Social media has its fair share of issues. We have to deal with fake news, trolls, cyberbullying, and a plethora of other issues. However, there is a light within all of the darkness within social media. Just this year we have seen some positives out of it. One of its powers is to help our favorite TV shows and movies. Without it then we may not have some excellent shows or films. These excellent pieces of entertainment could have never seen the light of day or been canceled to never see the light of day again. Until the fans have an uproar on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and other sites to get the attention of studios to revive the project.
A prime example would be Brooklyn Nine-Nine. Last week Fox announced the show’s cancelation. Fans took to their social media accounts to express their outrage towards Fox. In a surprising manner, this caught NBC’s attention which soon after the cancelation made an announcement about the show’s revival. The question about whether this was the plan all along or not is up for debate. Time must be taken to get everyone’s contracts in order and to make a deal between the two network giants. None-the-less, fans will be getting a new season of the cop sitcom.
Before a phone call or letter would have to be utilized to get a show like Brooklyn Nine-Nine back on the air. Even then, with or without social media, nobody is guaranteed to get the show back just because you want it to. Voicing an opinion may not do anything, but with minimal effort to potentially get a result, then you have nothing to lose at all.
I am not saying that writing letters is less powerful, but this is about the easy access and instant reply that social media can get out of people, especially a studio that canned your favorite show. Back in the 80s, Designing Woman was canceled by CBS after tanking views during the first season. People loved the show and wrote in to call out CBS for setting the show up to fail and that people really did love Designing Woman. The show’s prime time slot was switched over which gave speculation as to why the views dropped. After 50,000 people wrote to express how upset they were about the show being canceled, CBS revived it. The show then went on to go for seven seasons after its revival.
With resources like Twitter or Facebook, there is no need to wait a few days to weeks to see if a letter reaches someone. The phone is still available, but you may not get the response you want. If thousands of people take to Twitter to spam the mentions of a network’s account then those people will eventually get noticed.
Films are in the same boat in many ways. Studios want to make money, and if a project seems like it cannot make a big splash at the box office, then what is the point? Look at the success of Deadpool to show that if something seems like it would fail, might not be true. Ryan Reynolds was fighting for roughly ten years to get the project started, and Fox never wanted to believe in him.
The story of Deadpool has a lot of elements to why Fox was against the project. Superhero movies were secured for a PG-13 rating to let kids and adults all enjoy. The success of Sam Rami’s Spider-Man movies goes to show, well maybe we can ignore the third movie. Still, those movies are a great example as to why it would work to keep the films at PG-13. As the MCU got started, it showed a perfect balance for adults and kids. The universe of Marvel movies has made Disney billions of dollars. So, why make a superhero movie of a guy who is a foul-mouthed murderer? Fox did have valid reasoning behind their decision.
Ryan Reynolds was not the strongest spokesperson to get the project greenlit. Fox did not want a rated R superhero movie, especially if it stars the guy who did Green Lantern which is still an embarrassment to the genre. However, some footage of Ryan as the Merc with the mouth came online. After the leak, people took to social media to let it be known how incredible the footage looked. Fox did take their time because of how worried they were about Ryan Reynolds, and the fear about a rated R superhero flick was still scary. However, once they finally gave Ryan the thumbs up, Tim Miller, Ryan Reynolds, Rhett Reese, and Paul Wenrick got to work. The rest became history once the incredible marketing came full speed and the film released to become the highest grossing rated R movie ever made.
Fans who are worried about a project that may never see the light or something that has been canceled should look at the positive side of it. Their voices may not be heard, but they could be. With the resources with have today, anything is possible. Social media is easy access that puts out a message instantly. A studio could get thousands of phone calls or letters which are still powerful. The story is different when fans take to every social media outlet that a company has and spams them to give them back their show. The world is different now, we have new methods to revive shows or movies. If the revival does not happen, at least people went in fighting for that show to come back. Imagine how many more shows or movies could still be around if people just voiced their opinions.
With how great the first movie was, how much hype behind the sequel, and a new director, to be worried for the sequel to Deadpool might be wise. Right here, I can already say that this is just as good, if not better than the original film. The film delivers everything and more of what was loved from the first. You will be getting violence that is bloodier and more of the great humor that is expected from a Deadpool movie.
It was a little worrying when the original director, Tim Miller, left because of creative differences. Having David Leitch come in from his work in the John Wick movies then cleared away any negative feelings. With Ryan Reynolds, Rhett Reese, and Paul Wernick writing to guide the film and give it life then there could be nothing to stop this from being the sequel that fans deserve.
