Archive for August 11, 2019

Once Upon A Time In Hollywood Isn’t A Traditional Tarantino Movie

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Warning: SPOILERS ahead for Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.

With Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Quentin Tarantino breaks from tradition and focuses more on cohesive storytelling than trademark aesthetics. He approaches each sequence like a short film; the pacing is impeccable, the performances are spot-on. Everything comes together.

For Once Upon a Time in Hollywood’s story, Tarantino reworked one of America’s most disturbing true crimes and made it his own. He contrasts the fictional stories of actor Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio) and stuntman Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt) with the real-life Los Angeles experiences of actress Sharon Tate (Margot Robbie). Rather than simply recreate the tragic Tate murders, in which three Manson Family members killed Tate and four others at her and Roman Polanski’s Cielo Drive home, Tarantino presents an alternative sequence of events; a cerebral commentary about Hollywood history, celebrity culture, and movie industry myths.

Related: The True Story Behind Tarantino's Once Upon A Time In Hollywood

Unsurprisingly, Tarantino’s latest film has inspired intense conversations about the historical subject matter, and his career as a whole. But what's interesting is that Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is one of the filmmaker's most unique movies, because it's so different from what's come before. Here’s why Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is so effective.

What Defines A Tarantino Movie

For nearly 30 years, Tarantino’s movies have been full of stylized violence, clever dialogue, and pop culture references. In 1992, he set the tone with Reservoirs Dogs, a gritty L.A. heist film with an unorthodox narrative structure. Tarantino literally and figuratively establishes his cinematic voice, as the film begins with Tarantino himself (as Mr. Brown) delivering a now-iconic monologue. Reservoirs Dogs inspired a new generation of filmmakers, and preceded one of the most influential films of the ‘90s, Pulp Fiction, which displays all the classic trademarks of Tarantino films.

Like Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction features a non-linear narrative, as gangster Vincent Vega (John Travolta) and Jules Winnfield (Samuel L. Jackson) attempt to retrieve a mysterious briefcase for their boss, Marsellus Wallace (Ving Rhames). The violence is extreme. The characters are stylish. The dialogue is slick. Pulp Fiction forever changed pop culture and strengthened Tarantino’s brand as a filmmaker. But then he released Jackie Brown, a film that strayed from his structural formula and didn’t quite become a pop culture sensation, or even a huge box office hit. From that point forward, Tarantino went back to the template established by his first two features. Kill Bill includes all the mayhem that fans expected.

Aside from Inglourious Basterds, Tarantino’s movies from 2007 to 2015 aren't necessarily regarded as classics. Fans and critics alike recognized that he might have been trying to be too edgy, whether it’s the rampant use of racial slurs in Django Unchained or The Hateful Eight's ultra violence. By now, everybody knows what fuels a Tarantino film. But Once Upon a Time in Hollywood highlights a more mature filmmaker, one who seems more comfortable with his creative vision, and more fully in command of his craft.

Related: Once Upon a Time in Hollywood Cast & Cameo Guide

How Once Upon A Time In Hollywood Is Different

Much like Jackie Brown, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood has a smooth, linear storyline. Tarantino doesn’t seem interested in flexing for the audience. Instead, he takes his time with each sequence. Tarantino immediately presents Rick Dalton as a sympathetic figure, someone who audiences can truly root for. Some viewers may expect a story that's fundamentally about the Manson murders, but Once Upon a Time in Hollywood's actual plot is subtly established during an early restaurant scene. Rick comes to the realization that he’s no longer relevant and must overcome his insecurities. Tarantino then immerses viewers into Rick's world. Suddenly, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood becomes so much more, but it’s ultimately about Rick’s internal conflict as well as his universally relatable, emotional struggles.

With Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Tarantino slows down. There’s a lesson to be learned with each sequence. Rather than splattering the screen with blood, and peppering each scene with oh-so-clever dialogue, Tarantino efficiently develops his characters. Many sequences conclude with an overhead shot; a moment of reflection for the audience. Tarantino does indeed use flashbacks in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, but they typically underline the psychology associated with Rick and Cliff, and especially their friendship. The actor struggles with what might’ve been (a lead role in The Great Escape); the stuntman struggles with the public perception that he killed his wife. Both men are flawed individuals who present a specific image but try to change with the times, all the while staying true to their core beliefs.

