Mark Wahlberg and Peter Berg are back, and they’re here to kick butts. The latest collaboration from the actor and director who brought you Lone Survivor, Deepwater Horizon and Patriots Day isn’t a serious dramatic thriller about a real-life tragedy; it’s a souped-up action thriller about good guys, bad guys, fighting and guns. And it might have been a cool movie if the filmmakers didn’t take this ridiculous material too seriously.
Mark Wahlberg stars as James Silva, a black ops specialist who’s so smart he has to slap his wrist with a rubber band just to stop himself from being so smart all the time. His team consists of actors desperately trying to make the most out of only one characteristic, including “Angry Mom” Alice (Lauren Cohan), “Sneaker Enthusiast” Bishop (John Malkovich), “Dessert Deliverer” William (Carlo Alban) and “Dessert Recipient” Sam (Ronda Rousey).
Brian Michael Bendis has quickly proven himself at home in the DC Universe. If he can hit the ground running with Superman, there's little reason to worry about Bendis' ability to handle, say, Batman or Green Lantern. However, Pearl represents the next major hurdle in Bendis' DC tenure. Can the move to DC reinvigorate his creator-owned Jinxworld imprint in the same way it has his mainstream superhero work? It's a bit early to judge based on one issue, but Pearl #1 does serve as a promising debut and a welcome return to mature readers crime comics for Bendis and artist Michael Gaydos.
Warning: FULL SPOILERS follow for Castle Rock Season 1, Episode 6, titled "Filter." Castle Rock was renewed for Season 2 earlier this week.
The Stephen King Universe just got a whole lot bigger in Castle Rock Episode 6, with a reveal that hints to a possible Dark Tower connection.
For those uninitiated in the Kingverse mythology, the Dark Tower (also the name of an 8-part book series) is the center of the Stephen King multiverse and serves as the metanarrative that ties together and separates the individual realities of the Stephen King universe. Within that multiverse are doorways, both magical and mechanical that can transport a person to "other heres
Marvel has established a clear trend with major, multiverse-spanning Spider-Man crossovers in recent years. Before the main event begins, there's the obligatory "Edge of..." miniseries to kick things off. Edge of Spider-Geddon #1 does little to suggest this latest crossover will stray very far from the beaten path. But anyone who craves another glimpse of Spider-Punk and his strange, anarchic Marvel Universe, this issue will satisfy.
Alpha’s not the movie that most moviegoers have been waiting desperately all summer long to see and it’s sliding into theaters with comparatively little fanfare - it’s certainly not the leader of the pack when it comes to the season’s major studios releases. That said, don’t dismiss this as a dud that the studio is trying to hide or purely a family movie aimed at being little more than a distraction for kids at the tail end of their school holidays.
Directed by Albert Hughes and set in the Ice Age, Alpha is the story of a young man, Keda (played by Kodi Smit-McPhee) who is left for dead by his tribe when his first hunt goes wrong and tries to survive alone in the wilderness. Befriending a lone wolf abandoned by its own pack, they set off together to make it home before the harsh winter kicks in, facing various hurdles and strengthening their bond.
This is an advanced SPOILER-FREE review of Ozark Season 2. You can stream all 10 episodes on Netflix on August 31.
Netflix's gritty Missouri-based crime drama, Ozark, is back with a darker, and much stronger, second season, which pushes the money-laundering Byrde family to the brink of collapse, as they struggle to not only survive, but also thrive in a criminal underworld filled with drug cartels, crooked government agents, and rapacious politicians.
When Ozark first premiered in 2017, comparisons were made to AMC's seminal Breaking Bad, and rightly so. Marty Byrde (Jason Bateman) and Walter White (Bryan Cranston) are both hardworking, law-abiding individuals, who after suffering extreme circumstances, decide that a life of crime is their only way out. While those similarities are difficult to ignore, Ozark Season 2 does a solid job of distinguishing itself from other series within the same genre.
There is a reason that people love a good Cinderella story. If it’s done well (and many times it isn’t), it shows us a beautiful and glamorous royal or rich world that many of us dream of, then exposes its sordid underbelly. It highlights those who are affected and unaffected by it, commenting on it, while allowing us to indulge in the fantasy of it for a while. Crazy Rich Asians, based on the book by Kevin Kwan, takes that classic story, infuses it with buckets of charm and gives us a look into the culture of Singapore with a cast that all deserve to be seen again and again.
