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QUICK REVIEW: AFI – The Missing Man

Howdy ladies and gents, it seems like I’m always coming back to this blog every once in a while, and that’s obviously no good for people who which to get consistent material from me and for that I apologize. However, I’m back to talk about some music and today I’ll be discussing AFI’s EP from 2018; The Missing Man.

After I heard “Get Dark” and reviewed it, I was hyped to hear more AFI and I bought the EP and listened to it a few times. I even had a review I was drafted in mid-December of 2018. However, I just never got around to writing it up due to my work shifts during Christmas and after personal activities that kept me busy. But I have always wanted to share my thoughts on this EP and now that I’m listening to music a lot more I have thoughts that I want to share so here we are.

Now The Missing Man feels like a continuation of the sound AFI has been delivering since Burials and AFI (The Blood Album) with a balance of songs that rock hard, some more moody material and more melodic material. How much you enjoy this EP will depend on what era/sound you like from AFI. Anyone hoping for the crazier sounds of the past will be disappointed, this is definitely more in line with their recent work and feels like a combination of their last two albums sound. I personally love Burials safe for a couple of songs, while AFI (The Blood Album) only had a handful of songs I liked (I will discuss that album in the future). With only 5 tracks this EP is over by pretty swiftly but there’s something special about this sound that’ll make you want to go back for more.

The EP opens with “Trash Bat” and it’s great. Its loud, upbeat, in your face and has the exact kind of sound I like from this band. I love the chorus with the sound of the guitars alongside Davey Havok and the backing vocals. It’s over pretty quickly but has such an addictive sound that makes you want to hit the repeat button. “Break Angels” feels like it could have been on Burials, and I like it but mainly for the chorus. “Back Into The Sun” is a slower-paced song which at first I wasn’t sure about, but after a while, it really grew on me because of the chorus and heavy guitars. Next up is “Get Dark“, simply put I love this song. It’s super fun, loud, catchy, swift in pace and has a catchy as hell chorus. This was the oomph that their last album was missing. And finally, there’s the title track “The Missing Man” and it’s my least my favourite song on the EP. It starts out well and I do like the overall moody tone and there’s a bit in the middle that sounds good, but overall it doesn’t grab me. It lacks something distinctive as the final track.

Best Songs:

  1. Get Dark
  2. Trash Bat
  3. Back Into The Sun

So to conclude The Missing Man is solid EP from AFI, it’s familiar yet different and if you’re open to hearing new sounds from the band then I think you’ll enjoy it. It’s a short yet fun experience and it definitely resonates with me more than their last album. So have you heard this EP and if so what did you think of it? Drop your thoughts in the comment section below and I’ll see you next time, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on May 24, 2020 in Media, Music, Reviews

 

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The Good Sounds of SG Lewis

Howdy ladies and gents, its been a while since I’ve posted on this blog that wasn’t film-related. But since I’ve been on lockdown for just over a month and won’t be flying back home any time soon, I’ve had a lot of time to think and I’ve wanted to start writing about music again. So I wanted to start by talking about one of my favourite artists I’ve found in the last few years; SG Lewis.

My Discovery & Journey

So I discovered SG Lewis while I worked at the airport in my home town 4 years ago. His song “All Night” was on the radio and it caught me ear, so I put some of the lyrics on my phone and then found the song online. I became obsessed with the song for months. Then later that year I bought his EP Yours and found new songs to jam to and in 2017 I found Shivers which was also a nice listening experience. In 2018 I heard Dusk and that was my favourite EP so far with its gorgeous sounds and I was in love especially with the song “Aura“. And in 2019 I heard both Dark and Dawn and they were awesome as they had that familiar gorgeous sound but had progressed in new and exciting ways. And on top of that, I got to see him live TWICE! Once at ONBlackheath music festival in London and then around 4 months later at Fortune Sound Club in Vancouver. Both experiences were such awesome sessions, but the Vancouver show as extra special as I got to meet him in person which was just amazing!

Why His Music Is So Good

So I’ve given you a condensed version of how I found Lewis’ music and my listening experience so far. But now its time to tell you I believe his music is so good. Now, as I’ve stated on previous music-related blog posts I am no music aficionado, though I try to do my best to communicate my points through sound and feeling. So SG Lewis’ music in the broadest of terms is essentially electronic, but because of the variety in his music, you can get vibes of R&B, disco, house and the 80’s feeling with the use of synth. Lewis’ music has an immediate effect on your ears because it’s so infectious. Once you hear that beat or specific melody it has a way of getting into your head and then you just want to hit the repeat button. Also, the songs never outstay their welcome, they’re always just long enough to leave you wanting more. And one of the key things that make his music so accessible for me is how he has a song for any situation. Whether you’re chilling and vibing to the sounds of “No Less“, “Golden” or “Rest” or you want to dance to the sounds of “Aura“, “Hurting” or “Coming Up“, there is always a song to suit your mood. And then there’s hearing his songs live which adds a new dimension to the songs because of the live vocals, improvisation, extra bass from the speakers and joy you feel from being able to dance with likeminded individuals. There’s nothing quite like it.

Recommendations

So it comes to recommendations and this is where it gets tricky as I would say just listen to everything in chronological order as you’ll enjoy the ride and see Lewis’ progression as an artist. But if I had to narrow it down I would say it would be down to the following EPs: Yours, Shivers and Dusk. Each of those has my favourite listening experience from start to finish with Dusk being the best in my opinion. It’s just something special, you just vibe with it on another level, its instantly replayable, and again it has to be stated how good “Aura” is, it is a perfect jam for dancing.

Now from the EPs to specific tracks and while it’s hard to narrow it down, the following 10 songs are my favourites that I believe are essential and you should listen to right now. Check them out below:

  1. Aura
  2. Dreaming
  3. Lighter
  4. All Night
  5. Holding Back
  6. Yours
  7. Hurting
  8. Meant to Be
  9. No Less
  10. Coming Up

And that’s it, I hope my words and examples have spurred you on to check out some of SG Lewis’ music as he really is one of the best artists out there that deserve more love. If you’re a new or an established fan of Lewis, let me know what which song are your favourites in the comment section below. Thank you for reading and I’ll see you in the next post, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on May 9, 2020 in Life, Media, Music

 

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QUICK REVIEW: SG Lewis – Chemicals

Good day to you ladies and gentlemen, it has been a while since my last post, I’ve been dealing with a severe case of creative block in recent times. But today I just had to remerge to share my thoughts on the latest song from SG Lewis; “Chemicals“.

