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Bates Motel (2013)
A somewhat decent, if confused prequel pilot to a film that didn't necessarily need a further back story
"A boy's best friend is his mother."
When I first saw that A&E would be making a prequel series to Psycho, I had my doubts. First off, Psycho is one of my all-time personal favorites and I hated all the sequels. Secondly, A&E isn't exactly known for high-quality television shows (looking at you, Duck Dynasty). And I think because of my low expectations, I enjoyed it more than I probably should have.
The episode opens on Norman (Freddie Highmore) finding his father dead and he and his mom, Norma (played by Vera Farmiga) move into the infamous Psycho house with the Bates Motel right down the walkway. One thing that really bugged me is that I didn't believe that Norman would end up being a "psycho", due to weak acting from Highmore. Farmiga, on the other hand, does an excellent job with what she's given and you really believe she cares about the safety of her son. But at the same time, she can be scary and menacing.
The writing for the pilot was pretty weak. I felt myself cringing a lot during the episode, due to some truly horrendous dialog's and some pretty ridiculous situations (the bathroom scene comes to mind). Another weak thing with the episode was the dull and unimaginative cinematography, but to be fair, most cable television shows have sub-par cinematography. Maybe I just expected more from a Psycho prequel show.
One thing that really shocked me with the episode was the acts of violence in this episode. Going in to this show, I expected this to have bland, cable TV violence. But surprisingly, there was plenty of blood in this. Producers Carlton Cuse (Lost) and Kerry Ehrin (Friday Night Lights) quickly get the audience's blood puming by having the first half of the episode playing out like your typical teen drama show, but then throw you for a loop and feature a scene which is one of the more disturbing scenes I've seen in a television show in a while.
After the rather abrupt and confusing ending to the episode, I thought over what I had just watched, and I'm having a hard deciding whether I enjoyed it or not. Some of the acting was great (Farmia), while others were pretty bad (Highmore). Add to that some dreadful and awkward dialog's, and also some sub-par cinematography. It does have a massive tonal shift in the middle of the episode (which actually worked), but could have turned some viewers off. So overall, I think the infamous Bates Motel should have been kept close, but I'll keep an open mind while watching the next couple of episodes.
5.5 out of 10
The Bourne Legacy (2012)
Enjoyable, But Disappointing As Well
OK so I saw Bourne Legacy earlier today and I'll admit, I was disappointed. It's easily the worst of the series. It wasn't bad, there were actually some pretty tense parts in the movie, but there were some things that really bothered me as well.
A plus about the movie is the action (even though there isn't much of it). I thought the lab shooting scene was very tense for a PG-13 film and got me interested in the movie again because before that, the movie was very slow. The chase at the end was pretty good as well. The acting is pretty good as well.
Now something that really bother me was the plot. It felt like after a 2 hour movie, nothing was accomplished. The film feels unfinished because of this. As I said earlier, the film is very slow paced, especially the first hour. And with there only being three maybe four action scenes in the whole movie, you really got bored while waiting for the action to start up again. Gilroy doesn't develop any of the characters at all, even though the movie hints at Cross' origin, most likely setting up a plot point for the sequel.
Even though it sounds like I hate the film, I actually enjoyed it, just nowhere near as much as I wanted too, making it a disappointment for me.
The Devil Inside (2012)
Violent, pointless film with a very lazy ending
After seeing the red band trailer for this film, I expected a scary, brutal exorcism film. I was hoping that they didn't show the best parts of the film in the red band trailer. But they did. For the most part, this film is very boring and nothing interesting happens. It plays out like every other found footage film of the last few years. You would expect an R rated horror film to at least be somewhat scary, but I don't remember being scared at all during the entire film. The story goes nowhere you want it to and leaves plots points unanswered. The worst though is the ending of this film. The film has one of the most abrupt, anticlimactic endings I have seen in a while.
2.5 out of 10