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In My Console: The Evil Within

I love survival-horror. Ever since the early days of Clock Tower, Silent Hill and Resident Evil, I was pulled into these extreme worlds of scary monsters and dark adventures. There's something about venturing into the unknown and fighting evil that really connects with me as a gamer. It's one of my favourite gaming genres. Unfortunately, as the years have gone by, the landscape of survival-horror games have changed and it's no longer just a scary world out there - it's the hybrids that reign supreme. One of the games released this year promised to head back to the survival-horror roots of gaming. Did it live up to its hype? The video game I'm going to be discussing today is the bloody supernatural adventure: The Evil Within.

The Story: Players take on the role of Detective Sebastian Castellanos as he's pulled into a nightmarish world of monsters, death and a mystery spanning the unknown. After responding to a police report at Beacon Mental Hospital, Sebastian encounters the villainous apparition known simply as "Ruvik" who leads Sebastian on a horrifying adventure that bends reality. Joining Sebastian on his 15 chapter story includes fellow detectives Juli Kidman and Joseph Oda, Dr. Marcelo Jimenez and his patient Leslie, and a nurse who knows more than she lets on.

Where To Play: The Evil Within is available on PC, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360 and the Xbox One.

The Good: The Evil Within plays to its strength when it comes to horror. Dark and confined spaces, grotesque monsters, blood and unexpected surprises - the game wasn't missing its mix of survival-horror. I quite enjoyed that for a few portions throughout its story, I was pleasantly scared. (Seriously, there were mannequins...lots and lots of mannequins!) I miss the scare factor of survival-horror games and before I even began this game, I was a little hesitant that it wouldn't live up to its "horror" hype. I wasn't fully blown away, but I did enjoy the horror element.

There's one fact you will come to understand when playing The Evil Within: you will die - A LOT. This is no easy game. Around every corner, every room, there are potentially many hidden ways to die. You would be surprised at the number of times I was killed by traps, common enemies and big boss battles. The Evil Within is a tough game to play and coupled with low ammunition/supplies, finally completing all 15 chapters felt like a real accomplishment.

The Bad: The Evil Within has an interesting twist to it with its story. These articles and reviews are spoiler-free so I won't go into details beyond the bare bones of the plot. However, as I progressed through the many chapters, it became hard to get a clear grasp of the overall plot timeline. I understood many of the plot points about the villain, the deaths and missions but the overall arc was all over the place. A lot was happening at the same time and Sebastian was being pulled to different areas while given bits and pieces to try and determine the story. I had made a tiny logical guess by Chapter 4 and it proved somewhat right by Chapter 11, but I still needed to Google search a few articles and videos to fill in the story from people who pieced this together already. I like a story that makes me think so I was conflicted once the game was completed.

Also, I just want to throw this out there. I like Resident Evil 4, it's a good game that blended action and horror together. However, as I played the game, The Evil Within reminded me too much about RE4 to the point that I considered it nearly the same game. With the exception of The Evil Within being bloodier and scarier, the game was reminiscent to that vibe. The action, the mechanics, the male lead, the minions - it felt like a next generation spin-off.

The Results: 7/10!
The Evil Within strived to relaunch the roots of the survival-horror video game genre. It was creepy, it was bloody and it was a tough game to play. Through the eyes of Sebastian, you get to explore many locales that bridge on the horror cliché, like a mental hospital, graveyard and a large mansion. Monsters were plenty throughout the 15 chapters and they could sometimes feel a tad too familiar from other games, especially with the mindless villagers you face. The downside to The Evil Within is that the game doesn't offer anything new. Many of the locations, the enemies and bosses could have been inspired from horror tropes in the past. With the exception of a few items, like the agony bow or the plot twist, there wasn't much new ground covered, but with over 20 years of horror games already out (Wow, I feel old), it's hard not to expect some certain things to appear again. If you're a fan of horror, whether it's games or movies, The Evil Within might be your thing to play.
'Spectre': Bond 24 Reveals Name, Cast & Car

James Bond is ready to head out on his next death-defying adventure and finally the mission has a name. Revealed on Thursday at Pinewood Studios in London, Bond 24 will officially be known as 'Spectre'.

The official synopsis for the film is as follows: "A cryptic message from Bond’s past sends him on a trail to uncover a sinister organisation. While M battles political forces to keep the secret service alive, Bond peels back the layers of deceit to reveal the terrible truth behind SPECTRE." (via Independent UK)

Spectre will feature many of the returning cast members from Skyfall, like Daniel Craig (James Bond), Ralph Fiennes (M), Naomie Harris (Moneypenny) and Ben Whishaw (Q). Joining the cast this time around will feature a few new characters like Andrew Scott (Denbigh), David Bautista (Mr. Hinx), Christoph Waltz (Oberhauser), and upcoming Bond Girls Léa Seydoux and Monica Belucci as Madeleine Swann and Lucia Sciarra, respectively. Bond is nothing without his automobile, which will be the Aston Martin DB10.