Now I love SG Lewis, I’ve been following his music since I heard his single “All Night” back in April 2016, and since then I’ve listened to everything he’s released and had the pleasure of seeing him live twice. Needless to say, I am a massive fan and I’m always looking forward to when he drops some new music. So imagine my surprise a week ago when he said on social media he’d drop new music today. I got hyped as hell. Anyways enough of that, let’s talk about “Chemicals“.

Here’s the song:

Ah, “Chemicals” man that’s some good stuff! I knew in the opening seconds of the sound that I was down for it. It’s upbeat and groovy straight from the start and while it’s different from the material he’s realised before, he still has that undeniably fun and wonderful sound that makes Lewis’ music so good.

So “Chemicals” feels a little swifter, upbeat and groovier than what Lewis’ previous material and that’s not a bad thing, quite the opposite. I’ve found that Lewis’ music has always had a great balance between being something you can relax and dance to, but this song is definitely more for dancing to. It starts like the Kool-Aid Man busting through a wall saying “Oh yeah! Time to dance!” And I love it. Two of my all-time favourite songs from Lewis has been “Aura” and “Hurting”, both have a gorgeous sound that’s made for dancing especially the former. And this song follows suit with a sound that needs to be heard in the club or performed live. I love the vocals, catchy chorus and certain elements of the instrumental remind me vibes to Justice and Daft Punk, but mixed in with that awesome and sound that Lewis has crafted over the years.

All I can say is that this song could not have come at a better time, this lockdown situation due to the virus has got a lot of people feeling a little low, frustrated or lost. And so when music like this comes along, the kind that is so fun and energetic, it really helps elevate your mood and keep that fire of positivity alive. I know I’ll be jamming to this for a while to come and can’t wait to hear what Lewis has coming up in the future.

So to conclude I think “Chemicals” is another awesome song from SG Lewis, its got such a lively and groovy vibe that makes me smile and want to dance and I can’t recommend it enough! So have you heard this new song and if so what did you think of it? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below and I’ll see you with more content soon, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on April 24, 2020 in Media, Music, Reviews

 

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Oscars 2020 – A Brief Recap

Howdy ladies and gents, how are you? So today is the day after the 92nd Academy Awards and I’m here to deliver my thoughts on the results via my podcast, Film Focus! So another Oscars has come and gone and while my interest this year was pretty much nonexistent, there was a handful of specific awards I wanted certain films and individuals I wanted to win. Now like last year I didn’t watch the Oscars but I saw most of the winners as it was happening online yesterday, so like last year I wanted to do a brief and casual recap of the winners.

Anyway here’s the episode:

So what did you think of the Oscars, whether it be the winners, losers or anything else, please drop them in the comment section below and I’ll see ya in the next post, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on February 10, 2020 in Films, Media

 

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My Top 10 Most Anticipated Films of 2020

Howdy people of the internet, hopefully you’ve seen PART 1, 2 & 3 of 2020 film preview, and yes it’s just over halfway through January but I’m finally getting around to showing my 10 films I’m looking forward to the most via my podcast Film Focus.

Check out the episode below:

So that’s my top 10 list done, hope you enjoyed my choices. So what are your most anticipated films of 2020 and are any of your entries on my list? Drop your thoughts in the comments section below and I’ll see you on the next post, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on January 17, 2020 in Films, Media

 

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Films To Look Out For In 2020 Part 3

Howdy people of the interweb and welcome to Films to look out for in 2020! This is my preview of upcoming films that I believe you should check out this year. In PART 1 I covered films from January to April, in PART 2 I covered May to August and in this post, I’ll be covering September to December. I had to be incredibly selective this time around so I hope you appreciate my choices. 🙂

Now before we begin I have two main things I need to point out:

  1. Obviously, a lot of films come out, so if they’re not on my list it’s either because I don’t know about them or I don’t care…

Okay then, let’s start 😀

The King’s Man

Release Date: September 18th (USA & UK)

Trailer:

I’ve had an interesting change of opinion with this film. I initially wasn’t interested in this film due to how Matthew Vaughn handled Kingsman: The Golden Circle; a film not without merit, humour and creative action, but it was largely missing a lot of the charm, wit and restraint of the first film. So when I heard there was a prequel I was like “No thanks.” But then I saw the trailer and was like “Okay, Mr Vaughn you have my attention.” It genuinely looks like fun, very creative and has a great cast including Ralph Fiennes, Gemma Arterton, Daniel Brühl, Djimon Hounsou and Charles Dance.

The Many Saints of Newark

Release Date: September 25th (USA & UK)

At the time of writing this, I haven’t actually finished The Sopranos yet, but I’m currently enjoying and I’m very curious to see how a prequel will play out. Seeing the early adventures of Tony Soprano is intriguing, but what gives me hope is that original creator David Chase is directly involved and they’ve assembled a solid cast including Alessandro Nivola, Jon Bernthal, Vera Farmiga, Corey Stoll, Billy Magnussen, Joey Diaz, Michael Gandolfini and Ray Liotta.

The Trial of the Chicago 7

 

Release Date: September 25th (USA & UK)

The plot can be summed up as the following: “Based on the story of the Chicago Seven, a group of seven defendants charged by the federal government with conspiracy, inciting to riot, and other charges related to anti-Vietnam War and countercultural protests that took place in Chicago, Illinois, on the occasion of the 1968 Democratic National Convention.” I only found out about this film in the last week and it sounded pretty interesting. Plus the cast is one of the most impressive sets of actors I’ve seen assembled for a while including Sacha Baron Cohen, Eddie Redmayne, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Jeremy Strong, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Alex Sharp, Thomas Middleditch, Frank Langella, William Hurt, Michael Keaton and Mark Rylance.

Last Night in Soho

Release Date: September 25th (USA) September 18th (UK)

Any time Edgar Wright makes a new film I’m down, the guy is such a unique director who has such great handling on character, style and humour. Plus he’s made two of my favourite films in the last decade with Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World and Baby Driver so he automatically has my money long before the film’s release. But besides the interesting premise involving time travel and fashion design, I’m curious to see how it plays out as it’s labelled as a psychological horror on Wikipedia which is very different from the genres that Wright’s tackled in the past.

