Netflix’s “Slasher” Is Horrifying

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The Netflix Original horror series “Slasher” is more than just a classic “slasher movie,” despite what the name suggests. Instead, this new Netflix Original series, which debuted in October 2017 just days before Halloween, is as much a whodunit murder mystery as it is a classic horror movie. The murder mystery takes place over a span of 8 episodes, and with each new episode, we get one step closer to unmasking the identity of the serial killer behind a spate of horrifying murders at a Canadian campground.

Netflix’s “Slasher” is a horrifying version of “I Know What You Did Last Summer”

One of the most popular types of films in the horror genre involves a bunch of teenagers making a lot of wrong decisions or committing wrongheaded acts – and then getting justice meted out to them by a demented serial killer. You could probably lump the whole “Saw” series into this genre, as well as the all-time horror film classic “I Know What You Did Last Summer.” It’s this latter film that really seems to be the inspiration for “Slasher.”

In “Slasher,” a group of young adults must return to the scene of a revenge prank gone horribly wrong. Five years ago as camp counselors, they murdered one of their co-workers, Talvinder, and then buried the body at the campground. They thought their cover-up of the murder would forever go unnoticed, but then they find out that a bunch of real estate developers are planning to build a resort on the site of the camp and might uncover the body.

This is what forces them to return to the scene of the crime, all of them bound by their past guilt. The young adults fear that their crime will be (literally) unearthed, and thus plan to dig up the body and bury it somewhere new. But when they return to the burial site, the body is gone. And then they start getting picked off, one by one, in the most grisly manner possible.

If that basic plot line sounds familiar, that’s because it is. It’s essentially “I Know What You Did Last Summer,” but this time set in the dead of winter in the Canadian wilderness. The one little twist here, of course, is that we don’t know the identity of the killer – and this identity will only be revealed in the 8th and final episode.

Netflix’s “Slasher” comes with more than its fair share of grisly gore

There are some horror films that shrink away from showing particularly nasty bits of blood and gore, leaving it to the imagination to figure out what happened. “Slasher” is not one of those horror shows. Instead, “Slasher” is able to show a horrifying amount of gore, nastiness and blood. There’s a serial killer on the loose, and it’s clear that this killer is going to exact full revenge for the events that went down five years earlier.

Netflix’s “Slasher” includes plot elements from classic Agatha Christie mysteries

In an interview, the show’s creator, Aaron Martin, talked about the various inspirations for “Slasher.” He named several primary inspirations: classic slasher movies in the vein of “Halloween,” contemporary murder mysteries and Agatha Christie whodunit mysteries. This last inspiration might not at first seem obvious, until you consider how the series plays out over a series of 8 episodes.

The inclusion of plot elements from classic whodunit mysteries is part of the reason why “Slasher” is so horrifying. As Martin points out, the goal is not to blame all this senseless rage and killing on a mysterious or mythological creature – such as a demon unleashed from hell or a ghost haunting a burial ground – it is to show that these bloodcurdling murders are the result of a sick, depraved human mind. It’s much scarier when you know that there is a real-life person systematically planning these murders.

So that’s why the Agatha Christie inspiration is so important. Since the action plays out over 8 episodes, it’s important to keep audiences guessing until the very end. This sometimes means lingering on details that may – or may not – be relevant to the identity of the serial killer. And it means injecting a few plot twists along the way to introduce doubts into the minds of the viewer as to who might be responsible.

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Netflix’s “Slasher” is also a scary psychological drama that takes you inside the mind of a murderer

The public fascination with serial killers – just check out the outpouring of recent public attention for Charles Manson, the legendary serial killer who died at the age of 83 – has to do with the fact that it seems unfathomable that any human being could act in this manner. So what are their motivations? Is there a “why” behind their despicable acts?

And it’s here, too, that “Slasher” is so horrifying. At the end, when we learn the identify of the serial murderer, we realize how significantly one person’s view of reality can differ from actual reality. The key to unlocking this horror is “Wren,” whom we later find out is Owen “Wren” Turnbull, who committed suicide after being framed for Talvinder’s murder. But is “Wren” really a person, or just a figment of the murderer’s imagination?

Netflix’s “Slasher” will make you afraid of your buried secrets

The real reason why “Slasher” is terrifying Netflix audiences is because, deep down, we all have our secrets that we don’t ever want to get out into the open. And, deep down, we all fear some kind of final justice or retribution for those secrets. That, from a psychological perspective, is what makes this Netflix horror anthology so deeply horrifying – it reminds us that, sooner or later, we will all be judged and we will all need to atone for our past sins. In the case of the characters in “Slasher,” it means paying with their lives. The serial murderer has decided that the price to pay for murdering Talvinder five years ago is death.

“Slasher” is a welcome addition to Netflix’s growing horror genre

The exciting news for fans of the horror genre is that it looks like Netflix is beginning to create some first-rate horror shows. Netflix actually swooped in and purchased the rights to “Slasher” from the TV network Chiller, which ran Season 1 of the show. But now it looks like Season 2 is going to be a smash for Netflix, and that means we could soon be talking about Season 3 for “Slasher.” Each season, the murder mystery changes, but the cast does not – much like “American Horror Story.” So get ready to see some of your favorite characters back again soon as they figure out yet another way to scare Netflix audiences everywhere.

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Will “Pitch Perfect 3” Be the Last?

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When the first “Pitch Perfect” movie burst onto the scene back in 2012, few could have predicted that just five years later, we’d be talking about the end of a film franchise trilogy. And, yet, that’s exactly what’s happening with the upcoming release of “Pitch Perfect 3” in December 2017 – fans across the Internet are already speculating about this film being the last for the beloved Bellas. But is that really the case?

If “Pitch Perfect 3” does well at the box office, it won’t be the last

A lot has to do with the performance of “Pitch Perfect 3” at the Hollywood box office. The first film was essentially a sleeper hit, grossing $65 million at the domestic box office. It picked up a huge cult following, though, once it hit the On Demand and the streaming markets. That paved the way for “Pitch Perfect 2,” which was an absolute box office smash, bringing in $184 million.

So you can see how high the bar is set for “Pitch Perfect 3” – if the film meets or exceeds expectations (i.e. the $200 million mark), then there is a good chance that there will be a “Pitch Perfect 4.” The only question, though, is whether this fourth film would feature the same set of Bellas, or whether it will feature an entirely new set of fresh faces singing a cappella. So keep your eye on the box office numbers on December 22 – a huge opening weekend would be a good sign that “Pitch Perfect 3” won’t be the last.

