Hooked On Veg

Hooked On Veg

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Born in the 80's, Jess is a simple kind of girl aspiring to reach for the sky. Interests range from games, comic books, music to movies, health and cuddly cute little stuffed animals. She is a toy maker, avid movie reviewer, health nut, tattoo enthusiast, music lover, world traveler, horror actress and overall a down to earth kind of gal. Open mindedness is her middle name and she isn't afraid to get a little bloody if the scene calls for it. Recently she started a funny health podcast called 'Hooked On Veg' and actively writes about every movie she sees in her blog on Node. If you could sum her up in one word it would have to be fantastical. This gal can really nerd it up with the best of 'em.

For more information contact hookedonveg@gmail.com
http://bit.ly/hookedtwit on Twitter or
http://bit.ly/hookedfb on Facebook and
Movie Blog on Node and Health Tips on the Nerds in Babeland Blog

AIM: Vvvmoonbeamvvv

Posts by Hooked On Veg
Photo on 2011-04-30 at 01.31

Gluing Latex

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Hello all,

A while ago I had posted up a little bit about how I wanted to start making latex costumes. Well, I have gotten in all the materials and have been trying to practice and master my craft. Today I wanted to talk a little bit about how to actually glue seams on a latex accessory or costume to get the best results.

There are two different kinds of glues used when making latex outfits. A water based or solvent based adhesive. For a more stretchy or for gluing on details that won’t get too much stress I would go for the water based, also known as Liquid Latex. For a stronger, watertight bond I would go with the solvent based, which you can tell when you read a rubber cement that has a material called Hepatane in it. Both are good to use but it just depends on what you are using them for.
I use a solvent based adhesive called Best Test, which you can order online if you can’t find in your local art store, or if you are not in the states you can find a rubber cement called Bostik, which is very strong and durable.

The trick to gluing a seam is prep. Clean both sides of the seam with a solvent, like Heptane or Bestine, and let it dry. Then spread the glue on the seam so that it is evenly spread (sometimes using a credit card can be effective is making sure there are no spots that are not covered by the glue). Wait about 5 min for the glue to dry and get sticky and then slowly attach the two sides together. Once they are attached pinch along the seam to make sure it is evenly distributed or you can even use a wooden roller to get a cleaner look. Make sure you clean the seam with the solvent to get any extra glue and just wait for it to dry. It is best if you wait 24 hours to really let the glue adhere to itself.

Now you have a really strong seam that should last.

For more information on gluing or making latex costumes be sure to check out my blog, which is solely dedicated to me sharing my info I find. www.nerdylatex.com

Thanks for reading and happy diy-ing
Jess DP

Latex Glove

Latex Costuming

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In the mainstream media today we are seeing more and more alternative clothing popping up and I think that is awesome because for designers and cosplay enthusiasts we are getting more credibility to our interest in costumes.  It was shown recently that spandex, PVC, latex, and other materials are showing up more and more.  For me especially I was excited because I have always been interested in latex clothing.  It wasn’t until I got to actually wear my first outfit for a costume party that I realized that I may be able to make some more simple stuff myself.  This was when the idea struck me!  Since I will be attending SDCC this year and I am not swimming in money, then maybe I could attempt to try and make my own costume out of latex.

This whole endeavor took about 2 weeks to get together.  Plenty of research about what to get and where to get it.  It was very exhausting.  Then came the waiting for my packages of latex sheeting, rubber cement glue, thinner and clothing patterns to arrive in the mail.  It literally took me about an hour to make my first piece as a trial to see how this whole process will be in the future.

For the crafty people out there I would like to break it down for you.  This is not as easy as it looks and I did loads of planning to get me on the right track but it is not impossible to get these materials and make some cool stuff yourself.

This is what it took for me..

  • Latex sheeting was ordered from a place called MJTrends
  • Best Time Rubber Cement/Bestine Thinner from Pearl Paint – used to glue the seams and thin the glue for thinner latex and for cleaning
  • Mineral Spirits from Home Depot – used for cleaning seams
  • Rotary Knife/Cutting board/Scissors/Rulers from Walmart – used to make clean cuts
  • Patterns from Jo-Ann’s Fabric Store

You simply pick out a pattern. Trace it onto your sheet of latex and then cut it out.  Figure out where the seams will be glued and clean them with either the thinner or mineral spirit.  Take a paint brush or q-tip and spread a thin layer on your seam on both sides that will be coming together.  Wait 5 min and then attach them together.  Make sure to apply pressure to the seam or even use a small seam roller to make sure the glue bonds to itself.  It works best if you let the seam sit overnight and then Presto!

In my case the glove was then shined with some lube, which also allows for it to stretch without breaking, and I fit it over my hand to give you the picture you see below.

So for my first attempt was making a fingerless glove, called a gaunlet.

I did get a chance with some of the extra pieces to make a little bow on the bottom to give it a little bit of flare.

I feel really confident to give this a serious try.  My goal is to have a costume made for Comic-Con and hopefully with great success.

For my next trick I am going to try and make a slightly more complicated piece and I will be sure, now that I know more of what I am doing, to put up pictures step by step of what I did and why.
Until next time.. This is Jess D.

 

Ozzy Osbourne

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Its hard to think that a 62 year old man can capture a crowd from on a stage to an almost sold out arena. The presence is still monstrous and even sitting off to the side and semi far from the stage the energy still will fill you to go crazier then you ever have before. This man I speak of is the one and only prince of darkness, Ozzy Osbourne. After a short movie, which was hilarious and can be seen here_> Ozzy Intro, the band gets into place and this man clad all in black with a sparkling cross on the front steps across the stage to take his place in front of the microphone. He opens his mouth and the arena erupts in noise. The energy is not only filled with love for the music but a love from the band to the auditing crowd.