In the film, Rachel (Constance Wu) is dating Nick (Henry Golding), but is unaware of his family’s extraordinary wealth. When they fly back home for a friend’s wedding, Rachel learns about the money and is faced with the judgment of his family—particularly his mother Eleanor (Michelle Yeoh) and friends.
Damn, Daniel! MSI is back at it again! By that I mean it's back to making laptops that are absolutely gargantuan in size, and this time it's the GT75 Titan 8RG (See it on Amazon), a gaming laptop that will break your bank account, frame rate expectations, and your back if you ever try to take it on the road. Like the previous Titan I reviewed, this XXL-sized laptop is so monstrous, it requires two power supplies. In fact, its dual power supplies probably weigh about the same as your typical laptop, so when I say this thing is big, it's actually an understatement.
Warning: Full spoilers for Better Call Saul Season 4, episode 2 follow. To refresh your memory of where we left off, check out our review of Better Call Saul's Season 4 premiere.
"My spirit animal is a Gila monster."
With Better Call Saul now entering its fourth year on the air, creeping ever closer to Breaking Bad's full tenure, online debates have sparked over which is the better overall show. I'm not going to dig into that here except to say that Saul's strengths have always rested within its original tales and not its bravado Breaking Bad connections.
Complete spoilers for Attack on Titan Episode 41 follow.
With “Trust,” it feels like it’s been ages since we saw Armin mournfully reflect on the squad's actions within the walls. The way Armin cooly turns the surrender order around on Marlo and Hitch was a subtle but great display of his growth over the past few episodes. These sort of moments are abundant amongst all of Attack on Titan’s supporting characters throughout Episode 41. There's some good payoff in this episode, too, as Season 3 resumes its haste to cover a lot of ground with its three key subplots.
There were a few places in this episode where it felt like it would have ended in a cliffhanger, and the most likely of those was the final moments of Hange’s plan to reveal the Military Police’s control of information. Flegel Reeves’ initial reactions to the thought of revealing the truth were a good contrast to the Survey Crops’ mentality. Where the soldiers are trained to accept death as part of their job – which is further reinforced by Levi’s comment later in the episode about some lives being worth more than others – people like Flegel are just trying to make the right moves to stay alive. Though a serious topic, it’s a funny moment that shows the stark difference between the core cast and the people they’re trying to rally for their rebellion.
Pixio is a relatively new company in the PC hardware game, and it recently reached out to IGN asking if it wanted to take a look some of its wares. It offered a monitor for review named the PX277h (See it on Amazon) that seems to tick all the right boxes: it's sporting an IPS/AH-VA panel, 1440p resolution, 144Hz refresh rate, and HDR, all in a svelte 27-inch package. Those are pretty good specs, but the most surprising one is its price; just $420. Naturally IGN accepted the offer, and the PX277h landed on my test bench a few weeks later. Here's my hands-on review.
Turtle Beach’s new line of Stealth gaming headsets aims to do three things: be comfortable, deliver great sound, and not break the bank. The company's latest midrange model is the $80 Stealth 300 (See it on Amazon), and it’s basically a wired version of Turtle Beach’s Stealth 600. It’s an amplified stereo headset that can be used with any device with a standard headphone jack. The big differentiator here versus its competition is the built-in power amp. Theoretically it means the Stealth 300 will be louder and offer richer sound, with more bass and cracking highs than you’d get plugging your earbuds into a DualShock 4 controller, Xbox One gamepad, or Nintendo Switch.
Neil Gaiman wrapped up his core Sandman saga over 20 years ago. While Gaiman and other creators have revisited this fantasy universe in the years since, a full-fledged sequel never seemed to be in the cards. Therein lies the appeal of The Sandman Universe, a brand new imprint aimed at expanding the Sandman franchise in multiple directions. Even without Gaiman actually scripting these new books, Sandman Universe #1 suggests that his creations are in capable hands.
This review contains spoilers for Sharp Objects episode 6, "Cherry." To refresh your memory of where we left off, check out our review of episode 5.
It’s become clear over the past few episodes that Sharp Objects intends to remain a character study rather than a straightforward mystery. As “Cherry” pushes us toward the end of this story, it also seems evident that, because of that, the resolution to its central mystery is going to be deeply personal to Camille. That’s strong writing, but it likely means the outcome won’t be the most surprising revelation.
