#38 – Star-Lord

I actually didn’t plan to have two Guardians of the Galaxy back to back but it works.

Peter Quill is one of those characters that changed a lot due to the films but I think it works very well for his character.

After losing his mother at a young age, Peter Quill is whisked away to the stars and becomes a pilot and smuggler all across the galaxy. His cavalier approach to situations is probably why I love him as a character. He always seems so calm and cool even if his own ship is blowing up around him. There’s never a point where you think that this is actually the end of Star-Lord.

The true core of his character comes from the love he has for those around him. Both him and Rocket put on these brave faces but when it ultimately comes down to it they just want to hang on to this new family they’ve found. A lot of times Quill can come off as a jerk but ultimately he has one of the biggest hearts around and that’s what makes him such a great character.

Of course we can’t mention him without talking Chris Pratt’s great performance and the wonderful addition of the classic rock songs. Honestly, together this all brought Star-Lord to the forefront of the company and it’s worked wonders for them.

The War Of Five Kings (GOT S2)

Season 2 of Game Of Thrones was a very interesting mix because it does have one of my favorite episodes but I do believe it to be the weakest season of the series.

Now, this isn’t a bad thing, it’s certainly not a bad season. It’s just that in comparison to the introductions of Season 1, the heartrending moments of Season 3, the character moments of Season 4, the scale of Season 5 or the new ground of Season 6 then it’s kinda hard to compare.

For those of us that were upset about the lack of battles in the first season, the second season more than makes up for it in the epic ninth episode : “Blackwater.” Which covers the battle of Blackwater Bay between The Lannister forces and Stannis Baratheon. It’s phenomenal by itself but it’s the exceptional lead-up to the episode that makes the season worth it in my opinion. Tyrion is clearly the lead character of this season and it’s because he’s the only one that can keep everyone alive in King’s Landing. His command of the army and his plan for defeating the navy is what saves the day…even though he gets no recognition for it at all.

Other characters like Jon and Arya find themselves in very different surroundings than what we saw for them in the first season. Jon being beyond the wall and ending up with a group of wildlings and Arya just trying to get out of Harrenhal alive. This actually leads to some of my favorite scenes in this season with Arya becoming Tywin’s cupbearer and trying to avoid them finding out who she really is. Jon’s story has some great moments but really they’re all just lead-up to his great story progression in Seasons 3 and 4.

Unfortunately the bad parts of this season are that Daenerys, Bran and Sansa basically just have the worst luck ever. Granted, Sansa basically ended up there herself but Bran couldn’t really do anything and Daenerys’ story is just sadness after sadness until she gets her Dragons back in the last episode. But it all works out for her cause season 3 basically belongs to her.

Favorite Episode : Blackwater

How could this not be the best episode? From the scale of thr battle to the character moments between Bronn and Sandor, Tyrion’s Speech to the troops or even Cersei’s story to Tommen. This was the episode that truly proved that this was going to go down as one of the greatest shows of all time.

Favorite Scene/Favorite Quote : The Riot.

This might seem like an odd choice but it’s genuinely one of my favorite. From Tyrion realizing exactly what’s about to happen, to Sandor saving Sansa and then of course, the most perfect quote : Tyrion : “We’ve had vicious kings, we’ve had idiot kings but we’ve never been cursed with a vicious idiot for a king.”

Joffrey : “You’re talking to a king!”

Tyrion slaps him and then : “Now I have struck a king! Did my hand fall from my wrist?!”

Just perfection.

Most Shocking Moment : Three Blasts for White Walkers.

The grand finale for season two had to be the most shocking moment. Knowing that The White Walkers were finally heading south in force was one of the biggest shocks to all of us. Even those who had read the books were surprised because this scene actually takes place at the beginning of Book 3…which, of course we’ll get into more this coming Sunday in my Season Three retrospective : “The Rains Of Castamere.”

