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a powerful coming-of-age story complete with strong writing, bold direction, and great performances from seasoned actors and new talent
I am always intrigued by films where the writer decides to tell a story from the perspective of a young kid. The decision is always a bold one, as you know you are creating possible complications with casting and the maturity and comprehension level of the young actors that will be playing your major roles. Even more bold is writing a story like this for a film that the writer will also be directing. This is not a writer creating an interesting story that has all the possible complications pushed off on someone else. It is a writer that knows all of this work will be on their shoulders.
In Jeff Nichols new film Mud, he does just that. Nichols writes a modern day Huckleberry Finn adventure following two young boys, Ellis (Tye Sheridan) and Neckbone (Jacob Lofland), who grow a partnership with a homeless runaway named Mud (Matthew McConaughey) that they meet on an uninhabited island. What begins as an agreement to help Mud in exchange for the right to keep a boat that the three have found on the island, the boys quickly form a friendship with the man and help him without necessity of a grand reward.
Mud's mission is simple. He wants to meet up with a former love interest, Juniper (Reese Witherspoon), but can't risk the reunion in public. Mud has people searching for him for actions in his past, and if he is ever going to meet up with Juniper again, he will need to create a plan with her that Ellis and Neck can help him carry out. Willing to be a part of the adventure, we quickly see the innocence and romanticism of the 14 year old Ellis, who wants to help the Mud and Juniper because they love each other.
Part of this romanticism is from his youth, but part of it seems to be that he wants to believe in love as his parents have recently separated and he has a love interest of his own in the form of a high school junior. With a mix of confusion about love, learning experiences about the hardships of relationships, and a coming of age story of Ellis as a man in both sexual interest and confidence and courage to stand up for himself, Mud becomes a fascinating tale of a young boy putting all his belief in the relationship of a homeless man on an island and the woman he loves that may or may not be waiting for him in the nearby town.
Jeff Nichols writing and directing style is evident once again in Mud. If you have seen either of his previous works, Shotgun Stories or Take Shelter, you know Nichols keeps a slower pace in his films, allowing for characters to become more realized and giving the audience a chance to connect with them. This also allows for Nichols' actors to give strong performances, which we see once again in this new film. The dashing McConaughey is hidden under dirt, bad teeth, and greasy hair, but it is his strong commitment to the character that makes us forget that this is one of the sexier actors working in film. From minute one, I believed McConaughey's portrayal of the strange and morally complicated drifter completely, as he was able to create a realistic and intriguing character that was the backbone of the film. Having a slow pace demands a strong grouping of actors, specifically the leads. If McConaughey's performance had been anything less, the movie would have suffered greatly for it, but with the commitment and work of the often times mocked actor, Mud is consistently entertaining and never dragged for me in the two hour ten minute runtime.
To read the rest of the review (IMDb form too short) visit: http://custodianfilmcritic.com/mud/
The Spectacular Now (2013)
a beautiful, genre-defining, genuine feature that may change the face of high school films forever
It is really interesting to look at the history of high school movies in cinema. The 80s and early 90s gave us Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Dazed and Confused,Ferris Bueller's Day Off and the John Hughes classics like 16 Candles and The Breakfast Club; films that dove into the sexuality, partying, and innocence of high school. The late 90s and early 2000s brought on a wave of high school rom/com films like 10 Things I Hate About You,Clueless, American Pie, Drive Me Crazy, Can't Hardly Wait, and She's All That, comedies that focused on the romance aspects of high school,specifically dating and prom. The later 2000s changed again with Napoleon Dynamite, Juno, Superbad, Easy A, and Mean Girls, films that showed a much quirkier comedy side of high school and focused more on popularity and the fears and consequences of bullying.
And with the past few years that have gone by, I feel as if the design of a good high school film has once again shifted. Sure, we still see films like Prom, Project X, and 21 Jump Street that fit past high school forms, but I feel the focus on a lot of new films seems to be moving towards an authentic representation of the high school experience. While the crazy parties, overly sexualized youths, and Cinderella-esque romance stories interested audiences for years, filmmakers seem to be moving in a direction of creating real, genuine characters for the audience to fall in love with. We saw this last year with The Perks of Being a Wallflower, a film that is full of quirk, romance, and youth drama, but created honest characters and a very realistic story.
