Posts by Nadiya

A true GRIT(S) from South Cackalacky. Loves all kinds of music, movies, and TV shows. Favorite celebs include The Rock, Chris Hemsworth, Bruno Mars and O'Shea Jackson, Jr. (yes, they're all good looking men; no that's not a coincidence).

Arya Loses It, and Winterfell Is Racist (Plus Other Stuff That Blew My Mind)!

Hey, y’all!  Just wanted to talk about some of the things that blew my mind on last week’s episode (Apr. 21, 2019) of Game of Thrones before The Battle of Winterfell officially begins tonight.  Man, I’m dreading the possibility of losing some of my favorite people.

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Yeah, I know I’m late, but let’s face it…I’m always late (except for my Avengers:  Endgame review.  I had to hurry up and release my frustration and anger with that one).   Anyway, let’s do this!

Y’all Sure This is the North?  It Feels More Like the Deep South!

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When the Dragon Crew rode into The North during the premiere episode, Dany and her people received some strange looks from the Northerners—some dirty, some in awe.  However, when Missandei and her boo Grey Worm rode in, all they got were nasty stare downs.  Now, I noticed the hostile reaction the two of them acquired right off the bat.  As a matter of fact, it was a bit reminiscent of this scene:

However, being the optimist I am, I tried to give the Northerners the benefit of the doubt and deduce that they were just unwelcoming to strangers.  But, last week, Missandei walked up to two children to tell them hello, and those jokers took one look at her and scurried off like roaches when the lights come on!  I’m sorry…it feels like Winterfell is a bit racist.  Just sayin’.  The Northerners’ rude behavior wasn’t lost upon Grey Worm, and he offered Missandei the chance to run away with him when the fighting is over.  Missandei said she’d love to go to Naath with him and make love on the sand (okay, that’s a slight exaggeration).  I really hope Grey Worm lives.

Theon and Sansa Might Have a Love Connection…If He Survives

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So, while Sansa and Dany were trying their best to have a sisterly moment—which ended up in failure—Theon returned to Winterfell and declared that he would fight for them against the Night King and his army, sealing his loyalty to her and her house.  Dany was somewhat shocked to hear that, I noticed.  Sansa was so overcome with emotion, that she ran up and hugged him, and it felt like more than just a brother/sister type thing.  Later that night, Theon and Sansa were sitting outside and exchanging some longing looks.  Hmmm…  This could be interesting…  I really hope Theon lives.

Brienne Is Made a Knight!

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Before The Night King and his crew make their official entrance, Tyrion, Jaime, Tormund, Ser Davos, Brienne, and Podrick decide to sit up until 3:00 AM and get drunk, because…reasons.  Someone brought up the subject of Brienne being a knight, and she confessed that she was never knighted.  Tormund said her that if he were a king, he’d knight her 10 times over (he’s so cute), and Jaime informed him that it doesn’t take a king to knight someone, just another knight.  He then proved it by knighting her himself, thus making her Ser Brienne of Tarth.  Tormund gave Brienne a standing O for that (ovation; get your head out the gutter), as did Tyrion.  I really hope they all live.

Jon Fessed Up To Dany!

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During the season premiere, Bran convinced Sam to tell Jon the truth about his true parentage.  Considering that Dany just admitted to Sam that she killed all the male members of his family, Sam didn’t have too much issue letting Jon know that he was the true heir of the Iron Throne.  Jon spent last week’s episode aloof towards Dany, and she noticed it.  Of course, we all knew the reason behind Jon’s indifferent attitude.  Towards the end of the episode, Dany caught Jon in the crypt looking at his birth mother’s grave, and he admitted to her that he is actually Aegon Targaryen, son of Rhaegal Targaryen and Lyanna Stark.  Dany wasn’t happy to hear the news, naturally.  What kills me about all this is that no one seems to be concerned with the fact that Jon was hookin’ up with his auntie.

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I would say that I hope Jon and Dany live, but I’m 100% sure that they will.  I’d bet my wrestling DVD’s on it.

