Life is Great! (American Gods S01E06 – “A Murder of Gods” Review)

2560X1440At the end of A Murder of Gods, Laura tells Salim that life is great. And, to be honest, that’s really indicative of this episode. Life – and all that one can do in life – is great. And this episode is great, too. Written by Seamus Kevin Fahey, Bryan Fuller, and Michael Green and directed by Adam Kane, A Murder of Gods picks up shortly after last week’s Lemon Scented You left off. On the run after the New Gods’ show of force, Shadow (Ricky Whittle) and Mr. Wednesday (Ian McShane) seek safe haven with one of Mr. Wednesday’s oldest friends, Vulcan (Corbin Bernsen), God of the Fire and the Forge. (As always, this review contains spoilers! So, if you haven’t seen the episode yet, you’ll probably want to see it before you read any further.)  (more…)

It’s the Power of Love! (Doctor Who S10E08 “The Lie of the Land” Review)

Doctor Who - TruthIs the idea that love will eventually overcome everything cheesy and oftentimes overdone? Yes. But, if done well, it can still be both moving and satisfying. This final part of the “Monk Trilogy” manages to get it right. Written by Toby Whithouse and directed by Wayne Yip, The Lie of the Land concludes the “Monk Trilogy” that was begun with Extremis. In this closing chapter, Earth has been invaded and Bill is living alone, an isolated figure surviving in occupied Britain. The Doctor (Peter Capaldi) is imprisoned and appears to be on the side of the enemy, flooding the airwaves with fake news. Bill(Pearl Mackie) and Nardole (Matt Lucas) must embark on a deadly mission to rescue the Doctor and lead the resistance against the new regime, whatever the cost. (As always, this review will not be spoiler free, so spoilers are ahead!)  (more…)

A Movie Worthy of an Amazonian (Wonder Woman – Review)

wonder_woman_poster2b252852529If this is what it’s like to be a Greek goddess, sign me up. This movie has it all! Interesting mythology, great characters, amazing fight sequences, a well thought out plot, and an atmosphere that just makes you feel good. It’s exactly the kind of superhero movie that’s both wanted and needed right now. The latest film in the DCEU has finally come out! Directed by Patty Jenkins with a screenplay by Allan Heinberg (from a story by Heinberg, Zack Snyder, and Jason Fuchs), Wonder Woman stars Gal Gadot as the titular Amazon warrior as she makes her way through a war-torn Europe during the first World War. With the aid of Steve Trevor (a US Military Pilot who washed onto the shores of Themyscira, played by Chris Pine), Diana Prince (as she’s referred to in the movie – they never actually call her Wonder Woman) sets out to bring an end to the war before any more atrocities can be committed. But, it’s never as simple as that, is it? (This review strives to be spoiler-free, but for anybody really averse to spoilers, you might wanna wait to read this until after you’ve seen the movie. I’m not gonna go into too many specifics, especially about the latter half of the film, but regardless, this is your warning.)  (more…)

“Matilda: The Musical” brings rebellion and magic to Raleigh!

Matilda_BroadwayThis past week, the Tony Award-winning musical Matilda: the Musical played the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts in Raleigh, NC and the cast and crew filled the room with rebellion and magic. With a book by Dennis Kelly and music and lyrics by comedian Tim Minchin, Matilda the Musical tells the story of Matilda Wormwood (Jaime Maclean, at my performance), a young, smart, book-obsessed girl raised by abusive parents who is sent to a school, run by the evil Ms. Trunchball (Dan Chameroy), and discovers she possesses magical powers. Based on the classic novel by Roald Dahl, Matilda: the Musical aims to remind us all that sometimes we have to be a little bit naughty in life, and that’s okay!  (Note: pictures may not be from the current tour; I had to make do with what I could find. (more…)

What Happens in Verona Should Stay in Verona. (Still Star-Crossed – “In Fair Verona…” Review)

WADE BRIGGS, LASHANA LYNCH, STERLING SULIEMANDo you like soap operas? Did you like Romeo and Juliet? Are you a Shakespeare junkie? Are you searching for a guilty pleasure show to watch this summer? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then Still Star-Crossed is probably the show for you! Based on the book by Melinda Taub, Still Star-Crossed tells the story of what happened after the ending of Romeo and Juliet. Verona is in ruins as the feud between House Montague and House Capulet has worsened in the wake of Romeo and Juliet’s deaths. Threats from outside the walls of Verona only seem to be worsening. What’s the new Prince, Escalus (Sterling Sulieman), to do? In an attempt to unify the feuding houses so Verona stands a chance against any invaders, Escalus orders that Benvolio Montague (Wade Briggs) and Rosaline Capulet (Lashana Lynch) are to be married. Naturally, this doesn’t go so well. (Spoilers ahead!)  (more…)