The film takes place with some distance away from the first. We see where Wade/Deadpool (Ryan Reynolds) is at in his life (I will not go into detail for those wanting to know as little as possible) which means him fighting bad guys all around the world. We get some fantastic action and witty dialog from the foul-mouthed hero. After some traumatic event that puts our hero to rock bottom, he finds a kid named Russell (Julian Dennison). He has a powerful fire superpower that makes him a danger to society. Deadpool puts himself in a situation to protect him (yes, he is doing something for someone other than himself) and that introduces Cable (Josh Brolin). Cable comes from the future with a vendetta against Russell. Deadpool then forms a super team of various characters to create the X-Force to protect Russell from Cable’s wrath.
The plot is much more complicated compared to the simple origin story from the first. The direction goes in many places throughout, mostly to build up to the next movie which will be about Deadpool’s team, X-Force. For the most part, the film has great pacing and goes down a path that works. A scene or two felt a bit disconnected in some way. Maybe the way it was placed alongside another scene that felt too quick. Everything, for the most part, does go well, except for a slower final act that feels dragged on for several reasons. A bit happens to be funny but goes on for an absurd amount of time. Including there is a tense moment that does feel slowed down for other goofier moments to take place. That takes away from some of the tension and what is moving the story forward. Not to say the final act is terrible, it is great actually. The final act just saw its fair share of issues, but not to take away from the overall quality.
Having David Leitch come into the director’s chair was a brilliant move. While the action has good choreography in the first film, the sequel does a better job. This is probably due to David’s work on other action movies that are excellently choreographed such as Atomic Blonde and John Wick.
The writing is just as well done with almost every joke hitting the right beat. Some jokes were weaker than others, but the ones that hit, which are most of them, land hard to get you to burst out loud laughing. Some of the funniest scenes that I have seen in recent movies takes place here, even funnier than the first movie’s best moments. The references are also heavier, but not too heavy that it feels too much. Some of the references people may miss, but enough is out there for people to catch. Just like the first film, there is a lot of detail, especially in writing. This needs a second or third viewing to take every joke. Besides the humor being placed in every moment, the story is more emotional. Deadpool goes through a lot and has an emotional bond with his group of friends who help him on this adventure. The tone gets mixed up a bit because of the humor. Serious scenes are hard to be taken seriously, or even if they were meant to be taken remotely seriously. Some of the more emotional beats hit well, but the humor usually distracts from those moments. Going in for the characters, the fun, and the violence, it did not bother me. However, I felt it could have been executed better to blend the different tones.
Visually, the film, for the most part, looks quite good. Cable looks great, while everyone else also has great costumes. However, some of the special effects do look off at times. Nothing seems particularly awful, but it can be distracting for anyone who notices. Even with the parts that look good, nothing looks spectacular.
Outside of the original cast who are all great, the new cast is excellent additions. Domino (Zazie Beetz) and Cable are highlights of the whole movie. Domino is a great strong female character. She feels like someone playing off of the trope of female characters being incredibly strong just like in Batman v. Superman had with Wonder Woman. Meanwhile, the smaller characters were all just as good. I do mean small because the movie does focus on the original cast, Domino, Russell, and Cable.
Deadpool 2 is a worthy sequel in every way. There are some issues here and there. A few moments with the story that feels a bit weaker at times. The third act does show some blemishes in the plot in ways but manages to end strong. A few special effects are a bit weak and could have used some more attention, which is far too familiar in any blockbuster movie. The jokes land, for the most part, characters are all great, and far better action with more gory violence. If you loved the first movie, then you will love this. If you hated the first, then watch anything else. On a final note, this movie does have one of my favorite after credit scenes of all time.
After some rumors and some mysterious teases from Bethesda, Rage 2 is official. A game that most people forgot or had on the back of their minds, but we have two trailers of the upcoming open-world shooter. The Mad Max looking shooter is full of color and destruction, other than that not much is known about the post-apocalyptic game. Id Software and Avalanche Studios are the developers while Bethesda is publishing. The game is scheduled to come out Q2 2019 for Xbox One, PS4, and PC. You can watch the gameplay trailer below:
One of the most iconic and popular shows to ever feature on Adult Swim was Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law. From its run that started in 2000 and abruptly ended in 2007, the show is being brought back. This time Harvey will have a slightly different job. The title of the new show is Harvey Birdman, Attorney General. Well, the show is not returning for a new series, but the return is a special episode coming this fall that will reunite the original cast of the show. None-the-less the fans of the original will be happy. Also, nobody knows if this is successful enough then a proper show could happen.
