Sylvester Stallone & Dolph Lundgren Reunite in Expendables 4 Set Photo

Dolph Lundgren shared a photo of his reunion with Sylvester Stallone from the set of The Expendables 4. The new film in the ensemble action franchise comes almost a decade after The Expendables 3, which was released in 2014. The film is being directed by former stunt coordinator Scott Waugh with an eye toward a 2022 release. Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Dolph Lundgren, and Randy Couture are all reprising their franchise roles along with Expendables newbies Andy Garcia, 50 Cent, Tony Jaa, and Megan Fox.

In the Expendables franchise, Dolph Lundgren plays Gunner Jensen, a chemical engineer with a wild streak, a reference to the fact that the Swedish actor has a degree in chemical engineering in real life. Jensen is known for his crass jokes, and is an original member of the Expendables team, having appeared in all three previous films. He has worked under Stallone's character Barney Ross for years, though he can't always avoid butting heads with him.


Although Stallone has wrapped shooting on The Expendables 4, Dolph Lundgren shared a throwback photo from the set on his Instagram. It's a black and white shot of him and Stallone relaxing between scenes. In his caption, Dolph expresses his gratitude that the film was being shot in London at the same time as Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, in which he will be reprising his role as King Nereus. It looks like he will be keeping Nereus' long hair in the Expendables film as well, unless they put him in a wig before rolling the camera. Check out the post below:

Click Here to View the Post on Instagram

The Expendables is the second action franchise to unite Stallone and Lundgren. Lundgren originally rose to prominence in the Stallone vehicle Rocky IV, in which he played Soviet boxer Ivan Drago. Lundgren's casting in the original Expendables was certainly due to this connection, given that the series' intent was to gather as many classic action stars as possible into one explosive film. Given the fact that Stallone himself directed and co-wrote the film, Lundgren was an obvious choice for the character.

With both The Expendables 4 and Aquaman 2 gearing up for release next year, it's going to be a big 2022 for Dolph Lundgren. To add to his busy promotional schedule, he will also be appearing in the World War II thriller Operation Seawolf and the animated sequel Minions: The Rise of Gru. His renaissance on the silver screen is well-earned, considering that the actor has devoted himself to entertaining audiences, appearing in nearly 100 titles across his career.


Source: Dolph Lundgren




Dark Souls 3 & Bloodborne DLCs’ Final Bosses Fight Each Other In New Mod

A new mod for Dark Souls 3 pits the final boss of the game's last DLC against the final DLC boss from fellow FromSoftware title Bloodborne. FromSoftware has developed a reputation for challenging bosses over the past decade and seems to be continuing that trend with the upcoming Elden Ring, which fans have been awaiting eagerly for some time now following its initial reveal at E3 2019. A more in-depth trailer released at Summer Games Fest earlier this year revealed many of the hallmarks fans have come to expect from the upcoming title.

Another unique aspect FromSoftware titles have cultivated over the years is a dedicated modding community that still puts out content for installments as far back as the original Dark Souls. As with other communities, the mods cover a wide range of changes and additions, including one that brings sports into Dark Souls 3. Thanks to the work of the modding community, one fan was recently able to answer a unique question: who is the ultimate final DLC boss?


YouTuber Garden of Eyes started their channel at the end of 2020 with the focus of pitting Bloodborne bosses against one another. Since then, however, that goal has expanded to encompass more FromSoftware titles, and their latest fight features Dark Souls 3's Slave Knight Gael from "The Ringed City" DLC against Bloodborne's Orphan of Kos from "The Old Hunters." The video consists of three bouts between the two bosses, featuring an updated version of Orphan of Kos from a mod named "Call of the Abyss." Each fight takes place in a different boss arena from Dark Souls 3. Despite a victory in round one, the Orphan of Kos ends up losing to Slave Knight Gael in the following two rounds, culminating in a neck and neck competition in the finals.

Watch Slave Knight Gael and the Orphan of Kos do battle on YouTube here.

Boss vs boss battles are not the only FromSoftware content Garden of Eyes posts. Sometimes the fights feature NPCs or notoriously difficult mini bosses taking on the actual bosses as well as one another. The channel also features some unique FromSoftware mods such as a Bloodborne first-person camera mod. It goes to show how much creativity can be found in the gaming industry, even in the player base of such a brutally difficult franchise as Dark Souls.

