Game of Thrones, Season Eight, Episode Two, A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms Review: Final Happy Moments.

4 stars
In the recent seasons of Game of Thrones, the show has lost a lot of the stakes it had previously.
While in the first five seasons it felt like any character could die, after that point the good guys have won victory after victory to the point that, even though the series is still good, it makes the series a much less intense experience.
But I feel that this episode “A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms”, directed by David Nutter, may be the final truly “happy” episode the show gives us.
There are so many moments in the episode where characters are given preparations for the conclusion of their arcs in heartwarming scenes.
Theon returns to fight for Winterfell and is reunited with Sansa, Jorah convinces Dany to give Tyrion another chance as Hand of the King, Sam gives Jorah his sword, and Grey Worm and Missandei decide to go to Naath once the fighting is done.
While these are all heartwarming scenes they all present major death flags for the characters, giving these joyous scenes a sense of finality.
By far the best of these scenes is the one when Jamie knights Brienne, with terrific performances from Nickolaj Coster-Waldau and Gwendoline Christie.

Gwendoline Christie did not even need to speak during her scene. Her facial expressions alone spoke volumes.

The two actors really sold their connection but, again with the sense of finality the scene presents, I doubt Brienne is going to last that long.
I can honestly see her dying to protect Jamie next episode, along with Theon (Alfie Allen), Grey Worm (Jacob Anderson) and Jorah (Iain Glen).
Still, if these characters do die, at least they got some heart warming scenes before their deaths.
Not every scene in the episode is heartwarming though, as Jon (Kit Harringtom) tells Dany (Emilia Clarke) the truth about his parentage and she feels threatened because this means his claim to the Iron Throne is better than hers.
This seems to be laying the seeds for the tragedy of their relationship that is sure to follow.
Honestly though, I find it pretty funny how they both just learnt they have been committing incest and their main focus is still the Iron Throne.
However, not all the scenes in this episode are great because there is one that feels quite awkward.
This is the sex scene between Arya (Maisie Williams) and Gendry (Joe Dempsie).
Even though the scene makes sense, it feels a bit weird watching a character who was a little girl at the beginning of the series do the dirty.
Although, as others have pointed out, Arya has murdered multiple people across the series and we were all okay with that so this says something about those of us who were uncomfortable about it.

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The sex scene between Arya and Gendry feels a little weird but we have seen far, far, far, far, far, far worse things on this show.

But there is one criticism I do have that I think is legitimate and that is Tormund Giantsbane (Kristofer Huvju).
Since his introduction, Tormund has turned into more of a comic relief character, to mostly great effect
In “A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms,” however, his jokes got really repetitive for me and almost ruins the scene where Jamie knights Brienne.
Overall, this episode is about on point with the season premiere.
It is mostly fan service, with a sense of finality, that is preparing us for the inevitable heartbreak that will come with the 82 minute episode next week.
Might need the tissues for that one.

Game of Thrones, Season Eight, Episode One, Winterfell Review: The End Begins.

4 stars
After a long wait, the final season of Game of Thrones has finally begun with its premiere episode, “Winterfell.”
Anticipation has been building for months now to see how what is arguably one of the greatest TV series of all time will conclude, and the first episode of this conclusion does not disappoint.
If there is any single word to sum up this episode then it would be reunions, because there is a bulk load of them.
Jon and Arya, Jon and Sam, Tyrion and Sansa, Arya and the Hound, Arya and Gendry, Jamie and Bran, the list goes on.
As a result, “Winterfell” is a set-up episode to the coming battle with the Night King and his undead army, and we will probably have to wait another episode to get that battle.
Still, what we get in this episode is nothing short of great and really shows how fantastic Game of Thrones is with character drama.
All of the reunions and meetings that happen in this episode are well done, with many of them being reminiscent of the very first episode of the series.
I found the best of all the reunions to be the one between Sam and Jon, where both Kit Harrington and John Bradley gave magnificent performances.
Bradley is touchingly sympathetic as Sam in the scene where he learns his father and brother were murdered by Daenerys (Emilia Clarke), which leads him to tell Jon his true parentage.
Jon takes it as well as can, learning that not only had his father lied to him his entire life and that he is the true heir to the Iron Throne but also that he slept with his aunt.
Kit Harrington sells the conflict, anger and sadness Jon is feeling in this scene brilliantly.

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The scene between Jon and Sam is the best of “Winterfell,” with both Harrington and Bradley giving great performances.

Unfortunately, this scene and others in “Winterfell” seem to be highly hinting at Jon and Dany being at odds later.
This is nowhere more apparent than when Sam asks Jon, “you gave up your crown to save your people. Would she do the same?”
Only time will tell if Jon and Dany will stay united in the same cause, but I sense a tragedy coming, what with the Night King approaching and Cersi (Lena Headey) scheming.
Speaking of her, Cersi’s scenes in this episode continue to show how conniving she is, with her having Euron (Pilou Asbaek) fetch the Golden Company to deal with Jon and Dany’s army after they are finished fighting the dead.
In a small twist she even has sex with Euron to ensure his loyalty, and even goes as far to send Bronn (Jerome Flynn) to murder Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) and Jamie (Nickolaj Coster-Waldau).
However, this last act does seem to go a bit against her character.
While her wanting Tyrion dead is nothing new, the idea that she would want to kill Jamie just feels weird to me because, although they are on opposite sides now, I never got the sense she wanted him dead before.

