Category Archives: Reviews

The Walking Dead Season 3 Episode 13 Recap/Review

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http://www.kaleo.org/features/walking-dead-season-episode-arrow-on-the-doorpost/article_bee950dc-8b97-11e2-973f-001a4bcf6878.html

That’s the link of my article on our university press.

This week’s episode of “The Walking Dead” seems to be the last calm before the storm. The episode opens with Rick, Daryl and Hershel at an abandoned warehouse waiting for the Governor to show up for their scheduled meeting. Rick and Daryl make sure the place is clear while Hershel keeps the car running in case of an emergency. As Rick slowly makes his way inside, the Governor walks out from behind the shadows to greet him. Why Rick’s group would trust naive Andrea and her disillusioned attempt at making peace is beyond me. The Governor, of course, even after claiming to have taken off the only gun on him, has a spare one taped on his side of the table. Just like a scene from “The Godfather,” the Governor has set up this meeting with exact precision, leaving nothing to chance.

Rick doesn’t buy his act for a second and even goes so far as to say, “You’re the town drunk, nothing more,” to which the Governor responds by asking if he has misjudged him and the situation. Rick wants to believe that they can work things out, but deep down he knows this man is incapable of coming to a rational compromise.

Because of what Andrea had told him earlier, Rick thought this meeting was arranged so they could discuss which territories each group would take, but it wasn’t at all. Instead, the Governor gives Rick something to think about: He promises that the prison and his group will be left alone if they surrender Michonne to him. But how can you trust a man who is ruthless beyond repair? And after the last episode where Rick and Carl finally started to bond with Michonne, how could Rick give up one of his own for the good of the group?

He has no absolute guarantee that the Governor will keep his word once Michonne is in his hands. The Governor even said that he would prefer the group to stay in the prison rather than leave so that he could keep his one good eye on their group, which comes off as more threatening than comforting.

BROMANCE

The one reassuring part of this episode has to be the bond developed between Daryl and Martinez. Like a lot of frontier adventure stories, when men are left with no source of entertainment they resort to hunting as a way of testing strengths as well as making a fun challenge. Although zombie killing may not be the traditional element in which men bond, Daryl and Martinez are able to make a game out of the situation, which in turn lightens the mood and allows everyone to be human for a while. This battle of strength not only lets the two of them relax but also form connections with each other that will possibly come in handy if they meet again.

Hershel, too, is seen having a moment with Milton when they talk about their specific situations in the zombie apocalypse. Milton is a bit too inquisitive, saying that this information is for science and record-keeping, but Hershel starts to open up a little by joking with him to lighten the mood. When Milton asks to see the leg, Hershel responds by saying that he barely knows the guy, but by the end he is laughing and saying, “At least buy me a drink first.”

MERLE AND MICHONNE

Right after the Governor asks Rick to hand over Michonne, it cuts to Merle asking Michonne to come with him to save the group from the Governor. Is Merle part of the group, or is he still working for the Governor? Was he trying to convince Michonne to come with him for revenge as a decoy? No one can be sure.

Because Rick knows that surrendering Michonne would not save his group, he doesn’t inform the group about this counteroffer. He even asks Hershel to talk him out of it because he knows that she has earned her place by saving multiple people in their group. The Governor keeps mentioning the word “choice,” but does Rick’s group really have a choice? Hershel suggests that they could do well on the road, but Rick is not one to give up. If Rick thinks that the Governor killing Michonne is beneath him, he has another thing coming.

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The Walking Dead Episode 3 Episode 12 ‘Clear’ Analysis

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Like last week I’ve done a review of this week’s episode of The Walking Dead. If you haven’t watched it, or don’t want any spoilers, STOP READING!