#39 – Rocket Raccoon

Rocket’s always been a fun character but until recently he’s always been a character that wasn’t necessarily a joke but almost too strange of a concept to work. Of course, Dan Abnett, Andy Lanning, James Gunn and Marvel Studios all helped to change that fact in recent years. There’s been two origins for Rocket cause in one he’s from a planet of anthropomorphic animals including a walrus named Wal-Russ and in the other he was a gentic experiment, which is the one we see in the films. I actually prefer the latter because it adds a bit of adversity to his character. He’s not someone who’s a perfect hero, instead he’s someone who’s overcome the challenges that were set before him.

Rocket’s actually a very sympathetic character due to the experimentation because just like he says to Drax in the first film “He didn’t ask to become this thing, to be put back together again and again.” It’s a great moment for someone who’s typically so hard-headed and ready to fight to have this rather emotional delivery of these lines that explain why he is the way he is.

Rocket really grew for me in the second film and I love that he ends up admitting that he loves the other Guardians because they’re his real family.

Rocket’s not only someone you’d want with you in a fight, he’s also just a good friend to have by your side.

E3 – Kingdom Hearts

First, I’ll let the trailer speak for itself!

Now then, AHHH! It’s finally on it’s way! Every Kingdom Hearts 3 trailer is effectively that M&M Christmas commercial with us saying “It does exist!” This trailer shows us some gameplay mixed with a few story beats as well. This isn’t a spin-off and there’s no side characters here. It’s Sora, Donald and Goofy facing off against the Heartless again. After 12 years and 6 spin-offs since the last core game in the series it’s high time for an actual sequel. I’m excited to see how the gameplay has advanced in such a way and I can’t wait to see the possibility of Marvel and Star Wars being added to the worlds.

The story looks interesting even though we don’t see much, but the the fact that Sora’s trying to bring Roxas back and that Xemnas is giving him advice isn’t really a great sign.

The Level Design and graphics that we see for Olympus looks great and I’m really excited to see that next trailer and find out what the new world is going to be.

E3 – Nintendo

Nintendo basically won E3 in my opinion, we saw some cool things from Bethesda, Sony and the rest but Nintendo just had the highlights of the event. They literally gave us everything we wanted from ports of some great games like Rocket League and Skyrim but we also got to see some new additions to the switch’s catalog such as Xenoblade Chronicles 2,  Mario Rabbids Kingdom Battle and Super Mario Odyssey. Since I know nothing about Xenoblade Chronicles 2(Although it does look pretty awesome so maybe I need to hop on that train.) and since the other two have already been covered by Carter I’ve decided to go over the remaining games from what I thought was the best showcase of E3.

Pokemon

So they told us nothing besides the fact that there is a core RPG Pokemon game coming for the switch which is huge! Whereas we’ve had spin-offs like Pokemon Coliseum, Pokemon Snap  and Pikachu’s Pokepark we never had an actual core Pokemon on a home console cause they’ve always been Handhelds. Even though they didn’t show anything for it, the announcement is more than enough to get fans excited.

Metroid

Metroid Prime is widely considered to be an epic of a game series and I think that it’s a perfect time to bring Samus back with the push of strong female characters in modern media like Rey, Black Widow and Wonder Woman being so prominent. I still need to beat the first three but I’m excited to see what they can do with this series on the Switch.

So here we’re getting a return to the side scrolling roots of Metroid and I think it looks great. The gameplay looks polished and the graphics are updated to maintain the scale of the prime series and yet it still looks like classical Metroid.

Overall, I’m very excited for both of these games. Although the series never grabbed me like Legend Of Zelda or Mario did, this could definitely get me to become a Metroid fan.

Kirby

Look! Look upon this perfection and despair for Kirby is the bringer of oblivion! Seriously though, This looks fantastic from the bright graphics to the co-op platforming gameplay. I just can’t say enough good things about this game and I’m so ready for it!

Yoshi

Well apparently 2018 is the year of the adorable co-op platformers. Like Kirby Switch before it Yoshi Switch looks just stunning from a visual standpoint and I can’t wait to see what they can bring to the table with this one.

