Attack on Titan, Chapter 117, Judgement Review: War Hammer Mode Initiated.

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4 stars
As many people have already pointed out, Hajime Isayama has so immaculately timed the events of Attack on Titan that we now have different fights between Eren and Reiner in the manga and the anime happening at the same time.
It really goes to show how good Isayama is at structuring the series and has me excited about how he will continue to do so.
As for the Chapter 117 itself, it is a non-stop thrill ride of a chapter that feels over way too soon.
That is the sad thing about Attack on Titan though.
It’s action packed chapters can be read through so quickly, and then you have to wait another moth as you are dying to read the next one.
This Chapter, “Judgement”, definitely has me feeling this way, with almost the entirety of it being action oriented as Eren faces off against the warriors and Marley’s military.
However, my favourite part of “Judgement” is not the bombastic action sequences, but rather the small character moments we get from Gabi and Magath.
Isayama really surprised me with how well he develops these two this chapter.
After escaping with Pieck, Gabi is brought to the Marleyan troops, led by Magath, and she is very surprised when he hugs her, showing relief that she is safe.
I love this moment because it not only shows that Magath does care about the Eldians under his command, but it also serves as a nice callback to chapter 91, where both characters were introduced.
In that chapter, Gabi came up with a dangerous plan that put herself at risk and, at first, Magath forbade her from following through on that plan.
This led to Gabi jokingly saying that this meant Magath really cared about her… only for this to now be proven true with Magath embracing her.
Then there is the cool story moment we got from Gabi in this scene, which saw her remember what Zeke said about him having royal blood, causing the others to realise that Zeke and Eren coming into contact could activate the Founding Titan.
It is a good explanation for how the Marleyans would figure out Eren and Zeke’s plan and also goes to show how smart Gabi is.
Speaking of the Marleyans and their warriors though, reading the chapter I was not entirely sure who I should be routing for.
One the one hand, I wanted Eren to succeed and defeat Reiner, but on the other hand I wanted Reiner to beat him.
This shows how complex Attack on Titan has become, with every character’s motivations being understandable to us now, to the point that we route for them all.
So, in the end, there is a bunch of characters I all like that are fighting to the death, making me unsure of who to route for.
I loved every second of this uncertainty.
It added much more weight to the battle, which has a lot of highlights, from Pieck’s cannon wielded by Magath, to Zeke showing up at the end to save Eren.
One of the big highlights of this fight though is obviously Eren using his War Hammer Titan abilities in battle for the first time.
It was very exciting to see all the different ways Eren can use the power.
He is clearly not as skilled as the previous War Hammer Titan but, if he is given time, he could become even more overpowered, which could be either a good and bad thing, depending on how Isayama handles it.
There are even some morbidly funny moments to go along with all of this action.
The best of this is scene when Porco cuts off Pieck’s hand so she can transform without hurting Gabi.
When this happens, Pieck screams in pain before jumping off the building to transform.
This is humorous in a pretty morbid way because we have never seen a Titan Shifter express pain at their injuries before, despite hurting themselves in ways that would leave most people in complete agony.
There are also, what I feel to be, hints at future events in the manga, the most obvious being Magath talking about the Marleyan hero Helos, who Willy Tyber mentioned.
This historical figure has constantly been used in reference to Magath and, if the theory that the story of Ymir was actually transported to the past by Titan memories is true, this could mean Magath is actually Helos.
This has dire implications because it has been stated that Helos killed the Devil of all earth, and many people believe Eren is an allusion to this devil.
So, if Magath, or any other character, turns out to be Helos, then it may be likely that Eren will be killed by them.
Along with this, Zeke looks set to transform all of the people who ingested his spinal fluid in the next few chapters.
This will undoubtedly turn the fight in their favor because Zeke will have complete control over all 300 of the Titans he will create.
However, Zeke showing up here does add further weight to this being the final battle, which I am currently unsure how I feel about because so many characters are absent from it.
Also, I did have a few minor problems with the chapter, the biggest of which being suspension of disbelief when it came to Titan injuries.
Is it just me, or does anyone else think Eren and Reiner’s Titans should have been unusable by the end of the chapter?
Eren got shot in the head twice and Reiner got his face ripped open and was hit by Zeke’s boulders, and yet, both are somehow still standing by the end.
It just felt like a contradiction of what we already know about what Titan’s can withstand.
Speaking of contradictions, there is a weird continuity error when, for some reason, Eren is shown without a shirt in one panel and then with one in another.
It kind of felt like Isayama was placed fan-service over continuity there.
Overall though, “Conviction” is another solid chapter of Attack on Titan that has me excited for the series’ endgame… that is if Isayama does not spoil it himself first, but I will talk about that situation in another post

Jojo Rabbit Review: Hilarious, Heartwarming, and Dark.

