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Welcome to Marwen Final Trailer: Steve Carell Becomes a Real Hero

The third and final trailer has arrived for Robert Zemeckis’ Welcome to Marwen. While Zemeckis is already a filmmaking legend thanks to his work on classics like Back to the Future and Who Framed Roger Rabbit, the director has continued to challenge himself with one technically ambitious venture after another over the last decade. And though none of his most recent films (Flight, Allied) haven’t earned the same level of critical acclaim as Zemeckis’ work before his mo-cap moviemaking phase in the 2000s, there’s a reason cinephiles still sit up to take notice every time he comes back with another unique offering.

Welcome to Marwen, like Zemeckis’ film The Walk, is based on a documentary (in this case, director Jeff Malmberg’s Marwencol), and draws inspiration from a real-life story. Steve Carell stars in the film as Mark Hogancamp, an artist who is brutally assaulted outside of a bar by a group of men and very nearly beaten to death. Although Mark manages to survive his attack, he is left with severe brain damage and few of his original memories intact. Hence, in an attempt to heal himself, Mark constructs a miniature WWII village (which he dubs Marwen) and fills it with figures that are modeled after himself and the women who’ve helped him with his recovery process.

Related: Vox Lux Trailer: Natalie Portman Sings in Music Drama

Universal released the first Welcome to Marwen trailer all the way back in June, at a time when the movie was scheduled to open in November. The film has since been pushed back to mid/late December and gotten little in the way of marketing, following the second Welcome to Marwen trailer’s release in July. With less than a month to go before its theatrical release now, Universal has gone and unveiled yet another preview for Zemeckis’ movie, in an effort to generate a bit more buzz. Take a look, below.

Although the final Welcome to Marwen trailer praises the movie for being “The most original film of the year” (among other things), those aren’t actual pull-quotes from critics or early reviews for the movie, all suggestions to the contrary aside. In fact, there’s been little to no awards season buzz around this one thus far, despite Zemeckis’ involvement and the film’s inspiring real life-based subject matter. That doesn’t necessarily mean that Welcome to Marwen is a critical disappointment in the making, but it does indicate that Universal feels Zemeckis’ film wouldn’t fare so well going up against the current Oscar frontrunners.

There’s still a lot that sounds promising about Welcome to Marwen, between its intriguing blend of live-action and animation (the latter of which is used to bring the imaginary world and people of Marwen to life), and impressive female supporting cast; which, in addition to Leslie Mann, includes Janelle Monáe, Baby Driver‘s Eiza González, and Game of Thrones‘ Gwendoline Christie. With a little luck, this one may prove to be a proper feel-good winter holiday release and provide a welcome alternative option for those moviegoers in the mood for something a little different than the big shiny tentpoles and/or not-so-uplifting dramas that will also be arriving this December.

MORE: If Beale Street Could Talk Final Trailer

Source: Universal Pictures



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Harry Potter: 20 Strange Details About Draco Malfoy’s Anatomy

Draco Malfoy is one of the most memorable secondary characters in the Harry Potter movies and books. It may be due to his irredeemable and despicable behaviour,as everyone loves a good villain. It could also be the appeal of actor Tom Felton in the movies, and all the subsequent fan fiction they have produced.

However, not a lot is revealed about him in the books, and less even less is shown on screen, leaving him a mystery. We do know that his family has an unhealthy obsession with their pure blood heritage and an unflinching loyalty to Voldemort. One thing that we also know is that during his sixth year, Draco became even more villainous. He was given the task of assassinating Dumbledore and allowing the Death Eaters access to his present school, Hogwarts.

Some aspects that remained more hidden, though, including the origins of his name, which has links to the Hogwarts motto. His talents in transfiguration, charms, potions, and Occlumency are also never fully explored or known by the average person.

More surprisingly than all of this is the fact that despite being mortal enemies, Draco and Harry only duel twice – and one of them was in the presence of teachers, so it barely counts. Including these examples and every other duel that Draco is involved in, we have discovered that he never wins a single fight. This might be J. K. Rowling highlighting his cowardice and lack of morals that weaken his character ultimately. However, it might also have to do with his particular skillset.

With that said, here are the 20 Strange Details About Draco Malfoy’s Anatomy In Harry Potter.

20 He is a gifted Occlumens

While Harry Potter is undoubtedly a gifted wizard, one of the things he was never able to master was Occlumency. This is the act of closing your mind to anyone who attempts to read it.

Draco managed to surpass his rival by mastering the art of this notoriously tricky skill.

While it may seem peculiar that Draco can keep other wizards out his head while Harry cannot, this is in keeping with his character. J. K. Rowling confirmed that Draco managed to become a gifted Occlumens due to his ability to suppress his emotions. The fact that Draco can excel in this area is only due to his repressed emotional issues that may stem from his dysfunctional family.

19 His name says a lot about his personality

J. K. Rowling puts a lot of thought into her character’s names and the names of locations – and the seemingly bland name of “Draco Malfoy” is no exception upon closer examination if we take a look at its origin on Pottermore.

The name Draco can either be linked to the Latin for “dragon” or the constellation. The word “Draco” is even in Hogwart’s motto: “Draco Dormiens Nunquam Titillandus, “which translates as “never tickle a sleeping dragon.” Draco’s last name, Malfoy, could have its roots in French, with “mal foi” translating as “unfaithful.” Rowling could have perhaps been a bit more subtle when thinking of names for her villains, however, as “unfaithful dragon” doesn’t leave a lot of space for redemption.

18 He temporarily had control of the Elder Wand

During his sixth year, Draco was given the task of destroying Dumbledore and giving the Death Eaters access into Hogwarts. While he succeeded with the latter, Draco was unable to take the life of the Hogwarts headmaster.However, when confronting Dumbledore, he disarmed the professor, which was a significant action even if Draco did not realize it at the time.

 By disarming Dumbledore, Draco unknowingly had control of the most powerful wand in existence – the Elder Wand.

This was only temporary, though, as Harry later confronts Draco in his house in the Deathly Hallows and disarms him. This meant that control of the Elder Wand was passed down to Harry, who still technically can wield it today. For one brief moment, however, Draco could have been the most powerful wizard in the world.

17 He learnt the Unforgivable Curses

Draco’s sixth year at Hogwarts was a pivotal and important year for the sole Malfoy child. As well as being given the task of overthrowing his school, he was taught the Unforgiveable Curses by Bellatrix Lestrange.

Lestrange, being Draco’s aunt, most likely taught him these forbidden spells to prepare him for his role. We know for certain that Draco can perform Crucio (the torturing spell) and Imperio (the controlling spell). However, it is unclear whether Draco ever learnt the ultimate Unforgiveable Curse: Avada Kedavra, which would destroy the receiver. Though Draco seemed like an antagonist during his first year at Hogwarts, few fans expected him to become such a villain later in the story. However, it could be argued that this was due to the pressures of his family.

16 He is supposedly one of the only Death Eaters who can love

Death Eaters are more ingrained to respond with acts of hate than love. This is hardly surprising, though, considering the amount of carnage and havoc that they have created. However, what is surprising is that even though Draco is a Death Eater, he is supposedly capable of feeling genuine love.

This love manifests itself towards both his parents and his future wife, Astoria Greengrass. This is at odds with the other Death Eaters, whose hate trumps their love. Be it Bellatrix Lestrange or Lucius Malfoy, these individuals are consumed by their service to the Dark Lord. While it could be argued that they love Voldemort, this is closer to worship than a romantic or platonic love.

15 He’s proud of his pure blood family

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter may be incredible, but when it comes to metaphors, it is not very subtle. The fact that some wizarding families, such as the Malfoys, favor those with pure blood is meant to echo the real world prejudices that some hold. Draco’s parents instilled the belief that he is superior to half blood and muggles on him at a young age. This explains his resentment towards Hermione, whom he calls “Mudblud” incessantly.

This hatred for anyone who is not pure blood is a trait that many of the old wizarding families share.

The notable exceptions are Nymphodora Tonks and Sirius Black, who were cast out of the family for their beliefs that muggles and wizards are equal. Draco may not be as hostile towards muggles and muggle-born wizards by the end of the Deathly Hallows, but it is still a prejudice that he cannot escape.

14 He has used a Time Turner

J. K. Rowling may live to regret introducing Time Turners into the Wizarding World. The amount of problems that this device, which was used by Hermione in Prisoner of Azkaban, could solve is countless. It could be used to stop Voldemort from ever existing or it could be used to bring back beloved characters. However, in Prisoner of Azkaban, it is used by Hermione to ensure that she can go to all her classes and to save Buckbeak.

Having not learnt the amount of plot holes attached to such a device, Rowling revealed the existence of a secret Time Turner belonging to the Malfoys. Without revealing too many details of The Cursed Child, Malfoy uses it successfully, which makes him – alongside Hermione, Harry, Albus, and Scorpius  – one of the few known people to have used a Time Turner.

13 He has a Dark Mark

Some fans believe that it was inevitable for Draco to follow in the footsteps of his father and become a Death Eater. He did this sometime between the events of Order of the Phoenix and Half-Blood Prince. We know this since we can clearly see a Dark Mark on his arm during the events before Dumbledore’s assassination. While Dumbledore looked unsurprised to see Draco pointing a wand at him, he did seem surprised by the fact that Draco now had a Dark Mark.

It is not possible to get rid of a Dark Mark, so despite the fact that Draco’s character has since been redeemed, he is not able to reverse the procedure. Draco will forever have the mark of He Who Must Not Be Named on his arm.

12 He was an extremely intelligent student

Although the movies show Draco to be just an arrogant bully, in the books, we see another aspect of Draco – we soon discover that he is an intelligent student, too. While Harry was always picked on in Potions due to Snape’s hatred for him, Draco was always the teacher’s pet.

Whether he was actually better than Harry is debatable, though, as Snape never gave the Gryffindor student a fair chance. However, one subject where Malfoy definitely excelled was in Charms, in which he was described as equally intelligent as Hermione.During his sixth year, he managed to cast the extremely difficult Protean charm. The only other person in the class who could cast it was Hermione.

11 He was supposed to get along with Harry

Draco and Harry were supposed to get along. According to Pottermore, Draco’s birthday is June 5, which makes him a Gemini. Meanwhile, Harry’s birthday is July 31, which makes him a Leo.

These two star signs are meant to get along with one another and are even able to become close friends.

During their first meeting, there was definitely potential for them to become friends, as Malfoy extends a hand of friendship to Harry. However, Harry sensed Draco’s arrogance and hostility and rejected him. Despite this, the fact that their star signs match up so well may have been a coincidence on behalf of J. K. Rowling. Or perhaps it could have been a hint that had Harry Potter shaken Draco’s hand, they could have formed an evil alliance.

