Read your way through the end of the world with Anna and the Apocalypse!

(image via IMP Awards)

 

Honestly the zombie apocalypse gets far too negative a rap.

Sure, the world has gone to undead hell in a handbasket and life as you know it is over – and yes that sadly includes watching Netflix and the buying of pop culture memorabilia on Ebay – BUT, and this is an important BUT, you know have all the time in the world to read all those books sitting on your terrifyingly-high TBR pile.

With no work to commute to, no bills to pay and no shopping to do, and hopefully, best case scenario here, an apartment high up from the zombie action stocked with food, water and toilet paper, you can stretch back, crack open a novel and read to your heart’s content.

 

(cover image via Bloody Disgusting)

 

Being the meta-kinda person you are, you will of course be reading the novel tie-in to Anna and the Apocalypse by Katherine Turner with Barry Waldo who are, as it turns out very excited about writing the book:

“Anna and the Apocalypse is a wonderfully realized world, full of strong characters, epic friendships and gripping adventure. The book gave us the chance to delve deeper into relatable, kick-ass characters and really dig into their lives and relationships. The Anna universe is so full of heart and so much fun to explore, it was just a gift to us as writers. It’s definitely the best zombie high school Christmas horror comedy book we’ve ever written!” (Bloody Disgusting)

No word of how excited they are about the zombie apocalypse itself – likely not very despite the wonderful benefits I have laid out – but they’re excitement about the book itself sounds well-deserved.

We get to find out how much fun it will be on 23 October, just in time for yes, Halloween.

 

He even makes adorable webs! Check out Lucas the Spider and his latest creation

(image via YouTube (c) Joshua Slice)

 

SNAPSHOT
I can totally make a spider web and look I even put a bell at the bottom so when it rings I know I got something then I can have a new friend. This might take a while. I’ll be back. (synopsis via Laughing Squid)

You can help but adore the garrulous cuteness of Joshua Slice‘s Lucas the Spider, an arachnid chatterbox who takes great pride and displays ample, contagious enthusiasm for everything he does.

Take spinning webs.

For the non-spiders among us, which is pretty much everyone reading this post since spiders are, by and large, illiterate (but not, I bet, Lucas!), stitching together a beautiful web may seem like a ho-hum undertaking – after all, that’s what spiders do isn’t it? Why get excited by something so mundane?

Well because it’s pretty damn clever, not to mention beautiful and as Lucas joyously observes, you get to meet all kinds of new friends through them.

Or meals, you know because … friends, yes friends is what you get and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise! After all, that’s Lucas wants and so should you.

 

Weekend pop art: Watch pop icons change over time

Simon Pegg (image via Laughing Squid (c) Jeff Victor)

 

Nothing stays the dame for long in this fast-moving world of ours, and that truism applies to pop culture icons as much as anything or anyone else.

Recognising this salient fact, LA-based artist and cartoonist Jeff Victor who describes himself on his Kickstarter page as a “huge pop culture fan” has taken it upon himself to chart the evolution of a dizzying array of pop culture characters and actors.

Drawing (no pun intended: OK yes, totally) on his years of experience as “a character designer in animation and video games, and currently … as a children’s book illustrator”, Jeff charts the changes in about 1200 cartoon characters across the years in artwork that is both incredibly cute and insightful, neatly capturing how much a character can change and yet stay the same over time.

You can see more of his amazing artwork at his Instagram page and even buy it through his online store … and you should, you totally should because change is a good thing and Jeff’s charting of change, pop culture-wise at least, is a wonderful thing indeed.

(source: Laughing Squid)

 

Winona Ryder (image via Laughing Squid (c) Jeff Victor)

 

Loki (image via Laughing Squid (c) Jeff Victor)

 

Wonder Woman (image via Laughing Squid (c) Jeff Victor)

 

John Goodman (image via Laughing Squid (c) Jeff Victor)

Welcome to the Newpocalypse: Z Nation S5 wants you to know that zombies are people too

(image via Z Nation season 5 wikia (c) syfy)

 

SNAPSHOT
Warren recovers from the drone crash with handsome, mysterious Cooper; Doc and the others finally arrive in Newmerica, where they meet George, who is helping form the new country. (synopsis via Spoiler TV (c) syfy)

As zombie apocalypses go, the one in Z Nation is a hoot!

