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Stranger Things: 5 Reasons Why Hopper Is Still Alive (& 5 He Definitely Isn’t)

In the climactic scenes of Stranger Things‘ third season finale, the unthinkable happened: everyone’s favorite Chief of Police, the grump with a heart of gold Jim Hopper, apparently met a totally heartbreaking end when he sacrificed himself to close the gate to the Upside Down – hopefully, for good this time. David Harbour has always been one of the most enigmatic actors in the series, and through his utterly winning performance, he has transformed Hopper into one of the most series’ valuable assets.

RELATED: Stranger Things: 6 Best (& 4 Worst) Friendships

It’s not at all a shock, then, that the internet has been running wild with theories about how Hopper could have potentially survived the catastrophic blast. Any possible answers to this shocking turn of events are certainly a long way off, given Netflix’s production schedule. We’ve gone ahead and rounded up some of the reasons that Hopper might be alive after all… but also some of the reasons that we might need to come to terms with the fact that he might actually be gone.

10 Alive: We never saw a body

It’s more or less become an unwritten rule in the world of television, especially for series with supernatural or science fiction elements: if the show doesn’t show a body, or someone meeting their end, it’s entirely likely that those characters will return in some for or another. Stranger Things was very deliberate in showing the Russian scientists near the gate in the secret lab quickly being turned into goo by the explosion.

But no such treatment was given to Hopper’s character. Before Joyce used the key to close the gate to the Upside Down, she closed her eyes for quite some time, potentially allowing Hopper time to slip away unnoticed. We have every right to believe, therefore, that he’s perfectly fine.

9 Not: David Harbour’s career is on the rise

Okay, fine, maybe Hellboy wasn’t exactly the success that some people were hoping it would be. But that doesn’t mean David Harbour’s career has cooled off in the slightest. Projects that are currently on his slate of upcoming work include the film Dhaka with Chris Hemsworth, and a little film you may have heard of called Black Widow. He’s also produced a mockumentary with Netflix, and has been routinely working in film and television both in recent years.

Harbour isn’t slowing down any time soon, and while his contract with Netflix does include the option for a fourth season, that doesn’t necessarily mean that he will be brought back for a potential Stranger Things 4.

8 Alive: His journey doesn’t feel like it’s over

From the very beginning of the series, Hopper has been one of Stranger Things‘ most compelling characters. When the show started, he was totally closed off to the world, full of self-loathing and alcohol and bitterness. Over time, however, he has softened up, forming meaningful friendships and adopting Eleven as his own daughter.

He has opened up about the trauma he’s endured, and asked for help in situations where he would never have done so before. When Stranger Things 3 ends, Hopper is about to make another big step forward in his emotional development, by going out on a date with Joyce. His arc, therefore, is nowhere near completed. In many ways, it’s only just getting started.

7 Not: The series made the finale epilogue seem pretty final

Before the mid-credits scene that’s been driving the internet wild with theorizing about what the truth is regarding Hopper’s status, the season three finale featured an epilogue scene that felt like a truly final ending to this chapter of the story. The Byers family – arguably the center of the whole series – have packed up and moved out of Hawkins, taking Eleven with them.

RELATED: Stranger Things: 10 Things From Season 3 That Even Superfans Were Shocked By

The group of friends is dismantling. Eleven’s powers are missing. Joyce and Eleven are both carrying Hopper’s legacy onward, bringing his things with them and paying tribute to him in their clothing styles. The finale even concludes with a moving montage of scenes set to the narration of Hopper’s own passionate emotion letter. So many things felt pretty final here. It’s hard to imagine some of them being a fake out.

6 Alive: “The American” theory

The mid-credits scene at the end of Stranger Things 3‘s finale episode has been the subject of much discussion since the season was released on July 4 – and for good reason. The scene, entirely in Russian, depicts Russian guards feeding a prisoner to the demogorgon they are keeping in captivity and monitoring.

While it’s shocking enough that the Russians have acquired a demogorgon of their own, one of the biggest shocks in the scene is a blink and miss it line of dialogue. Before they choose the prisoner to feed to the monster, one of the guards cautions the other, “No. Not the American.” Earlier in the season, Hopper had been ominously referred to as “the American” by other Russian characters. It’s pretty easy, therefore, to draw the logical conclusion from that.

5 Not: The situation was pretty impossible to escape

As we’ve already said, the show made no mistake of showing just what happened to anyone who was within range of the gate and the key’s blasts. Russian scientists were immediately turned into nothing but gory remains, so it’s hard to imagine how Hopper could have avoided the intensity of the heat and explosion.

Even if he’d somehow gotten down off the platform he was standing on, how can we assume that anywhere below the key was safe from the intense range of its destruction? It’s wishful thinking, in that regard, to think that he was able to get away just because he managed to climb down a ladder or a staircase, as some fans have suggested.

4 Alive: David Harbour basically confirmed it

We’ve already explored the details of “the American” theory that fans all over the internet are obsessing over and clinging to, when it comes to Hopper’s fate. But according to a recent post-season three interview with David Harbour himself, the theory might not even really be a theory: it might just be the simple truth.

In an interview with /Film, Harbour explicitly references the mid-credits scene as an answer to Hopper’s fate. As the interviewer, Chris Evangelista, reports, “I straight-up asked: is that Hopper behind the door? According to Harbour, that’s the most likely scenario. Throughout the season, the main Russian baddie refers to Hopper as ‘the American,’ and having another Russian refer to the mysterious prisoner in the same way was the big giveaway.”

3 Not: The series hasn’t had a real major loss yet

As with any series with horror elements, Stranger Things has featured plenty of characters being eaten or killed by monsters, but none of the losses so far – whether Benny Hammond, Barb Holland, Billy Hargrove, Alexei, or even poor old Bob Newby – could really count as a major loss for the series. These character deaths also served meaningful purposes for the series, but none of them have really changed the stakes of the show.

RELATED: Stranger Things: 10 Most Heartbreaking Moments, Ranked

Until now, that is. Hopper is the first true main character that the series has lost, and it’s almost impossible to envision what the show will look like without him. Hard as it may be to deal with, it’s also important to consider the fact that undoing this massive change might cheapen the stakes of the series on the whole.

2 Alive: The Duffer Brothers may have confirmed it, too

We don’t know much of anything about Stranger Things 4. Heck, at this point, we don’t even know for certain that Stranger Things 4 is happening, since Netflix has yet to officially announce a renewal. But the Duffer brothers have already started to make it clear that they have some ideas of what’s coming in terms of the scope of a potential fourth season – and there’s a big reveal embedded within it.

Matt Duffer has been quoted as saying, “I think the biggest thing that’s going to happen is it’s going to open up a little bit, not necessarily in terms of scale, in terms of special effects, but open up in terms of allowing portals into areas outside of Hawkins.” Reports are conflicting about whether that should say “portals” or “plotlines” – but in either case, it’s clear we’re heading out of Hawkins for a bit. And maybe, just maybe, on a rescue mission to Russia.

1 Not: He got to go out like a hero

In the grand scheme of things, Hopper really couldn’t have asked for a more fitting end to his journey, even if it came much too soon. As the Chief of Police in Hawkins, he’s devoted his life to protecting the community in the once boring little town. He’s also newly devoted himself to protecting his daughter, Eleven, and doing everything in his power to ensure her safety, even if it means overstepping.

At the end of the day, then, Hopper got to go out exactly in a way that he should: by protecting everyone he cares about, and those he loves, especially. So yes, maybe his death was a big shock, and maybe it happened far too early in the series’ run. But maybe this was the end of his journey all along.

NEXT: 10 Movie References You May Have Missed In Stranger Things Season 3


2019-07-13 11:07:54

Katerina Daley

Stranger Things: 5 Reasons Why Hopper Is Still Alive (& 5 He Definitely Isn’t)

In the climactic scenes of Stranger Things‘ third season finale, the unthinkable happened: everyone’s favorite Chief of Police, the grump with a heart of gold Jim Hopper, apparently met a totally heartbreaking end when he sacrificed himself to close the gate to the Upside Down – hopefully, for good this time. David Harbour has always been one of the most enigmatic actors in the series, and through his utterly winning performance, he has transformed Hopper into one of the most series’ valuable assets.

RELATED: Stranger Things: 6 Best (& 4 Worst) Friendships

It’s not at all a shock, then, that the internet has been running wild with theories about how Hopper could have potentially survived the catastrophic blast. Any possible answers to this shocking turn of events are certainly a long way off, given Netflix’s production schedule. We’ve gone ahead and rounded up some of the reasons that Hopper might be alive after all… but also some of the reasons that we might need to come to terms with the fact that he might actually be gone.

10 Alive: We never saw a body

It’s more or less become an unwritten rule in the world of television, especially for series with supernatural or science fiction elements: if the show doesn’t show a body, or someone meeting their end, it’s entirely likely that those characters will return in some for or another. Stranger Things was very deliberate in showing the Russian scientists near the gate in the secret lab quickly being turned into goo by the explosion.