10 He really wished he was the heir of Slytherin

While it may be obvious that the heir of Slytherin could only be Voldemort in hindsight, there was a lot of speculation over who it could be. During the events of Chamber of Secrets, many students thought that Harry was the heir due to his Parseltongue abilities.

Harry himself believed that Draco was the heir and took Polyjuice Potion in order to investigate. However, Draco admitted he was not the heir of Slytherin despite his family’s allegiance to Slytherin and their prejudiced view against Muggles. Although Draco didn’t know who the heir was, he served as nothing more than a pawn of the real heir: Tom Marvolo Riddle. This was still an honor for his family, though.

9 During Half-Blood Prince, he is described as unhealthily pale

Though one of Draco’s defining features is his pale skin, in Half-Blood Prince, he is described as being paler than ever. This is due to the fact that he was assigned by Voldemort to take down Dumbledore and help the Death Eaters infiltrate Hogwarts, which can put a lot of stress on a person.

Since he is the only one able to complete the tasks, he begins to physically show the signs of stress. It is notable to other students, particularly Harry, who notices his rapid deterioration over the course of sixth year. Before Half-Blood Prince was filmed, Tom Felton was told that he wasn’t allowed to come back tanned from holiday. His paleness may also draw some parallel’s to Voldemort’s own appearance, as some fans have spectated that Draco becomes more gaunt by committing evil deeds.

8 He wanted to use alchemy to become a better man

Alchemy is an ancient practice. Because of this, it is shielded in mystery. However, it principally involves turning lead into gold. For some reason, Draco became heavily invested in Alchemy after he left Hogwarts.

Post-Deathly Hallows, Draco settled down with his wife and child and began to study Alchemy. Being the heir of his family fortune and the Malfoy Manor, he did not have to worry about getting a job after school. However, Draco also spent time caring for his wife, Astoria, who was ill due to a curse that was put on her ancestors. While at home, Draco soon became fascinated by alchemical manuscripts. According to Pottermore, Draco’s obsession with Alchemy was pure – he wished to use it to become a better man.

7 He is never seen winning a duel

Despite Draco and Harry being sworn enemies during their time in Hogwarts, they only face off against each other twice. Their first duel happens during their second year in front of other second year students. However, Snape and Lockhart intervene after a snake is conjured by Malfoy. When Draco and Harry next duel, it nearly results in the demise of Malfoy during Half-Blood Prince.

During the events of Order of the Phoenix, Ginny and Draco also duel, which results in Draco losing his wand.

The final duel we see Draco participate in is during Deathly Hallows, when Hermione gets the better of him. At least during his youth, it was clear that Draco’s arrogance was just used as a shield.

6 He was a Prefect

A Hogwarts prefect is meant to inspire the younger students and act as a role model to them. By definition, Harry Potter would be the ideal Prefect for Gryffindor students, or any house for that matter. However, throughout his six years at Hogwarts, he is never given the coveted Prefect badge. While students like Percy Weasley may be obvious choices to become prefects, characters like Draco Malfoy aren’t typically expected to obtain the badge.

Draco is not a character that you typically associate with good morals, leadership, or as a role model. Regardless, Draco does become a prefect. Perhaps this was done by J. K. Rowling to show us that Draco did make for a decent leader, despite his lack of morals. In fact, some fans speculate that by giving Draco the badge, Rowling was not giving up on him.

5 He has ice grey eyes in the books, but Tom Felton has blue eyes in the movies

In the books, Draco is described as having platinum blonde hair and ice grey eyes. There are many parallels between Voldemort and his army and the Axis leaders and their army in WWII, so it makes sense that Draco would look like this.  However, in real life, the actor who brought Draco Malfoy to life on the big screen, Tom Felton, looks nothing like this. Felton has brown hair and blue eyes. Because of this, he had to dye his hair blonde for the movies.

Similarly, Daniel Radcliffe did not have Harry Potter’s green eyes. However, he found the contact lenses too painful to wear so the movies were filmed without them. Though not many fans may remember Draco’s eye color from the books, Harry’s eyes are constantly referred to in both the books and movies, which makes it even more noticeable.

4 He was unable to produce a Patronus

Though anyone can find out what their Patronus is on Pottermore, it is not as simple in the Wizarding World. Some wizards and witches are actually unable to produce a Patronus. While we know that Harry’s Patronus is a stag, many fans don’t know what Draco’s is. However, it has since been revealed that Draco is unable to conjure one.

This is apparently a common trait among Death Eaters, as many fans believe that they don’t have enough light and goodness to summon one.

While it has been established that Draco is capable of feeling love, this may not enough to produce the special charm. J. K. Rowling has also mentioned that Death Eaters are unable to produce a Patronus because Voldemort controls Dementors anyway.

3 He is a master of Transfiguration

Transfiguration is known to be a difficult class to pass at Hogwarts. After all, we see how hard it is for Ron to transform Scabbers into a grail in the movies. However, Draco is an accomplished hand at this craft. We see signs of this during his second year duel against Harry.

When they face each other in the Great Hall, Draco manages to summon a snake that slithers menacingly towards Harry. If it had not been for Harry’s ability to speak Parseltongue, he might have been attacked by the snake. In his later years, Draco even manages to transform Harry into a doppëlganger of Voldemort, which is an extremely complex charm. While the movies do not emphasize Draco’s intelligence, it remains clear in the books that he should not be underestimated.

2 His love life is fairly ambiguous

Draco’s love life is left relatively ambiguous in both the Harry Potter movies and the books. The only girl we see Draco talk to in the books and movies is Pansy Parkinson, who is described as the closest Draco comes to a girlfriend in the books. However, it is never actually confirmed that Pansy is his girlfriend in the series. At one point, the books describe a scene where Pansy is resting her head on Draco’s lap, but this is the closest we ever see them get.

While Draco eventually marries Astoria, little is known about how they met or even when they married. However, we do know that his parents disapproved of Astoria and that she was kind, and taught their son Scorpius to respect others (including muggles).

1 He is the only person Voldemort is known to have hugged

One of the most sinister Voldemort moments happens when he tries to honor one of his followers. This moment occurs during the Battle of Hogwarts, when Voldemort demands loyalty from the students of Hogwarts.

In a gesture of goodwill, Voldemort slowly and awkwardly brings Draco into an embrace in front of his followers. Understandably, Draco looks absolutely terrified, since the Dark Lord has never shown affection of any kind before. This is the only known instance of a Death Eater – or anyone for that matter – receiving a hug from Voldemort.

Are there any other interesting facts about Draco Malfoy’s body in Harry Potter? Let us know in the comments!



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2018-10-11 04:10:43 – Dan Struthers

22 July Review: Paul Greengrass Delivers Another Intense Docudrama

Despite some general storytelling issues, Greengrass succeeds in delivering another well-crafted and intelligent docudrama-thriller with 22 July.

In-between his efforts on the Bourne movies, journalist-turned filmmaker Paul Greengrass has spent much of his career making docudrama-thrillers about real-world events, ranging from the September 11 terrorist attacks on the U.S. (United 93) to the hijacking of the Maersk Alabama in 2009 (Captain Phillips). While there’s an inherent risk of exploiting a real-world tragedy that comes with any such project, Greengrass has long been celebrated for his ability to dramatize terrible events on the big screen in a manner that’s intense, yet sensitive and ultimately insightful in its presentation. Thankfully, that remains the case with his Netflix Original 22 July, even if it doesn’t necessarily represent the writer/director at his finest. Despite some general storytelling issues, Greengrass succeeds in delivering another well-crafted and intelligent docudrama-thriller with 22 July.

22 July picks up on July 21, 2011 in Oslo, Norway, as Anders Behring Breivik (Anders Danielsen Lie) – a self-declared right wing extremist – prepares to carry out a terrorist attack on the city the next day. He begins his assault by setting off a bomb in a van near the main office of the then-current Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg (Ola G. Furuseth), killing eight people in the process. Breivik then proceeds to continue his attack by gunning down 69 members of a summer camp organized by the AUF – the youth division of the Norwegian Labour Party – on the island of Utøya, before he is ultimately apprehended by the police and taken into custody.

Among the members of the summer camp is one Viljar Hanssen (Jonas Strand Gravli), who manages to survive Breivik’s attack despite being shot multiple times and left permanently maimed. As Viljar struggles to recover both physically and psychologically from what happened to him (along with everyone else who survived the Utøya shootings and their loved ones), Breivik works with his chosen lawyer Geir Lippestad (Jon Øigarden) to mount a defense and use his trial as a platform to publicly announce his political agenda (which calls for the immediate deportation of all Muslims and heavier restrictions on immigration to Norway, among other things). When it becomes clear to Viljar what Breivik intends to do, he grows increasingly determined to continue his rehabilitation and testify against him in court for not only himself, but also every other person whose lives were affected by what took place on July 22.

Adapted from the book One of Us: The Story of a Massacre in Norway — and Its Aftermath by Åsne Seierstad, Greengrass’ script for 22 July has a very clear-cut three act structure – with the first act focused on the July 22 attack, the second part set during its immediate aftermath, and the final third centered on Breivik’s trial. The film is strongest during its first and third acts in particular, as those chapters (respectively) play to Greengrass’ strengths as a suspense-thriller storyteller and provide the emotional payoff to Viljar and, thus, Norway’s overarching journey of recovery and survival. It’s the second act where things start to drag and get a little muddled, especially as 22 July splits its focus between not only Viljar’s story thread, but also Lippestad and Breivik’s trial preparation, and the investigation into Stoltenberg’s administration and its failure to prevent a terrorist attack. While there’s nothing in the second act that feels inessential, 22 July struggles to divide its attention evenly between its three plotlines and the film’s pacing suffers for it.

On the whole, however, 22 July does a nice job covering a fair amount of narrative ground, even when taking its pretty substantial runtime into consideration. It helps that Greengrass (as he’s known now for doing, as a director) never fully lifts his foot off the gas pedal and keeps the film’s proceedings feeling on-edge throughout, even during its more purely dramatic portions. The filmmaker, working this time around with DP Pål Ulvik Rokseth (The Snowman) and Oscar-winning Argo editor William Goldenberg, uses essentially the same vérité cinematography and restless editing style that he has on his previous movies, in order to fully immerse viewers in the film’s setting and action. At the same time, Greengrass slows things down a bit here and, in turn, delivers a movie that’s more visually cohesive than some of his weaker efforts in the past (see the last Bourne sequel, in particular). This serves 22 July well, allowing it to effectively work as both a grounded drama and thriller.