Tarantino prioritizes tension over violence. He saves the most gory moments for the end. Up until the brilliantly-executed Spahn Ranch sequence, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is mostly devoid of blood. By fully developing the main characters, Tarantino preps the audience for the inevitable conflict with the Manson Family. The wants and needs are clearly established. As for Tate, Tarantino wisely doesn’t make her an archetypal "Tarantino character". Meaning, he leans mostly on the fact that Tate was an up-and-coming actress who felt optimistic about the future. Robbie receives little dialogue because anything else would've been detrimental to the portrayal of her character, a real-life murder victim. So, the snappy one-liners are saved for Rick and Cliff, along with all the other fictional characters. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood’s shocking ending is symbolic of Tarantino’s entire thematic approach, as he prioritizes psychology first and foremost. One can hear all the horror of what really happened on Cielo Drive. But through a simple and fictional twist of fate, Tarantino redirects the violence towards the Manson Family.

Related: Once Upon A Time In Hollywood's Sharon Tate Controversy Explained

Why Once Upon A Time In Hollywood's Story Still Works

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood’s ending works on numerous levels. For one, it provides a cathartic ending for those who are familiar with the real-life events. In Tarantino's tale, Tate and her friends live; the Manson Family members are punished for their actions. Tarantino includes his trademark violence but takes an empathetic approach with his alternate history. Nothing changes in real life, of course, but that’s what the movies are for: a brief escape from reality.

In terms of storytelling, Rick and Cliff do indeed save the day in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. There’s a bizarre, feel-good conclusion that only Tarantino could provide. Rick finds the professional connections that he’s looking for, while Cliff proves that he’s still in peak physical form, even during an acid trip. Furthermore, Rick and Cliff's experience that night seems to suggest that they'll continue to work with each other given that Rick's career could be resurrected thanks to meeting Sharon Tate and eventually her husband, Roman Polanski. Plus, for the pool scene, Tarantino brings the narrative full circle, as the inciting incident (the restaurant scene with Al Pacino) includes a passing reference to Rick's flamethrower.

Overall, Tarantino weaves together a believable story with Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. It’s grounded in Los Angeles facts, and the attention to detail is meticulous. Rick embodies the traits of numerous real-life actors who struggled to change with the times. Tarantino doesn’t over-fantasize the storyline, nor does he attempt to create an imagined version of Hollywood. Tarantino sparks a conversation that will be continued for years to come, whether it’s about celebrity/gossip culture, the movie industry, or the depiction of mental illness.

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood challenges the audience to consider different perspectives. Tarantino includes Hollywood lore to imply certain information, but without stating it as fact. Younger viewers will have a different experience if they’re not somewhat familiar with the Manson Family murders. And the ambiguous nature of Cliff’s backstory allows for different interpretations about his character. Because Tarantino use historical events as a backdrop for a story about fictional individuals, the audience can have different experience with each viewing, based on how ambiguous moments are interpreted. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is part truth and part fiction; a crazy/beautiful cinematic contradiction.

Next: Once Upon A Time In Hollywood: Our 10 Biggest Unanswered Questions

Rick and Morty: Every Celebrity Guest Voice Actor | Screen Rant

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Rick and Morty will be returning for season 4 in just a couple of months, and fans have already been able to enjoy the first glimpse of what's to come thanks to a clip revealed at SDCC this year. The hit animated sci-fi show, created by Justin Roiland and Dan Harmon, will be returning in November for another ten episodes, with a total of seventy more episodes on the way. Of course, there's no way of knowing quite how long it will take to get all 70 out there, but Rick and Morty fansare used to waiting a while to get the good stuff.

The clip doesn't just include some alien-centric goodness, it also sees Taika Waititi (director of Thor: Ragnarok) appear as a guest star, voicing an alien who has been helping Morty and Jerry develop some kind of app. Rick and Morty has a long history of amazing celebrity voice cameos, of course, and Waititi isn't going to be the only famous face (or should that be voice?) joining the cast in the upcoming season.

RELATED: Rick's Catchphrase On Rick & Morty Was Improvised

For those who have forgotten (or never realized) just how many big names have been part of the animated madness, here's every celebrity guest who has lent their voice to Rick and Morty so far - and a few confirmed to be in the new episodes.

