Black Mirror – Season 4 Ranked

Television these days can be a tad overwhelming. I don’t mean that I’m put off by the generally bleak subject matter, the gut wrenching violence, or the abundance of child-unfriendly goodness television has to offer. On the contrary, I’m overwhelmed by the sheer number of options available to watch! It’s not easy having a life with stupid adult responsibilities while also staying up to date on shows that are currently relevant to the current zeitgeist.

This brings me to a viewing selection that needs to be at the top of your list (if it’s not already there) – Black Mirror on Netflix. Black Mirror is an anthology series that can be watched in any order or quantity without feeling like you’ve committed the carnal sin of missing an episode. If you’ve read any of my previous reviews of comic book standalones, you know that I’m a huge fan of anything I can enjoy noncommittally. Black Mirror brilliantly offers short seasons of (almost) entirely self-contained episodes. They are all geared towards a science fiction setting which is generally quite similar to our world only a few years in the future.

Netflix gave us a late Christmas present by releasing the fourth season on Friday, December 29th. This season, the second since Netflix took it over, was six episodes that I eagerly consumed with my only regret being the knowledge that more won’t come for a long time. Below is how I thought the six episodes stacked against each other. I’m not going to summarize the episodes as it is very worth your time to go watch them. Instead, I’ll try to justify why I ranked it the way I did and what stuck with me after the credits rolled.



#6 – “Crocodile”

The third episode of the season, “Crocodile” is DARK…. like, crazy dark! It’s fascinating to think they have the technology to harness memories in such a way. I loved how the memories themselves were subjective so little things like color could be changed with just a suggestion. The depths Mia goes to in an attempt to protect all she’s gotten since the hit and run accident have no limit. I didn’t see the twist coming of the boy being blind and the purpose of the guinea pig… it left me needing a hug.

#5 – “Arkangel”

The second episode of season four was directed by Jodie Foster. If you’re a parent, this episode will unnerve you. Honestly, it’ll probably unnerve you regardless! The whole concept of seeing everything your child sees and having an element of parental control to what they experience is just scary. At first when Sara was little I thought it was very cute. I remember wishing I could see the eyes of both my kids when they were younger (they are a tad older now so not anymore… no one wants to see that crap). It crossed from cute to creepy pretty quickly once the grandfather had his incident. The episode did a fantastic job capturing her aging and how her sheltered state impacted her social development.

#4 – “Hang the DJ”

From what I’ve seen, the fourth episode “Hang the DJ” has been one of the critical favorites. I can see why but didn’t love it as much as the rest of the critics. Don’t get me wrong, it’s an awesome episode that’s closer to a love story than the rest of the season. The concept of a system-selected “date” being used as a systematic way to find your soul mate is weirds me out. In the end, Black Mirror used its trademark storytelling twist to turn expectations around which was satisfying because it wasn’t implemented in an entirely predictable way. Also, this episode was a welcome change of pace if watched immediately after “Crocodile” – the sweet, goofiness of it all will help you rebound from the murder of a blind toddler.

#3 – “Black Museum”

Another change of pace, this episode of an anthology series was an anthology in itself. The final episode of the fourth season had a fun, yet twisted, way of bringing many of the items/themes of its predecessors together in a macabre light. I didn’t really like the segment with the doctor becoming hooked on pain. It was super predictable and relied more on gore than the show typically does. Then the segment with the monkey was as crushing as it was goofy. I was won over when it all tied together as a calculated revenge story.

#2- “USS Callister”

The first episode will undoubtedly be the favorite for most people. Honestly, it was a close call for me to put it in the number two spot. On the surface, the episode is a fun homage to the original Star Trek. I was shocked how fucked up the whole thing ended up being! What was remarkable is how small details about the “family friendly” show remained even while the characters were being overtly manipulated to appease the fragile ego of the universe’s architect. This episode was a great balance of humor and jaw-dropping darkness which made it the epitome of what Black Mirror has come to be.