There is an undeniable appeal in watching Dark Souls and Bloodborne bosses savagely beating each other instead of a helpless player. It comes from a shared struggle every player of From Software's games has had at some point, particularly when going through these titles for the first time. It also helps that the bosses themselves are imposing figures, and make for thrilling adversaries when turned against each other. Elden Ring will likely add more notable bosses that will not only make seasoned players feel right at home, but bring a new generation of players into the fold that have not yet taken on the FromSoftware experience. Until then, however, players can continue to fight against what came before and, if ever things become too difficult, watch the likes of Gael and the Orphan smack each other around for a change.


Source: Garden of Eyes/YouTube



Did Squidward Have A Wife? SpongeBob SquarePants Theory Explained & Debunked

Even though SpongeBob SquarePants is aimed at children, it hasn’t been safe from all types of theories, of which many don’t make much sense, such as one that says the reason why Squidward is always sad is that he misses his wife. Nickelodeon has been home to a variety of cartoons that have become very popular with viewers, but the most successful Nicktoon to date is SpongeBob SquarePants, created by Stephen Hillenburg. The show made its debut in 1999 and has since become one of the longest-running animated series, allowing it to branch out to other media as well.

SpongeBob SquarePants takes viewers to the bottom of the ocean to visit the underwater city of Bikini Bottom, where the title character and his friends (and a couple of enemies) live and get involved in all types of trouble. Throughout his different adventures, SpongeBob is often accompanied by his best friends Patrick Star and Sandy Cheeks, his neighbor and coworker Squidward Tentacles, and his greedy boss Mr. Krabs, as well as his pet snail Gary, who joins the fun from time to time. Every character has their own personality and quirks, and one who has become popular with viewers is Squidward, as he’s the opposite of SpongeBob, and this has made way for some strange theories.


As mentioned above, Squidward is SpongeBob’s neighbor and coworker at the Krusty Krab, so he has to spend a lot of time with the always cheerful sponge, much to his annoyance. While SpongeBob is optimistic, childish, and clueless, Squidward is bad-tempered, stubborn, and rude, and nothing seems to work out in his favor. This has made fans come up with all types of theories on why Squidward is like this, and one suggested that Squidward was once married, but his wife left him and his life hasn’t been the same ever since – and, of course, SpongeBob had something to do in this, though not as you might think.

The theory went viral on TikTok and has now been deleted, but descriptions of it can be found online. The author of the video explained that Squidward wasn’t always mean, but the failures in his love life have driven him to be a pessimistic character. They also added that during those hard times nobody listened to him except for SpongeBob, so the famous sponge is the only one who’s fully aware of what Squidward has gone through, and that he “looked after Squidward more than you think”. The reason why the show has never addressed this is because it was “too dark”, and so Squidward is always sad and grumpy because he wants his wife back in his life. Squidward did have a love interest in one episode of SpongeBob SquarePants: Squilvia, a woman who looks like him but with short black hair, long eyelashes, and dark pink lips. Squidward and Squilvia met at the Krusty Krab, and SpongeBob actually helped Squidward ask her out, and while at the end of the episode they were shown together, she hasn’t shown up again.

There’s no truth to the “Squidward’s wife” theory that was once a hit on TikTok, and he has never mentioned being married and Squilvia was only a date, though the status of their relationship remains unknown. Not every “mystery” or strange thing found in SpongeBob SquarePants needs an explanation, as it’s ultimately a cartoon, and it doesn’t always have to make sense. Squidward surely has other reasons to be bitter and grumpy, but a lost love definitely isn’t one of them.

Masked Singer: Artist Who Was Cupcake Dishes on Unmasking

The celebrity formerly known as Cupcake on The Masked Singer opened up about competing on the show. In the latest episode, the Cupcake was revealed to be Ruth Pointer of the Pointer Sisters. The show recently returned for season 6, with Robin Thicke, Jenny McCarthy-Wahlberg, Ken Jeong and Nicole Scherzinger all returning to the panel. Nick Cannon is back as host. The Cupcake was first introduced as a member of Group B and got to perform twice before being unmasked. Prior to the Cupcake's unmasking, the identities of Octopus, Mother Nature, Pufferfish and Baby were revealed. The stars under those masks, respectively, were Dwight Howard, Vivica A. Fox, Toni Braxton and Larry the Cable Guy.

