X Files Renewed for Another 10 Episodes

Everyone’s favourite alien investigating duo, The X-Files, will be coming back! Fox ordered 10 more episodes for the cult favourite show. Last season was a big success, and many people thought it would get another season, and I am very glad they were right. Chris Carter, the series creator, will also return as Executive Producer for the new episodes, which will start production this year and air during 2017 and 2018.

The original X-Files series premiered back in 1993 and ran for 9 seasons, winning multiple awards during its course.

VanCAF 2017 May 20th and 21st

On May 20th and 21st, the VanCAF 2017 will be held at the Roundhouse Community Arts & Recreation Centre in Vancouver, British Columbia. VanCAF is a two day celebration of comics and graphic novels and the people who create them. It also will be including an exhibition and vendor fair featuring hundreds of creators from around the world. The festival has been going since 2012, attracting more than 3000 attendees along with over 90 exhibitors in their first year. The festival keeps growing, with last year having attendance being over 10000 and featuring over 200 exhibitors.

The two days will be filled with comics programming, comic creators from home and abroad, and art lessons for kids. Festival hours are 10:00 AM to 5:00PM on Saturday and Sunday. For more info: http://www.vancaf.com/.

Canadaland Comes to Vancouver

If you are a fan of Canadaland, the Canadaland Guide to Canada, will be stopping in Vancouver for a show. Jesse Brown, who is the publisher of Canadaland, will be hosting a show that will consist of a series of stories accompanied by slides, short films and highlights of Canadian film and tv from a satirical angle. Jesse will also be joined by local comics and historians.

Canadaland is an audience funded podcast hosted by Jesse Brown that focuses on media criticism as well as news, politics, and investigative reporting. The site also features text essays and articles. The podcast has had such guests as Margaret Atwood, Desmond Cole and Jay Baruchel.  Jesse has won the National Magazine Award for Humour and the Hillman Prize for Investigative Reporting.

The show will be at the Biltmore Cabaret, on May 11th. Tickets are $15 plus taxes and service charges. Doors open at 7pm. Tickets available here. 

Paramore Release New Music Video

Paramore, a band that has been through a lot, from lawsuits to band members leaving, is back with a music video for their newest song, Hard TImes. The popular emo band is back, with a very different but fun sound. The music video, along with the new song, is very reminiscent of the 80s. With backgrounds filled with bright triangles and colourful animations, the music video is worth the watch. Even though the song is stylistically not very emo, the overall message of the song is the same as the Paramore I remembered as a kid. I have been listening to this song on repeat for the last five hours, and it still hasn’t gotten old.

Paramore has been on a break for three years, and this return has a lot of fans excited. The band’s lineup changed once again after this album cycle with bassist Jeremy Davis leaving the band near the end of 2015 and former drummer Zac Farro rejoining the band in 2017. The return of Zac Farro has many fans excited for the future of Paramore’s sound, myself included.  Check out the new music video below.

Mass Effect: Andromeda Review

Mass Effect: Andromeda, oh how I had such high hopes for you. Andromeda is the newest game in the Mass Effect series, and boy is it a bit of a letdown. You can play as Sara and Scott Ryder, who is part of the Andromeda Initiative, a group of Milky Way galaxy citizens who are attempting to travel and settle the Andromeda galaxy. There are golden worlds that were planned to be settle, but once you arrive, you realize things aren’t what they seem. I found myself getting sucked in quite quickly, with travelling through an open world on different planets, fun combat and the occasional flirting with space aliens (nothing gets me into a game like the opportunity to date aliens).

I will say, once you get through the first two planets, which are quite boring, the game gets better. Aya, the home planet of the new alien species, the Angara, is my favourite place to visit in the game. The scenery makes travelling through the game more thrilling and more enjoyable. Now if only that excitement and enjoyment lasted. After my 30th hour into the game I found the story getting stale, the gameplay boring and the characters dull. I won’t even get started on the animations and glitches that plague the game, but in the game’s defense, it’s no more glitchy than Fallout 4.

What really gets me, and the biggest reason I pretty much stopped playing (I currently am on a break after getting through 70% of the main plot), is the story. Dry, dull and overall just bland. Ryder is no Commander Shepard. Pass Mass Effects had you playing a likeable hero, and companions with better fleshed out personalities. Out of ten I’d probably give it a solid 6.5.

