Posts Tagged ‘twoandahalfpandas’

Review – Off the Map – The Great White Hope (Pilot) (S01Ep01)

Thursday, January 20th, 2011

Hey guys! Let's go stand on a cliff and see the view, only let's shake it up and stand in an angle! What do you say? Live a little!!

No matter how far you run, your past follows you. A group of doctors work in a remote part of South America (which looks exactly like Hawaii). They face their fears, their past and the challenges of working in a remote medical centre. Imagine Greys Anatomy in a developing country, but with less clothes.

This week:
Four new doctors arrive at the Clinica including Matt Saracen, and have to step up to the challenge very quickly. We learn most people’s back stories and see some of them rise to the challenge. There is also a hint of romance.

It is great to see Zach Gilford post Friday Night Lights. His character could be one of the more interesting.
OMG Martin Hendersen – I haven’t thought of him in forever.
I like the idea of showing a developing country’s challenge in medical aid, but not sure this is the right vehicle to do so.
Lots of character development, but it doesn’t always move the story forward.
You can’t run for ever, as you run out of places to go, and you can’t go back.

Way too schmatzy in more than one story line this episode… try three.
Stupid rescue.
I know he is recovering from surgery and bizarre medical practises, but he needs to go visit a lake before we emergency evac him out… oh and he can sit up on his own after massive surgery.
Dear Lord, do we need romance plots in the first episode?
The first scene in the clinic with the sting ray was just stupid beyond words. I wonder how many takes they needed to do that without laughing.

I think this show has a fair bit of potential, but not sure if it is going to be Grey’s Anatomy in the jungle. If it is, I will tune out very quickly. I am interested to find out more about our bunch of anti-heroes. I will give it 5 episodes as is my rule with new shows – it did get some very solid support from a few critics that I agree with more often than not however, after they had seen the first few eps in advance.
I haven’t heard yet if any channel in Australia is going to pick it up or not. Given it is made by the same people as Grey’s Anatomy, I imagine so.


Review – Pretty Little Liars (S01Ep11) – Moments Later – Mid-Season Return

Thursday, January 6th, 2011

Hi, My name is Ezra and I am a ephebophile, but this show says it is OK because we "love" each other.

At the mid-season cliffhanger we had:
Hanna was hit by a car – driven by -A.
Erza and  Aria (teacher and student having an affair) are seen by someone in his car in a compromising position.
Hanna’s mother steals a bag full of cash from the bank where she works.
Emily and Spencer find a tree that suggests that Alison (the dead chick who was a real bitch) was involved with Ian (who was going out with Melissa but also cheating with Melissa’s sisters, the aforementioned Spencer).
Noel wants to go out with Aria.
Chris was arrested by the police after Emily told Spencer and Spencer told the police.
Emily is exploring her sexuality with Maya.

Are we all following?

This week:
Hanna lives (gasp what a surprise) but has made an incorrect assumption about -A (again). The friends find out that Aria is hot for teacher. Hanna breaks Justin’s (?) heart in a bitchy manner. Spencer get s a surpise. Aria lies to Ezra (the ephebophile teacher) to keep the relationship going. A tree goes missing. Fall out from Emily’s sexuality.

Alison in the hospital as a candy-striper. (I have read the books now and this scene is big moment in the scheme of things! I won’t say more).
Nice misdirection on -A.
The scene with Emily’s parentals discussing her sexuality.
The clue how that together, the four girls know what happened to Alison.
The look on Noel’s face when he finds out his assumption was incorrect.

I have said it before and I will say it again, but all the women in this show make the most stupid decisions!
When the friends find out about Aria and Mr Fitz they don’t seem that concerned – Spencer even suggests it is “hot.” It is actually a crime.
The elopement.
How quick they swing from suspect to suspect for -A.

It has been a month since I watched the last episode, and I don’t know what I was expecting, but it wasn’t this. Yes, to learn from their mistakes, the girls have to make them, but can we get a good choice every now and then, or even some recognition that they are learning? The entire “hot for teacher” arc was boring after 5 minutes, and now it is nothing more than annoying distraction – I wouldn’t want to be the actor for that role, as I think he will be looking for a new gig soon… I can only hope.

Interestingly, when I was checking out some torrents for this, there were lots of comments from Australians (I am assuming girls) asking if the torrent was legit and that they wouldn’t be looking if GO! wasn’t “fast tracking” the show 2.5 weeks after the air date in the US.


Review – Dakbla – West End

Wednesday, January 5th, 2011

Thanks to BNEHotorNot for the image, I forgot to take any pics. Click the pic to go to their awesome Brisbane Restaurant Blog.

Dakbla, located on Hardgrave Rd in West End is an unusual place – the things that spring to mind after dinner there this evening are: huge servings, decent food, atrocious service, 70’s decor and German chocolate.

As anyone who knows in me in RL can attest, I am hopeless in West End – it is the wrong side of the river for me – I get lost (even sticking to main roads) so heading to Hardgrave St to welcome back three friends from overseas, in heavy rain, was going to be a challenge.  However, with some navigational help from my friend and a park out the front, we made it (even got through the flooding in the Valley).

For a rainy Wednesday night, I was suprised that this place was packed. Our host for the evening had underbooked (thinking not everyone would show), so myself and my friend (the last two to arrive) were facing siting away from our group. The couple sitting next to our large party offered to move, and gave up their table to us – they were half way through their dinner too! Who knew there were still people who practised random acts of kindness to strangers?!?! If you two ever read this, thankyou!

The decor itself is very mishmash. Odd light fixtures, walls that jump out, paintings that are very 70’s in style and the always stylish clear plastic table cloths (or should I say covers?). There was no music that I noticed, but I was having a great time chatting to friends so I might have missed it. It was also very bright with no ambient lighting.

The food on the  other hand was very high quality for the price. The servings were surprisingly large, the vegetables incredibly fresh and the taste was delicious. I ordered the Beef Chowmein – crunchy. For $13.90 it was huge. I did taste the Deep Fried Tofu Salad and that was pretty good too, but I couldn’t eat a whole meal of it. There was basically no food, other than the odd scrap of onion, left on our table, – which was highly indicitive of a great meal.

Large servings.
Ingredients well above cost expectations.
Good use of colour in meals.
Everything very fresh.
Lots of icy cold water.
Very large selection of food choices.

Terrible service – we were almost 20 mins late and no one had taken even a drink order from our table.
I ordered some Chinese Tea – it never arrived.
Food came out in spurts, with two people at the table receiving their meals at least 15 mins after the first – we were a table of 10 but still.
No gelati or ice-cream shop very close by.
Really, really thirsty after eating for the next 2 hours.

For $14 I got great food, and lots of it. I live 3 blocks from China Town, so my usual hangouts for Asian food are well tried and tested, but I was pleased with the results here. For the price, it was good value, and next time I won’t have the same expectations for service. I still prefer Super Bowl (or as we call it when we want to be fancy – Superb Owl) for dining in that price range, but I would certainly go again if invited – but wouldn’t host an event there.


Dakbla on Urbanspoon
Howmanypandas Queensland restaurants

Review – Human Target – Season One

Wednesday, January 5th, 2011

So at 9am, you get everyone to suspend belief, then at 9.05am I kill 8 people while handcuffed and keeping a beautiful girl alive and dodge a hail of machine guns fire. Got it!

I somehow missed any buzz about this on Australian TV. Human Target was launched on GO! in mid-August last year apparently – though knowing GO! they probably had it run for two weeks at 9.30pm then switched it to 3am or something crazy.

Very loosely based on the DC Comic serial of the same name, the Human Target is Christopher Chance (not his real name), and is played by ex Days of Our Lives and Fringe star Mark Valley. He is a body guard / mercenary with a mysterious past (that takes about 2 seconds to guess). Along with his partner Winston (Chi McBride), who handles the business side of their dealings, plus a similarally mysterious and dangerous Guerrero (Jackie Earl Haley) who does a lot of the “fixing,” they come in and save someone in danger while solving the crime/reason why the client is in danger. It is total silliness. If Hawaii Five-0 is suspend belief, this takes belief and asks it to wait outside. That being said, it if often rather enjoyable if you can stop yourself from saying “oh please?!?!” every few minutes.

It fun in a switch the brain off and go for a ride, kind of way.
Nice twists on the “save the client” each week.
Guerrero is such a good character and has all the best lines.
Interesting arc with just enough nibbles each ep to build it.
Baptiste (Lennie James from Walking Dead and Jericho) is a brilliant character and I look forward to seeing him again.
The Old Man was perfectly cast.
Playing “Pick the Canadian TV Star” (I swear there are only like 30 ppl who act in Canada and they constitutionally have to guest star on every show).
Nary a recurring romance plot insight.

Chi McBride plays Emerson Cod.
Some episodes are just too silly to really enjoy.
Fight scenes that last forever.
Too male dominated (though from what I can see of the promos for the second season which I am about to start watching, two female characters are joining the team).
They somehow managed to make Grace Park look frumpy

If you want some mindless tv and good mindless tv like Hawaii Five-0 isn’t one, then watch Human Target. It is fun, but not great – I will continue to watch though for giggles and groans.


