Brooklyn-based, alternative R&B artist, Cat Evers, has released her new single. “Woman In Black,” is a lo-fi song with goth-influences about a relationship and the journey of internal turmoil and healing that follows.
The new ethereal single features soft, and slow cascading beats intertwined with ambient vocals that encapsulate the story of this woman’s journey. Fronted by powerful lyrics, the echoing chorus is almost trance-inducing, closing in a little more each time it repeats. The song incorporates a sense of longing and loss in every aspect. The track shortly distracts the listener from these painful emotions through a melodic guitar solo.
Recorded in Brooklyn recording studio, Liquid Sounds, “Woman In Black” is supported musically by Leon Sierra on bass, Mark McIntyre on guitar, and Miles Wilkins on piano and synth. Together, they tell a story using the color black to symbolize power, sophistication, death, and evil spirits. Inspired by the main character in Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina, the single captures the chaos and heartbreak of a woman who slowly descends into madness through infidelity. Drawing musical similarities to the ambient pop artist, Baths, in terms of tone and depth, Cat perfectly masters this tune that’s laced with darkness and mystery.
Cat Evers first started writing music as a young girl growing up in Malibu, California. Raised by her grandparents from age five, her unconventional youth culminated in a devoted relationship to music and emotions through words and melodies. She found solace in BANKS’ dark and mysterious lyrics, Adele’s vocal expression, Hayley William’s playful extremities, and Hiatus Kaiyote’s Neo-Soul sound. Each influence has heavily contributed to a style that originates from within her, piecing together bits of alt-R&B, Pop, and Soul to form a cross-genre experience that is driven by story.
Having studied at The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music, she has played her original music at local New York venues such as Pianos, Nublu Classic, and The Bitter End. Last June, Cat released her first single titled “The Weight,” which she finalized with her band across different states and countries during quarantine. She has also previously received a Music Achievement Award from the City of Malibu and has studied with Los Angeles-based mentors, Adriana McPhee and Ron Anderson. Cat is now recording and based in Brooklyn, New York.
This month, in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month,Twisted Alchemy–– a female-led company creating Cold-Pressed Juices for Craft Cocktails–– is raising funds for breast cancer research. Twisted Alchemy is donating sales from theirPink Posse Cocktail Kit toSpeed Rack, an all-womxn+ high-speed bartending competition designed to highlight up-and-coming talent in the cocktail industry and give back to those impacted by breast cancer. The contest is open to all who identify as womxn/femmes.
Since 2011, Speed Rack has raised over $1.25 million for breast cancer research, and Twisted Alchemy is a longtime sponsor of the organization. During the various rounds of the high-speed bartending competition, contestants use juices donated by Twisted Alchemy.
The Pink Posse cocktail is a refreshing bright pink cocktail made with Twisted Alchemy’s cold-pressed grapefruit and blood orange juices. It was created by mixologist and photographerRisa James. For anyone who prefers not to imbibe, the Pink Posse can also be enjoyed without alcohol. Although the original recipe is written with vodka, the talented mixologists working with Twisted Alchemy say that the delicious drinks can also be made with Blanco tequila, or a light and herbaceous gin, or even a Joven mezcal.
The Pink Posse Cocktail kit comes with one bottle of Twisted Alchemy’s fresh, cold-pressed blood orange juice, one bottle of grapefruit juice, one pack of dehydrated citrus wheel garnishes, and a pack of hibiscus lime salt cocktail rimmer.
Combine liquor of your choice, juices, liquid smoke, and 2 sage leaves in a mixing tin without ice
Muddle for 30 seconds, ensuring the sage leaf is crushed to disburse flavor
Shake vigorously for 30 seconds
Strain over fresh ice into a pilsner or collins glass
Fill with sparkling water
Gently stir to mix
Garnish with dehydrated citrus wheel and fresh sage leaf
Serve + enjoy!
ABOUT TWISTED ALCHEMY
Twisted Alchemy is a Chicago-based line of cold-pressed juices for craft cocktails. The company’s mantra is to service the hospitality industry with a zero-labor solution that provides 100% all-natural, cold-pressed, pure juices without the time and expense of squeezing fruit on-site. All of the fresh produce used to make their one-of-a-kind juices comes from their farms in Central America.
Twisted Alchemy has been a longtime supporter and advocate for womxn+ bartenders. Through their long-term partnership with Speed Rack and their fundraising efforts in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, they are continuously working to support and uplift their community.
Having tried Twisted Alchemy, we can assure you that you have tasted nothing like this! The consistent levels of sweetness complement and amplify any drink, alcoholic or non-alcoholic. The freshness is undeniable. It takes away all of the hard work and effort that goes into making a delicious cocktail and allows you to sit back and enjoy. Make sure to grab yourself a bottle or more, you won’t regret it!
Denim Blù, the Toronto-based pop artist with Chinese roots, released his new single, “I’ll Die (Ft. Lizzy Clarke)” an emotional song that explores the depths of rock bottom. This track will be his second of 2021, following his recent single “Extraordinary Feel (Ft. Lizzy Clarke)” and adjoining remixes.
