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!!
So much to say! This episode was more like the first episode of a new show. Rick is gone but it looks like Michonne is still seriously grieving. The show leaps ahead six years and from what I can tell they have been peaceful years. Alexandria looks like a whole new place with a windmill and new buildings.
Oh, and Michonne has a son! His name is RJ aka Rick Grimes Jr.! Wow!
Judith is 10 now and she wears Rick/Carl’s hat, Rick’s gun and a mini katana. Everyone looks after her like a golden goose. She is, after all, Rick Grimes’ daughter. She’s gone out and saved a group of strangers and brought them back to Alexandria. This is something Carl would have and did do in the past. Michonne is not happy about this. She’s the leader now, though they have a Community Council, she’s still the final word on anything. The newbies are an interesting crew: Magna (Nadia Hilker), the leader, Luke (Dan Fogler), the new comic relief, Connie (Lauren Ridloff) and Kelly (Angel Theory) are a pair of sisters. They communicate with sign language as Connie is deaf. They are brought before the council and make their case for being allowed to stay and we get to know a little about each of them in the process. Michonne is against it at first but relents in the end. She doesn’t trust them but does she have reason not to?
We see an older Grace who calls Aaron ‘daddy’. Judith likes to hang out with Negan in the afternoons while she does her math homework. He’s very sweet with her and she treats him like a kind bear join the zoo she likes to visit. She’s sassy but I don’t find her too precocious.
I wasn’t prepared to see father Gabriel making out with Rosita. What the hell? The padre has gotten more action than anyone else in the apocalypse! You can see Eugene is unhappy about this because he’s in love with Rosita. Who wouldn’t be? So we have a good old fashioned romantic triangle brewing though I never expected it to be between this trio. Father Gabriel sends Eugene and Rosita on a mission to set up a relay for the radio to try and strengthen the signal. This is when they get taken by surprise by a herd of walkers. There seem to be a lot more herds of walkers roaming the countryside than ever before!
Eugene was prepared to sacrifice himself to save Rosita and almost professed his love but instead they both hide by the side of the road and cover themselves with mud while the herd passes. Things get really creepy when they overhear one of the walkers speak! “Don’t let them get away!” My guess is these aren’t walkers but actually the new big bad, The Whisperers which is taken from the comics. They disguise themselves as walkers and lord knows what awful things they are up to.
Meanwhile, life looks pretty serene at the Kingdom. Long, grey haired Carol is happily married to King Ezekiel and raising Henry as they own son. Henry is as ornery as ever! he dares back sass the King!
While on the road back home Carol and Henry get hijacked by a group of Saviors, the same ones that confronted Carol 6 years back at Tent City. They take their supplies and even take Carol’s wedding ring! Henry can’t believe that Carol would allow them to do this without a fight! But don’t worry, later that night, Carol sneaks up on these Saviors, gets her ring back and sets them all on fire! It’s good to see that she hasn’t tapered off!
I love Carol’s new long white hair. Very sexy!
Michonne has a hot new hairdo too!
Daryl is now living in the woods all by himself. Rick’s death must have hit him hard.
Machine talks to Rick when she’s alone. Rick used to talk to Lori on an old telephone after she was killed in Season Three.
Matt Lintz who plays Henry is the brother of Madison Lintz who played Sophia and Macsen Lintz who played young Henry.
5 THINGS I THINK I KNOW
1 The new people probably know about the Whisperers, perhaps had run into them before.
2 Magna will become Michonne’s “Daryl”
3 Connie and Saddiq will become a cute couple!
4 Eugene and Rosita become a couple in the comics but its hard to see on the show unless Father Gabriel gets knocked off.
5 I have a feeling we will keep having helicopter sightings.
“It feels like it’s ending.” Rick Grimes
Well, I called it! The helicopter came in and swooped up our hero like a deus ex machine and flew him to safety! We think. We don’t know who these people are or what they plan to do with Rick. What we do know, courtesy of Scott M. Gimple, is that Andrew Lincoln has agreed to do a trio of Rick Grimes films that will reveal what happened to him. Could these ‘others’ be working on a cure? Could Rick Grimes fly in at the end of the series (when that time comes) and bring the cure? Wouldn’t that be something?
