Orange is the new black Season 7 – Review

A show that isn’t afraid to be the mirror of truth displaying a reflection back to the modern world…

Orange is the New Black carved a path for modern television. Being the third ‘Netflix original’ it introduced the entertainment world to a brand new concept; binge watching. But that isn’t all this show is responsible for and quite honestly I’m a little cut up that it’s finished.

There aren’t many shows out there that make you laugh, think, get angry, feel sad and overall feel fulfilled like ‘Orange’ does in one episode. I have always raved about this show and I will proudly say there isn’t one bad episode or one bad series.

Piper is finally on the outside, her struggles intertwine with what it is like to be someone in this day and age struggling the find work and life balance while still trying to maintain her probation. Her story steers this season which feels like a change as the ensemble have had the floor for the past few years. We see Larry again and Piper’s journey seems to close after going full circle. Although I never approved of Alex their relationship finally finds balance.

Taystee is reeling from the shocking outcome that saw the riot pinned to her or at least the killing of Piscatella. She starts with nothing to lose but we see her eventually reform and it probably becomes the most rewarding journey seen in this show, even though she was knocked down, she found a way to get back up and we always knew Taystee was the one of the good guys.

Nicky seems to find only struggle and is caught between her prison family – both Lorna and Red are essentially receding into their own minds and the performance of these three in particular stands out along with ‘Crazy Eye’s Suzanne’ who may be the best actress in the whole damn thing.  

Joe Caputo really is a victim of the times as he is thrown into a ‘me too’ scandal and cannot help himself along with trying to maintain relevance and a relationship with Fig.

The prison itself is thrown into political and moral dilemmas such as the new warden being chosen simply for PR reasons and an ever growing drugs problem.

There are so many other characters I possibly couldn’t name that endure their own journey bringing this show to its eventual close but something happened during this final season, and although I know it has always been there from episode 1 but this show turned everything back towards the audience as if we were looking in a mirror but the reflection we saw was the ugly truth about this world. From corporations, politics, immigration, drugs, mental health, education, race and even harassment we saw it all.  There was even a huge dig towards Donald Trump’s immigration policies adding just another relevant dimension.

The performances throughout display some of the finest acting I have ever seen and known. Some win and others lose in what I found to be an emotional finish to what is a show that ended too soon. A show about humanity’s best and worst – pretty much all of the main characters are women which is yet another big important step for society.

You’ll notice this review is hyper vague because there is so much detail I could go into about how this show gave so much to society and I’m not exaggerating. All those hero stories out there get nowhere near Orange is the New Black. 

 

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The Lion King – Review

A visual spectacle where the show is stolen once again by two familiar characters…

It’s hard to deny that the Lion King is a tale of epic Shakespearean proportions, after all it’s ‘Hamlet with lions’ but the story has appeal to all ages and Disney continue to do that clever thing where they adapt a previous release into live action. This concept is near enough a solid strategy for selling tickets to the young and old and yet again it’s worked in that respect but a live action adaptation that involves just animals; does it really deliver?

My answer is yes and no, because I can’t deny visually the cinematography and computer generation somewhat merge into an impressive spectacle. Much like when Jurassic Park came out most people found it hard to determine when they had used CGI and not. The same is for the Lion King and although it looks great it feels like a certain dimension of the story is missing with this choice and I am talking about emotion.

Yes these are animals and they express emotion differently and in a cartoon you can make a lion frown or smile but when it’s appearing as ‘real life’ the concept is kind of lost. This is even more so apparent in musical numbers where emotion is the real key to delivery.

I’m not a film critic so that’s the subjective part out of the way because overall I enjoyed the Lion King – I avoided the animation for a many years because its quite sad in parts and the same is for this version but the story is about redemption so I dig it. The voice acting can’t be faulted along with most of the musical numbers – it seems ‘Be prepared’ was mostly omitted disappointingly… but everything good about this new version is what makes it worth seeing. It was pretty rewarding to see some scenes exactly how they were in the animation, a fitting tribute for this new live action way. I really liked how some of the characters were created visually; Scar looked exactly how an outcast lion would – dark and ominous and who wouldn’t mention Timon and Pumbaa – two characters who stole the show yet again and their comedy made the whole thing! Of course full credit to James Earl Jones who reprised his role as Mufasa from the original.

