Nope Review: A Unique and Horrifying Take on the Alien Invasion Movie.

I had been excited to see Jordan Peele’s Nope ever since the first trailer. 
It is one of my all time favourite trailers, since it made me want to watch the movie while revealing very little about its plot.
Even though I think the second trailer showed a bit much, I was still excited for it, especially since it’s a Jordan Peele film.
He is certainly one of the most inventive directors working today when it comes to story ideas and social commentary.
I loved his first film Get Out and, while I did enjoy his second film Us, the third act broke my suspension of disbelief.
So, going into Nope, I was hoping for an experience more akin to Get Out than Us.
My wish was granted, since my time with Nope was the exact opposite of Us.
Driving home from watching Us at the movies, I kept realizing a bunch of problems and things that did not make sense when I was driving home.
But for Nope, when I was driving home, I realized a lot more things I loved about it.

There’s a lot of interesting details in Nope, which should make a second watch more than worth it.

There is so much I want to talk about with this movie but a lot of it is spoilers, so I will keep that part of the review at the bottom, while this section remains spoiler free, apart from the premise.
Nope stars Daniel Kaluuya and Keke Palmer as siblings, OJ and Emerald Haywood, the descendants of the black man who starred riding a horse in the very first assembly of photographs used to create a motion picture.
Now owning a ranch, OJ and Emerald begin to realize it is a hot spot of potential extraterrestrial activity that is targeting their horses.
The two seek to obtain proof of the aliens now haunting their land, what they call “the opera shot”, to recieve fame and fortune from the spectacle.
Nope is a film about the dangers of such endeavors with not only OJ and Emerald being at risk but also the characters of theme park owner Ricky “Jupe” Park (Stephen Yeun), tech assistant Angel Torres (Brandon Perea) and cinematographer Antlers Holst (Michael Wincott), as they also seek their own forms of spectacle.
Such spectacle is not the only focus, however, because Nope also discusses exploitation, primarily that of tragedies and animals, and I think it does this exceedingly well. 

Both of Nope‘s primary themes, those of spectacle and exploitation, are handled excellently.

Some have argued that a certain plotline does not work cohesively with the main story of the movie.
This is a criticism I can understand because the farthest this plotline goes in connecting to the actual story is providing an understanding of Jupe’s motivations and actions.
However, when you look at the themes of exploitation and the danger of fame seeking spectacle, this plot line serves as a perfect parallel to the events of the main story; a story which is both funny and terrifying.
The terror, especially, stands out, with there being three specific scenes that had me constantly whispering “Nope!” to myself while watching.
One of these horrifying scenes ties into the spin Peele pulls with the alien invasion storyline, which is easily the most unique take on aliens I have seen put to film in a long time.
It was a clear step up from Us, where the explanation for what was going on raised many plot holes for me.

Nope’s reveal made me appreciate the film even more.

As for my criticisms of the movie, I do feel like some of the characters were a bit underutilized to the point that their actions and intent needed to be explained a little better.
This was particularly the case for Antlers Holst’s character, since something he does in the third act had me scratching my head a bit.
I do think this action works with the film’s themes, and Antler’s dialogue does seem to explain it, but I still needed a little more explanation about what drove him to come to the mindset which caused him to make such a choice.

It felt like some scenes showcasing Antler’s mindset were cut, making his later actions lack some context.

This was only a minor issue though.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed Nope.
It is a unique take on the alien invasion movie, is terrifying at times and, like most of Peele’s films, has compelling themes.
I would say it is currently my second favourite Jordan Peele film, right behind Get Out. 

Spoiler Section:
Now for the part of the review where I can speak freely about spoilers because, oh, boy, do I have things to say.
For starters, I absolutely loved the twist that the UFO was actually the alien.
It actually redeemed a prior part of the movie for me, which was the aliens in the barn scene.
This scene was so unnerving, at first.
I remember seeing the alien stand up in the theatre, and then seeing another one pop out, causing me to constantly whisper “Nope!” to myself
Then, it was revealed to be a fake out, with Jupe’s kids playing a prank on OJ and I felt letdown.
The scene was so tense and then it lost steam instantly with that reveal.

The alien scene went from creepy to disappointing the moment it was revealed to be a fake out.

This is why the reveal of the UFO being the alien saved this scene for me.
Had the film actually been about little green men, then it would have been just another alien invasion movie.
The actual reveal brought a unique spin that I have not seen before in an alien movie, and quite a horrifying spin at that.
Watching Jupe, his entire family, and their audience get sucked up into the alien, called Jean Jacket, to be eaten alive was horrifying.
The slow realization that they were all being sucked into a claustrophobic digestive track had me wincing. 

What an absolutley horrible way to die.

What makes the whole thing even more tragic is how it ties in perfectly with Jupe’s past.
The Gordy attack (based off the very real and horrifying attack from the monkey Travis) plays out as a perfect parallel to Jean Jacket’s massacre.
Gordy, a wild animal, was exploited on the set of Gordy’s Home, leading to him mauling the stars and traumatising Jupe.
Then, decades later, Jupe repeats the same cycle, attempting to exploit Jean Jacket, but it gets him, his family, and dozens of innocent spectators violently killed.
As for Jean Jacket, I like how Peele leaves so much about it unexplained, since it allows the audience to come to their own conclusions.
In fact, I don’t think Jean Jacket is even an alien.
I think it’s just a species of animal that evolved like a chameleon to avoid detection so it can stalk its prey.
Every real UFO sighting is just another one of its species on the prowl, mistaken for flying saucers.

One detail that could point to Jean Jacket being an animal rather than an alien is that its look and movement when it unfurls is supposedly based on animals like the jellyfish, giving it connections to Earth.

There being more Jean Jackets out there also makes for quite the horrifying thought, as you have to wonder how many missing people have been killed by them?
If one were to see what they thought was a UFO, then they would naturally try to get a good look at it, which would then be seen as a sign of aggression, causing them to be eaten.
That’s why Jupe and the spectators were eaten and it’s probably why the two missing hikers went missing before the movie started as well, with their belongings then being shot down onto the Haywood ranch by Jean Jacket, resulting in the Haywood siblings’ father’s death.
That last detail is one Peele left evidence for throughout for the audience to connect the dots, rather than outright confirming it. 
It was details like this I picked up on during my drive home from seeing Nope in theatres and I am sure that there will be more hidden details to find on subsequent watches.
  

Chainsaw Man Chapter 102, Save the Cat Review: A Darker Spider-Man.