Given the sheer amount of information that 22 July strives to cover, though, there’s not a lot of room for the film’s actors to really shine – not in the way that Barkhad Abdi and Tom Hanks did in Captain Phillips, for example. Even so, the 22 July cast is uniformly strong across the board, with Gravli especially doing an excellent job of portraying Viljar’s struggles with his physical injuries, PTSD, and the sheer amount of emotional baggage that he’s saddled with after barely managing to escape the attack on Utøya with his own life. Actors like Thorbjørn Harr and Isak Bakli Aglen are similarly moving in their smaller roles as members of Viljar’s family, as is Seda Witt as Lara Rashid, a young woman who starts to make a romantic connection with Viljar before both of their lives are shattered by Breivik’s attack. As for Breivik himself: Lie is quite compelling in the role and portrays the terrorist as a fully-developed person – one whose rationalization of his behavior makes him chilling and pathetic in equal measure.

As with his previous films, Greengrass uses 22 July as a means for delivering larger sociopolitical commentary about the state of things in the world, specifically where it concerns the rise of xenophobic and nationalist ideologies in various countries (the U.S. included). While his scripted dialogue can start to become a bit on the nose as its strives to get these points across (especially in the third act), Greengrass largely succeeds in allowing the story here to shine a light on these issues organically, without getting up on his figurative soapbox to drive the point home. If there’s a downside to the filmmaker’s approach, though, it’s that July 22 winds up handling its subject matter in a way that’s more engaging intellectually than emotionally and, thus, lacks the emotional resonance of Greengrass’ best work to date.

All things considered, however, Greengrass does a very good job of bringing the true story behind 22 July to cinematic life. The final result is a film that makes for an enlightening and otherwise respectful documentation of a horrifying real-world event, rather than one that comes off as exploitative or manipulative. 22 July is showing in select theaters now – in order to qualify for next year’s major film awards shows – and it certainly benefits from being seen on the big screen, but can still be appreciated just as much as a Netflix Original on your home TV. While it’s obviously not a light-hearted viewing experience, 22 July is very much worth checking out if you’ve enjoyed Greengrass’ previous non-Bourne efforts and/or would like to know more about Norway’s own infamous modern terrorist attack.

TRAILER

22 July is now available for streaming on Netflix and is playing in select U.S. theaters. It is 143 minutes long and is rated R for disturbing violence, graphic images, and language.

Let us know what you thought of the film in the comments section!



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2018-10-10 01:10:22 – Sandy Schaefer

Venom Erases Spider-Man To Avoid Marvel Mistakes

Venom may owe his origins to Spider-Man in the comic books, but in the movie version, Marvel’s hold on Disney means no Spidey at all. But while some fans worried that removing Spider-Man from Venom’s origin would be a problem, it actually makes for a way better story – and honestly, one much closer to Venom’s current origin, too.

By now even casual fans will be familiar with the classic origin story for Venom, if not from the comics, then the fact that Spider-Man 3 adapted it almost to the letter. Spider-Man brings an alien suit back from space, which eventually shows an ‘evil’ mind of its own. Spider-Man rejects the symbiote until it finds the same level of hatred for Spidey in Eddie Brock. Man meets suit, and together they become Venom to launch their revenge on Spider-Man in a tale many claim the Venom movie SHOULD have told.

The problem with that version of a Venom origin movie? It’s faithful to the original version of the comic books, sure. But it’s a story that makes Spider-Man the real star of the show, plus… that’s not what really happened, according to modern Marvel Comics.

  • This Page: Spider-Man Makes Venom Worse, Not Better
  • Page 2: Venom Avoids Marvel’s Mistake By Removing Spider-Man

Venom Should Be Eddie’s Story, Not Spider-Man’s

It’s easy to see why there would be an outcry over the need to remove Spider-Man from Venom’s origin movie. After all, the moviegoers who would know Venom’s origin best are Spider-Man fans, and who would wish to see Spider-Man in the movie more? (Not to mention removing Spider-Man means no iconic Venom logo.)

RELATED: Why Venom’s Director Saved [SPOILER] For The Sequel

But what fans want isn’t always what’s best, and in the case of Venom, the existing origin has one major problem: in the comics, it’s told as one of Spider-Man‘s most formative stories, with Eddie Brock a victim of Peter, the symbiote, and professional failure. While a victim’s story could be interesting, and has been used as a jumping-off point for other superhero origins… those heroes aren’t Venom. Besides the fact that the Venom movie is trying to have some fun with Eddie and the symbiote’s fusion, it’s built on the idea that Eddie is a good man, ruined by evil forces – not a bitter, angry, jealous man fueled by hate of Spider-Man as he was in the comic.

One of those descriptions fits a movie hero… the other fits a villain unlikely to star in a fun, subversive, and oddball body horror adventure. The result is a better version of a Venom movie. “But,” we’re sure some die-hard Spider-Man fans will cry, “you’re making Venom a different character!” And by twisting his origin to make Eddie and the symbiote a misunderstood antihero, the makers of Venom have done just that… but Marvel Comics did it first.

Marvel Has Changed Venom’s Origin Already

Revisiting the comic book history of Eddie Brock and his time as Venom means traversing more than one major retcon, or retroactive changing of his origin story. Fictionally, it’s an expansion and deepening of Eddie’s story. But practically, like most other retcons, it’s about ‘fixing’ past writing or plot that hinders the character’s next step forward. And for Eddie Brock, the idea of him being a byproduct of Spider-Man has been minimized, downplayed, or altogether changed since he first set out to play a hero in Venom: Lethal Protector, upon which the movie is based.

People who walk out of Venom excited to read that comic book inspiration are in for a rude awakening, however, since Spider-Man is without question the WORST part of it. Because Peter Parker is misinformed about who Venom is, what motivates him, and who he has become as more than just the hero’s villain. Arguably, every bit as misinformed as the people claiming the Venom movie ‘got it wrong’ by removing Spider-Man altogether.

As we see it, the makers of the Venom movie just learned from the missteps and corrections Marvel Comics has made so they wouldn’t make them in the movie, too. The first step? Taking Spider-Man out of the equation to create the Venom modern comic readers know and love.

Page 2 of 2: How Venom Avoids Marvel’s Own Mistakes

Venom Avoids Marvel’s Own Comic Mistakes

In Venom’s first solo comic outing, Spider-Man is an antagonist for completely flawed reasons. Despite Eddie being every bit the normal, evil-hating human he is in the comics, Spider-Man actively fights him, believing he’s still as evil as Marvel made him in his origin story. In his defense, Spider-Man was just late to the party, unaware that Marvel editorial, and a long line of writers and artists were already beginning to make Eddie and Venom not evil, just… misunderstood.

RELATED: Venom’s Post-Credits Scene Tease Explained

The changes came one by one: the Venom symbiote wasn’t hateful, but a traumatized member of an alien symbiote race, Eddie Brock’s rough exterior becomes a result of a cold, distant, single father, and just weeks ago, the origin was changed once more by showing that Spider-Man was evil, not the symbiote when they first merged. It’s flawed thinking to assume a movie should recreate each one of those steps, rather than looking at who Venom is today, and aiming for that from thee outset.

Still, one feels for director Ruben Fleischer for having to make that call, since he has admitted that removing Spider-Man from Venom was a challenge (that’s the origin everyone knows). But the finished film shows it was the right path to take for one simple reason: the Venom of the movie is basically the one Marvel took decades to arrive at. Not just Eddie the relatable hero, but the symbiote’s personality, voice, sense of humor, and even love for its host.

The Movie Venom is The True Comic Venom

In fact, the moments of humor and love from the symbiote may turn off older fans of the origin hero, while hitting the bullseye for the modern incarnations. After all, Eddie and the symbiote had a baby not too long ago in the comics, and it’s not hard to see a Venom movie sequel embracing that strange, borderline ludicrous plot. Leave the theater and go pick up the newest issue of Venom, and the version may not be perfect copies, but more importantly, the strengths of one are alive in the other.

And, perhaps most importantly, the existence of Spider-Man is a footnote, or back-up character at best. By now even Peter Parker understands that his time with the symbiote was a fluke, or coincidence, compared to the character Eddie and Venom became.

In Marvel’s Universe, there may not be a greater romance than Eddie Brock and the Venom symbiote –  and when audiences line up for a great love story, you don’t bother starting with the flings, one-night stands, or bad dates that came before.

MORE: Venom Secretly Revealed Carnage’s Backstory



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2018-10-09 03:10:52 – Andrew Dyce

20 Storylines Shameless Wants Everyone To Forget

With the announcement that Emmy Rossum and Cameron Monaghan will leave the series following the ninth season of Shameless, the Gallagher household is prepping for a major shake-up on the casting front. The creator of the Showtime series John Wells has remained open about a future Fiona return, though he has also stated that there are many more dysfunctional tales left to be told for the Gallagher clan.

For eight seasons, Shameless has remained consistent in the deplorable decision-making skills of its characters, though the series’ depiction of a low-income family living below the poverty line has always been at the forefront. As the strong matriarch who single-handedly raised her siblings while her father wasn’t around, Fiona’s absence is sure to shift more focus towards the show’s younger stars as writers hope fans will soon forget her. Ian’s storyline in season 9 drove much of the action, so Monaghan’s exit will surely leave a whole as well.

Whether they’re dealing with the changing gentrification of their community or watching as another beloved character takes their leave, the Gallaghers have proven time and again that they can adapt better than anyone. From the show’s debut back in 2011 until now, the stars of the series have been forced to mature, sometimes faster than they wanted to. Along the way, there have been many entertaining or even head-scratching subplots which have since been left behind. Although the changes are nothing new to the Gallaghers, they have left many questions up in the air for fans.

Join us as we take a look back at 20 Storylines Shameless Wants Everyone to Forget.

20 Frank and Bianca

After Sammi shoots Frank in the arm to teach him a valuable lesson about courtesy, she forces him to visit the hospital to have his wound checked. During his stay, he begins bonding with his distraught doctor Bianca, whose diagnosis of stage three pancreatic cancer has left her with a new lease on life. Attempting to persuade her to live life to the fullest, Frank offers to teach her how to live carelessly, which includes a copious amount of substance abuse.

Although Frank’s time with Bianca was intended as a heart-wrenching moment which left him reeling the following season, it was never clear why the successful, young doctor would choose to spend her remaining days with him. With her money, she could seemingly spend her days anywhere. There’s little reason to believe Frank would appear as an enticing option.