Legend Of Zelda

When I first heard DLC for a Zelda game, I was a little apprehensive due to my traditional thoughts of “How do you add to a Zelda game that’s the biggest they’ve ever done?” Well this is how you do it. More Trials, More Armor and more abilities in The Master Trials and then The Champions Ballad doesn’t show a whole lot but I’m sure we’ll more about that as we get closer to it. It does give a great visual of some different characters from the game so maybe we can play as them or something like that. Either way, more Legend Of Zelda is always a good thing. 

Fire Emblem

I just can’t wait for this game. I loved the Dynasty Warriors series and I loved Hyrule Warriors so this one just makes perfect sense. I’m a big of the series but I’ve only played 4 of the games and haven’t gotten around to Fire Emblem Fates yet so I didn’t know most of the characters shown here but I love Chrom and Marth and I’m hoping for additions of characters like Ricken, Kellam, Panne, Ike, Sothe, Soren, Lyn and Eirika.

The only disappointment to me is that with the game coming out so soon why don’t we see any gameplay here but that might just be me nitpicking. Bottom line is that I can’t wait to have this game.

Overall 

Like I said, Nintendo won E3. They won us over by showing us that there are great things on the horizon for us as gamers. I’ll be getting a switch as soon as I can now cause I’m definitely ready for the next year of games.

E3 – Marvel

Marvel came out in full force here at E3 with two major games being showcased so let’s get right to it.

Marvel VS. Capcom looks fantastic and I’m really happy that they’re putting a story mode in the new game. One of my biggest complaints about the last one was the lack of one. We get to see a bunch of new characters in this trailer and obviously the one I’m most excited for is Black Panther. I’m intrigued to see who the rest of the DLC characters will be and will be posting about them as I find out about them.

The gameplay looks to be updated from the last one and in the best way. I’m interested to see the different abilities of the Infinity Stones and to see how they mix with each different fighter.

Wow, so in this trailer we get to see the perfection of being Spider-Man in this game. There’s stealth, there’s action, there’s a chase scene and there’s a quicktime event of saving people. Mix all of those together and we might have the best Marvel game they’ve ever done. I love that they have multiple different references to the comic in these scenes, Wilson Fisk and Mr. Negative are great additions to the game and I’m excited that we’re getting characters that we haven’t seen a lot of before. Also, Mile Morales is gonna be awesome and I can’t wait to see how he fits into the storyline.

E3 – Star Wars Battlefront 2

This game just looks absolutely amazing but as you know, I’m biased when it comes to Star Wars things so first here’s the main gameplay trailer to let you guys see for yourself.

Alright, so we already got to see a lot of great things really fast such as the showing the different era’s throughout the series and the different heroes we’ll get to see. I was actually really surprised to see that we’ll have heroes mixing in different eras. Having focused so solely on one era through the first game, it was a welcome surprise to see them really open up the possibilities of fights between Darth Maul and Rey or Boba Fett and Yoda. I also love how seamlessly they’re switching their style over to an actual team based shooter in the ways of Battle Points(Which will help you buy Heroes, Vehicles, Speciality Classes and so on.) And in the different classes of Assault(Basic shooter), Heavy(Tank), Specialist(Sniper) and Officer(Support) you really get the feel that working together is the best way to play the new game. They’ve only shown the “Assault on Theed” game mode but I’m sure they’ll announce more as we get closer to the release date of the game itself.

I love that we’ve already seen more planets than we did in the first one which will help it to feel new and fresh. The graphics and sound are still nothing short of perfect and that’s to be expected. I truly think that this will be the Star Wars game we need.

The only thing I’m concerned about is that they said “Free Seasonal DLC” starting with the Last Jedi featuring Finn and Phasma as the new heroes. That sounds great and I love the idea of it…but I’ve been hurt before. I’m still getting the game but I’m waiting to see if EA sticks to that.

Here’s my favorite of thr actual gameplay videos, pay close attention and you can see some of the different abilities that each class and hero can use. There’s two videos from Massive G, one of the clones and one of the droids. Enjoy!

