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‘Into the Badlands’: Martial Arts Drama with No Punch

first_imgSo, for the sake of argument, let us join Sunny and go into the Badlands, this post-apocalyptic world with vast meadows of roses. Early on, after effortlessly wiping out about a dozen dudes without breaking a sweat, Sunny rescues M.K. (Aramis Knight), a teenager he finds trapped in a chest. It turns out that M.K. can unlock a mysterious power of ass-kicking whenever he bleeds, making you ponder the consequences if he ever accidentally nicks himself. And so, on top of motorcycle-riding assassins armed with Japanese Samurai swords, we also have magical teenagers.The Badlands are also occupied by the sickly Baron Quinn (Marton Csokas, The Lord of the Rings), his eighth wife-to-be (Sarah Bolger), his jealous wife (Orla Brady), Sunny’s pregnant lover (Madelein Mantock), and primitive boys training to become cold, heartless Clippers–and follow in Sunny’s footsteps. Figuring out their names was less concerning than trying to understand why all this cliché drama littered the background of a show loosely based on “Journey to the West,” a 16th century Chinese novel.It all was so odd yet so familiar…Apparently, there was something about Sunny’s martial arts skills that piqued the interest of the Baron–who decided to put it to “good” use–and will supposedly keep us enthralled in the journey ahead.But after Sunny brings M.K. back with him inside the high-walled doors of The Fort, where Baron Quinn runs his adolescent training camp, the drama within turns silly and mundane, and the more obvious it becomes that Into the Badlands is nothing more than an excuse to watch Daniel Wu flex his well-oiled muscles.And then it hit me. After tons of dull dialogue, the closing shots flashed on-screen with the song, “Lead Me Home,” by Jamie N Commons. The tune turned a knob in my brain, opened a door, and flooded out memories dating back to February 2013.“Lead Me Home” also concluded an episode of The Walking Dead (“Clear”, season three), when the protagonist Rick Grimes parted ways with an unhinged underling, Morgan Jones, for the second time in the series.This is another post-apocalyptic world. Humans coping with everyday drama are simply trying to live their lives in an environment that won’t let them. It’s the same formula with a new skin. Even AMC’s promotional commercials of Sunny’s martial arts abilities had shot-by-shot similarities to Walking Dead’s Michonne, Daryl and Morgan’s katana slicing, kicking, and stick wielding against the oncoming zombies. The cable network labeled its Sunday double-bill, “Twice The Fight.”Was AMC trying to make another Walking Dead out of Into the Badlands? Sure, there were no zombies lumbering through the Badlands’ rose meadows, and the characters were a lot more settled in, but paralleling the two shows explained all the out-of-place drama.Each commercial break started with these words, “Coming up on Into the Badlands,” leaving viewers hanging with a suspenseful action scene, as though AMC knew the risk that many (myself included) might change the channel if their curiosity weren’t aroused. Almost 20 million viewers tuned in for The Walking Dead’s season six premiere in October, so it’s no surprise that AMC hopes to draw those numbers with the five remaining episodes of its new series before the show enters the real badlands of low ratings.And that might prove the match for a prized martial arts champion like Sunny no matter how many necks he snaps.(Photo credit: AMC) Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Following Sunday night’s zombie apocalypse as depicted by the latest episode of The Walking Dead, AMC presented badass martial arts mayhem with its season premiere of Into the Badlands.A lot of strange words with no context were tossed around–Clippers, barons, and the Colts–but swift sidestepping, bone snapping, and karate whooshing distracted the brain and glued the eyes to the screen.At least for a little while.Wearing “cool guy” sunglasses and riding a motorcycle in a blood-red trench coat, Sunny (Daniel Wu) hits the trail to brighten nomadic and hostile gangs’ days by snapping their wrists and impaling them with rusted skewers or wielding his ever shiny katana.Evidently, once upon a time, Sunny was one of the aforementioned Clippers, assassins who “just show up, kill people, and leave.” But beneath all his ink, which records each of his many kills (404 and counting), Sunny is supposedly just a nice guy who made a bad career move. Now he’s about to rewrite his job description, as we shall soon see.last_img read more

Batesville reminds residents of what not to flush

first_imgBATESVILLE — The City of Batesville is reminding residents of what not to flush during the COVID-19 crisis. Items such as napkins, paper towels, facial tissues, baby wipes, diapers, gauze/band aids and feminine hygiene products should be disposed of in a waste basket. “These non-flushable products could cause clogs, backups, pipe damage, in toilets and septic systems. The cost to repair these damages are the homeowners responsibility,” according to the flyer. Residents who want more information should call the Batesville Wastewater Treatment Plant at (812) 934-5338.last_img read more