#1 – “Metalhead”


The season’s penultimate episode was definitely a change of pace, visuals, and tone that drove home the anthology nature of this show. I’ve seen some people rank this one much lower but I loved it. My natural affinity for post-apocalyptic settings allowed “Metalhead” to sit just right with me. I particularly loved how no time was wasted trying to explain why the world was the way we were seeing it, where the robotic ‘dogs’ came from, or anything else involving the survivors. When it boils down to it, those story details didn’t matter because this was a tale of predator and prey. The fact that the predator in this instance was a small robotic quadruped made this even scarier because technology resembling it exists today. In the end, there are no happy endings in apocalyptic scenarios (I wrote a short book about that same theme!). For everything Bella went through to survive, in the end she never stood a chance.

Have you checked out Black Mirror? Which episode was your favorite? Sound off in the comments or email us directly at

jolly nathanThe Belligerent Barnes

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THE LAST JEDI – updated thoughts/review (you’ll have warning before spoilers)

I’ve had some time to ponder STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI since seeing the movie twice and subsequently writing my glowing review. In the days since I’ve watched ROGUE ONE again and portions of the other films. I’ve also talked to dozens of people about the new movie. Reactions I’ve personally gathered range from exuberant to soured with depression. These conversations have made me think about my own feelings towards the movie… I’m not changing the overall opinion that I loved it, however, I will scale back the claim that it’s my favorite Star Wars entry. That was a bold claim made in a “nerd lust” moment which has since simmered to a healthy, committed “nerd love”. I thoroughly enjoyed it and look forward to seeing it again because it does place in my top five. Bear in mind that mere fractions of a point separate my top favorite Star Wars movies.

My revised review of STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI is 9.09 out of 10.

Earlier this year, The Dull Knight and I posted our editorial ranking every Star Wars film. I’ll post that order here with THE LAST JEDI added to give some perspective on where I think the newest entry falls.


Now let’s get into spoiler-town!


If you’re still here and haven’t seen STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI then that’s on you…..


I tried to think of the best way to address some of the points that have been brought up to me. Before sitting down to write this, I came across an article by Cinemablend breaking down the eight biggest complaints about THE LAST JEDI from Star Wars fans. It’s a pretty good read (if you can get over only one point listed per page) so I’ll piggyback off it by listing the basic complaint and putting my take.

Snoke is dead

I see both sides of this argument. He was a very mysterious character that had two years of speculation behind him. Where did he come from? Was he really Darth Plagueis? How did he get his rugged good looks? The fact of the matter is that Snoke was never the intended villain in THE FORCE AWAKENS – Kylo Ren has always been the “big bad” of the new trilogy. There is still a chance we’ll get more from him through Marvel’s comic magic or from a dedicated novel. Neither option would appease the mass movie-going public but the die hard fans (who are feeling the most butt hurt from his premature death) will get a chance to have some closure.

Leia floating through space

I commented how much I disliked this in my initial review and my dislike has grown. It was out of place and the weakest effect in the entire film. Thumbs down.

Rey’s Parents

This has been a huge point of contention in many of the people I’ve talked to, however, still doesn’t bother me. Two thoughts: 1) it symbolizes that someone can be great even if they come from nothing. 2) It’s entirely possible that Kylo was simply toying with Rey the same way Snoke always toyed with him. I could see this being a misdirect that J.J. circles back to in Episode IX.

Luke Skywalker meets his end

Someone said to me, “I waited 30 years to see Luke come back and this is what they gave me?! That’s not my Luke!” I get it, yes, but don’t agree. The movie did a good job framing Luke’s mindset and how he came to be on Ahch-To in the first place. My wife put it well when she said, “Luke Skywalker has always been a little bitch.” She’s not wrong….


THE LAST JEDI addresses that Luke essentially ran from the legend of ‘Luke Skywalker Jedi Master’. It’s blatantly false to say that this undoes what THE FORCE AWAKENS set up because it was J.J. Abrams put him on the damn island to begin with. He died after finally living up to his legend and giving himself to the Force entirely. His sacrifice truly made him ‘the last Jedi‘ who inspired a new era of Force-wielders that no longer need to be Jedi. Plus, you KNOW he’s going to be back as a Force ghost….