The first season of Rick and Morty was the one to hook fans, to introduce them to the incomparable madness of Rick and his wonderfully weird inventions, and to convince everyone that this would be the show to watch. This is also the season with the fewest big-name guest stars, as the world hadn't quite yet figured out just how huge this series would be.

  • John Oliver as Dr Xenon Bloom: In Episode 3, 'Anatomy Park', Dr Xenon Bloom is an amoeba and the co-founder (along with Rick) of Anatomy Park, a theme park built inside a human. Like Jurassic Park, though, this was an enterprise doomed to failure.
  • Dana Carvey as Leonard Smith: Leonard Smith also appears in 'Anatomy Park', although as part of the other storyline. Leonard is Jerry's father, and this episode explores Jerry's discomfort with Leonard's happy relationship with his wife... and her boyfriend.
  • David Cross as Prince Nebulon: Cross voices Prince Nebulon in Episode 4, 'M. Night Shaym-Aliens!'. Nebulon is the leader of the Zigerions, and so desperate to get his hands on the recipe for dark matter (from Rick) that he creates a massive, multi-layered simulation to try and trick it out of him.
  • Claudia Black as Ma-Sha: The seventh episode 'Raising Gazorpazorp' introduces Ma-Sha, the ruler of the planet Gazorpazorp, where men are subservient and women rule.
  • Rich Fulcher as King Flippy Nips: King Flippy Nips makes his first appearance in Episode 9 'Something Ricked This Way Comes', as the king of Pluto - and the kidnapper of Jerry, who he uses as a puppet to try and prove to his people that Pluto is still a planet.
  • Alfred Molina as The Devil/Lucius Needful: Another Episode 9 appearance is that of the Devil. While Jerry is on Pluto, Lucius Needful sets up shop, giving away cursed items (and becoming an enemy of Rick, who sets up a curse-removal shop in retaliation).

Related: Theory: Doofus Rick Is Evil Morty's Original Rick

With Rick and Morty now wildly popular, it's no surprise that the second season saw even more stars hop on board to voice some weird and wonderful characters.

  • Keegan Michael-Key and Jordan Peele as Fourth-Dimensional Being: The first episode of the second season, 'A Rickle In Time' sees time fracture as Rick fails to mend it... and a Fourth-Dimensional Being appears to arrest Rick for his use of a time crystal.
  • Alan Tudyk as Chris: Also in 'A Rickle In Time' is the Fourth Dimensional Being's 'gun', Chris, who is a little slug-like alien.
  • Jemaine Clement as Fart: In Episode 2 of the season, 'Mortynight Run', Fart is a seemingly friendly gaseous alien... whose smooth voice and kind words mask the fact that he actually wants to destroy all carbon based life.
  • Patton Oswalt as Beta Seven: Beta Seven appears in Episode 3 'Auto Erotic Assimilation' - a hive-mind alien (and parody of the Borg), who is a competitor of Rick's (in his own mind) for Unity's affections.
  • Christina Hendricks as Unity: Also appearing in the third episode is Unity. Another hivemind who controls an entire planet, Unity is also an ex of Rick's.
  • Matt Walsh as Sleepy Gary: Episode 4 'Total Rickall' sees the appearance of Sleepy Gary, a friendly man in a nightshirt and cap. He seems to be a part of the family, beloved by all, but turns out to actually be an alien parasite living in the house.
  • Stephen Colbert as Zeep Xanflorp: Episode 6 of the second season, 'The Ricks Must Be Crazy' introduces a miniature universe inside Rick's car battery. Zeep is a scientist within this universe whose own power source causes problems for Rick.
  • Jim Rash as Glexo Slimslom: Episode 7, 'Big Trouble In Little Sanchez', sees Jerry and Beth head to alien marriage counseling (and screw it up royally), where Glexo is the counsellor.
  • Werner Herzog as Shrimply Pibbles: Episode 8, 'Interdimensional Cable 2: Tempting Fate', sees Jerry given the chance to be a hero... by giving up his penis to Shrimply Pibbles, the most influential civil rights leader in the galaxy.
  • Tricia Helfer as Donna Gueterman: The tenth and final episode 'The Wedding Squanchers' sees the family going to Birdman and Tammy's strange wedding - and meeting Donna Gueterman, Tammy's mother.

