Marvel’s AGENT CARTER “Valediction” Recap & Review… What’s Next?

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Peggy faces the full fury of Leviathan, in this season (or series?) finale of AGENT CARTER.

(Warning: Spoilers ahead)

With Dooley dead, and an APB on Ivchenko and Dottie, Carter, Sousa and Thompson survey the crime scene massacre at the movie palace from last week’s episode (a test by our villains by releasing gas that makes people into rabid savages, killing each other until no one remains alive). Sousa finds a canister and gets a face full of the gas, which in turn, makes him attack Thompson and Carter, before he is overtaken and knocked out. Sousa wakes up in a hospital bed, as the effects of the gas have dissipated.

The Kick-Ass Power Rangers you were waiting for?

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In this age of fan films, fanboy wish fulfillment is a reality. Hollywood producer and rabble rouser Adi Shankar (the dude wears copious amounts of guy-liner and looks like a South Asian Alice Cooper) takes it one step further with his “bootleg film” series, where he produced the PUNISHER fan film, DIRTY LAUNDRY (which is indeed kick-ass), among others.

Shankar being a child of the ’90s, he grew up watching MIGHTY MORPHIN’ POWER RANGERS, but always wanted it to be dark and adult like recent remakes/reboots like BATTLESTAR GALACTICA and DREDD, which Shankar produced. He partnered with music video director Joseph Kahn (BLANK SPACE by Taylor Swift was his most recent MV masterpiece) and produced a truly dark 15 minute short film starring Katee Sackhoff and James Van Der Beek (yes, Dawson from DAWSON’S CREEK). It’s definitely slick, dark and gravitas that you don’t usually see in a Power Rangers episode.

The Walking Dead – “The Distance” (Season 5, Episode 11) Recap & Review

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Quick Recap (Warning, Spoilers Ahead):
Still scarred from their experiences with Woodbury and Terminus, the group has a hard time trusting Aaron, a new survivor who promises them safety in a community called Alexandria. Rick immediately ties him up, as he tries to persuade everyone that he is genuine and has been watching them for awhile and wants them to join his community. Michonne, perhaps tired of being on the road and eating bugs, says to give Aaron a chance, who tells them that his RV and car are parked a few miles down the road. Rick reluctantly agrees for Michonne, Glenn, Maggie, Abraham and Rosita to check things out and make sure he isn’t lying. They find the cars, but unbeknownst to our heroes, there is a man creeping from behind an abandoned car, observing them.

Why 80s Teen Movies were the Best

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Why were 80s teen movies the best? With last weekend’s major milestone being the 30th anniversary of THE BREAKFAST CLUB, why does that film, as well as countless other 80s classics like PRETTY IN PINK, BACK TO THE FUTURE, THE GOONIES, DIRTY DANCING, FOOTLOOSE, WEIRD SCIENCE, SOME KIND OF WONDERFUL, STAND BY ME, SAY ANYTHING, THE KARATE KID and FERRIS BUELLER’S DAY OFF, among countless others, so timeless? If anything, they’re definitely time capsules and (some more than others) have not aged very well. For every SAY ANYTHING, there’s  a BETTER OFF DEAD, which is kind of a stupid movie, but it still works to this day.

Marvel’s AGENT CARTER “Snafu” Review

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Synopsis:
Peggy is cornered and more vulnerable than ever as Leviathan makes their move against her. As the SSR zeroes in on Howard Stark, they may pay the ultimate price as they find their true enemy is closer than they realized.

(Spoilers ahead)

The Walking Dead — “Them” (Season 5, Episode 10)

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(Spoilers ahead)

Synopsis: Grieving from Beth’s and Tyreese’s death in different ways, the group faces the harsh road to Washington D.C. as they’ve run out of supplies, water and gas. Sasha and Maggie, in particular, are slowly grieving in their own ways. Trekking along a lone country road, they dodge walkers, and eventually, an incoming thunderstorm.

They seek refuge in an abandoned barn. As they make a campfire, Michonne assures the crew that DC is the right move, while Rick waxes philosophically that they need to do whatever it takes to survive, and declares that the living, are “the Walking, dead.”

Berlinale Festival Dispatch: Iranian and British films shined in a lackluster year

The cast of MR. HOLMES starring Hiroyuki Sanada, Laura Linney, and Sir Ian McKellan

The cast of MR. HOLMES starring Hiroyuki Sanada, Laura Linney, and Sir Ian McKellan

After a great Sundance Film Festival, it was a little disheartening that this year’s Berlinale aka Berlin International Film Festival did not keep up with the upward trend of quality films. Instead, it was a hodge podge of films that didn’t really crackle with me or the audiences, which felt like apathy was becoming the norm as each day went by. For a lineup that boasted such new works from internationally known maestros like Werner Herzog, Wim Wenders, Peter Greenaway, Terence Malick, Isabel Coixet and Jiang Wen, it was even more depressing that their latest films were limp on arrival. Even more depressing was the fact that the world premiere of FIFTY SHADES OF GREY, based on a trash novel, was a trashy movie with a pulse and the over capacity audience went absolutely bananas for the film.