Too much humor

The only instance where I’ll agree with this is the prank call Poe makes to Hux. Although it was funny, it was out of place for a trilogy entry (I say that because it could fit into a stand alone entry depending on the tone). Otherwise, I thought the humor was great. Nearly every other laugh that comes to mind fit in with the moment. Sorry sourpusses, I can’t agree with you here.

All the Canto Bight stuff

I mentioned in my initial review that I didn’t care for this and still feel that way. New aliens = great. Tuxedos in Star Wars = what? Maybe this setting should have been saved for one of the standalones so it at least would have been less out of place. Also, since writing my review I’ve become even more bothered that they had to call Maz up to even get to the casino. Is it because Lupita Nyong’o was contractually obligated to appear or something? It’s a stretch.

It didn’t build off THE FORCE AWAKENS

Ehh. I guess I can see this one but then I can counter it with – was it obligated to? Perhaps if this was the final movie or if JJ also did this one then I could see this being a legitimate complaint but otherwise I don’t think it matters. It’s really one of those damned if you do, damned if you don’t scenarios: people bashed TFA for copying the formula A NEW HOPE set but then they bashed LAST JEDI for doing its own thing. It’s new Star Wars WITHOUT JarJar, people! Just try to be happy!

It wasn’t ‘Star Wars’

I wholeheartedly disagree because it sure as hell felt like Star Wars to me (forgive the rhyming, I’m a tad intoxicated at this point).


I have no problem with the direction Rian Johnson took and neither did Disney (who has entrusted him with the framework for a new trilogy and a major long term investment). For Star Wars to continue appealing to new generations and remain viable for Mouse House to release more of it until the end of the world, Star Wars has to evolve. THE LAST JEDI, to me, represented a good step in that evolution while maintaining a connection to what preceded it. Think about the long term here, fellow nerds, not just what we’ve obsessed over for a large chunk of our lives.

Bonus point for a friend who has brought up more than once

Captain Phasma – yes, her character was squandered on screen. That said, I was willing to accept that a bit more after reading her recent comic story from Marvel and getting some added depth to her story. I don’t think she’s gone though. The chances of seeing her again in Episode IX are up there with the chances of seeing Ghost Luke.

That was just a few of the points I could have addressed but in the end, everyone is going to have their own opinion on this movie. What did you think of THE LAST JEDI? How do you rank it in the saga? Sound off in the comments or email us directly at


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STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI – Review (Spoiler Free & Spoiler Filled)

It’s here! THE LAST JEDI is finally here!


Naturally, my family and I were in line for the first showing then I went to see it in 3D this morning. Yes, like a true Star Wars nut, I saw the movie twice before it had been out for 24 hours. Since everyone knows that Santa shits in the stockings of people who support spoilers, I’ll split this review into two parts: spoiler-free and spoiler-filled. The latter portion will have much more substance because it’ll be a challenge to write much about it without getting into specifics. There won’t be any spoiler pictures either in case someone accidentally scrolls too far. If you read beyond my warnings, then that’s on you.


Spoiler-Free Review

Rian Johnson’s first entry into the Star Wars saga takes place immediately after the events of THE FORCE AWAKENS. Even though the two films are remarkably different, the connective tissue between them is undeniable. The bulk of characters are familiar with a few new additions. Introducing new characters into such a widely defined universe is a challenging feat. Shortchanging character development is difficult to avoid in this scenario, yet, I feel like THE LAST JEDI gave an appropriate amount of attention to everyone who needed it. Visuals in the movie are absolutely stunning. The bar for visual effects has always been high for Star Wars but this installment features breathtaking scenes from start to finish.

One refreshing factor throughout the film is a prevalence of laugh-out-loud moments that never felt forced or misplaced. Reviewer curmudgeons have predictably denounced the humor and certain “risks” taken by Johnson. I feel strongly that the aspects they’re speaking against are what make this the best of the Star Wars movies. That’s right, I said it…. My second viewing today cemented my opinion that THE LAST JEDI narrowly tops EMPIRE as the best Star Wars film. It has humor and ample heart. My stomach bubbled with anxiety for some characters while ‘the feels’ tugged at my tear ducts in other moments. No movie is perfect, but this lifelong Star Wars fan feels like THE LAST JEDI comes pretty darn close.