This might be the last “Pitch Perfect 3” with the Bellas

Heading into the release of the film, there’s a lot of speculation that the Hollywood production studios are coming to grips with the fact that, in order for this film franchise to keep going, it will need a whole new cast of girls. Back in April 2017, film screenwriter Kay Cannon said as much, calling this film “the end of the Bellas as we know them.”

In fact, the whole premise of “Pitch Perfect 3” seems to set up a scenario in which we’d see a whole new cast of singers in the next sequel. Clue #1 is the fact that the whole premise of “Pitch Perfect 3” is that nobody wants a bunch of grown-up adults who only sing a cappella – the Bellas are told over and over again in “Pitch Perfect 3” that there’s no demand for them anymore now that they’ve graduated college. There’s no real “job” for them anymore, and so they decide to embark on a USO tour in Europe.

Moreover, here’s Clue #2: one of the plotlines from the upcoming film is that Beca (played by Anna Kendrick) might be leaving the group once and for all. Talent agents want to sign her to a contract to sing solo, but don’t want to sign all of the Bellas. That obviously leads to a huge conundrum: Will Beca actually leave the group and everything it represents in order to pursue her own solo singing career?

The next “Pitch Perfect” movie might actually be a spin-off

That naturally leads to the following question: Would it make sense to spin off “Pitch Perfect” with one of the lead characters only? The most obvious choice would be Anna Kendrick in the role of Beca.

Another possible spin-off choice would be Rebel Wilson in the role of Fat Amy. During the filming of the new movie, she has teased the fact that we’ll learn more about the young life of Fat Amy and how she acquired her name. That could become the basis for a new spin-off exploring her previous life and how it will move forward in the future. Based on Rebel Wilson’s starring roles in other comedies, this is certainly an option.

And, consider this: Rebel Wilson was the first cast member to sign up for “Pitch Perfect 3” back in April 2015. At the time, she even suggested that if the studio couldn’t get all the cast members back for this film, she’d consider doing a Fat Amy spin-off. So the idea of a separate Fat Amy franchise was already percolating in the back of everyone’s minds more than two years ago!

What would a sequel to “Pitch Perfect” actually look like?

So, we basically have three scenarios to consider. The first scenario is the most unthinkable one, and that is the total and complete end of this beloved film trilogy. Certainly, most of the marketing surrounding this film would have you believe it. One of the taglines for the movie is “Last call pitches,” and this would seem to suggest that, yes, this is the “last call” for the film franchise.

The second scenario is that the film franchise would continue, but in a different format – either as a spin-off of one of the lead characters (Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson, Brittany Snow, Anna Camp or Hailee Steinfeld) or as an entirely new cast of Bellas who are still in college.

The third scenario is the most exciting one: there will indeed be another “Pitch Perfect” and it will be better than any of the three films so far. Over the past two months, the cast members have been adding social media post after social media post suggesting that the whole cast is inseparable and would never break up. One cast member even compared the filming process to being in summer camp with a favorite set of girlfriends.

Rebel Wilson, for example, recently posted a photo on Instagram with the caption “Bellas for Life,” And Anna Kendrick, also rumored to be headed out on a solo “Pitch Perfect” project, quickly put those rumors to rest in an interview with Entertainment Weekly, when she said that the cast “would do them forever” if given a chance.

So is it really a possibility that this “Pitch Perfect 3” won’t be the last? Just six months, that possibility seemed remote at best. Everything about the upcoming film – the plot line, the marketing tag line and the rumors – seemed to suggest that the trilogy was coming to an end. But “Pitch Perfect” fans have been so vocal in their support of the film that it looks like the momentum has swung now in favor of a “Pitch Perfect 4.” That would make the best holiday present ever from the girls we’ve grown to love so much!

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Why Netflix’s “Gerald’s Game” is Haunting

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This has been a banner year for adaptations of Stephen King horror works, with both “Dark Tower” and “It” captivating movie audiences in 2017. And now we have Netflix’s new “Gerald’s Game,” a film adaptation of Stephen King’s novel of the same name from 1992. “Gerald’s Game” is a psychological horror film from director Mike Flanagan (“Oculus,” “Hush”) and the result is haunting.

Netflix’s “Gerald’s Game” is so haunting because it captures the feeling of being helpless and trapped

The action kicks off with the married couple Gerald and Jessie Burlingame going for a vacation in the woods. Things turn a little kinky in the bedroom, as Gerald decides to handcuff his wife to the bed and carry out a rape fantasy while she’s wearing nothing more than some very sexy lingerie. Mid-way through, however, Gerald (played by Bruce Greenwood) has a heart attack and falls to the floor. That leaves Jessie (played by Carla Gugino) to figure out how to disentangle herself from this situation – she’s literally chained to the bed spread eagle, in the middle of nowhere, unable to call for help. Oh, and the front door also happens to be open, meaning that anyone – or anything – can wander in.

So much of the action is based on this terrifying scenario and the feeling of being helpless and trapped. How will Jessie break free? And how will she deal with strangers who enter the log cabin in the woods? The film is shot in such a way by Mike Flanagan to capture all of this terror and helplessness – he tries to create a suffocating feel to the action with his tight camera angles.

Netflix’s “Gerald’s Game” taps into deep, dark feelings that have been repressed inside the heroine’s mind

Where “Gerald’s Game” is scariest and most haunting, however, is when it shows us what is happening inside Jessie’s mind. She begins to hallucinate all kinds of things, and is clearly losing it. She imagines her husband Gerald speaking to her and taunting her, reminding her of some painful memories. She then begins to think that perhaps this is the real Gerald, and the two worlds – the real and the fictional – begin to clash.

It is much as if we are seeing a nervous breakdown in slow motion. It’s no wonder that Stephen King himself, after seeing an early rough cut of the film, called it “hypnotic” and “horrifying.” Where things get really horrifying, of course, is when Jessie begins to unlock all the deep, dark feelings that she has been hiding from herself ever since she was a young girl.

Netflix’s “Gerald’s Game” brings us face-to-face with the painful memories of sexual abuse

The kinky sexy games between Jessie and Gerald conjure up all kinds of memories that have lain dormant for so long. In this case, we are really seeing a form of sexual amnesia, in which Jessie remembers painfully how her father Tom sexually abused her when she was just 12 years old. We see the events play back in her memory, and it is truly haunting.

