Tag Archives: review

This Week’s Show: Murder on The Orient Express and Our Favorite Fictional Detectives!

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On this week’s show we’ll have an in-depth spoilery review of Murder on the Orient Express. We’ll discuss what we liked and didn’t like, and compare it to the 2010 BBC version starring David Suchet. We’ll also take some time to talk about our favorite fictional detectives.

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This Week’s Show – Wonder Woman, Women Directors, and Much More!

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On this week’s radio show we review Wonder Woman and discuss some of the top female directors in Hollywood.

Wonder Woman is already a huge success and it might be the film that brings confidence back to the DC Universe. We’ll review this new superhero movie based on the iconic comic book character. And since you can’t talk about Wonder Woman without discussing the brilliant directing of Patty Jenkins, so we use the opportunity to talk about some of the best female directors in Hollywood.

We know there have been some tech difficulties with Indie 100 and The Point lately, so just tune in Tuesdays at 9PM on El Ave Radio.

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This Show is DOPE: Taboo

TABOO -- "Episode 8" (Airs Tuesday, February 28, 10:00 pm/ep) -- Pictured: Tom Hardy as James Keziah Delaney. CR: FX
GTA: 1814 (Grand Theft Horse and Buggy?)

 

I don’t watch a lot of period pieces. If there’s not at least a little of bit fantasy involved (Game of Thrones, Penny Dreadful) it’s kind of a no fly zone. I decided to watch Taboo however for 2 reasons, Tom Hardy is the man (I expect nothing less from a Picard clone!) and a really strong advertising campaign. Now that the first season is over I’ve decided one thing, Taboo is a Dope show!

Taking place in 1814 London, Hardy plays James Delaney, a mysterious, truculent character, presumed long dead by his friends and family, only to return from Africa after a 12 year absence to attend his fathers funeral. To say the people of London don’t like Delaney is an understatement, especially when it’s revealed James inherited a special plot of land from his father, a piece of land that the Crown, America and the most powerful corporation in the world, The East India Company, all want. To top that off, Delany has a long list of rumored crimes and abhorrences working against him (I’m not going to give them away, but let’s just say Taboo is a fitting title for the show). Delany, armed only with frightful grit and a sack of African diamonds, sets on an impressive path of empire building in a brutal city where everyone wants him dead.

Whether it’s the Post Apocalypse or 1814, Tom Hardy always has dope hair

As I’ve said, the show takes place in 1814, thus the tail end of America’s Revolution, and seeing that time period play out from the side of a super fascinating/repellent old England was a true joy. Most of the time when you see something taking place in England in the 1800’s, it’s usually the 1890’s. This makes the setting of the show seem even more special, and the makeup and set design of the show are super impressive (one of the creators, Steven Knight, made the popular period piece Peaky Blinders) and the cinematography/directing is stunning. The show felt both immersive, and luckily, like a time far far away.

 

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You know he’s serious, it took like 10 minutes to load this gun.

Seeing Tom Hardy rip up 1814’s England made me quite pleased. It’s a grossly macabre place, sexy and disturbing, funny and horrifying. One of the more off putting and especially engaging settings in the show is the opulent offices of the East India Company. Seeing (the excellent) Johnathan Pryce’s Sir Stuart Strange, Chairman of the uber powerful company, and his smug AF minions going to barbarous lengths of stop Delany from acquiring his fathers land was a real thrill. There are many points while watching Taboo that feel like watching a ye olde version of Mr. Robot.

This guy is the worst

There’s also a bit of a Scarface/Breaking Bad thing going on, as Delaney builds a team of thugs, prostitutes, and even a debaucherous chemist to fight for his mysterious goals. I really like characters like Tony Montana and Walter White, and James Delaney played by the always fantastic Tom Hardy is a really magnificent character. He’s a really terrible dude, if you knew even a little bit about the guy you would run the other way, you would never want to be part of his crew or his friend. However he’s the kind of ill tempered dangerous dude you can see going against the most powerful organizations in the world. He’s like a pre The Usual Suspects Keyser Söze, running all over England drinking, slashing, doing crazy voodoo stuff. He’s truly a scary guy, but he’s our scary guy, since every character in this show pretty much sucks. Hardy’s made a great career in playing interesting leading men, often as mad as they are masculine (Bronson, the Kray twins, Mad Max) and since he co-created the character with his dad, Chips Hardy, James Delaney is literally custom made for the intense thespian.

Before Google Maps people used Stephen Graham’s head.