But no such treatment was given to Hopper’s character. Before Joyce used the key to close the gate to the Upside Down, she closed her eyes for quite some time, potentially allowing Hopper time to slip away unnoticed. We have every right to believe, therefore, that he’s perfectly fine.

9 Not: David Harbour’s career is on the rise

Okay, fine, maybe Hellboy wasn’t exactly the success that some people were hoping it would be. But that doesn’t mean David Harbour’s career has cooled off in the slightest. Projects that are currently on his slate of upcoming work include the film Dhaka with Chris Hemsworth, and a little film you may have heard of called Black Widow. He’s also produced a mockumentary with Netflix, and has been routinely working in film and television both in recent years.

Harbour isn’t slowing down any time soon, and while his contract with Netflix does include the option for a fourth season, that doesn’t necessarily mean that he will be brought back for a potential Stranger Things 4.

8 Alive: His journey doesn’t feel like it’s over

From the very beginning of the series, Hopper has been one of Stranger Things‘ most compelling characters. When the show started, he was totally closed off to the world, full of self-loathing and alcohol and bitterness. Over time, however, he has softened up, forming meaningful friendships and adopting Eleven as his own daughter.

He has opened up about the trauma he’s endured, and asked for help in situations where he would never have done so before. When Stranger Things 3 ends, Hopper is about to make another big step forward in his emotional development, by going out on a date with Joyce. His arc, therefore, is nowhere near completed. In many ways, it’s only just getting started.

7 Not: The series made the finale epilogue seem pretty final

Before the mid-credits scene that’s been driving the internet wild with theorizing about what the truth is regarding Hopper’s status, the season three finale featured an epilogue scene that felt like a truly final ending to this chapter of the story. The Byers family – arguably the center of the whole series – have packed up and moved out of Hawkins, taking Eleven with them.

RELATED: Stranger Things: 10 Things From Season 3 That Even Superfans Were Shocked By

The group of friends is dismantling. Eleven’s powers are missing. Joyce and Eleven are both carrying Hopper’s legacy onward, bringing his things with them and paying tribute to him in their clothing styles. The finale even concludes with a moving montage of scenes set to the narration of Hopper’s own passionate emotion letter. So many things felt pretty final here. It’s hard to imagine some of them being a fake out.

6 Alive: “The American” theory

The mid-credits scene at the end of Stranger Things 3‘s finale episode has been the subject of much discussion since the season was released on July 4 – and for good reason. The scene, entirely in Russian, depicts Russian guards feeding a prisoner to the demogorgon they are keeping in captivity and monitoring.

While it’s shocking enough that the Russians have acquired a demogorgon of their own, one of the biggest shocks in the scene is a blink and miss it line of dialogue. Before they choose the prisoner to feed to the monster, one of the guards cautions the other, “No. Not the American.” Earlier in the season, Hopper had been ominously referred to as “the American” by other Russian characters. It’s pretty easy, therefore, to draw the logical conclusion from that.

5 Not: The situation was pretty impossible to escape

As we’ve already said, the show made no mistake of showing just what happened to anyone who was within range of the gate and the key’s blasts. Russian scientists were immediately turned into nothing but gory remains, so it’s hard to imagine how Hopper could have avoided the intensity of the heat and explosion.

Even if he’d somehow gotten down off the platform he was standing on, how can we assume that anywhere below the key was safe from the intense range of its destruction? It’s wishful thinking, in that regard, to think that he was able to get away just because he managed to climb down a ladder or a staircase, as some fans have suggested.

4 Alive: David Harbour basically confirmed it

We’ve already explored the details of “the American” theory that fans all over the internet are obsessing over and clinging to, when it comes to Hopper’s fate. But according to a recent post-season three interview with David Harbour himself, the theory might not even really be a theory: it might just be the simple truth.

In an interview with /Film, Harbour explicitly references the mid-credits scene as an answer to Hopper’s fate. As the interviewer, Chris Evangelista, reports, “I straight-up asked: is that Hopper behind the door? According to Harbour, that’s the most likely scenario. Throughout the season, the main Russian baddie refers to Hopper as ‘the American,’ and having another Russian refer to the mysterious prisoner in the same way was the big giveaway.”

3 Not: The series hasn’t had a real major loss yet

As with any series with horror elements, Stranger Things has featured plenty of characters being eaten or killed by monsters, but none of the losses so far – whether Benny Hammond, Barb Holland, Billy Hargrove, Alexei, or even poor old Bob Newby – could really count as a major loss for the series. These character deaths also served meaningful purposes for the series, but none of them have really changed the stakes of the show.

RELATED: Stranger Things: 10 Most Heartbreaking Moments, Ranked

Until now, that is. Hopper is the first true main character that the series has lost, and it’s almost impossible to envision what the show will look like without him. Hard as it may be to deal with, it’s also important to consider the fact that undoing this massive change might cheapen the stakes of the series on the whole.

2 Alive: The Duffer Brothers may have confirmed it, too

We don’t know much of anything about Stranger Things 4. Heck, at this point, we don’t even know for certain that Stranger Things 4 is happening, since Netflix has yet to officially announce a renewal. But the Duffer brothers have already started to make it clear that they have some ideas of what’s coming in terms of the scope of a potential fourth season – and there’s a big reveal embedded within it.

Matt Duffer has been quoted as saying, “I think the biggest thing that’s going to happen is it’s going to open up a little bit, not necessarily in terms of scale, in terms of special effects, but open up in terms of allowing portals into areas outside of Hawkins.” Reports are conflicting about whether that should say “portals” or “plotlines” – but in either case, it’s clear we’re heading out of Hawkins for a bit. And maybe, just maybe, on a rescue mission to Russia.

1 Not: He got to go out like a hero

In the grand scheme of things, Hopper really couldn’t have asked for a more fitting end to his journey, even if it came much too soon. As the Chief of Police in Hawkins, he’s devoted his life to protecting the community in the once boring little town. He’s also newly devoted himself to protecting his daughter, Eleven, and doing everything in his power to ensure her safety, even if it means overstepping.

At the end of the day, then, Hopper got to go out exactly in a way that he should: by protecting everyone he cares about, and those he loves, especially. So yes, maybe his death was a big shock, and maybe it happened far too early in the series’ run. But maybe this was the end of his journey all along.

NEXT: 10 Movie References You May Have Missed In Stranger Things Season 3


2019-07-13 11:07:54

Katerina Daley

5 Reasons Spider-Man Should Be The New Iron Man (& 5 Reasons He Shouldn’t)

Spider-Man: Far From Home is the epilogue to the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s ‘Infinity Saga.’ With the status quo restored at the cost of Iron Man’s life (and the Hulk’s arm,) it only makes sense that the last film in Phase Three centers around Tony Stark’s protege – Peter Parker.

RELATED: Far From Home: 10 Old Spider-Man Movie Actors We’d Love In The MCU

Now that Tony Stark and Natalia Romanoff are deceased, Steve Rogers is retired, and Bruce Banner is disabled, MCU fans are wondering who will carry on their stead? We know that Sam Wilson is the current Captain America, but who will become the new Iron Man? Most signs indicate that Peter Parker will eventually fill that role. We here at Screenrant can think of plenty of reasons why Spider-Man should fill Iron Man’s rocket-powered boots, and why he shouldn’t.

10 Peter’s More Humble Than Tony Was (Should)

We hesitate to use the term ‘pure of heart’ when describing Peter Parker, but it’s difficult not to. The kid is a sincere and down-to-earth hero who took it upon himself to become Spider-Man in the first place. Tony Stark, on the only hand, only became a hero after his run-in with the Ten Rings.

In his teens, Parker understood that “with great power, comes great responsibility.” That’s what Tony loved about Peter so much – this poor kid from Queens had more empathy for his fellow man than a billionaire playboy from Long Island did at the same age. Peter is an optimistic and hopeful hero, akin to Steve Rogers in many ways. If he were to become the new Iron Man, he could merge Cap’s humility with Iron Man’s intellect.

9 He’s Also Far Less Experienced (Shouldn’t)

One could also argue that Peter’s hope and optimism are byproducts of his naivete. As tough as Pete’s home life and backstory have been, he’s also yet to step into the adult world and face even more complex issues. Tony was a trailblazer in the MCU, figuring out almost everything as he went along as well. However, the stakes were much less intense when Stark first became a hero.

RELATED: 10 Iconic Marvel Villains That Could Be On The Way To The MCU

At the start of Iron Man’s career, the worst threat he had to face was Obadiah Stane. If Peter were to become the new Iron Man, he’d need to be more experienced than Tony at the start of his new career. There’s a real possibility that the ‘Iron Spider’ would have to face someone like MODOK, Baron Zemo, Dormammu, or Doctor Doom.