Venom 2

Release Date: October 2nd (USA & UK)

I’m not going to lie I wasn’t overly keen on Venom, there were some decent ideas and moments, and the look of the characters was definitely better than what we got in Spider-Man 3, but that still wasn’t a very good representation of Eddie Brock or Venom. My interest in the sequel was probably less than 20%, but then Andy Serkis stepped on as director and that got my attention. Clearly, he must have seen something interesting in the story in order to take the project on and I hope that he’ll add a little flavour to the film and make it something worth watching.

Death on the Nile

Release Date: October 9th (USA & UK)

I know a lot of people weren’t overly keen on the 2017 version of Murder on the Orient Express, but I thought it was fun for the most part and I was down to see a curious to see a sequel. So now Hercule Poirot has to find a killer while on holiday in Egypt, and I love the choice of location and another murder mystery film is always welcome if handled well. I’m also feeling this cast, alongside Kenneth Branagh returning we get some new faces like Gal Gadot, Letitia Wright, Armie Hammer, Annette Bening, Rose Leslie, Sophie Okonedo, Dawn French and Russell Brand.

Respect

Release Date: October 9th (USA)

Trailer:

I didn’t even know this film was coming out until my sister mentioned it to me recently, so I looked up the teaser and damn, Jennifer Hudson already has me sold. Hudson has one of the most amazing voices ever and it doesn’t get to be shown in films as much. She was one of/if not the best part of Cats, but here I feel she’ll be able to really show off her terrific seeing and acting skills. I don’t know much about Aretha Franklin beyond her music so I’ll be fascinated to see how it pans out.

Halloween Kills

Release Date: October 16th (USA & UK)

Halloween from 2018 was a nice surprise, I didn’t think it was gonna work, but it was quite fun, had some solid kills and had some depth with Laurie Strode dealing with PTSD from her experiences in the first film. While I knew there’d be a sequel, I am very curious to see how Michael made it out of his last situation because he was pretty cooked the last time around. As long as the kills are good and the themes of the last film aren’t ignored and the film plays with our expectations it’ll be entertaining.

Those Who Wish Me Dead

Release Date:  October 23rd (USA & UK)

So here’s the premise for this film: “A teenage murder witness finds himself pursued by twin assassins in the Montana wilderness with a survival expert tasked with protecting him — and a forest fire threatening to consume them all.” So beyond that interesting plot summary, I like the casting of  Angelina Jolie, Nicholas Hoult, Tyler Perry, Jon Bernthal and Aidan Gillen. But most importantly the film is directed by Taylor Sheridan who wrote both Sicario and Day of the Soldado, Hell or High Water and Wind River, so I’m hyped.

The Eternals

Release Date: November 6th (USA & UK)

To be honest, while I’m excited to see how this film turns out, I’d be lying if I said my hype levels were super high for the film. I’m down to see any new Marvel adaptation especially when you have a cast including Angelina Jolie, Richard Madden, Kumail Nanjiani, Brian Tyree Henry, Salma Hayek, Gemma Chan and Kit Harington. But I’m more curious about director Chloé Zhao, both of her previous films; Songs My Brothers Taught Me and The Rider did really well in film festivals and are critically well-received. I just hope Marvel will allow her style to shine through to deliver a different kind of comic book experience.

Godzilla vs. Kong

Release Date: November 20th (USA & UK)

I feel like I should be more hyped for this but I’m basically just whelmed at the moment. I was one of the few people who really liked Godzilla (2014), I though Kong: Skull Island was fine and Godzilla: King of the Monsters from last year was fun for what it was, but I felt like it lacked the tension, scale and scary factor. But I doubt the new film will have any of that as it is just a big fight between two notable titans. I just hope that Godzilla gets to kick some ass as I know he’ll probably be jobbed because of the western love for King Kong, but I guess we’ll see. I just hope the action is well-choreographed and that the reason for these two characters coming to blows makes some sense and that the human story isn’t too dumb.

Dune

Release Date: December 18th (USA & UK)

Denis Villeneuve is one of those directors who always makes something interesting and after Blade Runner 2049 especially I’ll watch anything he makes. I’ve not seen any of the previous adaptations of Dune, but I know this will be solid with Vileneueve behind it. Plus the cast for this film is insane, it includes Timothée Chalamet, Rebecca Ferguson, Oscar Isaac, Josh Brolin, Stellan Skarsgård, Dave Bautista, Zendaya, David Dastmalchian, Stephen McKinley Henderson, Charlotte Rampling, Jason Momoa and Javier Bardem. I really hope it’ll be good.

News of the World

Release Date: December 25th (USA)

Here’s the premise: “A Texan travelling across the wild West bringing the news of the world to local townspeople, agrees to help rescue a young girl who was kidnapped.” Sounds cool, but the main reason I’m down for this film is the inclusion of Tom Hanks and Paul Greengrass. The last time these two worked together we got Captain Phillips and that was my favourite film of 2013, so I can only hope this film will be close to that level of quality.

So finally that’s PART 3 done. Thanks a lot for reading. Are any of the films listed on your personal list of films to watch? Whatever your thoughts are, be sure to drop them in the comment section below and come back soon to see my Most Anticipated Films of 2020! Peace out. 😀

 
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Posted by on January 11, 2020 in Films, Media

 

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Films To Look Out For In 2020 Part 2

Howdy people of the interweb and welcome to Films to look out for in 2020! This is my preview of upcoming films that I believe you should check out. In PART 1 I covered films from January to April, and in this post, I’ll be covering May to August.

Now before we begin I have two main things I need to point out:

  1. Obviously, a lot of films come out, so if they’re not on my list it’s either because I don’t know about them or I don’t care…

Okay then, let’s start 😀

Black Widow

Release Date: May 1st (USA & UK)

Trailer:

This is a film I’ve been waiting for since 2014 after Winter Soldier came out and I had hoped at the latest it would have come out by 2016, but alas we had to wait just a little while longer to get a solo film for one of the most notable and well-received Avengers; Black Widow. Now I know there have been detractors for years claiming that we didn’t need a Black Widow solo film because it would be boring or there wouldn’t be much story to tell and so on. But considering how diverse the world of comics is, how much of her past remains a mystery and we also don’t know what she does when she’s not hanging out with her other superhero friends, there’s been plenty of opportunities to tell a kick-ass action spy thriller story surrounding Natasha and tense and dangerous situations she gets up to. I love the cast especially with Rachel Weisz and David Harbour being included, some of the action looks like it comes from the Bourne films which I love, and while the latest trailer didn’t wow me, I’m very much all for this film and pray that it is the spy adventure I’ve always wanted.