My final review of STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI is 9.89 out of 10.





Spoiler-Filled Review

I think I’ll break this into bullet points because if you’re reading this it means you’ve hopefully watched the film (if not then SHAME ON YOU). Assuming you have watched it, I don’t need to rehash the plot because it’s been circling your thoughts ever since you left the theater. So we’ll call these “review points” which are in no particular order other than how they pop into my brain as I try to remember to movie.

  • The technology of the First Order is totally bad ass. Seeing the Dreadnought at the beginning really set the tone for how screwed the Resistance is. The Star Killer Base was cool and all Snoke’s gargantuan ship the Supremacy is fantastic. I loved seeing how it dwarfed everything else on screen. Kylo Ren’s Tie Silencer definitely deserved more screen time than it got. Hopefully we’ll see him use it in a full-fledged space battle later.
  • Mark Hamill perfectly sold the current mindset we find Luke in. You could see the character we know and love beneath a tortured soul trying to hide from the world as much as he was hiding from himself.
  • The Porgs were great! Their various interactions were cute without being overused.
  • I’m glad they didn’t show a funeral for Han. His loss is still clearly felt (poor Chewie) while not being forced on us they way a funeral scene would.
  • All the various inhabitants of Ahch-To were fun. The Caretakers especially were entertaining. I can only imagine the many interactions Luke had with them where they merely tolerated his presence.
  • The bridging of Rey and Kylo Ren through the Force was interesting. At first I was resistant to the newer abilities we’re seeing from the Force (like Kylo’s mind reading and stopping a blaster bolt in TFA) but I’ve since warmed up to them. It’s especially interesting to think about once we learned that it was Snoke who connected the two. If he was that powerful, then what else could he do? On that note…
  • Snoke…. I’m torn here (no pun intended). I wasn’t expecting him to die in this film. As much as I’d like to hear more about the origins such a mysterious character, I appreciate that the mystery adds to the inherent terror a creature of his power-level deserves. It’s entirely possible that we’ll learn more about him in Episode IX but I doubt it. With that said, Marvel would be remiss if they pass up the opportunity to expand on his history with their comics.
  • I freakin’ love the Supreme Leader’s Praetorian guards. Everything from their red armor to their varied blade/energy weapons made them completely bad ass. I hope Kylo Ren hires a new batch for his time as Supreme Leader and invests in a generous workers comp program.
  • Another topic I’m torn on is the Canto Bight sequences… Story wise, they probably could have done without it even though it broke up the doom and gloom situation of the Resistance fleet. At the same time, it provided a nice contrast to the grungy Star Wars world we normally see. It was also neat to see the variety of creatures that count themselves among the Galaxy’s elite.
  • Holy shit, YODA! It was fantastic to have Frank Oz return as Yoda’s spunky Force ghost. His inclusion was a perfect surprise.
  • My least favorite part of the movie was the sequence where Leia gets blown into space. I get that it shows how strong her connection with the Force is, but, didn’t we already have a sense of that? I’m actually surprised Rian Johnson didn’t use the scene as a way to put her character to rest (a requirement that I wish wasn’t ever necessary).
  • I liked Admiral Holdo a lot. The character had a certain presence about her that was well suited to the unenviable task she was given. It helps that Laura Dern is a great actress (nice too because I met her!).
  • Rose was sweet. Her chemistry with Finn was believable. I’m excited to see how things evolve between them in the next movie!
  • The scene where Holdo jumps the Resistance cruiser to a kamikaze course through the First Order armada was breathtaking. Using silence and a different color scheme was a brilliant technique to show how unthinkably cataclysmic her heroic move ended up being. Fun fact – I’m guessing people bitched to theater management saying there was a problem with the audio because on my second viewing this morning I saw a sign outside the theater advising people that the movie contains a “creative silence” at some point. <insert eye roll>
  • I’m fine with the reveal that Rey’s parents were essentially no one. Not everyone needs to be part of some huge lineage. Part of the magic of Star Wars is the thought that anyone can rise to be a hero with the ability to impact the entire galaxy. With that in mind, why would Rey need to have some predictable heritage?
  • Crait is an amazing looking planet. I’ve never seen anything like the effect of red bursting from the white with every blaster strike. It was a proper homage to the Battle of Hoth while being beautifully unique at the same time.
  • The “David and Goliath” feeling that came from the Battle of Crait was fantastic. There was a palpable dread that came from seeing the Ski Speeders heading to the fearsome wall of AT-M6 walkers and the surprisingly smaller AT-AT’s at their feet.
  • “They really hate that ship!” Awesome moment.
  • General Hux is such a little bitch. It was fun to see him get thrown around by Snoke and Kylo.
  • Luke and Leia’s reunion was very sweet. It makes me sad that we’ll never get that again.
  • I was a bit baffled by portions of Luke’s Force projection distraction at first. On the second go around I watched closer and saw that he truly never connected with Kylo in any way during their fight. It makes sense in hindsight but on the initial-totally-overwhelmed viewing I missed it.
  • Did Luke HAVE to die? That was my one pre-viewing prediction that was correct. I understand why but mourn nonetheless… His ending was perfectly executed. It was meaningful, impactful, and above all, peaceful. Luke Skywalker deserved such an ending. He’d better be back later as a Force ghost!!
  • The ancient Jedi texts were NOT lost. I noticed it the first time and watched for it the second – the books in the drawer in the final scene when Finn gets a blanket for Rose had the same spines as the ones we see in the old Force tree library.
  • How great was that ending? It was hopeful with greater implications for the entire Star Wars universe. I’m excited to see what other Force-sensitive members of the downtrodden will rise to the spot light in the coming movies.
  • Bonus thought – see it in 3D. I really believe that it’s worth the ticket price. You’re not missing anything seeing it in standard definition (as my first viewing was) but the 3D adds a deserving depth the the spectacle.

