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TV Review: PRESON OF INTEREST - Masquerade 2.3

Monday, 22 October 2012

Person of Interest really is one of the best shows on TV right now, right? The first two episodes of this second season were a little out of the norm for POI, although no less outstanding in story and development. “Masquerade” saw Finch back to the controls and Reese with his latest number to track down, the POI episode which we are all so used to, kick ass and witty comments from Reese and some hilarious moments involving Finch and dog, whilst all the time the main story / conspiracy of what Person of Interest is essentially about kept bubbling away nicely in the background with what looks like more worries for Finch on the horizon.

Person of Interest is well known by now for being quite witty but I have to say, this is one of the funniest episode’s I have seen and at times it even had me laughing out loud. First off, I loved the conversation between Reese and Carter before he charged off into that gang bar, “just give me three and a half minutes”, “please John there are at least 10 guys in there”, “ok, four minutes”, that was a brilliant little scene between Jim Cavizel and Taraji P. Henson and what topped it off was Carter saving his ass just as he’d finished kicking ass. Reese’s parting line, “This guy hit me over the head with a neon sign, it was just un-sportsman like”, ha. Then you have all the moments with Finch and his new furry pal Bear, some of the facial expressions from Michael Emerson were brilliant and I got a real laugh out of it, but what was also great to see was the relationship grow between the three of them, three is not a crowd.

I’ll talk a little about Finch now, the normally cool and confident man behind “the machine” seems to have been affected by his kidnap ordeal at the hands of Root (Amy Acker). Attempting to leave his “office” Finch took a panic attack and rushed back wondering what’s going on, it would seem his new pal Bear could not have arrived at a better time, at least he can feel safe whilst Resse, Carter and Fusco are out doing there thing. That “thing” is also something else which has been so good about the return of Person of Interest, Carter and Fusco are now actively involved with everything that happens when a new number is delivered and it really adds a whole brilliant new angle to the show. Resse is still the brawn of course but Carter is a though cookie too whilst Fusco is his usual bumbling self, he’s a really good guy though and it’s hard to remember the corrupt cop who initially tried to kill Resse in the opening episodes of the first season, Reese and Finch have given the guy a whole new reason to be a decent person and good law abiding cop.

I also enjoyed this weeks procedural, and no, it wasn’t just because that Brazilian diplomat’s daughter Sofia (Paloma Guzman) was extremely hot, it was actually because it sent you in a completely different direction other than where you would have thought, she was a real pain in the ass and it wasn’t hard to imagine why someone who is high up in politics may want her out the way. The story however took us in another direction, her sleazy ass rich boyfriend, who thanks for his efforts was hung off the edge of a balcony by Reese towards the end of the episode. Reese also showed his commitment to Finch here, as the hot Brazilian wanted him to relocate and become her full time body guard, I know it would have ruined the story of POI but if that was me….. Just sayin Reese.

All this was going on whilst like I mentioned above the main story was bubbling away in the background. The Alicia Corwin investigation, who killed her? And probably more importantly who was tracking her? The assassin from the opening episode of this first season (the one who shot Denton Weeks) was back to retrieve the tracking device from Alicia’s arm and I’m pretty sure that we have only scratched the surface of how deep this story line goes. Reese’s former CIA partner Cara was also back in this episode, if you remember we found out in last seasons “Matsya Nyaya” that she is not dead as Reese thinks, what does she know or want to know? She has a great way of finding out, strapping some explosives to corrupt FBI Agent Snow who she has running around doing her dirty work into Alicia Corwin. Some real depth still to be added to this show from all of this and none of it is to complicated, it’s slotted in nicely along with the action which keeps Person of Interest so fresh.

Needless to say but Person of Interest continues to just get better and better and this really is one of my favourite shows on TV right now, it is essential viewing for me and I love it, with the people involved behind the scenes and the cast working so well as they are it’s hard to see anything other than POI just continuing to get stronger, roll on next week’s “Triggerman”, no more Presidential debates please CBS.

Side Notes;

Sorry about the delay, this should have been out over the weekend but I have been having computer trouble, hence no updates for the last five days.

TV Review: DEXTER - Buck the System 7.3

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Dexter would get boring awfully quick if Debra wasn't to release him from her constant watch, and I'm pleased to report that "Buck the System" went all out with what may well be a very important showdown between Dexter and Deb. Dexter is a serial killer, she knows that now, but can she accept it? This episode was brilliant in exploring the question (for Debra) is Dexter a necessary evil? The code ensures that Dexter satisfies his urges by only killing people who have slipped through the justice system, his ways may be illegal but it is a lot more effective and in this episode Debra saw that, as the girl killed at the end would have been saved had she let Dexter act earlier as he had suggested. The thing which I really liked here was Deb's realisation when Dexter told her about all the hunches he had passed onto Miami Metro in the past. Maybe from here we can move onto Deb always taking his advice in murder cases, she would become the most successful lieutenant Miami Metro have had in a while.

What is Debra going to do about it though? I'd say there is not really a great lot she can do now, she has not said she agrees with what Dexter does but she understands why he does it. Would she really blow him in now? I don't think she would, she has known about it to long and stands to loose a lot, her job obviously but more importantly the man she trusts and cares about more than anyone. What I also really liked about this episode was Dexter taking Deb along to the bar where he was stalking his next victim, explaining his process on how he must be sure that the person has committed the crimes they were suspected of. Without any real action season 7 really has started well and now that Mob boss Issack Sirko (Ray Stevenson) knows the name Dexter Morgan who works for Miami Metro things look like they are only going to get better.