Man the cast is great, along with Hardy and Pryce, Game of Thrones’ Oona Chaplin is great as James’ straight laced/dysfunctional sister, Stephen Graham, Franke Potente, Tom Hollander, Jason Watkins and Jessie Buckley all give key provocative performances as well as all the great actors who play EIC cronies. Also, let’s not forget the great Mark Gatiss as the Prince Regent, wearing what I can only assume was his Mycroft fat suit from that 1800’s ep. of Sherlock. Everyone is freaking great ok!

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Ultimately what I love about this show is how unapologetic it is. James Delaney is terrible, he has almost no sense of morality and  has a truly twisted psyche, but seriously fuck this place! This early 1800’s England is the worst, it’s no different from the worst parts of today’s society, a bunch of assholes with $ and power using all of their influence to try and control everything. Hardy’s Delaney is almost like a folk hero (albeit the kind that they leave out all the really unseemly stuff about when they tell the tale), he becomes sort of heroic because of who his enemies are and how he fights them. With a impressive use of strategy, physical viciousness, and palpable insanity, you feel like Delaney has a chance against, well, pretty much all of England.  It makes for a thrilling watch and a truly enjoyable show.

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This isn’t even close to the weirdest thing in this show

I guess I have to say this show isn’t for everyone, and certainly not for kids. Even though it’s on FX it might as well be on HBO. There’s F-bombs everywhere, sex scenes, disembowelment, it’s pretty hardcore. I really had a great time watching it! By the end of the first season, all I could think was, “Damn this is like watching an Assassins Creed movie, but like, a really good one!” Check out Taboo wherever you watch stuff.

 

 – David Lacey

This Show Is DOPE – Blue Exorcist

In the endless abyss of possible TV shows to watch, it’s hard not to find something you kinda like. Kinda like is fine, but don’t we deserve more? This series of articles tells you what I think is worth watching. All of these shows might not score 100% on Rotten Tomatoes or win an Emmy, but who cares?

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Blue Exorcist

Anime can be tricky. If you love it, there are thousands of shows to pick from, and everyone has an opinion of what’s a must see, and conversely, what’s just trash Weebo bait (if you don’t know what that means… well you’re probably better off). Most of us have seen a Miyazaki film, but outside of DBZ or Pokémon, most people have little to no interest in Anime, and if they’re not laissez-faire about the whole thing, then they might just think it’s weirdo pervy trash.

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Teachers like these make my high school seem really lame

But I love Anime, some of my top 10 favorite shows are anime, and I think there’s at least one true love anime out there for everyone. Blue Exorcist is not in my top 10, but I think this show is super dope and worth the watch. Let’s get into it.

First off, this show is all about Heaven, Hell, Demons, The Devil, and Exorcism. If you’re into that stuff, congrats! There’s a lot of goodness there, the battles are awesome, the occult stuff is fun and interesting, and the world is well thought out.

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This guy is one of the nicer demons in this show

It’s not as heavy and melodramatic as a show like Full Metal Alchemist, but what I like about this show is that it’s a complexly built supernatural world with a deep history and a lot of danger, yet it’s also a funny and uplifting coming of age story.

I know, I know, those of you who have seen just a handful of anime know a “funny and uplifting coming of age story” is about as trite as you can get. Most super popular manga and anime take place in high school and star teens, since well, that’s the target demo. On paper Blue Exorcist seems pretty par for the course, let me write a synopsis –

“15-year-old Rin is just a normal highschool boy, until all of a sudden his world turns upside down when he finds out he’s the son of the SATAN! If that isn’t bad enough, his dad and his twin brother are part of a secret order of exorcists dedicated to one mission, defeating Satan and his minions! Can Rin survive his family, Satan’s Army and High School? Find out on the new anime Blue-Naruto-Bleach-Soul Eater-Full Metal-Harry Potter-Every Shonen Anime Ever Exorcist!”

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So there it is, it’s not a super shockingly different anime, it’s not Attack on Titan, Death Note or Death Parade, but what I found really interesting about this anime isn’t the Naruto-esque character of Rin, or the cool Full Metal Alchemist/Fate like occult battles. What I really love about the show is the relationship between RIn and his twin brother Yukio.

Rin is the ultimate hackneyed anime hero, a teenage, street smart, tough, loyal, misunderstood good-guy-with-an-attitude altruistic underdog, standing up for the weak and teaching people lessons in between ninja magic battles (he’s practically doing his best not to run around yelling “someday I’ll be Hokage”). His brother Yukio is his polar opposite, he’s cold, calculating and a clear prodigy, being both a student and instructor at True Cross Academy, a cram school for Exorcists. Yukio might be Rin’s twin brother, but he didn’t inherit Satan’s power like Rin (along with all kinds of strength and agility Rin gets deadly and stylish Blue Flames that cloak his body, and a dope magic sword that lets him slice demons into bits), thus Yukio is not implicitly hated and misunderstood like Rin is.

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When you trying to leave class early, but your nerdy little brother is the teacher

So at this point, if you have any experience watching anime, you’ve rolled your eyes into the back of your skull. You know this sounds even more hackneyed, oh it’s Naruto and Sauske, or Sakuragi and Rukawa. Been there done that.

The difference is in Blue Exorcist the relationship between the brothers is not so simple. Both see each other the way they were before Rin’s demonic powers are awakened. Rin finds out he’s the Son of the Devil while at the same time realizing his brother Yukio and their adopted father are themselves extremely powerful exorcists. Even after this new reality comes to pass, Rin continues to try and protect his badass demon killing brother, still seeing him as the meek little brother he defended when they were children. Yukio on the other hand is trying to maintain authority as a full fledged exorcist/instructor while also trying to protect his brother from a school full of people that want to exterminate him out of fear and an army of demons constantly in the shadows.

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man, the kid versions of anime characters always get me like awwwwww
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never mind, this show isn’t at all like Supernatural

There’s a lot of shifts going on in this relationship and many episodes end with you liking one brother over the other at any given time. Their relationship is the stuff of great TV, it’s contentious, warm, spiteful, violent, cruel, and funny. You get a lot feels at times when you least expect them and more than a few twists and turns along the way. It’s what centers the narrative of the show and offers a kind of verisimilitude to the animated world we’re witnessing.

I originally wanted to entitle this article, “If you love Supernatural, watch Blue Exorcist!”. because there are obvious parallels between the 2 shows. 2 brothers fighting against supernatural forces in the real world, one has mystical powers and rages against their father, while the other is the loyal son who works hard to inherit the family legacy. They are very similar, though I feel like Supernatural is a much more cynical nihilistic show (a statement that seems completely unfair considering Blue Exorcist has had one full season and Supernatural is now in it’s mind boggling 12th season).

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when your Dad is a dope AF exorcist, but you realize he’s got Charles Manson’s V.1 forehead tattoo

Blue Exorcist isn’t the best anime out there (there’s only one full season, with the 2nd season finally starting after a 6 year gap), and there are a lot of other anime I love more, but I wanted to write about this show specifically because it accomplished something a lot of other shows haven’t, it completely hooked me. I was never planning on watching more than the first episode. It was too Shonen, too trite, but it lured me in with a strangely unique and fulfilling story about family. Rin and Yukio, how they interact in this deadly world, how they fight against and for each other, their relationship with their adopted father, it propels the story beyond the norm and this, in part, alters the more commonplace themes of the show and makes it all in all a really enjoyable watch.

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When you got blue flames but refuse to go blue steel

You guys might love it, you might hate it, but I really really enjoyed Season 1 of Blue Exorcist, and since it’s only 25 episodes it’s an easy watch, unlike something like seemingly insurmountable like One-Piece or Naruto.

Was this helpful? Stupid? Great? Let us Know!

— David Lacey (Geek World/ Former Contributor for Anime Vice)

This Week’s Radio Show: X-Men, Preacher, Nice Guys, Grimm, and Much More!

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On the radio show this week we review Shane Black’s newest movie, The Nice Guys. We also discuss the series premiere of AMC’s newest show based on a comic series, Preacher. We take some time to talk about the season finale of Grimm. Then Anna gives us her thoughts on X-Men: Apocalypse.

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Plus we talk about what’s going on in geek news!

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Tune in Geek World this Thursday and Friday at Noon (PST) on Indie 100, with replays throughout the week on The Point. Plus we’re on El Ave Radio.

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This Week’s Radio Show: Ratchet & Clank, Wynonna Earp, Outcast, Demolition, Wondercon, and Much More!

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On the radio show this week we talk about our time at Wondercon 2016 including our interviews with the cast and makers of the Ratchet & Clank movie, interviews with the cast and makers of the new SyFy show Wynonna Earp plus our review of the first 2 episodes, and we discuss the pilot of the new Cinemax show Outcast. We also discuss the Supergirl Flash crossover. Then we review the new Jake Gyllenhaal film, Demolition.

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Tune in Geek World this Thursday and Friday at Noon (PST) on Indie 100, with replays throughout the week on The Point. Plus we’re on El Ave Radio.

Don’t forget to go to YouTube.com/GeekWorldRadio to see all of the latest videos we’ve posted and shared, and be sure to SUBSCRIBE!