Last But Not Least…Arya Gets Some!

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Let me just say, I’ve wanted Arya and Gendry to get together ever since they met.  I thought they’d make a cute couple, and last week, it looked like my wish was granted.  It turned out to be a lot more than I bargained for.  Once Arya learned that the White Walkers would be at Winterfall sometime before dawn, she decided to use her possible last hours fulfilling a dream.  It turns out her dream was to lose her virginity, and who else to do it with than the guy she’s had a little crush on all these years (I don’t care what you say; she was crushin’ on him).  So, she retrieved the weapon that she had Gendry make for her, and asked him (or should I say, demanded him) to use his other weapon on her.

Now, I have to say, I always figured that Arya and Gendry would eventually hook up via a first kiss or something like that.  In this scene, Arya went all out—and I mean all out.  This scene really made me and a few other viewers extremely uncomfortable (Arya was trending on Twitter for nearly two days after this episode aired).  So much so, that when she started stripping naked, I turned my head until the scene was over.  Yeah, I realize that on the show, Arya is about 18 and in real life, Maisie Williams is 22, but I still remember Arya when she looked like this:

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It’s like watching your kids grow up and do something like this on prom night.  Nope!  I do have to agree with what my boy Jeremy Jahns said about this situation, though.  We can watch Arya murder countless people with no problem, but when it comes to watching her lose her virginity, that’s too doggone awkward!  Either way, I really hope Arya and Gendry live.  That way, she can confirm whether or not she enjoyed herself.  After seeing the stoic look on her face afterwards, we all had questions about that, too.  😃😃

—Written by Nadiya

So what did y’all think about last week’s episode of Game of Thrones?  Are you psyched for this week’s episode?  What scenes from last week blew your mind?  Let me know in the comments section!

 

 

I Just Got Back from Seeing ‘Avengers: Endgame’ and…

Wow.

When I walked away from Avengers:  Infinity War last year, I was floored.  The movie was powerful and exciting, but did the masterful job of reining it in just enough to prevent the film from being absolutely ridiculous.  When Thanos snapped his fingers and made half the world turn to ash (I’m assuming you’ve all watched Infinity War by now and you know what happened), I couldn’t wait to see the next installment.  Y’all can imagine my excitement when the premiere weekend for Avengers:  Endgame finally arrived.  However, when I walked out of the theatre this time…I was severely disappointed.  No, that’s a lie.  I was pissed off.

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The movie begins a few weeks after the events of Infinity War.  Tony and Nebula are floating in space with their oxygen levels running low, and the other remaining Avengers are on Earth, trying their best to think of a way to find Thanos and possibly undo his “finger snap.”  Hopefully, with Captain Marvel’s help, they’ll be able to take down Thanos and bring their friends and loved ones back…or so the previews would have you believe.

No, I’m not upset about the previews being slightly misleading.  That happens almost all the time.  Besides, I’d rather watch a trailer that gives me a bit a misdirection instead of one that tells the entire damn film in two minutes.  I’m angry because this movie was poorly executed, did a grave disservice to some of the characters, and contained horrid plot points that made the hair on the back of my neck stand up.

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Seriously, I haven’t been this upset after watching a Marvel film since I viewed Age of Ultron back in 2015, and as much as that film irked me, Endgame irritated 10 times more.  Ironically enough, a friend of mine and I were talking a few days ago about The Avengers franchise, and she was telling me that she didn’t like Infinity War because the plot was all over the place.  I have to disagree.  That doesn’t describe Infinity War, but it describes Endgame to a T.  First the plot drags, then it picks up, then towards the end it becomes a complete hot mess.  I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again, having too much of a good thing does exist, and OMG…the Russo brothers completely forgot that aspect when they directed the climax of the film.  That’s another thing that’s bugging me:  this is another film directed by the Russo brothers.  They did such a wonderful job with Captain America:  Civil War and Infinity War, that I believed they had Endgame in the bag.  Not the case.  And that ending?  Lord, have mercy.