You’ll laugh a lot as well as find some of the film emotional in what is a brave execution for Disney leaving some audience members still unsure, but if you ask me the Lion King gets 8 ‘Hakuna Matata’s’ out of 10 

  

Stranger Things 3 Review

The Duffer Brothers have gradually pieced together a universe that fuses gripping story telling with references from their many childhood influences. Now after three seasons Stranger Things relies less upon the retro callbacks of days gone by and more on its own identity even if they do still tribute pop culture of the 1980’s; the greatest thing that has become of this show is the characters.

Before we start its worth a quick mention that this post contains some spoilers for Stanger Things Season 3….

Character development that falls in favor of the viewer is the real wonder of television. Writers and show runners who listen to their audience give them exactly what they want along with a couple of surprises – exactly what the Stranger Things team have done with season 3 and continuing on with the previous season. There are some formidable groupings of the faces we want to see; Dustin and Steve Harrington continue their friendship and carry a chemistry that is great to watch even if it is berated by new face Robin who finds an original way to slot into the cast. I must also mention Erica for her sometimes sassy but always entertaining swagger.

Of course the original group of kids are center piece and it soon becomes apparent that growing up is probably the main theme of this whole thing and it always has been. They are teenagers now and trying to find your way in this world – now that you are aware of it is daunting and so are relationships. Will, the brunt of two seasons feels held back in moments, he hasn’t been able to have a ‘normal’ childhood and is still catching up; full credit for the writers in giving Will a better purpose than being the missing or possessed kid this time around, perhaps his journey is the most emotional.

Law man Jim Hopper is back and we see him experience first hand the perils of parenthood to a mid teen in Eleven, he attempts to ‘talk’ with his adopted daughter but defaults to his thug ways especially as it’s peace time now. And I say thug because Hopper is but in a totally bad ass way. He teams with Joyce Buyers and together they find a common goal in protecting the kids while having some excellent back and forth dialogue capped off by the returning conspiracy man Murray; who is responsible for creating Jonathan and Nancy – a couple that become an important moving part in the whole duration of this season.

There is something lurking underneath the surface of Hawkins and it makes for an original and perhaps absurd direction for the story, but after all the show is called Stranger Things. The influences come out thick and fast from the Terminator and even the Thing; both of which are done exceptionally. I was happy to see a tribute to 1985’s blockbuster ‘Back to the Future’ which I am sure many were expecting. The music was bang on point as usual along with the synth soundtrack viewers have become used to.

The horror concept of everyone being ‘in’ on it works incredibly well – I should know, one of my books carries the same cliche… Billy becomes a great bad guy; he kind of was anyway and they build upon that while fusing it to the mind flayer,  his story then becomes beautifully explored by Eleven.

Creature feature moves to the central theme later on while we see the Star Court Mall attacked and pretty much destroyed in true 80’s style with the shops, the food places and everything else that makes the awesome production design take everyone back. All of the characters are reunited briefly to fight the threat that is consuming Hawkins; a moment which makes for great watching.

In fact the season is a series of moments; some are fun and laugh out loud, others more emotional and raw; Robin confides in Steve about her sexuality; a step in the right direction for LBGT awareness to a main stream audience- something more shows need to be brave about. Carey Elwes joins the cast as Mayor Kline – although brief, very effective in execution to the main plot.

I found myself quite moved by the ending of Season 3 and came to the realization that this story really is about growing up. People move on and move away; life goes on and friends drift; all of this is the reality of the real world. The performances by everyone throughout might arguably make Stranger Things the best thing out there on television right now.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stranger Things 2 : Review

There aren’t many TV shows quite like Stranger Things. I could probably count with one hand the amount of shows with as much binge-a-bility, yep that’s a new word around here. We are in a the golden age of television with multiple Netflix original series spreading their vines amongst the calendar year, no pun intended.

stranger things 2.PNGWhat I will share with you now is the sequel to my Stranger Things review of last year And what exactly do I have to say?  A lot because Season 2 is just as good if not slightly better than the first. There may be spoilers ahead but not many.

