‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3’ proves a trilogy finale doesn’t need a main character death to be effective

There are a couple of essential ingredients when you’re looking to wrap up a trilogy. First, there’s a beginning, middle, and end (obviously). It would be best if you had a way to wrap up the individual and macro overachieving themes in which the story began in the first place. If you look at Batman Begins, Bruce Wayne becomes Gotham’s protector with the caped crusader mantle and passes it on to live a happier life (begrudgingly) in Dark Knight Rises. On the outside, the city of Gotham is going

Missy Elliott’s legacy is as rock and roll as it gets

Rock and Roll music was birthed in genres like jazz, gospel, and rhythm and blues – fortified by legends such as Little Richard, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley, and Sh-boom. Some people have come to view rock music with a narrow lens of singer, guitarist, bassist, and drummer in the ilk of bands like The Rolling Stones, Led Zepplin, and The Foo Fighters. That’s not to say those bands aren’t vastly important in their own right (they absolutely are), but rock and roll is a genre th

Lovers of all things media should be paying attention to the WGA writers' strike

I’ve been fortunate to be in the realm of writing about entertainment media for nine years as well as a lifetime fan. My mind is full of timeless quotes and reenactments of scenes from my favorite film – verbatim. Even through all this time, I still have an eager and curious eye on upcoming releases like I did when I was a kid. All that wouldn’t be possible without the people in the rooms writing the storylines that hook you for weeks, make you cry, and laugh until your stomach hurts.

When we l

While we all wait for episode six, here’s DraftKings Nation’s ‘Yellowjackets’ Halftime spectacular

If you have not noticed by now, Yellowjackets season two is on a week break, and what a way to take a breather than an impending birth within a potentially haunted forest? We’re all jonesing for answers, but we here at DraftKings Nation have a little stop-gap idea. Let’s go over some burning questions that we have coming off the last episode that we hoped to be answered in the remaining four episodes of this season.

What Will Become of Shauna’s Baby?

We can all acknowledge Shauna having her ba

These AI-generated songs sap the soul out of the artistic medium that needs it most

I’m sure I’m not alone in this, but one of my favorite electronic groups of all time is Daft Punk. When the duo suddenly broke up in 2021, I was crushed. They made music on their own terms, made releases count, and had those amazing robot helmets (plus, I never got to see them live). An immediate void was created as they exited the incomparable musical partnership together. But a recent interview with co-founder Thomas Bangalter said when asked about why the duo broke up. He said, “As much as I

Ari Aster has a love for the deceptively depressive ending

Spoilers Ahead For Hereditary, Midsommar, and Beau Is Afraid are below.

Having viewed all three of writer/director Ari Aster’s feature films, I’ve concluded that the guy loves a depressing ending. Not just a simple, sad ending where it feels like all is lost – some of them have an uncomfortable celebratory vibe. For example, at the end of 2018’s Hereditary, everything that could go wrong for the Graham family does. The son, Peter, jumps out of the window to his death after he watches his posses

Am I losing it or is the Star Wars film franchise finally ready to get its act together?

It only came out more than three years ago, but 2019’s Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker feels like something we don’t speak of. The film happened – retracing many steps of past lore and ignoring why audiences enjoyed 2015’s The Force Awakens worked so well. The first film in the new trilogy combined the old classics and revealed new characters we want to journey with. A former stormtrooper named Finn had a change of heart, joined the resistance, and picked up a lightsaber to fight a master of th

Nobody Wins When the DC Family Feuds

Stop me if you’ve heard this before, but there seems to be more drama in the land of the DC film universe. This stems from an exclusive report from The Wrap that lays a lot of the studios' recent superhero troubles at the feet of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. Shazam! star Zachary Levi would then go on his Instagram account to confirm what sources told the publication was true. Keep in mind that Shazam! Fury of The Gods was just released this weekend. The whole back-and-forth has cannibalized any (a

Rocky had the best possible sendoff for his character in ‘Creed II’

If you were one of the many people who went to see Creed III this past weekend, you would note that this would be the first in the trilogy that genuinely felt like an Adonis Creed (Michael B. Jordan) story. That’s not to say there isn’t Rocky franchise DNA inside the story. Adonis comes out of retirement to face his most significant test, just like Rocky did with Ivan Drago in Rocky IV — and of course, the training montages and “never give up” attitude play a big part.