Even more authentic than The Perks of Being a Wallflower (to the point that Perks looks hokey) comes James Ponsoldt's (Off the Black, Smashed) third feature film, The Spectacular Now. The film follows the life of Sutter (Miles Teller), a very popular and loved member of a high school senior class that struggles with the reality of his high school years coming to an end. While Sutter may be the life of the party and a charismatic and fun person to be around, most of his classmates see him as nothing more than a out-going buddy at social events that isn't going anywhere in life. When his girlfriend Cassidy (Brie Larson) breaks it off with him, Sutter turns to a night of drinking that ends with him passed out on the grass.
Enter Aimee (Shailene Woodley), who wakes Sutter up on her front lawn on her way to delivering papers on her mother's paper route. Sutter joins Aimee on the news delivery ride and finds that she is incredibly easy to get along with and could be someone he might have a good time hanging out with. He invites Aimee to a party later that day and before you know it, a relationship is formed. Full of high school innocence and a strong chemistry, Sutter and Aimee make a great couple that is easy for the audience to quickly fall in love with.
But Sutter's life is consistently eating away at him. Constantly drinking booze, whether it be at school or on the job (alcoholism being nothing foreign to a James Ponsoldt film) and wishing to meet his father that had separated with his mother when he was young, Sutter's relationship with Aimee is the one thing that makes him happy day to day. Even when his friend questions why he would be dating her, Sutter knows that there is a connection with Aimee that keeps him loving life and living in the moment; away from the oncoming train of graduation. But is the relationship the couple has strong enough to keep Sutter away from his internal struggles and is Sutter willing to let Aimee come along for the ride? To read more (IMDb form too short) visit: http://custodianfilmcritic.com/the-spectacular-now/
Game of Thrones (2011)
Walk of Punishment
With the introductory episodes out of the way, and nearly all major narratives firmly established, this week we were treated to an especially raucous, brutally violent, and at times laugh-out-loud funny installment of a show that is already known for its violence and dark humor.
"Walk of Punishment," which could easily describe most of the events of books three and four in one succinct phrase, kicked things into high gear with our first big jaw-dropping moment, as well as not one, but two near rapes. It's overall a sprawling, but enjoyable episode which keeps the momentum going that was built in the previous two entries for the most part, aside from a few scenes in King's Landing that dragged mostly due to lack of real conflict at the moment.
So looks like I was wrong last week in saying we had met all the characters, when there was still Edmure and The Blackfish to be seen. How could I forget Blackfish after his two-season absence? And what better way to introduce such a beloved character from the books. Pushing aside Edmure after he fails to light the floating funeral pyre three times, Brynden "Blackfish" Tully makes short work of the matter when he fires a flaming arrow directly into the boat as it drifts into the distance, without even a glance back to see if it hits; the Medieval version of walking away from an explosion. Obviously, this is a man you want on your side. As we see in the meeting between Robb and Blackfish, he is a much more respected figure than Edmure, Robb's uncle, despite his status as the black sheep of the fish-sigiled family (thus the nickname, in case it wasn't clear). Later, Catelyn and Blackfish discuss the recently deceased Hoster Tully, whom she cries over. It's harder to connect emotionally to the death of someone we've never seen on screen or interact with Cat before, but when it becomes obvious that she's grieving more for the situation that she's put her own children into by leaving them the way her father left her, it's a much more gripping and heartbreaking scene.
Meanwhile, back in King's Landing, the small council has gathered to discuss affairs of state, beginning with a humorous chair shuffling scene, depicting more of Tyrion's satirical wit to the exasperation of the no-nonsense Tywin. And with the shuffling of the chairs so comes the shuffling of titles; Littlefinger is off to woo the widowed Lysa Arryn (Catelyn's not-quite-all-there sister) leaving Tyrion to take charge of the royal coffers. A bit of a demotion from Hand of the King, but at least he still has power, and after the emotionally crippling talk with his father in the first episode, it's a sugar-coated bitter pill. Tyrion also gives us the funniest scene so far this season when he decides to reward his faithful squire, Pod, for saving his life in the Battle of Blackwater Bay. Being that it's Tyrion, naturally Pod is rewarded with three working girls, which fills Game of Thrones' weekly nudity quota. However, when Pod returns from the brothel and lays the gold to pay the girls on his desk, Tyrion and Bronn are hilariously in stunned awe, and demand to know the details of Pod's first real and, by all imagination, miraculous conquest.
In a bit of fun for readers of the books, we're treated to a boisterous rendition of 'The Bear and the Maiden Fair' by Jaime and Brienne's captors, while the odd couple are literally bound to each other. In yet another smart move by the show runners, the list of important names has been shaved in an attempt to be kind to viewer's brains, but readers may be a little miffed at the absence of Vargo Hoat and his Bloody Mummers, when their appearance is so memorable. At least now that they're in the same dangerous boat, Jaime seems to be opening up to the female knight in a small way, when he gives her genuine advice on what to do when the captors rape her. Uh baby steps?