I was dreading how TWD was going to deal with losing Rick Grimes. It looked bad at the end of last week’s episode but Rick pulled himself off that rebar and mounted that white steed! He managed to stay alert just barely enough to keep from being bit and eaten, all the while, having a fever dream and being listed by the ghosts of seasons past.
“I’m looking for my family” Rick
First up was Shane. So great to see Jon Bernthal back and seeing those two back in uniform and in their old cruiser having lunch. But they speak to each other with full knowledge of all that has happened through the present. Shane even goes there regarding Judith:
“Oh is that what you’re doing? Looking for your family, huh? See that’s not entirely the truth. One could argue it’s my family that you’re looking for, right? How is my baby girl, by the way? She’s got my eyes, doesn’t she?”
They have great chemistry in the scene and Shane takes credit for making Rick an asshole, the kind of asshole that was needed to survive.
Next up he is visited by a clean shaven Hershel. They meet in the barn and Hershel calls him over to look at this beautiful sunset. They share a deeply felt hug. We’ve all missed Hershel. Rick apologizes for losing Beth and Glenn and for the pain he’s caused Maggie but Hershel tells him that Maggie is strong and he doesn’t need to worry about her. It was bittersweet to see the late Scott Wilson in his last performance. He was always such a calming presence and the epitome of humanity. Rest in peace, Scott Wilson.
“I’m tired, Hershel. My family… maybe I can find them here.” Rick
“No rick, you have to wake up.” Hershel
Then Rick finds himself in the hospital again, the one he was in at the very beginning when he woke up from that coma. He walks down the hall towards the double doors with the warning “Don’t Open – Dead Outside”. He opens the door and walks through and finds himself walking through a massive pile of bodies, bodies of all those he loved. Sasha pops up and offers comforting words.
“They’re all dead” Rick
“Yes and it’s ok.” Sasha
“How can this be ok?” Rick
Sasha tells him that he did his part and that everyone did their part. They gave each other strength and passed it on. She was like an angel in this scene, giving Rick some peace of mind.
“Little things do end. But it’s never the end of everything. Because we don’t die. It’s not about you, or me, or any one of us. It’s about all of us.” Sasha
“I came to kill Negan. And you’re already worse than dead. That settles it.” Maggie
Maggie arrives at Alexandria to get her justice. Michonne meets her at the door of Negan’s cell. She tries to stop her but Maggie convinces her to let her pass. It’s a short but powerful scene. Negan isn’t surprised to see her and wonders why it took her so long. He does what Negan does best, taunts her by talking about how much pleasure he got from bashing Glenn’s head in. Maggie keeps yelling at him to get on his knees. Soon he is telling her to do it.
She drags him out of the cell and throws him against the wall. He is reduced to a blubbering pathetic fool. He wants her to put him out of his misery so he can be with his wife, Lucille. She realizes that he’s not worth killing. He’ll suffer more staying in that cell. When she comes out, her and Michonne are alerted to a problem at the bridge. Off they go for the grand finale.
“I found them.” Rick Grimes
After his vision with Sasha, Rick falls off his horse and finds himself back at Tent City. There are a bunch of walkers there that were part of The Kingdom which indicates that some people were killed in the Carol – Saviors stand off that we saw the beginning of last week. He shoots a few but then the rest of the herd arrives. he makes his way to the bridge. The herd follows. He falls. It looks like the end. Then the cavalry arrives! Daryl and the others start killing those bad walkers while Michonne reaches Rick.
“It’s not over. We don’t die.” Michonne
She tells him that he is a fighter and he needs to fight. Rick realizes that he’s found his family and it’s Michonne, Daryl, Maggie, Eugene, carol, it’s all the people that he’s with. He then realizes something else. “This isn’t real”.
“Yes it is”, Michonne tells him and kisses him. “Now wake up”
No cavalry arrived. He’s on that bridge with hundreds of walkers. The bridge is holding! Just as he’s about to get bit an arrow shoots through the air! It’s Daryl! And it’s Maggie and Michonne and Carol and everyone else! They rush to help Rick but Rick doesn’t want them too. There’s too many walkers and if they cross that bridge they’ll head straight for The Hilltop.
Daryl keeps shooting arrows, killing walkers and buying Rick some time. Then the walkers knock over a crate of dynamite. Rick knows what he has to do. He raises his gun and fires. The bridge blows up and Rick with it. He saved his family.