So there you have it. Those are just some of my thoughts. I’m sure I’ll have more after the next time I see it (and there will be a next time!). Rian Johnson has earned his place at the helm of a new trilogy. I have faith he’ll deliver because like us, he’s a die hard fan.

There will always be haters. In the process of writing this I came across a few posts from people voicing opposition. I think any outcry we hear from fans turning against it really went into the theater ready to hate it. If you’re like me, and went in eager to adore it, then you’ll come out thrilled. After all, it’s STAR WARS at its best and this is a wondrous time to be a fan of these stories from a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away.

What did you think of THE LAST JEDI? How do you rank it in the saga? Sound off in the comments or email us directly at

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IT (2017) Spoiler-Free Movie Review

I firmly believe that Hollywood remakes are the scourge of creative filmmaking. We’ve seen this proven time and time again as creative properties are simply revisited for the sake of making a buck. Hollywood producers just can’t seem to leave well enough alone!

In comes the new take on Stephen King’s IT. The film faced constant pre-production and production obstacles that seemed to back up my feelings toward remakes prior to the film even being released. Now that I’ve seen the finished product I can confidently say that I’ve never been happier to be wrong!


IT is a startling and visually gripping tale with more heart than any horror movie should possess. The film triumphs largely because of a brilliant cast both young and old. So much of the positive press is focused on Bill Skarsgård’s portrayal of Pennywise (more on that in a moment) but the ‘Losers Club’ deserves just as much praise. A movie/book/anything works when you actually care about the characters in it. In this case, the tension and scares worked because it was so easy to become invested in the kids. Each of the ‘Losers’ had a believable chemistry where viewers could sense that the kids are actual friends. Their playful banter brought a lightheartedness to the story that was needed to break up the dread while giving each young actor an individualized character identity.

Then there’s Pennywise…. can I just say – holy shit! Bill Skarsgård magnificently created an homage to Tim Curry’s portrayal while firmly cementing his own version of the character in horror history. I can’t think of a personalized reimagining that’s worked this well since Heath Ledger took on the Joker. Skarsgård’s Pennywise wasn’t just a creepy clown that sometimes showed his monstrous side, but rather, he is a deranged malevolence that twitched and growled under a thinly veiled clown facade. He managed to be funny, quirky, and unpredictably terrifying across every moment of screen time.

