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TV Review: PERSON OF INTEREST - Identity Crisis 1.18

Saturday, 31 March 2012

Person of Interest is back following a couple of weeks break with some freshness in it's blood thanks to it's second season renewal which was confirmed two weeks back. I was looking forward to it, it is my favourite show after all. I was expecting plenty of action and maybe a little more insight into Finch and Reese. "Identity Crisis" was kick ass, there is no doubting that, in fact it's a while since we saw Reese kick ass so soundly before shooting someone in the leg whilst in their MDMA lab, what "Identity Crisis" failed to do was give away to anything revealing, apart from maybe the ending.

This week's POI was Jordan Hester, really it was two POI's, two people leading one life. One Jordan Hester was a bar tender and seemingly the criminal from the off, turns out he was only trying to live the life that his impostor was living in his name. The weekly premise was interesting enough and like I said above it did offer plenty of kick ass moments along with a great laugh, the story flowed well as always and the episode gave Detective Fusco the chance to shine over Carter for once.

I have to talk about what is one of the funniest things I have seen on the show, following Finch's embarrassing photo fit image last week the joke was really on him yet again, that gave us a great opportunity to see a whole other side to everyone's favourite computer hacker. Finch on drugs is just plain hilarious, he was drugged by the female Jordan Hester (the real drug dealer) and what followed with Finch dancing and then staring at the microwave was just great fun to watch. It put me in the mind of Bad Boys 2 when Martin Lawrence is drugged before going to the bosses house "this is nice f**king fish, big f**king eyes but a nice f**king fish", I love that scene and Michael Emmerson done a great job of making it equally as enjoyable on TV as it was on the silver screen.

I'm not normally the biggest fan of Fusco but in this episode he really did turn hand and proved for me that he really is a good guy, he was involved with picking up a drugged Finch and returning him to safety, that was very funny too. Fusco also went the extra mile for the guy in prison who was innocent. Fusco took a front line with Reese and Finch this week as Carter is still not speaking with Reese, that's a story line which could also open up a whole new angle to Person of Interest.

The FBI are wanting to expose the CIA, and they think the best way to do that is find Reese, they know or at least they say he done terrible things for his country and they believe he is still doing terrible things back on domestic soil. Everyone keeps saying that Reese is dangerous, he is very good at martial arts I'll give him that but I don't think I've seen him cause anyone who didn't deserve it real harm. The FBI are into recruiting the help of Carter who had  bit of a struggle with her conscience, she didn't reveal that she knows their mystery man but it's definitely something she is considering. Will she join in with the FBI in bringing down Reese and Finch? Or will she join them and fight for the greater good?

Problem the FBI have is that they think Reese works for Elias, maybe he does and just doesn't know it. It definitely means that Reese has someone else to look over his shoulder for, he now has the FBI, Elias and some mystery female computer hacker named Root after him so he has plenty ducking and diving to do. You would think Reese would have taken the opportunity when Finch was drugged to ask him anything, Finch even invited him to do so. Why didn't he? Does he think it's a cheap way out? Or has he taken the stance that it's best not to know, ask no questions, get no lies.

So, is John Reese really the person we all think? Is he even called John Reese? I'm not sure exactly how much to make of this as Finch was still on the come down when he said it but right after Reese declined the offer to "ask him anything" Finch walked away and said "good night Nathan". He was pretty serious and it was a great way to leave the episode, don't you think? Person of Interest really does continue to get better week on week and I cant wait for "Flesh and Blood" which airs April 5th.

New UK Cinema Releases: 30th March 2012, WRATH OF THE TITANS, STREETDANCE 2 and GONE

Friday, 30 March 2012

First off I will apologise in advance, this won't be the longest post ever. It's very hot here in North East England for a change so I'm planning on sitting in my garden, having a couple of beers whilst I try to build a swing, I know, how rock and roll am I? Anyway, never mind lets crack on as we say up here and let me tell you what's in the cinema this weekend.

First it's the weeks top release Wrath of the Titans starring Sam Worthington, Liam Neeson and Rosamund Pike

Perseus braves the world in order to save his father Zeus from Ares and Hades, as well as having his father Ares and Hades have released ancient Titans upon the world

It's a follow up to Clash of the Titans which I didn't see, I don't really have any interest so I don't think I will be watching this one either.

Next up it's StreetDance 2 starring George Sampson, Tom Conti and Falk Hentschel

It's another one I'm not crazy about, this is the follow up to StreetDance and follows straight on where the dancers are still living the embarrassment handed to them by the crew Invincible. StreetDance 2 shows the rematch between the two.

Sounds great right? Yeah I know it sounds terrible and I can say I definitely won't be watching it. The star of the movie George Sampson won Britain's Got Talent a couple of years back.

Last one to mention now, Gone starring Amanda Seyfried, Jennifer Carpenter and Wes Bentley

The movie follows two sisters, when one of them disappears the other thinks that a serial killer who kidnapped her two years earlier has returned. She sets out once again to face her abductor.

Gone has been trashed by critics, saying "Gone" from theatres and straight to DVD. That really doesn't speak volumes, it seems Jennifer Carpenter just can't keep herself away from this sort of role.

TV Review: ALCATRAZ - Tommy Madsen 1.13 - Season Finale

Thursday, 29 March 2012

Welcome back today for the second part of the Alcatraz two hour Finale “Tommy Madsen”, catch yesterday’s post? No, well here is your chance to catch up on “Garrett Stillman”. Over here we will roll on with what was a very disappointing finale to what has been a hugely disappointing show in my opinion. On watching this episode it was
clear that the first hour was nothing more than a build up to the so called main event, but in that event would we be given answers? After all “Tommy Madsen” is the man all of this would seem to revolve around, what’s the family connection?, how much does Ray really know? Well, I still don’t know to be honest so maybe we’ll have to wait and see if Alcatraz gets a second season.