8 He’d Have Access To Extremely Advanced Tech (Should)

As we’ve seen in Spider-Man: Homecoming as well as Spider-Man: Far From Home, Peter’s already managed to save the day using a few of Stark’s inventions. Peter’s life would become 1 million times easier if he had access to all of Iron Man’s suits and tech. Villains like the Vulture, Scorpion, and Venom (should he come at Peter foul) wouldn’t stand a chance against the might of Stark Industries!

Peter could also use that tech to be an even better friendly neighborhood Spider-Man; he could use Stark’s resources to help build new structures for his fellow New Yorkers as well as make Queen’s much more eco-friendly. We imagine that Peter would only receive full access to Tony’s tech after meeting certain conditions, such as keeping a clean record and finishing Grad School.

7 All Of Stark’s Enemies Becomes Parker’s (Shouldn’t)

On the other hand, “heavy is the head that wears the crown.” If Peter became the new Iron Man, he’d inherit Tony’s enemies as well as his technology. We’re not just talking about Justin ‘Smooth Moves’ Hammer either; Peter would earn the ire of AIM and the real Mandarin – who’s an international terrorist!

RELATED: MCU: 10 Things That Almost Didn’t Get Cut (That Would Have Changed Everything)

The last thing that Tony, Pepper, or Happy would want is to see another good man die while trying to bear the burden of being Iron Man. It’s bad enough that Pete might have to battle Kraven the Hunter soon. The Wall Crawler can’t take on the Sinister Six as well as the remnants of Tony’s rogue’s gallery.

6 Tony Became Peter’s Surrogate Father (Should)

Of course, one could argue that Peter feels indebted to Tony and would willingly become the new Iron Man regardless of the potential threats that await him. From Pete’s perspective, Mr. Stark believed in him when few others even knew that he existed. Without a father figure in his life (after Ben Parker’s death,) Peter started looking up to Tony as the father he never had.

Others might want to become the new Iron Man because of the prestige and power that comes with the role. However, Peter would likely follow in Tony’s footsteps because he’d feel it’s his duty. Pete probably blames himself for Tony’s death, even though it’s not his fault. Maybe taking up his mentor’s mantle could give him a sense of closure.

5 Pete Would Need Pepper, Happy, and Morgan’s Blessings (Shouldn’t)

Peter isn’t the only person who’s close to Tony Stark, however. The Armored Avenger is survived by his wife, his best friend, and his daughter – all of which could have mixed feelings about anyone else taking up the Iron Man mantle.

From the looks of things, Pepper will likely continue to help people as Rescue. However, she’s a widowed mother now and needs to be there for Morgan. Mrs. Stark could resent the very concept of Iron Man, viewing it as a role that took her husband from her. Conversely, Pepper and Happy might intend to encourage Morgan to follow in her father’s footsteps when she comes of age. Either way, the Stark family may not want anyone else to become the new Iron Man while they’re still processing their grief.

4 Others Might Abuse Stark’s Resources (Should)

We should also consider the context of a person’s character when it is time to choose a new Iron Man; there won’t be any shortage of potential candidates who are smart, strong, and techno-savvy – more than Peter might be. But without strong morals and a genuine desire to do good, the role and power that comes with being Iron Man could be squandered at best and used to do evil at worst!

If we compare the Avengers to characters from Arthurian Legend, then Peter is the Sir Galahad of the team. His moral compass is firmly set in the right direction, and his intentions are some of the purest in the MCU. Mjolnir might not think that Peter’s worthy enough to inherit the powers of Thor, but we think he might be worthy of becoming the new Iron Man if he meets certain conditions in the future.

3 Being Iron Man Could Destroy Peter’s Life (Shouldn’t)

Conversely, becoming the new Iron Man might be too big of a responsibility for Peter to handle. By his admission, Tony became addicted to the role and couldn’t stop – periodically causing him and Pepper to separate. Tony also developed acute anxiety issues after the Battle of New York – cursing him with recurring panic attacks for many years.

A wise man said that “the road to Hell is paved in good intentions.” What if Peter becomes obsessed with the role and alienates Aunt May, Ned, MJ, and anyone else who cares about him? Tony created Ultron when his fears and anxieties got the better of him. We shudder to think about what brilliant man like Peter Parker might do if his psyche deteriorates.

2 Earth Will Need Someone Like Iron Man, Soon (Should)

For all of the pain and suffering that resulted from Tony’s time as Iron Man, one shouldn’t gloss over all the good he did. Tony’s arc reactor technology has the potential to revolutionize the world. Humans never showed that we were ready for such powerful technology during Tony’s lifetime, but we could reach that point during Peter’s.

RELATED: After Endgame: 5 Villains We Need In The MCU (& 5 We Hope Not To See)

You can also bet, as sure as the Sun rises, that Thanos isn’t the worst threat the MCU will see. Thanks to Disney’s acquisition of Fox, we’re bound to see Doctor Doom and Galactus in the MCU! And even if they don’t show up anytime soon, the Living Tribunal might want to know what happened to Infinity Stones. Who’s to say how he’ll react when he learns that we let a Mad Titan have his way with them. Suffice it to say that the MCU will need a hero of Tony Stark’s caliber. Peter might be the best candidate for becoming the new Iron Man because he’s already so similar to Tony in so many ways.

1 Spider-Man Needs To Establish Himself (Shouldn’t)

As beautiful and heartfelt as Peter Parker’s relationship with Tony Stark is, Spider-Man has to strike out and cement his legacy. Currently, Peter’s stories have centered around his relationship with Tony. Even his suits are products of Stark Industries – not creations designed using his intellect alone.

Perhaps the best reason that Peter shouldn’t become the new Iron Man is that he needs to further develop as the MCU’s first Spider-Man. Referencing Into The Spider-Verse, Peter B. Parker told Miles Morales during a pivotal scene “don’t do it like me. Do it like you.” If Tony could, he’d undoubtedly encourage his protege and surrogate son to do the same. Thanks to Robert Downey Jr. this generation already has a definitive Iron Man. Toby Maguire is the definitive Spider-Man of a bygone era. We don’t need a new Iron Man just right now – the MCU needs its definitive Spider-Man.

NEXT: 10 Questions About The MCU We Still Have After Spider-Man: Far From Home


2019-07-13 07:07:41

Caleb Bailey

Stranger Things: 5 Reasons Why Erica Is The Best Character (5 Reasons Why Robin Is)

Now that everyone has happily binged season three of Stranger Things, it’s safe to say that it was a pretty wild ride. It was great to watch the characters that fans have loved since the very beginning, from the adorable Dustin to the cute couple Jonathan and Nancy to the loveable Joyce. But there are two characters in the third season who definitely stand out from the rest, and one of them is brand new whereas the other has been given more screen time.

RELATED: Stranger Things: 6 Best (& 4 Worst) Friendships

Both Erica Sinclair (the younger sister of Lucas, played by Priah Ferguson) and Robin (Maya Hawke) have some strong scenes, perfect lines of dialogue, and generally bring a lot to the table for the third outing of this show. Here are five reasons why Erica is the best character on Stranger Things and five reasons that Robin is.

10 Erica: She Knows How To Get What She Wants

One reason that Erica is the best character on Stranger Things is that she knows how to get what she wants. Sure, Erica is a kid, so what she wants this summer is free samples at the new mall’s ice cream shop, Scoops Ahoy… and she wants a lot of them (and she wants them right now).

RELATED: Stranger Things: 10 Most Heartbreaking Moments, Ranked

Erica is totally determined, which makes her an amazing character. She even makes sure that she’s getting something out of it when Dustin and Steve ask her to sneak through the vents of the mall to help them out. She’ll only do that if she gets free ice cream for life. Of course, things get really scary, so maybe she kind of regrets that… but she knows her worth.

9 Robin: She’s Got A Chill Vibe

There is truly no character on this series who has a more chill vibe than Robin. She even manages to make her Scoops Ahoy uniform look like high fashion. She looks like she’s about to walk the runway, wearing a Parisian chic sailor-inspired outfit.

RELATED: Stranger Things: 10 Best Episodes, Ranked

Robin has a really great vibe, and even when she and Steve have clearly been drugged by the Russians when they end up underneath the Starcourt Mall, she’s still trying to have a good time. She’s the kind of girl that everyone wants to be pals with.

8 Erica: “You Can’t Spell America Without Erica”

Let’s just take a moment to appreciate this line of dialogue. When Erica says, “You can’t spell America without Erica” it’s truly incredible. There are many great quotes on Stranger Things, but it’s safe to say that this one stands out.

After all, she’s right. No one can argue with this. It’s yet another example of how tough and strong Erica is and of how much self-confidence she has. This scene deserves to be watched again and again because it’s so solid.

7 Robin: She’s Her Own Person

Of all the things that Stranger Things fans could say about Robin, the fact is that she’s her own person. She’s not concerned by what people think about her and she’s just trying to do her job at the ice cream shop as best she can.

