Archive for the ‘Blogs’ Category

Why I Love Pro-Wrestling: The Strange Tale of Bray Wyatt Pt. 2

August 15, 2022

Possessed By Sister Abigail

Braun Strowman broke free of the cult and Rowan was banished after too many failures. Bray Wyatt found a new member in The Viper Randy Orton. The devious Orton pledged himself to the Wyatt Family leading to success. However, at the first opportunity, Orton betrayed Wyatt after eliminating Luke Harper. Orton went to the Wyatt compound and he burned it down, making special care to violate the grave of Sister Abigail. Sister Abigail had been the source of Wyatt’s power. He went to the compound and smeared its ashes on his body. It was revealed that Sister Abigail was a demon and Wyatt took her completely into his body, becoming possessed. He faced Orton in an otherworldly “House of Horrors” and defeated the snake. Wyatt remained in an unstable state with Sister Abigail within him.

The Wyatt/Abigail amalgam soon picked a fight with the heroic Finn Balor. The feud with the dangerous and violent new Bray Wyatt forced Finn to fight fire with fire. Finn drew on his own demon persona, a choice he was always reluctant to make,  to fight Wyatt. The Demon handily beat Wyatt leaving Wyatt fanatical and bitter. He kept saying that Balor could not possibly beat him without The Demon, playing on Balor’s personal pride. Balor responded that he was an ordinary man who could do extraordinary things and faced Wyatt again without The Demon. Balor was able to defeat Wyatt by himself, sending Wyatt further into his spiral. 

Samael

Bray Wyatt next clashed with Matt Hardy with Wyatt having the upper hand early on in their feud. Wyatt’s defeat of Hardy was so brutal that it re-awakened a version of the Broken Matt personality now known as “Woken” Matt Hardy. Hardy himself was knowledgeable about the supernatural as he was possessed by the soul called ZENITH which had existed since 7 A.D. only recently making Hardy its host, giving him “broken brilliance”. That connection helped Hardy beat Wyatt in a Final Deletion match, meant to eliminate whoever lost. Hardy won and then pushed Wyatt into the Lake of Reincarnation on the Hardy compound. Wyatt vanished.

Wyatt surprisingly returned to assist Matt Hardy instead of harming him. Wyatt’s reincarnation had purged the succubus Sister Abigail from him and left him clean and good for the first time in a long time. At that point, ZENITH and Hardy helped rehabilitate Bray Wyatt who welcomed the ancient spirit of Samael within him. Now a good guy, Bray formed a successful team with Hardy known as the Deleter of Worlds. They won the tag team titles together and everything was great until Broken Matt quietly disappeared.

The Firefly Fun House and the Fiend

Something was very wrong with Bray Wyatt. He had vanished for quite some time when troubling vignettes started to appear on television. Bray reappeared in a red sweater in segments of what could only be described as his version of a children’s show. He was accompanied by several puppet characters a la Pee Wee’s Playhouse or Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood. He was constantly smiling and unceasingly positive as he talked about rediscovering himself. It would have all been very pleasant except that there was a dark edge underneath it all. Nobody knew what to think of these strange interruptions  Bray seemed unstable and it became increasingly obvious that the puppet characters were pieces of his past, his very soul. Mercy the Buzzard, Ramblin’ Rabbit, Abby the Witch, and Huskus the Pig were all his past that was still a part of them.

The “good” news according to Bray was that he had found a way to focus his darkness in order to protect his happy new world. This so-called focus seemed to result in a sharp division of Wyatt’s character. Bray Wyatt, the host of the Firefly Fun House, could be happy, weird, and teach kids lessons. His other side, The Fiend soon emerged and it did not seem to be a protector. The Fiend seemed to be a predator, single-mindedly brutalizing whoever it could get its hands on. The grotesque monster seemed set on the domination of the WWE just like the prior incarnations of Bray Wyatt. This time he was unstoppable and he implored the WWE fans to “Let Him In”.

Eventually, the loveable and playful Bray Wyatt also started to wrestle. He did not want to dominate, he was always trying to “help”. The biggest example of this is his match with John Cena at Wrestlemania. The two of them had clashed before but Cena was not prepared for the new Bray Wyatt. The Fiend was something Cena could understand. Cena never backed down from a fight and had slain more than his share of monsters. However, this time Wyatt attacked John’s mind and soul, pulling him into the extradimensional Firefly Fun House and walking through Cena’s psyche blended with his own. The attack and victory were existential and it took quite some time for Cena to recover.

Passing on The Madness

Wyatt then moved on to feud with Braun Strownman, a monster of a man who had once been his follower. Wyatt attempted to get into Strowman’s head, calling the past back up to show their connection and Wyatt’s superiority. He did not pull him into the Fun House but it was very similar. Strowman had grown as a monster among men and he shook off Wyatt’s influence.   When that plan did not work, Wyatt even summoned his Eater of Worlds persona from the past to fight Strowman in a swamp. It was time to unleash The Fiend. The monster attacked Alexa Bliss, somebody Strowman had befriended and shown affection for. The Fiend kept involving Bliss, forcing Strowman to step in. Braun and The Fiend fought tooth and nail with The Fiend winning Strowman’s championship belt.

Following this, The Fiend whisked Alexa Bliss away and she began to take on a more insane appearance and demeanor. She began to appear on the Firefly Fun House alongside Bray, fully part of his world. She also took on elements of The Fiend but her power source seemed to be a mysterious doll named Lilly.

The Fiend and Bray Wyatt reignited their feud with Randy Orton which quickly became extremely violent. Eventually, the two faced each other and Orton set The Fiend on fire, banishing The Fiend. Alexa Bliss haunted Orton in the meantime until a charred version of The Fiend returned to protect her from Orton. However, it was a trap. Alexa used her powers to weaken The Fiend so Orton could finish him off. Bray Wyatt appeared one more time to say how excited he was for a fresh start and then he never showed up again.

Media Update 8/11/22

August 11, 2022

Escape Room: Tournament of Champions

I really enjoyed the first Escape Room which had great production design so I knew I would eventually watch the sequel. This one follows soon after the first movie, with the survivors being thrown into another mysterious game. Taylor Russell returns to be the star of the movie and she is great at carrying the movie. They do a good job of making the other characters feel full and rounded instead of just cannon fodder. The real star here once again is the production design and the tension of the escape rooms. They really designed the heck out of these things and it shows. I would love for this series to continue in some way. It is a great franchise but it could be amazing if it continues even after the current arc is over. I recommend this movie.

