The Walking Dead: Season Two (2011)


Am I the Only One Zen Around Here?

The Walking Dead: Season 2 (2011)Season one of The Walking Dead was so good, I couldn’t help but continue.  Especially since I knew that season four was starting.  Truth be told, season four has already started by this point, and I’ve already caught up and readied myself to start the fourth season, but I’ve resolved to finish putting out the reviews before I start watching.  So let’s rush through this, shall we?  I had a little bit of trepidation before starting season two even though season one was so good because I had heard this was slow and more about human interaction than zombies.  Let’s see what I thought as I review The Walking Dead: Season Two, based on the graphic novel series by Robert Kirkman, Tony Moore, and Charlie Adlard, developed for TV by Frank Darabont, and starring Andrew Lincoln, Jon Bernthal, Sarah Wayne Callies, Scott Wilson, Steven Yeun, Lauren Cohan, Laurie Holden, Jeffrey DeMunn, Emily Kinney, Chandler Riggs, Norman Reedus, Melissa McBride, IronE Singleton, Madison Lintz, Pruitt Taylor Vince, and Michael Zegen.

After the CDC turned out to be a bust, Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) and his group set off for Fort Benning.  On the way, the group gets stuck in dead car traffic and must hide while a large group of walkers passes through the area like a herd.  In the confusion, Carol (Melissa McBride)’s daughter, Sophia (Madison Lintz), is chased into the woods by walkers.  While searching for her, Rick’s son, Carl (Chandler Riggs) is accidently shot by a local farmer named Otis (Pruitt Taylor Vince).  Otis hurries them back to the farm of Hershel Greene (Scott Wilson), a former veterinarian, who attempts to fix Carl up.  Lacking the necessary supplies, Rick’s former partner Shane Walsh (Jon Bernthal) sets off to find them with Otis while the rest of the group continues their search for Sophia.

Y’all people be trippin’!  This season didn’t seem to suffer in my opinion at all.  I guess people complained that there wasn’t enough action in this season and that it was too much about interpersonal relationships.  …Who cares?  The show is awesome BECAUSE of that stuff, not in spite of it!  I don’t think I’d be that into this show if it was all mindless action and zombie killing.  They need some of that (and they get plenty enough for me) but I like it better because it’s more about the human interactions than just the zombies.  So anyone that told me that is a stupid jerk and I hate you.  The Sophia situation kind of slowed things down in the lives of the survivors, but I liked it on a human level.  It probably would’ve been more effective if I hadn’t watched Chris Hardwick’s All-Star Celebrity Bowling before I saw this season, enabling me to put a few things together with a joke that he made to figure out exactly what the outcome of the situation would be about five episodes before it happened, but that’s really my fault for not having watched a great show earlier.  I was still able to get angry early on when that dumb little bitch ran off in the first place.  I don’t want to sound harsh or anything, but maybe she deserves to die in order to punish Carol for not raising her daughter to listen to what adults tell her while trying to save her life, or for running off in the first place when the herd of zombies were about to pass by.  And speaking of bad parenting, why the hell did Rick let Carl approach that reindeer?  Even if he didn’t get shot while trying to pet it, that thing could have gored or kicked him to death pretty easily.

There were lots of very effective moments in this season as well.  The entire scene of the zombie migration was intense and aptly handled.  I also found myself crying, “OH NO!” out loud while Andrea pointed the rifle at Daryl.  My love affair with this show could have ended right there if one of my least favorite characters on the show had killed my favorite character in her stupidity.  I also really liked Daryl’s story about the Cherokee Rose.  Later on, Beth drops a pretty heavy argument in favor of suicide.  Her logic was strong on that one.  It was also effective when Rick admitted he had killed Shane and that if anyone stuck around, it was going to be his way or the highway.  It was like the “This is not a cheerocracy; this is a cheertatorship” speech from Not Another Teen Movie.  I wish he had said it was now a zombtatorship and not a zombocracy.  There were also a couple of moments that were less than effective.  I was not at all surprised by the results of the pregnancy test.  They wouldn’t even have included it if it was negative.  That would’ve just been a giant waste of time.  I think the reveal of what was in the barn wasn’t that much of a surprise either.  Maybe when they got more specific about what was in the barn it was a surprise, but the general contents were not.  The reason for locking them up in the barn seemed much stupider than was typical for Hershel, but I guess he wasn’t in his right mind about it.

I can’t really say much about the look of this show.  Still great.  That swimmer in the well was exactly as disgusting as it should’ve been, and the part where the walker was peeling off his face while trying to stick it through the hole in a windshield was pretty awesome.

All of the performances in the show remain fantastic.  About half of the characters remain assholes.  I didn’t have many thoughts about Rick this season.  He may have spent too much time whining around his unconscious kid.  I couldn’t really get behind how quickly he let Lori off the hook for cheating on him.  Sure, she thought he was dead, but maybe take more than a month to mourn before moving on.  Now that I think about it, that’s more of a complaint about Lori.  And here’s a couple more!  I hate that bitch so much!  Not that I was on board with Shane through most of this season, but this bitch could have stopped dragging him along.  Do you want him or not?  “Stay away from my son!”  “I’m so happy you risked your life for my son!”  You don’t know what you want so much it’s like you’re a woman or something.  Speaking of which, she’s also terrible at driving!  She crashes a car and almost gets killed by walkers because she’s full on reading a map while driving.  I assume she was on her way to pick up makeup that she could put on while driving on the way back.  I got mad at her again when she was shitting on Hershel because he was trying to save her sons life and he was just a veterinarian.  Alright, bitch.  Go pick from one of the thousands of human doctors you have at your disposal.  Animals basically function in the same manner as humans do, and you don’t have a whole lot of choices.  The worst thing she did was getting pissy when Rick killed Shane.  He was trying to kill him!  Are you just mad because he narrowed down your options of men to cheat on him with?  Now you have to start considering Hershel?  I also don’t understand her logic in not wanting to let Carl learn how to shoot.  I’m not saying let him carry around a gun all the time, but would you rather he get killed by walkers because he can’t hit shit?  Speaking of which, Carl was a bit of a little shit in this season.  Most of the time I couldn’t tell if he was gravitating more towards his dad or Shane.  There’s even a point where we’re not sure if he’s going to shoot his dad or Shane.  It was a good shot when he finally made it though.  Of course, the little asshole is the cause of one of the nicer people on the show dying because this little asshole had to go and pester a trapped walker until it was able to free itself.  Never really got on board with the Andrea character either.  First off, she shot Daryl.  She also sucked with a gun for most of the season, and she fucked Shane.  I don’t think I disliked her enough to just forget she existed when abandoning the farm as the other survivors did, however.  I don’t know what the kid’s name was, but I also thought the young kid that lived on the farm was a dumbass.  Why didn’t he start driving off once Carl and Rick jumped onto the RV?  Fuck letting them climb down while you wait so you can get eaten by walkers!

I do like a lot of the people in the show, however.  Daryl is the best.  He seems like such a nice guy under his gruff exterior, and he’s the most useful person in the group.  He can track, his weapon can be used at any time, and he carries around a giant baggy of useful drugs.  I loved how dedicated he was to finding Sophia, and I kind of hope he winds up with Carol.  She looks like she needs a little lovin’.  Glenn is also great, but I think my favorite thing about him is Maggie Greene.  It’s about damned time I got to see some of that sexy ass Lauren Cohan!  I also liked Otis, and I was pretty sad to see what happened to it.  I wasn’t surprised by it because that Shane is a piece of shit, but I was sad.  Hershel was also very likeable, especially since he was supportive of Glenn’s relationship with Maggie.  I wasn’t expecting that conversation to go that way.  She wasn’t named in this season, but the lady with the samurai sword seems like she’s gonna be my jams.  That’s exactly how I’d roll in the zombie apocalypse.

Season two of The Walking Dead was every bit as enjoyable to me as the first season.  I suppose if all you want out of a series is random glory shots of zombie’s heads exploding then you might find the human drama a little boring.  I would also find you a little boring.  The only problems I’ve had with this series so far are that some of the characters are assholes and idiots.  But I only hate those characters, not the performers.  They are also awesome.  And I suppose the show wouldn’t be as interesting if there weren’t some assholes for me to want dead.  Check this season out on Netflix.  I already purchased it.  Moving on to season three as soon as possible.  The Walking Dead season two gets “Merle Dixon’s clap is the best thing that ever happened to you” out of “If I hadn’t done what I did, you would be dead now.”