Granted, it’s not a barrel of laughs much of the time, gradually ramping up the serious factor through its first four seasons, but it is a giant cheese wheel crushing zombies, a zombie tumbleweed, a zombie baby and every weird and strangely hilarious permutation of the undead taking it to the living that you can think of.

So pervasive has its pop cultural foot print got, that even Fear the Walking Dead has seen fit to throw some goofy humour into their usually-grave take on the undead end of the world, proof that you can tell good dramatic stories and still have some quirky fun along the way.

 

See! Died while stuck in traffic … PEOPLE. Dead people who want to eat you but … (image via Spoiler TV (c) syfy)

 

Quite what season 5 will exactly entail we don’t know but it’s obvious from the trailer that Newmerica is a thing, Warren (Kellita Smith) is alive and all kinds of weird but very Z Nation philosophical debates are in the offing.

Bring it on people and remember to invite your neighborhood zombies over to watch … because they are people too; rotting, smelly, bony people with their guts hanging out but still people and … oh, just wait season 5 will ya?

 

 

 

Book review: Just the Funny Parts by Nell Scovell

(cover image courtesy Harper Collins_

 

It’s probably fair to say that many of us have a starry-eyed view of what it must be like to work in the entertainment industry.

All those red carpet moments, confected though they are, glamorous two-minute pieces on entertainment reporting shows and the general aura of rose-tinted dreams being realised, all but convince that here is life as it should be lived – exciting, fulfilling, amazing, extraordinary.

But as Nell Scovell, who was worked on some pretty impressive shows and events in her 30-plus years in showbiz, confesses, while there are some genuinely awestruck moments when life seems almost magical, just as advertised, there are a good many more, the majority in fact, that are downright disappointing and demoralising.

Especially if you’re a woman in an industry dominated by men who seem to think, with some notable exceptions, that a woman’s point of view is either unnecessary or a cumbersome hindrance, a distraction from the fine business of making Peak TV and cinematic wonders.

But, of course, that’s ridiculous, since as Scovell points again and again, women brings wholly different, enriching perspectives to all kinds of stories, and by denying them adequate representation, or any representation at all, you’re failing them and society as a whole who are robbed of the unique insight female writers bring to the showbiz table.

“If real estate’s mantra is ‘location, location, location”, show biz mantra’s is ‘talent, talent, talent’. No, wait. That’s what it should be. Instead it’s ‘connections, connections, connections’.” (P. 37)

It seems obvious to you and me how much better everything is when diverse viewpoints are included; it doesn’t matter if its woman, LGBTQI+, people of colour and everyone else in our gloriously multi-hued world – give people a voice and any story suddenly comes alive with all kinds of amazing new perspectives.

Alas, what is obvious seems to fly well under the radar in good old Hollywood.

Take Scovell’s stint as a writer on Late Night, at that point hosted by Dave Letterman, where she encountered an atmosphere best described as “Harvard Lampoon frat house” where being a woman (Scovell was only the second hired ever after Merrill Markoe) or a person of colour (none hired between 1982 and 2015) was so criminally rare.

With a mix of biting commentary and good humour, a hall mark of the book as a whole and Scovell’s TV writing in particular – she also worked as a journalist for a number of years at Vanity Fair and SPY which near-universally happy times in her impressive career – Scovell details how hard it was to make inroads when everything was structurally arrayed against you.

Time and again Scovell encounters a glass ceiling so thick and impenetrable that it might as well have been solid brick, obstacles that she often overcame through tenacity or by playing the game as best she could, but all which spoke to an industry where the boys’ club was well-entrenched and decisions were made behind her back (see her stint on the revived The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour).

 

Nell Scovell (image courtesy official Nell Scovell Twitetr account)

 

Scovell, who proves herself an astute and funny observer of her years in the industry, balances the dark times, and there was unfortunately far too many, with the good times, the great friendships, the enriching career experiences and wonderful opportunities that came her way.