Tatsuki Fujimoto has made it no secret that he is a massive fan of movies.
Refrences to both films and the filmmaking process litter his works.
Thus, it makes it quite easy to believe that Fujimoto was inspired to name Chapter 102 of Chainsaw Man, “Save the Cat”, after Save the Cat! The last Book on Screen Writing You’ll Ever Need by Blake Snyder.
Only the act of saving the cat is much more literal in Fujimoto’s case.
The chapter begins with Asa and Yuko running for their lives from the Bat Devil, who quickly knocks the two of them down, along with another passerby.
Unlucky for the passerby beause this results in the Bat Devil devouring them but it does give Asa enough time to plan her next move, after seeing Yuko’s leg has been impaled and that she has been knocked unconcious.
Typically, Yoru jumps right on the “kill her” option, wanting Asa to turn Yuko into a weapon to save themselves.
Although, I’m not sure if Asa could do this since in the last chapter it was revealed that Yoru cannot take control of her body when her host is terrified, which she should still be.
Regardless, Yoru continues in her attempts to goad Asa into killing her new friend, revealing that Asa did not feel sorry for killing Bucky but felt sorry that other people saw her, leading to her further isolation.
Yoru assures her that no one is watching and reminds her of how she promised to live her life more selfishly before Yoru revived her.
A succession of panels follow where Fujimoto shows us Asa’s flashbacks of Bucky’s death, her being isolated because of it, the class president and teacher being reported dead and Yuko befriending her.
Intermingled with these panels are ones of the Bat Devil approaching and Asa reaching for her axe, seemingly considering Yoru’s proposal to kill Yuko to save herself.
In the end, however, Asa chooses to save Yuko, much to Yoru’s dismay, carrying her friend in her arms as she flees from the Bat Devil, only to trip, much like Kobeni would in this situation.
This causes Asa to recall all the times she has tripped in her life, from at a Birthday party, to a race, to the day her parents died.
It is revealed that her parents were killed in an attack by the Typhoon Devil.
At first, I thought this confirmed my prior theory that Asa’s parents were killed in Denji’s fight with the Typhoon Devil and Reze, giving her reason to want Chainsaw Man dead.
However, upon closer inspection, the Typhoon Devil is clearly different from the one in the Bomb Girl Arc, since the new one has a moustache while the old one did not.
So, it is clear that the Typhoon Devil killed Asa’s parents after it reincarnated, meaning Asa hates Chainsaw Man just by association for him being a Devil.
However, while the Typhoon Devil may have been responsible for the death of Asa’s parents, she certainly does not entirely see it that way.
No, she blames herself the most for their deaths because of a decision she made on that day.
While fleeing from the Devil, Asa saw an injured cat and bent down to save it while running for her life.
This caused her to trip and her mother then pushed her out of the way from a flying car, sacrificing herself for her.
The owner of the cat then arrived and thanked Asa for saving it, making the whole situation worse because it causes her to blame herself, since had she never saved it then her mother might still be alive.
This flows into the next flashback, where Yuko gave Asa her shoes but Asa initially refuses, saying Yuko should not try to save her, seemingly harkening back to her parents’ death but under the guise of being dismissive of Yuko.
Yuko, however, quickly dismisses these protests, saying that even if she makes mistakes then her heart will be in the right place.
Back in the present, Asa connects with this, deciding to keep her heart in the right place and save Yuko.
Yet, this resolve is not enough to save them, as the Bat Devil quickly catches up and swallows them.
What is enough to save them is Chainsaw Man himself, as Denji arrives on the scene, lauching the Cockroach Devil he was fighting into the Bat Devil, killing it and saving Asa and Yuko.
This was one of the possibilities I suggested for how Asa and Yuko would be rescued in my review for the previous chapter.
In that review, I stated a theory that in Part Two we would intially see Chainsaw Man before Asa meets him as Denji.
Well, this theory has been proven correct, as Chainsaw Man unintentionally saves Asa and Yuko, before fighting the Cockroach Devil in some gloriously gory full page spreads from Fujimoto.
The super hero influences are obvious, with even the Cockroach Devil calling them out, and giving Denji the option of saving a car full of elderly people or a young highschool student.
This seems to be a clear homage to the first Sam Raimi Spider-Man movie, where the Green Goblin gave Peter Parker the choice to save a group of children or Mary-Jane.
However, while Spider-Man managed to save both Mary-Jane and the children in the movie, Denji saves none of the hostages when killing the Cockroach Devil.
Instead, much like Asa, he saves a cat.
Along with being darkly hilarious, this moment also once again points to the parrallels between Denji and Asa, much like the first chapter did.
While Asa saved a cat and regretted it because it lead to her mother dying, Denji let people die to save a cat and is praised for it by the media at the end of the chapter.
It’s kind of morbidly humorous that they don’t mention the people Denji did not save.
However, this may be a tactic to make people fear Devils less, resulting in less deaths as a result.
As for Denji himself, it was great to see him back again, and him saving the cat honestly reminded me of Power looking after her cat.
I wonder if Denji purposefully saved the cat in rememberance of her?
Like I have stated earlier, though, I do not expect to see Denji himself for a little while.
We will probably just keep seeing him as Chainsaw Man before Asa meets Denji.
Overall, “Save the Cat” is a fantastic chapter and one of the best of Part Two so far, along with the first one.
It had amazing character devlopment for Asa, reintroduced Chainsaw Man in a classically gory fashion, and had some darkly humorous homages to both Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man and Blake Snyder’s Save the Cat! The Last Book on Screen Writing You’ll Ever Need.
The next chapter drops on August 31st.

Berserk Chapters 368, Devourers Review: A Punch in the Guts (Pun Intended).

