Project Shanks College Football Week 1 Review

By Aaron Hyden
PSDC College Football Contributor

A very newsworthy first week of the college football season is now in the books, and before our eyes can look ahead to the second week, we have to look back at what we’ve learned from the first set of games that took place across the country. From the players to the teams, and everything in between, here are the biggest takeaways after college football’s first week, in no particular order.

Photo Credit: USA Today

Photo Credit: USA Today

1. A few early contenders for the National Championship struggled in their first games. Even in victory. TCU, Baylor, Michigan State, Auburn and Oregon were all ranked in the top 10 to start the season, and even though they all came out victorious, none of them had an easy road to get there, and questions popped up left and right. [Read more…]

Arrow Season 3, Episode 3 – “Corto Maltese”

By Matthew Cafaro
PSDC Writer

Aside from possibly interesting foreshadowing with Ray Palmer and why he really wanted to buy Queen Consolidated (which we’ll touch on in a minute), or as he’s calling it, “QC,” this was yet another episode that dealt with a lot of set-up for the season. Over the first three episodes, the Arrow writers have been maneuvering our characters into place, to what end? We don’t yet know. But there are some hints.

arrow-corto-maltese

The first hint is that John Barrowman is a fully-fledged cast member, so the odds are he’s going to be a very big part of this season outside of his training Thea to be a secret ninja (more on that in a minute). [Read more…]

Arrow Season 3, Episode 2 – “Sara”

By Matthew Cafaro
PSDC Writer

How will Oliver & Co. handle the fallout of last week’s staggering ending?

Arrow-Sara-Episode-2

We begin with Felicity, Roy, and Ollie descending into the “Arrow Cave” (I hate that name, but for lack of a better one, there go I) and having meaningless chit-chat only to find Sara’s broken body on a table, and Laurel, covered in her sister’s blood, in a state of shock. [Read more…]

Arrow Season 3, Episode 1 – “The Calm”

By Matthew Cafaro
PSDC Writer

The premier episode in the third season of Arrow quickly fills the audience in with the obligatory, “Last time on Arrow…” montage, followed by an in media res beginning of the well-oiled machine that is Oliver & Co. doing what they do best: taking down the bad guys who have, “Failed this city!”

Arrow-Season-3-Premiere

It’s a whip-crack beginning to a solid, if only slightly disappointing, episode of Arrow. The direction, camera work, and above all, the stunts and fight choreography are still as good as we remember them, which is what separates this show from the other comic book shows also currently on television. I read an interview with Marc Guggenheim (one of the creators) on TV Line and he mentioned that they want to create one-hour movies every week, which is an excellent way to describe episodes of Arrow. Even in those weeks when the plot or character development may not be up to Arrow’s usual par, the technical aspects are always top notch and better than anything on TV not named Justified or Mad Men. [Read more…]

PSDC TV Review: Appalachian Outlaws

By Rachel Porter Bullock
PSDC Daycare Manager

I feel really ashamed to admit this, but I had no idea there was a war brewing in our country. Thanks to the History channel’s new series, Appalachian Outlaws, now I’m in the know. There’s a crop out there worth millions, and people are poaching it, selling it under the table, and possibly even killing for it.

Appalachian-Outlaws

A week or two ago my husband and I were watching TV one night, which in our house means he has the remote. When he has the remote, we never watch an entire episode of anything. We watch 10 minutes of this, 30 seconds of that, and then either five minutes or five seconds of the next thing he settles on in his endless quest to find something good to watch. Repeat, repeat, repeat. [Read more…]

PSDC Movie Review: The Lords of Salem

By John Baggett
PSDC Pop Culture Guru

THE LORDS OF SALEM
Rating: **** (out of 5 stars)

There are a lot of films in this world that many audiences feel reap the benefit of illicit substances. You know the films – Pink Floyd The Wall, 2001: A Space Odyssey, probably most of the Cheech & Chong films. Allow me to add a new entry to this list – The Lords of Salem, the latest horror opus from director Rob Zombie.

The story follows Heidi (played by Zombie’s wife, Sheri Moon), a DJ on a local Salem, Massachusetts radio station. Heidi is a troubled lass. She is a recovering drug addict. She has an unrequited love for her co-host Herman, aka White. And she has just received a record from what she assumes is a band called The Lords. What’s so bad about that? Well, this record contains music that helps a group of witches from Salem’s past put to death by the Reverend John Hawthorne return to Earth to bring forth the spawn of Satan. These particular witches placed a curse upon the native women of Salem that the last female descendent of Hawthorne will bring forth the dark one’s spawn.

[Read more…]

PSDC Movie Review: Spring Breakers

By John Baggett
PSDC Pop Culture Guru

SPRING BREAKERS

Note: This review will contain spoilers.

A while back our editor in chief at ProjectShanks wrote an article about the film Spring Breakers in which he expressed his lack of comfort with the idea of a film being made where two young Disney starlets and one girl from the show Pretty Little Liars, an ABC Family drama, broke out of their respective molds and did a film that seemed to exploit them sexually. I watched the trailer and didn’t quite share his shock but saw where he was coming from. With my knowledge of the film’s director Harmony Korine I thought to myself, “This is a film that’s going to make a headline or two and then go pretty much nowhere.”

Well, I was wrong about that. The film made over $260,000 during it’s opening weekend, which may not sound like a lot of money until you factor in that it opened on three screens. Three. It has since expanded and had grossed over $10 million. It’s not doing blockbuster business but it is making money beyond what I anticipated.

[Read more…]

It Came From The Video Store: Compliance

By John Baggett
PSDC Pop Culture Guru

It Came From The Video Store: Compliance
Rating: **** 1/ 2 (out of 5)

Work sucks. The day in, day out constant barrage of people and things and people make work unbearable. Especially people. So, when something truly horrific happens at work it sort of puts things into perspective. Things like falling and hurting yourself, or something bad happening to a co-worker, or your boss strip searching you because somebody on the phone is claiming they’re a police officer and you stole from a woman.

That last sentence is the plot behind the indie drama, Compliance, a film so upsetting and bizarre that if it weren’t based on actual case files of a real life incident you wouldn’t believe a frame of it. But this film DID happen. It really happened. This is not that “based on a true story” crap that is used to market films these days. I have to repeat – this actually happened. You can Google this story and read all sort of horrifying things that are still difficult to wrap your brain around. [Read more…]

It Came From The Video Store: Review of Killer Joe

By John Baggett
PSDC Pop Culture Expert

It Came From The Video Store: Killer Joe
(A series of reviews of films that didn’t come to a theater near you.)

So, with this particular review I am starting a series where once a week I will be going to the last standing brick and mortar store in my hometown and renting a film that is off the beaten path that I think is worth your time. Though, I should point out that with this review I cheated a little bit. It will be explained later.

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Album Review: Bad Religion – True North

By John Baggett
PSDC Pop Culture Expert

Album Review: Bad Religion – True North

I remember way back in 2004 I was really, really against George W. Bush. Like really against him. And I often found myself looking for music that seemed to be actively giving the middle finger to W. and his administration. That period was a good time for me as it is the same time that gave us Green Day’s American Idiot, Steve Earle’s The Revolution Starts Now, and A Perfect Circle’s anti-war covers album, eMotive. To this day, I am still listening to those albums, but the one album from that era that I have listened to the most was the 13th from legendary punk rockers Bad Religion, The Empire Strikes Back. While I had always heard Bad Religion in my formative years, I never really connected to them until 2004. Since then I have bought every single album they have released (including the prog rock album they buried, Into The Unknown) and they have become the band that I always cite as my favorite band.

[Read more…]