So what makes Stranger Things the stand out series of 2017?

The Phenomenal mostly young Cast

Season 1 worked with a particular format and as a stand alone holds up pretty well. But sequels are a fantastic opportunity to expand upon the wealth of wonderful characters, with a cast that matches or even surpasses the likes of Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead. Probably the best thing in stranger things is the cast,  but this time around I found very few things wrong with the show at all.

Long gone is the over done; over the top emotion of Winona Ryder. We see her in a more developed role with a concern for her no longer missing son/ partial newcomer Will Byers Will (Noah Schnapp).  For a character who had a handful of scenes last time around he certainly changed the dynamic of ST2 making it different for the better.

Will Byers takes center stage again in all things plot but this time he is present. He becomes one of the top priorities in a rich multi plot narrative driven by the huge range of characters. From the very beginning we are teased by him that something is coming and his time in the upside down had an effect.

David Harbour as Jim Hopper takes the deserved lead. We see his character explore further into himself and the effects of the upside down world that seems to slowly present itself into the real world. There aren’t many television characters as third dimensional as the conflicted but real Hopper with his cigarette smoking, wheel spinning tough love approach to life. All he wants to do is protect his town and not let the past haunt him.

Gone are the spook type secret people or the ‘bad men’ although the shady department of energy lab is still in operation only this time seemingly in more control of their ‘experiment’ with a convincingly shady Dr Owens (Paul Reiser) being at the helm.

He isn’t the only new character in town as Sean Astin appears in true nostalgic Goonies style eventually providing some important input to the group as Bob the Brain. We see a conspiracy theorist investigator type  (Brett Gelman) provide that well known ‘commie’ hysteria of a town where something happened.

stranger things 2 cast.PNGThis wouldn’t be stranger things without the break out character Eleven and Millie Bobby Brown this time stands alone most of the time. Her performance throughout can be best described as award winning, with that power and emotion wrapped in an essence of historic darkness. We are teased that there are more of her types in the world and this is perhaps something further explored in the latter stages of the series.

The most important element of Stranger things 2 is in fact the kids; or the AV club as I like to call them. Lucas, Mike and Dustin who are all on form and not just a trio this time but with Will back in the fold. The AV club are the character glue of Stranger Things and all of them face new challenges alone and together which is all a part of growing up. Newcomer girl Max (Sadie Sink) provides that extra diversity and perspective of an outsider along with testing the group’s integrity.

Eventually they are joined by boyfriend of Nancy , Steve Harrington (Joe Keery)  who exceeds his character from last season complete with best hair do and really comes into his own as the ‘baby sitter’.

The established friendship of Jonathan Byers and Nancy is expanded upon eventually tying into the main plot like all of the familiar faces seen before. And we even get a nod towards the seemingly not cared about Barb from Season 1!

The Story

Let’s face it, you can have all the nostalgia and nods to various 80’s pop culture stuff, but it’s nothing without an original story. And that’s where Stranger Things sets itself aside from other shows. The story, this time around was sharper toward the end but with a slower build to bringing all the elements together.

Characters were deliberately separate making the viewer want to see the reunion and boy did we have to wait, but boy was it worth it.

From the poster you can see breaking out of red sky the big bad looking thing looming, and I must say it looks badass, or ‘bitchin’ shall I say. After spending three of so episodes re introducing the story we are treated with a continuous build all the way to the final episode. It makes for binge worthy watching and even runs like a 9 hour film. I recommend watching more than one in a sitting as scenes continue and overlap episodes. And no this isn’t like Game of Thrones with the constant death, there’s actual story here so if your perception of TV has been ruined by dragons and incest then you may not like Stranger Things.

