Monday, October 29, 2012

The Walking Dead: Walk with Me

Come fly with me, let's fly, let's fly away . . .

At first it seemed like a dumb idea to seek out a helicopter crash, but then I thought about how the thought of coming across some military personnel might lead to some answers about what happened or a helicopter could be evidence of fan organized and fortified city. Andrea and Michonne did get some valuable information: that everyone is infected. And hot showers!!!

I've read the synopsis of the entire comic book series (I just couldn't help myself!), so I’m not a fan of the Governor and not very excited to see him. Benevolent dictators are still dictators. Curfews. Noise ordinances. Armed “escorts” for visitors. Secret laboratories. He’s good, though. Deliciously charismatic. And knows how to scavenge weapons and is a wicked shot. Atticus Finch would so not be his friend, though. In his defense, if I ruled a colony, I would be wary of bringing a tight-knit group of military guys into it. Military coups happen to popular sitting leaders every day. They probably wouldn't give up their weapons easily and allow for a get-to-know-you period. Still, never trust a man who spends most of the day outside and is still so pale.

MERLE! Merle’s gotten leaner and meaner and funnier. Much better than when we saw him last. Ugh, he’s still the kind of guy that would sit on a backwards chair. *eye roll* Despite Merle’s repulsiveness, there must be some sort of comfort in the familiarty of someone from your past in that type of world.  Andrea doesn't seem all that suspicious. I wish she had been more detailed when describing how Rick went back to get him. If I were Merle, I would be the most pissed off at my little brother for not looking for me until he found me. 

It actually hurt my feelings to know that Michonne was separated from her katana. She seems naked and off balance. Too bad for Michonne that the Governor knows how smart she is. I think Michonne is as close to a human terminator as possible. Stay suspicious, Mich!

I have this sense of dread during every episode and throughout the entire episode. At first I thought it was the dread from sensing a startling moment around the corner, but now I think it’s about realizing that there’s no civility in that world and probably wouldn't be if society did break down. Unless you’re with your family and isolated, it’s going to be rape and murder and tyranny. Writing of rape, I wonder if males watching the show pick up or think about the undercurrent of imminent sexual violence in the show and in such a society.

I felt like I was watching a spin off  Like when Jake guested on Beverly Hills 90210 (original) to usher in Melrose Place and Golden Girls and Empty Nest and Bones and The Finder. During this episode, I realized that I would rather live in an open field or a farmhouse or an RV or anything except for a small town or city. The sense of emptiness gave me the creeps.

Something seemed off the last few episodes, but I couldn't put my finger on it until I had to wake up early Saturday morning to let my dog out: Carol seems strangely happy and free and alive considering her only child recently turned into a walker and was executed by the leader of her group. It just reaffirmed my belief that children are mostly a burden. (Sorry mom and dad.)

Who would you rather have as a leader in a zombie apocalypse?
The Governor

The Governor is actually pretty good unless you want to think your own thoughts and contradict him or are any kind of threat.

Rick is the best choice, but there’s an element missing from his leadership abilities.

Michonne is too much of a lone wolf. I think Andrea is about all of the subjects she would be able to manage and she can barely stand having her.

Daryl is the hotness, but he’s better as a second. He’s actually a great second-in-command.

I supposed I would prefer a committee and eventual parliamentary structure. (I'm still proud to be an American and think that the U.S. system of government is one of the best in the world and that our judicial system is the absolute best.)

Monday, October 22, 2012

The Walking Dead: Sick

T-Dawg and Daryl are a great security team! It’s a nice, subtle display of how well the group has gelled. Everyone has changed a lot, but I wonder how Daryl will handle Merle’s reappearance.

I have no medical training whatsoever and even I know you need to cauterize the wound. Maybe shoot a few rounds and put the barrel of the gun against the wound? And I’m having a hard to buying that he wouldn’t turn.  Every time anyone left Hershel’s cell, I expected him to turn and bite whoever was left.  What eventually happened was so scary, I jumped and woke up my dog who then gave me the nastiest side-eye. He's not a fan of the zombie genre.

