded woman. Could hear here voice, talking to her about hunts, honor and bets, while they are in each other’s arms. In the dreams she is too small, a child, and she knows that they are more than dreams. Echos of her memory and frustrating to not remember. While Raul is talking about being a bit short, and she tells him the if the next job is as dumb as stealing an urn she will lose it, when they hear a shrill scream of help. A woman racing into view from the right. They think she is a ghoul at first, but no. She is just covered in hideous burns. They recall seeing a NCR Flag a half mile back and they rush her back. Finding that she is actually one of theirs. Had been kidnapped by a Fiend General, Cook-Cook. A guy who has been having his way with numerous female members of their team. They can’t go after him, because of number issues and the mood begins to soar. They stick around, with jobs for Veronica and Raul’s specialty. Boone excuses himself to go talk to the Commanding Officer and Maria drifts through the camp. Anger and rage boiling to life inside of her. Getting more intense with every woman she sees with burn scars and each victim she crosses paths with. It’s not just feeling bad or angry that this happened to them, but something personal. Something she can’t remember, but subconsciously, waning to lash out. When she goes up to one and starts to ask where they were attacked. Using her Pip Boy to pin the marks and we jump to a defended, dilapidated shack, with an armed fiend outside. Getting pulled back into the shadows and Maria steps out. Brandishing a long machete. Episode ending with her entering the shack.
Seven starts with her at the outpost bar. Face covered in blood and smoking a cigarette. Sipping on a drink. When Raul comes up to her and takes a seat. Saying that they should talk. Referring to the head of Cook-Cook perched on the bar next to her when she asks why and the episode doesn’t leave the bar. Everything comes out here. Her frustrations about not being able to remember and the anger she has over what Benny did and how little she thinks of the UCR. How they just let Cook-Cook run wild and they just sat back and watched. She is viewing the world from a new and all of the flaws and ugliness people adjust to are gone and she has no ties or binds or home and what happens after she gets to the man in the suit. Not seeing anything beyond the ugliness she has seen since she left Goodsprings and spiraled out of control seeing Cook-Cook’s victims. Raul lets her get it all out. Before saying that there was ugliness, he knows first hand about ugliness. Would still be stuck with the crazy Super Mutants if it wasn’t for a certain some one and he wasn’t the only one who could say that. Before she could reply, Sierra comes in. Arms weighed down by a massive crate of Nuka Cola. Running up and hugging her. Couldn’t thank her enough for the help and gave them each a bottle of soda. After she walks away, she looks at Raul and dismisses that. It was Soda but he corrects her. It is soda to them, but to Sierra, that was her reason to push on and make her happy. They all had to have that one thing. Whether it be Soda, Veronica comes up and says, stealing electronics she says. Showing the electronics she stashed in her waistband. Boone saying, getting payback on the guy who tried to kill you. Grabbing Cook-Cooks head. Saying, there is a Bounty of Five thousand for this. More than enough to get into Vegas and the trek to Vegas is on.
Eight has them reaching Freeside. Boone and Raul head off to the Kings to get a Passport into Vegas. While, Maria tells them she will catch up. Seeing a shop that says Silver side energy weapons and drifts that way. Turning in her weapons when Veronica rushes up. Preferring to tag along with her. Wanting to see the Energy weapons. She strugs it off and lets her come in. Till that becomes more when they walk into a situation. Business is open, but a unknown woman is chained to a fence and the guy is talking to her about how she wanted to die. Trying to be sneaky since no one seemed to care about them being their. Maria nonchalantly grabs a plasma gun and tries to shot the guy, and misses. The woman just barely manages to move, but the last does shot a hole through the fence keeping her trapped. Catching the guy by surprise, throwing a knife through his head. Fight breaks out and the only ones left standing are Maria, Veronica and the woman who introduces herself as the Rose of Sharon Cassidy. She idiotically tried to exact revenge on the van graffs and it didn’t go well. While she is talking, Maria slips a Stealth boy in her pocket. Veronica is going wild. Pocketing as much as she can. They prepared to take out the last guard, but when they rush outside. Find a guy in Legion in a suit. One of Caesar’s men. Telling Maria the Caesar is requesting a meeting, but she isn’t very interested in it. More than aware at this point who they are and isn’t about to give them a meeting, but he tells her where to go if she changes her mind and walks off. From there, it is clear sailings into the strip, except before they can fully enjoy it. They are swarmed by Robots. Lead by Victor. Who says Mr.House wants a word and it is not up for debate.
