Posts Tagged ‘Adaptation’

Review – The Hobbit – An Unexpected Journey (2012)

Wednesday, March 13th, 2013
Maybe if we eat throughout the food we can stay awake

Maybe if we eat throughout we can stay awake

To say I was excited about The Hobbit would be a complete understatement. I followed all the pre-release info with bated breath. Imagine my disappointment to not being able to go and see it the instant it opened? (I was involved in a car vs cyclist incident) So I waited and waited. Avoided reviews, opinions and stayed true. I finally saw it in late January shortly before heading back to hospital for surgery. Urgh.

Synopsis:
Nothing happens.

Positives:
Was nice to see the familiar locations and style.
So many of the cast were actors I have enjoyed for years.

Negatives:
Does Jackson need a new island or something? Cuase there is NO reason to drag this out so badly.
The writing was so untidy. Yes The Lord of the Rings was long but it moved. The Hobbit was a rollicking fast adventure story, not a long drawn out battle with Hobbit Cancer.
Was absolutely unwatchable to someone who had a shorter attention span (due to injuries).
Filled with tosh – and not the good Tosh.0 either.

I gave up after about 50 mins or so – when Bilbo was about to go snatched by the Trolls.

Nothing happened. I remember a funny piece by The Onion about how the movie was 50 mins of Bilbo deciding what to pack. Yeah, that.

If I ever break my leg again and am high on pain killers I might give it another go, but for now, I’ll just wait for the third movie, then wait for it to come to TV, then possibly go out that night.

onepanda

 

 

 

 

#OnePanda (but only because I loved LOTR so much).

Review – True Blood – She’s Not There (S04Ep01)

Saturday, July 2nd, 2011

It is good to be the King, no?

This week:
She’s back (via the fairy dimension) but time has moved on, just like the people in Sookie’s life. The world comes crashing back in on Sookie and we find out what our favourite Bon Temps residents have been up to.

Pluses:
Bill did his house up finally.
Jason finally got his wish to be a Deputy.
Tara’s arc totally makes sense given what she has been through.
Pam being Pam.
Eric has lost a lot of his bulk from last season.
The poo is finally off Sookie’s walls.

Minuses:
Fairy realm. So poorly done and hopefully the end of this arc.
Necromancy (though I know where it is going).
Jesus and Lafayette.
Jessica and Hoyt.

This episode was a bit disappointing. As soon as they did the time jump I was really interested in seeing how some characters had developed – Everyone’s favourite baby vamp, Jess, was a character I was really interested in seeing. I know it is early days, but what was portrayed wasn’t very Jessica. I felt like they were trying to cram too much in to cover everything. Given how short a time span a series is, I hope we get to see more of the development and never go back to the fairy kingdom.

#twofangtasialovingpandas

Review – The Vampire Diaries – Season Two Wrap Up

Sunday, May 22nd, 2011

Catherine? Elena? Catherine? Loving a doppleganger and their original must be confusing.

This season:
It was the season of the witch in Mystic Falls. It was easy to work out who was a witch – they were African American. But the idea of balance – what witchcraft is all about we learn – was the underlying theme this season. From dueling and distrustful brothers (not just one set but two), double edged secrets, relationship roundabouts and giving up your life to do the right thing for once in your life: balance reigned supreme.
Caught up in the real world – I haven’t blogged an episode since Klaus. While that is only a day or two in Vampire Diaries time, it seems like years ago.

Pluses:
I freely admit to crying a heap during The Sun Also Rises.
Jenna’s choice (albeit unsuccessful) was magnificent. You could see her emotional pain and that realisation and decision. Brilliant.
Catherine having to go against everything she wanted to fool Klaus.
Caroline, Matt and her Mum.
Catherine’s last words to Elena. BOOM!
Damon getting his payoff.
The truth behind the myth.
Jeremy is seeing things?
THE BODY COUNT!!! (So many death scenes!!)
Brilliant soundtrack.

Minuses:
Bonnie – yawn.
Stefan getting blood lust (Angelus was so much cooler).
Elena being all lack of choice but still insisting she is making decisions.
Did I mention Bonnie?
Alaric woefully underused.
No werewolf vampire face off – I was really looking forward to an all out war in Mystic Falls.

From a show I started to watch because it was the funniest show on TV (after FoxNews), it has grown into a really strong, emotionally driven show. Their approach to mixed living, humour, love and loss is both fun and mature. Next season, based around the Originals I would imagine, is going to be a doozy (so long as there isn’t too much Stefan).


