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Walking Dead Actor Thinks Killing Glenn & Abraham Was Overkill For Fans

AMC’s The Walking Dead actor Michael Cudlitz says it was a mistake to have Negan kill both Abraham and Glenn in the same episode, as it was too much of a loss for fans. Based on the comic book series by Robert Kirkman, The Walking Dead debuted on AMC in 2010 and quickly established itself as one of the highest rated shows on cable TV, with numbers rivaling those of network series. However, ratings for The Walking Dead have seen a steady decline in recent seasons, with the recently aired season 9 hitting new lows for the long-running show.

Pinpointing exactly why The Walking Dead has seen a decline in interest may be difficult, but it seems clear that for many fans, a big turning point was the highly controversial season 7 premiere in which bad guy Negan brutally murdered fan favorite characters Abraham and Glenn. Death was of course a big part of The Walking Dead even before that episode, but many fans thought the show went over the line in depicting the full graphic violence of Negan beating Abraham and Glenn to death with his baseball bat Lucille. It didn’t help that the murders came after a season 6 cliffhanger that left fans feeling manipulated.

Related: The Walking Dead Season 9 Ending Explained

In a recent appearance on The IMDb Show, one of the participants in The Walking Dead‘s bloodiest and most controversial episode gave his own thoughts on why the show miscalculated in having Negan unleash his full brutality on two such popular characters. Cudlitz, who played Abraham, says he believes the double-murder was simply too much for the audience to take, and it was a particular mistake to kill Glenn given what he represented to fans. Cudlitz said:

“I always said, I personally thought it was not the wisest thing to take both Abraham and Glenn out in the same episode. It’s too much of a loss for the fans, for the audience. [Glenn’s] like the moral compass and the heart of the show at the time, even pulling Rick back, he was almost the Herschel whisperer – he’d also become that other side of him that was able to guide him, or at least help guide him.”

Indeed, Cudlitz is not the first Walking Dead cast member to express regret over the way Glenn and Abraham’s deaths were played. Rick Grimes actor Andrew Lincoln previously said he wished the show hadn’t gone so over-the-top in depicting every gory detail of the murders, including showing Glenn’s eyeball popping out after a blow from Negan. Steven Yeun, the actor who played Glenn, also expressed disappointment over the way his character was handled, saying The Walking Dead never “appreciated” Glenn.

Fans certainly seem to agree with Cudlitz, Lincoln and Yeun when it comes to the way Glenn and Abraham were dispatched from the show, as many of them gave up after the season 7 premiere and never returned. Though many think The Walking Dead has seen a resurgence in quality under new showrunner Angela Kang, the audience does not seem to be returning, which speaks partly to the lingering offense fans feel over the way the show seemed to revel in the brutality of Glenn and Abraham’s deaths as though they were mere props in some wild B-grade horror movie. The Walking Dead of course remains a violent and bloody show, as evidenced by The Whisperers’ massacre in the late stages of season 9, when multiple characters including Henry, Tara and Enid were killed and their heads put on spikes, but that violence now seems tempered by a little more sensitivity toward the characters and the fans’ feelings about them.

More: What To Expect From The Walking Dead Season 10

Source: The IMDb Show


2019-04-19 08:04:27

Dan Zinski

Killing Eve Review: Still Worth Obsessing Over In Season 2

Though its story of a spy and a psychopath sharing a mutual obsession with one another deservedly became the central selling point of BBC America’s Killing Eve in season 1, the wicked will they or won’t they between Sandra Oh’s intelligence agent Eve Polatstri and Jodie Comer’s fashionable assassin Villanelle wasn’t the show’s only selling point. The series’ early character- and world-building moments were marked with memorable instants of casual weirdness, like Fiona Shaw’s Carolyn Martens’s off-hand remark of watching a rat drink a can of soda. That was due in large part to the writing of creator and executive producer Phoebe Waller-Bridge, a singular talent who, among other things, specializes in turning seemingly innocuous, off-hand digressions into a detour worth obsessing over. It’s the sort of thing that made her a perfect fit for this tense but often very funny adaptation of Luke Jennings’s Villanelle novellas. 

The series has made some changes behind the scenes for season 2, with Waller-Bridge handing the writing reins over to Emerald Fennell. Though it’s clear that Fennell and the show’s writers’ room still have a firm grasp on what makes Killing Eve tick, in terms of generating tension between its two main characters, it’s also reassuring to find out that, early in the season 2 premiere, the series still has impeccable timing when it comes to the little idiosyncratic deviations that keep it light and weird. That moment comes midway through the first hour when Eve and Carolyn are snacking on burgers in a morgue, as the medical examiner explains — with no small amount of pleasure — that the smell of formaldehyde and cadavers causes cravings for meat. Whether that’s true or not is almost beside the point; it’s like the soda-drinking rat: a welcome reprieve from the intense cat-and-mouse game at the center of the show. 