Cersei is unlikable as ever in the season premiere, even if her wanting Jamie dead does not make sense.

Sadly, this is not the only flaw I had with the episode because Theon (Alfie Allen) returns to rescue Yara (Gemma Whelan) from Euron’s clutches.
This scene felt a little rushed and odd, given that Theon somehow knew where Yara was, and it felt like Theon’s mission of the final season was going to be to rescue her, but now that is done.
Other than this though, “Winterfell” is still a great episode that also delivers on a few tense scenes to remind the audience of what is at stake.
After escaping from the Wall, Tormund (Krisofer Hivu) and Beric (Richard Dormer) run into Edd (Ben Crompton) and, after a pretty good comedic moment between them, find the horrifying scene of a young lord brutally murdered by the Night King and placed up in a display as a warning.
The night is certainly coming to Game of Thrones.

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The scene where Tormund, Beric and Edd discover the killed boy, who comes back as a Wight and attacks them, reminds the viewer of the horror that is to come.

The episode ends with Jamie arriving at Winterfell and seeing Bran (Isaac Hempstead Wright), in what will probably be the most awkward reunion of the final season.
In all seriousness though, I doubt Bran hates Jamie now because he is the Three Eyed Raven and seems more emotionless.
In the trailer for next episode we see Jamie being put on trial, in a sense, but I believe Brienne will speak up for him by maybe convincing him to tell the truth about why he killed the Mad King.
Although, we did not actually see Brienne this episode from what I can recall so we will have to wait and see.
Either way, “Winterfell” was a great way to kick off the season and sets up a lot of the relationships and conflicts that will be sure to come to a head in the great war with the Night King in the next few episodes.

Psycho-Pass 2 Review: I Think my Hue Just got Clouded.

Oh boy, where do I begin with Psycho-Pass 2?
Coming into the second season of this series I was quite concerned, given what I had heard about it previously.
I hoped that what people had told me about this season would not be the case and I would find it just as fantastic as the first Psycho-Pass.
Unfortunately, this did not happen for me because, in this case, the general consensus about Psycho-Pass 2 is absolutely right.
The second season features Akane Tsunemori (Kana Hanazawa) and the MWPSB as they attempt to track down a criminal mastermind, and his large amount of followers, who is, for some reason, able to bypass the Sybil System.
What’s that?
Thais synopsis sounds almost exactly like the plot of the first season?
Well, you are certainly right because Psycho-Pass 2 has almost the same beat for beat story structure as season one, only in a much more condensed format, and almost anything new added ultimately fails.

The story of Psycho-Pass 2 is very similar to the first season. This time with a very watered down villain.

It is incredibly obvious that there was a different team working on this season than the first one, with Kiyotaka Suzuki stepping in as director.
Right from the get go everything feels different, from the way shots are composed, to the lighting, which just makes something seem off.
There are a few great shots here and there, but these are few and far between.
Getting down to the story of Psycho-Pass 2, along with replicating much of the story from the first season, it is also full of a bunch of massive plot holes and inconsistencies.
The backstory of the villain, Kirito Kamui (Ryohei Kimura), is so ridiculous that it requires a massive suspension of disbelief that I just could not muster, no matter how hard I tried.
Speaking of Kamui, he is also a bland villain with unclear motivations, and an incredibly bland design you would expect to see in a background character.
He is not the worst character of the season though.
No, that award goes to Mika Shimotsuki (Ayane Sakura), a detective working with Akane who is one of the most aggravating characters I have seen in an anime in a while.
She is arrogant, hypocritical, and her actions by the end of the season make her completely unlikeable in every way.

Mika is the worst character in the entirety of Psycho-Pass. She makes a terrible first impression and only gets worse as the season goes on.

Psycho-Pass 2 feels like it has no idea what it wants to do with its characters from the first season as well.
Akane’s arc is a replica of hers in season one, Nobuchika Ginoza (Kenji Nojima) has no arc to speak of, and, apart from some brief instances, Shinya Kogami (Tomakuza Seki) is not even mentioned.
Thankfully, not every character is badly handled because there are a few new ones I actually found myself enjoying, like Sho Hinawaka (Takahiro Sakurai), and I did appreciate the way the series brought back Joji Saiga (Kazuhiro Yamaji).
So, there are some good things about Psycho-Pass 2, with how it handles some of its characters and a few scenes and specific shots.
However, the negative far outweighs the positives for the season with its a plot hole fueled story that just seems like a retread of the first season, mostly boring and sometimes terrible characters, and a less striking cinematic feel.
Psycho-Pass 2 is a very underwhelming experience compared to the first season and I would recommend skipping it.