If you rolled up on the Alcatraz finale expecting answers to any of the questions you had then I imagine you would have been disappointed, I got nothing from it and I was expecting a lot more, maybe to much who knows but in my opinion it was just boring. I thought maybe we would get some sort of 63’ grand finale where they all rolled up in modern day San Francisco along with the warden in toe to wreak a little havoc. Instead what we got was an episode based on Tommy Madsen, a bad guy after all, I mean fancy killing your granddaughter. I’m still confused a little as to what Tommy Madesn’ purpose is, on this it would appear that he was quite willing to walk away from his son (Rebecca’s father) and family and take up the warden on a more lucrative offer rather than build bridges.

Probably the best bit of "Tommy Madsen"

What is the more lucrative offer though? I really thought we may have got to find out, I was at least expecting the warden to show up. Did they forget to send him an invitation? Of course not, they had something more up their sleeve that provided no answers and only succeeded in posing more questions, I really don’t have a problem with that if I thought Alcatraz was going to get a second season, but lets face it J.J. Abrams and his team of writers have got some convincing to do, Terra Nova didn’t get a second season and that averaged a 7.1m audience weekly, I don’t know the figures for Alcatraz but I can’t imagine them being much better.

“Tommy Madsen” focused on the hunt for keys, well the missing key to open the wardens secret door which last time we seen was a room full of dust and oh yeah some gold bars, they’ve gone a little more high-tech now and when Hauser did eventually get in there he found a mad scientist who appeared to have been asleep for the last 50 years along with a grid map of the USA showing where all the 63’ will re-appear. Again, that’s great providing that Alcatraz gets a second season.

I was very surprised by the ending, I knew Rebecca got stabbed or shot as we saw that in the preview on Sunday but to kill off the leading lady of a supposed hit TV show is just a little crazy. On saying that I really didn’t mind that much as this far Rebecca has not really done anything that screams out a great lead to me, I felt no emotional attachment to her character at all, but maybe this is all part of the bigger plot and maybe J.J Abrams has an ace up his sleeve knowing that TV loves him and he already has a second season secured with Fox. If that is the case (I’m pretty sure it’s not), then will they kill Rebecca off? I would say no, just pump her full of silver and bring her back to life. That could be a good plot to start a second season and we could hope that one is a lot better than this debut has been.

There is nothing worth me going into any depth in my opinion, I just didn’t think this was a good finale at all, good if there is a second season yes, but if they are leaving it there then Alcatraz may end up on TV’s trash pile of terrible finale’s like The Event and
FlashForward, shows which I watched and personally wouldn’t have minded seeing a second season of. If Alcatraz gets a second season then I will watch it because I don’t feel anything I wanted answered was, so for that reason I would check out some more but we’ll have to wait and see if it’s commissioned first.

What did you think of Alcatraz? Would you watch a second season? Do you think the finale made things clear? Leave your comments below letting me know what you think.

TV Review: ALCATRAZ - Garrett Stillman 1.12

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

"Garrett Stillman" was the first part of what was supposed to be Alcatraz's big finale, thing is "big" didn't really come into what was a dull and boring two hours which offered little to no insight as to just what has been going on at Alcatraz. I can't even begin to tell you just how dissapointing I found this, but I'm hoping that I can go some way towards doing it below. I will say to remember this was a two episode finale, with the "Tommy Madsen" season finale following on afterwards, I have the review coming tomorrow.

Let's talk about the man Garret Stillman first off, a very posh English gentleman who just happened to be a genius when it came to pulling off the perfect cash in transit robbery, Alcatraz's answer to Clive Owen I found Stillman one of the more menacing characters to have made a re-appearance in modern day San Francisco. Other than that I really can't think of anything to say in regard to Stillman, at least we got one little answer in that it would seem all the prisoners work for the Warden ultimately but Tommy Madsen would seem to act as his second in command.

Last week's "Webb Porter" left us all with bated (not really) breath following Lucy opening her eyes, she was back this week but was it with a bang? Not really in my opinion, at least we are finally starting to get to the truth about who she is, being in the coma obviously pricked her conscience a little as she felt indebted to tell Doc and Rebecca just who she was, little did she know they had already figured that bit out. Did she tell them much though? I thought not, she went into a little ditty of what it was like leaving 1963 and returning to 2012 for her, but she didn't tell us how? Or why? And at the end of the day that's really what I want to know, the more I think about it I'm not so interested in the how, although it would be nice to know I'm more inclined to find out why? Why do they want to send themselves forward in time (if that's actually what is happening). Criminals tend to have two agenda's, the first would be that they are just crazy and can't stop themselves when an opportunity arises, the other would be money. "Garret Stillman" wasn't crazy, nor did he want the money (back in the 60's he did), but back in the modern day he was just doing over cash transit vans and seemingly didn't care about the money, why? What is the point of them all, including the Warden (I imagine) coming back unless there is something to be gained by it?

Speaking of the cash in transit robbery's, is it just me looking into things to much or were they the unreal looking security vans that you've ever seen? I know it's a TV show budget but I think maybe they could have done a better job there. What Alcatraz did do well this week was something that I have talked about from the beginning, it wasn't a focus on one returnee, there were about three of them involved and that did help to make things a little more interesting. As much as that was an improvement, Alcatraz still failed to do anything interesting with Doc or Rebecca, when Lucy came out the coma I feel they would have had a lot more pressing questions to put to her about what is going on, in all honesty they really didn't seem to care. Rebecca is a cop, she should know how to ask leading questions, like, how did you get here? What are they doing to the prisoner's etc.

As you've probably guessed I wasn't to crazy about this episode, pretty much like most of the episodes up to now I felt it was just plugging a gap. This far into the season, I shouldn't feel like that. Like I said above I will get the "Tommy Madsen" finale review out for you tomorrow, a quick warning though, I really wasn't any more impressed with that than I was with "Garrett Stillman".

TV Trailer: DEXTER SEASON 6 Starts on FX, 30th March 2012 at 10pm

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Great news for fans of Dexter in the U.K, the hit U.S TV show will make its season 6 debut on March 30th (this Friday), 10pm on FX. As you know I watch along with the American audience so I’ve already seen this season but for those of you who are fans then Dexter’s sixth season is a must see. Dexter has already been renewed for a 7th and 8th season, with the 7th due to air on American network Showtime September 30th 2012. Every episode of Dexter’s 6th season was reviewed here starting with the premiere episode “Those Kinds of Things”, be sure to come back after you have watched the latest and take a look at what I thought.

