Valentine’s Day and Romantic Films That Don’t Suck

happy-valentines-day-2Who doesn’t love Valentine’s Day? All the romance and intimacy; sharing tender feelings with your significant other over candlelight dinners. The flowers, the jewelry, sexy lingerie and Hallmark cards that cost four bucks apiece…

Who doesn’t love Valentine’s Day?

Me. This girl. Right here. Just like all the other single people in the world, February fourteenth is just another day in the week for me. I don’t have to think up meaningful gifts, plan an outfit to wear to the fancy restaurant, or shave my legs for the obligatory sex at the valentines-day-2014-messages-for-facebookend of the night. But my sad and pathetic social life means that I have the time to do things like write this article for the benefit of those who are not sad and pathetic. I’m a great humanitarian- what can I say? But before I get to the advice part I thought I’d give people a little reminder of why we celebrate this so special day.

Oh, and anyone wondering why someone single should be giving out any kind of relationship advice can shove it. Thought I’d clear that one up right off the bat.

Despite the accusations of the loveless and cynical, this holiday wasn’t invented by the flowers and greeting card companies: more like the Romans and Christian church.

Every February 15th the Roman’s held a festival called Lupacalia to celebrate Faunus, the god of Agriculture, as well as commemorate the founding of Rome by the twins Romulus and Remus. Priests went to a sacred cave and sacrificed animals, then ran around the city slapping crops and young women with whips dipped in the blood. This was to ensure both the women and the land’s fertility and in turn, the prosperity of the Roman people. Then during the 5th century, pagan celebrations were outlawed by the Christian church. But not unlike the holiday Samhain (aka Halloween or All Saint’s Day) the church realized cupid-with-red-roses-valentines-day-clip-arthow much people enjoyed these naughty Pagan traditions and so instead of struggling to stamp them out, decided to place a Christian celebration right on top of it. This way the people could keep doing all the fun stuff without being sacrilegious and the church could retain popularity instead of being a huge buzzkill. So at the end of the 5th century we have Pope Gelasius declaring February 14th the day of Saint Valentine, who was some Saint of some kind…no one really knows which because there were three. Though the origin stories of these saints named Valentine or Valentinus are all unclear and have become more legend than fact, we do know that all were martyred and some had a loose connection to love and sacrifice that appealed to people’s sense of romance. By the Middle Ages St. Valentine was one of the most popular saints in England and France, where it was also believed that the middle of February was the start of the mating season for birds. This forever cemented the association of fertility, love, romance, and mating with the feast of St. Valentine on February 14th.

Christian Church-1, Pagan Festivals-0.

It wasn’t until after the 1400s that written St. Valentine’s Day greetings became popular, but by the 18th century it was a common occurrence across all social classes in several countries.  The first mass-produced Valentine’s Day card was created by Esther Howland in the United States sometime during the 1840s and according to the Greeting Card Association an estimated 1 billion Valentine’s Day cards are sent each year. Also, there is an actual Greeting Card Association. These greetings, given along with tokens of affection like flowers and sweets, evolved to become the frenzy of spending and inundation of cutesy teddy bears, roses, hearts, and all things red & pink today that we’ve come to know and loathe, I mean love.VaentinesDayCupidOn top of leaving you more educated and full of fun facts to impress I’m also offering my assistance in an area that has become not only a Valentine’s Day tradition, but a staple in the entire dating/relationship world: the date movie.

Ever since the creation of moving pictures, people have sat through shit that they didn’t really want to and pretended to like when the really didn’t in order to make another person happy and possibly get lucky. I don’t want to stereotype all women and say that this is my list of suggested alternatives to traditional chick-flicks in order to reduce the suffering of men nationwide…but basically that’s what this is. Obviously there are the rare and exceptional exceptions such as me to the preconceived notions of how women think and what we like, but for the sake of this article let’s just go with the conceptual majority and argue over the prevalence of girls who prefer explosions over expressions of love some other time, ok?

If you’re worried about what horror show of cheesetastic love stories and films starring Sandra Bullock your girl will pull off of Netflix or drag you to the theatre to shell out 20-30 bucks for, why not take matters into your own hands this year? Here to help are my fourteen suggested chick-flick alternatives that feature unconventional love stories and unique characters that provide enjoyable entertainment while staying on-topic. I’ve divided them into five sub-categories based on their second most prominent element for those who prefer action over humor, sex over cinematography, and so on.

Weird/Artsy:

These three films each garnered acclaim for their special flavor of brilliance at Sundance, and while they couldn’t be more different from each other, the journey they take you on is a poignant and enjoyable ride worth watching and discussing at any time.

Eternal-Sunshine-of-the-Spotless-Mind-movie-poster-1020192924Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004) 108 mins

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0338013/?ref_=nv_sr_1

How much easier would life be if one could simply erase all memory of painful events? Sure our psychological scars are what molds our character and helps to define us as individuals but is it always better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all- and what if we could decide that? A top-notch cast that includes Jim Carrey, Kate Winslet, Elijah Wood, Mark Ruffalo, and Kirsten Dunst explore the idea that our memory is the arch-enemy of our happiness.

larsandtherealgirlr1artpLars and the Real Girl (2007) 106 mins

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0805564/?ref_=nv_sr_1

Before he was a badass in Drive or melted hearts and panties alike despite a scraggly beard in The Notebook, Ryan Gosling convinced us that it really was possible for someone that gorgeous to be painfully shy and socially inept in Lars and the Real Girl. Not just a wonderful story about the transformational properties of love, this film is a testimony to the truism that a man can overcome anything with the help of a good woman; or even just the idea of a good woman.

06-wristcuttersWristcutters: A Love Story (2006) 88 mins

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0477139/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1

In a strange, sad kind of Purgatory reserved for people who have committed suicide, a boy named Zia wonders what to do with himself and reminisces about the former girlfriend who broke his heart. When he discovers that she committed suicide not long after he did, Zia hits the road with his friend and failed rock musician Eugene in search of the lovely Desiree. Along the way he meets others living out their eternity in the same joyless way, including a pretty hitch-hiker named Mikal who claims her presence there is a mistake and is searching for the People In Charge to correct her situation. Darkly humorous with a sort-of tongue-in-cheek philosophical air, Wristcutters is an unexpected pleasure that will make you appreciate all the things (and people) in your life that are easy to take for granted. Patrick Fugit plays Zia and the lovely Shannyn Sossamon is Mikal.

Weird/Sexy:

For those of you who want something to jump-start your evening, so to speak, these are some films that you may not have seen that’ll give you a whole new point of view on the interconnections of love, sex, pleasure, and pain.

Quills_posterQuills (2000) 124 mins

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0180073/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1

Kate Winslet appears on my list again in this story about the amorous adventures of the Marquis de Sade while interned at an asylum. She plays the part of Madelein, a maid who secretly aids the Marquis in putting the debaucheries of his imagination down on paper in order to reach the public. Joaquin Phoenix plays the Abbott running the asylum with the best of intentions while Geoffrey Rush plays the original sadist. This story is a bit less focused on love and romance but remains a great story nonetheless. Or maybe I just have a sick mind.

Secretary (2002) 104 minssecretary poster

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0274812/?ref_=nv_sr_6

One of my favorite films of all time, Secretary is the very definition of an unusual love story. Maggie Gyllenhal plays Lee Holloway, a lonely and repressed young woman who takes a job as a secretary upon her release from hospitalization. James Spader is excellent as her boss who secretaryerleads her one step at a time into a relationship few ever experience and fewer still can understand. It’s a window into the world of BDSM that’s far more authentic than Fifty Shades of Grey will ever be.

young_big_picYoung Adam (2003) 98 mins

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0289635/?ref_=nv_sr_1

People should see this movie if for no other reason than the fact that Ewan McGregor appears naked in it briefly. That is the nude scene is brief, Ewan is in it the whole time. In fact what I remember most about this movie is how much sex he had in it. He also manages to pretty much screw up the lives of everyone around him with sex as well, but he looks damn good while doing it (pun intended.) Probably for the best it was rated NC-17 eh? Tilda Swinton plays the female lead/person naked the 2nd most frequently.

Weird/Thought-Provoking:

I have no other way to describe these but feel like both deserve mentioning. Both films deal with the unfairness of life and the capacity each of us has for love, longing, heartache, and obsession. They aren’t your typical Valentine’s Day feature but if you don’t watch them now I recommend that you do at some later date and time.

Womb (2010) 111minswomb pic

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1216520/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1

When the love of her life is taken from her before they are able to even begin their life together, Rebecca decides to have him cloned. Where things get strange is when she also decides to be the one to carry and give birth to her love-clone and then raise him as her son so that there’s a freaky Norman Bates-esque quality to their relationship. Matt Smith plays Thomas and the Thomas clone while the beautiful Eva Green plays his love and his mom. Is it still incest if he’s not biologically related to you? Maybe I should email Woody Allen…

The Lovely Bones (2009) 135 minsLovely-Bones-Poster

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0380510/?ref_=nv_sr_1

The surrealism of living in the afterlife is portrayed parallel to the all-too-real grief and frustration of a family fractured by the disappearance of a child. The stark sadness of a young girl’s murder pales in comparison to the heartache caused by refusing to let go of what’s already lost. The story directed by Peter Jackson makes my list because it is a beautifully well-acted tale that will leave you with eyes welled up. Mark Wahlberg and Rachel Weisz play the parents of the victim while Saoirse Ronan plays Susie.

Weird/Action-Packed:

If you’re like me you might prefer a bit more excitement to your romance tales than the average love-story usually accommodates; if so, these suggestions are for you. Additionally they each deal with a form of the undead, which always makes love extra-fun in my opinion.

the_returned_season_1_www.kepfeltoltes.hu_The Returned

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2521668/?ref_=nv_sr_1

This isn’t so much a film as it is a French television series that aired on IFC but I felt compelled to mention it because I’ve never come across anything like it in all my vast experience with zombies. The strangeness and foreboding are matched only by the centrality of love in all its forms. It’s the story of a small town where one day, out of the blue, people’s deceased loved ones start coming home as if no time had passed since they had…well, passed. Some have only been gone a few months while others return to apartments that have new tenants and fiancés that have new husbands. I can’t say that I know any of the actors in it but they do a great job, and if you get through the whole season please drop me a line so that I can ask you to explain to me wtf was going on…

Kiss of the Damned (2012 version) 97 mins

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1959438/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1kiss-of-the-damned-review-2

A vampire movie where no one sparkles- so a real vampire movie- that was remade in 2012, Kiss of the Damned is a sexy, fun romp in the realm of eternal darkness. Paolo is a screenwriter who became entranced by a beautiful stranger while seeking isolation to focus on his craft. Drawn to each other as though it was meant to be, the mysterious Djuna is unable to scare Paolo off or resist him despite her (sortof) best efforts and so creates a partner/lover for forever. However their blood-sucking honeymoon is interrupted when her wild and unpredictable sister shows up unannounced. What could be more dramatic than a house full of tense vampires? Milo Ventimiglia plays Paolo, Josephine de la Baume is Djuna, and Roxane Mesquida is Djuna’s sister Mimi.

The Crow (1994) 102 mins

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0109506/?ref_=nv_sr_1brandon-lee-the-crow

Based on the brilliant comic book by James O’Barr and made into a real-life tragic love story after the actor playing the main character is killed in an accident while filming, The Crow is another of my all-time favorite films. Brandon Lee plays Eric Draven, a musician turned avenging angel after he and his fiancé Shelley Webster are tortured and murdered by a gang of thugs. His soul is brought back by a crow in order to “set the wrong things right” in this dark, violent, and moody tale that proves real love is forever.

Weird/Funny:

Everyone’s sense of humor is a bit different so I selected three films that couldn’t be more different from each other in nearly every way except for the fact that all of them are love stories.

Hedwig and the Angry Inch (2001) 95 mins

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0248845/?ref_=nv_sr_1hedwig pic

I believe the correct term for this film is “rock opera.” Full of catchy musical numbers, this film chronicles the life of Hedwig and her battle for fame, love, and acceptance. Angry and hurt that the boy she once believed truly cared about her became a rock star without her but with the songs they wrote together, Hedwig is bitter and cynical, keeping people at a distance and putting a strain on all the other relationships in her life. Other than the costumes and makeup and humor and scenery, by far the best thing about this movie is the soundtrack, which has never left my iPod. I dare you to listen to “The Origin of Love” and not think it’s brilliant.

Garden State (2004) 102 mins

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0333766/?ref_=nv_sr_1garden state sundance channel dot com

I think Garden State may actually be my favorite movie of all time…I know I’ve said other aforementioned films are my favorites and I just told you how much I love the soundtrack to Hedwig, but this might be my one favorite movie and movie soundtrack of all if I could only list one. Zach Braff wrote, directed, and starred in this as well as personally selecting all of the music. This left him with very little money left in the budget for things like say, filming, but also earned him a Grammy for best compilation soundtrack album for a motion picture, television or other visual media. Braff plays Andrew Largeman; a quasi-successful actor living in LA who reluctantly returns to his home in New Jersey in order to attend his mother’s funeral. Shortly after the burial he meets Sam, played by Natalie Portman, who changes his entire view on life in only a few short days. The story is quirky and has a randomness to the way events unfold that goes well with its strange sense of humor. These surround a poignant and genuine-feeling drama that I believe nearly everyone can relate to on some level. Overall the tone of the movie manages to remain light even though the plot centers on a traumatic loss, and combined with the superb performances by the supporting cast members it is most assuredly an experience you won’t forget.

I Love You Phillip Morris (2009) 98 mins

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1045772/?ref_=nv_sr_1I Love you pm pic

Another film starring both Jim Carrey and Ewan McGregor, I Love You Phillip Morris is by far the lightest and most humorous of all my weird/funny films. Carrey plays Steven Russell, a man who meets his true love, played by Mr. McGregor, while in prison for insurance fraud. Everything after that is wine and roses- the only problem seems to be his complete and utter inability to tell the truth. There are some wonderful tender moments, laugh-out-loud moments, shocked and scandalized moments, and plenty of coarse gay humor. I highly recommend this one for a great time and anyone who can appreciate a good sight-gag.

This extra list is comprised of films that most people have seen before and nearly everyone has at least heard of. They’re fourteen of your more your traditional V-Day movies but if you must go that route these are what I recommend as being the best options. (You might also want to keep them in mind in case your first selection from the list above crashes and burns with your viewing partner’s film tastes.) No synopses, no links- just some titles to keep in mind. I can’t do all the work for you, can I?

Last of the Mohicans

Titanic

Moulin Rouge

The Painted Veil

Black Swan

Knocked Up

Legends of the Fall

Warm Bodies

The Notebook

Untamed Heart

An Education

Sixteen Candles

True Romance

What Dreams May Come

2014-valentines-day-facebook-wallpapers1So instead of seeing Endless Love or Winter’s Tale, which both look stupid, stay in and save your money for more important things- like comic books. And remember: if your bf or gf asks you to watch any part of the Twilight “saga” dump them post haste and run like Hell.free-clip-art-of-valentines-day

Your Bitchy WMD Valentine,

Dianthrax

Sources: the internet movie database, history.com, SundanceChannel.com, movieposters.com
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The Very Special “Oscar Edition” Review of The Walking Dead!

The Walking Dead:

Season 2 Episode 10 Review

*Warning: like all the others, this review comes with the same advisory against impending spoilers, mature content, etc. and so on. Please enjoy immensely and at your own discretion.*

For those of you who care about that kind of thing, this past Sunday was also Oscar Night and the NBA All-Star Game. It makes me wonder if they wrote this episode of TWD with those facts in mind and purposely made it less interesting.

Was it just me or did anyone else feel like this episode was short and teetering on the boring side, despite the heavy walker presence? Maybe it was because there were none of the characters I find most interesting- Daryl, Glenn, and Dale- and so no further exploration of their various complicated relationships. Maybe it was because I expected more from Rick and Shane’s confrontation, or from Beth’s situation. I thought she was going to be infected, not fake-suicidal! The extent that I care about that character and her drama begins and ends with how she will affect the people I actually do give a shit about, and being infected will stir up trouble for everyone. Yes, I understand her significance to the story and the setting, but did that series of events really need to be like, 1/3 of the whole episode?? They could’ve fit in another story arc- like more with Carol and Daryl or where the Hell is T-Dog and what is he off doing? It seemed lazy. Anyway…

 Welcome to my special “Oscar Edition” review of The Walking Dead, episode 10!

Unlike the real thing there’s no paparazzi, no Red Carpet- except for any female readers who happen to be natural red-heads, no talk about designer dresses, no celebrity presenters, and you have me for a host instead of what’s-his-face. But there will be intense emotions, competition, people who can’t stand each other acting as though they’re friends, and hoards of the soulless shells of what was once a person now left emotionless and dead inside ( just without the Botox and Xanax.) Enjoy the themed review of the show!

 This week has the two main storylines: the major one is Rick and Shane finally having it out while dropping off their “guest-age” (part guest, part hostage) Randall. The second is about Beth and her collapse/fever-coma which seemed like infection and made fetching Hershel so urgent, which is now just her moping in a bed and stealing cutlery for attention.  It’s also about Andrea being the dumb ho that she is, only this time it’s really obvious because she both acts like and mouths-off like one.

We start with Rick and Shane driving out an agreed upon 18 miles to drop off their human cargo and coming to a crossroads….I mean they literally stop at a real crossroads and Rick gets out to finally talk to his increasingly crazy buddy. No symbolism there-no sir! He tells Shane that he knew about him and Lori long before Lori had to tell him and that it took everything he had not to kick Shane’s face in. He basically says “ The only way this works is if you accept right here and now that  that’s my wife, my kid, my baby and you will back the Hell up off of them and recognize that I will be staying alive and keeping them safe because that’s my job. You’re done being scary and following your own agenda. You are no longer a threat to me.

Shane can barely look at him and it’s like seeing an obnoxious spoiled 2-yr-old finally getting caught and punished by Mom and Dad. He tries to make excuses like he does with everyone, claiming that back at the hospital there were soldiers shooting people and then walkers were coming through and there was just no way the two of them could make it out- he knew it. But leaving Rick was something he couldn’t have lived with if he didn’t have Lori and Carl there to keep him from falling apart. He swears he never looked at Lori before that and “Brother I’d take it all back if I could!”

And the Oscar for Best Improvised Bullshitting goes to…Shane Walsh in: I’m Really Not A Bad Guy! No, Seriously!

Wait a sec…didn’t he tell Lori back in season 1 that he truly thought Rick was dead? That he put his ear to Rick’s chest and swore he couldn’t hear a heartbeat and that was the only reason he left him and told her that her husband was dead? In fact in episode 9 while arguing over his lie about Rick being back at the Farm she says he can’t seem to stop lying and brings it up again, to which he responds with “When are you going to stop throwing that in my face? I thought he was…” and stops, but essentially he tells her again that he really believed Rick was dead.

 Now he’s changing his story and telling Rick that he had no choice but to leave him and just assume he would end up dead? He also told Lori during that argument that “what they had” wasn’t the mistake she claims it to be; but that “it was real and right and a long time coming.” A long time coming you say? Yet to Rick you swear you never looked at Lori before you thought he was out of the picture.

And the Oscar for Most Convoluted Web of Lies goes to…Shane again! This time for his role in: I’ve Wanted My Best Friend’s Life & Now I’m Going to Steal It from Him

Another interesting thing that Shane decided to share with Rick during their crossroads confrontation is his confession of killing Otis in order to survive, claiming one of them wasn’t going to make it out and it had to be Otis. He says “One shot to the leg, Carl lives” and tells Rick that he wouldn’t have been able to do it. “Rick you can’t just be the Good Guy and expect to live.” Really? Then what’s the point of living if you’re only going to be raising children to become “bad” people and live in a world populated with only “bad” people? What are you living for? (That’s the question that Beth needs an answer to, but we’ll get to that in a minute.)

Shane also provided his personal commentary on Otis’ death, stating that “Reality is he had no business being here…”

The Oscar for Best Interpretation of Being A Total Dick goes to…Shane once again for his innovative portrayal of the character “God”!

Why exactly did Otis not belong here if he had survived this long? The guy obviously had some useful medical knowledge, was a good shot (totally nailed Carl right in the torso through a deer for Christ’s sake!) was a hunter/provider, had a girlfriend who loved him, a sense of honor and morals, plus I’m told he played the guitar like an Angel.

My guess is it was because Shane was jealous. He was all used to being the hottest, manliest, beef-cake survivor on the block but when he saw Otis he knew there was just no way he could compete with all that sexy, so he got rid of him.

It’s so sad how jealousy can drive people to do terrible things.

Back to the actual happenings of the episode: they get back in the car and keep driving. Rick is chattering about winter and actually making some good points. He understands what things will be like and that they need to stockpile food, fuel, warm clothing, and other necessities now even though winter seems far off. This tells me how Rick really does “get it” and demonstrates why he’s the best choice the group has for a leader. Shane is barely listening, staring out the window at a lone walker striding across the middle of a field.

There’s been a lot of talk about the meaning of that walker and here is part of how I saw it:

I took this as an indication that the area must be filled with fucking things. Considering they aren’t supposed to be very active during the day and yet there’s one strolling in the sunshine like he’s headed to Burning Man, how many of them must there be meandering around in the woods or just lying in cars and buildings, chilling until nightfall? I would estimate more than just a few and if Shane is thinking like I am he probably figures poor Randall won’t stand much of a chance after they drop him off. Since he wanted the guy dead from the get-go, I’d say this was Shane seeing a good sign- one that he neglects to point out to Rick. But there’s actually much more to it than that, only we won’t realize it until the end (which is where I’ll finish my interpretation.)

Once they get to the decided left-to-die location and take out a pair of Security Walkers, Shane points something out that hasn’t come up yet and I think this is how it’s introduced to us and all the explanation we’re going to get: he says the walkers didn’t have any bites on them. That means they must be “scratchers”- infected via nail scratches on skin, thus infectious themselves in the same way. Now we have a whole new way for people to become infected and it’s a lot more difficult to avoid than a bite. Yay!

Seriously though, what did I tell you about not knowing anything about this illness and how it spreads?! (see my review of episode 8) One more thing I totally called! And I still think Beth is infected, too- not bitten but scratched during the tussle with her dead mum- we just haven’t seen the more obvious stages yet. Or maybe that’s just my wishful thinking.

So now there’s scratcher-walkers and they’ve already found two- this is clearly an AWESOME place to leave Randall tied up with only a knife a few feet away. It also seems like the totally perfect place for the two guys to fight! Burned corpses, random sharp and/or rusty debris, possible infectious materials, disease-riddled dead bodies that have been all over touching on everything…let’s give each other open wounds and smell like dinner!

Poor Randall is virtually hog-tied and begging Rick and Shane not to leave him- trying to find anything that will make them change their minds and take him back to the farm with them. He argued that he wasn’t like the other guys but that he had to be with them because one man alone doesn’t stand a chance. He really did sound and look pathetic, laying on his side on the cement while yelling that he’s just a kid- he went to Church on Sundays and went to the same High School as Maggie and had been to her house and was on the football team…and then they stop and turn.

I thought it was because he’d finally said something that could be taken as a reliable character reference, but I should have been thinking more pragmatically. If he’s been to Maggie’s house before then it won’t matter where they take him to drop him off; he’ll be able to lead others to the farm regardless.  This, of course, seals the kid’s fate in Shane’s eyes who’s ready to execute him then and there, but Rick wants to take him back and think about the situation for another day. Shouldn’t it mean something- shouldn’t you have no other choice if you’re going to take a man’s life?

Of course this irritates Shane. That’s when he says those magic words that make Rick’s rage pimple freaking explode and unleashes the wrath of a man who has been patiently waiting but just dying to strait beat the shit out of the asshole who fucked his wife:

“And you think you can keep them safe?.”

Ka-fucking-boom!!

I wish I could say that Shane got his ass stomped by Rick, who was so full of righteous fury that the fact Shane’s upper-body looks like it belongs on a G.I. Joe didn’t matter…but it kind of did. I think Rick would’ve been dead if Shane hadn’t been preoccupied with taking out Randall, who was inch-worming his way to the knife they left him. Shane even took some shots at the kid, which was super-smart because if there weren’t any walkers around before there most definitely is going to be some heading there now! Then everything became completely insane, starting with Shane’s attempt to flat-out murder Rick “Clue” style: It was the douche-bag in the parking lot with the lead pipe!

Yes, he threw a rusty metal pipe at Rick with enough force that if it had hit him it would’ve been lights out for good. There was that moment where they stared at each other, both aware of what just happened, and I wish we could’ve found out what would have happened next between them but a second later they were busy trying not to get scratched or eaten by the outpouring of walkers coming through the window Shane’s murder weapon smashed open.

Here’s the mayhem and carnage and everyone’s close call, etc. etc. etc. I’d just like to say that I think Randall’s little overkill killing of the female walker and calling her “bitch” does not indicate to me someone who’s just a sweet, innocent kid who fell in with bad people. Rick should’ve really left Shane there on that bus, too. Maybe called out the window “At least I didn’t shoot you in the leg!” as he drove off. Shane would’ve done that to him- you could tell by his devastated “my-puppy-has-cancer” look on his face when they left and the look of utter shock when they came back. Randall was the rescue driver and the kid was acting like this made them a team and they were all going to get friendship bracelets or something now. They pulled over to tie him up and stuff his ass back in the trunk deprived of all his senses.

Here Rick takes a minute and has another brief heart-to-heart with Shane, saying something about how it’ll take more than a wrench to kill him.

Yes; lets deal with your psycho former best friend’s attempt to kill you by making light of it! It’s not like that’s a sign of how seriously dangerous the guy is or anything. If he hadn’t missed and Rick had been killed by that pipe what do you think Shane would do? Rush over to Rick’s limp body and bleeding head, shake his corpse yelling “Wake up, brother! You’re not dead! You can’t be! I’m so sorry Rick- I didn’t mean it! Nooo!! Whyyy?!?” with his face upturned towards the Heavens and big man-tears streaming from his eyes?

Yeah- and Daryl likes to sing show-tunes in the shower.

Shane would make sure Rick was dead, go kill the kid, then drive back to the farm and probably make up some story about how Randall attacked both of them and he was the only one who lived through the fight. The Empire would win; Vader would be in charge and the galaxy would be screwed.

Instead we’re back to where we started only now Rick is in even more danger because he thinks he’s fixed things and that Shane isn’t a threat anymore, so he’s let his guard down.

And the Oscar for Most Painfully Oblivious goes to…Rick Grimes for his truly committed performance as the “Too Trusting Friend/Leader” in the Action/Thriller: Imminent Betrayal!

Another recipient of that award as well as the winner for Best Supporting Stupid-Ass Ho is Andrea! Her easy acceptance of the manipulations of Shane and talent for just being a stupid, selfish bitch made her the clear choice! Let’s take a look at those roles in her recent production: I Think I’m So Smart and I’m So Much Better Than Lori!

First of all, she picked that fight with Lori by telling her she mishandled the situation and shouldn’t have taken the knife away from Beth. (Yes, because when I want advice about preventing a loved one from committing suicide the first person I’d go to is Andrea. ) Then she says it’s just like what Dale did to her when he took her choice away and that it’s wrong for someone, like say a person’s sister, to force her to stay and take away her options.

An older sister who refuses to let go of her beloved younger sister? A sister who would do anything to protect her and would be devastated if she killed herself? That doesn’t sound a even a little bit familiar to you Andrea? You aren’t being just a wee bit hypocritical?

See what I mean? Self-centered and freaking retarded.

Then Andrea and Lori got into how the household stuff- laundry and dishes and other things that us women like to do- & how it was more of a burden on other people because Andrea, as Lori put it, “you sit up there with your rifle and work on your tan”- referring to her acting as lookout. Somehow this turned into Andrea throwing a fit and telling Lori how she hasn’t had to deal with loss like everyone else has- how she’s had everything go her way and now she’s got it made. She has her husband, her son, baby on the way, and she tacks “boyfriend” on the list.

And that right there is what it’s really about: jealousy. Andrea wants Shane and knows he wants Lori, and since she’s too stupid to see past what she wants she ignores/forgets about all the shit Lori has been through. She wants to see Lori’s life as easy and perfect so that she can be the one who’s had to struggle.

Andrea thinks Lori has it easy??

A woman who was lied to and made to believe that she was a widow who’s now terrified of the man she thought she could trust, pregnant in this Hell the world has become with another child to protect and a husband who may have returned to her, but also feels responsible for saving everyone and so is constantly leaving and putting his life at risk??

Oh yeah; her life is all candy and rainbows.

Any survivor with children has it far, far worse than those who don’t. Imagine the relentless stress and terror constantly trying to protect not just yourself; but also a dependent that needs you. If you die you know that almost certainly your child will die too. Someone you love more than anything- the center of your whole world- is in endless mortal danger and there’s only so much you can do to protect them.

At least Carl is older (though even then he still nearly died in a freak accident) and somewhat independent; a newborn, baby, toddler- every kid too young to understand death and dying- is not just in danger but also dangerous themselves for everyone around them. They can’t stop crying because a walker is near or not throw a tantrum because everyone needs to be quiet and hide at night. They need inoculations, special nutrition, diapers, toys, someone or some way to hold/carry them…

Being pregnant isn’t really a blessing, either. It’s not exactly comfortable even if you don’t have morning sickness. Your body is swollen and your stomach enlarged so movement/running or maneuvering to hide is difficult. You need more food and water, tire easily, and can have complications. Then there’s the actual birth- I don’t think I even need to get into that.

Then to bring up Shane and say Lori has a husband and a boyfriend just shows how totally retarded and clueless she really is. Plus that’s just a tacky, low-class thing to say.

But clearly Lori has the best life ever! She’s as carefree as Charlie Sheen.

As far as Lori’s point- Do I think that Andrea should help out more with the household work? Yes. Do I think that being the lookout and guarding the farm is a job for just the men? Fuck no! I think everyone should be helping out more with the household work- including the men. What’s the ratio of men to women in that place? They have four chicks doing the cooking, cleaning, and laundry for themselves plus the eight men, which = 3x the work a single person would be doing if everyone just took care of their own shit.

I can tell you right now there is no freaking way I’d be washing “the men’s” clothes, ever. But then I wouldn’t expect anyone to wash mine for me, either. I also wouldn’t be cooking all the meals for everyone then doing all the dishes, all the time. I’d pitch in and do my share- but I’m not interested in “taking care” of a bunch of guys.

What are they doing all day, anyway? Hershel tends fields and animals- but Lori and Patricia do, too. Why shouldn’t the men have to do their share of the other work? It just automatically falls to the women to do this shit?? I don’t think so. Everyone should be pulling their own weight in every way.

After her little rant at Lori, Andrea really over-steps some boundaries and butts into something that should never have been her business. She thinks she’s some kind of expert now about people who are grieving and considering suicide and decides to screw what Beth’s loved ones want or think, she’s going to help the girl her way-which is obviously the best answer. She’s going to give Beth the helping hand she needs in figuring out if she really does want to die, or if she’s just in pain and wants it to stop.

First she lies to and manipulates Maggie into letting her watch Beth, acting like she’s looking out for Maggie and wants to help. She agrees to “stay” with her so Maggie can get some food and rest, then she just goes in and tells the girl that the pain will never go away but you learn to deal with it, and leaves. This gives Beth the opportunity to do it, being out from under someone’s watchful eye- which was Andrea’s intention. Beth cuts her wrist but not seriously and Maggie is able to get to her, meaning to Andrea that she doesn’t really want to die. She tells a pissed off Maggie this and is all smiles, clearly very pleased with herself for being right. Maggie tells her never to set foot in the house again-which wipes her smug smile right off her face. I hope she sticks to that & never lets her inside again!

Lori tries to defend her a little, saying sometimes you have to cross lines, blah blah blah. Bullshit. That was NOT Andrea’s place to arrange something like that and she should’ve minded her own dumb-ho business. What if she had really wanted to die and killed herself in that bathroom while Maggie thought she was being watched? Andrea would say “It was her choice to make” or some other stupid shit but do you really think Maggie- or anyone in the family for that matter-will be ok with it? Andrea lied to give her a chance to die and she did- do you think she’d be forgiven for that? She killed Beth and thinks what she did is the right thing; that whole family would want to murder the bitch. Plus suicide is a mortal sin; so really she also sent Beth to Hell (according to the people who believe that stuff.)

But even though she wants to live and didn’t die from bleeding out, the wound she gave herself could still end up killing her. She now has a fresh injury in a location that’s not exactly easy to keep sterile while deadly and infectious creatures drawn by the smell of blood who have a tendency to go for arms and wrists could show up at any time. Hell, she could get just a regular infection that ends up being so bad she gets blood poisoning if whatever antibiotics they have left don’t work. I doubt she swabbed her wrist with alcohol before slicing it open and it’s not like they’re in an ER getting stitched up with sealed, sterile needles and threading by a doctor in gloves who just used some Purell! Did any of this shit occur to Andrea when she decided to go all Mrs. Kevorkian? I doubt it- she’s a stupid ho!

The episode wraps on that heart-to-heart I mentioned earlier between Rick and Shane, followed by their drive back to the farm.

 My “Oscar Edition” review of episode 10 wraps with one last award, and it’s a the most awesome one of the night in my opinion:

The Best Use of Extremely Subtle Foreshadowing which goes to….the walker in the field!

This one is well-deserved for the walker’s starring roles in both Driving Away From the Farm and Driving Back Towards the Farm and his identically spot-on performance in each!  Parts one and two of a three-part series, these have made for the perfect setup for the walkers role as well as the general theme in the final installment: A Whole Bunch of Bad Shit Is Coming- Impending Chaos at The Farm! Bravo symbolic walker!

(Pretty damn clever of those writers, don’t you think? Love this freaking show!)

Walking In the Field on The Driver’s Side,

-Dianthrax

Image Gallery:

Info and Image Sources:  The AMC Press Resource Center, AMC Network

Thought Merle Dixon Was Bad? AMC Casts ‘The Governor’!

Pedophilia, Necrophilia, & Incest: All At The Same Time!

Say ‘Hello’ to The Governor and the Actor Ready to Portray Him

*Warning…I think: This may possibly require something like my usual warning: graphic images and content, etc. and possible spoilers if you know nothing about the comics at all or completely lack the ability to put 2 and 2 together. Meh. You’ve been warned.*

AMC has revealed some major info about season three and the fate of some of the comic book characters that seemingly everyone has been longing to loath and aching to admire in live-action format via their TV screens ever since The Walking Dead first aired!

Today it was officially announced by AMC that British actor/director and BAFTA Award nominee David Morrissey will be joining the show as “The Governor”- a man so vile and sadistic he makes the Dixon brothers look like a fluffy little bunnies. Morrissey has appeared in many acclaimed British series, though is probably most famous for his role in the miniseries State of Play. Morrissey is also known for his leading roles in feature films such as “The Reaping”, “The Other Boleyn Girl”, and recently wrapped “Welcome to the Punch” opposite James McAvoy.

A character from Robert Kirkman’s graphic novel, The Governor is the leader of Woodbury, a small settlement of survivors, and becomes the chief antagonist for Rick Grimes and his group. To say he is a guy that has some issues would be like calling Lethal Injection a sleep aid. Not the least of said problems is the relationship he has with his “daughter,” which I wonder if the show will even touch with a 29 ½ foot pole considering it makes me want to puke and then immediately shower just thinking about it.

Kirkman had already confirmed in a previous interview that plans to bring in the katana-wielding badass “Michonne” were definite, and with The Governor joining the cast in season 3 I wouldn’t put her too far behind. Now that it’s official I’m also curious about who they will cast to play her, as to the best of my knowledge that has not yet been decided, and how they will handle her interactions with The Governor, which were also on the borderline of vomit-inducing at times. No doubt they will clean it up- it is network television after all. Though I’m fairly certain we’re bound to see some twisted shit in season 3.

But will crazy-pants Shane/Jon Bernthal be among said twisted shit? Fans are worried since rumors began flying about him playing the lead in Darabont’s new series “L.A. Noir”- as though he couldn’t do both if he wanted to. I guess TV actors can remain in a series only if they’re simultaneously cast in a film, but not in another TV series.

I’m not saying he won’t die or leave the show- things between him and former BFF Rick have been awfully tense lately. Andrew Lincoln said in an interview with AceShowbiz.com that “When [Lori] says, ‘I don’t feel safe; I’m scared’ – that’s enough. But then she also says, ‘[Shane] says that you’re not up to the job.’ That’s enough to push anybody over the edge, even someone as rational and as considered and as smart as Rick. He can’t avoid the issue much longer.”

Rage pimple pop-age time! Pus all over the place!

(I really should’ve found a less nasty metaphor.)

I think he is going to get it. When the group finds Woodbury they’ve taken a beat-down and are lessened in number. I think Shane will finally get his, if not from Rick then probably from the Otis-walker; or maybe that’s a bit too cheesey. But I don’t think he’ll be the only one we loose. I think Carol might get it just to clear the way for a possible Daryl and Michonne hook-up. I wouldn’t be sad if Andrea died, but I would if she took Dale down with her or he died trying to save her.

Andrew Lincoln is not very comforting, either, saying “Not everybody gets out alive. We’re not shy of blood, sweat and tears in the last four episodes.”

So the real message here: you win some, you lose some. We now know we’re getting The Governor and Michonne next season. We’ll also be gaining three episodes, as Season 3 has already been approved for a 16-episode format vs. season 2’s mere 13. We also know some of the people we’ve become so familiar with and, in certain cases, become really attached to, aren’t going to make it to next season. They start filming in Spring.

And if Daryl dies I won’t be reviewing or reporting on the show anymore.

Knows What It’s Like to Hate The Governor,

-Dianthrax

Info Sources: The AMC Press Resource Center, www.ComicVine.com, http://blogs.amctv.com/the-walking-dead/2012/02/david-morrissey-cast-as-the-governor.php http://www.aceshowbiz.com/news/view/00048190.html,
Image Source Links:
http://images.tvtome.com/tv/images/genie_images/story/2012_usa/w/walkingdead_governor.jpg
http://www.comicvine.com/the-governor/29-59467/all-images/108-217468/6244126/105-688243/
http://www.comicvine.com/the-governor/29-59467/all-images/108-217468/adi_and_alex_730247/105-688242/
http://www.comicvine.com/michonne/29-46819/all-images/108-207570/untitled_2/105-1179597/
http://www.comicvine.com/michonne/29-46819/all-images/108-207570/michonne_5/105-1070385/
http://www.comicvine.com/michonne/29-46819/all-images/108-207570/walking_dead__001/105-689314/

The Walking Dead Episode 9 & Nipple Reviews

The Walking Dead:

Season 2 Episode 9 Review

*Warning: As per usual this review will contain episode 9 spoilers as well as mature content, including but not limited to adult language, graphic imagery, and mature subject matter. Choose to read at your own discretion- you have been warned.*

I was at a torrent site the other day and came upon a file to download The Walking Dead episode 9 that had something like 29 or 30 comments on it when usually there are only a handful. So I checked out what so many people had to say and the commotion started with one guy who posted a comment that read “Oh man, I can’t believe they let Shane die!” What proceeded this declaration was a string of outraged fans who hadn’t seen the episode and who believed him, using both colorful and creative expletives to describe this person and their irritation at having something like that ruined for them.

What I took away from all this was not that some people are stupid, selfish assholes who like doing douchey things just for the Hell of it- I already knew that. What surprised me was the number of people that believed his claim!  No one said “There’s no way that would happen- this guy is just trying to eff with us.” No one even said that he was probably lying; they all just believed that Shane dies in episode 9. If this were True Blood and someone said “I can’t believe they killed off Vampire Bill” I’m confident some fan would say that’s BS, even though characters get killed (the permanent kind of killed) in TB almost as often as TWD. Someone would realize that they aren’t going to let a major character die essentially mid-season with no build-up and no big Entertainment News explosion immediately after the episode aired.

Yet people totally believed the death of Shane.

The writers/producers for Walking Dead wanted the viewers to feel like no one is safe; that just like in the comic books, anyone can go at any time. I think they succeeded.

Even if I hadn’t seen the episode already I wouldn’t have bought that Shane died in episode 9. They’ve invested too much into developing his craziness and working on the tension between him, Lori, and Rick that ending it in episode 9 doesn’t make sense. That doesn’t mean I don’t think he could die- he could totally bite it at the end of the season. I find that less likely, though, than someone like Dale, T-Dog, or Hershel and his family. I still think comatose little sister is infected; it just hasn’t been long enough for the fever to kill her. I think that’s going to play a major role in how things go all to Hell at the farm over the next few episodes, too.

Like I predicted, Lori survived the car crash with minimal damage and apparently no damage to the baby (I was so sure of that one!) She even did a good job defending herself against two walkers- one of which tried to get at her through the windshield and did this awesomely horrible face-shredding thing on the glass! Loved it. Though no one even realized she was gone until she was missing from the dinner table.

All those people roaming around, all those windows, the long winding driveway, and the now out-of-place sound of a car starting/on the road and no one saw or heard her leave?? Carol has to find out from Daryl about it over at Camp Pouts-A-Lot where he’s now living, along with his animal pelts and the ear necklace he somehow got back from Rick.

(How did that conversation go? “Hey Rick-I was wearing this necklace of ears I cut off of walkers strung on a shoelace when that dumb ho shot me in the head and now I can’t find it. Any idea where it is? I’d really like it back- for sentimental reasons.”)

Now Carl is upset because mommy and daddy are both gone and it’s up to Shane to go rescue Lori- which, of course, he does. He also lies and says Rick is back at camp in order to make her get in the car and be compliant, which he says she never would’ve done if he hadn’t told her that. Then he spills the big pregnancy semi-secret like a total tool, which is how Carl finds out about it.

Carl says the sweetest, saddest thing after they go inside while he’s asking Lori questions about the pregnancy; he wants to know if they can name her Sophia if the baby ends up being a girl. Which makes me wonder how hard the loss of the real Sophia has been on him; how much he was counting on her being found, and what the realization that your parents can’t always keep you safe- that kids aren’t always found when they get lost in the woods- has done to his view of life and what’s really important.

I know a lot of people don’t find Carl or his interactions with the others and with life in this world to be of very much interest. When it comes to action and forwarding the plot he isn’t terribly thrilling, but for character analysis and as a window into the future of this harsher, more violent, new world and the kind of people who will be living in it, Carl is one of the most informative and fascinating of all the survivors.

Of course Shane has to bust in and ask Carl to leave so he and Lori can have a private discussion. I thought that was pretty messed up since they were obviously still talking about the pregnancy Shane just blurted out that Carl should’ve heard about from his mom and dad together, and also since it was very clear Lori didn’t want to speak with him. Even Andrea tried to tell him to back off but no- Shane’s a selfish dick who has to have what he wants the way he wants and when he wants them.

This conversation is a turning point for Lori. When she tells Shane she confessed everything that went on between them to Rick and that he understood she was grieving and scared and it was a mistake, Shane refuses to accept it. He insists that what they had was real- the two of them and Carl together was real and right and she knew it. He even claims that she loved him since before Rick was shot and basically the three of them (now four) were meant to be together. So now she knows how serious his delusion is and she’s been warned about how far he’ll go for survival or to protect what’s his- she has to be seriously scared.

If it were me, I’d tell everyone-just come totally clean about everything (except maybe not to Carl yet) and have everyone as a group stay safe, keep Rick safe, and vote Shane off the island.

Speaking of Rick, when we last saw him he was all sexy and badass, having just taken out two creeps. Now it’s time to be smart and get the Hell out of there- stopping to check their bodies for weapons and ammo, though. I was pleased and impressed to see them being so pragmatic about the situation. Then other people show up looking for Tony and Dave and this is when shit starts getting less impressive and more “Are you freaking kidding me??”

It turns out that drunk Hershel is still an excellent shot, which makes you think he might’ve been cool at some point before he became a Bible-thumping jackass

I also feel I should point out that I was right- sex really is making Glenn stupid. Or rather Maggie is making him stupid because loving her is sapping his courage. Suddenly he has something to lose and someone who will hurt if he doesn’t make it back and that idea paralyzes him when it’s time for him to face the bad-guys and do his part. I didn’t really notice him doing anything particularly cowardly or selfish- it’s not like he shot Hershel in the leg so he could get away or something- but apparently it’s a big enough deal for him to cause him to pull away from Maggie upon their return.

Shots between the three of them and the unknown number of guys outside draw walkers right to them. One guy takes a shot at Glenn so Hershel, who’s covering him, fires back and hits the guy who drops like a stone, moaning in pain. Then walkers descend on the poor bastard and Hershel gets a good look at what could’ve happened to him or Jimmy or anyone in his family if the barn walkers had ever gotten out. It’s a slow death, allowing for his screams to go on and on as one walker tears off part of the guy’s face while others work on his extremities. For Hershel it’s a big, horrible dose of reality, but one he adapts to with impressive ease.

Another shooter on the roof of a building tries to jump down to his buddy so the two of them can bounce, and one would think the guy would’ve aimed for somewhere else- anywhere else- than the spiked gate thingy when he took his hop off the roof. Instead he brutally impales his leg and clearly wont be bouncing anywhere, prompting his friend to take off without him, yelling “sorry” out the window as he speeds off. Now there’s nothing stopping Rick, Glenn, and Hershel from getting out of Walkerville…except for the kid screaming for help and begging them not to leave him there with his leg impaled on a fence. Rick wouldn’t be Rick if he didn’t go over and see if he could save the guy. Here’s where Hershel shows how much his views have adapted to allow survival in this world: he tells Rick there’s too much damage to the muscles and he’s bleeding out too fast so there’s little chance he would make it- maybe the kindest thing to do would be to put him down!

Maybe it’s because he’s a vet and not a doctor. Veterinarians are taught that putting an animal out of its misery when there’s no hope left is the right thing to do, while doctors are taught to preserve any form of life possible for as long as possible with any/all means available. He even said “put him down” like the guy was a horse or a dog or something! But I choose to think that it’s because Hershel is starting to get the nature of life outside his sheltered little farm and believes it’s a kindness to shoot the guy rather than let the walkers just have at him since they don’t have the time or means to help him.

That’s what I would do; shoot the guy I mean. I’d just walk up kind of behind him where he couldn’t see me, maybe stroke his hair like I was coming over there to comfort or talk to him. Then I’d just pop off a round in the back of his head without him ever knowing it was coming- problem solved. So while Rick and Hershel are arguing over whether or not cutting the leg off below the knee would work and walkers are coming in from every direction, I’d take care of the situation so we could leave.

They didn’t take care of the situation like I would have. They didn’t cut his leg off either. But they did rip him off the fence then blindfold him during the drive back to the farm where Hershel fixed up his leg as much as possible. The plan is for him to get patched up until he’s ok on his own, then give him a few provisions, drive him away from the farm and let him go his limpy way. For some reason this pissed Shane off. Now I guess he thinks the guy will lead his friends and the rest of Dave and Tony’s group back to the farm to start a war of some kind? Who the Hell knows. He’s probably mad Rick is still alive and feels like he has to contradict every decision that he makes.

He has an interesting little tete-a-tete with Andrea after making his opinions known to the group as a whole who tells him that his choices- stopping the search for Sophia, the barn massacre, lying to Lori the other night- were all the right choices, he just didn’t approach them the right way. Okay….

Just like I’ve always thought: Andrea is a complete and total idiot who’s as selfish as Shane and too busy being flattered and admiring him to realize that her idol is manipulating and lying to her.

Now that’s a weird soap opera-esque story: Shane loves Lori and believes she really loves him and not her husband Rick who is supposed to be Shane’s best friend who wasn’t really dead like Shane told Lori he was, which made her start sleeping with Shane until her not-dead husband shows up so she starts sleeping with him again while Shane starts creating an ally in Andrea & sleeps with her even though he really wants Lori and since Andrea doesn’t know about the situation with Lori and Rick & how she’s being used, she ends up falling for Shane and siding with him no matter what!

Meanwhile, Daryl is off riding horses, killing things with a crossbow, fighting hallucination-Merle, and walking around sweaty/dirty/angry and obscenely sexy.

Speaking of, he’s been in his own isolated little camp far away from the group since Sophia and in tonight’s episode Carol shows she’s not going to let him distance himself again. She tells him to “go ahead” as he viciously rips into her, bringing up anything and everything that would hurt her or make her angry or upset enough to drive her away. He blames Sophia’s death on her being a bad mother who doesn’t watch her kid, says she’s only bothering him because she’s alone and afraid now, with no husband and no daughter, he tells her he flat out does not want her around- and when he gets close enough to where he’s practically yelling in her face, his arm moves in a certain way that makes her flinch a bit. It’s obvious the reaction comes from the habit of expecting to be hit by a man when he’s angry and taking it out on her. Then she just turns her face kind of up to him. It’s her saying “go ahead” again- she’s not afraid and she can take whatever he does to her, but it’s still not going to make her leave or give up on him.

That makes him pause. Go Carol!

People in forums keep asking about the possibility of the two of them as a couple.

I gotta say I am not down with that idea.

The way Carol treats him is so nurturing and caring, which is so alien to him and so difficult for him to accept, that I get a very motherly feeling from her. He needs that more than he needs a romantic relationship, which is far less stable and much more turbulent. A warm, steadfast and unwavering friendship/love to help him see that he’s valued and worth caring about is what I think he should have.

Norman Reedus described their relationship as “damaged people being drawn to other damaged people.” But who among the people in that group isn’t damaged in some way?

The episode ended with what people have called Lori’s manipulation of Rick or how she’s playing mind-games with him, but I don’t see it that way at all. I see her finally realizing how scary Shane really is- how far into his delusion that she loves him he really is- and telling her husband because she’s afraid; both for him and for herself. He doesn’t even know about most of the things Shane has said and done right under his nose- he isn’t aware of how dangerous he can really be and Lori wants him to take treat this like the serious threat that it is. She’s not manipulating him- she’s admitting that she’s scared of losing him. I think she should tell him what happened at the CDC, too. That’s should’ve been a sign of worse things to come, not something you sweep under the rug and forget or write off as one bad night. .

Things are in motion- big, heavy, bone-crunching, landscape-changing things. It’s like I’ve been holding my breath and keeping very still, waiting with my eyes wide open for the other shoe to drop. I know something bad is coming; the big, heavy things are about to start gaining momentum and the vibrations of it make 7 days feel unbearably long. I’ve had 9 episodes and nearly 5 months to prepare for this: bring on the mayhem!

The One Who’d Put The Fence-Guy Down,

-Dianthrax

Stills Gallery From Episode #9 and

Three Sneak-Peak Stills From Episode #10!

A Little Something Extra:

( Just as an aside and something to check out while your flipping through the photo gallery- Rick may be quite pretty to look at pretty to look at…but he also has freakishly huge nipples!  Like, weird-looking, distractingly big! They look like they could engulf and eat Daryl’s nipples and feed a baby at the same time! Look::

See? Freakishly huge in comparison! Also: You’re welcome 😉

Sources: the AMC Press Resource Center, AMC

The Walking Dead Season 2.5 Premiere Review

**Attn: Please see notice at end of article*

The Walking Dead:

The Episode 8 Season 2.5 Premier Review

*Be Advised: In case you aren’t familiar with my usual review protocol, this article is for people who have already seen episode 8 and so will contain spoilers. It will also have mature language/content, as well as graphic imagery and interpretations/examinations that possess the obvious and unapologetic personal bias of yours truly. You have been warned.*

The Walking Dead is back, everyone! The world is in its rightful place, the universe has re-aligned, and Sunday nights are once again something to look forward to rather than merely the  remaining bit of freedom before the start of a new week.

Yes, the so-called season 2.5 premier episode #8 “Nebraska” kicked off the show’s second half and the beginning of what looks like an intense downward spiral for everyone. The cast has said in all of their interviews that as slow-burning as the first 7 episodes were, that’s as fast-paced and insane as the second half will be, and if what went down in episode 8 is just the beginning then I’d say we’re in for one Hell of a wild, fucked up ride.

After Rick takes out walker-Sophia you have what you would pretty much expect from most of the camp. Those living on Hershel’s farm took the “cleansing” of the barn walkers the hardest, particularly the woman who got half her face blown off by Daryl’s shotgun- yeah, that was the step-mom. So of course one kid has to go rushing over to try and restore some dignity to her, struggling to uncover and separate her corpse among the heap of bodies. This made for a perfect moment to have her turn and attack the kid so that everyone has to rush over and try to stop step-mommy dearest from taking a bite out of Kid on Farm #3. The end result is an awesome pick-axe through the face maneuver courtesy of Andrea, which is exactly the image one would want stuck in their head of the last time you see your beloved mother. My thoughts during all this?

Um, what happened to all the freaking guns everyone had like, 2 seconds ago?? Did they all just forget they had them? I actually saw Glenn drop his shotgun and T-Dog has his pistol in his hand while he’s trying to put momma-walker down with completely ineffective but vicious-looking kicks to the head! At least Andrea knew what to do instead of panicking and screaming like a ninny or turning to shoot Daryl like she would’ve not too long ago.

We knew Hershel would be devastated by this and probably not very happy with our group- particularly Shane. So of course Shane has to mouth off like a total retard and accuse Hershel and his family of knowing Sophia was in the barn this whole time, even though it makes zero sense for him to deliberately keep something like that from them. What does he gain from that? Hershel wanted them off his land asap, and after Carl was healed the only excuse the group had to stick around was searching for the kid. Hershel had help and those wild animal wrangler things he was using to lead the walkers to the barn- if he knew he had Sophia he could’ve grabbed her and lead her to the that mud the walkers get stuck in, then left her there for Rick and the others to find. After that he could say they had to get lost like he’d told Rick was the deal from the start so that he could go on with his delusion that the dead wife he keeps locked up and feeds live chickens was going to be moving back into her side of the bed sometime in the future.

I think Shane’s just pissy because he didn’t have the balls to shoot Sophia and Rick did.

He might also have realized by then that if he hadn’t killed Otis and they’d had a chance to talk to Hershel and his family about the girl they were looking for the mystery might’ve been solved back in episode 3 or 4, making it partially his fault they found out so much later and in such a terrible way.

That was what his little explosion at Dale was really all about- anger and insecurity and wanting to be better than Rick. Dale didn’t even need to say anything and Shane was in his face going off about how he (Dale) does pretty much nothing to keep the camp safe even when he claims to know a threat is looming, referring to himself. He even went so far as to point out that Dale had a chance to stop him since he thinks he’s such a danger but then couldn’t pull the trigger. Then during his tirade to try and convince himself of his own value, along with all the things he’s done to help the camp he throws in saving Carl’s life and how “that ain’t you, that ain’t Rick; that’s me!” How did Rick get into this conversation? Suddenly it’s not just about how Shane is awesome and Dale is useless but also how Shane is better than Rick and how frustrating it is that everyone can’t see that. That one sentence says more about his state of mind and the deep-rooted hostility he’s got brewing for his former best friend than anything else he says to Dale in that confrontation.

Let’s jump to another important interaction Shane has that speaks to his character: when he’s doing that weird hand-washing thing with Carol after she tears up all the Cherokee Roses.

It seems like he’s actually doing this nice thing; being caring and nurturing towards the emotionally and (mildly) physically damaged Carol by talking to her and cleaning up her scratches and wounds. But if you listen to the things he’s really saying you notice it’s a completely self-centered conversation and an empty gesture that’s meant to manipulate, not help Carol.

How long was it before Shane was ready to walk away and leave Carol with no closure- no definitive answer as to whether her daughter is alive or dead but always wondering and never truly giving up hope? How many times did he say that Sophia was dead and that they were wasting their time searching for a body? How many times did he yell this or point this out right in front of Carol? It was among the things he listed as having “enough of” before he busted open the barn: “Enough wasting our time looking for a little girl who’s gone!” and he looked right at her while he said it.

Now all of the sudden he’s full of sympathy for her; implying that he might have done something different if he had known her little girl was in there when we all know that’s bull. Then at the same time he’s justifying what he did and throwing a pity-party for himself, going on about how he was just trying to keep people safe and now everyone thinks he’s so mean and awful because of it He was just trying to help because he’s such an unselfish and giving person, wah, wah, wah; I’m drowning in my tears for how unappreciated Shane is when everything he does is what he thinks is best for the group.

Shane does not give a single fuck for anyone in that group other than himself, Lori, and Carl.

He said himself that he’ll do whatever it takes to keep them safe- that means everyone else is expendable. Right now it benefits him/them to be in a large group but the second that’s no longer the case- the second they become a hindrance rather than a help or a risk rather than safety in numbers- Shane would be snatching up Lori and Carl and leaving their “family” faster than Wally West on crank.

Another thing Shane frequently does (besides sneak in and use the electric shaver in Hershel’s bathroom) that I find pretty damn ballsy of him considering he’s the one who killed the guy, is bring up Otis’ death when he’s arguing in order to give more weight to his point. He’ll talk about how Daryl almost died looking for Sophia when everyone knows he couldn’t care less about Daryl or if he died out in the woods. But he knows that Rick cares, so he uses that the same way he uses Otis’ death. When he wanted Andrea to fall in line with him during the barn shooting he brings up that walkers killed her sister and she’s pissed and ready to go. Then he has the nerve to blame Amy’s death and the death of all the other members of their camp that night on the fact that Rick went “to go rescue a drug dealer” and wasn’t there.

Um, remember all the guns everyone- including yourself- used to kill the walkers in the barn like you insisted had to be done?

Well you wouldn’t fucking have them if Rick hadn’t thought to get them from the station and bring them! Then he went into the Hell he just managed to escape from again in order to bring those guns back with him to camp while he happened to be out trying to rescue someone’s brother…who yes, also happens to be a dick and a drug dealer.

But seriously- how dare Shane pull this shit and try to say what happened that night was Rick’s fault! Who was standing guard/keeping watch at camp when this happened? Why didn’t people have weapons close at hand at all times? Shane was the one supposedly in charge- he should’ve seen to these details instead of sitting around the walker-attracting fire drinking beer and relaxing after a good meal with everyone else.

That’s what happens to people who let their guard down: they get themselves eaten! That’s it! You can’t say it’s Rick’s fault for not being there “in time” because you got caught looking like the crappy leader you really are.

Then just like Rick needed to go get those guns, he also needed to go into town and haul Hershel’s whiney, drunken ass back to the Farm because the man is the closest thing to a real doctor they have and also like the guns, he will be needed in the future. But I’m getting ahead of myself now. So going back to after the barn and mom attacking and getting axed-

Carol fled from the scene after Daryl stopped her from running to her dead daughter & getting killed. We find her in the camper just sitting and staring out a window when Daryl comes in. He doesn’t say anything; he just sort of leans against the wall across from her so she knows he’s there. He doesn’t try to talk to her or touch her, he doesn’t say he’s sorry or ask if she’s ok; maybe it’s because Daryl isn’t exactly a naturally loquacious person but if you ask me, it’s because he knows there’s nothing anyone can say or do right now and that the best, most helpful thing is just being with her so that she knows she’s not alone.

The have a funeral of sorts for Sophia, step-mom, and step-brother, which Carol decides not to attend, claiming that what they were burying-or “that thing” as she puts it- is not Sophia. She gives a great monologue about how her little girl never slept alone and afraid in the woods at night, or went hungry, or tried to find her way back to them, and it sounds almost as though she’s grateful for that. Except what she’s really saying is that she never did these things because her child has been dead this whole time while she’s been at camp, foolishly worrying and holding out for hope, and you can see that she’s in shock and hovering on the edge of this huge chasm of grief she just hasn’t fallen into yet.

(There’s some nicely obvious camera work during that scene, too with a cup filled with markers and some kid’s flashcards on the table in your line of vision while Carol stares out the window and talks. It’s blatant but still effective.) It’s a wonderful performance on the part of Melissa McBride, who’s been simply brilliant from the start of the season. Norman Reedus has been more and more impressive as well, giving us a subtly developing humanity and vulnerability in Daryl that’s believable and not over-done.

It’s like Carol’s refusal to go to the funeral and her seeming distance from Daryl while she’s in this shocked state is personally hurtful to him and he seems angry and disgusted with her as he leaves the RV. She let him down in a major way right then and I don’t think we’ll be seeing any flowers in beer bottles anytime soon.

After the grave digging and burying there’s the piling up of the rest of the walkers into a truck to take out & away from the farm to pile and burn, which is where Andrea, Shane, and T-Dog go. You see Andrea hauling and hefting right there with the men, tossing bodies into the back and then riding on the edge of the bed while they’re taken to be burned. She’s seriously come a long way from puking at the sight of them in trees!

I seem to remember last season where there were gloves and bodysuits and face protectors and great care all used when handling the bodies of people with this deadly disease. Suddenly no one seems all that concerned with blood and fluids getting on their skin or worried about handling the bodies at all. T-Dog has an open wound on one arm from what was probably a cut down to an artery that’s covered with nothing but a Band-Aid looking thing, and I doubt the wiped down the truck bed with some bleach after emptying it of bodies. Did they even change clothes??

I find that to be a little on the stupid side considering they don’t really know anything about the infected other than one sure way they can transmit the sickness to another person- a bite. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be spread other ways! I mean, HIV can be transmitted through sexual contact, needle sharing/blood, and breastmilk; that’s three very different ways to become infected with the same virus. How can anyone be sure that a bite is the only type of exposure that can lead to infection? Dr. Crazy-Pants Jenner at the CDC even told them that they don’t know anything about what it is and that it could be viral, bacterial, microbial or a bunch of other things. Those three alone- viruses, bacterium, and microbes- work and spread in such completely different ways that basically he really was saying that he knows jack about the infection

This is why I think Farmer Kid #3 isn’t in some catatonic shock from all the horror and grief- I think she’s infected and got that way through some kind of contact with mom when she was attacked, other than a bite. Or it’s entirely possible she just caught some really nasty disease from being so up-close and personal with a corpse, which is among the nastiest freaking things on the planet! Either way, shit is about to get all kinds of messed up for everyone.

Speaking of messed up:

“Hi Dary! I know I never talk to you & basically act like you aren’t there, and I totally don’t appreciate anything you do for everyone at camp or give a shit about how you might be feeling about Sophia being dead after you nearly died yourself while out looking for her- but now I want something from you! So instead of asking you for help, I’m going to tell you what I need you to go and do for me. What?! No?! What do you mean no?! What is WRONG with you?? How could you be so SELFISH?!”

I’m surprised all he did was call her “Olive Oil” considering he’s grieving and in pain. Then when she decides to go herself, she crashes. Of course she crashes.

Honestly; how retarded do you have to be to get into a car accident when there is literally not a single other driver/car on the road!? How the Hell did she manage when there were still people around?! So why is she out driving around like Halle Berry in the first place? Because the only person who’s more self-centered than Shane, is Hershel.

Oh boo-hoo I was wrong! I looked like the ass that I am! My kids deserve better than me! No one likes me because I’m a pompous, condescending, racist blow-hard! I’m going to run away into town to get drunk and cry about it and how sad everything is for me! Enter Rick and Glenn who’ve come to fetch Dr. Lush and bring him home so that he can help his other kid; the less-interesting one who isn’t banging the Asian boy.

Of course this doesn’t happen without Shane chipping in about how Rick is making another bad call in deciding to go get Hershel. That’s pretty much all Shane says to Rick these days- how all his choices are wrong, how everything is his fault, how he’s delusional and doesn’t know what he’s doing…and yet for some reason Rick hasn’t pistol-whipped Shane into a sticky paste. I mean it’s got to be building up in the guy! Here’s his supposed “best friend” who told his wife he was dead, started nailing her, then didn’t have the balls to do the right thing and come forward to fess up about it. He continues to pursue her and try to take choices and control of situations regarding Rick’s son away from him, openly contradicts and defies him, and now argues against/insults all of his decisions, undermines him as a leader, and is just a dick to him every time they speak. At some point Rick has to stop buying into Shane’s bullshit campaign to make him doubt himself and then all the crap that he’s been holding on to is going to pop and come spilling out like some giant rage-pimple.

I say “Go Team Rick.” He’s made some mistakes and I think he needs to do less wussy catering to people like Hershel, but he’s smarter and far more rational than Shane. Plus I’d follow a wannabe-White Knight over an attempted rapist any day, no contest. (Yeah, you forget about that shit? Because apparently Lori has since she says that she agreed that Shane did something that had to be done when he went all “we need to fight” and broke open the barn, then has trouble believing what Dale tells her about Shane killing Otis. Really? You really find that hard to believe about your psycho former sex-buddy?)

Lori acts like she’s all about supporting Rick when really she’s agreeing with Shane and defending him to the other group members. She’s also telling Rick not to go get Hershel and that he’s needed at the farm, not “running off solving everyone else’s problems” just like Shane was.

Um, why is Rick so needed on the farm? What is he needed for exactly? I mean, other than the possibility of a shit-ton of walkers showing up that night attracted by all the gunshots and the giant fire/pillar of smoke all out at a farm in the middle of nowhere that’s filled with yummy people and cows and horses and chickens and lit up like a big neon “Hershel’s Diner” sign?? Besides that, what duties does Rick have that are so important they warrant letting the only doctor go kill himself in a moment of grief-driven stupidity? Doctor Delusional may not seem so important to you now, preggers, but with the rate your people get hurt someone’s going to need a broken bone set & a cast or stitches or your lame-ass will go into labor you’re all going to be wishing someone had fetched Hershel instead of letting him drink till he passed out and woke up being eaten (and not in that good kind of way.)

So they’re in town at an empty, but apparently stocked, local bar so that Rick can say to Drunk Hershel after his long, whiney, slurry “I give up” speech: Hey bitch! Life’s hard all over- suck it up! That’s essentially what happened when two new (living) friends enter the bar. Yay!

First of all its two men- exactly as I said would be most likely in every case. Enter Dave and Tony. I was already familiar with the actor Michael Raymond-James from his role on HBO’s True Blood but I’d never seen Aaron Munoz before. Now Munoz will probably always be “Tony” whereas Mr. Raymond-James is “Rene” rather than “Dave” because, well, True Blood came first. Both men looked dirtier and worse for wear than ours and Tony was very openly carrying a very big shotgun he “took off a cop.” It was immediately tense and even Hershel straightened up and gave the men his full attention as they came in and made themselves at home.

At first they chatted a bit, the strangers giving some of their story, which included some pretty upsetting news. Tony claimed to have met a soldier that had been stationed at Fort Bennet, the original goal after the CDC and before the group was side-tracked with runaway kids and bullet wounds, who told him the Fort was gone- completely overrun with walkers. I believe him, too. The way he said it was like he was telling someone a road was closed for construction or something.

The wheels in Dave’s head are clearly turning and while he’s looking the three men up and down he explains that he has people to look after that aren’t doing very well, but the three of them seem to be doing fine. He’s being as polite and charming as he can and asking less and less subtle questions about where the three of them have been staying: There’s a truck parked outside so it can’t be in town but they look well-fed, clean, rested; they must have a nice place somewhere with food and water and shelter, safe from the walkers. Glenn is just smiling and chatting away with him, blithely giving away all kinds of information without the slightest hint of any reservations about it. You can practically hear Rick and Hershel mentally telling him “shut up, shut up, shut up fucking SHUT THE HELL UP!!” but he keeps going until finally Rick puts a stop to it.

Why are they making Glenn look like such an idiot?? Last season he was sharp, gutsy, brave, an excellent strategist- now he’s some clueless kid who can’t tell when someone’s fishing for information? Do you think that his experience with the Vatos-how they were actually good people just trying to take care of their relatives has him thinking that everyone is going to be like that? Maybe sex just makes guys stupid. Glenn was smart until he hooked up with Maggie- now he’s practically inviting these two to come take over the farm.

This is about when Tony decides to walk 5 steps away and take a piss right on the floor while asking if they had any “cooze” because he hasn’t had any in weeks. (Weeks? Riiiight.)

You can see the disgust on Rick’s face before the first drop hits the floor and Dave is trying to recover from his cohort’s super-sexy behavior, but even if there had been a chance in Hell anyone else was going to be allowed on the farm that chance was long gone now. No one wants these guys near their women and when Rick says they aren’t interested in a group merge and that he’s not going to take the two of them to the farm, Tony’s enraged outburst sealed their fate.

That’s when Rick went from being squeaky-clean & reliable Mr. Rogers to super-hot yet ice-cold James Bond (the Daniel Craig version) and blew away Dave in one shot while he was trying to draw a gun from behind the bar, then before he could even aim his shotgun Rick put two holes through Tony’s torso then went over to put a third in his forehead, leaving him slumped over on the floor in the puddle of his own piss. He didn’t bat an eye or hesitate or go for a wounding/disarming shot- just right for the kill. It was fucking awesome!

Now Hershel’s looking at him like he’s never really seen him before and Glenn can’t look at him at all. Remember what I said about his rage and repression with the popping and the pimple comparison? Maybe we just saw how pus is going to start to ooze out in different ways. There’s going to be consequences for this- there always is. Glenn and Hershel will never be the same with him again, more gunfire could draw walkers to them or to the farm, and if Tony and Dave really were part of a group like Rick and Glenn are…well what would we expect the others to do if some strangers had killed them and not the other way around?

We also have Lori in an unknown state in her flipped car and the approaching dark. I know she won’t be dead but my thought is that she might’ve lost the baby in the crash, especially since she was wearing her seatbelt. Though I’m sure it saved her life she can’t be past the 12 week mark yet and something like that could cause severe enough trauma to her lower abdomen for her to miscarry. This would mean that she’s going to be bleeding- A LOT –and it’s not an injury you can just put a tourniquet on, you know? I’m thinking of the walkers and the attraction of fresh blood. If she’s too injured to haul ass out of there before nightfall she’s going to be in need of a manly rescue. I hope it’s Daryl.

On the plus side should my prediction be true, this bit of writing very neatly frees the group up to leave the farm for a more exciting location, while also creating drama in the sense that Glenn will have to choose between going with the group or staying behind with Maggie, who loves him now. My prediction: Maggie and Glenn will both go with the group because everyone else- Hershel, Jimmy, Patricia, the one who’s already sick- dies over the next series of episodes.

I can’t wait to see what I’m right about this time!

I don’t think it’s possible to be a fan of this show or the comic and never ask yourself what you would do & if you would make it in a Zombie Apocalypse. Personally, I’ve always believed that I would probably do okay- and if that turned out not to be the case I’d simply “opt out.”  But after watching episode 8 I am quite certain of my ability to get by in that situation. Why? Because this episode clarified for me exactly how completely and totally fucked up I am.

I’ll explain.

I’ve never really thought of Rick or Shane as sexually attractive. I could see the appeal and know that they’re both good-looking guys, they just never did anything for me. So what does any of this have to do with anything?

When Rick shot those two guys so fast and efficiently without showing an ounce of remorse, my exact thoughts were:

“Holy shit! Oh that was just AWESOME!! …And also really hot.”

Suddenly Rick is sexy as Hell and when I have a moment to really think about the implications of that change in opinion and the catalyst behind it- cold-blooded killing without any doubt or guilt- I realize how twisted that is, that this isn’t the first time something along these lines has happened, that I didn’t find Sam Winchester attractive until he was the vessel for Lucifer, and that I am so much more fucked up than I had originally estimated myself to be…

I’d do great in a zombie apocalypse!

But of course none of you would ever know that.

Slightly Sociopathic,

-Dianthrax

Image Gallery of Stills from Episode #8- “Nebraska”

**Note To my readers-

I know this is late. It’s so late that my review for episode 9 will be going up soon, and for that I apologize. You know I go in-depth with my examinations of the show and have frequent random tangents and that I always try to make sure any/all facts in my writing are accurate. Plus I have a ton of photos, many of which I acquire and edit myself, to sort through and prep for posting. On a good day I lean towards the slow end of the spectrum- add in other stuff and “slow” becomes…something that means even slower. As a general warning about this and all work for a while, expect delays. Why?

Hunter J. Conti: Born Feb. 9th 2012

My family always comes first and I have the most adorable newborn nephew ever, his 5 yr old brilliant and currently a bit needy brother, my exhausted and still recovering sister, and her equally exhausted and super-awesome husband, all in need of my services as The World’s Best Auntie.

I thought you should know exactly what it is that I’m doing instead of getting my shit done so that you will hopefully understand and be more inclined to forgive me 🙂 **


Sources: the AMC Press Resource Center, www.urbandictionary.com, http://www.amctv.com/shows/the-walking-de

F#%&ing AWESOME New Avengers Trailer

You may have already seen the trailer for Marvel’s Avengers movie coming out this summer; for one it aired during the Super Bowl, plus it’s been online basically ever since. But if you haven’t than I wanted to provide an opportunity to check it out because it is the complete and total essence of all that is bad-assery.

I also wanted to put up my assortment of pictures that I’ve accumulated over the months: pics from on the set, movie stills, the gorgeous promotional artwork from Comic-con, a peek at what the action figures are going to look like once released, and so on.

Enjoy!

 

And just as a reminder: there’s only a few more days left until the new episode of The Walking Dead premiers! You can bet I’ll have pictures and plenty to say about it- only I’m not sure how fast it will go up.

You’ll just have to forgive me too, because the reason for it is that my sister is having a baby in about….34 hours!

Aaaahh!! I’m so excited!!

So I’m going to be a little busy, even with my new laptop 🙂

-Dianthrax/Auntie Dee

*All Images and Video Courtesy of Marvel.com*