The Mule – Not For Everyone.

3 stars.png
Clint Eastwood is both a fantastic actor and director but his latest film, The Mule, may not be for everyone.
The movie stars Eastwood as a 90-year-old man who turns to drug smuggling after he loses his source of income.
It is based off the true story of elderly drug smuggler Leo Sharp but Eastwood’s version of the story takes various liberties with the story.
Most notably, his version of Leo Sharp is named Earl Stone instead.
Eastwood does a great job as Stone, portraying a man who, despite being fragile physically due to his age, becomes a successful drug mule.
Along with this, a big focus of the film is how Stone has neglected his family and him coming to terms with this.
Both storylines work very well together, thanks, in no small part, to Eastwood’s performance.
My favourite scene of the film came when Stone has a conversation with DEA agent Colin Bates (Bradley Cooper) and offers him advice about family, without Bates knowing Stone is the drug smuggler he is hunting.
The scene offers great acting from Eastwood and ties in with the themes of the film well.

Clint Eastwood.jpg
The actors all do a good job and help tie the film together. Especially Eastwood.

However, even if you are a fan of Eastwood, this film may still not be for you.
The Mule is a very slow paced film and does not even have an opening hook.
The film begins by showing Earl’s life, long before he becomes a drug smuggler, and while this carries into how Earl eventually becomes the mule known as “Tata”, it honestly made The Mule a little boring to begin with.
It does pick up though once the drug smuggling begins but, even then, the film holds a very slow pace and even has a few pointless scenes like when Eastwood runs into a group of lesbian bikers for some reason.
Some of the film’s messages also get a bit muddled.
For example, The Mule appears to be trying to tackle topics about racial profiling in some scenes but because of the way these scenes are handled it becomes very unclear about what the film is trying to say.
Ultimately though, I will say the film narrowly clears these faults, mostly due to Eastwood and the other actors’ performances, along with most of the themes.
The Mule is a decent film but you will not be missing much if you skip it.


Top 10 Movies of 2018.

2018 has came to a close and, while not offering as many fantastic films as 2017, there were still numerous films that connected with me and were a joy to watch.
Now I am going to count down the top 10 best of those films.
Before I do that though, there are still some films I want to mention but did not get in the top 10 so, quickly, here are numbers 15-11 of my favourite films of the year.

15. Deadpool 2.
14. Isle of Dogs.
13. The Incredibles 2.
12. Ready Player One.
11. Sicario: Day of the Soldado.

With that out of the way, let’s get into my top 10 favourite films of 2018.

10. BlacKKKlansmen.


Based off a true story, BlacKKKlansmen follows Ron Stallworth (John David Washington), the first black police officer of the Colorado Springs police department, who oddly manages to infiltrate the Ku Klux Klan on the phone.
What follows is a dark, yet at the same time, hilarious film about racism and the cruelty of the KKK.
Both lead actors, Washington, and Adam Driver as Stallworth’s partner, Phillip “Flip” Zimmerman, give great performances.
BlacKKKlansmen can get very dark at times through recounting crimes committed during this time and a KKK couple talking about killing black people during “pillow talk.”
Somehow though, the film also manages to be incredibly funny, especially with Stallworth’s phone conversations with leader of the KKK David Duke (Topher Grace).
Spike Lee manages to craft a great film that is both disturbing and hilarious with how it discusses racism through the scary and idiotic train of thought it follows.

9. Overlord.

overlord peek

Overlord is not going to win any awards, nor should it.
It is not cinematically brilliant, it does not offer any complex themes.
What the film does do though, and in spades, is provide an incredibly fun experience for moviegoers.
It is clear when watching Overlord that director Julius Avery set out to make a fun, action packed thrill ride that would have the audience engaged from start to finish.
So, while Overlord is not anything special cinematically speaking, it still provides a really good time.
I found it to be one of the most memorable films of the year just because of how fun it was because we got a great war film that just so happened to include zombies.
Even though a lot of the story and characters may seem cliche, they are done in the lovably cliche way as opposed to the eye rolling.
The actors all do a good job, the action sequences are great, and it all provides just enough emotion to care about what is going on.
It is the perfect kind of B Movie, only this time with a bigger budget.
The opening action scene alone is worth the price of admission.
I find it unfortunate that the movie bombed because I think a lot of people would enjoy this film if they had gone to see it.
Overlord is a film that I will find myself rewatching every time I am looking for pure enjoyment factor.

8. Creed 2.

creed 2

A great sequel to the first CreedCreed 2 improved on its predecessor in a number of ways.
For one, I thought the story was a lot better and made me sympathize not only with Adonis Creed (Michael B. Jordan) but with the antagonists of the film as well.
It is amazing how they made a follow up to the cheesy Rocky IV serious and with such emotional weight to it.
Sure, Creed 2 may not be directed as well as the first one but Steven Caple Jr. still does a great job.
There are quite a few amazing shots and the montages are top notch.
Most notable though is the tension in the characters, not just in their fights but through what the fights mean to them.
The stakes of the fights between Creed’s side and the Drago family could be felt on both sides.
Creed 2 clearly worked for the rest of the audience I was viewing it with as well because many of them were standing up and cheering during the ending fight.
The film ups the stakes and the story along with it.
Let’s just hope the movies do not get super cheesy after this and they continue with the serious tone they have been going for.