Her time on Coach for instance, was a highlight, buoyed by the superlative mentoring of her boss Barry Kemp; so too her time as a showrunner on the first season of Sabrina the Teenage Witch – this ultimately proved something she had to leave but for reasons not necessarily related to gender inequity – and as a Supervising Producer on Murphy Brown where the “three Ps” (people, product and the process) uniquely and pleasurably aligned.

What is startling is not that these types of experiences existed – Scovell is happy to admit when they did and how good they were, her enthusiasm and gratitude a joy to witness – but how little time many of them lasted.

Her stint at Newhart, where she had a lovely, four-word encounter with the star himself, lasted a scant nine months, and the revival of The Muppets just a year; as Scovell makes clear, without a hint of defensiveness or bitterness, this is simply how the dynamics of showbiz, where talent and accomplishment are often sidelined by politics and posturing, often play out. (This mayfly-like lifespan of a TV writer forms the narrative structure of this highly-entertaining and eye-opening memoir which details her rise, plateau and fall/rise, a rollercoaster of ups and downs that is common for almost all writers.)

“At the exact age of twenty-nine, I opened The New York Times Book review and thought ‘How nice! Kurt Vonnegut, one of my favourite novelists, wrote an essay.’ One paragraph later, I felt sucker-punched. here’s what Vonnegut wrote:

‘If Lloyds of London offered policies promising to compensate comical writers for losses of sense of humor [sic], its actuaries could count in such a loss occurring on average at 63 for men, and for women at 29, say.’

Say what?
My comedy career was justt aking off and now someone I respected was predicting that I’d lose my sense of humour—the source of my livelihood—at any moment. And why did men get thirty-four more years of being funny than me?” (PP. 203-204)

But though Scovell is professionally sanguine about the good and the bad, she is hardly an unfeeling robot.

In often emotionally-charged, laid bare chapters, she is upfront about the toll the many disappointments in her career have taken on her, and while she admits these short-lived stints befall male writers too, it is a particular issue for women who are still fighting, even in the transformative #MeToo movement era, for an equal seat at the entertainment table.

For all her seamlessly and warmly-delivered anecdotes, and her willingness to joke and wryly observe to engaging effect, Scovell is frank about the way women are often sidelined, diminished and restricted to quotas in writing rooms which continue to be male-dominated for the most part.

The inspiring thing is that for all her setbacks and disappointments, and they have been legion along with all the fulfilling times where “passion and contribution”, as her friend and sometime-collaborator Sheryl Sandberg, Chief Operating Officer of Facebook, terms it, came together, Scovell remains in love with her craft and eager to keep going on and on as she declares in what is perhaps one of the most perfect endings to any memoir I’ve read:

“Thirty years after I broke into Hollywood, I’m still pressing that lever hoping for a pellet. In an ideal world, I’d get to direct another movie. Or maybe I’ll create and run another show. I just want one more shot.
And then one more shot after that.
And then …”

 

Boldly going quickly: Short Treks into a big Star Trek Discovery galaxy

(image via IMP Awards)

 

SNAPSHOT
Star Trek: Discovery follows the voyages of Starfleet on their missions to discover new worlds and new life forms, and one Starfleet officer who must learn that to truly understand all things alien, you must first understand yourself. The series features a new ship and new characters while embracing the same ideology and hope for the future that inspired a generation of dreamers and doers. (synopsis via Decider)

Waiting … waiting … waiting …

After a stellar first season which saw the Star Trek both honoured and expanded and challenged in some viscerally exciting ways, there’s still a bit of a wait until season 2 of Star Trek Discovery debuts in early 2019 on CBS All Access in USA and Netflix internationally.

So what’s a Star Trek-loving fan to do in the Klingon-deficient interim?

Why watch four new shorts, known as Short Treks, beginning 4 October.