Tron: Legacy

The aesthetics of the original definitely rocked my world as a kid and I have been playing KH Dream Drop Distance lately so it was time to watch this movie. The movie picks up years after the events of the first movie with Kevin Flynn’s son trying to find his father. Jeff Bridges returns and oddly puts on one of his best performances in his career, in my opinion. He is also a lot of fun to watch in general. Olivia Wilde plays a manic pixie dream girl but is also fun to watch. Garrett Hedlund is serviceable as young punk action star. Michael Sheen devours scenery whole and is delightful. The movie has a strong story but the visuals are even stronger. It captures the feel of the original but updates everything to look even better. The score is also done by Daft Punk so that’s amazing. I recommend this movie.

Devour (2005)

I stumbled upon this movie on Prime and I couldn’t resist as a fan of Supernatural. A young man is enticed to play a strange and violent game that starts to take over his life. Jensen Ackles stars and is great at being a young punk who is somehow both likable and despicable. 

Dominique Swain plays the best friend with benefits. Teach Grant play the unbalanced friend who introduces the game. Shannyn Sossamon plays a nurse who wants to help the main character figure out the mystery. The movie is very strange and the visuals are violent and trippy. The plot is somehow confusing even when it ends up not being that complicated. I feel like a lot of it was done just for shock value. I do not recommend this movie unless you are a hardcore Jensen Ackles fan and you like B horror movies.

Music of the Week:

Bella Poarch – Dolls

Jackson Wang – Cruel

NBA Youngboy – Proof

Pharrell Williams – Cash In Cash Out

Mashup of the Week:

jake bourey – Holla Back Girl If Ya Hear Me

Weekly Update:

This week’s theme is “Deadly Games”

  • I watched a ton of YouTube and Twitch: Barry Kramer, Gabi Belle, Attorney Tom, Impact Wrestling, All Elite Wrestling, Cruel World Happy Mind, Emily D. Baker, Wendigoon, Conaco, LS Mark, Maggie Mae Fish, Rina de Coro, Deerbits, LegalEagle, NWA
  • I watched more Riverdale Season 5
  • I watched more Umbrella Academy Season 3
  • I watched more The Flash Season 8
  • I watched more Top Secret UFO Projects: Declassified
  • I watched Evil Toons
  • I watched The Incredible 2-Headed Transplant (Rifftrax version)
  • I watched The Galaxy Invader (Rifftrax version)
  • I watched the House on Sorority Row (Rifftrax Version)
  • I watched Sisters of Death (Rifftrax Version)

An Exhaustive Summary of the Batman: Arkham Games Pt. 4

August 8, 2022

Batman follows the trail to the Sionis Steel Mill, the legitimate face of Black Mask’s empire. Here he finds that Joker has fully taken over Black Mask’s operations. Batman makes his way through the Steel Mill and then through the massive hidden drug processing facility. Batman rescues Sionis but discovers that this has been a trap set for him by Copperhead. She briefly scuffles with Batman, injecting him with her venom. She toys with Batman as he struggles to get back up to surface level so Alfred can airlift him an antivenom. He starts to hallucinate and sees Alfred, Commissioner Loeb, and the bank manager filling him with shame and doubt. Batman fights hundreds of identical Copperheads until Alfred manages to deliver the antivenom allowing Batman to easily finish off Copperhead. She offers to lead Batman to Joker in exchange for her freedom. While pleading her case, she lets slip that the remaining assassins have a scheduled meeting with Joker which means Batman does not need her. 

Batman scans the city for the frequency of the Electrocutioner’s gloves and narrows down the location of the meeting to a room in the Royal Gotham Hotel. Batman must evade Lieutenant Branden’s team outside to get into the hotel. Meanwhile, Joker is berating the remaining assassins for failing to kill Batman and throws Electrocutioner out of the window who falls to his death right in front of Batman. Most of the assassins leave but Bane sticks around, correctly assuming that Batman would be coming for Joker. Batman fights through the hotel which Joker has fashioned into a strange amusement park decorated with dead bodies. Joker toys with Batman, forcing him to play games to save lives. 

At the top of the tower, Batman’s attempt to get at The Joker is thwarted by Bane who aimed to collect on the balcony. Bane allows The Joker one minute with Batman. Joker spends that minute taunting Batman with the knowledge that he has rigged explosives all over the city and sets one off to show that it isn’t a bluff. Batman tries to beat information on the bombs out of The Joker but the minute is up and Bane attacks. 

Batman fights Bane on the roof of the hotel with Bane using venom and his men to try and outmatch the Dark Knight. Bane’s ruthless cunning and chemically enhanced physicality make the battle very dicey for Batman. A worried Alfred goes against Batman’s orders and anonymously tips off Jim Gordon. Gordon rides to the rescue with his team on helicopters which causes Bane to consider a tactical retreat. Batman places a homing device on Bane. Joker is angry that Bane is retreating and fires on Bane’s helicopter. Bane retaliates by firing a rocket launcher at the clown and the explosion launches Joker into the air. Batman is forced to risk himself to save Joker from falling to his death. Joker is astonished that Batman would save him after all that he has done. Joker kills two of his own men before they can kill Batman.

Joker is arrested and taken to Blackgate where he receives an intake interview from Dr. Harleen Quinzel. Joker instantly charms Quinzel by talking longingly about Batman but in such an ambiguous way that the doctor thinks he is talking about her. As Joker talks about being destined to meet Batman, we see what might be The Joker’s origin story. He is forced to wear the costume of The Red Hood during an Ace Chemicals heist. In the middle of the heist, Batman appears and the frightened amateur criminal who would become Joker unsuccessfully struggles. Joker falls into a vat of chemicals and, when he surfaces, realizes the chemicals have turned him into the iconic Joker that we know.

Batman returns to the Batcave, shaken but still standing. Alfred begs him to stay put since Joker has been arrested which ends the whole affair. Batman disagrees and says that there is more work to be done. There are a few more assassins out there including Bane. The tracer on Bane does not seem to be working.  Just then, there is a report of a body resembling Bane in the morgue. It turns out to be just one of Bane’s henchmen. The signal for the homing device comes online and Batman makes his way into Bane’s Gotham headquarters. There he finds the tracer device attached to undeniable proof that Bane knows that Batman and Bruce Wayne are one and the same. Batman warns Alfred that Bane knows his secret. Alfred requests Bruce’s return again but Batman says that he will be safe alone in the Batcave.

