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Review AMC’s Mad Men: Episode 504 “Mystery Date”

For those who wondered what historical time frame Mad Men was currently operating in, we got a pretty definitive answer Sunday night as much of the episode revolved around a murder case that occurred in July of 1966. We first get news of the infamous murder case when Peggy’s Time magazine photographer friend crashes the copy-writer meeting to show off the grizzly photos she’s collected from the crime scene. We get a taste of all of the societal elements being touched upon in this week’s episode in a nice little package. The re-introduction of Peggy’s professional lesbian feminist friend let’s us know that we will be seeing elements of the women’s rights movement. The discussion of how the murder case is trumping stories about the race riots in Chicago is a tip off that we will be dealing with more of the civil rights movement, and finally we get the juxtaposition of attitudes about the murder case itself as Ginsberg is horrified by everyone’s giddy fascination with the explicit photos. Before we follow through on these topics and visit the first true “Holy Shit” moment of the season lets get move on to bigger and better things, ie. Joanie.

Greg has returned from Vietnam to the anticipatory arms of Joan and his newborn son but we soon learn that he’s returning for another year of duty, as a volunteer no less. The somewhat hapless doctor has found a place where he is important and respected and is eager to return. Joan doesn’t take guff from anyone and lets face it, Kevin isn’t really Greg’s son anyhow, so she promptly shows him the door. Goodbye Greg, good luck in the late 60’s Vietnam, I bet his return in a year won’t be so damn proud and patriotic. As we see in the teaser at the end of the show Joan will soon be returning to the office where the awkwardness between her and Roger can resume.

Meanwhile at SCDP Roger is again caught with his pants down as he is completely unprepared for the upcoming Mohawk Airlines meeting, and he is forced and coerced into bribing Peggy to get his campaign in order. I missed the mark when it came to a potential Peggy/Roger romance last week, but their exchange was peppered with a bunch of great one liners.

Continue reading Review AMC’s Mad Men: Episode 504 “Mystery Date”

Logical predictions for ‘John Cena vs. The Rock’ at Wrestlemania 28

Here’s the truth – I was content just sitting back until Wrestlemania and seeing what happens in the much anticipated main event clash between John Cena and the Rock. However, I can only read so many articles where a writer shoves his biased, bullshit, illogical opinion down my throat until I finally have to speak up. Here’s the deal Bleacher Report, I get it, you all like the Rock, and furthermore, you all seem to be convinced that John Cena is going to turn heel after or during his match at Wrestlemania, but you never seem to offer a valid explanation as to why. So right now, I’m going to take time out of my day to tell you all exactly why it’s not going to happen!

Over the past six years, the WWE has pushed John Cena as the face of the company. From make-a-wish trips, to anti-bullying campaigns, to representing the WWE at major sporting events, John Cena has done it all for the company. Let me ask you something, after years of investing all of this effort into John Cena being the man to respectfully represent the company, why in the Hell would they turn him heel? Who would the WWE send to anti-bullying campaigns?? The bad guy in the company?? I don’t think so! There is more to John Cena’s character than just his contribution to a storyline. I’ve been hearing about this John Cena heel turn for years, and low and behold it has not happened!

Not only would a John Cena heel turn be about the phoniest heel turn since good ole’ JR, but it would be extremely bad for business. Look into any crowd, on any given Monday Night Raw and you’ll see thousands of children pack the arena decked out in John Cena gear. John Cena has become an idol to the younger viewers with his superman like physique and his “never say die,” mentallity. Should John Cena turn heel, whose merchandise are these young fans buying?? That’s right, nobody’s, because nobody’s character appeals to younger fans the way Cena’s does. A Cena heel turn would not only kill merchandise sales, but also lose viewers. The move would be all around bad for business, and I think the WWE knows this!

Although I heavily knock this prediction, I will say that I wouldn’t ever rule the possibility out completely. It would not be the first time that the WWE has made a bad character decision, I just find it to be nearly impossible at this point.

Continue reading Logical predictions for ‘John Cena vs. The Rock’ at Wrestlemania 28

Grizzly Review: Silent House


Memories and dreams have a fascinating way of surfacing themselves through what’s known as a “trigger”. For instance, it’s been proven that a person who has a panic attack is susceptible to have another one if put in the exact same geographical location of where the first one occurred, regardless of the emotions currently expressed in that place. I, myself, have had some experience with this, and it’s very odd to be in a place where something unpleasant has happened to you. Even though you’re no longer in any danger, you almost get the feeling that the place itself is going to attack you.

Silent House takes this premise, and essentially capitalizes on the fear that comes with remembrance. Sarah (Elizabeth Olsen), a beautiful girl in her early twenties, is moving out of her childhood home. With help from her father, John (Adam Trese), and her uncle Peter (Eric Sheffer Stevens), they plan to be out of the house as soon as possible. John and Peter take some pictures of a hole in the wall chewed out by rats, and after arguing with each other, Peter storms out angry.

