Books and Comic Books I’ve Yet to Read

The following is a reading list that includes–but is not limited to–books and comic books I need to read (and for books that I HAVE read, you can find that on my Goodreads profile):

  • Chuck Palahniuk
    • Choke
    • Invisible Monsters (and Invisible Monsters Remix)
    • Lullaby
    • Pygmy
    • Snuff
    • Survivor
  • Stephen King
    • 11/22/63
    • Carrie
    • Christine
    • Cujo
    • Different Seasons
    • The Green Mile
    • The Langoliers (from Four Past Midnight)
    • The Stand
    • Misery
  • Comic Books
    • Crisis on Infinite Earths (DC)
    • Infinity War (Marvel)
    • [re-read] Kick-Ass 1-3
    • Walking Dead Vol. 16-28 (Image)
    • Watchmen (DC)
  • Others
    • 1984 by George Orwell
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Enter the OGRE!

Welcome to my blog page! Here, we explore the nerd/ geek culture through movies, television shows, and books. Enjoy!

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Atlanta S02E07: Champagne Papi – Recap & Review

Here is a review of Atlanta‘s Robbin’ Season‘s seventh episode titled Champagne Papi, directed by Amy Seimetz and written by Ibra Ake.

Warning: Spoilers ahead!

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Plot Summary

The episode starts with Vanessa “Van” Keefer with her girlfriends preparing for a party in which rapper Drake will be at. She is watching an Instagram story by username “bodomting119” which shows a woman playing with Earnest “Earn” Marks’s hair. Van tells her friends that her Instagram profile needs a boost by having a picture with the rapper because all she has are pictures of her daughter Lottie, chicken, and one picture of Earn.

Van and her friends are approached by a supposed pizza delivery guy. They ignore him, and they walk over to get picked up in a vehicle heading to the party. In the vehicle, Van sits next to a woman who is happy-crying to be coming along.

Upon arrival at the party, the woman is taken away by security for being falsely invited. Inside the mansion that the party will be at, they are offered edible gummies. They then come to a room with a bull-riding machine. When one of her friends, Nadine, sees that Van does not look too happy, she asks if she is okay, to which Van says, “Earn is out there living his life, and I’m out here living mine. I’m just trying to get this photo with Drake.”

When Nadine starts to feel unwell, Van sets her aside to relax, but when Van comes back with a bottle of water, she has disappeared. Needing to charge her phone, Van is then lured downstairs to Drake’s supposed recording studio by a strange man. She goes to the bathroom and has him fetch marijuana, food, and water. She leaves the bathroom to check if he is gone.

Van wanders off into another room in the mansion. She leaves her phone to charge and stumbles upon Drake’s wardrobe closet.

Nadine–now in the pool area–is conversing with Darius about whether this could all be a simulation.

One of Van’s other friends Terry–now drunk–complains that a Caucasian woman (to her face) about her relationship with a black man.

Van wanders into another room and finds a Spanish-speaking man trying to watch television. The man claims to be Drake’s Abuelo (or grandfather). She looks at the calendar in the room and discovers that Drake is not in the mansion. As she is about to leave, she sees cardboard cutouts of Drake used for the women to pay to take selfies with as a means to get more Instagram followers.

Van goes out to the pool area and finds Darius and Nadine just as Darius tells Nadine, “The stars are just a projection but it’s actually already inside the mind.” Darius says he is at the party because he knows Drake’s personal chef.

As Van, Darius, Nadine, and another friend walk back home, Van comes to the realization that Drake could most likely be Mexican. The episode ends with a Spanish remix of Drake’s song “Hotline Bling.”

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Discussion

This week’s episode of Atlanta pokes fun at the Canadian (and now–as some may suspect–Mexican) rapper, but it also delves much deeper than that. Champagne Papi also touches briefly upon the negative effects of social media, as we can see with Zazie Beetz’s character Van. We see this woman being so worked up on her status on social media that she wants to try to prove to her ex Earn that she is better off without him, and she spends all of her time at the party trying to do this by tracking down Drake and taking a picture of him. Throughout the night, she sees selfies with Drake at the party on Instagram, but later she discovers that these selfies are–as it turns out–just women paying to pose with cardboard cutouts of the rapper.

The show continues to bend our perception of the world around us (as it had with Marcus Miles’s invisible car in Episode 108’s The Club or with Justin Bieber portrayed by an African American man in Episode 105’s Nobody Beats the Biebs) by showing us things that most people would see as normal. One of Van’s friends Terry gets angry over a Caucasian woman dating an African American celebrity, and she comes to find that the woman has actually been really supportive of him as a girlfriend even before he got famous. The whole mind-bending concept is also played out so well in another FX show, Legion. (If you have not seen it yet, you should do so as soon as possible.)