I can’t say that I hated everything about Endgame.  There were some action scenes that were exciting and the movie had a few jokes that landed.  I loved the special effects, especially the way they de-aged Michael Douglas (who reprised his role as Hank Pym) and aged another character, whom I can’t mention.  All the actors did a great job, as usual.  However, I have a gripe against one member of the cast, and that’s my sweetheart Chris Hemsworth.  Yes, that Chris Hemsworth.  I recently learned that Chris was responsible for Thor’s character arc in this film, and if that’s true, he needs to stick to what he does best and keep his fine ass out of the writer’s room.  For real.  Y’all remember how Thor shined in Infinity War and handled his grief with grace and dignity?  Yeah, all that got crapped on in Endgame.  Thanks for ruining my favorite MCU character, boo.

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Last but not least, here’s a very slight spoiler for y’all:  Endgame has no post-credits scene, so don’t bother wasting your time looking for one after the film ends.  It’s true, Infinity War didn’t have one either, but I really needed one for Endgame…just to have a small glimmer of hope.  I won’t say why that is.

Judging by the the majority of the audience I viewed the movie with, along with the numerous tweets I’ve seen so far, a lot of people loved Avengers:  Endgame just as much—if not more—than they did Infinity War.  I am not one of those people.  In my humble opinion, Endgame was the head captain of Team Too Much, with a wack ass ending to boot.  With that being said, although I don’t recommend the movie, I’m not going to tell y’all not to see it.  I can understand why some people may find it a fitting end of an era, so you’ll have to determine for yourselves whether or not it’s a benefit to the MCU canon or a detriment.   Me personally, I found the majority of the film to be ludicrous.  I expected better of the MCU, I expected better of the Russo’s…I just expected better.

—Written by Nadiya

So did you enjoy Avengers:  Endgame, or did you agree with my review?  Would some of you like me to post another assessment that includes spoilers so you can get more insight into why I disliked the film so much?  If you liked the film, what was your favorite part, or what did you love about the movie?  If you didn’t like Endgame, why?  Are you sad to see the MCU as we know it end?  Please let me know in the comments section!

 

 

 

 

Cersei Lannister Is a Damn Fool!

What’s poppin’, y’all?  After a long and tortuous year and a half wait, the finale season of Game of Thrones premiered on HBO two Sundays ago (Apr. 14, 2019), and I was here for it!  Normally, I post a recap and review about the show, but I’m extremely late as all hell, and I’m sure you’ve all peeped the season premiere by this point.  So instead of my usual post, I’m gonna touch on a subject that really made my head spin last week.  It’s wasn’t Bran waiting in the freezing cold all night to see Jaime and it wasn’t Jon making out with his auntie while Drogon gave him a menacing stare.  It was Cersei Lannister’s dumb ass.

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As I’m sure you all are aware, last season, Jon, Dany, Tyrion and the rest of The Dragon Crew (that’s my new name for the folks on Dany’s side) traveled to King’s Landing and showed Cersei an actual wight.  “Wight” is the official name for those decaying zombies that make up the Night King’s army, in case you’re wondering.  Even though Cersei saw a rotten zombie with her own two eyes and clearly heard Jon and Dany say that hundreds upon thousands of those things are heading south, she opts not to use her common sense and decides to betray Jon and Dany by having that nutbag Euron Greyjoy employ extra soldiers from The Golden Company to take out The Dragon Crew.

Thus, bringing us to the present.  Euron’s nutty ass returns with The Golden Company and Cersei is whining because she hoped with all her heart and soul that they’d bring elephants, because that’s smart.  After all, a land dwelling elephant will make quick work out of flying, fire breathing dragons.  Yeah.

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When Cersei questions why she wasn’t given the elephants she was promised, the army captain tells her what everyone with actual intelligence already knew:  it was impossible to transport the elephants across the sea.  I mean, it’s not like there were any trains or airplanes to transport the doggone animals back then.