One key clue from the Cupcake's first clue package alluded to the star being in a musical group and being used to sharing the spotlight. Right before the Cupcake's unmasking, Nicole disregarded her first-impression guess of Roberta Flack and decided that she thought the Cupcake was Ruth. This earned Nicole her first point towards this season's Golden Ear Trophy, in which the Masked Singer panel competes to see who can guess the most celebrities correctly. Ruth also revealed that she was supposed to perform as a duo with her sister Anita, who bowed out of the competition due to health concerns.


Now Ruth is telling EW all about her experience on the show. She revealed that she convinced her manager to book her as a contestant. "I had been sort of hammering at my manager to get on the show. He had another client that had been on it, and I said, 'I want to do that show!'" She confirmed that when Anita was a part of the act, they were planning to perform as two cupcakes. They wouldn't have been the only duo this season, with the Banana Split still in the competition. Ruth said she wasn't surprised that Nicole guessed her, but she wasn't expecting some of the panel's other guesses. They included Tina Turner, RuPaul and Roberta. When asked what the hardest part of performing as the Cupcake was, Ruth insisted that it wasn't too challenging. But she mentioned that "the stage is a little intimidating because it's so big and it was like a black lacquer." She expressed how much she enjoyed her time on The Masked Singer and even said she would return to the show in the future.

Since this Masked Singer episode was called "Date Night," all of the celebrities offered clues that had to do with their love life. While performing as the Cupcake, Ruth said that she's a hopeless romantic. "When I fall in love with a guy, I'm all in. I have learned a lot about love, particularly falling out of it." She joked that she would date Nick and even said, when asked to give dating advice, "Date, don't marry." Ruth has been married five times and has five children.

Had Ruth been able to perform with Anita, fans can only wonder if the outcome would have been different. Perhaps it would have been easier for fans and the judges to identify the sisters based on their vocal performance. The clue packages may have been altered to focus more specifically on Ruth. Since she has always performed with her sisters, she may have been out of her element while competing as a solo singer, not to mention many contestants explain how tough it is to perform in their costumes. Despite these challenges, The Masked Singer is a great platform for all of the celebrities to connect with their fans and even gain new ones.

D&D: Why Spelljammer Is Likely To Return

The Dungeons & Dragons players of the world could soon be hanging a flag at the end of the mast and taking to the stars as explorers or pirates, as there is mounting evidence to suggest that the Spelljammer campaign setting is returning. Wizards of the Coast has slowly been updating the classic D&D campaign settings for use with the current edition of D&D, even though many groups still default to the Forgotten Realms for their games.

The most popular D&D campaign settings are the ones inspired by European folklore and The Lord of the Rings, but there were more released in the past that went in drastically different directions. The desert world of Athas from Dark Sun was controlled by the powerful Sorcerer-Kings, who ruled the small pockets of civilization with an iron fist, while the only dragon in the world was so powerful that it could decimate any opposition. Ravenloft was a gothic horror plane that trapped the unwary residents of other worlds, forcing them to reside in lands governed by the wicked Darklords, who were just as much a prisoner as their captives. The Ghostwalk campaign was set in the location where life ends and the afterlife begins, where players could use their deceased characters to explore the mysterious boundaries between the living and the dead. All of these campaigns offered different experiences to the standard adventures set in Faerun or Oerth.


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One of the strangest D&D campaign settings was Spelljammer, which involved traditional sailing ships that had been empowered with magic so that they could fly through the void of space, and explore different worlds. Spelljammer debuted in the days of Advanced Dungeons & Dragons, but it has yet to receive an official revival in a later edition. There's a good chance that Spelljammer will be returning within the next few years, allowing the many new D&D players to sail the stars and carve their own destiny in the multiverse.

Wizards of the Coast has revealed that three classic settings are returning. Two of the classic settings will return in 2022, while a third classic campaign setting will return in 2023. In recent years, D&D has brought back Ravenloft in Van Richten's Guide to Ravenloft, as well as Eberron in Eberron: Rising from the Last War. There are lots of potential candidates for these returning campaign slots, including Athas from Dark Sun, Krynn from Dragonlance, or Oerth from Greyhawk. It's likely that Dragonlance will be one of the next two classic settings, as new Dragonlance novels are on the way. There is evidence to suggest that Spelljammer is on the way and it could be the third campaign setting that is coming back in 2023.