The pain on Michonne’s face is gut wrenching as Maggie and Carol hold her. Seeing Daryl cry is always sad. He just turns and walks away, stunned.
“I’m trying to save a friend who saved me.” Jadis
Jades had promised the helicopter that she had an ‘A’, meaning to turn over Father Gabriel but she couldn’t do it. She was planning on overtaking the helicopter by force but as she waited in the clearing she could see the smoke from the explosion on the bridge. She sees the river filled with dead walkers drifting by and then a miracle happened. She sees a barely alive Rick on the river bank. She gets on her walkie talkie and tells them she has a ‘B’! What ‘A’ and ‘B’ mean we don’t know but the helicopter people make the deal to pick her up and her ‘B’. Next thing you know Rick is up in the air, flying to who knows where. Jades is telling him he’s going to live! The helicopter flies out of sight.
The scene change indicates some time has passed. We see some new people fending off attacking walkers. They’re surrounded until shots are fired and a path is cleared for them. They run into the woods and see a little girl. They ask her for her name. She picks up a big brown hair from the ground and puts it on. It’s Rick’s hat, The same hat that Carl wore for so many years.
“I’m Judith. Judith Grimes”
A new era begins.
The show is making a six year time jump!
Great use of a belt by Rick to pull himself up and off that rebar!
I love the call back scene of Rick riding into Atlanta – this time followed by a herd of walkers.
“She’s got the blade but you got the fire” Negan to Maggie
This episode marks the final episode for Jadis and Maggie. We’ll see Jadis in the Rick Grimes movies. When we see Maggie again will depend on how well her new ABC show does.
5 THINGS I THINK I KNOW
1 I don’t know what to expect! And that’s a good thing!
2 Negan makes friends with Judith.
3 The Whisperers are coming! Disguised as walkers!
4 Negan will finally be released from his cell in the Mid Season finale!
5 Already looking forward to Rick’s return for the final episodes of the show which I’m thinking will be around 2021
Oh, man, things are getting real! This was Rick Grimes’ penultimate episode and by the end it doesn’t look good for our hero. I held out hope that Rick would just go into self imposed exile so that he could return one day and save the world but it doesn’t look like that’s the way they’re going. I am not ready to lose Rick Grimes! Elsewhere, Michonne and Negan do a Silence Of the Lambs remake and Father Gabriel tries to convince Anne/Jadis not to kill him. Oh and Rick and Daryl fight.
“I think I’m not meant to be rotting in this cell just like the warrior in you is not meant to be planting kale and kissing boo boos.” Negan trying to bond with Michonne
The cold open was a montage showing how restless Michonne is becoming. She gets up in the middle of the night to sharpen her katana skills on many random, unsuspecting walkers. By day, she’s busy trying to keep everyone happy at Alexandria and telling people what to do. Rick appears to only be interested in sleeping, playing with Judith and building that damn bridge! When it’s brought to her attention that Negan is refusing to eat she takes it upon herself to bring him his lunch and set him straight. But, of course, Negan turns the tables on her and pulls a Hannibal Lector and tries to get in her head. Machine lets him a la Clarice “fly, fly, fly” Starling. Quid Pro Quo, Michonne; I’ll eat my sandwich if you share with me your deepest, darkest feelings. She shares her anguish over losing her sons (including Carl) and he shares his anguish over losing his wife, prior to the zombie apocalypse, when people died the usual ways, of cancer. See, they’re both more alike than she realizes. But what Negan really wants to know is ‘where is Lucille?’. Machonne says she doesn’t know but you and I and Negan all know that is not true. Megan is in tears when she leaves him. he misses his bat! Of course he does! He named it after his loving wife!
“I’d die for you and I would have died for Carl, you know that.” Daryl to Rick
Back at Tent City, things are falling apart. The saviors have gone home and now Carol is taking her people back to The Kingdom. Rick isn’t mad though. Carol’s his girl! He trusts that when the time comes she will do what is right. It may be the last scene Rick and carol have together and it’s a sweet one.
Meanwhile, Maggie is now headed to Alexandria to, we assume, kill Negan. Rick alerts the guards not to let her through the gates but the fix is in. It’s all been arranged and Rick was left out of the planning. Daryl offers to give him a ride on the back of his chopper but when Daryl misses the turn off Rick gets suspicious and asks him to pull over. That’s when things get physical! Rick and Daryl start rolling around in a scuffle and eventually roll right into a deep pit (of despair). Here they finally hash it out and have the heart to heart that’s been coming all season. Daryl tells him that his idea of a Utopian society isn’t working and isn;t ever going to work. He knows he’s doing it to honor Carl but he needs to let it go, to let Carl go.
