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Movie Review: Marvel’s Thor: Ragnarok
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eelyajekiM   |  @   |  
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Thor: Ragnarok header

Marvel’s Thor: Ragnarok
Director: Taika Waititi
Screenwriter: Eric Pearson, Craig Kyle, Christopher Yost
Cast: Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Cate Blanchett, Idris Elba, Jeff Goldblum, Tessa Thompson, Karl Urban, Mark Ruffalo, Anthony Hopkins
Distributor: Walt Disney Studios
Rated PG-13 | 130 Minutes
Release Date: November 5, 2017

Though the Marvel’s Thor franchise has long been considered one of the weakest franchises in the MCU, it is by far the funniest. It never took itself too seriously, as it should considering this is a superhero film dealing with an Asgardian god trying to navigate through human customs and cultures. And perhaps its strength is also its greatest weakness. But its success spawned not only multiple sequels, but Thor’s inclusion in other films like the Avengers and Doctor Strange. So while we know what to expect from a Thor film, it finally took two of them to fully realize what it should have fully embraced.

Taika Waititi‘s Thor: Ragnarok is a fantastic Thor flick from start to finish. Full of humor and action, it is true sequel to the first film by recognizing that it is a Thor film, while being tons of fun, whimsical, humorous, and then some. In a lot of ways, the film is a reinvention of the franchise, using its heavy metal look to give the character a surprising (and in some cases) a much-needed facelift. It can be a bit flawed thanks in part to the threads that are forced to connect itself to the MCU. But since that will always be an element in play for all these films, it doesn’t take away from the fun of it. My full review below.

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Movie Review: The Snowman
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eelyajekiM   |  @   |  
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Michael Fassbender The Snowman trailer

The Snowman
Director: Tomas Alfredson
Screenwriter: Hossein Amini, Peter Straughan
Cast: Michael Fassbender, Rebecca Ferguson, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Val Kilmer, Toby Jones, David Dencik, James D’Arcy, J.K. Simmons
Distributor: Universal Pictures
Rated R | 119 Minutes
Release Date: October 20, 2017

A good mystery thriller has us on the edge of our seats and has us convinced we know who the criminal is at some point in the movie only to realize it wasn’t who we thought it was. It builds upon itself with great characters giving more than terrific performances. And it has a story that keeps us engaged for the entire duration.

But Tomas Alfredson‘s adaptation of Jo Nesbø‘s The Snowman is anything but the aforementioned qualities. It is sporadic, horribly paced, and lacks any sort of structure. Instead, we are given a fairly predictable film that feels like it was just piled on top of each other trying to pass itself off as a decent movie. My full review below.

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Game Review: South Park: The Fractured But Whole
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The Movie God   |  @   |  
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South Park: The Fractured But Whole Header

South Park: The Fractured But Whole
XBOX ONE l PS4 l PC
DEVELOPER: Ubisoft San Francisco
PUBLISHER: Ubisoft
RELEASE DATE: October 17, 2017

One of my favorite games of 2014 was South Park: The Stick of Truth. A game that transported fans into the world we’ve been watching on TV for a couple of decades now. Now the highly anticipated sequel, South Park: The Fractured But Whole, has arrived.

In the game you once again play as the new kid in town, a frustratingly quiet kid who also happens to possess some impressive special abilities, especially in the art of flatulence. And as you quickly find out, the neighborhood children are no longer playing in the fantastical world they were in the first game. Now, they’ve moved on to superhero franchises.

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Audiobook Review: Star Wars: From A Certain Point Of View
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Waerloga69   |  @   |  
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Star Wars: From A Certain Point Of View header

Star Wars: From A Certain Point Of View
Star Wars Expanded Universe
Audiobook | Hardcover | Kindle
Narrated by Jonathan Davis, Ashley Eckstein, Janina Gavankar, Jon Hamm, Neil Patrick Harris, January LaVoy, Saskia Maarleveld, Carol Monda, Daniel José Older, Marc Thompson
Published by Penguin Random House Audio
Release Date: October 3, 2017

What a spectacular collection of talent, this audiobook has! Star Wars: From A Certain Point Of View is loaded to the brim with amazing stories and has a star-studded cast of voices, each one chosen specifically to create the most presentable experience possible for the listener. Whomsoever is responsible for dreaming this up should be rewarded handsomely.

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Movie Review: Happy Death Day
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Dr. Zaius   |  @   |  
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Happy Death Day review

Happy Death Day
Directed by Christopher Landon
Written by Scott Lobdell
Starring Jessica Rothe, Israel Broussard, Ruby Modine, Charles Aitken, Laura Clifton, Rob Mello
Blumhouse Productions
Rated R | 96 Minutes
Release Date: October 13, 2017

If you’ve watched the trailer for Happy Death Day, then you know exactly what you are walking into. The writer and director make no effort to hide their influences, to the point of literally name-dropping Groundhog Day and Bill Murray IN the movie. One character’s last name is even credited as “Spengler” (Harold Ramis was Egon Spengler in Ghostbusters). That said, if you’re gonna walk the line between parody and homage, you better be careful and to their credit, writer Scott Lobdell and director Christopher Landon do a pretty great job. In order for this to work, like Groundhog Day, the lead character and actor playing them has to be convincing. While I’m not comparing Happy Death Day‘s Jessica Rothe to Bill Murray, she does do one hell of a job here and the results are a perfect little 95-minute meta-slasher film right in time for Halloween.