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Young Guns II (1990)


I Shall Finish the Game.

Yesterday was bad times for me.  I got myself all set to have some fun reviewing a movie that was generally regarded as a classic western, only to be let down when it did nothing for me.  But there was a sequel to this movie that may fix it for me.  Unfortunately, Rotten Tomatoes claims this movie is even worse than the first movie.  …Damnit.  Well, Chris requested the first one, and I already own the second one, so I’m going to do it anyway.  And that’s how I came to review Young Guns II, written by John Fusco, directed by Geoff Murphy, and starring Emilio Estevez, William Petersen, Kiefer Sutherland, Lou Diamond Phillips, Christian Slater, Alan Ruck, Viggo Mortensen, R. D. Call, James Cobern, Balthazar Getty, Ginger Lynn Allen, Scott Wilson, and Tracey Walter.

An old guy named Brushy Bill Roberts tells an attorney that he would like to get the pardon that was promised to him when he was younger, back when he was known as William H. Bonney, or Billy the Kid (Emilio Estevez).  We jump into an hour and a half long flashback that starts with Billy after the dissolution of the Regulators, now working with “Arkansas” Dave Rudabaugh (Christian Slater) and Pat Garrett (William Petersen).  Billy agrees to meet with Governor Lew Wallace (Scott Wilson), and then agrees to testify against the Murphy faction from the first movie to receive a pardon, but soon finds that it was just a trick to arrest him.  While escaping, he finds that his old partners in the Regulators, Doc Scurlock (Kiefer Sutherland) and Jose Chavez y Chavez (Lou Diamond Phillips) were also captured, so he saves them as well.  His gang decides it’s time to head to Mexico to escape their troubles, but without Pat Garrett, who takes a job as Lincoln County Sheriff to hunt down Billy and kill him for $1000.

This movie actually worked out a little bit better for me.  I still wouldn’t call it a great movie, but it was more fun and much more enjoyable than the movie that came before it.  It was more fun this go around, but still a completely confused story.  They still weren’t able to keep on any coherent story.  Billy gets arrested, reunites with his friends, tries to go to Mexico, changes his mind, gets arrested again, escapes again, and the story goes on like this.  What sets this story apart from the first movie is that it was a little more fun to watch.  The action was realized in a better way that made them more exciting.  The emotional scenes were also allowed to have the weight to mean something to us.  What an interesting idea to let emotional scenes have some weight!  This would come mostly from Billy’s growing feelings that his time as an outlaw was coming to an end, his feelings of betrayal from what Pat Garrett was doing, and the loss of some of his friends.  But the new director of this movie knew how to film and cut this so that it would work for the audience.  I was also a fan of the bookending with Billy as an old man telling the story to the attorney, and even more of a fan of the fact that they didn’t overdo it.  The dialogue was also greatly improved for this movie.  The only thing I kept thinking while watching the first movie was that I thought Billy was supposed to say, “I’ll make you famous,” at some point, and it never came.  That’s because it was in this movie.

The performances were relatively unchanged as the actors were relatively unchanged.  Emilio Estevez still played Billy like he really enjoyed his own company, regardless of the relatively low percentage of funny things that were coming out of his mouth.  But that being the character he was going for, I can’t criticize it.  I still liked Lou Diamond Phillips the most because his character was the most awesome.  Dude takes a giant knife through the forearm and doesn’t even flinch!  Kiefer Sutherland replaced his lame moments of lovey-doveyness with being a bit of a complainer.  I had no issues with William Petersen as Pat Garrett, but I did take issue with Christian Slater as “Arkansas” Dave Rudabaugh.  Why would anyone ever let this guy on their team?  He was always acting like he was running the team or doing something horrible to piss off someone on the team, specifically Chavez.  He was a pretty irritating and unnecessary addition to the team.

Young Guns II had similar story problems to its predecessor, but was able to infuse a little more fun and enjoyment into the movie to help me see more of how people might actually like this movie.  I still wouldn’t say that I loved the movie as it seems some people do with the Young Guns movies, but it was okay, and far superior to first movie.  If you’re going to watch one, make it this one.  Young Guns II gets “I’ll make you famous” out of “When troubles come, they come not single spies but in battalions.”

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