Reports come in that Firefly is terrorizing the Gotham Pioneer’s Bridge. Batman discovers that Firefly and his men have planted bombs all along the bridge. Batman warns Gordon who chooses to trust him and calls for the cops to stay off the bridge and let Batman try and handle it. Batman travels through the train station inside of the bridge and rescues hostages while defusing the bombs. Batman and Gordon clash over tactics but end up working well together with Alfred urging Batman to trust Gordon more. After defusing three bombs, Batman is surprised by Firefly and battles him for control of the detonator switch. Firefly is finally able to use the detonator switch but the delay that Batman caused allowed Gordon enough time to have the final bomb defused. 

Batman gets a call from Alfred but it ends up being Bane who is in the Batcave. Bane taunts Batman with the knowledge that it will be too late to save Alfred and Bane wants to face him again when Bruce’s grief turns to anger. Batman rushes to the Batcave just in time for Alfred to bid him goodbye. A distraught Bruce uses Electrocutioner’s gloves as a last resort and manages to defibrillate Alfred and restart his heart. A convalescing Alfred tells Bruce that he understands the mission now and that he cannot dissuade Batman from his path. However, no man is an island and Batman must rely on others if he is to survive. There is trouble at Blackgate Prison again so Batman calls Gordon to team up.

Batman and Gordon work together and are able to stem the worst of the riots. They are able to rescue Warden Joseph and Dr. Harleen Quinzel. Quinzel tells Batman that she knows why he is at the prison and that Joker is waiting for him at the Panopticon. Batman confronts Joker who has once again teamed up with Bane. Joker has set up a heart monitor on Bane. If Bane lives within the time limit, Joker will fry in an electric chair. If Batman kills Bane, Joker will live. Batman fights Bane yet again and Batman ends up stopping Bane’s heart, saving Joker. He quickly repeats the earlier trick and restarts Bane’s heart with Electrocutioner’s gloves. Bane rages and injects himself with even more Venom and Batman must beat him again.

Joker is waiting for Batman in the prison chapel. He is delighting in this confrontation and gives Batman kudos for stopping and restarting Bane’s heart. He had not thought of that loophole. He dares Batman to kill him by pointing out all of the horrible things he had done. Batman easily disarms the Joker and beats the snot out of him. As he punches Joker, he envisions all of the horrible things that Joker did and set in motion. He starts to strangle Joker who simply laughs, finding it all so funny. Batman knocks out the Joker and chooses to spare him as Gordon watches. Gordon is finally convinced of Batman’s honor since he let Joker live even after everything he did. Gordon is set to become the new Commissioner, a promotion he did not believe in until Barbara and Batman convinced him that it might not be hopeless. Later, Joker wakes up strapped to a gurney and revels in the hilarity of Batman once again sparing his life. This was going to be fun.

Media Update 8/4/22

August 4, 2022

Summer Camp (2015)

This movie seems to be very overlooked as I do not see a lot of hoopla for it online. I never heard of it even as an avid horror movie fan. There is not even a Wikipedia article for the movie which is kind of par for the course. Four American counselors show up to prepare for a summer camp session in Spain to teach local kids English. Things get chaotic when something gets into their environment. The four main characters have really great chemistry together and really carry the movie along well. Diego Boneta plays the somewhat nerdy, kind-hearted guy. Andrés Velencoso plays the playful ladies’ man. Maiara Walsh plays the bouncy, playful girl. Jocelin Donahue plays the straight-laced serious girl. The movie had a lot of twists and turns that I did not expect and the pacing was pretty much perfect. I recommend this movie.

Moonstalker

This is also somehow an obscure movie. While it has a Wikipedia page, I cannot find a good trailer on YouTube for it but I can find the whole movie there for free. This was a purely independent movie in the eighties so that makes sense. A group of young people at a wilderness survival training camp have to deal with the vengeance of a local gone crazy. This is definitely an ensemble piece with few standouts but the hokey acting was great. The deaths were a lot of gory fun. I also like the costuming for the movie’s villain. I recommend this movie.

The Burning

I had heard of this one for a while but finally got access to it so I was happy to watch it since it is so heavily lauded with praise. A group of campers on a canoe trip get stalked by a disfigured camp caretaker with thoughts of revenge. This is the film debut of Jason Alexander, Fisher Stevens, and Holly Hunter. Alexander in particular has a huge role as the class clown camper that everybody looks to for moral support in the crisis. Brian Backer is arguably the hero of the movie as the awkward kid that nobody believes. Brian Matthews is a brave and strong head counselor. Larry Joshua plays the meathead bully. Michelle is the no-nonsense head female counselor. I really liked the brutal gore in the movie which had impressive practical effects. I recommend this movie.

Music of the Week:

Gorillaz – Cracker Island ft. Thundercat

Camila Cabello, Maria Becerra – Hasta Los Dientes

Conan Gray – Disaster

blackbear – queen of broken hearts

Mashup of the Week:

Lil Tarantula – I Knew You Were Trouble

Weekly Update:

  • This week’s theme is “Fun at Camp”
  • I watched a ton of YouTube and Twitch: Game Grumps, Barry Kramer, Gabi Belle, Attorney Tom, Impact Wrestling, All Elite Wrestling, Cruel World Happy Mind, Emily D. Baker, Super Horror Bro, GTLive, Wendigoon, Conaco, LS Mark
  • I watched more Riverdale Season 5
  • I watched more Umbrella Academy Season 3
  • I watched more The Flash Season 8
  • I watched more Legends of Tomorrow Season 6
  • I watched more Naomi Season 1
  • I started watching Found! Season 1
  • I started watching Top Secret UFO Projects: Declassified

Why I Love Pro-Wrestling: The Strange Tale of Bray Wyatt Pt. 1

August 1, 2022

This is a kayfabe rundown of the character known as Bray Wyatt. Wyatt was portrayed by
Windham Rotunda, son of Mike Rotunda, brother of Bo Dallas, grandson of Blackjack Mulligan, nephew of Kendall and Barry Windham. He is a third-generation pro-wrestler who seems to approach it as much as performance art as an athletic spectacle. His greatest creation to date is the ever-evolving Bray Wyatt, a project that seems to be over as he has left WWE at least for the time being. Sometimes polarizing, Windham never failed to create a reaction. If Bray Wyatt rises again, at least I will have gotten some of the lore down.