This is definitely a testament to Maya Hawke’s amazing performance. She was the perfect choice for this character as she makes Robin someone who fans root for, and she manages to fit in with Erica, Dustin, and Steve when they’re all working on their mission together, but she’s still doing her own thing.

6 Erica: She’s Brave

Not many children would rise to the occassion when asked to sneak through the vents of a mall in order to find a secret Russian hideaway. That’s definitely a pretty scary and disturbing thing to even comprehend.

RELATED: Stranger Things: 10 Other Shows You Didn’t Know The Cast Members Were In

Of course, Erica is the kind of person who isn’t afraid of anything, and she doesn’t mind doing this at all (of course, because she’s going to get free ice cream out of the deal). Another reason why Erica is the best character on Stranger Things is because she’s so brave. She’s truly an inspiring girl.

5 Robin: She’s Not Popular And Couldn’t Care Less

When Robin and Steve are captured by the Russians, they end up spending some time together… although they would definitely rather be literally anywhere else.

RELATED: Stranger Things: 5 Questions After Season 3, Episode 7

We learn that Robin is in the school band and that she used to look at Steve a lot in the class that they took together (but he had no idea who she was at all). That’s because Steve was looking at another girl, who Robin had a crush on. During this scene, we learn that Robin’s not a popular girl, and that she couldn’t care less. This is in sharp contrast to a character like Nancy, who is very sweet but who cares a lot about her reputation and what other people think and say about her.

4 Erica: She’s A Nerd (But Maintains That She’s Not)

One of the best scenes in the third season of Stranger Things is when Erica and Dustin have a moment when he realizes that she’s a nerd, just like him, Lucas, and their adorable group of friends. Since she knows so much about My Little Pony, he says that totally makes her a dork.

Erica is the best character on this Netflix series because she’s absolutely a nerd, but she maintains that she’s not. Her complete and utter denial is hilarious and fun to watch, and just one of the reasons why she’s so quirky and unique.

3 Robin: She Tells It Like It Is (And She’s Hilarious)

At the beginning of the third season, when it becomes clear to Robin that tons of kids keep coming into Scoops Ahoy to talk to Steve, she asks him, “How many children are you friends with?”

Robin always tells it like it is and she’s also hilarious, so she’s a great addition to the series. It’s hard to believe that she wasn’t a part of the group before, but we’re very grateful and thankful that she’s on it now.

2 Erica: She Stands Up To Murray

Another point for Erica: when she tells Murray Bauman (Brett Gelman) “I’m ten, you bald bastard” it’s truly epic.

RELATED: Stranger Things: 10 Times Steve And Dustin Were BFF Goals

Again, Erica proves that she’s not scared of anyone or anything, and since the situation that the gang finds themselves in is super terrifying, that’s impressive. Would you want to be stuck underneath a mall… or escape only to find a massive creature following you? Definitely not… but she takes it all in her stride.

1 Robin: She’s A Good Influence For Steve

Steve is a fairly typical teenage boy as he’s got a great heart but needs a bit of help sometimes. His friendship with Dustin is so moving to watch since Dustin has taught him to care about someone other than himself and become more compassionate.

The final reason why Robin is the best character on Stranger Things is the fact that she’s a good influence for Steve. They have a real connection and because they went through something together that was straight out of a horror movie, they’re able to remain friends. At the end of the season three finale, she even tries to help him get a job at the town’s video store, even though the guy behind the counter isn’t exactly impressed. Robin’s a solid character and we can’t wait to see what she gets up to in season four.

NEXT: Stranger Things: 10 Things From Season 3 That Even Superfans Were Shocked By


2019-07-12 03:07:11

Aya Tsintziras

10 Reasons Guardians Of The Galaxy Is The MCU’s Best Solo Franchise

When Guardians of the Galaxy was first released back in 2014, it wasn’t expected to do very well at the box office. It was the first movie in the MCU not to be based on a well-known comic book property and it had a talking raccoon, a talking tree, and a quirky sense of humor. However, pundits were surprised when the movie resonated with a huge audience. And the 2017 sequel was even bigger.

RELATED: Guardians Of The Galaxy: 10 Fan Theories About Where Gamora Is

There are a few MCU characters with solo franchises, but it’s arguably the Guardians that have the strongest one. So, here are 10 Reasons Guardians Of The Galaxy Is The MCU’s Best Solo Franchise.

10 There are no weak links (yet)

The Guardians franchise has yet to include a bad movie. Every other MCU solo franchise has at least one installment that isn’t up to snuff, either failing to reach the standard set by the franchise or simply being considered a tad “meh.”

The first Captain America movie doesn’t reach the heights that the Russo brothers’ later installments would, while Iron Man 3 and Thor: The Dark World are, at best, divisive among fans. Now, granted, there have only been two Guardians movies where most of the MCU’s solo franchises are trilogies, but as it stands, the Guardians solo franchise is the only one where every installment is an all-time MCU great.

9 Relatable characters

It’s hard to make superheroes relatable, because they’re “super” by nature, but Guardians of the Galaxy does it. Peter Quill is perhaps the most ordinary character in the MCU. He doesn’t have discernible superpowers, he was raised by a single mother in Missouri, and he’s not even shown to be a particularly good outlaw.

RELATED: The 10 Most Relatable Characters In The MCU, Ranked

But that just serves to make him relatable. And this goes for the rest of the characters in the Guardians movies. Anyone with a sister can relate to Gamora’s rivalry with Nebula, while people dealing with personal loss can identify with Drax. Rocket pretends not to care, because he has the biggest heart of all, and we can all relate to that.

8 Rewatchable origin story

Origin stories, by their very nature, don’t make very rewatchable movies. They’re interesting the first time, but after that, you just want to see your favorite heroes in action. Batman Begins spends an hour explaining how Bruce Wayne became Batman, whereas The Dark Knight has no such burden and can just dive right into the superhero action.

However, the first Guardians of the Galaxy movie – which doesn’t give us the origin stories of each individual team member, but does give us the origin story of the team itself – is one of the most rewatchable movies in the whole MCU. This is partly because it’s so wildly entertaining, but also partly due to its streamlined plotting. It wastes no time setting up the characters, getting them in prison together, establishing why they need each other and how they end up working together, and sending them off on their first adventure.

7 A recognizable theme tune

One of the most common criticisms of the MCU is that there aren’t any instantly recognizable musical pieces like there are in franchises like Star Wars and Back to the Future. However, there are some memorable ones. The five-note Avengers motif is suitably breathtaking and Michael Giacchino’s retooling of the classic Spider-Man theme is delightful.

But Guardians of the Galaxy is the only solo franchise in the MCU with its own unmistakable theme tune, composed by Tyler Bates. And this is particularly impressive, since the Guardians movies’ soundtracks are famous for their use of ‘70s pop music as opposed to a traditional orchestral score.

6 It actually has its own genre

Kevin Feige says that every movie in the MCU fits into a different genre: Captain America: The Winter Soldier is a ‘70s-style political thriller, Ant-Man is a heist movie, Captain Marvel is a ‘90s-style action movie etc. But on the whole, they all fit into the same category of superhero cinema.

The Guardians of the Galaxy movies are the only ones that actually feel like they fit into a different genre. They’re spacefaring sci-fi stories, with a hint of comedy. Part of what makes the Guardians of the Galaxy movies the best MCU solo franchise is that they stick out from the rest of the MCU. They could literally exist as an entirely separate franchise and stand on their own.

5 Memorable villains

The MCU is often criticized for having a “villain problem,” but this doesn’t apply to the Guardians of the Galaxy movies. A great villain is one with a unique connection to the hero – e.g. Doc Ock is Spidey’s mentor, the Winter Soldier is Cap’s brainwashed best friend etc. – and both of the Guardians of the Galaxy films have that.

In the first one, the Guardians are pursued by Gamora’s sister Nebula and her father’s loyal servant Ronan the Accuser. In the second one, although the twist could be seen a mile off, Quill’s biological father Ego turned out to be a genocidal psycho.

4 Iconic soundtracks

The Guardians of the Galaxy movies weren’t the first MCU installments to toy around with a soundtrack of diegetic (a fancy word for music that can be heard by the characters and not just the audience), licensed music. Iron Man had been blasting the sounds of AC/DC from his armor for years before Peter Quill and his Walkman came along.

But there’s no arguing that the Guardians movies have the best soundtracks. Quill’s “Awesome Mix” tapes are an emotional part of the story, since his mother gave him one of them before the died and the other as a posthumous gift, and all of the songs featured on them are classics: David Bowie, Fleetwood Mac, Cat Stevens, the Jackson 5, George Harrison, Sam Cooke, and many, many more.

3 Well-developed character arcs

The MCU’s success lives and dies with its characters’ arcs, and the character arcs in the Guardians of the Galaxy movies are beautifully drawn. The first movie saw Peter Quill move on from his mother’s death, then the second one saw him meet his biological father and realize Yondu was a loving dad all along.

