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My Tumblr Reviews: http://bigbadabruce.tumblr.com/Reviews
Currently attempting 500 Films In A Year Challenge, started January 1st 2012, up to Nineteen as of the 15th January.
Law & Order: Criminal Intent (2001)
Another Proud Child Of The Law And Order Series
Like the other Law And Order series, Criminal Intent is a story-driven show, with the characters back-stories gradually introduced and expanded upon depending on the episode. Until the latter series that is, when a season was devoted to Goren's mother dying. The scripts in this series, however, can only be as good as it's actors. Now I won't lie, I haven't seen every character, just over half of them, so I may miss some out.
Detective Robert Goren, played by Vincent D'Onofrio. If any character is the main character, it's this guy. Extremely intelligent with an ability to unlock suspects minds, he uses psychology, detective skills, and library knowledge to solve his crimes, he is brilliantly played in this series, not a single action is wasted, showing his eccentricity, and yet almost as if his body is just weighed down by all his intelligence. At different times he displays linguistic German, Dutch, Spanish, even certain Asain language and American Sign Language. Member of Team A.
Detective Alexandra Eames, played by Kathryn Erbe. The more experienced detective, she and partner Goren create a tremendous team, his eccentricities playing off her analytical ability, she is the "straight man" of the partnership and she is well underplayed by Erbe, symbolising a weary but driven woman who gets the job done.
Detective G. Lynn Bishop, played by Samantha Buck. Only appeared for six episodes in Season 3, she played the unthankable role of being the unwanted partner, Eames at the time on maternity leave, and Bishop was the cold-hearted replacement who feels uncomfortable with Goren and ends up compared unfavourably to Eames.
Detective Mike Logan, played by Chris Noth. An old legend of the original Law And Order, in the years preceding his last Law And Order case in 1995 and his return in 2005, he has been brought back into the fold and simultaneously mellowed himself down from the old hothead of legend. His old-style detective skills and weary, burnt look gives him an interesting aspect. Due to Goren's popularity, Team B's episodes are slated, despite the intelligence of the episodes and the different look to Goren.
Detective Megan Wheeler, played by Julianne Nicholsen. The straight-edge to Logan's rule breaker, she plays off intelligently and offers the right balance needed between her and Logan. In the latest series her position will change as she will be partnered with Jeff Goldblum's character, offering a new aspect, which will be interesting to see.
Two differing type of Captains, first James Deakins played by Jamey Sheridan, was played in the style of the "Loved Boss", yes expecting results but confident in his team and allowing them to do it their way, Sheridan still exudes authority, and is very good. Replaced in Season 5 by Danny Ross, played by Eric Bogosian, less tolerant but more hands-on than his predecessor, he offers a different aspect to Deakins, and is the only character from season 5 onwards to appear in every episode. He bounces off all characters well.
The characters are all very well played, and this creates a better show, despite the story driven style. Very good.
It's A Blessing...And A Curse
A lot of TV Shows have become popular with the main character having disability. Look at the old-fashioned Ironside, wheelchair-bound. The new Psych, with Shaun Spencer a fraudulent Psychic . Just two examples of this genre. A third is the extremely popular Monk. A Police Officer, who had a nervous breakdown after his wives murder, is also a sufferer of OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder), which helps him solve his cases, as he obsess over every element and goes over every crime scene excessively. He notices unimportant details because of it and uses that to solve his case. The show does have an element of believability in that it would be more believable that someone obsessed about everything would solve difficult crimes, not an average joe. Humour is also a main point, as it's very tongue-in-cheek, and it's the character interactions between Monk and his "co-workers" that make you interested. A very good show, and worth watching.