7. Mission Impossible: Fallout.

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Mission Impossible: Fallout is not a film I reviewed in 2018.
In fact, I only saw it recently but it still managed to get to number seven on the list.
Fallout is just an all around great action film.
It may be a bit predictable where Henry Cavill’s character is concerned but the action outshines this.
Tom Cruise once again risked life and limb to make this film, even breaking his leg in the process.
The realism applied to the death defying stunts makes the film all the more epic.
As for Cavill’s predictable villain, he also does a great job, making the mustache controversy of Justice League more than worth it.
The film also has plenty of great character moments and growth for Cruise’s Ethan Hunt.
Fallout just escalates further and further with some great twists and turns complimented, again, by great action.
I honestly have not watched any of the other Mission Impossible movies but this one made me want to.
It is fast paced, action packed and full of solid performances.
The entire plot does get a bit confusing but the action more than makes up for this.
Director Christopher McQuarrie did a great job with this one.

6. Black Panther.

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Directed by Ryan Coogler, Black Panther is, without a doubt, the most unique Marvel Cinematic Universe film to date.
Its setting of the fictional country of Wakanda is spectacular, providing a perfect blend of African cultures and futuristic cities.
The story set in this land is also just as great, with it featuring amazing political themes that makes it a very contemplative film.
This is supported by the amazing characters Black Panther provides.
There is T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) the titular Black Panther and king of Wakanda, his genius sister, Shuri (Letita Wright) and, leader of the Dora Milaje, Okoye (Danai Gurira).
Best of all, though, is the film’s villain Erik Killmonger, played brilliantly by Michael B. Jordan, who not only manages to be threatening but incredibly relatable as well.
These actors came together to give us, what I believe to be, one of the best casts out of all the MCU films.
The only problem I have with the film, which holds it back from getting further on the list, is the big final battle.
It incorporates a lot of CGI and it is very subpar.
The final fight between T’Challa and Killmonger really drew me out of the film because of how bad it looks.
Other than this, Black Panther is a brilliant film with an amazing story, characters and setting.

5. A Star is Born.

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Over the years, many actors have had a go at directing and, if Bradley Cooper’s first outing A Star is Born is any hint, his future as a director looks bright.
Starring Cooper as singer Jackson Maine and Lady Gaga as Ally, the aspiring singer he discovers in a bar, the film follows these characters’ tragic love story from the start right to the bitter end.
Having never seen this film, after watching the first half hour you might think this is supposed to be a happy story but, oh, no, this is anything but.
A Star is Born goes on to be pretty depressing by taking a very hard look at subjects like alcoholism and mental health.
This heartbreaking story is bolstered by the fantastic performances by Cooper and Gaga.
Not to mention all the songs are amazing, especially “Shallow”, which shows off both of their singing abilities.
There are even a few impressive shots that, while not anything spectacular, make a for good start for Cooper’s directing career if he decides to continue.
A Star is Born is a powerful film that starts off sad and ends tragically.
Just remember to bring the tissues.

4. Avengers: Infinity War.

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I debated about where exactly I would put Avengers: Infinity War on the list.
It was originally going to be behind Black Panther but, after watching it a second time, I found I enjoyed the experience a lot more.
Initially, I was let down by how it is pretty much certain a lot of the impactful events of this film are going to be undone in the next, but, on my second viewing, I was able to look past that and marvel at what an achievement this film is.
Avengers: Infinity War has the largest cast of any movie I have ever seen.
There is Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Benedict Cumberbatch, Tom Holland and many, many others.
The fact that I was able to relate to this almost countless number of characters in the film outright states how spectacular of a film this is.
The greatest of these characters in my mind were Thor, played by Chris Hemsworth, and Thanos, played by Josh Brolin.
Thor again goes on an amazing emotional journey in the film, but this is still nothing compared to Thanos who, despite being the villain, is also the main character.
Just like Killmonger from Black Panther, Thanos is strikingly relatable.
Even though he does horrific things, you completely understand why he is doing thrm and even come to sympathize with him on some level.
The action is intense, the comedy is hilarious, and the acting is great across the board.
Joe and Anthony Russo killed it with this film and I can only hope that the reversal of the conclusion in the next film does not damper my experience with this one.