For years since the release of the zombie comedy Zombieland back in 2009, fans have wanted a sequel. A TV series was supposed to come, but after a dud of a pilot, the show was dropped. Now we have confirmation that a sequel to the film will arrive October 2019, just in time for the ten year anniversary. The new movie will bring back the original cast along with the original writers. Zombieland has launched Rhett Reese and Paul Wenrick’s careers. They have been busy with movies like the Deadpool movies, but now they have time to deliver fans what they have been wanting. The original film was a surprise hit that blew everyone away. With a budget of $23.6 million, while earning $102.4 million at the box office, it is a surprise that a second installment has taken this long. Fans are finally getting what they want, and the wait is only a little more than a year.
Jonathan Davis is quite the busy guy. His solo album Black Labyrinth is on its way soon. On top of that, he is working on the next album for Korn. With all of that work, the man is looking further down the road for his next project. He is thinking about creating a “dark metal musical.” In an interview with Kerrang he says, “A long time ago, I was talking to Clive Barker about doing a dark, fucked-up musical, but people get busy, and it didn’t happen.” Until this happens, we will have plenty of work to listen to with Jonathan’s solo album and the next Korn record.
To end on a sad note with these next two stories, we have a new development on what to expect at E3. Gearbox has confirmed that we will not see Borderlands 3 at E3. Last week, a Walmart in Canada leaked that a bunch of games will be at E3. One of those games was Borderland 3. Some of the games on the list were accurate such as Rage 2, but this one has been shut down by developer Gearbox. On Twitter Randy Pitchford, Gearbox CEO confirmed that we would not be getting the game at E3 this year. After announcing the game a few years ago and fans have been waiting nearly six years for a proper sequel, we will have to wait a bit longer. E3 this year will run through June 12-14 to give journalists and gamers all of the information they need about upcoming games.
A major surprise that came last E3 was Metro Exodus. The reveal of the post-apocalyptic shooter made fans excited that they will dive into this world for the third time. The original release date was meant to come fall 2018. Now THQ Nordic confirmed this in an earnings report that Metro Exodus will be slated for a Q1 2019 release date. The company released a statement to clarify on their website. In this statement, they said, “The development of Metro Exodus is progressing well; we are all really excited by what we are seeing. We have been constantly reviewing the games progress to ensure that we deliver a product that gamers and fans of the Metro series want and deserve, as well as keeping an eye on announcements from our competitor products. We want everyone to be able to experience what is the most ambitious Metro game to date at its absolute best, and therefore we have taken the decision to move the release date to Q1 2019.” As disappointing the news is, at least it should be out at the beginning of the year.
That is it for this week’s news roundup. What do you think of not seeing Borderlands 3 at E3? Are you excited about the idea that Jonathan Davis might make a musical? Will you be playing Rage 2 when it comes out? Be sure to comment on any of these stories below.
Making a great album is one thing, but having a great album cover is another. I feel like sometimes album art goes underappreciated, especially in a time where music is mostly digital. Buying a vinyl that has the enlarged album artwork is a beautiful thing to own. Sadly, many people don’t buy vinyl or CDs. Even then, the artwork goes usually ignored with people not necessarily talking about how the cover looks like. Here we will be celebrating bands that do it right. Some of these bands may have an album or two that does not have the best artwork, but their overall catalog is full of beautiful, intriguing, and even brutal album covers that need to be given some love. A few of these bands have nothing but high-quality album covers that are all amazing to look at. The groups on the list are not in any order, so I am not saying anyone is better than the other. I am just looking at bands who get the right artist to create such beautiful pieces of art to go along with great music. Here are ten bands with consistently excellent album artwork.
#10: The Black Dahlia Murder (Metal Blade Records)
The Black Dahlia Murder has been one of the best death metal bands that have formed in the 2000’s. Not only do they make phenomenal music, but their album art is beautifully crafted. The first two albums were great, but the album art was not very interesting. Their album Ritual and Deflorate have a different style than their latest albums, but still beautifully crafted. What puts the band on this list for me is the fact that records such as Nocturnal, Abysmal, Into the Everblack, and Nightbringers all have one to two colors with some black for that added detail. The pure blue from Nocturnal, for example, is beautiful. The albums all have a high level of detail that makes you want to look at it to absorb all of the little details. This holds especially true to Abysmal which is full of details of people getting ripped apart from hellish monsters. The Black Dahlia Murder is one of those bands who will have trouble disappointing their fans with excellent music and album artwork.