 

 

As Decider explains, each short film will get us a little closer to four of the Star Trek Discovery characters we have come to know and love:

“Each of the four stories will center on a key character, including familiar faces from Star Trek: Discovery: Mary Wiseman (Tilly), Doug Jones (Saru) and Rainn Wilson (Harry Mudd), in a short he will also direct, as well as a new character unfamiliar to fans, Craft, played by Aldis Hodge.”

So who are we seeing and when will we be seeing them?

“Runaway” – Thursday, 4 October

Onboard the U.S.S. Discovery, Ensign Tilly (Mary Wiseman) encounters an unexpected visitor in need of help. However, this unlikely pair may have more in common than meets the eye.

Written by Jenny Lumet & Alex Kurtzman. Directed by Maja Vrvilo.

UPDATE 30/9: There’s a trailer for the first short film!

“Calypso” – Thursday, 8 November

After waking up in an unfamiliar sickbay, Craft (Aldis Hodge) finds himself on board a deserted ship, and his only companion and hope for survival is an A.I. computer interface.

Teleplay by Michael Chabon. Story by Sean Cochran and Michael Chabon. Directed by Olatunde Osunsanmi.

“The Brightest Star” – Thursday, 6 December

Before he was the first Kelpien to join Starfleet, Saru (Doug Jones) lived a simple life on his home planet of Kaminar with his father and sister. Young Saru, full of ingenuity and a level of curiosity uncommon among his people, yearns to find out what lies beyond his village, leading him on an unexpected path.

Written by Bo Yeon Kim & Erika Lippoldt. Directed by Douglas Aarniokoski.

“The Escape Artist” – Thursday, 3 January 2019

Harry Mudd (Rainn Wilson), back to his old tricks of stealing and double-dealing, finds himself in a precarious position aboard a hostile ship – just in time to try out his latest con.

Written by Michael McMahan. Directed by Rainn Wilson.

First impressions: Barry

(image courtesy IMP Awards)

 

We’ve all been there.

A life choice that seemed perfectly reasonable at first is now onerous and burdensome, an existential noose around the neck that is either going to crush you or choke you, or both, and your only choice is to find an alternative, one you can actually live with.

Easier said than done in most cases, especially if you’re Barry Berkman/Barry Block and you have spent your post-military career carrying out hits on “bad people” (easier for your conscience if you see them that way) in partnership, and trust me, this is a very loose concept, with one Monroe Fuches (Stephen Root), a supposed friend who in reality is anything but.

Add loneliness to this simmering brew of dissatisfaction and you have a full-blown life crisis, one that forms the emotionally-resonant core of Barry, created by Alec Berg and Bill Hader, who stars at the hitman with a troubled soul.

Of course, leaving the life of low-rent hitman behind is easier than done, and when Barry ends ups in L.A. to kill a would-be actor, and gym junkie Ryan Madison (Tyler Jacob Moore) and trails him to his weekly acting class, he realises that perhaps the stage is the place for him rather than staring down the targeting scope of a gun.

As premises go, this one is ripe with all kinds of possibilities, dramatic and comedic, and Barry deftly mixes both elements to brilliantly-moving effect, offering up a relatable midlife crisis scenario that anyone who’s past 40 and still has a beating heart – this assumes Barry hasn’t killed you yet – will find strikes a chord.

So intensely relatable, despite its gloriously out there premise, is HBO’s latest dramedic gem that one of the best scenes of television for the year – yes in the era of Peak TV this is a bold claim but hear me out – occurs when Barry, hopeful after years of lingering misery, is encouraged to find his acting voice by the idiosyncratic acting coach (and now deserved Emmy winner) Gene Cousineau played Henry Winkler.

His performance is driven by all kinds of inner demons finding momentary, unexpected expression but it reveals that Barry might just have the makings of an acting powerhouse, and watching the childlike delight on his face when Cousineau gruffly tells Barry that is one of the most heartwarming things you’ll have seen in a long time (yes, Facebook cat memes included, trust me).