There were a few songs played from his new album, Scream, and then some older songs we all know and can’t help but headbang to. Every once in a while Ozzy would turn from the crowd and dunk his head in water flipping his long hair back wetting the first row of people. As the energy of the show increased so did the amount of water being thrown off the stage until the point came that a huge hose was hoisted in Ozzy’s arms and water burst onto the crowd. The metaphorical build up culminated to this burst multiple times as the intensity would rise from certain songs and Ozzy felt the need to release himself on his herd of dark followers. Quite a spectacle from the seats up the side of the arena, where my iPhone was safe and able to capture some of the destruction.

Not only was there waterworks but also a plethora of pyrotechnics. At certain points when the bass drum hit a loud band and fireworks erupted from the stage in all directions. There was even an amazing display where these shards of light and fire of white and red were falling onto Ozzy like his emergence from the other side. You almost could image him levitating from a coffin with his arms crossed and sharp canines poking from his closed mouth and his eyes opening slowing to pierce your soul.

Not only was there an emergence from the prince himself but also from different members of his band. One in particular that would catch anyone’s eye was when the drums took off in an amazing solo intermission. I say take off because literally as the drummer was building steam and settling into a violent drumroll with the double bass drum the small stage where his kit sat began to lift toward the sky. All you see is lights and smoke from below pushing this amazing performance upward as he hits climax and stand with one arm toward the sky demanding praise from the crowd, which did ensue the more he would play and stop and play and stop.

Not only did I get the opportunity to watch this amazing performance but the opening band was impressive as well. After putting out a self titled album, featuring everyone from Fergie to Ozzy himself, Slash has been touring with Ozzy and opening for him with a band put together and featuring one of his singing contributors on his album to sing for the tour. It was a treat to see Slash shred on guitar his new and old songs but it was an even bigger surprise to find out the singer was the one and only Myles Kennedy from Alter Bridge. All I can say is I was almost a catastrophe from leaning forward to see and hear more from him.

This night was a blast from the past and made my veins course with adrenaline and a need that could only be filled by the prince of darkness himself. Ozzy may not be the young man he once was when he started Black Sabbath but he still demands a certain presence onstage that will make even the casual listener bow to his will. Don’t let the age fool you because he is still as crazy as ever.

If you get the chance to check out Ozzy’s new album, Scream, it is definitely interesting and a fun listen.

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The Walking Dead: A Look Back, Season 1

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I was going to write about the last episode but I lost track of time with the holidays and I moved and whatever else occupied my time in the last couple weeks.  Either way I figured, why spoil the ending?  If you want to see it you have full reviews from every other episode from me and if you have gone 5 eps deep then watching the finale will be well worth it.  I did really enjoy this arch but of course like any new show there is always a testing ground.  I still have not read the graphic novels but plan to, to get more in depth with the series for when it returns for its second season.  Yes, it was picked up and why shouldn’t it?  I really enjoyed what they did with this season and I am happy to call myself a fan.

From what I have read the second season will be twice as long as the first and, sorry to say, but we have no set date as to when it will air.  I feel like we may have gotten a taste of what this show has to offer and if you ask me most of us will be out for flesh if it doesn’t have a date set in the near future.  It is always terrible when you have a show you are falling for and have no idea when you will get more.  There are a few snags that could cause the new season not to air until October of 2011 though.  Frank Darabont, the executive producer/director, has let go of his entire writing staff and there are talks of not bringing on another one.  Instead he is commissioning out freelancers to write the episodes.  Also, AMC is the new hot place to be if you are an awesome tv series that has style and substance.  They already have two hit shows coming back in 2011, Mad Men and Breaking Bad, and they will be airing a new series called, The Killing, sometime in the new year.  That is quite a full plate for a network that used to show nothing but classic movies.

This show is looking like it will have quite an impact.  The first episode was released at the perfect time, at the end of the spooky Halloween season, and I really believe that gave this show a leg up to get the buzz out there.  I can only speculate what the next season will look like with all the freelancing and amazingness that will bring.  From what I have reviewed and what I was excited about from this show I was totally blown away.  From the beginning to the end you really see the relationships opening up and even the violence, which was something I knew AMC could handle, has been tasteful and gruesome at the same time.  The entire cast has been a great choice so far.

There is a soap opera kind of feel to it with some of the characters, but I think that makes for good drama.  As the show started, and since I am a proclaimed nerd, I had no problem believing there were crazy zombies running around out in the world.  The characters react exactly how I would expect them to and there are some tough decisions shown that really make you step back and contemplate how you would handle it.  Let’s be honest here, no real situation is ever so cut and dry.

So let’s get into the meat of it all.  When the series starts you are kind of a time before when you get to meet Rick Grimes, a cop, and his partner, Shane.  When Rick is put into a coma and wakes up mysteriously alone in the hospital the reality of a world alone sets into place.  The story leads us to Rick searching and eventually finding his family, which include his son Carl and wife Lori.  Lori was under the impression he was dead and so has sought comfort in Shane.  As time goes on you realize that Shane is not happy to be left at the wayside when Rick returns, but this is all under Rick’s nose and he has no idea the turmoil both of them are going through now that he has returned.