Besides this, the film di

‘The Last of Us’ has a chilling effect depicting how it’s bleak world affects young people

One of the quotes that stuck out to me while watching the television adaptation of The Last of Us was in “Please Hold to My Hand” when Joel and Ellie talked after the ambush as they got to Kansas City. He says to her, ”You’re just a kid. You shouldn’t know what it means to. It’s not like you killed him, but shooting.” Ellie had to think fast to save Joel because his hearing prevented him from picking up on an ambush. But sadly, she had to shoot another kid named Brian. Given Joel’s life experien

We must free ourselves from the need for everything to be in an extended universe

After seeing Avengers: Endgame with a couple of friends, I remembered talking to them after and saying, “I don’t know if the MCU will ever reach this height again.” It’s not that I was throwing stones at the mantle of Marvel – it’s just that I realized it’s entirely hard to have people reinvest in the manner they did for 20+ films and projects. It felt like the world stopped for that opening weekend, where we all saw how the Infinity Saga would end. I mean, it worked – at the time, it would beco

20 years of ‘Daredevil’: The director’s cut makes things a tad bit better in retrospect

Before Ben Affleck took the mantle of Batman’s cowl and Bruce Wayne throughout the DC iteration of the Snyderverse, he was The Man Without Fear, blind lawyer by day Matt Murdock in 2003’s Daredevil. It was a time when the character rights for Marvel characters were scattered amongst a lot of studios. Initially, Home Alone, Ms. Doubtfire (and yes, Pixels) director Chris Columbus was supposed to be at the helm behind the camera. As the project went into limbo through the hands of different studios

Let’s just say this NBA All-Star weekend had a noticeable lack of buzz to it

Outside of a couple of highlights, I had to look at the box score to check if Dallas Mavericks superstar Luka Doncic actually played in the All-Star game. We’re talking about a guy averaging 33 points and 8 assists a game. Come to find out; he only had four points on five attempts in 19 minutes. Luka?

That sentiment carried itself throughout the whole game. Except for some spirited back-and-forth between Boston Celtics teammates Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, the game itself ... well, it just h

Marvel is pumping the breaks on its onslaught of content (Phew! that’s a good thing)

There is a saying that absence makes the heart grow fonder. When I say that, I’m not talking about the Canva templates set to beach pictures about dating – I mean in terms of content. Since 2020, it seems like we have been drowning in a constant barrage of it. One can attribute that to just the voracious nature of the consumer to go on to the next thing and companies ready to feed that appetite. Can you tell me how many projects you watch or miss on Netflix every week? Well, no, and neither can

The Rugrats Super Bowl-themed ‘Touchdown Tommy’ episode is funnier in hindsight and may have foreshadowed player safety

Briefly ruminating on my childhood, I randomly thought back to some Super Bowl-esque episodes of my favorite shows. One episode immediately came to mind – the Rugrats ‘Touchdown Tommy’ episode. Yes, the one where the kids mimic the big game over a big tiff all because of a bottle of chocolate milk. It’s a lot of fun watching a lot of these Nickelodeon shows when you’re an adult because you see them in a different light. So, indulge me in taking a trip down memory lane and reading some of my thou

Beyoncé’s vast amount of achievements shouldn’t limit how many times we acknowledge her greatness

One phrase that has had even more immense importance while we’ve ridden a wave of catastrophic loss of so many people is “giving someone their flower while they can still smell them.” A particular instance of this that I refer to is the Verzuz DMX had with Snoop Dogg before his tragic passing in April of 2021. Even through the socially distanced chat message format, X could feel the years of love and appreciation everybody carried for him. But that’s the thing about giving flowers – there is no

With ‘The Woman King’s’ omission, the Oscars further the stigma around which Black stories it chooses to reward

With the 2023 Oscar nominations, there were films I had no doubt would be a lock for many different categories – Everything Everywhere All At Once, The Banshees of Insherin, and The Fablemans, to name a few. In my opinion, deservingly so. Given how great a year 2022 has been overall for cinema, it's been tremendous in Black storytelling. From sci-fi, horror, action, and dramas, Black storytellers continued to spread their wings to diversify the Black experience on camera. Even so, I still had so

The talk show addition to ‘The Last of Us’ premiere might be its scariest scene

It’s not that we haven't experienced zombie stories before. It’s not even that pandemics haven’t happened before. There’s something about the opening scene of The Last of Us’s season premiere that has an extra ominous tone to it, considering what we’ve been through. The epidemiologist describes what worries him during the talk show panel sequence in 1968. It’s similar to COVID-19 – a viral infection that passes through the airwaves. When the question is posed to Dr. Neuman (John Hannah), it does

Will the upcoming influx of superhero films mean big profits for the 2023 box office?

Good news – the global box office is up to 2022 $25.9 billion gross compared to 2021, which hit $21.4 billion, as Variety notes. The bad news is it’s still 35% below the 2017-19 average. Still, is this a sign of encouragement? There are many reasons why these numbers are the way they are (and might not return to pre-pandemic levels). First, COVID-19 itself changed everything. Companies invested more in streaming services, and thus, viewer patterns have changed. More people might be inclined to s

Let The "Old" Kanye West Go

Five years ago, Kanye West (or Ye as he prefers to be called now) marched up to the TMZ offices and said that “slavery was a choice.” This is despite the overwhelming 400 years of evidence to the contrary and the fact he spent a Yeezus album cycle going from each talk show, speaking about self-empowerment and wanting to break out of the creative box the fashion industry had placed him in. Now, he’s willingly boxed himself with groups of people who will gladly use his anti-black and anti-Semitic
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