3. Bad Times at the El Royale.

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I believe that Bad Times at the El Royale is the most underrated film of 2018.
I was only one of two people in the theater when I saw the film and I absolutely loved it.
Just like Overlord, only more so, this is a film that deserves a lot more attention than it got.
Directed by Drew Goddard, the film follows a group of strangers, each one with secrets, arriving at the El Royale hotel.
As the night goes on, things get crazier and crazier and their secrets unfold, leading to an action packed conclusion.
Goddard did an amazing job with this film, with its amazing cinematography and acting across the board.
Jeff Bridges and Cynthia Erivo are standouts and Chris Hemsworth takes on a surprising role as a charismatic, yet deadly, cult leader.
Bad Times at the El Royale is also very slow paced but, while this may be a problem for some, I feel it more than earns that slow pace and pays it off in great ways.
The only issue I have with Bad Times at the El Royale is that the flashbacks it uses sometimes interrupt the tension.
Otherwise, the film is great and definitely the most overlooked film of the year in my mind.

2. A Quiet Place.

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A Quiet Place was my favourite film of 2018, until I saw the movie that took the number one spot just over a week ago.
Directed by and starring John Krasinski, the film follows the Abbott family in the aftermath of an alien invasion.
The aliens attack based off sound so complete silence is necessary for survival, which the Abbotts are thankfully good at because of their deaf daughter Reagan (Millicent Simmons).
The performances are great across the board, with Krasinski’s wife Emily Blunt being a standout.
A Quiet Place also manages to be incredibly scary, not just with its alien monsters but with how it sets up and pays off certain events as well.
A scene following Blunt’s character and an exposed nail is filled to the brim with tension.
I was on the edge of my seat for most of the film and it also drew a lot of emotion out of me.
I have rewatched A Quiet Place twice, since it came out, and I always cry when a certain scene happens, no matter how hard I try not to.
There is just one thing that holds this movie back from being my favourite of the year and that is the jump scares.
These felt very unnecessary and the film would have been better if it used natural sound for these scares instead.
Still, A Quiet Place is an intense thrill ride and I cannot wait for the sequel.

1. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.

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My favourite film of 2018 has to be Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse directed by Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey, and Rodney Rothman.
I only saw this film over a week ago and knew immediately it was my favourite.
It may have come out in 2019 in New Zealand but it came out in 2018 theatrically so I am counting it as a 2018 film.
Spider-Verse is the only film I saw from 2018 that I gave a five star rating to, showing how great I think it is compared to the others.
The film is like a comic book came to life with its unique style of animation, which looks stunning after you adjust to the new style.
The story follows Miles Morales (Shamiek Moore) on his journey to become Spider-Man with help from numerous other spider-people, across the spider-verse.
From Peter B. Parker (Jake Johnson), to Spider-Gwen (Hailee Steinfeld), to even freaking Spider-Ham (John Mulaney), all of these spider-people are amazing characters, especially those who get the most screen time.
The action is well shot and fast paced, the soundtrack is incredible, there is just so much to love about this film.
A Quiet Place may have the saddest scene of the year but Spider-Verse has the most inspirational with Miles taking his big “leap of faith.”
The film is not just a superhero movie but a fresh take on the entire genre, just like my favourite film of last year Logan.
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is my favourite film of 2018.

Attack on Titan Volume 25: Chapter 100 Arrives with a Bang.

Chapter 99: Guilty Shadow.

4 and a half stars
After the previous chapter’s massive cliffhanger, Chapter 99, “Guilty Shadow”, picks up with a perfect transition into the confrontation between Eren and Reiner.
We get a continuation of the scene from Reiner’s earlier flashbacks when the warriors were wondering why the man who killed himself told them his story before doing so.
Bertholdt speculates it was because he wanted them to judge him and it is at this point that the story brilliantly transitions to Reiner and Eren reuniting, the implication being that Reiner’s judgement is at hand.
From here, their intense confrontation begins with Eren subtly threatening Reiner by pointing out how many people are in the building above their heads while showing how he has cut his hand to cause a transformation if necessary.
I especially loved this moment because it shows just how pragmatic and ruthless Eren has become in the four year time jump.
The Eren we knew at the beginning of the story would never threaten innocent lives and now he is doing it because he believes the ends justify the means.
Reiner’s reaction to Eren’s uncompromising darkness and Falco slowly figuring out who Eren is are also great moments in the chapter that tell a lot about both characters.
However, the real meat of this chapter is not with the meeting between Reiner and Eren but with Willy Tyber’s speech, which adds more lore and depth to Attack on Titan‘s world.
Willy reveals that when King Karl Fritz fled to Eldia he was actually trying to atone for his people’s sins and worked together with the Tyber family to achieve this.
Fritz also did not want any of his descendants to try and change anything so made it that any of his family who inherited the Founding Titan would also inherit his ideology about staying inside the walls.
This is why Freida, Uri and the other members of the Fritz/Reiss family did not fight against Marley after inheriting the Founding Titan.
I love Attack on Titan because of moments like this.
Hajime Isayama is always throwing curveballs at the reader that both expands upon the world he has built and gives big explanations to things that originally seemed to just be plot holes.
It makes me curious as to just how much of this he had planned when he started writing the manga.
It is also through Willy that we get another possible hint at future events as well.
Before starting his speech, he talks with the Asian woman from the previous chapter, who is said to be from the Azumabito family.
This woman acts very suspiciously, leaving before the speech begins, which, given the future events of the volume, has me believing she knew what was coming and may be working with the Scouts.
Speaking of the Scouts, we see capture Pieck and Galliard in this chapter.
Along with this we officially got to meet Annie’s father who is adamant that she is alive.
Annie is certainly being brought up a lot more now in the manga, which is hopefully signalling her return because she has been in that crystal way too long.
Overall, Chapter 99 was another great chapter that started Eren and Reiner’s intense meeting and fantastically delivered exposition that explained so much.

