It feels like just yesterday when I first watched the “Girl on Fire,” Katniss Everdeen, arrive on a black, fearsome chariot, expressionless and, well, in flames. For three years, Jennifer Lawrence maintained this image, but even the most beautiful of fires must be extinguished. Among the ashes is the last installment of The Hunger Games franchise, Mockingjay Part 2, marking the curtain call for the dystopian world known as Panem. And I have to be honest: a tiny part of me is going to miss it . . . slightly.
“The past three seasons have been very dark,” they said. “For this season, we’ll use a lighter tone,” they said. They lied. Working on the fourth season of Arrow, the writers and executive producers decided to sprinkle the show with less doom and gloom than in previous seasons. Not only did they have these self-imposed restrictions (or delusions), but they also had to create a plot captivating enough to let their audience forget the overhyped and utterly lackluster third season, with its glamorous promise of a great villain and its failure to deliver on that promise. Yet, with these high hurdles in place, nothing stopped them from creating the mesmerizing midseason finale, “Dark Waters,” and boy did I forget season three! Continue reading Diving Into “Dark Waters”
It’s almost January, which means the next big Marvel movie is only four months away! We can persevere through the harsh winter and the allergy-ridden spring knowing that the Cap will be back at it again, bouncing people off his patriotic shield and punching his way into our hearts. The Captain America: Civil War trailer displays more of the edgy anti-establishment vibe that the previous installment, The Winter Soldier, had but on a more personal level for our star. However, in order to understand this emotional depth, you’d have to watch the Marvel films that come before it. Oh, did I forget to mention that this is the thirteenth movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU)? That’s over 25 hours of glorious screen time, but no worries! You have four months to catch up. As the birth child of many action-packed Marvel movies, it opens all sorts of riveting questions about Steve Rogers’ relationship with the New Avengers, Tony Stark, and Bucky…especially Bucky. Maybe too much Bucky, up to the point where it may feel more like a drama than an action film, and the poignant melody and less-than-usual explosions don’t help. And yet it’s a satisfying trailer as a whole; perhaps it’s because it only provides a little sample of what the title pertains to: the vivid conflict between Iron Man and Captain America or, as I like to call it, “the end to the Bromance That Never Was.” Following the now-canon hero-versus-hero format, this movie comes out after Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, but based on the trailers, Civil War won’t have to try too hard to knock its competitor out of the box office. With these odds, does Cap really want to punch his way out of this? I think we all know the answer to that.
Captain America: Civil War is PG-38 if you add the 25 hours it’ll take you to delve into the MCU.
It’s Kevin and Lance here, weighing in on Daniel Craig’s fourth, and likely final, stint as 007 in Spectre, Sam Mendes’ recent addition to the Bond franchise. The film centers on Bond’s search for the conspirator behind the murder of the former M (Judi Dench). Bond’s vendetta takes him from London to Rome, Austria, Tangiers, the middle of the Sahara, and into the arms of the lovely Madeleine Swann (Léa Seydoux). During Bond’s search, C (Andrew Scott), the newly elected and data-crazed director-general of a branch of national security, eliminates the 00 program. Without much help from Q, Moneypenny, or the new M (Ben Whishaw, Naomie Harris, and Ralph Fiennes), Bond has to take down the mastermind behind the villainous SPECTRE organization (Christoph Waltz) with good aim, debonair looks, and classic Bond ingenuity.
I thrive on mysteries. Give me a mystery novel or a crime saga, and I’ll probably grow an inch or two taller. As a kid, I would read everything from A to Z Mysteries to Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None. My taste became a bit more varied as a pre-teen: I watched David Fincher’s dark film Zodiac as well as the borderline mystery/fantasy film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. Yet, after a couple of years, I came to the realization that television is the medium best suited for the intricacies of the crime mystery genre. In fact, the TV crime thriller has truly become its own form of art (check out Breaking Bad or Law and Order: SVU some time). Unlike books and movies, television shows can sustain an overarching mystery for longer stretches of time, allowing creators to drive the plot forward and simultaneously maintain the audience in suspense episode after episode. This successful formula is what the new crime drama series Blindspot attempts to replicate. Continue reading How Many Blind Writers Did It Take To Write Blindspot?