Game of Thrones: Season 5, Episode 3

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What I liked:

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Margaery Tyrell and dowager Queen Cersei: These two ladies have been sniping at each other the second Margaery became betrothed to Joffrey way back then. They’ve never grown attached, maybe because Cersei just can’t share family. Now Margaery is married to Tommen, and Tommen is incredibly happy with his new wife. Cersei knows that boys will choose certain things over their mothers, and that irritates her endlessly. She finds way to annoy her new daughter in law and Margaery finds ways to reference Cersei’s age and lack of power all the time – and this magnificent bitch feast makes great television.

Tyrion’s change of company to Daenerys Targaryen. I really do enjoy Varys and his oddities, and thought the interaction between him and Tyrion is really entertaining. I do like him being kidnapped by Jorah – I’ve been waiting for him to find a way in with Daenerys again.

OMFG JON SNOW HAS BALLS. I never thought he would behead Slynt. I thought he would back out and look like a wuss in front of Stannis and the entire Watch, but he didn’t do it and I was cheering – that guy was a constant problem in the Watch and would just have caused drama.

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That scene where Arya Stark buries Needle. Oh, be quiet my weeping heart. That scene was really emotional and Maisie Williams did a great job there.

What I didn’t like:

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Ramsay Bolton and Sansa Stark??? HOW CRUEL CAN LIFE BE TO THIS GIRL? She’s gone through so much, she survived Joffrey and Lysa Arryn, and THAT is what Petyr Baelish has in store for her? I am so reassured that Brienne and Podrick being just around the corner, but really, this plot direction terrifies me.

Game of Thrones Season 4 picks up some speed with episode three. I really enjoyed it and I hope this continues!

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Blindspot 2015: The Godfather (1972)

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Plot: Vito Corleone is the aging don (head) of the Corleone Mafia Family. His youngest son Michael has returned from WWII just in time to see the wedding of Connie Corleone (Michael’s sister) to Carlo Rizzi. All of Michael’s family is involved with the Mafia, but Michael just wants to live a normal life. Drug dealer Virgil Sollozzo is looking for Mafia families to offer him protection in exchange for a profit of the drug money. He approaches Don Corleone about it, but, much against the advice of the Don’s lawyer Tom Hagen, the Don is morally against the use of drugs, and turns down the offer. This does not please Sollozzo, who has the Don shot down by some of his hit men. The Don barely survives, which leads his son Michael to begin a violent mob war against Sollozzo and tears the Corleone family apart.

Rating: 9.5/10

So I’m sitting here visiting Zoë and she’s got a gun to my head convinced me to finally get my ass around to watch The Godfather. I’ve been dreading this for so many reasons: it’s long and I don’t really have the time to get to such long movies and it sounded extremely serious and I don’t like bleak and dragging movies. I finally sat down with Zoë to see this and even though I was threatened with disembowelment reassured that it would be okay if I didn’t like it, I can report with relief that this Blindspot choice was an excellent decision and it is one of the best movies I have ever seen.

The Godfather starts with a wedding scene that takes ages to run through but it doesn’t feel that way – it is an introduction to Vito Corleone’s attachment to family and his work ethic. It keeps running and is a phenomenal undertaking that moves from scene to scene with grace. I really enjoyed that although the Corleones make their cash through girls, it is never a cheap movie with lots of nudity and unwanted sex scenes.

The Godfather is extremely long, and although I am prone to complaining about this, I can really get myself into watching massive movies if they are really good. The Godfather does not feel like it is close to three hours as it is perfectly divided into plot lines.

The story itself is so intense it feels like the plot for a ten season series. It is beautifully laid out, covering all territories and never leaving one part of the cast ignored. There are no plot holes that are usually irritating and makes the story fall flat. There is drama, family issues, romance, violence and it is all rolled into one tight package.

The cast is astonishingly good and very well cast. Marlon Brando is menacing and so powerful and his performance is completely solid. He demands every room he enters and the amount of class and etiquette he exudes is astounding to watch. Robert Duval has this calm and collected good-guy vibe around him, yet he is often the enforcer in the family. I loved the relationship Vito and Tom had – Tom was Vito’s son in anything but blood and he was treated as such. It is also jaw dropping to see Al Pacino and James Caan so young – I had always thought they had been born as old men and had just always had distinguished airs and wrinkles and receding hairlines.