Then things get worse. Walkers start falling into the pit. They kill them at first but there’s too many. They need to climb out of there and it’s going to take teamwork like in the old days. It’s a great scene! The best part is once Rick gets out and reaches his hand down to the climbing Daryl, “brother, take my hand” he says and Daryl reaches out for Rick. Rick pulls his bestie out of the pit. The only other person Rick has called ‘brother’ was Shane. No sooner are they out then they start hearing gun shots coming from Tent City. Before Carol could clear out she gets confronted by the returning Saviors who found out that it was Oceanside that was killing their people. Now they want pay back!
The final minutes are painful. Daryl wants Rick to go back to tent City with him but then they see a herd of walkers coming their way. Rick mounts his white horse and plans to lead them away from Tent City and tells Daryl to go back to Tent City. “Be safe” may be the last words Daryl ever says to his best friend. Rick rides off and the herd follows. All is going as planned until Rick’s horse gets spooked! A second herd of walkers is approaching from a different direction! Rick is thrown and gets impaled on a metal rod. The last shot is of a helpless Rick being descended upon by two herds of walkers!!!!
I do not want to see Rick eaten alive by a horde of walkers!!
Did I forget to talk about Father Gabriel? He’s still alive.
“Negan deserved to die when it ended. Rick was wrong because he made a call that wasn’t his to make. I just want to make sure that you’re not wrong in the same way that he was.” Jesus warning Maggie.
Rick’s last episode looks to be a fever dream episode. I know that Shane and Herschel are going to appear to him. We get to see the great Scott Wilson one more time!
5 THINGS I THINK I KNOW
1 Rick will NOT die by walker
2 Jerry is going to die protecting Carol
3 We get a Lori and Carl visit! Surprise!
4 Rick gets away and dies on the bridge or………..
5 Anne/Jadis saves Rick and then whisks him away in the helicopter! Rick doesn’t die!
There have been bad films made about space travel (Marooned 1969), good films (Interstellar 2014, Moon 2009), and great fiims (The Right Stuff 1983, Apollo 13 1995). There have even been good films about fake space travel Capricorn One 1978) and classic films that transcended space itself (2001: A Space Odyssey). First Man is harder to define. It is a character study about someone dedicated to getting into space. It is as if John Cassavetes made a film about being an astronaut. If that sounds odd, it is.
The film centers on Neil Armstrong (Ryan Gosling) and his journey at NASA to reach the moon. It takes years, much sacrifice, the death of friends and most devastatingly, the death of his young daughter not to mention putting his life on the line testing the spacecraft and gear before becoming the ‘first man’ to step onto the moon. His wife Janet (Claire Foy) and young sons also sacrifice to support Armstrong during this time and we see the strain it puts on all of them. Both Neil and Janet were very private people and kept very much to themselves which is why we didn’t know much about their story. Director Damien Chazelle wanted to explore their relationship, their sacrifice and those of his colleagues and their wives as well as the apathy in the country at the time to spending so much money to reach the moon while the country was being torn apart in the late 60s.
The film makes you feel like you’re a voyeur into their lives. It is very introspective and claustrophobic and quiet. When Cassavetes was asked to describe his film Love Streams (1984) he responded by saying “I’m making a film about inner life and nobody believes it can be put on screen, including me. I don’t believe it either but screw it!”. That is what First man feels like and it may need a second or third viewing to fully appreciate or understand.
The performances are good from Gosling and Foy right through to Jason Clarke, Patrick Fugit, Kyle Chandler , Corey Stoll and Shea Wigham. The photography gives it a documentary-like feel. The moon landing is amazing. It’s shot from Armstrong’s point of view, a point of review not seen before or imagine. The whole film is not what you expected and it keeps you off guard. Director Damien Chazelle continues to take chances and make movies in his own unique style and vision much like Cassavetes and more recently, Paul Thomas Anderson. You may not walk away liking the film but you will know that you’ve seen something new and original and it will stay with you and you’ll keep thinking about it for a long time after.