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Chance: The Flitcraft Parable (2017)
It's Well Crafted and Satisfying....Mainly
Chance realizes that his group has pushed the nut case philanthropist over the edge and he kills one of the members. There is a great scene in a diner where Chance explains to his prize pupil what could be causing him to exhibit unconventional behavior, without accusing him. Chance is now carrying guilt around. What is fascinating is that the attack on this guy ends up with using his OCD to stir him up. Excellent episode. Hugh Laurie's chiseled, emotive face is perfect for this character.
Chance: A Very Special Onion (2017)
What an Interesting Character!
Hugh Laurie's "Chance" is a multitude of creative characteristics. He continues to evolve as he steels himself in his underground world. Meanwhile, he continues his practice. That cop, however, has got him involved with the sociopathic millionaire and he is proving to be even more dangerous than originally thought. It turns out that group therapy is feeding this monster. It's a real tangle of horrors predicated on the worst sides of human nature. We also have a subplot that involves the daughter.
The Writer: His Soul and HIs Work
This is a film which is steeped in British reserve. J. R. R. Tolkien had the roots of fantasy in his blood, put forth by his mother who dies when he is young. She was the master storyteller, so ingrained in his psyche. There were dragons and supernatural beings, some from opera, some from folklore. But the movie is about his efforts to be true to himself and follow the path laid out for him. He wanted to be at Oxford, but his social status made him quite vulnerable. It was his creativity and linguistic skills that bought him a reprieve. We forget that historically, he is not just a popular author but an academic genius, one of history's greatest linguists. This is a gentle movie but it is punctuated with flashback while he fought in the Somme, one of the bloodiest incidents in the history of warfare. This is a very good film.
Chance: Multiaxial System (2017)
A Second Chance
Chance and D are back at it. Chance is the pupil with the big time psychological skills. Chance begins to learn to handle himself. Remember at the beginning of the first season, he is a bit of a Casper Milquetoast. He goes from in over his head to managing pretty well. But his newfound persona becomes, at time, too much of a hair trigger. His daughter has put her finger on his evolution. D needs to rein him in or he will get himself killed. The first episode presents the new case. A philanthropist billionaire who has the adulation of everyone is probably responsible in some way for the deaths of several people. That cop that had Chance on the ropes earlier knows something about the incident of the last episode and is extorting our guy into doing some work for him.
How Can They Do a Second Season
This is one of the most engaging series I've ever seen. I had so much to do and kept up the "just one more episode" bit. The twists and turns that take place in this one are remarkable. Rebecca's role in all this create a constant question mark for us. All those people hanging out at Keating's house, filled with fear and angst, is one of the most incredible scenes I've witnessed. How can a second season begin to match the moment to moment tension?
Amazing Story Telling
All the factors are falling into place. The characters have been made to show their true selves. We have a case of a priest who is accused of murdering a fellow priest. He is conflicted with his confession not being admissible.. Meanwhile, all the events on the night of Lila's murder are revisited and Rebecca again knows things that are critical. One more to go.
Better and Better
As Annalise lies in bed feeling sorry for herself, her mother comes. She is a practical woman with real life experiences that are quite harsh. She is not about to let her daughter lie there, filled with self pity. Bonnie tries a case where a nurse is accused of rape and manages quite well after a bumpy start. As the murder case moves on, interesting things are afoot. There are some really fascinating visuals. And Rebecca is up to something.
The bones have been found and the sister-in-law is on the prowl. She knows Annalise was complicit in the death of her brother and is pushing like crazy to have her pay for it. Of course, the guy was a murderer and a liar. He died because of his own violence, but, of course, none of that can be produced. There is also a connection to the mob that is not finished. Keating is falling apart and trying to maintain her composure in public. It's going to be a bumpy ride to the finish.
This episode, for all practical purposes, shows us the psychological harm done each of the conspirators. They range from pain and loneliness, to sleep deprivation, to family destruction. Sam's sister showed up at the end of the last episode, looking for her brother. She haunts Annilese, hanging around, talking to friends, on and on. This leads to quite a touching scene. The episode ends with a startling discovery. The writing on this show is so wonderful.
Enough Guilt to Go Around
At the end of the previous episode, we realized that Prof. Keating found her husband lying in his own blood. She only shares this with one of the five and she respects their cover-up. But they are filled with angst and are afraid that the police knows a good deal more than they are letting on. Going forward, these issues are going to be dealt with.
A Masterful Connection
Tremendous episode. All the little scenes in the woods are finally put chronologically and explain what the vignettes mean. Sam is finally confronted and given what for, but Keating shows her weaknesses again. All members of the cast receive equal treatment and the concluding scene is quite convincing. Of course, now there are other fish to fry because another whole issue is just commencing.
Annalise is torn apart when she finds out that Sam had probably impregnated Lila during one of their trysts. She is smoking now and ready to attack anyone who questions her or finds the least bit fault with her thinking. She is Ahab fearing the white whale, a loss in the courtroom. Bad stuff is going on among the five and Rebecca is caught in the middle of things. We are made privy of the affair that developed.
Who's Exhuming Who?