Many details are still being kept under wraps but rumours are swirling that longtime iconic 007 supervillain, Ernst Stavro Blofeld, will make his reintroduction to the series with this film. Spectre is set to be released on November 6, 2015.

Are ready for James Bond's next mission? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
The Big Bond Book Club: From Russia With Love
I'm bad. I don't just mean bad in a mean way but bad in an "I'm sorry!" way. I've stopped counting the time since the last moment I "promised" to write the next edition of The Big Bond Book Club. I've probably written that I would write the next post more times than actually completing the blog post. Weeks? Months? Maybe a year? Years even?! I could check back into the archives but even then I wouldn't be surprised at the date. Suffice it to has been a LONG time. With that being said...I'm sorry.

The last time I left off the series was with the fourth book - Diamonds Are Forever. It reached a medium thrill but for full details of the comparison, you can check out my article with the link above. For those unfamiliar with this series (I wouldn't be surprised - it has been a long time), I read a James Bond book chronologically from its release date and watch the corresponding film from the MGM series. I critique both against each other based on what I like and don't like. The scales don't always fall on the side of the movie series so I wouldn't prejudge just yet for all you naysayers and movie-only fans out there. The story I'll be reading today is the fifth book in the series: From Russia with Love.

The Story (novel): SMERSH, the menacing Soviet counterintelligence agency, plots to assassinate James Bond in the hopes of discrediting not only him but his agency as well.

The Story (movie): SPECTRE, a secret organization, plots to assassinate James Bond.

Time has passed since the last time I read the book and watched the movie. It took a while to remember everything so I will keep this post short and brief. I'll probably expand this section further in future posts when the updates are more timely. (Seriously people, I'm really sorry!) With the exception of a few details - such as the name of the organization and updating the time period - I didn't notice much of a difference from the source material to the big screen. An organization still seeks to eliminate Bond, a beautiful woman manipulates him for the motives of said organization, and a slightly deranged woman tries to kill Bond with a her shoe. If this were any other series, I might laugh at writing that line but with all the unique gadgets and weapons, it feels right at home. Almost playful and giddy in a way.

My Favourite: The Movie!
From Russia with Love is not my favourite story in the James Bond universe. Woah...wait...lower your pitchforks and drop the flaming torches now, 007 fans! Hear me out. I understand that this story is a favourite by fans of the series; it has a lot of iconic moments and characters that resonate with fans (i.e. Tatiana Romanova, the shoe, SPECTRE/SMERSH). Unfortunately, I wasn't really pulled into the story. Blame it on the plot, the time period difference or the source material but I felt it was an average adventure in the Bond legacy. I mean in the stories before this book, he had to stop a space exploration or a voodoo drug kingpin with the help of his psychic ally. I couldn't quite get into the story. I've watched the movie and read the book a few times - it's good but not great.

Final scores:

From Russia, with Love (the book) - 4/10
From Russia with Love (the movie) - 5/10
NEXT: The sixth addition in this blog series is bringing it all back to the beginning. That's right! Slip on your cabana wear, grab your seashells and head to a tropical destination, I'm going to be reading "Dr. No!" It's funny to think that the first film in the movie series is actually the sixth entry in the book series. Comparisons will be on the lookout for my next post.

Hey everyone,

It must be that time of the year because I couldn`t resist updating the blog yet again. The former design, while great, didn`t feel right anymore and I wanted to try something that was much more visually appealing. The colour scheme is different, the main page slider is gone and a new background header has been included. What do you think?

There are still some tiny updates that I need to make but I`m basically done. I`m enjoying the new look. Plus, more features have been added to help with the search functionality and navigation. Let me know how things go!


A little time and break was what I needed to clear my mind. It has been a few weeks since my last post and with a couple of things going on in my life, certain moments have kept me away from writing another blog post.

Since it is a Tuesday, I felt a tad inspired to bring back another series of music posts that I occasionally do from time to time. I'm not sure what this section will look like in the coming months; I'm potentially thinking of doing this beyond Tuesdays, but we will ultimately see what happens as it develops.