 

Winter Is Coming (GOT S1)

(Major Spoilers for Game Of Thrones season 1)

 

Oh the season that started it all. I had a good friend a few years back (About halfway through Season 4) tell me that Season 1 was his favorite. I asked him why? With so many great scenes from seasons 2 and 3 and in the midst of what is my favorite season, why would 1 be his favorite? And he stopped and he just said “Cause it’s perfect. It’s just done so well as an adaptation for the series.” In all honesty, it’s hard to disagree with him. It’s hard to pick a favorite anyway when each season is filled with epic scenes between some phenomenal characters and just some of the best acting on television. So Let’s get right to it.

We start off with a prologue that won’t have any major closure for literally 18 more episodes. Which is insane but perfectly acceptable for us watching because there’s so many other things to get into. Including, but not limited to : Will one of the Lannisters be my favorite character? Will Daenerys ever have any sort of good luck for longer than two episodes? Will Jaime Lannister eventually become likeable? Can we focus more on Arya? Why is Jon the best? and of course : When will Joffrey Die?!? We have all of these facets of the show answered for us eventually but after having watched Six Seasons it’s still really weird to think of Season 1’s plot because it’s core storyline is : Eddard Stark tries to figure out how Jon Arryn died, Daenerys Targaryen tries to come to terms with her new life as Khaleesi, Tyrion Lannister is trying to find his way back to King’s Landing, Jon Snow is the new guy at the Wall, Arya is learning how to use a sword and We all hate Sansa. Hmm, now think of where all of those characters are now. It’s so different to think of who’s been gone and who we actually love to watch now versus some characters that we couldn’t stand in earlier seasons.

This show became a powerhouse of a success pretty quickly. It was renewed for a second season almost instantly and has since then garnered millions of followers and multiple awards and it’s not hard to see why. From the engrossing political intrigue to the wild fantasy elements this show revealed that it was going to be something different from the very first episode and the theme of staying alive by being smart is one that’s still relevant in the latest episodes.

Favorite Episode : “A Golden Crown”

This episode was really when the show took off. By this time we know all of the core characters very well and between Tyrion’s Trial By Combat and That finale of Drogo killing Viserys was our first example of if you’re stupid, you’re going to die. Viserys is an arrogant fool who dies solely because of his offensive and agressive nature. But agression without intelligence leads to death…which continues the theme.

Favorite Scene : Cersei and Robert

This was one of my favorite scenes cause it allowed to see the power of the show. This was a scene that was never even mentioned in the book and yet it just does a perfect job of explaining Robert and Cersei’s relationship and their purpose to the rest of the show.

Favorite Quote : Bran : “Can a Man be brave if he’s afraid?”

Eddard : “That’s the only time a man can be brave.”

I know it’s a fairly cheesy line but I’ve always loved this advice from Father to Son. It truly showed Eddard’s characterization very quickly and was a great example of his love for his family.

Most Shocking Moment : The Steps Of Baelor

This was when we knew that no one was safe. Ned’s death was the ultimate shocking moment for us because we all thought he was going to get out of it somehow. How could they kill off the main character? How would the show continue?

Well we’ll get more to that here next week for season 2.

#40 – Daredevil

Some heroes fight because of the tragedy surrounding them, Some fight because of Necessity but Daredevil’s always been different because he never stops fighting to save Hell’s Kitchen. As Matt Murdock, he became a lawyer and works to clean up crime using the full ability of the legal system but sometimes he has to do things that a courtroom can’t. That’s where Daredevil comes in.

Blinded by a chemical spill as a boy, Matt learned how to see using his other four sense which were heightened to a superhuman extent. He’s described how he sees in different ways in the comics but my personal favorite comes from the Netflix series where he describes it as “Seeing a World on Fire.” This isn’t just a cool visual, this is also how Matt sees the world around him and feels like he’s the only one that can do something about it. Major Hero Complex going on and it gets him in trouble quite a bit but that’s one of the reasons I love him as a character.