The news regarding the third classic setting was revealed during D&D Celebration 2021, where it was included as part of a discussion regarding the growing multiverse of D&D. It was also revealed that new settings will be introduced in the future. There's a good chance that these settings will be planes from Magic: The Gathering, as several of these already have sourcebooks, with Strixhaven: A Curriculum of Chaos adding another later this year. If Wizards of the Coast is fleshing out the D&D multiverse, then Spelljammer is the perfect setting to accompany the existing campaign settings. A big part of Spelljammer is controlling a magical spaceship, which has the ability to sail the stars and visit other D&D worlds. There has already been an example of Spelljamer content appearing within the lore of fifth edition, as a Mind Flayer ship appears in Baldur's Gate 3, as well as in one of the campaigns published by Wizards of the Coast.

The smoking gun in the discussion of Spelljammer's return is the recent Unearthed Arcana article that featured Spelljammer races. The Unearthed Arcana articles released by Wizards of the Coast contain playtest material for fans to use. The intention is for players to send in feedback, based on their experiences using the content, and this is used to refine it for publication. The recent "Travelers of the Multiverse" Unearthed Arcana article featured playable races that debuted in Spelljammer. These include the giff, which are a race of humanoid hippos that have no homeworld and act as mercenaries to those with gold or the promise of plunder. The hadozee were also featured, which are humanoid apes with skin flaps on their arms that resemble the "wings" of a flying squirrel, allowing them to glide through the air. The hadozee are skilled ship hands, who can use their gliding ability to quickly travel from mast to mast. The autognomes also appeared, which are a race of robotic gnomes that were created by the tinker gnomes of Krynn. The fact that so many Spelljammer races appeared in the latest Unearthed Arcana article suggests that it's coming back unless Wizards of the Coast is trolling the fans.


It bears mentioning that not all of the material in Unearthed Arcana articles makes it into a D&D. An upcoming example of this is happening in Strixhaven: A Curriculum of Chaos. Wizards of the Coast released an Unearthed Arcana article for the "Mages of Strixhaven" subclasses, which were unique, in that multiple classes could take them. Usually, the subclasses in D&D are restricted to a specific class, such as the Assassin for the Rogue. The feedback to this new type of Strixhaven mage subclass was so negative that it ended up being scrapped. In this case, it feels as if the decision to revive Spelljammer is set in stone. The "Travelers of the Multiverse" races will likely be tweaked in the future, but it's unlikely that any of them will be scrapped completely.

The other contender for a multiverse-spanning campaign setting is Planescape. This was the setting that went in-depth regarding the different planes of existence, as well as challenging some of the notions about celestials, demons, and devils. The hub of Planescape was the city of Sigil, which was home to the incredibly powerful Lady of Pain. It's said that any plane can be reached in Sigil, so long as the traveler knows the location of the correct portal. As it stands, the Planescape campaign setting is best known for being the setting for the incredible classic video game RPG Planescape: Torment. The setting has its fans, but there seem to be considerably more people clamoring for the return of Spelljammer to Dungeons & Dragons than Planescape. There's still hope for Planescape to arrive in the future, but Spelljammer seems the more likely prospect at the moment.

Breakfast Club Star Anthony Michael Hall Says The Brat Pack Never Existed

The Breakfast Club star Anthony Michael Hall says the so-called teenage friendship group, The Brat Pack, never existed. Currently celebrating his debut as Tommy Doyle in the slasher sequel Halloween Kills, some of Hall's most iconic roles hail back to his adolescence. The now 53-year-old actor formerly starred in the likes of National Lampoon's Vacation, Sixteen Candles, and Johnny Be Good.

Though he has since broken free of his more satirical roles, Hall is undoubtedly best known for his portrayal of Brian Johnson in The Breakfast Club. It was a role that kept him in close quarters with co-stars Judd Nelson, Emilio Estevez, Molly Ringwald, and Sheedy, all of whom became synonymous with the fabled "Brat Pack". Joining them under the teen-star banner were St. Elmo's Fire castmates Andrew McCarthy, Demi Moore, and then-teen-idol Rob Lowe. Throughout the 1980s this collective of teenage stars was glorified for their personal chemistry both on and off-screen. The Brat Pack label was first given life by a 1985 headline 'Hollywood's Brat Pack', which alleged that the teen stars hung out regularly off set and portrayed some of their behavior in a negative light. Several Brat Pack members have since blamed the article for typecasting them and preventing their ascension into more serious work.