Nine, the finale picks up with the meeting between her and Mr. House who gladly tells her where to find the man in the suit Benny and uploads his schedule to her Pip Boy. He wants her to got to and get the chip and take it to the destination he also marked in her map and she would get directions when she gets there. She tries to ask questions. Wanting to know more, but he isn’t up for talking and she leaves. Meeting the rest of the group outside. Mr. House watching them while she explains what just went down. Veronica not thrilled to be helping him, but Raul saying that they shouldn’t concern themselves about it right now and it is off to the Tops. After scouting it out and armed with the specs. Cassidy seduces him up to his room, when he hits an invisible barrier just shy of his bed. Stealth boy dropping and Maria is face-to-face with the guy who tried to kill her. He is shocked of course. Saying one scream and his men would come running. Which is followed by the sounds of an altercation and incomes everyone else. He tries to trade the chip for a free escape, she takes it, flips it in the air and catches it before saying, nope. Stabbing him in the chest with a knife. Leaving him to drop to the ground dying in the next moment. Camera pans in as she takes a deep breath. All of the pain and misery he put her through. Effectively robbing her of who she was and could finally breath a sigh of relief. When Veronica brings up what are they going to do with the chip. Boone thinks it should go to the NCR to use to take down Mr. House. While Veronica throws out the idea of destroying it. Whatever Mr. House wants with it can’t be good and the NCR already can’t patrol their area. Yet alone New Vegas. They don’t even know what the chip does when a voice from a backroom speaks out. It controls a massive robot army. Confused, Maria opens the door and out of the darkness, Yes Man’s face appears and the season ends.
I know that this was a long one, but it’s an entire season and Fallout is such a rich and vast spectrum of people and events and wanted to include as much as I could and had a real blast putting it all together. I hope you enjoyed and as always..
Thank You For Reading.
By: Justin Hopkins
I had no idea that this movie was coming until a few reviews for it began to crop up and had me at the description of being a more brutal version of Home Alone. Feels like it has been a terrible long time since I got to watch a new movie and was excited going into and.. well lets dive in and check out if it was worth the excitement shall we.
The movie starts with long cuts between an altercation going on at a prison and a school. Seeing Dominic passing of a weapon during the altercation at the prison and we see Becky getting off the ground at the school as a teacher ushers the group to move on. She doodling on a test instead of taking the test and is called out on the intercom. Her Dad is picking her up early. Meanwhile Dominic and a handful of others are being loaded into the back of a prison transport and the guy he gave the weapon to stabs the cop in the back during the trip. Back with Becky and her Dad. They stop at a gas station where while she is shoplifting gummy worms, we see the prisoners escape alert on the news. She leaves the store and walks off. Watching videos on her phone of her Mother. Who was in the hospital and we learn that her Mother died. They continue on their way, he is upset that she is stealing and when it dawns on her where they are going. Gets even more upset and Dad is in no hurry to tell her anything till they get to the cabin. It was her Mother’s favorite place and get that she hasn’t been there since her Mom died and was under the impression that he was going to sell it. Her joy of learning that he changed his mind and wasn’t selling it only lasts for a moment when his girlfriend and her son show up to spend the weekend as well and the fight gets worse when she find out that they are getting married and storms off to a smaller shack deeper into the woods. At the same time Dominic and his men arrive and quickly take over the house. Looking for a key in the basement that is currently in the shack with Becky and that is where I will leave it for now.
I don’t think I can express my love of this movie and how great they did with the story. Nothing was just because. They always had a reason for everything, when most would have just gone lazy and shrugged their shoulders. Becky is not just a kid going through a rebellious stage or anything like that, but a good kid going through a lot of bad things and doesn’t know how to process it. From losing her Mom and things not going good in school. Her one joyous moment is taken away by the fact it wasn’t just going to be her and her Dad, but his girlfriend and her son and than learn they are getting married and everything is changing and then her Dad dies in front of her. Pushing the girl who is already teetering on the edge all the way over. Than you go on the opposite side, you get Apex, who is Dominic’s closest ally and they give him a rather gruesome reason to be having a battle of consciousness and that he gone to far in this plan and regret and sorrow was setting in and didn’t know what was going to happen to him by the end. Nick Morris, Ruckus Skye and Lane Skye went all out creating an all around great story to go along with some great carnage.
Now, this movie has been compared to Home Alone and can get why but it’s a very loose equivalent. Yeah, the traps between the two are for very different reasons. The traps and weapons Becky crafts are so brutal and gory and wonderful and simple and never feel to crazy. They felt like traps a kid would make. They aren’t outright lethal. Just take them down and make it easier for a 13 year old to finish them off. Whether it’s a broken ruler or fistful of colored pencils taped together or bit of fishing line and bored with nails. She brutalizes and makes them suffer with so much hate and intensity in her eyes and cheering her on the whole way.