After the captain exits, Euron Greyjoy’s horny ass starts coercing Cersei into some personal time.  Cersei rebuffs him, and Euron starts whining.  Cersei replies to his griping with this now epic line:

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Now, before we start high fivin’ Cersei and giving her props for women’s empowerment, she soon remembers that 1) she hasn’t had any in a while, 2) Jaime’s gone, and her source for regular dick has gone with him, and 3) she has a bun in the oven and has to place the blame on somebody other than Jaime, considering that regardless of the fact that she’s the queen of the seven kingdoms, folks tend to frown on incest.  With all that being said, Cersei—somewhat reluctantly—gives up the booty.

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After she and Euron do the do, Cersei is still whining about those damn elephants.  Euron, on the other hand, can’t stop bragging and asking Cersei if he was the best she ever had.  Fool, if you have to ask, you probably sucked.   Cersei doesn’t indulge him, but she doesn’t wound his ego, either.  Before Euron leaves, he swears down he’s going to put a prince in her belly, and you can literally see the damn creaky ass wheels turning in Cersei’s head.  Lord, have mercy.

Allow me to reiterate what I said in the title of this post:  Cersei Lannister is a damn fool.  It’s a wonder she survived this long.  I honestly believe that if it wasn’t for Tywin and Jaime (and to a certain degree, Tyrion), she would’ve dug her own hole a long time ago.  First of all, like Jaime told your simple ass last season, you not helping the North fight the Night Walkers is a lose-lose situation.  Either the Northerners win and kill you for your betrayal—and Dany (or Jon) still takes the Iron Throne in the process—or the Night Walkers win, continue their campaign further south and kill everyone in King’s Landing, thus making the damn Night King the King of the Seven Kingdoms (try saying that five times fast).

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Second of all, Dany may have lost Viserion, but she still has Drogon and Rhaegal, two full grown, fire breathing, flying dragons.  You honestly think some Barnum and Bailey elephants can really do something on land?  I seriously doubt it, Dumbo.

Third, don’t give an epic speech about Euron having to earn a queen and then spread ’em like peanut butter five minutes later because you wanna play the okey doke with another man, pretending he’s the father of your unborn child, when everyone knows it belongs to you doggone brother (which is gross enough).  Dang, not only is Cersei stupid as hell, she’s a nasty ho!

Unfortunately for Cersei, Tywin and Jamie are both gone, and she’s completely exposed.  I just hope that Cersei isn’t stupid enough to think that Euron’s crazy, non-stop-dick-joke-tellin’ ass is gonna protect her, because he won’t.  If anything, that guy’s out for himself.  But anyone with half a doggone brain could see that.  Then again, we’re talking about Cersei.

With all that being said, I’m just gonna close this post out with the perfect GIF, dedicated to Queen Cersei:

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—-Written by Nadiya

So, do you think Cersei will win the game of thrones?  If so, why (because I really need to hear this)?  Let me know in the comments section!

 

Childish Gambino Strikes Again With ‘Guava Island’!

Last year, I remember reading that Donald Glover aka Childish Gambino and Rihanna were in Cuba working on a super secret film project.  I hoped they were shooting a music video with a similar vibe to “Telegraph Ave. (‘Oakland’ by Lloyd)” for the track “Saturday” (the song Gambino performed on SNL when he hosted last May) or perhaps for a duet they recorded.  As time went on and a few more (but not many) details about the project came to light, it was clear that the finished work would be a lot more ambitious than that.

Fast forward to this past Friday (Apr. 12, 2019), it was revealed that Guava Island was actually a feature length film, and it would premiere during Childish Gambino’s Coachella set.  For the people that weren’t fortunate enough to snag a ticket to Coachella this year (me), the film became available to stream on Amazon.com for 18 hrs., as well as You Tube, staring 12:00 AM PST on Sat. Apr. 13.  After 18 hrs., the movie would only be available to Amazon Prime subscribers (also me)As most of y’all know, I fell in love with Childish Gambino last year.  With his insane multi-talent (he’s a writer, comedian, singer, rapper and actor), and his phenomenal career in entertainment, this man could do no wrong in my eyes.  So, it should be no surprise that I woke up in the middle of night on Friday (which was technically Saturday morning) and checked out Guava Island for myself.

