Scream: Season 2 (2016)

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scream season 2 poster

*CONTAINS SPOILERS*

What I liked:

  • Noah. Foster. Again, the dude is mah spirit animal and I absolutely adore him. He is geeky, awkward, crazy as heck, a little more withdrawn in this season, but whatever. As long as he is here 😀 Also liked seeing him try to get back on the dating horse again – gosh, it is awkward (just think of that condom shopping, and his interactions with Zoe), but I am happy for him!

scream-season-2-noah-dreams

  • The new sheriff, Acosta. He is a different kind of beast, but I like the way he approaches situations and handles things.
  • Still a big fan of the throwbacks, the rules, Noah’s podcast voicing so much, as well as how meta and aware the show is at the best of times.
  • The dynamics between the Lakewood Six. Really cool friendships have developed between these kids.

scream-season-2-emma-ghostface

What I didn’t like:

  • The score. I totally forgot how crap the music was for this show. It is really sad though, because I think it really detracts from the show.
  • Emma Duval. I know she is our main peanut and all, but she still really annoys me – she is never going to be Sidney Prescott.
  • The blackmail. I don’t know – but I think the blackmail paired with this horrendous score made me think of Pretty Little Liars, and that is not a compliment. Okay, and the phone call games made me think of Saw.
  • How bland and boring this season was at the best of times. Disappointing.
  • A lot of story lines got introduced and then randomly dropped, which was really annoying.
  • The MAJOR PLOTSIE at the end was totally not as shocking as they would have wanted it to be. Something I have wondered about since season one, and I think the implementation of it when all is said and done here at the end of this was a bit messy.

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Rating:

Alright, so this silly show has is sort of like a guilty little pleasure of mine. I say this because the show is undoubtedly messy, and it is super flawed, but it is also stupidly entertaining, and for that I will have to give it credit. Anyway, I didn’t rush when I saw there was a new season because, well, I totally had bigger fish to fry, but eventually I had some time to fill with something else. This was that something else.

This season was so much tamer than last season. There were no shocking deaths, the gore was not as out there as last season, and it was truly a lot slower and more bland than season one, which is a pity, but also sort of something I expected. There were also other issues that we will get into as I go along, but there were also good things.

Let’s start with Noah Foster still being the king and the biggest reason that I watch this show. For realsies, that guy is my spirit animal, and I absolutely adore him. What a sweetie! I found that he was a lot more reserved this season as opposed to the last one, and while I still admire him, I wish he had some more oomph. It was great to see him get back into the dating game because seriously, this guy is an insanely awkward turkey! Also, his antics in getting laid? That condom shopping? That had me in absolute stitches, and this whole season is pretty much worth watching just for that. I really liked him and Zoe together, so I was quite sad that Noah had the world dumped on his shoulders again.

scream-season-2-noah-and-zoe-omg

Another thing I really liked is to see the friendships that have developed between the Lakewood Six, what with the survival of the psycho (but not shocking) Piper Shaw. I guess something like that is sure to bring everyone closer. I would have loved to have seen more Audrey and Noah in this one. I thought they didn’t get enough time together – seriously, the guy couldn’t even see that she was super jumpy after the whole Piper thing? I thought it was nice to see how Brooke fits in with the others. Speaking of Brooke – I thought it was awful that Jake was barely even buried and she had taken up with Gustavo already. Girl, really???

I had an absolute ball when Audrey pointed out to Emma that not everything is about her. It really took way too long for someone to open up their damn mouths and point out the painfully obvious. I know we are supposed to like Emma, but she really grates on me. I find her to be quite spineless and insipid, neither characteristics that will ever endear her to me. While we are at it, what the heck is the obsession with Emma? Eli is the new one to add to this mix, and the guy is creepy as hell, no lies. I was not a fan of him at all. Icky, and dude, that is your cousin’s girlfriend, have some respect and go fish somewhere else! Not to mention Mr Branson and his teen obsession popping up here again – nasty, man!

scream-audrey-and-brooke

The big reveal at the end about the new villain was so not a shocker – in fact, I have been waiting for something in this line since the first season. It was not revolutionary, and I don’t think it was handled well either. Not because the actors didn’t pull it off, but because they were let down by a faulty script. Shame, too. While we are at the big shootout and all, how many freaking rounds can that gun hold?! I could not buy into it. What madness!