#9: Amon Amarth (Metal Blade Records)
The thematics of a Viking metal band like Amon Amarth, it is hard not to have fantastic album covers. With the history of Vikings and Norse mythology at your disposal will make having the right album cover to go with the music should be a piece of cake. With albums such as Surur Rising, Jomsviking, Deceiver of the Gods, and Twilight of the Thunder God to be the prime examples of some of the best album art in heavy metal. Whether it is a firey battle from Surtur Rising or an image of Thor from Twilight of the Thunder God, there is something to look at in astonishment. Having an eye-catching cover will always draw in that curious metalhead who is looking for a new band to dive into. Almost every album in Amon Amarth’s catalog is full of extensive detail such as these albums.
#8: A Day to Remember (Victory Records and Epitaph Records)
A Day to Remember is unique in many ways. Mixing a pop-punk style with metalcore is really interesting and works out in a great way. Another aspect that is quite unusual is their album art theme. Every album features a man who is always facing away, so all you see is his back. The art is always stylized and as of lately, features a lot of detail. The best example being Bad Vibrations that opens up (if you have the CD or vinyl) to a whole lot more than meets the eye. References to previous material in this subway station are littered throughout. The biggest fans of the band would have to look at the album for hours to pick out every little detail. The band’s Sophomore album For Those Who Have Heart is much more simplistic with the man facing away as usual with a bat behind is back. The tan color with the silhouetted man is simple as can be but intriguing. Each album takes you on a different experience with the mysterious man to make for an iconic look to every album by A Day to Remember. Once you glance at a record, then you will automatically know who that it is ADTR.
#7: Cannibal Corpse (Metal Blade Records)
It would be insulting to not have one of the most iconic and influential death metal bands on this list. Not only has Cannibal Corpse been arguably the most influential band in the genre, but they have some of the most iconic album covers in heavy metal. With albums such as Tomb of the Mutilated. Butchered at Birth, and Eaten Back to Life that has brought people so much terror throughout the world. Zombies, disfigured corpses, and deranged killers are all featured throughout the band’s catalog. My personal favorite is Tomb of the Mutilated which shows a man ripped in half eating out a woman who is bound and been butchered. Now that is true metal right there!
#6: Cattle Decapitation (Metal Blade Records)
Cattle Decapitation uses its gruesome and brutal music to provide an important message about how humans abuse animals and the environment. With this, they depict animals in rather positive ways and show humans suffering in the most horrific ways. The Anthropocene Extinction and Monolith of Inhumanity might be in my top favorite album artworks of all time. They are some of the most horrendous and brutal covers that I have seen in recent years. Besides the flashy gruesome bodies depicted in the images below, everything is incredibly well done. Full of detail and beautifully drawn out, well as beautifully as rotting corpses can get. Karma Bloody Karma shows a different side to their artwork by showing something magical of a part man and bull with many arms holding cleavers and knives. The symbolism and message are quite compelling. Not only that, but it is quite different from their other albums that usually show some guy getting ripped to pieces in some fashion.
#5: Job for a Cowboy (Metal Blade Records)
Job for a Cowboy might be a band who have gone quiet for a while, and questions are raised about whether we will get another album from the deathcore group. Despite these questions, what we do have are some stunning albums. Sun Eater can be looked at for hours by how beautifully crafted it is. A ritualistic image showing a woman who looks like she is performing some spell upon a burning city. Every album features a goat skull that has given an image to the band throughout the years. The skull might be slightly shown in records like Sun Eater, but their EPs and other LPs do display the head more prominently. Demoncracy and Ruination are dark and disturbing images that feature the infamous skull. The two albums are much more political by their imagery with the American flag being shown in Ruination or seeing lady justice with the skull on her head. She has an army of police with riot shield behind her as she holds up her scale that holds up some meat. Job for a Cowboy was one of the first deathcore bands that kickstarted the genre and will have some memorable albums to always look back on.
#4: Iron Maiden (EMI and Capitol Records)
Iron Maiden is one of the most prominent and most influential heavy metal bands ever. Not only is their music changed the world of rock and metal forever, but they also have one of the most iconic mascots in the genre. Eddie the Head is featured consistently throughout their catalog. Eddie goes from using a hammer to smash someone to pieces in Killers, to an Egyptian theme in Powerslave, or even in some futuristic world in Somewhere in Time. The possibilities are endless and have always been incredible with each new album. It is impossible not to love the iconic character.
