Posts Tagged ‘fourandahalfpandas’

Review – Nikita – Alexandra (S01Ep15)

Friday, February 25th, 2011

All this pollution will be yours one day, little Alexandra.

This week:
We get a bird’s eye view into Alex’s past and understand in more detail how she ended up in America, and why. Her past catches up to her while on a “date” mission for Division. Michael and Nikita both searching for her, team up to find her.

Pluses:
This episode was disturbing on a lot of levels.
Female exploitation, while stylised, was still well represented.
Lyndsy Fonseca proved her acting chops.
Michael and Nikita buddies again (for now).
Nikita as a towel girl.
Great hand to hand fight scenes.
Alex taking control – that scene brilliant.
The editing and writing. This episode was tight – and drove the tension ever forward.

Minuses:
Oh please? That scene with Amanda at the end is just a bit lame (though I understand it sets us up for the upcoming episode).

While not driving the overall arc of the season, or in that matter, the show forward, the development of Alex as well as a semi-truce between Michael and Nikita, was worth the price of admission for this week’s episode. Given Alex’s past, it does surprise me just how well she “copes.”

This was far and away one of the best episodes to date.

#fourandahalfspyingpandas

PS. Shedding for the Wedding – that is a TV show? Jeez they must be getting desperate for reality shows these days.

Review – Episodes – Episode Five (S01Ep05)

Wednesday, February 16th, 2011

No really, who have you got to play Lyman?

This week:
LeBlanc, Sean and the plastic surgery queen, Morning, head to a Rape Benefit. Beverly gets jealous and her and Carol share some secrets.

Pluses:
Beverly in the final shot – fantastic acting.
Character development of Sean – not the Morning arc, but why Beverly doesn’t trust him.
Carol almost genuine.
Even when you are enjoying/tolerating success, someone is more successful.
Some great throw away lines regarding the Rape Benefit – Including the Rape Goodie Bag.
Male thinking.

Minuses:
Would like to see more of Tommy (?), their old assistant.

This episode showed us exactly why Beverly was leaving Sean in the pilot. Even though it was done with humour, the pain was evident. Great episode.

#fourandahalfpandasinthedark

PS. I have just seen Episode Six and it was brilliant! The “next week” section looks even better!

Review – Being Human – Type 4 (S03Ep03)

Wednesday, February 16th, 2011

Hi Honey, I am home! I may be a bit whiffy though as decomp is well underway.

This week:
The best of intentions have unforeseen consequences. What makes us human? Zombie heartache. Mitchell tries to come to grips with his emotions and past in regards to Annie while controlling a Mitchell Vampire Fan Boy.

Pluses:
Graham idolising Mitchell and copying his life.
Sasha’s emotional journey.
Learning through death.
Nina’s news for George – that is going to be one interesting storyline.
Annie’s fixation.
Sasha not accepting and trying to live her old life.
People are right bastards.

Minuses:
I thought the end of the Graham story wasn’t on point (no pun intended).
Could have been more jokes with Graham.

What really made me love this episode was how it was about “becoming” for all characters, including the guest stars. I was amazed how my empathy was generated for the highly annoying Sasha – fantastic acting and character growth.

#fourandahalfundeadpandas

Review – The Chicago Code – Pilot (S01Ep01)

Tuesday, February 15th, 2011

In case you didn't know, I kick butt, take names and clean up this city before I finish my breakfast bagel.

Synopsis:
After a life of witnessing the impact of bribery in her home town of Chicago, Teresa Colvin (Jennifer Beals – yes the Flashdance chick) becomes Police Commissioner, and is going to clean up the city – from corrupt politicians to street thugs. With ex-partner (and rule breaker) Jarek Wysocki (Australia’s Jason Clarke – Rabbit-Proof Fence, Farscape, Home and Away and Brotherhood to name just a few) by her side – they will break the unwritten law behind the law.

Pluses:
Amazing character development without dumbing down.
Great peak behind the corridors of power and what it costs to stay there.
Ambition.
Great supporting cast – not an off beat.
Interesting family/relationship dynamics.

Minuses:
Not sure I really liked the voice overs, but the one that is cut short is just so powerful.

I must admit I wasn’t interested in this show at all – I thought it was yet another un-needed police procedural. Jace from The Daily Beast and Televisionary set me straight, so I followed his advice and watched. I am pleased I did, as it makes Blue Bloods lack real depth.