More: The Tick Season 2 Review: The Superhero Comedy The World Needs Right Now

‘Do You Know How to Dispose of a Body?’ is, oddly, like a collection of those moments, complied into a single hour of television. For the most part it works because of how much effort the show has put into building Eve and Villanelle’s strange obsession with one another and how much fun it is to watch Oh and Comer do their thing. But because the first season ran at such a frantic pace through its first half, building to that inevitable and bloody climax in Villanelle’s Paris apartment, Killing Eve is forced to take a step back, put some distance between its would-be lovers, and reassess the situation. Most of this is for the presumed longevity of the show, and it’s also a fundamental concern with a serialized television series like this one. How can a show built on the tension of a psychopathic infatuation between its two leads maintain narrative rigidity while still turning out eight episodes a season for what the powers that be at AMC would almost certainly love to be several more years?

The seeds of that answer — for the time being, anyway — were sown in season 1, with the discovery of the clandestine group known as The Twelve. The mystery surrounding the group is part of its appeal, but its most enticing element is in how it creates a mutual adversary for both Eve and Villanelle. The only problem is, it’s not nearly as enticing as watching Oh and Comer’s characters contend with their undeniable magnetism.

Early on in season 2 it’s clear that Killing Eve is working its way back as close to square one as possible, using The Twelve as a de facto new end point. That makes the premiere a mix of table setting and careful extrication from some of the narrative corners the first season painted itself into. Much of that has to do with Eve and everything she’s learned about herself, her job with MI5, and her relationship with her husband Niko (Owen McDonnell), who disappeared last season after it became clear he was getting in the way of all the fun Eve and Villanelle could have together. The season premiere employs an impressive level of hand-waiving in order to re-align its various players. What makes those moments work, though, is the willingness to let the seams show, as when Carolyn reinstates Eve to MI5 with all the ceremony of placing a drive-thru order, or when Niko attempts to reconnect with his wife in the midst of a vegetable-chopping nervous breakdown. 

While Eve’s situation requires the series to perform a narrative u-turn of sorts, Killing Eve is free to plow straight ahead with regard to Villanelle, who is recovering from the near-fatal stab wound delivered by her would-be paramour. It was no secret that Villanelle would survive her injury, and that her obsession with Eve would not only continue in spite of the stabbing but apparently thrive (“love makes you do crazy things,” after all). As such, Villanelle’s portion of the premiere is what helps give Killing Eve season 2 its legs early on. And, much like the cadaver-induced burger cravings, the show takes its time to inject some levity into the proceedings. The only difference is how wildly it can swing from the relatively light humor of a fashion fetishist cringing while slipping into a pair of abandoned Crocs, to something far, far darker and, consequently, lethal. 

The return of one of television’s most highly anticipated series isn’t entirely a return to form, instead its offers a chance for the show to move backwards and forwards at the same time. It’s a delicate balancing act that will become more precarious as the series moves along, as it can’t keep Eve and Villanelle apart for very long without the central tension going slack, but it also can’t go too far in the other direction without the same thing happening. If nothing else, then, watching as the series manages and teases out this anticipation and uncertainty is reason enough to get obsessed with Killing Eve all over again. 

Next: Warrior Review: Cinemax Unleashes A Pulpy Martial Arts Period Drama

Killing Eve continues next Sunday with ‘Nice and Neat’ @8pm on BBC America and AMC.


2019-04-07 02:04:51

Kevin Yeoman

Killing Eve Season 2 Trailer Quickly Spirals Out Of Control

Season 2 of Killing Eve is just about a month away from its premiere, and BBC America/AMC have released a brand new trailer that demonstrates how quickly the story will spiral out of control. One of the most talked and raved about new shows of 2018, the series, adapted from the Villanelle novellas of Luke Jennings by Phoebe Waller-Bridge, went on to rule the Game of Thrones-less spring, not only earning acclaim, but being the rare television series in this day and age of Peak TV to gain a live-viewing audience as the season progressed. And now, with a Golden Globe award under its belt, the series is set to return to the story of pair of obsessives, Eve Polastri (Sandra Oh) and Villanelle (Jodi Comer), and their bloody will they, won’t they psychosexual romance. 

There’s a lot riding on the season 2 premiere for various reasons. Some of those are listed above, but most are tucked away in the show’s ongoing narrative, which ended in cliffhanger fashion when Eve stabbed Villanelle, just as things were beginning to really heat up between them. Since, then, Villanelle’s fate hasn’t exactly been behind locked doors; the various teasers and still images from the new season show that Comer’s eccentric assassin is alive, but not necessarily well — in either sense of the word. That could mean a different kind of trouble for Eve, as she’ll be tasked with not only locating Villanelle, but navigating the world of espionage, her duplicitous boss Carolyn (Fiona Shaw), and her troubled marriage that became less than a footnote halfway through season 1. 

Mostly, though, the new season will have to figure out how a show like Killing Eve can work in what will presumably be the long run. In other words, how will lead writer Emerald Fennell and the rest of the show’s writers’ room maintain the central tension between Eve and Villanelle, without repeating themselves over and over again? If Killing Eve has proven anything in its relatively brief run it’s that it has more than earned the benefit of the doubt. Check out the full trailer for season 2 below, if you need any more convincing:

The trailer is playfully edited, giving viewers a good idea of just how much fun the series plans to have in the coming season. But, more than that, it puts much of its focus on Comer’s character, who more often than not stole the show last season (“Take me to the hole!” perhaps being the apex of a terrific performance). That, paired with the obvious dilemma facing Eve, as she weighs her options in and out of the intelligence agency she works for, looks as though it will make for a thrilling new season of television. 