#3: Skeletonwitch (Prosthetic Records)
Skeletonwitch feels to be quite an underrated band in the metal community. They mix quite a bit of different genres but mostly lean into the black metal world. Not only do they have incredible music, but some disturbing album art to go with it. Skulls and death plague each record just like any extreme band would have. The group lives up to their name by having skeletons and plenty of death to be featured on each cover. Breathing the Fire is one of their most brutal looking albums. Burned bodies and skeletons scattered throughout a firey field. At One with the Shadows is the band’s first album and it might be simple, but effective at being disturbing. The gruesome album features a Grim Reaper looking monster with a pentagram on his chest while holding several severed heads. The band has a theme, and they are sticking to it. A new album called Devouring Radiant Light is scheduled to release on July 20 of this year which will be the band’s first album in five years.
#2: The Acacia Strain (Prosthetic Records and Rise Records)
The Acacia Strain is one of those bands who may not be that well known, but they have had continued influence among many groups in heavy metal in the 2000’s. Something I have always loved, especially in recent albums, is their wonderful colors displayed in their artwork that are vibrant and beautiful. Often albums such as Coma Witch and Wormwood feature birds with some other symbols and objects. Or the utter chaos that explodes in your face from Continent. Whether they are going for simple or complete destruction, their albums are always beautifully stylized and well crafted. Almost every record in the band’s catalog is full of color despite being a group that is full of hate and not-so-colorful lyrics.
#1: Rings of Saturn (Unique Leader Records and Nuclear Blast Records)
The deathcore band Rings of Saturn have some stunning looking albums. Each one is full of vibrant colors that are impossible not to look at. With sci-fi horror themes featuring creatures and bizarre planets that are full of detail, you can look at any of their albums for some time and continue to pick out new details. With each album centered on a particular color, they manage to blend other colors to balance everything out to create a beautiful piece of art. Ultu Ulla has beautiful purple and green with a hint of blue in the mix. Another highlight in the band’s catalog is Dingir that is horrifying and at the same time beautiful. The album is full of various shades of blue and green to create something that is pretty to look at while managing to be quite disgusting at the same time. That is quite a remarkable thing to accomplish.
That makes it for this list. What did you think of the albums featured here? Who do you think has some of the best album art in heavy metal? Be sure to comment your thoughts below!
After 12 years, Tenacious D has announced a sequel to their movie, Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny. The film was initially released back in 2006 in which it bombed financially with just earning $14 million out of a $20 million budget. Along with doing poorly at the box office, the film received negative reviews overall. Despite the problems the film faced, it has achieved cult status, especially among Tenacious D fans. This is due to excellent songs from the group and some great cameos such as Dave Grohl from Foo Fighters, Ronnie James Dio, and Meat Loaf. Jack Black made the announcement by saying, “I don’t know where you’ll be able to see it, but we have decided that it’s happening and it’s coming out,” Black said onstage at the Shaky Knees Music Festival yesterday (May 6). This is a major surprise for fans of the comedy music group, but it should be a lovely gift in October for fans who have been wanting a sequel for the past decade.
God of War announced a while back there would be a photo mode, now the update has arrived. Patch 1.20 adds a few tweaks here and there, but the big attraction is the new photo mode to take beautiful shots of an already gorgeous game. A variety of customization options are available which is common for any photo mode. Besides the standard filters and other options you may see in other games, you are able to change Kratos and Atreus’ faces. For once you get to see Kratos smile and make goofy faces, which might be a little disturbing. You can download the patch now and start taking photos.
Five out of six of the original cast of The Avengers have gotten matching tattoos. The group got the tattoo for the success of the latest film Avengers: Infinity War and the ten years they have spent in these roles. Robert Downey Jr. told Entertainment Weekly about the process behind it. Robert says, “Five of the original six Avengers got a tattoo,” Robert Downey Jr. exclusively tells EW. “And the sixth was the tattoo artist, who gave it to five of us, the one who opted out being Mark Ruffalo. It was (Scarlett) Johansson’s idea, and she and (Chris) Evans did it in New York. Then, their New York guy, Josh Lord, who is amazing, flew out to LA, he did me, did (Jeremy) Renner, and then we just bullied (Chris) Hemsworth into doing it, and he got it.” Here you can view Robert Downey Jr. getting his tattoo by Josh Lord.
