Slice of life, memory play, character study, art house film; these could all apply to director-writer Alfonso Cuaron’s semi-autographical film Roma. Carol has crafted a stream of consciousness film that makes you feel like a voyeur into one family’s life during the course of one year.
The film centers a middle class family living in Mexico City in which both parents work and they have two women who look after the house and the children. Cleo (Yalitza Aparicio), the younger woman is the main character and she is a lovely, sweet natured woman who works morning till night, washing, cleaning and minding the children. The father is often gone and early on leaves for what may be for good as you can see the couple are having marital troubles leaving Sofie (Marina de Tavira) distraught. Cleo, meanwhile, has a life of her own outs of the house and she makes some decisions that put her in some trouble as well. Somehow, the family needs to stick together and Sofia and Cleo come to need each other more than ever.
Roma is almost a silent film. It could tells it’s story without any dialogue at all and you could understand it and be moved by it. Cuaron is really interested in the details and the little things that happen and you miss. I loved that the movie the family goes to see is the science fiction film Marooned (1970). I remember seeing this film when I was a kid and funny enough, that film also has a very leisurely pace as stranded astronauts float in space. The New Year’s Eve celebration in the little village is so amazing, so rich in detail and dissection of the middle class and the servants that work for them but when a fire breaks out in the nearby forest they all must lend a hand to deal with it.
The film moves at a leisurely pace, sometimes a little too leisurely but for the most part, the pace is effective in creating a mood. It’s lyrical and melancholy and absolutely gorgeous to look at. There is very little dialogue and the dialogue that is there is mostly conversational and commonplace. The most unusual and entertaining conversations take place between Cleo and the youngest child, Pepe (Marco Graf). While Cleo is doing the watch on the roof, Pepe comes along and lays down.
Cleo: “Talk to me”
Pepe: “I can’t. I’m dead.”
Cleo then lays down as well, her head pressed against pope’s.
Pepe: “Talk to me”
Cleo: “ I can’t. I’m dead. (Pause) It feels good to be dead.”
Roma may not be everyone’s cup of tea. Our attention span is so much shorter today after being weened on a diet of Marvel films and Fast and Furious spectacles but don’t shy away from this thoughtful, black and white family drama. You may find yourself thankful for the reflective break.
“Why’d your people kill my people?” Daryl
“It’s us or them.” Lydia
The midseason premiere picked up exactly where we left off; Jesus is dead. The gang are still in the creepy cemetery and they have to fight their way out while trying to carry Jesus’ body with them. Now that we know that these Whisperers are disguised as walkers it is not so easy to do battle since, at any moment, one of these walkers may duck or be armed! It truly adds a new dimension of fear into the show.
On the road back to Hilltop, Michonne and daryl have a heart to heart. Several tidbits are revealed. Machine vouches for the new people. She says it will mean a lot to Hilltop being able to bury Jesus.
“Sorry I couldn’t do that for you” Daryl tells her.
“Thank you for trying to find him and thank you for after” Michonne says.
The ‘after’ I am assuming refers to the X scars they both have on their backs. We should see flashbacks in the coming episodes that will finally explain this.
They run across a band of walkers approaching on a bridge. Daryl smartly shoots one in the leg, no reaction. Then he shoots another one in the leg and it’s a whisperer. he screams out in pain and immediately is descended upon and eaten. Another whisperer pulls a knife from his sleeve and attacks Michonne. Silly Whisperer. A third drops its knife and gives up. Its a woman who pleads for her life and says that they killed all the others and she’s the last one. LIES!! Daryl decides to take her with them as a prisoner. Machonne is not so hot on that idea.
What a sad scene! I teared up as everyone saw Jesus’ body slung over the horse. Everyone will be looking to Tara now to make the decisions and be their leader.
Sadie sets Eugene’s leg and this is the moment Eugene decides to tell Rosita he loves her which sends Rosita fleeing the hospital to go throw up. But it’s not because of Eugene. She’s got a bun in the oven. And the father is Sadiq!!! Father Gabriel is not going to like this! Neither does Eugene who overheard their conversation through the window. TV Eugene never had a chance. Comic Book Eugene was luckier. They ended up together.
Machine and Tara interrogate the prisoner while Daryl looks on. Henry is still down there in a cell as we’ll which also upsets Daryl. The prisoner plays dumb and cries a lot. She claims they killed the rest of her group but nobody believes that. Michonne plans to take her people and head back to Alexandria. Daryl assures her he will get the prisoner to talk.
“If she doesn’t you know what to do.” She tells him.