*Spoiler Alert*

Road Trip

This is the episode that walking dead fans have been waiting for for 3 seasons now. But before I get into that let’s start at the beginning of the episode. This episode centers around Rick, Carl and Michonne on their little road trip to find weapons to help protect the prison from the terrible threat that is the Governor. While on the road they pass by a backpacker who is very much alive and seemingly healthy but none of them do anything to try and help the poor fellow. What happened to the Rick that wanted and tried to help every living thing within his reach? Even Michonne helped Andrea survive in the middle of the woods. (Although most of us wish that she hadn’t). It becomes apparent, at this point, that all three of them have become hardened and cold in order to survive the day to day struggle to stay alive. They don’t think twice about leaving the guy in the middle of the road.
Morgan

And who decides to finally show up 3 seasons later? Morgan. For those of you who don’t remember him, Morgan and his son were the ones that saved Rick as he was teetering home from the hospital unaware of what had happened to the world while he was in a coma. Fans wanted to know what had happened to Morgan and tonight they finally got their answer. Not only had he stayed in the same town that Rick had met him in, but he was able to put together an elaborate setup to keep the walkers at bay. Pretty amazing if you ask me. It looked like something right out of Indiana Jones. There were spear-like rods to impale walkers, barbed wires delicately placed to trap and stop them from advancing further and even welcome mats with a knife contraption carefully placed underneath. This man has thought of it all! Using animals in cages to attract and distract zombies, priceless! I wish I could have thought of that!

But like Rick, Morgan, who can be seen as Rick’s double, had gone a bit crazy so when Rick’s group encroached on his territory he told them to drop their stuff and go. But of course, things aren’t always that easy when it comes to dealing with these three so they decided to shoot him to try and get his rifle. And at this point, Rick didn’t know that it was Morgan because he had been wearing a mask the whole time. Michonne and Rick both tried to kill him but it was finally Carl who had shot the masked man later to be known as Morgan. But luckily it turned out that Morgan had raided the police station and had been wearing a bulletproof vest when Carl had shot him. Morgan was only knocked out due to the concussion caused by his fall from the shot to the chest. And upon safely entering into his house, Rick and Michonne were able to gather supplies to bring back to camp.

Carl and Michonne

Carl, on the other hand, discovered Morgan’s hand drawn chalk map of the town which noted that Rick’s house had been burnt down since. Knowing that he wouldn’t have another opportunity to be in the same town that he had grown up in, Carl wanted to grab a picture of his mother for Judith, Carl’s newborn sister, to have so that she would know what her mother had looked like. But wanting to do this by himself he used the guise of getting a new crib for Judith from around the corner at the local kid’s store to convince his father to let him go. Michonne, who has really started to become an integral part of Rick’s group, persuaded Carl that he would need a helping hand in order to carry the crib back and he finally agreed. At one point Carl tries to pull a fast one on Michonne so that he can go get the picture by himself but Michonne soon catches up to Carl and decides to help him instead of letting him go by himself. It turns out that the local restaurant has a picture of Rick and Lori together hanging as part of some wall decoration. They send in Morgan’s rat cage on a skateboard decoy to safely sneak inside and once they’re in, Carl grabs the photo but as they try for the door it turns out that one of the rats have escaped and they will have to fight their way out. And on the way out Carl drops the photo amongst the midst of zombies and by this point the zombies are all crowded by the door. Carl insists on going back in but Michonne stops him and says that she will get the picture. And just like that, Michonne goes around the corner for a split second and is magically back with the framed picture. How? I have no idea. She also brings a rainbow paper mache cat with her saying that she couldn’t resist. This is the first real episode where we hear Michonne talk and express herself. I have never seen her more human than she was in today’s episode. And because of this undeniable bond that has been built between Carl and Michonne, Carl now knows that Michonne is here to stay.

Clear

After Rick zipties Morgan’s hands together so that he doesn’t do anything rash when he comes to, he walks around the room reading the various chalk writings all around the walls. And again and again on the walls is the word ‘Clear’. What it means, Rick has no idea at this point. Then he comes upon one space of the wall that says, “Duane has turned”. Duane was Morgan’s son and after Morgan comes to he tells Rick that because he wasn’t able to kill his wife, who had turned, that when he left Duane alone to search a cellar for goods that his son was confronted by his zombie mother but was unable to shoot her and was therefore bitten and turned.