The glue that held this film perfectly in place was certainly the vision of director Andrés Muschietti. Muschietti made it clear that this half of the story was meant to be told from the perspective of the kids. Kids experience things, especially fear, differently than adults. We saw this as the settings they entered may have looked creepy from the outside, then on the inside they became cavernous nightmares just as a child might view it. This was a subtle technique that allowed the audience to connect with the trials and tribulations of the Losers Club on an even deeper level. Casting of the minor adult characters added to this as well since they were all terrible people, if not a sort of monster themselves, as a kid might view them to be.

So if you’re reading this and haven’t seen IT, do yourself a favor and go! It’s a thrilling experience that will stick with you long after the 2 hour and 15 minute runtime. All of the buzz you’ve heard is well deserved. Hollywood desperately needed a reminder as to why horror should be taken seriously and they found IT!

My final review of IT (2017) is 9.5 out of 10.

What did you think of IT? What’s your favorite recent horror film? Sound off in the comments or email us directly at

jolly nathanThe Belligerent Barnes

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STOP WORRYING about Star Wars!

Screenshot 2017-09-06 at 5

Yesterday the news broke that Colin Trevorrow has “parted ways” with Disney and won’t be directing Star Wars Episode IX. Since then, my regular internet stomping grounds have been ripe with commentary. The consensus, from what I’ve been able to stomach, is that Trevorrow’s removal is a sign that Star Wars is in trouble. To those outspoken critics I say – shut the hell up already!

I’m more confident now than ever before that our holy space epic is in very good hands. At the time of this writing, Rian Johnson is reported to be the frontrunner to take over on the last installment in the current trilogy. Let’s assume there’s truth to that report (and I hope there is)… Think about it for a moment – Disney wants the director of Episode VIII to direct Episode IX. That is an unenviable job that the bazillion dollar monopoly wouldn’t trust anyone with unless they have confidence in what will be delivered. The powers at be in the Mouse House have seen Johnson’s Last Jedi and their preference to keep the same director meaning they really liked what they saw! How could that not be seen as a good thing?


Security moments before escorting Colin Trevorrow off the studio lot

Perhaps this had nothing to do with the Jurassic World director’s take on how the trilogy would end – it’s probably more likely that they were so fond of Rian Johnson’s work that they wanted him to see it through. He’s already got a mega-blockbuster-to-be under his belt with the saga and is an incredibly likeable diehard fan. Through filming Last Jedi he’s already developed a rapport with the cast/crew while possessing an intimate perspective of the story arc. If Disney has any hope of hitting the May 2019 release (without possible reduction in quality) then it makes sense for the film to be piloted by someone as freshly tenured in the galaxy far, far away as Johnson. That’s just smart, logical business.

I think this situation is much different from the recent debacle with Han Solo. It sounds like the Phil Lord and Chris Miller were simply headed in the wrong direction. Regardless of Disney’s desire to bring directorial diversity to Star Wars, a universal familiarity is absolutely required to mesh with the legacy that has formed over the last 40 years. Gareth Edwards brought a very different type of movie with Rogue One while still allowing it to feel like Star Wars. Frankly, Ron Howard is an ideal fit to right the ship and I’m still confident it’ll be great.

That’s the thing, we need to be confident that Disney will deliver. Even the most hating of haters out there can admit that the franchise has been in spectacular hands AT LEAST compared to the prequel trilogy days. Disney has delivered worthy entries and has the means to continue doing just that. Whatever news breaks between now and the release of ANY one of these films will not change the reality that I’ll be in line with my family for the first showing.

There has never been a greater time to be a Star Wars fan!

What do you think? Do you have faith in Disney’s plan? Sound off in the comments or email us directly at

jolly nathanThe Belligerent Barnes

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Death Note – 2017 Film Review

Before we begin, I feel it is important to confess that I’m not a manga fan at all and have little desire to give any anime the chance I probably should. With that disclaimer in place, I still felt like giving the new Netflix adaptation of the popular manga a shot. So was it worth my time?