Sports getting underway in the 2015 fall semester

first_imgIn just over a month, the fall athletic season will be ramping up.Find out which teams will look to build on last season’s successes, and which teams are looking to turn it around and get back to winning ways in 2015.Football Jason Chan/The Badger HeraldLast season, Wisconsin started 3-2 before rattling off seven-straight wins to win the Big Ten West Division and advance to the Big Ten Championship game. Despite a loss to Ohio State in the championship game, the Badgers fought through the departure of head coach Gary Andersen to win the Outback Bowl against Auburn with former head coach and current Athletics Director Barry Alvarez filling in as head coach.UW football coach Gary Andersen leaving for Oregon StateWisconsin football head coach Gary Andersen will be leaving the team for a head coaching position at Oregon State University, Read…With Andersen’s abrupt exit from Madison for Oregon State, the Badgers hired former University of Wisconsin player and coach Paul Chryst to be the 30th coach in program history.It’s official: Chryst hired as new Wisconsin head coachIt’s official: Paul Chryst will be coming back to the Wisconsin football team as its head coach. Chryst — a Read…In 2015, the Badgers start with one of college football’s powerhouses when they face head coach Nick Saban and Alabama at AT&T Stadium in Texas. After that, Wisconsin shouldn’t face a challenge until they open Big Ten play with back-to-back games against Iowa and Nebraska.Fifth-year senior Joel Stave will once again command the UW offense while junior running back Corey Clement has big shoes to fill after Heisman finalist and first round draft pick Melvin Gordon left for the NFL. With Chryst calling the plays, expect Wisconsin to stick to its traditional ground-and-pound offense with play-action passes that burn opposing defenses.For the Wisconsin defense, the Badgers return a plethora of starters from the 2014 squad that ranked in the top three in the Big Ten in most defensive categories. Fifth-year senior safety Michael Caputo was a second-team All-American last season while former quarterback-turned-safety Tanner McEvoy and cornerbacks Darius Hilary and Sojourn Shelton should anchor the Wisconsin secondary on defense.This season, riding behind Clement and the defense, Wisconsin should once again compete for a Big Ten West Division title and another shot at the Big Ten Championship game.Badgers punch ticket to Big Ten championship game with defeat of MinnesotaFor the third time in four years, the University of Wisconsin football team will head to Indianapolis for the Big Read…Men’s basketballThe Wisconsin men’s basketball team is coming off its best two seasons in program history. After a somewhat of a surprise trip to the Final Four in 2014, the Badgers marched their way back to the Final Four after winning the Big Ten regular season championship and the Big Ten tournament. For the first time in program history, UW earned a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament and defeated Coastal Carolina, Oregon, North Carolina and Arizona to make it to the national semifinals in Indianapolis in 2015.Thirty-eight and no: Wisconsin moves on to national championship game with stunning win over undefeated KentuckyINDIANAPOLIS – The Wisconsin men’s basketball team was able to do something no other team has done all season. No Read…Perhaps the biggest win in program history came at the Final Four when Wisconsin knocked off then 38-0 Kentucky, ending their season, while sending the Badgers to the national championship game for the first time since 1941. Despite a loss to Duke in the national championship game, the Badgers finished the season an impressive 36-4 overall record and a 16-2 mark in Big Ten play.Wisconsin was led by consensus National Player of the Year Frank Kaminsky and second-team all-Big Ten selection Sam Dekker. Both made history when they became the first UW duo to be selected in the first round of the NBA draft.But this summer has brought about one significant change to the Wisconsin basketball program as longtime head coach Bo Ryan announced this upcoming season will be his final one. Ryan is Wisconsin’s all-time winningest coach with a 357-125 record at UW and has amassed more than 700 wins in his 30-plus years as a college basketball head coach.Men’s basketball: Wisconsin’s Bo Ryan to retire after 2015-16 seasonAfter 14 seasons of serving as the head coach for the Wisconsin men’s basketball team, Bo Ryan has decided his Read…Ryan’s last season in Madison won’t be an easy one, however, as Wisconsin will have to replace its two star players in Kaminsky and Dekker along with Traevon Jackson, Josh Gasser and Duje Dukan.Junior forward Nigel Hayes and junior guard Bronson Koenig will carry the load for Wisconsin this season and both could find themselves on the All-Big Ten first-team should they continue to improve. Freshman Ethan Happ vastly improved during his redshirt season and could be an emerging star at forward. Incoming freshman Brevin Pritzl should compete for playing time at guard with redshirt sophomore Jordan Hill and redshirt junior Zak Showalter, who all will play alongside Koenig in the backcourt.Women’s basketball Jason Chan/The Badger HeraldThe struggles for the Wisconsin women’s basketball team under head coach Bobbie Kelsey continued last season. Over the last four seasons, the Badgers haven’t won more than 12 games in a season and went just 9-20 in 2014-15 with a 5-13 Big Ten record. In three out of the past four seasons, Wisconsin