Not only are you dealing with betrayal on some level but in other stories you are seeing the decisions of deciding on death as a viable option to living in this hell.  What is there really to live for in a world like this?  You see everyone around you die eventually and so why wouldn’t it be a good option?  Well, that is unless you have someone to live for.  These people are all they have and at this point if they don’t have each other there is no reason to go on.  Not all of them have the strength to be optimistic like Rick and push on thinking they can save the world.  This innate American idea that we are bigger and meant for more definitely resides in a guy like Rick, a leader.

Then you see the struggle that comes over Andrea when she does realize she is that person for someone, Dale.  He had seen his entire family die and yet kept going.  He let Andrea and her sister, Amy, into his heart and gave that place to them.  Those relationships become stronger as time progresses.  Bonds formed through great tragedy are stronger because you can really see someone for who they are.  Sometimes though that isn’t the person you thought you would see.  A really great example of that comes out in Carol’s husband, Ed.  Now it is possible that he could have been this way before the world ended but her transformation is what really struck me.

Carol seems like a simple housewife who does what she is told.   Ed is her overbearing abusive husband.  They make a good couple until the sisters, who are definitely more outspoken and liberated, interfere to make Carol feel ok about laughing and having fun despite this dark time.  You may think that she may not change because she runs to the side of him even after he beats her, but when he turns and has to be taken down she is the one to do it.  The escape!  Not only an escape and a victory but one she can feel good about and not snap to obtain.  Slight victories like this are well deserved by these travelers and when they get them you must believe they will take them.

The many triumphs and disasters that these people go through are shown on their faces and their reactions and actions throughout every situation.  You really feel what they are going through.  An amazing moment is when the group is in the city together and they have to escape somehow.  An option is to walk among them but how is that possible?  Well, take a clue from Shaun of the Dead, act like them, and of course smell like them.  The hacking of an already dead body is a head turner but touching at the same time.  Rick memorializes the moment and makes them remember that life in this afterlife is all about survival.

Some amazing revelations have been made through all of this as well.  We are finally clued into how long this has all been going on in the end of this season.  They meet a scientist in the CDC named Dr. Jenner.  Now, in my life previous to becoming obsessed with zombies I had a phobia.  After seeing 28 Days Later and saw how fast they could be and the fact that maybe this could happen something came over me.  I didn’t like that thought and eventually had to overexpose myself to the whole thing so that now, maybe it is still kind of a phobia, but at least I know what I can and am ready to beat the hell out of some stumbling brain eaters.  In this series we learn a little more about what is happening physiologically.  It is a spark in the brain that goes out.  Where there were so many neurons and electrical impulses lighting up before there is only one area that seems to be relit and it is the basic most primal area.  No function but survival is left.

The first season comes to DVD/BluRay March 8th, buy it, rent it, netflix it and help this series spread a widely and quickly as the disease they portray.  Remember to also like them on their facebook page and follow them @WalkingDead_AMC on twitter.

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The Walking Dead Ep.5

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Episode 5 review… **spoilers**

In the last episode I talked all about a bubble these people have built for themselves trying to hold onto some semblance of their former lives and this episode opens with most of them coming to terms that some more then others are settling better in a world of death and terror.  This episode is all about family and doing what is best for them.  Every family is needing something different and even though sometimes it is not pretty you have to respect the wishes of those who feel they are doing the right thing.  Not only that but you have to have faith.  That is something that is not very plentiful in this time.  When you have a hunch that things are going to go a certain way and you know you have to follow it you are riding on faith.  We see time and time again in this episode that people are being tested to believe that there are solutions in this world.  They are not helpless if they try to move toward what they feel will be best.  It is a tough road to follow when you have no believers but I do see that in a time of desperation when there are no solutions that following someone is salvation.  You may be broken and have no options but when someone is so adamant about what the next step is and you can’t even see the light at the end of the tunnel it is just easier to follow.

Andrea refuses to let her sister go and Rick is trying to reach out to Morgan, who met before he ever ventured out to Atlanta. Atlanta belonged to the dead now and hopefully the radio frequency would reach his former friends so they could not fall into the trap and be overtaken by what would lie ahead of them.

Once we get into the meat of the episode we open with them pulling the dead to burn the geeks and bury their own that died in the attack.  Almost immediately we learn that Jim has been bitten.  It is only a matter of time before he is stricken with fever and then turns to a walker.  Rick, being the optimist, thinks they could find the CDC, Center for Disease Control, to see if they found a cure and Shane believes they should go to Fort Benning where they may have some protection if the army is still together.  Daryl, being the hothead that he is, brings up one big thing that they don’t tolerate any walkers in their camp but, as Rick stops him, they don’t kill the living and Jim has only been bitten thus far.  They take him away where he gets his fever and begins to deteriorate.

Dale tries to help Andrea with her loss by admitting they were the first people they ever cared for since his wife passed from cancer years before.  With that I think Andrea finally lets go.  She has been sitting with her sister all night and finally up until she turns.  You would think this be a weird thing but   Everyone is dealing with guilt on this day and so we turn to Carol.  We actually see the first hit when she gets Ed in the head and as she swings over and over again we begin to see maybe this is her salvation.  She was for so many years a slave to him and beaten by him to not be her own person.  While she may be upset for her loss I also feel she may be able to finally live free without him.  You can hear it in her groans as she makes sure the job is done right.  How much relief she must feel and without guilt at this point.  A fantasy any beaten wife sees in her mind is to kill her husband and since she didn’t do it and the situation is what it is then she can move on without guilt and still get to in a way kill him herself.  I think this is a huge step forward for Carol because you can see she is a strong woman who is held down.