Next: The Widow Review: A Slow-Burn Mystery Squanders A Great Kate Beckinsale

Killing Eve season 2 premieres Sunday, April 7 @8pm on BBC America and AMC.


2019-03-08 11:03:20

Kevin Yeoman

KILLING EVE Season 2 Trailer (NEW 2019) Sandra Oh Series HD



KILLING EVE Season 2 Trailer (NEW 2019) Sandra Oh Series HD
© 2019 – AMC

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Deadpool Saves Christmas… By Killing Santa Claus

Warning: SPOILERS for Deadpool #7

The time has come for Santa Claus to pop into the Marvel Universe, but with Deadpool determined to kill him for clients, Santa may not live to see another holiday.

Deadpool #7 is all about the trials and tribulations of running a toyshop at the North Pole, even before the threat of a contract killing stirs up trouble. It’s not the first time that Deadpool has tangled with Ol’ Saint Nick, either; in 2016, he teamed up with Spider-Man to save Christmas, and this year, it looks like he’s doing it again.

Related: Deadpool Is Marvel’s Next Black Panther (Seriously)

Whether you love them for their holiday charm, or loathe them for being pointless seasonal filler, holiday comic book issues are back in town: and Deadpool is out to get none other than Santa Claus himself this year! The holiday special is something of a tradition in the Marvel Universe, even if the events of these specially themed comics don’t generally have anything to do with the larger events happening in this world. Deadpool #7 starts with the all-top-real heartbreak of a Christmas morning with no toys under the tree, and disappointed children all over the world. But this being 2018, these kids don’t take their lack of toys sitting down.

Instead, they start a GoFundMe (sorry, a ‘GoPayMe’), and use the funds to hire Deadpool to take out Santa Claus for his failure to deliver. Of course, when Wade gets to the workshop (having obviously accepted the contract to kill the deadbeat Santa) he discovers that all is not as it seems. Santa is now drunk, foul-mouthed and weirdly ripped – and has a pretty good excuse for not delivering the goods. As it turns out, an evil elf convinced all his helpers to abandon him, and now works them to the bone at a Roxxon toy factory. What’s a merc to do? He can’t kill Santa, so instead, he takes on the elf, brings back the toymakers, and saves Christmas!

Of course, this is the definition of a fluffy Christmas special, and we don’t expect to see any reference made to Deadpool’s latest holiday mission in the New Year. That said, this adventure does take the Merc with a Mouth past the home of the Avengers, so there is always room for them to comment on his attempts to kill Claus in the future! More likely, however, this is just a fun cameo from some other Marvel characters.

However, if Deadpool #7 has whetted your appetite for some holiday Deadpool, there’s always Once Upon A Deadpool to look forward to! This PG-13 rated version of the original Deadpool film comes with a frame story of Ryan Reynolds as Deadpool telling his story (The Princess Bride style) to Fred Savage. Only in theaters from December 12 to Christmas Eve, this is all the Deadpool we’ll need for the holiday season.

Deadpool #7 is available now from Marvel Comics.

Next: Once Upon A Deadpool Contains 20 Minutes Of New Footage



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2018-12-06 06:12:36

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

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

The Walking Dead: Biggest Questions Left By The Season 9 Premiere

Warning! SPOILERS for The Walking Dead season 9 premiere ahead!

Tonight’s season 9 premiere of The Walking Dead introduces viewers to a new era of the long-running zombie show. “A New Beginning” is a strong season opener, and it suggests that season 9 might just be the overhaul this former ratings juggernaut so desperately needs to recapture its dwindling audience.

There other big changes in store for The Walking Dead this season as well. Both Andrew Lincoln and Lauren Cohen are leaving, though how remains a mystery, and their absences will leave large holes for the ensemble to fill. Then there are also the discussions of AMC creating a shared universe of Walking Dead programs, which could see more of the cast leave for their own spinoffs.

Related: Walking Dead Season 9 Premiere Review: A New Era Begins Now

“A New Beginning” doesn’t address any of these upcoming changes, but it sets up several interesting threads for the show to explore this season. And to that, we have a few questions after watching The Walking Dead season 9 premiere.

  • This Page: A Fragile Peace and a Decent Proposal
  • Page 2: Is A Civil War On The Way?

Can Rick Keep the Peace?

A big part of the season 9 premiere is establishing the new status quo. It’s been roughly two years since the war with the Saviors and there is now peace among the different communities. Together, they’re actively working to re-establish some semblance of civilization. There is trade and agriculture and manufacturing taking place and, soon, literal bridge-building between the communities to keep them united. If the hope was to create that world Carl dreamed of, then Rick is leading them in the right direction.

