The Ruination After the Storm

Yeah, so… Hurricane Superstorm Sandy blew through the region as promised, and left horrible damage in its wake, as feared. Connecticut got off relatively easy — at least compared to New York City and New Jersey.

Here’s a brief look at just some of the damage done locally…

THE WALKING DEAD 3.3: “Walk With Me”

This week’s story is unusual in that it does not feature our usual intrepid little band of survivors, instead focusing in on lost sheep Andrea and her new pal, the katana-wielding Michonne. But that doesn’t make this a bad episode; in fact, it’s a very important chapter. Merle is reintroduced (with a blade replacing his severed hand), the town of Woodbury is introduced, and we get to meet the man in charge – and the season’s Big Bad – the Governor. The Guv is a very popular character from the comic book series.

I tip my hat to The-Powers-That-Be for making an exposition-heavy episode so entertaining. This is one of those stories where characters are moved into place and conflicts are set up for future episodes, but the story still worked for me. And I’ve been wondering what was happening with Andrea and Michonne since they left their safe haven.
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Stormy Weather on Tap

I don’t know how long I will have before Hurricane Sandy puts out the lights around here, so I’m going to post an entry that’s a bit different. I’ve put together a sort of photo essay that shows what conditions were like before the storm hit the area. I will have a more standard entry — a review of the latest episode of THE WALKING DEAD — tomorrow.


Attention, everyone: The Ricktatorship is in full effect! Rick is totally in charge, and if you don’t like it, there’s the door. Mind the walkers, tho.

The episode picked up directly from last week’s amazing ending: With our friends trying to keep Hershel (Scott Wilson) from bleeding out after Rick (Andrew Lincoln) chopped off his leg.  Meanwhile, the surviving band of prisoner looked on in confusion at these interlopers, who didn’t even seem to care about them; they were all focused on Hershel. Once he was stabilized, Rick met with the prisoners, who had trouble accepting that civilization had fallen. Tomas (Nick Gomez) and Axel (Lew Temple) wanted Rick’s band to leave their cellblock, but Rick wouldn’t hear of it, pointing out that they spilled blood to capture the place. But a bargain was reached: In exchange for food and medicine, Rick would help the prisoners clear another cellblock.
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Dexter Shakes It Up

By its seventh season, most shows are running out of ideas, so you often see radical changes — like adding a kid or changing the format or  bringing in a lot of  new supporting characters, and the show is never really the same. DEXTER is in its seventh season, and the producers have changed the format in a big way — but without ruining the show. In fact, the series has been revitalized, and I am impressed by how good DEXTER has been this season.

Last season’s umbrella story of the Doomsday Killers was interesting, but I think  it stumbled in the execution; there wasn’t quite enough meat to the story of the aspiring serial killer played by Colin Hanks and his mentor, played by Edward James Olmos. (Perhaps casting two such well-known faces also got in the way of suspending our disbelief. But then again, it worked with John Lithgow in season four.
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AMERICAN HORROR STORY: ASYLUM 2.2: “Tricks and Treats”

It feels like the-powers-that-be at AMERICAN HORROR STORY ASYLUM have a lot of story to get through and are wasting no time getting there; this week’s episode gave us origin stories for Sister Jude and Shelley the Nymphomaniac, not to mention confirming my suspicions that Dr. Arden is precisely the twisted, self-loathing creep he appeared to be last week. And, not only is Zachary Quinto thrust into the story this week, his character is sketched in fairly quickly as the voice of “modern” medicine at the asylum.

Last week we learned that aliens exist in the AHSA universe, and this week shows us that the supernatural is real, as well. One does not often see those two elements mixed. I am interested to see if the “superscience” and supernatural will work together.
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Conan – the Real Conan the Barbarian – Will Be Back!

Stop the presses! He’ll be back! Arnold Schwarzeneggerwill be playing Conan the Barbarian once again – yes, at his age!

The man who may be most famous for saying, “I’ll be back,” is coming all the way back – back to the film that made his bones in Hollywood. It was confirmed today that Schwarzenegger will play the title character in The Legend of Conan, a film for Universal that looks at the warrior king later in life. The story will ignore Arnold’s previous sequel, 1984’s Conan the Destroyer (as well as Jason Momoa’s unrelated 2011 Conan the Barbarian) in order to follow up on the 1982 original, Conan the Barbarian.

I’m actually rather excited about this news, because tales of King Conan are among my favorites from pulp author Robert E. Howard’s oeuvre. But I wouldn’t bring in his son, Prince Conn (short for Conan), for this movie. I think Schwarzenegger the man needs more distance from his real-world trouble with kids before playing a father onscreen.
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What If Dredd 2 Got a Greenlight?

Well, probably hell will have frozen over by then, considering that Dredd 3D was sadly DOA at the American box office. But if — IF — screenwriter Alex Garland got the go-ahead for a sequel, where would he take the film series?

Back to the comics, of course!

Garland told the 2000AD forum:

“It would be about origins and subversion, and Chopper would feature. In fact, I think Chopper would start and end the story. Apart from him, my rough plan involves Fargo, Giant, Angel Gang, and a version of Satanus. For a trilogy, add Cal and the Dark Judges. And Anderson would be in all three. But… just to be clear, this is hugely speculative and also unlikely, for any number of reasons. [I would] not play [the Dark Judges] for laughs… just make them totally malevolent and lethal… use practical effects where possible.”

It’s a damn shame that American audiences didn’t turn out in droves for this smart, fun film, because it seems like everyone who saw it, really enjoyed it (me included).

Iron Man 3 Trailer is Solid Gold!

The official trailer for Iron Man 3 was released today, and wow, it was totally worth the wait! The trailer is packed with action, action and still more action — as well as Tony Stark under siege, and lots of Pepper Potts.

Admittedly, I was not overly excited about the prospects for this movie earlier this year, but now I am amped beyond belief and cannot wait for it to open — and if that isn’t the mission of a movie trailer, I don’t know what is. Job well-done.

How about that; some really mind-blowing stuff there — Iron Man rescuing people falling from the sky, the beach house being destroyed, and lots of new and different armor on display. The Mandarin wearing his 10 rings…  What’s not to like?


It’s a little hard not to think of The Dark Knight Rises when we see a super being talking about being branded a “terrorist,” and he deliberately sets out to undermine the hero personally — but I have little fear that Iron Man 3 will be as bad as TDKR, because I’m sure they won’t make the same mistakes. Heck, Marvel is off to a 100 percent better start just by using a villain who can be understood by the audience!

This movie looks fantastic, and it opens May 3, 2013.

Iron Man 3 Pics Pave Path for Trailer

Tomorrow will see the release of the first real trailer for next summer’s Iron Man 3 (will they change the title?), and to whet appetites, Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige has released some cool new images, including the first of Sir Ben Kingsley as the big bad, the Mandarin, and provided some spoilerific commentary.

In the comics, the Mandarin has always been a Chinese character — he dates from the 1960s — but the movie’s casting suggests that the character will be reimagined. (I leave it to others to fight out the politics of not casting a Chinese actor in the role.)

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