For those a new to the blog, Tuesday Tunes is a quick hit post where I share three online videos where music plays an important part. It can be a parody, a music video or a scene from a popular TV show or movie. Here are the three videos I selected:

1. "Unbelievers" by Vampire Weekend (Live on Saturday Night Live)
2. "Let It Go" by Frozen (Google Translate edition by Malinda Kathleen Reese)
3. "Talking Dreams" by Echosmith

The Hunger Games. Twilight. Harry Potter. These are just a few of the big blockbuster series that have made it from the book shelf to the big screen. All have received immense popularity first from their book series before heading to theatres. While some can be successful like "Divergent", others could falter like "The Mortal Instruments" - simply not reaching its full potential or successful enough to get a sequel created. The latest movie I watched in theatre is at the same crossroads. It's a somewhat popular book series that just released its much buzzed about first movie: The Maze Runner.

[Note: Similar to all movie reviews on this site, this will be a spoiler-free review. I will try to keep all details of the plot to a bare minimum.]

The Premise: Thomas (played by Teen Wolf's Dylan O'Brien) is a 16 year old boy suffering from amnesia who wakes up in a mysterious area known simply as the Glade. While Thomas is unable to remember anything from his past life, he soon learns from the Gladers, boys like Thomas who were transported to the Glade over the years, that they live in a small campsite surrounded by a deadly maze. The maze, which changes its layout every day, is filled with dangerous creatures, impossible traps and their only chance at escaping the Glade forever.

The Good: Since The Maze Runner was adapted from a novel, it had a great source material to develop its large cast of characters. Sometimes in films like these, the supporting players are simply background fodder to have a recognizable name but I quite enjoyed the interactions between the Gladers. A few stand outs that come to mind are British gardener Newt, Runner Minho, bully Gally, young Chuck and Teresa, the Glade's only girl. It got a bit confusing at times remembering ALL the Gladers (it was a giant camp...too many kids around), but the characters came out into their own. Also, Dylan O'Brien did a great job in the role of Thomas - I like him on Teen Wolf and I wasn't disappointed in his first real starring movie role.

The Maze Runner also packed plenty of action and special effects in the film. Particularly the design of the maze really stood out and showed off the dangers that lurked inside. The Grievers - the monsters that lurked in the maze - looked really creepy. I won't deny that I did jump once or two when they popped out of nowhere.

The Bad: I never read The Maze Runner so I don't have the basis to judge the source material. However, while watching the film, something always seemed to feel a tad off. I think the pace of the movie plot stood out the most to me as it sometimes felt rushed while other times it just dragged on. In particular Thomas got over his "panic" of having amnesia pretty quickly and was ready to enter the maze while only being in the Glade for what seemed like a few days. Also, how is it that in three years no one came even close to venturing deep into the maze and yet Thomas could do it? (Sorry, that will be my only plot reveal - it just really irked me. It probably gets explained more in the book with the Runners.) 

There were probably just a few things missing from the book in terms of the plot that I think would have added more to the film. It hit all the main points with lots of action and mystery, and yet I don't think much really happened with the story. Even after watching the film, I could describe The Maze Runner as a basic plot haiku!

Boy wakes up in maze.
Boy loses his memory.
Boy must escape maze.

The Results: 2/5!
The Maze Runner was a simple action-filled mystery about the dangers hidden within a maze. Dylan O'Brien and the cast did a great job of channeling the fear of living in this dystopian new  world. The special effects stood out and the design of the maze is something to enjoy, especially for fans who read the book series and loved the concept. The pace of the plot didn't keep me at the edge of my seat and it left me with more questions than eagerly waiting for the next surprising moment. It was a good film - not a great one - and it didn't have the same impact as other big book-to-film adaptations. Potentially it may be because I wasn't a fan of the book series before I watched the film and I didn't have the anticipation going in beforehand. However, if you're a fan of the book, you should check it out as it would connect with you and you would enjoy it.

Agree or disagree with the review? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
Fall isn't just the start of school or the changing season, it's also the brand new TV season. One of the most anticipated shows to premiere tonight is "Gotham" on Fox. Gotham tells the story of the future Commissioner Gordon (played by Benjamin McKenzie) and the origin stories of the many popular characters that make up the dark and gritty Gotham City in the time of Batman.

With the show set to air this month, many details have been revealed about the characters, including which comic book villains will appear as of the pilot episode. The Peguin, The Riddler, Catwoman and Poison Ivy are just four of the future villains who will have their origin stories explored in the first season. Similar to the likes of shows like "Smallville" and "Arrow", there are bound to be more characters and villains introduced throughout the season (and subsequent seasons, if successful).

