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42 minutes of... I don't even know.
This episode was a big let down for me. After a strong start into the season with episodes 1-3, we got the backstory of Morgan, which was interesting and really well done - though misplaced as well. But since then it seems more and more like they're just dragging the story out to keep everyone guessing about Glenn's fate until the mid-season finale. Which is not the way a good cliffhanger works.
I admit, I was kinda lost in the beginning of this episode. Where did those guys come from, who were suddenly shooting at Daryl, Abraham and Sasha? Were those wolves? Or someone else? If yes, then who are they? How many of them are out there? Why were they shooting in the first place? If it's a new group of people we now have the group in Alexandria, the wolves and this new group all in one season, where it already seems like the story lines for each character are split apart too much as it is.
Also, were did the zombie herd go? Wouldn't they hear all those gun shots and be heading towards all that noise?
The dialogue between Abraham and Sasha seemed very forced and exaggerated. And honestly, at this point, I didn't care very much about whether Abraham was puffing some cigars for two minutes...
Daryl's storyline didn't add much to anything either. He lost his crossbow and his motorcycle, that's about it.
The only interesting - but also highly frustrating - moment in this episode was at the end, when we heard a voice calling for help over Daryl's walkie talkie. I perked up a bit at that, but it also left me angry about how they're so obviously playing with the revelation if Glenn is dead or not.
All in all, I really hope they'll finally start focusing more on the group as a whole and stop splitting them apart for so long in the second half of the season. I mean, Rick has only been in 3 episodes so far, we've barely seen Carl or Michonne, we had some good moments with Carol and Maggie but almost none with Daryl (because you can honestly just forget about this week's episode). It's time to bring them all back together and get on with the story!
Supernatural: Skin (2005)
Under your skin
Skin is a terrifying, bloody and exciting episode. From the first scene, which is really all kinds of awesome, it gripped me with it's gritty atmosphere and the suspense just kept building up steadily throughout the whole episode.
The monster of the week is a shapeshifter and it's the best baddie up until now. Even though it's clearly a monster, it's background is really fascinating and even kinda relatable. Apparently a shapeshifter is born human, or human-like at least, and they will only learn how to change their shape later on in life, as this one did because it felt hideous and hated for being different. There will be more episodes about shapeshifters in later seasons and they always make a good and compelling storyline.
The scenes with the shapeshifter shedding it's skin were quite disgusting and not for the squeamish. They were really well done however, and the fight scene between shifter!Dean and Sam at the end is awesome! The scene in the sewers, when shifter!Dean talks to Sam is excellent. I think the things the shapeshifter says to Sam are mostly half-truths. It's still in the process of "downloading" Dean's memories and feelings, and it's most likely influenced by it's own past experiences of being shunned and hated. For example, I don't think that Dean is jealous of Sam in the sense of begrudging him a normal life. Dean even says so himself in the last scene, that he wishes for Sam that things could be different. But Dean is also the realist of the two brothers. He knows, even back here in season 1, deep down inside his heart, that such a life will only ever be an unreachable dream for them.
Shifter!Dean also accuses Sam of leaving him behind when Sam went to college, and he reveals his fear that everybody's going to leave him eventually. Sam did it. John did it, too. I think this one's actually very true to what Dean is feeling on the inside. If we think back to the pilot, Sam mentioned to Dean that he could have just called if something was up, but Dean argued back that Sam probably wouldn't have picked up and Sam didn't correct him on that. It makes us wonder how much contact they truly had over those years Sam spent at college, and I do think that Dean felt rather hurt that Sam cut him from his life like that. As for John, Dean always tried to be the perfect son and did everything his dad asked him to, but John just left him behind, completely alone and without any explanation. It's the first time we really touch on Dean's abandonment issues, and boy, do they run deep.
With all the drama, there are also a few awesome brotherly moments. The scene in the beginning, when Dean checks if Sam's really listening to what he's telling him, by saying that "Sam wears women's underwear" is really funny and cute. I love that, after Dean initially refuses to check out the case, Sam seemingly convinces Dean to actually drive to St. Louis with one single look - he must have used that one quite a few times when they were younger, as we can see that Dean apparently knows what he's trying to do, but isn't able to say no to that look. And it's a really great moment when Sam notices right away that Dean isn't really Dean, after the shapeshifter takes his form.
I also just love Dean's reaction when he realises that the shapeshifter took his beloved car. Nobody steals baby without facing the consequences! The ending, with Dean being blamed for the murders, will play a big part in a few upcoming episodes, so you shouldn't miss this episode! It's my personal favourite so far.
Favourite quote: Well, I'm a freak, too. I'm right there with you, all the way. ~ Dean Winchester
Supernatural: Bloody Mary (2005)
600 years of bad luck...
This episode revolves around the legend of Bloody Mary. The first time I saw it, I couldn't look into a mirror for a few days without feeling a little bit uneasy. (In fact, when I first looked into my bathroom mirror after I've seen it for the first time, I stood there and wanted to say "Bloody Mary" three times, but I chickened out.) I think the scary parts are done brilliantly and I got really nervous whenever Mary appeared behind someone in the mirror.
The conversation between the brothers in the Impala, before they go to destroy Mary's mirror, is touching and also very insightful. Dean's ever-present concern for Sam shows clearly once more, as he tells Sam that he can't blame himself for Jessica's death. Dean is even willing to take the blame himself, because he was the one who dragged Sam away on his search for John while Jessica was murdered, but Sam immediately rejects that idea. Instead he alludes to some secrets he's been keeping about Jessica's death and we later learn that apparently he dreamt about it days before she died. Sam's "dreams" and their origins will play a big part for the next five seasons, so you really shouldn't miss this episode.
For the first time, we also see the brothers arguing about Sam putting himself deliberately in harm's way in order to finish a job, something that Dean will always try to prevent and rather do himself. Dean's "That's not going to happen" against Sam's "You have to let me do this" is a recurring thing between the brothers through all seasons. Sam, as the younger brother, tries to do things himself and wants to be treated like an adult who can shoulder all those responsibilities. Dean however, as the older brother and also kind of a parental figure to Sam, can't just stand by and watch Sam getting hurt. It's a conflict that will cause both of them to make some bad decisions, face some horrible consequences and generally deal with a lot of heartbreak.
Also, Dean quipping that smashing all those mirrors will probably cause them about 600 years of bad luck... I winced at that, knowing what the future holds for them.
I loved that last shot of Sam seeing Jessica standing on the sidewalk, just watching him while they drive by. I think at this point, Sam does try to make peace with the guilt he carries around with him since her death, but her memory will probably still haunt him for a long while.
Favourite quote: No matter what you did, you probably couldn't have stopped it. Sometimes bad things just happen. ~ Sam Winchester
Supernatural: Phantom Traveler (2005)
In this episode Dean and Sam investigate some mysterious plane crashes, after they get a call from a man, whom Dean and John helped in the past once before. They soon find out that they are chasing a demon, that seems to be on a mission of killing every survivor from the first plane that crashed. Time is flying by quickly for Dean and Sam when they decide to face the demon on a plane, high up in the air.
This is the first episode that deals with demonic possession. Even though there are a lot of things which are done differently in later episodes, when demons play a bigger role in the whole storyline, there are also quite a few things we learn which will be important later on. It's an interesting episode for sure and it also includes several hints about what is to come (e.g. the demon knowing about the way Jessica died and the boys learning that their father is still alive).
Dean and Sam are really starting to make an awesome team. I love how they tease each other, even while it's obvious that they also worry about each other a lot. The scenes where they dress up as Homeland Security agents are great and when Dean confesses to Sam that he's afraid of flying, Jensen's expressions made me laugh out loud. The poor guy really does look like he'd rather be anywhere else than there at that moment.
The last scene raises a few questions about John's whereabouts and actions, but it also makes us feel rather sad for the brothers. It's obvious that Dean and Sam are feeling quite lost and abandoned, when they hear that John is somewhere out there, but won't even contact them. Earlier in this episode they wished that their father was there to support them, because the case just seemed to big for them to handle it on their own. And then to find out that John is deliberately avoiding them must have left them terribly confused, but also very hurt and angry. It seems like the family reunion won't be a happy one.
Favourite quote: Do I look like I'm joking? Why do you think I drive everywhere, Sam? ~ Dean Winchester
Supernatural: Dead in the Water (2005)
The haunted lake
This episode revolves around two families in a small town in Wisconsin. The family members keep drowning one by one in a lake. Dean and Sam investigate and soon discover that a young boy was once murdered in that lake and his spirit is seeking revenge for his death.
While this episode isn't quite as scary as the previous two, it tells a solid story and notably it's also the episode which made me fall in love with Dean. In the course of nine seasons he became my favourite character ever on any TV show or movie, and I will always fondly remember this episode. For the first time we are allowed to truly see beyond his devil-may-care attitude and discover this lost little boy, who has seen his mother die at the age of four. We learn about how scared he was after loosing his mom, how he didn't feel like talking after her death and how he pulled himself together and became the man he is today by always trying to be brave for her.
It's also interesting that Sam acts surprised when he listens to Dean admit all this to Lucas and later on, when Sam tries to ask Dean about why he never told him how he felt, Dean brushes him off. It shows even more clearly than in the previous two episodes, how Dean has always protected his little brother. Dean wouldn't ever let him see how scared he was when they were growing up. He always took on the role as Sam's protector, even when he was still a child himself. Even now, with Sam sitting next to him all grown up, Dean still can't really admit to having any weaknesses in front of him. If there's one thing that always keeps Dean going, no matter what happens, it's his duty to always stay strong for Sam and to take care of him.
Jensen Ackles gives a heartfelt performance in those scenes with Lucas. It's in this episode that we start to really get an idea of the amazing range Jensen possesses as an actor. He always comes across 100% genuine, no matter if he's acting like a playful flirt, a worried brother, a heroic hunter or a lost little boy. The transition between all those facets of his character is portrayed flawlessly and I can promise you (if you're only just starting to watch the show and haven't seen any of the later episodes/seasons), that Jensen will continue to amaze you with his ability to bring this extremely complex character of Dean Winchester to life.
Favourite quote: My mom - I know she wanted me to be brave. I think about that every day. And I do my best to be brave. ~ Dean Winchester
Supernatural: Wendigo (2005)
Into the woods...
This episode picks up where we left off in the pilot. Dean and Sam are following the clue their father left them to Blackwater Ridge, Colorado. Once there, they learn about some people who went missing in the woods over the years and meet Haley and Ben, two siblings looking for their missing brother.
In this episode, Dean and Sam try to find some common ground in their approach of their quest of finding their father. Sam doesn't really see the point in getting distracted from the immediate task at hand by helping others and hunting things at first. He is single-minded (like his dad) in his thirst for revenge. Meanwhile, Dean is worried about his little brother's behaviour, obviously not used to Sam behaving in that rather uncaring way.
We get little hints at how things were before Sam left for college two years ago and how responsible Dean feels for him. When they sit down and talk about Sam's behaviour, Dean tries to reason with Sam that he can't let all that anger consume him or else it will destroy him. He also tells Sam that the best way to cope for him, is to help other people. They know what's out there, and even if they can't make it better for themselves, they are at least able to save others. Dean's devotion to this task and the fact that he can never ignore the responsibility he carries, are two of his most ingrained personal traits, though at this point we're only scratching on the surface of how deep those traits truly run within his psyche.
Overall, I really liked this episode. Once again the atmosphere is very grim and dark and I have always thought that hiking through the woods can be rather scary, especially in the dark. I think it was really well done that we never really see the monster until the end. It keeps the viewer on edge, always trying to catch a glimpse of it.
The second episode of Supernatural leaves me wanting more. Even through the dark and serious parts, it feels fresh and fun. The premise for the show is awesome. Two brothers on a road trip, travelling around in this amazing car (I love the Impala!), hunting monsters and protecting people. The notion that there will be a new town, a new story and new monsters in each of the following episodes is a truly interesting concept and I'm really excited for it.
Favourite quote: I think he wants us to pick up where he left off. You know, saving people, hunting things. The family business. ~ Dean Winchester
Supernatural: Pilot (2005)
Hooked from the start - I love Supernatural!
I've only started watching Supernatural about two months ago. I've watched all seasons in one go and I don't think I've ever been so involved in a show before. After finishing season 9, I wanted to start over again immediately and take my time to fully appreciate a second viewing. So here I am, back at the beginning... (please note that while I'm not telling any explicit spoilers about any future episodes, I may allude to some story arcs)
Let me tell you, I was hooked from the start. The pilot has everything it needs to set up the theme of the first season. We have the two brothers, reuniting and struggling to understand each other, but already "making a hell of a team". We have great music, brotherly banter ("Jerk." - "Bitch.") and a scary ghost story. We have the promising and tragic mystery surrounding Mary's and Jessica's death, as well as the disappearance of John and the subsequent quest of the brothers to find their missing father.
And of course we have our two leading men.
The chemistry between Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki is amazing right from the start. I have to admit, when I first started watching the show I wasn't a big fan of Jared (having only seen him on Gilmore Girls) and I didn't really know Jensen (though I did watch Dark Angel back when it aired). But I was instantly drawn in by both actors in this episode - especially Jensen.
At the first glance, Dean seems to be the typical devil-may-care, sarcastic, tough "bad boy". He's the kind of character you love to watch for his sassy attitude and his charming smile (Sheriff: "You got anything that's real?" - Dean: "My boobs.").But even here in the pilot, you already get the feeling that there's so much more to him. His confidence seems to be in total contrast to him not wanting to do this all alone. It's right there that we get a first impression of how important family is to Dean.