Last time round we had the iconic light bulb scene and to me it’s what made the series. Season 2 even nods to that and does the same thing in a different way. All of the questions asked in season 1 eventually become answered, and the world isn’t quite what you thought it was.

The nostalgia

Okay I get it, the whole 80’s thing is cool and season 2 expands with the nostalgia. There are nods to basically everything good about 80’s pop culture. We are treated with a Ghost Busters nod and much of the creature stuff is straight out of Alien/Aliens. We see the Goonies and Stand By Me tributed yet again without complaint.

There is cold war/Russian fear which highlights a different time and the music is on point. The original soundtrack will take anyone back to that time and let’s face it the hair styles are in between good, amazing and terrible. If you like watching a car wheel spin away you’re in luck!

The humour

The Duffer Brothers have grabbed at the opportunity to tell yet another riveting, engaging, edge of seat sitting story which keeps you watching to the very end. There were emotional lump in throat moments along with some real laugh out loud lines from a cast of wonderfully gifted performers. I found myslef smiling at the chemistry some of these guys and gals had on screen. This may be the best show on TV right now and it’s all a bit tongue in cheek.

Final Thought

Our return to Hawkins is an expanded coming of age story. It continues right where it left off and even excels in some parts. The universe in which the upside down world has been fully established and makes great old fashioned television, something which has nearly vanished with the mass over produced stuff we see today.

It truly shows that stories can still be told without graphic sexual content or even politics. Yes it can be scary at times, but grow up if you are bothered by that. If those kids can survive the demo gorgon and demo – dogs then you can too.

If you ask me like last time Stranger Things should be known as Better Things!

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Beauty and the Beast: Review

It seems to be movie season yet again or shall I say movies that I want to see are coming out thick and fast. This past weekend I had the pleasure of watching the live action ‘remake’ or ‘reboot’ of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast…

Let me say first of all, the two words ‘remake’ and ‘reboot’ don’t really fall into my thoughts of what this film was. In fact I was very impressed and don’t have much at all to really criticize.

I think it’s very bold of Disney to try and reinvent and re imagine their previously successful tales especially as it hasn’t really been that long since the animation came out. As a child I saw both the animation and a stage production on a school trip which always left a lasting memory and fondness for this tale older than time.

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The film verdict

It gets going straight away with the very familiar telling of how the beast came to be. This time though we get a more detailed version instead of just a brief skip over. Life before being a beast is shown and depicted effectively with some impressive looking sets, costume and cinematography. I did struggle to tell the difference throughout the film at what was clever computer camera stuff and real stuff.

Then of course the movie flashes forward to the present and we are treated with the famous opening number from the animation. Now don’t let the homage to the original animation put you off if you haven’t seen it, this doesn’t really matter. This opening number impressed me no end and it was an effective way of introducing main characters and minor characters who were all equally impressive. In and out of song we went with Emma Watson proving herself not only to be the perfect fit for Belle but to also have an impressive singing voice.

I think for the first time she actually stood out in a film and I know she had a massively successful tenure in the Harry Potter films, I will boldly say she fitted better into the role of Belle than she would ever as Hermione Granger ; simply because she could express herself more into what her character meant. Bare with me here but in Harry Potter she spends most of the time reigning in Harry and Ron with the casual viewer developing a somewhat toleration for her being there. However with Beauty and the Beast I think we actually see Emma Watson for the first time and you don’t have to be ultra glamorous to be a Disney standard princess and this is the wonder of live action, these are real people and it feels more real.

Again I must say how well the cinematography was throughout along with the sets and costume. Disney weren’t messing around with this one and meant business. The full cast was decorated and a full ensemble of Hollywood’s then, now and future.

The main ‘baddie’ type character came via the flash arrogant Gaston who was wonderfully brought to life by Luke Evans. He was joined by Josh Gad who played by the equally as funny and different LeFou. Belle’s father came to life by the veteran actor Kevin Kline who fit into that role perfectly. Lower down the pecking order of major to minor characters you had Ian McKellen (Cogsworth), Ewan Mcgregor (Lumiere, who I give full credit to as I didn’t know that was him especially with the french accent), Emma Thompson (Mrs Potts) and Stanley Tucci ( Cadenza).