19 Lip’s Sports Gambling Internship

With an exceptionally high IQ, Lip isn’t the standard member of the Gallagher household, though his self-sabotaging personality has prevented him from achieving a legitimate career. Accepted into the University of Chicago, he threw away his future after an assault on a campus guard led to his expulsion. Following a stint in rehab, Lip secured an internship with a tech start-up, thanks to his friend, Professor Youens.  Soon, however, he discovered the truth behind the company. His co-workers were using proxy servers to hide illegal sports gambling activities.

Although the crooked start-up appeared as a perfect match, nothing would come of it.

He temporarily used a wire fraud scheme to steal cash from the company, but in due time, the start-up went under and Lip was left without a career goal once again.

18 Kevin Discovers His Kentucky Heritage

Season eight concluded with a strange hodgepodge of storylines for Kevin, which included a search for self-identity as he tracked down his biological parents and found himself in Kentucky. Once he arrived, he was introduced to Aunt Ronnie and the rest of the family, immediately settling in and recalling his past as Little Barty. Unfortunately, V immediately sensed something wrong about the group, apart from their offhanded racist remarks.

As a small child, the low-income family struggled to properly raise Kev, resorting to abandoning him at a roadside gas station. He eventually learned to accept his heritage, although he seemed to quickly forget all about it soon after. Kev would have other moments of a self-identity crisis in season eight, including exploring his possible attraction to men, but his Kentucky lineage would ultimately become an afterthought.

17 Fiona Marries Gus, Then Immediately Cheats on Him

Speaking of his character on Shameless, star Steve Kazee said Fiona’s former husband Gus Pfender “got a really raw deal” over the way his storyline ended. After meeting the eldest Gallagher sibling, the two went from strangers to married seemingly overnight.

When Jimmy’s return visit catches Fiona off guard, she’s faced with an ultimatum.

Either run away with Jimmy or stay with Gus, whom she’s known for a few days. Her reaction is to throw away her newfound relationship for the temptation of her ex-boyfriend. She cheats on Gus then immediately regrets it, but by then it’s too late. Her marriage to Gus is over and any remnants of it are completely forgotten by the writing staff.

16 Debbie Steals a Baby

Before Debbie was doing crazy things like stealing expensive baby strollers to support Frances or having Liam amputate her toes to avoid undergoing a pricey surgery on her crushed foot, she was just a lonely girl looking for a playmate.

In the episode “Casey Casden”, Debbie grows tired of playing with a sack of potatoes decorated to look like a baby.

Rather than asking for a new doll, she takes matters into her own hands when she lures a three year old boy back to the Gallagher residence. The Gallaghers then spend the episode concocting a plan to call in false sightings of the child with the cops finally finding him with Debbie, who acts like she found him wandering around Chicago. Needless to say, it was a crazy storyline that the show’s producers haven’t attempted since.

15 Anything Involving Sammi or Chuckie

Frank’s estranged daughter Sammi is first introduced in season four after Frank discovers his liver in failing. Posing as a Good Samaritan, he begins dating her to grow closer before dropping the devastating bombshell. Oddly enough, however, she’s not disgusted at all by the news and even embraces her new father figure, despite his countless shortcomings.

By season five, Sammi has acquainted herself enough with the Gallaghers to move into the household, though she was never invited. When her son Chuckie is later arrested and sent to juvenile detention for possession, she blames Carl, later ratting him out to the authorities. As a result, a dispute breaks out which ends with Mickey locking her inside a shipping container and Sammi later shooting at him, presumably leading to her arrest and the end of her story.

14 Fiona Cheats on Mike with His Brother

With her recent investments in Patsy’s Pies as well as a laundromat and an apartment complex, Fiona’s newfound entrepreneurial spirit has only recent become a central part of her storyline. Prior to becoming a property owner, she was a down on her luck South Side girl who constantly found herself in failing relationships.

In season four, Fiona’s downward spiral of relationships hit another low.

She was in desperate need of a rebound following Jimmy’s disappearance. After securing a job at Worldwide Cup, she began having a fling with her boss Mike. When Mike’s brother Robbie comes into the picture after his release from rehab, Fiona’s attraction to danger takes ahold. Putting her career in jeopardy, she has an unwise affair which culminates in her arrest at the end of the season.

13 Frank Uses Liam as Collateral

Scouring Chicago for enough money to support his many dirty habits, Frank has attracted the attentions of enough bad guys that it’s a miracle that he’s manage to run around carelessly for so long. In the season two premiere, he again backed himself into a corner when he drunkenly bet a bar patron at the Alibi Room that he couldn’t remain conscious after two taser blasts. After the customer manages to remain on two feet, Frank’s $10,000 gamble comes at the expense of the Gallagher household.

Unable to come up with the dough, the patron threatens Frank with a blowtorch, to which he responds by offering up Liam as collateral. Luckily, the Gallagher clan rallies together to get him back. Frank would later develop a bonding relationship with his youngest son, completely erasing all memory of the incident.

12 Kevin and Veronica’s Foster Child

With twins Amy and Jemma, Kevin and Veronica finally settled down to have children of their own after V became pregnant in season four. Prior to having their own kids, the couple were experimenting with parenthood in the form of a money scheme which saw them taking in a foster child in order to collect money from the government.

In season one, Kev and V welcome Ethel, a teen saved from a polygamist colony where she was married to an elderly man named Clyde.

They also took in Ethel’s son Jonah, who was born as a result of the marriage. Over the course of her stay, she struggles to grow accustomed to the modern world, but eventually settles in, until she runs away with her boyfriend Malik in season two, disappearing forever.

11 Anything Involving Sheila

Remember Sheila? The agoraphobic housewife with a proclivity for cooking was a former love interest of Frank’s, who welcomed him into her home to take advantage of her disability checks. For five seasons, she played the picture-perfect example of a housewife, though her repressed emotions would occasionally rear their ugly head.

Throughout the series, Joan Cusack would receive considerable acclaim for her turn as the wacky, subservient Sheila, earning an Emmy nomination for each season she appeared in. Although she would never receive more than a guest credit, her most memorable storylines would include dealing with her troubled daughter Karen, having an affair with Karen’s boyfriend Jody, and marrying Frank. Her storyline came to a rather abrupt end after her house exploded in season five, resulting in her driving off in an RV, never to be seen again.

10 Frank Hires a Hitman

Always the deadbeat father, Frank experienced a slight morality check when he wasn’t invited toFiona’s wedding to Sean in season six. As a way to make up for all his shortcomings, he offered to pay for all of Fiona’s wedding expenses. Everything came to a head, however, when Sean began sleeping over at the Gallagher residence, resulting in a brutal confrontation between Fiona’s fiance and the lousy patriarch of the household. After days of Frank wearing Sean’s underwear and drinking his milk, Sean’s frustration boiled over, resulting in a fight between the two.

Frank is seen on a train attempting to pay a random guy to dispose of Sean permanently.

Although nothing would come of the exchange, the attempted assassination was out of the ordinary, even for the lowly Frank.

9 Debbie Purposely Gets Pregnant

The third youngest Gallagher, Debbie began the series as the well-intention, younger sister who still held high hopes for Frank and cared for her family, though she often found it difficult to socialize in school. In due time, she transformed from the innocent girl wise beyond her years to one of the most troublesome characters on the show, using her hardened attitude to deceive her way to whatever she desired.

In season five, Debbie’s manipulative personality crossed a line when she became enamored with Derek, a boy who taught her how to box. Wanting a perfect life with her newfound boyfriend, she purposely lies to him about being on birth control in order to become pregnant and force him into a marriage. Unfortunately, her plans fall through when Derek leaves to live with his grandmother, leaving Debs a single mother.

8 Frank Tells Carl He Has Cancer

As the delinquent troublemaker whose interests include weapons, explosives, and various money-making schemes, Carl has proven to be the most like his dear deadbeat father Frank. As a faithful member of the Gallagher family, he’s the unfortunate product of a dysfunctional upbringing, but none of his regrettable actions were deserving of the scare Frank gave him in season five.

After seeing a cancer patient receive an autographed Bulls basketball on television, Frank decides to extort the Make-A-Wish Foundation by giving them a sob story.

Shaving Carl’s head, he convinces him that he has cancer and tries to get him an autographed basketball of his own, that he can later sell for a profit. Instead, Carl is offered a free summer away at a camp for cancer patients, ruining Frank’s plans and giving Carl his own mini vacation.

7 Carl Marries Kassidi

As a way of coming up with enough cash for military school in season eight, Carl sets up his own rehabilitation center in the basement of the Gallagher home, hosting neighborhood addicts for days of withdrawal. It’s here where he first encounters Kassidi, a seemingly sociopathic teen who concocts a plan to extort money from her rich father to pay Carl’s expenses.

Soon after sparking a relationship, Kassidi’s wildly chaotic personality begins threatening Carl’s career goals. As she wanders about Chicago’s South Side doing things like Snapchatting drive-by shooting victims, Carl becomes more wary of her actions, which makes it all the more confusing that he marries her at the end of the season. The season nine premiere seems to have ended her story, however, as the character’s recent disappearance suggests that she may now be deceased.

6 Mandy Hurts Karen

As the manipulative former girlfriend of Lip, Karen was the incessantly rude daughter of the agoraphobic Sheila, who would go to extreme lengths to get her way. After she stops seeing Lip due to her marriage to Jody as well as the birth of her down syndrome son Hymie, Karen decides to start things back up with her former lover, only for Lip rejects her for Mandy.

After brazenly attempting to meddle with Lip and Mandy’s relationship, Karen receives a rude awakening when she receives a text from Lip, which is later revealed to be Mandy using Lip’s phone. Showing up to a park to meet, Karen is struck by an SUV driven by Mandy, leaving her permanently brain damaged, effectively ending her story on the series.

5 Frank Has a Twin Brother

With so many siblings running around and Frank constantly inviting himself in with his various trouble-making shenanigans, it’s impossible for the Gallaghers to keep track of everyone’s comings and goings. That’s why the existence of more Gallaghers seems completely absurd, but as the early seasons have shown, there are more family members out there.

Of all the odd Gallagher members forgotten from the early seasons, none were crazier than Jerry, Frank’s twin brother.

Ian and Lip visit Jery after their grandmother Peggy claims he owes the family $5,000. Looking just like Frank, he threatens to shoot his nephews shortly after realizing they’re after money. Since his appearance, little mention has been made of Frank’s twin or of Frank’s other siblings Clayton and Wyatt.

