Best Films of 2017 

10. Beauty and the Beast- The live action take on one of the best disney films of all time was a magical experience. Emma Watson was perfect as Belle and the rest of the All Star Cast definitely helped bring to life a film that definitely benefitted from the live action treatment. 2017 was off to a good start with this one. Emma Watson has turned into a bankable star and Disney continues to know what is best for their long standing fan favorite films. This was a visually appealing film and definitely bosted the star power to grab the film a spot on the list.

9. Shot Caller- Nikolai Coster-Waldau and Jon Bernthal lead this intense prison drama. It begins on a note of intensity and does not let up. This is my favorite kind of cinematic experience. One where the characters are full of faults and full of drama that escalates as the film progresses. What stops it from scoring higher is there was no particular scene that stood out. Of course the performances are memorable but no one scene sticks in your head long after this film is made. 

8. Dunkirk-  This film definitely had engaging visuals but did not quite connect on an emotional level like I was expecting it too. Christopher Nolan often creates an immersive story telling experience and this film while a true homage to visual artistry just did not capture  me on a emotional level like other films of this nature have in the past. For the sake of Dunkirk what really stopped this film from being much higher was the level of talent spread out amongst the film in seemingly throwaway roles with little to no emotional depth added to any character.

7. Wind River- One of Jeremy Renner’s personal best performances in his career Wind River benefits from the simplicity of the plot while still generating powerful performances from the entire cast. We catch a glimpse into what happens when people with pent up agression spend too much time away from the cities and Jon Bernthal turns in one hell of a performance in one of the films smallest but most crucial roles. Filled with dreary landscape and emotion, Wind River delivers a very sobering look at life for many Native-Americans.

6. Justice League- Probably going to catch a lot of flack for including this and placing it so high but who gives a damn. Justice League was a great fun action flick which gave us proper introductions to some of my favorite DC characters. Ezra Miller as The Flash was amazing and Aquaman and Mera looked badass together. It was a good team effort for long time fans of DC and there is more potential for things to come. Justice League balanced everything well and left me entertained and wanting more of my favorite DC character. Flashpoint cannot arrive soon enough. We all know the potential that storyline brings to the DCEU with the ability to right any of the wrongs that have happened and it could also serve as the catalyst for the next phase of DC related adventures.

5. Get Out- Jordan Peele directed the first of two horror films that are going to make the list. This movie was weird and crazy right from the start and it was one of the best horror films I have had the pleasure of watching. Jordan Peele is on the cusp of great things and this movie was one hell of a debut. Get Out challenged the norms of a genre that needs some fresh breath and Get Out most definitely helped out in that respect. A good physcholigical thriller can be more engaging than a straight slasher horror film and Peele was expertly able to weave the two together effortlessly and the final product definitely displayed the strengths of all sub genres under the banner of horror.

4. The Lego Batman Movie- This movie was awesome thanks in large part to the chemistry between Will Arnett and Michael Cera and that comes from their days on Arrested Development. This movie was a much different take on Bruce Wayne and Batman and it was more comedic with a tone that is definitely made for adults. All the classic Batman characters are present and with a much lighter approach with a very gifted voice cast. Animation usually is not my thing but most animated movies are not a satirical look at some of my favorite comic book characters designed to primarily look like a kids movie because it is Lego. This is just a continuation of fine Lego movies. 

3. Spider-Man: Homecoming- Marvel has their webslinger back and he is here too stay. Tom Holland is the defentive Spiderman that the MCU needs moving forward. Moving forward this character has so many directions he can take. Marvel did a great job skipping the whole origin story and jumping right into life with Peter Parker and Aunt May. Keaton was good as Vulture and provided a darker approach in a series debut and the seeds have been laid for more villains to come. There are many characters referenced from within the Spider-Man universe and while it is still unknown what characters will inevitably make it to the bigscreen the best thing the MCU can have right now is a little bit of unpredictabilty amidst a sea of films that draw from the same formula.

2. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri- Frances McDormand commands the screen in a way that we hardly ever get to witness. Martin McDonagh creates characters that have flaws and he is not afraid to explore those faults and create realistic situations for them to be displayed. A long with McDormand, Harrelson, Abbie Cornish, Sam Rockwell and John Hawkes round out the supporting cast that help nail home the emotionally crippling scenes. Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri is top of the class film making from a director that has not had a misfire yet. Three Billboards is the type of film that is sure to grab award attention and the campaign for it to win is one I can definitely get behind.

1. It- A year when horror makes a splash the genre was highlighted by the critical and box office successes of remake to an already bone chilling movie. This version of It was much different. Less of the creepy Uncle clown vibe and more of straight monstrosity type vibe thanks in large part to Bill Skarsgard for layering his Pennywise performance with just the right amount of charisma and the right amount of intensity. It was great film from start to finish and Skarsgard early on cemented his legacy in the horror genre with some fantastic acting in the opeing scene and then it just never let up and allowed the young cast the chance to show how bright their futures will be. Bring on the horrors that come with Chapter 2. It should be just as good if not better as next time around there will be more adult themes that can be explored. If the one constant remains in Bill Skarsgard turning in another physchologically damaging performance there is no doubt that purchasing the two part box set will be a must down the road.


Best of Television 2017

10. White Famous (Showcase)- This is one of the funniest new shows around. Having the ability to use secondary characters from Californication has both helped and hurt the show. It is a fun throwback to a show many people adore while it simaltaneously reminds us that there is only one Hank Moody. It is a good thing Tom Kapinos makes Floyd a character with his own path to take and one that we can definitely care about. The show certainly reels in the immaturity and shows the effects of a Hollywood lifestyle in a more serious tone as the series progresses.

9. A Series of Unfortunate Events (Netflix) Neil Patrick Harris is delightful as the sinister Count Olaf and these books have all the juicy drama that is made for Television. Plus Patrick Warburton helps make the narrative that much more sarcastic and effective. One of the oddest shows on Netflix but most definitely one of the most fun and engaging.

8. Gotham (Fox)- Gotham is a show that you just can’t hate. It has some very cheesy momemts but ultimately it is a refreshing take on the most iconic of Batman characters. Again lead by Robin Lord Taylor as Oswald Cobblepot and Donal Logue as Harvey Bullock Gotham is a darker show that is venturing into some new territory now that Bruce is a teenager. The addition of Crystal Reed as Sofia Falcone has also rejuvenated the show adding a stronger more engaging female presence as the show has previously done a bad job of handling female characters apart from Selina. Gotham has previously been hit or miss with certain storylines over the course of its run but the narrative has been tigther and more methodical in the approach to story telling. 

7. Empire (Fox)- The biggest drop on this list belongs to Empire. After the end of Season three it should have been a much better season 4 but it has just felt slow and not progressive. Empire has felt the shift in other ways as well with ratings continuing to fall. Mostly thanks in large part to the musical talent of the cast Empire still has a spot on this list. This is most likely just a bump in the creative flow of television writing but I really want to see Empire jump back into the top 5 in 2018. It was once a show you could not turn away from and now it is a solid show but is lacking something in the drama department this season.

6. Dear White People ( Netflix)- Based on the 2014 film of the same name Dear White People is also a story that is much better suited for television than film. Netflix allows the show to push boundries and continue to make relevant social commentary. As soon as this show was announced it was expected to generate buzz and people even called for boycotts of the show because of the same. Kudos to Netflix for allowing them to push back and for renewing the show for a second season. Strong acting and writing. Cannot wait to see more.