Now for what was mostly a great film there is one minor or major flaw that bugged me ever so slightly. The Beast throughout was mainly computer generated from what I can gather. Now he was voiced well and I believed his character throughout but there were just some moments where the animation of him seemed a tad clunky, this was the only real thing I had which could be classed as a problem but everything else was, well let’s say awesome. Dan Stevens did great as the Beast but the computer effects just let it down a tad.

There was action, tension and detail where there previously wasn’t in the past version. Emma Watson has officially arrived as an actress who should no longer just be known for Harry Potter and Disney have taken a well calculated risk which has indeed paid off. This film has something for everyone, as long as you like the occasional song and well choreographed dancing number. Everything that Disney are known for being good at is in this film.

My final rating for this film is 4 Roses out of 5!

 

Logan Review

I don’t think anybody knows where the actual timeline of events lies with the last few X men films but I can happily say that’s not relevant. As a matter of fact I myself have never seen a bad X men film and so I went into watching Logan with rather high hopes.

If you have read my reviews before I do my best not to include major spoilers so consider this a warning if you haven’t seen Logan.

logan.PNGThe year is 2029 and quickly we are introduced to an older beat up Logan. Hugh Jackman fits into an older wolverine well considering he is older now. Walking around with a limp you immediately believe Logan has seen better days. The mutants we all know too well with this universe are nearly all but gone. That is apart from the Professor himself (Patrick Stewart) who brings probably his greatest performance of Professor X I have seen.The wheel chair bound genius is reduced very much to his somewhat demented thoughts and is reliant on medication.

For the first time in these movies we see the pinnacle icon characters for who they really are, and without being poetic this film about mutants has never been so human. Wolverine is literally floating down at the bottom of the barrel and trying his best to keep Professor X above water. The likes of Storm, Rogue, Cyclops and the school for the gifted has long gone making the premise of Logan dark and even desolate in some places.

The story soon enough unfolds which is; survival of the mutants. The mostly mute and brilliantly cast Dafne Keen plays a young girl caught up in the full on extermination of her kind. It is up to Wolverine and Professor X albeit their conditions to bring her to safety. Action is woven in and out of the plot and feels relevant at all times even if this is an uber violent version of an X men film. We see the very graphic repercussions of what clawed hands actually do to a man in a somewhat Tarantino style. Paired with this is the swearing and a lot of if which is no complaint to me, it just adds to the humanistic realism.

The bad guys come in the form of Boyd Holbrook a bounty hunter type and later on the twisted doctor played by Richard E Grant who are equally great and convincing. They do their best to track down the final mutants some of which are very young kids all in hiding.

As much as we could predict from the trailer this film did feel like a final send off for an era of great films.Anything that did happen wasn’t predictable and even came out of the blue. I must give full credit to Hugh Jackman and Patrick Stuart who both in my opinion put in oscar worthy performances. Both of them were really emotionally attatched to their characters and you get a well invested performance across the board, even the minor characters felt like they were well thought of.

As much as its uncomfortable to see X men favorites in such a position it has given them a brand new angle and relevance. Emotion, brutal struggle and coming of age are the words I would use to define this film which was watchable all the way through.

Other news about books n stuff

Ok so I have been looking for more ways to get eyes upon Open Evening (my first book) and may have actually found a little inch of success and a few sales. Over the past few weeks I have been running a few giveaways.

  1. Amazon giveaway to people of the US – Over 500 people signed up and glanced upon Open Evening, that competition is now closed and books are on their way to the winners.
  2. Goodreads – Giveaway runs until the 21st of March 2017, currently 555 people requesting 1 of 3 signed copies. Link here 

Both giveaways have helped immensely in terms of follows, facebook likes, and tweet people following me. I have even sold some books over in the US. Thanks to all who have taken part, got themselves a copy and have joined me on this journey!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#TWD Season 7 EP1 Review

Disclaimer: Before I begin this blog post you must be warned this post doesn’t contain specific spoilers but they are suggested. Read at your own risk.