While they are burying their dead you see how upset they all are but this is a form of letting go for most of them.  They have to bury their dead to say goodbye and have means to an end.  They may not have wanted them to go and it is terrible but to be honest those are now in a better place then the people in the camp.  There are tears shed but mostly for a former relationship and life I am sure they are all realizing may never exist again.

Shane is upset with Rick for leaving and this makes Lori question him as well.  While everyone else has given up Rick is still new to this life and would like to believe that they can find a cure and get relief and not just keep surviving.  Thinking outside of the box can end this but what Rick doesn’t know is that these people have been living this.  They have been struck down time and time again.  To talk of things that may not exist and cause them more danger only seems like pipedreams and not a solution to all their problems.  This does become a struggle between Shane and Rick as more time goes on.  Rick believes he must lead them to the CDC while Shane things it would be stupid to lead them further down the rabbit hole.

The boys go into the woods and are talking about what is best for the camp even though Rick is constantly thinking about what is best for his family.  He semi-insults Shane when he makes the comment about him thinking of what to do differently if he had a family.  Of course Rick doesn’t realize that Shane had replaced him in his absence in more ways then one.   In Shane’s mind he did have a family and the return of Rick has made that go away.  Not only is it a power struggle to be a leader but to Shane, Rick signifies the loss of his family.  It really isn’t Rick’s fault either and unfortunately no one has told him.  At one point Shane has a clear shot to take Rick down and he seriously thinks about it because he is being challenged.  You see the madness in Shane’s eye and no matter how much he wants to play it off Dale is wise enough to see that this power struggle may come to a battle to the death.  Once they come back to camp he decides that he has to back Rick because the most important thing is that the camp stays together.  Even though he thinks the plan will fail he has to stand by him mostly I feel because of his guilt he feels for betraying Rick.

Now we come to a crossroads and there is a family to splits off.  They are all traveling in cars together in a caravan.  It seems like it can be hopeful as they move forward until the RV breaks down because of the hose that was told would never hold.  Not only that but Jim is getting to a breaking point and his color is changing and is wishing for death.  He wants to be with his family.  Dale seems to be the most sensible one at this point in time and even though we are constantly seeing a struggle between Shane and Rick, Lori breaks it down with one simple statement when they are contemplating leaving Jim behind to die.  She says that it isn’t either of their calls.  In a world riddled by death and destruction if you wish for death who is to deny it for you.  To be honest, it is admirable that he sacrifices himself and not try to hold on for himself or them because ultimately it will only end up hurting the group in the end.  It becomes a sad day to loose some to another path and also to let Jim go.  They all have to learn to let go one way or another as time goes on though.

Day 194, 63 days since the disease went global.  We finally have time frame for how long the world has been like this.  This is a broken up transmission we are seeing a man who is living underground who is loosing a sense of what is going on.  We see him in a bio-hazard  suit inspecting what looks like flesh and attempting to come up with a cure?  This is the CDC but it is one guy.  He has isolated the virus and then something goes wrong.  Once he is clear of the room the room is fully decontaminated, which means the samples were burned and gone.  The only samples he had that were being used to test.  One man solely looking for the cure of the world.  This is a huge loss on his part and makes the statement that he will blow his brains out the following day but has decided to get wasted that night.  A valid choice since, well what else are you going to do?  That is until you realize there are living breathing real people approaching your facility.

DEAD PEOPLE EVERYWHERE.  That terrible sound of flies everywhere.  You can see that the place must smell retched by the fact that none of them can stop covering their mouths.   This is the front of the CDC.  They are sitting ducks surrounded by the dead and slowly closing in walkers.  Rick pleas with a camera hoping to get somewhere and when none of them believe him and they try to pull him away all of a sudden a light shows the way to a new beginning.

Stay Tuned for Ep.6…

Jess

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The Walking Dead Ep.4

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Episode 4 review.. **spoilers**

This series has been shaping up to being amazing and it is only the 4th episode and you are feeling for these characters.  Not only feeling for them but understanding their struggles.  You really start to come to terms with how mentally all of them are having to cope with what is around them.  Each one of the members of the camp have been building a bubble to keep the insanity out and the stability they once had intact.  The problem with this is that the game has changed.  No matter what they try to do to keep the kids believing that those walkers are far gone while they are up in the mountains the reality is that one day that might not be the case.  We already saw that happening in the last episode when they found a walker chomping on a deer Daryl killed.  Not only are they trying to keep out the dead but also their own craziness.  The world has ended and yet there are still little things each of them will do to try and maintain.  In this episode you start to see that whatever those little things are it will not save them in the end and what they really should be maintaining is a good sense of action.  Putting your guard down for even a second is grounds to accepting death.  It is not an easy life and not only any of them have chosen but it is what they have to accept.

The opening is with the sisters reminiscing about their previous life.  They start by talking about their parents and how they were both taught by their father to fish.  We learn they are 12 years apart but now all they have is each other and they are both glad to be what they have.  We move to our lookout, like a Meercat sitting atop a rock keeping an eye for eagles and other predatory birds, instead they are watching to make sure their isn’t a predatory on foot.  It leaves off with one of them digging holes in the distance, but for what?