The Backwoods Cult Leader

Bray Wyatt first appeared on WWE’s training ground Florida Championship Wrestling. He appeared in what would become his signature style of a fedora hat, Hawaiian shirt, and scruffy beard. On paper, he sounds like a beach bum but Wyatt always had a sinister feel to him. From the very start, Bray Wyatt had the same feel to him as the character of Max Cady from the 1991 version of Cape Fear. Wyatt was menacing but charismatic, not somebody to be taken lightly even though he did not have as impressive of a physique as traditional wrestlers. He is deceptively fast and opportunistic in the ring.

After FCW was rebranded as NXT, Bray Wyatt became more powerful even as he was injured and prevented from wrestling for a time. He recruited two men who he referred to as his first and second sons. They were Luke Harper and Erick Rowan and the trio was known as The Wyatt Family in the styling of The Manson Family. Wyatt’s sons were undyingly loyal to him. They seemed to be unhinged with not a lot going on upstairs besides whatever Wyatt willed them to do. The Wyatt family became a dominant force with Wyatt as the crown jewel of this filthy, dangerous cult. 

The trio debuted in vignettes on Monday Night Raw that introduced the wider world to Wyatt’s message.

Eater of Worlds

When the Wyatt Family made their actual debut on Raw, it became clear that Bray Wyatt was more than just some backwoods cult leader. His words became increasingly more violent and cryptic, like an evil Jim Morrison. He began to refer to himself as the Eater of Worlds, a sort of proclamation that felt like he was the face of a new cosmic horror. He would often have one of his sons carry a rocking chair to the ring for him so that he could sit and watch them destroy their enemies. He would delight in the mayhem and then swoop in to provide the finishing blow before reveling in the violence. At this point, it did not seem to matter if Wyatt and his family won or lost matches. Rather than lose, they would often get disqualified and brutalize their victims anyway. His victory seemed inevitable and he was having fun getting there. He also kept mentioning Sister Abigail (it was also the name of his finishing move) which was a mystery. If opponents wanted to find him, Wyatt said that they could “Follow the Buzzards”. We all know what attracts buzzards and vultures.

Their first feud was with Kane. The Family debuted with an attack on Kane. They continued to attack wrestlers at random all while imploring Kane to come and find them. Kane reemerged and the trio obliterated the usually dominant demon and made him look helpless. They even defeated him in a ring of fire match. After defeating him, they beat Kane down, and kidnapped him, leading to his disappearance for a time. They next went after the happy-go-lucky Kofi Kingston who they also destroyed. 

It was here that The Wyatt Family received their first resistance in the face of the united front of Daniel Bryan and CM Punk. The two were recognized as some of the greatest skilled wrestlers ever with Byan claiming to be the GOAT (Greatest of All Time) and CM Punk claiming to be the Best in the World. Unfortunately for Bryan, CM Punk became distracted by his own problems with the WWE Authority and left the company. The Wyatt Family preyed on Bryan and beat him down until he agreed to join them. The four members continued their reign of terror but eventually, Bryan had enough of being picked on by Harper and Rowan and broke free of Wyatt’s programming.

Soon after this, the Wyatt Family briefly clashed with the Authority’s The Shield by disrupting the Authority’s designs against Bryan, John Cena, and Sheamus. This showed that the Family was villainous but not aligned with the totalitarian leaders of the company. In fact, they ended up helping Daniel Bryan but that was an incidental side effect of their true mission.

The Whole World In His Hands

The Wyatt Family had targetted John Cena. He was the wholesome, G-Rated face of the company. Super Cena always overcame the odds and lived by the phrases “Hustle Loyalty Respect”, “Never Give Up”, and “Rise Above Hate”. He was the perfect target for the Wyatt Family. By this time, the WWE fans were solidly divided between those who loved Cena and those who hated him. Wyatt wanted Cena to finally unleash his inner darkness and constantly tried to goad him into giving in to being a monster. When that did not work, Wyatt went after one of Cena’s few weak points. He went after the hearts and minds of the kids. The fans were divided but the kids always loved Cena and Cena took that to heart. For example, John Cena has consistently broken records at the Make A Wish Foundation. Wyatt caused people to cheer for him and to sing for him. A real battle for the hearts and minds of the WWE fans. He seemed to have a hypnotic power over his growing cult. Members of the cult signified their support by raising their cell phone flashlights in the darkness, referred to as “fireflies”.

The New Face of Fear

Wyatt announced that he had let his sons, Harper and Rowan go. He claimed to have fixed them and they were now free to roam. This allowed Wyatt to focus more on fixing others like he did Rowan and Harper. His efforts were not successful but he left his mark on everybody he feuded with. At this point, he also began to taunt the Undertaker leading up to a casket match at Wrestlemania. After a hellish battle, Undertaker prevailed and Wyatt faded away for the moment.

It was not long before Wyatt returned but he did not return alone. Harper and Rowan returned to the Family, having had their own feuds and adventures. The Family was also joined by Braun Strowman which gave the Wyatt Family even more muscle.

His next big feud was with the legendary Brothers of Destruction. The Wyatt Family targeted the demon Kane first, with Wyatt claiming that he was far more powerful than Hell’s Favorite Demon. The Wyatt Family defeated Kane, beat him down, and then carried him off to parts unknown. Kane disappeared which brought out Kane’s brother, The Undertaker. Unlike so many others, Wyatt was not afraid of The Deadman. He was happy to pit his forces against the supernatural dangers of the famous zombie sorcerer. Kane reemerged and the Wyatt Family faced The Brothers of Destruction. When the Wyatt Family defeated Kane and the Undertaker, Wyatt demonstrated that he had stolen their powers. He had Kane’s power of fire generation and Undertaker’s control over thunder and lightning. 

Bray Wyatt and his Family continued to feud with other groups. This included facing off with The New Day. It was the power of positivity coming into conflict with the sinister Wyatt Family. The two factions were opposites of each other but neither side was willing to back down. It culminated in a horror movie of a match at the Wyatt compound.