Batman is my favourite superhero. What with the childhood cartoons, video games and movies, I am a fan - though I haven't read the comic books. In anticipation of the future characters, I've spent some time thinking of which potential villains could have their origin stories revealed on Gotham. NOTE: Just a helpful reminder, I didn't read the comic books so age accuracy and retcon could disprove some of my wishlist choices below. Also, I obviously left out the four villains above who will already be appearing in the show.

The genetically modified monstrosity. I'm not sure how Gotham's production will be run; I would assume it will be more realistic in special effects like Arrow compared to the upcoming "Flash" or Smallville. However, the original character of Clayface was supposedly an actor named Basil Karlo who was old enough to have a film be remade about him. Potentially Gotham could feature the younger actor as he films the original "Clayface" movie that would soon inspire his criminal moniker.

A brilliant surgeon in Gotham City, Hush drastically changed his physical features to target two people: Bruce Wayne and Batman. Thomas Elliot (Hush) was a childhood friend of Bruce Wayne  - he was jealous and competitive of his friend. Since the young Bruce Wayne will appear in the show, it would be great to see the future Hush around, showing the animosity which would inspire his future villainy. 

Let me get this out of the way: I'm not the biggest Mr. Freeze fan. His appearance in the Batman film that shall not be named ruined his image for me and I sometimes find him to be a tad corny. However, a re-imagining in a show like this - similar to the Dark Knight films - could fix that. His character is a little older in the current series so having him appear as a younger doctor wouldn't be completely out of the norm. It may not show his transformation into the demented Mr. Freeze but we could see his early beginnings with his ill-fated wife, Nora.

This is more of a curiosity idea for me. Scarecrow has always been the creepy Batman villain, the one who always pops up to incite nightmares for the citizens of Gotham City. I would be interested to see Scarecrow, the younger Jonathan Crane, as he starts his fascination into psychology and bio-chemicals in the medical field. He probably wouldn't be as demented as he is in his adult life but his origin story may explain his fear of bats/fascination of fears. Note: this may already be explained in the comic books at a later time.

Jervis Tetch is a dark and deranged character in the Batman universe. He's a hat maker who is obsessed with Alice in Wonderland; he is forever searching for his missing Alice. He took on the alias of the Mad Hatter and uses mind control technology to serve his own will. He's one of the few Batman villains to become more evil and villainous as the years progressed since his introduction and it would be interesting to see how the show portrays him in their version. He would be younger in the origin story but potentially we could see the original Alice that inspired his future criminal career.

Similar to Clayface in the special effects regard, Ra's al Ghul may be toned down if he makes an appearance in Gotham. He's the founder of the League of Assassins and he's also the father to Talia al Ghul, one of Bruce Wayne's future lovers. However, he's also centuries old and uses magical pits to sustain his age - that would be hard to explain on the show. He could prove to be future season villain. However, Ra's is a character that could potentially appear in other DC television shows as well so the chances of him appearing in Gotham may be slim to none.

Batman Arkham City may be one of my favourite video games ever and Professor Hugo Strange was at the epicentre of the story controlling the events. Professor Hugo Strange is a terrifying character who uses powerful serums to control his victims. Before his descent into villainy, he was a psychologist. Out of the characters listed above, he may be one of the easiest to incorporate into the show as he could be the therapist or criminal psychologist to any of the criminals or victims in Gotham City.

At the heart of the Batman universe, Gotham City is plagued with crime and several groups run by powerful mob bosses. I don't just mean the groups in clown masks, two-face masks or snow suits but the actual criminal organizations. Black Mask is one such mob boss. Sure, he wears a dark leather black mask, but so do most of the people at S&M clubs. Black Mask is a power-hungry corrupt criminal mob boss in Gotham City who controls most of the inner-workings of Gotham City. Similar to Professor Hugo Strange, the Black Mask alias could be an easy villain to incorporate into the show.

Harvey Dent is a former Batman ally turned villain (and sometimes neutral ally). The scars on his face resulted when a mobster burnt half his face with acid. Soon Dent turned to crime as Two-Face, a criminal who flips a coin to determine decisions based on duality. While this wouldn't be the criminal origins of Two-Face, it could be the hero story of Harvey Dent as his younger self going into law or being a young friend to Bruce Wayne. He's one of the few on this list that I'm not sure could appear on the show; it may need to be similar to Poison Ivy's character and updated to fit the show's storylines.