5. The Flash (CW)- The fifth spot on the list is not a punishment for the Flash. The story has been lighter and the Thinker has been a very refreshing change of pace compared to all the Speedster villains. The Flash is still one of the coolest shows on television with a well rounded cast who week in and week out continue to shine. Cisco continues to be the comedic relief and the dynamic between Barry and the rest of the team continues to be the shows driving force. Keep running Barry, the show is as good as it has ever been. Crisis on Earth X was a highlight for all four Arrowverse shows which definitely showcased the amazing women on all four shows.

4. Longmire (Netflix)- The sixth and final season of Longmire was bittersweet in so many regards. Arguably it was the strongest from a narrative standpoint the show has ever been. It was taking us one final ride with our favorite old school sheriff Walter Longmire that earned it a spot on the list. It brought resolution to each one of the key players through the first five seasons and absolutely left the door open for more down the road. For now this was one hell of a swan song for a show that has always been fun, smart and easy to follow. Thanks for the ride Sheriff Longmire and the Absaroka County Sherrifs department.

3. This is Us (NBC)- Last years first place finisher is back near the top again thanks to more emotion and more tears. This is Us continues to be one of the very best in terms of story telling, dramatics and tear jerking moments. NBC most certainly has a true drama on its hands, one thats extraordinary cast cannot be praised enough for the fine performances they turn in each and every week. Thank you Pearson family for allowing us to share moments with you, express our emotions to the situations in our own lives that need handling and for allowing us to grow with these incredible characters every week.

2.13 Reasons Why (Netflix)- This show broke me. It left me sobbing in my living room at 2:30 am when I finished the season. I was mad at Clay for not talking to Hannah about what had happened. I was shocked by the events that lead to Hannah Bakers suicide and I was ultimately broken by watching helplessly as she took her own life on the screen (a scene that is haunting and tragic and acted with too much realism by Katherine Langford). Thirteen Reasons Why left so much up in the air as the season concluded but the emotion and sheer force of the actors raw display of talent earns Thirteen Reasons Why a spot on the list.

1. The Punisher (Netflix)- Jon Bernthal is a beast of an actor and all his talent is on display here. The first few episodes allow us to reconnect with Castle in his new life while introducing properly all the new players in what will become the season long story. Frank is a man destroyed by the things he has done in the past and broken by what he has lost but also hell bent on making sure those who hurt him feel the same pain he did. Bernthal shifts between the two effortlessly and creates a Frank Castle with layers which is something we have not seen before. His cast mates elevate their game mostly when sharing screen time with him but the story was well crafted and picked up exactly when it needed to. The moment when all the key players motives were established and the story could ramp up the action to the finale was when the show really excelled. Top notch entertainment that dealt with some heavy themes such as betrayal, brotherhood, murder and PTSD. Marvel and Netflix this is your best show to date. I cannot wait to see more of this great series. 

All in for a fun thrilling action rollercoaster ride with DC’s favorite heroes. 

The DCEU has had a rough time finding critical success. However it must be pointed out that sometimes critics do not get it right and this was one of those times. Of course most films are not without flaw but Justice League definitely served up a fun film with some much needed intros for the rest of the DCEU mainstays. 

Early on it felt like it was going to become another Batman and Wonder Woman film but as the film began to develop it certainly became deeper than that. Each member of the team has their demons and will face those demons most likely but this was not the time for that. This was a time for banding together and saving the world and the team was up for the challenge.

The Flash has always been one of my favorite DC heroes and it always had me worried that a different actor was going to play him on the big screen than in the show. Ezra Miller is a fine young actor but the early previews left Barry looking childish and immature. The film did display some behavior of that nature but explained it away by having Barry not fully understanding his powers yet. He is still young, still struggling in life and still coming to terms with the idea that he is in fact a meta human. Barry was displayed as the Rookie of the team without a full grasp of what he can do or for that matter what he will do within the universe (multiple worlds included). For now Miller created a more eccentric Barry who for one reason or another before Bruce showed up was living in an abandonned building and was a one man crew. An important name in Barrys future was dropped several times and that was Star Labs. The decision to avoid inclusion of Star Labs baffled me a bit because of the overt name drops and the mention of the leader of at Star Labs. Any fan knows what that means in the larger world of the Flash so I am most definitely excited about The Flash resurfacing soon in the DCEU.