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Michael (Al Pacino) was such an intriguing character. He was his father’s most beloved and Vito did everything in his power to give his son a life outside the mob world, but Michael was the one who kept sorting things out when everything went south. I eventually just kept thinking that he couldn’t catch a break – no happiness could be eternal with him. Al Pacino does an amazing job as Michael – his performance is understated and beautiful, and his expression gives nothing away (I loved that you could never guess if he was going to smile or pop you).

The character development is something that is applied to all the characters – Vito just takes everything as it comes, continues to run his empire and serve his family and goes through some rough patches while approaching a level of happiness at the end of the film. Michael Corleone starts the movie as this noble war-veteran and he ends up as such a respectable ringleader. Sonny (James Caan) convinced me he was such an ass but he had extremely redeeming qualities.

The Godfather was an absolutely a phenomenal watch that I wouldn’t exchange for the world. It didn’t feel like I lost nearly three hours of my life to entertainment, it felt that I gained three hours of entertainment history knowledge. I will gladly watch this movie again – it is the closest movie ever that approached a 10/10 for something else than the Lord of the Rings to me.

Thanks for recommending and watching this with me bestie!!!

Movie Review: This is Where I Leave You (2014)

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Plot: When their father passes away, four grown siblings are forced to return to their childhood home and live under the same roof together for a week, along with their over-sharing mother and an assortment of spouses, exes and might-have-beens.

Rating: 6.5/10

This is Where I Leave You enters the family drama genre with very loose footing. I actually had some laughs and good fun but it is apparent that there are huge wholes un the story. There is a great cast on screen – Jason Bateman; Tina Fey and Rose Byrne provided good performances. I also enjoyed Adam Driver and Corey Stoll, and pretty much most of the cast. I thought adding Jane Fonda into the mix was unnecessary and icky – the woman does not look human with all that plastic surgery and desperate attempts to stay youthful.

The storyline had some desperate attempts at humour – sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn’t. The sex over the baby monitor, Hillary Atman (Jane Fonda) loudly sharing her husband’s sexual prowess and the family’s way too open policy about Paul and Annie trying to get pregnant all felt like designated movie tricks to just get attention. I come from a family that never hesitates to say something out loud, and believe me, they were a bit much.

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Jason Bateman is the best thing of this movie. His character has much more on his plate than his other siblings who are just dealing with one problem each. He finds his wife banging his boss, his dad dies, his cheating wife gets pregnant, a cute girl from years before, his insane mother. It obviously represents one of those moments in life where everything happens at one time. I’ve often felt like it, and although it is an over dramatization it is fairly humorous to see his life just going up in flames. I also liked him because he’s the middle kid and has such a set plan in life – I am not all that different! Jason Bateman is an extremely likeable character in here – he is the less screwed up of his family and doesn’t seem prone to lash out in anger.

I didn’t enjoy Jane Fonda’s presence. She seems plastically modified and her character is horrible – who documents her children’s lives in a published novel, embarrassing them with everything they’ve ever done? I also found her final story arc just too forced, like an attention seeking finale to gather support for the film.

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The story tried to deal with family dynamics and relationships but I felt there wasn’t enough detail to really satisfy me. Tina Fey’s character, Wendy Altman, obviously has some major issues that are unresolved with her high school boyfriend having brain damage and her feeling guilty about leaving him and the town. Her relationship with her husband is completely underdeveloped and he just seems like some bit character to gather more sympathy for Wendy. Adam Driver is the typical baby in the family – he doesn’t need to account for his troubles, he lives a free flowing life because everyone will always catch him when he falls, typical youngest behavior. It is very evident that his relationship with a much older woman is really just to shock his family and gain financial benefits from the woman, one who delivers quite some decent screen time for a bit character.

The movie has some very funny moments, and Rose Byrne is very charming as Judd’s love interest. I enjoyed the relationship between Judd and Wendy, they had their grown-up sibling relationship well done.

TIWILY was not badly done and I had a good time with it. It isn’t as good as the other family dramas that clog the genre, but it is worth your time if it is your type of movie 🙂

Movie Review: Age of Ultron (2015)

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Plot: When Tony Stark tries to jumpstart a dormant peacekeeping program, things go awry and it is up to the Avengers to stop the villainous Ultron from enacting his terrible plans.

Rating: 8/10

MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

Avengers: Age of Ultron, had the extremely difficult task of living up to its’ predecessor. My love for the first movie is well known, and I’ve reviewed it on my own site as well as on Rob’s for his Genre Grandeur.

I was extremely excited to enter the Marvel universe on Friday night, and I was not disappointed.