Daryl interrogates the prisoner again by himself. He;s tough on her, throwing her around the cell. Henry implores him to stop. He gets her to tell him her name is Lydia. She admits that her mom and her were part of groups with walls before but that places with walls can’t keep you safe and always fail. So they found a way to coexist with the walkers. Daryl chastises Henry for defending Lydia. Lydia then starts talking to Henry and Henry eats it up with a spoon, Of course, this was Daryl’s plan all along. He sits outside by the window and listens to their conversation, hoping to glean more info.
NEGAN’S FIELD TRIP
“You know there’s nothing out there for you, for anyone” Judith to Negan
Now that he’s free the first order of business was to pluck a tomato off the branch and eat it. He then went into the big house and into Michonne and Judith’s room. He took a compass. It’s broad daylight before he tries to jump the fence and gets caught by Judith. He manages to talk his way out of being shot and she allows him to go.
“But if I see you again I’ll shoot” Judith tells him.
Out on the road, Negan runs into wakers for the first time in 7 1/2 years! He kills a few with a shovel but it’s obvious he needs to get in killing shape. he later drinks some bad water and has to throw up on an open field. ironically, it’s the same open field where he bashed Abraham and Glenn’s heads to mush. Creepy.
He finds a clothing store that has a ‘Leather Goods” section. He finds a new leather jacket, but no red scarf. Then security shows up: three growling canines! He runs for his life! He manages to bust through a door where a waiting walker is there. He throws him into the store and closes the door. We hear the whimpering of the poor dog. Jeffrey Dean Morgan assured us on Taking Dead after that no dogs were eaten by zombie during the making of the episode.
He finally reaches home. The sanctuary. He finds a pipe which he swings on his shoulder like a makeshift Lucille and does his tardemark whistle The place is a mess. He does recognize one of the walkers roaming around. “Big Ritchie!!! Loyal to the end.” He tries to clean up a little and makes a little living room in the middle of the empty warehouse.
Eventually, Negan goes out in the yard and starts killing all the remaining Savior walkers except Big Ritchie. He can’t do it at first but then knows he has to. As Thomas Wolfe said, ‘You Can’t Go Home Again”.
he hops on his motorcycle and heads on down the road back to Hilltop when Judith appears and takes a shot at him. He takes a spill. She missed on purpose but she did say she would shoot at him next time she saw him, He gave her back her compass and
LUKE AND ALDEN’S BIG ADVENTURE
“Two man band. Symphony of awesome!” Luke
Luke and Alden go looking for Michonne, Jesus and the rest and not knowing that they’d already returned to Hilltop go on an unnecessary excursion further and further out. They find a trail of arrows that Luke recognizes as belonging to Yumiko.
They come across a lone walker and just as Luke is about to approach it, the walker stops and stands still. Uh oh. they soon realize they are surrounded by silent and still walkers only these ain’t walkers. The leader pulls out a sawed off shotgun and points it at them.
“The trail ends here.”
The leader of the Whisperers is Lydia’s mom. her name is Alpha and she is being played the terrific actress Samantha Morton!
The opening scene of dead Jesus and the blood oozing out of him. Thanks.
“You sure as shit did, kid” Negan
“Language! I’m a kid, asshole” Judith
Dwight (Austin Amelio) is joining the cast of Fear The Walking Dead!!
5 THINGS I THINK I KNOW
1 The Whisperers are going to be a formidable enemy and perhaps the scariest and deadliest yet.
2 Negan will no longer be a prisoner and will become a leader in the fight with The Whisperers.
3 If you’re shipping Henry and Lydia you’re not alone. ‘Henia?’. He’s going to get everyone in trouble but he’ll betray her before the end of the season.
4 So Rosita is pregnant with Sadiq’s baby but involved with Father Gabriel and being wooed by Eugene. The most sought after woman in the zombie apocalypse! One of these guys are going to die before the end of the season. This kind of tension can’t hold!!
5 Danai Gurira is leaving TWD!!!! How many main characters can you lose! You can’t keep whisking them away on a helicopter! She’ll be back for a few episodes in Season 10. I don’t think they can kill her. I think they just don’t show her but acknowledge she’s still at Alexandria.
M Night Shyamalan has had his good films and his bad ones over the years, no question. One of his good ones was 1999’s Unbreakable. People are divided over this film and that’s fine. I found it to be absorbing and intense. It was a superhero movie before Marvel came along and developed it’s very own brand of comic book style and superheroes. Those films are fun and some are very good but Unbreakable is a superhero film more in the Christopher Nolan Dark Knight universe. It’s dark and realistic and quite sad. It’s premise was exciting; what if super heroes and master villains really did exist in the real world? This is what I loved about the film and why I had always hoped for a sequel. The film was only considered a modest success and so Shyamalan moved on to make the mega hit Signs (2001). The quality of his films thereafter declined as did his Hollywood status.