Sam on the other hand is trying to lead a normal life and making plans for his future. Of course, by the end of the episode those plans are firmly squashed, and Sam decides to join his brother on his quest. There's obviously also more to Sam than the slightly innocent and idealistic boy we first get to meet here, and I think Dean's words to him - "You can pretend all you want, Sammy. But sooner or later you're going to have to face up to who you really are." - foreshadow the immense struggles Sam will have to face regarding his own identity in the future.
The atmosphere in the first episode is kinda dark and in part very eerie. I've always loved ghost stories and I love being scared by a good horror movie or show. Supernatural truly delivers. Those scenes on the highway and on the bridge with the Lady in White were awesome! I'm really looking forward to watching this season again (I really miss the good old ghost stories!).
Favourite quote: House rules, Sammy. Driver picks the music, shotgun shuts his cakehole. ~ Dean Winchester
Just enjoy the MOVIE!
After three days I'm still a little torn when thinking of the end of the Harry Potter movies.
On one hand, I really liked the movie. They managed to bring the whole battle of Hogwarts on screen. But precisely because the last movie consists almost ONLY of the last battle at Hogwarts, I get the feeling that something is missing.
Currently, I'm trying to come to terms with the fact that there will be no more Potter movies and therefore no chance to ever see the parts they left out on screen.
One thing that will bother me forever - and almost ruined one of the greatest moments of the books for me - is the story of Teddy Lupin. In 7.1. Tonks starts to mention something that should hint at her pregnancy, but she doesn't really say anything about it and those people who haven't read the books will probably forget about that hint quickly. In 7.2. we never get told about Teddy's birth. And then, completely out of the blue, in the scene where Harry walks to his death (the most emotional scene of the books - I cried so hard during reading that!), Remus suddenly says something like "My son will one day understand what I died for". Everyone in the cinema was like WTF?! We never before - or AFTER in the epilogue - heard of Teddy. Why did they have to mention him in that scene then? Destroyed the feeling of that scene almost completely, because everyone in the cinema was just really confused and whispering about it.
They could have added the part in Shell Cottage where Remus comes in and tells everyone that Tonks gave birth to a boy. That way Remus' words in the forest wouldn't have been so out of place and it would have given the movie a peaceful scene apart from the whole battle.
One thing they really did brilliantly was the Prince's Tale (apart from the fact that they filmed it in a boathouse rather than the Shrieking Shack - why do they have chance something like this? I don't get it! I mean the Shrieking Shack has a deep meaning for the protagonists and is already a familiar place for the audience!). But otherwise that scene was great! Alan Rickman was brilliant in that scene!
It's disappointing however that Dumbledore's tale was never fully brought on screen. It was so important in the books and so very effective in showing that Dumbledore was also only human and had a dark past. In the movie Harry simply says that he trusts Dumbledore, but in the book he gets doubts about the man and rightly so. It bothers me even more because they once again gave so many hints about his past, but nothing of importance was filmed and it leaves us hanging with the feeling that his story is not being told.
That's something I feel in every Potter movie since the third movie. There are so many hints and half-told stories, but we never get the whole picture of it (except if you have read the books). I know that it is impossible to get EVERYTHING on screen that happens in the books, but I really feel like there could have been MORE. We never even hear of Voldemorts past and his parentage.
Furthermore, there are a lot of little details that bother me, even though it doesn't really take away the fun in watching the movies. E.g. Harry's eye colour! In the books they are green. Just like his mother's. They even mention it in the movies that they have the same eyes. But the actors have different eye colours! Couldn't they have used contacts?? Also that Dumbledore doesn't wear his half moon glasses or that Tonks doesn't change her hair colour (except in the fifth movie) and many more little details that would have added to the simple magic of Harry Potter.
It also bugs me that we never see Wormtail die. I loved that part in the books where he strangles himself with his silver hand, but we never see what happens to him in the movies.
It's also a pity that Harry and Voldemort have their last showdown alone. The part where Voldemort realised that he can't hurt anyone in the castle anymore, because Harry sacrificed himself for them, was very powerful in the books.
What I loved and I'm really grateful for, is the fact that Neville still got to behead Nagini. I was already scared when he got knocked out that they would change that part and let someone else do the job, but then out of nowhere Neville appeared and killed Nagini - great moment in the movie!! I love the music and love all the actors - Alan Rickman, Maggie Smith, Dan Radcliffe and Tom Felton were especially brilliant here! I adore some parts of the movie, some had me left wanting more. But that was to be expected.