This is a little step backwards, but it is still really good. Rebekka continues to be recalcitrant. The trial takes a dramatic turn when it comes to a new report, requiring and exhumation. Meanwhile, more evidence starts to come in involving Sam. There's more male cavorting which wastes time. I could go into more detail, but that's enough for now. We are getting close to the reason for getting rid of the body.
Good Old Sam
Two items at work. The obligatory return to the woods and the burning of the body and all that that implies. Sam's relationship with Keating and her attempts to keep things working. One big case has to do with a man put on death row 21 years ago who was railroaded by a big time builder. It is an appeal before the state supreme court. But now there is significant jockeying around by the Keating Five. Annalise does some orchestrating and the episode ends with some new stress factors.
The murder case involving Lila's death has some more twists and turns. Rebecka continues to play games. She is a true free spirit with a high IQ, but she is also downright stupid. If it weren't for someone caring about her, she would be only a memory. A second case involves a young guy who shot his police officer father. The guy had been abusing his mother for years. And good old Sam is still in the crosshairs. Of course, there are more scenes of the burning of the body and all the stuff that went with his death. By the way, some of the characters are a bit too much at times. I'm hoping for a little more reality at some point.
Outstanding Episode With Less Than Desirable Characters
First of all, I am going to admit I only watch parts of these shows. I fast forward through the tiresome sex scenes. The fact that they exist is part of the plot, but a waste of screen time. That aside, this was really a good episode. First, we are given more details of whatever is going on with the death of Sam. More and more intensity. Then we have the case of insider trading. When that perpetrators are taken away, I felt sorry for them. That woman was despicable. I couldn't care less about her and her life. Then we have Rebecca. She has confessed but there are extenuating circumstances. Anyway, it ends with an incredible scene when Keating is sitting at her makeup table. The show is growing.
The plot thickens. We continue to be teased by the law students in the woods. More and more is revealed, yet we still don't know the most important thing. We have two cases going on in this episode. The first involves the reappearance of a young woman who was involved in a revolutionary group, where she was probably responsible for the death of a man. Here "Charlie Manson" is in prison. What happens with her is pretty much inexcusable. The more interesting case is the death of the young co-ed who was found in the water tank. The woman who is accused is cryptic and silent and incredibly volatile. She has an offer of help and she turns on the guy who is helping her. Meanwhile, the big shot football star is being given all kinds of help in fighting the charges. Keating has been extorted into taking his case.
The Brain Hack (2015)
I Give Up
Help! Is there an editor in the house? At times this is all over the place. It is talky and slow at times as the concepts are discussed. I alway find too much discussion means that the visuals weren't planned well. We get a lot of computer graphics and flashing images.
Is It Really Science Fiction
A boy is persecuted by his friends because of his imagination. He believes in time travel and believes that objects have been left but we just haven't found them. When his mother comes to pick him up, his fellow kids laugh at him. But fate takes an interesting turn.
Too Much Gratuitous Sex
I'm really enjoying the court cases and the work the law students are doing, but every once in a while we have to have tired sex scenes. There are gay scenes and scenes between Keating and Sam. These could be cut out and more plot content put in. Someone coming to a door, and embrace, and a closed door has just as much effect. They seem to be superfluous. Anyway, I am getting into this show despite that single criticism. The characters are unique and the continuing material is being well presented.
It's the Pilot
I have to admit this has some panache. Viola Davis is certainly a force in the law school. She has that same thing going that John Houseman had in "The Paper Chase." There are five students chosen to be part of her firm (an interesting idea). We know from the start that they have covered up a murder and are trying to hide the body. The case they are involved in is quite intricate. Unfortunately, there is such not much of a chance to relax and figure things out. Still, I plan on checking out the first regular episode.
The Gate (2016)
Part of a Bigger Piece
While this presents some of the best martial arts I've seen, we are given no reason for the activities of this young woman. Apparently, her sister is in a room having attempted suicide. What ensues is one choreographed battle after another. It was entertaining but more like a promotion for a longer film.
Perhaps a Sick Sort of Afterlife
When the crew of ship is jettisoned, only one man survives, and only through taking the helmet off another man. He was probably dead but..... Then we have a kind of allegory of survival, a sort of religious experience portrayed. A man is planting seeds in arid soil. We are left to our own interpretation of what occurs here. Probably the filmmaker's intention.
State Zero (2015)
Heavily armed soldiers are dropped near a tower and go in to bring a communications device on line. They are possible targets of an alien force. It is made obvious that these characters have no abilities to engage them. But engage them they do. We aren't really made privy to what this whole thing is about, but it is not clear how hostile these guys are. Apparently, there will be a second part. I hope to see it.
Where the Shadows Fall (2016)
We have a guy with a jeep being pulled by a couple horses. He is looking for his wife and child. He is obviously a mess and completely deranged. He is willing to shoot people in cold blood. He goes to get some water at one point. A guy shoots at him and he kills the man. Later, when he comes upon a caravan of people in theatrical garb (and running a prostitution ring), he fixates on one of the women, What happens next is just so strange. But we are being led by a man with a truly sick mind. The problem is the film and the storytelling.