When Split came along in 2017 Shyamalan was experiencing a career resurgence and I was excited to go see the film, hoping for some of that old ‘Night magic”. I happily enjoyed the film! It was a solid thriller with a great performance by James McAvoy. I would have been satisfied with that but when the score from Unbreakable started playing near the end of the film and the film continued beyond what would normally be an ending, I started getting suspicios. Then, we got that final scene in the diner. Everyone was watching the news on the TV about this terrible villain called The Horde. It reminded them of another murderer from the past with a funny name. “Mr. Glass” a voice rang out. It was Bruce Willis. It was David Dunn! We’re going to finally get that sequel!! I was downright giddy! Shyamalan was taking a chance though, by using his newfound Hollywood cache to make a sequel to a twenty year old mild success.
Glass isn’t as good as Unbreakable or Split. It depends mostly on the dynamic between the three main characters, David Dubb, The Horde and Mr. Glass and the secondary characters are mere witnesses to they’re drama. It’s a lot of pressure to put on the story and the action mostly takes place in a sanitarium where they have all. conveniently been placed. The film, however, works as ‘wish fulfillment’. It was fun to see these characters exist in the same world. The idea from the first film is still alive here. How would such characters be perceived in real life? They would be considered insane. The conclusion is a fabulous finale of super hero and villains in a duel to the death.
There’s much fun seeing Willis and Jackson back in their original characters. I wish there was more interaction with them and rumination on what happened before and what David Dunn has endured since. It all seems to happen so fast. It doesn’t have the reflection of Unbreakable or the suspense of Split. We get to see Mr. Glass’ mother (Charlene Woodard) and Dunn’s now grown son, Joseph (Spencer Treat Clark) and accomplice back in the fray. Sarah Paulson shows up as the psychiatrist tasked to study these men who has alternative motives.. Anna Taylor Joy also reprises her role as the sole survivor from Split who now all of a sudden has some sort of relationship with Kevin Wendell Crumb, the original identity of McCoy’s character. It’s uneven to be sure but as a fan of the first two films it was fun to watch how Shyamalan tried to make the third leg of a trilogy work. He is very inventive and willing to take chances. I hope that he continues to surprise and make entertaining films.
It’s that time of year again! The Academy Award nominations are being announced Tuesday morning January 22nd. We have seen the results of many critics groups, the Golden Globes and just yesterday The Producers Guild. We know there will be some shocks and surprises, there always are. Here are my picks on who will hear their name called on Tuesday.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
MAHERHSALA ALI GREEN BOOK
ADAN DRIVER BLACK KLAANSMAN
SAM ELLIOT A STAR IS BORN
RICHARD E. GRANT CAN YOU EVER FORGIVE ME?
SAM ROCKWELL VICE
My wild card in this category is Sam Elliot. Maybe it’s just my sentimentality but I think he serves the nod. If not, then expect to see young Timothy Chalet grab the nod for Beautiful Boy.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
AMY ADAMS VICE
CLAIRE FOY FIRST MAN
REGINA KING IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK
EMMA STONE THE FAVOURITE
RACHEL WEISZ THE FAVOURITE
Regina King is racking up the wins! This line up seems to be set but don’t be surprised to see Michelle Yeoh grab a nod for Crazy Rich Asians.
BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
DEBRA DAVIS, THE FAVOURITE
PAUL SCHRADER FIRST REFORMED
NICK VALLELONGA, GREEN BOOK
BRIAN HAYES CURRIE
ALFONSO CUARON ROMA
ADAM MCKAY VICE
I will be very upset if Paul Schrader does not pick up his FIRST Oscar nomination for First Reformed. But if he doesn’t expect to see an opportunity to recognize Crazy Rich Asians.
BEST SCREENPLAY ADAPTATION
SPIKE LEE BLACK KLAANSMAN
NICOLE HOLOFCENER CAN YOU EVER FORGIVE ME?
JOSH SINGER FIRST MAN
BARRY JENKINS IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK
BRADLEY COOPER A STAR IS BORN
These seem to be the safe bets here but a surprise nom could go to Diablo Cody for Tully.
YALITZIA APARICIO ROMA
GLEN CLOSE THE WIFE
OLIVIA COLEMAN THE FAVOURITE
LADY GAGA A STAR IS BORN
MELISSA MCCARTHY CAN YOU EVER FORGIVE ME?