RELATED: Every Guardians Of The Galaxy MCU Character Arc, Ranked

Gamora has been trying to leave her past as a Thanos-worshipping killer behind; Rocket has learned that it’s okay to let your guard down and care about people; Drax has found a new family to make life without his own bearable. These characters and their arcs are very clear-cut and well-developed.

2 Actors with chemistry

Whoever is in charge of casting for the MCU is doing a damn fine job. There isn’t a single actor in a major role in the MCU who isn’t perfectly suited to that role. But the casting of Guardians of the Galaxy goes one step further. Not only are all the actors the ideal choices for their characters, they also have impeccable chemistry with one another.

Chris Pratt and Zoe Saldana have built a real, honest relationship in these movies, and even the actors who give vocal performances as CGI characters, like Bradley Cooper and Vin Diesel, share on-screen chemistry.

1 The perfect balance of heart and humor

All of the MCU’s movies have a healthy balance of heart (moments that hit you right in the feels) and humor (moments that tickle your ribs). It is this balance that has arguably made the franchise the phenomenal success that it is, because it has universal appeal. But arguably, no MCU installments have struck that balance quite as perfectly as the Guardians of the Galaxy movies.

Usually, an MCU movie will veer more one way than the other; the Captain America movies make us feel more than they make us laugh, while the Ant-Man movies make us laugh more than they make us feel. But the Guardians movies have both in equal – and equally effective – measure.

NEXT: 10 Star-Lord Quotes That Prove He’s All Of Us


2019-07-10 05:07:31

Ben Sherlock

5 Reasons Why Transformers Needs A Reboot (5 Reasons It Doesn’t)

In 2007, Transformers made their leap from TV to the big screen and it’s been something of a cultural behemoth ever since. Despite lasting this long, there have been a few hiccups along the way. Transformers: The Last Knight severely underperformed previous expectations.

With this blockbuster failure, Paramount took a different approach to the spinoff/prequel Bumblebee. Slashing the budget and pushing release to Christmas of 2018, Bumblebee shifted gears from a major tentpole film to something vastly different. Instead, we have a character-driven story rooted in friendship and mutual healing.

Paramount has since announced that Bumblebee would set a soft reboot in motion. But what would really be better: going full-throttle on a reboot or keeping the old timeline?

Here’s 5 reasons why the Transformers movies should be rebooted and 5 reasons why they shouldn’t.

RELATED: Bumblebee Sequel Will Have More of Michael Bay’s Transformers Action

10 NO REBOOT – Superhero Alternative

Transformers is focused way less on the concept of heroes and villains than many big action films. Intentional or not, Bay’s Optimus comes off as angry and violence-prone. Granted, he’s been through a lot given the fact he died, was forced to destroy Cybertron in order to save some very ungrateful humans, then those ungrateful humans started hunting down all Transformers, and then got brainwashed by Quintessa.

So in some roundabout way, we could make the argument that Transformers, as it is now, has blurred morality lines and makes us question the integrity of the Autobots to a degree. The main struggle starts shifting to Cybertronians vs Humans with Autobots vs Decepticons as an underlying theme.

9 REBOOT – Streamlined Designs

The Bayhem extends beyond the nonstop explosions and incoherent fight scenes. The Transformers’ designs suffered as well. The Bay designs can be really hard to look at and are difficult for the eye to track. More moving parts isn’t necessarily a good thing and as a result, the bots end up looking really muddled. Bumblebee’s designs take a step back, embrace the ’80s boxy-ness, and give us that visual coherency we were lacking.

For the most part, the bots really didn’t look out of place in the live action bits. They’re just complicated enough in design for our brains to understand that Bee’s chest is the hood of the VW Beetle. It was also just a treat to see Bee’s model change with his four vehicle modes: Cybertronian, the Jeep, the VW Beetle, and the Camaro.

8 NO REBOOT – The 2015 Writers’ Room

During pre-production for The Last Knight, Paramount announced a massive writers’ room effort to better coordinate later installments of the series. Led by Akiva Goldsman, Paramount established a room of 12 writers to help shape the future of the franchise. It gave a lot of us hope about The Last Knight actually being about Transformers.

RELATED: Christina Hodson Interview: Bumblebee Blu-Ray

We still didn’t get that… but the work of that writers’ room hasn’t been erased. While Transformers 6 is being tossed around (don’t trust Lorenzo), what about the rest of that work? How tied is it to the current movie canon? We have questions we want possible answers to! The effort was already put in, so don’t toss it.

7 REBOOT – Transformers IN A Transformers Movie

Bay movies are notorious for having such little screen time devoted to Transformers. In The Last Knight, Bumblebee got a collective 10 minutes out of 148 minutes. Bumblebee. What even? And that’s not even considering that Optimus Freaking Prime maybe had about 5 minutes.

No, we came here to watch Transformers. Let us have Transformers.

We also get very clear fight scenes that have an overall purpose. Bumblebee definitely saves itself for that final battle of Bee and Charlie vs Shatter and Dropkick. But the way Bumblebee fights is perfect. As a smaller opponent, he constantly goes low, tries to get underfoot, did not skip leg day, and uses his environment to his advantage. Staging makes sense, characters are easy to track, and it doesn’t feel bloated with action. By the time we hit the marina fight, we’re super hype to see it.

6 NO REBOOT – Too Much Lore To Explore

Is it too much to ask for some sensible retconning? Why yes, yes it is.

All things considered, The Last Knight shouldn’t have shocked us that much. Since at least Revenge of the Fallen, Transformers have influenced Earth’s development for at least a few thousand years. Later movies play around with this to the point of retconning themselves, but at least it’s a concept being well-explored.

RELATED: Transformers Producer Says The Last Knight Sequel is Being Developed

And now we have Unicron. For anyone who doesn’t know, Unicron is the Biggest of Bads in the Transformers universe. Cybertron and any being’s continued existence are constantly threatened by Unicron’s ability to consume anything and everything in his path. More recently, he’s been designated as the “Chaos Bringer,” generally being associated with mass destruction and planet-wide panic.

So that sounds cool, but we haven’t even touched Quintessa yet. There’s a lot here and while we don’t have time to unpack all of that, we hope the movies have time to do it for us.

5 REBOOT – Losing Hypermasculinity

There’s no question that Transformers movies are teeming with testosterone. Look, there’s no shame in wanting to watch giant robots punch giant dinosaur robots. But yikes, there are some super cringe-worthy moments in the movies. Probably the most infamous examples are Bumblebee peeing on John Turturro (we’re sorry) and the five-minute explanation of incorrect Texas consent laws in Age of Extinction (we’re really, REALLY sorry).

Bumblebee turns it all upside-down. In no way is Charlie (Hailee Steinfeld) shown or written the same way as really any other woman in the movie franchise. She’s just a person getting through a tough time, finding solace and comfort through someone else. And the whole relationship with Memo doesn’t get pushed at all and becomes a friendship you want to see grow. Charlie isn’t shamed for brushing off Memo’s interest and Memo’s totally cool with taking things slow.

4 NO REBOOT – The Overseas Market

Given Marvel’s success with more progressive storytelling and representation with the success of Black Panther and Captain Marvel, overseas marketing is becoming a bit muddled. But for the most part, the Transformers franchise relies heavily on success in China.

Maybe it’s not as much of a concern given how well Bumblebee did overseas, but there’s a big difference between $1.3 billion worldwide and $465 million. The Last Knight also managed to rake in more than Bumblebee and wasn’t really a loss to the studio, so if it ain’t broke, why fix it?

3 REBOOT – Give Us Cybertron

Enough said.

In all seriousness, even fans who didn’t enjoy Bumblebee got some joy out of seeing five minutes on Cybertron. The only real exploration of Cybertron, of its architecture and culture that we get, is through the IDW comic line, and that just rebooted. Transformers Cyberverse makes a huge effort to show us a pre-war Cybertron through the use of flashbacks, but no other television series has really done this.

RELATED: Animated Transformers Movie to Explore the History of Cybertron

But even with how bleak the planet looked in Bumblebee, what we did see was beautiful and exactly what you’d expect out of an all-metal planet. So much of the audience responded well to that one scene and now, a film fully set on Cybertron is in the works. Yes, please!

2 NO REBOOT – Mass Appeal Factor

There’s no denying that there’s some sort of viscerally satisfying about watching a giant robot fight without thinking too hard about it. Let’s be real, these movies are fun for fans to switch off their brain and suspend that disbelief. Really, if you’re questioning the logistics of gravity but are totally cool with the whole vehicle mode scanning thing, then it’s not the right movie for you to begin with.