After “Cherry,” all signs point to Amma being the killer. Besides her and Adora, there aren’t any more choices amongst the fairly limited cast of central characters that would provide an emotionally resonant end to the case for Camille. But with two episodes to go, most of this sixth entry is devoted to Amma’s creep factor just as she and her half-sister are finding ways to genuinely bond. Not only is that building to a reveal (or a stunning misdirect), it’s upping the emotional stakes for our lead character.
Got a big home – say, over 1,500 square feet? Then you probably have two problems when it comes to Wi-Fi reception. First, with distance and obstacles such as walls and floors come dead zones where Wi-Fi signals are severely degraded. This particular author has a 2,650 square foot two-story in the Oregon suburbs, and with an older 3x3 802.11n router in the upstairs corner office. This means a 2.4GHz signal will barely survive its trip to the kitchen in the opposite downstairs corner, and a 5.0 GHz signal won’t reach at all. And anything from a 2x2 router? Ha! That's rich.
Marvel Rising is the latest attempt by the titular entertainment juggernaut to appeal to its shifting consumer demographics, specifically the rising tide of next-generation female superhero fans. Planned as a multi-platform franchise targeted primarily at tweens, this new flagship universe is kicking off with a series of animated shorts that will tie into an 80-minute television movie premiering this fall – and there will undoubtedly be more to come should the endeavor prove successful.
While all this new attention for female heroes is wondrously luxurious, it could run the risk of feeling a little pandering, and perhaps too little, too late, given how long audiences have waited for heroines like Captain Marvel and Black Widow to get their own solo movies. Yet Marvel Rising: Initiation (a six-episode series of shorts that set the stage for the Marvel Rising: Secret Warriors movie), thankfully manages to sidestep those concerns, as the end result genuinely feels like a much-needed breath of fresh air for Marvel, and a promising sign for its future endeavors.
Spike Lee’s BlacKkKlansman is many films, all at once. It’s a serious drama about racial issues. It’s a thrilling undercover cop movie. It’s a disturbing comedy about white supremacy. It’s a horror story about white supremacy. It’s a complex dialogue about propagandist cinema. And most importantly… it’s fantastic.
BlacKkKlansman stars John David Washington as Detective Ron Stallworth, the first black policeman in Colorado Springs, Colorado. In 1979, Stallworth begins an undercover operation into the white supremacist organization called The Ku Klux Klan, in which he impersonates a racist white man over the phone. His infiltration is so successful he even gets the Grand Wizard, David Duke (Topher Grace), on the phone for a chit-chat. When he needs to appear in person, Stallworth enlists his fellow officer, Detective Flip Zimmerman (Adam Driver), to take on the persona.
When the ink has dried on the early 21st century, historians will probably look back and say, “Wow, people loved sharks” and “Wow, people also loved Jason Statham punching things.” Fortunately, those historians will have films like Jon Turteltaub’s The Meg to explain why we love them both. It’s a fun giant killer shark movie, and a solid Jason Statham action romp.
The Meg stars Jason Statham as Jonas Taylor, a deep sea rescue expert called out of retirement to rescue his ex-wife from a unique underwater disaster. She’s trapped at the bottom of the Marianas Trench which, it turns out, was deeper than anyone ever realized. And what’s worse, she’s being attacked by a giant prehistoric shark called a Megalodon.
In the modern horror cinematic landscape, films like Hereditary and A Quiet Place have proven that creating a truly terrifying visual experience requires not only jump-scares, but also a solid story with engaging characters. Slender Man, directed by Sylvain White (The Losers), only gets half of this horror cocktail right, overlooking the vital narrative elements.
The story, set in a small town in Massachusetts, follows four high school friends who one fateful night decide to summon the creepypasta internet phenomenon known as Slender Man. When one of the young ladies goes missing, the rest of the group begins to question their sanity as Slender Man starts to haunt their dreams and alter their perceptions of reality with frightening imagery and unpleasant sounds.
Amazing Spider-Man #3 boasts a cover straight out of the Silver Age. Surely this image of Peter Parker clashing with Spider-Man can't be taken literally, right? Maybe it's a metaphor for the hero's internal struggle? Or a sign that we're due for another Clone Saga rehash? But nope, what you see on the cover is pretty much exactly what you get inside. This relaunched series' knack for going over-the-top and delivering the unexpected remains it's biggest selling point.