 

 

That one pivotal scene at the end of a first episode which also includes a hit gone both right and wrong, thanks to gleefully and yet violently incompetent Chechen mobsters led by Goran Pazar (Glenn Peshler) and hilariously deadpan sidekick Noho Hank (Anthony Carrigan) sets the tone for the following seven episodes which embrace the life of life as a tragically funny gothic opera of ludicrously epic and amusingly low key proportions.

As Barry awakens to the idea that there may be more to life than popping a seemingly neverending stream of bad guys – Fuches is a greedily selfish guy who sees Barry as the cash cow that keeps on giving, corroded soul be damned – he also comes across that other great stinging reality of existence that upbeat blowhards like Tony Robbins fail to mention — that inspiration is one thing but finding a way to make it happen is quite another.

Every attempt Barry makes to step into the glittering thespian dreams of his recent life epiphany, egged on by his love for fellow actor wannabe, the wantonly selfish Sally (Sarah Goldberg), comes hard against the fact that everyone else wants him to keep using his god-given talents to murder his fellow man.

Granted a life of crime is a messy web that ensnares you in ways more legal lines of employment likely don’t – this is speculative at best but I can’t imagine you can just give notice to a crime boss and be done with it – but there are deep and abiding corollaries to whatever it is you find yourself doing in life.

You might want to go with a newly-unveiled option B but life keeps getting in the way, stubbornly throwing option A and its many benefits such as paying the mortgage and eating in your face repeatedly to the point where you’re inclined to give up.

Barry gets close to that self-defeating point, with his every effort to become an actor and leave Fuches, the Chechens and the police, led by Detective Moss (Paula Newsome) behind, stymied by an escalating gang war, a violently-deranged ex-army vet Taylor (Dale Pavinski) who is the antithesis of Barry’s coolly organised killer and wants in on the action, and a thousand other complications all of which may be alien to us in fact but which will resonate on all kinds of existential levels no matter who you are.

 

 

It’s this relatability, some damn fine writing that is both deeply-affecting and  hilariously funny depending on the situation and uniformly brilliant performances, that makes Barry such a pleasure to watch.

The show never tilts too far in either direction, its violence and the often glib responses to it, sounding authentic in the vividly-real and yet surreally blackly comedic world Berg and Hader have created.

Central to this throughout is Hader’s robustly vulnerable performance as a man driven to commit acts that sicken him every time, each killing taking a little more of his soul, entrenching his isolation from the mainstream world around him that he longs desperately to be a part of, his pleading to people not to push him to the point where he has to kill them, heartbreaking to the core.

Barry is really the story of a man on the edge, someone forced into a life he never wanted, unable to envisage an alternative until his old life, by some glorious stroke of fate, introduces him to his potential new one.

Getting there though is the challenge and amusing though Noho Hank’s immensely-funny lines are – the Chechen is a soul mate of Barry’s even if if he is loathe to admit it – and the escalating tit-for-tat violence is in its sheer epic insanity, what anchors Barry, and keeps you glued to every last gripping moment, is Barry himself who is very human, very real, and mired in the kind of poor, or once sensible, life choices that afflict us all.

Sure, for most of us, our life choices don’t run the risk of killing us or those around us, one-by-one or en masse – even here Barry is beautifully, affectingly-wrought – but at their heart all our choices leave us with unpalatable choices and watching HBO’s latest televisual triumph is proof, once again that dying is easy, it’s the living that’s hard.

 

 

Captive State: Is peace without freedom worth the cost?

(image via IMP Awards)

 

SNAPSHOT
Set in a Chicago neighborhood nearly a decade after an occupation by an extra-terrestrial force, Captive State explores the lives on both sides of the conflict – the collaborators and dissidents.

The sci-fi feature is directed by Rupert Wyatt (Rise of the Planet of the Apes, The Gambler), who also co-wrote the original screenplay with Erica Beeney. The cast features John Goodman (10 Cloverfield Lane), Ashton Sanders (Moonlight), Jonathan Majors (When We Rise) and Academy Award and Golden Globe nominee Vera Farmiga (The Conjuring). (synopsis via Coming Soon)

It’s hard to argue with the idea that humanity needs saving from itself. After all, we’re hardly covering ourselves in honour and glory at the moment are we?