The Woman in the Window

Release Date: May 15th (USA & UK)

Trailer:

This film looks crazy and I wat it now. While I’ve seen elements of this kind of story in other films, I think the premise alone has me very much intrigued. The concept of a woman who can’t go outside who seemingly witnesses a murder of a friend and then is investigated by the police only to find the woman is actually a different person and there may be a conspiracy afoot? Cool. This kind of psychological madness is very enticing and since it’s coming from director Joe Wright and features an exceptional cast, this is high on my list for 2020.

Fast & Furious 9

Release Date: May 22nd (USA & UK)

Now at this point, you’re either on board with this franchise or you’re not, and while my interest in it has definitely waned in recent times, I’m still curious to see what they come up with. This franchise is just dumb and ridiculous and I want to know what kind of over-the-top material they’re going to do with the story and action, though I hope it is better than the 8th one.

Artemis Fowl

Release Date:  May 29th (USA & UK)

Trailer:

I totally wrote about this film last year and it was set to come out last summer but got delayed to this year. I only just watched the trailer today and it looks pretty cool. Now Disney adaptations in recent times have been a little questionable in recent times and there’s a lot of people who read the source material complaining that the film already deviates from the book (not that they don’t have a right to voice their concerns). But for me as a casual viewer, it looks interesting, not sure what to make of it, but it looks intriguing enough and I want to see what Kenneth Branagh does with this.

Wonder Woman 1984

Release Date: June 5th (USA & UK)

Trailer:

I know a lot of people have gone gaga over this trailer, and while I will admit there were some hype moments in the trailer when it comes to some action and the choice of music is quite effective, I’m not losing my mind over it. I was already down for a sequel after the first film really won me over in 2017, now I’m just curious to see how Steve comes back and whether Pedro Pascal will make for a better villain than the first film. Plus I hope the action is more intricate and less slow-mo focused.

Soul

Release Date: June 19th (USA & UK)

Trailer:

Now, this is the kind of Pixar film I want. No offence to any of their recent efforts (except for Coco, that film was great), but this teaser trailer already gives me good vibes and tells me I’m in for something special. I love the visuals, how the art is a mixture of realism with such strong and distinctive character design and the story looks like it’ll be humorous and emotional and I can’t wait. Plus any film with a focus on jazz and following your passion automatically has my vote.

Top Gun: Maverick

Release Date: June 26th (USA) July 17th (UK)

Trailer:

So here’s the thing, I don’t even love Top Gun. I just think it’s a fun film from the ’80s with a few fun moments and one of my all-time favourite songs “Danger Zone” by Kenny Loggins. And yet after seeing the trailer for this film last year, I was totally in. Maybe it is this current era we’re living in where Tom Cruise just does crazy action roles and has the charisma to carry them along and I’m just down for that. I’m also curious to see what’s happened to the character since the last film and what kind of tricky stuff he’ll do in this film now that they’ll be filming the flight scenes in more intricate ways than before.

In the Heights

Release Date: June 26th (USA) August 7th (UK)

Trailer:

I’m not big into musicals, but I have been swayed by a few in recent times including Sing Street and La La Land, and watching this trailer recently I can say that this may be a contender for one of my favourites of the year. There’s a lot of heart, soul and energy in this film and it looks like it could be fun, plus it got the interesting combination of directed by Jon M. Chu and Lin-Manuel Miranda, so this will hopefully be something special.

Ghostbusters: Afterlife

Release Date: July 10th (USA & UK)

Trailer:

I love the first Ghostbusters film, it is one of my all-time favourite films and while I’ve never needed another entry in the series, I’ve always been curious to see where the world go in the modern era of filmmaking. And while there was the 2016 version, that just wasn’t my jam as Paul Feig’s humour isn’t my jam at all. But this trailer looks pretty interesting with the more serious tone and having a direct link to the original films. I hope that it’ll be good.

Tenet

Release Date: July 17th (USA & UK)

Trailer:

Christopher Nolan is one of those directors who for the most part is liked by film fans and some adore everything that he makes. For me, I like most of his filmography but sometimes feels like he’s a little overhyped. But his films are always interesting and I will always give the next entry in his filmography a watch, and Tenet… Looks mad! I only watched the trailer today and my literal reaction was “What!?! What is that?” I am confused and I want to see this film so bad now. It seems mysterious, suspenseful and crafty with some possibly time manipulation/time travel involved? Whatever the case is, I’m in, looks like fun.

Bill & Ted Face the Music

Release Date: August 21st (USA & UK)

now I’m not gonna act like I’m the biggest fan of Bill and Ted, but in my childhood, I remember a time where they were my everything. I just loved how chilled out, cool and quirky they were and the crazy adventures they went on especially in the animated series. It’s just nice to see after all the years of ifs and maybes that this film will finally be coming out and I’m very curious to see if that magic can be replicated in the modern era.

Alrighty then, that’s PART 2 done. Thanks a lot for reading. Are any of the films listed on your personal list of films to watch? Whatever your thoughts are, drop them in the comment section below and I’ll see you for PART 3! Laters 😀

 
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Posted by on January 10, 2020 in Films, Media

 

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Films To Look Out For In 2020 Part 1

Good day to you ladies and gentlemen, it’s a new year so once again its time for my preview of this year’s films that I believe are worth viewing entitled: Films to look out for in 2020! In PART 1 I’ll be covering films released from now until April, and while these aren’t necessarily the best films that’ll be coming out during this period, I do believe there’s merit to all of the films on this list.

Now before we begin I have one thing I need to specify:

  • Obviously, a lot of films come out, so if they’re not on my list it’s either because I don’t know about them or I don’t care…

Okay then, let’s start 😀

Bad Boys for Life

Release Date: January 17th (USA)

Trailer:

I’ve never been the biggest fan of the Bad Boys films, but I’ve definitely enjoyed them more than most of Micahel Bay’s filmography. And for what they are, just fun action films with moments fo humour, there’s fun to be found in them (though I really like the first as opposed to the sequel). I’m interested in this film for a couple reasons: 1) This film has been talked about for YEARS and for it to finally be happening feels so surreal. And 2) I want to see what a Bay Boys film looks like in the modern era of Michael Bay post Transformers, Pain and Gain and so on. Will it have the better elements of his filmmaking or the worse stuff? Here’s hoping for the former.