This category has a lot of wild cards. Close, Coleman and Gaga are sure things. McCarthy deserves a nod and with Roma getting a lot of attention Aparicio should make the cut but never count out Julia Roberts and her well received performance in Ben Is Back or Saorsie Ronan’s fierce performance in Mary, Queen of Scots.
CHRISTIAN BALE VICE
BRADLEY COOPER A STAR IS BORN
ETHAN HAWKE FIRST REFORMED
RAMI MALEK BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY
VIGGO MORTENSON GREEN BOOK
I really want to see Ethan Hawke get his first Best Actor nod but Willem Dafoe is also looking for his first Best Actor nom for At Eternity’s Gate.
BRADLEY COOPER A STAR IS BORN
ALFONSO CUARON ROMA
PETER FARRELLY GREEN BOOK
SPIKE LEE BLACK KLAANSMAN
ADAM MCKAY VICE
No matter how many films get nominated for Best Picture only 5 directors will get nominated for their celebrated films. There could be a surprise and Farrelly could get left off in favor of Barry Jenins for Beale Street.
A STAR IS BORN
The category has been allowed to have as many as ten films but that has only happened once (2010) since the change was made in 2009. You might see If Beale Street Could Talk or Crazy Rich Asians. Looking forward to watching the nominations announced live tomorrow morning!!!
Happy New Year! Let’s start the year right with the boozy, unpredictable Golden Globes! Its been quite a year for movies with a really diverse group of films vying for the top prizes. The Globes are usually a good indicator of what the Oscar nominations will look like and the winners are almost always sure things. So here are my predictions. Let’s play!
Best Actress in a Supporting Role in any Motion Picture
Amy Adams (“Vice”)
Claire Foy (“First Man”)
Regina King (“If Beale Street Could Talk”)
Emma Stone (“The Favourite”)
Rachel Weisz (“The Favourite”)
Amy Adams is always good and one day she will win but not today. Regina King has won several awards for her television work and its good to see her break through in her film work. Claire Foy is a new favorite but the winner will be someone from The Favourite! I’m going with Rachel Weisz.
Best Actor in a Supporting Role in any Motion Picture
Mahershala Ali (“Green Book”)
Timothee Chalamet (“Beautiful Boy”)
Adam Driver (“BlacKkKlansman”)
Richard E. Grant (“Can You Ever Forgive Me?”)
Sam Rockwell (“Vice”)
Man, this is a tough category! Ali was more of a lead and so has an advantage here but I have to go with the old veteran Richard E. Grant. He was absolutely amazing in Can You Ever Forgive me?
Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama
Glenn Close (“The Wife”)
Lady Gaga (“A Star Is Born”)
Nicole Kidman (“Destroyer”)
Melissa McCarthy (“Can You Ever Forgive Me?”)
Rosamund Pike (“A Private War”)
This is a strong group of actors, no question. Few people saw most of these films and this may hurt the chances for Oscar nominations. But A Star Is Born was a blockbuster and Lady Gags knocks it out of the park in her film debut. She’s going to win.
Best Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama
Bradley Cooper (“A Star Is Born”)
Willem Dafoe (“At Eternity’s Gate”)
Lucas Hedges (“Boy Erased”)
Rami Malek (“Bohemian Rhapsody”)
John David Washington (“BlacKkKlansman”)
A tough one to call. Dafoe has never won and I would love to see him get some recognition. Washington follows in his father’s footsteps in Spike Lee’s best film in years. Cooper is riding a high for his directorial debut and delivers a great performance. But I’m going with Rami Malek for his tour de force performance on Rhapsody.
Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy
Emily Blunt (“Mary Poppins Returns”)
Olivia Colman (“The Favourite”)
Elsie Fisher (“Eighth Grade”)
Charlize Theron (“Tully”)
Constance Wu (“Crazy Rich Asians”)
Blunt may be seen as a shoe in but I’m going to go with Olivia Coleman in The Favourite. I think the film is picking up steam and her win will be part of a sweep.
Best Actor in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy
Christian Bale (“Vice”)
Lin-Manuel Miranda (“Mary Poppins Returns”)
Viggo Mortensen (“Green Book”)
Robert Redford (“The Old Man & the Gun”)
John C. Reilly (“Stan & Ollie”)
Redford is the sentimental favorite and Bale was just amazing as Dock Cheney but I’m going with Viggo Mortensen. He really transforms as Tony Lip in Green Book.
Best Motion Picture – Foreign Language
“Never Look Away”
I’ll be honest. I haven’t seen these films yet. But my money is on Roma.
Best Motion Picture – Animated
“Isle of Dogs”
“Ralph Breaks the Internet”
“Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse”
Even though Spider Man has a lot of momentum I’m sticking with The Incredibles!!
Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy
“Crazy Rich Asians”
“Mary Poppins Returns”
I’m going with The Favourite for the sweep!
Best Motion Picture – Drama
“If Beale Street Could Talk”
“A Star Is Born”
I think A Star Is Born is the one to beat. Who would have thought that a 4th remake of film from the 30s would be this good?
Best Director – Motion Picture
Bradley Cooper (“A Star Is Born”)
Alfonso Cuaron (“Roma”)
Peter Farrelly (“Green Book”)
Spike Lee (“BlacKkKlansman”)
Adam McKay (“Vice”)
Alfonso Cuaron may win and it won’t be a surprise but I’m sticking with A Star Is Born. This is a magnificent achievement for Bradley Cooper and he should have his victory lap.
Enjoy the show and good luck with your own Golden Globe picks!
Biopics are tough. It’s almost impossible to please everyone, especially fans of the artist you’re making the movie about. If you do the birth to death approach the film can’t possibly get to the meat of the subject and just becomes a point to point of the artist’s biggest life moments. You can get experimental and just concentrate on a particular time period and this allows a lot more freedom. Bohemian Rhapsody is something in between but mostly the former and so you get highlights from Queen’s life as a band and also a look into Freddie Mercury’s struggle with sexual identity and handling fame and stardom. I have to admit I really enjoyed the film. It’s fun and fast and filled with the music of Queen which is fantastic. But it’s the performance of Rami Malek as Freddie Mercury which ignites the action and elevates the film above the average.
The film is mostly about Freddie Mercury, following him from his first days with the band and revealing his complicated relationship with his family and ethnicity as well as the insecurity with his sexual identity through to Queen’s triumphant Live Aid performance. Freddie gets involved with a young woman, Mary Austin (Lucy Boynton), who he met at a clothing shop. She embraces his eccentricities and accepts him as is and they have a loving relationship for awhile until Freddie starts embracing his homosexuality and starting a relationship with the bands day to day manager, Paul Prenter (Alan Leech).
We get to see the band getting more and more popular, getting Elton John’s agent, John Reid (Aiden Gillen), US tours and fight with label bigwigs over their creative choices. Mike Myer’s is unrecognizeeable as fictional EMI executive Ron Foster, who refuses to release the six minute Bohemian Rhapsody as a single.
Mercury and Queen hit some rough times by the time the 80s come along. Mercury’s lifestyle becomes more outlandish and his partying becomes a distraction from the band’s music. He releases his own solo album and becomes estranged from his bandmates. It is also the time when the AIDS epidemic is in it’s early stages and all of these elements are strung together to bring Mercury to have an epiphany and want to make some changes.
The film does get a little schmaltzy towards the end when everything has to happen all at once becomes too cliched but by this point you’re just enjoying the music and Malek’s bravura performance. Is it historically accurate? No. Is it groundbreaking filmmaking? No. But it is an entertaining ride and if you like Rami Malek and love Queen then you will love the film!
I know what you’re thinking; this is just Driving Miss Daisy in reverse. It’s a feel good movie. It deals with racism in 1962 but not with the racism today. It’s pure Hollywood pap!
Well, all that may be true but I loved it! It is very entertaining, very funny and very well acted. Isn’t that what we want? We need feel good movies, especially in these days. I love films that are dark, complicated and challenging, in fact, most of my favorites films are but I also like Star Wars, Some Like It Hot and Raiders of the Lost Ark. Making a good movie is a tough thing to do period. You have tho appreciate them when they come along. By the way, Green Book is more than just a feel good movie, it’s a lesson in humanity and courage and the ability to change, to grow, to become a better person.
Green Book is based on the true story of African-American classical and jazz pianist Don Shirley (Mahershala Ali) and Italian-American bouncer Tony Vallelonga (Viggo Mortensen) also known as ’Tony Lip” and the unlikely friendship that developed between them. Shirley hires Vallelonga to be his driver and bodyguard during a tour on the deep south. These two men couldn’t be more different. Shirley is dignified, well spoken, highly educated and well mannered while Tony is foul mouthed, crude, a slob and also quite racist. It’s the perfect set up for a Hollywood film! Two opposites who dislike each other then grown to become friends. It is predictable but it also happens to be the case with these two real life men. You can’t help but be moved by the story and the journey the men take.
The title was taken from The Negro Motorist Green Book which was a guidebook for African-American travelers that directed them to hotels and restaurants that would accept them. There were even towns that had curfews for Africans-Americans.
The film was written by director Peter Farrelly, Brian Hayes Currie and Vellelonga’s son, Nick based on interviews with his father and Don Shirley as well as letters his father wrote to his mother during their road trips. The film is elevated by the performances of Mortensen and Ali who have great chemistry and deliver great performances. Don’t let your preconceived biases keep you away. You may end up liking the film despite your protests.