But, while there is peace, it is an uneasy peace. At the Sanctuary, the lack of food and supplies is causing tempers to flare. There’s even “We Are Negan” graffiti on the walls, highlighting a growing dissatisfaction. At Hilltop, many are angry that they must keeping sharing so much of their harvest with the Saviors, seeing the situation as not all that different from before. And all the communities still hold an understandable grudge against the Saviors, even after the all time that’s passed.

Rick may have been able to unite the people of Alexandria, Hilltop, Kingdom, Oceanside, and Sanctuary, but it’s becoming more difficult to hold them together. Will Rick be able to keep the peace he fought so hard to achieve? It’s hard to say, and perhaps the better question to be asking at this point is – will there still be peace between the communities when Rick is gone?

Will Carol Accept Ezekiel’s Proposal?

Season 9 quickly establishes a lighter, more uplifting mood with those opening moments of Rick, Michonne, and Judith getting to be just a normal, happy family. There are actually a few of these moments throughout the episode, like Gabriel and Anne both appreciating the humor in the “de-evolution of man” or Rick fawning over baby Hershel. But there is perhaps none more sweet and funny than Ezekiel proposing to Carol. Their relationship isn’t one we really got to see develop because of the time jump, but it’s clear there are quite the established couple by this point.

Related: Walking Dead Season 9 Is ‘Driven By Women’

Carol, of course, is completely against the proposal, listing her reasons for why this isn’t the time nor the place – “This is not happening on a horse” – and it’s cute to see the usually calm and collected Carol so flustered. Ezekiel, on the other hand, isn’t deterred, and though it may be his recent brush with death that spurs him in to popping the question, the fact that he wishes to make such a public declaration of their love is sign of how much the times have changed.

So when Ezekiel asks again as he most-certainly will, does Carol accept? If she truly cares for him as much as that kiss at the museum suggests, she likely will. But her choice to stick around at the Sanctuary and relieve Daryl of his leadership duties, while a means of helping out a friend, might imply otherwise.

Page 2: Is A Civil War On The Way?

Could Maggie And Daryl Turn On Rick?

Maggie and Daryl may have helped Rick win the war, but season 9 begins with them both calling his decision-making into question. Daryl, for instance, doubts Rick’s plan to unite this many groups of people, sharing his preference for when it was just their small group. And as for Maggie, she’s still angry over Rick’s decision to keep Negan alive, reminding Rick that he promised her he’d kill him.

Maggie even calls out Rick for once telling her that one day he’d be following her, but then never allowing that day to come. And it’s this scene between them on the balcony that really hints at a divide growing between Maggie and Rick. Daryl’s comments that he’d rather move to Hilltop instead of Alexandria seem to suggest that if made to choose, he’d pick Maggie over Rick, which really makes it appear like a split between them is inevitable.

Related: Norman Reedus Doesn’t Think Daryl Is The New Rick

Will season 9 see Maggie and Daryl turn against Rick? It’s certainly a possibility, what with both parties having very different views on how things should be run. Plus, there’s also the matter of Maggie and Rick only appearing in a limited number of episodes this season. Could it be the conflict between them that leads to their exits? That seems very likely, with the rift that forms between Maggie and Rick not necessarily being the direct cause of their departures but at the very least a factor.

What Will Be The Consequences of Hanging Gregory?

The Walking Dead season 9 premiere ends with Gregory’s hanging and it’s a disturbing scene for what is a fairly upbeat episode (by Walking Dead standards anyway). Not that anyone is likely to miss Gregory, and his manipulation of Earl and Tammy’s grief (not too mention Earl’s alcoholism) is particularly disgusting, but the public execution is still chilling. And when Maggie declares that the “punishment must fit the crime” she’s drawing a direct comparison between what she’s doing here and what Rick chose to do with Negan.

Maggie having Gregory hanged is going to have consequences. Already, it’s apparent how much Rick and Michonne don’t agree with Maggie’s decision, only deepening that divide. Then there’s the precedent this decisions sets – implying it’s okay to kill someone as long as it’s justified. Who decides when it’s justified? Well, that’s why Michonne needs to write that charter. But in the mean time, there’s a very good chance someone else will look to this as permission to take justice into their own hands.

Whether or not Maggie was justified in killing Gregory is debatable, but the deed is now done and there’s no taking it back. Future episodes will show just how Hilltop and the rest of the communities react to the news, but one thing is clear – Maggie isn’t playing around, and if given the opportunity, she will do what Rick could not and kill Negan.

Next: The Walking Dead Will Reboot (Sort Of) When Rick Leaves the Show

The Walking Dead season 9 continues next Sunday with ‘The Bridge’ at 9pm/8c on AMC.



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2018-10-07 07:10:59 – Sarah Moran

Marvel Killing Off a Guardians of the Galaxy Hero

Warning: SPOILERS for Marvel’s Infinity Wars

The Infinity War movie forced fans to watch the Guardians of the Galaxy die – now Marvel Comics is going to repeat the heartbreak by killing off one member of the team. And if you read the evidence right, it’s not hard to guess which Guardian will make ‘the ultimate sacrifice.’

It’s a strange time to break the news to fans that Marvel is going to be first killing, then replacing the members of the Guardians of the Galaxy for a full-scale reboot. With James Gunn being forced out of the series director’s chair, and at least one cast member saying he’ll quit Guardians 3 without Gunn, the future of the property stands in question. The comics have followed a different path, but find themselves in the same spot.