When Morgan finally does come to he is able to cut through the zipties with a knife kept in his bed and he attacks Rick, not knowing who he really is. Morgan keeps saying that the dead wear people’s faces and that he knows no one. The most climactic moment in this whole episode is when Morgan stabs Rick in the shoulder shouting that he, Rick, is not ‘Clear’. Being a lot like Rick, after the emotional stress of having lost loved ones, Morgan has just about lost his mind. Rick pulls a gun on Morgan after he is shot and Morgan begs to be killed so that he will no longer have to suffer but Rick can’t do it. Rick makes him understand who he is by showing him the walkie talkie which leads to the whole conversation about his son. Needless to say, Rick wants Morgan to come with him but Morgan knows better than to go to the prison knowing that the need for guns means that there are people who are out for them. Maybe since Rick was able to see how crazy Morgan had become, he will finally realize how he has been just as crazy since Lori’s death. If this can be a turning point for Rick then his group has a chance of survival against the Governor’s army.

Talking to the Dead

As they are loading up their car full of guns and ammo Rick is seen looking off into the distance until Michonne asks if he sees something. Michonne, along with everyone else at the prison, knows that Rick has been seeing things but instead of ignoring it or passing it off as odd behavior, she tries to connect with Rick in her own way. Michonne opens up to Rick saying that she too would talk to her dead boyfriend from time to time. This is more readily seen in the graphic novel but it is something new for the TV series. Michonne is becoming a fully developed character that viewers can not only love but relate to.
The episode ends with Rick’s car passing by a zombie who is feeding on a fresh kill and as they pass it they see the same orange camper’s backpack that the guy had been wearing. They stop the car to pick it up like it was no big deal and they go back on their way. What has become of everyone’s humanity? The needs for supplies and weapons surpass the compassion shown for the fellow man which can be applied to both the prison and the Woodbury group. Rick has become like the Governor in his quest to keep his group alive and only time will tell who will be able to come out on top. And again this week they end the episode with a song that goes, “O lord, lead me through the darkness”. And what Rick’s group will be dealing with is exactly that, darkness, and they will need all the help they can get to survive it.

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Top 5 March Video Game Releases

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Need a little reward after a grueling midterms week? Lucky for students, the month of March is filled with new and exciting game releases week after week. Everything from a brand new reboot of the Tomb Raider classic to the next installment of the ever popular first-person shooter BioShock Infinite. The only hard decision is…which one to play first.
Tomb Raider


The first on the list is Square Enix’s Tomb Raider, which is set to be released on March 5th. Unlike the previous Tomb Raider games, Square Enix has revamped the story to make this the first of a series of games to follow. The reboot was used to overhaul the beginnings of the ever popular character Lara Croft. Her transformation from an unsure young woman to an ass-kicking superstar is tracked through this new story, made for both the newer generation of gamers as well as the long time followers. It is also the first Tomb Raider game to be given both an “M” (Mature) and a “18+” warning on the label. The art style also greatly resembles that of the Final Fantasy series.
A perfect fit for the island of Hawaii, the story takes place on an unknown island where a young Lara Croft has become shipwrecked with her crew, while on her way to make something of herself. And it is up to her to survive and help her shipmates while fighting off deadly inhabitants turned mercenaries that are out for blood.

This action-adventure platform game will be available for the XBOX360, PS3 and PC. There are two versions up for sale, the Tomb Raider: Final Hours Edition will be the usual $59.99 + tax, while the Tomb Raider Survival/Collector’s Edition is $99.99 + tax. The Collector’s Edition comes with: 1) a copy of the game, 2) Play Arts Kai Lara Croft Figurine, 3) Endurance Survival Kit Packaging, 4) a Lithographic Print, 5) Experience Shields, 6) CD Soundtrack, and 7) Downloadable content.