Ben Affleck and Gal Gadot continued to be the main focus with both of them doing a great job of Co-Leaders of the group. Affleck is definitely leaning towards The Dark Knight Returns style as an older aging Batman who is coming to terms with his own physical limitations and mortality. Diana Prince is probably the best developped hero thus far and is definitely a bad ass warrior. Arthur Currie will most likely get more development in his own film which makes sense to not waste time on most of his story here. His action scenes were fantastic and how cool was Amber Heard as Mera? Great job making us want more of the one hero whose film is near complete. Cyborg was unfortunately the one character who did little to help improve or hinder the film which ultimately makes him a throw away character who would serve best as an assist to the others moving forward and not a character worthy of having his own film before many of the others.

It is safe to say DC has taken the reverse Marvel approach and got the team up out of the way and will now venture back into solo outings which definitely cannot hurt in anyway. If you have been following DC for the past 20 years or more when you hear Ezra Miller talk about Flashpoint you know what that word means for the future. We know that the threats to this world will not stop and one of the Justice Leagues greatest foes was teased during the post credits scene (the other was a debated issue for years but real fans know who the real winner would be. Hint hint it’s the meta and not the Kryptonian). 

No disrespect to Zack Snyder but bringing in Joss Whedon to help was definitely evident in the film. Whedon has a tendency to mix dark drama with even darker humour and that adds a layer of fun and complexity to some over simplified plots. Steppenwolf was a throw away villain in the same vain that Cyborg seemed like a throwaway member of the League. He was designed to be a strong foe but not one we ever felt was in danger of making a lasting impact on the world itself. There is definitely a sense of what is to come and there has to be more. The biggest flaw of Justice League was the two hour run time felt to quick and there was not enough investment in a greater fight. Justice League had so many characters that tried to break new ground and keep the fans excited but beyond the Flash most of them had pacing issues. It should have ended on more of a cliffhanger style ending which would set up for the next round of films. 

Justice League better get strong reviews from early audience goers or the film may be in jeopardy of turning a profit which would definitely hinder the future of the DCEU and the strong stories that should be coming soon. The only problem with Justice League is that the effort to start a universe may come much later than it should have. 

Zack Snyder tends to focus on the darker aspects of film making relying on heavy dialogue and old school noir style shadowing to create darker more brooding heroes. It is good to finally see a lighter approach that hopefully the film keeps moving forward.

This is not a film for those who don’t know the history of DC and what their heroes can do. It is a film for long time fans to get acquainted with their favorite heroes or new versions of their beloved characters.

Acting- 9/10- Affleck and Gadot were expected to keep up the tradition of being good in their respective roles and there was a scene that showcased the two of them well together. Ezra Miller stole the show as the best of the new introductees and I am definitely looking forward to more from him as Barry Allen aka The Flash. Everyone did the part right down to the minor roles and it gave a good end result.

Visuals- 8.5/10- Some of the CGI on Cyborg looked a little fake but the action scenes were top notch allowing us to see the strengths of each character on display in a badass action scene. The end fight was great and everything looked smooth and cool during the fight scenes.

Writing- 8.5/10- Zack Snyder once again was aiming for a darker more aggressive tone but the script ended up with some brilliant quips from Barry Allen and even most of the others had their light moments to shine with brilliance. 

Overall Score- 9/10- It was one hell of an action movie with mostly great visual affects about my favorite team of heroes. What is there not to love. Sometimes the majority of critics just don’t know a great film when they see one. Take my word for it, Justice League is one totally badass bigscreen adventure.

A true horror Masterpiece! 

Every now and again there is a film that easily takes us deep into a terrifying and psychologically challenging thrill ride. Stephen King has a tendency to do this with his novels so one could only hope the film adaptation of his classic horror novel It could be as terrifying as the over 1000 page novel. Expectations were set and then smashed upon viewing It. 

