Author: Sean Wheeler

10 CLOVERFIELD LANE Movie Review

Warning: Minor Spoilers Ahead! Let’s get this out of the way at the very beginning, while 10 CLOVERFIELD LANE takes place in the same world as CLOVERFIELD, it is in no way necessary to have seen it to enjoy this new film. This is director Dan Trachtenberg’s first full length feature and he delivers a taut thriller full of intrigue, suspense, and some very fun twists and turns.  The movie centers around Michelle, a woman who has hit the road after leaving her fiance, who’s trip comes to an abrupt end when her car is sideswiped by a truck...

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GODS OF EGYPT Movie Review

Director Alex Proyas (KNOWING) is best known for making dark sci-fi fantasy films, I, ROBOT and THE CROW being his most celebrated works, so it is more than a bit surprising to see him tackle a bright, big budget action adventure film like GODS OF EGYPT.  The movie focuses on Bek, a mortal who is trying to save his love from certain oblivion in the afterlife, and Horus, god of the air and rightful ruler of Egypt who was deposed by his Uncle, Set, who is bent on vengeance and retaking the throne.  Bek seeks Horus’ help in returning...

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ASH VS EVIL DEAD Season One Review

Warning: Spoilers Ahead! With the return of MAD MAX and STAR WARS, 2015 was a year of patience paying off for fans, and cult classics weren’t left out thanks to Starz bringing us ASH VS EVIL DEAD, complete with Bruce Campbell (OZ THE GREAT AND POWERFUL) reprising his iconic role of Ashley “Ash” J. Williams.  The show wastes no time jumping right back into the terrifying world of The Evil Dead, with Ash inadvertently reading from the Necronomicon while stoned to impress a girl.  With the Deadites unleashed on the earth once more, Ash tries to flee but isn’t...

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VIKINGS Season 4 Premiere Review

  Even the best shows have their ups and downs, and it seems like History’s hit series, VIKINGS, may finally be entering a valley.  Season four opens with the raiders triumphant return to Kattegat, and a wounded Ragnar lying in bed, fighting for his life.  With Ragnar indisposed, the machinations of those around him start to stir and come to the surface.  Queen Aslaug is positioning herself to lead if Ragnar fails to recover, Bjorn is looking to build his reputation by flouting his success and trying to follow in his father’s footsteps by condemning Floki, Kalf is making...

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HAIL, CAESAR! Movie Review

Ethan and Joel Coen (INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS), most often referred to as simply the Coen brothers, have a unique cinematic sensibility that people tend to either love or hate.  I am of the former group as I thoroughly enjoy their demented antics and quirky characters, and their latest cinematic offering HAIL, CAESAR! is chock full of both.  The movie is a glorious send up and love song to the golden age of Hollywood and it centers around Eddie Mannix, head of production and something of a bag man for Capitol Pictures, a giant film studio complete with the all...

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DOCTOR WHO Season 9 TV Review

Warning: Spoilers Ahead!!  Also, this review will also cover the christmas special, you have been warned! The ninth season of DOCTOR WHO has come to an end, and it has been full of the twists and turns that fans of the show adore.  The season opens with more mischief from Missy, which will bring The Doctor face to face with one of his most notorious foes, however, this blockbuster opening is just the start of the fun, as we are treated to a smoargasboard of Who favorites this season.  Zygons, The Mire, a new recurring immortal, Weeping Angels, Cybermen,...

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THE REVENANT Movie Review

WARNING: Major spoilers are within. Enter at your own risk! Following up the phenomenal success of BIRDMAN, Alejandro Iñárritu delivers a vastly different, but powerful film with THE REVENANT.  The movie centers on Hugh Glass, a frontiersman who is the head scout and navigator for a group of fur traders.  After their camp is destroyed by raiding natives, the survivors are forced to flee for their lives and Glass sets a course to cross over a mountain to avoid the pursuing raiders and gain some time over them.  While scouting one morning, Glass is terrifyingly attacked by an enraged...

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THE GOOD DINOSAUR Movie Review

Warning: Spoilers Ahead! It is a rare thing for two Disney Pixar films to be released in the same year, but hot on the heels of INSIDE OUT is THE GOOD DINOSAUR, the latest visual treat from the computer animation pioneers.  The movie centers around Arlo, an Apatosaurus who is a little different than the rest of the family.  While his siblings are strong or clever, and his parents brave and steadfast, Arlo is a bit clumsy and practically jumps at his own shadow.  In an effort to help him overcome his fear, his father gives him the task...

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THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY PART 2 Movie Review

Warning: Spoilers Ahead! Like most people, I was a little skeptical when they split the final HUNGER GAMES book into two films, however, director Francis Lawrence (THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE) delivers a powerful conclusion with MOCKINGJAY PART 2 and it is arguably his most impressive directorial effort of the series.  The movie opens with Katniss recovering from Peeta’s brutal attack on her, and while she is weak, she is still very determined.  The brainwashed state of Peeta has only fueled her fire and she has just one thing in mind, getting to The Capitol and killing President Snow....

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Field Trip: YOUMACON 2015

This an account of a four day long convention.  If you are merely curious about specific features of the convention, the relevant paragraphs are in red, everything else is in black and covers my personal experiences at the con. As the leaves start to fall and the air starts to chill, many people begin to look forward to Halloween, however, for many of us in the midwest and across the country, we look forward to the costumed shenanigans that happen every year at YOUMACON in Detroit.  With attendance estimated to be around 19,000 people this year it is easily...

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ASH VS EVIL DEAD Premiere Review

Warning: Spoilers Ahead! When an EVIL DEAD Remake was announced a few years back, fans lamented the fact that Bruce Campbell (TV’s BURN NOTICE) would not be reprising his role as Ash, thankfully, more than 20 years after the his last outing as the iconic zombie slayer, he returns to the role that made him famous with ASH VS EVIL DEAD.  The show is the latest in a slew of high end programing to debut on Starz in recent years, and it is sure to make long time fans smile as Ivan Raimi (DRAG ME TO HELL) and Sam...

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STAR WARS REBELS Season 2’s “The Lost Commanders” Review

  Warning: Spoilers Ahead! As fans salivate for the upcoming Star Wars movie they’re offered an appetizer in the latest season of STAR WARS REBELS.  Ezra and the crew of the Ghost return and they’re on the ropes after their encounter with Darth Vader.  Having lost a rebel command ship, the rebel cell is in desperate need of a permanent base to regroup and repair at.  At the behest of Ahsoka, the Ghost heads out on a mission to make contact with an old ally of hers, Rex.  However, once Kanan realizes that Rex and his friends are Clones,...

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THE MARTIAN Movie Review

Given that Ridley Scott (EXODUS: GODS AND KINGS) has had a career that spans five decades, it is not surprising that occasionally his reach might exceed his grasp.  Thankfully, that is not the case with his latest offering, THE MARTIAN, an impressive science fiction drama that attempts to anchor itself not in the fantastical, but in what soon might be scientific reality.  Mark Watney is part of a manned mission to mars, and the film opens with him and the other members of the Aries III taking samples on the planet’s surface.  An unexpected storm forces the team to...

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DOCTOR WHO Season 9 Premiere Review

Warning: Spoilers Ahead!! The ninth season of the rebooted DOCTOR WHO hit the ground running with a two part season premier. “The Magician’s Apprentice” and “The Witch’s Familiar” bring The Doctor face to face with one of his most notorious nemeses, Davros, creator of the Daleks, and it is one of the most engrossing encounters I have ever seen on the show. The season opens with The Doctor trying to save a young boy on a strange planet while Clara is back in England waiting for The Doctor. She quickly notices an unexplained aerial phenomenon that leads her to...

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Starz’s BLUNT TALK Episodes 1-3 Review

Get ready for Patrick Stewart (If you don’t know, there is nothing I can mention that will help) as you’ve never seen him before in BLUNT TALK, the outrageous new comedy series from Starz.  Stewart plays Walter Blunt, a news man in the vein of Anderson Cooper, whose personal activities run the gambit of excess.  The series opens with Blunt drinking heavily, rebuffing fans, then promptly getting in his car and eating some pot laced chocolate before hitting the streets.  In short order he has managed to snag a transexual prostitute, but before anything too steamy can go down...

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STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON Movie Review

I don’t usually get personal in my movie reviews, but as this film is far from the typical movies we cover on this site, I’m going to digress a bit.  As someone who grew up in southern California in the late 80s and early 90s, rap and hip hop music was the soundtrack of my late childhood, I still remember sitting in the back of the bus and singing along to “Nuthing but a g Thang.”  On top of that, I have been enjoying F. Gary Gray films since his first full length feature, FRIDAY, and nearly all of...

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STAR WARS REBELS Season 2 Premiere Episode Review

Warning: Spoilers Ahead!! Fans got a an unexpected surprise from a galaxy far, far away this summer when the STAR WARS REBELS season two premiere dropped a few months early in an effort to tide fans over until the rest of the episodes air this fall.  The premiere, titled The “Siege of Lothal”, finds the crew of the Ghost keeping busy with the rebellion by taking part in raids against the Empire.  On the flip side, the Imperial forces on Lothal are doing everything they can to smoke out the rebel cell or trying to find some way to...

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ANT-MAN Movie Review

WARNING: A Very Major Spoiler is ahead. I would like to say that Marvel’s newest contribution to the cinematic universe is a bit of an oddball for them, but after a film with a talking racoon and a dancing tree, I don’t think that statement is quite appropriate.  Regardless, Marvel’s ANT-MAN, helmed by Peyton Reed (YES MAN), is a departure from the recent over the top superhero films, as it focuses on an everyman in need of redemption and has just as much heart as it does laughs.  The movie centers around Scott Lang, an ex con who is...

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TERMINATOR GENISYS Movie Review

Warning: Minor Spoilers Ahead!! While the TERMINATOR franchise is well established, there has been a lack of consistency since the the first two films, different actors, different points in time, and an aging original cast has all led to GENISYS, a terminator film that finally addresses the perils of time travel.  This time around John Connor and Kyle Reese are on the verge of winning the war, which means that Reese must go back in time to stop a terminator from killing John’s mother.  However, just before he is sent back Reese sees Connor get attacked which causes him...

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INSIDE OUT Movie Review

The DISNEY PIXAR team have given us some of the best original animated features of the last two decades, and while some of the sequels might give us trepidation, I’m looking at you MONSTERS UNIVERSITY, they have consistently delivered when delving into new original ideas, and this tradition continues with INSIDE OUT. Helmed by Pixar veteran Pete Docter (UP), Inside Out focuses on an 11 year old girl named Riley, and the inner workings of her mind as it is run by a combination of Joy, Sadness, Fear, Disgust, and Anger. Like many children, her childhood is highlighted by...

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