Anyway, definitely a slower season than last, and not nearly as edgy, nor as unsafe for the characters as season one, Scream season 2 is still not the worst way to burn through some time, specially when you don’t really have to invest too much, or think further than “these stupid kids”. There isn’t really much more to say on the matter.

scream-season-2-family-jealousy

Review: The Perfect Date (2019)

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SYNOPSIS: To save up for college, Brooks Rattigan creates an app where anyone can pay him to play the perfect stand-in boyfriend for any occasion. – via IMDB

Having an apathetic vibe about picking something to watch one weekend, I figured that The Perfect Date might be the perfect movie because it would require absolutely no investment on my behalf, and probably no need to think, either. The movie absolutely delivered on all fronts in that regard.

The movie totally does not come along and revolutionise the genre. Not even close. This doesn’t make it terrible, it just makes it… ordinary. It’s like… I don’t really have much to say about the movie. I know that sounds bad, but it is true. So this dude essentially sells dates to girls, and falls for the first girl he took out, the one who started the idea. Generic recipe follows of strife with friends and strife with the girl and then happy ending. There. Boom. That is the whole movie, and nothing more. There are no characters that shine above others, there is no conflict that you can really sink your teeth into, there is no meat, essentially, and because it fails to present you with something new, it has absolutely nothing that sets it above anything else, or make you remember it.

The Perfect Date is a simple, straightforward movie. Nothing we haven’t seen before, and that can be comfortable, although not thrilling. What the movie does have going for it is Noah Centineo, as he really is a chilled and charming lead, and slips on the character effortlessly. He is pretty much what keeps you watching. The movie is cheesy, at times boring, at all times predictable, but it is not the worst movie you will ever spend your time on. It is so generic that it won’t stick with you for very long at all, but won’t crush your soul while watching it. There are too many other movies that have done this story before, and done it way better (read: 10 Things I Hate About You).

Review: The Dirt (2019)

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“So here’s my theory, okay? If we want to knock people on their asses, then we’ve gotta give them a show. The punks, they’re doing the minimalist thing, so let’s take it in the exact opposite direction. I’m talking, I’m talking a stadium show in the clubs, man.”
– Nikki Sixx

SYNOPSIS: The story of how Mötley Crüe came to be one of the most notorious rock ‘n roll groups in history. – via IMDB

So, I know I might not be a Mötley Crüe fan or anything like that, but I still wanted to see how this would go. I believe options to do this film have been turned down for years, and that some big names have been pushed aside. So to know that it had finally happened, I was interested to see what the final product would be. And, how is that? Flat. Really, truly, honestly, flat.

The movie spends two hours essentially revelling in the debauchery that was Mötley Crüe’s heyday. And I mean that. Instead of taking any time to make these characters into real people, to look at all the nasty that was done in the past, to use it as an inspiration or anything like that, it is instead just an ode to how crazy these guys were (and not a particularly grand one, either). It also doesn’t help that the cast isn’t very engaging. Douglas Booth doesn’t possess the oomph to play the lead for this, or to be a horrific heroin junkie. I think the two that annoyed me the least were Colson Baker, and Iwan Rheon as Mick Mars. Okay let’s not even play – the performances all round were just a little sketchy.

The movie does nothing to sell me on Crüe, still, so nothing has changed. I also thought it cold and callous how some major issues were glossed over (that awful car accident, Skylar’s death, etc). There was pretty much no remorse from these guys, and that would be fine. except that this movie glorifies the band and their antics, but no lessons are learned. I believe this is based on the book (and not The Heroin Diaries, which I have been meaning to get to for years), and I might have to rather check that out if I am hoping for anything remotely resembling substance.

So, when all is said and done, The Dirt doesn’t deliver the goods in any way. There is nothing worth seeing here – essentially it is like watching Tremaine give us a better produced Jackass – all the outrage, wrapped up into the semblance of a movie. There was potential here, and it didn’t deliver. The Dirt is shallow and completely and utterly forgettable.

