Archive for the ‘Reviews’ Category

My review of The Walking Dead Season 7, Episode 10 “New Best Friends” is now live at Latin for Cat – please find it here:


Before talking about the review, I have a bit of an explanation for my lack of reviews on the last seven episodes for any regular readers of my Walking Dead reviews. If you’ve been wondering why I didn’t write past the first episode this season, the reason is simple: my father, who introduced me to the show (after telling me for the better part of three seasons that I was missing something special), and with whom I would have lengthy conversations about plot points and events every single week, passed away four days after the season premiere. I’m pretty sure he did watch the premiere – he was doing well that Sunday – but by the time Monday rolled around, he’d gone into crisis, so I never got to talk to him about the episode. I’ve watched the show right through until the mid-season finale, but couldn’t bring myself to review the shows; my emotions were still pretty raw.

However, it’s a new year, it’s been a few months’ space, and my dad wouldn’t want me to quit with the reviews. I’m happy to announce that I’m moving my blogging to a new website, Latin for Cat, and I shall be endeavoring to bring you fresh reviews in a timely manner for the remainder of the season. So, if you’re interested in continuing to read my reviews, please click through on the link above – I look forward to your comments and feedback, should you want to chat about the episode. And thanks for being a reader of my blog!

The direct link to my review of tonight’s episode is here:



Director: Gareth Edwards
Writer: Chris Weitz, Tony Gilroy (screenplay by); John Knoll, Gary Whitta (story by)
Starring: Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Alan Tudyk, Donnie Yen, Wen Jiang, Forrest Whitaker, Mads Mikkelsen
Release Date: December 16, 2016
Runtime: 2h, 13min
MPAA Rating: PG-13




No Bothans died to bring us this review (or this movie). Just to remind everyone – the famous Mon Mothma line (“Many Bothans died to bring us this information”) comes from Return of the Jedi, and was concerning the second Death Star.

This is going to be a really difficult review to write. Not because I’m on the fence about this movie – I’m not, I loved it – but because it’s hard to say anything about it without giving some serious spoilers away. I will do my best, relaying primarily feelings and impressions, with any direct comments related to those things revealed in the trailers – but if you’ve been avoiding those, don’t read through past the break. I’ll let you know right up front that I’m awarding Rogue One an A-, and would place it in my top three Star Wars films of all time. Click through for my (hopefully) spoiler-free review. At the end, I will have a section of blanked out text (which you can mouse-over to reveal) that will list some of the cool things I noted on my first viewing.


Director: Christophe Lourdelet, Garth Jennings
Writer: Garth Jennings (written by)
Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon, Seth McFarlane, Scarlett Johannsen, John C. Reilly, Taron Egerton
Release Date: December 21, 2016
Runtime: 1h, 48min
MPAA Rating: PG




I’m a big fan of Illumination Entertainment (the Despicable Me franchise, as well as The Secret Life of Petssee my review here), and in this, their seventh outing, they maintain the anthropomorphic stylings from the latter film, while giving us a completely new story set in a world where animals run the show a la Zootopia. And really, running the show is what this movie is all about. Click through for my spoiler-free review.


Episode: 701
Airdate: October 23, 2016
Directed by: Greg Nicotero
Showrunner: Scott M. Gimple
Written by: Scott M. Gimple (episode); Robert Kirkman, Charlie Adlard, Tony Moore (graphic novels); Frank Darabont (creator)

Six months have passed since the final episode of Season 6, an episode that left a bad taste in the mouths of many as they were forced to wait to see who Negan would choose. The episode ended on a first person perspective of the victim, Lucille coming down on his or her head, watching as the world faded to black. It felt, in many ways, to be an unfair ending to a season that was – to be honest – rather uneven at times. And while cliffhangers have a long and storied tradition in Hollywood, it still felt a little cheap. So with tonight’s big reveal, is all forgiven in Walking Dead Land?

