Posts Tagged ‘AMC’

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 – The Walking Dead – TS-19

Sunday, December 12th, 2010

When the anti-hero stops being any sort of hero - how do you go on?

This week:
Be careful of high security glass houses. Just because you are safe doesn’t mean you are safe. There really is no hope. Yet still some hope.

Pluses:
It was nice to see everyone actually happy.
French are braver than we give them credit for.
Jenner’s hoplessness yet conviction.
The franticness of the past few episodes was nicely juxtaposed for part of this episode until the drive to survive kicked back in.
Andrea’s decisions.
Outstanding acting.
Great computer graphics.

Minuses:
Wife was a gimme.
Lori’s actions to hid her choices are starting to annoy me – just be honest.
I think the attack scene was unnecessary – we all knew how far Walsh had fallen from the hero.

When is a bad man really a bad man? Are we right to hold onto the same moral standards? It is what makes us “human” but is it realistic?

And so now we wait. They are back to where they were at the start (actually before the show started) – fleeing, not sure where but looking for safety riddled with questions and doubt.

I wonder what Jenner said to Rick. Maybe Lori is pregnant. Maybe he just said he would tap Andrea. Or as was suggested to me that Grimes had a non-virulent strain of the virus and if only there was time Jenner could have saved the world. We have to wait 10 odd months to find out (and we would have to get a time jump with the kids ageing and my pregnancy guess).

#fourpandas

Review – The Walking Dead – Wildfire

Tuesday, November 30th, 2010

That there's a lot of dead people, you know?

This week:
The survivors come to terms with last week’s attack on their campsite. They had to the CDC. One chooses their own fate. Things are not as they expected.

Pluses:
Laurie Holden’s Andrea was again one of the shining stars of this episode.
Steven Yeun’s Glenn – he can say so much without saying a word.
Shaun losing himself, catching himself and losing himself over and over.
Dale.
Jim.
Carol ensuring her husband doesn’t become a Walker (lots of undertones there).
The music – I really noticed it this week – in a good way.

Minuses:
Not sure I like the CDC twist.
No Merle.
No Morgan.
That last shot was a bit twee.

Overall, this episode was incredibly strong. One on hand I don’t like the whole CDC thing, as I liked the idea of them out in the outdoors/on the road. The CDC is portrayed as suffocating and while I think it is an interesting counterpoint to the outdoors I am not sold on it. I am guessing that one of our gang will end up supplying new samples.

#threeandahalfpandas
Wonder if I should get a zombie panda made.

Review – The Walking Dead – Vatos

Saturday, November 27th, 2010

Beauty and a moment of normality in a post apocalyptic world

This week:
Life returns to normal – as much as it can under the stress and duress of the zombie apocalypse, but the pressure does show. The boys are not alone in Atlanta. Behind darkness there can be light. Merle has disappeared with something very dear to our heroes’ hearts. Nowhere and nothing is safe.

Pluses:
The disparity between those perfect moments and reality – that eternal attempt to stay human (literally and metaphorically speaking).
Andrea and Amy.
My mind coming up with a stack of hypotheses while watching.
Moments of tenderness and hope.
The sense of loss.
So strongly character driven.
So simple yet so brilliant.
The development of Jim and Shane.

Minuses:
Losing characters I was just starting to love.
I think it was Merle who bought those Walkers to camp (I hope I am wrong).

I wouldn’t want to be signing on to that show – chances are you will die within a couple of episodes. I can’t express just how poetic this episode was – exploring the themes of humanity and family counterposed against the raw savagery of the Walkers.. From the colours to the light to the shot style, everything reflected the disparities. It was all I could do not to cry in the office – I watched this episode over lunch on my MBP.

My only concern is that it will develop into the depressing and hopeless (feeling) of SGU – however I understand the source material is strong, so fingers crossed this will not be the case.

#fourandahalfpandas

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Review – Mad Men – Blowing Smoke and Tomorrowland

Wednesday, November 24th, 2010

What once I despised I have become.

I finally got around to seeing the last two episodes in Mad Men. I always meant to, and I was really engaged this series – but stuff came up and I forgot about it. It wasn’t till I was recently house-sitting and going through my media drive for something to watch (their dvd collection was almost non-existent and entirely non-compatible with pandas).

It was actually nice to see these two episodes back to back. From the uncertainty and lack of control in Blowing Smoke to sense of surety that Don felt in Tomorrowland it was such a good conclusion to this season and to his journey. It was also very pleasing in a schadenfreude way to see Betty’s misfortune as she lives out her choices.

Pluses:
Changing the message.
Seeing Don happy (or at least thinking he is happy).
Megan Calvet’s reaction to the milkshake.
Peggy and Joan discussing the development over a cigarette.
Seeing the kids actually happy and acting like a family.
Faye Miller breaking down on the phone.
Betty getting what she deserved.
Sally’s progression through therapy.
Sally’s little friend telling Betty that just because she was said not everyone else had to be.
Those brief moments of almost honesty Don has with the kids and then with Megan.
I also adored how of all the women he has slept with, he loves Megan.
Finally I found it very interesting that for all his snide looks about Roger marrying his secretary, Don will do the same.

Minuses:
No more Dr Miller.
I miss Cooper.
An eternity till next season.

I do wonder if we are going to get another time jump like we did for the start of this season. It was interesting how Dr Miller said that Don only liked the beginning of things, let’s jump past the honeymoon and see them as a family – I wonder if the kids will be with them instead of Betty – who as Sally’s friend correctly said doesn’t like kids. Bring on next year

#fourandahalfpandas

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Review – The Walking Dead – 1st 3 eps

Monday, November 22nd, 2010

Here we come, walkin' Down the street. We get the funniest looks from Ev'ry one we meet.

Review encompassing: Pilot, Guts and Tell it to the Frogs

I am not much of a horror loving Panda.

What gets me isn’t the blood and guts (more on guts later) but the suspense.

I can’t stand it.

Scary suspense even more so. It took me two goes to watch the pilot of The Walking Dead. The first run though, I didn’t make it past him entering the stairwell – yes I was that much of a sook. This time round though, I was in a bright airy lounge room while house sitting, with a guard dog pressed up next to me to keep me safe.

I really (REALLY) enjoyed the first three eps. For me the character driven under lays of the show was remarkably enjoyable. Yes there are the Walkers out there, and yes we are seeing people outside (way outside) of their comfort zones dealing with this problem, but the truth behind the characters still shone through thanks to great writing and acting by the cast. Some of the scenes were just so wonderfully shot, graphic novel perfect I am sure, with the imagery a constant reminder to the truth of their situation.

The first episode really set the scene and delved into the confusion and conflict felt by the survivors as well as their desire to make it through.
The second episode for me was my favourite of the three. The humour, the characters and the situations were just brilliant. OMG and the gutsy guts scene was just out of this world.
The third episode was much more character based with little Walker action, which was good because we got to see that survivors are still dealing with issues they were dealing with before the Fall (to use a BSG term) as well as dealing with the fall out of decisions they made post Fall.

Pluses:
Believable characters in a situation that is beyond belief.
Real world problems continue on.
Rag tag bunch of heroes.
Zombie makeup and acting is just awesome.
Loving the character if Glenn and his dark exuberance.
Dynamic between Lori and Shane now her husband is back.
Some of the set pieces in Atlanta were stunning.

Minuses:
Still getting to know the characters – which I guess is what the third episode was about.
Still don’t know what really happened – soon I am sure.

I haven’t read the graphic novels so I don’t know where this is going or what is going to be the big cross roads in the arc, but please don’t tell me as I want to discover it with the general audience

#fourandahalfpandas
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Review – Mad Men – Chinese Wall

Monday, October 11th, 2010

That sound Don? That is the size of my huge steel balls.

This week:
Lucky Strike Fall Out. A female Don Draper. Joan finally sees Roger for who Roger really is. Pete becomes a dad. Don is old Don. Peggy gets laid.

Pluses:
Pete and his position.
Lipstick.
Mirrors.
Stirling’s Gold.

Minuses:
I was very surprised that Faye would sell out her professionalism.

What I really loved this week was just how caught up in themselves and their problems the characters were that they don’t realise the power that Pete has over the business. I know I am a week behind, but the best part is that tomorrow I can see what happens without the whole waiting a week business.

#threeandahalfpandas

Mad Men – Hands and Knees

Tuesday, September 28th, 2010

Oh for the what might have been

This week:
The lies that bind. How quickly lives unravel. There is no such thing as honesty. You are not in control no matter how much you think you are.

Pluses:
Sally and The Beatles.
Betty with some depth.
Don’s failed attempt at normalcy.
Pete showing some backbone.
Awesome character development of Lane.

Minuses:
No Peggy.
A whole week till we find out what happens!

It only takes a moment and I remember why I love this show. I am sure more people outside of the US watch than domestically. I just don’t get how someone would rather watch Two and a Half Men than Mad Men.

#fourandahalfpandas
PS> Going to have to resize my pandas so they all fit!