Review: Abducted in Plain Sight (2017)

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SYNOPSIS: The twisting, turning, stranger-than-fiction true story of the Brobergs, a naive, church-going Idaho family that fell under the spell of a sociopathic neighbor with designs on their twelve-year-old daughter. – via IMDB

WTF?? No, really, wtf????? I cannot write a legitimate review. I just have questions. Questions like who the fuck:

  • Lets some manky dude sleep in the bed with their daughter for months?
  • Gave the kids back to these obviously negligent parents?
  • Starts banging the man that abducted their 12 year old (whom the abductor then marries and refuses to return her back home)?
  • Lets a man get away with this to harm their own daughter more and other girls because of wanking someone off?
  • Returns an abducted child to the man who abducted her in the first place?
  • Takes forever and six days to report their daughter missing?

So after all of this, all I can say that while this is not a great documentary, it is one of the most insane you will ever see. I have so many issues with what I have watched, and have no way to review this other than WHAT THE FUCK?! So much crap going on everywhere. This is no Bundy tapes, or Paradise Lost or anything like that. But it is a crazy viewing experience. My husband thought I was watching one thing, and then when it got to the bit on Berchtold manipulating Jan with aliens, he thought it was another show completely and that I was indulging my inner Fox Mulder. Har har.

And I know it’s bad, but there is also the legitimacy issue. As in, the only people in this whole documentary are the family, and one stray FBI agent. No reporters. No cops. No psychologists, teachers, friends, agents, anything. So no, that doesn’t lend much to truth in my mind. I’m not saying it didn’t happen (obviously shit went down), I’m just saying it’s a bit sketchy. Maybe I am just fussy? Need more critical examination? Don’t know. It was just… too bizarre.

Anyway. WHAT THE FUCK?!

Review: Apostle (2018)

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“These people, they’re blasphemers, a cult, a disease.”
– Charles

SYNOPSIS: In 1905, a drifter on a dangerous mission to rescue his kidnapped sister tangles with a sinister religious cult on an isolated island. – via IMDB

Alrighty, so there have been a lot of horror movies for me to be checking out recently because it is the month of October, and I will not let that go to waste, as I am always looking for a horror. When my husband and I saw the trailer for this on Netflix, we were intrigued. It looked vicious and dark and nasty and (for me at least) there was Dan Stevens, and yes, that was a super seller for me.

We popped this on and immediately went into this weird and twisted little story. The movie is pretty damn good, but not without flaws. There are a lot of things I would have loved to have fleshed out more, such as Thomas Richardson’s faith and the breaking of it, as well as Prophet Malcolm’s family life, the building of the village, etc. We don’t get those things, but we get other things. For one, the violence and brutality displayed in Apostle really is intense. It starts slowly enough, and it might not feature in every second of the movie, but when it is presented, it is crazy. I swear, when we got the violence and crazy, I was literally yelling about that asshat Quinn and all the evils I desperately hoped would befall him. What a cruel, wicked man.

Apostle fluctuated between going really fast and drawing you in, and then slowly delivering on other things. For the most part, this worked. I also liked the atmosphere that the movie builds, but do feel that the score wasn’t always worked in tandem with the movie. That being said, their is a constantly feeling of dread, which starts low key but relentlessly builds throughout the run time, and I loved that. I am always really big on the atmosphere on a movie. I prefer a scary atmosphere way more than I prefer a monster. I also liked that Apostle’s story is different from what we usually get in the horror genre. Aside from all that, Apostle is also really beautiful to look at, what with the scenery and the sets. Very cool.

I have never watched The Raid movies (I know, I know, maybe one day), so I had no point of reference for what to expect from Gareth Evans. Maybe that worked in my favour, maybe not, I have no idea. I enjoyed Apostle, though there are flaws. I enjoyed watching Stevens, as always, and thought that there were plenty visuals that were fantastic in here (particularly looking at that immensely merciless branding). The violence and brutality in this were pretty harsh, but worked hand in hand with the film. While there were many aspects that could have been explored to make this resonate more, the fact that they weren’t does not ruin Apostle, but does limit it from being a truly great movie.

Review: 1922 (2017)

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“I believe that there’s another man inside of every man. A stranger. A conniving man.”
– Wilfred James

SYNOPSIS: A simple yet proud farmer in the year 1922 conspires to murder his wife for financial gain, convincing his teenage son to participate. – via IMDB

So, in keeping up with 2017 being Stephen King’s year, I had to check out some more offerings. I quite enjoyed It, and heard good things about the Netflix offerings, so I figured I may as well check it out. 1922 is engaging, one can absolutely not deny that. It is a slow burn, which might irritate some, but I thought it was the right pacing to set the right tone for this film, because the story is not a fast, crazy horror. It is a psychological slow burn that creeps up on you and takes you down.

First off, while the world might not love Thomas Jane, I quite enjoy him, and I think he is pretty awesome for King adaptations, so I was pleased to see him return for yet another outing. He plays Wilfred James, a farmer who is quite taken with his lands, and to watch him move from simple farmer, father, husband to some greedy man is wonderful, as Jane handles the shift well.

1922 has some solid pacing working in its favour, too, as this is not a story that should be told in a rush. It is a deliberate setting with a deliberate outcome, and is not a mile a minute story. The slow burn totally worked for me, but I know not everyone is sold on it. The story is rather fascinating, too. Not revolutionary, that’s for sure, but engrossing nonetheless. There were some rather intense section to sit through, too.

I think that 1922 is a solid outing and worth the watch. You get a chilling look into James’s mind, his greed for the land and his manipulating and conniving was quite something to watch. His refusal to accept the repercussions was intense, and to see what his horrendous plans did to his son and to his family is something else. 1922 is a dark tale that slowly sets itself out before you, one that gets under your skin. Well worth the watch.

Review: Death Note (2017)

5

“Every human spends the last moments of his life in the shadow of a death god.”
– Ryuk

SYNOPSIS: Light Turner, a bright student, stumbles across a mystical notebook that has the power to kill any person whose name he writes in it. Light decides to launch a secret crusade to rid the streets of criminals. Soon, the student-turned-vigilante finds himself pursued by a famous detective known only by the alias L. – via IMDB

You know, I wondered how this was going to go down. I am sure there are going to be a ton of people that are going to hate on it and knock on it (yes, I see I am right having Googled the reception and rating). Anime is not an easy thing to bring to screen, and I must confess I have skipped a lot of the things. I don’t watch anime, though my brother in law and a very close friend of mine swear by it.

Now, while I do not and have not watched a lot of animes, Death Note is one of the few I actually did watch. Well, most of it, until it got so drawn out and boring I wanted to scratch my eyes out. It was entertaining until about halfway, three quarters through, then it just got crazy. When I saw the run-time for this, I was interested to see how exactly Wingard was going to handle the whole story and bring it to life. In short, pretty damn well actually.

Yes, I know a lot of people might want to shoot me for that, and I don’t care. I liked that this was fast and got to the core of the story without all the filler stuff that just bored me out of finishing it initially. The movie felt a bit longer than it was, not because I was bored, but because there was a hell of a lot of content crammed into a short space of time. It never felt rushed though, which is a bonus. It set up what was needed and then told the story, and it came together pretty well.

A big drawback for me was the casting of Keith Stanfield as L, he just didn’t really feel right. The other actors fit and did alright with their roles, but Stanfield just stood out because he did not seem to gel with the other actors, and his performance came across as forced, which I didn’t like. Also, I could have done with more of Ryuk. Light was definitely a strange character here, like he was never scared of Ryuk, but that also didn’t always hurt this. It all just rolled along fine, just strange.

As this was done by Wingard, it looked stylish and I enjoyed the soundtrack and score. Wingard understands style, that’s for sure, so that was one of the things nailed down really well in Death Note. All things being said, I quite enjoyed this and I really think the internet is hating on it way more than it deserves.

Daredevil: Season 2 (2016)

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daredevil_season_2_trio_poster

*CONTAINS SPOILERS*

What I liked:

  • Jon Bernthal as Frank Castle/The Punisher was beyond freaking epic. He was amazing, but also the portrayal of his backstory was so good. I am a fan, obviously.

daredevil-season-2-the-punisher

  • The dark, gritty, brooding, dripping intro and that damn theme that builds with it. I watch it every single episode (provided I can keep the remote safely away from my husband).
  • The brutality of this season. It really just went all out and upped the game. No punches were pulled, and it makes for some heavy, yet very rewarding, watching.
  • The friendship between Matt and Foggy, even though it definitely did see some harsh and difficult times this season.

daredevil-season-2-foggy-healthy-life-choices

  • The cinematography is, as always, wonderful. It sticks to the brooding, gloomy, washed-out settings the show became famous for, and it just serves to make this show super gritty.
  • How much Foggy grows in this season, really gets ballsy and takes a stand.
  • How Frank and Karen sort of come together as a team.
  • The score for the show is so good.

What I didn’t like:

  • Elektra. The one word that sums up all that is wrong with this season, and that crushes me. She grated on my absolute last nerve – every time she came on screen, she just pulled the whole season back.
  • Sometimes it felt that too much was happening at once, but in the end it comes together nicely.
  • Matt and Karen come together and then splinter apart. It just sort of felt like an unnecessary development, it happened and ended so fast – but it was nice to watch while it lasted!

daredevil-season-2-matt-and-karen

Rating:

GRADE 8.5Ah guys, here we are, yet another season, and man oh man, I thoroughly enjoyed this one! Who knew that Daredevil was going to become the series to keep your eyes peeled for? This season starts with a bang and pretty much doesn’t let up. It comes back with all that was amazing in season one, and just adds to it. I think my favourite addition to the whole show was The Punisher, hands down. Speaking of, let’s get into that.

Right from the off, we have a new big bad in town, mysterious and all, and he is soon revealed to be The Punisher. I have mad love for this character, so naturally I was beside myself with anticipation. The big thing was just to see how the character was going to be handled. For the record, Jon Berthal absolutely nails this character. I mean wow. He is, without a doubt, my favourite rendition of The Punisher ever. He was so bloody brilliant he actually overshadowed Matt/Daredevil, and all his shenanigans for me! He was brutal, unforgiving, driven, broken. I can go on for ages about this, so I should probably stop. I am beyond excited about the standalone series. I NEED MORE!
#obsession

A major theme throughout this season was the vigilantes, and how they go about getting things done, as well as what their values and mores are. Technically they aren’t being policed, and they can do things however they want. This was constantly evident when Frank and Daredevil were with one another, and their drawn out ideological conversations. Frank is so blunt about things, the realist, that Matt’s arguments of “hope” seem to just fall right out the window. These conversations were such a highlight of the season for me, and I was totally enthralled. There was also Elektra (more on this in a few), who was also trying to (again) convince Matt that her way, to kill, was the right way, and he was (again) warring that nobody needs to die, the justice system will handle it.

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Okay, so to elaborate on Elektra, she was the biggest drawback of the season for me. Every time I saw her on screen, I was like this:

hate-someone

Okay, so the mere fact that this woman breathed pissed me off. I thought the actress was annoying, I thought her character was annoying, she did not grow (personally), and I did not warm to her one little bit, though I really tried. Every time I thought this season was set to surpass its predecessor, this bitch came on screen, and it detracted from being better, for me. I swear, she peeved me on a Carrie Mathison level, and that is saying something.

The choreography was really good, once again, though there were a few times were things looked a little off and a little dodgy, but nothing overkill. The show sticks to the darkness, gloominess, and washed-out settings from the first season, and it works. It definitely ups the ante this time around when it comes to the bloody brutality of it all, but this was a definite winner in my books.

daredevil-stairwell-fight

I particularly enjoyed how the interpersonal relationships shifted and changed in this one, for better or worse. Karen grows even more as a character, and then there is Foggy, who is totally changing, and I still adore him. Karen shifts away from the legal offices and more into journalism, and Foggy learns to stand his ground. Matt gets seriously annoying at times in this, because he can be really preachy. The addition of Frank Castle is beyond awesome, because his character alone starts to make the other characters question themselves, and that is always interesting.

It was also cool to see that old characters were brought forward again, as though just to remind us they are there, and some new ones were introduced, although sometimes this made things feel a little messy and cluttered. Not a big deal though, because aside from that and Elektra, there was very little to complain about in this season.

What this all boils down to is that this is another fantastic season, a worthy follow up to season one, even though it was held back by Elektra. That being said, it is propelled with a ferocity by Frank Castle. This show is dark, gritty, and brutal, and absolutely worth the watch, I highly recommend it.

daredevil-outfit-fight

Narcos: Season 1 (2015)

10

narcos season 1 poster

*CONTAINS SPOILERS*

What I liked:

  • The cast. Seriously, they all brought something to the table.
  • How all the Colombians spoke Spanish, not English. Made it real authentic, and I loved that.
  • I really enjoyed the DEA cat story arc. Silly between all the serious, but it made me laugh.
  • Wagner Moura as Pablo Escobar. Seriously, this guy owns the role. Wow.
  • The dark humour that showcases from time to time. It is beautiful.
  • The way the story is told from both sides – Escobar and his cartel and then, of course, government, Americans, DEA, all of it. Very good.
  • The way that each and every episode was shot and the colours – it looked arresting and beautiful and just a tad dreary.
  • The politics and the wheeling, dealing, and scheming. There is always something cooking, always someone trying to screw someone over, advance themselves, use people, and it never gets old.
  • The real photos and footage that were sprinkled throughout made sure to remind people that this is not simply some crazy Hollywood concoction.

narcos geniuses

What I didn’t like:

  • Sometimes there are so many characters introduced, made to seem like they should be more important and then they disappear, and sometimes (and I mean sometimes) they get dragged back up for something and it is really difficult to remember how/if/when/where the fit in, exactly.

narcos where is she

Rating:
GRADE 9
After Netflix finally launched in South Africa recently, I decided to give the one month trial a shot to see how it would hold up with our delightful internet, see if it was worth it. My fiancé and I decided to test the concept with Narcos, and all round, everything worked out perfectly! Netflix runs smoothly, and Narcos was the most awesome place to start up. The show is absolutely bloody brilliant. Yes, everything I enjoy in a show, it had it. The cast carried the story wonderfully, and Wagner Moura was particularly good as the infamous Pablo Escobar. The show is shot so well and the colour palette is amazing, all washed out and dreary. The performances were solid and elevated the show some more, and there is never a dull moment to be found. The sarcasm in Narcos is golden, I love it – it is sharp and it is dark, so that’s great. Also, while this is Escobar’s show, Steve Murphy is highly entertaining, and watching him and Javier Peña together is well worth it. They just work off of one another, and they do so well. I am always sold on a show that features politics, violence, and, of course, gangsters, so I had high expectations for this show going in and I cannot say that I have been disappointed. While the show starts Escobar off as a small smuggler that hit the jackpot because he is business savvy, the story progresses and shows you that, while you can feel for him at times, he is a monster, no two ways about it! The show is so engrossing from the off that it is really quick to lose yourself and hours of your life. The story is so unbelievable that you just have to see more of Escobar and his crazy antics, and well as the extreme hard on the DEA had for him, and all the things that they set out to do to take this drug lord down. I am particularly impressed with the fact that Escobar and anyone touching on the local Colombian story and the law enforcement spoke Spanish, and the Americans spoke English because it gave it a way more authentic feel. Subtitles don’t irritate me in the slightest, and I would not sacrifice them whatsoever to have this all in English. I think it would ruin Narcos for me in some way. The pacing for the show is also awesome, as you are focused on this intense, gripping story that never really lets up. It is fast, it is slow, but it is never, ever for one moment boring. The pacing keeps you on the edge of your seat and desperately wanting more. I cannot recommend this show enough, obviously. Definitely the best new series I have seen in quite some time. I am officially suffering from a Narcos hangover, and it is so long till we get more!

narcos threat

Sporadic Scene: Daredevil (Season 1×02) – Hallway Fight Scene

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I just want to take a minute and gush about how brilliant Netflix’s Daredevil is. I had zero expectations for the show and then I was completely floored. This scene just demonstrates how incredibly well shot and entertaining Daredevil is. Matt Murdock is lured into an ambush by Russian mobsters and barely makes it out alive. However, they have a kid and, despite the fact that he is half-dead and exhausted, he is intent on saving the kid. What follows is just one of those moments of pure awesomeness, and is a revered sequence for good reason.

If you have a scene that you would like featured, drop me a mail at sporadiczoe@hotmail.com with a link to the scene and an explanation as to why.