Who is the Joker?! Not much has ever been revealed about the psychotic clown and I wouldn't be surprised if the writers never do. He's shrouded in mystery and anyone who crosses his path always meets a devastating fate with a clownish twist. His age is a bit of mystery so I wouldn't know if he's around Bruce Wayne's age or older, but it could be a tempting idea. Many would be excited to see him featured on the show; however, I wouldn't expect to see the Joker appear for a very long time. If he were to ever be included as a storyline, it would probably be after a few seasons, or when they needed to add a truly menacing twist to the show.

Which villains do you want to show up in Gotham? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
If your life flashed before your eyes, what would you see?  Your first kiss? Your first day of school? Favourite concert? That time you got into some serious trouble?

I would hope for nothing embarrassing, but knowing my luck I'd get glimpses of my past dating disasters or the time I wiped out at the company picnic. Trust me...don't ever run on wet grass - so much pain. (And I broke a water bucket!)

One of the latest movies I've seen in theatres was about holding on and remembering those memories from the past. I enjoy the occasional romantic drama and I decided to give this a chance. The movie I will be reviewing today is the book-to-film adaptation: If I Stay.

The Premise: Mia Hall (played by Chloë Grace Moretz) is a talented cello player who is eagerly awaiting to hear back from Julliard after her audition months earlier. One day after leaving the house with her family, their car gets into an accident which leaves Mia in an out-of-body experience between life and death, and her entire family in critical condition as well. As her loved ones are left waiting in the hospital, we experience memories of Mia's past, including those of former boyfriend Adam (Jamie Blackley), and watch as Mia determines whether to move on into the afterlife or stay.

The Results: 3/5!
If I Stay was a cute and touching film about the moments in our life and the people we take for granted. I've never read the book (though, I've heard about it before) so this was a new experience for me and I pleasantly enjoyed it. The acting and the dialogue in the film stood out for me; Moretz did a good job with channelling the internal conflict of the character and I liked the chemistry between her and Blackley. I was more particularly interested to find out if Mia stayed behind in the end or not - it may have been the main reason I watched the movie. While I enjoyed the movie as a whole, it wasn't as emotionally touching as other romantic dramas like "The Fault In Our Stars" or "The Notebook" book-to-films. I wouldn't recommend to go in expecting for something new or ground-breaking, it's a simple concept about a girl having an out-of-body experience. However, if you're a fan of the book and enjoy a quaint romantic film, you should check it out.
Real talk moment: I have a guilty pleasure for TV movies. I don't just mean specials that are created once in a while, but the full-blown "Lifetime Movie of the Week" TV movie. There are those that have ranged from the downside of torrid affairs to others that are inspired by "real life" events - I've seen my fair share of both. There's something about watching a trashy movie for two hours that can be somewhat relaxing.

Recently, the latest TV movie buzzed around the small screen was about the behind-the-scenes story of one of my favourite television shows from my childhood. I don't make a habit of reviewing TV movies but there's always a first time for everything. The film I will be reviewing today is the "scandalous" expose: The Unauthorized Saved By The Bell Story.

The Premise: Based on the events of the popular 90s teen sitcom Saved By The Bell and the "Behind The Bell" tell-all book, The Unauthorized Saved By The Bell Story shares the behind-the-scenes story of how the show, and its teen cast, reached worldwide success.

The Results: 1/5!
Drama. Scandal. Fights. Where was all that in this biopic?! The Unauthorized Saved By The Bell Story shared the early beginnings of its teen cast as they dealt with fame and fortune. However, nothing revealed in the film felt too shocking or dramatic to warrant a retelling of the behind-the-scenes events. The character of Dustin Diamond (Sam Kindseth) served as the main narrator for the film and the film primarily focused on the negative drama in his life with drinking, exclusion from the cast and blackmail; this may simply be due to the fact that the real life actor was an Executive Producer of the film. With the exception of a few real secrets that fans already knew (i.e. Lark & Mark-Paul's secret relationship, Elizabeth wanting to branch out into film), the majority of the other information shared was simply implied or fabricated. Based on the scenes shown, the cast dealt with everyday teen issues and they were basically a family by the end of the show. It all seemed very tame and missing the real story of true events. That's not to say it's a bad movie. The soundtrack of the film was incredible, serving up plenty of hits for fans of 80's & 90's music, and some of the cast did a great job channeling their characters. If you're a fan of Saved By The Bell, I'd recommend to check it out to relive some of those iconic moments from your childhood but prepare yourself to debate the accuracy of a few events presented throughout the film.

Hi everyone,

Sorry for the delay in content being uploaded to the website. There are a few technical issues and updates that I'm looking into for updating the blog. I have some posts ready to go when everything is completed. Stay tuned for more posts to come!