Prisoners are usually the hardened, do-whatever-it-takes, no morals characters in a show. In a post-apocalyptic world, everyone’s a prisoner and has to do whatever it takes to survive. I hope there are more interactions between the group and the prisoners. I’d like to see if they recognize that survival instinct in each other and how they each demonstrate it.*  I would, however, like to thank the prisoners for the first laugh out loud moment I've had watching this show in a long time. They’re violent as hell, but dumber than a box of rocks. They learned the right way to be violent very quickly, though. The group learned something from them, too: violence can be used to end an argument. Kudos to both groups.

Rick admits that killing the prisoners is an option. I’m surprised after everything they've been through, he seems reluctant to even say it out loud. He can’t hate Lori that much if he’s still confiding in her and looking for her approval and support.  FINALLY: “I know I’m a shitty wife and I’m not winning any mother of the year awards.” – Lori Grimes. I also liked her reprimand of Carl for going out by himself. Pure comedy. I’ve been through some bad breakups, but that last scene with Rick and Lori was rough. Despite my feelings about Lori, I think it would be better for them to be together. Having someone’s support that you feel close to could really make the difference. And not just in a post-apocalyptic zombie world.

And so it came to pass, that Rick had to kill another person. Nasty style, too. Another two people if you count the guy he left out in the side yard with the walkers. I’m very impressed with Andrew Lincoln’s ability to show the hardness (borderline tyrannical psychosis) on his face. I’m officially afraid of Rick Grimes. He has earned his dictatorship.

After thoughts:

Why would they kill the prisoner with just a scratch, because he was going to turn, and let Hershel live who was bitten through flesh? I thought blood pumped pretty quickly. Losing Hershel would’ve been devastating. Worse than losing anyone else so far, but it feels like a cheat.

I think that was the least sexy scene involving a woman’s panties since moving pictures were invented.

*Well, that was quick. RIP prisoners.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

The Walking Dead: Seed

Hello there, the Angel from my nightmare.

Beautiful opener! There are few stories that can be carried off with such little dialogue for such a long period of time. There was There Will be Blood and this.

I didn’t like seeing Carl use a gun. I know it’s an extension of last season when he killed Walker Shane, but that should’ve just been a one- time thing.  I recently watched Terminator 2: Judgment Day with audio commentary by James Cameron. It turns out that despite all of the violence in that movie, John Connor’s interactions with weapons was carefully handled. He never fired or launched anything and it was because James Cameron* wasn’t comfortable with children handling guns.  It’s one thing to protect your father, but to be told, “You and Carl take this tower.”???  At least he’s finally doing what he’s told. Maybe the moral of the story is to give your kid a gun if you want them to listen to you.**   And the hat does look better on him with his hair long.

Now, Carol and guns . . . that’s just great! I like the idea of Carol and Daryl. Toughen her up and soften him up. Speaking of the future father of my children, Daryl finally did something that I didn’t like: He killed an owl! For food!  Due to my many viewings of Thunderheart, I think owls are sacred and omens of something big.  According to “That 70s Show,” crows carry human souls and you’re not supposed to eat them. I would say owls carry otherworldly souls and you shouldn’t even kill them. Or maybe if you eat an owl, you give up a part of your own soul. Daryl quickly redeemed himself with this quip, “While the others go wash their panties, let’s go hunt.” Have sexier words ever been uttered?

I know the powers that be at AMC are cheap bastards, but Lori’s pregnancy belly is awful and ruins my suspension of disbelief. Maybe two less Walker extras and little more money into the fake belly?

I think Sarah Wayne Callies knows how awful her belly looks and has stepped up her acting game to try to distract from it. Or maybe the writers have figured out how to write for her character better. She’s definitely less shrill. She keeps trying, though. Rick is moving trying to move the whole situation forward, physically and psychologically. Now, yes, a Lori and Rick should show each other a little emotional support now and then, but it can wait until they get a few days of being in one place. Until then, zip it, Lori, and march on.

I could totally imagine Rick as a knight, taking over a castle. Good lord, when he smiles, he gives Daryl a run for his money in the “get in my pants” department. Add that to his attitude and interactions with Lori (way to sack up, bro!) Her sleeping with Shane is understandable, but she has to acknowledge how difficult it is for Rick to know she might be carrying someone else’s baby.  He’s the leader and his wife might be carrying someone else’s baby. His loneliness and the weight of all the responsibilities are affecting him. He’s ready for a break.  I’m glad she’s finally acknowledged her part in Shane’s death, but she has a ways to go on being a little less selfish. If her fetus was a Walker and ate her from the inside out, that would be pretty bad. Even I wouldn’t wish that on her.

