Episode 2: SUPER MARIO RUN and NFL Playoffs

I babble about Taboo, the Golden Globes (again), NFL playoffs, and MARIO RUN.

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Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016): A Magical Potter Prequel

When I was dragged to the theater last weekend, my expectations for “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” were extremely low. While I enjoyed the proper “Potter” films, my obsession over the books had waned by the time the money-grubbing finale was split into two films in 2010 and 2011. Unexpectedly, “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” obliterates the money-factory mold that came before it and serves as one of the best “Potter” films of all.

The Walking Dead: After THOSE Deaths

Finally, the premiere of Season 7 of “The Walking Dead” aired and Negan’s victims were revealed; Glenn and Abraham died gruesomely as Negan smashed their heads to a pulp with Lucille, his barbwire-wrapped bat. Initially, Abraham seemed to be the only victim, but Daryl attacks Negan and earns Glenn’s unexpected, horrible death—similar to the comic, Glenn’s eye pops out of his skull and he calls to Maggie despite the internal hemorrhaging. Harrowing stuff, truly; I thought only “Game of Thrones” was capable of such torture!

Battlefield 1: War is Hell

“Battlefield 1” is my favorite shooter since “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare.” Going in the opposite historical direction than its Activision rival, “Battlefield 1” is a breath of fresh air. The archaic, old-school weaponry bring a new level of intrigue because, unlike the lasers and alien weaponry of new CoDs, these weapons existed and they are stranger than fiction. If you are the slightest bit interested in history or World War I, just the sight of these technical marvels will kickstart your imagination. On top of that, strong graphics and sound design build the immersion to unbelievable heights; never have the horrors of war been so gorgeous and unsettling to experience.

The Infiltrator: Another Escobar Joint

“The Infiltrator” is a 2016 crime drama starring Bryan Cranston as undercover U.S. Customs agent, Robert Mazur, who vies to take down Pablo Escobar’s drug empire. An accountant in a previous life, Mazur targets the kingpin by following and pretending to launder his dirty money. The film works on multiple levels; Cranston is a master when it comes to acting and visually there are some really strong moments, especially in the drug-fueled 1980s nightclubs. Also, I was truly surprised by how funny and humanizing John Leguizamo is as Emir Abreu, Cranston’s partner. However, there are some major flaws with “The Infiltrator” that keep it from being greater than the sum of its parts.