A new update has been made about the new film that Quentin Tarantino is making, Once Upon a Time. It was already confirmed that Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt would be in the film, and rumors about Margot Robbie circulated. She now has confirmed she will be playing Sharron Tate in the upcoming film that circulates around the time of the infamous Charles Manson murders. Timothy Olyphant is in negotiations to play a leading role, but nothing is confirmed whether he will have a part or not in the film as of yet. Tarantino is known for his dialog, violence, and getting a huge cast full of A class stars. It is rounding out to be quite a considerable ambition as always for the filmmaker. Once Upon a Time will be his ninth movie and he says that once the tenth film is made, then he will retire. Once Upon a Time .is going to start filming this summer and be released August 9, 2019.
Fans have been hammering Destiny 2 for a while, and now there is a new outrage towards the game. The new DLC, Warmind, is quite disappointing to players. Many assets are reportedly reused from the base game. The DLC was supposed to offer a new campaign, new strikes, and other content. Two of the strikes are being reported that they are just the last two levels of the main campaign. The new campaign takes places in an area from the original game. A new unique strike is available, but that is only for PS4 players. Both games in the series so far have come under controversy over content and players continue to be angry towards. The first game recovered towards the end of its cycle by revamping the game and for the most part delivering a satisfying experience to its fan base. However, the second game had its praise when it was released, but shortly after players started to see some flaws. As more content was added like Warmind, the problems grew more apparent.
That is it for this week for the news roundup. Have you played the new DLC for Destiny 2 and what do you think of it? Are you excited for Tarantino’s next film for 2019? Or are you just waiting for the new Tenacious D movie? Comment below what you think of these stories.
To make a great character in any movie, tv show, video game, book, etc. it takes a lot of creativity. The protagonist, side characters, and antagonist are some of the most essential aspects of any story. If you hate the characters, then the rest of the experience is ruined. Lately, diverse characters are important to give some variety to the cast of characters. One thing a lot of people have been clamoring for is for more female lead characters. This list is going to show off some great female characters from books, tv shows, video games, and movies. Some of them are the leads in their stories, while others might play a more supporting role. Whatever the importance their character plays does not matter here, but the quality of the character. This list will not be in any particular order, but some I may specify how much I adore their characters. Let’s get to it and look at ten excellent female characters.
SOME SPOILERS WHILE TALKING ABOUT CHARACTERS AND THEIR JOURNEYS
#10: Maeve Millay (Westworld)
Maeve is one of the hosts in HBO’s Westworld who starts to develop memories and her own mind. She starts up a revolution against the humans and has an army of other hosts to slaughter whoever she wishes. Her power over other hosts and humans shows how intelligent and powerful she becomes in the show so far. She is not a human, but just a robot. Despite being created for the guests to have sex with or kill, she is one of the show’s main characters. She has knowledge of what is happening, but a part of her cannot let go of her past daughter, despite not being her real daughter. The pain drives her mission even if the pain is synthetic. The question about robot sentience is brought up in the show, and Maeve is a great example of how sympathetic a machine can be.
#9: Daenerys Targaryen (Game of Thrones)
Daenerys is a major fan favorite amongst fans of the Game of Thrones books and show. The series is filled with strong female characters, but she has dragons so how could I not put her on this list? Mother of Dragons and Breaker of Chains and a million other titles that she goes by, has worked hard throughout the series. She was forced into a marriage that found her being raped by her husband, a brother who used her for his personal gain and turning it around to become one of the strongest characters in the series. Her dragons are massive and will tear through armies in minutes along with a mighty army by her side. She is a commanding figure who has a kind heart. In the world of Game of Thrones, you have to make some hard decisions, as we see with almost every character. The ones like Daenerys struggle because they are too nice, but she finds her way as she develops as a character. Sure, some decisions she makes a pretty stupid and irritating sometimes, but an overall excellent character.
#8: Ellen Ripley (Alien series)
Not putting Ellen Ripley on this list would be a disservice to any strong female character. She is one of the leads who paved the way for future roles, especially for R, rated films. The horrors that she goes through in the series is horrific. Her colleagues being slaughtered one by one by the xenomorph. She must survive and kill the creature, while later down the road she must kill many more. On top of the badass character, we get Sigourney Weaver’s incredible performance that showcases how awesome she can be, while showing how horrifying these situations would be. She has her weaknesses and fears but is able to pull through each challenge. Sadly, following movies go downhill, but the first two films in the series are all-time classics. Out of woman who can be killing machines, it is hard to beat Ripley.