Related: Rick & Morty: The Squirrel Universe & Secret Plan Explained

By the third season, Rick and Morty was thoroughly entrenched in the pop culture world, and filled with familiar voices:

  • Nathan Fillion as Cornvelious Daniel: In Episode 1 'The Rickshank Redemption', Cornvelious Daniel is an alien Federal Agent, sent into Rick's brain in order to try and gain information about the Portal Gun.
  • Joel McHale as Hemorrhage: In Episdoe s 'Rickmancing The Stone', Rick and Morty takes a trip into a post-apocalyptic universe where Morty and Summer try and deal with Jerry and Beth's divorce - in Summer's case, marrying the violent leader Hemorrhage.
  • Tony Hale as Death Stalker Eli: A celebrity also voices one of the other Death Stalkers in 'Rickmancing The Stone' - Eli, who is a neighbor of sorts to Summer and Hemorrhage.
  • Danny Trejo as Jaguar: Episode 3, 'Pickle Rick', has become one of the best-known in the entire show, and Trejo appears here as Jaguar, the tough-as-nails freedom fighter looking to kill Rick in exchange for his daughter, Katarina.
  • Peter Serafinowicz as Agency Director: Also in episode 3 is Agency Director, the head of the Russian agency that had captured Jaguar, and who set him against Pickle Rick.
  • Susan Sarandon as Dr. Wong: The other major celebrity appearance in 'Pickle Rick' is that of Dr Wong, the family therapist that the Smiths visit.
  • Christian Slater as Vance Maximus: Episode 4, 'Vindicators 3: The Return of Worldender' is a parody of the usual superhero antics, as Rick and Morty team up with the Vindicators, a group of heroes led by the charismatic Vance Maximus.
  • Gillian Jacobs as Supernova: Another Vindicator from Episode 4 is Supernova, a cosmic entity that goes from heroism to total rage and vengeance by the end of the episode.
  • Logic as Logic: The only guest star to appear as themselves is also in the fourth episode, as rapper Logic voices himself, hired by Rick to perform for Noob-Noob.
  • Clancy Brown as Risotto Groupon: Episode 5 'The Whirly Dirly Conspiracy' is set in a theme park within an immortality field, where Jerry meets Risotto Groupon, an alien enemy of Rick's who wants Jerry's help to kill him.
  • Keith David as Mr. President: The season finale 'The Rickchurian Mortydate' is actually the second time that the President appears on the show (the first is in season two's 'Get Schwifty'), but the first time it's as a major character.

Related: How Rick And Morty Season 3 Episode 4 Parodied Superhero Cinema

The upcoming season of Rick and Morty is sure to be packed with even more famous voices, and few actors have already been confirmed. Thanks to that SDCC clip, fans know who at least one will be voicing: Taika Waititi as a pink alien called Glootie. It appears that Glootie has joined forces with Jerry to create some kind of app - but, in Rick and Morty style, something has gone horribly wrong, and now Morty is giving into some rage and trying to take the app down.

In addition to Waititi, Paul Giamatti, Sam Neill, and Kathleen Turner have also been announced for the upcoming season. All that is known about those additions so far, though, is that Neill's character is the same species as Glootie. As for the rest, fans will just have to wait till November to find out.

NEXT: The Rick And Morty Episode That Proved Rick Has A Heart (Sort Of)

The Rock & Ryan Reynolds Reveal Matching Tattoos in Hobbs & Shaw Set Photo

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Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson and Ryan Reynolds have celebrated Hobbs & Shaw topping the box office for a second week with a set photo, showing off their characters' matching tattoos. The film is the first direct spin-off from the Fast & Furious franchise, which first debuted in 2001 and has since spawned multiple sequels. A ninth installment is due for release next year. Hobbs & Shaw saw Johnson reprise his role of Lucas Hobbs alongside Jason Statham as Deckard Shaw. Newcomers to the franchise Vanessa Kirby and Idris Elba play Hattie Shaw and Brixton Lore, respectively.

Directed by David Leitch, Hobbs & Shaw saw the titular characters forced to team up in order to prevent a deadly virus from being unleashed. The unlikely duo was tasked in that mission by Agent Locke, played by Reynolds in the first of the film's many surprise cameos. The character was quickly established to be somewhat fanatical of Hobbs, revealing that he even had an identical tattoo as him. The character later returned in a mid-credit scene. Although the installment was intended to be a launchpad for further spinoffs and generally well-received, it marked the franchise's lowest box office opening since 2009. Regardless, it topped the box office in its opening week and held strong in its second.