On May 6, 2021, mangaka Kentaro Miura, the beloved author of Berserk, passed away.
Along with the mourning for his passing, there were also many questions about the future of his iconic story.
Would it end with Miura, or be finished by another?
Whatever was going to happen, many did rightfully conclude that Miura’s wishes had to be respected.
After many months of wondering, it was announced that Miura’s longtime friend Kouji Mori, and Studio Gaga would be continuing his legendary work.
Personally, given that Mori was a close friend of Miura for over 40 years, I believe that Miura is being respected with this continuation and the chapters we have been gifted with since Berserk started again have proved that to me.
Sure, the art does not exactly match Miura’s amazing style completley but did any of us expect it to?
It was clear there would be some differences between Miura’s Berserk and Mori and Studio Gaga’s continuation of it.
Still, some of the differences did leave me a bit concerned, most notably Guts’ lack of dialogue in the past few chapters after Griffith reappeared.
It kind of felt like Mori and Studio Gaga were playing it safe by having Guts only yell, maybe because they’re still trying to figure out how to write him.
On the other hand, I could be misinterpreting this and Guts only screaming at Griffith could be because of his murderous rage directed towards, which is certainly justified.
Either way, I cannot deny that the most recent chapter of Berserk, Chapter 368, “Devourers”, is the first chapter in the manga’s continuation that has truly wowed me the way Miura’s Berserk did.
“Devourers” begins with Guts in the chasm he fell into in the previous chapter, now surrounded by countless of the restless spirits that appeared in the Conviction Arc, which is really bad news for Elfhelm.
The chapter then continues by showing how the other central characters are dealing with these spirits.
Isidro, Serpico, Isma and Danan are surrounded but rescued by the Skull Knight, with Isidro deciding to fight beside him, despite the Skull Knight’s insistance, which is definitley not the best idea.
Yet, Skull Knight does ponder that man’s will to resist may also be a part of fate so that could be a good sign.
Meanwhile, we finally get our first look at Roderick in the continuation, who is preparing to evacuate Elfhelm because the mermaids warned him of the incoming disaster.
Magnifco, however, wants to stay and honestly I would not really mind that because I find him to be pretty insufferable, so he would be no loss.
Before anything can happen, however, the spirits converge on their location and brutally consume some of Roderick’s men, ripping the skin off their bones.
Roderick and his men are then surrounded but his main concern is Farnese, who last we saw was with Schierke, near Guts, when the ground caved in.
I hope this is not hinting at Roderick getting a heroic sacrifice to save Farnese because it would be a shame to lose him.
We then cut back to Guts in the chasm and it is here that the moment which truly wowed me like the classic Berserk occurs.
Before Guts can deal with the spirits around him, he looks up and sees Guts carrying Casca away on Nosferatu Zodd.
All Guts can do is look on in horror and despair as the woman he loves is kidnapped by the man who betrayed them.
What makes it worse is Griffith’s hand is on Casca’s breast when he is taking her away, a detail that I am sure was intentional by Kori and Studio Gaga.
I am not saying that Griffith will assault Casca again (god, I hope not) but it certainly brings that disturbing image to both the reader and Guts’ minds.
It made me feel absolutley devestated for the both of them and it feels just like Miura would have written it.
It honestly would not surprise me if Miura had made specific notes about this scene, that is how good it is.
As for why Griffith is kidnapping Casca, I think it’s pretty clear that he does not want to be drawn away from his kingdom when he transforms into the Moonlight Boy, so has taken her to prevent that.
Unfortunately for him, this will once again put his fate on a direct collision course with Guts, as he and his friends go to rescue her.
However, I do hope that Casca’s kidnapping does not rob her of her recently returned agency.
It will be extremely traumatising for her to be in Griffith’s presense but I have my fingers crossed this will not make her a damsel in distress just there to be rescued.
Give her a big moment where she stands against Griffith, please.
Back to Chapter 368, after the impactful moment of Casca’s kidnapping, we get the ending cliffhanger, which sees Puck witness the ground around the Spirit Tree begin to collapse.
I hope Puck being one of the focuses in the cliffhanger points to him having a bigger role going forward because, in my opinion, he has become a caricature of his former self in the last 100 chapters or so.
As for the Spirit Tree being about to fall, this points to the end of Elfhelm itself.
It’s just a matter of how many characters will survive it, before Guts begins what will probably be his final journey to save Casca and kill Griffith.
Overall, “Devourers” was a fantastic chapter of Berserk, and the first one from Kori and Studio Gaga to have a moment that devestated me like in Miura’s writing.
That moment of horror when Guts sees Casca being carried away by Griffith will stick with me for a while.

Chainsaw Man Trailer 2 Reaction: Gore Galore.

Chainsaw Man fans are really eating good right now.
Not only has Part Two of Tatsuki Fujimoto’s manga been great so far but Mappa also recently released a second trailer for the upcoming Chainsaw Man anime adaptation.
This trailer does a great job of hyping up the anime, gifting us with a good look at the animation we can expect, and revealing the voice actors and release date.
Releasing in October of 2022, the adaptation has Kikunosuke Toya as Denji, Tomori Kusunoki as Makima, Fairouz Ai as Power, and Shogo Sakata as Aki.
I cannot claim to to be familiar with many of these voice actors, with Tomori Kusunoki being the only one I remember, having voiced Neiru in Wonder Egg Priority. 
Despite my lack of knowledge about them, I would say that, from the brief look we get of their performances in the trailer, they look to be the right choices.
Fairouz Ai, in particular, sounds like a perfect match for Power.
I am particularly interested in the choice to cast Kikunosuke Toya as Denji, since it appears that the only prior voice acting roles he has are background ones.
So, Denji will be his first time voicing a main character and this will come with added pressure since Chainsaw Man is so popular.
Still, it shows how much faith Mappa must have in him, to cast him as Denji, despite having only prior minor roles, and he sounds great in the trailer.
This could very well be his break out role.
Along with the voice acting, the trailer also provides us with a look at the quality of animation we can expect from the anime.
Once more, it looks like Mappa has knocked it out of the park, animating even small details, like how the blood stays on Denji’s chainsaw head after it bursts out of his skull.
Speaking of, wow, was this trailer gory.
I had heard that the Chainsaw Man adaptation would not be censored, like other anime such as Attack on Titan, but I still had my doubts.
Well, this trailer killed those doubts, with various brutal shots, like the already mentioned moment when the chainsaw bursts out from Denji’s head, followed by him eviserating the Bat and Leech Devils, along with the opening shot of the countless dead zombies Denji killed.
And all of these are just shots from the first ten chapters, so you have to wonder what amazing shots Mappa has in store for us going forward with the anime?
I am curious to see how far they will actually adapt the manga.
Will they adapt all 97 chapters of Part One in a single long season, or will they split it up into multiple seasons?
If they do decide to do all 97 chapters in one go, however, they would need a lot of episodes to do so, at least 30, I would think.
Then, there’s the matter of the opening.
I think it would be awesome if Mappa could get SiM to do it, just like they did “Rumbling” for Attack on Titan.
They already have a perfect song for it, with “Devil in Your Heart”, after all.
Although, this song being the opening is not a necessity.
It’s just something I’m hoping for but will probably not happen.
In the end, no matter what opening we get and no matter how far Mappa decides pace their adaptation, this trailer made me even more excited for the Chainsaw Man anime.
The animation looks stellar, the voice acting seems great, and there will be gore galore with apparently much less censorship than seen in other manga adaptations.
I am eagerly anticipating seeing the final product in October.

Chainsaw Man Chapter 101, Afterschool Devil Hunters Review: Na na na na na na na na Bat Devil!