Age of Ultron immediately starts the action. The Avengers are united (although they sadly never share HOW the Avengers got back as a team), and they are kicking ass. Invading the Hydra building in Sokovia, they briefly meet the Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olson) and Quicksilver (Aaron Taylor-Johnson), and it is very clear that they are impressive enemies. Then Tony Stark is Tony Stark and uses fellow genius Bruce Banner, to set loose Ultron, a powerful creature with artificial intelligence whose main goal is human extinction.

Age of Ultron feels like one huge act. The action never stops, and the scenes flow into each other. I really enjoyed that and thought it also worked well with the slightly less over the top fighting scenes. I really enjoyed the character development. My big issue with the first Avengers were that the characters aren’t really developed – some you know because of their stand alone movie but the first Avengers is just packed with vague references and smart mouth comments between the team.

Age of Ultron tries to give you an idea that these are (mostly) people. I found the story line on Hawkeye the most interesting and never thought that would be in the books for him. I also really enjoyed the character development Natasha Romanoff got – she’s the only female Avenger from the first movie and it is clear that she’s had a sad and unsavory past, but no further background was provided. Her story is intense enough to draw outrage and sympathy on her behalf, and also endear her to the female audience.

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The humor in AOU is a lot less forced and thus funnier than in the first movie. It is not only Iron Man (Robert Downey Jnr.) who crack the jokes, it is everyone, and it makes the movie a lot more humorous. I liked the testosterone fight between Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and Iron Man. I also really enjoyed that Thor got more lines and that he actually spoke every once in a while, showing he had more potential than looking good – which he does, excellently. One of my favorite scenes is where everyone tries to lift the hammer, and Thor only gets uncomfortable when Captain America (Chris Evans) has the hammer twitching – proving that he is the only worthy Avenger of the hammer except Thor. Captain was also once again the sad guy that kills us with his desolation of having to live without Peggy Carter – just kill me already with that, okay?

Bruce Banner is played by Mark Ruffalo and I think it is one of the best casting choices they made. I work in an academic environment and let me tell you, he does the scatter brained scientist really really well. He is also very heartbreaking when dealing with his anger issues and his heartbreaking lifestyle choices. #lovetheguy

I also really appreciated Aaron Taylor-Johnson as Quicksilver. He has that mouthy and badass vibe of what you would expect of him, but he also has an authentic quest for vengeance and I appreciated that.

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THEN: OMFG I LOVE THE SCARLET WITCH. Elizabeth does an absolutely amazing job as the female part of the Maximoff twins. Her attitude is fierce, her quest for vengeance is pure, she looks like such a bad ass and the way her powers are brought to life on screen had me in such a fangirling in the cinema. YAY to Marvel for bringing in such an impressive character in the Avengers franchise (I might add that brings the total females up to three, and the males six thousand).

The romance in Avengers came unexpected but not unwelcome. I don’t really think it was necessary because it is not a rom-com, but it is still welcome and surprisingly sweet. The two characters involved surprised me because I would never have grouped them up, but it worked out really heart twisting in the end.

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I really liked the villain. Ultron is surprisingly funny and embodies the darker side of Tony Stark’s thought. Ultron is multi-layered, extremely intelligent, not alien (good to Marvel for not going that route again) and he had me worried a lot of the time for the level of destruction he could cause. His cause was initially so noble and good, and enales great discomfort because Ultron really has something right – the human race has no idea how to maintain peace.

I thought AOU did so many things better than the first one did: humor, pacing, character development. I still like the first one more, but can’t really pinpoint why – perhaps it is Loki’s deadly charm that pushes it to the top. Age of Ultron is an excellent job done by Joss Whedon and Marvel, and the characters individually shine and as a team. It is definitely worth paying a ticket for!

Game of Thrones: Season 5, Episode 2

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CONTAINS SPOILERS

Arya Stark is on the screen and her life is happening. She’s finally ready to meat JaqenH’ghar after months of travel. We don’t get to see the person we associate with this character till later on, because the man is up to his usual tricks. I am rather interested in what this story arc will deliver for Arya. She didn’t annoy me overly much though. Big surprise as her angry little demeanor usually frustrates me, although I get the reason behind it.