An interesting side note, Vallelonga went on to act in film (Goodfellas, Donnie Brasco) and TV, most notably, as Carmine Lupertazzi in The Sopranos from 2001 through 2007. who knew!!
“This wasn’t a usual herd. they were whispering to each other” Eugene
“If they can learn to talk maybe they can learn strategy” Jesus
Well as far as mid season finales go this one was pretty tame until the last 15 minutes and then shit got real and then real sad. We lost another regular and it was completely unexpected. The Jesus-Aaron romance was over before it even got started!
Daryl, Aaron and Jesus observe a herd of walkers. They’re just milling around. They’ve never seen walkers do this before. Daryl tosses a ringing clock into the field to direct the herd and they move on. We see one of the walkers slowly turn its head toward the sound but not move. Mmmmmmm.
“I didn’t make the choices I made because I thought they’d be easy. At least they’re alive so they can hate me for it” Michonne
Machine and Sadiq arrive at Hilltop with Magna and her people. They are not greeted warmly. They have to leave their weapons at the gate and enter unarmed. Tara is steely eyed when she greets Michonne. What happened between these two common cities that has caused such distrust?
“I know what you went through, and I get why this is hard for you. But we’ve all lost something. You and me we both lost children and we kept going for each other. We’ve always been a family.” Carol to Machine
Michonne and Carol have an awkward reunion. What happened between them that has caused such a rift? Michonne and Carol have a little talk. Whatever happened in the last six years has made Michonne want to cut of all contact with the other communities. Carol wants her to let Alexandria participate in the upcoming ‘Fair ’but Michonne will not agree. They seem happy to see each other but obviously a lot has happened between them that we do not yet know. The Kingdom is having serious problems it seems. I’m not sure what this ‘Fair’ is – perhaps a time for all communities to get together and exchange goods? Michonne wants no part of it.
Sadiq tries to convince Michonne to make amends with Hilltop but she is not willing. Rosita awakes from her slumber to warn Sadiq and Michonne that they don’t know what they’re up against with this new bunch of walkers.
“I’m gonna make you proud” Henry
You already have” Carol
Carol has brought Henry to Hilltop to apprentice as a blacksmith. He has a crush on Enid but Enid and Alden look to be an item now much to Henry’s dismay.
The other teenagers of hilltop take in Henry and show him how they party, They show him a ditch where they’ve captured a walker and plan to play with it like a toy. The young woman walks away, not not the game they’e playing. Henry isn’t into it either. He jumps into the pit and kills the walker which makes the other young boys angry. Henry ends up getting thrown in the pokey for being drunk and disorderly and throwing up on Tara’s boots!
The old blacksmith Earl Sutton has a heart to heart with Henry and decides to give him a second chance.
“You know I read something fascinating the other day. You know what a smell is? It’s when odor molecules activate neurons in your nasal passages. So every time you come in here and change my bed pan and smell my shit, something that was actually in my ass goes right up your nose.” Negan to Father Gabriel
Father Gabriel is having a mediation session with Negan. A futile exercise. Negan seems to like “Gabey’ but he sure loves to needle him. The padre of course, is on edge lately because his girlfriend, Rosita, is hurt and far away in Hilltop. Negan teases him about hearing all kinds of gossip from his prison window, he even heard Rosita talking about somebody not necessarily the padre. But even Father Gabriel gets fed up with Negan’s BS.
“It’s bad enough I gotta to clean up your shit I shouldn’t have to listen to it too.” Father Gabriel
Later that night we see Negan throwing a ball against his cell wall and catching it just like Steve McQueen in The Great Escape.Negan is the new ‘Cooler King”! When the ball bounces out of his cell, Negan gets depressed until he tries something. Negan kicks his prison gate open – it wasn’t even locked. Perhaps Father Gabey wa so upset earlier he forgot to lock the door behind him. He picks up the ball, smiles an tosses the ball over his shoulder and smiles. He’s free! What will he do? Where will he go?
“You are where you don’t belong” Whispering Zombie to Jesus
Daryl, Aaron and Jesus find Eugene hiding in a barn. He’s scared out of his mind! He no sooner tells them that these walkers are talking and circling back to find them then the herd comes back again. Daryl and dog try to divert them but these walkers aren’t falling for the same old tricks! The gang gets trapped behind an iron rod fence as the walkers creep towards them in the dense fog. Creepy as hell. Aaron and Jesus fight valiantly and Daryl comes along as well but if Michonne and Magna and friends had not showed up they would have been toast!