I have to give Kevin James all the praise in the world for his portrayal of Dominic. He is everything I love in a villain. Cold and calculated. He process the situation and goes from their. Never really raises his voice either. Just allows his presences and his actions to intimidate and terrify his victims into submitting to whatever he wants. Even after everything Becky does to his men and runs him over with a car. He is cool as ever. Trying to simply convince her to come with him and his argument for it isn’t even far from what is going to happen to her if she makes it through to the end. Kevin James did a stellar job and hope that this isn’t his last foray as a bad guy.
On the flip side, we get Lulu Wilson who is terrifyingly good as Becky. She was brilliant bringing out both a fearsome ferocity and soul crushing amount of sympathy. There are some moments in this movie where she is the scariest person on the screen. Particularly the fire scene at the end when Dominic gets there and she is singing and putting marshmallows on the stick he uses to torture her Dad, staring at hims and it’s bone chilling. Than she lets out these battle cries when she stomps the ruler into the guys neck and when she kills Apex and as great as they were. She is even better when it is all over and she is just sitting there petting her lone dog, cause they killed the other, and it all sits in and you start to worry about what comes next for Becky.
Each of them are backed by a solid supporting cast. Joel McHale as her Dad. Robert Maillet as Apex and Ryan McDonald and James McDougall as Cole and Haymmond.
This movie is a blast throughout. I love the story so much. They take their time to build a story around Becky and give her a threatening villain in Dominic to overcome and I want so much more. I want to know what happens next for Becky. She left with the key, what is she going to do with it? Does she go live with Kayla and Ty? They ended it so well and with so much more I want to know. If you haven’t seen it yet, go and check it out. Final Grade – S
As always, I hope you enjoyed reading and…
Thank You For Reading.
By: Justin Hopkins
So it has been awhile since my last entry into the B Movie Sunday and made it a point to find a movie for today’s review and stumbled upon a selection of Mermaid themed horror movies. Which I didn’t know was a thing, but was hoping for the best as I picked one at random and gave it a go. Lets dive in and check out if I made the right choice.
The movie kicks off with a relatively long intro, with four people on a boat. Amy, Shelly, Roy, and Toby. They show up at an island and make their way to a lake. Amy making her way to the beach while the others hang back. Shelly warning Toby about pain to come and find out it is over the fact he is going to propose. She walks off and while Toby and Roy are discussing the fact he is going to do this. Shelly is busy blowing the surprise and telling Amy. Who is mortified by this, cause they just started dating, but she didn’t want to hurt him either. Before she figures out what to do, Toby comes over and they go for a hike with a picnic basket. After a bot of a trek, he pops the question and she declines it. Trying to get it through to him that they don’t know each other well enough and he is going on about the age thing and while that is happening. Shelly gets pushed into the lake after splashing Roy with water. Before she gets out something bites her leg. They get her out, but she is to hurt to walk and they carry her toward the spot the see smoke coming from to get her help. They find a house and believe no one home and take her inside for an old woman to come out of a backroom. When she learns Shelly was bitten in the lake. Pulls a gun and wants to kill her. Saying they have to kill her before she kills all of them. They knock her out and tries again the moment she wakes back up. This time around, Shelly bites her and in response, the old lady kills herself and that is where I will leave this for now.
Alright, this story, at the bare bone level is a rather interesting one. Love the idea of killer mermaids, I didn’t even know it was a thing and it sounds like it can do well. Giving them an infectious bite as well isn’t the worst thing. Can be fun to see the effects and something new to the table. With that said though, Mermaid Isle suffered from a lack of budget. I give them all the credit for trying there best to make the story work for their needs, but they really needed some more affects here. Showing some more transformation effects that Shelly and later Amy go through during the transformation or even after the transformation and they are in the water. I really like the looks of their Mermaid Tails. They looked really good, but we only get a few shots on them in the water and really would have liked one good shot of them as Mermaids.
I don’t want to bash the cast to much here. They are all very new to the scene and hope they all grow from this and get better, but there is one I have to talk about and in kind of a negative way and that is Mark Reinhardt’s Toby. He is just so stiff throughout the entire runtime. The old woman pulls a gun, tries to kill Shelly, gets knocked out, attempts to hit Toby with a fire place poker, gets bitten and kills herself and he has the exact same emotionless expression. Like they put the script just off camera and he is reading off of it. Even when he tries to yell at Roy for knocking her out. Just nothing going on in his facial expressions to back up anything he says and it happens throughout. Acting is a hard thing to do and hope he finds his grove and gets more comfortable in front of the camera, but that was not here.