5 stars
Taika Waititi playing Hitler… well, I think it’s safe to say that I have seen everything now.
In all seriousness, when Jojo Rabbit was first announced there was a bit of controversy over the satirical plot being about a young boy in World War Two Germany whose imaginary friend is Adolf Hitler.
Thankfully, such controversy was unwarranted as Waititi has crafted a film that manages to be hilarious, heartwarming and dark, resulting in a film that is probably my favourites of his.
The story follows the young Jojo (played by Roman Griffin Davis in his first role) a member of the Hitler Youth who is so misguidedly infatuated with the country’s genocidal leader that he imagines him as his imaginary friend.
After learning that his mother, Rosie (Scarlett Johansson), is hiding a Jewish girl named Elsa (Thomasin McKenzie) from the Nazis, Jojo desperately tries to figure out a way to get rid of her without getting his mother into trouble.

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It’s interesting how Elsa is framed to suit Jojo’s negative perception of her only for this to slowly evolve over the film as he comes to realise she is just as human as he is. 

What follows is many endearing scenes between the three characters as Jojo comes to learn that Elsa is far from the monster Nazi propaganda would have him believe.
All three actors give great performances, delivering both emotional weight and humor perfectly.
The same can be said for the other characters like the disillusioned Captain Klenzendorf (Sam Rockwell) and Jojo’s friend Yorki (Archie Yates) who is just too pure for this world.
I especially loved Waititi’s portrayal of the imaginary friend Hitler, taking him from the childish and friendly character of Jojo’s imagination to the cruel and detestable dictator we know from history.

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The visual of Hitler eating a unicorn is both darkly hilarious and great symbolism for Jojo slowly coming to realise the dictator’s true nature.

This slow decrease in Jojo’s perception of Hitler, results from many surprisingly tragic moments in the film, including one moment that left me gaping for at least a full minute.
I probably would have cried if I had not been so shocked by it.
Ultimately, this is what proves JoJo Rabbit to be one of Waititi’s best films.
It balances its often dark tone with humor brilliantly, often combining to create dark humor, resulting in a satire that comments on the impact of war, hate, and by the end, love.
I highly recommend Jojo Rabbit. 

His Dark Materials, Episode One, Lyra’s Jordan Review: Enter the World of Daemons.

4 stars
HBO has put out many amazing shows in 2019 from Chernobyl, to Watchmen, to the final season of Game of Thro-oh wait, no, that last one sucked.
Anyways, while HBO did not make its latest show, merely distributed it, that show, His Dark Materials, looks to be another great one nevertheless.
Based off Philip Pullman’s successful trilogy, the story is set in a world where people’s souls manifest as talking animal companions known as daemons.
If this sounds familiar to you but you have not read Pullman’s novel then you probably recognize it from the earlier movie adaptation, The Golden Compass, which got a less than stellar reception to say the least.

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Will the new His Dark Materials series go on to be as badly received as The Golden Compass or will it be better?

I have only seen this film once when I was a kid and I thought it was pretty good, although, to be fair, I was only nine and I could not tell the difference between a good and bad move to save my life back then.
In any case, even if The Golden Compass really is as bad as I don’t remember it being, His Dark Materials already looks to be miles better than that film adaption, if the first episode “Lyra’s Jordan” is anything to go by.
Directed by Tom Hooper, and written by Jack Thorne just like every other episode will be, the episode mostly follows the titular Lyra at the beginning of her adventure.
Lyra is played by Dafne Keen who I am glad to see is getting more work.
I loved her performance in Logan and I cannot wait to see what she does with the role of Lyra.

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Dafne Keen does a solid job in the first episode of His Dark Materials.

Speaking of the X-Men, James McAvoy is also in the series, playing Lyra’s guardian Lord Asriel.
McAvoy delivers a fantastic performance, especially in an impassioned speech he delivers to his colleagues about Dust to get more funding for his research, which is considered heresy by many.
It is with this and many other moments in the episode that the anti-religious themes of Pullman’s story can be seen.
Along with Keen and McAvoy, another actor to watch out for in this show is Ruth Wilson who plays the sinister Marisa Coulter.
Another thing I enjoyed about “Lyra’s Jordan” is how the daemons are shown to be incorporated into the world.
We get a Gyptian ceremony in the episode, which shows how they celebrate when a daemon settles as a single animal.
Many of the daemons are established from Lyra’s Pan (Kit Connor) and Asriel’s Stelmaria (Helen McCroy).
Then there is the fact that all of these daemons have great CGI.
The downside of this is that they did not have the budget to animate many side characters’ daemons, which are just never acknowledged, but this is better than having a bunch of completely fake looking daemons running around.

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The Daemons are very well animated, blending seamlessly with the actors as can be seen by this shot of Lyra and Pan.