#fourandahalfvampypandas

Review – The Killing – Episodes 1-4

Tuesday, April 26th, 2011

I am just going to sit here and pretend to smoke dope, doing my thing. Me a cop? Nah!

Synopsis:
Based on the critically acclaimed and popularly embraced Swedish crime drama “Forbrydelsen” (The Crime), the show follows the murder investigation of a seemingly happy and well adjusted young woman in high school. A large cast, all with their own agendas and secrets, this show has already woven piece of complex yet intriguing drama that sees my hypotheses blown out of the water on a weekly basis.

Pluses:
So many familiar faces (including small roles) but also some amazing new ones.
Michelle Forbes’ Mitch Larsen – truly amazing stuff. The scene in the 3rd (I think) episode where she tries to connect with her daughter is just heart breaking.
Joel Kinnaman as Stephen Holder. I was gobsmacked at how good this actor was and why had I never seen him in anything? Turns out he is a Swedish actor – so fantastic tie in.
The level of intrigue here is insane. Just when you think you know something, you don’t.
I love how we are seeing the same story from so many different perspectives plus the mini personal arcs of the main characters.

Minuses:
Having to wait a week every time to find out what happens.

I couldn’t actually wait to see what happens, especially given the original Forbrydelsen was 20 episodes, so I got the BBC’s subtitled show and watched all of them. One thing I will say, if you think that the The Killing is like a Sara Lee danish pastry (layer upon layer) it is NOTHING on the level of intrigue, false leads, character development and emotional gut wrenching that is Forbrydelsen. I am not quite as impressed with The Killing now I have seen the original, but this review was written before I had spent a good portion of the Longest of Weekends watching Forbrydelsen – so the original rating stands. Oh and I know who did it – so going to watch for all the signs – can already think of a couple I saw but dismissed.

#fourandahalfdrownedpandas

Review – Game of Thrones – Winter is Coming (S01Ep01)

Tuesday, April 26th, 2011

 

WHEE! Puppies!

Synopsis:
This is a hugely sprawling fantasy socio-political drama in a world quite different (but with relatable similarities) to our own. Factions, intrigue and a magic thoughs of years old and lost. Sometimes you really don’t see the forrest for the trees.

Pluses:
Loved the opening credits. So many shows now, the credits are all just like sex with a 16yo boy.
We meet the main players (there are a lot and this doesn’t dumb it down for you so hang in there) and get a sense of the menaces rising within and around Westeros – both manmade and supernatural.
Beauty really can be skin deep.
Deception is everything.
Power corrupts so wonderfully.
Accept the label that people give you and make it your own.
PUPPIES!
Bothers and Sisters – love, power, care and domination.
Alliances.
The ending – a great way to keep the tension.
Sean Bean – nuff said.

Minuses:
We didn’t really get a sense of the relationship between the Stark children and the dire wolves. It really should have been developed further IMHO given what is coming.

I have been following this since there were whispers of it being made, so I am just chuffed that it is finally out and I am seeing one of my favourite fantasy dramas coming to life. That HBO is doing vs Hallmark is a HUGE relief. So far it hasn’t disappointed AND it has already been renewed.

#fourandahalfpandasoftheblack

Review- The Vampire Diaries – Klaus (S02Ep19)

Monday, April 25th, 2011

No offense Klaus, but I think Elijah is just a tad hotter, and he doesn't look at me like your favourite meal. #justsaying

Thie week:
After raising Hell witin Alaric’s body recently, we get some Klaus and Elijah backstory before we finally get the meet the real Klaus. Everything we thought we knew, we didn’t. Talk about a twist!

Pluses:
Nice parrells between the sets of brothers – Elijah and Klaus plus Damon and Stefan.
No Bonnie.
Damon trying to stay in control.
Jenna! Was I the only one saying “YAY!”
Fantastic Klaus, Elijah and Katherine backstory.
The truth about Klaus.
The teasing and hinting about The Originals. (Anyone else think that is Season 3?)

Minuses:
No Caroline – we left that at such a critical juncture.

This entire episode took place over a couple of hours. It was full on, flat strap story and character development w very little “vampirism.” This episode truly rocketed along, not staying on any one arc too long. It successfully built up the tension and the speed at which things are coming to resolution as we approach the end of the season. Talk about a game changer!

#fourandahalfOMGpandas

Review – The Way Back (2010)

Sunday, April 10th, 2011

How far would you go to be free?

Synopsis:
World War Two is raging through out Europe. Sent away to Siberia for crimes (real and imagined) our unlikely band of heroes plan their escape, which sends them on a journey across Eastern Asia. Based on the true story of one of three men who walked out of Siberia and into India.

Pluses:
Amazing acting (though I admit when Farrell said his first line I groaned, but quickly forgotten).
Incredibly journey, physically and spiritually.
Always nice to see Saoirse Ronan in a movie that doesn’t suck.
The scenery.
The pace was nice and even.
Love the combination of the wide shots with the close ups for urgency of their situation.
Beautifully shot and executed.
I admit I cried.
Would have liked to know what happened to the other characters who made it out.
The ended – I know it was cheesy but I was totally bought in.

Minuses:
I thought the beginning was a bit stereotypical.

This movie will lift you up, drag you down and leave you exhausted but revelling in the experience.

#fouremotionallyexhuasedbutrewardedpandas

 

Review – Age of the Dragons (2011)

Saturday, April 9th, 2011

When I said yes to this role I didn't know I was going to have to sit in the make up chair for hours every day. Going to fire my agent!

Synopsis:
Imagine Moby Dick isn’t a whale but a dragon. The Rachel isn’t a whaling boat but a person. Queequeg isn’t a burly warrior but a hipster, and the Pequod isn’t a boat, but a land vehicle.

Pluses:
I am all for unusual adaptations.
Scenery was nice.

Minuses:
How do you screw up a classic like Moby Dick? (see synopsis for answer)
Vince Jones with dialogue.
No gams (less the raiders count).
Ahab’s backstory.
Love interest in Moby Dick??
Average CGI.
The Pequod was a bit of a joke.

I knew I was getting myself in for something terrible, but this was bad. Beyond bad. The acting (How did they get Danny Glover? Did he need a new ferrari or something?). Now, don’t get me wrong, I love bad movies when they are good bad movies, but this was just bad.

#halfanadaptedpanda

Review – Eclipse (2010)

Thursday, March 10th, 2011

So, if their clothes shred when they change, how is it they are still wearing shorts when they change back? Also, that makeup line is a bit noticeable.

Synopsis:
Edward is back and he and Bella are so on. She wants to be vamped, he doesn’t. He also doesn’t believe in sex before marriage. There is trouble in Seattle. Red Head is around making trouble. Jacob loves Bella. Bella loves Jacob but loves Edward more. Only Bella can sort out the secret of Seattle. (I can’t believe I just wrote that paragraph)

Pluses:
It wasn’t as bad as New Moon.
Edward was in sunlight a fair bit, which means I got a chance to say “Sparkles, the Gay Vampire” quite a few times.

Minuses:
The sub-plots didn’t even try to be about anything other than “Bella’s Choice.”
The whole love triangle BS.
Not enough school friends.
What a waste of Peter Fancinni (remember him in season one of Damages?)
Atrocious dialogue.
So slow.
Lighting was over or under done.

I only watched this because it was a) free, and b) I had already invested four hours in the previous movies, so felt I should continue this punishment. It certainly wasn’t the worst main stream film I saw last year but it was a long way from being enjoyable.

#onevampypandas

Review – Solomon Kane (2009)

Tuesday, March 8th, 2011

Agents of Satan like to crucify too!

Synopsis:
Solomon Kane is a bad ass privateer/military man serving under Queen Elizabeth I, bent on treasure and destruction until he finds out that his evil ways means he is doomed to Hell. Go figure. He turns into a man of peace, until Evil takes hold of his little corner of England.

Pluses:
Lots of shots that were graphic novel perfect (mind you I have never read it) but you know the look I mean.
John Purefoy.
Pete Postlethwaite (already missed).
Nicely styled.
Interesting take on that time period – no Gloriana.
Some of the fight scenes were nicely done.
The cellar dwellers.
Some of the special effects were pretty sweet – especially the ones involving mirrors.

Minuses:
Some of the sets were pretty badly made – the graveyard of the old church especially.
Didn’t really gel as a story.
Solomon’s speaking voice.
He sent her back???

This movie at times felt and looked big budget, and at other times it had all the signs of a made for SyFy movie. It had all the components on paper to make it work, but it just didn’t. Obviously, there is no franchise out of this, which is a shame, because Solomon Kane is an interesting character, just not necessarily the way he was written for the movie – just like Van Helsing.

#twoandahalfevilfightingpandas