This season as always set’s itself up well as its title picture would suggest, right from the off we are introduced to this seasons killers, Travis (Colin Hanks) and Professor Gellar (Edward James Olmos). The pair very quickly become known to the Miami Metro homicide department as the Doomsday Killers whilst Dexter as always leads his own investigation into who his latest play buddies are. One thing which stood out in season 6 for me was the inclusion of one superb guest star, Mos Def, who plays the role of Brother Sam, a reformed criminal who has now turned to religion. The scenes between Michael C. Hall and Mos Def are up there with the best in TV and cannot be missed.

So what can you expect from another season of your favourite serial killer? Well quite a lot, I’ve already told you who Dexter’s new pals are above, it’s worth checking out just for the Brother Sam scenes, trust me. Other than that, there is one brilliant mid-season episode named “Nebraska”, an episode which can not be missed by long time fans of Dexter, for those like me who only started recently it may take a little more sinking in. There is a new Detective in Miami Metro named Mike Anderson (Billy Brown, the new Doakes, possibly!). Expect all the usual twists and turns and expect one mighty finale.

I’m stopping there, I really don’t want to spoil things for you. All I can say is that although season 6 of Dexter has its critics it’s still very enjoyable and I loved it.

TV Previews: SPARTACUS: VENGEANCE - Monsters 2.9, ALCATRAZ - Garret Stillman 1.12 & Tommy Madsen 1.13, TOUCH - Safety in Numbers 1.2, PERSON OF INTEREST - Identity Crisis 1.18, AWAKE - Oregon 1.5

Sunday, 25 March 2012

I don’t really know what to say about Spartacus: Vengeance this week other than I’ve no doubt that as usual it will be brilliant. It would seem that this week there is going to be a lot more battle action particularly at Mount Vesuvius. This is the last episode before next
week’s season finale which again I’m sure will be great and I’ve no doubt that we will be seeing another season of this brilliant show.

As far as Alcatraz goes I can say that I’ve maybe enjoyed about four episodes, but like I said in the “Webb Porter” review last week, I never get that “I can’t wait to see it next week” feeling with this show. Webb Porter bored me crazy but I have to admit that this week’s two hour finale would seem to give us some answers to the questions we all have. Weather it will wrap up everything thinking it won’t get a second season, or weather it will leave some stones unturned for a possible second season we will have to wait and see but I’m honestly not all that intrigued about the Alcatraz finale.

You may remember back in January or February this year Keifer Sutherland's new TV show "Touch" started on Fox. It's back now with it's second episode and again like Spartacus I will watch this show along with the UK, as we are only a few days behind the U.S. It goes out here Tuesday 27th March 2012 at 8pm with this episode named "Safety in Numbers". I was really impressed with the "Pilot" and will be watching again on Tuesday, actually make that Wednesday as I'll be watching Alcatraz on Tuesday, check out the preview below. By the way music in the background is Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds - Everbody's on the Run, one of my favourite songs.

My favourite show on TV is back this week in the shape of Person of Interest, now that Reese and Finch have been relived of their babysitting duties they can get on with their real job of kicking ass. That kicking ass has recently earned this brilliant show a second
season and I for one can’t wait. This week’s instalment looks to be another good one but I think it will be more procedural cop drama (You know, Reese shooting people in the leg) than actually revealing anymore on our two main characters, on saying that this is only a
thirty second clip so maybe they are keeping those bits for the actual episode.

Awake is a show which I really enjoy, I did mean to get round to reviewing the second and third episode but I just haven’t had the time, I watched last week’s “Kate is Enough” and stand by what I said in the “Pilot” review, that this show even without the Sci-fi twist is a decent enough cop procedural drama. This weeks “Oregon” seems to be taking us more down the Sci-Fi route though, and if this short clip is anything to go by then I think we will all have a few new questions as to just what is going on in Michael Britten’s head in this show.


Saturday, 24 March 2012

As you know I’m always on the look out for new TV shows to watch, I have ABC’s "Missing" starring Ashley Judd sitting waiting to watch I just haven’t got round to it yet. One show I got my eye on recently is another Starz original, I caught the trailer for Magic City a month back and I think it looks pretty good, if I had to compare it to something on face value I’d say Mad Men but that’s a show I haven’t seen. I think Magic City may be an interesting new little squeeze to fit into my schedule.

Magic City stars Christian Cooke, Dominick Garcia-Lorido, Yul Vazquez, Olga Kurylenko and Kelly Lynch. The show is set in 1950’s Miami and follows the mobsters of it’s day. Check out the trailer and let me know what you think.

Looks good right? Here is what Starz say on the show;

As Frank Sinatra rings in a new year in the grand ballroom of Miami Beach's most luxurious dream palace - the Miramar Hotel - its visionary leader, Ike Evans, must deal with the Mob, his complicated family and a city in the midst of dramatic change as Fidel Castro takes control of Cuba, just 200 miles offshore. By day the hotel at the center of 'Magic City' is all diving clown acts and cha-cha lessons by the pool, but at night Miami Beach reveals a darker truth. Dopers, dealers, strippers, gangsters and those who arrest them drift together to hear the top nightclub acts perform. Just beneath the surface, racial tensions stir. Ike must deal with all of this, even while global intrigue is brewing right under his roof.

New UK Cinema Releases: 23rd March 2012, THE HUNGER GAMES and ACT OF VALOR

Friday, 23 March 2012

I’m back as always giving you the low down on what may and may not be worth your time going to the cinema over this weekend, and I’m afraid that once again I don’t really have a lot to report on new UK movie releases, it’s not a strong week at all. You are lucky in one sense that this weeks top movie currently sits at number 1 in IMDB rankings, and the other is a real story and stars real people rather than actors pretending to be people.

I’ll start as always with this week’s biggest release The Hunger Games is considered by many to be one of the most anticipated movies of this year. Given all the hype I really haven’t heard too much on it, so let’s see what light I can shed in my summary below.

Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth, The Hunger Games is a new action / sci-fi / drama based in the not-to-distant future. North America has collapsed and the country is now split into the Capitol and 12 districts. Each year two young representatives are selected from the lottery to take place in the televised Hunger Games. The 24 competitors are then pitted against each other in a fight to the death with the whole nation forced to watch on TV.

Like I said above it’s not something I have seen a lot about, and I’m yet to decide weather it’s done enough to get my interest. It’s one of those where I’ll probably wait to hear a few opinions before giving it any further consideration. Check out the trailer for The Hunger Games and let me know what you think.

Now to that movie with real people that I was telling you about up top, Act of Valor is the name and it’s another that I haven’t heard a great deal about but I do think it’s more promising than The Hunger Games.

Starring: Alexander Asefa, Jeffrey Barnachea and Kenny Calderon, Act of Valor is a new action /adventure / thriller movie which stars actual serving U.S Navy SEALs and is inspired by true events. The SEALs are sent on a rescue mission to recover a CIA agent however, whilst there they discover a plot against the U.S. The team are then sent on a worldwide manhunt as they race to stop a coordinated attack.

Like I said not to many details but I do think this will be a movie worth going to see, if it’s realism that your after then Act of Valor may just have what your looking for. The Act of Valor trailer is here for you to check out.

Not much on this week right? Other than the two I mentioned above there is a French (I think) movie out, that’s about some kid on a bike and this week’s other release sees some guy named Bill released from prison to discover his kids have been abandoned by their mother.

Blu-ray Review: THE TAKING OF PELHAM 123 Starring Denzel Washington and John Travolta

Thursday, 22 March 2012

The Taking of Pelham 123 Starring: Denzel Washington, John Travolta, Luis Guzman, John Turturro, Victor Gojcaj and James Gondolfini

The Plot

Walter Garber (Washington) starts what’s due to be another dull and uneventful day in his office dispatching New York subway trains from the comfort of his desk, things go down hill about mid morning when criminal mastermind Ryder (Travolta) and his gang of thugs take over a subway train and bring it to a stop in the deepest darkest and hardest to reach area of the subway network. Ryder wants $10m off the state otherwise he will start to take further action, not wanting to speak with NYPD’s lead hostage negotiator dispatcher Garber is left to get to know Ryder and his intentions whilst a game of cat and mouse ensues.

The Verdict

I have to say right from the off I was impressed with The Taking of Pelham 123, not only does it come with a brilliant front and supporting cast but considering the story restricts itself to a subway and underground exchange control room it flows nicely and never lets up. On saying that, had it not been for actors like Washington and Travolta then it may well have been a very different story, I suppose you could compare Pelham to Phonebooth another movie primarily based in one location which relies heavily on the dialogue of two good actors.

It’s that dialogue between Washington and Travolta that holds this movie up where it is for me, don’t get me wrong Pelham is not the best movie I have ever seen but I did find it very enjoyable and easy to watch. This is Director Tony Scott’s fourth collaboration with Denzel Washington and the first which has seen the leading man Washington take more of a sit down less action stance, their previous efforts include the brilliant Man on Fire and Déjà vu along with Unstoppable which was reviewed here last year. Denzel pulls off the leading role in convincing style as you would expect and for me out of him and Travolta he is the better actor.

The movie kept it real off camera, I did think Travolta as Ryder was very convincing as the leader of a criminal gang who was willing to do anything in order to get his ransom demands. Ryder’s backing crew were also convincing and I’m saying that after most of the three didn’t speak and had nothing to do other than look menacing. They done that well because they are real convicted criminals, in particular Victor Gojcaj a former Albanian gang member who came to the set to advise, he impressed Tony Scott so much that he hired him for the movie (he was also in Unstoppable), a move that Producers were not to happy about to start with.

I would have to say that Pelham had it’s down sides, one being the excessive use of the word Motherf**ker from John Travolta, I’m not one who’s offended by it and don’t mind hearing it but in my opinion it was used excessively in this movie and it could have done without it. The ending was somewhat predictable too, again I haven’t seen the original so don’t know what happened there but this was very disappointing considering the amount of build up it had.

Blu-ray Special Features

Cine Chat: - Watch the movie whilst connected to a social network via BD-Live, this allows you to interact with others watching the movie, I don't imagine you would see that much of the movie.

Commentary With Tony Scott: - Watch the movie with commentary from Director Tony Scott. There is also an option to watch the movie with commentary from writer Brian Helgeland and producer Todd Blake.

NO TIME TO LOOSE, The Making of Pelham 123: - One of the better movie extras I have seen, a lot of research went into Pelham 123 as I'm sure is the case with all movies. Tony Scott sent the producer off to the MTA along with Denzel Washington, it was great to see how intense Washington was in studying the character he would be playing, the role of Walter Garber was originally a cop but Washington convinced them to cast him as a civilian for the effect.

The Third Rail, NEW YORK UNDERGROUND: - A look at how Pelham 123 was centred on the New York Underground scene. 

From The Top Down, Stylising Character with Danny Moomdjan and The Lab Salon: - A strange movie extra featuring a hair stylist who works on all of Tony Scott's movies, can't imagine it took so much effort to shave John Travolta's head and make him look like Bono.

Marketing Pelham: - A look at the various trailers that where made for Pelham 123.

Trailers: - What it says on the tin, trailers for other movies.

Would I watch it again?

I would definitely check this movie out again.

Rating: MMM

TV Review: ALCATRAZ - Webb Porter 1.11

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Well, what is there to say about Alcatraz this week? Not all that much in my opinion, it was one of those run of the mill episodes that we all seemed to be bogged down in mid-season. Alcatraz has certainly had some money thrown at it, and considering the people involved behind the scenes I can only say that I was expecting a lot more than I have got this far. Alcatraz started well I thought it was a pretty decent "Pilot" episode, it dipped from there and didn't really get any better until "Johnny McKee" rocked back up in modern day San Fransisco, it carried on from there and then this week it went back to the same old procedural bore that I have come to expect. No new answers and nothing new in way of ideas as to where we could be going. We can at least say one thing, Rebecca and Doc now know everything about the blood situation and thanks to the video they found they also know that Lucy was a 63, I still feel like Hauser will be hiding something.

As far as this weeks returnee goes, I really wasn't that impressed, drowning girls and then using their long hair to string his bow, or what ever that thing for playing violin is called. Pretty much the only thing that impressed me about "Webb Porter" was the fact that out of eleven episodes, this far he is the only prisoner that it's taken Doc longer than twenty five minutes to figure out. Usually after the first body turns up Doc comes up with a name, not this week, in fact it was Rebecca who discovered the Violin clue and then found his name. On saying that it really didn't go anywhere to make Rebecca more interesting did it?

I know we can't expect to have the answers to our questions every week, and the show has been quite revealing in it's last few offerings, but for something that promised to possibly be the new Lost, I just don't see it. You could guarantee that after every episode of Lost I couldn't wait until the following week to see what was going to happen next. I just don't get that with Alcatraz, it's very much a case of ah-well, let's see where we go next week. Next weeks show will be the two hour season finale and I would like to think that it will be a very revealing two hours, certainly if they want to get another season out of it. There are still plenty of answers to be had for another season and I would probably watch it if it gets the go ahead, but I think some major improvements may be needed.

Like every week in Alcatraz I find the flashbacks to 1960 - 1963 better than the modern day story line, so far that is when we are getting most of our answers and the story lines are a lot better. In "Webb Porter" I don't recall anything remotely interesting about the modern day story, other than Hauser visiting that Masseuse at the beginning, what were those pills for? Who is she? They seemed to know each other pretty well, but if my guessing is right we will probably have to wait until the second season before we find out.

Why is Emerson Hauser so grumpy all the time? For me it's not an emotion that Sam Neil really does all that well on screen, I've never seen an angry man look so un-menacing, cheer up man, unless maybe this is all your fault. Dr Beauregard had very little to do again this week other than save Lucy's life, he did have one interesting thing to say though, did you catch it? When he made reference to the fact that he hasn't been outside for a while, for me that means he is not allowed to leave the new Alcatraz, why? Lucy opening her eyes at the end of the episode, ok I suppose, but it would probably have been a bit more dramatic if she wasn't so pretty. And lets face it we all knew that was going to happen the minute she was injected with Webb Porter's blood.

I really did find this episode a little boring, I went through the motions watching it but couldn't say that it was particularly memorable, in fact I can't really say that for any episode of Alcatraz. All I can say is that I hope the season finale starts persuading me that Alcatraz really can live up to it's potential and all the hype.

Movie Trailer: PROMETHEUS Starring Noomi Rapace and Michael Fassbender

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Remember this? Prometheus? Yeah, it featured on the blog a while back, just after the new year in fact when we done the two lists of 2012's most anticipated movies. Thing is, for me this was originally billed as a prequel to 1979's Alien, a movie which I haven't seen (don't worry I have the Blu-ray on order). I can't say that I'm usually the biggest fan of this type of movie, but since starting this blog I certainly appreciate this type of thing a lot more and Prometheus definitely floats around the top of my list for movies to see this year.

It's not an Alien prequel. The original script was however, that has been re-written by Damon Lindelof (Lost) and Prometheus now has it's own stand alone story, that will no doubt link in with some of the mystery's that are yet unanswered from the Alien series. Charlize Theron, Noomi Rapace, Michael Fassbender and Idris Elba star in the Ridley scott epic which sees them aboard the spaceship Prometheus after a star map is found, the crew of Prometheus are sent on a scientific mission to try and discover the origins of mankind. Check out the trailer for Prometheus which is due in UK cinemas 1st June 2012.

TV Review: DEXTER - Born Free 1.12

DEXTER: - "I've lived in darkness a long time. Over the years, my eyes adjusted until the dark became my world and I could see. But then Rudy turned on the light. He flooded my memory and now I'm blind".

I was compelled to watch Dexter from the beginning following my interest in season 5, since then Dexter has become my favourite show on TV, I love it and can’t wait for season 7 to start on 30th September this year. Season 1 had me hooked from the word go, right from Dexter narrating as we rolled past Miami’s night lights. For me season 1 arrived with the mighty impressive mid-season “Return to Sender”, the first episode where Dexter was sloppy almost getting caught and pricking the attention of Sgt Doakes to believe that something doesn’t quite sit right with everyone’s favourite blood spatter expert.

If you thought the build up to the finale in “Truth be Told” was impressive then “Born Free” didn’t stand to disappoint you in any way, shape or form. By far the best episode of the season and I think up there with the most impressive episodes of Dexter full stop, “Born Free” is a thrill ride from start to finish with brilliant acting from all involved and building to one mighty showdown between two psychotic killers, one with “Code” and one without. You really can’t ask for anymore in a season finale, and I can’t wait to start again with season 2’s box set ready to go.

Dexter is now aware that his sister Debra is in a very bad situation, although at this point he only thinks his sister is with Rudy and has no idea that he is in fact the Ice Truck Killer. Dexter is now in a race around Miami working out the clues left for him by Rudy
desperately trying to figure out what the connection is between the two. As Dexter says in the narration I posted above, his mind is flooded, he is blind and eventually all the clues lead him the house where he and biological brother Rudy were born, what would Dexter do? Turn to a killer without code? Or, turn against his brother and stick
with the family he knows best?

Not only was Dexter in a showdown with Rudy here, he also faced problems from Sgt Doakes, a character who I didn’t afford much time in earlier episodes but he has certainly grown on me throughout the season. Doakes is brilliant for the one liners and his discomfort with Dexter is done all that more convincingly than Desmond Harrington in
Dexter’s later seasons. In “Born Free” Doakes is there to provide the laughs once again when he believes Dexter is hiding something from the police “Lab geek my ass” is the line of choice. Doakes is definitely a character I’m looking forward to seeing more of in season 2.