Netflix’s “Gerald’s Game” introduces the very haunting “man made of moonlight”

While Jessie is slowly breaking down and battling her inner demons, there is one more twist to this horror story – and that’s the arrival of “the man made of moonlight.” This is a Grim Reaper-like figure that shows up at her bedside. We learn that he is a deformed serial killer who digs up bodies and eats them. And he carries around a box of trinkets from his victims.

Jessie, as might be imagined, has no idea of what to do. She at first thinks that this figure – whom she names the “man made of moonlight” – is Death personified. It is the Grim Reaper, ready to take her with him to the underworld. Then, she suspects he might actually be real – and begins to come up with a plan to escape. She will offer up her wedding ring to him, if only he will help her escape her predicament.

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Netflix’s “Gerald’s Game” captures the horror of random violence

While much of the true terror and horror is taking place within the mind of Jessie, there are still elements of real-world horror that are too grisly even to mention in great detail. For example, remember how the door to the cabin in the woods is wide open? Well, it turns out that a stray dog wanders in and decides to bite a chunk out of the arm of her dead husband. That’s the kind of random violence that is really so haunting – the idea that pure evil can manifest itself like that, at a time when we are most vulnerable.

Netflix’s “Gerald Game” shows us the haunting ways any marriage could be hiding deep, painful secrets

What makes the movie especially haunting is the fact that it shows the degradation of a seemingly happy marriage. The beginning of the movie plays out much like a slickly-produced Viagra movie – handsome, older man takes beautiful wife to a romantic location to rekindle their marriage and pops a Viagra “when the moment is right.” But from there, the degradation begins.

How was Jessie to know that her husband secretly harbored rape fantasies? Or that he would attempt to torment her from beyond the grave? It turns out that their marriage was glossing over a lot of deep, painful secrets – and that Gerald knew a lot of ways to torment her without her even knowing it. There is a lot that goes on inside her mind, as she works to separate the “real” Gerald from the “fictional” Gerald. Is that really him tormenting her, or just her mind playing tricks on her?

“Gerald’s Game” is a great new horror film from Netflix

In the final analysis, “Gerald’s Game” is a great new addition to the Netflix horror genre. Mike Flanagan, who has earned the reputation of being a cult horror filmmaker for works like “Oculus” and “Hush,” certainly brings his A-game to his Netflix debut. He channels the darkest, most disturbing elements of the original Stephen King novel from 25 years ago, and the results are just absolutely haunting.

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“Marshall” Is the Incredible Story of Young Thurgood Marshall

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Thurgood Marshall is one of the most famous Supreme Court justices in history, and the new movie “Marshall” presents the incredible true story of one legal case that set him on the path to became such a legendary figure. The events in the film take place in 1940s Connecticut, when Thurgood Marshall, then just a young, aspiring lawyer for the NAACP, is called on to defend a black chauffeur from charges of sexual assault and murder in the famous legal case Connecticut vs. Joseph Spell.

“Marshall” is an epic courtroom drama

First and foremost, then, “Marshall” is a legal drama that plays out in the courtroom as the lawyers Thurgood Marshall (played by Chadwick Boseman) and Sam Friedman (played by Josh Gad) must defend Joseph Spell (played by Sterling K. Brown) from nearly indefensible charges. Everyone in the local community thinks that Spell is guilty of the crimes, and it doesn’t help matters any that Marshall is black and Friedman is Jewish. In 1940’s Connecticut, being anything other than lily white was grounds for potential discrimination. Winning the case would mean overcoming the entrenched racism and anti-Semitism of the era.

In many ways, “Marshall” will remind you of some of Hollywood’s most famous legal dramas, such as “Witness for the Prosecution” or “To Kill a Mockingbird.” Thurgood Marshall has a nearly unwinnable case, and his only hope of winning is by chipping away at the lies and half-truths from the wealthy Connecticut socialite Eleanor Strubling (played by Kate Hudson). This is a potentially dangerous legal maneuver, as the case rapidly turns into an example of “he said/she said.” Given this mutability of the truth, is it really possible that a jury will vote in favor of Marshall’s client, Joseph Spell?

Moreover, there’s one other little wrinkle that Marshall must take into account – he is not allowed to speak in the courtroom, despite being co-counsel on the case. That means that he must rely on his co-counsel, Sam Friedman, to argue the specific points of the case, while he is much more in charge of overall legal strategy.

Some of the best scenes in the movie come when Spell and Strubling are called on to testify in the courtroom. We see events told by flashback in noir-ish black and white. As Marshall tries to separate the lies from the truth, we witness his stunning transformation as an idealistic young trial lawyer, and how his brilliant mind worked.

“Marshall” features standout performances that bring the incredible story to life

The movie boasts a stand-out role from Chadwick Boseman, who also played Jackie Robinson in the critically acclaimed “42,” as well as a fantastic supporting role from Josh Gad, who plays Sam Friedman, the Jewish lawyer on the case. The way the two actors interact help to lend an entertaining dimension to the film. In one scene, for example, the young, self-important Thurgood Marshall arrives in Connecticut and immediately expects that Sam Friedman will carry his bags. You can just imagine how that’s going to go over with an equally confident and accomplished lawyer! Throughout the film, the chemistry between Boseman and Gad is almost palpable, and it is definitely part of what makes the film so enjoyable.

“Marshall” is as entertaining as it is thought-provoking

“Marshall” is incredibly entertaining as a film. One reason for that is that the film doesn’t try to be too important or too big. It doesn’t make the mistake of other films that try to depict every event in the life of a modern-day hero as being larger-than-life or the figure as being somehow preordained for greatness. Life doesn’t work that way.

Instead, we see Marshall as he actually was back in the 1940s – he was young, idealistic and talented, but had absolutely no idea that he was going to eventually become an Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. And we get no inkling in the movie that Thurgood Marshall would eventually be the one to argue the case of Brown vs. Board of Education before the U.S. Supreme Court.

That, of course, is part of the brilliance of this movie. It is not meant to be a monumental documentary or biopic – it is, instead, intended as a fast-paced, entertaining drama in which the main characters happen to be lawyers. This is a film that knows its role, and knows that the emphasis should be on good storytelling, and not on trying to turn Thurgood Marshall into a mythical figure.