Well, that’s just wonderful. Armored  zombies. As if those horrifying fast-moving zombies from 28 Days Later weren’t bad enough.  Why don’t you just make them invisible, too?

Michonne! And Andrea! This show would be that much better if Michonne and Andrea became a romantic couple. According to Laurie Holden’s Twitter account, she had thrown out her back killing Walkers and Andrea had the flu.  I can’t wait for Andrea and Michonne to meet up with Rick’s group. Rick will have a proper co-leader.

Hershel's leg . . . no words . . . But can you really stop the infection that way?

This is one of the few shows where I constantly feel dread throughout the whole show, but in a good, suspenseful way. I now live alone and watching The Walking Dead is not the smartest idea, so my plan is to think of Michonne whenever I get scared. Move over Wonder Woman, I have a new role model!

On a personal note: I asked the CEO of my company (he’s an MD and was an OB), “Where’s the best place to give birth during a zombie apocalypse? A moving car? A prison cell? Or an open field?” Turns out he doesn’t watch the show, but he did answer: A moving car, which was my answer. I totally felt validated, especially after a prison cell was the winning answer on “The Talking Dead.” (He kept walking by my office and I kept saying in my head, “dontaskhimdontaskhim” and then I asked him and now everyone at work knows I’m a stone-cold weirdo.)

*The director of some of the most violent movies I’ve ever seen: The Terminator, Aliens, Rambo: First Blood Part II, True Lies, etc.

**Don’t worry. I don’t have kids.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Rios v. Alvarado – Junior Welterweight

Was it action packed? Yes. Did fans and boxing analysts nut themselves over it? Yes. Was it a good fight? Yes. Was it a great boxing match? No. Rios has had 400 amateur bouts. It certainly didn’t show. It looks like he decided he knew all he needed to know about boxing after his first couple of fights and stopped developing his skills after that.

A minute into the first round, Rios started to lose control of himself and started brawling. Despite his record, I think this is as good as Rios will ever be. If Alvarado were younger, I would say that he has a future. If he can learn not lower himself to the level of brawlers and work a bit on his defense, I think he could still have some great boxing moments. Also, ain’t no shame in taking a knee and a standing eight count. It’s a more noble defense strategy than Mayweather’s shoulder defense. *eye roll*

Marquez or Pacquiao would dismantle Rios, especially if they catch him on one of his off nights. Rios is a bit inconsistent. That could be attributed to his problems with making weight, but even if has all of that under control, I wouldn’t put up against any high caliber fighters.

Rios did do something that’s not done as much in boxing anymore: He worked the body. He did a great job, early on, of working over Alvarado. It gave him the edge by making Alvarado just a little bit more fatigued as the fight went on.

This fight didn’t rise to the level of Barrera-Morales or Gatti-Ward, but it was the slugfest it was promised to be. I just wish there had been more technical skills displayed.  I would definitely watch a rematch!

Rios did win by TKO as the ref stopped the fight in the 7th round.

Donaire v. Nishioka – Junior Featherweights

“High intensity chess match.” A display of “extreme athleticism.” That’s what most boxing matches should be. This was more of a slightly active chess match than a high intensity one. I do love the lighter weight classes, because when they let those fists fly, it’s beautiful. They remind me of hummingbirds in flight.  This did not happen here.

Nishioka looked tired from the beginning.  Donaire seemed to have some difficulty with Nishioka’s fighting style.* Waiting until the 6th round to start boxing was a little odd for this weight class. I guess Nishioka getting knocked down lit a fire under him. Hey, whatever it takes.**

Donaire won his 29th straight fight over the span of 11 years with a 9th round TKO with a stoppage by the ref.

*This led to the first instance I have experienced where Roy Jones, Jr. had some good advice for a fighter in the ring and that his personal story actually related to the fight. Not quite a miracle, but a cool breeze may have blown in hell.

**Also known as “whatever the fuck it takes.” My favorite “move” from one of the best movies I’ve seen in a long, long time, Win Win