Now, in an interview with Insider, Anthony Michael Hall has dismissed The Brat Pack label entirely. "It didn't exist." He goes on to point out that he was an underage teenager at the time of the article and that while his co-stars, Emilio and Judd, were in their 20s and were perhaps going out to drink together, he was not present. Hall goes on to say that he had never even met some of his alleged 'friends', including Andrew McCarthy. When the interviewer says that Hall's claim makes their childhood a lie, The Breakfast Club star answers that audiences want to believe the actors they watch are friends in real life. Read Hall's full comments, below:

"It didn't exist. It was a media ploy. Whoever was the editor of New York Magazine at the time, it was a set up. 'Let's get all these guys together and get them talking shit.' The truth is in that time frame, I was at the very young end of that group. I was literally still in high school. When we did "The Breakfast Club," Emilio and Judd were in their early 20s and they are going out and having beers and I was a teen. So when they did that article I did feel that was a ploy to get all them yapping.

"I have never met him [McCarthy]. And I also think audiences want the actors that they watch together in projects to be actually connected in life. They expect that. People will be like, 'How are Emilio and Judd?' And I'm like, 'I don't know. I haven't seen them in 14 years.'"

While Hall's comments might come as a surprise to some and a disappointment to others, they mark the first time that an alleged Brat Pack member has outright disparaged the friendship group's existence. Though other members haven't quite gone so far, individuals like Emilio Estevez have said that their friendships weren't as broad nor as close as the media suggested. Regardless, this latest statement might have some old fans re-evaluating their perceptions of beloved childhood actors and being more mindful of media hyperbole.

Despite the Brat Pack name following him, even now, Hall has seemingly managed to cut himself free and allowed viewers to enjoy his portrayal in more serious roles. Since 1985, some of his most notable performances have been in The Dark Knight, Foxcatcher, Live By Night, and War Machine. Even so, there will be more than a few fans of those early teenage days in The Breakfast Club, who will have eagerly and loyally awaited the release of Halloween Kills.

Son of Monarchs Review: Visually Stunning Masterpiece By Auteur Alexis Gambis

From its opening shot, Alexis Gambis' Son of Monarchs is a captivating, thought-provoking film. The very first image audiences see — even before meeting protagonist Mendel (Tenoch Huerta) — is a close-up of a chrysalis being carefully, almost lovingly, dissected in a pool of clear liquid. This moment sets up the entire emotional experience of the movie: an uncomfortable clash between science and spirituality, the mundane and the sacred, precariously balanced on the quiet, hunched shoulders of a man struggling to reconcile his present station in life with the demons of his past. Written and directed by French Venezuelan film director (and biologist) Alexis Gambis, Son of Monarchs is an expertly crafted visual experience that weaves disparate themes and images.

The man cutting into the butterfly cocoon is Mendel, a scientist working on identifying and isolating the gene responsible for the monarch's distinct wing color. Specifically, he's involved in researching the optix gene, identifying how it determines color and patterns, and finding ways to manipulate the isolated gene (turning what should be orange scales on the butterfly's wings blue). It's a mildly controversial topic — at one point, a character compares it to Dr. Frankenstein's research in Mary Shelley's classic novel — but for Mendel, it's deeply contradictory work: his grandmother instilled in him a reverence for the monarch butterflies, which would migrate to the Michoacán forests surrounding his hometown en masse each year. Mendel may have dedicated his professional life to studying these delicate creatures, but in doing so, destroys countless. It's this inner conflict that drives the narrative.


The movie lacks a clear plotline, instead offering a story told through vignettes that offer a glimpse into the protagonist's inner life. A Mexican biologist working in New York City, Mendel is an outsider — both among his peers in America but also back home in Angangueo, Mexico. The scientist clearly does not go home often, possibly because of the bad blood between him and his brother, Simon (Noé Hernández); yet, he seems out of place in New York City as well. He's grown too dependent on his friendship with fellow Mexican-scientist Pablo (Juan Ugarte), and as a single, never-married middle-aged man, appears reluctant to form any meaningful relationships or lay down roots in his new home.

Played gently by Huerta, Mendel seems slightly uncomfortable wherever he goes, often slipping on and off various social masks as he performs the roles of happy-go-lucky peer, uncle, and boyfriend. Huerta offers a beautifully nuanced performance in Son of Monarchs; the actor imbues each moment, each glance, with a depth of meaning and feeling. Although he's soft spoken, Huerta's eyes are bold — brimming with emotion in one scene, then reflecting the dull luster of a traumatized mind in the next. As Mendel goes through his transformative journey, he holds himself slightly differently, slowly disregarding his "masks" and allowing his true self to emerge. Scene after scene, Huerta is a joy to watch.