The Last Full Measure

Release Date: January 24th (USA)

Trailer:

I only found this film was in existence recently. I think this looks like a pretty compelling film with a story that gets more complicated as it progresses. I enjoy films that involve cover-ups and deception on a large scale and an individual who has to uncover the truth against tough odds. Plus I love that Sebastian Stan is the leading role alongside other actors I like including Christopher Plummer, William Hurt, Ed Harris and Samuel L. Jackson.

The Rhythm Section

Release Date: January 31st (USA & UK)

Trailer:

Oh my gosh, this was one of the films I put on my list this time last year! Then I remembered seeing the trailer for this in the cinema a good few months ago and was like, “Oh, is that Blake Lively? Interesting.” While this kind of thriller has been before, the premise seems intriguing enough that if handled well it good be a good time. I’ve never big into Lively but this looks like it could be a good/different role for her, plus I like Jude Law and Sterling K. Brown.

Sonic the Hedgehog

Release Date: February 14th (USA & UK)

Trailer:

Look, I know this film probably won’t be very but damn it I have to know how bad it’ll be. After all media buzz surrounding the film with its first trailer and Sonic’s initial design which was atrocious to the redesign and second trailer which people liked a lot more, I just need to see what kind of madness these filmmakers have crafted. I mean I hope that it’ll be good, that’s all I can hope for (says every Sonic fan about any new material especially when it comes to the video games).

Fantasy Island

Release Date: February 14th (USA & UK)

Trailer:

I never saw the TV show, though I am aware of its existence and some of the parodies that have come over the years, but I am always down for a new reboot if it looks good enough, and this film looks like it could be fun. Now granted it has a lot of the tropes of modern horror films which I do make me want to roll my eyes, but the premise of going to an island, having fun and fulfilling your desires with a dark twist seems like it could be fun. Here’s hoping it is at least entertaining.

Wendy

Release Date: February 28th (USA & UK)

Trailer:

Well, this certainly looks interesting. At first, I thought I was watching some sort of variation on Lord of the Flies, but as the trailer continues I’m like “Is this like a different take on The Lost Boys from Peter Pan?” Now I’m intrigued. I’ve never been the biggest fan of Peter Pan in many of the adaptations that exist besides Hook, but there are several aspects of the world and characters that’s always stuck with me and this new twist on that world might be what I’ve been looking for.

The Way Back

Release Date: March 6th (USA), March 13th (UK)

Trailer:

This has one of the most emotionally effective trailers I’ve seen for a while and that’s due to not only the brilliant choice of song, but also because of Ben Affleck’s character and how much it relates to what was happening recently in real life. Seeing Affleck playing an alcoholic trying to make his life better but struggling with his demons, fuck man it just hit me in a certain way. And sure we’ve seen films like these before and probably know how it’ll play out, but I like Affleck as an actor plus Gavin O’Connor did a great job with Warrior and The Accountant so I believe this film will be another win.

Bloodshot

Release Date: March 13th (USA), February 21st (UK)

Trailer:

I think this film has the potential to be fun, the premise is pretty unique and it looks like it could be a good role for Vin Desiel to play around with. The action and visual effects looks solid, I just hope it’s not too predictable and generic with the story material.

A Quiet Place: Part II

Release Date: March 20th (USA & UK)

Trailer:

A Quiet Place was one of my favourite films of 2018 because of the unique story, great acting, sparse dialogue and the brilliant utilisation of sound and the lack of it. So when I heard there was a sequel, while I didn’t think it’d be necessary, I was also down for it regardless. And after seeing that new trailer I’m in. This definitely looks more expansive than the last film with more action, but I hope the tension and scares remain intact and I can’t wait to see what Cillian Murphy brings to the sequel.

The New Mutants

Release Date: April 3rd (USA)  April 8th (UK)

Trailer:

Feels crazy that this film is actually coming out after so much talk online from various parties talking about whether the film would be released or shelved or changed because of some background details going on with the Disney acquisition of Fox. But it was just announced recently that the film will come out in April and the newest trailer definitely looks like fun with these characters who all have different abilities and troubled histories. And I hope the story, horror and suspense are solid.

No Time To Die

Release Date: April 10h (USA) April 2nd (UK)

Trailer:

Now I’m not gonna lie I haven’t been too hyped for this upcoming Bond film. Spectre left a bad taste in my mouth and I wasn’t sure that, despite the assembling of a solid cast and the great director in the form of Cary Fukunaga, that they would be able to entice me to watch another adventure. But this new film does look like fun, I’m feeling the mystery and intrigue and some of the action sequences look pretty cool. Plus I want t see what Rami Malek brings to this film because I like that guy.

Antlers

Release Date: April 17th (USA & UK)

Trailer:

I didn’t know this film even existed until today and I have to say it’s piqued my interest very much. I’m not big into horror, but I do like creepy stuff with a supernatural twist. Plus I like Kerri Russell and Jesse Plemons and the fact that 1) Guillermo del Toro is producing is cool. But more importantly 2) Scott Cooper is directing, a name I didn’t recognise, but when I looked up his filmography I’ve enjoyed almost all of his films besides Hostiles which I haven’t seen ey. So I’m curious to see how he’ll handle his first horror film.

Promising Young Woman

Release Date: April 17th (USA & UK)

Trailer:

I didn’t know this film existed until today and now that I’ve seen the trailer I’m actually stupidly excited to see it. The concept seems so intriguing and scary to me. You have Carey Mulligan running around as a crafty lady on a mission to fuck some dudes up in a strategic and possibly/probably painful manner. Good god, I’m so interested not only because it looks like it’ll touch upon current issues surrounding sexual misconduct between men and women that’s become more notable in recent years, but also because o the different kind of character Mulligan is playing. And finally, I can’t deny how much I love that sexy version of Brintey Spears’ “Toxic“, man it just intensifies the unsettling nature of this film. I’m all in.

Antebellum

Release Date: April 24th (USA & UK)

Trailer:

And here we have another film I didn’t know about until day and you know what I’m all in again. You had me when you said Janelle Monáe was gonna be in it. But beyond that, it looks creepy, unsettling and confusing and I love it. Such a short trailer with a serious of clips arranged in such a way that you can’t help but be intrigued and want to know what’s going on. Someone in the Youtube comments section described it as a black person’s nightmare and yeah I can definitely get those vibes from the trailer. I hope that it’s good.