After a few minutes, an old friend, Sophia (Julia Taylor Ross) comes by and catches up with Sarah who doesn’t even remember her. Her and Sophia make plans to hang out before she leaves, with Sarah agreeing. Before she creepily rides off, Sarah assures Sophia that she remembers her. Sophia simply says, “I know you do. How could you not?” and rides off. When she goes back in the house, she hears a loud bang, and her and her father go up to investigate. This, my good people, is where the madness begins.

If you’ve heard of Silent House, you’ve probably heard of the method they used to shoot it. One take. The whole movie is one take. Supposedly. Elizabeth Olsen herself has said that there are thirteen hidden edits in the film. I’m not sure if that means added visual effects in post, or what, but considering some of the lens changes in certain scenes, I doubt it was actually all filmed in one take. Still, Silent House succeeds due to its deliberate plotting, excellent tension, and incredible ending.

The whole film is, in fact, a metaphor for rape. This is where the spoilers come. The end of the film reveals that both Sarah’s father and uncle molested her as a child, taking pictures with a Polaroid camera. The reason I mentioned the use of the camera before was for this exact reason. During that scene, Sarah’s face is subtly uncomfortable. It’s not the most obvious thing in the world, but it’s there. In fact, every step, every shot, every turn, look, jump, and scream has a purpose.

I’ve been listening about how great Elizabeth Olsen is for almost an entire year, now, but this is the first time I’ve actually seen her in a movie. She completely exceeded my expectations and totally blew me away. If that girl doesn’t win an Oscar by the end of the 2010s, I might just lose my mind. Her portrayal of a mental breakdown through recollection is one of the best performances I’ve seen recently, and the amount of terror that is evident in her entire body makes up for the lack of any real scares in the actual film.

Silent House is more of a psychological thriller-mystery as opposed to just plain horror, which I actually appreciate. It’s more concerned with telling a story than actually scaring you. That’s not to say that it isn’t creepy, because it is. It really is, but screenwriter Laura Lau was much more fascinated with the psyche of a rape victim almost twenty years after the abuse. The character of Sarah could just as well have been the stereotypical dumb girl trapped in the house. Usually in these films, there’s an easy way out, but the protagonist is just too stupid to see it. This is not the case, because Sarah’s fear is not only genuine, but it’s also helpless enough for us to see that there really is no way out. She’s as stuck in the house as she’s going to get, raising the stakes as well as our heart rate.

But if there’s any other “character” in the film that brings almost as much emotion as Sarah, it’s cinematographer Igor Martinovic. The stunning and frankly breathtaking visuals of Silent House serve as a character on its own. The particular sequence that really got me was when Sarah escapes the house about halfway through the film, and she’s just sprinting for dear life from the place. I’ve never seen anything like that before and it really just blew me away.

There are many interpretations one can make from the film, but one of the more divided opinions is that of Sophia. Some say she was real, others claim she wasn’t. Personally, I think that Sophia serves as an alter-ego of sorts to Sarah who entered her mind when her father and uncle raped her, but I guess I can’t be sure. I’m almost tempted to go back and watch Silent House again to see if I can catch some of the little subtleties I may have missed.

The negative reviews are expected for an art-house flick with such a heavy subject, but in all honesty, I loved that Silent House worked strictly as metaphor. Nothing more, nothing less. Silent House is truly unlike any horror film I’ve seen recently, and for that, I’m very appreciative.  The obviously misleading ads are going to get the asses in the seats, but getting them to stay there will be quite difficult, which is disappointing considering how much American audiences crave something new. As a loose remake of the 2010 Spanish-language film The Silent House, this remake changes the premise up a little bit, and adds an art-house twist that makes it all the more inviting. But this is one front door you don’t want to walk in to.

4/5 Bears

The Walking Dead: Season 2, Episode 13: Beside the Dying Fire – FINALE REVIEW

The finale of Season 2 began awesomely, by showing us where the massive horde of walkers originated from, all the way back in Atlanta. The helicopter from the first episode was flying overhead (don’t know who it was yet), and the walkers were mindlessly following it. As the horde heard Carl’s gunshot from, they followed that, and unfortunately for Herschel’s farm, there were hundreds of them at that point. Rick and Carl were heading back toward the farmhouse after the Shane incident when they noticed the horde of walkers following them. At this point Rick’s quick thinking took them towards the barn, where he proceeded to light it on fire – killing/distracting the walkers. The Grimes Boys escape with help from Jimmy, who pulls the RV up to the barn so they can jump onto the roof, and then stops the thing. Why did he stop the RV after Rick and Carl were on it? I presume suicide. My favorite part of the beginning, though, is that Lori suddenly realizes that Carl is not in his room. This is a running joke, now, because Lori always loses her son. I doubt if Carl even has the room that he is always supposed to be in.

After the fiery barn escape, the whole group teams up to fend off the giant number of zombies attacking them, and they fail. Patricia gets eaten right in front of everyone, as Beth had to be pulled away from her screaming. Who is Patricia, you ask? Otis’s wife… but I Googled that. Why did she get attacked? Because she was a very unimportant filler character, and every time she spoke, everyone fell asleep. Boom.

Hershel being the total bad-ass he is, tried taking on all of the walkers himself. Eastwood style.

Continue reading The Walking Dead: Season 2, Episode 13: Beside the Dying Fire – FINALE REVIEW