Alright, we are onto the negatives. One of which, is the fact they don’t actually go out into the water. Most of the time is spent against the shoreline in water that might be a foot deep. Yet, they never see the Mermaid coming ever. Just go out a little more. So water is up to their waist at least. Can muddy the river and go from their. Just a little thing to make it more plausible that the Mermaids can effectively sneak up on them.
Alright, this one is a bit more of an issue. You can writing off them not going far enough in the water as just dumb things characters do to advance a story, albeit a little to far but whatever. The audio being so low that they are almost inaudible isn’t. It got better as they went out, but it’s really bad at the start to the point where it I backtracking with closed caption to figure out what was being said.
Mermaid Isle had a good idea in mind, but needed a bigger budget and little more time put in to make the most of it. They tried their best and give them all the credit in the world for trying. As it is though. I can’t suggest it and have to go with a skip it.
As always, I hope you enjoyed and…
Thank You For Reading.
By: Justin Hopkins
When I was eight years old I tuned into wrestling for the first time and was blown away by the larger than life characters. While many people I knew were for Austin and D-Generation X. None was bigger for me in that moment than the Deadman, The Undertaker. Everything about him was amazing. The Gothic attire and way he would manhandle the opponent around the ring then turn around and scare the referee for trying to back him off. As the years have gone by, with some stellar to fantastic memories and some really bad moments. He has always had a way of being captivating. With all of that said though, the legend of the Undertaker needs to have a fitting end and in a big way. Now, they kind of have that, with The Boneyard Match. A match that not only saw him under the biker and Deadman gimmick. Burying AJ Styles after an entertaining bout and rode off on his bike. Which could very well be it. Had everything a final match could have for him, but by the way he talked about HBK’s final match (Before Saudi Arabia) Wouldn’t be surprised if he tries for one more. Wanting his final match to be less cinematic and done in the ring with fans around and that is the path we are going to follow today. Who could give the Undertaker the final match that he could be happy and comfortable enough with to call it a day on his In-Ring Career. Lets check out the parameters first. First they have to be a workhorse. Ability to have a great match with anyone they are in the ring with and help him to the finish line. He is great, but needs the help. Second, they got to be full time on the roster. No disrespect to the likes of Brock Lesnar, but if that was going to be it, would have happened already. A full timer would be able to keep the feud going through regular promos and wouldn’t risk of in ring rust themselves. Alright lets dive in.. with an honorable mention.
Honorable Mention The Fiend Bray Wyatt
I would love to see him fighting inside the Funhouse. Seeing him going through his career through the lenses of the Fiend and Wyatt pointing things out. Bray has always been billed as the next Undertaker character, even when he was the cult leader, but this isn’t the right format to end the career of the undertaker, and The Fiend is not the right character for him to exit out on.
Alright, This is clearly the dark horse on this list and take the most work to make happen, but not as crazy as you might think. He is a super athlete. Insanely strong and nimble and capable of having great matches any time he goes out to the ring and makes everyone he steps into the ring with looks like a million bucks and entertaining enough to build this match up ahead of time. Problem being he would need built up a bit ahead of time, with a string of victories and all.
4. Finn Balor
This wouldn’t be The Demon. We would need him to go full on heel Prince Devitt. The demon would be a good run, but the time has passed for The Demon, unless they go full Cinematic Match, A possibility but we are booking for live in the ring and Taker needs The Prince for this match. Finn has been having a good time being back in NXT, so this might be a one shot deal back in the ” Main” roster, but they could use his first run as ammunition to be used against him, by one of the biggest stars they have had to built up the drama and kind of make NXT that much more of a bigger deal.
3. Seth Rollins
With the exception of the guy at the number one spot, this may come with the easiest story to tell. The Monday Night Messiah trying to sacrifice the Deadman for the greater good. It pretty much rights itself and Seth is a workhorse who is fully capable of bringing out whatever is left within the Undertaker.
2. Daniel Bryan
High offense and technical prowess. Daniel Bryan can not only bring out the best in The Undertaker, but can even make the moments where he needs a breather interesting through the use of wrestling moves that are not a headlock. His smaller sizer would even help the undertaker move him about in the latter periods when a larger opponent would just look bad and with Bryan wanting to work with as many different people as he can. He could have a lot of fun with this.