As they pry an escape through the fence Jesus holds off the herd in gymnastic combat style until he swings at one walker who ducks and evades his attack coming up behind Jesus and stabbing him through the back! They got Jesus! Daryl kills the walker and upon further investment funds that this walker is wearing a disguise! Daryl cuts off the mask and reveals a normal human underneath! Ladies and gentleman! The Whisperers have arrived!
The graveyard sequence was one of the best of the show. It was pure horror movie with graveyards and fog and slo mo Jesus!
Jesus smashing that walker’s head against the tombstone was awesome!
I’ve tried to defend father Gabriel for a long time but I am growing weary with his sad face.
Will Daryl ever find love? Maybe with Rumiko, the newbie who also has a way with arrows?
5 THINGS I THINK I KNOW
1 Tara becomes the new leader of Hilltop which will bring her in direct conflict with Michonne.
2 Aaron, devastated by the death of Jesus will become reckless in his quest for vengeance.
3 The Whisperers will prove to be an aggressive adversary
4 Negan will join up with The Whisperers.
5 Many more deaths in the back 8 episodes – I predict Aaron!
OK, folks, we’ll see you in February! It should be an exciting 8 episodes! I’m looking forward to seeing what these Whisperers are all about! And finding out about Michonne and Dary’ls scars!!
A lot of info coming out in these first post- Rick episodes! We’re still getting to know the newbies but also getting the blanks filled in about what has happened to our regulars in the last six years.
The cold open is one the best and creepiest the show has done. We see Rosita scrambling through the forest, as if being chased. She’s bloody and scared and keeps hearing voices. Eugene is not with her! What happened to him? Are these walkers really chasing her? She runs out of steam and passes out! Opening credits!
One thing I forgot to mention about last weeks episode was the big scar in the shape of an X on Michonne’s back. In this episode, we see that Daryl has a similar scar on the same part of his back along with multiple other scars that look like he had been whipped. Did they meet up with another villainous group during those six years? How many others have these scars in their backs? Does this have anything to do with the seemingly bad blood between Michonne and Maggie and why Michonne hasn’t seemed to have left Alexandria in a long time and don’t go to The Hilltop? Will we get any of these answers in the mid-season finale? I’m thinking, no.
Maggie is gone. Jesus got a letter from her and she and Little Hershel are well, don’t worry. They’re with Georgie! Wherever she is. Meanwhile, Jesus has been voted the new leader, a role he is not eager to take. Tara has taken on the job of his second in command which, for now, means she’s taking care of everything.
There’s a great scene between a Jesus and Aaron where Aaron surprises Jesus by knocking him off his horse and doing combat. It reminded me of Cato and Inspector Clouseau going at it in the Pink Panther films! Jesus is trading him but could there be more than combat training on their minds?
Before any shenanigans could happen they find Rosita. She tells them she left Eugene in a barn but she first remember where. They take her back to Hilltop then plan to go back out to search for Eugene.
DARYL THE WOODSMAN (AND DOG)
“Look, I know you still think I’m lookin’ for him. Never found a body. Ever. After a while it just got easier to stay out.” Daryl
Carol and Henry find Daryl and he takes them to his camp. he seems rather annoyed that they’re there. He has a pet dog he calls ‘Dog’ who brings him the hand of a walker he’s found. Good boy! Carol wants Daryl to go to Hilltop to look after Henry who wants to learn to be a smith. Daryl is not keen on the idea. He likes being alone. He’s still looking for Rick. They never found a body. So sad! Carol gives him a haircut and I mean that literally, she only cut a few hairs.
Henry is not impresses with this vagabond that his mom speaks so highly of. Later that night, however, they have a bit of an adventure, rescuing Dog from some walkers stuck in the mud. Of course, Carol was in the shadows with her bow and arrow just in case they needed some help. They have a heart to heart and Henry tells Daryl that his mom misses him and worries about him. In the morning, Daryl agrees to go to Hilltop and mentor the young squire.
THE ROAD TO HILLTOP
“I know what it’s like to worry about your family. Carry the burden of protecting them. To feel guilt when they suffer.” Michonne
Michonne won’t let Magna and the newbies stay at Alexandria but has agreed to escort them to Hilltop. She may admit that she likes them but she still doesn’t trust them. She also refuses to go all the way to Hilltop. It seems that her and Maggie had some sort of falling out. Sadiq tells her that Maggie has left to work with Georgie so she shouldn’t stay away from Hilltop. I wonder what the falling out was over and if it has anything to do with those mysterious scars on her back?
