Friday, November 28, 2014

TV Review: The Walking Dead Season Five Episode Seven "Crossed"

by Sherry Lipp

WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD

Can you believe the mid-season break is almost upon us? Last Sunday’s episode, “Crossed,” pretty
much served as set up for whatever’s to come in the mid-season finale which airs November 30. As usual for the band of survivors, nothing went as planned as Rick (Andrew Lincoln) stormed Atlanta to rescue Beth (Emily Kinney) and Carol (Melissa McBride).

The persistent theme of The Walking Dead is how much humanity has to lose in order to survive and how each character reconciles that emotionally. Rick and Carol particularly seem to be grappling with that issue, with Carol questioning how much her own life is worth and Rick adjusting his moral code to ensure his family’s survival.

Here’s the cool, and not so cool, for “Crossed:”

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Blu-ray review: The Expendables 3

By Chaz Lipp


I say this as a Sylvester Stallone diehard: it might be time for the Expendables to retire. The Expendables 3 finds Barney Ross (Stallone) putting together an all-new team of younger, more technologically-inclined Expendables (including Twilight star Kellen Lutz and MMA champ Ronda Rousey). After his thought-to-be-dead arch nemesis Conrad Stonebanks (Mel Gibson) takes one of Barney’s core team members out of commission, he decides he can’t risk his comrades’ live any longer. He’s out for revenge and if anyone is going to die in the process, it will be nameless, faceless rookies.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

TV Review: The Walking Dead Season Five Episode Six "Consumed"

by Sherry Lipp


You might notice I didn’t put up a spoiler warning at the beginning of this review. Not that you want to know everything before you watch it, but this episode “Consumed” is told entirely in flashback, both recent and distant. If you’ve been wanting to know more about Carol’s (Melissa McBride) journey after Rick (Andrew Lincoln) kicked her out of the prison, and you’ve felt like Daryl (Norman Reedus) has been getting the short shrift, then this is the episode for you.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

TV Review: The Walking Dead Season Five Episode Five "Self Help"

by Sherry Lipp

WARNING: SPOILERS




Let’s get right to what was cool about The Walking Dead episode “Self Help.” I’m a little mixed on this episode. I liked the overall story, but I felt like it was dragged out in order to fill time. I’m not one that’s only looking for action or walker kills, but there really wasn’t enough here to fill an entire episode.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Movie Review: Interstellar

By Chaz Lipp
 

Empty-headed but admittedly fun to watch (for the first two hours anyway), writer-director Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar entirely deflates in a nonsensical, paradox-hampered third act. In his attempt to craft a “hard” sci-fi examination of humanity’s struggle to avoid extinction, Nolan (who co-scripted with his brother Jonathan) wind up dipping into near-fantasy. Further discussion requires diving into spoiler territory, but I’ll offer a warning before anything major is revealed. It's worth pointing out that anyone with a passing awareness of sci-fi cliches will solve the plot's twistier questions long before the solutions are revealed.

The best sequences in Interstellar occur during its Earth-bound first act. Set in the near future, life on our planet has reverted to something approximating the North American Dust Bowl of the 1930s, only on a globally detrimental level. Medical science has returned to pre-Industrial Age levels, public schools teach that the moon landings were a propaganda-fueled lie, and farming has become humanity’s most noble profession. The U.S. has demilitarized and its entire population has become fixated on preserving what little sustainable agriculture remains. There’s no place for pastimes in this depressing future. The Nolan’s best gag (actually one of precious few in this largely humorless film) makes it clear that even professional sports, in this case the MLB, have degenerated into an amateur hour joke.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Book Review: Horns by Joe Hill

by Sherry Lipp


Horns is now a major motion picture starring Daniel Radcliffe and Juno Temple. It is in theaters now in limited release. We'll post a review of the movie shortly. The movie tie-in paperback edition is available from Harper-Collins.

WARNING: SPOILERS

One morning Ignatius Perrish awakens to find a pair of horns growing out of his skull. He can’t quite remember what happened the night before, but it's not likely anything would explain his sudden metamorphosis. Not only do the horns change Ig’s appearance, but they possess the power to make everyone Ig encounters confess their deepest, darkest secrets. Joe Hill’s novel Horns asks us to question our perception of good and evil and presents a pretty cool murder mystery wrapped in supernatural thriller.

If you haven’t read Horns yet, you should probably stop reading this and get to it. If you have read it, please read on.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

TV Review: The Walking Dead Season Five Episode Four "Slabtown"

by Sherry Lipp

WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD


If you’ve been wondering what happened to Beth (Emily Kinney) since we last saw her in season four of The Walking Dead, you finally find out in this week’s episode “Slabtown.” Judging from some of the reaction to this episode I’ve seen around the web, a Beth-based episode wasn’t exactly at the top of a lot of people’s list. I’ll admit I’ve been pretty hard on Beth in the past. For a long time she seemed like deadweight, adding very little to the story lines. Even her episode last season where she was alone with Daryl (Norman Reedus) felt slow, and her whining was slightly annoying. So I can’t say I was excited for an episode that didn’t feature any other main cast except her.

However, I found this episode to be quite entertaining. It was tense and scary without resorting to anything extreme like the Governor or Terminus. I like getting a glimpse of what other people are doing in the post-apocalyptic world and this episode provided that.