2015 Year in Review!!!!+ The Hateful Eight and The Revenant Review!

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This week’s show will be super awesome trek down memory lane as we talk about our favorite TV shows and Movies of 2015, and some of the biggest disappointments of the year. Also we’re joined by special correspondent Darkubus Rybar to review the big new winter releases The Revenant and The Hateful Eight!

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Love Review!

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Click Here to watch our interview with Love Director Gaspar Noé!

 

Sometimes it’s easy to forget about the art of film making as we sit in dark movie theaters watching Dinosaurs attack the same island they attacked 20 years before, or watching Vin Diesel do something ridiculous in a muscle car for the 7th time. Our need to escape into movie-land can often times lead us down a redundant path, but if we’re lucky enough to see a film that transcends typical blockbuster fare, it can be the kind of experience that profoundly affects you in ways we often forget film is capable of. Love is that kind of film.

The stark reality to Gaspar Noé’s vision of young reckless love is often shocking, sometimes beautiful and at times, completely crushing. It is a tumultuous journey that hits at the very core of our deepest emotions. It is love laid bare.

The characters at the core of Love are an American film student named Murphy (played by the charismatic Karl Glusman) who, while attending school in Paris, falls for a mysterious young art student named Electra (played with guile by model Aomi Muyock). The film perfectly showcases what it is to be in your early 20’s and completely, obsessively in love. All the sex, fighting, selfishness, poor judgement and fun play out in such a realistic way, at times the movie feels more like you’re peering through a young couple’s apartment window than sitting in a theater with 3D glasses on (Editor’s Note: We do not recommend you peer through anyone’s window).

The film takes in the present with Murphy, living with his new girlfriend and their son. He feels trapped and resentful of his station in life, when suddenly he receives a phone call that sends him into a spiral of recall and regret. The mother of his former love, Electra, believes that something may have happened to her daughter. It’s clear that Electra has been on his mind anyway, but now, questioning her fate, he can’t stop his mind from flooding with memories of their love, for better or worse.

The power of Love’s narrative comes from its non-linear storytelling. With each scene played out as a vignette in the memory of Murphy, who is remembering all the key moments of his affair with Electra, but never in any kind of chronological order. This gives the film the ability to be as emotionally versatile as it chooses, picking the moments to be happy or sad, not a slave to the ABC’s of a typical movie. It’s a wonderful method, and as a viewer you’re never too confused by the story, it doesn’t matter when this moment or that moment happened, what matters is the overhead view of this relationship and how it affected you while watching it. That being said, this emotionally targeted way of telling a story can leave the viewer in a bit of a mangled emotional wreck by the time the end credits roll, which of course is the point.

But enough with all this film talk, let’s get to the sex!

Many headlines about Love will focus on sex, after all the vast majority of the movie involves graphic scenes of bodies intertwined, so much so you might be able to create a Youtube comparison video split screening scenes from Love with the Kama Sutra. There is a ton of graphic sex in this movie. You get many scenes of Murphy and Electra engaging in various risque acts, threesomes, public sex, sex clubs, and more. We know it sounds like a lot, and it might feel overwhelming and strange to some of you, but we have to stress that it would be entirely incorrect to view this movie as pornography.

The sex in this movie plays to the emotions of the characters, it morphs and changes as their relationship changes, it is as much a character as Murphy and Electra. In Noé’s masterful hands, we see a true artist who is able to depict sex in a way that feels sensual, real, and never edges towards exploitative. That doesn’t mean some of you won’t be clutching your pearls from the get go.

The only way to truly enjoy Love is to throw away your preconceived notions about watching sex acts play out onscreen, and you need to do it before you sit down to watch, because the first scene will hit you like a truck. Two people, naked in bed, experiencing the pleasure of indulging in each others’ bodies. There is a reason this movie is unrated, and no one under the age of 18 should be watching.

Love is an apt name for this film, because anyone who has been in a true relationship knows that love is a double edged sword. Love can be beautiful, love can be pain, love can be poetry, love can be a weapon, and if you’re lucky love can be art. Noé has created one of the most visceral and impactful visions of realistic people in love that we have ever seen.

If you can get past the taboo feeling of seeing people make love in front of you, you will get the luxury of watching something honest, riveting, painful, sexy, funny, and brutal. The kind of rare film that is as equally emotionally gratifying as it is devastating.

If you can see it in 3D, it’s a strange experience, but well worth it! Also, you might want to have at least a one seat buffer between you and the other strangers in the audience. Not recommended for a first date.

Love will be in Los Angeles theaters Nov. 6.

Review by Anna Levine and David Lacey

Watch our interview with Love Director Gaspar Noé: