TV Review – Channel Zero: Butcher’s Block

Channel Zero: Butcher’s Block (2018)
Written by Nick Antosca
Directed by Arkasha Stevenson

butcher's block stairway

Sisters Alice and Zoe are attempting to start their lives over and end up in a new city, adjacent to the Butcher’s Block neighborhood. This neighboring slum is infamous for what happens at night when residents seem to vanish into thin air. There is a connection to a nearby park which used to be the land belonging to the Peach family, a wealthy old South type of family who ran the now decaying meat processing plant. People talk about strange figures that roam the park at night and a staircase going nowhere that pops up. You are warned to never go near those stairs, to turn around and leave if you see them. Into this strange melange of urban legends, our two protagonists are dropped, and they might not make it out alive.

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Movie Review – Annihilation

Annihilation (2018)
Written & Directed by Alex Garland

annihilation

Lena, a cellular biologist, is finally in the mourning stages after her husband Kane was sent on a secret military mission. At the twelve-month mark, she is starting to move on when Kane appears from nowhere in their house. He falls into a coma and Lena is taken to a government base on the edge of a phenomenon called the Shimmer. Lena is informed that an object dropped from space three years prior and has created a growing field of energy. Multiple teams and drones have been sent in, but nothing has come back, and Kane is the first person to ever emerge. Lena finds out a team is about to head in days from now and volunteers herself, without informing them of her personal connection. As the quartet travels further into the Shimmer the more bizarre natural mutations, they encounter all until the real darkness is revealed at its center.

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Movie Review – Black Panther

Black Panther (2018)
Written by Ryan Coogler & Joe Robert Cole
Directed by Ryan Coogler

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Prince T’Challa is still mourning his father’s death in the wake of Captain America: Civil War and he must be coronated the new monarch of Wakanda. After defeating his single challenger, M’Baku of the Mountain Gorilla Tribe. As his first act as the king, T’Challa decides to bring in fugitive Ulysses Klaue who is guilty of murdering multiple Wakandans and stealing their precious Vibranium. This leads our hero into crossing paths with Everett Ross again who becomes embroiled in the current drama overtaking the kingdom. Among Klaue’s ranks is an even more significant threat with deep ties to Wakanda and could be the undoing of everything T’Challa is fighting for.

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Movie Review – The Cloverfield Paradox

The Cloverfield Paradox (2018)
Written by Oren Uziel and Doug Jung
Directed by Julius Onah

cloverfield paradox

In the year 2028, an energy crisis has sent humanity to the verge of collapse. The last best hope for the world is the crew aboard an orbital particle accelerator, The Cloverfield Station. Their goal is to get the accelerator running, creating an infinite alternative energy source that would cause global tensions to subside and hope to be restored. After two years and multiple tests, it appears this is not going to work out. After a few adjustments, they make one final check, expecting nothing. But something does happen, and the crew is suddenly thrown into a bizarre new reality, where the laws of physics and nature do not operate the same. Comms officer Ava Hamilton attempts to navigate this treacherous new paradigm while keeping the crew alive around her. A new crew member appears who knows all of them but whom they have never seen before in their life. Voices speak to another who becomes violent. Everything they used to be able to rely on is crumbling.

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Movie Review – The Post

The Post (2018)
Written by Liz Hannah and Josh Singer
Directed by Steven Spielberg

the post

In 1971, portions of a U.S. government commissioned classified report on their involvement in Indochina were sent to the New York Times. The Times was the first outlet to publish an article on the content which led to the Nixon White House slapping them with an injunction. Meanwhile, another portion of the document was dropped on a desk in the newsroom of the Washington Post. Editor-in-Chief Ben Bradlee sees this as the Post’s moment to move from a local D.C. paper to a national force in the news. Owner Katharine Graham is hesitant when she finds out, being told this could damage the legacy of her family. The Post has just gone public on Wall Street, and the board of directors fears massive damage financially. Graham is also a lifelong friend of people who will be implicated in flawed U.S. foreign policy like Lyndon Johnson and Robert McNamara. She must make a decision about what to do next and deal with the repercussions that result.

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The State of the Blog 2018

dougie jones

Reflections on growth of 2017

Fast & Furious July

  • The most painful achievement of the year was watching all eight (plus one) of the Fast & Furious franchise in a single month. If you want to relieve my pain you can you do so by clicking below.

Fast & Furious July

 

Twin Peaks: The Return coverage

  • I blogged about all 18 parts of David Lynch’s return to television, plus made sure to finish his filmography by filling those last few gaps. The most expansive coverage of anything I did in 2017 and will be returning to it in 2018.

Twin Peaks: The Return posts

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My Most Anticipated Television of 2018

 

baskets s3

Today we’ll wrap things up with a look at the television programs coming to our screen in 2018. Anthologies continue to grow in popularity and the caliber of creator and actor on the small screen is almost outshining cinema.

Philip K. Dick’s Electric Dreams (January 12th, Amazon)

It’s pretty obvious one of the key reasons Electric Dreams was developed was due to the success of Black Mirror. Though the two shows are not analogs, they both deal in the realm of speculative, human-centered science fiction. Electric Dreams looks to have some more overtly large scale science fiction one-offs as opposed to Black Mirror’s traditionally grounded approach. There are some talented names attached this project, but with any anthology there are bound to be some episodes that are better in quality than others. My hope is that we come away with at least a couple stories that have an impact and raise some interesting questions.

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