So once we get into the meat of the episode we are back on the roof where we left off.  Daryl is upset but saves his brother’s hand for memory and they get to tracking the blood droplets left behind.  It leads back into the building and down a stairwell that is super scary.  We find out that Merle may be alive even with the blood loss because he had seared the end of his cut off arm to keep from dieing from blood loss.  We have no idea where he has gone and there is a struggle between Daryl and Rick to leave the building and search for Merle.  You begin to see that emotion cannot be your source of motivation in a world like this.  Rick is the sense of reason and thinks with logic and not his heart.  Glenn proposes a strategic plan to gather the guns and his alone in this.  He is smart and fast and we only learn once Daryl asks that he used to be a pizza delivery boy.

While Glenn is running to grab their prize Daryl actually finds another living, breathing human.  What?!  Not only do they have to worry about geeks but now they were almost mugged and Glenn was kidnapped?  Not really anything these guys were expecting.  The new boy shows them where their group hideout is a hopefully get to meet their leader, Guillermo.  This is a tense situation.  There is really a gang in this point in the game but then again it makes sense.  While everyone has alliances and before the world has fallen apart a gang would be as good as family.  Now they are stuck to make a trade.  They thought it would be simple, the new boy for Glenn, but instead he is realizing that maybe G is not thinking with compassion or fairness.  Rick decides that he is not going to get bullied around by these men and is rightfully rewarded in the end.  By chance an older woman comes out and the gang we learn are really guards for an old folks home hidden in the back.  Maybe they have misjudged G and his group.  Instead of bulling around they actually were nurses and special care providers turned thugs after the fall of the world.

The world hasn’t changed but it is shown now for what it is.  It is a dream that these older people will ever leave the city and they all look to G as their leader when no one else would stand up and fight for them.  This is a noble situation and as a sign of humanity Rick gives them almost half their weapons and ammo.

Who thought digging holes could be therapeutic.  He is on a mission and even his partner doesn’t understand for what but in times like these any little thing that can keep you occupied and not from getting overwhelmed then you just can’t fault them for that.  The entire camp comes out to confront Jim.  This impromptu intervention is all for the good of the camp.  Their reasoning is because his madness is infectious.  The kids in the camp and the adults are uneasy and want to maintain a level existence.  This is a powerful scene because you really can feel the desperation they are all experiencing.  You are helpless and no matter how much you want to deny or pretend because they have built a bubble for themselves, inevitably the swarms will overrun and they are outnumbered.  Jim is taken down and we learn of his guilt.  He is alive only because the walkers were too busy eating his family and didn’t notice him getting away.  That is quite a burden to have on your shoulders in a world that seems to have very few victories left.

The two sisters come back victorious with two long lines of fish to bring back for the camp to chow down on.  A victory is hard to attain in these days and the bubble these people have built for themselves is a safety not only to keep alive but to keep sane.  Once Jim has come to his senses and the camp’s morale has been restored they all sit together and eat.  A rare family moment.  They are happy and learning about each other.  Dale’s sense of time and his watch is all about a sense of hope for the future.  He talks about the watch as a sense of forgetting time and not trying to conquer it but it kind of goes over many of their heads.  It is a paraphrasing of William Faulkner short story, “The Bear.”

The climax comes when the camp is overtaken by walkers.  All of a sudden the bubble is burst and guns shots ring free through the mountains.  One by one people are bitten and the tragedy they all faced when the initial outbreak took over is being relived.  Maybe Jim had a premonition of the future.  This is a scary thought but the madness they all wanted to keep the kids and themselves from feeling was actually what is keeping them all alive.  They cannot forget that they are living in a world of terror.  No matter how ‘safe’ it may seem once they let their guard down it will only pop up later to come and bit them, literally.

Of all that is lost in this night, Amy dieing in her sister’s arms the night before her birthday is the epitome of what they are trying to bring across.  The opening sequence of the two of them spending time together was a foreshadowing of what will happen now.  They only have each other and that is still only fleeting because in the end they will be outnumbered and some will die at the hands of the dead.

Stay tuned for Episode 5…

Jess

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The Walking Dead Ep.3

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Episode 3 review.. **spoilers**

This is all about family and the dynamics we see between them all living with each other and dealing with what they would not normally stand for in other circumstances.  We start to see much more of people’s personalities dealing with sexism and betrayal and also what little bit of integrity some of them may have.  At this point most of them are not looking out for one another but looking out for themselves.  A few have taken charge to make sure that the good of the group is considered in every decision no matter how big or small.  As some will decide to pursue different paths, as long as the good of the group is intact then they have the support of everyone.  We start to learn a little more about the “walkers” and are introduced into a new term, geeks.  As the story starts to develop the characters we are beginning to understand how difficult it really is to live together.  Even though they may not get along and there is no one really stopping you from leaving someone behind or kicking the shit out of them not one of these people would wish death on the other regardless of how terrible they are to one another.  It is a weird line that is drawn and may eventually have to be crossed as  time goes on.

Where we open the episode you see Merle cuffed to the roof and is totally mad.  He is mumbling and then like he was in a dream snaps out of it and violently is trying to escape his prison.  When he takes a second look there are geeks at the door trying to get at him.  He sees a saw that he can use to cut the cuffs?