1. AJ Styles
After the Boneyard Match happened. I was happy with how it ended and hoped they would move on, but then Money In The Bank happened. Saw how AJ acted when he saw the picture of The Undertaker and the casket. His anger when he watched the preview for the Last Ride Documentary and know that is pretty much all I want. The story of AJ wanting to redeem himself and the similarities that can be drawn between this and the Shawn Michaels match that The Undertaker has been chasing ever since. AJ fits the build for what he needs. A big name workhorse who can help the Deadman get a final match he can be proud of.
If the Undertaker never wrestles again. He can easily stake claim to the great match he had with The Boneyard match, but if not. I hope The Undertaker can have the match he can be proud enough to close his career on. He has given his life to the company and had entertained millions through it all. These are just my picks of the guys I think can pull it off. As always, I hope you enjoyed and…
Thank You For Reading.
By: Justin Hopkins
I almost didn’t do this. When it was announced that Ruby Rose was leaving the role and would be replaced by someone else, I was sad for the departure, but I understood their decision to recast. Thought Ruby did well in the position, but if she is unhappy in the position, it is better to cut ties, because eventually it spills over and things get worse. While they still have so much more to go with the character and don’t want one season with one of my favorite characters. Than it came out that they were recasting the role entirely. Putting someone entirely new under the Batwoman costume… and I wasn’t entirely upset. To the point where they may actually be making the right decision.
Ruby put her stamp on the character. She has bonded with everyone not only in her own show, but Supergirl, The Flash and everyone else. To simply replace her with a new Kate would mean everyone would just have to attach blinders on and ignore the obvious changed that it is someone new. Of course they could do something of a retcon through the Legends, but that would feel a little weak and would eventually have to confront that. Only character who could get anything from it, would be Alice, but they are already pushing that character a little to much by having her return in the second season. ( Although, I do think that Rachael Skarsten has been wonderful) By recasting her, you can address the change directly and keeps the door open for Ruby to come back in a surprise cameo down the line, if the stars line up for it.
By creating this new version of Batwoman this does give them leeway to create something a bit more from scratch. They do get to have some fun making someone new. Have read the description of what they want and it sounds intriguing. Make someone who feels like they are alone. Knows the pitfalls of life and can relate to the other side of the coin more. Someone who will push the line to do what they think is right, even if it aligns herself with the other heroes. Something that would make a cross over that much more interesting and has happened in the Batwoman comics.
I don’t really have a preference for who to cast. I know it is boring that I am not picking someone, but cast very rarely matters to me, because of how many times someone strange has been cast and was amazing, D.C especially being good at that. There are a lot of good names in the cast pool at this point. Wallis Day, from the Krypton series, Brooklyn Nine-Nine’s Stephanie Beatriz, And Magician’s Jade Tailor have all expressed extreme interest in the role and each of them would excel amazingly at it. Saw an article that Even WWE’s Sonya Deville has expressed interest. She would be a dark horse for it, but with her fight background and desire to make a name for herself in acting. May very well do some big things here.
Wrapping this up, I want to thank Ruby Rose for giving us an entertaining season of Batwoman and hope nothing but the best for her going forward, and hope for the best with Season 2 and excited to see who they bring in and what their plans are for the new character they have in store for the next Batwoman.
As always, I hope you enjoyed and…
Thank You For Reading.
By: Justin Hopkins
This week it was announced that Universal would be taking another swing at one of their classic monsters, following in the heels of The Invisible Man, with The Wolfman, with Ryan Gosling set to play the title character. While I am excited to see what that rendition has in store for us. Gives us the perfect excuse to go back and check out the two that came before it. Going all the way back to 1941 and 2010. So, with a lot to cover, lets dive right in with the original shall we.
The Wolfman 1941
The movie opens with a title card sequence of starts, like a lot of these older movies used to do. Showing us the characters and who plays them and then the definition of Lycanthropy and we see the main character driving down the road. Returning home after he learned his brother died during a hunting trip. Putting all of the bad history between himself and his Dad. During their conversation a glass shipment arrives and the fix up a telescope. Which they test by spying on the town. Larry spots a woman, Gwen, in her bedroom. When he sees it is above an Antique Shop, he goes running. Trying to be..suave I suppose by wanting to buy the jewels she has upstairs. Claiming to know they are there by being psychic. When he can’t buy the jewels. Agrees to buy a cane with a wolf’s head, moon, and pentagram. Reciting the verse of a man pure of heart and says his prayers. Can Become a wolf when the wolfsbane blooms and the autumn moon is bright. When he is leaving, invites her for a walk at 8 and despite saying no. Is waiting with a friend at 8. Wearing the jewels he was asking for. Her friend, Jenny wanting to go get her fortune read by the gypsies and they set off to do that. While that is going on, they go for a walk. While he is admitting to the telescope incident, we see the friend with the gypsies. Who tells her to come back tomorrow and leaves. While she is trying to find them though. Is attacked by a giant wolf. When Larry and Gwen hear her cries and come running. He attacks the wolf and beats him to death with the cane, but is wounded during the altercation and passes out. They get him back home and the police go out, but instead of finding an animal. They find a dead gypsy and Jenny’s deceased body. Questions beginning to arise quickly about what really did happen out there, and why his wounds have disappeared and that is where I will leave it for now.