To read the rest (IMDb form too short) visit: custodianfilmcritic.com/game-of-thrones-3-3-walk-of-punishment/
Dark Wings, Dark Words
Well it may have taken two episodes, but we've finally been reunited with the entire cast, and then some. Hopefully everyone's taking notes; it's going to get complicated.
The title of this week's chapter: "Dark Wings, Dark Words," is most likely an allusion to messages regarding a family death and the destruction of a familial home, received by Robb Stark early in the episode, but it aptly describes many of the events that befall the rest of the players in the game of thrones. While the previous installment seemed to have a much brighter tone, one of mostly triumphant returns, it's easy to see why certain characters' stories were saved for this somewhat grim episode full of torture, abductions, and the oh so punchable Joffrey (another form of torture). Game of Thrones as a series presents us with a world that is rarely black and white. Good people do bad things, and bad things happen to good people; in this way, the show has its emotional ups and downs, but twice as many downs. We're back to form here in an episode that mirrors the previous, only slightly gloomier.
As we're reacquainted with Bran in the first scene, it becomes immediately apparent as he's walking and drawing his bow, this is a dream. In a poignant throwback to the series premiere, the young Stark boy is instructed by his older brothers on how to aim and fire his arrow, followed by the ethereal, disembodied voice of Ned, echoing his reassurance after Bran misses his mark. The familiar three-eyed raven he aimed for flies off, and Jojen Reed (played by Thomas Brodie-Sangster, recognizable to any Love Actually fans . guilty) reveals himself, explaining the nature of his dreams to an understandably confused Bran. Finally, it seems viewers are going to gain insight into the frequent and cryptic dream sequences that haunt Bran.
Later, Catelyn receives a one-two punch of bad news from her son Robb: her father has died, and Winterfell has been sacked, leaving her two youngest boy's whereabouts unknown. Dark words indeed. While this scene is clearly meant to be devastating: a daughter mourning her father, a mother beside herself with worry for her children, and a young king grappling with meting justice to his own mother, it comes across as nearly impenetrable to any who aren't paying extremely close attention, or have read the books. It's a shame that this scene lacks the emotional punch it deserves due to over-complication, and weak explanation.
To read the rest (IMDb form too short) visit: http://custodianfilmcritic.com/game-of-thrones- 3-2-dark-wings-dark-words/
Evil Dead (2013)
not nearly perfect, but an example of how simplicity can go a long way in horror film
Horror film has been something of a disappointment for me over the last few years. With favorite horror films generally being the ones that play on the conventions of the genre such as Drag Me to Hell or Cabin in the Woods, or the horror/comedies like Shaun of the Dead, I can't remember the last time I saw a real good horror film. Which is why I was so excited to see Evil Dead.
A remake of the 1981 cult classic that was directed by Sam Raimi, Evil Dead was given the tagline "The most terrifying film you will ever experience" by its marketing department. Unfortunately, Evil Dead is not quite that good, but it does give us plenty of thrills, chills, and buckets of blood to make any horror fan happy.
The story is a very simple one: five young adults travel to a secluded cabin in the middle of the woods where evil and terrible things start to happen. Changing up the original 1981 story a bit, Evil Dead justifies the group being there because one of the girls, Mia (Jane Levy), is trying to give up a drug addiction cold turkey. The secluded cabin will provide a place for the group to keep Mia away from any outside influence and keep her clean. But everything changes when the group discovers that some sort of ritual had been performed in the basement of the cabin and a strange book, which is covered in a black bag and held closed with barbed wire, is found. And whenever you have the nerdy dude included in your horror story, which we do with one of our characters named Eric, you know he can't help himself but read anything he finds. Nerd.
So Eric the Nerd opens up the demonic looking book to discover demonic pictures and demonic writing. Written in blood are warnings about not messing with the book, but Eric reads on. Even when the book says not to read, say, or think the passage that is written, Eric grabs a paper and pencil to scribble out the words that have been crossed out and reads what is written. Let this be a lesson to you kids: reading is bad for you.
By reading the passage, Eric has released an evil into the forest that surrounds the cabin. And the evil attaches itself to the most vulnerable target: Detox Mia. And now that the evil is out, all hell breaks lose (there is really not a better way to put that). You better get ready to cringe and watch Evil Dead through your fingers. This film is not afraid to show disgusting and gruesome images. It. Is. Brutal.
