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Survivor 41 Premiere "A New Dawn" Analysis

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 "I am the Mafia Pastor." -Shan Smith Survivor is back, baby, and boy am I hyped!  The premiere was fairly strong, but I am worried about having twist overload here with all of the new gimmicks and I'm going to miss Jeff saying, "Come on in, guys!"  That said, the cast is solid and I'm excited to see how this season plays out.  So let's figure out who played well and who sucked! Who Played Well: Let's start with the Levu tribe in blue.  I only have two people from this tribe and the first may be controversial.  I liked Naseer's move to rat out Danny and Deshawn to the rest of the tribe about them looking for an Idol.  Maybe his execution could have been stronger, but I appreciate the attempt. I always want to give Erika props for her performance at the Immunity Challenge in coming from behind to win. Moving on to Ua, things get a little tougher here.  I'm assuming that Genie put her vote on Ricard just in case of a Shot in the Dark or an Ido

Malignant (2021) Review

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 "Wait, are you saying that the killer is your imaginary friend?" -Det. Regina Moss As a series of brutal murders plague Seattle, Madison Lake (Annabelle Wallis) has visions of each murder happening.  Madison, her family, and the police soon fine themselves on a dark journey to discover the connection between her and the killer. Don't read any further if you haven't seen Malignant .  If you like horror movies at all, I beg you to see this movie, and soon, before it gets spoiled for you.  The surprises are part of what makes this movie so fun and I won't be able to talk fully about this film without spoiling it, so drop what you're doing and go see Malignant .  It's a great movie.  I mean it.  Get out of here and go watch this!  Spoilers below!  You've been warned! What Works: What captured my interest in this movie right out the gate is the score.  During the opening credits we get some absolutely incredible tone-setting music.  I haven't loved a s

Lost: Season 5 Premiere "Because You Left" Review

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"You're gonna have to die, John." -Richard Alpert Season 5 of Lost starts off in 1977.  We see Pierre Chang (Fran├žois Chau) filming the orientation video for the Arrow Dharma station, but is interrupted by a problem at the Orchid.  He orders the construction team to stop drilling any further towards a pocket of energy.  One of the men at the Orchid is revealed to be Daniel Faraday (Jeremy Davies). In 2007, Jack (Matthew Fox) and Ben (Michael Emerson) prepare to start recruiting everyone to return to the Island, but news breaks of the murder at Santa Rosa and Hurley (Jorge Garcia) is the prime suspect.  Hurley and Sayid (Naveen Andrews) make it to a safe house, where Sayid tells Hurley to do the opposite of anything Ben tells him to do.  They are attacked by two men.  Sayid manages to kill both of them, but is shot with a sleeping dart in the process and they have to flee. Kate (Evangeline Lilly) is approached by two lawyers with a warrant for a blood test of both her and

The Snubby Awards: 2021 Oscars

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It's that time again: The Snubby Awards!  For those of you who don't know, the Snubby Awards take a look at all of the Best Picture nominees from a given year and determine if the best film won or if one was snubbed.  If that's the case, they win the coveted Snubby Award! This time we'll be taking a look at the 2021 Oscars, which was a solid field of movies.  I thought they were all at least good.   The nominees were: The Father, Judas and the Black Messiah, Mank, Minari, Promising Young Woman, Sound of Metal, and The Trial of the Chicago 7 with the winner being Nomadland .  Did Nomadland  deserve to win or did another movie get snubbed?  Let's find out! #8. Nomadland We'll just get this out of the way with, I guess.  No, Nomadland did not deserve to win Best Picture and I'm surprised that it did.  It's a good movie, don't get me wrong, but it's easily the weakest of the 8.  It follows Frances McDormand as she learns to live out of a van and trav

Lost: Season 4 Finale "There's No Place Like Home, Part 2" Review

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 "Lie to them, Jack.  If you do it half as well as you lie to yourself, they'll believe you." -John Locke The season 4 finale picks up where the season 3 flash-forward left off.  Kate (Evangeline Lilly) chews out Jack (Matthew Fox) for asking her to return to the Island.  She mentions being approached by someone called Jeremy Bentham who asked her to return to the Island as well.  Jack is carrying Bentham's obituary in his pocket. At Santa Rosa, Hurley (Jorge Garcia) is visited by Walt (Malcolm David Kelley).  Walt says that he was visited by Jeremy Bentham and wants to know why the Oceanic 6 are lying.  Hurley says it's to protect everyone still on the Island.  Later, Sayid (Naveen Andrews) arrives at Santa Rosa and kills a man outside of it that was watching Hurley.  Sayid breaks Hurley out of Santa Rosa and says they are not going back to the Island. In London, Sun (Yunjin Kim) approaches Charles Widmore (Alan Dale) with an offer to work together as they have s

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021) Review

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 "Is this what you wanted?!" -Xu Shang-Chi Parking valet Shaun (Simu Liu) is living a normal unremarkable life in San Francisco until he is attacked by a group of warriors on a bus.  Shaun is pulled back into a world he tried to escape where he must face his past, his family, and his father. What Works: I really wasn't expecting a whole lot from Shang-Chi .  It looked like a fairly typical Marvel origin story.  There isn't necessarily anything wrong with that.  Marvel has given us some excellent superhero origin stories over the year, but I was hoping for something a little different.  While we don't really get anything truly different, we do get a really solid and well made origin story and parts of the movie are excellent. The best parts of the movie are the action sequences.  All of them are really good, but the bus sequence and the scaffolding sequence really stand out.  These are two of the best action sequences in the entire MCU and they aren't fantastic

The Night House (2021) Review

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 "Everybody has secrets." -Claire After the suicide of her husband, Beth (Rebecca Hall) struggles to move on and come to terms with what has happened.  To make matters worse, strange things begin to happen around her house and the lines between dreams and reality become blurred.  Her husband had a secret and Beth is determined to figure out what it was. What Works: The strongest aspect of this film is the cinematography.  There are some truly beautiful shots with some great framing.  Some of the early shots do a great job of making you feel like there is supposed to be a second person in the house, but they are gone now.  Later on, the shots become much more frightening thanks to some amazing camerawork and lighting. The sound design is awesome and actually scared me at times.  I don't get scared by movies very often, but the jarring and overwhelming use of sound made me want to leave the theater as fast as I could, but in a good way.  What makes this work is the movie pu