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“Marshall” gives us incredible glimpses into the real life of Thurgood Marshall

While most people are probably aware of the legend of Thurgood Marshall, they probably have little or no idea of the intimate details of his life. And so this is one place where the film really shines – it shows us the relationship that the lawyer Marshall had with the writer Langston Hughes, and it also goes behind-the-scenes into his marriage.

We find out how Marshall often had to make a decision between the law and his family, and how powerfully he believed in the potential of the legal system to deliver a righteous outcome. You can see how his experience working on this one legal case definitely led him in the direction of eventually becoming a member of the U.S. Supreme Court.

“Marshall” will inspire a new generation of lawyers with its incredible story

It’s hard not to be inspired by the film “Marshall.” Here we have an idealistic young lawyer who went toe-to-toe against the system, and who was willing to go anywhere the NAACP sent him, as long as he could pursue his dream of making an impact on society through the practice of law.

It’s no wonder that “Marshall” has picked up such rave reviews from critics and viewers alike. On Rotten Tomatoes, for example, “Marshall” has a spectacular 86% freshness rating. The film is more than just a gripping courtroom drama – it is the incredible true story of how one of the most famous lawyers of our generation took on a case that was almost impossible to win, and battled against a system that was very much stacked against him. That will surely inspire others who see the film “Marshall” to follow in the path created by Thurgood Marshall in order to pursue truth, justice and righteousness.

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“American Vandal” Is a Brilliant Mockumentary

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Netflix is becoming known for more than its first-rate dramas. You can now add edgy new comedies to the mix as well, as evidenced by “American Vandal,” a brilliant mockumentary. This 8-part series is a wonderful parody of the true crime investigative dramas along the lines of “Making a Murderer” and “Serial.”

“American Vandal” is a brilliant satire of true crime investigative dramas

First and most importantly, “American Vandal” brilliantly captures the rhythm and cadence of those nonfiction true crime dramas. There are so many throwaway lines that have been so common in these shows that they are now cliché – “they got the wrong guy” and “everybody thinks I did it” are just two of the most obvious. “American Vandal” has characters intone those phrases with so much seriousness that you’re tempted to burst out laughing.

Here’s the thing – the brilliant joke at the center of this mockumentary is that a high school senior (Dylan Maxwell, played by Jimmy Tatro) has been expelled for drawing graphic, obscene images of cartoon phalluses on 27 faculty member cars. He, of course, claims steadfastly that he’s not the one behind this outrageous act. That leads a high school sophomore filmmaker (Peter Maldonado, played by Tyler Alvarez) to explore whether there might be a deeper, darker secret at the school that people are trying to cover up.

That leads to a whole slew of outrageous scenes, such as where characters examine the cartoon phalluses reputedly drawn on the cars with the cartoon phalluses that class clown Dylan Maxwell is fond of drawing. They find that the images are similar, but not exact matches. So is it possible that someone else might have really drawn them and then blamed Dylan?

“American Vandal” mockingly asks, “Who Drew the Dicks?”

You can immediately see how ridiculous this becomes. It is an 8-part comedy about, yes, dicks. It is filled with adolescent dick jokes. Characters call them “dicks” right there in the movie. Characters talk about “ball hairs.” And this is not a mistake – Netflix very much wants you to be having this conversation about dicks. The hashtag for this comedy is, in fact, #WhoDrewtheDicks. According to one media critic, dicks are mentioned or shown at least 1,000 times over the course of the 8-part series. You can not escape these dicks.

But here’s the thing – this is not a “dick movie.” At least, not one that we’re used to seeing and enjoying. The two creators of “American Vandal,” Tony Yacenda and Dan Perrault, have a long history with two sophomoric humor websites (Funny or Die, College Humor), but they promised Netflix that this would not be just one long, extended “dick joke sketch.” Instead, it is meant to be more subtle, more biting, and thus, more brilliant.

Take that hashtag, for example. “Who drew the dicks?” has the potential to be a laughably bad line in the show, but it’s used in such a way that it brilliantly lampoons other shows that have used similar types of lines to attract visitors (“Who killed Laura Palmer?” is just one example). Thus, Netflix is lampooning more than just “dick movies,” it is going much further afield to lampoon other genres of films. This is brilliant stuff.

“American Vandal” is a brilliant example of narrative storytelling

But all of that dick humor would have gone to waste if there wasn’t an engrossing plot at the center. If that wasn’t, who would stick around for 8 episodes of dick jokes? But you do want to find out who’s responsible for this phallic graffiti, and each new episode comes with twists and turns.

One of them – spoiler alert! – involves the narrator. It turns out that this high school student might not be telling the whole story, or at least, presenting facts from a certain point of view. That helps to keep the viewer off-balance, as well as to cast doubt on everything that we’ve seen already. As a result, we’re kept guessing until the very end about the true identity of this American vandal.

“American Vandal” offers an authentic portrayal of American high school

Moreover, “American Vandal” gets top ratings for its realistic portrayal of high school. The characters are so believable, and the acting is so good, that it can be hard to forget that these are indeed actors and actresses playing the role. According to the film’s creators, that was built into the casting process. They were looking for people who could be believable in these roles. They wanted to capture the look and feel of a typical American high school.

“American Vandal” is a bold example of a comedy made for millennials

In many ways, Netflix was bold to green light this mockumentary. For one, mockumentaries aren’t known for being hits with movie audiences. Other than a few – such as “Spinal Tap” – how many mockumentaries could you name off the top of your head? But this 8-part series is bold for another reason – it is a brilliant exploration of millennial comedy.

Let’s face it – it’s difficult for many filmmakers to connect with the younger millennial generation. For members of older Generation X, a film like “The Hangover” is great comedy. But what do members of the millennial generation consider to be funny?

It’s no mistake, then, that the two creators behind this NSFW comedy are also veterans of Funny or Die and College Humor, both of which cater to young millennials. This is the direction Netflix wants to go with this 8-part fictional documentary, and the fact that millennials are connecting with it is proof of its brilliance. People are actually using the hashtag #WhoDrewTheDicks across social media. On Rotten Tomatoes, “American Vandal” has a nearly perfect 96% freshness rating.

“American Vandal,” then, is eminently binge-worthy. You can try to watch all 8 episodes in a single weekend, or you can spread them out over a period of 8 weeks, as you were encouraged to do with “Serial” or other investigative dramas that “American Vandal” so brilliantly spoofs. But you won’t be able to stop until you find out the true identity of the person who defaced 27 faculty member cars with a bunch of crudely-drawn dicks.