The twist is revealed, the house is a tree and this season's crop of houseguests are one week away from walking into the game. A year has gone by and after the debacle that was Big Brother 15, all eyes will be on this year's cast to see what is said when the game starts. The "Powers That Be" have carefully selected which players will be entering the game but even after our all pre-judgements and first impressions, we won't truly know these houseguests until they start playing.

I don't usually do a first impressions post. I constantly change my opinion and thoughts about the moves these players make and I've been disappointed a couple times in the past. Some get nasty, others stand out while the rest either become quiet or float by. Though, I'm open to looking back at our thoughts of these players before they shock us with their actions this summer.

Let's delve right into the first houseguest...

Amber Borzotra (26): Southern girl, seems like a socialite-type that would prefer the aspects of fame and enjoying the summer by the pool. I don't see any fight in her and I wouldn't be surprised if she auditioned to be on the show based on a whim. Does she really know the game? Probably not. I'd guess she'll either float by to jury or get an early boot from the "model eviction" curse that plagues every season.

Brittany Martinez (29): Brittany may have been scouted but I think she's hiding her competitive nature in these interviews. I keep getting a "diamond-in-the-rough" vibe from her and would be pleasantly happy if she turned out to be a real competitor. The only drawback is that I could see her getting too caught up in showmances, the drama or the emotions from being away from her kids. Possibly she'll make it far. Top 4 or finals?

Caleb Reynolds (26): A showmancer...and he's proud of it. People will like him at first based on his looks but he'll definitely have the target on his back as the season progresses. His partner will last longer than he does if doesn't win power - that's what happens when a strong guy and girl team up in an obvious duo. He seems cocky and that could rub people the wrong way; might be a little too arrogant and abrasiveness at first. Big Brother is a long game so it's really early to tell...

Christine Brecht (23): The superfan of the group and one of my favourites. I love houseguests who live, breathe and think about Big Brother because you want to cheer on those fans to win the game they love so much. She definitely stands out with the glasses, tattoos and nerdy nature which could work against her. She might be one of the early evictees if she can't connect with the others, but I'd hope for at least jury.

Cody Calafiore (23): Has he ever watched an episode of Big Brother? Like ANY Big Brother before being scouted for the show? He seems really laid-back, calm and to be a little honest...dull. His looks will help start a showmance if he's interested and he could be targeted for being a threat early on if men are being targeted. I want to be proven wrong with this, but I don't think Cody will do well at first unless he's pulled into a big alliance. For some reason I can't shake, I get the vibe he will float by, join a powerful alliance and get carried to good spot without really knowing how to play the game.

Derrick Levasseur (30): He's the cop who wants to lie about being a cop. Tony did it on Survivor but it didn't really change things. I don't understand why houseguests need to lie about their profession, it doesn't shock people at the beginning and people move on. Keeping things a secret will backfire on him. He seems to be an aggressive and smart player so he could make it far.

Devin Shepherd (26): Really strong guy with a daughter at home. He'll get the sympathy card and could win a few people with his nice attitude. Though, same like Howard last season, Devin looks really strong and tough with his muscles. Even if he's not great at challenges, he might always be perceived as a challenge threat and targeted early. I wouldn't be surprised if he got blindsided early on before jury.

Donny Thompson (42): Is Duck Dynasty doing a cross-over this season? He seems like a floater and wouldn't be open to shaking up the house. His favourite player was Spencer from last season so my expectations are low. Expect Donny to be carried for a few weeks as a pawn or evicted during a throwaway week.

Frankie Grande (31): Frankie may be the most debated houseguest this season based on fairness. He has a large social following and his sister is a famous popstar/actress. Those fan followings alone will impact the voting, similar to what happened last season for Big Brother 15 with the Brenchel army and Elissa. He seems to be here for the fame and the game - he could really pull things off and be a competitor. However, if people find out who his sister is, or if they're tired of his antics, he could get the boot pre-jury.

Hayden Voss (21): Chill surfer and someone who may make a lot of jokes in the house. As compared to David from last season, I think Hayden may be more knowledgeable about Big Brother. I don't foresee him to be the first evictee and I think he'll make it to jury. He's not a threat from a physicality perspective at first glance and could join a powerful alliance for numbers, but I think he might surprise a lot of people.

Jocasta Odom (33): Obvious floater. She doesn't seem like the type to actively play a strategic or physical game. I see her as the person who may stick around the house as the extra vote or could get an early boot. However, she could be the cause of drama when she's tired of playing the nice game. Either way, I don't expect Jocasta to win Big Brother.