The mass appeal helped turn Transformers into the multi-billion franchise it is today. The 2007 movie made it a mainstream thing rather than that nerdy show from the ’80s. And because of the first live action movie, it spawned not only a renewed interest in a stagnant toyline, but gave rise to Transformers Prime and High Moon Studio’s War for Cybertron and Fall of Cybertron video games. Like, Fall of Cybertron was the Most Anticipated Game of 2012. That’s a big deal.

1 REBOOT – Made By Fans

During the lead up to the film’s release, Knight wrote a letter to the fans about his approach to Bumblebee. This letter was first included in the promotional Bumblebee Boom Box, containing different classes and quality of the movie toys. It was later made public. He explained how he’d grown up with the ’80s show, played with the toys and continued the never-ending battle of good vs. evil. More importantly, he showed that he understood that the robots are characters, that they feel and have motives, that they have heart. So he put that heart into the movie.

Now, we’re at a point where Hasbro is employing these longtime fans to create official works and we hope the trend continues. With the acclaim of the first IDW comics universe and continued success of the show holding the foundation, getting the right fans in the right projects seems like a good way to go.

NEXT: 8 Things Bumblebee Did Better Than Other Transformers Movies (& 2 The Others Did Better)


2019-04-19 09:04:30

Maddy Cohen

Santa Clarita Diet: 10 Reasons Sheila & Joel Are The Perfect Couple

Santa Clarita Diet is not your typical family sitcom, and Joel and Sheila Hammond are not your typical married couple. While they deal with the kind of mundane things as annoying neighbors and rebellious teenager kids, they also need to deal with the fact that Sheila has turned into a flesh-eating zombie.

RELATED: What To Expect From Santa Clarita Diet Season 4

Even with the unusual developments in their life, Joel and Sheila always seem to have an otherwise perfect marriage. A less loving couple might let a thing like being undead damage their relationship, but for Joel and Sheila, it has only made their bond stronger. Find out why Santa Clarita Diet’s Joel and Sheila Hammond are the perfect married couple.

10 Work Together

One of the most difficult things a couple can do is work together. To go through all the stress, disagreements and problems associated of work with a person and then have to come home and live with that person can be very uncomfortable. Not only do Joel and Sheila work together, they are partners.

Neither of them is completely passionate about the realtor business but they bring out the best in one another as professionals. They also seem to really love working together which must make the job that much more satisfying.

9 Supportive Lifestyle Changes

Sometimes a significant other might go through a change in lifestyle. This could mean they want to take up a new hobby. It might be they want to make a career change. In Sheila’s case she died, came back to life and now craves human flesh.

RELATED: 10 Best Joel Hammond Quotes From Santa Clarita Diet

Joel certainly has a hard time dealing with these changes at times but he is never hesitant to support her new diet. Once he came to terms with their new reality, he did his best to make it work. To see him so quickly come to terms with finding victims for Sheila to eat is truly heartwarming.

8 Co-parenting

While Joel and Sheila occupy their time with work and murder, their daughter Abby is always their top priority. It’s never easy raising a teenager but it seems especially hard when that teenager knows their parents murder and eat people. It’s very hard to get the moral high ground after that.

While Abby might sometimes seem more of an adult than her parents, they manage to provide her with a relatively normal home life by always being attentive and loving no matter what other insanity they’re dealing with.

7 Interested In Each Other’s Passions

People assume having a lot in common with a significant other helps make a good couple, but that’s not necessarily true. Two people can share a perfectly harmonious life together while having very different areas of interest. What matters is that they take the time to learn about and take an interest in each other’s passions.

In the case of Sheila and Joel, they each try hard to help the other pursue what they love. Joel often goes above and beyond to learn as much as he can about Sheila’s undead way of life. Sheila is just as caring, making sure that, even among the craziness of their new life, Joel has time to go out to dinners, explore his love of fine woodworking and indulge in the occasional recreational pot-smoking.

6 Not Concerned With Gender Roles

There was a time when a marriage was defined by very specific gender roles. Men were meant to be the breadwinners of the household while women maintained the home life. Luckily, times have changed, yet some people still struggle with those confined roles society has created.

RELATED: MBTI® Of Santa Clarita Diet Characters

This is clearly not a problem for the Hammonds. Not only do they share an equal responsibility with the family income, but they take more progressive approaches to their extra-curricular activities. Sheila, being undead, has become stronger, braver and unkillable, making her the obvious choice to do all the muscle work. Joel accepts his more passive role and finds other ways to help out.

5 Resolve Disagreements Amicably

Every couple has their disagreements, that’s quite normal. The occasional fight doesn’t mean you’re not a great couple so long as you handle these moments respectfully and effectively. The Hammonds have an extremely stressful life, so it stands to reason tempers will flare at times.

While some cursing and heated language is common, before long, they both cool down and try to see things from the other’s perspective. They apologize when appropriate and acknowledge each other’s feelings. They both understand that just because they are disemboweling people doesn’t mean that can’t be polite to one another.

4 Provide Emotional Support

One of the benefits to having a great partner in life is always having a shoulder to cry on. That also means taking on the responsibility of providing that support to your partner as well. Joel and Sheila understand the importance of this and, perhaps more than any other couple, they really need each other to lean on.

With the constant threat of being found out by the authorities, being killed by zombie hunters or being captured by mad scientists, they both have a lot to deal with. In order to make it through the day, they seem to each take turns holding the other one up and reassuring them that they’ll survive this madness.

3 Deal With Problems Together

Imagine having to deal with becoming an undead man-eater all by yourself. It would be a lonely time struggling with this new identity. Luckily for Sheila, she knows that Joel will be there for her no matter what. Even though the thought of killing and eating someone didn’t sit well with Joel, he was not going to let his wife take this on alone.

RELATED: 10 Zombie Stereotypes Santa Clarita Diet Destroys

Likewise, when Joel finds himself in trouble, Sheila is first through the door to help him out. Their tactics might not always be flawless and their execution is rarely smooth, but at least they’re making all their mistakes together.

2 Healthy Sex Life

Not to be vulgar, but sex can be a very important part of a relationship. Sure, there are other ways to express love to one another, but maintaining a healthy sex life can really help keep that passion alive, especially in those long relationships. And if you think one half of a couple turning into a zombie would hurt the Hammonds’ sex life, you’d be very wrong.

With all inhibitions dying away along with the rest of her, Sheila became very… exuberant. Even in the midst of all the carnage, they still manage to keep that aspect of their relationship alive.

1 No Judgment 

A marriage should be a safe place for both parties. Feeling ashamed or self-conscious is for the rest of the world, but with your partner, you should feel totally free to be yourself. There are some that might pass judgement on the fact that someone is undead, but Joel does his best to make his wife feel that she is as normal as everyone else.

Sheila also tries to let Joel be his true self around her. Sometimes that means getting high and sometimes it just means he can let out all of his anxieties around her. Whatever the case, there home is a shame-free zone.

NEXT: Every Pet On The Simpsons, Ranked


2019-04-19 07:04:33

Colin McCormick

Outlander: 5 Reasons Why Claire Should Be With Jamie (& 5 Reasons Why Frank Is A Better Choice)

Outlander first debuted in 2014, and ever since then, fans haven’t been able to get enough of the historical time travel show, based on the books by Diana Gabaldon of the same name. Perhaps the most appealing part of the show is the heart-wrenching love triangle. The story follows Claire, a former WWII nurse, as she mysteriously finds herself 200 years in the past.

Before travelling to the past, Claire had already gotten married to Frank Randall, a handsome army veteran and historian. After being separated for five years because of the war, the newly reunited couple go to Inverness, Scotland for a vacation. It’s there that Claire is then transported back in time. During her adventures in the past, Claire unexpectedly falls for someone else: Jamie, a tall and dashing Highlander. Due to unforeseen circumstances, the two ended up having to get married, but it doesn’t take them long before they fall in love.

Granted, fans of the show already know who Claire ends up with (and if you don’t, then stop reading because this article has spoilers!). But the hard part about this love triangle is that both Frank and Jamie make excellent partners for Claire. It’s painstakingly clear just how much both of them love her, which is why many fans are divided over who they think is her best match. Keep reading to discover five reasons Claire belongs with Jamie and five reasons why she belongs with Frank.

10 Jamie: He Married Claire To Save Her Life

Given that it happened all the way back in season one, many fans might forget the real reason Jamie and Claire got married in the first place.

Captain Randall had told the Highlanders they had to deliver Claire to British troops since she was a British citizen. But Dougal knew Randall’s reputation and that Claire would be in danger in his hands, which is how he came up with the bright idea for her to marry one of them (they wouldn’t have to turn her over if she was a Scot).

Dougal then explains to Jamie what must be done, and being the heroic character he is, Jamie doesn’t bat an eyelash before saying ‘yes.’ Claire later thinks her lack-of virginity might be a deal breaker. But Jamie kept fans swooning by telling her he couldn’t care less.