From the opening moment of the film it was gripping. As we come to understand the menace of Pennywise quite quickly it most definitely set a tone that the rest of the movie needed to live up to. My pulse was pounding within minutes as Bill Skarsgard began to speak. Immediately the film went to a great length to establish that this film was going to go more pyschological than jump scares and that meant even more to come from Bill Skarsgard aka Pennywise the Dancing Clown.

The film quickly transitions to a more calm and collected atmosphere switching to the children as summer approaches. There is an obvious somber mood as the town curfew is announced to be 7 and the boys discuss the missing town kids. However the dialogue between the kids was realistic and semi comedic which definitely helped ground the children as leads whos fate we actually cared about.

Of course from there we are taken on a ride that deals with many important themes. It is suprinsgly just as good at being a solid coming of age tale as it is at being a horror film. For a film of this nature to clock in at 2hrs15 mins it had a lot of ground to cover and it really did takes it time to make the characters and torture at hands of Pennywise even more terrifying and damaging. The fate of the children was always in danger and as Pennywise became a bigger threat the film so gracefully slides between quick witted dialogue and frightening dialogue.

Notably one of the hardest things to pull off was always going to be the many shapes and forms of It/Pennywise remaining terrifying while still keeping the clown form as the one that evokes the most emotion from the audience. My jaw dropped during most of the scenes that featured Bill Skarsgard. I want to call it here and hopefully it can gain enough traction but I strongly believe Skarsgard should be handed the Oscar for best supporting actor right now. It was not always his words, it was his lanky structure and his deep eyes that he used to convey a sense of pure terror. Right from the first scene we could see the lurking creepiness behind his eyes. Perhaps a minor spoiler but poor Georgie and every moment this is used to damage Bill through out the film. Spoilers over from here. 

Pennywise was a key part to the film but none of his scenes could have been as powerful if not for strong portrayals of the group of young people known as the Losers club. Beverley, Ritchie and of course Bill were strongly written characters. Bill providing the groups courage, Ritchie the groups humour and Beverley the groups diversity and romanticism. As I said early if you take away Pennywise there was still a strong coming of age element to this film that dealt with bullying, sexuality and standing up for ones self. It really was the complete film that could have came from the first half of Kings novel. Chapter 2 will be its own thing down the road but Chapter 1 was one of the most complete films classified as a horror that I have ever witnessed. R ratings do help and parents dont blame the producers if your 12 year old kids that came to the movie somehow have nightmares for nights because they thought the film was too violent.

This was a film meant for adults. There were a couple of scenes that were hard to handle that didnt even involve Pennywise. This film was much deeper on all levels than I anticpated and that has easily made it probably my best viewing experience of 2017 so far. With the box Office draw it had opening weekend Chapter 2 is going to happen and trust me, I cannot wait. If you are a fan of classic horror and physchologically frightening films than this is for you. You will not be disappointed.

 Debuting here will be a new scoring system for film reviews. It will score acting, writing, visuals and then an overall score for the film.

Acting- 9.5- Bill Skarsgard set the tone early and everyone kept it flowing through out.

Visuals- 9.5/10- Pennywise was as frightening as they come and any scene that required weird visuals had no real issue bringing to life and keeping it petrifying through out.

Writing- 9/10-  It is always hard to take a 1000 pages and shrink it down for a film. Good use of Pennywise but perhaps made him look a little too weak near the end. Still a solid script. 

Overall Score- 9.5/10- A thrilling horror story meant for the big screen. My jaw dropped during several scenes and I had chills during many others. Thanks for sharing that journey with me brother. More to come man and its gonna rock. 

Swinging Home!

Homecoming is always usually bittersweet and filled with heavy emotions. Marvel finally gave long time fans a chance to see and feel the emotions they always deserved by brining a beloved character home where he always belonged.