God of War: Ascension


The next must have for this gaming season is God of War: Ascension, which is set to be released March 12th. This will be the seventh installment in the God of War series and it will be a prequel to the entire series.
God of War: Ascension takes place about 10 years before the original God of War series and is mostly centered around the theme of vengeance. Gamers will be playing as Kratos, but what will be different about this game is that Kratos is much more human. After being tricked by Ares into killing his wife and son, he is on a quest for redemption which also leads to his attempt to break bonds with Ares.
This third person action-adventure game will be released exclusively for the PS3. What’s more is that this will be the first game in the God of War series to have a multiplayer feature, as well as extra downloadable content. God of War fans won’t want to miss out! The regular edition is set to retail for $59.99 + tax, while the God of War: Ascension Collector’s Edition is set at a price of $79.99. The Collector’s Edition will include: 1) a copy of the game, 2) Exclusive 6″ Kratos Statue, 3) Premium Steelbook case, 4) a digital copy of the Official Soundtrack, 5) PS3 Dynamic Theme, 6) PSN Avatar Pack, 7) Multiplayer XP Boost Unlock, and 8) a pass for future downloadable content.
Gears of War: Judgment


And with every PS3 exclusive game there comes an XBOX360 exclusive game. Gears of War: Judgment is set to release March 19th. This game will be the fourth in the Gears of War series.
Like most of the games being released this month, Gears of War: Judgment is a prequel to the other three in the series with the chronology of events in this game predating the rest. The protagonists in this game being Damon Baird and Augustus Cole. Gamers get to follow the Kilo Squad battle their way to try and save the city of Halvo Bay in the subsequent aftermath of Emergence Day.
Made for the XBOX360, this epic third-person shooter is priced at $59.99 + tax for the regular copy and $78.00 + tax for the Gears of War Judgment EB Games Special Edition. The special edition, which is only available at EB Games, comes with a Steelbook and multiplayer skins. The game will also feature two new multiplayer modes for gamers to try out.
BioShock Infinite


Third in the BioShock series, BioShock Infinite is set to be released on March 26th.
Set in 1912, BioShock Infinite does not follow the same storyline as the first two in the series. This new game is instead set in the floating air-city of Columbia where gamers get to play as Booker DeWitt, a former Pinkerton agent, who has been sent to rescue the long time captive Elizabeth. Although Booker is successful in saving the 12-year detainee Elizabeth, it is up to them both to fight off the different factions of the city of Columbia. But not to stray too far from the original series, gamers will still get to use the same style combination of weapons, gear and psychokinetic powers. A plus that gamers can look forward to in this new game is the expansion of available combat challenges due to the open-air nature of the setting.
This first person shooter will be available on the XBOX360, PS3 and PC. The regular edition is set to retail at $59.99, while the premium edition is set at $79.99. There is also a rare Ultimate Songbird Collection that has been seen priced at around $300 to $550.
StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm

And the ever popular StarCraft series is finally releasing the long awaited expansion pack for StarCraft: Wings of Liberty. StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm is also part two of the StarCraft II trilogy. The expansion pack will include additional units as well as changes to the multiplayer mode. Also featured is a continuation campaign of the main story that focuses on the Zerg race.

Set to take place two years after the events of StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty, the main focus of this game will be on the Zerg race and on Sarah Kerrigan, who will be the protagonist as well as the anti-hero. Having regained her human form, Sarah is on a crusade to gain back leadership of her swarm, that has now been divided into many factions, while exacting vengeance on Arcturus Mengsk, Emperor of the Terran Dominion.

This military science fiction real-time strategy game developed by Blizzard is set to be released March 12th on PC and OS X. The regular edition will be priced as an expansion pack and will cost $39.99, where the collector’s edition is set at $79.99. In the collector’s edition gamers get: 1) a copy of the game, 2) exclusive behind the scenes dvd & blu-Ray 2-disc set, 3) soundtrack and art book, 4) Zero Rush mouse pad, and 5) exclusive in-game content.