So, which Guardian of the Galaxy is Marvel going to kill… and will the comic reboot show how the MCU may follow suit?

  • This Page: Marvel’s Plan To Kill & Reboot The Guardians
  • Page 2: The Guardian Marvel is Hinting Will Be Killed

Yes, a Guardian of the Galaxy is Going To Die

These days even casual comic fans know that when it comes to superheroes, even death isn’t permanent – a major reason why fans didn’t riot when Avengers 3 killed off half the MCU. So even with Marvel announcing the launch of Infinity Wars: Fallen Guardian coming in December, with a somber, de-saturated cover depicting the five core heroes (the same as the original movie team), there was some wiggle room on just how “fallen” was being used.

RELATED: Marvel’s Infinity Wars Does What The Movie Should’ve

With the Infinity Wars event building to its finale around the same time, even a Guardian leaving the team behind or turning to the villains’ side would be more believable than Marvel killing one off. Unfortunately, the synopsis leaves no doubt:

In the stunning climax of INFINITY WARS, one of the Guardians of the Galaxy makes the ultimate sacrifice. Look back at the life of a fallen Guardian and the empty space they leave behind in what’s left of the universe.

That tease means Guardians fans will need to pick up Infinity Wars #6 on the same day, December 19th, to see which Guardian dies for the sake of their friends and universe in the event’s big finale. On the very same day, writer Gerry Duggan and artist Andy McDonald will give that Fallen Guardian their own memorial issue… before the new Guardians of the Galaxy begins its total reboot just weeks later.

It All Leads To The New Guardians Reboot

The confirmation that an existing member of the Guardians of the Galaxy – Star-Lord, Gamora, Drax, Rocket, or Groot – won’t actually survive the Infinity Wars adds even more weight to the event. But it also helps explain the previous announcement of a new reboot for the Guardians of the Galaxy comic book. With the first image teasing that the new series, launching in January, will take just about every cosmic character into consideration, the tagline itself makes more sense than ever.

The inclusion of Silver Surfer, Adam Warlock, Captain Marvel, Thor, and even Galactus in the tease of a new roster grabbed the attention, but the tagline itself – “Who Are The Guardians?” – implies it’s the heroes themselves asking the question. In the wake of the coming death, the surviving team members may question everything. But how they recruit new heroes will change depending on who dies.

Especially if it’s the Guardian who Marvel seriously wants fans to expect… since they’re hinting that it’s another Guardian who actually kills the fallen hero.

Page 2 of 2: The Guardian Marvel is Hinting Will Be Killed

Star-Lord Will Die, Or So Marvel is Hinting

Surprisingly, the synopsis for Fallen Guardian revealing that a Guardian of the Galaxy dies in Infinity War‘s final issue makes perfect sense. Ever since the mysterious hooded figure referring to themselves as Requiem snuck up behind Thanos and cut off his head, then revealed themselves to actually be Gamora, Thanos’ daughter in disguise, the Guardians have been shattered. The sense of betrayal grew even deeper when Star-Lord tried to talk some sense into Gamora… who responded by murdering him, too.

RELATED: Thanos Finally DIES in His Final Comic Story

Luckily Doctor Strange was on hand with the Time Stone, and succeeded in reversing Peter Quill’s death. But it also demonstrated just how committed Gamora is to her current mission to kill Thanos and gather the Infinity Stones (a satisfying reversal of her death in Infinity War). She will seemingly stop at nothing to regain the piece of her soul trapped inside the Soul Stone – including murdering Star-Lord once again, which is exactly what’s shown on the cover of Infinity Wars #6. But then, comic fans know not to judge a book by its cover.

Gamora May Be The Guardian Dying, Not Killing

Not only would Star-Lord’s death be anticlimactic the second time around, it seems too big a moment to spoil on the cover. Frankly, it makes as much sense, if not more, that it’s Gamora who risks going too far and must be killed by a teammate. But judging by the synopsis of Fallen Guardian, it doesn’t sound like Gamora fans need to worry about her legacy. If she makes “the ultimate sacrifice” to bring the Wars to an end, Marvel likely has bigger plans in store than being put out of her desperation and misery.

It’s hard not to suspect that Thanos will be the one putting the doomed Guardian into their grave. Especially after Thanos Legacy #1 revealed that the villain’s death at his daughter’s hand may have been part of a larger plan. And with Duggan and Donny Cates writing that revelation together, Duggan scribing Fallen Guardian, before Cates launches the new Guardians reboot, it would make sense for Thanos to get his revenge as part of this narrative shifting of gears.

Pray For Groot & Rocket Raccoon

Of course, it must be considered that Marvel may wish to punch their readers and movie fans directly in the heart, and have either Groot or Rocket Raccoon sacrifice themselves in Infinity Wars. And with such a noble act expected least from Rocket, it’s hard to deny that such a twist would blindside readers and their emotions. Would the comic book Guardians ever continue without their furry, foul-mouthed mascot? And could Marvel fans endure one more Groot death scene after The Avengers: Infinity War?