Related: Hobbs & Shaw's End-Credits Replaces Fast & Furious Deleted Scene

In honor of the achievement, Johnson posted a celebratory photo of him and Reynolds to Instagram. Sitting in the booth of a diner, both actors have their shirts pulled back to show off the aforementioned matching tattoos. In the description, Johnson thanked Reynolds for his contribution to the film. The wrestler-turned-actor described the actor's cameo as a delight for fans and that he considers it one of the reasons for the film managed to remain at the top spot. Reynolds, in turn, posted a similar image. In his own inimitable style, however, the comedic actor played it off as a real and something he was surprised to wake up with. Check out both posts below:

Both actors will next be seen together in the Netflix original film Red Notice. The film, which will also star Gal Gadot (Wonder Woman 1984), follows an Interpol agent as they track the world's most wanted art thief. Reynolds and Johnson also have their own individual comic book franchises in the works - with Black Adam expected to start filming in 2020 and Deadpool 3 still in development despite Fox being acquired by Disney.

Whatever one's opinion regarding the spin-off installment - especially in regards to the main Fast & Furious franchise - it's far from the kind of bomb that people (and Tyrese Gibson) believe it to be. And while it remains to be seen if any sequels or new spin-offs are greenlit, there is no denying the charisma of the two aforementioned actors. There is a reason why Leitch was eager to bring Reynolds onto the film and give him free rein following their collaboration on Deadpool 2. And why both actors often take it upon themselves to promote their films via social media in unique and inventive ways - especially in Reynolds' case. Because it works. While the cameos were understandably kept secret before the film's release, the secret is out now. As such, posts like the ones could potentially provoke some fresh interest in the film and help it continue its streak for a third week.

More: Our 10 Biggest Unanswered Questions After Fast & Furious: Hobbs & Shaw

Hobbs & Shaw can be seen in theaters now.

Source: Ryan Reynolds/Instagram, The Rock/Instagram

The Legend Of Korra: 10 Best Episodes, According to IMDb

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Avatar: The Last Airbender was a tough act to follow. But, creators Bryan Konietzko and Michael Dante DiMartino successfully expanded the world of Avatar with The Legend of Korra, a show set seventy years after the original that follows the adventures of Aang's successor, a waterbender named Korra, and her own Team Avatar.

RELATED: 10 Worst Episodes Of Avatar: The Last Airbender According To IMDBThe Legend of Korra received positive reviews and became a fan-favorite similarly to its predecessor. Over the course of four seasons, the show has dealt with important issues like race, gender, and sexual orientation. A number of episodes were especially praised for their writing, themes, and animation. Today, we're counting down the ten best episodes of The Legend of Korra, according to IMDb.

10 “OPERATION BEIFONG” (SEASON 4, EPISODE 10)

Book Four: Balance, or the fourth season, of The Legend of Korra, saw the rise of Kuvira, formerly a security officer at Suyin Beifong’s services, who decided that her talents are being squandered working for someone else and that she wanted more out of life. Well, something like that, anyway. In order to stop Kuvira, everyone had to join forces, and that included the estranged Beifong family as well.

In the tenth episode, titled “Operation Beifong,” Lin, Opal, and Bolin travel to Zaofu to rescue Suyin and her family, where they accidentally run into grandma Toph. For the mere fact that we got to see three generations of Beifongs together, this episode deserves the 9.1 rating and its spot in the top ten.

9 "THE LAST STAND" (SEASON 4, EPISODE 13) 9.2

The Legend of Korra series finale, which scored 9.2 on IMDb, was positively received by the critics, with special praise given to the show for pushing the boundaries of LGBT representation in children’s TV. Titled “The Last Stand,” the finale sees the conclusion of the battle against Kuvira and her giant mecha. After a long and arduous fight, Korra manages to convince Kuvira to surrender.

RELATED: Avatar: Zuko’s 10 Most Memorable Lines

Sometime later, Varrick and Zhu Li are married, Prince Wu reveals his plans to abolish the monarchy, and Korra and Asami decide to take a vacation in the Spirit World. The show ends with the two of them holding hands, walking into the light of the portal and gazing lovingly into each other’s eyes. The importance of this episode cannot be overstated, and it definitely deserves a palace in the top ten.