Tatsuki Fujimoto is still going strong with his fourth chapter of Chainsaw Man Part Two, Chapter 101, “Afterschool Devil Hunters.”
The chapter begins the day after Yuko gifted Asa with her shoes because bullies covered her old ones in raw meat.
Despite Yuko’s kindness, Asa is still uncertain about this new friendship, as proven by her refusing to look Yuko in the eye and her giving the shoes back, her excuse being that they were too small.
Yuko is undeterred, however, and suggests the two of them go Devil hunting after school which, again, I am not sure why the school allows.
Later that day, as the two are eating togethor on a bench, Yuko brings up how Yoshida was not at school, wondering if he is serious about joining the Devil hunting club.
Little does she know that Yoshida is already a Devil hunter, meaning he probably did not attend because he has an important job.
Or maybe he is tailing them in secret to keep a closer eye on Asa, since he probably suspects her after seeing the War Devil take control of her body in Chapter 99.
Yuko wondering where Yoshida is then leads Asa into asking why she joined the club and Yuko replies that she wants to become a Devil hunter to earn money and also to avenge her parents, who were killed by a Devil, like Asa’s.
Yuko’s parents being killed by a Devil could earn credence to the theory that she is Kusakabe’s daughter, since she looks quite similar to him.
Either way, both of their parents being killed by Devils creates a stronger connection between Asa and Yuko, with Yuko saying they should become Devil Hunters and partner up as buddies because they are, “kinda like manga main characters.”
Well, Yuko, to be the main character of a manga, you kind of have to live a while and, given that you are in a story written by Tatsuki Fujimoto, I am not sure how long you’ll actually last.
This worry of mine increased when Yuko left to go to the toilet, only for the War Devil to appear before Asa again and suggest killing Yuko.
As an aside, I really liked how Fujimoto went about paneling Asa realizing the War Devil was there.
First we get a panel of her watching Yuko leave, a rare smile on her face, which is followed by a few small panels of her eating, then the last panel of the page, where Asa looks beside her and the smile vanishes.
On the next page we then see the War Devil sitting next to Asa, announcing in bold that they should kill Yuko.
The War Devil explains that the guiltier Asa feels about killing someone, the more powerful that person’s body will be as a weapon.
This gives off a frightening visual, since the War Devil was already quite powerful when it used the teacher’s body in Chapter 98, so imagine how powerful it could be if it used Yuko, who is actually friends with Asa?
It presents quite a morbid usage of the power of friendship trope.
Asa is, of course, disgusted with the idea of killing Yuko, and this causes an argument between her and the War Devil, resulting in multiple people and a cat staring at them.
Asa and the War Devil are not too bright at keeping their identity a secret.
First the War Devil foolishly exposes itself to Yoshida and now Asa is shouting at the War Devil, which is invisible to everyone else, and even calls it by name in public.
Way to be subtle, girls.
Speaking of which, Asa has grown tired of the War Devil referring to her as “girl” so, in the hopes of changing the subject from killing Yuko, tells the War Devil to call her Asa instead.
The War Devil hits back by telling Asa that she never uses its name either, and Asa responds that War Devil is a weird name to use.
This causes the War Devil to relent, despite knowing that Asa is trying to change the subject, since it knows her every thought.
The War Devil then tells Asa to call it Yoru, which is interesting because it means night, the exact opposite of Asa’s name, which means morning.
The two then seem to come to an agreement, now calling each other by their names.
Asa also finally seems happy, as she admits to herself while walking with Yoku that she does not care about killing Chainsaw Man now that she is having fun with her friend, which she has not felt in forever.
So, now that Asa is happy, of course something has to go wrong.
The scene cuts to a street preacher, who is ranting to the passing populace about the dangers Devils pose, stating that out of a random twenty people, seven will be killed by Devils.
If this is an accurate number then it presents a horrifying reality that the people of the Chainsaw Man world live in, made even scarier by the following page, which shows Asa and Yuko running into the Bat Devil, which is currently killing a bunch of people.
The Bat Devil actually appeared in Part One, being one of the first big Devils Denji fought and killed.
So, it seems that the Bat Devil was eventually killed in hell and has now reincarnated on Earth again to wreck havoc, and in a disturbingly artistic way, at that, because Fujimoto appears to have drawn the Bat Devil eating a man to resemble the 1800s painting Saturn Devouring his son by Fransisco Goya.
As Asa looks on in terror, Yoru appears before her again and humorously tells her she has bad news and more bad news.
The first bit of bad news is that they are not strong enough to defeat the Bat Devil the way they are.
The second, and most important, bit of bad news is that Yoru has just found out that she cannot take over Asa’s body when her vessel is scared, making them essentially powerless in this situation.
The way Fujimoto colours the panel revealing this is also great, with it being much brighter than the other, darker panels, highlighting this reveal’s importance and the terror it holds for Asa.
Yoru advises that Asa slowly back away from the Bat Devil, only for her and Yuko to bolt,  causing Yoru to call her an idiot, bringing an end to the chapter.
So, how are Asa, Yoru and Yuko going to get out of this one?
Well, I see three possibilities.
The first is that Asa manages to overcome her fear so Yoru can take over her body, kill Yuko, and use her body as a weapon to kill the Bat Devil.
However, I think this theory is the least likely because we have only just met Yuko and I feel that if Fujimoto is going to kill her off he would want to give her more page time so her death will hurt us more.
The second possibility is that Yoshida shows up to save them.
As I said earlier, he could be tailing them because he is suspicious of Asa, so this could be a good time to reveal him as a Devil Hunter to Asa, Yoru and Yuko.
The final possibility is that Denji shows up as Chainsaw Man to kill the Bat Devil.
Along with serving as the return of Denji, this happening could also be used for comedic purporses, as the Bat Devil could cry out “Not again!” before it gets killed by Denji and sent back to hell.
This could lead to us seeing Chainsaw Man a few more times before Asa meets him officially as Denji at school, while potentially being unaware that he is Chainsaw Man.
Knowing Fujimoto’s writing style, however, I would not be surprised if Asa and Yuko are saved in a different way, which none of us have thought of.
It will be interesting to see what he does in Chapter 102, which will be released in two weeks time, since Fujimoto is taking his first break for Part Two.
“Afterschool Devil Hunters” is another great Chainsaw Man chapter, which has me excited for what will unfold next.

Chainsaw Man Chapter 100, How to Walk Shoeless Review: Short, Slice of Life.