The deepest theme of this episode is the concept of simulations, and Darius–our fun-loving albeit chill and hilarious stoner character–elaborates on this by explaining reality, that it and life may very much be a simulation. At the poolside conversation with Nadine, he mentions the Bostrom simulation argument, which states that “future civilizations must have [an] immense computing power and that even if a fraction of this were to run an ancestral simulation, there’s a high probability that it would be indistinguishable from reality to the simulated ancestor, i.e. us.” In layman’s terms, we are the simulation like the video game Sims; “there is someone controlling your every movement.” Darius eats an apple at the pool area but says he does not even like apples. He later says, that “the stars are just a projection, but it’s actually already inside the mind.” When Van arrives at the pool area, Nadine–now enlightened–says that we are all nothing, we are the simulation, and everything we have ever come to know is fake.

This concept of simulations likens itself to an episode of Black Mirror titled Hang the DJ in which a man and woman fall in love and run a simulation on an app to prove that this is as real as they believe it to be. The dating app shows that maybe these simulations should not be seen as false but rather as a way to get closer to the truth. Atlanta is just a simulation of getting closer to the truth of the world around us.

If we are the simulation, are we programmed to make our own choices or are we made to do the same thing over and over again? A friend of mine helped add onto this with his knowledge and understanding of postmodernism that he learned by reading Thomas Pynchon works:

“Do we exist? Are we just a vivid “scenario” occurring in [another person]’s head? [Could being] a simulation make us sentient [and] individuals in our own right, able to make simulations of our own? Then those simulations becoming sentient creating their own little universes and so on and so on? We’re the projectors in the planetarium and the universe made only of what we can perceive?”

If we can create our own scenarios, does that deem us gods, and if so, can gods be created by gods?

But that doesn’t make it true, right? Does it? Knowledge is derived from experience? Or are do we have innate, inborn knowledge encoded in us? A secret predestination that we’ll never know about, never control? Gods are only as powerful as they are believed to be.

So we’re powerful in our own right albeit limited.

Because we believe we’re limited [and] we have an idea that there are people or things more powerful than us.

Maybe [this is] a hierarchy.

A hierarchy we created and subscribed to. It’s human nature…if we can’t dominate something, then we must serve it.

Thus the laborers and the late capitalists. They [believe themselves to be] gods in their own rights.

Too bad they don’t realize it. In some ways, we don’t want to realize it.

Thus the simulation. It’s all just an illusion.

I don’t know if it’s a simulation anymore. Maybe we’re the simulators?

Perhaps Donald Glover himself is a reader of Pynchon.

You see, this concept sounds entertaining, however, when you actually look into it, the notion can lead to a very depressing and fatalistic view of the world, but who is to say that the show does not explain it so well?

The recurring theme of this season–Robbin’ Season, that is–is robbery, and in this episode, Van and her friends are robbed of an enjoyable night out.

Source: IndieWire

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What did you think? What was your favorite part of the episode? Let me know! For more Donald Glover and Atlantarelated news and reviews, stay tuned for more articles. If you like my writing, check out my works with Geek Motivation. They’re pretty dope. You can find also them on Twitter (@GeekMotivation) and Instagram (@geekmotivation).

Atlanta S02E06: Teddy Perkins – Recap & Review

Donald Glover once again provides us with an episode of his show that deserves itself some awards. Here is a review of Atlanta‘s Robbin’ Season‘s sixth episode titled Teddy Perkins, directed by Hiro Murai and written by Donald Glover.

Warning: Spoilers ahead!

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Plot Summary

The episode begins with Darius at a hardware store purchasing–amongst perhaps some other items–Slim Jim beef jerky, a red permanent marker, and a hat with a Confederate flag and words (in white print and surrounded by a red background) that read ‘SOUTHERN MADE’ on it. Darius colors in some letters to make the hat read ‘U MAD,’ then leaves the area.

Darius then arrives at a dim-lighted mansion with a U-Haul moving truck. He walks in and is greeted at the lobby by a pale and peculiar person named Theodore “Teddy” Perkins (portrayed by Donald Glover himself) who notices that Darius was playing music by Stevie Wonder. Teddy takes Darius to the parlor and offers him a glass of water and a soft-boiled ostrich egg, to which Darius refuses the latter. Teddy cracks the egg open at the top, from where egg white oozes out. The two discuss the multi-colored piano Darius came there for–which he found on an online message board–then Teddy asks if Darius enjoys music. Darius mentions having a friend who is a rapper (Alfred “Al”/”Paper Boi” Miles), and Teddy brings up the evolution of the rap genre. Teddy claims the piano belongs to his photosensitive brother (and supposed renowned pianist) named Benny Hope, then leaves the room to fetch Darius a glass of water.

Darius wanders throughout the mansion, unbeknownst that he is being watched on surveillance security cameras. Upstairs, he encounters a room, where a keyboard is being played inside. Just before he reaches to touch the knob, Teddy opens the door and claims that his brother is sleeping. Darius peeks over Teddy’s shoulder and sees an empty wheelchair in front of the keyboard.

Outside the mansion, Darius has a phone conversation with Alfred while Al, his cousin Earnest “Earn” Marks, and their roommate Tracy are at a fast food drive-thru. Al is greeted at the window by an employee who is also a Paper Boi fan. As the employee bugs Paper Boi, Darius tells them his theory about Teddy Perkins and how the man looks like a pale Sammy Sosa. Having been given Al’s two cents, Darius calls him “the next Steve Harvey,” to which Al denies and instead refers to him as Dr. Phil. Darius gets off the phone and sees Teddy eerily watching from a window and calling him back into the home.

As Darius walks into the room, Teddy takes a flashing Polaroid picture of him then hands him a glass of water. He shows Darius a collection of Benny Hope merchandise and says he plans to turn the room into a gift shop and the mansion into a museum. Teddy promises to give Darius the piano, but first offers to show him something else.

Teddy takes Darius to a life-sized figure of his and Benny’s father. He explains that their father put them through rough piano lessons and that they were beaten, not “to be good at piano,” but instead “to be good at life.” When Darius says that this is not necessary, Teddy says that other people would not understand, that “to make an omelet, you must break a few eggs,” that “to build bridges, people have to fall,” and that he holds no hard feelings towards his father because of it. He dedicates this room of the soon-to-be museum to “great [albeit rough] fathers” such as those of Michael Jackson, Marvin Gaye, Tiger Woods, Serena Williams, and The Breakfast Club (1985)’s Andy Clark.

Back in the piano room, as Teddy looks for a document to have the piano be officially given away, Darius wishes he had thanked Benny for the piano in person. Teddy lashes out at Darius about Benny, gives Darius a form to sign, then leaves the room. Darius notices a drop of blood on the piano key.

Darius takes the piano into the elevator, presses on the first floor buttons, and is instead taken to the basement floor. There, he encounters a mute wheelchair-bound Benny, who writes “teddy [will] kill us both” on a small chalkboard. Speaking via chalkboard, Benny says there is “[a] gun in [the mansion’s] attic” but cannot get it since he is bound to the wheelchair.

Darius takes the piano out to the front porch, where he sees Teddy’s vehicle parked behind the rental truck, blocking the loading bay. He walks back inside the mansion to confront Teddy about this and takes a fireplace poker. He comes across a room in which a film reel shows footage of Benny’s father giving him a piano lesson. Teddy greets Darius from a chair with the rifle from the attic. Held at gunpoint, Darius is forced to place his phone on the ground and still have the fire poker held in his hand. Teddy plans to kill both him and Benny and stage this as a home invasion.

Back at the mansion’s lobby, Darius is forced to restrain himself to a chair. While doing so, Darius denies Teddy’s claim that “great things come from great pain,” that “sometimes it’s love [and that] not everything’s a sacrifice.” Teddy places the rifle on another chair–by the elevator door. Darius says that Teddy’s father should have been sorry, explaining that his own father put him through hard times as well; he says:

“When you’re young, you try to just make it be okay and say ‘Everything is going to be fine’ … You don’t know the difference and [our fathers] don’t give [us] an excuse to grow up and repeat the same shit over and over … It’s like there’s a ‘what-if’ factor … What if you would have been great at something else or you would have seen the love instead of all the other shit like Stevie [Wonder]?”

When Teddy argues that Stevie’s blindness was his own sacrifice, Darius says that Stevie was not blinded and that music gave him sight. A surviving Benny comes out of the elevator to the lobby from the basement. He takes the rifle and shoots Teddy dead by the heart. He approaches Darius and asks him to hand over the fire poker. When Darius does so, Teddy commits suicide by shooting himself in the head with the rifle.

Police authorities arrive, and the piano and the corpses of the brothers are hauled away as a traumatized Darius drives off in the U-Haul rental truck.

Discussion

This well-written episode of Atlanta: Robbin’ Season shows Darius in a situation that no one was prepared for. We are given a Michael Jackson-esque character–portrayed by the series creator himself–which could be an Easter Egg that could perhaps reference an episode of Dan Harmon’s Community (a show Glover also starred in) in which Glover’s character Troy Barnes dresses up as Michael Jackson.

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The episode also deals with abusive parents, in the case of Teddy Perkins, Benny Hope, Michael Jackson, and others, their fathers. Perkins and Hope’s father said that “great things come from great pain,” and it was because of this that such historical figures have become the individuals they are today.

In addition, this sixth episode of Robbin’ Season involves the theme of robbery. As with the idiosyncratic brothers’ father, he somewhat robbed his sons of their childhood. In Darius’s case, he was put through Hell in this episode, and the situation robbed him of the piano by the end.

Overall, this episode shows great character development in Lakeith Stanfield’s Darius as he is put through an ordeal, although he endures it in a calm manner to the point where he witnesses the murder-suicide. Teddy Perkins could easily serve as a spiritual successor to Jordan Peele’s Get Out, a 2017 film that Stanfield also starred in, and for that, this episode of Atlanta deserves a 10/10.

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What did you think? What was your favorite part of the episode? Let me know! For more Donald Glover and Atlantarelated news and reviews, stay tuned for more articles. If you like my writing, check out my works with Geek Motivation. They’re pretty dope. You can find also them on Twitter (@GeekMotivation) and Instagram (@geekmotivation).

Atlanta S02E05: Barbershop – Recap & Review

Patience is a virtue. Here is a review of Atlanta‘s Robbin’ Season‘s fifth episode titled Barbershop, directed by Donald Glover and written by Stefani Robinson.

Warning: Spoilers ahead!

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Plot Summary

The episode begins with Alfred “Al”/”Paper Boi” Miles sitting on a barber chair as his barber Bibby comes into the shop speaking to someone on a wireless earpiece. Al requests the “usual” haircut, but when Bibby becomes too preoccupied with his phone conversation, Al has him cut the conversation short so he can get his haircut for his magazine photoshoot instead. Bibby shaves off a part of Al’s hair, then stops to show him a video clip of Marcus Miles running over patrons outside of a club (as seen at the end of Episode 108 titled The Club). Bibby receives a call from “Raindrops Peach Emoji,” and proceeds to leave the shop. Al tags along in order to get his haircut finished.

Al and Bibby arrive at RPE’s home, where Bibby blames his being late on Al. Bibby cuts RPE’s son’s hair, much to Al’s dismay.

The two then grab a quick bite before heading back to the shop, but, as it turns out, Al discovers they are getting lunch at a construction site and the food is another person’s leftovers. Bibby uses Al to steal some lumber. A property owner arrives as they load the wood onto the bed of Bibby’s truck, and the owner threatens to call the authorities. Bibby and Al leave the site, the latter cautious because he is still on probation.

On the way back to the shop, Bibby spots his truant son Lamar hanging around and skipping school with his friends. Bibby chases him down, and Al educates the kids about how takes he is a normal human being. Bibby has his son ride with him and Al in the truck.

Driving back to the shop, a talkative Bibby loses focus on the road and gets into an accident. The three are screwed: Alfred is on probation; Bibby has a number of warrants on him; Lamar does not have a driver’s license. The three drive away from the scene and make it back to the shop.

Now having lost all patience, Al finally gets a haircut and almost leaves without paying Bibby.

In the epilogue, Al comes back to the shop on another day and gets a haircut from another barber. He realizes he does not know barber jargon, then watches Bibby giving another patron a haircut.

Discussion

This episode of Atlanta pokes fun at how long it takes to get a haircut. It shows an exaggeration of how people wait and spend their time in situations such as this.

Bibby pokes fun at Keanu, a film about a cat that was produced and starred by the iconic comedic duo Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele.

Al reiterates that despite his life as a local rapper, he is still a regular person who “shits, eats, and brush [his] teeth.” The important thing learned is that we must treat each other equally no matter how we are perceived.

Overall, Barbershop shows the gravity of patience and how it plays out in situations (in this case, a barber shop setting).

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What did you think? What was your favorite part of the episode? Let me know! For more Donald Glover and Atlantarelated news and reviews, stay tuned for more articles. If you like my writing, check out my works with Geek Motivation. They’re pretty dope. You can find also them on Twitter (@GeekMotivation) and Instagram (@geekmotivation).

Atlanta S02E04: Helen – Recap & Review

Love is complicated. Here is a review of Atlanta’s Robbin’ Season‘s fourth episode titled Helen, directed by Amy Seimetz and written by Taofik Kolade.

Warning: Spoilers ahead!

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Plot Summary

After having come from the strip club sometime before, Earnest “Earn” Marks is seen eating out his girlfriend Vanessa “Van” Keefer. We then see them driving to a festival. Van is smoking a blunt. They have a conversation then Earn hits the brakes when they see a wild hog eating in the middle of the road. They wait for it to finish its meal then traipses to the side.

Upon arrival, they encounter some racist attendees amongst other things. (One of them even thinks Earn is a Caucasian in black-face.) The two then participate in a game involving balls and when Earn does things his own way, the attendees are fascinated by an act so puerile.

Earn begins to worry about his relationship with Van. When she engages in a German conversation with a bartender, he tries to break the dialogue by rudely interrupting. He then tells a friend–a partner of Van’s childhood friend–that he questions Van’s intentions. His friend says, “She just–you know–wants to spend more time with you, and that’s what girls do when they like you. They just want to twist their life up with yours, that way it’s harder to disconnect.” The two play a game of German ping-pong with Van saying that if she wins, they’d have to dance for the 1st place trophy. (At the end of the game, they discover a spectator wearing a baby mask.) When Earn loses the bet, he becomes a sore loser. He sparks an argument about what they do when they spend time with each other. Van exits the room, leaving Earn to see that their spectator is still present.

Van is introduced by her childhood friend to a couple whose child seems to be a peer of Earn and Van’s daughter. When the couple shows a more apparent interest in Earn than her in regards to their current career, Van grows somewhat distraught and tells her friend, “I don’t know why you have to introduce me as Lottie’s mom. You know my first name. That’s not all that I’m gonna be for the rest of my life, is Lottie’s mom.” Her friend then drives the conversation towards matters pertaining to race, and this triggers Van. When she notices her cellphone is missing, Van is lauded as the festival’s victim of the traditional demon thief.

While searching for her phone on the streets with a crowd of festival attendees, she has a conversation with the bartender about her relationship with Earn. She says that they’re not exactly dating and that “there are always complications. He then tells her, “You should start a relationship with yourself if you really want to learn to love someone.” When she asks if he believes that “love can die,” he says that “everything dies, but at least you lived through it.” Van strays away from the crowd to urinate. When she finishes, the demon thief sneaks up from behind and scares her. She throws a punch and knocks it out. Her phone buzzes with vibrations, and she finds it only to see a text message from Earn saying, “We should talk.”

She meets with Earn and they talk about what they want in their relationship. She tells him that this is not a trap nor is it bullshit, then proceeds to tell him, “I want to be in a committed relationship where I’m valued as a human being and not as an accessory that you can fuck.” Earn then responds by saying that he does not know what he wants in their relationship but knows that it tends to be working fine. They speak briefly on wasted time then settle the score over a rematch of ping-pong. Van says if she wins, Earn will only have to see her if it is for their daughter or money.

The episode ends with Earn dropping Van back at her home, implying that she may have won the rematch.

Discussion

So far, this season’s episode of Atlanta is one of the more serious ones than it is funny. In a way, it mirrors the first season’s sixth episode titled Value, which focuses more on Van than the male characters. She wants to be respected as a woman and as an individual aside from being Earn’s partner and mother to their daughter Lottie.

In addition, Helen reminds its viewers that love is not so easily manipulated and that–as Van says–there are always complications when it comes to relationships. Earn needs to appreciate Van more and be comfortable in any situation he comes across.

Overall, this episode of Robbin’ Season may be one of the more meaningful episodes of Atlanta as it teaches individuals about how to deal with relationships and that people need to be happy with themselves before being happy with others. They cannot be defined by the people they are with–that is, who they are dating or who they are related to–as is the case with Van. Helen definitely deserves some praise if not any awards in the near-future.

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What did you think? What was your favorite part of the episode? Let me know! For more Donald Glover and Atlantarelated news and reviews, stay tuned for more articles. If you like my writing, check out my works with Geek Motivation. They’re pretty dope. You can find also them on Twitter (@GeekMotivation) and Instagram (@geekmotivation).

Atlanta S02E03: Money Bag Shawty – Recap & Review

Don’t go out spending money using hundred-dollar bills. Here is a review of Atlanta’s Robbin’ Season‘s third episode titled Monday Bag Shawty, directed by Hiro Murai and written by Stephen Glover.

Warning: Spoilers ahead!

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Plot Summary

The episode starts with a Caucasian mother going on a rant about rap music on social media while her daughter is sitting in the corner.

At a bar place, Alfred “Al / Paper Boi” Miles, his cousin Earnest “Earn” Marks, and Darius are taking a round of shots. An employee serves them a free round and recognizes Al for his rap music. Earn comments how this would never happen to him because he gets “stunted on.”

Earn’s girlfriend Vanessa “Van” Keefer comes home and gives him his mail. He opens up an envelope to find a check. He shows this to her, to which she replies, “You’re gonna get us robbed.”

Earn and Van go to a movie theater and buy two tickets to a Fast and Furious movie. When a Caucasian employee refuses a hundred-dollar bill–claiming it to be a large bill–he uses his debit card. The employee asks for his driver’s license and that the theater’s “new policy” is to make copies of the cards. When Earn expresses his averseness to this, he and Van walk away. They see the employee accepting a hundred-doll bill from the next customer in line, who is also Caucasian. Earn approaches him, but the man reveals a handgun tugged into his pants. After seeing this, Earn and Van leave the theater.

On a car ride to some other place, Van said Earn should have used a smaller dollar bill, but he argues that “what happened to him was racist.”

Paper Boi and Darius meet up with a rapper–from the Yoohoo commercial from the previous episode–at a recording studio. They find out that the rapper does not drink alcohol or smoke. Conflict arises between the rapper and the sound engineer, prompting Al and Darius into leaving.

Earn and Van walk to a bar. Van is let in by the bouncer, but Earn has to be patted down before entering. He also has to pays twenty dollars with a hundred-dollar bill to get in. Soon after the two enter, policemen arrive to tell Earn that the hundred-dollar bill is a fraud. Earn and Van leave the bar, and Earn calls Al to meet them at a strip club. Al, Darius, and their roommate Tracy travel to the strip club in a limousine.

More problems arise for Earn at the strip club, and Al explains that “money is an idea.” Earn and Vanessa walk outside the club, where they find a crowd spectating a race. Earn decides to compete against former football quarterback Michael Vick. When the race starts, we cut to Earn and Van riding in the back of a limousine, implying that Earn must have lost the race. Van says, “It’s Michael Vick.”

Discussion

We finally have Van appearing this season, and we hope to see more of her. Meanwhile, we have Earn taking Ls.

This episode leans heavily on what success does to a person who works hard at where they want to be, specifically to Earn. Complex pointed out this episode’s connection to the show’s third episode of its first season, which is titled Go For Broke. In both that episode and this episode, Earn strives to take Van out on a date and pay for both him and her, but money always seems to be a problem no matter how little or how much of it he has. Another comparison between both episodes is how Al and Darius meet with other rappers and how dangerous the career could be for them and others around them.

Overall, Money Bag Shawty showed how normal people get “stunted on” because they do not get the fame or recognition they aimed for. It had seemed that money was the least of our problems as it never buys us happiness, no matter the amount. Instead, it is the way people treat and perceive us. Regular people are not fortunate enough to always get the time of day.

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What did you think? What was your favorite part of the episode? Let me know! For more Donald Glover and Atlantarelated news and reviews, stay tuned for more articles. If you like my writing, check out my works with Geek Motivation. They’re pretty dope. You can find also them on Twitter (@GeekMotivation) and Instagram (@geekmotivation).

Source: Complex

Atlanta S02E02: Sportin’ Waves – Recap & Review

Good things come to those who wait, and then you learn about gift cards and the No Chase Policy. Here is a review of Atlanta’s Robbin’ Season‘s second episode titled Sportin’ Waves, directed by Hiro Murai and written by Stephen Glover, a rapper and younger brother of Donald Glover.

Warning: Spoilers ahead!

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Plot Summary

Following the events of the previous episode, Alfred “Al/ Paper Boi” Miles–now out of house arrest–gets into his drug dealer’s car for a trade, only to get robbed.

The next day, he and his cousin/ manager Earnest “Earn” Marks meet with a streaming service music company about Paper Boi’s new music, but the two feel uncomfortable with the weird vibes of the building and its people.

Back at Al’s home, Darius gives Earn an envelope containing $4,000 in one hundred dollar bills. (This is a result of an investment made in a previous episode of the show.) Al and Darius’s roommate Tracy offers to help double that amount by suggesting Earn a scheme involving gift cards. Looking to find options that will get him paid, Darius and Al go out and meet up with other dealers, who also turn out to be fans of Paper Boi’s music.

At the mall, Earn uses up some gift cards and Tracy steals some shoes. He eventually tells Earn via text message to spend the money quick before he gets caught.

At his job interview, Tracy is denied a spot, presumably due to his color. After being told this, he storms out in a fit of rage.

Discussion

In this episode, we learn that the people you do work with can pester or screw you over. Sportin’ Waves teaches us that being famous to a degree and having fans might bring us nothing but trouble. Al teaches us that no matter how people perceive us, we must not let that change who we are and we should not let that be of an advantage to others.

A subplot continues from Episode 104–also titled The Streisand Effect–which is an episode in which Darius helps Earn invest in puppies for future benefit. This all pays off in this week’s episode (no pun intended) when Darius hands Earn an orange envelope full of four thousand dollars. This surprises Earn, who learns that “people love dogs.”

Towards the end of the episode, we see the fake Dodge commercial from Episode 107, also titled B.A.N. Perhaps we will get more momentous installments of that as the show progresses.

The episode–having aired on International Women’s Day–does not feature Vanessa “Van” Keefer, and that would have been a great segway for the character into the Robbin’ Season. Still, we could not have asked for more laughs and levity after returning from last week’s premiere episode. Overall, this episode deserves a 9/10.

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What did you think? What was your favorite part of the episode? Let me know! For more Donald Glover and Atlantarelated news and reviews, stay tuned for more articles. If you like my writing, check out my works with Geek Motivation. They’re pretty dope. You can find also them on Twitter (@GeekMotivation) and Instagram (@geekmotivation).

First of February, 2018

 

Love is a prominent pestilence, a plague which propagates through a physical population, posing as a perpetual Purgatory and prying into the psyches of a portion of people who pass as petty prey, paving a path for poor pretense, a pattern of pandemonium, and pathological paranoia. (Pause. Please do not be piqued by peeking into the peak of puny pride. You are the protagonist of your own parable, even if your plot is puzzling.) Put past partners–that you were previously paired with–into perspective, and this problematic and persistent process of playing with pure emotions probably pains a person to a particular yet peculiar point in which we are prompted to paint a perfect and more positive picture than predicted. Plus, this provides a perception that maybe paternal figures of a party are prone to praising their daughters like princesses. Paradise is the promised paradigm. What price or penalty must we pay to protect and preserve the planned peace while precluding a permanent pervasiveness–and prevent progress–of a pestering power (one that is most possibly present in our porky pretentious prick preposterous politician of a President who possesses a lack of proper performance)? Pals and paris, I’m still talking about love. Pissed? Petrified? Perhaps, but this is poetry, and I’m just penning what I can piece together on a single prevailing page. Practice what you preach. I pray my perilous prolonged premonition does not posit me in a prospective predicament pertaining to the poltergeist who ponders on its preferred predilection of pretty privacy.

And pineapple does belong on pizza, you pansies.

 

Atlanta S02E01: Alligator Man – Recap & Review

After a fourteen-month-long hiatus, Donald Glover’s hit television show Atlanta has returned. Here is a review of the second season premiere titled Alligator Man, directed by Hiro Murai and written by Glover himself.

Warning: Spoilers ahead!

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Plot Summary

Robbin’ Season starts off with two individuals robbing a fast food establishment.

We then see Earnest “Earn” Marks being woken up in his storage facility space and being told he is not allowed to stay there anymore. He goes to his cousin Alfred “Al / Paper Boi” Miles–who is on house arrest–and his associate Darius, but he soon notices the two are not on good terms with one another.

On their way to meet Earn’s parole officer, when Darius asks him about his parents, Earn says that “they’re driving to Florida … to visit [his] uncle who’s dying.” Darius advises him “to tell them to watch out for Florida Man.” He explains that nobody knows what Florida Man looks like, who he is, or when he was born (thus the headlines giving him such a name); this individual has committed a series of crimes such as shooting unarmed young men, beating flamingos to death, and eating people’s faces. Darius says Florida Man is in “cahoots” with the government “to prevent black people from coming to and/or registering to vote in Florida.”

After meeting with his PO, Earn is called by Al to check up on their older relative, Willie.

Earn and Darius arrive in time to let out Willie’s “kidnapped” victim and girlfriend Yvonne–arguing over fifty dollars–before the police arrive outside the house in response to a “domestic disturbance.” The officers urge Earn to talk to his uncle into stepping out.

Earn tells Willie, “What I’m scared of is being you. You know, someone everybody knew was smart but ended up being know-it-all … that just let shit happen to him,” but soon regrets his words and admits that he is rather scared of Alfred leaving him. (Alfred is Earn’s only means of getting paid a fair, if not more-than-fair, amount of money and thus being able to make a living for himself, his daughter Lotti, and his girlfriend Vanessa “Van.”) Earn apologizes to his uncle, who then gives him a golden glock, claiming that he will “need this in the music business” to help Alfred.

Earn leaves Willie’s home with a family picture of Willie and his mother. Willie releases his alligator, Coach, as a distraction to leave the house and evade the police.

Back at Alfred’s house, Darius breaks the silence between him and Al, sharing a joint, and therefore seemingly rekindling their friendship. They share some laughter after Earn takes the golden glock out from his backpack. Another individual comes into the living room, whom Al says has just gotten out from prison and will be staying in the house for a while.

Earn leaves through the front door, and the episode comes to a close on what looks to be a hopeful note (and a delightful song).

Discussion

The second season of Atlanta is off to a great start.

As usual, Lakeith Stanfield’s Darius steals the show with witty and hilarious lines. E.g. when he introduces himself to Willie by saying, “I would say it’s nice to meet you, but I don’t believe in time as a concept…so I’ll just say we always met.”

The fast food shootout was the most serious thing to have happened in the entire episode, and the most unreal thing in that part of the episode was the employee carrying the rifle in the premises. Darius later explains that this is Robbin’ Season; “Christmas approaches, and everybody gotta eat.” In other words, people in the area must do what they must to survive the winter.

Alligator Man does leave us with some questions.

  1. Is Florida Man real? Is this a possible analogy to what is going on in America today?
  2. Now that Earn brought it up into the discussion, what IS the flavor of a Flaming Hot Cheeto?
  3. What went down with Uncle Willie and Earn’s mom? Will we see more of Katt Williams’s character later in the show?

Overall, the show has upped its game with great dialogue and new characters. Comedian Katt Williams does well in his hilarious role as Uncle Willie aka the Alligator Man, who possesses an actual caiman alligator in his home. (“And if you don’t wanna end up like me, get rid of that ‘chip on your shoulder’ shit. It’s not worth the time.”) The music is harmonious as always.

