Sunday, July 12, 2015

Maggie: DVD Review
May contain mild spoilers

The film “Maggie” is the screen legends, Arnold schwarzenegger’s first foray into the zombie apocalypse genre.  Maggie is an independent art house film, and is far removed from the blockbuster status of films like “World War Z” or any of the other zombie movies that have been released. The film itself is more a family drama than a horror story and I can’t help feeling that the zombies could have been removed and replaced with some other menace, and the film would not have suffered. It revolves around a runaway girl named Maggie played by Abigail Breslin who is found and placed in a medical holding facility for having a zombie bite. Her father Wade, played by Arnold Schwarzenegger arrives and takes her home after being told by the doctors that he has 6-8 weeks before she “turns”. The rest of the film deals with how the main characters cope with impending doom and how the small community reacts with each other.
The story itself is unique in that it begins as the zombie infection is ending, a voice on the radio says that infections are down and life is returning to normal for the most part. It was fascinating watching a film that told a zombie story that did not involve the world or society collapsing. In fact society in the film exists with a government, local law enforcement, and medical facilities all functioning well. I rather enjoyed the setting as it allows the viewer to be more involved in the family narrative since the world at large is in no real danger of being overrun.
The acting in the film is quite good, with all the main actors playing their roles well-rounded. Abigail Breslin does a good job showing the advancing symptoms of the virus and also does well emoting the emotions that come with each transformation.
Arnold Schwarzenegger who is best known for his action roles, turns in a very good performance as Maggie’s father. The role is quiet and very different than any role he has taken on before. This film does show that with the right direction Arnold Schwarzenegger is capable of turning in work of a greater acting caliber.
Overall, the film was a pleasant surprise. The direction from first time director Henry Hobson is good and does the job of bringing suspense and horror when needed. The music blended well with the type of direction and cinematography for this movie. Speaking of the cinematography, this was the films strong point. The picture was  tightly filmed in muted colors and showed the despair of the players well.

One of my favorite shots from the film (above) really captured the apocalypse of the film, not the end of mankind per say, but the end of one family.

I give this film a solid 3/5 and would recommend it if you would like to see a different take on the zombie apocalypse and a different performance by Arnold Schwarzenegger. 

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Why is Jericho so special? What is it about this little town that has worked its way into the hearts of millions of viewers? I asked myself that question, I found myself re watching the show and enjoying it just as much if not more than my first viewing. So it was then I began to wonder, what makes this show special to others around the world? So I put out a request on several of the campaign sites on various social media and got a lot of replies from all over the world! And I realized these stories needed to be told, Jericho is not just a show it’s a movement, a movement that has kept growing over the years.

Here are a few stories from that movement.

(All stories are published with the original author’s permission and in their own words, also a shout out to Gwen of "Save Jericho"for being instrumental in helping me get the word out about this project)

"Jericho is the first show in which my heart has truly "gone to live". Stephen Chbosky, Josh Schaer and Jonathan Steinberg are masters of their art--their writing not only draws you in, it holds up even as other shows come and go; never begging you to return time and again to relive the story of a small town called Jericho. Maybe I'm biased when I say Jonah Prowse was the most underutilized character--I am a huge James Remar fan, after all--but there were so many questions left unanswered that could've been addressed in the shortened second season. (Jonah was also missing in the "third season" comic books, to my irritation.) Did Jonah and his wife divorce or did she die? (At various times, it sounded like it could be either or both.) How did he get started in smuggling? Did he own the trucking firm or was he just a manager? Was Mitchell trying to take over the business even before they started black market work full time? After seven years off the air, I am still very much in love with Jericho and would be delighted to see it revived on Netflix or in a movie. For now, however, I am engaging my passion by rewriting my Jericho fan fiction piece as a (copyright-safe) novel. I will shortly have to revisit the world of Jericho via DVD...and I know I will be glad I did."
-         -  Dayanara