Review – Chloe

Tuesday, December 21st, 2010

I know I have to get my kit off again, but can we go inside first?

Middle-aged wife Catherine (Julianne Moore) thinks husband David (Liam Neeson) is screwing around with his students so hires a high class call girl Chloe (Amanda Seyfried) to see if he dipping his wick. Things don’t necessarily go as Catherine intended.

Yep. Sounds familiar right?

Anyhow, this movie sees things turn in a slightly different, yet highly predictable direction.

It was beautifully shot and art directed.
The clothes were gorgeous – I loved Chloe’s jacket.
Beautifully designed house – though all I could think about was the heating bill!
The acting was solid.
Sharply edited… it moved along quite crisply.
Julianne Moore plays middle aged woman in crisis well.
Always fun to see a star from a teenage vampire tv show.

Some scenes were so overdone.
Some parts I was quite interested in were skipped over.
The plot twists and motivations were so obvious.
There weren’t even any red herrings.
Liam Neeson’s dye job – really distracting but a made sense by the end of the movie.
The choice of shoes – Julianne Moore can barely walk in them.

Was this Amanda Seyfried’s movie to show she is all grown up and not just a romantic lead? Did we really need to see Julianne Moore masturbating in the shower? If you want to shut your brain off, it is about average.


PS. Amanda Seyfried will always be Lilly to me, so much so I want to watch Veronica Mars again.

Review – Caprica – Here Be Dragons

Tuesday, December 14th, 2010

If only we followed more of Lacy's story this show wouldn't have sucked so hard

This week:
Daniel, Amanda and Sam journey deeper into V-World to meet with Zoe and Tamara. The Tauran mafia comes after Joseph and his family. Clarice and her followers get to their prize. Lacy gets her revolution on and Zoe tries on a new/old outfit.

Some decent suspense while the Greystones were out of the real world and Clarice and co were trying to break in.
The Lacy execution scene.
Action – plot development – serious this was the most eventful ep in the history of Caprica – unfortunately it wasn’t executed v well.
Sam as always.

Pretty lame dragons.
Obvious what was going to happen with Zoe and the timing.
The ONE thing I said I wouldn’t accept they did… really? It is just stupid.
Atrocious editing as usual.
Too much happening with not enough cohesion.
Umm so where was Tamara?
Skin Jobs line.

I was kind of enjoying this episode even with its faults but the whole Greystones in the forrest was way overshot – 3 mins would have been fine – we are clever – we know when the lights go down day has changed to night. I am majorly disappointed in what they did to one of the minor characters – which I won’t say here as I try not to do spoilers – but it blows major holes in all of BSG on so many levels. It was a cheap and easy twist that was, well, lame.


PS. One more ep to go – now that I know who is going to be uploaded I don’t want to see it – all I want to see is what Lacy does with the STO and how that leads to the First Cylon War.

Review – Warehouse 13 – Secret Santa – Christmas Special

Friday, December 10th, 2010

Pete - saving the world one fake dog poo gag at a time.

This week:
Harry Dresden has hung up his hockey stick and is building malls in California. Myka and Pete see Santa. Chloe wants Artie to have the best Christmas ever. Artefact  hijinks. Case solved. Christmas dinner.

Lots of Claudia time being typically Claudia.
Claudia’s brother is visiting from CERN.
Nice secondary story.
Hokey effects (which is why we love it!)
Pete having some classic Pete moments.
Not too much Myka time (reduced annoyance).

The resolution to the artefact wasn’t that strong.
Was a tad Christmasy for my liking (yes I know it was a Christmas episode but even then too much).
Santa? Really? Couldn’t we have had a reindeer with a penchant for bloody vengeance?

Overall it was a cutesy little stand alone ep. Certainly wasn’t one of their better eps, but it was nice to see the team while we wait for next season.
EDIT: The always on the ball @kuma pointed out to me that at the end of last season, Myka decided to leave… guess that didn’t stick as she was back without a by your leave in the Christmas Special.


PS. If you want more Eddie McClintock hijinks – follow him on The Twitters here.

Review – Stargate Universe – Resurgence

Friday, December 3rd, 2010

No you aren't boring, I am just morphing into Mega-Chloe!

This week:
If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck and says “Hi my name is Duck,” it is probably a duck… the same is true for traps and double crosses. Meh Telford is back. Greer and Brody go exploring. Tamara is flirting. Eli is sulking. Rush tries to bond. Oh and it’s a trap and then it’s a double cross trap!