And, as stated, the daemons that are in the episode are incorporated so well that it makes the world feel lived in by them.
However, this has a negative effect on the characters as a Gyptian child is kidnapped after the celebration of his brother’s daemon.
Many Gyptian children are revealed to have been kidnapped by the end of the episode
by the so called Gobblers.
Even children who aren’t Gyptians like Lyra’s friend Roger (Lewin Lloyd) are taken and this is one of the reasons why Lyra departs with Coulter at the end of the episode, with her alethiometer in hand.
Overall, the first episode of His Dark Materials, “Lyra’s Jordan” is a solid start that has me interested to see where the series will go.
Hopefully, this will be liked by fans of Pullman’s novel and not go on to be regarded as another The Golden Compass.

Watchmen Episode Three, She Was Killed by Space Junk Review: Everybody Goes to Hell!

4 and a half stars
Watchmen
‘s third episode, “She Was Killed By Space Junk” is the best episode of the series so far with the role of main character temporarily switching from Angela Abar to Jean Smart’s Laurie Blake.
Directed by Stephen Williams, the story of the episode centers on Laurie being brought into the Seventh Calvary Case while flashing forward to her sending a message to Dr Manhattan through a phone to mars.
This message is a joke about three heroes, Dr Manhattan, Ozymandius and Night Owl, who appear before god to receive judgement.
All three go to hell until god sees a woman standing behind them who identifies herself as the girl who a threw a brick from the joke Laurie appeared to screw up earlier.
The brick falls from the sky and kills god, sending him straight to hell.
The flash forwards to Laurie’s joke are the best part of the episode because I was very intrigued by what the joke ended up being.
Personally, I think it has great thematic purpose with the girl who threw the brick clearly being representative of Laurie, and the joke itself being similar to Rorschach’s Pagliacci joke from the original graphic novel.
Dr Manhattan also seems to appreciate the gag because Angela’s car, which Will escaped in last episode, descends from the heavens, nearly crushing Laurie like god’s head got crushed by the brick.
In all likelihood, though, the car was most likely dropped by the people who rescued Will who want Laurie to become a part of the case for as an unknown reason.
But, for the moment at least, Laurie seems to believe it is Dr Manhattan, bursting out into laughter, being very reminiscent of her father The Comedian.

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Laurie’s phone booth scenes are the best of the episode with Jean Smart delivering a great performance.

With this, and the fact that she has taken on his last name, it is apparent that Laurie has started to feel some kinship with her destructive father over the years.
As for the rest of the episode, it is also great with Laurie being revealed as part of a vigilante capture task force of the FBI.
Night Owl is also revealed to be in prison.
Laurie actually drives quite a few comedic interactions as well, like with Looking Glass, Red Scare (Andrew Howard), and Pirate Jenny (Jessica Camacho).
Then there is her Dr Manhattan dildo, which is a real “wait, what!?” moment.
Laurie also has a few action moments as well, shooting the Seventh Calvary member with the suicide vest who tries to kidnap Senator Joe Keene JR (James Wolk).
Speaking of him, I think it is pretty apparent that he will most likely be involved somehow in the conspiracy Will mentioned.
The fact that he was at Judd’s house where Angela found the Ku Klux Klan robe last episode also supports this.
Aside from these individual moments, however, one of my favourite things about the episode is its soundtrack with Laurie having a killer theme.
This soundtrack accompanies her pretty much through the entire episode, apart from the Ozymandias scenes and, unfortunately, it is these ones that keep the episode from being perfect.
While the scenes are great I do have a few flaws with them, like the CGI Buffalo, which look completely fake.
Then there is the official reveal that Ozymandias is… well, Ozymandias.
This was presented as some kind of shocking twist but I am pretty sure we all knew it was him going in so they did not need to act like it was some big moment.

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While I did like Ozymandias’ scenes, there are things about them that hold the episode back, like his obvious identity reveal.

Other than this, though, Ozymandias’ scenes are still intriguing, with us learning he is the captive of “the game warden.”
There are multiple theories about who this game warden could be but the most likely seems to be Dr Manhattan.
We will just have to wait and see as Ozymandias’ escape plan slowly comes to fruition.
Overall, “She Was Killed by Space Junk” is the best episode of Watchmen so far with just a few scenes holding it back from being a truly fantastic episode.

BoJack Horseman Season Six, Part One Review: A Surpisingly Happy First Half… Until The End.

4 and a half stars
At the end of BoJack Horseman‘s fifth season many of the characters looked like they were in happier places.
BoJack (Will Arnett) was finally going to rehab to get the help he needed, Mr Peanutbutter (Paul F. Tompkins) proposed to his girlfriend Pickles (Julia Chan), and Princess Carolyn (Amy Sedaris) had adopted a child.
However, based on what I knew about these characters, I highly doubted these instances would make the characters happy in season six.
This was because after all BoJack had been through and done I was unsure if he ever could change, and both Mr Peanutbutter and Princess Carolyn appeared to be ignoring their own problems by taking on their new responsibilities.
So, imagine my surprise when all three characters did end up happy in this season.