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TV Review: Outlander 3.5 “Freedom & Whisky”
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Olympus Athens   |  @   |  
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Outlander 305-08

Outlander
Season 3 Episode 5: “Freedom & Whisky”
Directed by Brendan Maher
Written by Toni Graphia
Created by Ronald D. Moore
Based on the books by Diana Gabaldon
Starring Caitriona Balfe, Sam Heughan, Tobias Menzies, Duncan Lacroix, Richard Rankin, Sophie Skelton, Grant O’Rourke, Romann Berrux, John Bell, Steven Cree, Laura Donnelly, Greg Esplin
Starz
Air Date: Sunday, October 8th, 2017, 8:00pm

Warning! Spoilers below for Sunday night’s episode of Outlander!

Last week on Outlander, Roger (Richard Rankin) and Brianna (Sophie Skelton) grew closer as the trail to Jamie grew hotter then hit a dead end. Claire (Caitriona Balfe) gave up and went back to Boston, a sad Brianna in tow. In the past, Jamie went to work for the Dunsany family where the youngest daughter blackmailed him into taking her virginity before she married an old man. It was eventually found out and Jamie (Sam Heughan) saved the baby, his baby, from being killed by the crazed old man. He stayed on to be near the boy, leaving only when the resemblance could no longer be hidden. He asked Lord John Grey (David Berry) to take care of his boy, who considered it an honor, and went back home to Lallybroch.

Spoilers below.

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Blu-ray Review: Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales‎
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Dr. Zaius   |  @   |  
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Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales‎
4K Ultra HD | Blu-ray | DVD | Digital
Directed by Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg
Screenplay by Jeff Nathanson; story by Nathanson and Terry Rossio.
Starring Johnny Depp, Javier Bardem, Kaya Scodelario, Kevin R. McNally, Golshifteh Farahani, David Wenham, Stephen Graham, Geoffrey Rush
Walt Disney Home Entertainment
Release date: October 3, 2017

Hard to believe there was a time before Johnny Depp was Captain Jack Sparrow. Depp was a superstar for nearly two decades and then took the role playing the swaggering pirate in a blockbuster based on a Disney theme park attraction. That role earned Depp his first of three Oscar nominations and changed his career path. Here we are 14 years later, and Depp is still chugging along on the high seas in his fifth Pirates film, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales.

This time, Jack is searching for the trident of Poseidon, while an old enemy, Captain Salazar (Oscar winner Javier Bardem) hunts him down. While these films have had their ups and downs over the years, no one can deny Depp’s ability to entertain, and part 5 is maybe the best Pirates film since the original. It is out now on Blu-ray/DVD/Digital combo pack and loaded with special features.

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In Defense Of Seth MacFarlane’s ‘The Orville’
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The Iceman   |  
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The Orville

Much like John Carter and The Lone Ranger, The Orville seems to be one of those ventures that professional critics and fanboys alike hated before a single frame was viewed; it became cool to deride them.

Here are a few examples of why this criticism seems unfair. And a word of caution: everything from here on will be SPOILERS.

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TV Review: The Flash 4.1 “The Flash Reborn”
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Olympus Athens   |  @   |  
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The Flash 401-02

The Flash
Season 4 Episode 1: “The Flash Reborn”
Directed by Glen Winter
Written by Todd Helbing & Eric Wallace
Starring Grant Gustin, Jesse L. Martin, Danielle Panabaker, Candice Patton, Carlos Valdes, Tom Cavanagh, Keiynan Lonsdale
Created by Greg Berlanti, Andrew Kreisberg, Geoff Johns
The CW
Air Date: Tuesday, October 10th, 2017, 8:00pm

Warning! Spoilers below for the season 3 finale of The Flash!

Last season on The Flash, Savitar, aka warped Barry remnant (Grant Gustin), was finally defeated without Iris (Candice Patton) dying because HR (Tom Cavanagh) sacrificed himself instead. There was a giant fight – Killer Frost (Danielle Panabaker) ended up saving Cisco (Carlos Valdes), and Iris took out Savitar. The speed force needed a sacrifice and showed up as Barry’s mother, insisting he needed to go love there or worlds would be destroyed. Julian (Tom Felton) made a cure but Caitlin didn’t take it, although she was on a path to redemption.

Spoilers below.

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Book Review: Children Of The Fleet By Orson Scott Card
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Waerloga69   |  @   |  
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Children of the Fleet header Orson Scott Card

Children Of The Fleet
Fleet School Series
Hardcover | Kindle
By Orson Scott Card
Audiobook narrated by Stefan Rudnicki from Macmillan Audio
Publisher: Tor Books | Macmillan
Release Date: October 10, 2017

Just when you thought you would never see another book from the Enderverse, author Orson Scott Card surprises us all with not just a new book, but one with a definitive twist. Children of the Fleet is more than a spin-off or a sequel, it is a completely different perspective of events that unfolded in a previous novel.

The similarities are still there, of course that is to be expected. An exceptional child displaced, but amazing. This one, however, takes a turn for the unexpected, again and again. Our new protagonist is Dabeet Ochoa. He’s a headstrong boy of about ten who is exceptional in every way, including his massive ego. And while the Battle School from previous stories, beginning with 1985’s Ender’s Game, has morphed into the newly minted Fleet School, much has remained the same, including having one Hyrum Graff involved at every level.

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