They take the newbies back to their camp and find that all of their friends had been killed and now walkers. They gather what they can of their belongings and continue on. Machine confiscates their weapons though and won’t let them have them back. Trust is a tough nut to crack. We find that Luke has been collecting musical instruments. He believes that part of rebuilding civilization is art, music. This leads to a tense moment that turns out to be funny and tragic! In the middle of the night Michonne hears something. I was thinking it was going to turn out to be Eugene but she finds Luke hovering over something. She takes out her katana and tells him to turn around and when he does she sees he’s holding something so she strikes! Turns out he was holding a violin and she has sliced it in two. It was the stradivarius. Bummer.
In the morning they wake to find a herd of walkers coming their way. Machine lets them have their weapons back and they all handle themselves well, except Luke, who grabs his bag of instruments instead. Unfortunately, one of the walkers is Magna’s boyfriend who was easily spotted due to the paisley shirt he always would wear to annoy her. Michonne handled killing him with sensitivity by not just slicing his head into but gently stabbing him in the back of the neck. Magna was a sobbing mess. Michonne was very sympathetic because she understands that kind of loss.
Once they got back on the road they are approached by two men in horseback wearing Kingdom-style armor. One of them looked like the Man of La Mancha and he told them that they had found one of their people, Rosita and she was safe at The Hilltop.
Carol, Daryl and Henry arrive at Hilltop ahead of Michonne. It was a very warm reunion for everyone. But as soon as they arrive daryl rides off with Jesus and Aaron to look for Eugene.
Looks like next week’s mid-season finale is going to be a nail biter! TWD has gotten scary again!
Michael Cudlitz (Abraham) made his directorial debut with this episode. He did an excellent job! Andrew Lincoln also plans to come back to direct future episodes!
Did anyone catch C. Thomas Howell in this episode? he was the Man of La Mancha guy that greets Michonne and company on the road and tells them about Rosita.
If anyone watch Talking Dead after the episode you saw a very stoned out of his mind Gary Fogler (Luke). He was hilarious and Michael Cudlitz could not stop laughing!
Special surprise guest on Talking Dead was Madison Lintz who played Sophia! Sophia is all grown up! She shared the couch with her brother Matt Lintz who now plays Henry.
5 THINGS I THINK I KNOW
1 Michonne will arrive at a Hilltop and we will find out what the bad blood between her and Maggie is.
2 Enid and Henry sitting in a tree! Oh it’s happening!
3 Well now that Connie is staying at Hilltop and not Alexandria thinking she can become Tara’s new love interest
4 I think Daryl and Luke will be a great comic pairing!
5 Special unknown guest of Talking Dead next week means one thing; someone’s gonna die! I’m thinking it will be Aaron!
Right off the top let me just say that Melissa McCarthy is going to pick up her second Oscar nomination, this one for Best Actress and Richard E. Grant is going to get his first for Best Supporting Actor. They both deliver superb performances in one of my favorite films of the year. Can You Ever Forgive Me? is based on the Lee israel memoir of the same name and is wonderfully adapted by Nicole Holofcener and Jeff Whitty. Holfcener is best known as the writer- director of such films as Enough Said and Friends With Money. I wasn’t sure what to expect though I knew it was based on a true story, I didn’t know the details or what the outcome was. didn’t know the details or what the outcome was. It’s a great story and I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it.
Israel (Melissa McCarthy) was an established writer who wrote books about successful women. Her career hits a dead end around the early 90s partly due to writer’s block but mostly because of her alcoholism and her nasty disposition. She is not a likable lady. In order to generate some cash she decides to sell a framed letter she received from Katherine Hepburn. She happens upon a couple of more original letters from comedian Fanny Brice and sells those. She realizes there is good money in selling letters from famous people and starts to create such letters and making a good living off of them. She makes friends with Jack (Richard E. Grant) a gay local ne’er do well, who becomes her accomplice. It’s all fun until it’s not and things fall apart.
Can You Ever Forgive Me? is well directed by Marielle Heller and creates a feeling that reminded me of of the 1970s films. It’s a character study about two very imperfect people at the end of their rope who come up with a scheme for success that is doomed to fail. Those 70s films had a certain feeling, think Scarecrow (1973), The Conversation (1974), King Of Marvin Gardens (1974, Going In Style (1979). That being said, this film does have a lot more humor going for it than some of those 70s films and the ending is as tragic.The good photography captures New York in the early 90s, the soundtrack is filled with old 1930s and 1940s standards which makes you feel like you’re in a wonderfully warm dive bar. It’s wonderfully balanced and entertaining.
I noticed a song on the soundtrack by a group that I saw at Jazz Fest this past May. Tank and The Bangas! They were great! Cool to see them on the soundtrack!!