The good news is that the tragic sacrifice and Fallen Guardian memorial issue will drop just months from now, and just in time for the holidays. Enjoy!

Infinity Wars: Fallen Guardian #1 arrives on December 19th, available from Marvel Comics.

MORE: Marvel Reveals Wolverine Was Venom Before Eddie Brock



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2018-10-07 06:10:35 – Andrew Dyce

A Star Is Born’s Ending Is Bad (And Always Has Been)

WARNING: Major spoilers for A Star Is Born

A Star Is Born‘s ending undoes what could have been a Hollywood classic – but that’s not exactly Bradley Cooper’s fault. From its first version in 1937, A Star Is Born has always had a problematic resolution to its story, one that’s only got worse over the past century, and this latest version is no different.

A Star Is Born is a classic story that Hollywood loves so much it’s told it four times (with a suspiciously-similar earlier version, several failed attempts and many, many imitators). A top-of-his-game star (in 2018, Bradley Cooper’s rock star Jackson Maine) is suffering from alcoholism and in a stupor discovers a struggling artist (Lady Gaga as Ally, a waitress moonlighting in a drag bar), falling in love with both her and her talent. He provides her with a big break, sending her fame into the stratosphere just as his addictions begin to derail his career. The pair marry, but despite their love things begin to fray.

Related: Read Our A Star Is Born Review

It’s a tale of rags to riches, of falls from grace, of the power of love, and personal identity within all of that. And, for much of the runtime, A Star Is Born 2018 is genuinely a great version of all those stories. Gaga’s first major concert leaves you floating, Cooper shows mental affliction with grace, both perform their songs incredibly (to actual live crowds, no less), and are utterly believable as troubled lovers. It is, for much of its runtime, a very good film worthy of that deafening hype.

However, everything implodes into a black hole of pretentiousness as what could have been a great film its own right has to follow through on being called A Star Is Born

  • This Page: The Problem With A Star Is Born’s Ending
  • Page 2: A Star Is Born’s Ending Has Always Been Bad
  • Page 3: Why Bradley Cooper Couldn’t Fix A Star Is Born

What Happens In A Star Is Born’s Ending

We’ll stick with Cooper’s take for now before going deeper into the past. A Star Is Born‘s third act is kicked off by Ally winning the Grammy for Best New Artist – a major step for her career, undercut entirely by Jack drunkenly taking to the stage with her and relieving himself on live TV. He goes into rehab and she wrestles with where her focus should lie, eventually deciding to try and protect her recovering husband. She cancels her European tour when her agent, Rez, blocks the duo playing together.

As a result, Jack kills himself. He’s confronted by a seething Rez who has no sympathies or expectations of sobriety and states outright Jack’s ruining his wife’s career. When she matter-of-fact states the tour cancellation, he sees the impact of his actions and, while she plays a concert, he hangs himself in their garage.

Related: Every Song On A Star Is Born’s Soundtrack

This breaks Ally at first, leaving her emotionally distraught, before her understanding the meaning of Jack’s sacrifice – to enable her to truly become the star he always saw – helps her pull through. The film ends at a tribute concert in Jack’s memory. “My name is Ally Maine.” she declares before singing “I’ll Never Love Again”, a song based on their relationship they wrote together while he was recovering. A flashback shows the pair singing, she looks through the camera at the audience, the end.

Why A Star Is Born’s Ending Is Bad

Removing the ending of all presentation and self-imposed importance (a character looking into the camera at the end is an overused trope that Cooper simply doesn’t earn), in just writing down the events of A Star Is Born its problems should be obvious.

Jack decides to kill himself to save his wife, committing suicide because it’s the only way to set her free. This comes about two hours into a film which has slowly built up its numerous interpersonal relationships, and so comes as a drastic and rather unearned turn. Now, there is an argument to be made about accuracy to the unpredictability of mental illness, but given the intimacy audiences had with both Jack and Ally up until this moment, that doesn’t fit with the rest of the film. A Star Is Born, plainly, presents suicide as the only way out. It’s meant to come across as a selfless act but still values success as a true route to happiness, meaning anything emotional about the “gesture” is laced with hypocrisy.

But it’s what comes after and Ally’s coming to terms with her loss that’s so disquieting. For all her innate talent being the drive of the story and her freely made decision to step back what motivated Jack to kill himself, the final scene makes everything about Jack; the mononymous singer for the first time takes on her husband’s surname at his concert, where she performs a song that he helped her write in her original singer style. The suggestion is meant to be that Jack was holding her back, but in the shadow of the previous two hours the strange implication is that the act of a true star being born came from the adversity of Jack’s sacrifice. Making Ally’s success symbiotic to her dead husband is already heavily in the text of the film, but the final scene makes her final ascension even more indebted to his drastic act.

It’s hard to not read A Star Is Born‘s ending as trivializing suicide down to a plot point to give the fundamentally broken male lead the defining role in its female protagonist’s arc. It’s a weird move to make in 2018, although don’t believe this is just the product of an 80-year-old movie being remade. There’s something flawed at the heart of A Star Is Born.

