Screen Junkies » Sabrina Cognata Movie Reviews & TV Show Reviews Thu, 04 Sep 2014 20:13:02 +0000 en hourly 1 American Horror Story: The Season Two Finale And Beyond Wed, 23 Jan 2013 21:11:56 +0000 Sabrina Cognata What's in store for AHS season three....

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Last week, American Horror Story co-creator Ryan Murphy held a killer screening of the final episode of season two of his hit FX show. This was accompanied by a Q&A session to pick the show runner’s brain. Topics ranged from violence in film and television, the ending of season two, what’s in store for season three, and the feature length horror film he’s got in the works.

Murphy had previously stated that the finale would unfold as a documentary interview, highlighting Lana’s life after breaking free from the Asylum. He also hinted you should keep tissues handy, as the episode will likely have you reaching for them. He wasn’t kidding. The season two finale episode entitled “Madness Ends” does an excellent job of bringing closure to the various storylines, while also bringing a sense of justice for the viewers. It’s clear this season’s characters had a very clear journey to undergo, one that weighed heavier on the actors as it dealt with the unwavering strength of the human spirit and hope for the future.

There was a clear shift in Asylum, one that isolated the characters and became less about the house as an entity and more about it in terms of a tool to oppress the sick, unfortunate and insane. Instead of holding the souls of the dead hostage, this season the house jailed the spirit of the living, giving it an interesting and refreshing spin.

However, don’t start hoping that season three will return a storyline similar to that of season one. Murphy explained that season three will continue to be self contained, but this time take us through not only various time periods, but also cities. He also confirmed that fan favorites Jessica Lange, Sarah Paulson and Evan Peters will be returning to the show in some capacity.

When asked which actors not already associated with the show may show up in season three, Murphy remained tight lipped. However, he hinted that the already respectable list of actors associated with AHS will become even more elite because it seems a list of former Oscar winners indicated interest in working on the show next season. This is all due to Lange, whom Murphy calls an uncredited producer on season three, as she’s been recruiting people she would like to work with on the show.

Murphy went on to say we shouldn’t expect to see Jessica Lange in anymore makeupless frumpy frocks because next season she’ll be donning the most elegant designer gowns, calling her character a “glamour cat.” Which can only be highlighted by the fact that next season will be extremely “female-centric” adding that the iconic monster won’t be faceless this time around; she’ll be a woman.

Season three will also return to the Romeo & Juliet love story, a la Violet and Tate, that was a real fan favorite in season one. Additionally adding that season three will be much more lighthearted and fun in comparison to the dark and foreboding nature of Asylum. Still, this isn’t all Murphy has in the works when it comes to horror. He’s currently working on a feature length horror film set to begin filming in the spring based on his childhood affection for the movie The Town That Dreaded Sundown. He’ll be working with Paranormal Activity producer Jason Blum, and Alfonso Gomez-Rejon, the director responsible for some of the most iconic American Horror Story episodes including “Spilt Milk,” “I Am Anne Frank (Part II),” and the season two finale “Madness Ends.” He also added that Gomez-Rejon will take part in all parts of season three, as he’s been hired to direct every third episode, as well as serve as a producer throughout the entire season.

Murphy, who’s recently become a parent, also talked about the levels of violence in the American Horror Story franchise explaining that the Sandy Hook shootings really resonated with him. He also pointed out that a key part in season one was a school shooting, which was carefully filmed and unfolded within the story in a responsible manner. However, the storytelling remains at the forefront of Murphy’s vision adding, “I do feel that if you’re going to tell a story with a gun, take a step back and think about it.”

Which makes sense because realistically, American Horror Story is less about monsters and murders, and more about taking viewers on a journey about how the human spirit reacts to the savagery of daily life, both imagined and real.

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Women Warriors Of Westeros: The Driving Force Behind Game Of Thrones Mon, 21 Nov 2011 17:00:34 +0000 Sabrina Cognata In Game of Thrones, it's the female characters who give real depth to the story line.