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Guava Island tells the story of Deni (Gambino) and Kofi (Rihanna), a young couple that live on the titular Caribbean island (I’m assuming it’s Caribbean, considering most of the people there are black and half of them speak Spanish).  Guava Island is beautiful, but po’—and yes, I meant to say po’—thanks to industrialist Red Cargo (played by my boy Nonso Anozie, who’ll always be Renfield from Dracula to me).  Red’s family took control of the island a long time ago by making a profit off the blue silk produced by the island’s silkworms, and as Red became richer, the other inhabitants of the island became poorer, being forced to work day and night for peanuts on the docks or in sweatshops.  Deni, who is a local musician, hopes to bring the island together with a music festival, but Red’s greedy ass isn’t feelin’ that concept.  The festival is supposed to take place on a Saturday night, and Red knows that if everyone’s having fun all night on Saturday, they won’t get up and go to work on Sunday, because God forbid these folks actually have a day off.   With that being said, Red pays Deni with 10 G’s to make him cancel the festival.  What will Deni do?

Guava Island was written by Stephen Glover (Donald’s brother) and directed by Hiro Murai (who also directed the “This Is America” video), both of who whom work with Donald on Atlanta, which tells you that this film won’t have your typical ending.  The film was described as a thriller with elements from the Brazilian film City of God and Purple Rain.  I personally have to disagree with that assessment.  The movie has the aesthetics of City of God, due to the grainy picture and tropical setting (plus, the characters are in abject poverty, much like the ones in City of God), but that’s about it.  The film is a musical like Purple Rain, but the difference is Prince’s film debut had more of a semi-autobiographical feel (like 8 Mile, which most folks have deemed the “hip-hop version of Purple Rain“), whereas Guava Island doesn’t have that same effect, and it shouldn’t, considering that Deni has very little in common with the real Childish Gambino.  As for Guava Island being a thriller, the last few moments were pretty tense, but if that alone makes it a white-knuckle type movie, you might as well say Under the Cherry Moon is one as well, considering Christopher Tracy and Tricky spend the last 20 minutes running from goons and cops.  I know, I’m using a lot of Prince references today.

This isn’t to knock the film, however.  Despite disagreeing with Gambino’s perceived vision of it, I really enjoyed it.  In my opinion, Guava Island is a cute, extended music video (the film runs at about 55 min.) with a beautiful message.  The animation sequence used in the opening credits and the start of the film was especially adorable.  It reminded me a lot of The Princess and the Frog.  A lot of people were upset that Rihanna didn’t contribute a song to the venture, and although that would’ve been great, I can’t say that I was disappointed.  There were so many Gambino tracks to enjoy—new and not-so-new—that I was in hog heaven regardless.  Some of my favorite Childish Gambino songs were included in Guava Island, such as “This Is America,” “Summertime Magic” and “Feels Like Summer,” and nearly all of them were performed as musical numbers.  I loved it.  The acting was on point as well, but with the cast appointed to the film (which also included Leticia Wright, who plays Shuri on Black Panther), that was to be expected.  The only real issue I had with the movie is that it was supposed to be on a remote island in the Caribbean, and nearly everyone had an accent…except Gambino.  Right before the “This Is America” musical number begins, one of Deni’s co-workers mentions migrating to the US for a seemingly better life, and Deni immediately shuns the idea, all the while, speaking with an accent that’s as American as apple pie.  Right.

