Archive | August, 2015

Show Me a Hero “Parts 5 & 6” Review

30 Aug


“You can’t confuse votes with love.”

Over the first four episodes of the miniseries, Mayor Nick Wasicsko’s storyline has been the main interest-grabber, the anchor in a show populated by its fair share of scattered plots. In these final two episodes, things switch up a bit, the previously disjointed residents’ storylines coming together beautifully as Nick fades into the background. And it’s not that there’s less time devoted to the former mayor; it’s just that Yonkers is moving on from him, fading “the face of this ugly mess” out. He without a doubt did some good in this city, but it ultimately ends up being the cruel beast of politics that pushes him downward.

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Hannibal “The Wrath of the Lamb” Review (3×13)

29 Aug

Screen shot 2015-08-28 at 3.53.43 PM

“This is all I ever wanted for you, Will. For both of us.”

For three seasons and thirty nine episodes, Will Graham and Hannibal Lecter have crafted an incredibly twisted, violent, and beautiful love story. They’ve followed a more unique version of the Base System, however, with making out/feeling each other up/having hot sex being replaced with fun actions such as cannibalism, bloody hugging, and brutal murders. This is the only show on television where someone getting stabbed can potentially make you go “Oh, that’s adorable!”, and I love Bryan Fuller and co. all the more for it. In “The Wrath of the Lamb”, he writes the show out in style, both giving us closure to the central relationship and leaving us with a sense of ambiguity. It’s a fittingly poetic masterpiece of a series finale, and I’m glad I got to experience it.

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Fear the Walking Dead “Pilot” Review (1×01)

28 Aug


Written by: Maria Leia

AMC’s wildly successful zombie drama The Walking Dead turned into a cultural phenomenon after it was popularized as a cult comic series. Now, creator Robert Kirkman and AMC have launched a companion show, Fear The Walking Dead, set in the same universe. While the two shows necessarily have a lot in common, there are plenty aspects to differentiate them that should make the new show a worthwhile experience for fans of the original.

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Battlestar Galactica Season 4, Episodes 16-19 Review

25 Aug


EPISODE 16: “Deadlock”

I’m kind of disappointed there isn’t more mutiny fallout in recent episodes. I see what this one is trying to accomplish with its love triangle, but the hour is so full of melodrama and forced motivations that the message gets lost in the shuffle. Although the actors involved elevate a weak script, the complex questions at the center of the show are reduced to bullet points and Ellen Tigh regresses to her usual insufferable self. Of course, that’s the point the episode wants to make about change and identity, but coming after a character shift seen in “No Exit”, it’s a very disappointing move by the writers. However, I do like the way Liam’s death can be seen as Six’s action in the miniseries coming full circle.

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Show Me a Hero “Parts 3 & 4” Review

23 Aug


“People just want a home, right? It’s the same for everybody.”

As Wasicsko makes clear during part 3, politics is about popularity. You’re trying to get as many people to like you as possible, but you’re also playing a game that’s every man for himself, that’s “personal” when all is said and done. “For the first time in my life, I feel like I am on the right side of something,” he tells Nay as they stand in front of a house he wants to buy. “And I am alone.” He goes a Nixon-esque route and tries to appeal to a “silent majority”, but it’s the “loud minority”–evidently the majority in this election–that ends up pushing him out of office in the end. And guess what? Progress still moves at a glacially slow pace. For all of Spallone’s talk, his inability to back up that talk is causing unrest among the Yonkers residents. This is a city whose politicians and inhabitants are both driven by fear, and that fear is clouding their desires to change or compromise.

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Hannibal “The Number of the Beast Is 666” Review (3×12)

22 Aug

HANNIBAL -- "The Number of the Beast is 666" Episode 312 -- Pictured: (l-r) Laurence Fishburne as Jack Crawford, Mads Mikkelsen as Hannibal Lecter, Caroline Dhavernas as Alana Bloom -- (Photo by: Brooke Palmer/NBC)

“If you play, you pay.”

In the third season premiere, the main question the show revolved around was “Observe or participate?” It was a question posed by Hannibal to Bedelia–and by extension, to the audience itself–and it returns in full force in “666”. This time, it’s Bedelia bringing it up with Will Graham after Dr. Chilton is set ablaze, and she says the following to the lamb sitting across from her: “You may as well have struck the match. That’s participation. Hannibal Lecter does have agency in the world. He has you.” The point here is that these characters don’t necessarily have to wield a weapon in order to facilitate a kill. After all, just look at Hannibal, someone who has essentially been calling the shots from inside a glass box these past several episodes. He’s been happily pitting Will and the Red Dragon against each other while presumably thinking happy thoughts about Will’s beautiful face, and his design is now unfolding before his very eyes.

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The Gift Review

21 Aug

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The Gift is a taut psychological thriller, a surprisingly effective film that transforms a generic thriller template into a compelling web of characters and mind games. It uses conventional shots of shadowy corners and long hallways and dark rooms in order to set the mood, and then it plays on our expectations by slowly unraveling itself through its characters, not its plot. Yes, there are jump scares and plot twists throughout the movie, but the reason they have an impact is because the characters are well-written and well-acted. The first half of “psychological thriller” is more important to Edgerton here, and as a result, the second half is given a boost.

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Battlestar Galactica Season 4, Episodes 13-15 + “The Plan” Review

21 Aug


EPISODE 13: “The Oath”

This is one of the most well-made hours of action this series has produced, but what makes it even better is that it’s not solely focused on the mutiny; it sweeps across the whole fleet’s history, bringing people together and splitting them apart as the show portrays the final release of pent-up frustration and desperation. After all, the reason many people went along with various plans was due to that glimmer of hope at the end of the tunnel: Earth. Now that the true sorry state of the planet has been revealed, though, the past is bubbling to the surface again; no longer can these characters hold it in anymore, and what results is a battle between people who used to work together. I don’t think Gaeta or Zarek really have a solid plan for what happens next–even though they make some good points–but what’s happening right now is that people are lashing out at the pain of the past and the bleakness of the future.

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Mr. Robot “eps1.8_m1rr0r1ng.qt” Review (1×09)

19 Aug

MR. ROBOT -- "m1rr0r1ng.qt" Episode 109 -- Pictured: (l-r) Rami Malek as Elliot Alderson, Carly Chaikin as Darlene -- (Photo by: Christopher Saunders/USA Network)

“I’m Mr. Robot.”

Even though Elliot is pretty isolated from the rest of society, he still has a support system that’s been behind him since the beginning. At times, he may not know that that support system exists, but we see that he does have people in his life who care about him, who want what’s best for him. As different as their methods might be, it’s clear that Darlene and Angela will do what they can to help Elliot through his struggles, and it’s uplifting to watch the two forming a strong bond and working together as a result. As Darlene tells Angela: “I should be more open with you. You’re family.”

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Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation Review

18 Aug


By the time the fifth film in a franchise rolls around, we expect to be at a point where staleness takes over, where the same action beats are repeated ad nauseam. With Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation, however, there’s a freshness to be found amongst the proceedings, and even though the movie is far from setting a new standard for action movies, it’s still a lively and enjoyable ride through the world of Ethan Hunt and the IMF. It recognizes the inevitable exhaustion that results after constant missions–and films–and it crafts a new adventure out of the crumbling remains of the IMF, throwing us into several impressive action sequences and proving that Tom Cruise is still perfect for this role.

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