9 Frank: Believed Claire When She Said She Time Travelled

Fans weren’t sure how things were going to play out between Frank and Claire come the beginning of season three. The previous season, Claire had time travelled back to the future after her life was put at risk in the past. But she wasn’t sure if she’d have a husband to come back to or if he’d believe her incredible story.

The fact that Frank not only listened to Claire’s entire tale but subsequently believed her shows just how much he loved her. He trusted her enough to believe that time travel was possible, despite having no proof other than his estranged wife’s word. He was also surprisingly okay with the fact that Claire had married someone else while she was away.

Alright, “okay” might not be the right word. But the fact that Frank wanted to pick up where they left off despite everything that had changed was a testament to how deep his feelings really ran for Claire.

RELATED: Outlander: 24 Crazy Things Only Super Fans Knew About Black Jack Randall

8 Jamie: He Didn’t Care About Claire’s Infertility

Having kids is a big deal now. But it was an even bigger deal in the 1800s when having a son was even more important to produce an heir to carry on the family name. Claire thought she was infertile after years of trying with Frank to start a family but with no success.

Our hearts broke for her when she told Jamie her secret during an emotional scene. However, it was Jamie’s reaction that was the most memorable. Rather than getting upset or feeling bad, he told Claire that it was fine and all that he ever could want was her.

The audience could tell by Jamie’s face that he was disappointed. But the fact that he went out of his way to comfort and reassure Claire was testament to just how much he loved her.

7 Frank: Raised Claire’s Daughter As His Own

via mashable

If you didn’t think Frank believing Claire’s time travel story was proof of his love for her, then this certainly is.

Along with admitting she’d married Jamie while in the past, Claire also told Frank that she was pregnant with his child. This would’ve been even more difficult for Frank to accept given that he and Claire had tried to have their own child but with no success.

Still, despite what a shocker this must’ve been for Frank, he didn’t take him long to decide that he wanted to raise the child with Claire as his own. Frank stayed true to his word, and the couple raised Brianna as their own child. It was clear just how much Frank loved Brianna, despite her not being biologically his, and that was only possible because of how much he loved her mother and wanted a family with her.

6 Jamie: Gave Himself To Randall To Protect Claire

Our skin still crawls when thinking of the things Black Jack Randall did to Jamie when he had him locked up in season one finale. For a time, it appeared Claire and her friends were on the path to save Jamie. During one scene, Claire finds Jamie in his cell and is about to unlock him just as Randall walks into the room.

Despite having already been tortured by Randall, Jamie agreed to give himself fully to the Captain in return for the safe release of his wife. Randall stayed true to his word and released a defiant Claire before coming back to the cell and having his way with Jamie.

Season two explores the difficulties Jamie had in getting over what Randall had done to him, which shows just how much he sacrificed to ensure his wife’s safety.

5 Frank: Never Gave Up Hope She Would Return

via elite daily

Many fans wish we could’ve seen more of Frank’s life during the years that Claire was in the past. The brief moments we did see showed him travelling around Scotland trying to get answers about his wife’s disappearance.

One thing we love about Frank is that he never gave up hope Claire would return. It’s not just the fact that he didn’t move on with someone else. It’s that he was adamant something happened to her. When the police told him their theory was Claire ran off with another man, Frank couldn’t believe his ears. He knew his wife didn’t leave him willingly, which was the truth.

RELATED: Outlander: 5 Things That Changed From The Books (And 5 Fans Wish Hadn’t)

4 Jamie: Forced Claire To Go To The Future To Protect Her

If you thought season one had a gripping finale, then you clearly haven’t watched season two. In one of the most heartbreaking scenes from the show, Jamie takes Claire to Craig na Duhn ahead of the Battle of Culloden, which they knew they weren’t going to win thanks to Claire’s time-travelling ways.

In the scene, Jamie tells Claire that the only way he can guarantee her safety is if she went through the rocks and back to the future. Claire then starts protesting and tells Jamie she’s pregnant, to which he replies by saying he already knows. He says this is why it’s even more important for her to go, which she ends up doing.

The fact that Jamie could send pregnant Claire away, knowing he might never see her or their child again, shows how much he loves her. Time and time again he’s proven he’d do anything to ensure her safety.

3 Frank: He Never Moved On From Claire

One of the most appealing qualities about Frank was how loyal he was to Claire. Whether it was when they were separated due to the war or because she travelled back in time, Frank never moved on from Claire while they were apart.

He waited five years during World War II until they were reunited and couldn’t wait to pick up where they left off. Even during the years Claire was missing, Frank never remarried or had another love interest. He was completely consumed with trying to find out what happened to his wife.

Unlike Frank, Jamie did end up moving on when he and Claire were separated. Mind you, most fans could accept that given that they were apart for decades if he didn’t end up marrying Claire’s arch nemesis. Yep, we’re still not over that twist.

2 Jamie: Things Went Right Back To Normal After Decades Apart

via MTV

You know a couple is a solid match if things can go right back to normal after so much time apart!

Many fans were curious as to if things would be awkward between Jamie and Claire when they eventually reunited after two decades apart. But one sign that this couple is meant to be together is how easily things went back to normal after all that time away.

It wasn’t a question for Jamie if he would take his wife back (even though he technically had remarried). The two lovers were back in each other’s arms just like old times. We loved seeing Jamie hear intently about his now-grown daughter, and him telling Claire about all of their friends that she hadn’t seen in years.

1 Frank: Tried To Give Claire Her Own Space

It was painful watching Claire and Frank’s marriage play out in the third season. All we wanted was for her to be reunited with Jamie and finally have happiness again. Likewise, it was difficult watching Frank be so miserable knowing how much he’d wanted a family with Claire, only to be disappointed when it came true.

However, we’ve got to give credit where it’s due. Frank knew how much Claire loved Jamie and he tried to do his best to give her space, especially when they first moved to the States together. He had no problem with his wife pursuing a medical career, despite that being against the norm for the time.

Even though we know how unhappy Claire was with Frank, he’s not the bad guy in this situation. He did everything in his power to make things work between them. It wasn’t his fault her heart belonged to someone else.

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2019-04-19 01:04:46

Alexandra Sakellariou

10 Reasons Why The Shining Is The Greatest Horror Movie Ever Made

When it comes to horror classics, Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining is bound to be mentioned within the first sentence. It’s a creepy, unnerving, deeply engaging cinematic adaptation of Stephen King’s beloved novel. And, while King himself was not a fan of Kubrick’s film, feeling that it failed to capture the spirit of the book (even comparing the difference between the two works to fire and ice), it is a brilliantly crafted movie. It might not be a faithful adaptation of King’s book, but it just might be the finest horror movie of all time on its own merits. Here are 10 Reasons Why The Shining Is The Greatest Horror Movie Ever Made.

Related: Doctor Sleep: Everything You Need To Know About The Shining Sequel

10 Using Fictional Horrors To Explore Real Horrors

Scary things in movies can be split into two categories: fictional, like werewolves and zombies, and real, like death and violence. The Shining uses fictional horrors (the supernatural ghostly presence in the Overlook Hotel) to explore real horrors like murder and child abuse. The real-world horrors are hidden in the subtext. Jack tells a conflicting story to the imaginary bartender about the time he hit Danny, while the more sensual scenes appear as they would in a child’s mind, suggesting a history of further mistreatment. There are some very grim hidden meanings in the movie that make it more truly horrific than any other scary movie.

9 There’s No Fat On Its Bones

Every scene in The Shining needs to be there. It’s not a slim movie with a running time of around two and a half hours, but not a second is wasted by Kubrick’s unscrupulous filmmaking eye. As great as fellow horror classics like Halloween and Rosemary’s Baby might be, they do have scenes that drag on a little bit or don’t necessarily need to be in the final cut. The Shining has nothing like that. This is partly due to the studio cutting down the movie to make it more marketable, but either way, we ended up with a streamlined horror masterpiece that may well be the genre’s finest work.

8 Beautiful Visual Style

Most horror directors don’t take their movie’s color palette or framing or the sequencing of their shots into consideration, but that’s not Stanley Kubrick’s style. All of his unforgettable haunting imagery, like the elevator doors letting out a tidal wave of blood, is now considered iconographic.

Related: The Shining Gets Awesome Funko Pop Figures

This is a result of Kubrick making The Shining like a real movie, not “just a horror movie.” As soon as a filmmaker rests on the crutch of horror cinema’s low expectations, the movie fails. But Kubrick planned and designed The Shining just like he would any other movie, and the result is a masterwork.

7 Ominous Score

A horror movie is nothing without a good score. Images alone aren’t as scary without a foreboding soundtrack to create the tense atmosphere and keep viewers on the edge of their seat. That’s exactly what Wendy Carlos and Rachel Elkind did with their score for The Shining. They wrote far more music than what ended up in the final cut because Kubrick had them score dozens of scenes that he didn’t know he was going to exclude, but this gave the composers more time to find the movie’s distinctive sound, and the rewards of that are obvious. The soundtrack also includes some non-original tracks; a bunch of freaky modernist takes on classical music styles.