The Illusionist (2006)
A Major Shocker
The first time I heard of this film was around the same time The Prestige was released. The Illusionist seemed to end up swept under the carpet, unnoticed, especially with me. Two nights ago, I sat down on my sofa, and saw it on Anytime TV, thought give it a go. I thought there was a couple of good actors, should do well....I just didn't realise it would this good. The script is extremely good, slowly building up the storyline through a flashback by Paul Giamatti's character, with good dialogue and character introductions, the script loves the small uses of characterisation to build up the characters. Now the performances: In the last year or so I have become more and more of a fan of Edward Norton, his performances so well layered, brilliantly understated. In this role, Edward Norton plays the role of a mysterious magician, able to spellbind audiences with ease, creating magnificent shows. His performance carries the majority of scenes. Jessica Biel is one of the most gorgeous women I have ever seen, and radiates the screen when she appears. It's believable that Edward Norton will risk everything to be with her, and then, be crushed and wounded following her murder. And Rufus Sewell, showing anger and an ego that destroys everyone around him. Sewell is actually a small understated role but gives the slight edge needed to make Norton's character better. But, the film is stolen, by one Paul Giamatti. The Detective who investigates Jessica Biel's murder, Rufus Sewell as her possible murderer, and Edward Norton for "defrauding" his audience, he is the key to the movie, tying them all together and also showing different actions with each actor, showing slight changes, showing how a Police Dectective would possibly really react to different classes. He also is intelligently self-coerced from a slightly corrupt Police Detective to a true Chief Of Police, and his narration is like a Morgan Freeman, easily listen-able whilst creating a better story. I would recommend this film, and also the performances, which really make the film
well, well, well
well, the first story, of "Fathers Day", i thought was OK, it just seemed like an interesting idea, but not well executed, it was slightly boring to be honest, and lacked an ending. I guess I just expected more. Its okay for the starting story, it means it hopefully gets better. "The Lonesome Death of Jordy Verrill" was probably the weakest of the lot, and not because Stephen King was performing it. The story, was just, weak. Their was no terror, no comedy really, it was just like a little sketch Stephen King produced cause he had a spare 10 minutes. The effects were very good, credit where its due. Too bad the story didn't reflect it. "Something To Tide You Over" doesn't seem to be a favourite, yet I preferred this one. It had a great story, based in mostly reality, which I feel makes it more terrifying and scary, Leslie Nielson played a villainous role, which I admit was new to me and I thought was very good, and of course, the cuts as the water gradually got closer and closer just made it better. Great improvement on First story. "The Crate" was most likely the longest and their main story, and it played like it, it was definitely probably the best of the lot, I have seen similar stories before, but I still thought the execution was. there was nothing obvious about The Crate, and built up very slowly, and suddenly, out of nowhere, the Beast attacks. It is also a story of reaching your end, like The second Professor, who is so desperate to leave his wife he actually fantasises about murder, and with The Crate, gets his opportunity. Some well played performances I felt from the two main actors and the Monster looked amazing. "They're Creeping Up On You" was very interesting, I admit, I don't like bugs very often, so I didn't watch this entirely, suddenly finding reasons to flick over, or look under my duvet. Yes, I am a coward, so be it. But the images were very frightening, their would be sudden shots just of the bugs, and it was very freaky. I admit, I was expecting to find a giant bug controlled them, but for once, they didn't go that route. Nice little bit to end on. And the little intro and outro's concerned a little boy forbidden to read his favourite Comic, Creepshow. So why not get a bit of revenge with a doll? Hehe. To be honest, while not a Box Office Legend or guilty of wining Oscars, its a nice chill-out movie to relax with, recommended.
Let me paint a scene
Its a a Saturday night, myself, 2 mates and one of mates room-mates, are sat around drinking, when the room-mate mentions he has Transformers...within minutes we are all sat down, ready to watch, all of us fans from a young age, just hoping it would at least be good, as we sat with high hopes and low expectations. 2 and a half hours later, we sat there, as the credits rolled, and looked at each other. None of us want to say anything, all to scared. Finally, I speak. "That...was....f***ing...amazing". Next thing i remember, its an hour later and we had been discussing the movie nonstop, saying how good we thought it was. There is no perfect movie, before anyone starts saying against this movie, but, I walked in, wanting a action film with good characters. The action - breathtaking, the robots are seamless in their movement and look beautiful as they do battle, as realistic as I could have ever dreamed and fit in the picture like a glove. The main characters, while their may have been too many with the army and the computers geniuses, were complimentary to the story, and the action seemed to do so well cause of the many characters, the army and Transformers, led by Optimus Prime, against the Decepticons, manned by the evil Megatron. The story, original in its depiction, is a great "MacGuffin" as Hitchcock coined it to the story, and was perfect for setting up great battles. Sam; Shia LaBeouf was amazing, plain and simple. Many action movies have to have a hero whose muscle mad or a member of MENSA. Sam, is different, he is neither, and yet better, he is a human character full of emotion and fear, and yet feels he has an obligation to help the Transformer,s this is his breakthrough role, look out for him. I don't want to give away any more, because I feel like I would be spoiling it, but, I hope this slight teaser, may be sufficient enough to convince you, this film is worth a try, and is very entertaining, just have fun it.