But the idea that the solution is some outside power stepping in is anathema to most people I think, although as late TV show Colony, and now Captive State, make chilling plain, not everyone.

In fact, there are those who will embrace such a development with some of the less than good people of Earth throwing their lot in with new alien overlords who rule through a body known as The Legislature.

Sounds deliciously benign right, but the cessation of petty division and strife and that poisonously double-edged word “unity” come at the great price of our freedom and Captive State looks like it will be fascinating examination of those at peace with that loss and those who see it as far too expensive and needing to be resisted at all costs.

Captive State opens 29 March 2019 in USA, 12 April in UK with a date TBD for Australia.

 

Fear the Walking Dead: “I Lose People … ” (S4, E15 review)

Mo-Mo and His Band o’ Zombie Killers totally nailed the cover shot for their final album (image via Spoiler TV (c) AMC)

 

  • SPOILERS AHEAD … AND HEROIC ACTS AND SWARMS O’ ZOMBIES … 

There are a couple of things, among many, that you’re unlikely to hear in the midst of the zombie apocalypse.

One is “Everything is Awesome!”, the theme for 2014’s The Lego Movie by Tegan and Sara (feat, Lonely Island) – (a) no electricity but more relevantly (b) it’s a thematic downer if ever there was one at the end of the world – and the other is Tony Robbins-esque inspirational catchphrases such as “Everything is possible!”

And yet in the midst of a host of impossible situations in “I Lose People … ” – yeah, yeah, I know they’re always in the last place you look – “everything is possible” makes a surprise appearance, right when you would be expecting everyone to down tools and throw in the proverbial towel. (Or throw zombies bodies, and a dying Jim played by Aaron Stanford, off the building onto cars which have remarkable intact and functional car alarm systems. Glory be, everything is possible!)

Fear the Walking Dead continues to impress with its willingness to entertain the idea, one very much in vogue in apocalyptic literature that a positive attitude and mindset still have a place in human affairs even when the world around us has completely and utterly to crap on a great, through a zombie’s head (or neck) stick.

Far from looking simplistic or gleefully twee, the show’s propensity to promote the idea of community and togetherness, possibility and hope, something its parent show has largely recoiled from in its first eight seasons – this may be changing in season 9 but don’t hold your breath – is refreshing and much more in line with the way most people, and I stress most and not all, react in the middle of a cataclysmic event, which is by helping each other.

Sure there are some nasty people who either selfishly or madly – for the latter, I give Exhibit A, Martha (Tonya Pinkins) who possesses an amazing ability to keep on keeping on when lesser saner souls might just give up – will look after themselves at the expense of all others, but most people will rise to the occasion and help their fellow man, woman and/or child.

 

This year’s zombie walk was when the shit got really real (image via Spoiler TV (c) AMC)

 

So Fear the Walking Dead, and especially “I Lose Myself …” feels very real in this regard.

It presents us with a very muscular belief in the possible too; after all in this zombie-filled, action-packed and yet thoughtful episode, Morgan aka Mo-mo (Lennie James), Laura/Naomi/June aka LNJ (Jenna Elfman), Sarah (Mo Collins), Wendell (Daryl Mitchell), Luciana (Danay García) and a carping and complaining Jim who is not going quietly, or happily, into that good night, are trapped on the roof of a hospital in what looks like Austin, Texas.

There are zombies filling the streets, the little fuel left in the generators is almost gone meaning the lifts will soon stop working, and options are feeling few and far between.

Kind of a bummer huh?

Indeed it is, and at first, Mo-mo rises, or rather falls to the occasion, by luxurating in a deliciously futile and pointless rendition of “Woe is me”; it’s one of the maddening things about this morose character whose moods swing up and down like a swing on speed. (Let’s leave aside whether inanimate objects are affected by drugs shall we? It’s a great mental image and we shall leave it at that.)

But slowly he comes up with a plan, urged by the others, and especially LNJ, who rather oddly seemed manifestly unable to come up with a plan of their own.