Then we start to get into the meat of the episode.  Rick and the rest of them return from the city and Rick is reunited not only with his family but his old partner, Shane.  He is overrun with joy and doesn’t even notice the looks between Lori and Shane.  She is riddled with guilt and you can tell confused.  She does still love him and you can clearly see that when they are laying in bed together.  It is almost like a re-consummation of their marriage that night.  She gives him his ring back and they do it, but what really gets me is that he is so overrun with joy that he doesn’t even pick up the subtle instances of her guilt across  her face.  Not only did she leave him but she has been bedding his partner this entire time.  I am torn between how I feel about her because could you really blame her?  If you lost your husband/wife and were put in a situation that they have, would you really stay faithful?  If you weren’t would you tell the other person when they finally found you?  Her entire situation is very delicate and I am just not sure at this point how I feel about it honestly.  Later in the episode she finally addresses her situation with Shane.  We find out that he told her that Rick had died and therefore is now her source of blame for everything.  Now we get a better understanding about what has led to her actions now.  I start to feel a little more sympathy for them all but still think that Rick should know about what has happened in his absence.  He can’t really be upset because this is a time of crisis.  He also seems like one of the most levelheaded guys so far.
The group does end up finding a walker just outside the camp eating a dead deer and all in turn the men who ran to the rescue beat it down until one finally chops its head off.  You can see this is a stress reliever but now there is new element to scare them.  They chose a high space up in the mountains to get away from where populated areas would have these creatures thriving.  Now they found one so close to home, does that mean the cities are running dry?  They are having to travel further and further for food.  We also get a little lesson about what it takes to kill these walkers.  Even though you can chop their heads off is the brain is still intact then they will just be an alive head.

The sexism comes along when Ed is confronted by one of the ladies down by the quarry.  They are down there doing the laundry and complaining to each other about what they miss in their former lives.  Once they are laughing and actually beginning to enjoy the company a little better Ed, who is Carol’s husband, comes along to comment on their work ethic.  He disgraces them all when he openly hits Carol in the face.  Shane is there to save the day but also take some of that aggression he has pent up from his talk with Lori.  Just like a beat up housewife, Carol runs to his rescue after he is beaten down a bleeding.  Instead of the women standing for their own a man has to come along and take that from them.  Shane is a leader in this camp and I do believe he has tarnished his reputation just a bit.  The ladies at first are comforting Carol and then back off completely to kind of openly shun Shane for his rather savage display of leadership.

The episode climaxes with Shane beating Ed and then the group who has gone back to Atlanta to rescue Merle.  They finally reach the roof to find a big surprise that sends his brother into a screaming fit.  There is a reason they left us hanging in the beginning of the episode to build up to this exact moment when they realize Merle is no longer there and all they find is his sawed off hand.

Stay tuned for Episode 4 and 5 to come soon…

Jess

Dexter_TV_Series_Title_Card

Dexter Season 5.. so far

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Season 5 at a glance.. 3 episodes left and shit is getting real.  Things are happening and if you haven’t kept up with the series then don’t read.  Full of *spoilers*!!

By far my favorite season of Dexter to date was season 4.  The pacing was on point.  The storyline was perfect and best of all you had John Lithgow (or Gogo for any DougLovesMovie fans).  The acting is always very on point but never so much as in that season.  It was a build up to so much that happened and once the final episode aired I was screaming in my living room.  Not only had they ended it with a surprise but it was unfinished.  Previously I have felt that Dexter would end its seasons with things tied up in a way that you wouldn’t be happy about it but could accept if there wasn’t another season.  Not until the end of the 4th season did they set up so much to be brought to what we have today.  And now it is all grounds for spoilers.  I have been vague and I really want to talk about what has been happening before this season ends and I have to scream all over again with whatever they leave us with.

Where we left off in season 4, Rita was found in a bath tub; dead.  She bled out from her femoral artery.  Trinity’s m.o.  What was so sinister about this is Dex actually kills Trinity and you never feel quite right about that.  He isn’t sad or upset but almost peaceful that he is going to die at the hands of Dex.  Only later do you find out why he is so peaceful.  He leaves a legacy of his imprinted on Dexter forever.  This causes his unraveling in the first two episodes.  You are starting to see Dexter as a person.  Someone who has feelings and is making mistakes.  Something he never does.  Up until this point we have only ever known him to be methodical and strategic.  Next thing you know he is beating random guys up in a bathroom and not really following ‘the code.’  Once Dex does feel like he can get on track though and picks a victim who he feels is deserving Dex ends up in more shit then he knows what to do with.

Boyd Fowler.  What a predicament this has caused throughout this entire season.  This should have been a simple kill.  Not only does it backfire but Boyd fights back.  It’s all ok though.  Dex moves the room and thinks things are getting better once he gets him on the table.  A little swipe on the cheek and a knife to the heart.  The slow exhale that should make his life come back into place is only for a mere second until he realizes killing in Boyd’s house is a total mistake because he is not alone.  Introduce Lumen.  She is one of Boyd’s potential victims.  He must have had her stashed away before she was going to be stuffed in a barrel and preserved for him to come visit.

Lumen was trouble from the start.  He can’t kill her because ultimately this would be the person Dexter is saving by killing men like these.  BUT! If she stays alive then there is potential that everyone knows of what Dexter is.  The massive dilemma starts now.  Eventually though she becomes strong enough to live on her own and she trusts Dexter, even though she did see him not so savagely kill her capture.  It was very apparent to her that he has done this before and you would think, well if I was in her position then why wouldn’t he kill me too?  Some time passes and they become friends.  Well not friends, yet.  She is a bit of a nuisance to him though.  She is obsessive about wanting to find her captures.  DING! DING! There was more then one.