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Despite characters like Mr Peanutbutter looking like they were heading in an unhappy direction at the end of season five, they are happy in season six.

Granted, this was probably because Netflix had decided that this sixth season would be the final one but creator Raphael Bob-Waksberg and the other writers really wrote these characters emerging happiness right for the most part.
The one exception to this is definitely Mr Peanutbutter because the story they seemed to be building up for him in season five is pretty much ignored in favor of improving his relationship with Pickles, which I am not sure was the right decision.
However, this is only the first half of the final season so I cannot judge Mr Peanutbutter’s storyline too harshly because it has yet to be completed.
And, other than him, I loved the direction the sixth season took, especially with BoJack as by the end of the season it is clear that he is a changed horse.
This resulted in many heartwarming scenes like the final interaction between BoJack and Mr Peanutbutter.

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BoJack’s scene with Mr Peanutbutter pays off a scene that I never thought would be and I love it.

Then there is Diane’s (Alison Brie) sweet, growing relationship with the buffalo Guy (Lakeith Standfield) and Todd’s (Aaron Paul) relationship with his stepfather and mother, which looks set to be expanded upon in the final half.
All of this builds to put all the characters in happy positions at the end of the fist half, most of all BoJack… only for the final episode just tears that all down.
“A Quick One, While He’s Away” has to be one of the most gut wrenching episodes of the entire series.
Just as BoJack is redeeming himself and becoming a better person his past truly comes back to haunt him, with many of his darkest secrets looking to be exposed in the second half.
And, as someone who considers the final scene of season four to be the most heartwarming moment of BoJack Horseman, the last scene of the final episode made me feel like I had been sucker punched.

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I loved the season four finale so much that it made me cried so to see that happy ending threatened by the the last episode of the first half really worries me.

I am now genuinely scared about what is going to happen to BoJack in the final season.
One thing is for sure, though, and that is that the first half of season six has built up to whatever this finale will be nicely.
It started by building up a feeling of hope before pulling the rug out from under us with a crushing final episode that has me eagerly anticipating the final half.
I know it will crush me emotionally but I have to see it through.

Attack on Titan Chapter 123, Devils of the Island Review: Eren Equals Nightmare Fuel.

