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‘Ash vs. Evil Dead’ Season 3 Ep 10 ‘The Mettle of Man’: Hail to the King, and the Ghostbeaters, baby!

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So the end of the world really is upon us, yes again, and it’s up to Ashy Slashy to save the day! And night, and the nowheresville town of Elk Grove, and what’s left of the people in it. Because really, between the 60-some-foot-high Kandarian demon, the Dark Ones, the rift and the Deadlands, Ruby and her machinations, and the damned Necronomicon and all the deadites that came from it, there aren’t a ton of people left in Elk Grove.

Brandy has more or less embraced the fact that she’s a Williams, and, in that fine tradition, goes about slaughtering deadites and demons left and right, getting covered in blood and gore as is family tradition, too. It’s so cute to see Brandy strike a Ghostbeater pose and drop a one-liner, with her dad looking on with such pride, that the daughter he never knew he had could and would carry on the fight regardless of what happens to him. And when Ash falters and doubts himself, it’s Brandy’s turn to tell him to suck it the fark up, and go kick some ass! Though poor Brandy is still denied the pre-Deadite-fight toke on the traditional blunt, hah.

This is somewhere many TV shows and even movies have faltered in recent years, trying to take something nostalgic we all loved from our younger lives and revamp it here in the modern-day. Keeping the same tone and ridiculous slapstick-y blood-splatter practical effects that made the original Evil Dead films is an absolute passion of the makers of Ash vs. Evil Dead, including Bruce Campbell himself, is hard to do, but these guys pulled it off.

Far too often the remade show or film suffers the Jurassic World syndrome, where the young and cocky new guy trying to stop the world from ending all but turns to the camera and says, “See what I’ve accomplished in your name, Grandpa, aren’t you proud of me? I made your original vision so much better!” That is almost inevitably hardly the case, but the upstarts with way too much money and time on their hands think remaking something they loved from when they were little is the most sincere form of flattery. In Ash’s case, instead, we see him pass the baton to Brandy gradually, by tossing her into the deep end of his world, where she swims like a damn champ.

That’s not to say that others in Ash’s world weren’t given the same loving treatment, in this final season of Ash vs. Evil Dead. Poor Pablo, that hapless lover, and eventual fighter, who embraced his own heroic heritage as a Brujo Especiale, in his own family tradition, has come a long way from when he first knelt and swore to join the Jefe’s fight. And when Pablo heroically runs down the behaunted main avenue of Elk Grove and is included in a very fine tribute to the original ‘Evil Dead’ and ‘Army of Darkness’ films, it is an excellent reminder of other characters who had grand storylines of their own, whom we came to love just as much as we love Ash.

Speaking of tributes, it has to be talked about, the necklace Ash gave Brandy, awww. He said he had it when he first encountered the Necronomicon in that cabin so damn long ago, and for all of us ‘Evil Dead’ fans, even if it’s not the real thing, that necklace sure feels like it anyways. Rather like the magnifying glass that was used to read that damn book that began all this nonsense, I thought; how appropriate.

A whole bunch of father and daughter deadite-slaying later, Pablo’s gone into the rift like that Brujo badass he is and come out with Kelly’s spirit, which he tosses into her body post-haste. She still won’t rise, why?! Because that sort of gag is yet another ‘Evil Dead’ tradition, that’s why. So Kelly’s finally back up kick some deadite demonic ass, finally, onward we go!

Boy, I bet the military are going ‘WTF y’all?!’ as they try to bombard the Kandarian demon with everything they’ve got. Ground forces are having no luck either, and though all our Ghostbeaters are finally together again, only Ash, our reluctantly aging hero, is the chosen one, the one to finally face that freaking gigantic Kandarian demon, alone. Ash bids a loving farewell to his original team, the Ghostbeaters, telling Kelly she will make a strong leader and that Pablo himself is the Jefe now, and to his heretofore-unknown daughter, the unexpected windfall of a child that straightens his spine and makes him face the deadites head-on once more, Brandy, wears the necklace as she bids him a loving goodbye. Nothing to do now but steal a tank, create a makeshift spear with the Kandarian dagger, oh yeah, and face down a humungous demon!

We all enjoyed the giant demon fight scene and can pretty much guess who won, but the whole scene after that was an interesting way to end the series. The film Army of Darkness actually has an alternate ending scene, wherein Ash once again screws up proper wording and finds himself way far off in a destroyed future rather than the present and S-Mart. This ending of another potential far-off future, somehow original Mad Max meets I Am Legend with deadites instead of vampires, where Ash once again has to gear up and go out to fight demons, seems ridiculously far-fetched.

Which, somehow, makes it work mostly for Ash’s whole Evil Dead world. All three seasons of Ash vs. Evil Dead, and hell, the movies that preceded them too, were over the top, goofy and funny and completely not plausible ever, but more than anything, fun. We’re all aging and resenting it too, just like Ash, and just like our beloved boom-stick wielding Jefe, we want to roar off into the sunset to kick ass, just one more time!

As most of us already know, the third season of Ash vs. Evil Dead was the final season, as Starz cancelled the show. Tons of fans turned hopeful petitions to places like Netflix, only to be further saddened when the man himself, Bruce Campbell, took to social media and stated he was finally done playing Ash Williams, but what an amazing ride it has been. We fans, myself included, loved all the hard work and energy and passion that was poured into every single episode of the show, and the show can be likened to ‘Stranger Things’ for nostalgia tribute value entertainment. Hail to the King, and his beloved Ghostbeaters, forever baby!

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Caesar’s Reign Comes To The Big Screen With New Trailer For Kingdom Of The Planet Of The Apes

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Director Wes Ball breathes new life into the global, epic franchise set several generations in the future following Caesar’s reign, in which apes are the dominant species living harmoniously and humans have been reduced to living in the shadows. As a new tyrannical ape leader builds his empire, one young ape undertakes a harrowing journey that will cause him to question all that he has known about the past and to make choices that will define a future for apes and humans alike. “Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes” is directed by Wes Ball (the “Maze Runner” trilogy) and stars Owen Teague (“IT”), Freya Allan (“The Witcher”), Kevin Durand (“Locke & Key”), Peter Macon (“Shameless”), and William H. Macy (“Fargo”). The screenplay is by Josh Friedman (“War of the Worlds”) and Rick Jaffa & Amanda Silver (“Avatar: The Way of Water”) and Patrick Aison (“Prey”), based on characters created by Rick Jaffa & Amanda Silver, and the producers are Wes Ball, Joe Hartwick, Jr., p.g.a. (“The Maze Runner”), Rick Jaffa, p.g.a., Amanda Silver, p.g.a., Jason Reed, p.g.a. (“Mulan”), with Peter Chernin (the “Planet of the Apes” trilogy) and Jenno Topping (“Ford v. Ferrari”) serving as executive producers.

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Masterchef Is Back! For Halo Season 2

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A quick recap – Halo is set in a war-torn 26th century, where humanity led by the United Nations Space Command or UNSC and their supersoldiers known as Spartans, fights against the onslaught of the alien conglomerate known as the Covenant. The full dust-up of Halo Season 1, can be found here. Onward into the introduction of Halo Season 2!

It’s been six months since the forced separation of Spartan Masterchief John (Pablo Schreiber) and Cortana (Jen Taylor), and the Silver Team has been sent on a mission to evacuate residents of the planet Sanctuary before the Covenant glasses the whole thing. This comes with its own set of challenges, given the resistance of the planet’s inhabitants, and it doesn’t help that Masterchef starts seeing things right in the middle of trying to save some marines. Or is he? Those energy swords the squad of Elites were carrying looked worryingly real.

Back on Reach, the Silver Team is entirely dismayed to learn they have a brand new Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI) representative come in as the new boss, to finally replace the traitorous Halsey, James Ackerson (Joseph Morgan). And of course, Ackerson manages to immediately get under Masterchief’s skin, by not only expressing far too much interest in John’s relationship with Cortana but also apparently disbelieving of John’s report of his encounters on Sanctuary. That just means Masterchief has to go around, if not entirely over, Ackerson’s head.

Elsewhere, Soren (Bokeem Woodbine) is trolling the slave markets in his boredom, only to stumble across a soon-to-be indentured servant who claims he knows the whereabouts of the UNSC’s most hunted human, Catherine Halsey (Natascha McElhone). That should bring a huge bounty, but really, Soren should’ve known better by now.

Halo Season 2 premieres Thursday, February 8th, 2024, and will continue to air every Thursday, only on Paramount+!

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Reborn as a Vending Machine I Now Wander the Dungeon’: I look forward to your next use!  

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If the title of this delightful little isekai anime entry didn’t give it all away, our nameless protagonist is a vending machine fanatic who, after being killed by a vending machine, gets reincarnated in another fantasy-style world as one! 

Japan has a tendency to give birth to all sorts of crazed fads that can last for decades, and no one does better when it comes to the vending machine industry, too. These days there are vending machines that will serve you sushi you can actually eat, hot pizza in the box, wagyu steaks, freshly popped popcorn, and a whole mind-boggling array of tasty treats, and other non-edible but still useful items! Umbrellas! Condoms! Oxygen masks, sterile bandages, shoes, and emergency clothing! Actually, far more things that we use on an everyday basis, could be considered as technically a vending machine, and the anime explores that beautifully. Into the world of vending machine fanaticism, we dive! 

So our poor protagonist never gave a name, and inevitably when he’s discovered by his first official friend the starving hunter Lammis, she dubs him “Boxxo”. Like many isekai that seem to take inspiration from video games and RPGs, Boxxo discovers he ways he can communicate, level up his existence, and even evince magic-like powers and attack and defend against monsters and enemies. Though in the beginning, and as an underlying theme throughout the show, Boxxo is primarily concerned with providing unique never-before-tasted-in-this-world food and drink to the amazed folk, human and otherwise. 

Boxxo’s prices are entirely reasonable and hey, he can even choose to give out his wares for free on occasion, so his popularity immediately skyrockets. Lammis with her awkward charm and prodigious strength blessing, introduces Boxxo to other friends of Clearflow Lake Village and associates along the way – Director Bear, an actual bear-monster who’s the head of the Hunters Association; Lammis’ friend Hulemy, the insane genius magic item engineer; the Bearcats Suco, Pell, Short and Mikenne, cheerful hunters with astronomic appetites; even suspicious Kerioyl, leader of the Menagerie of Fools party. 

The show approaches the practicality and versatility of the true vending machine with amusement, but also with the love true fans display for things they’re passionate about. Certainly, things like a brothel needing a condom vending machine exist in our world, but to toss them into a potentially more innocent other-world isekai is a welcome and often hilarious treat. The show celebrates the cheerful idiocy and devotion of the fans to their chosen fandom, in this case, yes vending machines, but also the spirit of the lonely otaku finally finding their Tribe! 

Pay your coins to watch ‘Reborn as a Vending Machine’ on Crunchyroll now! 

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