Alrighty then, that’s PART 1 done. Thanks a lot for reading. Are any of the films listed on your personal list of films to watch? Whatever your thoughts are, drop them in the comments section below and I’ll see you soon for PART 2! Laters 😀

 
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Posted by on January 9, 2020 in Films, Media

 

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End of Year Review 2019

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Good day to you ladies and gentlemen and welcome to my annual End of Year Review where I look back on the year and highlight certain things that were interesting to me. In my eyes, 2019 has been a year that’s been both fun and dull at the same time. There’s been some stuff that’s worth celebrating and some worth forgetting. So as per usual, I will talk about the year as a whole from my perspective, break it down into sections and then conclude with a summary. So without further ado let’s begin.

Video Games

2019 has been a good year for gaming, amidst all the controversy and BS from certain developers and publishers, we’ve had a solid set of games from AAA to indies. And while there haven’t been as many standout games as previous years, it has been more consistent than last year for sure for all console platforms.

Alas, I haven’t played nearly as many new games as I would have liked. Since I had to leave my PS4 with my sister back home I’ve primarily been playing on my Nintendo Switch which has served me well for the most part. But due to timing, lack of funds and no PS4, I missed out on a ton of games this year which makes me sad. So no Resident Evil 2 Remake, no Devil May Cry 5, no Jedi Fallen Order, no Fire Emblem, no Astral Chain, no Super Mario Maker 2 and so on. I briefly got to play Kingdom Hearts 3 when I went home in the summer but not enough to have a proper opinion on it. So I ended up playing some older games like the wonderful Celeste, the fun yet tricky Valkyria Chronicles and of course Smash Ultimate with all those awesome DLC characters which were fun especially with Piranha Plant, Joker and Terry.

So what new games did I purchase this year? Well, I did get to play Blaster Master Zero 2. Now I know the first game was largely ignored during the early days of Switch since everyone was playing Breath of the Wild, but I really enjoyed the original with the additional DLC characters as well. But the sequel just did so much more by refining the controls, giving you new ways to attack enemies, adding more exploration and new planets and the presentation was really good too. I also had a lot of fun with Tetris 99, that game came out of nowhere and became one of the most addictive games I’ve played in a while. Sure it’s essentially a battle royale against 98 other players, but man when you’re in the thick of it competing and making crazy comebacks when other players are trying to take you out. There’s no better feeling. There’s a rush, sense of danger and satisfaction that comes from this style of gameplay. And then there’s Untitled Goose Game, the game that blew up 2019. This game is worth playing just for the funny, foolish, bizarre and chaotic things you can unleash on people as a goose. And while the initial charm did wear off for me after the first few hours, it’s still a fun game to mess with just to see what you can get up to. And finally, there’s Dragon Quest Builders 2, while I didn’t play the full game, I played both demos collectively close to 10 hours and man that game is just as addictive as ever and I really need to get the full game to get lost in it. 😀

Top 10 Games

  1. Blaster Master Zero 2
  2. Tetris 99
  3. Untitled Goose Game

Films

 

 

When it comes to films I would say that even though there were plenty of solid films, this year felt a little lacking compared to previous years (feel like I’ve been saying that every year since 2010 or 2011 haha). That being said there was plenty to enjoy, but there was also a lot of trash, most of which I avoided haha. I saw as many as I could though it was really tough to get out between October to December.

Top 10 Films of 2019

  1. Parasite
  2. Avengers: Endgame
  3. One Piece Stampede
  4. Ip Man 4
  5. How to Train Your Dragon 3
  6. Ford v Ferrari
  7. Doctor Sleep
  8. El Camino
  9. John Wick Chapter 3
  10. Knives Out

I’m sure I’m gonna get shit for my list missing a number of the critically acclaimed films of this year but I’ve only gotten to see a certain amount of films in the last couple months, plus films like Joker and The Irishman, I enjoyed for sure, but they didn’t do it for me like ones listed above.

For me, Parasite was just the best and such a lovely surprise. I’d heard rumblings about how good it was through certain areas of the internet and on numerous occasions its over-hyped BS. But Parasite was a unique, hilarious and unexpected film with twists and turns in many forms. Beyond that I just had a blast with Avengers: Endgame, as it was just an event-based film that wrapped up everything pretty well despite some minor, nitpicks here and there. Talking of event-based films, One Piece Stampede was a session and a half featuring some of the best references, character interaction, action, art and animation and humour the series has seen so far.

While I didn’t love Knives Out as much as everyone else did, it was a really well-made film with a terrific cast and a plot full of humour and neat twists and turns. Ford v Ferrari was better than I expected with great performances from the two leads and Doctor Sleep, a film not on my radar ended up being way more captivating than I expected with great performances, a good story and good references to The Shining.

Also, John Wick 3 was hella fun, just cool hand to hand combat and the expanding nature of that world continues to entertain me. How To Train Your Dragon 3 was a beautiful end to the trilogy, while El Camino was an intense and dramatic continuation for Jesse Pinkman following the events of Breaking Bad and finally Dolemite is My Name was really funny, engaging and it was great to see Eddie Murphy back on top form again.

Honourable Mentions

  • Joker
  • Dolemite is My Name
  • The Irishman
  • Spider-Man: Far From Home
  • Promare

Television

With TV there’s been SO many to keep track of this year that keeping up with them all is impossible. There are many I’ve yet to watch or finish like Watchmen, Jack Ryan, Succession, Good Omens, Bojack Horseman, Swamp Thing, all the CW shows and so on. But luckily I’ve got to see some really fun, familiar, new, exciting and crazy stuff this year that’s kept things interesting. I also want to say thank god for the streaming services, now I know there’s too many of them emerging left, right and center, but I love them because their episode counts are much smaller and easier to manage and/or binge. So I’ve found myself really enjoying the new and returning stuff on Netflix, Amazon and Disney Plus.