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Cercei receives a disturbing package from Dorne – Marcella’s necklace around a snake. Ellaria rightfully blames the Lannister’s for Oberyn’s death and wants vengeance. However, the Prince of Dorne, Oberyn’s brother, seems to not want this revenge and is genuinely grieving – great up to actor Alexander Siddig for that scene. It honestly looked like he was in deep emotional distress. Cersei manipulates Jamieagain by telling him he’s never been a proper father to Marcella (that is because he’s only ever supposed to have been her uncle) and he eventually pledges to head out to Dorne to fetch Marcella before Ellaria can send her back in pieces. Dorne seems pretty interesting storyline and has some great architecture that is being used for it. Ellaria is still crazy and awesome and I love her. She expresses her heartache in vengeance and it is such an interesting take rather than the usual feeble tears many of the other characters portray. (Chopping poor Marcella into pieces seems a little extreme though)

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Jaime then blesses us by appearing in a leatherjacket. He convinces Bronn to join him, and Bronn leaves behind his faintly dimwitted betrothed for better prospects. I’ve always liked Bronn – he is what he is and he is quite honest about it. I’m looking forward to his clandestine travelling with Bronn. These two have an entertaining dynamic together and there is a lot of potential in their adventure.

If you look behind Cersei’s manipulation, incest and cruelty, the woman is a very multilayered and intriguing character. Her only redeeming quality is her love for her children but even that is so obsessive it is hard to call it an attribute. Lena Headley does such a fantastic job with the character, because even though she’s done such despicable things I can never really get to a point where I am repulsed by her.

Margaery being such a constant thorn in the queen’s side. Love Margaery. Cersei referring to her as the smirking bitch is so apt. What is so laughable is that Margaery is capable of such kindness (as particularly shown towards Sansa), but Cersei keeps going at Margaery and a granddaughter of Ollena Tyrell does not take attacks lying down.

Grand Maester Pycell is so disgusting. Eugh.He never stops grossing me out. Ever.

Jon Snow. I mentioned in my review of Episode 1 that Snow has more heart than good sense, and he proves it yet again. Jon being made Lord Commander and that was a great choice, although I am worried that Stannis won’t take kindly to his offer being refused. Jon Stark and the reclaiming of Winterfell by a Stark would have given me such happy moments (and Roose and Ramsay Bolton losing their heads). I get Jon’s decision though, and really support the idea of distance between him and Mellisandre.

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Ugh, Little Finger. I don’t trust him one bit, and don’t think Sansa is safe with him, regardless of his “Affections” – everyone he’s cared for so far has been popped. I liked that they address the fact why Sansa’s hair is darker. (He’s the only person who grosses me out as much as Pycell in GoT_

Dany, what the hell are you up to? Stop being such an idealist and bleeding heart, woman. The world isn’t perfect. If it was, Drogo would have still been alive. (not over it).

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Speaking of all things named after Drogo, hello, scaly friend!

This was a good episode, but the season needs to pick up some speed. It’s taken the characters two episodes to mostly arrive at their new venues, so hopefully episode three will be more explosive.

The Iconic Bookscene: American Gods by The Sporadic Chronicles of a Beginner Blogger

Thanks to my awesome Bestie Zoë for sending this one through! See her discussion and quote below 🙂

So this is a scene that struck me when I was reading American Gods a few months back. I cannot precisely explain why it resonated so much with me, but a part of it is because it speaks of how people can make anything happen, provided they believe in something strongly enough. I just thought I would share it, it is a genuinely beautiful piece

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Movie Review: The First Time (2012)

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Plot: A shy senior and a down-to-earth junior fall in love over the weekend.

Rating: 8/10

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Ah man, I really like this movie. It is so cute and young and fun, what’s not to like. Stars Brit Robertson and Dylan O’Brien are charming as young couple Aubrey Miller and Dave Hodgman. Even though Aubrey has an older boyfriend, Ronny (James Frecheville), an “adult” who seems to think he understands the messed up world in all its glory, she hasn’t slept with him yet. She meets Dave when he’s prepping himself to tell Jane (Victoria Justice) that he likes her, and Dave is really quite embarrassed when Aubrey finds him in the middle of his dialogue. Their romance happens quickly and soon Aubrey and Dave have to deal with the realization that “The First Time” is not the romantized experience they had been expecting.

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The First Time is a quick enjoyable watch and a really cute look into teenagers and their messy hormones. I really adored Aubrey – she’s so cranky and unsure about where her life is heading, she’s constantly thinking about how her life is going and where it should be heading. Her irritation with the general human race made me laugh and relate. I really did marvel at her excellent make-up skills – are American teens so adept with the make-up brush? I also thought Dave Hodgman was so adorable and young and found his initial insecurities really cute.

This is a fun movie, probably not for everyone, but very sweet and funny at times.

Game of Thrones Season 5: Episode 1: A total UNspoilery post!