4 Jimmy’s Return

First appearing as Fiona’s love interest in season one, Jimmy introduced himself to the Gallagher household as Steve, a hotshot businessman who comes from money. Soon afterward, his real personality begins to shine through as Fiona discovers that he makes his money through various illegal activities. In due time, he gets engaged to the daughter of a crime lord, which leads to his supposed demise in the season three finale.

Jimmy returns at the end of season four, becoming a recurring cast member for a brief time.

In an attempt to flatter Fiona, he tries to persuade her to leave her husband Gus for him. Although his return answered questions about his fate, it still left his future up in the air, leaving many to believe his story should have ended with the season three cliffhanger.

3 Frank Lies to Butterface About Her Heart Transplant

Of all the lowdown plans Frank has concocted, perhaps nothing is more despicable than the time he began hanging out with Dottie, a former good-time girl with a heart condition. Nicknamed Butterface for her less than stellar looks, Frank discovers that Dottie is in serious need of a heart transplant, rewarding him the opportunity to weasel his way into her good graces and work his way into her will before she passes away.

Although Frank’s decision proves to be flawed, he fully commits to the scheme. While Dottie is in the shower, she gets a phone call telling her a new heart has arrived which could save her life, only Frank decides to tell the hospital that Dottie has already passed away. Later, Dottie loses her life during an intimate moment with Frank, making his actions even more awful.

2 Kev has a Baby with Veronica’s Mother

As the Gallaghers’ longtime friends, Kevin and Veronica are often the supporting comic relief of the series, though they have also proven to be the strongest lasting couple. In season three, after repeatedly failing to have a baby, V enlists her bubbly mother Carol to act as a surrogate. When Carol also fails to become pregnant, Veronica to suggests her mom and Kevin actually get intimate with each other to possibly improve their results.

In due time, Carol warms up to the idea, becoming pregnant with Kevin’s child. By happenstance, Veronica soon discovers that she too is pregnant, with twins. Nine months later, the couple are the proud parents to three newborns, only Carol decides to single-handedly raise her child on her own. After a few brief appearances, Kevin and Carol’s child is forgotten and never shown again.

1 Everything Positive About Ian and Mickey’s Relationship

As a violent street thug, Mickey Milkovich is the antithesis of the gay stereotype. Ian, whose storied history with Mickey makes up a large portion of his story in the early seasons, is the more sensitive of the couple, but his rebellious nature and struggles with bipolar disorder make him an equally multi-dimensional character.

As one of the best-written gay relationships on television in recent memory, Ian and Mickey’s story was at times chaotic. 

After his imprisonment at the end of season five, Mikey escaped from prison and fled to Mexico, tearfully leaving Ian behind. Since then, the positives of their relationship have been largely dismissed and Mickey’s absence has left a void on the show which has yet to be filled.

What other storylines does Shameless want to bury? Let us know in the comments!



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2018-10-09 03:10:17 – Turner Minton

James Gunn Is A Better Fit For Suicide Squad Than Guardians of the Galaxy

Controversial writer and director James Gunn is perfectly suited for Suicide Squad 2; in fact, it’s a far better fit for him than Guardians of the Galaxy ever was. Gunn certainly has form transforming a band of misfits into a superhero family/team, and Suicide Squad 2 should give him the ideal opportunity to demonstrate his skills yet again, although the story goes a little deeper than that.

Gunn’s career with Disney came to a shocking end back in July, when some of his old social media posts went viral. Gunn had fancied himself as something of a provocateur prior to working for Disney, and these posts included off-key jokes on everything from rape to pedophilia. Disney responded by swiftly firing him from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. Within a month, there were reports that Gunn had been approached by Disney’s rival Warner Bros. potentially with the option of producing a DC superhero movie.

Related: Why Rehiring James Gunn Was Harder For Disney Than Fans Realize

DC Films has expressed interest in Gunn before. Back in 2016, he admitted that he’d “had opportunities to make DC films,” but had turned them down; he reeled off a list of heroes he’d quite enjoy tackling, ranging from Swamp Thing to Jonah Hex, from the Metal Men to Shazam. Now, though, there have been reports that Gunn is on board to write, and possibly even direct, Suicide Squad 2.

  • This Page: Why James Gunn Is Perfect For Suicide Squad 2
  • Next Page: Why This Is A Better Fit Than Guardians of the Galaxy

Why James Gunn Is Perfect For Suicide Squad 2

It’s not hard to see what Warner Bros. want James Gunn on board. He’s a writer and director with a proven history of turning even the most unlikely franchises into box office hits. Back when Marvel Studios announced the first Guardians of the Galaxy film, everybody assumed this would be their first misstep; the Guardians had a low profile even among comic book fans, and their members including a walking tree and a talking raccoon. A series of tremendously effective trailers immediately changed that, and the movie grossed $773 million worldwide. Not bad for a bunch of “a**-holes.

Ironically, David Ayer’s Suicide Squad suffered as a result of Guardians of the Galaxy‘s success. Warner Bros. attempted to make their dark movie fit Gunn’s tone, with the trailers showing a strong Guardians of the Galaxy vibe. Viewers responded well to the trailers, and as a result there are reports Warner Bros. lost faith in Ayer’s approach, attempting to make the franchise as Guardians-like as possible. The result was a strange hybrid of a finished production, critically panned, which nevertheless managed to gross $747 million worldwide off the back of its strong marketing campaign. A sequel was always on the cards, but nobody was quite sure who could make it work. So why not bring in the man who made Guardians of the Galaxy work in the first place?

Suicide Squad 2 Matches James Gunn’s Earlier Movies

It’s important not to assume Suicide Squad 2 would just be a rehash of Guardians of the Galaxy, though. In truth, the comic book franchise is tonally similar to some of Gunn’s earlier works, most notably Super. This was a black comedy-drama centered around the character of Frank Darbo, a cook who took up the identity of the “Crimson Bolt” in order to rescue his wife from a drug dealer. Although critics weren’t impressed by the movie, it built a strong fanbase and put Gunn on Disney’s radar. Super rejoices in its confusing characters, who are filled to the brim with flaws and conflicting character traits – and gore ready to be spilled. Frank, for example, was a religious pacifist who made the world a better place through merciless violence. It was only after he began hearing warped messages “from God” that he began to understand the real world at all.

Related: Disney’s Decision On James Gunn Will Define The MCU

This is just the kind of crazy, conflicted approach that would work so well for Suicide Squad 2. After all, this is a team who are defined by their contradiction. They’re a group of super-villains who are forced to save the world; they deeply resent the fact they’re being forced to work together, and yet somehow consider one another a family. The best Suicide Squad stories are a blend of light and dark, tinged with anger and joy, betrayal and redemption.

And the characters in Suicide Squad are so very three-dimensional. Take Harley Quinn; although it didn’t quite make it through to David Ayer’s film, at heart she’s an abuse victim who’s struggling to find herself, and the relationship between Harley and the Joker is most definitely not intended to be some sort of “relationship goal“. Killer Croc is a brutal murderer who eats his foes, and yet develops such a fondness for his team-mates that he becomes dangerously protective of them. Boomerang wants to live a life of crime, and yet vaguely enjoys the idea he’s achieving something when he saves the world. These “villains” are three-dimensional in a way few superheroes are, with aspects of their own natures in direct conflict, pulling them this way and that. They’re every bit as mercurial and inconsistent as real people. And they’re just the kind of characters James Gunn has a form for developing, back in his pre-Guardians of the Galaxy days.

Page 2 of 2: Why This Is A Better Fit Than Guardians of the Galaxy

James Gunn Made Great Guardians of the Galaxy Movies – But He Changed Them To Do So

The truth is that, although James Gunn made tremendous Guardians of the Galaxy movies, he did so by taking major liberties with the comic canon. Gunn took the most basic concept underlying the franchise, and then made his own version of it. Gunn’s genius was that he saw the potential, he realized why it wouldn’t connect with audiences, and then he made it work. Even the tone and style of the Guardians movies was nothing like the original comics, which had typically gone for cosmic melodrama rather than ’80s nostalgia.

Characters, too, were completely rewritten in order to become the versions Gunn needed. Take Peter Quill as the classic example. Steve Englehart created the character back in 1976, and he described the original Star-Lord as “an unpleasant, introverted jerk.” Englehart planned to develop him into the most cosmic hero ever, but left Marvel before he’d even begun that character arc. As a result, the comic book version remained in that pattern, although he gradually transformed into a leader. James Gunn looked at the comic character, and decided to completely rework him. Star-Lord remained something of a jerk, but he was much more charismatic and extroverted; a revised origin explained that he was a child who’d run away from home after his mother’s death, and had never really grown up as a result. It made Quill a deeply empathetic character, viewed with affection in spite of his many flaws.

Related: Avengers Fans Are Being Too Hard On Star-Lord

Comic book readers traditionally complain when movies diverge from the comic book canon they grew up reading. In the case of Guardians of the Galaxy, though, James Gunn made his changes work so well that precious few objected. Marvel Comics, inspired by the surprise box office success of a previously-third-tier superhero franchise, quickly redesigned their own characters to align with Gunn’s versions. In the case of Peter Quill, they even retconned some of his previous appearances to say they’d taken place in another reality. Gunn won’t need to go the same lengths to make Suicide Squad 2 his own. As we’ve already pointed out, the characters are tailor-made for Gunn’s kind of character-work, and the themes and concepts that run through the comics fit perfectly with the kind of ideas he likes to work with.

Meanwhile, Gunn’s looser approach to canon and continuity will flourish in the DCEU. Although most viewers hadn’t picked up on it, Gunn’s maverick attitude towards continuity was never perfectly suited to the tighter, more intensely-scrutinized MCU; occasionally there were signs Gunn felt the pressure of it, and indeed rebelled against it. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 rendered a tie-in comic non-canon, for example, and Gunn admitted he contemplated breaking his own personal canon for the third film. “Marvel Canon – MCU – is crazy,” Gunn admitted. “I have a really good storytelling reason for breaking the canon, and I stayed up last night figuring out if I’m gonna do it or not. I still don’t know.” Given the complexity of the MCU and the degree to which fans take note of every detail, sooner or later that would have caused problems. Warner Bros., however, won’t particularly care; their view of continuity is very much that it should serve the director. That will give Gunn all the flexibility he needs to tell the best stories he can.

The latest reports confirm that James Gunn is on board as the writer of Suicide Squad 2, and he should breathe new life into the project. It remains to be seen whether or not Gunn will go on to become director as well; if he does, then he’d definitely be an effective choice, and the film would surely be guaranteed a success.

