Posts Tagged ‘fourpandas’

Preview – Camelot – Pilot (S01Ep01)

Sunday, March 6th, 2011

"I thought I was going to get laid, not have to deal with challenges," said Arthur, frustrated by his lack of action.

Synopsis:
Starz, the US network is funding even more Brit drama. Camelot tells the story we all know so well. King Arthur, Merlin, Morgan, Camelot etc, but approaches it from a slightly different angle (apparently). Starting with the death of Uther Pendragon, we will follow Arthur from his birth as a green King, through to the Once and Future King.

This week:
Morgan commences her plan for power and ropes in an unlikely ally. Merlin picks Arthur out of obscurity and brings him to Camelot where Arthur faces a whole slew of problems and challenges he never thought to ask about before agreeing to be King.

Pluses:
Brilliantly styled. I cannot tell you how well the costumes are constructed.
Eva Green as nefarious Morgan.
Arthur is portrayed as very flawed.
It was an absolute joy to discover James Purefoy as King Lot.
The way magic is underplayed.
Speed. This episode covered a lot of ground, yet moved very fast and was tightly edited.
Killer cast.

Minuses:
Some of the dialogue was pretty awful – especially Merlin’s. I felt a little sorry for Joseph Fiennes having to deliver those lines.
I didn’t know boybangs were in fashion back in dark ages Britain.

I am a huge fan of the Legend of King Arthur so I was always going to watch this, but really enjoyed myself. The only thing I don’t like is that I have to wait till April for it to be released.

#fouronceandfuturepandas

Review – Episodes – Episode 6

Sunday, March 6th, 2011

Yeah, Joey was created when Friends was big, but I was hungry while choosing the scents.

This week:
Beverly is hurt and lashes out. Matt is in the middle and takes advantage of his situation. Sean has to make the best of a bad lot. The fate of Pucks hangs in the balance.

Pluses:
Beverly’s and Matt’s seaside discussion about why Pucks isn’t Lyman’s Boys.
Sean calling and calling.
Merc and Sean at lunch – just how quick Merc moves on.
Why Merc had lunch with Sean.
Cinamon.
Matt’s décor.
Tamsin Greig’s acting as she tempers her hurt, with contempt and anger.

Minuses:
Matt being a dick.
Bad CGI.

The end is in sight, not just for this season, but for Pucks, Sean and Matt’s friendship, and Sean and Beverley’s marriage. While the next episode is a little predictable – does anyone not think that Pucks will get picked up? While I know some people just haven’t embraced this series, I do rather enjoy it.

#fourpandas

Review – Animal Kingdom (2010)

Saturday, March 5th, 2011

How could anyone come after you my darling! Nana loves you.

Synopsis:
Following the death of his mother, Josh turns to the only family he has, a family his mother walked away from. Falling into a world of crime and drugs, Josh tries to be a normal teenager, yet his uncles’ and his grandmother’s conflicting priorities, ultimately take over his life.

Pluses:
Stellar Australian cast.
Pope (Ben Mendelsohn) scared the beejeebees out of me.
Janine/Smurf (Jackie Weaver) really scared the heck out of me.
Interesting take on the family relationship taken from a fringe perspective.
Corruption.
Representation of family life in Australia in the 70s without it being all disco.
The second Art Gallery scene.
The unusual expression of affection by Smurf to her sons.
The character of Craig was very interesting and had such split dimensions.

Minuses:
Josh’s recalcitrance really frustrated me. Even a sentence here or there would have pushed the story forward or made it much stronger.
Josh’s inability to make a decision and stick to it.
Accessories not in key with the time period – distracted me.

This is a great Australian movie. It managed to portray crime without tits and arse, as TV is want to do. It didn’t glamourise it, and it didn’t shy away. Jackie Weaver was well ID’ed by the academy for her nom.

When I first saw this movie I wasn’t doing Pandas yet. I have rewatched it over the week (post-Oscars) to refresh my memory.

#fourguntotingpandas
PS. I have meant to write this up for ages – sorry Panda Lovers.

Review – The Vampire Diaries – The House Guest (S02Ep16)

Saturday, February 26th, 2011

So let me see if I have this. Jane walked, then she skipped and finally ran? No! Way! This is riveting.

This week:
Damon realises that Katherine was willing to sacrifice him so she could be free and isn’t thrilled. The Martins try and rescue someone important to their master plan. Girl’s night out. Product placement. Caroline sings and discovers that the truth won’t always set you free.