We finally have the answers to all the burning questions. How will Spider-Man fair in the MCU? The answer is he will be just fine. The reason he will be just fine is thanks to Tom Holland. Holland is the definitive Peter Parker we needed for the next generation. Tobey who? Andrew what? Sorry guys, move on down the road because Tom Holland is here and it is not going anywhere for a while.

Homecoming was such a fun film for many different reasons. It was funny, charming, filled with action and had an amazing cast who all played their part extremely well. It is of course always a pleasure to see Robert Downey JR as Tony Stark in whatever capacity they want to provide him. It ws however Michael Keatons villainous Vulture that kept the film interesting. It was refreshing for the MCU to give us a villain that had never been done before and then go out and cast a big time actor who made it all worth the while. Keaton definitely becomes more chilling as the film goes on and there is a particular scene near the end of the film where he shares a one on one with Tom Holland with no superpowers or gadgets involved and it was the heaviest scene in the movie. There some fun characters included in this film including Aaron Davis aka The Prowler who happens to be the Uncle of one Miles Morales. Maybe one day Miles (One of my personal faves in the Spider-Man universe) will make his way to the big screen.

Bringing Spider-Man back to Marvel was a complete necessity and one that should result in an amazing series now that we have a general idea of where the story may be heading. This is a series that needs to grow darker in tone as it progresses. The need to have a fun light film to begin the franchise is understood but there is abosolutely no way the future films can carry the same tone and tell some of the grittier Spider-Man stories involving villains like Venom and Carnage or even the hinted at villain during the mid credit scene. There are a few villains that definitely could shake up the comfortable home life of Peter Parker depending on what route they take. I have always been an advocate for a darker tone within the MCU. Civil War tried it nicely and hopefully it becomes something worth investing in. Spider-Man is a character that has been loved since way before my childhood, he just happened to be rejuvenated in a time that I could learn to love him as a new generation. The adults who have loved Spider-Man for 20, 30 or more years definitely want to see Holland express the darker side of Parker as things progress and I think they deserve just that.

Now that Spider-Man is home there are limitless possibilities of who can appear and what story lines can be done. Maximum Carnage is one in particular that would be of interest to me. A major hint was dropped about who could the major villain for the next film and Holland himself has expressed that he does not want a repetition of the same villains that have been done before in previous Spidey films. Please Marvel listen to Holland and dont rehash Green Goblin for a third time. It is just not necessary.

This is the first great film of 2017 and I am entirely thankful for that. This is the Spider-Man movie that we all wanted and Marvel has definitely set themselves up well for Spider-Man to have a major part of their universe for years to come.

Tense and driven by internal character development, Orange is the New Black is back! 

Orange is the New Black was always a series that was enjoyable. It stayed a long of the line of a series worthy of watching and most definitely an enjoyable series but not a series that stood above the rest. With Season 5 it no longer stayed a long the line of just another series worthy of a watch and a few shout outs. It became the series I always wanted to see. It hit legendary status on my series viewing experience. A platform that has really only been hit by three series that felt complete in every sense of the word. Season five had all the fixings to get lost in the season and deliver the most bold and profound storyline the show has dared to explore while still keeping true to thing that matters most in the world of television; Characters.

While Piper Chapman is still techinically the lead character of this series the show has definitely learned where the strong actresses are and which characters need to be the central focus and when. This season it belonged to three characters. Taystee, Red and Daya. 

Daya will be the first one discussed as she was the first character who really had a major impact on the events that transpired over the course of season 5. Daya without her mother in prison with her wanted to feel heard and feel like she had a place within the prison. Daya makes a life altering decision for all the prisoners when she shoots the guard in the leg. It plays out through the narrative as Daya becomes the one in charge as she is the one with the weapon. Daya as most people would takes the reigns but instantly sees the pressure of the now escalating prison riot. Within her story was the acceptance of ones own choices and how you can only really hope for better for the ones you love. With her mother gone she tried to grab one moment of acceptance which took away a lifetime of experiences in the outside world away.