More: All 26 Upcoming & In-Development DC Films



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2018-10-09 03:10:13 – Thomas Bacon

Grey’s Anatomy: 20 Things That Make No Sense About Meredith

Grey’s Anatomy is the longest running scripted primetime ABC television show of all time. Ellen Pompeo is the highest-paid actress on television, banking twenty million dollars each season. Grey’s is poised to surpass ER as the longest primetime medical drama, as it waits for its sixteenth season renewal, and it has received thirty-eight Emmy Award nominations during the nearly two decades it has been on the air.

Meredith Grey has gone from a damaged intern having an affair with a resident and caring for her ailing mother to a widow with three children who runs the general surgery department at Seattle Grace. More characters have passed away on Grey’s Anatomy than most shows introduced during their entire runs, and the show is nearly unrecognizable now when compared to its first season because of its revolving cast of characters.

With twenty-nine principal cast members during its fifteen seasons, the writers of Grey’s Anatomy have so much history to contend with that maintaining continuity is an uphill battle that they often lose. As such, there are some details about our favorite dark and twisty surgeon at Seattle Grace that don’t make much sense at all. The confusion goes deeper than the debate on her hair color or who the next romantic lead of the show will be. Everything from her age to her internal motivations have been altered, forgotten and recreated during the show’s epically long run, and viewers are struggling to keep up.

Here are the 20 Things That Make No Sense About Meredith In Grey’s Anatomy.

20 Her Half-Sisters

When a show has been on the air for nearly two decades, it’s understandable that a few plotlines may get recycled. After all, who’s really going to notice if four of the show’s leads are revealed to have massive tumors in a principal cast of over twenty-five characters?

However, it’s hard to believe that Meredith Grey would have two half-sisters who she knew nothing about and that both of those women would come work as surgeons at her specific hospital in Seattle.

This is not even mentioning Lexie Grey’s questionable medical timeline – she started her medical internship program when most students are finishing their undergraduate studies – or Meredith conveniently forgetting her mother’s pregnancy before Maggie Pierce was born in the ’80s.

19 She Doesn’t Contact Derek’s Sisters When He’s About To Pass

Derek Shepard’s sisters were extremely important to him – so much so, that during the second episode of Grey’s Anatomy, Shepard explicitly states that if he were ever to be in a coma, he’d want all four of his sisters with him.

Meredith forgets this not-so-tiny detail when actually faced with a comatose Derek Shepard and takes him off of life support without giving his sisters a chance to say goodbye, including Amelia Shepard, who is her coworker and is easily reachable by phone. Meredith ignoring a key aspect of her husband’s personality, his love for his sisters, is more than an example of Meredith’s selfishness. It’s a lack of continuity and a disappointing, out of character oversight.

18 Getting Together With George

George O’Malley’s unrequited love for Meredith was well-chronicled during the show’s first season, enforcing the characters’ friendship, as O’Malley’s feelings for Meredith led him to provide emotional support when Derek Shepard chose to stay with his wife. Meredith never saw O’Malley as anything more than a friend, even after her break-up with Shepard.

Meredith getting together with O’Malley came from a desire to be wanted and treated well after Shepard had broken her trust, and O’Malley was clearly in denial about Meredith’s lack of interest. Still, it’s hard to believe that O’Malley would take advantage of Meredith in her vulnerable state or that Meredith would choose O’Malley as a physical rebound rather than an emotional one.

17 She Failed Her Intern Exam… And Still Became A Resident

The year 2007 was a rough one for Meredith Grey. Her stepmother passed away from a case of the hiccups, her father blamed her for the loss of his wife, her mom passed away, and she literally passed, and understandably, she cracked under pressure. Meredith didn’t answer a single question on her intern exam.

The logical next step here would have been to see Meredith repeat her intern year like George O’Malley does after failing that same exam.

Meredith would have been able to explore new dynamics with her peers while sorting through her many issues, and the show wouldn’t have to suffer through too drastic of a change. Instead, through some nepotism and a large suspension of disbelief, Meredith is allowed a do-over and breezes through to her residency, while poor O’Malley is given the short end of the stick yet again.

16 Her Inconsistent Pregnancies

After miscarrying her first child due to apparent stress from the Seattle Grace active shooter situation in season six, Meredith is told that the real reason for the loss of her child was actually a “hostile uterus.” Medically, in the real world, this means that it is difficult for a woman to become pregnant due to a variety of factors, including hormonal imbalances. It is treatable through synthetic estrogen or certain bypass techniques and does not necessarily cause miscarriages.

Meredith is able to conceive multiple times during the show, and she even manages to have a fairly normal pregnancy and gives birth to a healthy baby girl. A medical drama probably could have come up with a more realistic plotline for Meredith after writers’ decided that they wanted to complicate her family planning.

15 She Modeled Her Life After Ellis

After hating her mother, Ellis Grey, for most of her life, Meredith follows in her footsteps, as she becomes a mother while still chasing her medical aspirations. Meredith places the blame for her issues on her mother’s workaholic tendencies while raising her daughter, then still chooses to start her family just as her medical career is gaining momentum.

She falls in love with a married man, has his children, raises them alone, and wins a Harper Avery Award, just like her mother. Her professional life causes a rift in her relationship, like Ellis’ Harper Avery nomination leading to the termination of her relationship with Richard Weber. Instead of learning from her mother’s mistakes, Meredith has done something that she swore she’d never do: she has become Ellis.

14 Her First Marriage Wasn’t Legal

In a touching display of friendship, Derek Shepherd and Meredith Grey gave their perfect wedding to their dear friends Alex Karev and Izzie Stevens so that the couple could be married before Stevens possibly succumbed to her advanced brain cancer.

Shepherd and Meredith then have their own, private marriage ceremony in the comfort of their own home, where they write their vows on Post-It notes and promise their lives to each other.

This was all romantic and dramatic, but why on Earth would they not bother going down to City Hall and legalizing the marriage at any point before they tried to adopt their daughter? They most likely already had a marriage license, and the tax benefits alone would have been incentive enough to go through with the final step of their marriage – actually getting married.

13 She Tried To Hold Derek Back

It isn’t easy having a family with two working parents. Nannies help, and Seattle Grace has shown its daycare center on Grey’s multiple times, but Meredith’s frustration with being a mother first and a surgeon second rang true as it was depicted onscreen. Asking Derek Shepherd to take a year off from his practice to give Meredith the opportunity to work was brave and fair, considering the time that she had taken off up until that point.

However, expecting Shepherd to turn down the opportunity of a lifetime at the White House was out of character and unreasonable. Shepherd staying at Seattle Grace meant accepting a demotion, while Meredith could have kept her seniority in DC. Staying behind without Shepherd ran contrary to Meredith’s character development, especially since she expected Shepherd to make himself smaller rather than thriving with him.

12 She Ran Away To San Diego

A large factor in Meredith’s reluctance to move to Washington D.C. came from a fear of airplanes that developed after the plane crash that ended the lives of multiple doctors at the end of season eight. This makes sense, considering the circumstances. What doesn’t make sense, however, is how Meredith fled from Seattle to San Diego following her husband’s loss, telling no one of her location or her miracle pregnancy.

Her decision to choose Seattle over her husband indirectly lead to his passing, but once he’s gone, she immediately leaves. Her love for him wasn’t enough to keep her with him, but his loss was enough for her to ignore all of the reasons she had fought to stay. It’s confusing, upsetting, and utterly heartbreaking.

11 She Stayed At Seattle Grace

During season eight’s plane crash, Cristina Yang keeps asking why all of the doctors at Seattle Grace lose their lives. It was a tongue-in-cheek joke anticipating a question that all Grey’s viewers have at least once during the series. There are shootings, bombs, car crashes, drownings, a flood, a power outage, a bus explosion, and an earthquake during the twenty years that Meredith has worked at Seattle Grace.

At least fourteen doctors and family members have passed away under unusual circumstances at the hospital, filling it with horrible, PTSD-inducing memories.

Somehow, Meredith still works there. After losing parents, a sibling, a husband, best friends, and coworkers, she never thought to just go across town to the other, better-ranked hospital and leave a hospital that is so unlucky it might be on top of the Hellmouth.

10 She Still Has Her Medical License

In order to help Richard Webber’s wife Adele, Meredith enrolls her into her clinical trial for patients experiencing rapidly progressing Alzheimer’s. She tampers with the trial to give Adele the experimental drug rather than the placebo, even after Derek Shepherd’s warnings that doing so would ruin both of their careers.

Of course, because this is Meredith Grey, once her wrongdoing was exposed, no one suffered any long-term consequences. Richard takes the fall for Meredith to protect her job, but neither one loses their medical license. Richard eventually becomes the head of the residency program, while Meredith is the head of general surgery. Shepard had no real backlash for being involved. Everyone was just fine and still eligible to perform surgeries in a respected hospital, somehow.

9 She Considered Herself The Other Woman

After learning that Derek Shepherd was a married man, Meredith halted her physical relationship with him, only being intimate with him one time after learning of his marital status. She legitimately felt guilt for unknowingly dating someone’s husband and didn’t actively try to home-wreck Addison Montgomery’s marriage.

Despite the fact that many of her actions during this complicated time were respectful of Montgomery and her marriage, she still bonded with Mark Sloan when they realized that they both considered themselves homewreckers. Meredith’s characterization centers around her “dark and twisty” tendencies, so her pessimistic framing of the situation would make sense in her own mind, but there’s logically little to support her enduring belief that her relationship with Shepard began with any wrongdoing on her part.

8 She Is Still Alive

Meredith’s self-destructive and occasionally life-threatening tendencies put her in many dangerous situations. She has nearly escaped passing away so many times that its statistically improbable that she would still be alive. Setting aside the fact that she briefly drowned while helping at a ferry boat crash site, Meredith’s life makes no sense because anyone else who’d had this many close calls would not longer be with us.

Meredith held a bomb inside of a patient’s body and barely handed it off before it exploded in the hands of the bomb technician.

She also had prolonged exposure to toxic blood, she drowned for a long time, she asked an active gunman to shoot her, and her plane crashed. Yet here she is, waiting for the next ridiculous trauma that life throws at her.

7 She Barely Talks To Cristina

Cristina Yang was Meredith’s person. More than a best friend, a husband, or a family member, Yang was the one person who Meredith always relied on and trusted. Since Yang left Seattle Grace for Switzerland, all we’ve really heard from her was that Meredith didn’t tell her where she had run away to after Derek Shepherd’s car crash.

There was no confirmation that Yang came to Shepherd’s funeral, as she didn’t stay with Meredith after his passing or visit her newborn child and nary a text has been sent between the two onscreen. Long-distance friendships are hard, but with modern technology like Skype, FaceTime and texting, completely dropping off of the face of the Earth is a cause for confusion.