Top 10 TV

  1. The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance
  2. The Mandalorian Season 1
  3. Stranger Things Season 3
  4. The Boys Season 1
  5. Love, Death & Robots
  6. Lucifer Season 4
  7. The Witcher Season 1
  8. Umbrella Academy Season 1
  9. Big Mouth Season 3
  10. South Park Season 23

I’ve really enjoyed returning TV shows like Lucifer season 4 which was so fun and emotional, the third season of Stranger Things had some really interesting, dark and crazy stuff going down and Big Mouth‘s third season continued to be crude, weird, funny and true to life. And South Park‘s 23rd season was alright, but it certainly had its fun moments. With new TV stuff I had so much fun with Umbrella Academy‘s first season, The Boys on Amazon was one of the craziest rollercoasters I’ve ever been on with so much immoral, dark, hilarious and engaging stuff and Love, Death & Robots was one of the most strange, intriguing, beautiful, violent and visually unique things I’ve ever seen. And even though I’m a couple episodes away from finishing The Witcher, I’ve enjoyed that show ever much for its world, mythology, gritty and dirty look, catchy music and the beautiful Henry Cavill. 😀

And as much as I LOVE The Mandalorian for its story, characters, references and amazing music, The Dark Crystal show was incredible and has to take the top spot. I thought it would be good, but it was far better than I or anyone else could have expected. The way it expanded upon the original film with new characters, mythology and references were very impressive. The presentation was brilliant with awesome practical effects and a wonderful voice cast and I only gush about this show because barely anyone watched it and I want people to check it out damn it!

 

Music

With music, I have barely listened to any new music from this year. I have mainly been going back in time to check out music in the ’80s or going through the discographies of artists I know or have discovered over the course of the year. That being said there has been some 2019 music I wanted to highlight. Friendly Fires finally came out of hiding and released their new album, Inflorescent and I really liked it, was a very feel-good and dancy kind of sound (which I will review on here at some point). Also, SG Lewis, who is one of my favourite artists of the last 3 years I got to see twice in London and Vancouver and even got to meet him which was the best thing ever! I also got to see Jamiroquai live for the third time and they were amazing and I even made some new mates in the process!

But my favourite music from this year comes from the brilliant Ludwig Göransson, his work on The Mandalorian had been nothing short of amazing. From the first episode, he created new, enchanting, hopeful, dramatic and new sounds for us to experience in the Star Wars universe. And it all starts with that theme song… It’s SO GOOD! For me its the best and most recognisable piece of music that Star Wars has had since the Prequel Trilogy, yeah I said it and I’m not afraid. 😀

Favourite Songs

  1. Ludwig Göransson – The Mandalorian
  2. Coldplay – Orphans
  3. Friendly Fires – Silhouettes
  4. SG Lewis – Blue

My Experience

2019 has been one hell of a ride for me, full of all sorts of adventures, life-changing experiences and lessons. It’s honestly been one of the best years of my life and yet there’s also been a fair bit of struggle. I know I left this blog pretty vacant over the course of this year as I focused on my podcast and went off and tried new things, but hopefully, I’ll have a better focus on it next year as I still have numerous things I would like to share on here. 🙂

So this year I did numerous things but I’ll highlight the main stuff below:

  • I moved to Canada
  • Slowly got back into exercising
  • Went to Bulgaria and met some homies in real life for the first time
  • Experienced my first conventions outside of the UK in Vancouver and Seattle
  • I started networking and collaborating with some people on personal projects
  • I volunteered at a film festival and made some new mates
  • Really got into the groove with my artwork

I’ve just been in an extremely good mood trying new food, going to new places, going to events I’ve never tried and forging new connections with wonderful people. At the same time, I’ve dealt with some depression, a little loneliness, had to deal with some questionable individuals and confront some of my many faults that’s caused me problems this year. But I’ve also learnt a lot and I believe I’ll be much better and focused in the future.

Conclusion

In conclusion, 2019 has honestly been one of the best years of my life and while it wasn’t a perfect year and there were some downs, I’ve just learnt so much and been grinning almost all the time so the pros definitely have outweighed the cons for sure. So 2019, its been fun but you can go away now and let’s say hello to 2020!

Well, thanks for reading. So how was your 2019? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below and finally, have a happy new year and I hope I’ll see ya in again in 2020. Laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on December 31, 2019 in Films, Life, Media, Music, Reviews, Television, Video Games

 

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Looking Back On Lucifer Seasons 1-3

Howdy ladies and gents, how’s it going? With Lucifer returning via the power of Netflix on May 8th last week, I decided to rewatch the whole show again from season 1 in anticipation for season 4. In addition to that, I have also thought this would be a good opportunity to talk about the show as a whole over the last few years, going through it season by season talking about the pros and cons, best episodes and how it has evolved to where we are now. Alas, I couldn’t get this post out on time because of a busy week, but hey, better late than never right? Also mild spoilers ahead!

Ah Lucifer, what a great TV show. If you had told me back in 2016 when I reviewed the pilot episode that this show would become one of my favourites, I would have said “Really? That’s unlikely.” However, the show has only improved from season to season with a great sense of momentum, interesting stories, great humour and drama and a cast of characters with really great dynamics and engaging scenarios. So now I will attempt to condense my thoughts on each season and try to tell you why this show is worth watching.

But firstly what is Lucifer about? Well Lucifer Morningstar is essentially the devil, he used to be in hell but besides to go to Earth to hang around with humans to have some fun which involves normally involves parties, women, sex and using his powers of persuasion/revealing people’s hidden desires to get his way. Along the way, he gets involved with detective Chloe Decker and after they solve their first crime together, Lucifer decides to tag along with Decker to experience new and exciting adventures. And what follows is a police procedural drama with some supernational elements on the side, and we have your standard “case of the week” in each episode, there are character-focused story elements that continue throughout each season.

Season 1

The great thing about Lucifer is that it starts out fairly strong and lays down the foundation for some really intriguing material to come down the line. The pilot establishes all of the core elements that the show would be loved by fans in the future. This first season is not only about Lucifer’s experiencing change not only his personality but also his mortality, but it is also about Decker trying to understand who/what Lucifer is and coming to terms with him becoming a part of her life. Each episode presents something new, fun and exciting to watch mainly thanks to Lucifer’s crazy antics and the scenarios he and Decker get into which helps elevate the standard police drama material.