This was a great story that has not only stood the test of time, but has been an inspiration to Werewolf movies ever since. A simple story of a man getting attacked by a Werewolf, that results in him becoming the very same monster. Not utilizing jump scares, but letting the tension build naturally. Letting the story build it’s way throughout, until Larry becomes the Wolfman and get the payoff of the monster rampaging through the woods, until we get the monster and damsel in distress, a classic moment in older movies.
You are going to here this from me a few times on this review, but it can be quite hard to judge some of the stuff, due to it coming from 1941, Practical effects being in it’s infancy and what they can do in front of a camera being limited and things like gore not being really a thing. The attacks from the wolf were kind of on the bland side and kind of hooky. Which is fine. It’s about context and what you are seeing works just as intended and didn’t need the gore.
Than you get the transformation scene was alright. Must have been something else, back in the day, but we just see hair growing on his legs and feet turning into paws and then pan up to see the final outcome. It’s not bad, just fine.
Lon Chaney Jr. really left his mark on the character. He left a legacy behind that may never be touched by anyone going forward. You really feel his genuine confusion over what happened and his sorrow over the idea that he may have killed a man in his confusion and the horrific response he has when he realizes that he killed people after his first transformation. There is one small thing that I’ll talk about in a bit, but overall Lon was fantastic.
Okay, this is probably the part I get it, 1941 was a long time ago and shouldn’t bash them to hard when it comes to the negatives due to that reason, but there were three things that really hurt it for me. Two small ones and a much larger one. The slight was the score. When it was warranted, it was great, but there are times when silence would have fit the bill so much better and you get the music playing over and taking me right out of the moment and happens throughout.
Then, during his hunt in his Werewolf form, he gets stopped by a bear trap. A menacing monster that strikes fear into everyone, is downed by a bear trap. The entire sequence of him just rolling around is just bad. Out of anything they could have done, and that was what was decided on and it didn’t work at all for me.
Next though was a bigger one for me, and that was the relationship between Larry and Gwen. This starts with Larry spying on her with a telescope, instead of talking to her, tries to buy the jewels from her desk and doesn’t flinch when he finds out she is taken. They are going for sweet, by her kind of laughing it off and going with it and liking him and all, but just casts him in a bad light and makes it hard to care for his more sympathetic moments, because of the moments he has with her.
This is a hard movie to grade. It’s place in history can never be taken away. It’s a legit classic that has inspired so many to get into movies and bring their own ideas of the Werewolves for us to love. At the same time, the negatives really hurt it for me. So, Final Grade: B –
The Wolfman 2010
Open with the man of pure of heart verse and we jump right to it. Showing a man being killed right out by the Werewolf. Than we jump to a man, Lawrence, performing a play. A woman, Gwen, watching closely before going backstage when they finish. Needing to talk to him alone. Telling him that his brother, and her fiancee is missing for a month and she fears the worst, because two other villagers were found dead the same night. At first he refuses, but caves and we see him on a train going home. Talking to a man about a picture of his Mom that fell from his pocket. He offers a wolf’s head cane, but he politely declines it. When the train reaches it’s destination and he is collecting his stuff however, the man disappears. Leaving the cane behind and Lawrence takes it with him. By the time he gets home. His Dad informs him that Ben’s body had been found that morning. He goes to see the body. Learning he had been torn apart. At the bar, listening to the people speculating what it could have been Some believing it to be the gypsies another a werewolf. When they insult his Mother though, it gets his attention. Throwing a drink in their face and gets thrown out of the bar. Later we get a flashback. Seeing him and his brother having a good time and then finding his Mother’s dead body. When he wakes up, after the funeral. We find out he was actually committed after finding her body. Gwen is about to leave. Asking when he is leaving, and he isn’t going anywhere till he find out what happened to Ben. His Dad tells him to wait till the morning. Not to go out during the full moon. Which of course he does. Goes off to the Gypsy Camp. Trying to find the Gypsy who sold Ben the coin and what happened the night he was there. When a posse shows up for their bear. The Werewolf attacks almost immediately. Picking off from the back before sprinting in and getting someone before anyone can realize and panic ensues. A boy runs off and Lawrence spots the wolf going after him and he wastes no time giving chase. Getting attacked himself. Wolf biting his neck, but before killing him. The Gypsies scare him off. Bringing the bloodied Lawrence back. The older Gypsy stitching him up, while a younger woman arguing about whether or not they even should. Knowing what he will become if they do save him and that is where I will leave off.