Joey Van Pelt (27): Fun, loud and up for anything. Joey is a character and will offer some great TV moments. She wants an all-girl alliance and I would love to see that happen. Season 6 somewhat had that partway through the season - it worked but didn't work well. The problem Joey might have is that the houseguests who are different or who have strong personalities tend to get evicted early. She needs to develop those friendships very quickly!

Nicole Franzel (21): Very sweet girl and could slide right through to jury. She could surprise a lot of people and make a big move that shocks everyone. I like Nicole! She's the bright-eyed fan that is genuinely excited to be in the house and to play the game. I hope to see great things from her.

Paola Shea (27): Oh Paola...I really don't know what to say. She's definitely a character, but I sense she's a fame-seeker and here to build her DJ reputation. She could float by at first, trying to slide through. However, she will definitely cause a lot of drama and could be a pre-jury boot. I'm not expecting her to change the game - I suspect she'll try and fail.

Victoria Rafaeli (22): Another person who doesn't really know much about the game. She's familiar with Big Brother in another country, but that's a different type of Big Brother which focuses on public opinion. I think Victoria will assume the role of floater and try to slide by the early weeks. I would love if she attempted to play the game but my hopes are low right now.

Zach Rance (23): I can't even with Zach right now. I've watched a few videos of Zach and he will definitely get the title of "too-hard-too-fast" this season. Relationships are important in Big Brother and you can't win the game without making genuine alliances. His strategy will absolutely change once he's in the house and I will be curious to see how he actually plays the game. Zach will be an interesting person to watch early on - his game depends on it.

Agree or disagree with my early impression? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Superhero movies can be a hit or miss. While they strike big at the box office (in most occasions) and generate tons of buzz, they can deviate away from the source material, enraging fans in the process. The X-Men films are a perfect example as the series is a great success but fans are diehard about staying close to the original series - and we really don't need to see another X-Men: The Last Stand or Wolverine: Origins again. The movie I will be reviewing today is the latest superhero flick from the blockbuster X-Men franchise: X-Men: Days of Future Past.

[Note: This will be a spoiler-free review. I will try to keep all details of the plot to a bare minimum for those who have yet to watch the film.]

The Premise: Set between two different time periods, X-Men: Days of Future Past follows the story of the X-Men and their struggle against the Sentinel war. In the future, mankind and mutantkind are on the brink of extinction as the robotic machines known as the Sentinels are mercilessly hunting down mutants and capturing (or in most cases, killing) anyone with any trace of the Mutant gene. Wolverine (played by Hugh Jackman) is sent back in time to the 1970s to prevent Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) from assassinating a well-regarded scientist, Boliver Trask (Peter Dinklage), and causing the spark that develops into the Sentinel war.

X-Men: Days of Future Past features an ensemble cast in the 1970s and the future. Notable mutants featured in the movie include Professor Xavier, Magneto, Wolverine, Mystique, Beast, Iceman, Shadowcat, Blink, Storm, Quicksilver and much more.

The Good: X-Men boasts one of the biggest casts of characters. Each are unique, holds their own individual power and a backstory that defines who they are. X-Men: Days of Future Past thrives with its cast, as it features the return of several favourites from the original trilogy while introducing new ones as well. It was great seeing my favourites return (i.e. Shadowcat, Professor X, Magneto, etc) while getting to meet new mutants in the film series like Quicksilver - Evan Peters did a great job and brought a lot of humour to the role. Plus, James McAvoy, Jennifer Lawrence and Michael Fassbender have great chemistry together - as well as in their own scenes - that each were the best parts of the past.

CGI and special effects can sometimes be heavily relied upon in superhero movies - it takes away from the experience. There was a nice mix of action and effects in the movie that I quite enjoyed the experience. Unlike some past TV shows and movies, the flick didn't seem to be filmed entirely on a green screen, which is an absolute pleasure.

The Bad: X-Men: Days of Future Past is over two hours long and while I don't have many negatives of the film, the choices that were made at certain points could have been fixed. Continuity seems to plague this movie series as small decisions added (or in some cases, taken out) can drastically affect certain characters in the future. I will admit that I never read the comics as a kid - I was more a video game, film and cartoon fan. However, I still know bits and pieces about the comic book history that made me wonder why certain choices were made. The film series - similar to how Resident Evil was done - is its own story so I'll wait to see the next sequel to see if they try to tackle those history points in the future. Sorry for the vague assessment; remember, no spoilers!