Father Ted (1995)
Go On Go On Go On Go On Go On
Now and again, you don't want a big sitcom with big casts, sets and story lines, like Blackadder 1 attempted, you want something simple, and nothing could be more simple than three priests, and their tea-maid, on an island, struggling through life. And with that simple start, comedic genius, as Father Ted leads Father Dougal (the simpleton) and Father Jack (pisshead) through one mishap after another. Its comedic genius is in its simplicity, a swearword, a fart, a cameo from Graham Norton or the lead of One Foot In The Grave, knowing that the Church must be cowering in horror at this make believe example of life, anything like that, just brings down the house, Its an Irish sitcom with British humour that anyone in the world can love.
Five Rings Of Tremendous Power
The precursor to The Power Rangers it could almost be said, this was a well-veiled attack on Environmental Damage. This was what taught most young children about the Environment, most kids remember this show, the use of a superhero and tackling obvious real problems was always a good shout to TV Execs, but this was one of the starters. Every vehicle and machines used by The Planeteers was either solar powered or other in order to not destroy Earth's economy, Captain Planet had no distinct look in terms of fashions in other countries, and the main 5 characters was well spread, helping it to become world wide popular, and delivered a great message. As Captain Planet used to say "The Power Is Yours!"
Loved that Theme Tune though...
"Computer wiz Jonny Quest and his friends battle international criminals using the resources of the Quest Foundation. Their chief weapon, and the target of many of their enemies, is the permanent, variable, sometimes unpredictable computer-generated VR domain, Questworld, which is entered using VR headsets. Inside Questworld, they must solve puzzles, locate hidden objects, battle evildoers and escape very-real danger if they are to succeed." The first real TV Show to combine children's action and a grown-up mentality and darkness and the new interesting world of Cyberspace. The series was actually quite a dark series a lot of the time, used a lot of mystery and was quite honest in its approach to death, a lot of bad guys were killed off, and while it was done off screen, the reactions of the characters who witness it left little in doubt. The show was a brutally gruesome on in that aspect. For example, For example, in the climax of one episode, one villain is killed by being impaled on the rib cage of an elephant's skeletal remains, and another has his head crushed under an elephant's foot. These are quite dark elements for a TV Show, which was what probably attracted a lot of kids to it. And also, the cyber side to it was different and interesting, it was something you hadn't seen before and made it very different for you. This was a show that was for a hardcore audience, and I for one enjoyed it.
Biker Mice from Mars (2006)
Biker Mice From Mars
Throttle, Modo and Vinie, the 3 Biker Mice From Mars, brought to Earth by the loss of their planet to the Plutarkian race, a fish like race who's usage of their planet resources have left them needing to go from planet to planet stealing new resources, similar to Galactus in the Fantastic Four. The Biker Mice From Mars battle Lawrence Limburger aka a Plutarkian, and his mad scientist Dr Karbuncle. In all honesty, my favourite bit was when he got out one of his cards, put it into his machine, and created another enemy to battle The Biker Mice From Mars, made em wish I had one a lot, lol. And also the ending was always a case of destroying the building Limburger resided in, your usual Saturday morning show, you knew most of what would happen, but you rejoiced in knowing. Great Guilty Pleasure show, hehe.
Freakazoid, Freaky-me, FREAKAZOID!
In terms of quality in execution and scripts, this was run of the mill stuff. Butr lets be honest, everyone loved this show as soon as they watched it. Basic, zany, Spielberg produced Freakazoid was just one of those shows you watched in hilarity, compete and utter rubbish and yet you loved it. And who can forget the theme tune? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sEcxwMxfB3I, go on to see the theme tune in all its glory Super-teen extraordinaire Freakazoid! Freakazoid! Runs around in underwear Freakazoid! Freakazoid!
Rescues Washington D.C. Freakazoid! Freakazoid! Unless something better's on TV Freakazoid! Freakazoid!
His brain's overloading It has a chocolate coating Textbook case for Sigmund Freud Freakazoid! Freakazoid!
Check out Dexter Douglas Nerd computer ace Went surfing on the internet And was zapped to cyberspace
He turned into the Freakazoid He's strong and super-quick He drives the villains crazy 'Cause he's a lunatic
His home base is the Freakalair Freakazoid! Fricassee! Floyd the Barber cuts his hair Freakazoid! Chimpanzee!
Rides around in the Freakmobile Freakazoid! Freakazoo! Hopes to make a movie deal Freaka me! Freaka you!
He's here to save the nation So stay tuned to this station If not, we'll be unemployed Freakazoid! Freakazoid! Freakazoid!!!