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Y’all, this film was really good for what it was.  Unless you have an Amazon Prime subscription like me, the 18 hr. window of opportunity to see it has since passed, unfortunately.  However, in this age of technology, I’m sure there’s some other ways to get around the limited screening time to see the movie.  My advice is to try to check it out any way you can; no judgment.  Guava Island is like City of God in visuals only, and all it has common with Purple Rain is the fact that there’s music throughout the film, and it doggone for sure ain’t no thriller per se, but it’s still a great way to spend an hour.  Plus, Gambino and Rihanna make a cute couple.  😃❤️

—Written by Nadiya

Have you seen Guava Island yet?  What did you think of it?  Did you see it at Coachella during Gambino’s set, or did you stream it at home?  Did it put you in the mind of Purple Rain and/or City of God?  Did you like the musical numbers?  Let me know in the comments section!

 

‘Blackout’: The Podcast That Hardly Anyone Is Talking About

What’s poppin’, y’all?  Those of y’all that’ve been reading my blog for the past few months know that lately I’ve been obsessed with all things Rami Malek aka Elliot, and I’m sure some of you are sick and tired of me talking about him.  Well, that’s just tough, because I have yet again another Rami Malek inspired article.  However, it has nothing to do with Mr. Robot or Bohemian Rhapsody.  This is all about Rami’s podcast, Blackout.  Yes, you read that correctly.   It’s a podcast.  Here’s the trailer below:

In Blackout, Rami plays a DJ named Simon Itani that lives in a small New Hampshire town named Berlin (pronounced BURR-lin, which is the cherry on top of the weirdness), that suddenly loses all its electricity, including their landlines and cell phones.  Simon tries to use his position at the radio station to be a voice of reason and bring the community together, but after it’s revealed that the power outage hasn’t just occured in Berlin, but other areas of the country, he and his family soon learn that the idyllic little town they’ve called home is full of nutbags—and I mean serious nutbags.  Prime example, less than 24 hrs. after the power goes out, some dudes start patroling the streets with assault rifles claiming to be part of the neighborhood watch.  I’m assuming they’re part of the George Zimmerman chapter, but I digress.   As more time goes on, it appears that some of those nutbags may have been the cause of the power grid going down.

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This is my first time listening to a serial podcast, and I’m seriously enjoying Blackout.  The series is four episodes in, and it gets better and better each week.  This show is the perfect way for me to partially quench my thirst during my long and torturous Mr. Robot drought.  When it comes to expectations, however, I have to say the same thing I said during my Us movie review.  The same way you shouldn’t go into Us expecting Get Out, you definitely shouldn’t listen to Blackout hoping for an audio clone of Mr. Robot.  Whereas Mr. Robot is about a young man that is very reliant on technology to help people (although his assistance usually blows up in his face), Blackout tells the tale of a man that has to try to protect his family now that technology is scarce to the point of almost being non-existent.  Not only that, but the character of Simon Itani is an affable, sociable, laid back family man in his late 30’s.  Elliot Alderson, on the other hand, is a single man in his late 20’s that’s the complete opposite of sociable, unless you count his long conversations with Mr. Robot, who only exists in his head.

All the actors do a terrific job with their roles, and although you can’t physically see what’s happening, the well-written script and impeccable performances allow you to visualize this dystopia in the making.  Of course, I have to give individual props to my boy Rami, who also serves as a producer to this project.  Rami continues to prove why he’s been showered with numerous accolades in the past few years.  When I first heard that he was going to play a DJ, it was hard for me to visualize that, considering his signature slow and smooth voice.  If anything, I figured he’d be hosting the Quiet Storm.  However, he pulls it off with ease, showing what a great character actor he is.  It’s easy to see an EGOT (Emmy, Grammy Oscar, Tony Winner) in his future.  He’s already well on his way.  My only gripe with the podcast is the commercials.  Unfortunately, each episode contains about five or six annoying (and mind numbing) commercials that take you right out of the exciting story line.  There’s even an advertisement that plays before the start of each episode in the series.  And OMG…they all seem to drone on forever.  Thankfully, you’re able to skip over these atrocities and get back to the good stuff.