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A New Dawn has risen

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No I have not been paid by Dawn to write this blog entry.

I just had to share my thoughts on my new dishwashing liquid…

and what might that be?

THAT IT IS AMAZING!

Literally, for those of you who do a ton of dishes everyday, THIS IS FOR YOU!

It works just as well as the old dawn, it’s a little thinner but boy does it smell like heaven.

It’s the new Dawn Ultra New Zealand Spring Scent and you have to get it!

This stuff MAKES ME WANT TO WASH MORE DISHES.

Seriously, no joke.

You can even just go to the supermarket and go to the household cleaning isle and just take a whiff of it!

I promise, you will not be disappointed!

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The Walking Dead Season 3 Episode 11 – “I Ain’t A Judas” Analysis *Spoiler Alert*

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This is a review and analysis of this week’s episode of the Walking Dead  Season 3, Episode 11 – “I Ain’t A Judas”.

If you have not seen the show or do not want spoilers, stop reading here.

*SPOILER ALERT*

This week’s episode of The Walking Dead starts off with young Carl confronting Rick about his ability to maintain and lead the group. As we’ve seen in episodes leading up to this one, Rick has just about come off his rocker hallucinating and imagining receiving phone calls. But it seems as though, for this week at least, that he has regained a piece of his sanity in order to create a plan for the group’s future. The Governor’s attack on the prison has awakened Rick to the real dangers that Woodbury poses on their survival and well being. And of course the return of Merle, who had been cooperating with the Governor up until this point, has everyone on their toes since they don’t really know whose side he is on. It’s a risk that the group has to take if they want to keep Daryl around and since he is such a strong player in their overall survival and defenses, they can’t afford to let Daryl go once again.


How the Governor survives to see another week, is beyond me. Last week, he was literally shooting the prison from out in the open and no one managed to shoot him even though they are able to clear out a whole prison and are pros at headshots. But, of course, the main villain can’t die too easily otherwise it wouldn’t be much of a story. For now, the Governor is still sort of a flat character. All we really know about him is that he tried to reform his zombie daughter, before Michonne plunged a Japanese samurai sword through her head, and that he likes to keep a fish tank full of zombie and human heads. Oh and that his real name is Phillip. For those of you who didn’t catch that the first time, Andrea refers to the Governor as Phillip, which in turn shows her true feelings for the man. Michonne was right when she said that Andrea suffered from a Messiah complex. It’s funny she mentions this because the title of the episode is, “I Ain’t A Judas” which can be taken to mean that Andrea will not “betray” the “Messiah” which would be the Governor.


Another biblical reference during this episode would be when Hershel goes to Merle with the Bible so that he may talk to him. The original passage is from Matthew 5:29-30 and says, “If your right eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell”. Hershel starts with the passage but Merle is able to recite the last of it because he too knows the Bible. This may be the turning point for Merle but this passage can also be seen as a reference to the Governor himself. Hershel has lost his leg, but not to any real evil that he has caused. Merle has cut his own hand and thrown it away but the Governor has lost his eye but the difference is that he has not gouged it himself. Not being a religious man, this passage could possibly foretell the very downfall of the Governor himself. We’ll have to see as the season goes on, but it’s definitely something to think about.


On a different note, it’s funny too that Andrea copies what Michonne has done with the zombies to make them safe to use as a distraction. Andrea goes back to the prison but for what? It seems as though she just went to pity them and to try and recruit them to join Woodbury, where in reality she should know well enough that that isn’t possible. Everyone at the prison tries to reason with Andrea so that she knows what has really been going on with the Governor but by this point, she is too blinded by the lies and the charm to see the difference. These people that she has lived with, protected and gone through hell and back with now mean so little to her. They trust her enough to give her a car to take back and even tools to finish the job, but she is no Judas to her Messiah.


Who else is disgusted by Tyrese’s group ratting out Rick’s prison group? In the comic, Tyrese is part of Rick’s group and maybe it’ll turn out like that in the long run but it’s hard to see good people get mixed up with the Governor. The other man and his son have nothing but bad intentions and can do what they want but I’m hoping that Tyrese will come join the group again.