Page 2: A Star Is Born’s Ending Has Always Been Bad

The True Story Behind A Star Is Born’s Ending Explains The Problem

There have been four versions of A Star Is Born: the 1937 Hollywood-skewering original starring Janet Gaynor and Frederick March, the 1954 musical starring Judy Garland and James Mason, the 1976 shift to the music industry with Barbra Streisand and Kris Kristofferson, and the latest Cooper/Gaga release. Each one has its own quirks, but all endeavor to tell the same story of love and fame intertwined, and all have the same basic ending. But the 1937 version isn’t the start. While A Star Is Born‘s narrative is a fiction, it’s very much based on truth; each movie is rooted heavily in the entertainment industry of the time – Hollywood for the 1937 and 1954 versions, music for 1976 and 2018 – and aims to tell an encapsulating story. There are some real-life events that inspired it.

The established star falling for an unknown as she climbs to the top was seen in actors Barbara Stanwyck and Frank Fay’s relationship, with the pair marrying in 1928 when the former was an unknown after starring in a Broadway show together. Their marriage fell apart after she rose above him and he fell into alcoholism. They separated in 1935 after seven years of marriage, two years before A Star Is Born was released. This appears to have been composited with the death of silent film actor John Bowers, who died at sea in 1936 after failing to win a part (whether it was a suicide or not is unclear). There are others (as we’ll see) but these are regarded as the ones who powered the 1937 version.

Related: Lady Gaga Fans Are Trolling Venom With Fake Bad Reviews

Of course, there’s one key distinction between inspiration and movie: in real life, it was two unrelated stories. There are the famous lovers who piggyback success and the past-it star who takes his own life, but in all cases these two aspects are entirely independent; the woman goes on to greater success by cutting the man out, while elsewhere another man falls from grace. Both stories epitomize Hollywood together, and taken alongside each other rather than melded have an ingrained believability. A Star Is Born trades that for something more streamlined in having the suicide be the culmination of the romance, but it’s also idealistic and wistful, losing the real moral of either.

This is reflected in what is regarded as a proto-Star Is Born, the 1932 film What Price Hollywood? Released five years before the 1937 version and produced also by David O. Selznick (and directed by George Cukor, who was approached for the first A Star Is Born and directed the first remake), this is regarded as something of a dry run at the story. Obviously from the release year it can’t share the same real-life inspirations (although, because this is the Golden Age of Hollywood, there are others pointed to), but the core concept and even smaller story beats are there, albeit with one massive difference: the leads are not romantically involved. Lowell Sherman’s Max drunkenly finds Constance Bennett’s Mary and helps make her a star, eventually killing himself after he sees realizes how far he’s fallen and is hurting his friend, while Mary’s suffers an ill-fated marriage that breaks down due to her absences filming and is reconciled at the end.

Watched today, What Price Hollywood? has a cynicism about the film industry ahead of its time despite ultimately being a movie romanticizing Hollywood – and at the core of this is the tragic story of Max and its impact on Mary’s life. The title question is apt.

How The Remakes Have Tried To “Fix” The Ending

In contrast to What Price Hollywood?, A Star Is Born 1937 carries a self-awareness and charm, but in bridging the romantic and the career side of protagonist Esther creates the problematic suicide reading. It’s not helped by dated elements, including the defining part of Esther’s ascension being the actress known as Vicki Lester taking on her husband’s name with a declaration “This is Mrs. Norman Maine“. It works given the time period, but even 16 years later needed an update.

Related: Watch the Trailer For A Star Is Born

The 1954 version is, for the most part, a beat-for-beat remake, just with dance number expansion to make it a musical, but it does make some strides to justifying the ending. The toll that caring for a drunk has on Judy Garland’s Vicki Lester is shown gradually, most upsettingly in an off-stage breakdown she immediately returns to filming from: an unavoidable presentation of the line between art and performer. But, ultimately, it ends in the same way: Norman Maine overhears Vicki’s plans to quit acting to care for her husband, so he feigns going for a swim and drowns himself; after a traumatic period and being unmasked at her funeral (the invasion of the press), Vicki returns to the public eye where she declares herself “Mrs. Norman Maine“. Every issue discussed is here.

The 1976’s A Star Is Born is overall incredibly melodramatic, nowhere less than its handling of the ending. What it should be praised for is its attempts at giving the female lead a greater sense of autonomy: throughout Streisand’s Esther makes decisions that power the narrative, not just being led along by Kristoffersen as those who came before her, but that’s lost thuddingly in the finale. After his meltdown, John Howard has imposed isolation – not rehab – and when returning home immediately sleeps with a reporter wanting an interview for Esther. The couple tries to power past this, but John figures he’s still broken and crashes his car at high speeds. Again, Esther is sad before taking his name (and singing at a tribute event).

Like we’ve already explored with A Star Is Born 2018, all versions have tried to provide their own contemporary spin on the tale to iron out its kinks, yet all wind up having to repeat the same suicide-anger-name triple-tap that doesn’t belong. A degree can be accounted to the changing times, but that ignores that the original trio of movies released over nearly 40 years, and that Cooper wasn’t able to address it either.

