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‘Impulse’: Port me out, Henry!

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Sixteen-year-old Henrietta “Henry” Coles (Maddie Hasson) is far from your average high-school kid, given her sad penchant for grand-mal seizures in the midst of the lunchtime cafeteria. Henry’s mom Cleo (Missi Pyle) has a tendency to take on a boyfriend and whatever baggage he carries, endure it for six months to a year, and then grab Henry and take off for the next safe-house, so her home life isn’t exactly what you’d call stable either. SPOILERS AHEAD!

The current boyfriend model out for a test run is Tom Hope (Matt Gordon) and his daughter Jenna (Sarah Desjardins), here in some little nowhere town that actually holds quite a few more secrets than anyone might think. Tom takes care of the local bowling alley and does seem to genuinely care about Cleo and Henry, he’s a nice guy who’s a lot more observant and discreet than anyone realizes. Jenna is one of those eternally popular kids, pretty and apparently vapid with it, but she too turns out to be a genuinely kind person, and when the feces hits the whirling blades, Henry will need all the help she can get!

Every high school has a Golden Boy that all the girls (and perhaps some guys too) lust after, this story features Clay Boone (Tanner Stine) in his Letterman jacket, all smug about his athletic prowess, still for some reason intrigued by the newcomer who clearly isn’t like the other girls, Henry Coles. And even after observing her have a scary seizure in the midst of school, Clay decides he’s going to get Henry alone with him and have his way with her.

Here’s where the show, despite being filmed very well and having a terrific storyline that keeps the audience guessing, needs to come with MASSIVE TRIGGER WARNINGS. The scene in Clay’s truck, where he knowingly molests Henry to the point where she has a massive seizure, her powers kick in and she teleports out, leaving Clay behind to be crushed by what she did to his truck, is raw and real and very damaging to those of potentially weak constitutions. In fact, this instance of rape and assault becomes the focal point of the entire show, somehow even more so than the newfound teleporting ability Henry is now using, much to her chagrin.

Because Henry was initially attracted to Clay and certainly wanted to make out with him, right up to the point where she began to yell at him clearly “NO!”, Henry feels an incredible amount of survivors guilt and what I would term PTSD in the wake of her assault. But it’s the aftershock of her teleporting out, the crushing of Clay’s truck and his own body, turning him into a paraplegic forever afterwards, that really gets to Henry. This one instance, where Golden Boy once again turns out to be Prince Shithead, sparks off all kinds of ripples that no-one could have predicted, least of all Henry herself.

Clay’s dad Bill Boone (David James Elliot), he’s a car salesman with his own dealership and everything, he somehow manages to have some seriously shady dealings with the nearby Mennonite community and Jeremiah Miller (Shawn Doyle), and he makes the instinctual leap that it was these nefarious business practices that led to Clay experiencing the repercussions for it. Clay’s brother Lucas (Craig Arnold), he was already far too involved in the shadowy family businesses, and he tries to help both his enraged father and his struggling brother, but the real truths are far under the skin and actually have nothing to do with the underhanded family dealings – until now.

Things are beginning to spiral out of control and somehow Cleo, Henry’s mom, thinks it’ll be a good idea to take a job offer from Bill Boone to work at the car dealership. So prepare to toss Mom into the mix of murderous Mennonites and crazy car salesmen! Tom and Jenna have clearly understood something’s very wrong with Henry, above and aside the grand mal seizures even, and both are trying to help however they can. Despite just being classified as moms new meal ticket, Tom can keep secrets like nobodies business and actually embraces his lady and her daughter with all the fervor of a real dad.

Jenna too, when she learns the awful truth of what Clay did to Henry, goes on helping Henry through her rape aftermath however she can, past he point of being annoying and goddamn insisting that Henry talk about it, don’t bottle it in, if not to Jenna herself then to the Planned Parenthood help line, or hell, anyone who will listen. The father and daughter Hopes are the good solid reliable kind of people this world needs more of. And the adorkable little friendship of the autistic boy who worships superheroes, Townes Linderman (Daniel Maslany) from school, should get an honorary mention, as its his determined belief in the heroic journey he insists Henry is undergoing that makes the long path even a little more bearable.

There are attempts to fold in an outside storyline about the newly-found teleportation ability that involves Henry’s missing real father, and Nikolai (Callum Keith Rennie) and others like her who are able to teleport in and out, being hunted by some nasty organization with of course plans for them abilities. And while we’re fairly sure these outside storylines, with the origins of teleportation abilities and what they might mean for Henry and her Cleo, will be extra terrific in ‘Impulse’ Season Two, the initial season dealt primarily with Henry and her assault, and that’s plenty enough heartbreak for all of us.

Fight for Henry’s rights with ‘Impulse’ Season One, on YouTube Originals now!

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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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