Going into Chapter 100 of Chainsaw Man, “How to Walk Shoeless”, I wondered if Tatsuki Fujimoto would commerate his 100th chapter with a big event, like other mangakas do when they reach such a milestone.
Instead, Fujimoto opted for a short, slice of life chapter that works perfectly well by building up relationships between the characters, specifically the growing friendship of Asa Mitaka and Yuko, the girl who was placed in Asa and Yoshida’s devil hunting group at the end of the last chapter.
Picking up from where “Two Birds” left off, Chapter 100 begins with the three of them walking the halls at their school, searching for devils, weapons in hand.
That last detail makes me think the devil hunting club really is serious about sending potential members after dangerous devils, and I am still wondering how the teachers feel about it?
This is not relevant to the chapter, however, which sees Asa, Yoshida and Yuko introduce themselves to one another as they walk the halls.
Yoshida and Yuko both confess to being fans of Chainsaw Man, but Asa dodges the subject by saying she likes him “as much as the average person”, all the while stewing in embarrassment over being paired up with Yoshida, after the War Devil failed in asking him out.
And it certainly does not help that Asa is now in a group with two people who say they are fans of Chainsaw Man, who she dislikes.
Unfortunately, things get more uncomfortable for Asa, as she passes some of her classmates, who begin to talk bad about her behind her back, being disgusted by the War Devil asking Yoshida out after Asa accidentally killed Bucky.
At first, this had me disappointed in Yoshida because I thought he had told everyone about Asa asking him to be her boyfriend but his confusion at what they are talking about made me remember that the War Devil was not exactly quiet when she propositioned him.
So, it makes sense that these students overheard and now have further motive to hate Asa, sadly leading to bullying, where Asa finds they have stuffed raw meat in her locker when she runs away from Yoshida and Yuko.
How messed up would it be if that raw meat was chicken?
An insult to Bucky’s memory is what it is.
Joking aside, Asa then leaves the school where the War Devil surprisingly offers to take care of Asa’s bullies.
Asa refuses and this is probably for the best considering that the War Devil’s way of helping things would probably be to blow them up with hand grenades made of literal hands.
Although, Asa would need friends in order for the War Devil to transform them, so they could be used as weapons.
Fortunately for Asa and unfortunately for Yuko (if the War Devil plans to use her as a weapon), the latter shows up to support Asa, offering her one of her shoes, since walking without shoes must make her feet hurt.
Asa is reluctant, so Yuko leaves the shoe with her, forcing Asa to chase her home, the two of them in constant, humorous, minor pain as their bare feet race across the sidewalk.
Upon reaching Yuko’s home, she gifts Asa with the other shoe, allowing her new friend to walk home with shoes.
Yuko really is proving herself to be a good friend, which is exactly what Asa needs, now more than ever.
However, as I have stated, this may not turn out to be a good thing in the end because then the War Devil could end up killing her and using her body parts as weapons to take on Chainsaw Man.
Speaking of Denji, I have heard a really weird theory that Yuko is actually him in disguise.
At first, I thought this theory was a joke but it seems there are some readers who buy it somewhat.
Personally, I think this theory is incredibly unlikely to be the case.
I mean, I do kind of think there would be a resemblance if Yuko took off her glasses, but not enough to convince me.
Along with this, given what we know about Denji’s character from Part One, I highly doubt he would work well undercover.
There are also plenty of general plot holes with this theory, like why Yoshida would allow Denji near Asa, who he probably suspects of being a devil at this point, and, most obviously, why would Denji be pretending to be a girl in the first place?
So, safe to say that the Yuko being a disguised Denji theory is as dead as Bucky.
Too soon, I know.
Let Yuko stay her own character who slowly becomes Asa’s friend, breaking down her walls until the War Devil literally breaks her body to make a weapon out of it.
I’m joking about wanting that last thing to happen.
Back to Chapter 100, after Yuko gives Asa her shoes, we get the cliffhanger, which is a simple yet comedic exchange between Asa and the War Devil.
When Yuko gives Asa the shoes, she suggests Asa sell them if she does not want to wear them, to which the War Devil concurs when they are alone, only for Asa to ask if they are an idiot.
This brings the relationship building Chapter 100 to a close.
Overall, “How to Walk Shoeless” is a good chapter that plays off well with the first two.
Since we did not see Denji in this chapter, it is most likely we will not see him for a while.
We may even get an entire arc without him.
But, as I said in my previous review, I actually like this.
Denji being absent for a while will give us more time to become attached to Asa, the War Devil, Yuko and Yoshida.
A long absense will also make Denji’s return more epic when it happens.
Although, Fujimoto being Fujimoto, he could also introduce Denji in the simplest way imagineable, like just having him randomly bump into Asa.
Either way, I am looking forward to the next chapter.

Chainsaw Man Chapter 99, Two Birds Review: Return of the Octopus.