4 and a half stars
Honestly, it felt like it was taking forever for Chapter 123 of Attack on Titan, “The Devils of the Island” to be released.
After the best cliffhanger of the entire series in Chapter 122, I was desperate to see what would happen now that the Rumbling had been initiated.
However, in true Isayama fashion, he started the chapter not with the Rumbling but with a flashback to when Eren and his friends first went to survey Marley.
This surprisingly lead to some of the greatest jokes of the entire series.
There is the amazingly comedic moment where Hange, Sasha and Connie are amazed by a car, with Sasha and Connie mistaking it for a cow.
What makes this joke truly shine, though, is the following exchange between Levi and Onyankopon where Levi expresses his concern that they may try to feed the car a carrot.
Onyankopon thinks he is joking until he looks and cries out “they’re buying a carrot!”
But, by far the funniest gag of the entire chapter that left me in stitches came when a clown approaches Levi and offers him candy, thinking he is a little boy because of his height.
Levi’s expression during this moment is priceless and the fact that this random clown had just inadvertently insulted the strongest character in the manga who could tear him to pieces had me howling with laughter.
I know the chapter just came out but I already think this joke is my favourite out of the entire manga so far.
The flashback is not all sunshine and rainbows, however, as is quickly proven by a surprising character reveal when Levi notices a young boy trying to steal Sasha’s money and calls him out on it.
What is so surprising about the boy is that he is the one with the fez hat from the memory fragment in Chapter 120.
I had previously predicted that this boy would turn out to be a young Tom Xaver or a kid from the future that Eren was seeing with the Attack on Titan power but I was completely wrong about this.
No, instead the boy turned out to be an immigrant from the Mid-East Allied Forces, fleeing his country because of its war with Marley.
This leads to him being singled out by the crowd of Marleyans and it becomes clear that the country’s racism does not just extend to Eldians.
Thankfully, Levi using his quick thinking to save the boy, claiming he is Sasha’s brother before fleeing with him just as the crowd starts to turn violent.
Upon escaping, Levi notices that the boy has taken the money again.
However, I do not think he stole it because of the memory fragment in Chapter 120.
Because we now know that this fragment came from Eren’s perspective we can see there was a moment he made this boy smile.
I think the reason that the boy was seen smiling is because Eren secretly gave him the money.
If he did so it would most likely be because he sees a part of himself in the boy, as pointed out by the scene with him and Mikasa looking at the boy’s camp with his family.
Eren highlights their similarities and then makes a very ominous statement about the boy when Mikasa asks if something happened to him, stating “nothing yet.”
Given this, and the fact that Eren was crying before Mikasa found him, it points to the notion that Eren already knows he will cause this boy and his family’s deaths when he initiates the Rumbling.
Eren is clearly struggling with this knowledge as he asks Mikasa what he is to her.
Many people have interpreted this as a shipping moment but I do not think this is the case.
Rather, I think Eren’s questioning of Mikasa is both a blind hope that she can unknowingly convince him he does not have to destroy the world, a way to test if she only cares about him because of her Ackerman blood, and to see if the future memories of the Attack Titan are really destined to happen, all in one.
This last point seems to be proven by the arrival of Jean, Connie and Sasha to which Eren notes that it is “perfect timing”, as if he knew they would come at that moment.
Then we get the last happy moment of the chapter with the Scouts all getting drunk and partying with the young boy’s family.
This moment is also particularly sad in hindsight because it is the last time that Eren, Mikasa and Armin were happy together.
After this, Eren gets his proof that the subjects of Ymir on Paradis would always be persecuted by the outside world and leaves to plan his attack on Liberio.
From here, “The Devils of the Island” transitions into the present with the much anticipated Rumbling and this is where my one criticism of the chapter comes in.
During this moment we see that Mikasa, Armin, Gabi and Pieck are all safe, when they were in imminent danger at the end of the last chapter.
It was quite jarring to see they were safe without showing how they escaped the collapsing wall.
This problem aside, though, the panels of the Rumbling are both magnificent and terrifying.
The horrifying aspects of these panels are highlighted further by the absolute nightmare fuel that is Eren’s new Titan form.
I was pretty sure he would get a new form after finally utilizing the Founding Titan power last chapter but I was not at all expecting the dinosaur skeleton hybrid that we got.
What’s more is that this Titan puts Rod Reiss’ to shame, with it being at least three times times the size of his Titan, and that’s only when it’s on all all fours!
Eren is practically unstoppable at this point and the full force of the Rumbling is shown through how Armin and Mikasa have to shout to hear one another because of the noise.
Armin quickly realizes that Eren is using way more Titans than would be necessary to crush the Allied Forces in Marley and this leads to Eren’s announcement of what his true intentions are.
He uses the Founding Titan power to communicate with all Subjects of Ymir, seemingly temporarily transporting them to the Path Dimension.
Curiously, Mikasa is also transported there, which is strange because I though she had no Eldian blood, having an Asian mother and an Ackerman father.
However, I think the reason she is there is not because she can be turned into a Titan but because as an Ackerman the past battle experience of her predecessors was given to her through a Path.
So, even if Mikasa is not an Eldian, she is still connected to the Paths so she can hear Eren.
More important, though, is Eren announcing his intentions.
He declares that he plans to use the Rumbling, “until all life existing there has been exterminated from this world.”
And there we have it.
As many of us thought, Eren intends to enact a worldwide genocide to protect his friends.
Anyone who still thinks Eren is a hero after this really should take a good look at their morality because, although Eren is doing this for the right reasons, what he intends to do is still monstrous.
And this monstrous intent is perfectly portrayed by the final panel of the chapter where Eren announces he will kill everyone outside Paradis.
He looks absolutely demonic in this panel, only further implying that he may turn out to be the devil in Ymir’s story.
Devil or not, though, the question is if he will succeed in destroying the world or not?
He could just be trying to make himself the enemy to unite the world against him but this seems a little too similar to Code Geass’ ending.
Isayama has said that he wants to hurt the readers so I see Eren’s plan of worldwide genocide succeeding with him achieving freedom for his people, but at the worst possible cost with many beloved characters dying.
“The Devils of the Island” makes it even clearer that the story of the manga is drawing to a close.
And from the events of the chapter, that ending looks to be on such an epic scale to the extent that we have not seen in this series before.

Watchmen Episode Two, Martial Feats of Comanche Horsemanship, Review: “Friends in High Places” Indeed.

4 stars
The mystery deepens in the second episode of Watchmen “Martial Feats of Comanche Horsemanship”, with Angela beginning her investigation into the death of Chief Crawford.
Her prime suspect is the 105-year-old Will who claims to have “strung up your police chief”, despite looking physically incapable of doing so.
Directed again by Nicole Kassel, episode two dives head first into the interactions between Angela and Will as the costumed detective tries to learn the truth from him.
An interesting point to note is that, as far as I can remember, Will never outright says he murdered Crawford.
Again, he merely states that he “strung up your police chief.”
So, while he may have had a hand in hand in hanging Crawford, he may not be behind his murder.
Although, Looking Glass later says Crawford did die of asphyxiation, likely from being hung, so I may be wrong about that.
Or maybe he was killed elsewhere before being hung.
Either way, Crawford’s murder is not the only mystery surrounding Will because it is revealed that he is Angela’s grandfather at the end of the episode.
One thing I did find interesting was that it was mentioned that Will has two descendants.
This means, along with Angela, there is one other character who is descended from him.
Following the realization that Will is her grandfather and realizing he will not cooperate, she decides to take him in, ignoring his claim of having “friends in high places.”
This comes back to bite her when, after putting Will in her car, a magnet descends from the sky and picks up the car with Will in it, flying off.
“Friends in high places” indeed.