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We’ve made it to Friday! EEK! WHOOP! This was also the week that Game of Thrones returned to our screens. Yes, fans wept and countries across the globe gave up productivity for entertainment.

The first episode was a great first episode. It is entertaining but not overwhelming, slowly easing you back into Westeros.

That.Theme.Song. I just want to do great things while listening to it!

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The glimpse we get of young Cersei is spot on. Everything is there: the snooty cloak of royalty she dons like she was born with it, her demanding personality and that quiet desperation because even as a young girl she knew that her fate would always not be in her hands.

Intriguing… new crazy religion introduced in episode one. Like we don’t have enough of it with Melisandre being cray-cray.

Speaking of old Melly, and her ratchet king Stannis Baratheon, them at the wall exerting their power promises some interesting moments. Jon Snow is there, and as everyone knows, Jon Snow never let’s common sense come in the way of making his intentions and beliefs known.

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Daenerys Targaryen is still insanely beautiful, obstinate and bad ass. I love that she always has a smart ass comment ready for some fool who would think she is not a Queen.

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This is a season 4 pic… but man that boy is fine

Daario Naharis. Holy smoky. If GRRM does not pop him I will be happy. I also like that he has become part of Daeny’s council, not just her bedmate. Although she is quite blessed to have him there 😀

No Arya Stark in this episode. I’m not totally as crazy about her as the rest of the world, she actually annoys me quite often, but beware she’s not in right now if you are looking for her.

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Sansa… where does a girl in Westeros get such hair dye? I LOVE her red locks.

PS: Someone dies. Not saying who though. You’re on your own with that! 😀

Have you seen this episode? What did you think??

Watchlist: April, May and Possibly June

EEK! All these movies have me super excited to see them. However, realistically I know that they will be spread over a couple of months due to exams 😦

Read, enjoy, and comment below!

Whiplash

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Plot: A promising young drummer enrolls at a cut-throat music conservatory where his dreams of greatness are mentored by an instructor who will stop at nothing to realize a student’s potential

I’m very much with the general population excited about Miles Teller. He’s got some excellent acting skills and has an everyday attractiveness to him that I particularly appreciate. I haven’t heard one bad word about this movie and would really like to check what the fuss is about. I’ve also heard that it is intense and compelling, and I really need an intense and compelling movie in my life right now.

Furious 7

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Plot: Deckard Shaw seeks revenge against Dominic Toretto and his family for his comatose brother

I’m such a massive fan of the franchise. It is buckets full of mindless fun and the characters seems like real family. Above and beyond Paul Walker’s death and his exit from the franchise, this was already a movie I was amped for before the tragic incident of his death.

The Longest Ride

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Plot: After an automobile crash, the lives of a young couple intertwine with a much older man, as he reflects back on a past love.

If not only for the inappropriate comments I already wish to utter about that title, I have this thing where I love watching Nicholas Spark’s movies regardless if it is really bad or not (and let’s face it, it is mostly bad). The Longest Ride stars Scott Eastwood and Brit Robertson and seems like a very nice cheesy feast with romance and country boys making city girls fall for them. It also stars Oona Chaplin from our favourite GoT love story (fuck you, Filtch) so I would love to head out and see what these kids have to offer.

Pulp Fiction

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Plot: The lives of two mob hit men, a boxer, a gangster’s wife, and a pair of diner bandits intertwine in four tales of violence and redemption.

This one is for my Blindspot choices. I’ve actually started it quite a few times but then I see the time it runs and I remember I have this life I need to run and get other things done. I would really like to see what the fuss is about and if I like it as much as the rest of the world.

Jurassic Park 2

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Plot: A research team is sent to the Jurassic Park Site B island to study the dinosaurs there while another team approaches with another agenda.

I’m working through all these dinos movies before Chris Pratt graces our big screen with his adorable mug and getting chased by new mutant dinos, which translates as I’ve managed to watch one of them and procrastinated on the rest. The First movie is big buckets full of fun, so I can see myself really enjoying the rest of them!

The Godfather (with Zoë)

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I’m the most scared to do this, because Mobster Bestie might rear her head if I don’t like this! #scared #running #formylife. This is also for my Blindspot series and it seems high time that I see why everyone loves it so much.

Insurgent

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Plot: Beatrice Prior must confront her inner demons and continue her fight against a powerful alliance which threatens to tear her society apart with the help from others on her side.

I will definitely wait this one out for the DVD release. Can’t see myself really getting lyrical about it, but it will be nice to continue the series.

Avengers: Age of Ultron

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IT IS FINALLY HERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Which movies are you looking forward to?