TEN is showing Blue Bloods, so it wouldn’t surprise me if they picked up The Chicago Code as well – they have a lot of police drama.

#fourandahalfreallyimpressedpandas

Review – The Vampire Diaries – Daddy Issues (S02Ep13)

Thursday, February 10th, 2011

I know you are a werewolf Tyler and that you have the hots for that Vampire. Just use protection OK? For example a big wooden stake.

This week:
John announces his relationship with Elena to Jenna. John plays hard to get. Jules gets her vengeance on with the help of some friends. Caroline gets captured. Tyler learns the truth about Mystic Falls.

Pluses:
Did NOT see the fight ending that way.
Caroline in the hands of the werewolves.
Tyler development.
Not too much Elena.
John playing many hands in the same game.
Katherine!
Tyler and Caroline interactions.
Damon back to old tricks but tortured by them.

Minuses:
Caroline and Matt. That couple doesn’t really interest me at all, but I did like how Caroline handled it.
Tyler’s choice – didn’t think he would do that – the first and third bits yes, but the second and forth bits no. (hope that is vague enough for you all)
Elena was a bit annoying in her interactions with John.

All up though this was as close to a perfect episode as you can get in TVD. The arc development, the character choices and forward actions, reaffirming their starting positions and lining things up for one heck of a show down. Can’t wait.

#fourandahalfcompelledvampirepandas

Review – Fringe – Reciprocity (S03Ep11)

Thursday, February 10th, 2011

Getting our serious faces on!

This week:
Peter meets The Device and it is happy to see him. Shapeshifters are back – but not for long. Unknown assassin. Darkness, confusion and lies.

Pluses:
Loved the Peter development.
Walter covering for his son.
Walter’s advice to Peter.
Peter centric.
People wanting to protect Olivia.
Lies.
More lies.
Shapeshifters – making me long for more Newton.
Astrid getting some lines and screen time.
Chimp Walter.
Just how much smarter Peter is than everyone else.
Did not see the twist coming till it was almost upon me.

Minuses:
Olivia trying too hard to be strong, didn’t translate well on the screen.
I don’t want an Olivia and Peter romance show.

This week we see Peter, what he is becoming, and what he is capable of. Remember that scene just before the switch and he shoots the lady in the head in front of her daughter? That was the same Peter. Each week, Fringe takes a case of the week/tweak on case of the week and uses it to drive the season arc forward. I can’t imagine FOX not renewing this series.

#fourandahalfcoldbloodedpandas

Review – Fringe – The Firefly (S03Ep10)

Sunday, January 23rd, 2011

The smallest of actions can have such real and unexpected consequences.

This week:
The Observers are back and all is not well. Peter crossing over has changed history in more ways than expected. How much has Walter changed. Olivia still haunted by the ghost of Fauxlivia.

Pluses:
Really good twists, counter twists and turns.
Loved how interwoven our lives are.
Chrisopher Lloyd – Emmy please!
Parrlells between Walter and Royce.
The test.
What Peter always said would happen with Walters experiments finally happened.
Relationship bandaids – though I don’t want Peter and Olivia together.
Ego.
Truth.

Minuses:
I miss Charlie Francis – hopefully we will see some Red action again soon.
Background Astrid.

This was a very strong episode on multiple levels. Not only did we learn that The Observers aren’t omnipotent, we also got a pretty clear view of where this season is going to go – and it is going to be good. That the team (Walter) missed the point of the actions of The Observers just makes it even better.

I read that there were CD’s of Violet Sedan Chair randomly placed in music stores around the States – and that there are three albums, not the one we learnt of. Interesting.

#fourandahalfbluepandas

Review – Black Swan

Saturday, January 1st, 2011

I will be the best Swan Queen ever, even if I haven't eaten for months for this role.

Synopsis:
Nina Sayers is a ballerina (Portman) who amongst other things, is a perfectionist living a life of regiment and control with a domineering mother. This year, she has paid her dues and is hoping to be featured as a principal in the upcoming year’s productions. After landing the lead in Swan Lake, all does not go as planned. How far would you go to give the performance of your life?