I think it's a real pity that there wasn't someone here who loves the books so much to consider all the little details and the whole background story, like Peter Jackson did with The Lord of the Rings. That love for details and that devotion for the story is really missing in the Harry Potter movies. The style of each movie is different. A lot of the story is missing. Details are being left out which are important - especially for real fans of the books. The Harry Potter series really would have deserved to be taken on by someone like Peter Jackson!
All in all, I think the movies as stand-alone are great! But as a real fan of the books you shouldn't compare it or you'll be disappointed.
So much more than a mere musical...
I just came back from watching Sweeney Todd (if you're wondering why I've only seen it now - I'm from Austria and the movie just came out this weekend).
I don't even know where to start! Well, I'll just begin with the singing. I've already heard a lot from the soundtrack before watching the movie tonight, but I was still completely awestruck by the performance of the actors. Johnny Depp (who is my favourite actor) has not only an amazing talent to act, but also - as many of you already stated - can sing wonderfully! Of course he doesn't always hit every note but he puts so much emotion in his every word and expression that you can just sit there open-mouthed and wonder how one man can do that to you. When he sang "Epiphany" I couldn't tear my eyes away from the screen for even a second. The rage, the desperation, the disappointment of having lost the opportunity to kill the Judge - everything was just there in his voice, in his face and in his whole body. I felt for him in every scene - especially at the ending. I already knew from reading so much about Sweeney Todd before watching it that the Beggar woman was his wife and at the end when she was in his shop and he came in with his razor I immediately knew what was going to happen and I just muttered underneath my breath, "Oh my god, oh my god - don't do it!" And then, when he realized that he killed his wife I was near to tears. It is so tragic and ironic that he killed her after wanting nothing else than to avenge her... I really, really hope that Johnny Depp gets the Oscar this year (after being robbed of it for his role as Captain Jack Sparrow). He deserves it so much for this tragic and sad character he brought to life.
Helena Bonham Carter was also perfect in this role. I loved her voice - especially in "The Little Priest". Her vision about life at the sea was also too funny!
Ed Sanders was so adorable! I love him and I hope we'll see more of him in the next few years! I wanted to hug him and hold him when he sang about protecting Mrs. Lovett in "Not while I'm around". His performance was great!
And not to forget - Mr. Alan Rickman! God, there are no words to describe how much I love his voice! Not only when he sings (which he does very, very well) but also when he just talks. He has such a deep, sultry voice! I loved the scene where he and Johnny Depp sang "Pretty Women". Their voices sounded perfect together and the whole scene was thrilling - everyone was just waiting for Sweeney to slit his throat and the Judge just sat there not knowing what was coming - and then of course Anthony burst in and I didn't know if I should sigh in relief or be just as mad as Sweeney became after that.
The make-up and the cinematography were brilliant. I think everyone behind the scenes did an amazing job just as all the actors. Tim Burton really does know how to make dark movies with such black humour it leaves you cringing sometimes.
All in all I can only say that this is now my absolute favourite movie of all time! I was never overwhelmed this much before and I think a big part of the reason for that is that it's a musical! I pity everyone who doesn't watch this absolutely amazing, astonishing movie because it's a musical. It is so much more - believe me!
Not as good as the first one, but...
Well, first I have to say, that I went into this movie with high expectations, but also with a certain trepidation, because after seeing the first film I wasn't sure if there's even a chance that the second one could be as brilliant as the first one.
That fear seemed to come true at the beginning of the movie. It was too fast paced and the beginning in Port Royal could have been a bit longer. It got better after that, even though I've heard from other people that they think that the entire movie is ridiculous, because everyone is always searching for someone or something. But I really don't mind that, because in my eyes the second part of the trilogy is mainly one big journey which leads us to the events in the third part.
The humour was again very good - there was a lot of slap-stick and Jack once again stole the show with his cunningness and manipulations while trying to save his soul.
At the end there was one moment in which I was completely shocked - and it wasn't Jack being swallowed by the Kraken or Barbossas return. It was the scene in which Jack leaves his Black Pearl behind to save himself, while the others are still fighting. It wasn't the fact that he left the others to fight his battle (it's not like he hasn't done that before) but I just couldn't believe it that he would leave his beloved Pearl behind. That's why I held my breath until he came back to defend his ship.
The visual effects in that scene are simply brilliant. ILM have really outdone themselves and it's amazing to watch the fight between the Pearl and the Kraken at the end.
Also, I really, really love the soundtrack! I already adored the first one, which fitted the lighter atmosphere in the first movie perfectly, and now I'm completely awestruck by this one! I especially love the theme for the Kraken and Davy Jones.
All in all, it is a perfect (except for the beginning) second part of an excellent trilogy.