8 "ENDGAME" (SEASON 1, EPISODE 12) 9.3

In Book One: Air, Korra was up against Amon and his anti-bender revolutionary group The Equalists. Amon's vision of equality meant ridding the world of benders, so that everyone can be equal in his brave new world. However, he failed to mention one kind of crucial detail, that he himself is a bender – a bloodbender, to be precise.

In the finale, Amon is exposed as a bloodbender after a rally at which he planned to rid the world of airbenders. Team Avatar manages to foil his plans and Korra comes face to face with Amon who takes away her bending. Meanwhile, Asami faces her villainous father in a mecha duel. The episode ends with Korra finally connecting with her spiritual self, thus regaining her powers, and sharing a kiss with Mako.

7 "THE ULTIMATUM" (SEASON 3, EPISODE 11)

To say definitively that the third season of The Legend of Korra, known as Book Three: Change, is the best season of the show would probably turn some heads. But, hands down, it’s undeniably amazing. This season introduced new members of the Beifong family, an elderly Zuko, and, of course, the villains Zaheer and the Red Lotus.

RELATED: Avatar: 10 Most Underrated Supporting Characters In The Last Airbender

In “The Ultimatum,” which has a 9.3 rating, Zaheer comes closer to his goal, aka killing the Avatar, by threatening to kill the airbenders at the Northern Air Temple unless Korra surrenders to him. Zuko and his uncle Iroh make an appearance and offer Korra guidance, Tenzin and his siblings try to fight off Zaheer's allies, but the odds appear to be against our heroes. On a completely unrelated note, Bolin meeting Zuko, as well as other members of the original Team Avatar, is hilarious.

6 “KORRA ALONE” (SEASON 4, EPISODE 2)

“Korra Alone,” a nod to Avatar: The Last Airbender’s “Zuko Alone,” is often hailed by the critics as the best episode of The Legend of Korra. The episode, which has a 9.3 score on IMDb, tells us how Korra ended up in an underground bending arena. In mere twenty-two minutes, “Korra Alone” takes us on a poignant journey that explores Korra’s PTSD and the effect Zaheer had on her physical and mental state.

After spending two years in the Southern Water Tribe with Katara, Korra’s body recuperated and she decided to leave for Republic City. However, she’s still haunted by her former self, Nega-Korra, who looks like her in the Avatar state, chained and poisoned by Zaheer. Eventually, Korra must fight Nega-Korra in a mystical swamp where she was lead by a spirit. Korra loses the fight and wakes up in the company of none other than Toph Beifong. "Korra Alone" and season four in general dealt with some pretty heavy stuff, especially for a kid's show, which earned critical acclaim.

5 “DAY OF THE COLOSSUS” (SEASON 4, EPISODE 12)

In the second to last episode of The Legend of Korra, “Day of the Colossus,” it becomes painfully clear that Kuvira’s behemoth will not go down easy. After metalbending, paint bombs, lavabending, metal cables, collapsed buildings, Korra’s bending, and electromagnetic pulses all prove to be ineffective, Lin turns to an unlikely source for help.

RELATED: 10 Things The Last Airbender Did Better Than Korra (& Vice Versa)

She gets Hiroshi Sato out of prison and he hatches a plan to take the mecha down from the inside. With the help of his daughter Asami, and Varrick and Zhu Li, Hiroshi’s plan works but comes at the cost of his life. “Day of the Colossus” is an exciting and action-packed prelude to the slower finale. It has a score of 9.3 and ranks as the fifth-best episode of the show.

4 “BEGINNINGS, PART 1” (SEASON 2, EPISODE 7)

Book Two: Spirits isn’t most people’s favorite season of The Legend of Korra. The highlight of the second season is the two-part episode titled “Beginnings” that expanded the Avatar universe by telling the story of the first Avatar, Wan, and the spirits Raava and Vaatu.

When Korra became infected by a dark spirit that threatened to destroy her Avatar Spirit, she had to find Raava, the spirit of peace and light, to reconnect with her Avatar Spirit. In order to do so, she had to learn about the origins of the first Avatar, Wan. For the most part, "Beginnings, Part 1,” is a beautifully animated story about Wan and how he became the Avatar when he tried to maintain the balance between the material and spirit world. The first part scored 9.4 on IMDb.