Marvel’s AGENT CARTER “A Sin to Err” Review

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“A Sin to Err” is the episode where the world turns against our hero, Agent Peggy Carter, as she’s made as a double agent and Leviathan agents have infiltrated the SSR to steal back Howard Stark’s WMDs, which are conveniently locked up in the SSR labs. With Peggy on the run from her colleagues for the second half of the episode and the reveal that the Russian psychiatrist, Dr. Ivchenko, who was rescued last episode is a double agent and is working with Peggy’s next door neighbor aka secret Russian assassin Dottie.

YOMYOMF’s TV Showdown – The Walking Dead – “What Happened and What’s Going On” (Season 5, Episode 9)

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(Spoilers Ahead)

The Walking Dead came back last night and following the death of Beth in the mid-season finale, we saw the loss of another member of the group–Tyreese, arguably the show’s moral compass. When Rick, Glenn, Micchone and Tyreese accompany newcomer Noah to the gated community he once called home in the hopes that they might find a thriving community they themselves can call their new home, all they find is death and destruction. Everyone’s been slaughtered and the place looted. While the others scavenge for supplies, Tyreese follows a distraught Noah to the house where he once lived with his mother and twin brother and that’s where Tyreese meets his fate. He’s bitten by Noah’s zombiefied brother and spends the rest of the episode in a fever pitch dream where he hallucinates visits from previously dead friends and enemies (including Beth and the Governor) before letting go.

ANDERSON: It was a weird episode, a bit hippity dippity with the weird intro to the episode with the hallucinatory and “poetic” imagery, and then allusions to a funeral. The viewer is to assume Rick and company were burying Beth. But, in TV Drama 101, that ain’t the case. I knew immediately, someone was going to die tonight. And after losing Bob and Beth, I knew we were going to have someone die with high stakes in the show and the fanbase. Sadly, the producers decided that it was Tyreese, the other black guy, but also the heart of the show’s humanity. Sure, is big sensitive teddy bear neuroses were getting a bit stale, I felt sad that he was the next one to go.

Marvel’s AGENT CARTER “The Iron Ceiling” Review

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Watching AGENT CARTER is pretty exhausting and, at times, very frustrating, especially if you’re rooting for the titular character. She’s been put through the ringer, forced to feign ignorance, play to societal views of her gender, and kick ass and save the day but get none of the glory.

Well, all that angst is behind us because last night’s episode had Peggy in total badass mode, leading an SSR team to Russia and meeting up with the Howling Commandoes. And you know, with context, and the fact that the Commandoes treated Peggy with respect that she deserves, the SSR officers realized that this “broad was a force to be reckon with.”

Sundance 2015 Dispatch: The Daily Buzz Episodes 6 & 7 + Sundance Winners

Instagrammed by Jennifer Phang: Here's Team Advantageous with U.S. competition jurors WInona Ryder and Cary Fukunaga.

Instagrammed by @jennifertphang: Here’s Team Advantageous with U.S. competition jurors Winona Ryder and Cary Fukunaga.

Sundance 2015 came to a close last night with the awards ceremony, which was streamed live via YouTube, and hosted by comedian Tig Notaro, who had a documentary called TIG in the Festival as well. The big winner was ME AND EARL AND THE DYING GIRL, which not only has bragging rights for the biggest sales in Sundance this year, it swept both the Grand Jury and Audience award prizes.

Sundance 2015 Dispatch: Film Highlights + The Daily Buzz Podcast Episode 5

TANGERINE, directed by Sean Baker, is one of the highlights from this year's Sundance Film Festival.

TANGERINE, directed by Sean Baker, is one of the highlights from this year’s Sundance Film Festival.

This year’s edition of Sundance brought a sense of reinvigoration in the American indie film scene with a broad cross-section of strong titles that ranged from commercially viable to straight up experimental. Perhaps 2014 was an off-year for indie cinema, but if Sundance is any indication, it looks like we’ll have a strong crop of films to populate the growing and emerging distribution channels and platforms for indie cinema via SVOD, iTunes, Amazon, Netflix, VHX, Vimeo, YouTube, and many more.

I’ll be highlighting some of my favorite films from the Festival in the next few blog entries. First off, here were some of my screening highlights: