Gotham Series: Guest Review by Jorge Herrera

imagesQRPRJYOY imagesUFBA8XKJAs soon as the pilot for the hit TV show Gotham had finished airing, all the author of this blog wanted to do was rush to the keyboard and feverishly rejoice to the world how awesome he thought Gotham was. But rather than let those impulsive fan-boy urges prevail, I decided to take a more delicate step with this and wait a few episodes in. That doubt that the impressive quality of the show was a short-lived fluke in the first episodes had been looming. But here we are 5 episodes in and so far, Fox’s Gotham has been a rich, velvety sublime ride in storytelling, showcasing the origins of the dark knight we’ve all grown to love and know as Batman.
If you’re familiar with the arc of the story, you know it involves a young Bruce Wayne having his parents Thomas and Martha murdered in cold blood in their home Gotham City. In the show, the traumatized youngster is then cared for and mentored by then-detective James Gordon and butler Alfred Pennyworth. All the meanwhile, in the seedy underbelly of Gotham, toils the sinister and treacherous workings of a looming mafia presence, where trust is non-existent and greed and corruption reign. Lots of backstabbing and a proverbial game of chess among them all to keep one step ahead of each other. And the likes of these characters include Carmine Falcone, Fish Mooney, Salvatore Maroni, and of course, mafia toady and aspiring underground big shot, Oswald Cobblepot.
Oswald brings a very unique feel to the show in that sometimes you’re not quite sure where you want his likeableness to take you. On one hand, his meek and awkward demeanor sheds a light on him that makes him look almost naive and pathetic, like a pet kitten left in the rain. Bringing the viewer to feel for the guy. Then that sympathy can turn into something else when you see him hack a guy to death with a kitchen knife in an alleyway. A highlight of the show, personally, is seeing Oswald play all his cards just right like a savvy born villain. Maybe not so much with laser precision, he is after all a budding crime-boss-to-be, but with enough care and focus where you see him learn from his mistakes.There’s something artful about how he operates, for sure.

Gotham is unlike many shows in that it’s about a superhero, but without a superhero whatsoever. The supporting characters play their parts so well and lend themselves to the show so tastefully, that you almost forget it’s about Batman. One well-written episode after another. You also never really know what to expect every week: a villain-of-the-week kind of episode that can stand on its own or a more Law and Order, adult scenario.

Hats off to the writers of Gotham. It has everything. Not to mention, some playfully laid out cameos and introductions to some infamous characters of the Batman universe (ie. Selina Kyle, Ivy Pepper, Victor Zsasz). It’ll be very interesting to see what becomes of Edward Nygma, currently a Gotham City Police Department forensics operative and coroner in the show. His moral downfall, riddled with possibilities. And where exactly does Harvey Bullock stand with Fish Mooney? Will there be some back-scratching that turns into back-stabbing?

If you love a good downbeat detective story, watch Gotham. If you love Batman, watch Gotham. If you prefer mediocre superhero-in-tights bullshit with vapid and uninspired love interest goings-ons, stick with the CW or wherever else you might find tripe like Arrow or Supernatural. Consider Gotham a mesmerizingly fun dark night on the couch.

The Signal 2014 (Review)

IJjF_

The Signal is one hell of an experience. It’s more than just sitting there in a stupor and watching another spoon fed, cliched, predictable action-suspense sci-fi mega blockbuster. You don’t have the government whipping out their big guns to defeat the alien impostors and there’s no “we need your resources spiel”. You won’t see any pretty scientists looking for clues in equations to save the earth, and thankfully thankfully thankfully, no one-liners. It’s a film that doesn’t have to rely on any of those things to remain intriguing.

The story follows three MIT students, Nic, Jonah, and Haley who decide to seek out a mysterious hacker who is responsible for nearly getting them expelled for breaking into the MIT servers. With luck, they are successful at tracking the hacker down to a mobile home in a remote south western desert location. Once they reach the mobile home they decide to scope it out to see what they can find, but Haley decides to stay in the car. While inside, Nic and Jonah search through rooms and get curious as to what’s in the basement when they hear Haley screaming outside. Her screams get louder and louder as the two friends run outside to find out what’s happening to her. When they reach the door they see Haley being levitated off the ground and they black out.

When Nic wakes up the real confusion begins. He wakes up in a top secret underground research facility, and he’s battered and bruised. Laurence Fishburne enters as a doctor who needs to ask him a few questions about the events that took place but Nic isn’t complacent because he’s confused, frightened, and worried about Jonah and Haley. I don’t want to give much more away but you’d have to see the movie to be able to appreciate the way the characters play off one another. The story is unique, the actors anguish is believable, and I really don’t feel as though it was over the top or as I’ve heard other critics say “too ambitious”. For me, the film kind of reignited the flame of the Sci-fi genre, and it made me proud of the film makers for releasing something that I’m sure they knew wouldn’t really appeal to the masses. If you want to watch something that’s going to toy with your mind a bit I suggest watching The Signal (2014).

Review: The Canal will pull you under

What’s truly haunting about Ivan Kavanagh’s film is that it puts you inside the head of a man who’s life is slowly descending into a nightmare that he can’t wake up from. It’s because of this approach that allows the film to sneak up on you with its calculated and nightmarish spin on the haunted house genre. The Canal centers on a film archivist, David, who’s life is being consumed by stress when he suspects his wife is cheating on him. What’s worse is that while watching a reel of to-be-archived footage, David discovers that his house was the setting for a brutal murder in 1902. The stress of his wife and now the new footage only further drags David into a dark place as things start to unravel in terrifying fashion.

View original post 393 more words

The Dark Sacrament: True Stories of Modern-Day Demon Possession and Exorcism

1790150

The Dark Sacrament gives us a compilation of stories and an inside look at the experiences of those who have suffered through demonic possession, hauntings, and exorcisms to name a few. The authors also outline the work of two active exorcists, Canon William Lendrum who happens to be Protestant and Father Ignatius McCarthy, a Roman Catholic. Kiely and McKenna’s research includes interviews with the families, victims, clergy, and witnesses and the accounts are terrifying. The stories take place in Ireland, and the families names have been omitted to protect identities. The book is very unsettling and will seriously creep you out but will also enlighten the reader and cover the reassessment of attitudes since our age of science.

The following is an excerpt from the chapter “The Boy Who Communes With Demons.” The boy’s name is Gary and his mother Jessica is questioning him about what he saw at the top of the stairs and who his new friend is.

Gary shrugged, unable to meet his mother’s eye. She pressed on. “Kelly says you have a new friend. Is that true?” “Yes. And it’s none of her business.”
“Is that why you were fighting with her? That wasn’t nice. You never used to fight with Kelly.” She sat down next to him. “Who is this boy? Do I know him?”
“What boy?” Gary asked, in seeming innocence.
“You’re new friend!”
“He’s not a boy. He’s a man.”
“What’s this man’s name darling? Do I know him?”
“His name’s Tyrannus.”
“Tyr-What sort of name is that?”
“I dunno.”
“Where did you meet this man?”
“At the river; it was the man I saw on the throne,” he said, his words tumbling out in a torrent, “the one that was like the Devil, only it wasn’t the devil; it was Tyrannus. He was on the stairs, and he was huge; he was ten times bigger than me.”
Jessica could only stare (Kiely,McKenna 75).

I suggest you pick this one up, even if you don’t believe in this kind of stuff- it’s an enjoyable, informative, and scary read to add to your book collection.