6 The Perfect Pace

The pacing of The Shining is slow, which some viewers might find off-putting, but that was the perfect way to tell this story. It’s a movie about an isolated and frustrated man’s sanity slowly slipping away. A fast pace would’ve botched that. A lesser filmmaker would think, wrongly, that the faster a horror movie races through its plot, the better it will be. But Kubrick—just like Ridley Scott working on Alien—realized that the best way to unsettle an audience and tell a spooky story is to eek through the terror at a snail’s pace. Kubrick reels in the audience slowly, and it makes the climax much more effective.

5 Meticulous Attention to Detail

This was Stanley Kubrick’s M.O. throughout his whole career. Nothing was in his shots that he didn’t want to be there. Every small detail in the set design, the costumes, the actors’ facial expressions, the camera movements – it was all very carefully planned out across reams of notes to achieve Kubrick’s very singular vision for each of his films. The Shining may be a horror movie, but it’s no different. Kubrick gave every cut the same care and thought that he did for 2001 and Barry Lyndon. There’s a lot to unpack in the movie, essentially, which makes it endlessly rewatchable.

4 It Has Influenced Many Of Today’s Great Horror Filmmakers

The Shining is unquestionably one of the most influential horror films ever made, with almost every horror filmmaker working today citing it as one of their inspirations. Many allusions to The Shining’s techniques can be seen in Jordan Peele’s movies, Get Out and particularly Us.

RELATED: All The Horror Movies That Inspired Jordan Peele, Ranked

Tim Burton has acknowledged the movie as a visual influence and even referenced it in his Alice in Wonderland movie. Additionally, the movie’s influence can be spotted in the works of Paul Thomas Anderson, David Lynch, and Ben Wheatley. Even Martin Scorsese included The Shining on his list of the scariest movies of all time.

3 Jack Nicholson’s Incredible Performance

The whole cast of The Shining gives terrific performances, from Shelley Duvall’s frightened wife/mother character to the sounds of Scatman Crothers’ soothing voice in his performance as Dick Hallorann. Even Danny Lloyd, who was just eight years old at the time, is captivating in his role. But it’s Jack Nicholson’s portrayal of Jack Torrance’s slow descent into madness that really sells the film. The villain isn’t a masked, machete-wielding serial killer or a horde of zombies. It’s just a guy, so the whole success of the movie rests on Nicholson’s performance, and with only his facial expressions and line delivery, he creates a monster scarier than any amount of makeup or costume design ever could.

2 It’s Wide Open To Interpretation

The Shining isn’t just open to interpretation; it’s way, way open to interpretation. It’s so open to interpretation that, after all this interpreting, we still don’t know what this movie is about. It’s been almost 40 years since The Shining was released, and in that time, countless essays and books have been written about it with the intent of deciphering the meaning, and we still haven’t fully figured out what it all means. That keeps us on edge while we watch it over and over again, because we still can’t ease into it, and because we’re still discovering things we didn’t spot the first hundred times.

1 It Does An Ambiguous Ending Right

The original cut of The Shining included a hospital scene at the end in which Danny and Wendy are told that Jack’s body was nowhere to be found. This is a typical horror movie ending where the rug is pulled out from under an audience that feels safe and has been done by every hackneyed horror director in the book. Kubrick realized this and had the scene physically removed from all prints after they’d been shipped to theaters, and the result is a much more satisfying ending. It’s still ambiguous, but it’s ambiguous in the best way. Has Jack always been at the Overlook? Was he sucked back in time after he died? Did the whole thing actually take place in Wendy’s head, or Danny’s? It asks way more questions than the standard “The killer is back on the loose” horror ending, and, as a result, it leaves more of an impression. It keeps viewers talking about it on the drive home from the theater and then keeps them up that night. That is effective horror at work.

Next: Every Stephen King Movie Ranked, From Worst To Best


2019-04-19 01:04:17

Ben Sherlock

8 Reasons Why The New Les Misérables Miniseries Is Worth Watching

While the return of Game of Thrones is taking all the attention these days, there is another 6-episode television adaption of a beloved novel you should be aware of. This week saw the release of the first episode of PBS Masterpiece’s Les Misérables miniseries.

RELATED: Les Misérables Trailer: Masterpiece On PBS To Premiere The Miniseries In April

Though the story doesn’t contain dragons, ice zombies or fighting over the Iron Throne, it is a sweeping and tense period drama that is well worth your attention. Based on Victor Hugo’s classic novel, this latest take on the heartbreaking and compelling story promises to be an entirely new adaptation. If you’re looking for something outside of Westeros for your television viewing, see why the Les Misérables miniseries is worth watching.

8 The Story

Certain stories seem to resonate with any audience at any time. It doesn’t matter how old the story may be, the themes and conflicts remain universe for all generations and all people. That is certainly the case with Hugo’s Les Miserables. First published in 1862, the French novel explored such powerful subjects as injustice, morality, and redemption.

The story follows Jean Valjean, an ex-convict attempting to start a new life. It expands across several years, connecting different characters from different walks of life before reaching the climax set against the Paris Uprising of 1932.

7 New Look At A Classic

Hugo’s novel is one that has been adapted a number of times, most recently with the Oscar-winning musical version starring Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, and Anne Hathaway. However, there is always excitement in seeing some of these classic stories brought to life again and again as we get to see a new version of the story we know so well.

RELATED: 10 Classic Books That Would Make Great Movies

Once again, we are treated to a new telling of the story of Jean Valjean and the world of Les Misérables. We get to see how the filmmakers adapt the complex work. We get to see new takes on famous characters and how the actors portray them. We get to see how this version is unique.

6 The Leads

Even those who are not totally familiar with the story of Les Miserables will no doubt be intrigued by the amazing cast they have assembled for this miniseries. In particular, the miniseries boasts two big names in the leading roles.

Dominic West stars as Jean Valjean, a man trying to put his life together and avoid his past from defining his future. West is best known for television roles in The Wire and The Affair, showing he can bring the necessary intensity. David Oyelowo (Selma) plays Javert, the obsessive police inspector who hunts Valjean. It should be a real thrill to see these two go head-to-head onscreen.

5 The Supporting Cast

If Dominic West and David Oyelowo weren’t exciting enough, they are backed up by a slew of amazing actors in supporting roles. Lily Collins will be playing the role of Fantine, the story’s tragic figure who helps Valjean on his path to redemption.

RELATED: 10 Fantasy Novels That Would Be Amazing Fantasy Series

In other iconic roles from the story, Adeel Akhtar (The Big Sick) will play Monsieur Thénardier, the dishonest (but still master of the house) landlord. And, in a bit of perfect casting, recent Oscar-winner Olivia Coleman (The Favourite) plays Madame Thénardier. Add to that veteran actors like David Bradley and Derek Jacobi, and it’s a pretty enticing cast.

4 Behind The Camera

While there is certainly a lot of star power and great actors in front of the camera, in order for this miniseries to be a success, they need quite a bit of talent behind the camera as well. Luckily, they seem to have found the perfect people for the job to pull off this ambitious production.

The series was written by Andrew Davies, a writer best known for his BBC series House of Cards and A Very Peculiar Practice. He has also adapted several high-profile period miniseries including Pride & Prejudice, War & Peace and Vanity Fair. Directing the series is Tom Shankland, a veteran television director on shows like The Leftovers, House of Cards and The Punisher.

3 Expanded Storytelling

As with most novels, something inevitably gets lost when you adapt it into a two-hour movie. To make a complex story like that fit into the constraints of a feature film means that some things are going to need to be cut. Sometimes this can be done effectively, other times it ruins the adaptation.

RELATED: 10 Book-To-Movie Adaptations Coming Out In 2019

For the first time ever, the story of Les Misérables will be told in the expanded format of television. While six hours might still not do justice to Victor Hugo’s entire novel, this version will no doubt go further in depth than any of the previous adaptations.

2 Production Values

Production values can make or break a period production. In order to feel that you are, in fact, experiencing something from another time period, the production needs to look entirely convincing. This can be rather expensive and too much for certain productions to take on. But if it ever feels false it can take the audience right out of the story.

Fortunately, that isn’t the case with this miniseries. There appears to be no expense spared in recreating 19th century France. There is a scale to the production that really helps to capture the grandeur of the story without being overwhelming.

1 Not A Musical

Most people will only know of Les Misérables as the musical. Hugo’s novel was adapted for the stage in 1980 and from there it grew in popularity, was translated into various languages and was adapted into the aforementioned big screen version in 2012.

However, this latest adaption will be of the original novel, not the stage musical. While the musical certainly has plenty of fans, it is refreshing to see a more grounded and straightforward take on the story that could help introduce it to a whole new audience.

NEXT: The Best Musicals On Netflix Right Now (April 2019)


2019-04-19 01:04:06

Colin McCormick