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What did you think? What was your favorite part of the episode? Let me know! For more Donald Glover and Atlantarelated news and reviews, stay tuned for more articles. If you like my writing, check out my works with Geek Motivation. You can find them on Twitter (@GeekMotivation) and Instagram (@geekmotivation).

The Defenders Review (SPOILERS)

Marvel’s The Defenders premiered on Netflix this weekend, and the fans are shook! Here is my personal review on the show:

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Are those comic book nerds gone yet? Okay, so I discovered that MISTY KNIGHT’S BIONIC ARM!!! OH DAMN!!!!!!!!

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AND THE BORN AGAIN STORYLINE IS TEASED FOR DAREDEVIL SEASON THREE!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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That is all. Thank you.

Planet of the Apes: Delving Deeper into Destiny (Spoilers Ahead)

After watching War for the Planet of the Apes last week, I had a few moments of clarity, and if I am right, this is a well-thought observation. (Although, I am sure I am not the first person to think of this belief.) Warning: This article may become a tad (or more) political, but we cannot look at the subject with an insular point of view.

The whole Planet of the Apes franchise–which includes the films from a few decades ago–revolves around human beings treating these primitive creatures as inferior. Humankind perceives apes as a threat as well as a disease. In addition, they see the animals as the primary cause for the humans’ eventual and imminent extinction from the face of the earth. Mind you, there are good humans in the world–the Planet of the Apes world and our actual real world–but we cannot merely be remiss of the other faction of people who have different convictions towards foreign species.

The point that I am getting at (and my first one, that is) is that the conflict between the humans and apes, if not already obvious, are symbolic of racial discrimination. Allow me to clarify: humans are representative of the Aryan race, and the apes are the archetype for minorities. In War for the Planet of the Apes, Woody Harrelson’s Colonel character serves as almost the Adolf Hitler of the movie. He and his followers are ruthless soldiers who show no restraint against the foreign side (the apes), albeit there being other humans who do not share similar ideologies as him. In the film, the Colonel is faced with the inevitable disease brought upon by a virus transmitted via the apes, and when you have such a disease in your system, the individual with the virus’s exposure reverts to a primitive state in a matter of time. The Colonel’s son gets this virus, and he is forced to mercy kill him. When the Colonel himself is infected with the virus, Caesar tries to kill him, although he proves to himself that is not like his fellow ape, Koba. Instead, Harrelson’s character takes the gun and commits suicide.

Treatment of the apes by the humans, on the other hand, is indicative of racial discrimination. The Rise of the Planet of the Apes movie may have been the first in the remake franchise, but War was what had me contemplate the theme. Rise begins with a group of primates being captured in the wild, and the ending Act of War has the apes working as slaves to the humans. The middle movie (in case this ends as a trilogy), Dawn, showcases the segregation between the apes and the humans. The breaking point in this movie has one of the Apes (Caesar) being shot down, and the resulting and wrongful misinterpretation is what gives way to the war between the two species. Jason Clarke’s character Malcolm’s aversion to Gary Oldman’s Dreyfus’s stance on the Apes serves as the American Civil War, where two sides fight for the freedom of the foreign species. In spite of this happening, it is too late, because winning one battle does not assure that another will be won as well. The deed has already been done, and the war between humans and apes has begun. A point of no return.

If this still does not make any sense, consider the Professor Xavier and Magneto conflict as represented in the X-Men film franchise. Professor X wants his mutant kin to be understood, that they would never replace humans, and that they are not a threat to society. Magneto, on the other hand, has a vindictive and spiteful attitude towards humans after enduring tragic occurrences such as the Holocaust, and he (and his mutant brothers and sisters) will fight to the death until all of the humans learn–the hard way–that mutants should be treated with respect and not with hate. The same set of conceptions can be applied in the Apes movies. In Matt Reeves’s Apes films, the protagonist Caesar serves as the beacon of hope for his species, whereas his fellow ape Koba has almost the same mindset of Magneto. Professor X/ Caesar and Magneto/ Koba are just two sides of the same coin.

Another point that I want to bring about is the franchise’s Biblical themes. I have not picked up all of them, but from what I was able to accumulate from War are the following: upon arrival at the “border,” Caesar encounters apes tied to X-shaped structures. Eventually, he, too, becomes tied and then whipped. This resembles the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and the other men that died on similar cross-shaped structures. Also, the main objective of the apes was to evade human capture and escape into their new home. This aspect of the story is akin to that of Moses setting the slaves free and leading them into salvation/ The Promised Land. Likes Moses, some of Caesar’s people have their doubts towards him and, somewhere along the way, turn against him. Caesar does not make it that far and dies, but not without first succeeding in getting his people to safety. Nobody said that this journey was going to be an easy one.

 

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