Red comes next. Kate Mulgrew has always been one of the highlights of the series thus far and Season 5 of course took her character in a new almost unexpected turn with the abuse of speed and the frantic searches to prove Piscatella had alterior motives. It allowed for emotional moments of role reverseal between Red and Nikki which were some of the best scenes they have shared together. Red was always strong for her girls and her family and this time it was there turn to show their solidarity with her and take down Piscatella when things escalated. While on the subject, the episode featuring flashbacks to Piscatella’s past was one of the best use of the flash backs to date. It added depth to a character who in order to feel like the seasons big bad needed more dynamic and purpose within the story.

Of course the guards and their lack of respect for the inmates gave way for the best performance of the season and definitely the biggest character progression and that is Danielle Brooks as Taystee. Poussey’s death and her subsequent rally for justic were Taystee’s driving anger to display emotions we have seen very seldomly in this series. It lead back to everything we constantly read every day about needless violence against black people all over the world. We get Taystees thirst for justice as it is time for change and for people to pay for their actions. This played out very heavily in two scenes. The first one a small brief scene where Taystee meets Poussey for the first time in the library. It was small, short but it was an absolutely beautiful and emotional scene from a writers stand point to show how deep and how far that connection grew. The second was the scene where Taystee is the voice who speaks instead of Judy King. It was brave and the message behind what she said was a message that holds true. People deserve rehabillitation, they deserve the right to be treated with respect and not like animals while in prison. Stop with the needless violence and stop forgetting that everyone should face justice for their actions. 

Orange is the New Black definitely took on a much darker tone for the new season and with the way it ended it is definitely up in the air about where the show will go next. Will the remaining inmates left in the pool all survive? Will the show decide to focus on the core group as they are relocated? Its some tough decisions to make as a show runner but if they continue to make smart and tension filled decisions like they did for season 5 then season 6 will be just as good. If they choose to bring in new blood to Litchfield it may end up taking a step back and becoming the slightly formulaic show that it once was.

It definitely makes sense to show perspectives as they begin to integrate back into normal life as it is a minmum security prison and their chances at Parole would be significantly higher. It has definitely elevated itself to legendary status for now. Whether it stays there falls primarily on the writing staff. With two seasons left on the current renewal deal with Netflix there is most definitely the question about considering the shows inevitable final season. It’s popular and that always has a major impact on situations moving forward but first and foremost it is a story and I hope it does not try and stay on for 10 seasons just to end on a mediocre final few seasons.

Netflix right now has an early candidate for drama of the year and with the ending we were given summer 2018 should prove to be just as eventful as summer 2017 for the inmates of Litchfield. Will it take the next step towards cementing a legacy or will step back towards familiar ground that tells a predictable and less intense story. Only time will tell and waiting is something fans of this series have grown accustomed to. 

 Love for Manchester

Manchester my heart breaks for you. I cannot even begin to fathom the pain and grief the people affected by this horrible tragedy are feeling. I cannot imagine how hard it must be to now feel unsafe buying concert tickets. Ariana Grande my heart also broke for you and the immense sadness you must be feeling, the shock, the anxiety of now never feeling 100 per cent comfortable on stage must be immensely overwhelming.  Ariana please dont blame yourself. Please dont feel like this is something you did wrong. This happened because of one reason: Hate.

When someone is driven by hate we have grown witness to the fact they will do atrocious things to be seen and heard. Ariana you did what you do best, allow your fans the show they deserved and its a horrid act of cowardice to use your safe haven for your fans as a means to destory such beautiful lives. As I have made clear Ariana Grande before this to me was an artist who made catchy pop songs that made me jam from time to time. Ariana you have now proven to the world and me you have one of the biggest hearts in the world for offering to help  cover the funeral costs for those who lost loved ones. You have shown dignity, class and respect for the situation. For everyone who is telling you that leaving Manchester was a cowards act I say they need to go feed under the bridge. You needed family and loved ones. Trust me, if that was me I would immediately just want to be able to hold my wife and child. There is nothing wrong with needing to be around the people who always have your back during one of the most horrific events you will ever experience. 