I liked Chloe finally being more than wishywashy whiney victim girl.
Exploring the dead ship – nice tension in that scene.
LOVED Volker getting real dialogue and chance to be centre of attention for more than 3 seconds.
Was good to see Eli acting out properly.
Couple of great one liners.

Young is the worst leader ever or worst leader ever?
Telford is Meh.
Correct me if I am wrong, but don’t guns need air to fire?
Destiny has a very slow computer it seems.

Now this ep had all the components to make it step up. As Scott (aka Agent_X) said:

Scott telling me I am wrong

But I don’t know why it didn’t gel. I can’t get past some things, such as Young making poor decision after poor decision and having the leadership abilities of a puppy napping after a bowl of milk. I don’t know why, but I don’t see that as him caring for his people, it shows him playing favourites, willing to risk everyone for the sake of a few – he does this time and time and time again. When will he learn? As such I didn’t get sucked into the tension. So for me, this episode was average. Not great, not sucky – but I am not on the edge of my seat to see what happens… Of course they make it.


Review – Pretty Little Liars – 1st two eps

Friday, December 3rd, 2010

Not overstyled for a day at school at all, no sir.

Review encompassing the Pilot and The Jenna Thing One of the first things that comes to mind when trying to explain this show is that it is a combination of Gossip Girl and Desperate Housewives (I have never watched a whole ep of DH so I am surmising here) for a teen market.

There is an underlying sexy feel. The promos and in some ways the credits set the scene for a show that overly sexy and therefore wholly inappropriate on one level as some of the characters are underage and on the other hand intrinsic to the show’s success.  It sees beautiful main characters discovering who they are, coming to terms with that they have done, making bad choices (and I am assuming the fall out of said choices) as well as dealing with the death of their friend (who, from what I have seen of her, was a manipulative bitch).

Watching beautiful people with overdone makeup and styling deal with unrealistic problems (it is funny – so positive though on a serious level it should be a negative).

So far all but two of the male characters have acted disgracefully towards women – not a good message we are sending to our audience.
The glaring hypocrisies.
The overdone characters (I had a blind friend and she didn’t bash the floor loudly every second with her stick).
Obvious plot choices.
No originality.
Since when are you allowed to have your phone on in a class let alone not on silent.

For all those negatives, it was kind of enjoyable to watch. It isn’t Vampire Diaries enjoyable, and it isn’t Gossip Girl annoyingly unrealistic – it is kind of in the middle. So even though I thought it was pretty crap, it was intriguingly enjoyable crap.

I want to see the English teacher get done for sleeping with a student and sent to jail. I want the girls to realise their best friend was a complete bitch. I want the women in the show to stand up and say – I won’t disrespect myself or my gender anymore. I want the women to say to the men – stop being total dicks and I no longer respect you vs you are sexy and I can’t help myself or I am too in love to know better.

I am not sure how long this interest will last – I have 8 eps to buy yet – so we will see how my interest wanes or grows – if it wanes out of existence I might just wait for the eps to continue to spool through on GO!

In an aside, it also seems that only ppl with awesome bone structures and pouty lips settled in the town of Rosewood – as I am yet to see an unattractive person, even in the background.

PS. GO! Twitter team – your twitter promo was stupid. ‘nuff said


A Grill’d Burger Update – Grill’d Fortitude Valley

Thursday, December 2nd, 2010

Noms but lacking character at The Valley

Last night a few of us were at the Mana Bar for the release of 5th World’s much anticipated iPhone game Bouncer BootOut. After playing their flash game The Romeros for way too much time (long enough to hold the high score record for a bit), and some PS3 games a group of us headed to Grill’d Fortitude Valley.
You may remember from my last Grill’d experience (at Chermside) that I was underwhelmed with the food, yet overwhelmed by the fantastic service. Last night was the reverse.

This time I ordered the Queenslander – OMG YUM!
Fast service – order taken almost immediately and food arrived so fast we were still settling in.
Super delicious burger.

Lack of atmosphere – all the tiles and the glass seemed impersonal. It felt very “in and out” whereas at Chermy you want to linger and enjoy yourself staying for an extra brew.
Staff weren’t nearly as happy and friendly as Chermside (and they weren’t nearly as busy either).
Friend’s order got messed up – somehow having three burgers delivered – he did get a refund.
Grill’d at The Valley has much more of a “fast food” feel to it.

Now if I can get the atmosphere and staff of Chermside to The Valley I don’t think I would stay away very much at all. Maybe if it wasn’t raining and we sat outside it would have been better. As it is, my next Grill’d will be back at Chermside but ordering the Queenslander again.

Grill'd Fortitude Valley on Urbanspoon
Howmanypandas Queensland restaurants