“I’ll Die” is inspired by the fallout after heartbreak and the emotions of needing to fall before you rise. The song begins with “I’m drowning in thick liquid without a desire to resist” – a sentiment of falling so deep into a state of despair that death seems closer than life, that death seems more tolerable than life, that life and death are indistinguishable. The theme repeats throughout the song – the harrowing feeling portrays the real emotion experienced after gut-wrenching heartbreak:
“The song is heavy and dark, but these are real emotions.” – Denim Blù on his new single “I’ll Die (with Lizzy Clarke)”
Although suffering is usually an emotion you experience in solitude; this duet between Denim and Lizzy expresses the universality of the message – it shows that even at your lowest point, you are not alone. Denim croons in his smooth tone and Lizzy dazzles with her agile vocals. Together, they deliver different but complementary vocals over this power ballad.
Denim Blù is an emerging Toronto-based singer-songwriter whose identity and music reflect the cultural mosaic that makes Toronto’s music so universally appealing. He’s a Chinese-born queer artist whose inspiration is born out of rebellion. Denim Blù is not supposed to be Chinese and making pop music; he is not supposed to be gay; he is not supposed to emote sex. Well, he does. His music training and influence spans three continents having studied and composed in China, the UK, and Toronto. The product of his music is pure pop fantasy with emotional intrigue, drawing from blues, dance, electronica, and R&B elements, all while being unapologetically queer. His music delivers new-age pop with a story to tell.
In the United States,1 in 8 women will develop breast cancer over the course of their lifetime. As of 2021, breast cancer became the most commonly diagnosed form of cancer worldwide. The statistics surrounding the growth rate of breast cancer cases are both eye-opening and heartbreaking. It is imperative that now, more than ever, substantial progress is made toward finding a cure for this disease. Advancements in technology and breakthroughs in results occur every day. These glimmers of hope all the more solidify the dire need for a cure. Raising awareness and funding research are the pivotal ways we can continue to work towards a breast cancer-free world.
Each year, the month of October welcomes us with warm pumpkin-spiced love. As we make our autumnal transition, it is important to remember that October is also Breast Cancer Awareness Month. While we love, support, and commemorate all those affected by the disease year-round, October allows us to drive our attention and energy towards making a difference. TheEstée Lauder Companies are doing just that. To honor Breast Cancer Awareness Month, The Estée Lauder Companies are continuing their efforts with their exciting 2021 Breast Cancer Campaign!
Creating a breast cancer-free world has always been the mission of The Estée Lauder Companies Breast Cancer Campaign. Upon reviewing the jarring statistics of the widespread growth of breast cancer cases, The Campaign’s mission was reaffirmed. For this year’s Campaign, The Estée Lauder Companies’ has partnered with nineteen of its iconic brands to create limited-time-offer Pink Ribbon Products. This year’s incredible products include new additions from brands like Michael Kors and Clinique! The Pink Ribbon Products are definite must-haves, beautifully crafted in iconic pink packaging. The best part about the Pink Ribbon Productsis that a portion of the sale of the products helps raise funds for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF), the highest-rated non-profit breast cancer organization in the U.S., dedicated to funding the world’s most promising research.
The Estée Lauder Companies Breast Cancer Campaign remains steadfast in its commitments to raise awareness, drive progress, and ultimately help find a cure for this disease through the advancements of research, education, and medical services. As this exciting Campaign begins, we want to share our 5 Must-Haves from the illustrious Pink Ribbon Products, available this October!
Our 5 Must-Haves!
La Mer Crème de la MerThe Moisturizing Cream – Of course we had to start off with the legendary moisturizing cream from La Mer. The luxuriously rich cream imbues even the driest of skin with ultra-hydrating moisture. Your skin will be soft, supple, and smoother than ever before! The best part about this cream is that La Mer will be donating 100% of the purchase price to the BCRF during the month of October!
Bobbi Brown, Powerful Pinks Crushed Oil-Infused Gloss Duo – Gone are the days of lathering your lips with low pigment, sticky gloss. These Bobbi Brown Crushed Oil-Infused Glosses are exactly what you need! These non-sticky and ultra-shiny lip glosses glide across your lips and provide the perfect burst of color that lasts for hours! The shades Love Letter and New Romantic are perfect for the Fall! In support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Bobbi Brown Cosmetics will be donating 100% of the purchase price to the BCRF!
Darphin INTRAL Daily Rescue Serum– If your skin is prone to redness and irritation then this serum is exactly what you need! The INTRAL Daily Rescue Serum maintains its fabulous reputation as a must-have product due to its lightweight and fast-absorbing qualities. The soothing hydration you get from this product is unmatched. Darphin will be donating 100% of the purchase price of their INTRAL Daily Rescue Serum to the BCRF!
Dr. Jart+ Cicapair Tiger Grass Cream – As the cold air comes in, maintaining the hydration of your skin is vital. This Cicapair Tiger Grass Cream from Dr. Jart+ is a game-changer when it comes to hydration! A little goes a long way with this product. The soft cream soothes the look of dry and irritated skin. It is one of the best defenses against dryness and a must-have for the upcoming fall and winter seasons! In support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Dr. Jart+ will be donating 100% of the purchase price of the Cicapair Tiger Grass Cream to the BCRF!
Michael Kors Gorgeous! Eau de Parfum – This beautiful scent is an ode to the celebration of women and the strength they hold. Michael Kors Gorgeous! is a bold floral woody fragrance that embodies confidence. Key notes of the fragrance include: floral bouquet, tobacco accord, and comforting woods. This limited-edition release is definitely a must-have for any woman. In support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Michael Kors will be donating 100% of the purchase price of the Michael Kors Gorgeous! Eau de Parfum to the BCRF!