Chapter 100: Declaration of War.

5 stars
Reaching 100 chapters is a big deal for any manga or comic series and Hajime Isayama delivers a powerhouse chapter with his 100th of Attack on Titan.
“Declaration of War” is my favourite chapter of the series since Chapter 86, “That Day.”
It is a fantastic chapter that delivers suspense, character growth and an amazing conclusion.
The tension of this chapter is built up brilliantly, with Isayama constantly cutting between Willy’s speech and Eren and Reiner’s conversation.
Both scenes build off one another and the tension goes up and up, until it explodes in the titular “Declaration of War” made by both sides of the conflict.
The chapter kicks off by showing the stakes of such a declaration by having a flashback to a conversation between Willy and Magath where both speculate that it is highly likely Willy will be killed if he gives his speech.
However, Willy still wants to go through with it because he believes he needs to make amends for his family’s crimes.
Then came the brilliant moment when Magath states, “I’m certain that Eldians are the descendants of devils. And I am certain that we too are devils.”
This line perfectly illustrates the morally grey area that every single character of Attack on Titan exists in.
No character in the series is completely good or evil.
They all have flaws and justifications for their actions, no matter how horrific, which makes them all, in a sense, “devils.”
This is proven by Eren’s actions at the end of the chapter and what led to this moment was some of the best writing Isayama has done.
He gave us a great view of Eren’s resolve to carry out his plan, Willy’s desire to redeem himself while still being afraid of death, and Reiner’s crippling guilt over his actions.
This can be in the final moments of the chapter where Eren seems to forgive Reiner for his actions, understanding he did it because of the brainwashing he received from Marley.
However, Reiner contradicts this by breaking down and exclaiming it was his fault Eren’s mother died, begging Eren to kill him.
This, and Willy’s declaration that he does not want to die because he “was born into his world” (the third time in the series this line has been said) seems to temporarily break Eren’s resolve.
However, it is reaffirmed when Willy shouts he wants everyone to fight with him against the “devils” of Paradis to thunderous applause.
With Eren’s resolve affirmed then comes the payoff to all the build-up in this brilliant section in the chapter.
Eren helps Reiner to his feet, states he has to keep moving forward until his enemies are destroyed and then transforms.
He crashes through the building just as Willy declares war, possibly killing hundreds of innocents before crushing Willy, bringing the chapter to an explosive end.
The build-up to this moment is spectacular and the payoff is just as good.
I am sad to see Willy go because he was a very interesting character, even though he was only in the story for a brief amount of time.
One thing I am worried about is the fate of Reiner because he and Falco were caught up in Eren’s transformation.
I do not think Falco is dead but this chapter kind of felt like the culmination of Reiner’s arc.
I hope Reiner does not die because the character development he has been getting in this arc has been nothing short of exceptional.
Still, “Declaration of War” is one of my favourite chapters of Attack on Titan with its brilliant build up and pay off.
It was a fantastic story for Attack on Titan’s 100th chapter.

Chapter 101: The War Hammer Titan.

4 stars
As the title suggests, this chapter focused on the first appearance of the final Titan Shifter, the War Hammer Titan.
This Titan had been built up for quite a few chapters and it does not disappoint.
In one chapter it is made abundantly clear that the War Hammer Titan is one of the most powerful Titan Shifters, with its ability to create any weapon using its hardening ability.
The war hammer it gets its name from, a crossbow, a sword,  it seems that this Titan can make anything.
It also has a great design, looking very creepy and different from any Shifter we have seen previously.
However, I will say the reveal of this Titan’s identity was very lackluster.
It is revealed to be Willy’s sister who has been a complete background character until now and her name has not even been revealed yet.
Maybe we will learn more about her later but for us to know virtually nothing about the user of one of the most powerful Titan Shifters is weird.
But, even though I found the reveal of who the War Hammer Titan is to be disappointing, this does not change the fact that the battle between Eren and this Titan is epic.
The War Hammer Titan wipes the floor with Eren, impaling him on a massive spike and then smashing his Titan’s hands and head off with its war hammer.
It is only through the intervention of Mikasa, who finally returns this chapter, that Eren is able to survive.
Like Eren, her appearance is different from before the time-skip, with her having shorter hair and a new Scout outfit.
Upon her appearance, Mikasa immediately destroys the War Hammer Titan’s nape making me think she had instantly killed it.
This angered me initially that a Titan this strong could be killed so quickly but, after reading the next chapter, I realised the War Hammer Titan still has a few tricks up its sleeve.
The War Hammer Titan battle and Mikasa’ return is not the only interesting things about this chapter though because it illustrates more than any other how dark Eren has become.
In earlier chapters Eren stated how he was “the same” as Reiner and it becomes absolutely clear how similar the two are at the beginning of the chapter.
After eating Willy and realizing he is not the War Hammer Titan, Eren attacks the crowd supposedly to draw the Titan out.
He kills probably hundreds more innocent civilians including Zofia, who is crushed by rubble, and indirectly Udo, who is stomped to death in a stampede of terrified people.
Eren is doing exactly what Reiner did when he, Annie and Bertholdt, first attacked Shiganshina.
He is now willing to kill civilians because in his eyes the ends justify the means.
This takes Eren way past the anti-hero point and closer to a villain, even if we can kind of understand his actions.
Along with this we also got a look at what some of the other characters were up to, like when Pieck and Galliard managed to escape the trap the Scouts had placed for them due to Pieck’s quick thinking.
She managed to subtly alert the panzer unit, showing how capable and smart she is as a character.
Pieck’s Titan may be the weakest of the bunch but her brains more than make up for it.
“The War Hammer Titan” was another good Attack on Titan chapter, which saw the return of Mikasa and the appearance of one of the strongest Titans in the series.