Death Note – directed by Adam Wingard


My overall impression that was really difficult to shake was a resounding “meh”. The story in interesting enough – a ‘death god’ by the name of Ryuk chooses an awkward teen to be in possession of a powerful book that can bring about the very specific demise of anyone who the holder of the book writes inside. All the person writing the name needs is their full name and to visualize their face. It’s an interesting concept that seemed perfect for the Netflix outlet. There’s plenty of blood, twists, turns, and enough to keep your attention.

Interestingly enough, the biggest fault of the movie is also its biggest strength: casting. I could not stand the lead actor Nat Wolff who played the angsty teen Light Turner. He didn’t seem like a high school student at all – if anything, he seemed like a creep posing as a student. That, combined with his over-the-top reactions and facial expressions, were very distracting almost immediately. The semi-antagonist in the story, ‘L’ played by Lakeith Stanfield, was more tolerable yet still quirky to the point of being off putting. I’ll excuse the L character since that quirkiness is largely what his character was supposed to be however poorly paced his introduction ended up being.

I mentioned that casting was also its strength and that’s entirely thanks to the choice of Willem Dafoe to voice Ryuk. It was honestly this choice that kept me watching the film being he brought so much creepy life to the shadowy death god. I’m glad they kept Ryuk mostly to the shadows because it upped his creepy factor tenfold. The Leftovers Margaret Qualley was also rather good as Mia Sutton; I wish she’d been the focus rather than the intolerable Light Turner. Shea Whigham played a very believable father to Light and maintained that fun, socially blunt charm that he typically puts into characters (I saw a lot of similarities to his character in Kong Skull Island).

Perhaps it was the choice of director that hurt this films quality. Adam Wingard isn’t terrible but his resume is filled with ‘meh’ horror films: Blair Witch, V/H/S, You’re Next, etc. His cinematography focus is very self-indulgent in that he’ll spend too much time showing plates falling during a chase or small things that do little more than distract from the story. I get that he tried to maintain a certain artsy style yet I believe it was at the expense of the film’s pacing.

All in all, it’s not a bad movie but it’s also not a great movie. The latter half definitely becomes more interested so it’s worth sticking out to see things sort of wrap up. If they do another movie I hope it’s without Light’s character because that could make it worth revisiting.


My final rating of Death Note (2017) is a 6.3 out of 10.


What’s your favorite manga/anime adaptation? Let us know in the comments or email us directly at Don’t forget to follow the blog and on Instagram to stay up to date!

jolly nathan The Belligerent Barnes

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Batman: The Dark Knight SH Figuarts Action Figure

In today’s market, we have a plethora of option’s when it comes to action figures. Consumers have a variety of different price point options from a few dollars to a few hundred dollars. Along with higher price points we also have gotten better quality and detail. I personally do collect action figures. I tend to gravitate to the action figures with a bit more detail associated with them. With Hot Toys; you will definitely get a very life like figure, but you will also take a hit to your wallet easily spending $300-$1000. Unfortunately, I have responsibilities to keep…kids gotta eat you know. That being said you can always find a happy medium. Today I will offer a review for Batman: The Dark Knight SH Figuarts Action Figure.


I have had this figure on pre-order for almost 5 months since I saw this pop up on (Great site that has all things geek/nerd to buy). I am a fan of all things Batman, but that being said I am a harsh critic of comics and merchandise that comes out with Batman’s likeness. The price is extremely manageable at $54.99 before tax. The figure stands almost 6 inches tall (5 9/10 inch). In the package you will receive an optional head, 5 sets of hands, 2 bat-a-rang’s, 1 grappling-gun, and 1 bomb-gun. There are an amazing 21 points of articulation on this figure. You also get a very large bendable cape that keeps the spirit and feel from the Christopher Nolan trilogy; when Batman glides from building to building. The detail on this figure is very impressive. You can see areas where SH Figuarts was attempting to represent the carbon fiber and body armor. Where the figure fell a bit short was the very large side holster for the grappling gun. Also, the “shoulder pads” on the figure came off very easily when moving the arms around. Lastly, when replacing the head and hands, I was worried a few times that I was going to break the little piece connecting the neck to the head and the hand to the arm; felt like I was gonna snap it off.

My final rating Batman: The Dark Knight SH Figuarts Action Figure is 9.1 out of 10.

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The Dull Knight

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