Page 3: Why Bradley Cooper Couldn’t Fix A Star Is Born

Why Bradley Cooper Can’t Fix A Star Is Born

Bradley Cooper certainly tries to bring a modern slant to the worn tale of A Star Is Born. He invests heavily in making Jack and Ally’s opposite trajectories operate independently – Jack is suffering from tinnitus before he’s heard a note of “La Vie En Rose”, while Ally’s SNL appearance is deemed to contradict his advice – while making the love story more immediate. It’s a bigger story, more personal and considerably more consummately paced.

But, like all the others, the ending hits a snag. And some of his decisions make it worse. The method of final descent is different, with the awards show upset and rehab undone not by Maine going off the rails again as in every other take, but rather by Ally’s agent calling his supposed bluff. It’s implied from the British Rez knowing when exactly Jackson first toured across the pond that he was once a fan, now disillusioned with his hero, making him a millennial scapegoat to any affronting reading.

Related: 2018 Fall Movie Preview: The 30 Films to See

This generational push and pull could have been what sent A Star Is Born to greatness. Sam Elliott’s speech about there only being twelve notes played over and over, with the majesty coming from how the artist uses them is a beautiful sentiment that sees Cooper self-justifying another remake and appears like a zen view on the entertainment business that birthed it. Except it isn’t, because this idea is also trying to explain the ending, claiming that the music industry is cyclical and that stars are born and then new stars are born later; Jack’s death is enabling that. What the film seems to miss is that for one state to ever enter another, a star must always die. Ally will fall too. The raw textual argument is that the failures are as eternal as the successes, raising the question of worth, yet the film provides no further exploration and presents it as somehow immediately uplifting.

And that’s the hump that A Star Is Born 2018, like its predecessors, can’t get over. The story thinks it’s a biting, self-aware take on itself, but it’s too close to the subject to see that it’s really just propagating a harsh cycle. This isn’t helped by the film being weighted by so much – the casting of Lady Gaga, his writer-director-producer-actor whammy, even Sam Elliott as the Sam Elliott-type – although those concerns are also the key explanation for what’s really going on.

A Star Is Born Only Exists Because Of Ego

Throughout this article, there’s been one question dangling unspoken. Why are there four versions of A Star Is Born anyway? It’s a story that is flawed and dated, on a topic which has been tackled in more films than any other. Yes, each movie got serious Oscar nominations and wins, but that alone isn’t enough to justify going back. The true answer is enlightening.

1954’s A Star Is Born was conceived as a bid to restart Judy Garland’s career after it stalled over the 1940s. 1976’s A Star Is Born was Barbra Streisand’s attempt (along with then-husband Jon Peters) to boost her standing in Hollywood. And 2018’s A Star Is Born is Bradley Cooper’s grand attempt to win the Oscar that he believes he deserves (his entire post-Hangover career is a carefully played game of chess with a Golden Baldie the King). There are studio concerns too (before Cooper, Warner Bros had been attempting to get a remake off the ground since the early 2010s, although as a Beyonce vehicle has the same career expansion goals), but those are the primary purposes of each version. A Star Is Born is a vanity project on repeat.

Related: A Star Is Born Is An Oscar Favorite – But Could An Infamous Producer Hurt Its Chances?

Now, vanity projects needn’t be bad, and indeed a lot of good comes from each of these attempts. Indeed, each was ultimately successful in both their primary and commercial goals: Garland’s career was rejuvenated; Streisand won her second Oscar; and Cooper’s currently the front-runner in multiple categories for next year’s Academy Awards.

But this aspect appears to be why each version of A Star Is Born struggles to understand the real meaning of its ending. Each powering force believes this movie will be what takes them being a Norman/Jack Maine to a new Esther/Ally while missing that it’s built into the story to be impossible. They believe so much in the two contradictory Hollywood legends wholesale, so don’t see that the story is almost warning against such a thing.

A Star Is Born Is No Longer Needed

In recent years, we’ve seen Hollywood’s reliable rotation of movies about itself take a genuinely incisive slant. 2015’s Best Picture Winner Birdman was an ostentatious exploration of ego that too ended with the protagonist committing suicide, but there it was with the wry critique that fame and adoration are fleeting and that such a bold act was the only way for the self-involved hero to reach the heights he dreamed of. Then there’s 2017’s almost-Best Picture Winner La La Land, which was a celebration of Hollywood-gone-by looking at love in a city of stars, eventually concluding that success required the sacrifice of the central relationship.

Together, these take on all the ideas that A Star Is Born is playing with and apply them in a more thoughtful way. The messages are more widely applicable and their endnotes have considerably less of the hypocrisy. Birdman and La La Land may find joy in the arts, but they also uncover the trials of creativity and fame, keeping the brutal truths in earshot while presenting from a position of success.

A Star Is Born 2018 is a good movie, an undeniable achievement for both Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga. But there is a flaw at the heart of the tale that just doesn’t ring true. Unless it’s made with a completely revisionist, ego-less eye, in twenty years we do not need another one.

More: Every Version Of A Star Is Born Ranked, From Garland To Gaga



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2018-10-06 01:10:52 – Alex Leadbeater