3 “ENTER THE VOID” (SEASON 3, EPISODE 12)

“Enter the Void” picks up where “The Ultimatum” left off with Zaheer holding the airbenders hostage to force Korra to surrender herself to him. Team Avatar comes up with a plan to fight Zaheer and the Red Lotus and heads to Laghima’s Peak where Korra is supposed to turn herself to Zaheer. Unfortunately, nothing ever goes according to the plan.

RELATED: 25 Most Powerful Villains Of The Avatar Universe, Officially Ranked

While Suyin does manage to take down P’Li, her death only makes Zaheer grow stronger by destroying his earthly tether and thus allowing him to unlock the power of flight. Zaheer succeeds at overpowering Korra and her father, flying away with the unconscious Avatar in tow. The action-packed and surprising penultimate episode of Book Three: Change sets the stage for the shocking finale, and for a job well done it gets a score of 9.4.

2 "BEGINNINGS, PART 2" (SEASON 2, EPISODE 8)

At the end of part one, Wan had just released the negative spirit Vaatu. The second part tells the story of how Wan gained the ability to bend all four elements and how and why he merged with Raava, hence becoming the first Avatar. Wan’s story helps Korra realize what she has to do in order to restore the balance between the physical and spirit world.

On the other hand, this double episode also serves the purpose of further building the world of Avatar and developing the show’s mythology. And, on top of that, it also works as an excellent origin story for Avatar Wan. According to IMDb, the second part of “Beginnings” is the second-best episode of The Legend of Korra, with a score of 9.6.

1 “VENOM OF THE RED LOTUS” (SEASON 3, EPISODE 13)

Unsurprisingly, the highest-rated Legend of Korra episode, with a 9.6 score, is the finale of Book Three: Change, “Venom of the Red Lotus.” In the previous episode, Zaheer kidnapped Korra, leaving it up to Team Avatar to save her.

Zaheer administered the poison to Korra, forcing her to enter the Avatar State and battle him. Ultimately, Korra manages to defeat and recapture Zaheer. And while Suyin successfully gets the poison out of her system, the poison had already gravely damaged Korra’s body. Unable to move without a wheelchair, Korra falls into a state of depression. With the Avatar out of commission, the Air Nation takes the role of world’s ambassador for peace and balance. The season three finale ended on a shocking and depressing note, setting the tone for the fourth and final season.

NEXT: Avatar: 10 Storylines In The Legend Of Korra That Were Never Resolved

10 Hilarious Big Bang Theory Memes Only True Fans Understand

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Big Bang Theory might have ended its run after 12 successful seasons, but that doesn’t mean we have to forget about the characters and some of the most iconic  moments, funny situations, and hilarious catchphrases from the show.

Of course, only true fans know certain things about the show, such as how Sheldon knocks on doors, why you should never sit in Sheldon’s spot, what Soft Kitty is, and who the heck is MeeMaw?

RELATED: 10 Highest-Rated Episodes Of The Big Bang Theory (According To IMDb)

And only true fans will also understand these 10 hilarious Big Bang Theory memes that will have you laughing and going back to re-watch the sitcom all over again.

10 Bazinga!

Some might have heard the word “bazinga!” and vaguely know that it relates in some way to Big Bang Theory. But only true fans of the series know that this is the word Sheldon uses when he has delivered a zinger or some kind, or at least a retort or joke that he believes to be a zinger.

So this meme, a fun take on the Dos Equis beer ads, perfectly describes what Sheldon means when he says it. It simply means “that was a good one” and “gotcha!” And while Sheldon’s “bazinga” moments might be few and far between, and perhaps not quite as funny or clever as he believes them to be, his sense of humour softened through the series. And he was delivering bazinga-worthy commentary more often than ever.

9 It’s Called Sarcasm

Sheldon did not understand sarcasm, and Penny was notorious for delivering it. So this meme accurately depicts what a conversation with Sheldon would look like. As Penny undoubtedly feeds him a sarcastic remark, Leonard quietly stands behind her advising Sheldon that what she’s saying is sarcastic, not really what she means.

And yes, we probably have all interacted with one person or another with whom we’d love to have had one of these signs because they just didn’t get it.