<<Spoiler Alert: The following review will discuss plot points of The Walking Dead S07E01, “The Day Will Come When You Won’t Be” – read more at your own risk.>>

Secret Life of Pets

Director: Yarrow Cheney, Chris Renaud
Writers: Cinco Paul, Ken Daurio, Brian Lynch (written by) & Simon Rich (additional characters created by)
Starring: Louis C.K., Eric Stonestreet, Kevin Hart, Jenny Slate, Ellie Kemper, Albert Brooks
Release Date: July 8, 2016
Runtime: 1h, 27min
MPAA Rating: PG







As a dad, I do get to see my fair share of animated and child-related films. While I do get occasionally surprised by well-camouflaged adult fare (The Lego Movie, among others), it’s a rarer thing that I genuinely enjoy a movie aimed at children alone. This movie is 90% for kids, but that 10% hit some really good spots for me, making it a more than worthy addition to your summer movie schedule. Plus, it’s by the producers of the Despicable Me movies. Click through for my full review. (more…)


Episode: 609
Airdate: June 19, 2016
Directed by: Miguel Sapochnik
Showrunners: David Benioff and D.B. Weiss
Written by: David Benioff & D.B. Weiss (creators); George R.R. Martin (“A Song of Ice and Fire” by); David Benioff & D.B. Weiss (written for television by)

Tonight may have just seen the best single episode of television ever. High praise? Hyperbole? Perhaps – but in my current state of jangled nerves and adrenaline hangover, I am leaning toward saying that no, it isn’t hype at all. Click through to get my full review of tonight’s penultimate episode of Season 6 of Game of Thrones.

<<Spoiler Alert: The following review will discuss at length plot points of Game of Thrones S06E09, “Battle of the Bastards” – spoilers ahead; read more at your own risk.>>


Episode: 610
Airdate: February 21, 2016
Directed by: Kari Skogland
Showrunner: Scott M. Gimple
Written by: Angela Kang, Corey Reed (episode); Robert Kirkman, Charlie Adlard, Tony Moore (graphic novels); Frank Darabont (creator)

The bad news: tonight’s episode does not maintain the high standard put up by last week’s episode. The good news: that bar was pretty damned high, so even falling short this was a very enjoyable episode, with some nice twists and more than a few surprises. Click through for my complete review.

<<Spoiler Alert: The following review will discuss plot points of The Walking Dead S06E10, “The Next World” – read more at your own risk.>>


Episode: 609
Airdate: February 14, 2016
Directed by: Greg Nicotero
Showrunner: Scott M. Gimple
Written by: Seth Hoffman (episode); Robert Kirkman, Charlie Adlard, Tony Moore (graphic novels); Frank Darabont (creator)

After a serious downturn in episode quality over the latter half of Part A of this season, I was beginning to lose faith in Messrs. Gimple, Nicotero, and co. And then they give me tonight’s episode. From an opening that absolutely blew me away, through a second act that just ramped things up, and ending with a third act that put nearly everyone we know and love to watch in grave peril, this episode had it all. Having just finished watching the episode twice, I can’t say for certain whether this is due primarily to what I just saw, or if the poor showing of the last several episodes is having an undue effect on my opinion, but this felt like one of the best episodes I’ve seen of TWD ever. Time and further viewings may adjust this initial impression, but I suspect it won’t fall far short of that assessment. Click through for my full review.

<<Spoiler Alert: The following review will discuss plot points of The Walking Dead S06E09, “No Way Out” – read more at your own risk.>>


Director: George Lucas
Writer: George Lucas
Starring: Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Harrison Ford, Peter Cushing, Sir Alec Guinness
Release Date: May 25, 1977
Runtime: 2 hrs. 1 min.
MPAA Rating: PG




So, there’s a certain little movie releasing later this week, and in preparation for it, I thought that showing my five-year-old son Hayden some of the classics would be a good idea. Initially intended as a machete order viewing, a lack of time between coming home from school and bed time means that I’m reducing this to a straight viewing of the three best Star Wars movies: IV, V, and VI. This will get Hayden up to speed on the most important info heading into Friday, when we go to see Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens.

Where this went from a straight viewing of the films into a series of guest reviews, was when Hayden decided to draw pictures of the scenes that made the biggest impression on him, both positive and negative. Without further ado, please click through to read my first ever Guest Review here on Reviews by Steve!