Pluses:
I do like Caroline as a character and as an actress, though she does scream funny. There has been talk of her playing the reboot of Buffy, would hate to lose her from TVD.
The cellar scene.
Caroline “breathing through it.”
Matt’s reaction.
Witch burial ground. That sounds like it will be big soon.
Katherine vs Elena.
Katherine playing Elena as she oft is want to do.
Katherine vs the floor thanks to Damon.
Ding Dong. Who’s that at the door? (no it isn’t Secretariat)

Minuses:
Elena’s response to her friend wanting to shag her little brother.
Bonnie finding what was lost – damn.
Bonnie and Jeremy.

This episode was a LOT better than last week’s. I only saw one of the twists tonight coming, and I think everyone would have guessed it. The rest, no way did I think things were going to occur the way they did. And that last scene? Poor Jenna.

#fourtwistandturnpandas

Review – The Chicago Code – Hog Butcher (S01Ep02)

Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011

Guessing these aren't to refill your pez.

This week:
Emotional, physical and political fall out from the death of Colvin’s driver. Isaac and Vonda decide to shine while the rest of the force are searching for the Cop Killer.

Pluses:
Really interesting to see how the force focused on finding the shooter.
Great red herrings – I totally fell for the last one.
Interesting dynamic between Colvin and Wysocki.
That scene at the end just ups the anti something shocking.
Nice development for Vonda and Isaac – be interesting to see how that now flows into the major arc.
Looking forward to seeing more of Moosekian.
Wysocki has fast become the most interesting cop on the box.

Minuses:
Felt it unusual that Hennessey would call – but Wysocki broached that.
Will the bad blood to Colvin continue to hinder her attempts to clean up the city? Not sure they can keep pushing that.
Still not convinced on the voiceovers but they are good at driving the story forward very fast.

This was a great episode. After such a strong first ep/pilot I was ready for a slightly less strong second episode. If anything, this dragged me deeper into the story. Can’t wait for the next instalment.

#fourbadgedstars

Review – Bedlam – Driven (S01Ep02)

Wednesday, February 16th, 2011

A poignant moment by Will Young's Ryan regarding the parole hearing of his brother's killer.

This week:
Bedlam Heights new resident has been targeted by a ghost with vengeance on his mind. Molly strikes up a new friendship, Jed gets a new job (other than Ghost Management), Ryan wants help in dealing with the death of his brother, and Kate is not sleeping well.

Pluses:
Nice idea re: vengeance vs angry ghost.
Great development of the Ryan and Jed friendship.
Those apartments are rather nice, even if they are haunted.
Not as scary as the first one, the tension and haunting was done in a much more erudite way.

Minuses:
Worst dead cat ever.
Why are they making Kate so unlikable?
Not very good screech marks.
The uncle is such a wanker.

I am quite liking the way this series is shaping up. Good characters that have complimentary facets. I am very much looking forward to next week.

#fourimpressedpandas

Review – Never Let Me Go (2010)

Friday, February 11th, 2011

All the role playing in the world can't prepare you for meeting "real people."

Synopsis:
Based on the best selling novel of the name name, Never Let Me Go is the same world as ours, only slightly different. In the recent past, children were copied/created to provide donor organs when they came of age. These children are raised in an exclusive boarding school, but grow up knowing their eventual fate. We follow three of these children from their youth through to “completion.” Tommy (Andrew Garfield), Kathy H (Carey Mulligan), and Ruth (Keira Knightly) search for what makes them who they are, their soul and their “original.”

Pluses:
Everything is so poignant.
The acting is outstanding – especially Carey Mulligan. Her voice overs touched my heart.
The children and their “bumper crop.”
Tommy’s outbursts – especially towards the end.
The concept of hope.
Humanity – having a soul.
The belief that Love is verifiable.
The idea of “completion.”
Loneliness.
Fish out of water.
Art direction.
Stunning panoramas that contract so well with the insularness of their existence.
Outstanding cast – including supporting cast.

Minuses:
Wanted to know what happened to their friends at The Cottages.
Give Knightly a sandwich!

I had no idea Tommy was Andrew Garfield until his hair was cropped very in the last third of the movie – and then I instantly recognised him from The Social Network. This was such a moving and thought provoking movie. As Kathy says, “We all complete.” Life is short. Sometimes you know what your fate is, other times you don’t, but it is how you embrace who you are and how you live that counts. The maturity and understanding that they embraced their fate was so well delivered. This is not your “Happy Ever After” chick flick and the SciFi component is so far less than minimal I almost didn’t tag it as such.

This movie is being released on March 31st in Australia (6 months after the US release) – or you can get it on US iTunes now.