Son of Monarchs is a bold film. Gambis maintains thematic tension throughout the story, constantly pulling Mendel between two very different worlds. The colors orange and blue are a dominant motif representing this, demonstrating the contrast of Mendel's spiritual and secular lives. Thematically, Mendel's inner turmoil is extended to offer a look at contemporary society: the inherent violence of scientific study, juxtaposed very intentionally with the environmental devastation, all done for the sake of progress. Son of Monarchs does not outright condemn these actions, instead suggesting humanity and Mother Nature must find a way to coexist. It's a mature choice that opts for a more pragmatic approach to environmentalism — without villainizing people, like Simon, whose circumstances force them to work in occupations that they know harms the local environment.

Son of Monarchs is a visual treat, embracing a truncated, almost dream-like pacing, which compliments the various surreal shots of Mendel's memories and nightmares. Interspersed between scenes are various scientific images from monarch butterfly research, presented for artistic effect. The movie rides the line of being artistically indulgent without feeling pretentious or gratuitous; however, Son of Monarchs is a challenging film, and no doubt some audiences will be put off by its psychological drama and visual storytelling. The loose structure of the plot adds an additional barrier that may turn off some viewers: this is a film that must be actively watched and savored — for those simply looking to be entertained, the work required to watch won't feel worth the effort. Cinephiles, on the other hand, will rejoice at the lush visuals and daring mise-en-scene in Sons of Monarchs — and will no doubt keep an eye out for Gambis' next project.

Why The Seinfeld & Elaine Romance Subplot Went Nowhere After Season 2

Seinfeld did have the makings of a long-term Jerry-Elaine romance, but it ultimately went nowhere - here's why. Seinfeld explored multiple romantic relationships Elaine and Jerry had with other people, but rarely addressed the prospect of bringing the two back together. Instead, Elaine remained one of the core members of Jerry’s circle of friends up until the end of the show in season 9.

When Elaine (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) was brought into the fold in the show’s second episode, it was explained she and Jerry had a brief relationship. Apparently, they had just broken up but decided to maintain their friendship. This served as the beginning of Elaine’s presence on the show, which involved frequent visits to Jerry’s apartment, lunches at Monk’s Café, and all sorts of misadventures with Jerry, George (Jason Alexander), and Kramer (Michael Richards). One thing Seinfeld avoided was Jerry and Elaine becoming an item for longer than an episode.


Seinfeld actually delivered a story where they started dating again, but this was abruptly dropped. In Seinfeld season 2 episode “The Deal” their failure to work out a “friends with benefits” relationship resulted in them getting back together at the end. However, they returned to the status quo in the following episode. It took almost a whole season before this was finally explained. In Seinfeld's season 3's "The Pen", the show dropped a throwaway line from Jerry which revealed he and Elaine had broken up offscreen. Apparently, the reason it took so long for this to be addressed can be attributed to “The Deal” airing out of order. It was originally intended as the season 2 finale. At the time, the writers weren’t even sure if the show would be renewed, so this was also seen as a possible happy ending for the pair if it really was the finale.

As for why Seinfeld decided to limit the Jerry-Elaine romance to just a one-episode story, “The Deal” was ultimately a product of discussions Seinfeld creator Larry David had with NBC executives. The home video release of Seinfeld season 2 revealed NBC was highly interested in Seinfeld pursuing a “will-they-won’t-they” subplot with the two, but David and Jerry Seinfeld were opposed, as both felt Jerry and Elaine should not be romantically involved. NBC was insistent, so to please them, David wrote “The Deal” as a form of compromise, understanding that once he gave the network what they wanted, he could return to the original formula without issues.

That’s essentially what Seinfeld did, and though the series did hint at feelings they may have had for each other occasionally, it kept the two apart. When considering how a romance would have greatly disrupted the friendship dynamic between Seinfield's main cast of characters that made the show so popular, it’s likely for the best the story was abandoned so quickly.

Son of Monarchs Review: Visually Stunning Masterpiece By Auteur Alexis Gambis

From its opening shot, Alexis Gambis' Son of Monarchs is a captivating, thought-provoking film. The very first image audiences see — even before meeting protagonist Mendel (Tenoch Huerta) — is a close-up of a chrysalis being carefully, almost lovingly, dissected in a pool of clear liquid. This moment sets up the entire emotional experience of the movie: an uncomfortable clash between science and spirituality, the mundane and the sacred, precariously balanced on the quiet, hunched shoulders of a man struggling to reconcile his present station in life with the demons of his past. Written and directed by French Venezuelan film director (and biologist) Alexis Gambis, Son of Monarchs is an expertly crafted visual experience that weaves disparate themes and images.