#7: Eli/Abby (Let the Right One In/Let Me In)
I list both Eli, the name of the girl in both the Swedish film and the novel that both films are based on, and Abby, the name of the girl in the American film because they are both the same character. Each film has their own spin from the source material, but the themes are the same. A vampire love story between two children who are in a lot of emotional pain. Unlike other vampire love stories that will not be named, Let Me In and Let the Right One In hits on different emotional notes. Eli/Abby care for their new friend who is being terrorized by bullies. She has a kind heart, but being a vampire means for innocent people to die. This complexity to her character is played out well. She tries to be distant, but when the bullies are about to kill Oskar/Owen, then it is time for a vampire to take control of the situation. A childlike character who is willing to murder someone to feed or to defend and be loving at the same time. This is one unique spin on a story we have seen done before but in a much more mature and darker fashion.
#6: Amy Dunne (Gone Girl)
Amy Dunne is unlike the other characters that you have seen so far on this list. She is cold, meticulous, and will give a world of mix emotions. Both the film and novel will provide you with mixed emotions in general but in the best way possible. Your feelings turn around over and over as you learn about her and her husband, Nick. Amy’s determination to get what she wants no matter the costs are brutal to witness as either a reader or an audience member watching the film. This is one girl that you better stay on her good side.
#5: Brienne of Tarth (Game of Thrones)
Is it fair to have two characters from Game of Thrones? Maybe, but the show and novel series are full of great females. Brienne has to be my favorite lady on the show. Unlike most of the woman on the show, she is not sexualized at all. Intentionally they make her look less attractive, but it works to her benefit because she can kill just about any man that crosses her path. Her skills with a sword make her one of the deadliest characters not only in Game of Thrones but on this entire list. She can be cold, but quite caring too. We see how devoted she is to her word to protect Arya and Sansa. Not only that, but we know that she genuinely cares for these girls. Despite the conflict with Jamie, she and he have mutual respect for one another. Honorable, caring, and one of the biggest killers in the series, how could you not love her?
#4: Eleven (Stranger Thing)
One of the most beloved characters in recent memories has to be Eleven. A character who was housed in a lab and used for some government experiments will have some issues. Eleven is portrayed in a realistic way that shows that poor conditions for a child will leave them with severe social and emotional problems. Millie Robby Brown does a phenomenal job of bringing this character to life. Eleven has her issues but has a good heart. She has been subjected to a life she does not want. Over the past two seasons, we have seen some growth, and this will continue in the show’s final two seasons. Her telekinetic powers are quite powerful, but she will have a long way to go. Giving her superpowers that are strong, but not overpowered is an excellent choice. It leads her to not only develop as a character but as the show’s superhero who is learning how to properly utilize her powers.
#3: Gamora (Guardians of the Galaxy, Avengers: Infinity War)
Gamora is quite different from the rest of her team. She is a lot kinder and a stronger moral compass. Unlike Rocket, she will not steal people’s limbs. Sure, she is sweet, strong, and a great team player with the other Guardians. What makes her even better is her prominent connection to the story in the current MCU. Her father (technically capturer) being Thanos. Gamora was taken from her home planet, while a massive genocide took place by the hands of Thanos and his army. She suffered for 20 years with the Mad Titan which fundamentally formed who she is as a person. After seeing Infinity War and learning more about Thanos and Gamora through that film, Gamora is a stronger character when going back to the Guardians movies.
#2: Ellie (The Last of Us)
Elie and my number one after this are hands down my favorite characters. This list is not in any order up until these final two characters. Ellie is a believable teenage girl. The game does not downplay her in any way for being only fourteen years old. Instead, her character breaks what is usually set up for a character like her. She is a foul-mouthed kid who has a lot of struggles. She has many flaws and positives to her. Ellie might have a temper issue, not gotten over the loss of her best friend and other deaths in her life, and has to fight to survive every single day. Her relationship with Joel is beautifully developed. Seeing these two characters not have a care in the world for each other to end up forming a father and daughter relationship is incredible. Most video games cannot tug on heartstrings that well, but The Last of Us is one emotional roller coaster that nobody was prepared for. Ellie being the playable character in the next title will give her more room for growth to be even better than she already is.