We are so excited for The Estée Lauder Companies Breast Cancer Campaign this year! The selection of Pink Ribbon Products is exquisite and enticing. The best part of The Campaign is the ability for everyone to make a difference. We all have the opportunity to take part in supporting the important work that the Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF) does every day. Throughout October, and always, we honor and celebrate all those affected by breast cancer.
Denim Blù, the Toronto-based pop artist with Chinese roots, released his new single, “Extraordinary Feel (feat. Lizzy Clarke)” a hymnal-inspired pop-rock song. This track will be his first of 2021, following his recent entry into releasing original music that began in October 2020 with his single, “Burn” and adjoining remixes.
“Extraordinary Feel” finds inspiration in the Southern US and vibrant African-American church choirs singing gospel and soul music. Both artists came to find strength in each other’s talents when creating the single through a mutual effort.
The single became a magical amalgamation of song creation– crisp songwriting, a powerful vocal, and satisfying production. The gospel elements include prominent organs and splashes of bells over modern synths and classic electric guitar.
Infiltrating almost every component of the song– the lyrics, the production, and the vocal, with religious elements, Denim Blù is able to carry his message of a love that is almost divine in nature. The use of religious themes throughout the track breathes life and gives words to the once indescribable inner emotions.
“‘Extraordinary Feel’ is about the exuberance of falling in love, a love so hard that you’re willing to sacrifice everything for that person, the lyric ‘made a martyr out of me’ is a perfect example of selflessness that comes with this kind of passion.” – Denim Blù
Denim Blù is an emerging Toronto-based singer-songwriter whose identity and music reflect the cultural mosaic that makes Toronto’s music so universally appealing. He is a Chinese-born queer artist whose inspiration is born out of rebellion. Being Chinese, he is not supposed to be making pop music; he is not supposed to be gay; he is not supposed to emote sex. But, he does, proudly.
Denim Blù’s music training and influence span three continents having studied and composed in China, the UK, and Toronto. The product of his music is pure pop fantasy with emotional intrigue, drawing from blues, dance, electronica, and R&B elements, all while being unapologetically queer. His music delivers new-age pop with a story to tell.
New York City-based Pop/R&B artist and songwriter, Hunter Blair Ambrose released her new single, “Alone Together.” The single gives listeners the perfect closing summer bop while they begin preparing for Autumn.
Amid the early days of the coronavirus pandemic and a worldwide lockdown, Hunter Blair Ambrose found solace in songwriting and introspection, using this almost eerily quiet time for creativity and self-reflection.
When creating “Alone Together” she took 1980s bombast and met it with layered synths and soaring melodies after being inspired by The Weeknd’s pandemic era blockbuster album, After Hours. The single came together as a glittering, late summer disco banger with deeply reflective lyrics that a post-pandemic world can certainly relate to.
“ ‘Alone Together’ reflects a universal feeling of isolation, loneliness and melancholia felt around the world during 2020 met with my own reflections of failings in love.”– Hunter Blair Ambrose
Inspired by dark, synth-pop, chilling Toronto R&B, and the melodic hip hop of the 2010s, Hunter has created a sound that has been shaped by the music that has been the soundtrack to her life. Influenced by iconic artists such as Lady Gaga, Michael Jackson, Ariana Grande, Drake, David Bowie, Prince, and The Weeknd, Hunter creates immersive and well-rounded music along with an image that is equal parts provocative as they are compelling.
Shortly after the inception of her career, she enrolled in Boston’s Berklee College of Music and quickly emerged as one of the school’s many promising, young talents.
Following her departure from Berklee, from 2017 through 2019, Hunter wrote and produced material with her core creative team for her debut EP, Scorpio Rising(April 2020). The project was supported by the singles, “Right Now” and “November” which featured an interpolation of Lady Gaga’s “Alejandro.”
Listeners can look forward to more singles and music videos dropping this year to immerse them deeper into the world Scorpio Season created when released in April.
Every year, 11 million tons of textiles are dumped into landfills in the United States. It takes approximately 360 gallons of water to produce one pair of underwear. As the days go by, the global climate crisis is only worsening. It is imperative that all companies, brands, and businesses do everything in their power to initiate and execute a sustainable transition. The consumer has the responsibility to live life as ‘green’ as possible. However, one of the most prominent issues that arise with this is accessibility. For the average consumer, living a sustainable life is not practical. Most products that are made ethically and sustainably are priced higher and are unattainable to the majority. The convenience of unethical and non-renewable resources will continue to overpower consumers unless changes are made.
The textile industry, a large contributor to the climate crisis, is ever-growing. While some brands have started to develop sustainable products, accessibility is still sparse. For effective change to occur, it is crucial for textile manufacturers to be bold enough to create sustainable and attainable products. This is the vision for Gelmart International, a leading intimates manufacturer supplier. This month, Gelmart International took a historic step as they introduced, Kindly, a new line of sustainable intimates featuring the first-ever plant-based bra sourced from sugarcane. The best part of this launch is that these amazing intimates are available at Walmart stores and online for incredibly affordable prices!