Chapter 102: Too Little, Too Late.

4 and a half stars
“Too Little, Too Late” saw the true battle between the Scouts and Marley’s Warriors finally begin.
After Mikasa’s return last chapter, this one brings back more of our old favourite characters including Jean, Sasha, Connie and Floch… OK, maybe not Floch.
All of these characters have new designs to suit the four year time skip.
Jean has a beard, Sasha has let her hair down and Connie has grown his hair longer.
Oddly enough, the only returning character this chapter who looks the same is Levi, who appearance is identical to how he looked four years ago.
It makes me wonder what kind of skin cream he is using.
Joking aside, it is also made clear how hardened characters like Jean and Sasha have become because, long after making their first kills in the Uprising Arc, they can become experienced killers when they need to be.
Still, there is a clear distinction between them and Eren and Floch, who both seem to fully embrace the ends justify the means when it comes to civilian casualties.
This led to my favourite moment of the chapter when Mikasa asks Eren if he knows what he has done by killing numerous innocents including children.
She says there is no coming back from this and the side by side panels of a tearful Mikasa looking at Eren in grief and horror and Eren looking back blankly makes for a striking image.
Floch even goes as far as to call Eren a “devil”, mirroring what he said about Erwin when he was in favor of turning him into the Colossal Titan instead of Armin.
Speaking of Armin, we have yet to see him and Hange so I wonder if they will be taking part in this battle soon?
They may be holding back for now as part of a plan but I do hope we get to see Armin’s Colossal Titan because we have yet to get a good look at it.
The main focus of this chapter though, is once again the battle between Eren and the War Hammer Titan, which is revealed to be even more unique compared to other Titans because its user is outside the nape, hidden in a protective crystal like Annie’s.
However, unlike Annie, she is fully aware inside this crystal and uses this to her advantage, almost killing Eren when she takes him by surprise when she partially reforms a new Titan body, after losing control of the first one.
This Titan is certainly overpowered and I have no idea how Eren will defeat it, if he even can.
What makes this a thousand times harder is that Zeke, Galliard and Pieck have all jumped in to help at the end of the chapter.
Although, I do wonder where Zeke was the entire time and if this ties into the theory of him secretly working with Eren for some reason?
Speaking of Galliard though, it is with him that one of my issues about the chapter lies.
Galliard goes to attack Eren but Levi steps in by cutting his jaw, which prevents him from eating Eren.
However, Levi had a clear shot at the nape making it seem like Galliard has plot armor.
Another small issue I had came at the beginning of the chapter where Magath is seen hiding in a building.
This is a bit jarring because at the end of the previous chapter he was on top of a building being attacked by the Scouts so picking up with him here seemed abrupt.
However, this does not change that “Too Little, Too Late” was a great way to end the volume and promises more action in the next volume with the continuing battle between the Scouts and the Warriors.


Attack on Titan: Season three, episode nine, Ruler of the Walls review – Prepare to vomit.

4 and a half stars

Spoiler Free Review:

Another day, another fantastic Attack on Titan episode.
Season three has been killing it so far with numerous great episodes and the latest one “Ruler of the Walls” is no exception.
It had intense action, great character moments and by far the most disgusting scene of the entire series so far.
Seriously, do not watch this episode after eating lunch or prepare to vomit.
As for the intense action it was truly great to see the characters go up against Rod Reiss’ massive Titan.
This intensity was helped exponentially with the fantastic blend of CGI and hand drawn animation.
Not only this but the fantastic character moments also helped to improve the action, with Eren and Historia once again being the standouts.
Eren sure has grown a lot in season one and I am loving it.
I actually hated his character in that first season but looking at how he has grown I can see how his portrayal there really worked to build up his arc for the past two seasons.
Historia also had another great scene where she proved her worth both as a soldier and queen.
She is officially in my top five favourite characters now.
Then there was the music, which as per usual was amazing.
One particular score that was of note was a revamped version of “Barricades”, which stood out in a great way.
As for the ending, “Ruler of the Walls” ends on a typical Attack on Titan cliffhanger but one that has me intrigued for what has to come, especially with the preview for the next episode.
“Ruler of the Walls” was an almost perfect episode, but there were a few things that held it back for me.
There was one scene that did feel a bit out of place as it should have been shown earlier.
Along with this, during the climactic action sequence it felt like some of the characters were lacking urgency and too calm about things, which given the situation is pretty ridiculous.
But this does not change the fact that “Ruler of the Walls” is another fantastic episode for the series.