So does he choose to help her by tracking down said captures or try and convince her to get back to her life. To the finance she left and her family who has no idea where she’s gone?  Well, he does try but she persists and ends up staying in Miami.  Her trauma has caused her so much pain and not being able to talk to anyone about what happened to her without giving up his involvement causes a problem.  Now I want to take a second here because this is when the situation takes a turn for the familiar.  We saw in previous seasons when Dexter tries to bring people into his world.  He, like us all, tries to connect by letting them in on the secret.  It has 100% of the time backfired and he ends up having to kill the monster he unleashes in others.  My thought is will this happen with her too?  She is not like his previous proteges I will say though.  She matches him in one respect, also where Trinity kind of mirrored him, they were all born in blood, so to speak.

Her traumatic experience, causing a Post Traumatic Stress Disorder feel, is what really brings him to understand that she isn’t so different from him.  The two of them are trying to fill the deep hole they have inside.  By bringing justice to these men Lumen feels she can sleep at night and maybe he can use this to get back to who he always was, a monster.

The next victim ‘they’ target happens to be Jordan Chase’s head of security, Cole Harmon.  Chase is a motivational speaker that Boyd listened to constantly.  He preaches about taking what you want out of life.  He also later comes to tell Dexter that his teachings come from Plato’s philosophy of all of us having fractured selves and constantly are looking to complete that and become whole again.  Cole eventually finds out Lumen is missing and tries to move the barrel girls and ends up messing the whole thing up for everyone.  The police are on to all of them now because Cole fled the scene and claimed his truck was stolen.  Somehow it all gets pinned on Boyd and Cole becomes Lumen and Dexter’s target.  This is all under the noses of those pesky detectives, aside from Doakes 2.0 aka Quinn, and Jordan Chase presumably.

The night comes to kill Cole and things go wrong.  This whole season seems to be about things going wrong actually.  Somehow the next day Chase calls Dexter up on stage to talk about his recent tragedy of his wife being murdered and Cole sees Lumen leaving the hotel.  There’s a chase and back to the ‘kill room.’  Next thing you know Cole is being checked out of the hotel as Dexter’s baggage.  All the while not realizing Chase is one of the other guys Lumen was tortured by in Boyd’s attic.  This is where things start to take a turn for the more intense because you not only know Dexter is human and makes mistakes but we learn he has real feelings.  You kind of see it in the beginning of the season with Harrison but this last episode, number 9, really goes to show that maybe he can’t be the heartless serial killer he was once upon a time.

In the meantime, in the rest of the world of this show Debra is dating Quinn, messy, and Batista and LaGuerta’s marriage is hot and cold as she uses him as a pawn throughout to keep her career intact.  Really all that matters with this is that Quinn is improved on the Doakes model because he chooses Deb over the intriguing pictures of bags disappearing on a midnight boat ride between Lumen and Dexter.  I call this a good call, although it doesn’t mean that Liddy (the guy Quinn hired to follow Dexter around) is actually going to let this go and not keep digging to get his career back.  By the situational powers that be the barrel girls’ case once closed was reopened due to new evidence, as being DNA of multiple perps, was discovered.

When you bring kids into the mix the waters get cloudy because now Dexter is acting like a parent.  He’s still demented as we see once he beats up a guy in order to prove a point of good parenting, but he let’s his fear of Astor getting kidnapped by on of Chase’s goons cloud his judgement and not only have people find out Lumen is there but also that he has been spending time with her.  After all the running around and unraveling of secrets that was so closer guarded at first there is a great scene between Harry and Dexter in the car.  He is ready to dismiss whatever his father has to say until he realizes that Harry is proud of him for acting as any parent would.  He put his life on the line for her and didn’t think of anything except her safety; a completely new action we haven’t ever seen from Dexter.  Could he be evolving?

Only problem is now he is dealing with a psychopath with resources and power.  Once again he is not thinking as we have known for him to be, methodical and sensible.  Dexter is stupid to try and outwit Jordan Chase during one of their private sessions, which were only intended to be used to get more information on him and prove that he is worthy of the code to be put on his table.  Only problem is Jordan Chase is not a dumb guy and openly admits his obsession with Trinity to Dexter early on.  He finds out soon enough what is going on and it leads us to the ending scene you see his madness when Lumen answers the phone to hear him utter the words, “Tick tick tick, that’s the sound of his life running out.  Can you be sure to tell him that?  Take care Lumen.”

What do we have in store for us?  Dexter’s demise?  His unraveling as a killer and metamorphosis into a more whole human being?  All I know is that the next three episodes must be jam packed because there are plenty of loose ends to tie up and if last season’s ending is any indicator of how this may go, we may be looking at another cliff hanger to keep us hooked and find out what will become of our murderous crusader as he handles what he is becoming; human.

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The Walking Dead Ep.2

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Episode 2 review (there are spoilers)

After the premiere you can only expect this show to take off running.  It was a build up to introducing such a crazy scary world that these people are living in.  Rick is in Atlanta surrounded by zombies but we open at the camp of survivors.  This episode is really setting up the camp people and their relationships with each other.  You have to think these people have spent how many days with each other already.  They are starting to get to know one another and ultimately getting involved.  If it was the end of the world who would you want to be stuck with?  Strangers have no reason to be mean or hide who they are with each other anymore.  Not only that but lust becomes a thing of necessity.  I can only imagine being so overrun with survival and pushing your needs aside to the point that it becomes inevitable to act on desires that you may have pushed away in a civilized world.  Your primal brain begins to overtake and civility can deteriorate over time.