It is easy to assume that low cost correlates to low quality. Intimates require the most water post-purchase due to frequent washing. Therefore, the longevity of intimates is cut short because of this. Kindly’s intimates may be revolutionary, but are they effective? Allow us to tell you more about Kindly and give our honest review of their products!
According to Kindly’s ethos, “Kindly aims to connect the worlds of sustainability, accessibility, and innovation by developing a proprietary blend of recycled nylon, spandex, elastic and sugarcane to create revolutionary products.” With that being said, let’s break down the facts about their products. Kindly launched with:
two styles of bras, available in sizes 32A – 40DD.
Three styles of bralettes, available in sizes S – 3XL
Thongs, Hipsters, and Boyshorts, available in sizes S – 3XL in seamless and microfabrication.
The line retails between $11 – $14 and is sold across 3,300 Walmart stores and online at Walmart.com.
Now, that kind of price range for a good quality intimates line is not common. That kind of price range for a sustainable intimates line is incredible! But are the products incredible? Kindly was kind enough to send over some pieces from their line so that I could give you an honest review. The team at Kindly sent over a bralette and thong from their line. Let’s discuss the overall impressions of the two items!
I received the Seamless Bralette in black. Kindly’s bralettes are made of recycled nylon and spandex. Some details include removable pads made of plant-based materials, hook and eye closures in the back, and adjustable straps with hardware made of recycled materials. The bralettes are available in triangle, racerback, and scoop styles. My first impression of the bralette was the fabric quality. Typically, for a lower-priced item, fabric quality may not always be so great. However, the Kindly bralette felt similar to that of a high-end bralette. The fabric is soft yet supportive. It gives a good stretch and isn’t binding. My personal favorite attribute was how easy it is to remove and insert the sustainable pads. Padding in a bralette isn’t for everyone and the easier they are to remove or insert, the better! The support and overall wear of the bralette was enjoyable. I would be interested to see if, in the future, they test out different variations of straps for their bralettes. All in all, the bralette is definitely worth it! For the price point and quality, it is a must-have!
The second item I received was the Seamless Medium-Rise Thong. Kindly’s thongs are made of sustainable and recycled fabric and yarns. They are available in medium-rise hipster, medium-rise thong, and high rise boy short. My first impression of the thong was the fabric as well. The seamless knit felt flexible and stretchy. I wouldn’t characterize it as ‘seamless’ because a seam is apparent. However, the thickness of the fabric warrants a seam. Regardless of this, the overall wear of the thong is extremely comfortable! The fabric is soft and stretchy and doesn’t bind. A detail I love about the Kindly products is that they are tagless! Tags can be irritating and bothersome, especially for intimates so it is great to see that factor implemented in these products. This also cuts down on the material needed for tags. I have to say, just like the bralette, the thong is definitely an item I would make sure to purchase. The comfort they provide while also being cute and effective makes it a great product!
Kindly is transforming the fashion industry with this launch. Being the first to do something is not an easy task. After years of research, trial, and error, Kindly is here to shake things up. These intimates are the first of their kind. As time passes and their brand continues to grow, it would be great to see an expansion in the sizing range of each product to make it as inclusive as possible. Along with that, experimenting with different designs and colors will surely entice consumers. The success of sustainable brands that are working to provide ethical and accessible products is the success of all. Now more than ever, producers and consumers must come together to encourage and expand the growth of sustainable living. Our hope is that more brands will follow in the footsteps of Kindly to create amazing products that help in more ways than one.
With quarantine still ongoing, there’s not much else to do but watch Netflix. This list will give you a brief synopsis of Netflix Originals that have caught everyone’s interest. Hopefully, you’ll find a new show to binge!
Image Credit: Netflix
Bridgerton- This series is set during the Regency Era in England. It centers around the Bridgerton family as they introduce their daughter into society. However, an anonymous gossip column causes issues by revealing the community’s secrets. Bridgerton currently has one season out with eight episodes making it a quick watch. Following its debut, Bridgerton quickly became number one on Netflix’s Trending List.
Image Credits: Netflix
Sweet Home- This horror series is a webtoon to live action adaptation. It follows a teenager who finds himself alone in the middle of an apocalypse. But, he makes allies and fights alongside them against monsters. Sweet Home currently has one season with ten episodes out and is trending worldwide on Netflix.
Image Credits: Netflix
Night Stalker- This docuseries is about notorious serial killer Richard Ramirez. Throughout the four-part series, two detectives are on the hunt for Ramirez as he terrorizes Los Angeles. This docuseries is a captivating watch especially, if you love true crime. (Be warned it is a bit graphic)
Image Credits: Netflix
Bling Empire- This reality show follows the lives of rich Asians and Asian Americans in L.A. It looks into the lives of the rich and how they deal with problems that they encounter. Bling Empire will also quickly become your next favorite if you enjoy shows like The Kardashians as well as The Real Housewives.
Lupin- This French action and adventure series tells the tale of a thief who is on a journey to avenge his father. He uses his skills as a master of disguise to outwit the police that are on his tail. Lupin will certainly keep you on your toes throughout all five parts. Starring Omar Sy from the Intouchables, Lupin is definitely a must watch!
Image Credit: Netflix
Cobra Kai- This Netflix Originals’ based off of the Karate Kid films. It gives audiences a look into the lives of their favorite Karate Kid characters years after the events of the last movie. Cobra Kai focuses on the children of the characters, Daniel LaRusso and Johnny Lawrence. Though the series may come off as a show for young adults, it can be enjoyed by all ages. Fans of the classic Karate Kid movies will surely enjoy the nostalgia this series brings.