Media Update 7/28/22

July 28, 2022

The Gray Man

I love a good action movie that pits a one-person army against impossible odds. A convict is given a choice to become a CIA dark ops killer or rot in jail. Years later, he is forced to go up against his own government. Ryan Gosling plays the titular gray man and is good at being both charming and ruthless. Chris Evans plays a military contractor and is hilariously weird. Ana De Armas plays a regular agent who gets caught up in everything and is just as badass and charming as usual. Jessica Henwick and Regé-Jean Page played great bickering bureaucrat villains. Billy Bob Thornton is a great, gruff but loveable jerk with a heart of gold. The movie has a lot of great action coupled with both drama and comedy. I recommend this movie.

American Crime Story: Impeachment

I remember this media storm but I was young and uncritical at the time but this true event helped shape my political path. I am grateful for this series because it allows me and others to reexamine the events without the trashiness that I remember. Shows like this are always best with accompanying fact-check articles and guides. However, the acting is also really good. Beanie Feldman is so good at portraying Monica Lewinsky as fragile and naive but also not without her flaws. Sarah Paulson is great as the bitter yet complicated Linda Tripp. Annaleigh Ashford plays the naive and nice Paula Jones. Clive Owen is a pitch-perfect Bill Clinton, sleazy yet powerful. The rest of the cast is awesome but a special shout-out to Cobie Smulders as Ann Coulter. She makes my skin crawl in all of the correct ways. I recommend this show.

No Time To Die

I have seen quite a few James Bond movies and Daniel Craig’s version felt like a breath of fresh air for the series. As Craig got tired of being in the series, I kind of felt the same about watching it but the moves were always full of great performances and action scenes. This movie is no different. Bond comes out of retirement to get his revenge on the organization that ruined his life. Craig is probably at his best here, portraying Bond with more heart and a lot of world-weariness. Léa Seydoux is great as the smart and tough doctor who Bond fell in love with. Rami Malek plays a creepy yet strangely sympathetic villain. Lashana Lynch shines as the snarky new 007. Ana De Armas has a really great brief role that made me love her even more. Naomie Harris, Ben Whishaw, Jeffrey Wright, and Ralph Fiennes return as their familiar characters. The movie was good and was a great close to the Craig version of 007. I recommend this movie.

Music of the Week:

Devon Cole – W.I.T.C.H.

Gnome – Wenceslas

Cannons – Hurricane

Mckenna Grace- You Ruined Nirvana

Mashup of the Week:

B29 Mashups – Monet X Industry Baby

Weekly Update:

  • This week’s theme is “Secrets”
  • I watched a ton of YouTube and Twitch: Game Grumps, Barry Kramer, Gabi Belle, Super Beard Bros, Attorney Tom, Impact Wrestling, All Elite Wrestling, Major League Wrestling, Games Done Quick, Cruel World Happy Mind, Emily D. Baker, Super Horror Bro, GTLive, Wendigoon
  • I watched more Riverdale Season 5
  • I watched more Umbrella Academy Season 3
  • I watched more The Flash Season 8

An Exhaustive Summary of the Batman: Arkham Games Pt. 3

July 25, 2022

Last time in Arham Games: The League of Shadows engineered a plan to wall off the Gotham slums in order to murder the criminals of Gotham. Batman pulled triple duty by facing off with the criminals of Gotham, a government-contracted militia, and a fatal blood poisoning gifted to him from The Joker. It ended with the death of Hugo Strange, Ra’s Al Ghul, and The Joker himself. We left Batman emerging from the iconic Monarch Theater, cradling Joker’s dead body as authorities (and Harley Quinn) look on.

Eight years prior to the events of Arkham Asylum, the city of Gotham is rife with crime. The days of the mafioso are waning and the first supervillains are emerging. The police force and government, in general, are horribly corrupt. 

The game begins on Christmas Eve and a riot has broken out in Blackgate Prison. Somebody has broken into the prison on the night that Julian Day aka “The Calendar Man” is set to be executed. Batman has arrived uninvited to help with the crisis even though he is a target of police investigation himself. He infiltrates the prison which is spiraling into chaos as several inmates are already free. Batman rescues Warden Joseph only to have to fend off the Warden’s attack as well. He moves on after declaring that he is there to help.

Batman hurries further into the prison, close on the heels of the intruding force. It becomes clear that Black Mask has arrived with Killer Croc who is the muscle allowing him to bypass security. Batman struggles to keep up with the villains as he is forced to stop to fight escaped inmates in order to rescue guards and reporter Vicki Vale. Along the way, he also spots a drone following the path of destruction. Another mystery. Croc eventually destroys the drone much to Black Mask’s annoyance as he wanted the drone to be studied. Batman is able to recover the drone’s data storage before moving on. He arrives at the gas chamber just in time to watch Black Mask force Police Commissioner Loeb to take Calendar Man’s place in the execution. Batman is too late to save Loeb’s life.

Batman chases Black Mask and Killer Croc to the roof where a helicopter is waiting to whisk Black Mask and his men away. Killer Croc smells Batman’s scent and decides to remain behind to fight the Dark Knight. Batman fights Croc in close quarters on the roof as the helicopter keeps depositing Black Mask’s men to aid Croc. Of course, the murderous giant has no regard for Black Mask’s men and is just as likely to hurt them as he is to hurt Batman. As Batman defeats Killer Croc, the helicopter retreats as the GCPD approaches. Batman interrogates Croc who is smugly confident that Batman is screwed since “they” are coming for him. The police rush the roof and Batman comes face to face with Detective Jim Gordon for the first time. Batman avoids arrest by jumping off the roof so the Batwing can swoop in and allow his escape.

Batman quickly returns to the Batcave and he and Alfred access the chip he retrieved from the downed drone from Blackgate. He searches the footage and finds tape of a meeting held by Black Mask as he puts out a bounty for eight of the world’s deadliest assassins. The first is Killer Croc who Batman has already beaten into submission and remanded to police custody. There are still seven assassins out there, hunting for Batman for a $50 million bounty. Those assassins are Deathstroke, Bane, Lady Shiva, Deadshot, Electrocutioner, and Firefly. Alfred implores Batman to just spend Christmas Eve at Wayne Manor with Alfred. No Batman means no bounty. Batman points out that the assassins will simply harm innocents to draw Batman out and he cannot live with that. He sets out to figure out where Black Mask is to put an end to it.