 

Master Of None Season 2 Trailer Released

Netflix has finally blessed us with a trailer for the upcoming second season of Master Of None, the hit show created by comedians Aziz Ansari and Alan Yang. The trailer shows us Dev (Aziz Ansari), back in New York City after his trip to Italy.  The description of the video states “After traveling abroad, Dev returns to New York to take on challenges in his personal and family life, a new career opportunity, and a complex, developing relationship with someone very meaningful to him.”

We also see a little footage of guest star John Legend. Excited to see where this season will take Dev, and we have a lot of high hopes for it. You can watch the last season of Master of None on Netflix. The show has been a big hit and plenty of people are thankful for a second season. Aziz Ansari won in the Best Actor in a Television Series – Musical or Comedy category in the Golden Globe Awards of 2016 along with a Critics’ Choice Television Award for Best Actor in a Comedy Series.

The second season of Master of None will be released May 12th.

Dune Rats Play The Rickshaw

Australian rock band, Dune Rats, along with guests will be performing in Vancouver. On tour to support their latest release The Kids Will Know It’s Bullshit. Debuting in 2014, the Australian band released their self-titled debut album through their label Ratbag Records. The following year they announced that they were officially launching Ratbag Records as a record label that would take on other performers. Their second album, the one they’re on tour for, debuted #1 on the ARIA Charts. Dune Rats will be performing at The Rickshaw on April 28th.

Tickets are $17 (plus appl. s/c) advance available online at www.ticketweb.ca. Tickets are also available at Red Cat Main St, Red Cat Hastings St and Zulu. Doors are at 8pm and the show starts at 9:00pm.

Girlpool May 27th at The Biltmore Cabaret

Coming to Vancouver is the LA punk duo, Girlpool.  On May 27th, the duo will be performing at The Biltmore Cabaret, they are on tour to support their latest release “Powerplant” (out May 12th). Girlpool is made up of Harmony Tividad and Cleo Tucker, who have been making music with each other since they were in high school. They just released a new music video for one of the singles off the album 123, sounds like you are in a dream just hanging out in the sun. The music video is directed by Nick Rattigan, that has the duo covered in green paint and walking through the streets, along with hanging with friends. 123 is a great start to an album we have yet to hear, it is aviable for pre order. 


Tickets for the show are $13 (plus service charges and fees) and available at Red Cat, Zulu Records, and www.ticketfly.com. Doors 7 pm, show starts at 8 pm.

Ultimate Beastmaster: A Review

I am not a reality show person, I’m just not. I was never a big fan of Survivor or things like that, but for some odd reason, like how the ocean calls Moana, I felt something that made me start watching Ultimate Beastmaster. Now yes, I know that name is a tad ridiculous but hear me out, something about this show makes it a little addicting (maybe it’s because Netflix understands what we as their consumers love), it’s produced by Sylvester Stallone which is why he’ll pop in for an episode for literally 30 seconds and disappear after that.

The premise of the show is that it’s a difficult obstacle course that they call ‘The Beast’ and there are two competitors from six different countries: USA, Mexico, Brazil, Germany, Japan, South Korea trying to complete it. Now not only are there different competitors from different countries but also hosts! Each country has their own set of two hosts/commentators for the competition (Germany Netflix gets the German people and so forth), and since there isn’t any Canada team, we get good ole Terry Crews and Charissa Thompson.

So not only is this reality show fun to watch but honestly what makes it fun and different is taking the simple premise of a reality show and flipping it on it’s head in a way, with Netflix tailoring the same competition to different markets. This makes for a fun watch because I found myself slowly falling in love with the South Korean hosts (Seo Kyung Suk & Park Kyung-lim).

The obstacle course has four levels, with things ranging from rock climbing, cable webs and attempting to get through a tube before it sinks. Occasionally the show will change things up, making things slightly harder or often just changing between a metal chain or rope.

Another enjoyable thing about this show is just how corny is (that’s what makes it so great), with each time contestants fall in the water hosts yell ‘Into the blood they go’ like they signed a contract for their lives that said you must never, ever refer to the water as water. I sort of love it. Even if you aren’t a big fan of these kind of reality shows (I sure wasn’t before this), it’s worth a watch even if you’re just in it to watch Terry Crews.

The 100 Renewed for Season 5

The CW is on a roll with renewing their TV shows, with just a few days ago renewing their hit TV show Riverdale, have announced that they are renewing the show The 100 for a fifth season. Season 4 of The 100 kicked off not too long ago, and though the show has not had the best ratings for overnight audiences, The CW is not a network to care much about that. The 100 has been doing immensely well on digital platforms (you can check it out on Netflix) and on delayed viewing.

The CW has yet to announce any news on renewing shows such as iZombie or The Originals, both that are done their latest seasons. The CW gave early renewals in January to The Flash, Arrow, Legends of Tomorrow, Supergirl, Supernatural, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend and Jane the Virgin, and that Vampire Diaries is on it’s last season. If you can to see The 100, you can catch it on The CW or you can watch it online as it’s available on Netflix. This is also great news for the film industry in Vancouver, as both Riverdale and The 100 are filmed in British Columbia.   

Sorry, You Won’t Be Seeing Avatar 2 in 2018.

Sorry world, we James Cameron has just informed in an interview in The Star, that Avatar 2 will not being out in 2018.

“Well, 2018 is not happening,” Cameron said. “We haven’t announced a firm release date.”

Cameron and his team not only making Avatar 2, but have also planned a third, fourth, and fifth film for the franchise all at once, which is, according to Cameron, in part a reason for the delay.

“What people need to understand is that this is a cadence of releases,” Cameron said. “So we’re not making Avatar 2. We’re making Avatar 2, 3, 4, and 5. It’s an epic undertaking. It’s not unlike building the Three Gorges dam.”

James Cameron went on to say that people shouldn’t be that surprised by the film taking longer to make considering the first film took five years to make. Fox previously said that the release date for a Cameron film for 2018, which speculation suggested was in fact the upcoming Avatar Sequel. The next three Avatar sequels were reportedly set to be released in 2020, 2022, and 2023. It’ll be exciting to see what Cameron has planned for the film, as he also teased about new designs for new species. 

Game of Thrones Season 7 Premiere Announced + Teaser!

The wait is over, HBO finally announced the date for the season 7 premiere of the hit TV show, Game of Thrones. For the past months, when asked when the next season would start, HBO would usually just say ‘summer’ but now a date has been solidified. On July 16th we’ll be seeing where we left the mother of dragons and Jon Snow, and HBO was kind enough to also bless us with a teaser on their Twitter. Though the teaser doesn’t have any fresh footage from the upcoming season, it does have a snippet of some new dialogue from Jon Snow: “There is only one war that matters. The Great War. And it is here.”

Horizon Zero Dawn: Fun, Different and Exhilarating

I remember seeing the trailer for Horizon Zero Dawn when it was first announced at E3 2015, and was immediately stoked. Finally after waiting, the world has been blessed with Horizon Zero Dawn, the action role playing game that takes place in the distant future where robots walk the earth and humans are hunter/gatherers. You play as Aloy, a young woman who has been an outcast in her tribe as she didn’t have a mother, something looked down in the tribe that is a matriarch. Aloy’s main mission is to find who her mother is and why she left here, throughout the story there are many twists as to who or what her mother is. Aloy uses a variety of ways to kill enemies, such as setting traps like tripwires using the Tripcaster, shooting enemies with arrows, using explosives, and melee combat. The combat is clean and fun, and often times can be very difficult, but when you finish off an enemy that took 15 minutes, you get a sense of relief and excitement.

The plot is my favourite part of this game, with such a deep and interesting plot, I found myself needing to know what happens after each quest. Finding out about the ‘old ones’ who are those who lived before the earth was overtaken by robots was fascinating (occasionally they reference things in our world, like snapchat, but I’ll let you find out why) and listening to audio files was also a fun thing added (you can find them in ruins or usually on your way to a main story quest). I felt myself getting emotional at times (I may or may have not cried) especially at the end, it just has such a gripping story and dialogue.  

It seems with Horizon Zero Dawn’s popularity and success we have a good chance of getting a sequel, which is what I need right now. If you like the Fallout series or Tomb Raider (2013), you will definitely enjoy Horizon Zero Dawn. When you are in the ruins and discovering items and stories from the past, it felt so much like exploring a tomb or a vault. The climbing controls are just as clean as Tomb Raider (if not better). Visually it is a stunning game, the character designs have variety and the detail of the old world still lingering in the future, with old robots decaying or metal doors being covered in vegetation. The visuals add so much into the immersion of the game.

I honestly have nothing bad to say about this game, it was 100% all the way through and I was hooked within the first 15 minutes. Available on the Playstation 4, Horizon Zero Dawn is a must play of 2017.

Bill and Joel Plaskett April 1st Show

Promoting their new album Solidarity is the father-son duo Bill and Joel Plaskett, who will stopping in Vancouver at the Vogue Theatre on their Solidarity tour with Peterborough fuzz-folk duo Mayhemingways. Bill Plaskett and his son Joel Plaskett got together to write songs, the result, as Bill describes it, is “a touch of the traditional mixed in with the new, and a lot of the unexpected, arrived at through experimentation”. The result of was Solidarity, an album mixed with Bill’s traditional folk and Joel’s Canadian rock, resulting in a refreshing album.

Why the word Solidarity? Joel says “I wanted a song Dad and I could sing together that connected our individual journeys and our personal politics, the word ‘solidarity’ came to mind and didn’t leave.”

You can catch the father-son duo at The Vogue Theatre on April 1st, doors are at 7PM and the show starts at 8PM. Tickets can be found here.

Marc Maron Vancouver Show – March 26th

The American comedian, podcaster, writer, actor, musician, director, and producer performs in Vancouver on March 26th at the Vogue Theatre on his Too Real Tour. Maron is the host of WTF with Marc Maron, a podcast he started in 2009, where he interviews folks some of them have been Louis CK, Robin Williams, Kevin Smith and Former President Barack Obama, all out of his home studio in LA.

Maron also was the executive producer and the occasional writer for the show Maron, starring himself as a fictionalized version of himself (you can check it out on Netflix).

Tickets are $35.50 (plus service charges and fees) and can be bought here.

Get Out: Thrilling, Exciting and Stressful

 You’ve probably heard about Get Out, the new horror film directed by Jordan Peele. I walked into the movie not knowing really what the plot was, but had a general idea. Get Out is about Chris (Daniel Kaluuya) an African-American man who is going to meet the parents of his white girlfriend, Rose (Allison Williams), but when he arrives he discovers it’s anything but a normal meet the parents situation. The film opens with a memorable scene to set the tone, a young Black man is walking through a neighbourhood he doesn’t know well and is getting lost, when a car drives up and a mysterious figure drags him into the car, the social undertones of this scene (often black people in suburban neighbourhoods have been followed or arrested), is what makes this opening scene such a fantastic cold open.

 When we meet our protagonists, Chris is preparing for their trip to meet Rose’s parents, though she hasn’t told them he’s Black, which she blows off as no big deal, he’s skeptical. On their arrival, Rose’s parents seem friendly enough, but maybe a little too friendly. Chris also has unsettling encounters with the maid and groundskeeper who work for the family, Dean and Missy, who are also the only Black people he’s seen in the neighbourhood. Rose’s brother is also an interesting character, with him trying to wrestle Chris within the first hour of meeting him.  

I’ll cut off talking about the plot here, as I don’t want to ruin the experience of walking into the film barely knowing anything, because what happens next is not what I expected. This movie was deserving of it’s 100% (now at 99%) rating on Rotten Tomatoes, it was thrilling, terrifying but at the same time had a message that I think got across to the audience in a matter that wasn’t hitting you on the head over and over. I will say as a Black woman in a relationship with a White person, I’ve always had fears my partners parents wouldn’t like me based off race (isn’t the case, they are lovely folks), but this movie makes the personal feelings and fears I have had, along with many others (including Director Jordan Peele who is married to Brooklyn 99s Chelsea Peretti), into an explosive, gripping horror film.

The pacing was well done, and one of the favourite things about this film is that it doesn’t rely on jump scares to scare you (there are two that come to mind but that’s about it). I felt stressed throughout the film for Chris, but the ending of the film made me feel something I had yet to feel while watching a horror film.  Even if you don’t like horror films (I saw it with someone who isn’t too big into horror, but thought Get Out was great), this movie is a must see.

Hollerado Tour Stops in Vancouver

Canadian indie rock band, Hollerado, will be coming to town in the summer promoting their new album Born Yesterday.

Born Yesterday is also the name of the first single off the album of the same name. The band said about the music video:

The four of us have never had as much fun playing music together than we’ve been having since we made this record. Lately we’ve felt as if we are a bunch of seventeen year olds jamming together in a garage for the first time.

The song Born Yesterday tries to capture the excitement we’ve been feeling and we wanted to make a video that reflected that. We asked ourselves, “what weird places have we always wanted to play music in?”

 

Hollerado will be performing at the Commodore Ballroom on June 10th (it’s a Saturday!) and tickets are $20 (Incl. GST) + s/c. Tickets go on sale on Feb 24 at 9am here.

Vancouver International Women in Film Festival

Starting on International Women’s Day, it’s the 12th annual Vancouver International Women in Film Festival (VIWIFF). Running from March 8th to 12th, this year has a fantastic and impressive line up including the following:

Bombing

An SFU grad project, Sophie is an unmotivated comedian. Then her estranged daughter returns unexpected, and Sophie finds a new way forward in a movie tackling motherhood, fulfillment, and responsibility.

Lemonade Mafia

Kira’s organic lemonade dynasty is threatened when rival entrepreneur Shantel moves in on her territory. From Vancouver-born director Anya Adams, with strong performances from Yvette Nicole Brown (Community), Marsai Martin (Blackish), and Emily Procter (CSI Miami), Lemonade Mafia mixes humour with heart in this thirst quenching comedy for all ages. (It looks hilarious!)

Stingray Sisters

This is the story of the magnetic Eather sisters who, with stubborn humour, resist the fracking of indigenous territories in Australia. The work not only explores what it means to live in a mixed family, but how to unite communities despite youth who lose hope and elderly who pass away, redefining what it means to truly lead. This is an inspirational and timely documentary that manages to trace beauty in the madness.

If you want to find out more you can check out their website http://www.womeninfilm.ca/

Teen Angst Night: March 11th

We were all angsty teens at some point, and now if you have any stories you want to share about being a moody brooding teen, you can! Teen Angst Night is happening at the Fox Cabaret on March 11th. Teen Angst Night is a comedic reading series host and produced by Sara Bynoe since 2000.  Readers at this verbatim storytelling night can share anything (poetry, songs, letters, journals, diaries, essays, stories, plays, lists, etc) so long as it follows these rules:

1- The work must be your own.

2- You must have written it between the ages of 10-19.

3- You cannot be proud of the work you share; it’s best if you’re super embarrassed.

So if you feel like reliving the memories of when you sat alone in the dark, listening to My Chemical Romance while writing some sort of terrible fanfiction, this is the event for you! If you want to read your piece, you have to sign up before hand, but if you just want to sit and listen to some cringe worthy stories, tickets are Tickets $10 in advance, $15 at the door.

The Anxiety Show: F**k PTSD March 2nd

The Anxiety Show, is a new dark comedy show that was started by Megan Phillips who explores different mental health disorders each show, as told by comedians who have experienced them firsthand. The first half features stand-up, sketch, storytelling, and music and the second half is open-mic style to give audience members the chance to share their own stories.

Their very first episode was, F**k Fat Shaming, which sold out in advance, and they are pumped to offer their second show: F**k PTSD.

Comedians performing are:

Mark B. Hughes (Comedy Shocker, Sold-Out Run of Tragedy + Time Served = Comedy),

Megan Milton (Comedians and Clonazepam)

Morris Bartlett (Goddamn Millenials)

Katrina Bennett (Runner Up, BC’s Funniest Female)

Jess LR (loves puppies!)

San Aung (great with words!)

K.C. Novak (Prounounced “K.C.”!)

Chris James (Just for Laughs Montreal and Halifax comedy Festival)

Come laugh at something that we usually don’t laugh about!

Tickets: $10 in advance / $13 at the door

The Anxiety Show is dedicated to the memory of Haigan Day, and they will be collecting donations for Crisis Centre BC.