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There is one other thing that’s bothering me considering Blackout….no one’s really talking about it.  There were a few articles discussing it before it was officially released, and there’s been about one or two reviews written since the podcast aired.  Aside from a couple of viewer comments I’ve seen on some lesser known sites…that’s about it.  Rami doesn’t really have the time to do a press tour for Blackout; he’s busy filming season four of Mr. Robot in NYC (yay!).  Now that four episodes have aired, the word is starting to pick up just a little bit, and writer/creator Scott Conroy is taking on some interviews discussing the show’s content.  There’s even some talk about QCode—the studio, who along with Endeavor Audio, helped produce Blackoutcreating another podcast with Bad Times at the El Royale’s Cynthia Erivo.  Hopefully in time, the show will build up enough steam to really get people to have conversations about it.   The Deadline article mentioning Cynthia Erivo’s new podcast also claims that Blackout may be made into a series.  I haven’t seen any other reports stating that, but I really hope it’s true.  If so, I hope Rami continues to play Simon, seeing how he’s been killin’ the role so far.

I know that folks haven’t been into radio plays since Ralphie was gifted his Red Ryder BB gun for Christmas and advised to drink his Ovaltine (all fans of A Christmas Story already get this reference), but Blackout is a great podcast and it’s well worth your time.  It’s action packed, suspenseful, and engaging (folks from New Hampshire may not care for the Bostonian accents most of the characters have, though).  You can stream the podcast for free via Apple Podcasts (or your ITunes/Apple Music account on your PC; this method won’t work on your Android) or Google Podcasts.  I suggest that all of you check this series out and let’s get the word out about it.  I need more people to start talking about one of my favorite shows!

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Blackout airs every Tuesday on Apple Podcasts and Google Podcasts.

—Written by Nadiya

Have you listened to Blackout yet?  Do you like it?  If you haven’t listened to the series yet, are you interested?  Do you think more people should be talking about it?  Let me know in the comments section! 

‘Us’ Movie Review

If you told me 10 years ago that Jordan Peele would be a spectacular filmmaker that effortlessly blends social commentary and elements of terror together, I’d say you were crazy.  I’d go on to say that Jordan Peele is a comedian—albeit a hilarious comedian—that kills it every week on Mad TV, not a filmmaker, and damn sure not a master of horror.  However, after Mad TV and Key and Peele’s respective runs ended, Jordan surprised us all with Get Out, and now he’s struck gold again with Us.

Us tells the story of Adelaide Wilson (played by Lupita Nyong’o) and her family, who take a summer vacay to Santa Cruz, CA, the location of Adelaide’s old family home.  Adelaide is a bit uneasy about the trip due to a traumatic event she experienced there as a child, and her unease continues to heighten as the day rolls on.  It raises to a boil once she and her husband find a family outside the house later that night, threatening to invade their home.  What’s even more frightening is that the family that eventually takes over the house are the Wilson’s doppelgangers.

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You’re probably thinking what one of my co-workers said when I gave her the breakdown, “I got all that from the trailer!”  Unfortunately, that’s all I can say about the overall plot without spoiling the movie, and trust me, you don’t want this movie to be spoiled for you.  I greatly enjoyed Us.  I didn’t expect the film to be another Get Out—and it isn’t—and I ended up adoring what it is:  a creepy and nail-biting science fiction tale.  I have admit, I didn’t like it quite as much as Get Out, but that’s not to say the movie is weak.  It was just the opposite, actually.  I didn’t really catch the social commentary in it at first, but after checking out some other videos further explaining the symbolism and deeper themes, I got it.  Unlike Get Out, which focused on race relations and white liberalism, Us explores the subject of materialism and taking small things for granted.  I really want to watch the film again with new eyes to catch a lot of the things that I missed.

As usual, Lupita killed it.  I also loved Winston Duke as Adelaide’s clueless husband, Gabe.  In case you’re wondering who Winston Duke is, he played M’Baku in Black Panther.  Gabe’s character is a complete 180º from M’Baku, and it really shows Winston’s range.  All the actors had great performances, and coupled with the intense plot and symbolism throughout, it proves that Jordan Peele is a force to be reckoned with in the genre of horror as well as overall film making.