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HBO’s Game Of Thrones wowed audiences last spring with the ongoing tribulations in the battle for the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros. While plenty of viewers would look at the show’s male characters as the driving force of the series, it’s actually the women who give real depth to the story line, displaying grit, perseverance, and doing whatever it takes to protect themselves and their families. These incredible characters manage to do this despite the fact that they are often treated as second-class citizens.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at the women warriors of Westeros.

Daenerys Targaryen

Daenerys Targaryen is arguably the most developed character of the first season. She begins the show as a feeble, frightened girl forced to marry a warrior so that her brother Viserys’s desire to recapture the throne can come to fruition. However, as each episode progresses, Dany realizes that she is actually stronger than all of the males around her, especially her brother.  In the fourth episode, she finally stands up to her sibling, slapping him and threatening his life should he ever abuse her again. Soon after, her brother is slain, and it is Dany who is the last hope of the Targaryen line.

Queen Cersei

This wicked snow queen (figure of speech, not a reference to Winterfell) is quite possibly the most interesting character on Game Of Thrones. She wants nothing more than her children to rule the Seven Kingdoms. Too bad all of her kids were fathered by her twin brother, Jamie Lannister, who as you may have guessed, is also her lover. Initially, when Ned confronts Cersei with allegations of martial infidelity and incest, she warns him, “In the game of thrones, you win or you die.”  It’s only a few episodes later that Ned’s decision to tangle with the queen results in the loss of his head.

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9 ‘American Horror Story’ Plot Theories That Are Less Confusing Than The Show Thu, 27 Oct 2011 22:17:48 +0000 Sabrina Cognata What the hell is going on with this show?

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American Horror Story is truly bizarre. In fact, it’s strange enough that you can barely go to a bar without overhearing people talk about their theories as to what’s going on with the characters and plots.  And there’s a lot of characters and a really vague plot.

However thin the plot appears to be, the show’s creators, Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk, have managed to weave together perfectly balanced elements of shock, horror and storytelling to accomplish what many thought would fall flat. And in a way, the doubts people had about the show actually ignited the fury behind trying to figure out what Murphy and Falchuk are planning.

What will happen to both the living and the dead people stuck in the Murder House? W

hat’s growing inside Vivian?

And most of all, who controls “The Infantata” in the basement?

Here are nine American Horror Story plot theories.

The entire story is made up by Violet after finding the dead bodies of Ben, Vivian & Hayden and being institutionalized.

Before you shake your head and say this is crazy, think about the show we’re talking about. So far, the rules of American Horror Story exist only within whatever Murphy & Falchuk can come up with. Knowing this, it’s possible that after the scene in the pilot where Viv cuts Ben after she catches him in bed with Hayden, what if Ben lashed out and accidentally killed her, then Hayden, and finally himself. Violet comes home and discovers the grizzly psycho sex murder scene and becomes unglued and is institutionalized, spending the rest of her days living out this fantasy within her head. 

It makes sense because during the pivotal moments of the show, Violet is the person that demands to be in the house. She even says, “We’ll take it,” to Marcie the Realtor in the pilot, and tells her mother she’d run away before she’d leave the house.

Tate is the puppeteer of “The Infantata” in the basement.

There have been lots of subtle hints that Tate is tied to the creature thing in the basement. He uses it to protect Violet multiple times, including when he has Violet lure both the high school bully and the home invasion killer down stairs. But also, he is insistent about meeting Violet there so that they can be alone,. It’s as though he is the only person that can shield her from the monster.

When Tate initially got the bully into the basement, the camera flashed between him and “The Infantata,” causing Violet to ask him what that monster was and how controlled it.  However, once Tate saved Violet from the Home Invasion killers, she stopped questioning his intentions, and instead started asking what the monster was, prompting the tale of Dr. Charles Montgomery’s most vile work, the reanimation of his own dismembered child.

The troubled past Ben Harmon talks about was caused by bizarre psychic powers.

There is something about Ben that just doesn’t add up, starting with the house’s bizarre hold over him. It causes him to wake up in the middle of the night and play with fire. Not to mention his insane meetings with Larry the fire starter. More importantly, is the fact that Ben is becoming slowly unglued.