The man cutting into the butterfly cocoon is Mendel, a scientist working on identifying and isolating the gene responsible for the monarch's distinct wing color. Specifically, he's involved in researching the optix gene, identifying how it determines color and patterns, and finding ways to manipulate the isolated gene (turning what should be orange scales on the butterfly's wings blue). It's a mildly controversial topic — at one point, a character compares it to Dr. Frankenstein's research in Mary Shelley's classic novel — but for Mendel, it's deeply contradictory work: his grandmother instilled in him a reverence for the monarch butterflies, which would migrate to the Michoacán forests surrounding his hometown en masse each year. Mendel may have dedicated his professional life to studying these delicate creatures, but in doing so, destroys countless. It's this inner conflict that drives the narrative.


The movie lacks a clear plotline, instead offering a story told through vignettes that offer a glimpse into the protagonist's inner life. A Mexican biologist working in New York City, Mendel is an outsider — both among his peers in America but also back home in Angangueo, Mexico. The scientist clearly does not go home often, possibly because of the bad blood between him and his brother, Simon (Noé Hernández); yet, he seems out of place in New York City as well. He's grown too dependent on his friendship with fellow Mexican-scientist Pablo (Juan Ugarte), and as a single, never-married middle-aged man, appears reluctant to form any meaningful relationships or lay down roots in his new home.

Played gently by Huerta, Mendel seems slightly uncomfortable wherever he goes, often slipping on and off various social masks as he performs the roles of happy-go-lucky peer, uncle, and boyfriend. Huerta offers a beautifully nuanced performance in Son of Monarchs; the actor imbues each moment, each glance, with a depth of meaning and feeling. Although he's soft spoken, Huerta's eyes are bold — brimming with emotion in one scene, then reflecting the dull luster of a traumatized mind in the next. As Mendel goes through his transformative journey, he holds himself slightly differently, slowly disregarding his "masks" and allowing his true self to emerge. Scene after scene, Huerta is a joy to watch.

Son of Monarchs is a bold film. Gambis maintains thematic tension throughout the story, constantly pulling Mendel between two very different worlds. The colors orange and blue are a dominant motif representing this, demonstrating the contrast of Mendel's spiritual and secular lives. Thematically, Mendel's inner turmoil is extended to offer a look at contemporary society: the inherent violence of scientific study, juxtaposed very intentionally with the environmental devastation, all done for the sake of progress. Son of Monarchs does not outright condemn these actions, instead suggesting humanity and Mother Nature must find a way to coexist. It's a mature choice that opts for a more pragmatic approach to environmentalism — without villainizing people, like Simon, whose circumstances force them to work in occupations that they know harms the local environment.

Son of Monarchs is a visual treat, embracing a truncated, almost dream-like pacing, which compliments the various surreal shots of Mendel's memories and nightmares. Interspersed between scenes are various scientific images from monarch butterfly research, presented for artistic effect. The movie rides the line of being artistically indulgent without feeling pretentious or gratuitous; however, Son of Monarchs is a challenging film, and no doubt some audiences will be put off by its psychological drama and visual storytelling. The loose structure of the plot adds an additional barrier that may turn off some viewers: this is a film that must be actively watched and savored — for those simply looking to be entertained, the work required to watch won't feel worth the effort. Cinephiles, on the other hand, will rejoice at the lush visuals and daring mise-en-scene in Sons of Monarchs — and will no doubt keep an eye out for Gambis' next project.

9 Best Seth Rogen & Evan Goldberg Movies, Ranked By IMDb

Ever since the instant classic high school comedy Superbad put them on the map and the subsequent release of action-packed buddy picture Pineapple Express proved they weren’t one-trick ponies, Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg have been two of the most prolific and sought-after screenwriters in Hollywood. They’ve moved into producing streaming shows like The Boys and Invincible, but Rogen and Goldberg haven’t lost sight of their big-screen roots.


Not all of their movies have been as great as Superbad and Pineapple Express, but a bunch of their scripts – including the ones they directed themselves – have impressive scores on IMDb.