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To be honest, I don’t have anything bad to say about this film, other than it comes in a close second to Get Out, which remains Jordan Peele’s magnum opus.  I’ve noticed that some folks in my neck of the woods have been saying that Us was a grave disappointment, and one of the first things they do is compare it to Get Out.  I believe these folks went into the theatre expecting a Get Out clone.  Don’t do that.  You’ll be doing yourself a disservice and setting yourself up for disappointment.  It’s basically like watching Jackie Brown expecting an exact double (pun slightly intended) of Pulp Fiction.  Yeah, I agree that Get Out was the better movie between the two, but I also believe I was able to get a lot of satisfaction out of Us due to the fact that I didn’t expect to be a replica of its predecessor.

Y’all, go check this film out.  It’s already made back its budget and then some, so that should tell you something.  Just be sure to go into the theatre with an open mind.  If you do that, and take the film for what it is—which is excellent—you’ll have a great experience.

—Written by Nadiya

What did you think about Us?  Was it as good as Get Out?  Was it better?  Did you expect Us to be just like Get Out, or did you expect it to be an entirely different film?  Did you catch all the themes throughout the film?  Would you consider Jordan Peele to be a new master of horror/film making, or should he go back to comedy?  Let me know in the comments section!  

 

Luke Perry: 1966 – 2019

When I was a child back in the early ’90s, it was all about Beverly Hills, 90210.  There were board games, dolls, clothes; no matter where you went, someone was talking about the show.  After my mother jumped on the 90210 train when I was in sixth grade, I decided to get on it myself, and I didn’t get off until I finished my freshman year of college in 2000.  That was the year the original show went off the air (I didn’t bother with the reboot).  From the time the show started until the time it ended, the character that everyone talked about the most was Dylan, played by none other than Luke Perry.

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I started watching 90210 when the Dylan-Brenda-Kelly love triangle came to a head, resulting in Dylan choosing Kelly over his long-time love Brenda.  It was a choice I never agreed with—even to this day—but nonetheless, Dylan still ended up being one of my favorite characters.  He was definitely flawed (a struggling junkie/alcoholic), not to mention brooding, but he was also cute, charming, humble and had a big heart.  It was easy to see why he was just about everyone’s favorite character.  As a matter of fact, Dylan wasn’t an original member of the show.  He was only meant to guest star on one episode, but he made such an impression, Dylan McKay became a permanent part of the series.

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He left the show temporarily circa 1995 and came back again sometime around 1998, and his reappearance was all anyone talked about.  When he returned, he stayed until the show’s end, and needless to say he stole all the scenes he was in.  During and after Beverly Hills, 90210‘s run, I continued to be a fan of Luke Perry’s and I checked out more of his body of work such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer (the film, not the TV show), The Fifth Element (yes, he was in that movie…check out the first five minutes), Lifebreath (thanks to this film, I refuse to be an organ donor), Oz, The Simpsons, Indiscreet, and Windfall.  I have to be honest, Windfall as a whole sucked, but I was really happy to see Luke Perry on TV again.  Being even more honest, I was already watching Oz by the time Luke did his stint—I was hooked on that show from the first episode—but when I heard Luke would be guest starring on it, I was psyched.  His character’s conclusion on Oz puzzled me for years.  As time went on, I didn’t see as much of him, but I never forgot about him.  Sadly, I didn’t even realize he played Archie’s father on Riverdale until after he had his stroke.  Luke was still a young man, so I hoped he would make it through, but he didn’t.

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I remember during a 90210 reunion show, Ian Ziering (the actor that played Steve Sanders) saying that deep down, Luke was a down-to-earth farm boy that loved his family and the simple things in life.  I can tell from the outpouring of tweets and Instagram posts that have been released in the last few days that there was definitely truth to that statement.  Luke, you will be sorely missed.  Thanks so much for helping to shape my childhood.

Coy Luther Perry, III:  October 11, 1966 – March 4, 2019

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 —Written by Nadiya