Seeing as things have finally settled down after becoming a published author I must look ahead to what’s next. Right now I’m trying to keep an online presence and of course I feel very much compelled to say a few words about the opening episode of the new walking dead season.

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Over the past year this show has become a favourite past time for me, time is of value these days with my shift work patterns, dedication to writing and a semi active social life. And what a way to spend my time. But last night for the first time I felt something in which I have never felt in my entire life towards a show.

I didn’t want to watch it anymore.

To process that above statement it can mean a lot of things. Above all to me it means I didn’t want to watch or endure what was happening to the characters I have come to love. No way was I going to turn the TV off. That suggests this show, which is just entertainment folks means a hell of a lot to me. Hell there are superfans out there who live off every word Daryl says or every action Rick takes.

Their performances throughout the constantly changing landscape have seen some serious character development (stuff which has never really been done right). Last night I was captivated and afraid all at once. For the first time in this seven season series, those characters were put in a position beyond their control.

I think the walking dead has finally reached that pinnacle of having a reason. By that I mean the punch line finally dropped. We have all watched back to the future and eventually you realise the story is not about time travelling but about a kid called Marty who must fight to ensure he is created. TWD isnt about zombies and it never has been, its about life and survival.

As much as last night was the lowest and toughest test for Rick and the group, there is now reason to fight and redeem what has been lost. If you ask for my opinion, maybe they shouldn’t have gone after certain people to begin with.

I am fully committed to seeing this whole thing out now regardless of who dies and who lives, we can all agree on one thing, the walking dead is captivating, gripping and sometimes brutal but it’s also what every great TV show strives to be. As an audience we will get over what has happened and grow like the surviving characters, we have to.

Design For Writers Review: Judging a book by its cover

No matter who you are, the first thing you do when judging something is by looking at the appearance. Now I’m not saying we are all judgmental like its a bad thing, this is just a fact.

When the wheels were put in motion for the publication of my first book OPEN EVENING, which arrives on the 29th of this month (or if you are reading this after, where have you been? Either way thanks for reading so you can stay), I set out to find the best possible way in which to display my book.

Many of my publishing inspirations have come from a particular author and blogger known as Catherine Ryan Howard. Her website is a very valuable resource for anyone looking to self-publish or even get published. Her book titled Self Printed is a fantastic guide to publishing. Even if you are curious about the process this lady knows it all so check it out. Saying that her recommendations pointed me towards Design for Writers.

design-for-writersJust their Facebook page alone will show you their wonderful capabilities and so I made contact. At this moment in time I wasn’t particularly sure what I wanted my cover to represent, in all the time of me having this story the tag line would always be ‘Embrace the unexpected’ so how do you depict that in the form of a cover?

Well design for writers have a wonderful way of gathering information about the book (they need to in order to create). Upon initiation of the project; I was invited to an online collaborative base camp. My objectives were clearly laid out along with the various stages of the whole development all the way to final proofs.

When taking on a project like this it is imperative to know the ins and outs of the book. After all the writer is the creator but without everyone else they are just idle words.

The objectives I needed to divulge information with included who I thought the target market would be, reader emotion when reading the book, tone, cultural references, particular poster scenes, perspective, themes, protagonists, synopsis, key words, blurb, genre, setting, point of view, ideas towards a cover, similar books, good design types and even bad.

So you probably get the idea that it takes a hell of a lot of detail to make a decent cover!

Saying that my experience from beginning to end was entirely pleasant and the people I dealt with were always helpful, contactable and professional. There is plenty of stuff I don’t know as a first time author so their patience and understanding was very much appreciated.

Working in the base camp allowed me to see the emergence of not one or two versions of a cover but three! All of them awesome in their own right but after much deliberation not only from me but close friends I came to the choice. Then came the blurb and finally the whole thing pulled together. The gradual piece together process gave the real essence of work in progress which resulted in a fantastic final product.