The normal rules don’t apply anymore.  How can you survive together in a world that has new rules?  Primal rules.  Leaders will be leaders and the rest will follow.  Rick is a natural leader and he pushes to the front and takes the reigns.  His former partner, Shane, is another leader type.  Level headed enough to see that emotions can get you killed.  Others will fall back into their natural states of being.  Lori, Rick’s wife, has already found a replacement and a new father figure for her son.  And honestly why shouldn’t she?  There are conflicts within the smaller group in the city that don’t seem to be more then their former selves not coming to terms with the new reality they all face.  They are holding onto the past and instead need to adapt to a new way of thinking.  At this point everyone is on a level playing field and if you can’t bring something to the table you may be left behind.

You not only learn this but you are also learning more about what this ‘walkers’ are capable of.  It is interesting to see that they are even using tools to get what they want.  The glass in the front of the story is broken eventually by a walker with a rock in his hand.  They are attracted to sound and smell.  There is a great scene where Rick and Glenn walk through the crowded streets of walkers and covered in the guts and blood of one of the dead.  They have to hack up a dead guy and pull him apart to spread on themselves.  Rick pulls out his wallet.  He does this as a sense of memorial to the dead he has to hack up and uses it as a means to make it ok because without Wayne they could not live.  It is graphic and disgusting for the sounds you hear.  Once the two get onto the streets to find transportation the walkers don’t seem to notice as long as there are not any sudden movements.  It isn’t until an inconvenient rain causes more problems because their ‘death scent’ is washed away.

They get the cars and now it is time to escape.  Merle ends up getting left behind and as a last chance hope of humility the door is locked with a chain and a padlock.  At least if he is going to get left behind then he can stand a chance to live another day.  It is sad for the fact that you kind of root for him to be left behind and for dead, but he still is a victim of this savage lifestyle.  No one deserves to be left for dead and turn into one of these not dead.  There is nothing saying they should take him with them but you kind of feel for the guy.  When the key is shown to him and he knows his life is in the hands of the guy he beat up you see in his face you already knew he was going to get left behind.

You get left with a few mixed feelings at the end of this episode.  You feel upset for Merle and the fact that he was so upset and primal in his fear to be left behind.  Then you also feel triumph for the rest of them getting out alive.  There is a victory that comes in a red sports car.  You have to imagine that Glenn must be so ecstatic about not only winning something against the walkers but getting rid of some tension by driving off in a bleeping car out of the city.  Unstoppable and uncatchable.

Next time.. You get to enjoy when Rick gets reunited with his lost wife and son and that dynamic.

Stay tuned next time.. same bat time.. same bat channel

Jess

AMC tv series

The Walking Dead Ep.1

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AMC tv series

THE WALKING DEAD.. Episode 1.. series premiere review…

So, let me give you some backstory on all of this for me.
Number 1– I am a huge AMC nerd!  I love every one of their shows and when Rubicon came out, I was all about it no questions asked.  When I saw The Walking Dead was being made by them, well then there is no question, I am all about it.  Comic books and AMC, match made in heaven if you ask me.
Number 2– I am afraid of zombies.  This whole series is littered with them.  I have not finished reading the comic as of yet, but it is my worst nightmare shown through pictures.  I have a little bug in the back of head that sometimes tells me how IT COULD HAPPEN!!
Number 3– I am a huge comic book fan! So, this just gives me a reason to go out to the comic book store and spend more money on great comics.  If for nothing else but research but from what I have read I suggest it to anyone out there.

Iwalked into this premiere with the idea I was already going to love this and then also, from hearing people talk about it, that it could be a very slow opening episode.  When I did finally sit down to watch it though I was blown away at how intense it made me feel.  The realistic look of it all was unreal and the so-called slowness I felt was meant to be anticipation and suspense.  Creating a series this way and showing us all a world that would be unbearable and overwhelming every second is really what I saw.  Aside from that the makeup was spectacular and the acting was spot on.  When you watch this you see it and feel it but what really brought me into this was what I heard.  During the entire first half of the episode you can hear isolation.  Crickets, birds, bug and just the open air make you feel small and alone.  There is a buzzing that is annoying in a way and only when you realize that is it from flies feeding of the massive amounts of dead people strewn around do you start to feel a little sick.

The episode opens when the main character, a police officer named Rick, searching for gas.  This is terrifying because it comes in after he has already found out a little about what happened while he was in a coma.  The problem is we don’t know what is happening yet.  There are cars everywhere and it doesn’t become a reality for us until he runs into one of them.  They are called walkers.  It is a powerful opening and even once you see the credits you are still feeling squeamish and then brought back to what happened before he woke up into this hell.

Now, I don’t want to ruin the episode for any of you so I won’t spoil what some of you may already know from reading.  I just want to recognize the dread I felt through this entire episode.  You are brought in with a harsh bang and throughout the entire episode you are pummeled with horrifying reminders that the people whose story we are watching is about survival.  Rick may have a sense of humanity left in him as of now, but the rest of them have been living in this for more then a lifetime at this point.  They have seen their loved ones get taken by this fever and turned into walkers.  They are dealing with raising children and trying to make sure that even though they don’t have a childhood anymore that they know they are still loved.  The idea of a voluntary death has crossed their minds as a peaceful way out of this nightmarish hell they now live in.

When you watch this episode remember those things and then remember Rick.  He hasn’t gone through these changes yet.  He is filled with hope and even though he is in shock initially from being exposed to so much death and destruction right off the bat, he still pushes forward without really understanding the gravity of what the world has become.  Once he wakes up in the hospital and his search begins for his family it is undoubtedly the end of this former life and the beginning of his inevitable demise into a spirally pit of fear.

Watch this and I will be sure to evaluate episode two a little further.

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