What made this episode was when Dexter finally pieced everything together and ended up at the home which he grew up in, the moment he walked through that gate a flashback to his mother in the garden with multi coloured finger nails, letting us know where the Ice Truck Killer had drawn his inspiration from . But, there was still one more mystery, how did Rudy know so much about Dexter? We find out, and in spectacular fashion too, unlike in season 6 where we all knew Gellar was not real from about the third episode I don't think anyone guessed that Rudy was in fact Dexter's brother, had I not seen season 6 before this one I probably wouldn't have guessed myself. Cue an emotional chat between Dexter and Rudy, who wants his brother to join him in killing Debra however Dexter denies the invitation saying "I'm very fond of her", that moment where Dexter catches Rudy's arm, right when he's about to put the knife into Deb was brilliant and the short struggle afterwards allows you to think momentarily that the story of the Ice Truck Killer may run into another season.

Not in Dexter, when we see Rudy break into Dexter's apartment in the night and stab prosthetic body parts which he believes to be Debra, Dexter has outwitted his pshycotic brother and duly sneaks up behind him knocking him out and killing Rudy in his own refrigerated lair. It was a brilliant end to what was a brilliant first season of my favourite show.

Like I said above, I can't wait to get started on the second season, quite how I'll find the time to watch it with all the other TV on right now I don't know but for Dexter I'm sure I'll make time.

TV Previews: SPARTACUS 2.8 - Balance, THE WALKING DEAD 2.13 - Beside the Dying Fire, ALCATRAZ 1.11 - Webb Porter and AWAKE 1.4 - Kate is Enough

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Ok, a new show added to the previews this week, since The River has now finished and Person of Interest is not on, our schedule will be re-shuffled to fit in NBC's Awake. So, here we go with previews of all this week's top TV shows.

The Walking Dead has been really great recently, it has certainly taken a leap out the bore we had all come to expect week on week at the start of this second season. Last week could not have finished any better with them killing off one of the shows biggest characters Shane (John Bernthal), following that he mutated into a zombie rather quick. How did that happen? Has the species evolved? This week's finale sees Rick and his son in a bit of a sticky situation, check out the trailer below.

Last week's Spartacus was another impressive instalment and this week looks no different, following Gannicus' raid on Lucreita's transport to Rome he has taken her hostage and took her to Spartacus, his chance for vengeance right before him what will he do? Cue the showdown between Glaber and a few of his Roman legion against the might of Spartacus' slave rebellion.

Alcatraz looks like it could be serving up another good episode in this week's "Webb Porter", a man who loves his music and according to Lucy in the flashback scene he is a bit of a genius. Back in modern day San Fransisco he could prove useful in other ways for Hauser who needs him taken in alive in order to take his blood to save Lucy. It may be another procedural week, but we are starting to get more glimpses into the mystery held by Alcatraz.

Awake has recently joined my roster of TV reviews, I've only done the "Pilot" so far but will hopefully have the other two for you by Thursday before "Kate is Enough" goes out on NBC. I mentioned in my first review how well the stories crossed over in the show and also how interesting the cases away from the main plot were. This week seems to be going to keep up with that whilst also having us question, which Kate is real?

TV Review: AWAKE - Pilot 1.1

Saturday, 17 March 2012

I watched Awake when it first aired a couple of weeks back, and yes, I was intrigued. I do like the premise but thought maybe I already watch enough TV. I have had to reconsider, I really should be making room in my schedule for a well thought out TV show which was initially named REM and was billed as a Inception-esqe TV thriller, if you caught my review of the movie Inception then you will already know just how impressed I was with that, as well as that very good reason to keep watching and start reviewing Awake is the fact that my only loyal commenter Ruben also likes the show which means my reviews will get comments (hopefully), there is a lot of stuff I write about which does not get comments, follow your audience that’s what they say.

Awake is the new TV show brought to us by Kyle Killen on NBC, a network which I hear is in need of a successful TV show right now. Awake follows Michael Britten (Jason Issacs) a police detective who gets into a car accident with his family. From there on Michael lives in two separate realities, one where his wife Hannah (Laura Allen) survived the crash and his son Rex (Dylan Minette) died and the other where his son survived and wife died. Britten switches between the realities by simply going to sleep, in each reality he is still a detective but has different partners, he also has a shrink in each reality, which one is real? If any, that's where the guessing games start for us.

I really loved the "Pilot", I have actually watched it twice as I found it quite difficult to keep tabs on first time round, the realities are separated for the viewer by a tint which comes over the screen, those are red and green, red being the reality his wife survived and green where his son survived. The two realities cross over really well for Britten as one usually helps him solve cases in the other, it also gives us two different stories to concentrate on away from the main Sci-Fi plot.

Those two stories are actually interesting enough even if you do take away the main plot, in the "Pilot" Britten was working on two cases, in one reality it was the case of a missing girl and the other he was working on a murder and I really enjoyed seeing each of the stories and for me Awake leaves you in a bit of a predicament. Which reality do you like better? I have seen all three episodes now and I found that I like different things from each reality, take the two shrinks for instance I like them both but for me Dr Judith Evans (Cherry Jones) is all that more convincing that her reality is the real one , this would be the one where his wife survived. Dr John Lee (B.D. Wong) is also very good but hasn't come out with anything convincing for me as yet. Having said that I enjoy that reality more, I'll go into more detail with further reviews but the stories, especially in the third episode have been better for me.

So, is Britten actually shifting between two realities? I'm really not sure, I think that's the same for all of us, could it be? Or do you think that Michael Britten will turn out to be like Gene Hunt, dead all along, maybe he is in a coma and dreaming the realities, meaning that neither of them are real. There are a lot of possibility's for this show and I'm really looking forward to seeing how the story goes. How about you? What are your thoughts on Awake?

New UK Cinema Releases: 16th March 2012, CONTRABAND, 21 JUMP STREET and WE BOUGHT A ZOO

Friday, 16 March 2012

It's a pretty good week at the cinema if your out and about over the weekend. There is a new action thriller which looks really cool, a new kick ass comedy, something about a Zoo and a new horror movie which I won't mention here because to be quite honest the trailer scares the s**t out of me. So, I'll stop rambling on and tell you what's new at the cinema this week.

First up it's Contraband starring Mark Wahlberg, Giovanni Ribisi, Kate Beckinsale and Ben Foster.

Chris Farraday (Wahlberg) is a legendary smuggler who left the life of crime along time ago in order to be with and protect his family. Farraday's brother-in-law Andy (Caleb Landry-Jones) is still in the game and botches a drug deal for ruthless drug boss Tim Briggs (Ribisi), before long Farraday finds himself back in the life he left behind in order to save Andy's life. He quickly gets together a crew with friend Sebastien (Foster) and they head to Panama where they will be smuggling back millions in counterfeit bills. Unfortunately things don't go to plan and Farraday races to the money in order to save the thing he loves the most, his family.

I posted the trailer for Contraband a few months back now, miss it? Don't worry I got the updated one here for you now. I have heard mixed reports on the movie but I think Wahlberg kicks ass so you can be sure I'll be seeing and reviewing this one.

Now one I won't see, We Bought A Zoo starring Matt Damon, Scarlett Johansson, Thomas Haden Church and Elle Fanning

Matt Damon plays Benjamin Mee a man who moves to the countryside of South Corolina along with his family. Benjamin moves his family into an old Zoo which is struggling to survive and together they help run it.

I think this is one of those, hey I got kids now type of movies, you know when Matt appears on a chat show and tells us his kids can't watch The Bourne movies? Yeah those ones. I don't think I will be watching this one.

Last one to mention, 21 Jump Street starring Jonah Hill, Channing Tautum, Ice Cube and Brie Larson

Schmidt (Hill) and Jenko (Tautum) are cops who make a massive botch meaning their boss wants them off the streets, luckily for said boss Schmidt and Jenko look about 15 years old so he sends them to work undercover in a high school where they must work on bringing down a synthetic drug ring.

I don't think it will be any immense sort of story or anything but I have heard it's pretty funny, lets face it Jonah Hill usually is. R-Rated so expect some rudeness and lots of swearing, check out the red band trailer below.

TV News: PERSON OF INTEREST Renewed For Second Season

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Great news for fans of Person of Interest today, network CBS have renewed it for a second season. The show which stars Jim Cavizel and Michael Emerson follows two guy's, Finch and Reese who fight to detect crimes before they happen. They are alerted to a "Person of Interest" by a machine which spits out the Social Security Number of a person that's about to become involved in a bad situation. Finch is the mastermind behind the computer which detects the crimes whilst Reese is the mussels behind the outfit.

Following a slow start the show has been a massive hit for CBS, even more so of late. Person of Interest has a knack of delivering mystery and intrigue regarding it's two lead characters at just the right time and the most recent episodes have been very, very good. The show has just aired it's seventeenth episode in the U.S, that was last week's "Baby Blue", it's not on this week but should be back the week after next with "Identity Crisis".

Person of Interest is the highest rated new Drama on TV, and regarded by many as the best show on TV right now, I would second that. If you read this blog often then you know I love Person of Interest and every episode has been reviewed, you can check them out HERE. So, lets celebrate with going over some my favourites of the first season. First up

Mission Creep - The third episode in the series and one which really announced just how big of a show this could be.

Witness - The episode where we were all introduced to Elias, a man who would come to play a big part in future story lines.

Number Crunch - Reese's former employee's, the CIA have been on the hunt for him along time and this is the episode where they finally catch up to him.

Root Cause - Another episode where we were introduced to a threat that could return later in this season or maybe the next, computer hacker "Root" was all over Finch's machine in seconds.

Wolf and Cub - One of my personal favourites and a brilliant performance put in from a young guest star who before the episode most people had wrote off.

Awards? Yeah it's won some of those, ok not quite as impressive the Emmy's but it has won the "Favourite New TV Drama" at the people's choice awards. Actress Taraji P. Henson was also nominated for an Image Award for the "Outstanding Actress in a TV Drama Series".

This first season has three episodes to go and I have been saying for a while that the story was good enough to warrant a second season, and I can't wait.

Movie Review: KNIGHT & DAY (2009) Starring Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz

It’s Saturday night there is nothing on TV I don’t want to watch repeats so I suggest watching Knight & Day, from what I’ve seen it doesn’t look to bad and I’m not really in the mood for anything which requires me to think that hard.  Turns out that Knight & Day served that purpose rather well, but in all honesty I was prepared to think a little harder than was required during this movie.

Starring: Tom Cuise, Cameron Diaz, Paul Dano, Jordi Molla and Peter Sarsgaard

The Plot

June Havens (Diaz) is a normal girl on her way back home to attend a dress fitting for her sisters wedding, on her way she bumps into Roy Miller (Cruise) a secret agent who has recently discovered that he wasn’t supposed to survive his latest mission. June’s life becomes tangled in Roy’s when his supposed colleagues turn up and tell her that he has gone rouge and stole the “Zephr”, a new alternative energy source. Cue some world wide jet setting as Roy and June attempt to keep themselves one step ahead of the people trying to kill them.

The Verdict

So, did Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz make this movie when they had nothing better to do with their time? Seriously with such a heavyweight cast I was expecting a lot more. I know it is supposed to have a lighter hearted side to it but trust me when I say it’s terrible, not funny, action is poor and at times this movie simply made me cringe. I suppose you could go with the verdict that Knight & Day is what it is, a movie which requires very little effort on your part and probably perfect for a tired night on the sofa when you can’t be bothered to use your brain to much.

When Knight & Day was released into cinema’s in summer 2010 it was billed as THE summer “Blockbuster”, I can only say that I’m pleased I didn’t spend the money getting into the cinema as that would have left me more disappointed than watching it on DVD. Far from the “Blockbuster” I was promised Knight & Day is essentially a star vehicle for Cruise and Diaz, supposedly a action / comedy movie. Not in my book. Yes there was action in the movie but it was mostly over the top, ridiculous and not believable. Diaz has been convincing in previous roles as a bit of a tough nut, sadly that’s not the case

Away from the two lead characters the backing cast and supposed bad guys have also been attached to pretty decent movies in their time, quite why they signed on for this is anyone’s guess. Jordi Molla (Bad Boys 2), Peter Sarsgaard (Jarhead) and Paul Dano (There Will Be Blood), all decent actors who have been in very good movies, Kinght & Day is as hammy as they come.