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“Me, Myself & I” Is a Fantastic New Comedy

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If you’re a big fan of primetime sitcoms, you need to check out the new CBS sitcom “Me, Myself & I,” which premiered on Monday, September 25. Starring Bobby Moynihan (of “Saturday Night Live” fame) and John Larroquette, “Me, Myself & I” is a fantastic new comedy that’s refreshing, funny and original.

“Me, Myself & I” wonderfully condenses 50 years of history into 30 minutes each episode

The basic premise of this show is unique and unconventional, and rarely – if ever – attempted by a 30-minute primetime sitcom: it shows three different episodes in the life of a single character (Jack Riley), showing how events and decisions have reverberated throughout 50 years of Jack Riley’s life.

These three events are (1) moving from Chicago to Los Angeles at the age of 14 and then falling in love with a young girl (2) divorcing with his wife at the age of 40 and moving from his house to a two-car garage and (3) retiring at the age of 65 in the year 2042 and meeting (again) the love of his life, this time 50 years older.

You can immediately see how this is a fantastic comedic concept – especially when you have Bobby Moynihan playing the 40-year-old Alex Riley and John Larroquette playing the 65-year-old Alex Riley. Once you get over your immediate question of how Bobby Moynihan (a bit of a slob) ever turned into the more refined, silver-haired John Larroquette, you’ll immediately be won over by the show’s comedic pacing and timing.

Unlike TV dramas that focus on continuous character development, “Me, Myself & I” is more of a traditional sitcom – so it has to condense 3 different storylines (14-year-old Alex Riley, 40-year-old Alex Riley, 65-year-old Alex Riley) into a very tight 30-minute episode. But it’s done so well that you’ll be amazed at how everything ties together at the very end.

Here’s just one example of how a single episode is able to condense 50 years into 30 minutes: young Alex Riley moves to a new city and falls in love with a beautiful young girl named Nori. He invites her to the high school dance, and then blows his “big moment” when he accidentally chokes on a mint while trying to kiss her at a school dance. 50 years later, he mentions to a beautiful woman how “a mint cost me the love of my life 50 years ago,” only to look down at her nametag and see that she’s the same Nori he knew as a kid!

“Me, Myself & I” is about the little chuckle, not the big belly laugh

So just how funny is “Me, Myself & I”? Most critics have correctly pointed out that this sitcom is not about generating a lot of guffaws and belly laughs – it’s really about a lot of little laughs adding up to one giant comedic premise.

For example, it turns out that Alex Riley has always been an aspiring inventor, ever since he was a teenager. So there are a lot of laughs about all of his ill-fated or crazy inventions.

In one scene, he’s trying to pitch his “Switchfork” (a combination of chopsticks and a fork for eating sushi) concept to a room of Japanese business executives. He thinks that he’s winning them over, but then we see the subtitles of what the men are actually saying in Japanese, “This man has just brought dishonor upon this whole room.”

“Me, Myself & I” is a new kind of episodic comedy

In most sitcoms, there’s the “one funny situation of the week” and then some resolution of that issue following a lot of laughs. 30 minutes later, this situation has been resolved. But we may never see any of the supporting characters every again. Some critics have referred to this as the “shenanigans of the week” approach to comedy. It helps to keep every sitcom very light, meaning you don’t have to invest a lot into every show.

But “Me, Myself & I” takes a new, more refreshing approach. It’s all about serial storytelling and showing how different characters and events intersect over time. Take the title of the show, for example. That tells you all you need to know – it shows how the “me” of the year 1991 interacts with the “myself” of the year 2017, who in turn interacts with the “I” of the year 2042. In short, time proves to be a new kind of comedic element. Time changes how we view events, and how events affect us.

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“Me, Myself & I” is as empowering as it is funny

One core idea at the center of this very entertaining new comedy is that any story is not defined by what happens to you, it is defined by how you deal with it. Thus, it is too easy to go through life, complaining about all the bad things that happen to you – the boss who treats you badly, the drivers on the road who act like idiots, or the loud neighbor who keeps you up at night.

But “Me, Myself & I” doesn’t fall into this trap – it tells viewers that you have to go out there and change the story. In that way, you can view this new CBS comedy as being very empowering. You can’t let a single decision or action impact the narrative arc of your own life.

“Me, Myself & I” is a new kind of romantic comedy

Romantic success and failure is one thematic strand that ties together all three periods of Alex’s life. It is his budding relationship with Nori that is one failure. Another failure is his divorce with his wife. But there are also the successes – like the fact that he might actually get back together with Nori (now known as “Eleanor”) after all these years. But will an approach that worked 50 years ago still work in the year 2042?

As a result, from what we’ve seen already, “Me, Myself & I” is a fantastic new comedy from CBS. If you’re looking for a fun new show to watch on Monday nights, this is one great option that will have you laughing each week.

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The Best “Game of Thrones” Characters Who Met an Inglorious and Unjust End

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One of the distinguishing features of the HBO show “Game of Thrones” is how often an important character is killed off in the show, sometimes apparently for no reason at all. When it’s a despicable villain – say Joffrey Baratheon, Ramsay Bolton or Walder Frey – it’s easy to brush off. Hey, they had it coming.

However, when it’s a favorite character who is essentially good and pure of heart, that’s when it’s so disturbing. Over the first seven seasons of the show, many “Game of Thrones” characters have met an early demise, but here are the characters who truly met an inglorious and unjust end.

#1: Catelyn Stark

The Lady of Winterfell was one of the strongest-willed female characters on the show, taking efforts again and again to protect the House of Stark from disaster. But eventually even Catelyn Stark was no match for the dastardly plot hatched by the House of Frey (and backed by the Lannisters). She had her throat slit at the Red Wedding, and even worse, was forced to watch Roose Bolton stab her son. She was also forced to bear horrific witness to the fatal stabbing of her pregnant daughter-in-law Talia and her unborn child.

#2: Ned Stark

During Season 1, the one character who seemed to emerge as the lead star of the show was Ned Stark, the Lord of the North who’s asked to become the Hand of the King at King’s Landing. That, of course, is when things take a turn for the worse due to the treachery of the Lannister family. In Season 1, Episode 9, we’re forced to watch his beheading at the request of the boy-king Joffrey. At that point, everything we thought we knew about “Game of Thrones” was challenged: Who exactly are we supposed to root for?

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#3: Ser Rodrik Cassel

Another character, another beheading. In this case, it’s Ser Rodrik Cassel, the master-at-arms at Winterfell. He has already proven himself to be a loyal servant to the House of Stark – and that’s exactly what makes him so expendable when Theon Greyjoy returns to the North to exact his revenge. His beheading is as grisly as it is savage, since it takes young Theon Greyjoy a few whacks of the sword (and a little kick, for good measure) to behead Ser Rodrick.

#4: Ygritte

Remember the Wildling from the North who became the love interest of Jon Snow in Season 4? He met her on a spying mission beyond the wall, and had a few tender scenes with her. We think that maybe – just maybe – there might be a chance that their romance will bloom and we’ll find out that Ygritte is some kind of important character In the future history of Westeros.

Instead, Olly shoots her with an arrow during the Battle of Castle Black. Even worse, the show includes a scene where Jon Snow looks into the eyes of Ygritte as she meets her inglorious and unjust end. (Of course, that makes a perfect pretext for revenge, and we’re happy when Jon Snow finally has his way with Olly).

#5: Jon Snow

Speaking of Jon Snow, he also met an inglorious and unjust end in Season 5, as his fellow brothers-in-arm take turns stabbing and wounding him. Of course, his death turns out to be only temporary, as Season 6 returns with a dramatic resurrection scene featuring the Red Priestess Melisandre.

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#6: Tommen Baratheon

In the battle for the Iron Throne, there have been plenty of contenders. Some of them, such as Joffrey, have shown themselves to be wicked, sadistic and cruel at heart. But Tommen Baratheon, the young boy of royal lineage, seemed to be an exception. Some critics of the show have said that he was just “too good to be king.”

And, indeed, the one time that he stands up to his scheming mother, she practically blows up the Sept of Baelor with magical wildfire. That takes place in Season 6, Episode 10, and by that point, we’ve already resigned ourselves to the fact that the final winner in the Game of Thrones is going to be someone who’s a real schemer. Tommen eventually commits suicide by jumping out of a window.

#7: Oberyn Martell

One of the grisliest deaths that ever took place on “Game of Thrones” involved Oberyn Martell and his battle with The Mountain. The episode called “The Mountain and the Viper” shows the trial by combat set up by Tyrion involving Oberyn Martell and the Mountain. Since Oberyn Martell wants revenge on the House of Lannister, we suspect that things aren’t going to end well.

And, indeed, after a brief moment when we think that Oberyn Martell might actually defeat the Mountain in combat, the Mountain jumps up from the ground and gouges out the eyes of Oberyn. He then proceeds to exert so much pressure on his skull that his head literally explodes. What an inglorious and unjust end!

#8: Shireen Baratheon

It’s hard to decide if the Starks or the Baratheons are more doomed to suffer terrible and misfortunate deaths. Shireen Baratheon seems to be relatively pure of heart, and we’ve already seen her good side plenty of times. That’s why it was so disturbing to see her final demise near the end of Season 5. She’s burned alive by the Red Priestess Melisandre as a sacrifice to the Lord of Light. Sadly, her tragic sacrifice never seems to bear the results hoped for by Melisandre and Stannis, so her death seems to be as pointless as it is tragic.

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To paraphrase Thomas Hobbes, life in Westeros can be “nasty, brutish and short.” That’s fair enough when it leads to violent deaths, inexplicable demises and cruel tortures for the “bad guys.” But when it means a sad and inglorious end for someone we’ve been rooting for, season after season, there’s something bittersweet about it all. But maybe that’s what keeps us watching – “Game of Thrones” seems to have an unmatched ability to pull us in and keep us watching, long after we know that one of our beloved characters has met a horrible fate.

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Why “American Assassin” Will Be Thrilling

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Forget Jason Bourne, there’s a new heartthrob action hero who’s taking down the bad guys around the world and his name is Mitch Rapp (played by Dylan O’Brien). The move “American Assassin,” based on the #1 New York Times bestseller of the same name, is a non-stop, action-driven, take-out-the-terrorists movie that doesn’t stop until the final credits. It’s easy to say that “American Assassin” will be a thrilling movie experience.

“American Assassin” features a super-assassin who’s young and lethal

The movie “American Assassin” has all the signs of being a major thriller-action franchise. The book series featured super-assassin Mitch Rapp in 16 different books, so you can pretty much bet that Hollywood has a good idea of what to do next. So think of this first film as an introduction to the youngest, hunkiest post-9/11 action hero that we’ve ever seen.

The core part of Mitch Rapp’s back story is that his beautiful girlfriend and fiancée (played by the incredibly lovely Charlotte Vega) has been gunned down in a terrorist incident at a beach resort in Tunisia, and now Mitch Rapp will stop at nothing to get his revenge on the Islamic terrorists. That includes becoming a lethal killing machine – he can handle a gun, of course. But he’s also trained in MMA and can handle throwing stars with the best of them. Just like Jason Bourne, he’s very much damaged – but at least he knows why. In a head-to-head cage match with Jason Bourne, Mitch Rapp would probably leave Matt Damon choking in the dust.

You see, Mitch Rapp doesn’t come with all the moral baggage of more traditional, pre-9/11 heroes. His job is to kill the bad guys, and he doesn’t really care how it’s done. That emphasis on the non-stop killing, while exciting for action fans (really, who doesn’t dream of massacring the terrorists?), has raised some questions in the liberal media, which has accused the filmmaker (Michael Cuesta) of taking an over-the-top “America first” approach to wiping out the bad guys.

But so be it. We’re in a new era now, and if the terrorists are going to be brutal and amoral when wiping out women and children in Paris, Brussels, and London, then they have it coming to them. And that revenge motif is something that the movie really delivers.

“American Assassin” is a global whirlwind that will leave you breathless

Just like in the “Bourne” film franchise, the action is a whirlwind of scenes, encounters and fight sequences all over the world. In the course of the film, we’re taken to destinations like Malta, Ibiza, Istanbul, Tripoli, Romania and Rome. And the action never lets up. You can be cynical and say that “American Assassin” is derivative in this regard, but you can’t ignore the fact that the scenes in places like Rome and Istanbul are just breathtaking.

“American Assassin” has a save-the-world plot you won’t believe

It seems like any great action film has to feature a rogue villain these days, and that’s exactly what “American Assassin” delivers. In this case, the rogue villain is “Ghost” (played by Taylor Kitsch) who may or may not have come up with a way to destroy the world. (Hint: it involves nukes)

At some point, in fact, this plotline might remind you of the last “Fast and the Furious” film, in which Vin Diesel briefly flirts with the idea of going over to the dark side to rescue his family. That film featured stunning CGI sequences of ships, nukes and cars. Who can forget the nuclear-armed submarine emerging from under the ice?

You could say that “American Assassin” goes one step further – it features the U.S. Navy, nukes, and a tsunami wave scene that has to be seen to be believed. This is a huge spectacle, and a save-the-world plot you won’t soon forget.

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“American Assassin” oozes machismo and testosterone

Did we mention that Mitch Rapp loves to sneer at people, that he won’t listen to authority, and that he enjoys bad boy sports (like drag racing and parkour). Oh, and he can really handle a gun. Some movie critics have suggested that the young protagonist could be a way to hook female viewers on this film franchise – these viewers might not like all the corpses piling up in the movie, but boy oh boy, does that kid have swagger. (One of his throwaway lines is, “If you’re not busy living, you’re dying.”)

Perhaps the only person who can tame this super-smart, super-badass kid is the character of Stan Hurley, an ex-Navy SEAL instructor played by Michael Keaton. It seems like it’s been awhile since we’ve seen Keaton do any blockbuster summer action films (he’s been too busy doing Oscar fare like “Birdman” and “Spotlight”), but he simply excels as the crusty mentor who teaches Mitch Rapp how to channel some of his instincts and reactions.

In one scene – perhaps the highlight of the whole trailer that the studio released before the film – Keaton’s character challenges Mitch Rapp to a duel of sorts. “Kill me,” he challenges the young newcomer. Well, you can imagine the ending to that. Mitch Rapp might think he’s a badass, but he’s on his back within seconds. Before he’s been fully trained, he’s no match for Stan Hurley.

Despite all the machismo in the film, it should be pointed out that two excellent female actresses (Sanna Lathan and Shiva Negar) also appear in the film in strong supporting roles. Negar, for example, plays a deadly and intriguing Turkish agent, while Lathan plays a no-nonsense U.S. intelligence chief.

“American Assassin” lives up to its #1 bestseller origins

The first weekend box office numbers are almost in, and it looks like “American Assassin” is going to be a hit with U.S. movie audiences. Most likely, the film will be a hit with global audiences as well. So (dramatic pause) get ready for what comes next; the preparation for the sequel to “American Assassin.”

Now that Matt Damon has appeared in his final “Bourne” film, it’s time to anoint the next great American super-spy and his name is Dylan O’Brien. If you’re looking for a thrill-a-minute Hollywood film experience, then “American Assassin” will not disappoint. It’s thrilling, action-packed and filled with plenty of action scenes you’ll enjoy re-watching once this film becomes available for streaming.

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What To Expect From Season 4 of “Transparent”

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Season 4 of “Transparent,” available exclusively via Amazon Prime Now starting on September 22, already has all the makings of being one of the most-anticipated shows of the new fall TV season. “Transparent” is already an award-winning Amazon Original, and now it looks like the show’s creator, Jill Soloway, is going to take “Transparent” in some wonderful new directions. Here’s what to expect from Season 4 of “Transparent.”

“Transparent” will be more political than ever before

When Amazon Studios released the trailer for Season 4 on July 28, it caused a firestorm of controversy and debate on the Internet. The release of the trailer was timed to coincide with the announcement by the Trump administration of a total ban of transgender soldiers in the U.S. military. Since the thematic content of “Transparent” is inextricably linked to the concerns of the LGBTQ community, you can just imagine how the show’s creator and cast reacted to the latest Trump decision!

It wasn’t just enough to release the trailer and let it speak for itself. No, not at all. Show creator Jill Soloway had already hinted that the 10 episodes from Season 4 would be “more political than they’ve ever been.” And so she convinced the cast to release a joint statement along with the trailer, proclaiming that the release of the trailer was actually an “act of resistance.” Not only that, but the statement specifically called out “Trump’s continued assault on the transgender community.” Jill Soloway and the cast then signed off on the statement, saying that they were “all trans or allies to the trans community.”

So get ready for a big political hubbub when the show premieres on September 22. Although the trailer for Season 4 didn’t appear to have any overt Trump references in it, you can expect that plenty of people will be buzzing about the show online. GLAAD (Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) has also spoken out, saying that it will continue to monitor any and all anti-LGBTQ actions taken by the Trump administration.

“Transparent” will have new twists on LGBTQ sexuality

Get ready for more plot lines involving LGBTQ sexuality, especially those involving the star of “Transparent,” Jeffrey Tambor, who plays an older divorced man who reveals that he’s transgender. Once known as Mort Pfefferman, he’s now known as Maura Pfefferman. That, of course, has been the subject of much debate, speculation and heartbreak during the first 3 seasons of the show, as each of his three children – not to mention his ex-wife – struggle to come to grips with what that all means.

Well, it looks like things are going to get a big dramatic twist in Season 4. The trailer hints that Maura Pfefferman is going to start dating again – but this time, she/he will be dating a man! We don’t actually see a glimpse of what Maura’s boyfriend looks like, but it’s sure to be a focal point of Season 4.

“Transparent” will take the Pfeffermans to Israel

If there’s one thing that’s an absolute certainty about Season 4 of “Transparent,” it’s that much of the action will take place in Israel. People who have seen advance clips from the show say that it will focus on the “spiritual and political journey” of the Pfeffermans. One of the plot lines of Season 4 will involve Maura Pfefferman being invited to Israel for a major conference, where she will make a “startling” discovery.

Of course, there will be scenes featuring all the classic Israeli tourist experiences – the visit to the Western Wall, a trip to the Dead Sea and even a camel ride in the desert. The whole time, the Pfefferman family will be coming to grips not only with Mort Pfefferman’s gender transformation, but also their identity as a Jewish family.

And there looks to be plenty of humor here, as well, including some self-deprecating humor about what it means to be Jewish. At one point, one of the family members describes Israel as an Orthodox Jewish Disneyland. And there’s a funny scene where the Pfeffermans kneel down to kiss the holy ground, and they are promptly plowed into by two Orthodox Jews. It all looks to be very humorous.

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“Transparent” will continue to explore themes of love and family

Part of why “Transparent” has become such an award-winning show over the first 3 season is because it has taken an unflinching look at themes of love and family – and it looks like Season 4 isn’t about to slow down on the brakes.