Where the movie succeeds so well is in these horrific moments. A horror film that provides just that: horror. The film isn't dressed up with being overly sexualized or beating around the violence. When the evil hits, it hits hard, and it doesn't let up until the credits are rolling. There is blood, vomit, more blood, amputations, blood, every sharp thing in the cabin being used as a weapon, and then another hundred gallons of blood. When the amount of blood being slashed around almost meets laughable levels, you know you got something special.
To read the rest of the review (IMDb form too short) visit: http://custodianfilmcritic.com/evil- dead/
Utter disappointment to end a terrible second half
I think a friend on Facebook may have said it best today: "I think the only reason I continue to watch (The Walking Dead) is so I can refute claims that it's worthwhile." I couldn't have said it better myself. I have never watched a show where a lead character dying or a series of people being gunned down meant absolutely nothing to me. And I can't even put my finger on it anymore. Is it bad pacing? Yes. Is it poorly adapted? Yes. But there is something else that makes me feel so apathetic when watching The Walking Dead. What was once a show I looked forward to, a season has once again ended with me feeling like this.
So, yes, Andrea dies. She is bit by the Woodbury dweeb after he was gutted by The Governor, who has lost any kind of sanity that he may have once had. But as she sits bleeding out and turning into a zombie, I really felt nothing. And I was trying to figure out why. One factor was that I really started to not care for her character as the series went on. Dating back as far as season two when she almost snipers Darryl down, Andrea always came off as the girl that acted like she had it all together when she really couldn't handle anything. She acts like she is the badass independent woman, but then she stays behind in Woodbury with The Governor for sexy times instead of leaving with her loyal friend Michonne, who had saved her from sickness and walkers int he winter between seasons two and three. Then she had multiple chances to kill The Governor and passed on all those moments. She even went to the prison for a visit and decided to turn back and stay in Woodbury.
And I know what you Walking Dead lovers are thinking."Tim, she wanted to save everyone. She didn't want anyone to get hurt." I hear your argument. I understand what you are trying to say. Andrea said it as she was dying. But why? Why did she need to save everyone? Why did she stick around in Woodbury for so long when all signs pointed to trouble? Why did she feel like she had to care for these people that mean nothing to her? People that she literally has no relationship with other than the fact that they are neighbors. It really didn't make sense to me that she had such an allegiance to these people that have done nothing for her. Isn't this the same woman who didn't want to bring an injured boy into the group on the farm? Her sudden change to want to save everyone seems stupid and I could have cared less if she died at the point she did. I mean, she deserved it. Kill or be killed. Top that off with the fact she couldn't hold off the dweeb in zombie form when she had taken out three zombies that caught her by surprise in the middle of the woods and it equals the ultimate you deserved to die.
On other fronts, The Governor and his Woodbury army drove right into the prison camp with the best battle tactic in mind: just run in and try to kill everyone. It was crazy when that didn't pan out. "Hey Gov. Do you think maybe we should form a plan here? It looks like the group is hiding on us. Maybe just running in guns ablaze isn't the best plan" said no one in the group. "They killed eight of our people! Let's run in like f****** idiots and hope that they are all just sitting around not prepared to fight us when a war has been imminent for weeks!" screams The Governor. And wouldn't you know it, The Governor's plan didn't work. So when his army of normal citizens bails and starts trekking it back to Woodbury, The Governor has the obvious response: cut off the truck and gun down everyone on his side. Duh. And the obvious reaction by all of these people that are, remember, armed themselves is to run and not draw on the pirate leader that has turned on them. OK, maybe they were just super scared and instinct said run, but how does Martinez or Fat Lenny Kravitz not stop the massacre? Martinez has shown that he does have a decent side to him when he talked with Darryl earlier this season, and the look on Fat Lenny Kravitz's face was all "I want to get away I want to fly away." I can't believe they just get int he car and drive away with The Gov.
To read the rest of the recap/review (IMDb form too short) visit: custodianfilmcritic.com/the-walking-dead-3-16-welcome-to-the-tombs/
Game of Thrones: Valar Dohaeris (2013)
Spring is becoming my favorite time of year, because with it comes (insert winter-related clichéd pun). Now that I've gotten that out of the way, let's move on.
Before I begin, for full disclosure, I am an avid fan of the book series, so my views and opinions on the show are somewhat biased. As such, it's impossible not to notice when major events happen differently from the books I am a junkie for, but it's part of the reason an adaptation like this is interesting to watch.