Pluses:
Portman Oscar buzz is not empty – this was an incredible performance.
Winona Ryder!
This movie does suspense and does it well.
Exceptional cast.
Portrayal of a ballet company and its players.
The dancing in the last 20 mins is spectacular.
The twists and turns in the plot were excellent and really had you bought in.
Lots of uncomfortable moments, but also some laugh out loud moments.
The physio scene.
You forget how tiny they all are, especially Portman. (when Cassel holds her face in his hand, wow!)
Vincent Cassel really delivers!
Never once wondered about the time, this really pulls you in and rides you till then end.

Minuses:
Kunis’ eyes are just too big for her head. I know Hollywood likes big eyes but on a movie screen it is much more noticeable than on the TV.
Goose flesh – a little over done for me.
I never believed Kunis to be a strong dancer, she was just a little too sloppy.

I saw this movie at a special NYE showing as part of my evening celebrations. All up I had a brilliant night, but this movie was certainly a highlight.  The way the suspense is built and how you end up questioning everything is just marvellous. If this movie isn’t already on your must view list, add it now.  Black Swan takes a old and many times viewed idea, and delivers it is a smart and new way. Black Swan releases in Australia on January 20th, with some limited previews the weekend of the 8th and 9th of January.

#fourandahalfpandasgivingtheirpoundoffllesh

Review – The Social Network

Wednesday, December 29th, 2010

Do I have your attention Mr Zuckerberg?

Synopsis:
Geeky guy doesn’t get girls. Decides to steal an idea but says he doesn’t. Makes lots of money along the way and tries his hardest at being a tool. Interesting adventures unfold as we look backwards on how we got to today via depositions. Geeky guy still doesn’t get girls. And by get I mean both connotations.

Pluses:
Pick that TV Teen Vamprie  star.
See a Teen Disney star go down on a guy in a toilet.
Fantastic dialogue by the brilliant Aaron Sorkin.
Interesting anti-heroes (I left not really liking anyone).
Even with everything, envy and loss still reign supreme.
Great comedic moments that moved the story forward.
The Winklevi (played by one guy!)
Nice styling development of Eduardo.
Good editing – moved well for such a dialogue heavy piece.

Minuses:
I felt no sympathy for our main protagonist. The closest I came to liking anyone was Eduardo.
A little overhyped.

I certainly enjoyed this film, and loved how it was broken back to our most basic need (after food and shelter) to be accepted. Jealousy, envy and the search for love. Amazing what is can drive a person to do. The one track nature and arogance of how Zuckerberg was portrayed was a worry, surely no one is quite that bad. I must admit that after watching this I felt a little dirty logging into Facebook. Does anyone know if Zuckerberg has mild Aspergers?

#fourandahalfpandasseekingacceptance

Review – l’Arnacoeur (Heartbreaker)

Tuesday, December 28th, 2010

I had the time of my life, and I never felt this way before.

Synopsis:
Meet Alex (Romain Duris). He makes women fall in love with the idea of love, getting them to leave their unhappy relationships, and he is paid to do this by well meaning family members. We follow Alex’s latest gig, his biggest pay check yet, to get Juliette (Vanessa Paradis) to break up with the perfect man. With the assistance of his sister and her husband, they get into all manner of strife and comedic situations, while reaffirming love along the way.

Pluses:
Real laugh out loud moments. Yes some of the set pieces are silly, but it is supposed to be.
Hearing an audience cheer!
The wonderful comedic timing of his two partners in crime.
How when everything goes wrong, it goes right.
So over the top at times it is ridiculously funny.

Wake me up before you go-go!
The script – clever, engaging dialogue!

Great editing, really zipped along and cut neatly between all parties.
Fantastic supporting cast who all played their parts to perfection.
Such a nice wedding gown.
Lovely framed shots, and I want to go to Monaco again, now.

Minuses:
I just wish I was still good at French, as I think it would have been brilliant to hear it.
The ex-best friend was a tad too much but was in spirit with the movie.

This isn’t a movie where you go in and think, oh don’t be silly, this would never happen. It is a pure comedic romp, and it is a golden pure comedic romp. I loved how the leads aren’t “hollywood perfect,” and how you are empathetic to the most unlikely of heroes. Don’t do a runner as soon as the credits start, there are a couple of scenes in the credits.
If America does a version, don’t go, see this one on DVD instead. Heartbreaker is out now in Australia on limited release.

#fourandahalfpandashavingthetimeoftheirlives