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Will disappears with a smile as he is rescued from Angela’s custody. 

The scenes between Angela and Will are great as they continue to build in suspense and anticipation for the reveal of the conspiracy Will claims is currently happening in Tulsa.
The only weak moment came in the aftermath of Crawford’s murder, where Angela lets out a cry of anguish that seemed kind of artificial to me.
Aside from this small moment, though, their interactions are very good.
There are already multiple theories surrounding Will, including one that he was Hooded Justice who appears on a TV show called “American Hero Story”in a brief yet interesting scene that speaks to Angela’s character.
Supporting this theory, is the opening scene where Will’s father is fighting in World War One and sees a German pamphlet that urges black soldiers to come over to their side where they will be treated fairly, and Hooded Justice was thought to be German.
Speaking of theories, I also like the one that Crawford was the Seventh Calvary member who shot Angela.
In a flashback of the White Night, Angela is shot and about to be killed by one of their members but then it cuts to her waking up in the hospital with Crawford beside her.
However, none of these scenes are my favourite of the episode.
That award goes to the scene where we get to see Ozymandias’ play.
This moment proves to be the most confusing yet interesting scene in the show so far, with his production of Dr Manhattan’s transformation being particularly disturbing and also somewhat comical.
We watch as he literally burns his assistant Mr Phillips to death to simulate Dr Manhattan’s transformation, upon which it is revealed that all of his assistants are clones.

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Watching Ozymandias burn one of his clone servants to death, only for the next clone to eagerly take their place, is both disturbing and oddly comedic.

Why Ozymandias has all these clones and what exactly he intends to achieve by making this play for himself is uncertain.
One thing is clear, though, and that is that he has been deeply affected by his last meeting with Dr Manhattan, remembering his last words to him before he departed, “nothing ever ends.”
I am probably looking forwards to Ozymandias’ scenes the most in future episodes as Jeremy Irons is doing a great job.
Other notable scenes in this episode include the discovery that Crawford may have been in the Ku Klux Klan, and the touching moment where Looking Glass reveals that, despite seeming completely cold, he is actually crying under his mask.
Overall, I would say that “Martial Feats of Comanche Horsemanship” is another great episode of Watchmen that, while not as enjoyable as the first episode, deepens the mystery and creates more interesting questions for the show to answer.
Let’s just hope those answers will be satisfying.

Zombieland: Double Tap Review. Admittedly Fun But Unecessary.

3 stars
When I first heard there was a sequel to 2009’s Zombieland coming out, I had quite a few reservations.
The first film came out ten years ago and, although it is a very enjoyable film, I thought it was very unnecessary to make a sequel now.
A few years after the first film came out, sure, but ten years later?
So, I admit I went in with a lot of skepticism.
Still, I enjoyed myself.
Zombieland: Double Tap is a fun film with a lot of great gags and zombie action.
Returning director Ruben Fleischer did a good job helming this film, which again follows the characters of Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg), Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson), Wichita (Emma Stone), and Little Rock (Abigail Breslin) on their bloody adventures in Zombieland.
All four of the actors do a great job portraying the characters they played ten years ago, although Breslin sadly does not have enough screen time to stand out.
That aside, the team’s banter is great and it leads to a lot of exciting action sequences, my favourite of which is a long take fight sequence following the arrival of two characters that are hilariously similar to Columbus and Tallahassee.

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The introduction of Albuquerque (Luke Wilson) and Flagstaff (Thomas Middleditch)  leads to the best action scene of the film.

There are plenty of creative moments in the film as well, including one at the start that actually made me jump in surprise.
Then there is the surprise cameo when the credits start to roll, which is also highly enjoyable.
So, if you are looking for a good time at the movies then Zombieland: Double Tap will definitely provide that.
However, the film does still have quite a lot of issues.
One of those is the lack of agency in much of the plot.
The film basically follows Columbus, Tallahassee and Wichita on a mission to save Little Rock but, honestly, I felt very little suspence in this mission for whatever reason.
On top of this, while many of the jokes do land a lot of them don’t as well.
This is mainly due to the new faces in the film, primarily Madison (Zoe Deutch) and Berkeley (Avan Jogia), who are both incredibly annoying and not at all funny.

Madison
Madison’s dumb blond, stereotype of a character provided no laughs whatsoever for me.

There is also a supreme lack of stakes.
I remember being concerned for the characters in the third act of the first film but here I felt much of the tension in that final act to be artificial and, thus, not investing.
So, in conclusion, while Zombieland: Double Tap does provide a fun experience, it has quite a few problems that make the sequel feel unnecessary.

My Hero Academia, Season Four, Episode Three, Boy Meets… Review: The Two Meetings.