6 She Gives Thatcher Part Of Her Liver

The last viewers had seen of Thatcher Grey, he had drunkenly, publicly blamed Meredith for his wife’s passing and uninvited her from the funeral. This comes after he abandoned her and started a shiny new family that allowed him to forget about the daughter he left behind.

Even if Thatcher treating Meredith horribly wasn’t enough to dissuade her from saving his life, a complicated position to navigate, Thatcher had multiple daughters and presumably many other family members. Even if Lexie and her sister weren’t matches, how was there no other family member able to donate their liver other than his estranged daughter? There’s no reason it should have been Meredith except as an opportunity to inflict more unnecessary pain on our protagonist.

5 She Had A Busy Two Years

Everything that happened over the first five seasons of Grey’s Anatomy occurred during a two year period. Because the intern year occurs during seasons one through three and Meredith’s first year of residency is seasons four and five, there are many plotlines that happen in a short timeframe.

Plotlines such as George’s marriage and divorce with Callie, Denny Duquette’s storyline with Izzie Stevens, and Christina’s doomed engagement to Preston Burke all happen over the course of less than twelve months.

Meredith and her friends have known each other for only two years by season six, and so much crazy drama has occur in the midst of eighty hour work weeks and eight hour surgeries that it’s almost like they could fill half a decade’s worth of life experience.

4 She’s Always Drinking

Meredith drinks a lot of tequila for a doctor. While she’s shown abstaining from drinking while on-call, Meredith spends most of her down time getting drunk at Joe’s Bar or at home, and even had to be hooked up to an IV during a massive accident to sober herself up for work.

The state of near-constant hangover that she must be functioning in would make her workdays impossible, and the likelihood that she’s be called in during her downtime to work during a disaster situation at Seattle Grace, the grand mecca of disaster, is fairly high in the world of Grey’s Anatomy. How she manages to drink so often without a sponsorship from Pedialyte or AA is a mystery to us all.

3 Her Age

In the script for Grey’s pilot, Meredith is supposed to be thirty-two years old. After taking time off to travel through Europe with Sadie and to care for her ailing mother, it’s understandable that Meredith would be older than the average medical intern. It’s clear that the Grey’s writing team put some thought into Meredith’s backstory in the early years of the show and realized that between taking the MCAT and helping Ellis, there’s no way that Meredith could have started her internship at the median age of twenty-seven.

Meredith’s birth year is confirmed as 1978 multiple times during the course of season eleven, retconning her initial age to be twenty-eight. The writers probably weren’t too concerned about continuity ten years after the fact, but Meredith’s original age made much more sense than her current one.

2 Her Disappearing Children

After a hullaballoo regarding who should watch the children and how to be an active parent and a surgeon, Meredith’s children have completely disappeared from the show after Derek Shepherd’s passing. The children are occasionally referenced, but haven’t been shown in the hospital daycare, her home, or her carpool.

Her children have become an afterthought, despite the fact that they were the main source of conflict between Shepard and herself before he passed away.

Some of these children should be starting school, while others are still in infancy, but having Meredith completely forget that she chose to give birth and adopt multiple children erases multiple seasons of character development geared towards family and motherhood.

1 She Has Gone Through An Improbable Amount Of Trauma

As mentioned multiple times, nothing seems to go right for long in the life of Meredith Grey. Meredith’s mother passes away while Meredith was unconscious, she lost her husband, her boyfriend had a wife, she nearly passed away multiple times, she couldn’t have children, and everyone she knows left or passed away.

Every aspect of her life, from family to spouses to friends, ends with a major trauma and loss. She’s still continuing on with her life and career, while most people would be deep in therapy and rarely leaving their homes if faced with the same amount of sorrow. Meredith is a strong woman, but what she has been through could drive even the most optimistic individual to depression.

Are there any other aspects of Meredith’s character that make no sense in Grey’s Anatomy? Sound off in the comments!



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2018-10-09 01:10:23 – Kristy Pirone

Eddie Brock’s Notebook Reveals Carnage Backstory for Venom 2

Cletus Kasady’s backstory for Venom 2 is revealed thanks to Eddie Brock’s notebook from Venom. Sony’s decision to try and launch a cinematic universe of their own appears to have paid off. The Tom Hardy-led Venom just set the October opening weekend record, making a sequel almost inevitable. Through the use of its post-credits scene, Venom already established seeds for the sequel to grow as Woody Harrelson made a cameo as Cletus Kasaday, the psychotic killer who becomes Carnage in the comics.

It was originally just before production began on Venom that reports surfaced that Carnage would make an appearance. It was later reported that Harrelson had joined the film with speculation pointing to this being his true role. This began to see some fans expect to see Carnage fully realized at some point in the movie, despite him having no presence in the marketing. That is because director Ruben Fleischer is saving Carnage for the sequel.

Related: All the Spider-Villain Movies Coming After Venom

The post-credits scene for Venom only teased Kasady’s eventual escape from prison and his transformation into Carnage. As it turns out, Eddie’s interview with Cletus lasted far beyond what audiences saw. ComicBook shared an image of Eddie’s notebook that was on display at New York Comic Con, which details Kasady’s backstory that will be used for Venom 2. Between a massacre in New York and killing his grandmother, the Disciplinarian Administrator at St. Estes Home for Boys, and a random girl who wouldn’t go on a date with him, the notebook clearly establishes Kasady’s bloodlust.

Click Here To See The Notebook Photo

These details are instantly terrifying for fans and just goes to show how insane Kasady is, even before he becomes bonded with the Carnage symbiote. These multiple murders are villainous enough, but his twisted psyche is further highlighted by additional details. Eddie believes he has Oedipus Complex (the feeling of desire for the parent of the opposite sex) and is possibly the reason why he dug up his mother’s grave. Before that, Cletus tortured and killed his mother’s dog with a drill.

Kasady is a worthy villain for Venom and Eddie to hunt down based on his prior record and what he would surely do upon being freed. But, it would be the pairing of Kasady’s personality and the power of Carnage that makes him a supervillain-level threat. Since this notebook page and these details aren’t explicitly states in Venom, a sequel will likely retell parts of this backstory and maybe even show it through flashbacks. It could be difficult to do just that with a PG-13 rating, but Venom 2 isn’t expected to be R-rated either. However it happens, Carnage will be the villain of Venom 2 and at least we now know some of his backstory that Fleischer and company worked out for him.

More: Every Update You Need to Know For Venom 2

Source: ComicBook



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2018-10-08 09:10:59 – Cooper Hood

Better Call Saul Season 4 Finale Ending Explained

This post contains SPOILERS for Better Call Saul

Better Call Saul’s fourth season ended with “Winner,” an exciting finale that inches the spinoff closer to its Breaking Bad roots. This year, AMC’s acclaimed drama had to followup the jaw-dropping cliffhanger of season 3, where Chuck died in a horrifying fire. That tragedy is what truly spurred Jimmy McGill’s transformation into Saul Goodman as he dealt with the consequences and aftermath of not only his brother’s death, but also his bar suspension. Over the course of the fourth season, Jimmy became more involved with the criminal underworld of Albuquerque, launching his “get-rich-quick” scheme of selling prepaid cell phones to unsavory individuals.

Elsewhere in the Saul universe, Gus Fring looked to expand his cartel operations, commissioning the construction of the famous “super lab” Walter White and Jesse Pinkman cooked in during Breaking Bad. Entrusting Mike Ehrmantraut to oversee the operation, Gus hired a group of German nationals led by Werner Ziegler. While the project was taking longer than originally planned, the crew was working diligently and hoped to have it finished soon. Of course, things hit a snag at the end of last week’s “Wiedersehen” when Werner went AWOL, leaving only a note with detailed instructions for his team. These storylines (Werner’s disappearance and Jimmy’s bar reinstatement appeal) are the crux of the finale’s narrative, with both resolving in powerful ways.

The Tragedy of Werner Ziegler

Throughout the season, Werner’s team were recurring players, frequently interacting with Mike. Early on, it looked like Kai would be the troublemaker of the group, especially after his incident with the nightclub. However, Kai turned out to be a red herring, and Werner caused the biggest headaches for Gus and Mike. Werner, of course, is far from home and dearly misses his beloved wife. Wishing to see her again, Werner pitched Mike the idea of going home for a weekend, but was denied. Since he couldn’t get his superiors’ approval, Werner took matters into his own hands and hatched a plot for a loving reunion.

“Winner” reveals Werner ran off to a resort where he planned to spend time with his wife. He made travel arrangements that would see her fly over to America for a weekend and go back home. Sadly for Werner, he never gets to see her again. Mike tracks him down and after a discussion with Gus, realizes there’s only one resolution for this setback. Allowing Werner the opportunity to call his wife and tell her to return home before Gus’ people do anything to her, Mike then (reluctantly) kills Werner. Ehrmantraut says Werner’s death will be covered up as a tragic accident and his men will be sent back. As one might expect, Gus is angered by the lack of progress on the super lab (cutting a conversation with Gale short), which he thought would be completed by now.

Related: How Better Call Saul’s (Unseen) Breaking Bad Character Connects To Jimmy

Werner clearly had no ill intent (Mike knew he was jut homesick), but when he ran off, his fate was essentially sealed. This was the second transgression Werner committed against Gus – the first being his friendly chat about construction work with bar patrons. These two incidents back-to-back made it very difficult for Gus to trust Werner moving forward, and by now, fans are well aware of Fring’s ruthlessness. Mike mentions multiple times in the episode there are other ways to go about things, but he can’t convince Gus to spare Werner’s life. No amount of begging or pleading has any effect on Gus when he’s made up his mind about something. Unfortunately for Werner, he never completely understood what he got himself into and crossed the wrong people.

Lalo also factors into this storyline, with the mysterious member of the Salamanca clan tailing Mike and trying to locate Werner for his own reasons. Lalo does discover which resort Werner is staying at and briefly speaks to the Russian over the phone, posing as one of Gus’ employees. Not knowing any better, Werner begins to tell Lalo the first couple of basic instructions for the super lab construction, before Mike arrives in person and interrupts the call. Near the end of the episode, Mike tells Gus about what happened, and it’ll be fascinating to see how this continues in season 5. Of course, Fring does not get along with the Salamancas, and despite Lalo’s cheeky offer of a peace treaty in last week’s episode, the two warring sides will continue their power struggle. Lalo is clearly curious about what Gus is up to and wants to get an upper hand for himself.