While you can see Fear the Walking Dead positioning Morgan as the Apocalyptic Saviour of the Moment – honestly Alicia (Alycia Debnam-Carey) should have that honour – it beggars belief that all these other people, who have survived the zombie-saturated end of the world just fine thank you very much, are incapable of brainstorming some sort of escape strategy.

And why in god’s name, is Morgan the object of a spirited rescue attempt later on when everything else is safe and sound-ish – yeah not so much but everything relative in the apocalypse right? – but Al (Maggie Grace) is all but forgotten, save for a throwaway line about finding by Mo-mo as they speed away from Austin?

They’re two missteps in an episode which uses only a few narrative contrivances – car alarms still working? Tick! Perfectly-position for the throwing of bodies alive and dead off the rooftop? Tick! – and some damn find writing to reaffirm the idea that sticking your neck to help others isn’t just laudable but downright doable.

 

John and Victor’s country album Trapped on Zombie Island (and I’m feeling Blue) was a hit, largely based on its great publicity photos (image via Spoiler TV (c) AMC)

 

Also falling into the “Everything is possible!” camp is Jim’s late conversion to noble saintly soul – he spends much of the episode being a grade A asshat only to recant and help out in the end, even giving up his precious beer recipe to Sarah before he dies and becomes Martha’s latest “strong zombie” pet – and Alicia and Charlie (Alexa Nisenson) stumbling across John (Garret Dillahunt) and Victor (Colman Domingo on their alligator-surrounded island.

Even better, Alicia and Charlie find a way to the island which is, and this is little laughable, surrounded by a very shallow body of non-alligator hiding water, using Al’s recovered SWAT vehicle – they also capture a wounded Martha but she manages to escape again, the better to taunt everyone in the season finale “… I Lose Myself” – to spirit John to LNJ ( they are the sweetest thing going on honestly and I hope they live long and prosper; yes, I know that’s a whole other franchise) and Victor to whatever wine bottles are waiting for him.

Having everyone bar Al – remember her? Anyone, anyone? Bueller? – back together again at the end is a joy, since they’ve had to work damn hard to be together again, the result of believing that good things are possible even when everything around screams, mostly Martha to be honest, that it’s not.

This is a hope in the best parts of each other and sound belief in a better future that has survived a thousand trenchant obstacles, pretty much all undead or Jim being a whingeing so-and-so, and means something pretty powerful because of that.

Whether it’s strong enough to overcome to madness of Martha and a no doubt irresistible urge to fashion the undead mother of all season-ending finales is another thing entirely but I hope so since Fear the Walking Dead has shown remarkable courage in celebrating what is best and not worst in humanity, even in a cataclysmic situation and I can only hope they hold their nerve and keep celebrating this all the way to the very end.

  • Next week on the Fear the Walking Dead season 4 finale, “… I Lose Myself” 

 

 

 

Stupid finds a way: Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom gets an Honest Trailer

So many dinosaurs, so little time to make fun of them (image via IMP Awards)

 

In the interests of full disclosure, and I am nothing less than ridiculously honest for the most part, I actually rather enjoyed Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom.

Yes, it had more plotholes than a semi-trailer carrying an inert T-Rex, and the characters were village idiot level-stupid, and yes narrative was more than little been-there-done-that-didn’t-get-all-the-dinosaurs (what with volcanoes and somesuch that’s fair enough) and … and … and … and yet I actually enjoyed its cheesy blockbuster-iness.

Not sure what means exactly – best we don’t examine that too closely huh? – but safe to say that the talented folks at Screen Junkies who put together the never-less-than-amusing Honest Trailers had a LOT of material to work with.

Is it wise to build a park full of revived extinct creatures on actively volcanic island? NOPE. If you’re a dinosaur is there an outside chance you should have actually seen a dinosaur since they’re, you know, alive again? YUP. And is Jeff Goldblum in the movie that much? HE … IS … NOT.

All that and more gets gloriously parodied in the latest Honest Trailer which I found hugely amusing since it’s about a film I kinda liked.

Yes, I think something may be broken in me …