3 and a half stars
“Boy Meets…” is the perfect title for My Hero Academia season four’s third episode because it is all about Deku meeting and interacting with multiple characters for the first time.
Sir Nighteye is the the most obvious meeting, with more than half the episode focusing on him and Deku’s interactions.
Their conversation and later game did a great job of emphasizing the parallels between them, with multiple similarities and differences.
Despite Nighteye not liking Deku because of how he views him as usurping Miro’s chance of inheriting One For All, they are still similar with the both of them being massive All Might fans with their own ways of showing that.
Nighteye looks past these similarities, though, still not believing Deku to be worthy of One For All and tests him by having Deku try to defeat his quirk foresight, which allows him to accurately predict his decisions for an hour.
Deku both fails and succeeds in the test, failing to grab the stamp Nighteye is holding but succeeding in making sure he does not damage all of Nighteye’s All Might merchandise.
This shows that Deku is able to multitask in his fighting, proving himself to Nighteye, even if he was planning to accept him no matter what.
However, Nighteye’s intentions in accepting Deku are not entirely pure because he hopes to convince him to give up One For All to Mirio.
This meeting sets up both Deku and Nighteye very well for their arcs in this storyline.
What is by far the most exciting scene, though, is Deku’s second meeting of the episode with Eri and Overhaul in the after credits scene.
I am overjoyed to see Eri make her appearance in the series because she is one of my favourite characters and the centerpiece of the season.
Deku’s meeting with her and Overhaul also gets the ball rolling for the big story of the arc so I cannot wait to see this first meeting truly play out next episode.
Aside from these two well done first meetings, the rest of “Boy Meets…” is more decent setup that is actually anime original.
The scene of Aizawa informing Uraraka and Tsuyu that Nejire wants to talk to them, and telling Kirishima that Amajiki wants to meet with him, is probably added to provide a starting point for where we will see these characters in subsequent episodes.
Most interesting, though, is the moment Aizawa tells Tokoyami that the Number Three Pro Hero, Hawks, has offered him an internship.
For those of you expecting to see the two working together, I would not get your hopes up.
This is because Hawks does not have a role in the arcs season four will be covering and will not get a big part in the story until the fifth season.
As a result, this mention of Hawks is most likely just fan service to hype up his future appearance.
Although, who knows?
Maybe we could get an anime only scene of Hawks and Tokoyami’s internship this season.
That would be interesting.
Overall, “Boy Meets…” is a good setup episode for My Hero Academia that both builds up Nighteye’s character arc and gets the ball rolling with Overhaul and Eri’s role in the story through them meeting Deku.
It will be great to see the first interaction Deku and Mirio have with Overhaul and Eri in the next episode.

Watchmen, Episode One, It’s Summer and We’re Running Out of Ice Review: A Solid Start.

4 stars
Alan Moore’s Watchmen is one of the greatest graphic novels of all time, and while a lot of people did not like its 2009 adaptation, directed by Zack Snyder, I enjoyed it for what it was.
So, when it was announced that HBO would be creating a follow up series to graphic novel, under Damon Lindelof, I was pretty excited.
And, after watching the first episode, “It’s Summer and We’re Running Out of Ice”, directed by Nicole Kassel, I can say that this new show looks to be just as layered and complex as Moore’s original graphic novel, even if Moore has disowned the series just like the 2009 film.
The series takes place 34 years after the story of Watchmen in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where police now wear masks to protect themselves from a white supremacist terrorist organization, inspired by Rorschach, known as the Seventh Calvary.
Before this is revealed, though, the first episode picks up in 1921 with the Tulsa massacre, one of the worst incidents of racial violence in American history where potentially hundreds of black people were brutally murdered.
I found the inclusion of this disturbing scene to be very interesting because not only does it highlight the issues the series will be dealing with but also because it is made clear that this tragedy is somehow influencing the plot of the story.
In fact, one of the child survivors of the massacres appears in the present story as an old man (Louis Gosset Jr.) who goes on to hang the chief of police, Judd Crawford (Don Johnson), at the end of the episode, or at least he claims he did.
What exactly a massacre that happened nearly 100 years ago has to do with the current conspiracy in Watchmen is an interesting question and one I am anticipating to be explored in the future.

Tulsa Massacre.png
I wonder what the Tulsa massacre could have to do with a conspiracy happening close to a hundred years later?

As for the present events of the episode, it all does a solid job of building up the story and characters.
Our lead character is Angela Abar, or Sister Night, (Regina King), a police detective who joins in on the manhunt of the Seventh Calvary after they gun down one of her fellow officers.
She already seems to be a very good protagonist, with her looking to eventually be caught up in whatever conspiracy is going on.
Another interesting character is Looking Glass (Tim Blake Nelson), a costumed detective who has learned how to tell when someone is lying.
Along with these interesting characters and the so far compelling story, the episode also raises a lot of questions.
There are the tiny alien squids that fall from the sky, which are smaller versions of the one Ozymandias sent to destroy New York in the graphic novel.
Then there is Ozymandias’ play about “the watchmaker’s son”, and his incredibly creepy servants.
Finally, there is the question of who really killed Chief Crawford.
This last one looks to be the big question of the season, with Crawford’s death being built up as a mystery just like the Comedian’s was in Watchmen. 
The final shot of the episode sees a drop of blood drip onto Crawford’s badge in a clear homage to the blood that dripped onto the Comedian’s badge in the graphic novel.
“It’s Summer and We’re Running Out of Ice” certainly does raise a lot of interesting questions and, with its good story and characters, this provides a solid start.