When Ben meets with Tate in the playground on Halloween, he tells Tate that he can relate to him more than Tate can understand, making him quite possibly the worst therapist on Earth if not the most pathetic human being. If Ben’s childhood antics were the cause of super bizarre psychic powers, it would make sense how he is extremely susceptible to the power of the house and incapable on fighting it off.

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9 ‘It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia’ Plots That Actually Happened Tue, 18 Oct 2011 16:10:02 +0000 Sabrina Cognata Is this life imitating art, or simply *ssholes being *ssholes?

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The genius behind It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia is that it doesn’t merely rely on its sordid, off-the-wall humor. What’s more important to the show is the fact that the characters are willing to do almost anything for their own self-serving needs, especially when money is involved. No scheme is too absurd for the gang, which makes sense, since they are fictional. After all, who in their right mind would sell gas door-to-door or dress in reverse drag to compete as a professional athlete?

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However, like it or not, many of these crackpot schemes have been executed by real-life degenerates, the sort of which make Dee, Dennis, Mac, Charlie and Frank look like saints. Now, we can’t say if some of these are life imitating art or vice-versa, but chances are they happened organically, which gives me very little faith in humanity.

Here are nine examples of plots from It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia being implemented in real life.

The Gang Solves The Gas Crisis

Always Sunny: This is a classic episode of IASIP in which the characters each acquire a theme based alias: Dennis is the looks, Mac the brains, and Charlie the wildcard. And when this trifecta of awesome comes together, they devise one of their most lame-brained schemes of all time: reselling gasoline door-to-door in the short term while hoarding gas long-term in the basement of Paddy’s Pub and selling it once the price doubles. As you can imagine, everything goes very, very wrong.

Real Life: Likewise, Bridgewater, Massachusetts had a wicked hard controversy when the Department Of Water & Power Commissioner Dana Olson was caught on tape illegally purchasing gas from Amy Nobel. Nobel, like the gang, had stored gallons of gasoline in her home and was reselling it on the cheap. Unlike the gang, her husband stole the gas from his employer, Conoco Phillips in East Boston. If only the Looks, Brains & Wildcard had been there to guide them on their moneymaking quest things could have turned out just as poorly, but way more entertaining.


The Gang Gets Invincible

Always Sunny: When the Philadelphia Eagles hold open tryouts, Mac & Dennis use it as an excuse to settle who is the better football player. Eventually, it becomes clear the answer is neither of them, and the attention is turned to Sweet Dee. Dee uses this opportunity to dress like a man and prove that she can compete in football, eventually kicking a perfect field goal and gaining the attention of the Eagles’ coaches. But when she goes to show off her talents as a woman, her magical abilities disappear and she breaks her foot.

Real Life: 2006 Olympic silver medalist Santhi Soundarajan had her fair share of problems when her femininity, or lack thereof, was called into question by competitors. Unlike Dee, her genetic testing resulted in the conclusion that Santhi “does not possess the sexual characteristics of a woman.” She was then stripped of her medal. People really do cross dress with the hopes of winning at sports; it wasn’t just a silly IASIP gag.


D.E.N.N.I.S System

Always Sunny: The D.E.N.N.I.S. System might be the most brilliant episode in IASIP history. Dennis breaks down his evil tactics for seducing and then abandoning a woman in order to make her dependent on him forever.

D- Demonstrate value
E- Engage physically
N- Nurture dependence
N- Neglect emotionally
I- Inspire hope
S- Separate entirely

This, of course ends tragically when Frank, Mac & Charlie all attempt their version of the D.E.N.N.I.S. method on the same girl and it becomes clear to her that she’s been used. The exact method that should have catapulted the gang to dating fame failed, per the usual, leaving them to chase down other lofty dreams.

Real Life: Another man employed his very own “system” for getting girls. You might know this guy as the dude in the stupid hats, but he also goes by Mystery. Yes, I’m talking about the Mystery Method, which holds many common bonds to the D.E.N.N.I.S. System. However, its success rate is apparently very high, even landing Mystery his very own show on VH1. If only the gang had been comprised of highly intelligent nerds instead of moderately good-looking asshats.


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