Today we want to talk about some of the great characteristics of the best sofa reviews. Reading reviews has become a regular practice for those shopping for a big ticket item. It is so important that a lack of reviews for a product can prevent it from selling just as a mostly negative review profile would. But there may be hundreds of reviews for an item, and you don’t have time to read them all. What are the characteristics of the best sofa reviews? And which ones should you read?
Testimonials on a vendor website do not matter. They are easily faked, and they are often cherry picked from actual reviews. Unfortunately, a few unscrupulous vendors will seek fake five star reviews to inflate their rating. You can weed out some of these fake reviews on eCommerce sites by filtering out reviews that were not actual buyers. Another red flag is when there is a five star review but no text. That’s something a reputation management firm might post on the site so that the review isn’t necessarily a violation of the rules prohibiting fake reviews.
Detailed, Useful Information
The best sofa reviews contain detailed, useful information. They don’t just gush about how great the couch is, how cute it is in the living room or how nice the delivery people were. How well does the couch withstand wear and tear after several months of use?
You might find useful information in the reviews that the manufacturer didn’t include. For example, you might read about the tools people need to assemble it quickly, though the manufacturer says no tools are included. Or you may learn that the manufacturer doesn’t always include the washers and hand tools required to assemble it.
You want to read the negative reviews of the couch before you put it on your short list for potential purchase. Criticisms can reveal the truth behind the marketing content. Is the couch a shade lighter or darker than the picture they saw online or in the ad? Is the color uneven? The advertising may not be false. Instead, the issue may be presentation. Manufacturers may describe the seats as smooth or plush, but the reality may be “slick” or “soft”.
A major concern is quality of manufacture. Is the couch easy to assemble, if you have to assemble it? Do the legs stay securely in the frame? Are the legs and arm rests even? A high quality couch is uncomfortable if one leg is significantly shorter than the others. A related issue is the accuracy of the reported dimensions. If you bought a six foot long couch that is actually six foot six inches when you take the arm rests into account, you have a problem if the space it was going to go in is six foot two.
How easy is the material to clean? And how does that compare to the promised cleanability? If the manufacturer says it resists stains but their new couch is covered in juice stains after a few weeks, you probably don’t want to buy it.
Older Reviews / Established Customer Reviews
Read reviews of long-time owners. It doesn’t matter if people are thrilled with how it looks when it arrives. Are the seats still comfortable after six months or more of wear and tear? How does the material hold up? Do the legs break when someone tries to move the one year old couch?
Today we’d love to share with you some cool facts about the super-powered characters portrayed in the Harbinger comic book series. As the answer to the Marvel mutant question, Harbingers don’t fit into the stereotype of the modern or old age superheroes. The only distant resemblance that this group of psionic superhumans possesses to other superheroes is the X-Men franchise concept – and if recent press from Dan Mintz is to be believed, DMG Entertainment is going to see this type of superhero come to life again.
However, unlike their superhero counterparts in X-Men, this group of teenagers doesn’t get their powers upon reaching puberty. The powers of the Harbingers manifest when they come into contact with a trigger, such as a catastrophic event.
Here is everything you need to know about this psionic super race with the announcement of other live-action adaptation of these characters.
How the Harbingers Came About
Photo Copyrights: Valient Entertainment
Bearing all of the psionic talents, including telekinesis, telepathy, and mind control Toyo Harada, the most influential psionic on the planet, seeks to save humanity from itself. Much like the stereotypical superhero villain who seeks the earth’s redemption using harsh measures, Harada establishes the Harbinger Foundation.
The foundation comprises a team of highly potent psionic teenagers, each with different abilities. Harada uses the Harbingers to carry out his evil plans, which include the elimination of his rivals. Taking advantage of his vast political and economic influence, Harada is almost able to accomplish his goal for the earth.
Eventually, learning of Harada’s end goal, the Harbingers decide to break away from their leader to stop him. The team rebrands themselves into ‘Harbinger Renegades’ as a tribute to their rebellion against Harada and his organization.
The Key Players in Harbinger
Here are all of the key characters in the Harbinger comic book series.
Peter Stanchek: Also known as Sting, Peter is one of the most powerful psionic in the Harbinger. Formerly Harada’s student, Sting, decides to cut ties with him after Harada got his friend murdered. Sting’s superpowers are mainly strength and durability.
Peter caught Harada’s attention when his abilities manifested on their own. Harada, who thought he was the only Omega Harbinger, tried to persuade Peter to join his army of likeminded individuals. Peter, however, realizes Harada’s true intentions and decides to break away.
Photo Copyrights: Valient Entertainment
Zephyr: Known to her friends as Faith Herbert, Zephyr orchestrated the official Harbinger resistance against Harada. Zephyr possesses the telekinetic ability to fly. Additionally, she can generate a telekinetic shield known as the ‘Companion’ to protect her and others against attacks.
When covering herself, Zephyr seems to be in control of the ‘Companion,’ but when she has others to cover, the ‘Companion’ limits the amount of air to support breathing. It is still a mystery over how many people in a particular radius Zephyr’s Companion shield can hold.
Kris Hathaway: Although not a psionic, Kris’ intelligence and calm demeanor come in handy to keep the team focused on their goal.