Spoiler Review:

“Ruler of the Walls” kicks off with Erwin and Hange’s plan to stop Rod’s massive Titan form from destroying Orvud District.
From there the story exploded into absolute insanity as the climactic final battle between Rod and the army began.
The extremely disgusting imagery that might cause people to vomit I mentioned in the spoiler free review came with the way Rod’s Titan form looked.
Due to this Titan being so massive, it could only drag itself along the ground causing it to rip its face off and belly open, exposing its brain and intestines.
While, this was incredibly disgusting, it also led to a great call back to the first episode of the series, “To you in 2000 Years”.
This was where three kids watched in horror as Rod’s Titan appeared, just like Eren, Mikasa and Armin did when the Colossal Titan first showed up.
However, as Eren pointed out, this was completely different because this time they had soldiers to protect them.
Speaking of Eren, I loved his growth this episode.
I particularly liked how he brought up that he had no problem realizing he could become a Titan in the first season.
This was one of the big problems I had with Eren in that season because he had no problem being a Titan, despite hating them.
However, this episode resolved that with Eren explaining he did not question it because he felt he was special but has since grown from that and accepted his true role.
This showed the extent to Eren’s growth from that first episode and I loved it.
Then there was Historia, who delivered the final blow to Rod, killing her own father.
This moment was not only beautifully shot but really showed who Rod was because Historia seemed to temporarily view some of his memories.
I really liked this because it shows that Rod was not a bad person, he was just doing what he thought was right… even though what he was doing was the complete opposite.
The episode ends with Levi confronting the fatally injured Kenny, who has stolen some Titan serum.
I really hope Kenny does not die because he is already such an intriguing character and very entertaining.
As for the negative aspect of the episode, I felt like the flashback where Eren tried to control Rod with his Coordinate power should have come in the previous episode rather than this one.
Still, “Ruler of the Walls” was a fantastic episode and potentially in the top ten best.


  1. Next episode it looks like we will finally get into the backstory of Levi and Kenny’s connection, which I have wanted to see when Kenny was introduced.
  2. It looks like the main focus though, will be on the friendship between Kenny and Uri Reiss, Rod’s brother. Based on Kenny’s flashback in this episode this looks to be very interesting because it looks like Kenny was trying to kill Uri because he had a knife in his hand.

Float down to the theatres to check out IT


In 1990 Tim Curry’s performance as Pennywise The Dancing Clown made a generation of people afraid of clowns.
Now 27 years later a new cycle has begun with Andy Muschietti’s latest adaptation of Stephen King’s terrifying novel IT.
But does this movie live up to the hype it presented, with the most viewed movie trailer on YouTube in the first 24 hours, and even King himself praising it?
Yes, yes it does.
For you see, IT is not only one of the greatest horror movies of the year but the greatest coming of age story since Stand By Me. (Ironically another one of King’s works)
The film revolves around a group of kids known as the Losers Club, who realize children are being taken and killed by a demonic entity that takes the form of whatever you fear the most, Its favorite form being that of the sadistic Pennywise played terrifyingly by Bill Skarsgard.

smiling pennywise

Skarsgard’s performance as Pennywise is both unnerving and frightening, easily exceeding Curry’s previous performance.
But the real star of IT is not the crazed, killer clown but the children of The Losers Club as you will have become attached to each and every one of them by the end of the film.
We spend the entirety of IT watching these kids grow and gradually lose their innocence due to the horrors they experience.
The standout actors are without a doubt Sophia Lillis as Beverly and Jack Dylan Grazer as Eddie.
These two really knock it out of the park with their performances, especially Lillis who had a much darker storyline than I expected.

the losers club

Speaking of dark, if you are a person easily offended by violence against children then this film is definitely not for you.
This film is constantly filled with dark and disturbing imagery, made even more disturbing by the fact that these things are happening to children.
However, while this film is very scary it relies a bit on CGI, which is very noticeable and really takes you out of the moment.
The infamous storm drain scene where Georgie meets Pennywise was almost ruined for me when a noticeable case of CGI took me out of the moment.
But other than that there really isn’t anything else wrong with the movie.
The only other problems I had with the film was from the perspective of a fan of King’s original novel as some storylines were switched around or abandoned, which I didn’t like.
However, if I look at this solely from a filmmaking perspective then this is an almost perfect movie that will make this generation terrified of clowns.
Go float to the theatres and check it out.