The key to the success of the show, of course, is the brilliant ensemble cast that includes Amy Landecker (Sarah Pfefferman), Jay Duplass (Josh Pfefferman) and Gaby Hoffman (“Ali” Pfefferman) as the three 3 Pfefferman children. The family obviously is very close and loving – but that doesn’t mean it can’t also be dysfunctional!

There are so many interlocking plot lines that make “Transparent” so much fun to watch each new season. The one that is perhaps most talked about is the decision by Sarah Pfefferman to leave her husband for a woman (Tammy). That also raises all kinds of questions about identity and sexuality.

Season 4 of “Transparent” could push the show into the cultural mainstream

While “Transparent” is an Amazon Original, past seasons of the show are now airing on the Sundance Channel. That opens up the show to a vast new audience that might not have watched it before. On top of that, the show’s creators have already said that they will take a much more political approach to the show in 2017, potentially turning it into a huge controversial hit.

The combination of all those factors – the show’s award-winning cast, the amped up political message from creator Jill Soloway about the show during a point in time when everything is politicized, and the brand new Sundance audience – could be the perfect storm that finally tips “Transparent” into the cultural mainstream. The LGBTQ community has never been more relevant than it is today, and this amazing Amazon show could be the perfect way to shine an even bigger spotlight on their role within today’s very diverse America.

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What Fans Think of Marvel’s “The Defenders”

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The build-up to Marvel’s “The Defenders” has been going on for three years, and as of August 18, it’s finally available to watch on Netflix as a brilliant 8-part series. Judging from early fan reaction online, “The Defenders” seems to have done the impossible: it has brought together the story lines and plot lines for each of the four main characters (Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Iron Fist) in a way that’s fun to watch.

“The Defenders” unites the strands of the Marvel Cinematic Universe

For three years, Netflix and Marvel have partnered on shows for each of the four main heroes (Daredevil, Luke Cage, Jessica Jones, Iron Fist). In some cases – as with “Iron Fist” – there was the sinking feeling that Netflix and Marvel were simply going through the motions, just to make sure all the pieces fit together when it was time to create “The Defenders.”

The basic premise of “The Defenders,” of course, is that four different characters are leading four different lives in New York City, each one of them individually focused on saving the city from villains. And, at some point, they decide that their powers are best used together, as part of a group called The Defenders.

That’s why the action in the first 2 episodes of “The Defenders” sometimes seems a little slow and clunky according to fans – the show is still setting up all the exposition and background to tie together all the strands in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). In other words, there has to be a very good reason why all four of these individuals decide to meet up and fight crime together in New York.

“The Defenders” does a great job of mixing and matching the styles of the four superheroes

A lot of thought went into the creation of “The Defenders.” What the show’s producers wanted was a very seamless transition between all 4 of the shows, but also something that felt very new and different.

Take, for example, the fight scenes. We all know that each of the superheroes has a different fighting style. Daredevil (played by Charlie Cox) is trained as a boxer. Jessica Jones (played by Krysten Ritter) takes no interest in fighting, and simply wants each fight to be over as soon as possible. And Iron Fist (played by Finn Jones) can be somewhat hot-headed. Each of them has different fighting styles, and so the natural question of fans everywhere became: How would they all fight together as one unit?

The results, according to fans, have been breathtaking. “The Defenders” easily has the best fight scenes of any of the four Marvel/Netflix shows that preceded it. There’s an exuberance and energy on screen that’s a joy to watch. That’s one big lesson that the Marvel team took away from shows like “Jessica Jones” – they learned that fans wanted very tight, very streamlined fight scenes rather than ones that dragged on for a long period of time.

And the meshing of styles goes beyond just fight scenes. “The Defenders” also does a great job of capturing the right look for New York City, bringing us into the lives of our favorite superheroes. In some cases, it’s the result of re-creating the noir feel of “Jessica Jones,” in other cases, it’s capturing the type of music that would appear on the soundtrack of “Luke Cage” (which happens to be a big fan favorite).

Sigourney Weaver underwhelms as the villain in “The Defenders”

If there’s one thing that fans complained about, it’s the role of Sigourney Weaver, who plays the role of the evil and enigmatic Alexandra – the woman who may be trying to bring New York City to its knees. The show develops her as a particularly refined type of villain who enjoys classical music and Italian sculpture – but not as someone who’s “The Big Bad.” In short, fans found her to be “bland” rather than “menacing.”

In part, though, that’s a conscious choice made by the show’s producers. In many ways, they were threading a needle. They didn’t want to create the sort of over-the-top villain like you might expect from “The Avengers.” And they wanted a way to tie together the story of The Hand, which had already been developed in previous Marvel/Netflix shows. Finally, they needed a villain who was distinctly New York.

So, in many ways, Sigourney Weaver was the perfect choice. You could completely imagine her going for a stroll through the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art on Fifth Avenue to check out some new Italian artwork from the Renaissance period before heading over to her high-powered corporate office near Central Park to cause evil and mayhem.

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“The Avengers” vs. “The Defenders”

It’s hard not to be impressed by the number of superheroes that Marvel has created. The only problem, according to fans, is that it is becoming increasingly difficult to make sense of which superheroes belong to which superhero unit. Moreover, which superheroes are from Marvel and which ones are from DC Comics? A common type of question that you’ll find online is something like, “Is Wolverine part of the Defenders?” (The answer is NO)

Right now, there’s the Defenders, the Avengers, the New Avengers, the X-Men, the Justice League, and the list continues to build. What makes things confusing is that Luke Cage was once part of The Avengers, and now he’s part of The Defenders. Moreover, the new trendy plot development technique by Marvel and DC Comics is to create all sorts of tension between the superheroes, such that they engage in feuds and wars with each other.

That’s why fans have been dying to hear from the show’s creators at events like Comic-Con to understand how the Defenders fit into the broader Marvel vision. The answer is a little confusing, but it seems to be that the Defenders are meant to be “street level heroes.” They are the type of hero who help the “everyday man” and are more like street vigilantes willing to take justice into their own hands. In contrast, the Avengers are more global, and tend to take on world-ending events – like a spectacular alien invasion, or a terrorist threat made by gods from another planet.

If you think of “The Defenders” as just a “war for New York” (as the trailer for the show suggests), it will help to make everything clear. These are distinctly New York City crime fighters with a bit of edge and grit to them. We’ve been waiting a long time for “The Defenders” to save New York City, and it’s a real joy to watch Daredevil, Luke Cage, Iron Fist and Jessica Jones all on the screen at one time.

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