The Results: 4.5/5!
X-Men: Days of Future Past tackled two storylines and tried to connect each film in the series together - and it made sense, except for some obvious points. The cast did a great job, the action scenes weren't cheesy and the plot didn't tarnish the series as a whole for the next sequels in the franchise. Do I wish certain choices hadn't been made? Yes, but on the opposite side of the argument, I loved what the filmmakers did for the ending and the final half of the movie. As someone who grew up with the original trilogy and knows the storylines, it was great to see that things weren't completely abandoned but instead touched upon. Any diehard X-Men fan will enjoy the movie but it's also a great summer blockbuster and a good popcorn flick so check it out.

Agree or disagree with the review? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

The game is over and a new winner has been crowned. It's been a roller coaster of a season with betrayals, twists and the biggest shift of power from a twist I've ever seen. Big Brother Canada 2 will go down as an incredible season to study when learning about Big Brother. In a polarizing final two compared to last year's vote, 23 year old student Jon Pardy won the game in a 6-1 vote against 25 year old hair dresser Sabrina Abbate. The winner and final results were unsurprising after Neda Kalantar, the 22 year old fashion stylist, was evicted by her ally Jon at Final Three.

I haven't posted about the recent evictions in a while so similar to last year's post, I will combine the last five evictions together in one post. I will cover my thoughts from Adel's blunder to Heather's surprising season turnaround. Let's start with the last evictee... 

Adel (Fifth Place)
Wake up, Canada! Actually...Adel needed to wake up. He had the personality to win people over and the luck to survive after losing all his alliance members, but he didn't have the foresight to play the game. He wasted his Head of Household (HOH) to take out a Gremlin instead of focusing his efforts on the real threats: Jon & Neda. Adel was ready to jump in and play the game with Jon but Jon couldn't do anything as the girls were running the house that week. Everyone was after the power couple and yet he wasn't ready to strike against the pair. There were six players left - time was running out and he wasted his opportunity. I wouldn't be surprised to see Adel return for another season. He won over the audience but he couldn't win the game. 

Heather (Fourth Place)
I expected Heather to be one of the first evictees. Her opening introduction made me cringe and she seemed like a fame-seeking recruit - someone brought in who didn't want to compete nor knew how to play the game. Over the course of the season, I ended up really liking Heather and she was turning her game around. I thought she had a chance to win it all! Unfortunately for her, it didn't work out but I'm proud of her. My opinions can change and she shocked me the most. 

Neda (Third Place) 
Neda! I wanted Neda to win so bad. She was controlling the house, manipulating the houseguests and made the big game moves that altered the season. If she hadn't lost the final HOH competition, she would have been in the finals and would have won. Her game was incredible as no one suspected her and yet she took control of the power from the First Five halfway through the season. Neda will absolutely be back from another season and I can't wait to see how she changes her tactics. 

Sabrina (Second Place)
Sabrina had no chance to win Big Brother. Her emotional tirades and explosive comments destroyed any social game she had. The jury, with the exception of Rachelle, would never vote for her win - she burned all bridges long before the evicted players left the house. Congratulations on securing second place! No one expected her to make it that far and many viewers wanted her gone (including myself), but she proved people wrong and accomplished the impossible. 

Jon (First Place)
Jon is a rarity in the Big Brother game. He's a physical threat, has a great social game, and is absolutely loved by fans...yet he made it to the finals never facing an eviction vote. He was only nominated once but won the Power of Veto (POV) to take himself off the nomination block; he's never received an eviction vote against him. I'm shocked that no one thought to target Jon - he's a perfect target. Though, he was great television and a deserving winner as he and Neda dominated the latter half of the game. I was unsure if he would make the tough decision but he proved me wrong. His best move was evicting Neda and it was a winning decision that scored him the season. 

May is finally here and that only means one thing: pilot season is almost coming to an end. The network upfronts are set for next week and the networks will be unveiling their new line-ups and series orders. Unfortunately, many shows will be getting the axe this week to make room - similar to the recent announcement that Almost Human was cancelled by Fox after one season. Before the bad news starts coming in, let's enjoy the good news of renewals and series pick-ups.

While many naturally assumed this pilot as a lock for the 2014-2015 season, Fox has announced on May 5th that the pilot will become a series. Gotham, the comic book origin story of Commissioner Gordon (played by Benjamin McKenzie) and DC's super-villains, has been ordered to series to join previously picked pilots such as Heiroglyph and Backstrom. 

In other renewal news, WGN America has renewed Salem for a second season. The supernatural period-piece accumulated great numbers for the network, scoring the honour of being the network's most-watched show in years. Salem is slated to hopefully return in 2015 for a 13-episode second season.

Check out the extended trailer below to get a closer look at the new series.

Are you excited for Gotham? Was Salem on your renewal list? Share your thoughts in the comments below.