Sleepy Hollow: “This is War” Review

sleepy hollow season 2 bannerAfter a long, long summer, Sleepy Hollow is finally back. We’ve speculated. We’ve watched the trailers and sneak peeks over and over. And now we can finally see how Abbie and Ichabod are going to handle Season 2. How did their first episode back go? Well… it was okay.

Spoilers after the jump.

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Trailer Tuesdays: Tusk

I’m not typically the type to keep up with movies in terms of new releases—I’m more likely to watch a film online than I am to go to a theater, especially with the untimely demise of the dollar theater in my town. However, this little gem of a flick has got me feeling not only on the up and up, but actually excited for a theater release for the first time in what feels like forever.

Trigger warning for needles in the below video.

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Running through the Maze of Dystopian Movies: The Maze Runner

the-maze-runner-movie-widescreen-background-HDThe Maze Runner has probably been my best theater experience in the past two years. I didn’t have to suffer through shitty 3D glasses—they didn’t even have a 3D showing—and unlike when I saw Godzilla, my theater actually remembered to turn the damn sound up to a volume loud enough to hear. Unfortunately, since God apparently hates me, there had to be something wrong. There’s construction going on in the next lot over, and it’s loud. So while I was attempting to enjoy the movie, I was simultaneously listening to the grating sound of a drill chipping away at concrete the whole damn time.

Other than that, though, The Maze Runner was a really interesting watch.

Spoilers ahead.

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Magical Mondays: Making the Normal Abnormal

I often revisit old columns to get ideas for new posts, and Lady Geek Girl’s post on the magic in Welcome to Night Vale is one that’s stuck with me for a while. The strange and popular podcast Welcome to Night Vale makes the abnormal normal, and uses it to critique some of the ideas we have about our society. If you’ve heard any of the Night Vale episodes, you’ll know that Night Vale is the weirdest place ever, full of carnivorous librarians, dog parks with no dogs, and strange floating cats. (Also, actual diversity in its cast. Hah.) Possibly the only normal thing about Night Vale is Cecil and Carlos’s relationship, and the storytelling focuses on this more than it does the abnormal, things. The audience thus gets the reinforced message that yes, the entire world is crazy, but this gay relationship is normal, disabled people should be treated with respect, pronoun choice should be followed, and racism shouldn’t be tolerated. It’s really shockingly effective. And the interesting thing is, when you take this idea and turn it around—when you make the normal abnormal—you can teach lessons and explore characters just as effectively.

Spoilers for Supernatural and Doctor Who below.

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Edge of Spider-Verse #2: How Awesome Is Gwen Stacy as Spider-Woman?

In preparation for a big Spider-Man event later in the year, Marvel has been putting out comics dealing with Spider-Folk from alternate continuities. If you’ve heard anything about these books, designated Edge of Spider-Verse, then you probably know why I’m interested in them even though I don’t usually read Spider-Books. If you haven’t—and the title of this post didn’t give it away—I’ll let you know in five words: Gwen Stacy is Spider-Woman.

Yep, in Edge of Spider-Verse #2, we’re presented with an alternate universe where it was Gwen and not Peter who got the bite, and Peter, not Gwen, who tragically died, and Gwen, not Peter, who has to keep her abilities and activities hidden from her police chief father.

I’ve been desperate for this issue to come out, not half because the promotional art for the issue looked so. Damn. Cool. There hasn’t been a more badass costume redesign for a female character since Carol Danvers lost the bathing suit. But did the issue stand up to the admittedly massive hype?

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Oh, My Pop Culture Religion: A Deity Field Guide to The Wicked + The Divine Part 2

Hello again, believers and nonbelievers, and welcome to Part 2 of my The Wicked + The Divine Deity Field Guide. Like last time, we will be investigating the history and lore associated with some of the gods represented in the series. Because the series is ongoing and we learn more about each character with every issue, I’d like to make a few remarks and corrections about Part 1 of the guide before we delve into new territory. When I wrote Part 1 of the field guide, information about the god Baal was still being deliberately withheld by the writer. This was important to the narrative, as he was a suspect in a murder and tension was building, but it made my job much more difficult. I assumed, therefore, that “Baal” was Baal-hamon, a fire god whose followers reportedly burned their children alive. In The Wicked + The Divine #4, however, it is revealed that he is actually Baal Hadad (more commonly just called “Hadad”), a god of storms and lightning. Considering that the in-universe theologian drew the same initial conclusion that I did, however, I don’t feel too bad about my deductive powers.

The Morrigan, likewise, was a mysterious character, because the reader was initially led to believe that she was dead. This was actually a trick played by Baphomet, which is in keeping with my assumptions about him being a slightly ridiculous sort of “poser” god, without the same gravitas as most of his divine counterparts. The Morrigan is very much alive, and reflecting the triple nature I mentioned briefly, is actually three entirely separate people depending on her mood.

Now that some of last month’s baggage is picked up, I am pleased to present Part 2 of the deity field guide: arranged, researched and extensively guessworked by yours truly. Continue reading

Sexualized Saturdays: Attack the Block’s Performance of Masculinity

The heroes of this story.As we’ve previously covered, the 2011 sci-fi Attack the Block makes some fantastic points about racism and racial inequality. Equally as important, though, is the script’s focus on performance of masculinity. Attack the Block has a mostly male cast, and each of them starts out acting very stereotypically masculine—they curse at each other; they rob people; they use weapons; they buy, sell, and use drugs. They believe that behaving this way will naturally lead to respect and acknowledgment from their peers and from society. However, over the course of the movie, each character learns to perform masculinity in a way that’s less harmful and more responsible.

Spoilers for Attack the Block below.

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