"Jericho is so special to me because it is the first show in a really long time that I sat down and watched and gained an immediate and strong connection to. The whole integrity of the show gives me so much but more so than that, this is the first show in my life that has given me a character that I relate with so strongly I am still a bit convinced the writers have been watching my life. I connect with Emily Sullivan on such a deep emotional level that it makes it literally impossible to not feel deeply for this show. Our personalities, career choice, motives, and pretty much everything else are so similar that this one connection immediately sucked me in and from then on, I was with Jericho wholly and forever. There are so many astounding elements of realism in Jericho that it sucks you in and it holds you there. Moments that take your breath away, moments that make you just break down, and moments that make you angry. That inspire you. For me, every single episode is an experience, it's a life moment and all of it has a very real attribute to it. On top of great writing and astounding storytelling, there will always be an amazing and completely unconditional love that I have for Jake Green. Skeet Ulrich has always been one of my favorites but to see him play someone like Jake Green really blew my mind. His depth and complexity as a character, I will forever be on Jake's side and forever have his back and there's so many elements for me that play into that but, I will forever have Jake in my heart and Emily in my spirit. So, thank you Jericho. Thank you for giving me something so relatable I start to doubt my entire life, and also thank you for giving me something so beautiful and so life changing that I will carry it with me forever."
 - Faith.

"I've started watching Jericho last year when I got bored sitting around my house. I came across Jericho, and when I started watching it, I couldn't stop. I'm not a person who sits for hours watching a show. But this one was different. I watched the entire 2 seasons in about a week and a half. It was too short! So then after a few months I decided to watch it all over again. I wanted to watch it in a slowish pace. But after I had watched 5 episodes over 5 days, I quickly started to watch episodes one after the other, then finished it. I'm now have started watching for the third time, and I'm in season 2. I just can't get enough of it. Jericho needs more seasons!"
-          - Michael

"Jericho is special to me, because me and my best friend watched season one on DVD ( in the UK) in 3 days , we were so hooked we go to work come back and stay there till 2 am and when the season ended on a cliffhanger I brought a u.s import (u.k was not released then) as I had to know what happened, such a shame I never got the conclusion."
-          - Dan

"Jericho is special to me, because it is a good story, with a marvelous cast and the Jericho Universe holds many untold stories. I compare this story to Star Trek and I think Jericho will eventually come back, just like Star Trek.
The arc storyline makes a wonderful action adventure show. However, the townsfolk are so believable that I identified with the town. When I watch the show, I feel like I am fighting to survive, just like the townsfolk of Jericho are. The feeling of that-could-be-me is the truly addicting quality of this show.
I also like Jericho, because the fans are wonderful and supportive of the efforts to save the show. I have met many fans on-line and at the Jericho Fan Table. The collective group of fans are responsible for Jericho’s longevity and possible return." 
-          - Gwen

"Jericho is special to me because it was the first post apocalyptic show out there. Rather than show people killing each other to survive. It showed us the importance of long term survival through community and working together.
I liked how they didn't idealize this as a whole country rather showing that the town of Jericho had strength of spirit while the rest of the country was in chaos.
Straight from the pilot episode they formed characters which we so well rounded and interesting you wanted to know more.
Post apocalyptic shows nowadays concentrate too much on the violence and terror that people can cause one and another. Although this maybe be true, chances of long term survival is better if people rally together. This is a message that needs to be send as (especially here in the UK) we have lost that sense of community.
Also there are so many more stories to tell within the Jericho universe as depicted in the comics. I feel done in the right way keeping with the shows core values a revival would be just want tv needs!" 
-          - Hannah UK

"For me, Jericho is the best TV show ever broadcasted. It is so realistic, that it was cancelled. Maybe the government doesn't want us to know what could happen."
 Francisco from Mexico 

"Jericho to me was, at first, a way for me to get my apocalypse fix. I had just got done watching Jeremiah on syfy. I got interested in the Post-Apocalyptic genre. Mind you, I was only in 6th grade! I was looking up things on YouTube and saw a Jericho review and the thumbnail was of the boy on the roof looking at a mushroom cloud. So I thought it looked interesting. From that moment on... I decided to look up Jericho on YouTube. All of season 1 was on the CBS YouTube channel.
I fell in love with the show. Remember this was in 6th grade. I watched the show from beginning to end. I got addicted to the story, the characters... I was sucked into the universe of Jericho. Let's just say I am a senior in high school now, and I still watch the show over and over again." 
-          - Logan

"I first started watching Jericho after it was recommended to by a friend, a lot of people said it was a cool post apocalyptic show with a twist of 24 thrown in. So I thought why not, from the first episode I was totally drawn in. I really enjoyed the setting and the story kept me on the edge of my seat, but what kept drawing me back was the characters, they are so well written and so lifelike. I still am not sure how they were able to write such amazing characters. I can only surmise it is a combination of great actors and good writers.  A great TV show is often judged on how often you think of it after it is gone, I can say I think of Jericho very often. TV shows capture a snap shot of what you the viewer’s life was like at the time of viewing, and whenever I go and re watch Jericho I’m reminded of what I felt the first time I saw it.  Jericho was truly a masterpiece of TV and I look forward to my next re watch!"
-          - Byron

"Jericho" grabbed my attention deeply by the characters' very real-life actions and reactions in the very small scenes. The show was about great and small, the human and the inhumane, each and every episode. The scene where Jake pulls up to the Richmonds' roadside stand and Stanley spontaneously hugs Jake sealed the deal for me. Then came the scene with the mushroom cloud....The small moments juxtaposed with the catastrophic. Heather calming the students on the bus, the furtive and mysterious conduct of Hawkins....the acting, direction and freshness of the writing was captivating. And I have made friends all over the country as a result of the show!"
-          - Mary

"Jericho is special to be because of the time it came out in both my life and the life of the USA. The USA was still dealing with the trauma of 9/11. With the thought of something like this happening to us being a very real possibility to the country, I really don't think people were ready to see a show like Jericho. For me, Jericho came out in my early teen years when I was just beginning to understand what was happening in the world and it gave me a lot of perspective."
-          - Jonathan

"Jericho is special for me because of many reasons, combining a good storyline with both fact and fiction, it leaves the viewer clinging on to see what´s in the next episode, unlike with today´s series, and the main plot, along with subplots are very interesting to watch. Personally, i bought the two seasons on DVD and i custom ordered two Ravenwood patches, and when plenty of time on my hands, i like to sit around and watch my favorite episodes. Another thing that Jericho has showed well was the love triangles between the characters, and tension in certain episodes, and none was considered "boring". And who can´t stop love Jake? Of course, when they ended abruptly, they left everyone surprised. That said, the producers have a lot of brand new ideas for plots (inspired by fans or the comics) to new episodes that we nut lovers would eagerly watch."
-         -  AndrĂ©

"Jericho is special for me because it is a wonderful story about a small, imperfect, community trying and succeeding to find the best in each other while pulling together to survive a disaster that badly damages the continuity of the United States of America. It's the kind of community I would want to be a part of, especially if great tragedy struck."
-          - Steve

"Jericho is special for me cause I like everything which deals with apocalypse and how to survive. You can be prepared to it with some books and movies. I like to see how some people can turn if the world goes down. Being better or worse. And, well, how can you not love Stanley Richmond?!"
-          - Laetitianne.

"The reason Jericho was so special to me was I would watch it with my entire family on Wednesdays. We would all looks forward to Wednesday's. When we heard it was cancelled, it literally broke our hearts."
-          - Lauren 

"Jericho is special to me because of the dynamics between the characters. The story lines were complex leaving the viewer wanting more. The short two seasons started a story that needs an ending. They created questions that need answers." 
-          - Sharon

I want to thank everyone who participated by sending in their stories! 

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