The cover of a book, especially in this age of ‘I want entertainment now!’ is a synonymous part to the success of it. In my case  its mysterious but also somewhat suggestive towards what the story is about. The colour scheme is eye catching but not too bright and overall it does the one job its supposed to, act as a great eye catching cover. You could sum it up to say the cover of my book OPEN EVENING is simple but very effective! 

Design for writers were wonderful to work with and well worth the investment of money which will only help towards the eventual goal of my stuff being read.The total price I paid was £249.00. which is way worth it for the cover I have.

Things are rolling towards publication day and if you want to be a part of it then join me at my online book launch event via Facebook!  My #YearOfWriting continues….

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

OITNB: Season 4 Review #nospoilers

The full title of this review post is actually: Orange is the new Black: Season 4 Review #nospoilers so calm your shit but in all honesty you should have finished watching the new season by now as it’s probably the best thing you can buy for a £7 monthly subscription fee.

Unfortunately, that is an inappropriately long title to convert into a URL and then paste onto twitter although short versions are available I’m not that technically gifted. Words are my specialty not computer machines.

OITNB

And so it’s that time of year again where Litchfield opens its heavily barred gates to continue and tell some new stories. A Litchfield that last time we saw, was on the verge of becoming a business and then thrown into chaos with an open perimeter fence. Don’t forget the influx of hundreds of new prisoners and of course Judy King!

A compliment to the writers as they continue to story right were the season before left off. Something which isn’t done enough in TV, even sometimes last season final outings are ignored along with their repercussions and even skipped. Not with OITNB, we as an audience are treated not only with continual stories continuing, but new characters, situations and alliances combined with this continuation.

In most top TV shows there are only third, fourth and fifth stories which swap around depending on the episode. For this show, we see the third, fourth and fifth develop and intertwine throughout whilst still being reminded of the main stories.

Our central character Piper is more of a frequent in this series as opposed to the last but overall the main character has to be the prison itself. Nobody is treated like a side show or event which bolsters this already brilliant formula. Newly arrived characters from previous seasons and even the beginning are given origins stories whilst existing people are built upon. A rich amount of detail is thrown into every one of the 13 episodes, and to me that beats the Walking Dead and Game of thrones.

Stuff happens all the time, whether that be comedic or down right tragic. Existing conflicts evolve to really bring together the three main ethnic groups inside this now business like prison. The introduction of new guards only stirs the already boiling pot that is going to cook out of control. This season has been building from the very beginning and could only be pulled off after the previous events happened. The tension is somewhat rising dramatically this time out.

From what begins as a series of intrigue eventually finds itself and its own voice with unfortunate and tragic outcomes in some places. At the latter end of episodes, it gets very dark and somewhat emotional, I mean we have seen shock and awe at Litchfield but tragedy, something you can only use in moderation twists everything. Most of the faces from before are back, even with a few decent cameos of ‘departed’ characters. There’s someone in there you can like and relate to.

Much like every episode of Orange is the new black, we get an awesome ending which leaves us all on a cliffs edge. But we are not left dangling, only thinking about what will happen next. If you have Netflix it’s about the only decent original thing out there, so go and see it.

Other news (because soon I will need to sell books)

Ok so July has somehow rolled around which means its around two months until my first book Open Evening comes out via e-book and later on paper back. Just a little shameless plug and a thanks to all who have supported me so far. This book is a new start for me and not about robots in the future. It revolves around the concept of how horrific high school can be, then introduce some actual horror and Open Evening is born.

I’m sure you will all be bored with my constant updates, but stay posted for more book related stuff.

After all this my #yearofwriting

 

 

 

Batman Vs Superman: Review

The world’s journalists have spoken and you would think they themselves had been injured due to Superman saving the world, because all I have heard over the past week is just bad things about Batman VS Superman : Dawn of Justice.