Batman has a lead on an illegal arms sale that is linked to the brand of drone that infiltrated the prison. He flies off toward The Bowery to stake out the sale but the Batwing’s navigation systems are scrambled. It seems that somebody has hijacked the proprietary technology that Batman has attached to radio towers throughout the city. Batman is forced to land at one of the towers and make his way to the top to investigate the interference. Several thugs are protecting the tower. Batman easily defeats these criminals, saving repairmen who have been taken as hostages. As he flushes the hacker’s presence from the tower’s systems, he comes face to screen with a mysterious man who has plans to release the secret information of officials throughout Gotham on Christmas Day to cause a societal collapse. He warns Batman against interfering.

Batman travels to make it to the arms sale and stakes it out. He interrupts the sale and beats up and interrogates the seller, Ricky “Loose Lips” LeBlanc who unwittingly sells out The Penguin as his boss. He tries to figure out the location of Penguin’s hideout but is forced to hack into three of Penguin’s listening posts to help triangulate his position. He figures out that Penguin is set up on an old cruise ship that Penguin had renamed The Final Offer where his normally illegal deals are legal due to a maritime law loophole. Batman makes his way down into the ship and finds that Penguin has built a black market and is hosting a fight club. Batman interrupts the fights only to come face to face with the second assassin, Lester Buchinsky aka “The Electrocutioner”. 

And then the Electrocutioner gets dropped.

The Penguin retreats and Batman must chase Penguin and his assistants Candy and Tracey through the labyrinthine ship. Batman fights through the derelict ship, taking out any criminals he can find. The Penguin has been selling arms to some of the assassins. Along the way, Batman finds out that Penguin is feuding with the Falcone family, the oldest mobster family in Gotham. Penguin has taken advantage of the conflict between the Falcones and Black Mask, using the opportunity to oust Falcone from power. He has captured mob boss Carmine Falcone’s son Alberto who he is torturing in his office. Batman interrupts this torture and starts trying to interrogate Penguin who lets slip a comment about a murder at Lacey Towers.

Batman’s questioning of Penguin is interrupted by the arrival of Deathstroke who challenges Batman to a fight he cannot refuse. The battle with Deathstroke is fast and furious as Deathstroke is a master at combat. He comes at Batman with a bo staff, a katana, his rifle, and a special remote claw device that he uses to launch propane tanks at Batman. The two fight hard but Batman finally knocks Deathstroke unconscious with his own sword. Penguin had been watching the fight but immediately locks himself away when the fight concludes. Batman is forced to leave The Final Offer, begrudgingly satisfied that he beat two more assassins and saved Alberto Falcone from possible murder. He also has the lead of a crime scene to investigate at the Lacey Towers apartment building. 

Batman arrives at the apartment crime scene and finds two dead bodies. The first is a woman known to be a mistress of Roman Sionis aka The Black Mask. The other dead body is wearing the outfit of The Black Mask. This seems to be where the police were satisfied and stopped investigating. Batman looks further and finds evidence that helps him reconstruct the events of the struggle. The mistress arrived at the safehouse, rattled by a criminal known only as The Joker. She was murdered and hung from the chandelier as a psychological message. Black Mask suspected that his mistress’ call may have been a trap and sent in a decoy who was promptly murdered. Black Mask then attacked the intruder but lost the fight. 

Batman has never heard of this mysterious Joker before and, after discussing his options with Alfred, decides to infiltrate GCPD headquarters to access their national criminal database. Batman makes his way inside, knowing that he has to be stealthy as alerting the whole cop shop would end badly for him. The headquarters are in disarray after the murder of Commissioner Loeb with SWAT lieutenant Branden representing the bloodthirsty and corrupt faction within the police. 

Batman listens in to a conversation between James Gordon and his visiting daughter Barbara Gordon. In the server room, Barbara surprises Batman and reveals that she is a fan of his and helps him hack the server. She also reveals that he will need to access the data line in the sewers beneath to gain permanent access. Batman is discovered in the building and Branden rushes with his men to kill Batman for Black Mask’s bounty. Gordon intervenes, wanting to arrest Batman instead. In the heat of the standoff, Batman saves Gordon from being killed by Branden and his men and flees. 

Batman makes his way down to the sewers where he finds that Black Mask has a personal vault at Gotham Merchant Bank only accessible with Black Mask’s biometrics. Batman deduces that this is where Joker took the criminal kingpin. Batman rushes to the bank and the heist is in progress. The bank is full of the dead bodies of its employees. Batman encounters Black Mask who has the bank manager captive. The bank manager has a horrible, uncomfortable grin on her face. Black Mask postures and then is disappointed that people are not playing along. He brings out the captive Roman Sionis (the real Black Mask). The fake Black Mask unmasks to reveal The Joker, a murderous clown. He confirms Batman’s suspicions that he posed as Black Mask days earlier to place the bounty on Batman. He and his men grab Sionis and escape in an ambulance before setting off a bomb that destroys the vault. Batman examines the deceased bank manager who died from some sort of toxin.

Pt. 2 Coming Soon

Media Update 7/21/22

July 21, 2022

Venom: Let There Be Carnage

Spider-Man was always one of my favorites growing up and much of my allowance went to Spidey and Marvel. One of the characters that I always liked seeing was Venom because, once they got to the point where he was an antihero, he was funny and exciting. That is the spirit that this movie embraces. The movie picks up where the first movie left off with Eddie and Venom trying to navigate their relationship. Tom Hardy is incredibly sassy and fun to watch in the role. He also is great as Venom, giving the character both a know-it-all bitchiness and childlike naivete. The movie just works because of Hardy’s chemistry with himself but he has great chemistry with everybody. Woody Harrelson is a great hammy villain. Naomie Harris is wicked and interesting in her small part. The movie’s effects are fun to watch and easy to understand despite all of the moving parts and complexity. I recommend this movie.

Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers (2022)

I absolutely lived for Disney Afternoon in the eighties and one of the absolute best shows was Rescue Rangers. It was Disney’s version of shows like Magnum PI and A Team with the violence ramped down and the comedy ramped up. The characters were fun to watch. This movie cashes in on that nostalgia but it is so much more. It is a crazy mishmash that comments on the entire history of animation and revisits a lot of concepts originally brought up in Who Framed Roger Rabbit. John Mulaney is an excellent Chip, sarcastic yet clever. Andy Samberg is a great Dale, clueless with heart. Will Arnett always plays a great villain. Kiki Layne provides a lot of the heart to the movie. The movie is absolutely a technical achievement but also has great acting and is surprisingly deep. I recommend this movie.

Phantom of the Mall: Eric’s Revenge

As often happens with my third choice, this was a surprise even to me. A late eighties adaptation of the classic Phantom of the Opera story lead to a less than classic but cheesy good slasher film. Years after a young man died, somebody is haunting the mall where his house once stood and people are dying. Kari Whitman plays the kind ex-girlfriend and main character, finding herself at the center of an unwanted mystery. Rob Estes plays the dumb yet good-natured hero. Pauly Shore plays the most subtle role I have seen him in as the weird friend. Gregory Scott Cummins, Jonathan Goldsmith, and Morgan Fairchild are scenery-chewing villains. Derek Rydall plays the titular antihero. This is a cheesy and enjoyable movie. I recommend it.

Music of the Week:

Ashe – Angry Woman

Amon Amarth – Get In The Ring

Halestorm – The Steeple

Megan Thee Stallion – Plan B

Mashup of the Week:

J3ff_K1ng – Gimme more DARES

Weekly Update:

  • This week’s theme is “Together Until the End”
  • I watched a ton of YouTube and Twitch: Game Grumps, Barry Kramer, Gabi Belle, Super Beard Bros, Attorney Tom, Impact Wrestling, All Elite Wrestling, Major League Wrestling, Games Done Quick, Cruel World Happy Mind, Emily D. Baker
  • I finished Blacklist Season 8
  • I finished Ms. Marvel Season 1
  • I started Riverdale Season 5
  • I watched more Umbrella Academy Season 3

Top 11 Fictional Objects From Television

July 18, 2022

The rules that I imposed on myself are thus:

1. The object has to be useful in my ordinary life

2. One object per show

3. The object is not part of an architecture

4. No time travel. Too dangerous.

11. Gills of Hamachi

(First Appearance: Xiaolin Showdown S02E14)

The magical objects in the animated show Xiaolin Showdown are called Shen Gong Wu and are part of a struggle to protect the world from them falling into the wrong hands. The Xiaolin monks constantly face off with the wealthy and evil Jack Spicer, Chase Young, and the witch Wuya. for control of these magical items. The Shen Gong Wu grant the user fantastic and strange abilities, most of which can be used in battle or the titular showdowns. Most of these would be useless to me in my everyday life, but the one that sounds awesome to me is the Gills of Hamachi. As one would expect, they grant the user the ability to breathe underwater. I love to swim and the idea of being able to stay underwater indefinitely is attractive. The only downside is that the gills must be deactivated when surfacing or you will suffocate.

10. Kamilla Hwang’s Camera 

(First Appearance: The Flash S06E10)

I like photography and, if I had more time, I would work on my digital art and video editing more. What would help with that? A camera. In the Arrowverse, Cisco Ramon is one of the most legendary scientists and the foremost tech guru. His girlfriend Kamilla is a professional photographer and Cisco gifted her with this high-tech camera. Cisco did not invent it but picked it up during a walkabout to figure out where he was going in his life. The technology of the camera is supposed to be bleeding edge. While we do not get to see all of its capabilities, it is advanced enough to detect an extradimensional clone. I would probably not want to hunt alien invaders but it has to be better than any camera we have available in the real world.

9. Personal Shield Emitter

(First Appearance: Stargate: Atlantis S01E03)

The world is a dangerous place. It would be nice to have something to help protect myself. The device was invented by The Ancients, a mysterious race of beings who ruled over Atlantis long before it was discovered by Stargate Command. The device is fairly simple to use. It is a palm-sized device that activates through thought, turning on in an instant to protect the wearer. As the name suggests, it projects a force field around the user and will only shut off when the energy is depleted or the wearer wills it. It would certainly help when walking around traffic and even while driving myself.

8. Honjo Masamune

(First Appearance: Warehouse 13 S01E07)

The artifacts of the titular Warehouse 13 are imbued with special abilities and properties based on their history and their connection to the people around them. The agents of the Warehouse are meant to collect the objects considered dangerous and store them in the Warehouse, away from the world. In the continuity of the show, Gorō Nyūdō Masamune forged this sword during the Edo period (similar to the history of a real sword which is a national treasure of Japan). The care that the legendary swordmaker put into making the blade resulted in an edge so sharp that it can bend light, rendering the user invisible. As somebody with social anxiety, the ability to walk around invisible sounds like a relief. Plus, I would have a cool sword to hang on my wall.

7. Sonic Screwdriver 

(Version First Appearance: Doctor Who 2005 S01E01)

The technology of Doctor Who has traditionally looked very simple because there was not a very high budget for science fiction at the BBC in the sixties. I’ve always loved that simplicity when it comes to the devices used by The Doctor. This one has been used in some form since the very first Doctor but the technology has improved over time. Each iteration had increased capabilities but nothing too crazy. The version that appeared in the hands of the ninth Doctor and was later held by the tenth Doctor has a lot of fun uses. First and foremost is the screwdriver’s ability to pick locks. It can also lock a door from a distance. It can project sound and light, detonate mines, and act as a portable x-ray. It sounds like a great utility tool to have. 

6. Bag of Holding

(First Appearance: The Magicians S04E07)

The world of The Magicians is one where incredible and strange magic is lingering just beyond the veil of the observation of normal human beings. This mostly comes from the human world coming into contact with magical worlds beyond our mundane world, similar to The Chronicles of Narnia. However, most of this magic is incredibly dangerous which is reiterated many times on the show. So picking something to take from this show was enticing but dangerous. This item works the same way that the Dungeons and Dragons item works. It is a portable bag that is much bigger on the inside than it is on the outside. It can hold way more than the bag should hold and one can access the huge inventory in the bag by thinking about the object they want to pull out. This would greatly help in organizing my life and make for an epic go bag.

5. Federation Communications Badge 

(Version First Appearance: Star Trek Voyager S01E01)

The Federation is kind of like the Space UN but with way more power and its own military which is the primary focus of the television shows. They have developed their own proprietary technology throughout their history which constantly gets better. A lot of their really neat technology is larger than an object or item (ex: transporters, holosuites). That is why I chose the communications badge and specifically the version that first showed up in Voyager. I would not use it primarily for communication purposes but if I could, I would. The world of Star Trek has an invention known as the Universal Translator which enables the communication between different races in the universe. It also can use linguistics to decipher unknown languages. By the time of Voyager, this system has been made so compact that it fits in a tiny comm badge.

4. The Batmobile 

(Version First Appearance: Batwoman S02E1)

The reason that I thought to do this list. In the Arrowverse, Batman has been missing from Gotham for years and, by season 2, we are presented with a new Batwoman. In the show, Batwoman adapts a lot of Batman’s classic gear and also newer technology to fight crime. One of the first things she grabs is the Batmobile. The Batmobile has had a lot of different versions over the years, ranging from the cool to the very cool. This is the most lowkey version that I have seen. The car is black on black with zero highlights and no visible bat symbol. It looks like it was built to blend somewhat into traffic, unlike its more ostentatious cousins. It is still heavily armored, bulletproof, and a high-performance vehicle. One of the most attractive features is the most subtle drive assist programming that helps the driver correct human error. It was so subtle that Batwoman drove it for months without noticing it.

3. Legion Flight Ring

(First Appearance: Supergirl S03E10)

The Legion of Superheroes is a massive team of superheroes that operates throughout the universe, made up of aliens from many worlds. All of the members of The Legion have different powers. Some can fly and others cannot. To facilitate teamwork tactics and travel, members are given a flight ring. What looks like a simple piece of jewelry actually allows the user the ability to fly through force of will. The user flies in the direction that they think of. The rings work through advanced anti-gravity metallurgy but also allow the user to fly in the atmosphere and in space. The utility of this is pretty easy to see. I could choose to fly to work instead of drive and I could travel quickly at a moment’s notice.

2. Senzu Bean Plant  

(First Appearance: Dragon Ball Red Ribbon Army Arc)

The only living object on this list. Son Goku and his friends met a lot of weird characters and saw a lot of strange things as they searched the world for the Dragon Balls. One of the craziest parts of any Goku story is all of the weird training he went through to get superhumanly strong. One of his teachers was Korin, a giant cat who lived in a giant tower and dared Goku to catch him and made him reclimb the tower. Korin eventually became friends with Goku and the Z fighters and offered them access to his crop of Senzu Beans. The beans are known to instantly heal a person from grievous injury and fatigue and provide a body with nutrients for up to ten days. A great thing to have around in case I get hurt or need a quick shot of healthy food.

1. The Anywhere Key 

(First Appearance: Locke and Key S01E01)

The Locke family forged mysterious keys made of whispering iron, a metal fashioned from the remnants of demons. Each key has a different ability, some of them more dangerous than others. There are a lot of cool keys but many of them feel way too dangerous to me in multiple ways. One of the keys with no known downside is the Anywhere Key. It is a simple metal key. When you approach a door, the key will automatically fit in whatever lock is attached to it. You turn the key while thinking of where you want to go. When you open the door and walk through it, you will emerge from a door in the location you wanted to go. It has no known limitations on distance or location. All you need is two doors, one at the departure point and one at the arrival point. You also have to have seen the door you’re going to. This means an instant commute, instant visit to friends/family, and makes it very easy to move.

Media Update 7/14/22

July 14, 2022

Thor: Love and Thunder

I am a huge MCU fan and I have been a fan of the Thor movies since the very first one. When I heard about this one, I was very excited. Thor struggles to find himself after all that he has been through as a new threat and old, familiar faces come into his life. Chris Hemsworth is back as Thor and he is great at being funny, charismatic, deep, tragic, and so many more emotions. Tessa Thompson is back as Valkyrie and she is somehow even more of a badass. Natalie Portman shows how much work she has put in and how much growth in her skills has occurred. Christian Bale is amazing and I would not be surprised if he wins some awards. There are great smaller roles from Taika Waititi, Russell Crowe, Jaime Alexander, Chris Pratt, and others who are all so memorable. This movie was a roller coaster and I loved it from start to finish. I recommend it.

Ghostbusters: Afterlife

Ghostbusters 3 has been a long time coming but it was worth waiting for. Egon Spengler’s estranged family tries to investigate what happened to him back in the day, revealing a new threat. The star of the movie is McKenna Grace, who does a great job of playing a young girl descended from Egon. Finn Wolfhard plays a great snarky teen. Carrie Coon is great as a relatable mom. Logan Kim is a quirky, cute little boy. Paul Rudd adds a bit of slapstick comedy to the movie. The movie has a really nice slow burn and a really strong story that does something new with plenty of nods to the past. I recommend this movie.

Demons (2009 TV show)

I stumbled across this show and thought I would give it a shot. A young man discovers that he is a descendant of Abraham Van Helsing and destined to hunt things that go bump in the night. Christian Cooke plays a very relatable teenage Van Helsing, struggling to do what is right and feeling a bit like Buffy Summers. Phillip Glenister plays the gruff and snarky mentor. Zoë Tapper plays the legendary Mina Harker, an empathetic psychic. Holliday Grainger is the real heart of the show as the perfectly normal but hilarious best friend. The show has a great monster-of-the-week feel to it with each villain being incredibly fascinating and charismatic. I recommend this show.

Music of the Week: 

Dove Cameron – Breakfast

WARGASM – Fukstar

Em Beihold – Too Precious

I Prevail – Body Bag

Mashup of the Week:

Natasha Arts – Can’t Touch Rico

Weekly Update:

  • This week’s theme is “Legacy”
  • I watched a ton of YouTube and Twitch: Game Grumps, Barry Kramer, Gabi Belle, Super Beard Bros, Attorney Tom, Impact Wrestling, All Elite Wrestling, Major League Wrestling, Games Done Quick, Cruel World Happy Mind, Emily D. Baker
  • I finished watching Archive 81 Season 1
  • I started watching The Umbrella Academy Season 3
  • I started watching The Flash Season 8
  • I watched more Scream Queens Season 2

Scary Studies

Horror is fascinating.

The Hidden Message

klaatu barada nikto

Growing a family

Im just trying to evolve

Panorama of the Mountains

Liam Sullivan's Ideas and Reflections

Boccob's Blessed Blog

A gaming blog with an emphasis on D&D 5e

wolfenoot.wordpress.com/

No Hate Only Snootboops

As Told By Carly

The Ramblings of a Geek Girl

Beyond the Flow

A Survivor's Philosophy of Life

Silvia Writes

Life is a story. Might as well write it.

An Artist’s Path

Art, Poetry, Prose, Spirituality & Whimsy

The Bloggess

Like Mother Teresa, only better.

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