The difficulty of adapting these novels into one-hour television entrées is readily apparent. The lack of any sort of episodic nature, central plot, or main protagonist, as well as a list of characters and locales a mile long makes even recapping the events of the episode an endeavor. But as the show enters the third season, it is apparent that the producers have more than hit their stride, having a clear understanding of when to hold back, and how to focus an episode not around every character, but themes and ideas. With the failure of Stannis' major assault of King's Landing in the explosive Battle of Blackwater Bay, the players have mostly been scattered, routed, or are taking breathers after a close shave. And it's this lull in the action that gives the producers perfect opportunity to hint at the season's narrative arcs, and by all indications it's going to be leagues beyond the thoroughly enjoyable yet oftentimes unmemorable season two.
The premiere, wonderfully titled "Valar Dohaeris" as a response to the season two finale, "Valar Morghulis" (readers will know what this means), begins with an atypical cold open (get it?) several hours from where we were left with the previous finale, in which the initial appearance of the shambling white walker army petrifies the admitted cowardly Samwell Tarly. Luckily, with the start of the premiere, he has found his feet and somehow escaped from the horrors surrounding him. Before he can catch his breath however, he's set upon by one of the frosty corpses brandishing an axe, only to be saved moments before his would-be beheading by an impeccably timed dire wolf lunge, and a torch from the small group of Night's Watch survivors. Although a glimpse of the battle at the Fist of the First Men (the mountaintop where the rangers made camp) would have been greatly preferable, the scene is tense, and provides just enough action to get the blood pumping before the ever-changing opening credits.
Meanwhile still north of the wall, Jon Snow finally reaches the massive wildling camp, under watch of the way too clean and pretty looking Ygrite (seriously, where's the dirt? You live in a hut), home of the mythical giants and equally mythical Mance Rayder, "the King Beyond the Wall." In meeting Mance, Jon is treated to another look into a world of alien freedom where, although given respect, no man is beholden to a lord.
To read the rest of the recap/review (IMDb form too short) visit: http://custodianfilmcritic.com/game-of-thrones-3-1-valar-dohaeris/
Olympus Has Fallen (2013)
Fun....but ridiculouly ridiculous...
WARNING: OLYMPUS HAS FALLEN IS MEANT FOR BAD ASSES. THEREFORE, THIS REVIEW (OBVIOUSLY) CONTAINS LANGUAGE.
In the history of cinema, there have been plenty of films that demand that we stretch the realism of our real world. From sic-fi films such as Independence Day to Die Hard films that have one man taking out an incredible threat on his own, films love to stretch reality as far as they can. The new film Olympus Has Fallen may have stretched it the farthest I have seen in a very, very long time.
Starring Gerard Butler, Aaron Eckhart, Angela Bassett, and Morgan Freeman, Olympus Has Fallen tells the story of a secret service agent (who had previously been on duty to protract the President, but was transferred after an accident in which the First Lady was killed) who must take out an entire North Korean terrorist cell that has successfully invaded the White House. That's right. The White House was successfully breached and the President has been taken hostage.
But hold on to your dicks, because s*** talking agent Mike Banning (Butler) is here to save the god damn day. With nothing but instincts, a mean set of fighting skills, and a determination we only see from the real heroes like Rambo and John McClane, Banning is on a two-part mission: save the President and kill the son of a b**** that attacked the country he loves. Get out your sleeveless American flag t-shirts for this one, folks. Because f*** sleeves. Immense patriotism will be more than enough to keep you warm in any theater showing Olympus Has Fallen.
So how did these a-holes take over the White House? I mean, this is the most secure building in the world. How could these guys get in? Well, simple. First they flew a giant air bomber right through restricted airspace, shooting down a few fighter jets trying to tell them to back off, and took out the military personnel on the roof of the White House. Simple. Then they bombed the gate surrounding the White House and drove in giant dump trucks heavily equipped with machine guns. All they needed was for every secret service member to come running unprotected out the front doors of the White House, which, obviously, they do. Then they had their leader ready on the inside, teamed up with a traitor secret service agent, so they can kidnap the President. Duh. Piece of cake. And all they had to do was have everything go quickly and perfectly without military interference. I'm honestly surprised this hasn't already happened in real life. It looks so simple.