I love that Matt wants to be heroic no matter what. He chooses to fight in the legal system long before he becomes Daredevil and I think that’s why I like him so much. He won’t ever stop fighting no matter what and it’s because of this want to make things right for the city he loves.

Now obviously we have seen Daredevil in a few different forms of media but one of them was a film that was pretty horrendous. Affleck wasn’t terrible as Matt but he wasn’t great and the rest of the film was pretty awful anyways. We didn’t get to see a great version of Matt Murdock until 2015’s Netflix Series. This version did a great job of mixing the legal stuff with the heroics of the character.

Overall Daredevil is one of Marvel’s best because he chooses to keep fighting no matter what. There’s never going to be a point where Matt willingly stops helping people and that’s why he’s on my top 50.

“It’s about what you believe” Wonder Woman Review(Spoiler Free)

If you didn’t know, this film would’ve had a very special place in my heart no matter what. My mother was one of the biggest wonder woman fans I ever knew and I knew that she would’ve been so excited for this movie. Unfortunately she passed away a little over two years ago but it’s her memory and love that keeps me going and allows me to carry on as a writer. So knowing that, know that everything I’m about to say was me attempting to be critical but also coming from my heart.

Wonder Woman is, without a doubt, the most important superhero movie to come out since The Avengers, and possibly the most important ever. In the same way that the Avengers showed us the power of having multiple stars in one giant franchise coming together to form something great, this one shows us that we can have strong female characters in lead roles. My good friend and I were talking before the film and he said “If they screw up with Batman or Superman, they’ll still try again later. But if they screw up with Diana, we’re not gonna see her again for a while. That’s what makes me nervous.” When he came out of the theater as I was going in, he had tears in his eyes and I knew we were in for a ride.

The basic story is that Diana lives on an Amazonian Island called Themyscira, it’s a beautiful paradise where there are there are only Women. Diana wants to train to be the greatest warrior ever and when a man washes ashore on the run from Germans during World War I, Diana realizes that she can’t stand while innocent lives are being taken.

From there, we get to see Gal Gadot absolutely shine as Wonder Woman throughout the entire film. Taking absolute control of a scene in No Man’s Land that is one of the most powerful I’ve ever seen in a film. Her strength and love just shine off of her in every scene and it’s no wonder why everyone loves her. Her reactions to the horrors of war make you really feel for her, they don’t shy away from the fact that this war hurt millions of lives even without killing them and it’s Diana’s counter of love that makes everything better. Her ability to handle the action as well as the personal character moments make her performance the shining light that we need in modern day films.

Chris Pine does a very good job as Steve Trevor bringing a gravity to his character that sometimes the comics kind of forget about. And he brings out my favorite part of this film : Neither of our heroes needed a big tragedy to push them forward. Now, I’m not taking anything away from Peter Parker, Bruce Wayne or anyone else but I just loved that we had ultimately altruistic people on the screen without anyone questioning why they wanted to do what was right.

Connie Nielsen as Hippolyta and Robin Wright as Antiope both do exceptionally well as the mother and trainer of Diana. Both of them do great as different mentors for the princess and they really carry the opening of the film very well. My only issue is that after about the first 40 minutes or so, we don’t get to see them again but that might change with the sequel.

I personally didn’t have a single complaint about the film but the group I was with did think that the main villain was underwhelming but I personally thought the actor brought forth the gravitas that was needed for the character and I thought it worked well for the storyline. I did agree that the final battle drug just a little bit too long but it wasn’t too bad and honestly that’s a small complaint for a film as good as this. At first I was hesitant about them making Wonder Woman into a period piece but I honestly don’t think they could’ve done any better because it fits so well into the core storyline which I can’t talk about without spoiling too much but just trust me that it works.

Overall, this film is just exceptional and gave me a newfound hope for DC Films, I’m not sure if we can save Justice League but hopefully DC and Warner takes a look at what works in here and just runs with it. You need to go see this movie because it’s about as close to perfect for Wonder Woman as you can get.