Amanda McKee: Also known as Livewire, Amanda formerly belonged to Harada’s henchmen known as ‘The Eggbreakers.’ Her alias Livewire came about as a result of her ability to manipulate electromagnetic forces around her. Amanda’s weapon of choice is a long magnetic cable.
Edward Sedgewick: Sedgewick earned the name stronghold due to his ability to absorb objects around him and increase in size and strength. He was also a member of Harada’s Eggbreakers team alongside his partner Livewire. When Harada asked him to kill a fellow Harbinger, Edward realized that the group was nothing more than a killing machine. He and Livewire eventually fled but got recruited to battle the evil Doctor Eclipse by Geoff McHenry.
Photo Copyrights: Valient Entertainment
Charlene Dupre: Charlene Dupre, otherwise known as Flamingo, can produce and control flames.
John Torkelson: John Torkelson or Torque used to work in Georgia as a mechanic before seeing Sting’s abilities manifest. At first, Torque was hostile, but he has proven his value and loyalty to the Harbingers over time.
DMG and Valiant Entertainment announced with Sony Pictures in 2015 that a five-picture was in production. The movies that had been placed in the schedule included Harbinger Wars, Bloodshot, and Harbinger. Valiant Entertainment had together with DMG Entertainment, obtained funding for production based on Valiant Comics’ superheroes.
The movie Bloodshot hit theaters earlier this year, and it quickly became a fan favorite. The film’s success seems to have paved the way for the rest of the lined up movies. However, Harbinger was reportedly slated to come first, then Bloodshot would follow.
Due to lack of upfront revenue, Valiant Entertainment decided to bump up Bloodshot, and from the look of things, the decision couldn’t have been better. The movie starring Vin Diesel sealed the deal on the Valiant Universe, and the latter is giving Marvel and the DC Universes a run for their money. We hope you enjoyed all of this great info on the Harbinger comic book series.
When Todd Phillips first pitched the Joker film to the Warner Brothers executives, he knew he was pushing the envelope. He was not pitching the standard superhero movie with big budget action scenes, A-list mega-stars or even an established franchise behind it. There would be no green screens, not city-crushing final battle and the good guys would not come through in the end. This is our version of a Joker movie review.
image credit: AntMan3001 // CC BY-SA 2.0 | Joaquin Phoenix brings a unique take to Gotham’s biggest super-villain.
For although Joker is part of the DC comics universe, it is a far cry from the usual blockbuster comic-book fayre. What Phillips was pitching was something altogether darker; a bleak character study of how Joker came to be. A stand-alone movie that he felt could be the start of a whole new Warner Bros strand: DC Black.
The fact that his pitch succeeded will have been partly down to a leap of faith by the executives, partly down to Phillip’s absolute belief in the material and partly down to the fact that he was only asking for a $55m budget; a fraction of the usual bill for a superhero movie. With Marvel’s Avengers: Endgame costing a reported $356m to make, and DC’s own, disappointing, Suicide Squad costing $175m, it must have seemed a small price to pay for such an interesting idea. Following a record-breaking opening weekend of $96m in the USA and $248m worldwide, that faith would seem to have been repaid in spades.
From the beginning
Where Joker succeeds is in the detail of the origin story. This is as much a film about the life of Arthur Fleck as it is about Batman’s famous nemesis, if not more. Far from a single inciting incident, such as a convenient bite from a radioactive spider, or a plunge into a bath of acid, in this film, Joker’s creation is explored in far greater depth. His appalling treatment by the establishment, the medical community and society in general makes you root for him for far longer than perhaps you should. You are on his side because you understand what drove him there, and just like with Michael Douglas in Falling Down, you can’t help but wonder if you wouldn’t do exactly the same in similar circumstances.
All Fleck wants to do is make people happy, just like his momma, played with deft subtlety by veteran TV and cinema actress, Frances Conroy, has brought him up to do. He takes work as a clown, waving a sign on the streets for a closing down sale. He entertains young patients in hospital. He amuses bored kids on the bus. In short, he seems like a nice guy who repeatedly fails to get the breaks he deserves, until he finally breaks in response.
Under the skin
image credits: Diana Ringo | Joaquin Phoenix before his dramatic weight loss
While this is far from a star vehicle, Joaquin Phoenix’s central character is the beating heart of the film. in an era where most comic book movie characters look like they could walk into the team of any of this year’s Super Bowl contenders, he is strikingly gaunt, having reportedly lost 53lbs for the role to give his character a vulnerable edge. But this performance is more than just physical; from the retching laugh that Fleck can’t control to the hypnotic interpretive dance moves he twists his torso through in his private moments, this is full body-and-soul acting of the very highest caliber. It is almost guaranteed that Phoenix will add to his existing three Oscar nominations, and fourth time may just be lucky for one his generation’s best actors.
Apparently, Phoenix and director Phillips worked so closely to develop the character that they would often text each other late into the night after each day of shooting before finally calling up to talk lines, scenes and movements. This would leave them just three or four hours sleep before they got up to do it all again. Yet the rewards for this intensity are clear to see. Phoenix says that they were still discovering things about the character right up until the final day of shooting, which marks a welcome change from the multitude of two dimensional caricatures that modern cinema so often serves us.
A controversial release?