We live in a world where judgement is our first reaction. Revenge is the second. We immediately want to make people understand the pain we feel through experience. Thats a road of loneliness and despair. Our first question when responding to tragedy should be “How are people capable of such things” not “How can we make them feel what we feel or worse”.  All the people calling these attacks “fake” and “controlled” are the ones downplaying the grief being felt by people all over England and across the world right now. Personally the responses “It is coming from mainstream media, how can be it true?” Or “I’m not sure why people died if it was a controlled experiment gone wrong” are appaling and disgusting. It is one thing to feel like a couple times perhaps the government has been shady but it is another thing all together to believe that somehow the US and other governments are staging attacks all over the world just to maintain a war with ISIS. 

The mainstream media already 90 per cent of the time portrays Islam as the biggest danger to the US freedom and constitution. People have even told me that if I study Islam it will be a truly eye opening experience to their religion and everything they stand for. The same way not all Christians stand for the extreme view points of those who literally whip themselves if they sin, I am sure not all 2 billion or more Muslims believe that death to all infadels is the true word of Islam. Much like Christianity and all other religions Islam has been turned into a method of madness to spread fear and hate. It has been the easy target of the western civilization because it is the easy way out for us to place the blame on a religion that has many different cultural view points than the ones most practised within the safety of our own homes. Judgement based on religion or between religions is probably the most hypocritical form of judgement. Let me use Jesus to shame those who spread the word of Allah because “Allah is not Jesus and Jesus is the one true Holy being sent here to rid the world of our sins”. Well sorry to disappoint big guy in the sky but in the 2017 years since you came to earth to rid us of our sins most of the sinning and righteous indignation has come from your most loyal of Sunday followers against those who on a daily basis do a better job of practising your words out of common kindness to their fellow men and women than those who attend bible studies and weekly church services.

ISIS is to blame. Not Islam. Not Allah. Not the 2 billion practising Muslims who have no ill intent to anyone trying to live their lives in peace. Extremism is to blame. Extremism is not only a word associated with ISIS. Neither is radical. Western Culture again out of fear for the unknown has told us there is a direct correlation between the two. Some of my devout Christian friends stayed silent during the Manchester bombings or quickly used the tragedy to blame Muslims for the attack saying that by letting them into our beautiful nation we are giving ISIS a chance to grow. I love Canada because we are open armed and loving of the world. I dont like the idea of walls to keep people out or not feeling safe in public. Generally for the most part here in Canada I do feel safe. Hate gets us absolutely nowhere. Ariana Grande’s concert should have been a safe haven for fans to let loose. 22 people can never be held by their loved ones again. Many more will never feel safe in a crowded place ever again. Yet through the sadness and heartbreak we stand together when someone like Ariana Grande reminds us through selfless giving and honor that money and fame dont really mean all that much. Respect, love and dignity mean a whole lot more than those every could.  Ariana Grande has now become a beacon of sunshine in an otherwise horrible moment for all of Manchester and has made me realize that as long as I am here on this earth I never want to stop spreading peace and kindness to my fellow human beings. Not in the name of god or any religion in particular but merely out of common decency to those who cohabitate this insanely wonderous planet we all live on. Kindness should not be granted on the grounds that a book tells you “these are the right people to extend courtesy to” but only on the principal that until they disrespect you we are all born equally and exit this world as eqauls. 

May Peace and love always shine no matter how dark the day is. May artists like Ariana Grande and many others show us that music and art is greater than hate and violence. May we together hold hands and mourn the lives lost while still holding onto hope that one day we wont have to suffer through these events as a society. Love and respect your fellow humans. It can be life changing to extend your hand to someone you least expected.