Last week, Chainsaw Man returned with a bang, as Chapter 98, “Bird and War”, introduced us to a brand new and interesting character, Asa Mitaka.
“Bird and War” then ended with a typically Fujimoto style of crazy, as Asa was taken over by the War Devil, who intends to make Chainsaw Man vomit back up nuclear weapons.
Chapter 99, “Two Birds” is a great follow-up to this ending, opening by highlighting the situation Asa is in, as she wakes up wondering if the horrific events of the night before were just a dream, only for the War Devil to appear before her.
Rather than the strange owl form, which many theorized was based off the owls of the Greek Godess Athena, the War Devil has taken the form of Asa, only with the scars the Justice Devil left on her, along with the Makima-like eyes.
After some comedic moments of Asa constantly pinching herself to see if she is dreaming, the War Devil informs her that it took over half of her brain so it can control her, allowing Asa to see it as a hallucination when it is not in control.
As Asa walks to school, the War Devil informs Asa, and the reader, that it took over her body so that it could go to her school because it knows Chainsaw Man goes there, since a devil he killed was clutching a button from the school’s uniform.
The reason the War Devil left half of Asa’s brain in her control is because it does not know how to blend into human society, so it needs her to do that.
I do think this is partially true but I also think there is more to it than this.
The contract the War Devil laid out to Asa in the last chapter was, “If you want to live, you’re body will be mine.”
Part of their contract was allowing Asa to survive, thus it left half of her brain for her to exist in.
This is why I think the War Devil’s constant threats to kill her are also a bluff because this would break their contract, and Himeno informed us in Part One that if a Devil breaks a contract then they die.
Therefore, the War Devil’s threats to kill Asa are solely used to convince her to cooperate.
However, this does not exactly turn out in the War Devil’s favor because Asa is still so isolated at school, due to the Class President making her kill Bucky, that she says she would rather die than go to school.
This embarassing isolation is made even worse by the following interaction she and the War Devil have with a certain someone, this being Hirofumi Yoshida.
It is understandable if people who have read Part One of Chainsaw Man do not remember this character, especially if they read it a while ago.
Yoshida had a very brief stay in the manga before, only appearing in the International Assassins Arc, where he was tasked with protecting Denji with his Octopus Devil, and proved himself to be stronger than most, when he was able to go toe to toe with Quanxi in a fist fight for a while.
After this arc, he went back to high school and did not appear for the rest of Part One.
His sudden disappearance and Fujimoto making a point to mention that he was in school, made many theorize that he would be a big part of Part Two because high school is where Denji would be next.
Well, that theory has seemingly been confirmed with Yoshida’s arrival, as he approaches Asa to ask if she is okay, clearly noticing her hunched over and talking to herself.
After he approaches, the War Devil quickly proves that it was telling the truth to Asa when it said that it did not know how to blend into human society because it chooses that moment to take control of her body, making the scars abruptly appear on Asa’s body and even more abruptly asking Yoshida if he knows anything about Chainsaw Man being at school.
Yoshida clearly notices the suddenly appearing scars, yet brushes them off quickly, and explains that since he just transferred here, he doesn’t know anything about Chainsaw Man being at school for certain.
However, he did hear a rumor that he was attending a devil hunting club.
The War Devil take this at face value but Yoshida is clearly playing it like a fiddle.
For one thing, we know from the International Assassins Arc that Yoshida is an exceptionally attentive person, having quickly discovered one of the assassins and killing them, along with deducing that one of the assassins was innocent because he puked after seeing a dead body.
Sure, he was wrong about the last one because he did not know that last assassin was new to the job, but his reasoning was still sound.
Therefore, the idea that he would see scars suddenly appear on a girl’s body out of nowhere and just immediately dismiss this is not in character, so he clearly suspects that Asa is a devil.
Him just having transferred to the High School is also probably to protect Denji again because of the Justice Devil’s involvement in the deaths of both the Class President and Mr Tanaka.
Since he is probably protecting Denji and also most likely noticed Asa is a devil, he would want to keep her as far away from Denji as possible, so he lied about Chainsaw Man being in the devil hunting club to isolate her.
Honestly, I see Denji being in something like the cooking club more than the devil hunting club.
Yoshida’s suspicions of Asa are also probably one of the main reasons why he turns down the War Devil’s offer to be her boyfriend, which also again confirms the War Devil’s inneptitude when it comes to interacting with humans, as it only adds to Asa’s embarassment.
After Yoshida leaves, Asa demands to know why the War Devil would ask him out and the War Devil explains that it has, “the power to turn what’s mine into weapons”, so was aiming to do that with Yoshida.
This explains why the War Devil was able to turn Tanaka’s head into a sword last chapter because he was planning to groom Asa, so his gross lust for her made him the War Devil’s weapon when it took over her body.
The War Devil having this power also causes problems for Asa’s future because, when the Justice Devil killed her last chapter, her last thoughts were of wishing she had lived more selfishly, having friends and maybe a boyfriend.
However, if Asa were to make friends and get a boyfriend, then this would mean the War Devil could turn them into weapons, robbing her of them.
This clearly does not matter to the War Devil at the moment, however, as it explains to Asa that it wants to obtain as many weapons as possible to go to war with Chainsaw Man.
Asa appears to be slightly swayed by the notion of fighting Chainsaw Man, as her fists unclench but she quickly goes back to being concerned about her dire situation, wanting to contact a Devil Hunter, only for the War Devil to threaten her again since it can read her thoughts.
The War Devil says it will return Asa’s body when they have defeated Chainsaw Man, demanding that Asa sign up for the devil hunting club, where they now believe Denji is.
Upon arriving at the club, the leaders tell all of the attendees that only those who kill a devil can join.
I found this to be a rather strange detail, since devils can be notoriously dangerous.
Would the teachers at the school really be okay with the students risking their lives like this?
Or maybe the students are deliberately sent after harmless devils like Bucky?
Guess we’ll have to wait for the next chapter to find out.
In any case, the leaders split everyone into groups of three to go devil hunting, putting Asa in a group with Yoshida, much to her embarassment, and a cheerful girl with glasses, who many readers have pointed out looks a lot like Kusakabe.
He was a character who first appeared and then died in the International Assassins Arc, so it would be interesting if she were related to him.
Although, it could be a little too convenient to have someone related to Kusakabe be randomly placed in the same group with Yoshida, who worked with Kusakabe before his death.
Maybe she’s just a character who happens to look similar to him?
Either way, it will be interesting to see if she is a character who will become important or is just canon fodder for the devils.
If she befriends Asa, I can’t see it ending well for her, though, considering the War Devil’s abilities.
It clearly would not have a problem with killing any of the friends Asa makes, so long they can be used as a weapon against Chainsaw Man.
Speaking of which, when are we going to see Denji again?
Fujimoto appears to have made a joke about his absence at the the beginning of the chapter when a news reporter says, “Chainsaw Man has yet to appear this week.”
Well, we might just see him next week because the following chapter will be Chainsaw Man‘s 100th chapter and big things tend to happen in a manga’s 100th chapter.
Although, this is not a must.
If Denji does not appear in the next chapter, then I honestly don’t see him showing up for a while.
In fact, I think this may actually be for the best because it could allow us to get more aquainted with Asa, Yoshida and potentially the new girl so, when Denji finally does show up, we are able to care about these new characters as much as him.
One thing I think could be interesting is introducing Chainsaw Man before Denji, meaning that Asa could see him fighting in his Devil Hybrid form, before officially meeting him at school.
As for Denji’s location at the school, as I said, he is almost definitley not in the devil hunting club.
That was probably just a ploy for Yoshida to keep a close eye on Asa, since he probably suspects her of being a devil.
He may be a bit out of depth, though, considering that the War Devil is one of the Four Horseman of the Apocalypse, up there with Death, Famine and Conquest, who many people consider to be Makima, now Nayuta.
It will be interesting to see if we go on to meet the Death and Famine Devils in Part Two.
As for Chapter 99, “Two Birds”, it a good follow-up chapter to the previous one, setting up the high school setting well, along with the War Devil’s connection with Asa, and the return of Yoshida.
I am eagerly anticipating to see where all of this goes.

Chainsaw Man Chapter 98, Bird and War Review: Chainsaw Man is Backaw!