It's raining squids! Hallelujah!.jpg
It’s raining squids! Hallelujah!

My one big issue with the episode is how the Seventh Calvary are inspired by Rorschach.
As far as I can recall, Rorschach was not a white supremacist in the graphic novel.
Sure, he was far from a moral character and was bigoted in other ways but he interacted with black characters, like his prison psychologist, who he did not seem to hold prejudices against.
If anything, I think the Seventh Calvary is a group that Rorschach would be fighting if he was still alive.
So, the series acting like he was a white supremacist is actually problematic because anyone watching this show, without reading the graphic novel, would just assume he was one.
Because of this, I do hope the show makes it clear that the Seventh Calvary has warped Rorschach’s ideals to suit their own ends.

Seventh Calvary.jpg
The Seventh Calvary warp Rorschach’s quote from “all the whores and politicians will look up and shout save us, and I will look down and whisper, no”, to “all the whores and race traitors will shoout out, save us, and we will whisper, no.” I hope this appropriation and warping is addressed.

Other than this problem, though, I found “It’s Summer and We’re Running Out of Ice” to be a solid first entry in the Watchmen TV series and I am interested to see where it goes from here.

 

My Hero Academia Season Four, Episode Two, Overhaul Review: Bloody Beginning, Hilarious Ending.

4 and a half stars
Well, it’s fair to say that season four of My Hero Academia has officially begun with its second episode, “Overhaul.”
The first episode of the season, “The Scoop on U.A Class 1-A”, was little more than filler designed to catch viewers up on the story so far.
“Overhaul” continues that story, delivering a great episode that has an intense beginning and a gut-bustingly funny ending.
After reading the events of the beginning in the manga, I could not wait to see it animated and it did not disappoint.
The new villain Overhaul’s meeting with the League of Villains sets him up magnificently as the big bad of this arc, with his charismatic personality, intelligence, and threat level.
Both the sub and dub voice actors, Kenjirô Tsuda and Kellen Goff, do an amazing job at voicing the character.
Instead of joining the League like Shigaraki expects, Overhaul instead criticizes him, pointing out all the mistakes he has made, and suggests he becomes their new leader because he has an actual plan.
However, this does not go over well for the rest of the League with Magne (or Big Sis Mag) attacking him.
This ends poorly for her, with Overhaul revealing his quirk by blowing her upper torso to bloody pieces.
Overhaul then obliterates Mr Compress’ arm as well, after he attempts to compress him only to be stopped by some kind of quirk removing bullet.
Following this, Shigaraki makes a move to kill Overhaul who is shielded by one of his men.
With a death on both sides, Overhaul leaves with his men to let the League cool off, stating he owes them an arm, something that will pay off spectacularly later.
This scene is over in a few minutes but really sets up how big of a threat Overhaul is with his destructive quirk and troops at his disposal.
Probably the worst thing about him, though, is his cruelty which will be expanded on in the next few episodes.
I also liked what this scene did for Shigarakai as well.
You can see the slow progression he has from the beginning of his meeting with Overhaul to the end.
Overhaul’s criticisms get to him and it will be interesting to see how he continues to grow in his villainy.
After this dark beginning, the episode then compensates for some stellar humor as Deku attempts to get an internship with All Might’s former sidekick Sir Nighteye.
There are numerous great gags in these scenes, from Bakugo’s gloating, to All Might’s reluctance to talk to Sir Nighteye, to Miro’s bad jokes.
By far the best joke, though, comes at the ending with Deku’s first meeting with Nighteye.
Deku walking in on him tickling Bubble Girl for not making him laugh is pretty hilarious but what follows is even better.
Realizing he has to make Sir Nighteye laugh to be accepted, Deku imitates All Might in a comical moment that is definitely a bad idea, proven by Mirio’s hilarious reaction and Nighteye believing him to be ridiculing All Might.
This ending to the episode, left me in stitches.
It honestly made me laugh harder than it did in the manga.
“Overhaul” is a great episode of My Hero Academia. 
The one criticism I have is that Magne’s story with her friend before her death felt a little oddly paced.
I think it would have been better for her to reveal this before she tried to attack Overhaul as opposed to during because there it disrupts the pacing a little.
Otherwise, “Overhaul” is the episode where the story of the fourth season really picks up, delivering both a bloody and hilarious episode.