This was a great telling of the story. Keeping what made the first one special, but fleshed it out and made it bigger. Having him show signs of the beast within before he experiences it. Hearing the horses coming. By having the Werewolf who attacked him survive, they create a bit of suspense and by having Sir Thomas simply come out with it, give us tension and an anticipation of the incoming Werewolf fight.
My main negative from the original was the cringe relationship and the fact Larry was a little more one the creepy side, was remedied here. He build sympathy naturally from him finding his Mother’s dead body and the trauma he experienced afterwards. That lead to him being estranged and the guilt that he wasn’t there for Ben and the chance is gone. He put himself in the line of danger trying to save the kid. All tying into the verse on a good man becoming a wolf.
There is a lot of good kills in this movie. When the Werewolf is around he just goes to town on everyone around him. Biting chunks out of people’s stomachs and throats. Arms and heads are flying and it’s a great time all around. Some moments of CGI are a bit much, but never really distract me to much. Two moments of jump scare attacks, that were both more funny than actually scary. Each were surprise attacks and loved them both.
The Werewolf transformation was a really good one. Using what they didn’t have back in 1941 and really showed how his body changed and morphed and thought the end result was an intimidating version of the Werewolf.
Originally I wasn’t to high on the Asylum scenes. Him being dunked into ice water and shocked, but after it was done and thought about it. Does seem like something that would have happened back in the day. People doing awful things to someone to prove that there infliction were all in their minds and adds a disturbing sense of realism to it that only build to the sympathy toward Lawrence.
You can tell everyone who showed up, really brought their best. Loving the original and wanted to do their best to do it justice and make this one stand out. Benicio Del Toro did a great job making Lawrence a sympathetic character with a lot of heart and felt bad knowing that he wasn’t going to overcome it. Emily Blunt took the bigger role they had for Gwen and made it her own and because of how well they told the story between the two of them. Made the ending all the better. Hugo Weaving was an entertaining foil to play of him. Playing a smart, educated Inspector who is faced with this supernatural force and instead of bulking or questioning it. Is adapting and taking it head on because it is the right thing to do, and Anthony Hopkins is Anthony Hopkins. When it was time for the fight, his mystique and delivery made it all that much better.
Alright, negative time. The first flashback I understand, but when he is being tortured at the asylum, it just fell flat. Due to the way it was shot and the motion blurs and dumb jump scares that was going on during it. Just felt like a way to drag it out and just felt like wasted time.
Yeah, that was my only real complaint. Pacing was a bit slow, but hardly notice because they always had the story moving forward. Tension building to a good Werewolf fight and emotional ending of Gwen realizing there was no reaching him and had to put him down and cliffhanger of Hugo’s character being bitten. All around good movie from start to finish. Final Grade – B+
I get that the 1941 is a classic and has given us so much and the 2010 version both honored and built off it in a positive way and I hope for the same from the Ryan Gosling Wolfman we got coming. For today, The remake takes the prize. As always, I hope you enjoyed and…
Thank You For Reading.
By: Justin Hopkins
Werewolves have always been a strange topic for me. Either love them or strongly dislike them and not much space in between and it often doesn’t really ever come down to the characters, but the actual transformation and how they go about portraying the Werewolf. What parts of the lore they use and there spin on them can easily make or break the movie for me. So much so I have tended to avoid Werewolf movies in general, but that is the point of what I am doing during the lock down. Using my free time to check out movies I have wanted to watch and give my opinion and American Werewolves In London has been on the list longer than it should be. So, without further adieu, let’s dive in to the 1981 classic and discuss shall we.