has finished 11th in the conference.But Kelsey is back for another season and she, along with the rest of her team, have their sights set on higher aspirations for this upcoming season. They’ll be helped along by senior guard Nicole Bauman who averaged a team-high 15.3 points per game last season while shooting an outstanding 48.8 percent from 3-point range – ranking second in the country.Women’s basketball: Bauman breaks into leading roleThe Kohl Center is where it all started for Nicole Bauman. From her sophomore season in high school until the Read…Wisconsin also gets back a first-team All-Big Ten selection in Michala Johnson who took a medical redshirt last season after tearing her ACL in December. Despite being drafted in the WNBA draft by the New York Liberty, Johnson was granted a sixth year of eligibility and decided to return to Madison. In her last full season in 2013-14, Johnson averaged 16.6 points and 7.3 rebounds per game. Senior guard Tessa Cichy will be a key player for the Badgers once again this season as well alongside Bauman and Johnson.Volleyball Jenna Freeman/The Badger HeraldAn often overlooked UW athletics team, the Wisconsin women’s volleyball team consistently puts out title seasons. In 2013 they reached the national title game as the 12th-overall seed, before falling to Penn State. They then followed it up with another spectacular season in 2014.The Badgers finished regular season play strong with an impressive 19-game winning streak accompanied by their first Big Ten title since 2001 while ascending to No. 2 in the rankings.In the NCAA tournament, the Badgers won a thrilling five-set match over fellow Big Ten foe Ohio State in the Sweet 16 before falling to Penn State in the Elite Eight. After all was said and done, Wisconsin finished the season with a 30-3 overall record and an 18-1 Big Ten mark.Badger volleyball honored with numerous Big Ten AwardsThe Wisconsin volleyball team’s regular season success translated into several individual postseason awards, which were announced Tuesday morning. Sophomore setter Read…While they lost some key seniors from last year’s squad, the Badgers still return plenty of firepower and that starts with All-American and former Gatorade High School Player of the Year Lauren Carlini. The junior setter won the Big Ten Freshman of the Year award in 2013 and followed it up by winning Big Ten Player of the Year last season. Carlini is joined by sophomore outside hitter Kelli Bates who came onto the scene in a big way as a freshman in 2014. Bates averaged 2.85 kills per set and was named to the all-Big Ten freshman team.Wisconsin has turned out another top-tier recruiting class as well, which ranks in the top four in the country, according to PrepVolleyball.com. Six incoming freshman are ranked in the top 100 with two of those falling in the top 10.Women’s Soccer Herald File PhotoMaybe one of the best athletes at Wisconsin is found on the Wisconsin women’s soccer team. Rose Lavelle, a junior midfielder, is not only making an impact for the Badgers, but for the United States. Lavelle will be bringing national experience and talent back to Madison this season where she hopes to guide the Wisconsin women’s soccer team to an even better finish than last season.In 2014, the Badgers went 19-3-2 and 9-2-2 in Big Ten play. Their crowning moment was winning the Big Ten Tournament in double overtime on a corner kick from junior Kinley McNicoll. It was Wisconsin’s first Big Ten title since 2005 gave them a program record 18 wins in the season.McNicoll, who also played internationally for Canada, joins Lavelle again to form a formidable duo on the pitch for UW. While they lost some valuable seniors from last year’s unit, the 2015 women’s soccer team will be looking to provide even more firepower and an even better finish to the upcoming season.Badgers’ McNicoll, Lavelle transfer international experience back to Madison While most soccer fans spent the first half of the summer rooting for their favorite country in the FIFA World Read…Men’s soccer To say that the Wisconsin men’s soccer team was young last season would be an understatement. Head coach John Trask went through some growing pains with 12 true freshman on the 2014 squad that finished just 3-12-3 and 0-7-1 in Big Ten play. But, the team showed some signs of growth throughout the season, with three of their seven Big Ten losses coming in overtime including a heartbreaking double overtime loss to No. 12 Penn State toward the end of the season.Men’s soccer student section bolsters game atmosphere The University of Wisconsin men’s soccer team took matters into its own hands to try to better engage with student Read…Despite the team’s struggles, a trio of freshman made their mark on the team and across the conference. Tom Barlow, Mark Segbers and Mike Catalano all landed on the all-Big Ten Freshman team. Wisconsin’s three selections to the team were the most of any school in the Big Ten. During the season, Segbers and Barlow teamed up to score 10 of Wisconsin’s 20 goals. All three players were also ranked among the top 100 freshmen in the country by Top Drawer Soccer. A promising underclassmen group of players will be joined by senior midfielder Drew Conner who Top Drawer Soccer ranked as the 73rd-best player in Division I soccer. Conner led the Badgers in minutes last season with 1,608 and scored two goals.With a mix of experience and talented youth, the future could be bright this season for this men’s soccer team that is hoping to improve upon a difficult 2014 season.last_img read more