Chainsaw Man is one of my favourite mangas and is written by my favourite mangaka, Tatsuki Fujimoto.
Therefore, I am obviously very excited for its anime adaptation and was even more excited for Part 2 of the manga, the first chapter of which just dropped.
Chapter 98, “Bird and War” was honestly not how I expected Chainsaw Man’s second part to begin but, given that this is Fujimoto we’re talking about here, I definitley should have.
A headless Chicken Devil named Bucky, who constantly makes terrible chicken puns, being used as an experiment to teach a highschool class about the sanctity of life is classic Fujimoto craziness.
The concept alone had me laughing hysterically right from the get go, and this was certainly not the last time I would be doing so when reading Chapter 98.
While every student in the class seems excited about spending time with Bucky, there is one exception, a loner girl named Asa Mitaka, the protaganist of the chapter.
Mitaka seems to despise everyone at her school, only tolerating the class president who makes an effort to befriend her.
It is when the two talk for the first time in the chapter that Fujimoto gives us a little bit of worldbuilding for the area they live in.
First, there is the bun the class president is eating, with the packaging it comes in reading, “Chainsaw Curry Man.”
This is a good bit of worldbuilding, showing the impact Denji’s popularity as Chainsaw Man has had an effect on Japan’s marketing companies.
The next bit of worldbuilding comes from Mitaka herself, who describes the city they live in as corrupt, with buildings being constructed illegally, a mayor with a DUI, along with Chainsaw Man himself.
This exposition is a little ham-fisted, since Mitaka is saying things that the class president would already know but it gets the information across to us readers well enough.
At the end of their conversation, the class president attempts to comfort Mitaka by saying that Bucky will be killed in 100 days, yet Mitaka wishes that both the Chicken Devil and Chainsaw Man would die sooner.
Mitaka’s hatred for Chainsaw Man is interesting when you look back and see the class talking about her parents being killed by a devil.
Does she hate Denji just by the assosciation of him being a devil, or does she hate him because her parents were killed in one of his big city fights?
Maybe her parents died in the fight with Reze and the Typhoon Devil, for example?
That’s just a theory for now, though.
Following the conversation between Mitaka and the class president, Fujimoto then delivers a montage of the 100 days the class spends with Bucky, growing closer and closer with him, while somehow tolerating his awful chicken puns.
Although, I suppose I did make just such a pun in the title of this review, so I shouldn’t be one to judge.
By the end of the 100 days, Mitaka is ready for Bucky to be killed, sporting a smug little grin, only for the class president to announce that everyone in the class has become attatched to Bucky and they now want him to live.
The teacher, Mr Tanaka, is overjoyed for his students, as he was hoping that they would come to this conclusion, now declaring that Bucky can live with their class and cancelling math so they can all go play soccer.
The entire class takes part, except for Mitaka, who Mr Tanaka and the class president attempt to coax into playing.
Surprisingly, it is Bucky who convinces Mitaka, jumping into her arms and asking her to come and play, by name.
This is the first time we hear Mitaka’s name in the story and it was a good call from Fujimoto to have this be the case, because it helped isolate us readers from her somewhat, until we learn with Mitaka that, despite her self isolation, she was jealous of the friendships everyone has.
Now feeling hopeful thanks to Bucky’s help, Mitaka holds him in her arms and walks towards her classmates, ready to come out of her shell and begin a new future at the school by making friends… only for her to trip and crush Bucky so hard that his intestines burst from his stomach, killing him.
Cue another burst of laughter from me at this classic use of dark comedy from Fujimoto.
Unfortunately, Mitaka accidentally crushing Bucky to death leads to her being isolated, only this isolation is no longer self-imposed.
Things start to look up, however, when Mr Tanaka and the class president come to take her to Bucky’s Grave to apologize for what happened togethor.
Clearly, Mr Tanaka and the class president are good people who will stand by Mitaka through thick and thin… right?
Well, actually, no, because it turns out that the class president is responsible for tripping Mitaka, causing her to kill Bucky, and has made a deal with the Justice Devil to kill her.
Why did she do this?
Because she was having sex with Tanaka but he wanted to pursue Mitaka, so she got jealous.
Yep, Mr Tanaka is a groomer and the class president only made friends with Mitaka because he asked her to so he could get close and, since then, she has become a devil possessed psycho.
I really like the way this creepy truth is exposed, with Tanaka agreeing with Mitaka that they should stop at red lights, clearly an attempt to begin grooming her in retrospect, and this causes the class president’s jealousy to explode, causing her to finally decide to kill Mitaka.
It is interesting to that the Justice Devil of all devils is the one to make a contract with the class president, since, in her mind, Mitaka deserves a punishment for “stealing” Tanaka away from her, when, in reality, Tanaka is at fault for being a creepy groomer.
However, despite liking the logic of the Justice Devil being the one to attack Mitaka, I will say that I think that its design is a little lacking.
This is not to say that it is badly drawn but most of the devils in Chainsaw Man have designs that perfectly reflect their name, like the Darkness Devil, for example.
The Justice Devil’s form doesn’t really seem to resemble justice in any way that I can see.
Although, maybe there is some meaning behind it that I’m not getting and, even if there isn’t, this is still a very minor gripe, nothing major.
One thing I can highly praise, though, is the amount of thought Fujimoto clearly put into the reveals of the class president and Tanaka because, if you go back and look at a lot of their actions earlier in the chapter, it takes a sinister turn.
The panel right before Mitaka trips obscures the class president from view and in the next panel she is standing right beside the fallen Mitaka, making it clear on rereads that it was in the prior panel where she was obscured when she tripped Mitaka.
Back to the present, as a mere human, Mitaka obviously stands no chance against the Justice Devil but, before she dies, we get a brief look at her thoughts on her life, as she realizes that she is not the only one who is jealous.
Everyone holds some jealously towards another person and, if she had just realized that sooner, she could have had a happy life, making friends and maybe even getting a boyfriend.
Oh, and accompanying these tragic thoughts is some of the most brutal gore we have seen in Chainsaw Man. 
Seeing Mitaka’s face get torn apart in slow motion and the horrific aftermath was absolutley brutal.
Almost as brutal as what comes next as, in the instant before she dies, Mitaka sees a strange bird-like devil with the eyes of Makima watching over her from a stop sign.
The devil says that if she wants to live then her body is now its own.
Seemingly in an instant, Mitaka arises from death, now sporting a cool scar and marches over to Tanaka, deservedly decpitating him and sprouting a sword from his head, calling it the “Tanaka Spinal Cord Sword.”
There is already so much gore in Chainsaw Man‘s second part and I am all for it.
It only gets more brutal, as Mitaka announces herself as the War Devil, taking on the Justice Devil, cutting off its arm and transforming it into a hand grenade.
She then slices the Justice Devil in half, before throwing her Tanaka Spinal Cord Sword at her, prompting the class president still inside the Justice Devil to make out with the decapitated head.
I wonder if that’s an Attack on Titan reference?
In any case Mitaka declares this “a happy ending”, throwing the grenade over her shoulder, where it explodes, killing the Justice Devil, as Mitaka walks away in apparent slow motion in what is a clear omage to Fujimoto’s oneshot Goodbye Eri.
Speaking of which, Goodbye Eri is also amazing and if you have not read it yet then you definitley should.
“Bird and War” then ends with Mitaka seeing a poster for a Chainsaw Man Calling Party, and then, resting on the Justice Devil’s corpse, declaring, “Just you wait, Chainsaw Man! I’ll make you vomit nuclear weapons back up!”
This crazy final line from the War Devil controlling Mitaka perfectly spells out its motives, in my opinion.
During the final arc of Chainsaw Man Part One, Makima revealed that whenever the Chainsaw Devil eats another devil, it erases the memory of whatever that devil represented from everyone’s minds.
One of these devils that was killed, wiping its memory from humanity’s existance, was the Nuclear Weapons Devil.
Today, nuclear weapons are the thing we most fear when it comes to the terrible prospect of World War Three.
However, if nuclear weapons never existed, there would be less fear of war.
Not saying the fear would completley vanish, that would be stupid as war should always be feared, but it would be significantly less scary than it is now because without nuclear weapons there would not be a risk of destroying the entire world.
So, imagine the impact removing the memory of nuclear weapons would have had on the War Devil, knowing that devils are only as strong as humanity’s fear of what they represent.
It would have made the War Devil signficantly weaker.
This makes the War Devil’s motives abundantly clear, I think.
I believe that he deliberately took over Mitaka because of her hatred for Chainsaw Man, hoping to use her to kill him, potentially causing all of humanity to remember the fears that he killed, including nuclear weapons, thus returning the War Devil to its original power.
It will be interesting to see, if this theory is correct, how willing Mitaka is to go along with this plan.
We know she hates Chainsaw Man but there are some questions about why, as I have mentioned.
Not only this but we have to wonder how in control Mitaka was of her body when she made a contract with the War Devil.
It seems like the War Devil was completley in control when Mitaka killed the Justice Devil, so will she remember what happened when or if she takes control back and what will she think about her situation?
Would she be willing to kill Chainsaw Man if she knew it would increase the War Devil’s power and bring the world ending threat of nuclear weapons back?
I am intrigued to learn what she will think of all this in the coming chapters.
Another thing I am certain of though, along with the War Devil’s plan, is how Mitaka will attempt to track Chainsaw Man down.
She will do so by attending the Chainsaw Man Calling Party on the fifth of December, as the poster she looks at states.
We also know she and Denji will be at odds because of the promotional material we have got, with one piece showing Denji chainsawing Mitaka’s head open, while she glares at him in defiance.
Speaking of Denji himself, it is interesting to see that he is seemingly not the main character of Part Two.
I wonder what he has been up to, along with the other surviving character from Part One, like Kobeni, Kishibe, Nayuta and Yoshida?
Overall, Chapter 98 of Chainsaw Man “Bird and War” was an eggcelent start to Part Two… I know, I’m sorry, but I couldn’t resist the dumb chicken puns.
In all seriousness, I am incredibly impressed about how Fujimoto made me invested in Mitaka and her story in just a single chapter and I am excited to see where she goes as a character, whether as a protaganist or antaganist or anti-hero.
The chapter was so good that the only criticisms I have of it, those being some of the exposition delivery and the Justice Devil’s design, are so minor that they are barely an issue, showing how great this start was.
The future of Chainsaw Man is looking bright and I am looking forward to more crazy, gory and introspective scenes from Fujimoto