#1: Lisbeth Salander (Millennium series)
Lisbeth is one of the most unique characters from any film or novel. The films have had their struggles both for the Swedish films that adapted the trilogy and the American film that only adapted the first book, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Lisbeth has an alternative look with piercings, tattoos, and dyed hair. Her look gives everyone a wrong impression along with her emotionless attitude. She is much more complicated than all of that. She is brilliant and a force that should not be messed with. Lisbeth is not a victim, but a vicious girl who does not stand for being wronged. In the series, Lisbeth will be mistreated by the government who invade her rights, she will be raped, beaten, and almost murdered. Every time none of those things stop her. The series itself is an excellent message to all woman around the world who are wronged by men. It is hard to find a more complex and unique character than Lisbeth Salander.
That makes it for my list of awesome female characters. Some of these ladies are not the nicest in the world, but they are all powerful in their own way. With people clamoring for female characters, hopefully, this list gives you some interest to look up some of these shows, books, movies, or video games. Be sure to comment below on some of your favorite female characters.
In the past year, I have become quite the fan of Parkway Drive. I have been told to listen to them for years, and their 2016 album Ire got me hooked. That is still my favorite album by the band. With a mix of their new style and original sound, it was almost perfect. I went through the whole catalog of their music, and I like pretty much everything. Their previous albums range from good to excellent. Now their latest release is here, Reverence. Continuing the progression that they started with Ire, the band is in new territory.
I had high hopes for the first song that was released, Wishing Wells which was fantastic then The Void came which was also good. Prey is where all went downhill. I respect the group immensely for their experimentation and progression, I prefer bands doing so. However, this album as a whole does not do that well.
Instrumentally speaking, that is the most consistent aspect of the album. Parkway has always had a great sense of melodic riffs and heavy breakdowns. Something to satisfy anyone. Some orchestral elements can be heard on the album, and it sounds beautiful. This can be heard from the love song on the album called Cemetary Bloom. It would be more powerful if Winston were singing. Instead, his talking and low whispers do not fit that well at all. Having a violin, cello, and other similar instruments does not make for the heaviest of albums, but it works. The bass can be heard clearly throughout and can be really heavy at times with some new groove thrown in there. Everyone is on their A game to deliver a softer album, but a solid job on their parts.
Winston is a great screamer but has never been able to do much in the past. We hear him mostly talking throughout the whole album, maybe more than actual screams. His aggression to his voice is a nice touch but gets boring. It is the same issue I have with other bands who do this such as Whitechapel, who rely on it a bit too much. Well, just like Whitechapel, we do hear Winston attempt to sing in a few songs, but we will get to that in a moment. His vocal delivery for talking and sometimes screaming has less raw emotion to some songs. Prey has an interesting meaning about power, but some of the lyrics and vocal delivery make it not feel as if there is much emotional power to it. A lot of different styles thrown in that does not work entirely. His singing in The Colour of Leaving is pretty good. I was shocked to hear it, and wonder why he did not do it for other songs. It might have boosted the other songs if he continued a bit more. The cleans are not great, but it works. From a few moments in Ire, we hear Winston have some moments where he is rapping. In Shadow Boxing is where he utilizes his screams, cleans, and raps. He can rap quite well, but the song itself falls short overall.
Lyrically, the album can have some inconsistent moments. All of the songs are quite powerful in what Winston has to say. Songs about grief over a lost loved one, power in corporations, and religious groups abusing children. The album has a level of pathos to it, but aspects that I have talked about before is what makes almost every song fall flat. The opening song Wishing Wells is by far the best song off of the album. A phenomenal start that holds a lot of power. Winston utilizes the moments to talk in a way that carries weight along with some brutal screams. The song is about having nobody or nothing to blame for losing someone you love. The pain is there and can be felt through the vocal performance and the lyrics. One lyric says, “So ask me how I’m coping, and I’ll smile and tell you: “I’m just fine” While down inside I’m drowning in the fucking rain.” I wish the rest of the album could give these emotions to me, but nothing really touched me in that way compared to Wishing Wells. To give an example of a lyric I did not care for was the chorus of Absolute Power, “The truth drops like a bomb.” It felt a bit cheesy when hearing it. Not much was done in the chorus to make it memorable. I did not hear some catchy chorus to sing along to, or that makes me want to have fun in the pit. Just like a lot of the album, it falls short of being quite good.
Reverence is the biggest disappointment of the year. I love Parkway Drive and respect the changes they made, but not everything worked. If there was more screaming and some work to some lyrics then maybe this would be better. The album is not bad, but it is not that good either. I love one song, and like two or three others. What hurts more is the album only has ten tracks, and most of them are not that good.
Did you like the album? Buy it here to support the band: