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This is IT! Best episode so far (Spoilers)
I was blown away by Thomas Dekker in this episode. His performance was perfect-John was completely aware and in control of everyone, but he still can cry in the end. He figured out about Riley and Jesse all on his own, which to me showed exactly how far his character has developed. He's not just a skinny confused kid reacting to his enemies, which was awesome. His tears at the end were heartbreaking and promising too. He's be a leader, but he'll also be human. "We rise or fall on your shoulders" says Derek, even as the followers in the future watch for John Connor to move beyond just being The Savior.
The confrontations between the "metal" and the "skins" on the sub showed just how much hatred and violence will always be perpetuated between humans and machines when power and lives are at stake. The metal Terminator gives the answer of "No" to the question of "Will you join us?" (which wasn't entirely clear about who "they" entailed). The killing of both humans and machines showed a lack of both groups and their ability to coexist peacefully. I wondered if Dietze hadn't opened that box if the answer would have been yes. I also wonder-why a box? Did they know or count on the Pandoric tendency to open boxes marked forbidden?
When Jesse states that "You didn't want to be John Baum: you wanted to be John Connor" when he tells her that he regrets not helping Riley when she needed him most, John says "That's just the thing, isn't it? I am John Connor." He would've had to tell Riley the truth and to do that he would've had to give up his semblance of normalcy, which he wasn't yet ready to do. He shows how much every choice he makes shapes the man is already becoming.
When John tells Jesse that he wouldn't have killed or banished Cameron if the plan had succeeded, I don't know if I like his answer for two reasons. One, that means that the future is far too fixed already and all this messing about with time will result in nothing, which seems to indicate more about time travel in general for the show. If some things aren't changeable, then why still try? The attempts shows a lot of futility about human nature and fate. And two, the following scene with Cameron and Jesse is made even more chilling. "If telling Cameron is the same as telling John, then what the hell are we fighting for?" is the best question that Jesse asks. Really, it's very telling about John and Cameron's relationship in the future.
Jesse's character is really unlikeable and ruthless, but I did appreciate her more after the bit about her miscarriage and her final talk with Derek. When he confronts her about Riley's murder, he's condemning her for her crime. She rallies with her cry of "You have no idea what they took from us" to which he replies "You aren't my Jesse. You never were." I feel for her more after she has to run away terrified as the man she loves (likely) kills her.
Character development: Awesome. Performances: Nuanced and Emotion-filled. Show: Finally in its stride and thriving.
I fully enjoyed the pilot episode of Castle. Nathan and Stana have great chemistry, with him providing a ton of comedy as the crime fiction author to her straight laced cop. Castle is an engaging hero with a surprising amount of support from the characters around him, especially with his daughter and his mother.
I find the premise has tons of promise as the series progresses, both with the types of plots that can come from Castle's novels and with his romantic interests. The idea that a series of murders can be copied into real life seems a bit trite, but the execution was far better than I expected. The fact that Castle can keep up with Detective Beckett as far as crime scene analysis and motives is smart, but also a great source of comedy. Beckett's apparent infatuation with Castle's book series not only suggest that she's a potential love interest, but hints at a lot of character subtlety that has yet to come.
If crime drama crosses with romantic comedy sounds at all for you, then you should definitely watch and support Castle.
A Great Film, Extremely Well Adapted!
I just got back from a midnight premiere, and the movie blew me away. I'm an avid book lover and college lit major and VERY hard to impress as far as book to screen adaptations go. I have NO complaints! (Take that mom and best friend!) Kristen and Rob are the perfect Edward and Bella. They were captivating from start to finish. I sat back in my seat and listened to my whole theater erupt in laughs, gasps, sighs and jumps at all the right places. Granted most of us in there were young women, but the movie just plain rocked that way. It sucks you in and tells the story just right. Even my friend who hadn't read the books was just as enthralled as the majority of us fan girls.
The humor was Twilight's greatest asset. The baseball game was amazing and the mirror fight scene was tense. I enjoyed the music, the non-overdone visual effects, the adherence to all major plot points and characters and the ending. The ending was pretty much the best. I walked out really salivating to see the next 3 on screen, just like that.
If you give Twilight a shot, you shouldn't be disappointed. It's that good.
Pushing Daisies (2007)
Hilariously Entertaining, Burtonesque Comedy
I was somewhat skeptical to begin with. After all, the premise is even admittedly kooky in the eyes of the creators. I decided to watch anyway, as the writer's strike had killed all the good TV the network execs didn't finish with. *Sigh*
I think Lee Pace is adorable and suitably the subtle mix of dorky and charismatic. I think he does a great job of making viewers care about his relationship with Chuck, who by the way, is also very funny in a vaguely Stepford way.
The cinematography is dreamy and Gothic, which only works because Tim Burton pioneered this very genre. Pushing Daisies somehow manages to be both charming as a 50s sitcom and dark as a postmodern horror film. I think that what makes the show work. At times, the narration seems over the top or the recent victims a little too gory to look at, but somehow you just end up sitting back and enjoying the ride.
Kristin and Chi are very good in their supporting roles, always managing to be funny and likable despite their characters' hangups. As a student of Japanese, the second episode's bit about the Dandy Lion SX was particularly entertaining. The accents were iffy, but the delivery made all the difference. "Please don't touch, no smudge desu!" is a joke for the select few who know what Jinglish is.
Pushing Daisies is a really unique find, at least for me. I think the characters are likable and funny, but not too much over the top. The stories are original, at least in comparison to the vast majority of regular comedy/drama network fare. I love the timing most of all. Comedic and otherwise. I think most viewers will find it a pleasant surprise, if they haven't already.
Babylon 5: The Lost Tales (2007)
Babylon has LOST its charm
The Lost Tales could never have really lived up to fan expectation. Two major actors have since passed on and no network or studio would be intelligent enough to fund such a scifi fan favorite.
Understandably, the effects and budget were minimal. However, the writing was also minimalist. Not a good thing. It felt as if the whole idea could have been better produced, directed and written by the fans. It's a shame that JMS and company couldn't have showcased their obvious talent better.
I was a huge fan of B5 and now am NOT of Lost Tales. There was just so much that could have been done better. I can't recommend this one to any fan of the franchise.
Mansfield Park (1999)
An Amazing Adaptation
Mansfield Park is not only a period film, but a film that highlights the modern (timeless) aspects of Jane Austen's novel.
Fanny Price is the main character, played marvelously by Frances O'Connor. She struggles to assert her individuality and to break out of her 'gilded cage', like the starling referenced in the movie. Her cousin, Edmund, (Jonny Lee Miller) is her closest friend and only ally in a household that treats her like a servant, instead of an equal member of the family. The 'action' begins in the movie when Mary and Henry Crawford arrive at Mansfield and change everything and everyone. The best part is noticing how and why, because some things are so subtle, it took many viewings and the commentary on the DVD to fully appreciate.
The movie right on, and couldn't have followed the book more closely, without compromising writer/director Patricia Rozema's attempts to include Jane Austen (not just her book) into the film, as well. The stories Fanny tells are actually from Austen's "early works and journals" and other bits from her other works were put in as well, that Austen fans can pick out and appreciate.
The movie has a modern feel to it, with underlying references to slavery and a deeper relationship between Fanny and Mary. The mood is fresh and though the story from a different time, it feels like it is new, which is why Austen is such a great writer and why this movie can be appreciated by anyone.