Thor: Love and Thunder Review: The Flanderization of Thor.

When Thor: Ragnarok came out, it was hailed as one of the best films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
While I did enjoy the film, I said in my review that is was overhyped and not quite the masterpiece it was being made out to be.
The reception to the sequel, Thor: Love and Thunder, is far more critical and, honestly, I think it is especially deserving of it.
I did still like the movie but the more I think about it, the more problems I have with it.
Directed by Taika Waititi, Thor: Love and Thunder sees the God of Thunder (Chris Hemsworth) go his separate ways from the Guardians of the Galaxy, after learning that multiple gods have been killed by a villain named Gorr the God Butcher (Christian Bale).
To stop him, Thor teams up with old friends from Ragnarok,  Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson) and Korg (Waititi), and, most surprising of all, his ex-girlfriend, Jane Foster (Natalie Portman), who has somehow gained Thor’s ability to wield Mjolnir. 

I liked the role Jane Foster played in this movie’s story.

The rekindling relationship between Thor and Jane is well written and acted, in my opinion, with it being my favourite part about both characters in this movie.
Unfortunately, it is one of the only good things about said characters, as most of them are flanderized to comedic extremes, especially Thor, who is portrayed as a giant idiot the entire movie, who seemingly forgot most of his character development in previous films.

Thor in Love and Thunder is like a dumber version of himself from the first movie before he had his character arc.

Despite my problems with Ragnarok, looking back, it did do a pretty good job of blending the humor with the serious scenes.
This is not the case with Love and Thunder, since it is entirely focused on constant jokes, only half of which made the audience I was watching the film with actually laugh.
It is especially jarring when the movie is dealing with subject matter that should be serious, yet it is played off for a bad joke.
These moments should have been played serious, like the scenes with Gorr, which are undoubtedly the best part of the film, mostly due to the characters’ writing and Bale’s fantastic performance.
That being said, for someone called “Gorr the God Butcher” Gorr hardly did any god butchering in this movie so he felt wasted.

Gorr really did not live up to his name of “The God Butcher.”

What ultimately saves the movie from these massive issues for me is that the action is mostly well executed, some character placement issues aside, and the ending is actually quite good.
I expected a deus ex machina to occur that would result in a completely happy ending without consequence for Thor, so I was pleasantly surprised when something else happened.
It was not enough to entirely save the movie because, as I have said, it still has a lot of issues, but it was enough for me to call Love and Thunder a fun time.
If you go into it expecting the film to take what happens seriously, it’s going to majorly fail for you, but if you go in expecting to turn your brain off and enjoy some action and maybe get a couple of laughs it will work.  

Barry Review: One of the Best Shows on Television.

For a while now, I have heard constant praise about the show Barry, with plenty of people making comparisons to other amazing shows like Breaking Bad when refrencing it.
Knowing that the third season was about to be released, I decided to watch the first two seasons and then the third as it was airing and, after finishing Barry, I can say that all of the praise and comparisons to other fantastic series is definitely warranted.
Created by Bill Hader and Alec Berg, the show stars Hader as the titular character, Barry Berkman, a former marine turned hitman who feels lost in life.
After being sent to Los Angeles by his handler, Monroe Fuchs (Stephen Root), to kill a man for the Chechen Mafia, Barry finds himself being drawn into an acting class taught by disgraced actor Gene Cousineau (Henry Winkler).
Barry comes to believe that he has found his calling, and tries to get out of the hitman business to pursue acting, with both hilarious and dark results, sometimes a mixture of the two.

The dark comedy of Barry can be both hilarious and terrifying.

Along with the dark comedy and excellent writing, what also keeps the show together is its stellar cast of characters.
Hader is incredible as Barry, making the hitman trying to be an actor someone I sympathised with while feeling guilty for doing so because of the absolutley horrible things he does.
Winkler is also amazing as Cousineau, a sympathetic mentor figure who probably bears the biggest loss from letting Barry into his life out of any of the main characters.

Seeing what Barry puts Cousineau through is some of the most tragic stuff in the whole show.

Fuchs is probably the scummiest character in the entire sseries, with his sociopathic manipulation of Barry and those closest to him to get what he wants.
Noho Hank (Anthony Carrigan) is the exact opposite of this; a somehow charming member of the Chechen Mafia, who I am so glad they did not kill off in the first episode, like they originally intended to do.
Last, but certainly not least, there is Sally Reed (Sarah Goldberg), Barry’s acting classmate and later girlfriend, who maintains the trend of characters being flawed, yet sympathetic, excellently, with Goldberg delivering various excellent monolgues.

One monologue from Sally in Season Two was so fantastic that I would have been rendered speechless had it not been for the following joke making me bust a gut laughing.

The situations all of these characters are placed in, and often cause in Barry’s case, are also darkly humorous, resulting in multiple masterpiece episodes, like “Loud, Fast and Keep Going”, “Know Your Truth”, “Ronny/Lily”, “Berkman > Block”, and “710N”.
The final episode of Season Three, “Starting Now” is a particularly intense ride, with Bill Hader stating he wanted the episode to feel like an anxiety attack.
He definitley succeeded in giving the episode this effect, with there being one scene that absolutley terrified me, not because of what we see but because of what we hear.

This is probably one of the best examples of sound being scarier than sight. I felt like Hank in this scene: Horrified and helpless.

The ending to this “Starting Now”, in particular, surprised me because now I have absolutley no idea where Season Four is going to go, making me even more excited for it.
Barry is an absolute masterpiece of a show and, if its series finale lands correctly, whenever we do get the final season, it could very well stand alongside the likes of Breaking Bad as one of the greatest TV series of all time.