Page 2: Jimmy McGill Becomes Saul Goodman

Jimmy McGill Is Finally Saul Goodman

Jimmy’s arc in season 4 is dealing with the fallout of his felony from season 2 (tampering with Chuck’s documents) as he tries to get by in life with his one-year suspension. Picking up lawful employment at CC Mobile, he does everything he’s supposed to do to work himself back in the graces of the committee. However, last week’s episode ended with the shocking twist that Jimmy was denied reinstatement – after he was found to be insincere in his comments. Kim, as she always does, stays by Jimmy’s side to help him win the appeal. In Kim’s mind, the sincerity issue stems from Chuck and Jimmy needs to show remorse for what’s transpired.

The two forge ahead with another one of their brilliant schemes. Jimmy spends the one-year anniversary of Chuck’s death mourning at his brother’s grave. An “anonymous” donation is made to HHM to name the legal library after Chuck, with members of Jimmy’s go-to video team telling people in attendance they heard the gift was from Jimmy. It all builds up to another hearing in front of the committee, where Jimmy uses the letter Chuck left him as a weapon in his favor. After (faking) being unable to read it in place of an opening statement, Jimmy launches into a nostalgic monologue where he reminisces about his brother, talks about wanting to make Chuck proud, and credits Chuck with influencing his interest in a law career. In their celebration afterwards, Kim feels some it was truthful, but Jimmy’s reaction makes it painfully apparent it was all a show for the committee so he could get his law license back. As he prepares to sign the necessary documents, Jimmy states he’ll no longer be practicing under his legal name. Turning to a clearly shocked Kim, he closes out the season by saying, “S’all good, man.”

Related: Bob Odenkirk Responds to Fan Theory About Chuck’s Letter

At a certain time in his life, Jimmy probably aspired to be an honest, hard-working lawyer like Chuck, but the events of Better Call Saul have rendered that impossible. During a key sequence of the episode, Jimmy (as part of his sincerity scheme) sits on the board awarding scholarships in Chuck’s memory. He vouches for a student named Kristy Esposito, who received only one vote (from Jimmy) because she was found guilty of shoplifting. In that moment, Jimmy realizes that the law community at large will never accept someone with a prior record, and clearly sees himself in the young Kristy. Because of his actions in season 2, the most prominent firms in the country will always consider Jimmy a liability, no matter how much he swears he’s changed. Chasing down Kristy after the scholarship meetings, Jimmy basically lays out the Saul Goodman playbook, telling his favorite student to cut corners and to not worry about what others think (because she’ll never “make it” the traditional way).

Instead of conforming to fit within the perceived standards of the field, Jimmy gamed the system to his own advantage. He told the reinstatement committee what they wanted to hear – even though he has no intention of following through on it – and is now set to play by his own rules. In his argument with Kim on the rooftop in “Wiedersehen,” Jimmy went on the defensive about how Kim views him as “the kind of lawyer guilty people hire” and is unworthy of sharing an office with her (while she thrives at a large firm in New Mexico). Jimmy is embracing his reputation. Saul Goodman, as Breaking Bad fans know, is exactly the type of lawyer criminals hire. Howard Hamlin wouldn’t touch Walter White and Jesse Pinkman with a 10-foot pole, but Saul went into business with them, doing whatever he could to protect his clients’ rights and help them avoid jail time.

The beauty of this is how it all traces back to Chuck and recontextualizes the character of Saul Goodman. When he was introduced in the second season of Breaking Bad, he was nothing more than an entertaining side player; a riff on the “sleazy lawyer” archetype who came up with elaborate schemes to win his cases. Now, the persona is revealed as a last resort for a man who once upon a time looked up to his brother, only to have his hopes and dreams destroyed by that very same sibling. Chuck went out of his way to block Jimmy from getting a position at HHM, fearful of what “Slippin’ Jimmy with a law degree” would be capable of. He wasn’t willing to give Jimmy the benefit of the doubt, and ended up unknowingly launching the career of Albuquerque’s shadiest criminal defense attorney. Maybe if he was more accepting and loving towards Jimmy, things would have turned out differently.

It’ll be exciting to see how the confirmed fifth season picks up on this. There were already hints the Jimmy/Kim relationship was fraying (the wonderfully constructed cold open of “Something Stupid”), and the former’s new career path might be the final straw. Kim is never mentioned in Breaking Bad, so obviously something happens there. Better Call Saul correctly took the long road to get to this point, and now the possibilities for its future are wide open.

More: Better Call Saul Fills In Breaking Bad Gaps



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2018-10-08 07:10:07 – Chris Agar

Super Mario Party Review: The Best Mario Party in Years

Super Mario Party isn’t just a return to the classic gameplay, bringing back the board game format and forgoing the controversial car. It’s the best entry in the Mario Party franchise in years though admittedly, Nintendo hasn’t set the bar very high. The last time there was a halfway decent Mario Party was back in 2007 with Mario Party 8 and to find a truly great addition you need to go even further back in time. Super Mario Party makes up for some of that, finally.

The newest first party title for Nintendo Switch isn’t without flaws. In their effort to bring back Mario Party to relevance Nintendo went overboard. Super Mario Party spreads itself very thin, adding too many extraneous modes. And sadly, Nintendo also hasn’t managed to capitalize on the obvious when it comes to online multiplayer and Mario Party. Overall though Super Mario Party is a celebration worth throwing especially with three friends along for the (now metaphorical) ride.

Related: Best Multiplayer Games To Play At A Party

Super Mario Party should be viewed as an apology for the absolute rubbish that was Mario Party 9 and 10. The failed experiment that was all four Mario Party players being stuffed into the same car with no autonomy is over. The classic Mario Party mode has the four partiers move about a colorful board game map, snagging stars and playing mini games at the end of each turn. It’s glorious. The board game’s return and the pleasing ways it can be used to screw over opponents with random chance would be enough of a victory. Super Mario Party goes further with the board game mechanic and adds exciting new layers of strategy.

There are several little changes to board game play. Stars cost just 10 coins now, not the customary 20. Bowser and other villains are now playable characters and maps are much smaller than before. The biggest change concerns dice rolls. They’re still completely random but Super Mario Party has added some dice rolls by giving every playable character their own dice block. The choice of playable character now means more than simple Mario franchise favoritism. There is a regular dice block and going along with the smaller maps it only has 6 sides as opposed to the previous 10 but with the character dice blocks, this mechanic can get wacky and interesting.

For example, Shy Guy’s die has 5 sides of 4 and 1 side of 0. This means that if a player wants to move just 4 spaces on the board to get to a star or avoid a trap, they’re best off using Shy Guy’s dice but there is a chance that they might not move at all. Similarly, Bowser has a 10 on his dice but also two sides where he can lose coins if he’s unlucky enough to hit them. These new special dice might sound strange but in practice they add in a surprising amount of depth.

The special dice don’t just end at the playable characters either. In a holdover from Mario Party: Star Rush for the 3DS it’s now possible to recruit allies. These allies will loan out their special dice and in certain mini games even help out as a part of a team. Allies are always computer controlled but they can turn a player’s game around. Allies seem like they could over-complicate play but they add just enough to the game without becoming too distracting or that big of an advantage. Even though ridiculous RNG is part of the charm of Mario Party it does sting when a computer ally wins a tense minigame but that’s a relatively minor quibble. Nintendo has nailed the board game dynamic with their first Mario Party on the Switch even though it’s disappointing that there’s only four boards at launch with no more coming (as of right now).

Minigames are another area where Super Mario Party succeeds … for the most part anyway. There are 80 minigames in all and they switch between standard and motion controls. It’s impossible though to play Super Mario Party with anything but a single joy-con which prevents prevents Super Mario Party from being played in the Switch’s handheld mode. Some of Super Mario Party‘s best games use the joy-con’s stellar motion control and HD rumble features so it becomes an understandable sacrifice, and of course, tabletop mode is still available. There are still a couple of stinkers in the minigame department but Super Mario Party might just have the most consistent overall collection of the series.

Everything else in Super Mario Party is a a mixed bag. In an effort to live up to the Super part of the title, Nintendo has added a bunch of new modes to the game and would have been better off leaving them alone. They aren’t all terrible though. For instance, ‘River Survival’ has four players working together to paddle down a raft on mountain rapids and playing in cooperative minigames is pretty interesting. So is Partner Party which is the standard Mario Party mode but in teams of two. The other modes are lot less successful.

The worst of the bunch is ‘Sound Stage.’ This is a collection of rhythm-based motion control minigames where the player who triumphs at the most minigames wins. The minigames themselves are surprisingly solid with a good mix of rhythm and motion, but there’s no reason for them to exist in their own separate section. It’s a waste of space.

Sound Stage isn’t the only time that Super Mario Party allows you to just play minigames either. There’s also Minigame Mode which is a hit or miss. The one and only highlight of Minigame Mode is Square Off. Here, laying minigames is still the main focus but the real winner is chosen by how much territory a player steals on a square board (one minigame usually equates to one territory). Everything else in Minigame Mode takes out all the strategy of Mario Party for just boring minigame brawls. This is particularly true in Mariothon where whoever wins the most of a collection of five minigames is crowned the champion.

Mariothon being a bust stings because this is the one and only mode Super Mario Party has chosen to make available for online multiplayer. Super Mario Party is the first Mario Party to include online play but there’s no way of playing a board game in the mode. One could argue the commitment (a 10 turn board game can take up to an hour) would be a problem in online matchmaking, but there being no option is disappointing, especially the only available mode is Mariothon where the Minigames have little stakes. Online play even shrinks down the available games in Mariothon to just 10 random ones not the full 80. It’s terrible.

There are other features in Super Mario Party like a lackluster single player campaign called Challenge Road, but playing the standard board game mode with computer opponents is a much more satisfying single player experience. There’s also Toad’s Rec Room which can use two switches to play special minigames. It’s an interesting tech demo but not much more than that. The bulk of Super Mario Party‘s successes and failures can be found in the other modes. Overall, those positives do outweigh the negatives.

Super Mario Party isn’t perfect. It doesn’t even supplant Mario Party 2 or Mario Party 4 as the best Mario Party game ever. It does, however, get very close. Super Mario Party would’ve been stronger if it did away with some of the extra game modes and focused on quality more than quantity. Toad’s Rec Room or Sound Stage could’ve easily been swapped out for three to four new board game maps. As it stands, Super Mario Party is a solid rebirth for what has become the redheaded stepchild of Nintendo franchises. Hopefully there will be many more and impressive sequels to come building off what it does right and ignoring what it does wrong.

More: Nintendo Switch 2 is Already Going to Release in 2019

Super Mario Party is available now for $59.99 on Nintendo Switch.



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2018-10-08 05:10:06 – Derek Stauffer