TV Review – Atlanta: Robbin’ Season

Atlanta: Robbin’ Season (2018, FX)
Written by Donald Glover, Jamal Olori, Ibra Ake, Taofik Kolade, Stephen Glover, Taofik Kolade, and Stefani Robinson
Directed by Hiro Murai, Amy Seimetz, and Donald Glover

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There are shows I forget are amazing because the delay between seasons can be so long and so many other shows and films fill up my brain in between. Louie was one of those shows, The Leftovers was another. Atlanta is the current show that I fail to remember the greatness of. I wasn’t hyper-excited for season two because the first season felt like a distant memory, excellent but hazy. I have to say I enjoyed this second run of episodes immensely, even more so than its first season. Creator and showrunner Donald Glover isn’t even working at the height of his game in my opinion, he’s on the path to getting there, which is exciting because I expect something even better than what we have seen to date. We also shouldn’t ignore director Hiro Murai who set the plate so to speak of how Atlanta looks and feels. The aesthetic of the show feels so dreamlike, hazy blues filtered over the screen. When characters are outside it often has an early morning, dew-drenched misty quality, reminding me of nights where you stay up late and greet the morning. Glover cited Twin Peaks as an influence in the feel of the show, and I would agree that in its best episodes Atlanta finds that particular style.

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Movie Review – Laggies

Laggies (2014)
Written by Andrea Siegel
Directed by Lynn Shelton

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Megan is nearing her thirties, in a committed relationship with her high school sweetheart, and helping her lifelong best friend out with her wedding. However, she has no direction in life and seemingly no desire to follow any particular path. She does have a master’s in family counseling but seems frozen when it comes to pursuing that career. After running out on her boyfriend’s proposal, Megan meets Annika, a teenage girl looking for someone to buy her and her friends beer. Megan goes along and then hangs out with the group. Days later she is faking going out of town for a conference and decides to bunk with Annika. They are discovered by Annika’s father, Craig, a lawyer who is raising her daughter by himself. Over the course of the week, Megan reevaluates what is essential to her and the indecision that led her to this point in her life.

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Comic Book Review – Uncanny X-Force Volumes 3 & 4

Uncanny X-Force Vol. 3: The Dark Angel Saga Book One
Written by Rick Remender
Art by Billy Tan, Rich Elson, Mark Brooks, Scot Eaton

Uncanny X-Force Vol. 4: The Dark Angel Saga Book Two
Written by Rick Remender
Art by Jerome Opena and Robbi Rodriguez

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Warren Worthington has spent the last few years of his life pulled between the personas of The Angel and Archangel, the light and shadow of his soul. His paramour, Betsy Braddock aka Psylocke, has used her considerable psionic gifts to keep the worst of Archangel caged up allowing Warren to live a relatively peaceful life. But something happened when X-Force killed the burgeoning newborn Apocalypse, the universe declared that someone must fill that vacuum of power. That someone is going to be Warren. The whole team is thrown into an epic battle that will send them across realities to a world where Apocalypse came to power and then back to their own universe for a final showdown against Archangel.

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Movie Review – Revenge of the Green Dragons

Revenge of the Green Dragons (2014)
Written by Michael Di Jiacomo and Andrew Loo
Directed by Wai-Keung Lau & Andrew Loo

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In the early 1980s, an immigrant named Sonny becomes embroiled in the Chinese-American gang The Green Dragons. They operated out of Flushing-Queens and are a group of young upstarts attempting to use brutal force to push out their older rivals. As Sonny and his adopted brother Steven move up the ranks of the gang, they begin to personally experience the cost of their involvement. Meanwhile, the NYPD and FBI are becoming increasingly more aware of the Green Dragons and their growing presence on the New York organized crime scene.

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Comic Book Review – Uncanny X-Force Volumes 1 & 2

Uncanny X-Force: The Apocalypse Solution
Written by Rick Remender
Art by Jerome Opena

Uncanny X-Force: Deathlok Nation
Written by Rick Remender
Art by Esad Ribic and Rafael Albuquerque

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Rick Remender came to Marvel after receiving acclaim for his independent series Fear Agent. He would carve out his own niche in Marvel’s universe that would have some incredible highs regarding character development and rich storylines, but his tenure would come to close in a somewhat unspectacular way. Some creative missteps that are still looked back on as atrocious, plus the company’s choice to soft reboot the universe with the Secret Wars event left Remender without much left to say. He is still writing, primarily back on creator-owned material like Black Science and Seven to Eternity. But I would like to go back to his Marvel work and spend the rest of the year and into 2019 doing a very comprehensive read-through and review.

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Comic Book Review – The Flash by Mark Waid Book Four

The Flash by Mark Waid Book Four
Written by Mark Waid and Michael Jan Friedman
Art by Salvador Larroca, Carlos Pacheco, and Oscar Jimenez

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In the wake of the Zero Hour, Wally West has transcended space and time, becoming a being of pure speed. This ascendant journey leads Wally down his own timeline and to a revelation about a critical moment in his past. Once the universe settles itself post-Zero Hour, the Flash must face down Kobra’s infiltration of Keystone City. He gathers together speedsters young and old: Impulse, The Golden Age Flash, Johnny Quick, Max Mercury, and Jesse Quick. What he doesn’t reveal until it becomes too late is that he is searching for a successor as his body cannot handle the speeds he is regularly approaching.

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Movie Review – Son of a Gun

a24 visions

Son of a Gun (2014)
Written & Directed by Julius Avery

son of a gun

JR is sent to prison for a minor crime and crosses paths with notorious armed robber Brendan Lynch. Lynch helps JR out with a group other prisoners giving the young man a hard time. When JR is finally released, he is hooked up with Sam, a Russian crime boss who Brendan works for. He also meets Tasha, one of the women working at Sam’s strip club and one whom he sees as his personal property. Of course, JR falls for her which will lead to deeper problems. Brendan eventually gets out of prison, and Sam is ready with a heist at a gold mine. Events do not play out as planned and cliches cascade on top of each other.

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