Joker received an extended standing ovation when it premiered at the Venice Film Festival, and went on to collect its top prize, the Golden Lion. Yet it has split critics and the media right down the middle, with some calling it a work of genius, while others think it is exploitative and possibly even dangerous. Such is our sympathy with Joker, that many people have voiced concerns about copycat crimes or claim that the movie promotes civil unrest. This is, of course, complete nonsense. Joker no more promotes the overthrow of the rich than Bambi promotes deer hunting. Audiences are smart enough to tune in to these ideas and discuss them with their friends late into the night, but they are also smart enough to separate fact from fiction, even when that fiction is portrayed so convincingly.
After a summer of blockbusters, including the superhero movie to top them all, it is a welcome relief to be served something with a little more depth and character like this. Yes, Joker has its violence, but only where it is needed by the plot, and this scarcity of use means it has all the more impact when it does come. Joker is not morally cut and dry, and will leave you with many more questions than it answers, but at the end of the day, it is an origin story for a super-villain, so your loyalties were always going to be divided.
Joker has much to say about our uneven society, mental health, bullying and lack of care, and the tragic consequences that all of these can lead to, yet it never feels like a morality tale. It may be set in 1981, but it is just as relevant to today, and where you stand on each of these issues is left up to you. Only you can decide if Jokers actions are ultimately justified.
What is justified, without a doubt, is the admission price. As audiences across the globe are proving, Joaquin’s Joker is worth whatever your ticket costs, and is a tremendous return on Warner Bros’ $55 million dollar investment. Which could mean the dawn of a new dark-age from DC Black. Watch this space.
Patricia “Patti” French is a woman of many talents. She started an acting career in the theatre while also working as a voice-over talent. She later attended the National Shakespeare Conservatory in New York and hasn’t stopped acting since. Her TV credits are extensive, with each project being as recognizable as the A-list actors attached to them. This past year she was a part of the highly anticipated Hulu series titled The Act that details the real-life story of a toxic mother and daughter relationship.
She most recently starred in a movie with film icons Diane Keaton and Jackie Weaver, titled Poms that hit theaters this past Mother’s Day. I had a chance to speak to Patti directly after its release in July. Patti is a woman of many talents and wisdom. Check out our conversation below:
Clichè: Your most recent work is in the hilarious film Poms, growing up I read that you had a passion for music and dance. Were you a cheerleader in high school?
Patti: I was not! Mostly because I was a navy brat, every two years I was going to a new school. To be a cheerleader and be apart of the clique you have to be somewhere for a long time. When my dad did finally retire it was right before my junior year. I was actually able to go to one high school for at least two years! In fact, I am getting ready to go to my 50th-year high school reunion! It’s the 50th anniversary of all the great things like Woodstock and the walk on the moon and my graduating from high school [laughs]. I was really involved with Glee Club and Drama Club.
Your character in the film Phyllis, is described as pretty feisty, can you talk more about her? How similar is she to you in real life?
I think the things that are similar are she loves to dance, she loves music, she loves to hang out with a group of girls and she’s a team player.
The film’s tagline is “It’s never too late to dream” and the film follows a group of women who revisit a dream of theirs that they never got the chance to fulfill. Did this film remind you or make you want to revisit anything you may have missed out on?
For me, it was always a dream for me to work with Dianne Keaton. She is one of my favorite actresses as well as Jackie Weaver. I’ve been a Dianne Keaton fan as long as I can remember. That was a dream come true! She was everything and more that I thought she would be. She did not disappoint. She greeted all the actresses on the first day of Bootcamp. She saw the film before everyone else and called everyone and was just so supportive. She’s a girl’s girl.
Alisha Boe, Patti French, Charlie Tahan, Jacki Weaver, Director Zara Hayes, Pam Grier, Diane Keaton, Celia Weston, Rhea Perlman, Carol Sutton, Ginny MacColl, and Bruce McGill attend the World Premiere of POMS at Regal LA LIVE on Wednesday, May 1, 2019 in Los Angeles, CA
Photo: Eric Charbonneau
Did you have a chance to tell her how much she inspired you or did you play it cool?
I did play it cool but on the last day before we wrapped everyone was running around and giving each other gifts. I had taken all my gifts to the trailers and I took Diane’s gift but decided I would write it in a fan letter. I told her, “Hey, this is a fan letter and I just want to tell you the different moments in your films and how much they meant to me”, it turned into this four-page crazy letter. About an hour later I got this knock on my trailer door and it was her! She came in and she was like “I can’t believe you wrote all of that!” It was a lovely moment.
The film has a few dance sequences, with your background in dance, did you have to rehearse? Your co-star Diane Keaton said she needed a lot of rehearsal practice. In some interviews, I’ve heard it described as boot camp.
Oh God yes! We all rehearsed the same amount. I was the youngest of the group and we’re 68! Everyone was going home sore with our hips and knees [laughs]. Boot Camp was a week in L.A. and we flew back to Georgia for filming and we had about 2 weeks of rehearsal. I actually wish there have been more dance footage in the film. Maybe it’ll be on the DVD!
The main character in Poms, Martha, views going to a retirement community as “going to die”, it also addresses the idea of loneliness as we all get older, how do you relate to this film and how important do you think it is to have stories like this be told about women of a certain age?