As you’ve probably guessed I didn’t enjoy this movie much at all, I won’t lie and say that I didn’t laugh but mostly I was laughing at the bad action, some of the jokes worked and a couple of the one liners tickled me but ultimately Knight & Day is a throw away action movie which delivers fun without much thought and in my book won’t be making any top 10 lists.

Would I watch it again?

I wouldn't have thought so.

Rating: M

TV Review: ALCATRAZ - Clarence Montgomery 1.10

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

I gotta get myself some of those ribs, man they looked good. Alcatraz was back to it's normal scheduling this week following last weeks impressive double bill. The impression left from the previous two episodes was definitely carried on into "Clarence Montgomery" it was a solid episode but as always it wasn't without it's flaws. Alcatraz really does have a good concept away from the procedural cop drama side of things, but this far into the season I feel like I should be excited about watching every episode and that is just not the case right now, I find myself not really caring all that much of what goes on in modern day San Francisco and am more compelled to see Alcatraz back it's it's glory days of the 1960's.

Speaking of glory days, is that really a word we should associate with "Clarence Montgomery"? If this episode showed us anything it was the fact that racism was rife during that time with white's even refusing to eat on the same side of the room as black people, I know it's what went on then but I do at times find that difficult to watch given the times we live in. Clarence Montgomery (Mahershala Ali) was sent to Alcatraz prison for the murder of his girlfriend, a crime that he was ultimately convicted of due to the colour of his skin. Clarence re-appears in the modern day as all the prisoners have, only this time he is the killer that was convicted 50 years earlier.

These flashbacks we all love so much, are they really flashbacks? Could we possibly be witness to parallel universes here? After all, Alcatraz has promised all along that it's the new Lost. Clarence is now the second or maybe third prisoner I recall saying that he visited the Alcatraz infirmary in 1963, next thing knew it's 2012. Considering technology was not that advanced in the 60's an alternate universe in which Warden James and E.B Tiller travel to and from could be a possible way, that would explain why all of these returning prisoners who have supposedly been asleep for 50 years are all so capable in the use of modern technology.

Clarence Montgomery is probably the first prisoner who has returned that if captured alive could, and probably would have provided some answers as to just what the mystery behind Alcatraz is. Clarence clearly didn't want to be a killer and hated the person he had become, or rather had been turned into, that turning started in 1960 when in Alcatraz he was being shown a brainwashing movie all but convincing him that he was the callous domestic killer who had been convicted in a court of law. During this sequence I did again suspect that Dr Beauregard is actually more involved than I thought, that was quickly eradicated though when he questioned the Warden on why he took blood and what the Warden done with the blood before it was re-injected into prisoners.

We have gone on this long about "Clarence Montgomery" now and I haven't even mentioned our supposed main characters Rebecca, Doc and Hauser, there is a reason for that. They really were not that interesting during this episode, like I said above right now I find anything happening in the "flashbacks" more of interest to me than these guys, maybe they aren't the main characters, somebody else could come into from the shadows. I still think Hauser is hiding something, he and Dr Beauregard clearly know more than we do right now. They must at least have an inkling as Hauser knew all these people would be coming back.

I do enjoy Alcatraz, but this far it has hardly done anything game changing, better than Terra Nova without doubt but it has a long way to go before it's anywhere near as good as Lost. With three episodes left of the first season and poor ratings this far I wonder if Alcatraz has done enough, or provided enough mystery to be renewed for a second season, if not, then I hope everything is explained and it doesn't finish poorly like FlashForward or The Event.

TV Review: DEXTER - Truth Be Told 1.11

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

TV shows really just don’t get any better than Dexter do they? As promised I’m back with my latest review from season 1 in “Truth Be Told”. Dexter came back impressively following the last two episodes which I found a bit of a drag, “Truth Be Told” was a brilliant episode and although I did nod off (through tiredness, not boredom) at one point I still remember enough about it to get this down on paper.

Dexter’s first season is definitely building to a spectacular finale, with the pieces finally starting to drop into place, Dexter himself grows suspicious of Rudy and begins to investigate why he was sent to room 103 at the Marina View Hotel, what’s the connection of that number Dexter and Rudy? Dexter finally comes up with the solution when he looks into a crime which Harry investigated back in 1973 when Dexter’s biological mother was killed. In the mean time The Ice Truck Killer strikes again killing the prosthetic arm prostitute who was linked to Batista in “Seeing Red”. The ever growing suspicions of Dexter are enhanced further when coincidentally Rudy has an injury to his lip and Batista has teeth marks in his head, on that Dexter has Rudy's DNA analysed along with samples from The Ice Truck Killer.

It’s not all plain sailing for Dexter though, he has his own problems. Sgt Doakes is growing ever more suspicious of Dexter believing he is hiding something, but what is it? Does Doakes think Dexter is a killer or does he believe that Dexter is in someway connected to The Ice Truck Killer and is withholding vital evidence in the case. Which ever one he suspects he is right but it just wouldn’t be as much fun if he found out would it? Dexter of course doesn’t help himself in the case as Doakes catches him out lying on at least three occasions from what I recall.

This whole episode featured on what we all love about this show, Dexter himself and the main plot of The Ice Truck Killer, very little time was spent dressing around things and everything focused on delivering what you would probably say is one of the best build ups to a finale of all time. If you read this blog often then you’ll know that I only got into Dexter maybe a year ago watching season 5 and 6. In Michael C. Hall I’ve found an actor who I think I would watch in anything, this guy really is brilliant and when he is on screen you simply don’t want to divert your attention, I never saw Six Feet Under but I’m seriously considering going over that sometime.

“Truth Be Told” is up there with “Return to Sender” as far as season 1 episodes go, I really enjoyed this and just when you think it can’t get any better Dexter pulls together all the pieces discovering that Rudy is The Ice Truck Killer and his sister is in a very dangerous
situation, secrets out, great move onto the finale, no no. This is Dexter cue another scene with Rudy revealing himself as The Ice Truck Killer to Debra tying her up on his boat before sailing off, roll end credits. Now that’s how you build up to a finale.

I’m so pleased I’m not watching this as they go, luckily for me I could roll straight into the season 1 finale and before you read the full review which will be coming in the next day or two, just trust me when I say that it wasn’t disappointing at all.
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