The movie starts with some looks around the England country side, before meeting two Backpacking travelers, Jack and David. Sitting in the back of a truck with a bunch of sheep. Being dropped off in the middle of nowhere. Being warned to stay on the road and they started to walk. They are on a three month trip and Jack was complaining about not being in Rome and how he wants to hook up with a woman named Debbie. While David is just happy to be here and seeing the sights. When they come across a small Village and the Slaughtered Lamb Pub. Where everyone stops doing what they are doing to look at them when they come in, but they loosen up over a joke about the Alamo. Only to get hostile when Jack asks about the five point star. To the point where they try to leave. Most of them want them to as well, except the bartender, but they leave with the warning to stay on the road and beware the full moon. They immediately stray off the road and get lost. Getting scared by the animal howls and various other sounds. and decide to retreat back to the Slaughtered Lamb. Meanwhile, we go back to the pub and they are arguing about what they have done. Back at Jack and David who are fleeing and David trips. When Jack goes to his aide. He is attacked by a monster. Being ripped and torn apart. David initially flees, but comes back to try and help, but it is to late and gets attacked himself. But as soon as it starts, David is saved by the people from the Pub, who shot the monster and are looking down at him as he blacked out. Taken to a hospital in London. He wakes briefly and says the name, Jack, before blacking out again. The nurses, Miss Price and Gallagher are chatting about him and what happened and the Doctor says he was attacked by a madman and his friend Jack had died. When he finally does come around, it’s three weeks later, and has to be sedated because of the news of his friend’s death. Much to the embassy workers chagrin. Before he falls asleep again. Says it wasn’t a madman, but a wolf that did it. That day, Scotland Yard pays the Doctor and David a visit. Calling him out on his story. That they have an autopsy from the madman and two witnesses saying he was the attacker, but David isn’t budging on his story, although they say the case is closed and leaves. We get a random image of him running through the woods and eat a deer, and we are back at the hospital where Nurse Price, Alex, forces him to eat and they start to bond. When he goes to sleep, he dreams of men in monster masks, killing him and his family. Waking up, seeing another man in a mask killing Alex. He finally does wake and is served breakfast. The door closes and a shredded Jack is standing there. Telling him that he is here to warn him. That they were attacked by a Werewolf. That he is stuck walking the world of limbo, till the bloodline of the wolf is ended, and the only way for that to happen, is for David to kill himself. Needs to do it before the Full Moon, or he will kill more people when David turns into a Werewolf himself and that is where I will leave it for now.
This was a fun little story, especially when it came to the Jack and David story arch. Each time we see Jack he gets more and more deformed. Despite how he was telling him to kill himself, when David finally does come around to the idea. You can tell it was something that Jack wasn’t taking it lightly and wanted it to be as easy and peaceful as it could be. Than they threw in all of his victims following along with Jack, from David’s first shift and that may actually be the best scene in the movie. The prosthetic and make up the ghosts were wearing were great. Making Jack look not only mortifying, but still maintaining levels of sympathy for what he went through at the same time.
Alright, the Werewolf transformation was alright. They went on a more slow approach and for the most part, looked good throughout. Particularly on his face morphing outward and taking on the canine look and did like the look of the Werewolf we got. We only get a few quick shots of him, but what we do see really works. Although, I wasn’t a fan of how it started. With him just starting to scream. Sure it would get to that point, but going from 0 to a hundred didn’t work, but other than that. Was all good.
The character and world was really intriguing. From everyone at the bar at the beginning. The were secretive and not welcoming, but can see that they still cared. To the point they actually saved David when they could have just left him for dead. Would have gladly watched more of them. Alex was a strong character and easily would have liked to see her play more of a role toward the end, but was good throughout. Had a great supporting cast, all making David stand out. Which speaks strongly of the cast.
David Naughton did a great job as David. Being sympathetic and endearing. Wanted to see him pull through it and having a happy ever after. Good chemistry with Griffin Dunne and Jenny Agutter, Jack and Alex. Who each played their worlds perfectly. To the point where I kind of wanted to see more of each. Along with everyone else for that matter.
Alright, to the negatives. This is billed a comedy, but with the exception of one scene, the movie theater with the ghosts of David’s victims telling him ways to kill himself, there wasn’t much in the way of comedy for me. It was mostly dry and while that is my normal preference, it just didn’t really work for me. I think age may have been a factor, because their was the whole, him waking up in the zoo and having to find clothes, which is something I have seen in other movies and cartoons and the bumbling cop is kind of overplayed.
I wasn’t a huge fan of the ending either. David dying wasn’t the issue, but was expecting Alex to play into it and would have liked to see her interacting with David in the Werewolf form. Even for a moment, cause they might have been able to get more out of the ending had they had her there for the shooting and that it was the only way to stop David.
This was a good movie with some solid characters and a good Werewolf and while I did like it and would suggest checking it out if you haven’t seen it. It’s not one I can see myself watching again. The negatives and lackluster ending kind of pushes it below a few other Werewolf movies that I would go for first. Final Grade – B
I hope you enjoyed and as always…
Thank You For Reading.