First of all, I think it is important to tell stories about women of any age. If you study history and look back at older civilizations, the older women weren’t shunned, they were looked up to for all their wisdom. There is a lot of us baby boomers and they should be making movies for us because we’re the people that are going to the movies and paying for them. I just think of some of the things I’m watching now, Grace and Frankie, The Kominskty Method, some of the characters in The Marvelous Mrs. Masiol, there’s just so many great female’s out there and they’re dying to act no matter how old they are and I just hope somebody will just keep writing these stories. And apparently, it’ll just have to be the women!
What do you hope audiences take away when they watch the film?
I think the thing I want audiences to take away is that a group of women can be very powerful and they can accomplish things that maybe they could not have done alone. That bond and that friendship and that girl friendship, you never grow out of that. It’s always there until it’s not. It’s not that way sometimes for men. I think we’re lucky that we’re able to vulnerable enough to go “Oh my gosh, I’m really scared. Am I going to be able to do this?” That bond is really important and so it the power of a group. With everything that’s going on now in Georgia and in the South, if us women don’t band together and figure out a way to activate ourselves as a group, it’s going to be really bad and we will be letting down the younger women that we made all these strides for. We need to bond as a group and not let people hold us down!
The film came out during Mother’s Day weekend, do you have a favorite Mother’s Day memory?
I do! It would be this one actually! I wish my mother was still here to see it, but my daughter and granddaughter came up from Florida and we went to see the movie together and we spent Mother’s Day weekend together. My daughter wanted to take a selfie of all three of us together and a woman came up and said “I can take your picture! Oh, are you the woman that was in the movie?” It was nice. I may have had some other [great memories] and I sure as hell wish my mother was still here to see this but this is going to be my new favorite Mother’s Day! Oh, and then my husband cooked for all of us!
Patti French attends the World Premiere of POMS at Regal LA LIVE on Wednesday, May 1, 2019 in Los Angeles, CA
Photo: Eric Charbonneau
You also are apart of another project that everyone is talking about, The Act on Hulu that retells a very true and horrific story. You play Tina, before joining this project did you know the real story?
I knew part of it but then I watched the HBO documentary, which is truly more horrifying than the mini-series. I think they did an amazing job making the mini-series watchable because it was almost impossible to watch the documentary. A pretty different Mother’s Day story.
When you read a script, what pops up to you that makes you say “this role will be great for me!” what catches your eye?
Well, sometimes you don’t always have a chance to read the whole script depending on your role. But, a good story is a good story.
Throughout your career, you’ve worked alongside legendary actors on TV and film sets, what has been your favorite moment on set? What has been the most important lesson you’ve learned from the previous projects you’ve been a part of?
I think the most important lessons are, you have to show up and you have to be brave. You can’t be vulnerable if you are not brave. You can’t worry about how you look and when you are really feeling self-conscious, just throw it away and concentrate on the other person. It leaves you in the moment and you are listening.
Do you have any memorable stories from any set that you’ve worked on?
Some of them are on stage because I’ve done a lot of stage work. I was lucky enough to play Blanche DuBois in A Streetcar Named Desire and that was an amazing experience. A few years ago I was on a show on Lifetime called Army wives. What I loved about that was it was telling the story of military wives, because I know what my mom went through. There are always movies and stories about men in the military but it’s like a secret life unless you were raised that way, people don’t understand what the families go through. Like I mentioned earlier, changing schools, having to pack up 3-4 kids, spreading the money out, not being able to get a job. I didn’t realize it because it was my childhood, but I didn’t realize that it was a fascinating secret and life that people who weren’t raised that way, found it fascinating. I got to play this woman who owned this bar and she had a lot of things that happened to her. She had a bar that got bombed and she almost died and then she rebuilds the bar and she’s dying of cancer. She ends up leaving for this cancer center in California. There was a PR campaign with Warriors in Pink for Breast Cancer and FORD, so my character got to take off and drive off into the sunset in this amazing black mustang convertible with this pink heart painted on the front. And I got to do this pretty cool death scene which was pretty fun to do. [laughs] Actors might not tell you that, but we love to do death scenes!
You have had such an extension acting career from tv, film, theatre, voice-over acting. Do you remember the moment you decided to be an actress? What was the first tv show or film that made you fall in love with the art of acting?
I sorta can’t remember not wanting to act. I think I was always in my bedroom in front of the mirror pretending. Always. My mom who was from Southern California was a movie freak. She was raised in the ’30-’40s the great Hollywood era and she loved movies and especially because my father was overseas a lot. I went to see a lot of movies with my mom when I was super young. I just loved that feeling of sitting in a movie theater with popcorn and being in the dark. My mom raised me on movies and movie stars. My mom was also a really good singer and dancer. I think she would have loved to be an actress. She didn’t get to see POMS but she saw a lot of the other work I’ve done and kept scrapbooks. I can’t remember not ever wanting to be an actress. I kept coming back to acting because it was the place where I felt the most like myself.
Which has been your favorite character that you have played and why?
Blanche DuBois in A Streetcar Named Desire. It’s just an epic character for a woman. I just think I understand the kind of person that lives so much in her head and really loves beauty, literature and all of that but she’s is in total denial. She will do anything to survive because she has to, before she faces reality. I think I understand people who have a hard time with reality. [laughs] Maybe it’s me. When you play a really great character, you just want to play more of them!
‘The Act’ is available to stream on Hulu.
Poms is available for purchase now on DVD and Blu-Ray.