To read the rest of the review (IMDb form too short) visit: http://custodianfilmcritic.com/olympus-has-fallen/
Merle's late redemption
THE-WALKING-DEAD It's really hard to start discussing an episode that is parts solid and awful. "This Sorrowful Life" had its highs, its very low lows, and plenty of "ugh" moments that make it hard for me to say whether I'd ever be willing to watch this episode ever again. I suppose that is the way almost every episode in the second half of season three has been, but this is probably the best example, as the highs hit almost redeemed the episode but not quite.
"This Sorrowful Life" is basically Merle's episode. His big goodbye. So, you can look at it two ways: you hated Merle all along and you were yelling "Good Riddance!" as Darryl kabobed his brothers head or you were starting to like Merle and felt like there was a redemption to be had, which we sort of see in this episode. I believe this factor will impact how you feel about this episode.
If you felt the former (that Merle had to die (raise your hand if you are humming The Dixie Chicks song 'Goodbye Earl' right now)) than this episode was probably one of the worst ones of the season for you. As Merle ties up Michonne, walks her to a motel, almost kills her by setting off a car alarm, and drives her toward Woodbury, you are probably thinking that Merle is an absolutely awful character and no matter what he does, he won't make up for what he did. So when he releases Michonne and tries to take out The Governor, you most likely felt little emotion when Darryl cries after having to ice his hillbilly brother turned walker.
But if you are in the latter category (Atta boy Merle! Way to redeem yourself!) you probably thought the end of this episode was very emotional and that Merle went out in a courageous and bold fashion; trying to save his little brother who had a new family that wouldn't accept the one armed hick. Merle may not think deeply about his decisions when you give him a quick look, but deep down he knows what he is doing and does it in the most Merle way possible.
Personally, I am a little split. While I was tired of Merle walking around like a badass that didn't get along with anyone, he did try to redeem himself in the end and tried to save his baby brother. You have to respect any dude that goes out in a blaze of glory, bullets and fists flying, all to protect his family and kill a man that betrayed him. But in the end, I didn't feel the full impact of the moment. Merle's demise felt a bit rushed and the change towards redemption felt all too sudden.
To read the rest of the review (IMDb form too short) visit: custodianfilmcritic.com/the-walking-dead-3-15-this-sorrowful-life/
The Walking Dead: Prey (2013)
Another filler episode trying to hit a quota
This week's episode of The Walking Dead, titled "Prey," contained a zombie inferno, a fight above a pit of zombies, and a deadly game of hide and seek. And while these scenes were meant to bring the excitement up and keep the audience intrigue high, the fact remains the same. "Prey" is just another episode of season three of The Walking Dead that is helping to fill an episode quota.
I know I have been saying this a lot lately (because it is true), but let me help to explain in case you don't understand why I keep saying it. At the beginning of "Prey," Andrea is in Woodbury and is skeptical about The Governor's intentions. Worried, she decides she is going to try and escape back to the prison group. The only other storyline in the episode is Tyrese and his group teaming up with the generically named Martinez to go fetch some zombies from a pit the Woodbury gang created. Tyrese disagrees with the tactic, gets in a fight with his old buddy Pale-Face Wimp Widower, and the zombies are later torched after the group has left by a disguised figure (my guess is Morgan). The sub-plot of the episode takes up about ten to twelve minutes of screen time. The other bulk is Andrea.
That is important. We are talking about over a half hour of screen time being the Andrea storyline of her trying to get away from Woodbury and back to the prison. After the point that The Dweeb tells Andrea about The Plantation Pirate's plan to capture Michonne and Andrea sees the torture seat Captain Phillip Sparrow has set up, she wants out. We have hit about the twelve minute mark of the episode when all of her escape starts to take place. First, she must convince Tyrese not to shoot her as she runs away. Then she has to hide in the woods from a Woodbury truck and fight off a surprise walker attack. Then she must outrun The Govclops's truck as he chases her down in a field. Then she has to play hide and seek in an abandoned factory and use a stairwell of walkers to escape. Then she continues to march all the way to the prison, where she can see Rick keeping an eye out in a watch tower. But after all of that, she starts to wave and is tackled by Captain Govclops before Rick can see her. She is taken back to Woodbury where The Governor straps her into the torture chair.
So basically the entire episode starts in Woodbury with Andrea wanting to leave and The Governor wanting her to stay and it ends with Andrea being held captive in Woodbury by The Governor. The incredibly long sequences running down a street, being chased in a field, and playing hide and seek in a warehouse all meant nothing. They were useless. They did nothing but waste our time and give a round-about way of getting Andrea in that chair.
To read the rest of the review (IMDb form too short) visit: http://custodianfilmcritic.com/the-walking-dead-3-14-prey/