The Merger of the Gods (American Gods S01E05 – “Lemon Scented You” REVIEW)

lemonscent 1What do you get when you put the leaders of two warring factions of gods together in the same room? Perhaps it would be something like what happens in Lemon Scented You, the latest episode in STARZ’s hit adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s novel American Gods. After the backstory-heavy episode last week, Lemon Scented You kicks things up a notch when the leader of the New Gods, Mr. World (Crispin Glover), finally meets with the leader of the Old Gods, Mr. Wednesday (Ian McShane). Written by David Graziano (teleplay) and Bryan Fuller and Michael Green (head writers/showrunners) and directed by Vincenzo Natali, Lemon Scented You picks up from where the past two episodes have left off: Shadow (Ricky Whittle) walks into his motel room and finds his dead wife, Laura (Emily Browning), waiting for him on his bed – very much not dead. Shadow’s emotional reunion with his wife is interrupted when he and Wednesday are arrested and kidnapped by the New Gods, led by the mysterious Mr. World. (Spoilers ahead!)  (more…)

A Little Setup Never Killed Nobody (Doctor Who S10E07 “The Pyramid at the End of the World” Review)

The-Pyramid-at-the-End-of-the-World-main-promo-artWho ever said a little bit of setup in a story was a bad thing? Sometimes the second part of a trilogy has to primarily act as a setup for the third part, but that doesn’t mean said second part can’t also stand on its own as a story. All the best middle parts of trilogies do that. The one that comes to mind, naturally, is The Empire Strikes Back. It very much is a setup for Return of the Jedi, but it’s frequently considered the best of the Star Wars films. Why? Because it also tells its own story. The Pyramid at the End of the World does the same thing. Being the middle part of the Monk Trilogy, The Pyramid at the End of the World acts as a setup for the final part, The Lie of the Land, while also succeeding in telling a story with character moments, stakes, and consequences. Written by Peter Harness and Steven Moffat and directed by Daniel Nettheim, The Pyramid at the End of the World follows the Doctor (Peter Capaldi) and Bill (Pearl Mackie) as they investigate a mysterious 5,000-year-old pyramid that has just appeared overnight in Turmezistan, the strategic military point that the three biggest armies of the Earth are positioned at. Inside the pyramid are the Monks, the race of beings from Extremis who plan to take over the Earth. The Monks say that humanity is about to destroy itself, and only they (the Monks) can save us. But consent must be given. Will the human race consent? (Spoilers ahead!)  (more…)

In Robert Schenkkan’s “Building the Wall,” History is Cyclical (REVIEW)

building the wallThere is a popular theory that all of human history is cyclical; we are destined to repeat the same cycles over and over again. This idea is explored, somewhat, in Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning playwright Robert Schenkkan’s new play Building the Wall. Part post-apocalyptic warning and part prison conversation, Building the Wall tells the story of one potential future of America based on the rhetoric of President Trump and the successful implementation of his anti-immigration policies. Following a devastating terror attack in Times Square, martial law is enacted, giving Trump essentially unlimited power to round up and detain immigrants as he sees fit. One man, Rick, works at one of these detention facilities and his actions echo the actions of Nazi Germany, leading to the eventual impeachment of the president and arrest of Rick. The play tells Rick’s story through a conversation between Rick and historian Gloria. Note: this review is based solely on the script. I have not actually seen the play, and who knows if I ever will.  (more…)

REVIEW: Newsies – The Broadway Musical (film)

Newsies_ The Broadway MusicalDisney’s Newsies: The Broadway Musical is a recording of the hit Broadway musical Newsies filmed live at the Pantages Theatre in Hollywood, CA during the last leg of the musical’s national tour. This filmed version features the return of many of the original Broadway cast – including Jeremy Jordan, Kara Lindsay, Ben Fankhauser, Andrew Keenan-Bolger, Kevin Carolan, Mark Aldrich, Tommy Bracco, and John E. Brady – as well as the final national tour cast – including Steve Blanchard, Aisha de Haas, Ethan Steiner, Iain Young, Michael Gorman, Michael Rios, Devin Lewis, and Anthony Norman, among others – combined into one large cast to permanently capture this award-winning musical. As per Fathom Events: Newsies Jack Kelly, a charismatic newsboy, and leader of a ragged band of teenaged ‘newsies,’ who dreams only of a better life far from the hardship of the streets. But when publishing titans Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst raise distribution prices at the newsboys’ expense, Jack finds a cause to fight for and rallies newsies from across the city to strike and take a stand for what’s right.  (more…)

REVIEW: American Gods S01E04 – “Git Gone”

2560x1440It’s early Sunday morning, which means another episode of STARZ’s American Gods has been uploaded, which means it’s time for another review of American Gods. We’re halfway through the series now, which is very exciting! But also sad, because that means we’ve only got four weeks left of this incredible show. But, let’s not focus on the sad things, but the happy things! And this episode is definitely a happy thing. I mean, it’s not really a happy episode, but it’s a great one, and that should make all of us happy! This week’s episode was entitled Git Gone and was written by Bryan Fuller and Michael Green and directed by Craig Zobel. This week’s episode was a bit unique in terms of the usual format for this show; in this episode, we alternate between the past and the present as Laura’s (Emily Browning) life and death are explored – how she met Shadow (Ricky Whittle), how she died, and how exactly she came to be sitting on the edge of his motel room bed. As always, this review won’t be spoiler-free, so if you haven’t seen the episode yet, you might wanna wait to read this review until you’ve watched it! (more…)