8 The Perpetually Broken Elevator

If you watched the series from the beginning, you noticed that the elevator was out of order. This became a running gag on the series as the elevator was seemingly never fixed. It worked out, because a lot of the dialogue and important conversations among characters happened as they were dutifully chugging up the several flights of stairs to get to their apartments.

Interestingly, while this meme suggests that having the elevator finally fixed in the final episode would be great, this is indeed what happened. (Spoiler alert) Penny and Sheldon take the elevator down together as Sheldon is shell-shocked at the very concept that they can finally do this in their home.

7 Ladies Man

Howard had a horrible haircut, weird fashion sense, and a terrible way with the ladies. Yet when he was single, he acted as though he was a catch, approaching pretty girls as though they would fall at his feet. Despite his confidence, they didn’t. But this didn’t stop Howard from delivering some seriously corny pick-up lines that sounded a lot like this one.

RELATED: Big Bang Theory: 10 Times Penny Broke Our Hearts 

In the end, Howard did get a beautiful (and smart) wife in Bernadette. So maybe the corny lines actually worked. Or he finally met a woman who loved him for who he was. Nonetheless, this meme is perfectly Howard.

6 Tho Who And The What And The Where?

Any fan of the series knew that you didn’t have to be a scientist to understand the humor, but if you had any knowledge of science, you understood a lot more of the subtle nuances of the conversations than others, and picked up on jokes that were lost on most others.

Much of the dialogue contained very specific scientific jargon (bless the cast for being able to memorize it and deliver it with such gusto and authenticity!) that only someone with intimate knowledge of scientific principles would understand. Otherwise, it sounded to the average person like nonsense, even though it actually was all legitimate scientific terminology.

5 Oh, Sheldon

Sheldon, Sheldon, Sheldon. He never understood things like sarcasm and popular phrases, taking everything literally, as this meme describes. If someone were to say something like this to him, he would instantly use it as an opportunity to correct them, spewing some facts that suggest what they’re saying is wrong.

He’d never understand that the person simply means that two people are clearly in love, and their joyous feelings for one another are permeating the air around them. Or at least it feels like that. For Sheldon, why not just say that? There’s no point to these pointless and inaccurate phrases, in Sheldon’s mind.

4 Marriage Is About Compromise

Howard became a man when he married Bernadette, or did he? Weirdly close to his mother, he lived with her through his adulthood, and even after getting married. Never seen on camera, it was clear that his mother still treated him like a little boy, making his dinner, washing his clothes, and yes, occasionally asking him to go rub her feet.

RELATED: Big Bang Theory: 10 Rules On Sheldon’s Roommate Agreement

Once married, Howard expected his wife to take over, and when she didn’t, mom was still there to baby him until she sadly passed away (following the death of the actor who voiced her.)

3 Poor Raj

Even as the series ended, Raj still didn’t have a girlfriend. He started off in the series unable to even speak to pretty girls, eventually gaining confidence and dating actively. But his quirks, awkward nature, and inability to act appropriately meant his relationships never lasted.

We thought there was hope when he decided to pursue an arranged marriage and fell for the girl who was to be his wife. But it wasn’t meant to be. Yet as a loyal friend, great with Howard’s children, a perfect addition to girl’s night, and an intelligent man, Raj really deserved to find love.

2 DO NOT Take Sheldon’s Spot

Anyone with any sense knows that the very left corner of the couch in his apartment is Sheldon’s “spot” And no one dare sit there. Any time an outsider joined the group and parked there butt in the spot, the group let out a collective gasp. They had no idea what was coming!

The spot was indented from Sheldon’ s buttocks, cushioned perfectly how he likes it. And none of his friends ever sat in the spot (well, maybe not EVER as per this screenshot with a clearly unamused Sheldon). They (usually) knew better and didn’t want to deal with the wrath that would befall them if they even so much as started to squat near his "spot."

1 Poor Stewart

Who’s Stewart? He was the lonely, socially awkward comic book store owner who desperately wanted to be part of the group. A somewhat friend (when it was convenient for the group) he didn’t do well with the ladies, or with anything, for that matter, constantly reciting his list of  ailments, failures, and lack of business success.

So this meme with a corny pick-up line accompanied by his face is absolutely perfect. Sure, Stewart would likely never utter such a line to a girl – he’d be too afraid of rejection. But that’s the point.

NEXT: Big Bang Theory: Here’s What The Cast Is Doing Now

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