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Game of Thrones: Two Swords (2014)
A flying start
Season 4 starts with Tywin who presumably has nobody to challenge his control of the kingdom, we are then introduced to Jaime who is struggling to impose himself on his family following his absence, introduced to Prince Oberyn who is introduced looking for revenge on the Lannisters and catch up with the characters as they all begin their journey this season. Game of thrones is a slow burner of a series but the acting and scenery are so impressive that its easy to get lost in this world again. The standout cast member has to be Nikolaj Coaster Waldau who seems to improve with each season as his character Jaime goes through major changes in his role. Maise Williams continues to be great as Ayra where the character becomes brutalised by the conditions and situations she seems to deal with and the loss of two family members last season. The show will definitely have a few surprises this season and has started strongly once again, welcome back
Winter Soldier Review
Captain America 2 picks up with the title character (Chris Evans) a few months on from the hit film The Avengers. In this film we see him adapting to his role within Shield and going on missions for them as an operative. The methods of shield are still questioned by Steve who sees the operations as promoting fear over freedom. As he goes deeper he comes face to face with a company head (Robert Redford) and the plot unfolds from there, there is a sudden assassination attempt on Nick Fury (Samuel L Jackson) by a mysterious masked figure known as the winter soldier who has many of the same skills as Steve along with various other gunmen at his side. Steve teams up with fellow Shield agent Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and Falcon (Anthony Mackie) to bring him down with a few twists and turns along the way. The Winter Soldier is exciting,thrilling and unexpected in a lot of ways, bringing in a blend of both superhero and conspiracy thriller, a move which I didn't expect. It worked very well and was able to surprise me and offer a less predictable story line than some of the ones which have previously bogged down earlier marvel entries. The trademark fight scenes and big special effects are stunning as always and the cast seem to really be enjoying themselves as well. The winter soldier is popcorn fun at its best and is easily the best marvel entry to date so far.
Interesting yet messy
Touch tells the story of a father struggling with his mute son, and the loss of his wife, and even struggles to maintain custody of his son. In short he finds out his son has a gift from predicting certain events before they happen. The father then spends most of his time trying to understand what his son is getting at so he can help people. I struggled to understand 'Touch' at times I will admit, its very confusing and hard to follow, and I kept feeling as though Kiefer Sutherland wasn't really used enough, and I was never really gripped by any of the random story lines that pop up and then disappear. This premise was interesting but the execution is muddled and contrived and I keep thinking this could be better
Good but could have been better
Firefly is a series that focuses on a crew of very different people working together to run around the galaxy and go on various adventures usually related to stealing or just generally rebelling against the so called authority 'the alliance'. Firefly was cancelled after one series after low ratings but generally I don't why it was cancelled after so many other shows that are worse have been kept on the air. The whole thing has been referred to as a western in space but then again it is many other things too, a soap opera, possible social commentaries and occasional action. However I think its more soap opera than anything else, characters seem to rely on 'will they won't they' type plots and brother/sister, husband/wife plots that seem to drag out and really become dull after a while. The show isn't really thrilling on that level but it seems. All the characters are running away from something and its never really made clear why they are doing so it just convenient for the plot for that to be the case. The plot is very dialogue driven which I like, but after a while that becomes repetitive as they always seem to discuss the same subjects. For instance, there are squabblings between the Nathan fillion character and the Morena baccarin character that are so predictable its not even funny. Plus the doctor character is really boring and Summer Glau doesn't seem to be given much screen time even though she is the most interesting character in the show. Sounds harsh but there are some good things about it to, the series is just inconsistent treading of half good/half bad. The acting is excellent from all the cast and the sets are impressive, with all said it should have been better than it was.
True Blood: And When I Die (2011)
Season 4. What happened?
True Blood is a show which I love, the first 3 seasons are very entertaining and enjoyable. But the series finale of the fourth is really lacklustre and doesn't justify me hanging on waiting for some sort of a payoff. It didn't happen and there was an overwhelming sense of 'is that it?' There are so many problems with this series including the ridiculous amount of story lines. Alan Ball seems to have put so many ideas into the series that he really can execute them all in a satisfying way. There are so many pointless characters that are really hard to care about because their actions never have consequences everything is repeating. Sam find shape shifters, Sookie/Bill/Erice triangle, Jessica's angst, Tara's depression all these are things we have seen before. The only thing new was the witches and they were rushed because they already so many other story lines to cover. What we get is a very slow and utterly meaningless season which only continued to get worse as each episode passed. The villain was also very lacklustre and served to show how little threat there is too the lead characters. Bill is incredibly annoying in fact I think he is more of a villain now because all he does is get in the way and ruin people's lives and in the end he is in it for himself and that's all. Then there is Sookie who spent most of the season sleeping with Eric and taking advantage of both of them to meet her own needs and then at the end ditching them once she has what she wants. Eric who lost his memory most of the season and was mostly complaining about his past self who everyone enjoyed, I mean what were they thinking? That Eric was an evil and cold character in comparison to Bill who has blatantly continued to betray others for his own ends? But that is only some of the problems with this series is that all the characters are horrible people and all the characters you like eventually become incredibly underused and devalued by poor writing and acting. Someone needs to remind me that Alan Ball wrote American Beauty and Six Feet Under because there is really no excuse for this.
Predators is Robert Rodrigues's latest venture sold as a daring reboot of the predator franchise it really isn't but that is not the reason it is a bad film. If there was something the second one showed was that you couldn't really go far with the idea of Predator, the sequel starred Danny glover as his lethal weapon character and really wasn't that good. Now we have Predators which is makes the second seem like a masterpiece the film is so predictable and boring, the film never offers anything new and mixes together a horribly unlikeable lead character and largely annoying caricatures that you actually find yourself wishing the predator would kill them all. Not only that but the film blatantly copies scenes from the first which comes across as really pretentious and self indulgence on Rodriguez's part. In the end the film comes across as a rushed lazy attempt to make a fast buck which is really quite low
Machete is awful almost nothing in this film works at all and being a fan of the work of Robert Rodriguez made it even more disappointing. Where is there to start well the film seems to just cast people for absolutely no reason other than existing. All the performances are terrible I mean when I heard de niro was involved that made me cynical as the man has not made a good film in years. But I will start with the plot the film is basically a rip off of the Marv plot from sin city and the film desperado, a man's girlfriend dies and he goes on a murderous rampage against those involved with a few pointless subplots involved across the way he forms an alliance with agent Jessica Alba whose bad acting just gets worse and worse in every film I mean would you buy her as an FBI agent. Now just criticising her isn't fair because the acting is terrible but the ending by far is the most contrived and ridiculous thing ever captured on film at that point its clear that Rodriguez just isn't trying anymore and just produces a film where Machete kills a lot of people in graphic ways. A pointless waste of a film and seeing as there are sequels coming speaks volumes about the lack of quality present in movies today.
Fast Five (2011)
Dull and boring
The fast and the furious franchise has had five films now, the first one was essentially Point Break with cars, the second film was OK from what I remember, the third film was actually quite enjoyable and the fourth film was just weak. Now these films have always been a guilty pleasure for me, I love the chase scenes, I enjoy how the series embraces its mindless action proudly. But after the disaster that was the fourth I was done, but then the reviews were in and people raved how this one revived the lifeless franchise and how it was the best in the series so I went back for more. Once again I was let down where to I start with the problems, well for starters the characters, these characters are very weak and boring. Watching Vin Diesel is a snooze fest because he is unstoppable you know exactly what you are going to get, I remember when Diesel actually started as a really promising action star but now brings nothing to the table, he is so unconvincing in his role and the whole film suffers because of it. The Rock is actually really good and I kept wondering why he wasn't the lead he has so much more energy and excitement than Diesel. Then there is the couple Paul Walker and Jordana Brewster who are also very boring, there scenes are boring and they have no chemistry, its like soap opera brought in to what is supposed to be an action film. We then have the supporting who are also bland and Tyrese Gibson who well I'm not sure what he was supposed to be doing, comic relief I'm guessing but he just isn't funny. But these films are for entertainment not a solid story but the film fails to excite or entertain its just another weak and lazy instalment that only suggests they don't really have to make an effort for their audience at all if they are making money. I honestly don't why the critics recommended this, maybe they saw a lot of really bad films and this one was better than those ones. But the worrying thing is that this is considered as a revival then they will continue to make films like this that don't have to make any effort at all and people will still watch them, so really I only have myself to blame for sitting through this, they should have stopped this long ago
Lost in Translation (2003)
Bill Murray+Scarlett Johansson+Sofia Coppola= A winner
I had the pleasure of watching Lost in Translation 9 years after its release and I have to say its a very timeless piece. The film is one of those brief encounter films in which two people randomly meet and form a bond over the few days they are together. Bob is played well by Bill Murray who I think really shows his range as an actor, I have always associated Murray with films like Groundhog Day and Ghostbusters so I do believe he is a very talented actor. Scarlett Johansson stars as Charlotte which many argue is the part which resulted in her path to stardom, I personally think this is her best performance. This is also one of those rare cases were the setting is used to benefit the story many of the scenes involve a culture clash in which many customs are conflicted and how characters feel and adapt to these surroundings.My initial reaction was that this story has two people who seem very different and yet when they meet discover they have common ground and connected by their shared feelings. But this is a really good film and I would recommend it for the reason that it is simply a joy watching it.
an overrated rip off of 24 with sex and swearing
Homeland is a show about a CIA agent who suspects that a returning prisoner of war is secretly a terrorist. They are both played well by Claire Danes and Damien Lewis who both carry the viewers through the series. Unfortunately I think that this series may have worked better as a film because it is very dull. A huge part of this series is devoted to how Brody(Damien Lewis) integrates into everyday life with his family and with his newly found public attention and how Carrie (Claire Danes) tries to convince her superiors that Brody is a threat whilst also suffering from possible mental illnesses. Now Homeland is ridiculous like 24 was, it focuses on possible agency conspiracies like 24 does, it is also focused on a particular unit like 24 was, and deals with threats for both terrorists and the agencies like 24 did. But all that aside the basic premise of Homeland is whether Brody is a terrorist or whether Carrie is just mad. This drew me in at first but it never really carried the series very well and whilst Danes is good in her role her character is very unlikeable and reminds me of all the crazies who claimed that the world would die from the millennium bug. The odd thing as well is that I actually route for the person who is supposedly the villain of the tale, but the episodes largely consists of his interactions then flashbacks, whilst his family struggles with his very existence. The whole thing is a complete mess from the start and largely relies on what will happen at the end and leave us with episodes where nothing happens where the story drags itself out. I won't be sticking with it because its just drivel and not in an entertaining way.