#fourpandas

Review – Bedlam – Cohabitants (S01Ep01) Series Premier

Thursday, February 10th, 2011

Ok - as someone who sees ghosts this is going to suck. Who the heck builds condos in an old asylum?

Synopsis:
Jed has recently checked himself out of a mental institution, where he voluntary placed himself due to his ability to see ghosts. Jed’s uncle is developing an old mental institution into sexy condos, where Kate and her flat mates currently live. What could possibly go wrong?

This week:
We meet Jed who assists ghosts in moving on and to stop them killing the living. Kate (his cousin) has received a ring for her birthday which was found in the walls of the institution. Kate’s flat mate is approaching the 12month anniversary of his brother’s death. Jed has to solve the mystery of who is haunting and why, while keeping everyone safe.

Pluses:
Nice concept.
Good mix of characters.
Strong dialogue.
Good haunting – special effects were well done and not over the top hollywoodesque.
I especially like the developing friendship between Jed and Kate’s male flat mate.
Intrigued about the phone.
Loved the start – I knew nothing going in other than it was set in a mental institution – so didn’t know which characters were stars etc. Totally didn’t expect what happened.
Editing of what is real and what is “seen” is very nicely done.

Minuses:
Some of the editing and camera shots felt a bit over done and clunky.
Uncle is a bit too much.

As I said, I knew nothing going in. I was pleasantly surprised. It isn’t Supernatural as done by the Brits. It is much more character development driven around a small group, rather than Dean and Sam saving the world each week. This going to have a procedural “haunting of the week” feel to it as we get further in, but for now – whee! I was genuinely on the edge of my seat watching some of this and occasionally did the jump back with the ghost edits. I should say I am not much of a horror watcher. I generally have to watch a movie on DVD during the day and press pause a lot – so it doesn’t take much for me to scare the heebeejeebees out of myself. All in all a really strong start.

EDIT: After getting a fair amount of traffic to this post from a site about William Young, I thought I better find out who it is… turns out it is the guy who is playing my favourite character – Kate’s male room mate. It also turns out he is something of a pop star. I would never have guessed he wasn’t a full time actor.

#fourhautingpandas

Review – Outcasts – Series Premier (S01Ep01)

Wednesday, February 9th, 2011

You can tell I am serious - I have a gun, beard AND a scarf!

Synopsis:
In the year 2040, Earth went to Hell in a handbag. Nuclear weapons, riots etc. Things were bleak. So Colony Transporters set out to inhabit a new found planet. The show picks up after the firsts colonists have been on Carpathia  for ten years when another Transporter has arrived. This is no picture postcard planet. Humans are still humans, filled with secrets and lies enhanced with a large dose of survival.

This week:
Hoban (Bamber) returns to discover he has been betrayed and has murder on his mind. We meet the bulk of our main characters. There are big secrets out there. Families are broken. Minds are read. Fireworks.

Pluses:
Damn it all but Jamie Bamber can sport a light beard like nobody’s business.
Hermoine  Norris!
Stellar cast.
Nice and gritty.
Good mix of characters and well introduced without it seeming contrived.
Lots of clues out there.
It isn’t the great things that make us human, it is our flaws.
Power.
Loss.
Tigers.
Stunning scenery – now way this was shot in GB.

Minuses:
Oh Jamie tell me it ain’t so!
Want to know more NOW!

There is a fair bit of subtrefuge in this show. Everyone seems to have secrets or hidden agendas. My mind is reeling with one hypothesis about a decision Tate made.  Thankfully the next episode (shown the following night in the UK) is DL’ing now. Just hope I am not disappointed.

#fourpandasthathavemeintrigued

Review – Skins – Rich (S05Ep02)

Tuesday, February 8th, 2011

I'm a Metal Head. That is what I am.

This week:
We follow metal head Richard in his attempt to ask out the “Angel of Death” – who happens to work in the library. Along the way he tests the strength of his beliefs, burn bridges, sees a side of Grace none of us expected and realises he can be himself without having to be someone else to do it.

Pluses:
Grace in the pub.
Grace at the gig.
Richard: Bring on the noise.
Allo’s ridiculous moral compass.
The way Richard interacted with his Dad.
Richard whimping out.
I adored the music (even though I hate death metal – I think that is what it was) every time he looked at someone, walked somewhere – really added to the feeling of the episode.

Minuses:
Only a little bit of Franky (I know, I know).
The golden record.

This was a nice flip side (see what I did there?) to Franky who was hiding her past, and trying hard not to be herself. While I loved last week’s episode, this was classic Skins, and I love this episode for that.

#fourmetallovingpandas