The episode ends with Beth, Maggie’s sister, singing Tom Wait’s “Hold On” which is important because the refrain in the song is, “Oh you got to / Hold on, hold on / You got to hold on / Take my hand, I’m standing right here, you got to /just hold on”. Rick’s group has to hold on if they want to survive.

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Valentine’s Day Dinner + Movie

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Mark asked what I wanted to do for Valentine’s Day and I said Korean Barbecue & Die Hard!

I asked to do V-day on Friday because I had tests and such to study for on Thursday night and I think it worked out pretty well.

We had KBBQ at my favorite place in Honolulu, Sikdorak, and I loved every bite of it! We got there a little early which was good because everyone started to pile in as we started eating.

But by the time I was done eating I was WAY too stuffed to go to a movie so I said we would go on Sunday.

But before we go, we decided to look up what the ratings were of Die Hard on Rotten Tomatoes and it was NOT GOOD…

I mean the audience gave it a good review but I think the critics gave the movie something like a 17% which is HORRIBLE! I love Bruce Willis and Die Hard but I didn’t really want to pay to see a bad action film either. I think I might wait till it’s released on DVD.

So instead I looked for the next movie with a decent rating and we ended up settling for Side Effects.

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Mark liked it better than I did. I think I would have rather watched Die Hard, to be honest.

The beginning of the movie was pretty interesting and it set up the plot and its twist pretty well, but I personally think the movie dragged the plot on for too long. I was expecting more of a cliffhanger ending like Inception or Shutter Island but no such luck for me.

This movie takes more of a political stance on police corruption, the malpractice of doctors and the world of money embezzlement. Not really my type of movie.

For those of you who like psychological thrillers and plot twists and such, I think you will like this movie.

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What better way to start a Monday than with a Western?

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I am very well aware that it is Wednesday today… it just took me a while to update but better late than never right?

So the first picture is what I usually see in the mornings on my way to school. It’s been a little dark and cloudy lately and it’ll rain near campus but for the most part the weather has been very agreeable.

The corvette is probably the only nice car I’ve seen in a while and in LA I wouldn’t even count it in amongst the VERY nice cars but this is Hawaii. All the nice cars are across the street at the luxury car dealership. It was still nice to see nonetheless.

And for our film class we had to watch Shane and I was pretty lucky that it was on Netflix. I bought some pho and enjoyed the movie (as best as I could). Nothing against the movie but you know it’s hard to watch a movie when you’re at home and you have a million other things to do.

But for those of you who have not seen it yet, here is MY quick summary (without ruining it).

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For our film class we are moving into the Western genre and what better way to start it than with Shane. Filmed in 1953 (although my book says 1952 for some reason), Shane is a typical Western in which there is a conflict between two groups and as the movie goes on it becomes obvious that there are multiple contrasts in the movie. Like Thomas Shatz says in his book, “The film is a virtual ballet of oppositions, all perceived from Joey’s (the young boy) viewpoint”. The main conflict being with the homesteaders who are trying to be forced/scared out of their land by the ranchers. This again refers to the battle between things such as: social law versus primitive law, equality vs survival of the fittest and even much simpler things such as the future versus the past.

The main character Shane, who borders between both groups, has to try and negotiate and somehow create a sense of order. Shane is trying to leave his gunslinger past in order to work for Joe Starrett (Joey’s father), but as chaos arises and there is need for a resolution Shane is the only person able to act because the society around him is too weak to do so. “And it is these actions that finally enforce social order but necessitate his departure from the community he has saved”.

Shane is a classic Western that helps define the genre but at the same time this film also helps viewers understand the transformations that have taken place within the genre since 1953. And who doesn’t like watching gunslingers save whole towns, am I right?

So like I said, it’s on Netflix so if you have some free time on your hands, it’s definitely worth checking out!

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