9 Drillbit Taylor (5.7)

The screenplay for Drillbit Taylor was written by Rogen, in his only screenwriting effort without Goldberg’s contributions, and Kristofor Brown, based on a story by John Hughes, the legendary director of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and Planes, Trains, and Automobiles. Owen Wilson stars as a bodyguard who’s hired by three kids to protect them from bullies.

As the movie’s mediocre IMDb rating would suggest, the execution doesn’t match the greatness of its premise. But a typically charming performance by Wilson as the title character makes it at least watchable.

8 The Watch (5.7)

Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, Jonah Hill, and Richard Ayoade star in The Watch as a band of bored suburban men who form a neighborhood watch to escape the mundanity of their lives and unwittingly stumble upon an alien invasion stemming from the local Costco.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, The Watch was initially conceived as a PG-13 vehicle in the vein of Ghostbusters. When it was retooled as a raunchy R-rated affair, Rogen and Goldberg were brought aboard the project to inject it with a healthy dose of curse words and sex references.

7 Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising (5.7)

After Mac and Kelly successfully ousted a fraternity that moved next door to them in the first Neighbors movie, the second one sees a sorority moving into the very same house. It could’ve come off as a rehash of the original, but Sorority Rising adds a unique twist as the couple reluctantly teams up with Zac Efron’s frat boy Teddy, the villain from the first one.

After they resisted the urge to pen sequels to Superbad and Pineapple Express, Neighbors 2 marked the first time Rogen and Goldberg had written a follow-up to one of their movies.

6 The Green Hornet (5.8)

Despite its critical panning, Rogen and Goldberg’s movie version of The Green Hornet is a fun superhero adventure carried by Rogen’s palpable on-screen chemistry with Jay Chou, who takes on Bruce Lee’s iconic role as Kato.

A lot of diehard Green Hornet fans were upset that Rogen and Goldberg adapted the property as a straightforward comedy, but their script has a nice balance of action and humor and director Michel Gondry brings some dazzling visuals to the proceedings.

5 Sausage Party (6.1)

Rogen and Goldberg brought their particular brand of raunchy hard-R humor to the typically kid-friendly realm of computer animation in 2016. Sausage Party is a hysterical riff on Pixar’s premises about anthropomorphized objects in which food products at a grocery store learn that their ultimate fate is to be eaten alive by giants.


On top of all the gags about sausages resembling penises, Sausage Party’s story of foods learning they worship a false god, and that their faith in “The Great Beyond,” is unfounded is a brilliant satire of religion.

4 The Interview (6.5)

Rogen and Goldberg’s second directorial effort after This is the End, The Interview, stars Rogen as a tabloid TV producer and James Franco as a late-night celebrity interviewer who’s invited to North Korea to interview Kim Jong-un. When the CIA catches wind, they task him with assassinating the infamous dictator.

This movie has the distinction of being the only movie in Rogen and Goldberg’s filmography to cause a geopolitical crisis that almost led to World War III. Despite the controversy it caused, The Interview actually has a lot more scatological gags and crass wordplay than biting political satire.

3 This Is The End (6.6)

After observing the work of directors like Michel Gondry and David Gordon Green bringing their scripts to life over the years, Rogen and Goldberg finally tried their hand at directing in 2013 with the apocalyptic comedy This is the End.

With all the actors in Rogen and Goldberg’s regular company – Jonah Hill, Danny McBride, Craig Robinson, etc. – playing satirical riffs on themselves, This is the End is a must-see for fans of self-aware comedy.

2 Pineapple Express (6.9)

Almost every Seth Rogen movie is about weed in some capacity, but his most overtly marijuana-oriented effort is Pineapple Express, in which he plays a process server who goes on the run with his pot dealer after witnessing a drug lord commit a murder.


After the runaway success of Superbad, Pineapple Express proved it wasn’t a one-off and that Rogen and Goldberg were a screenwriting team to be reckoned with.

1 Superbad (7.6)

The modern comedy classic that put Rogen and Goldberg on the map, Superbad is a coming-of-age gem about two high schoolers – aptly named Seth and Evan – trying to secure booze for a big party. It’s set up as a typical American Pie riff about sex-obsessed teens trying to lose their virginity, but Superbad is really about Seth and Evan’s separation anxiety as they prepare to go to different colleges.

According to The Guardian, Rogen and Goldberg began writing Superbad when they were 13, which explains why the teen angst rings so true. Superbad was the script that launched Rogen and Goldberg’s screenwriting career and, having been finetuned over more than a decade, it remains their strongest script to date.