Character-wise, Lucifer (Tom Ellis) is impulsive, tactical and manipulative, suave and hilarious, but he is also a bit of an idiot and sometimes he can cause trouble without being aware of it. Decker (Lauren German) is a by-the-book detective is cares a lot about her job and family, and while she can be a little too serious, she’s tenacious and good at her job. Dan (Kevin Alejandro) is Decker’s ex-husband and while he’s not always got his priorities in the right place, he’s a good guy, cares for his family and is also a source of humour on occasion. Amenadiel  (D. B. Woodside), Lucifer’s brother is confident, self-righteous and very serious about his commitment to god and following his father’s wishes especially when it comes to Lucifer’s behaviour on earth. Dr. Linda Martin (Rachael Harris) is Lucifer’s therapist who helps to understand his emotions and she has some great interactions with Lucifer over the season. Also, there’s Maze (Lesley-Ann Brandt), Lucifer’s long-term ally and follower from Hell who enjoys certain aspects of human life but longs to return to hell and has her concerns about Lucifer’s behaviour. And finally, there’s Trixie, Decker and Dan’s child who is super cute and has some fun moments in the show.

Favourite Episodes:

  • Pilot
  • Lucifer Stay. Good Devil
  • Sweet Kicks
  • Favourite Son
  • Wingman
  • A Priest Walks Into a Bar (favourite)
  • Pops
  • St. Lucifer

Season 2

Season 2 takes what worked in the last and magnifies it by 10. I enjoyed how this season was consistent with the last, but created new and interesting scenarios for our established characters. Relationships are tested, new dynamics are formed and struggle is real on an individual level especially for Lucifer, Chloe, Amenadiel, Maze and Linda. This season deals with the introduction of Lucifer’s mother, the ongoing issues related to Lucifer and his relationship with God and more complicated supernatural elements that present new levels of danger for everyone involved. A lot transpires during the season with short and long-term plot points, but for the most part, I found it incredibly fun, hilarious, engaging and helps enhance all of the characters.

I also really enjoyed the new storyline involving Lucifer’s mother, learning about her and the relationship she has with Lucifer and Amendadiel, and the extra background details we learn about Lucifer’s family history. Lucifer grows in this season and though he can still brash and thoughtless, he certainly learns a lot. I also loved seeing the Lucifer and Decker’s relationship develop beyond just being friends to being romantic, seeing Maze and Decker become roommates was a great new change and Linda had a lot of really great moments having great interactions with all of the main cast too. This season also introduced two new characters who would become series staples; Ella (Aimee Garcia) and Charlotte/Lucifer’s mother (Tricia Helfer). Ella is delightful, bubbly, cute, sometimes strange and surprising with her extra skills and history outside of forensic scientist. As for Charlotte/Lucifer’s mother, she’s an intriguing one. On the one hand, her lack of awareness when it comes to human rules leads to some hilarious situations, on the other, she is crafty, deceptive, manipulative and determined. And while she has a twisted sense of logic, she is a caring mother who will do whatever it takes for her children.

There are so much more character and story elements I could mention, but to summarize this is my favourite season just because almost all of the episodes I love because they’re fun, they all have a purpose (for the most part) and engage me on a new level.

Favourite Episodes:

  • Lady Parts (favourite)
  • Weaponizer
  • Monster
  • Homewrecker
  • Quid Pro Ho
  • Stewardess Interruptus
  • Love Handles
  • A Good Day to Die (favourite)
  • Candy Morningstar
  • God Johnson
  • Sympathy for the Goddess
  • The Good, the Bad, and the Crispy

Season 3

This new season introduces Lieutenant Marcus Pierce/Cain (Tom Welling) into the mix with his own demons to take care, but also introduced is the most controversial element of the show so far in the form of the awkward love triangle between Lucifer, Decker and Cain. As much as I and other fans want to see Lucifer and Decker be together, the show seems content with the tiresome trope, “will they or won’t they?’ It’s like the show teases their potential relationship far too frequently that it gets tedious. And that compounded by the Decker and Pierce situation. The two of them have no natural chemistry and besides Ella’s initial speculation, we’re given no reason to believe they’re going to hook up. But because of some arbitrary story purposes, Decker and Lucifer’s relationship deteriorates after so much progress and Pierce and Decker are forced upon us instead. And I wouldn’t mind if they were friends who built to something romantic, but it goes from nothing to something in a few episodes. And watching Lucifer strut and stumble through this season was equally entertaining and frustrating. I know Lucifer is Lucifer and he’s supposed to learn lessons in each episode, however, to see him continuously oblivious to his stupid and obvious mistakes, it was painful and showed how little he’d learnt.

Beyond that, this show still has a lot of great elements. It’s still super fun, hilarious and the dramatic material works well too. Like last season we see the exploration of our characters and some changes to the regular dynamics we’re used to seeing. The return of Charlotte Richards in her original form leads to some interesting material when it comes to her interactions with the cast and the past that she can’t remember. There’s also some good stuff for Dan to get into and this season sees a lot of great development and depth for Maze. Linda and Amenadiel had some interesting stuff to go through together and individually, and seeing more of Ella always makes me happy as well.

In the end, despite a lot of frustration and some stories that didn’t feel as essential as the previous season, when this season works, it works well and officially ended in a really intriguing. Plus the final two episodes had some fun and unique aspects that made them worth watching for sure.

Favourite Episodes:

  • Mr. and Mrs. Mazikeen Smith (favourite)
  • What Would Lucifer Do?
  • Welcome Back, Charlotte Richards
  • Vegas With Some Radish (favourite)
  • Off The Record (favourite)
  • The Sinnerman
  • Let Pinhead Sing!
  • Anything Pierce Can Do I Can Do Better
  • All Hands on Decker
  • Quintessential Deckerstar
  • A Devil of My Word (favourite)
  • Boo Normal

In conclusion, Lucifer has secretly come along and become one of my favourite shows to watch in the last few years thanks to its amazing cast of memorable and engaging characters, the interesting stories and world building and cool balance between humour and drama. While rewatching this show it has certainly become apparent to me how similar this show is to Castle with the story and character dynamic between Lucifer and Decker quite similar to Castle and Beckett, but I guess that’s why I like it, and despite the similarities, I still enjoy this show for its unique elements. And while the show has some issues when it comes to a bit of repetition and some story shortcomings in season 3, it is a show I love a lot and I can’t wait to see what’s going on with season 4! 😀

Thank you for reading and if you’ve seen Lucifer share your thoughts on it in the comments section below, and I’ll see you soon with my review for season 4, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on May 16, 2019 in Reviews, TV Reviews

 

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