Screw what they think, its time for me to tell you as it is! (gee I wish someone could do this for the whole EU stay or go debate) so sit down and shut up.

Firstly before going into the cinema we know that it should have been Christian Bale as Batman. Considering the last three films were him, it makes perfect sense for them to do that. Nope, The Dark Knight trilogy are not super hero films. They are not the same frequency shall we say as Man of steel was. Nolan did a fantastic job and they were great, as a stand alone but that is not the Batman who should face off with the Superman we have now been introduced to.

That ladies and gentlemen is why DC comics feel they have to compete with Marvel by bringing or rushing out their version of the Avengers. Batman has spent most of Marvel’s rise in the hands of Nolan and a separate entity. Batman is also the signature hero in all of this.

showdown

On to the actual film.

As this is a new Batman, we are straight away introduced by way of flashbacks to the Wayne family funeral and that fateful night outside of a theater in downtown Gotham. Our new Bruce Wayne discovers the bat cave and then we see him as an adult in the form of Ben Affleck.

This is a Bruce Wayne after the Gotham years, his time as the caped crusader and kicking ass has dwindled slightly and the film currently sits after the Joker and other friends presumably. (One would also presume Suicide Squad is based some time in the twenty years of him being Batman and the man of Steel arriving, there is an Easter egg in the bat cave)

From the beginning, Affleck is the right choice. He looks the part as a brooding now older man and gives the caped crusader a more rugged appeal. Even though the directors choice to throw a few odd nightmare style sequences in, our Batman seems solid. As we come to the modern day, the perspective is of the people caught up in the final battle from Man of Steel. Bruce Wayne witnesses the destruction of a financial building he owns and a lot of people die.

The theme quickly evolves into society not really being sure whether or not to have someone like superman, perceived as a God, seemingly doing what he wants, but mainly saving people like Lois Lane. There’s a political edge to the debate and it leaves room for the argument of whether us people should have something to defend ourselves against him or ‘others’ like him.

Que the green stuff, of kryptonite if your technical about these things.

As always in these films and in America, big business and Politics seem to merge. Introducing Lex Corp and of course it’s unhinged mildly autistic owner Lex Luthor. Jessie Eisenberg stole the show for me in this film. He played to the unhinged and oddity of his character ever so well. Even though he is a weakling compared to most super heroes, he holds all the power in just his demeanor alone.

Lex Luthor, as the story goes, wants to get him some of the green stuff and tries to weaponise it. Of course, that’s what all modern big businesses want to do these days, the likes of google, Facebook and you tube, why should Lex corp be no different?  The government kinda see through his plans and then things start to get a little messy.

Paraphrasing here, as it is a long film. Much of the time spent introducing an adequate Batman to face off the existing Superman in which Henry Cavill is just as solid. Lex Luthor entices or maybe manipulates things so Batman and Superman have an ultimate showdown, which was everything I could possibly imagine as a fight.

As all true heroes realize neither of them are the enemy and the true enemy is Lex and the now abomination monster type thing he has unleashed (watch the film to save me from explaining this bit). Together along with Wonder woman, who played a relatively sizable part throughout the film, dropping in here and there, joined the party.

In conclusion the film as a whole was a daring and somewhat successful attempt to trump Marvel. In all senses it did. I would pay to see less comic book films if they were more like this. The humor was sharp and less obvious, things were a little darker and felt more real. There is a hell of a lot to take in for one film as there is at least five different story arcs happening and they are all intertwined. The introduction of other Justice League heroes came with a slight subtlety and looks like the direction this film franchise will go.

 Unlike many films, you’ve seen it once and that’s it. I can see myself watching this again for sure. 

Every named and known character from both franchises was played well and up to the expectation of me anyway. The ending seemed a little weird, but overall I thought the whole thing was enjoyable, watchable and coherent as a story.

Finally the two most well known heroes have faced off, and it wasn’t too bad. Definitely not as bad as some idiot journalist or even worse professional film critics were saying. Either way they wont ruin the experience as it took over 400 million worldwide!