It was good to see the back of Louis this week, since the season 6 finale I have been wondering what his problem was with Dexter, does he know? Nope he didn't know a thing, turns out he was just a dick. Had they kept him in the show it would have been interesting to see how Dexter would have dealt with him, he's not the usual bait that Dexter would go for, but that's not a concern now, because thanks to Mr Sirko we won't be seeing him again. It was really good the way Dexter dealt with him in the beginning, seeing the violent approach didn't help Dexter posted the hand from the Ice Truck Killer Investigation back to Masuka whilst also posting his video diary to Jamie, thanks to Dexter Louis lost his job and extremely FIT girlfriend in one swoop, then to top it off as he tried to sink Dexter's boat "Slice of Life" Issack put a bullet in his head, I had one of those moments when I saw the mob heading for the boat, "is that Louis?" "Yeah it's Louis" "Great he's going to get shot".

Now with Dexter free to roam as he pleases and his name known to Issack I think things are going to get really interesting, I wouldn't imagine that Mr Sirko is the type to walk into Miami Metro and say to someone, excuse me, that chap Dexter who works here, he killed my friend, you know? The who shot your colleague? Of course that's not going to happen, a good game of cat and mouse is going to ensue and for the first time (I believe) Dexter is going to find himself up against an organised crime group, one where more than one person will be in search of his head. A note on the mobsters, Ray Stevenson is a pretty convincing gangster wouldn't you agree?

We also got moved onto what will be the love story side of things this week when we met Hanna McKay (Yvonne Strahovski). There was a clear attraction between her and Dexter and all that remains to be seen now, is she the new Rita? Or, maybe another Lila the pshyco from season 2. I think for now I will go with the latter, it may well turn out that she was actually the brains behind the outfit back when she went with last week's murderer who wanted some "Sunshine and Frosty Swirl". It was a brief meeting and the lines she had were limited but I have a pretty good idea that Dexter may be back for some gardening advice when off duty next week.

So, to cap off another solid episode from Dexter and no signs that it will be returning to poor form, which even when it was "poorer" it was still good. As always I am waiting with baited breath for next week's episode "Run" and I can't wait to see what it's got to offer. How about you? What do you think of Dexter season 7 so far? Your comments are welcome as always.

TV Review: ARROW - Pilot 1.1

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Having never even read a comic book in my life would it be ok of me to go and say that Arrow is one of the most kick ass shows I have seen? Honestly, as far as “Pilot” episodes go this one really got me, right from the off I was thinking, this is just like watching a movie, would it work better as one? I’m not sure it would when you see Oliver Queen’s little note book. Arrow premiered on America’s CW network and will be coming to UK TV later in the year, back in August Arrow featured on my Fall TV show preview, it actually just managed a little mention at the bottom below Vegas and Last Resort, turns out it’s better than both of those and I think I may have found a new show to add to my weekly reviews.

Arrow follows the story of Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell), the son of a billionaire who has been missing and presumed dead for the last five years, that is until one day when he is discovered on a deserted island and brought home to a hero’s welcome. However, Oliver is not the billionaire playboy he was when he left all that time ago, he is now clearly in love with Laurel Lance (Katie Cassidy), the girl who’s sister he was sleeping with on the boat before the storm. Oliver’s time on the island hasn’t been fully explained as yet but some “bad stuff” happened to him whilst he was there, his father left him a mission, a list of names for the people who had wronged Starling City and he needed to kill. Returning to America there are a couple of interested parties, including his own mother who want to know what he was told by his father, thing is he can never reveal his secret and that’s why he must maintain in appearance his playboy lifestyle and keep Laurel at arms length, at least for now anyway.

I really think if Arrow is worked right the CW could have themselves a little runaway hit on their hands. I know we have only seen the “Pilot” so far but Arrow is showing some real promise for me and I thought it was great. The characters are good and there is enough mystery to keep me going for now, what I especially liked were the flashbacks to Oliver’s time on the island as the story develops week on week it would be nice to see them tell that story as well as the one which we are seeing in the present day. With shows like Arrow there is always a question as to whether it would serve better as a movie instead of weekly TV format, I think Arrow could work as a movie (haven’t read the comic remember!) but there are a lot of people to get through in that space of time and for that reason I think weekly TV will serve this better. What will also be interesting to see, is if they can make Arrow last for more than one season, but again people who know comics may know more about characters than I do.

I think what I loved most about this was all of the comparisons to Batman, or The Dark Knight, whatever you want to call him. A billionaire who is pissed at greed and corruption from people in power, and he has decided that he is going to do something about it, sounds familiar! So, yeah the backing story of why Oliver wants to do what he does is the same but so is the main story, yes he is a superhero, but if you remember me and Ruben (the main commenter on this site) had a conversation in The Dark Knight movie review that the reason Batman is so good is because he does not have any real super power, he is just a very tough guy who can kick major ass when required.

I’ll mention it for the ladies but one thing Arrow has that Batman does not are the sickest abs I have ever seen, I gotta get me some of those, and when I learn to do pull ups like Stephen Amell, maybe I will get a part in a TV show. I think even Gerard Butler would be looking at those abs and saying “Man, I gotta get back the gym”. Oilver is also pretty handy with a bow and arrow, and again like Batman his kit is really high tech, he has the office space and now just needs a car, if I could give him any advice it would be buy a McLaren Mercedes like his best friend has, because that car is almost as kick ass as he is.

Finally, if you hadn’t guessed already I really enjoyed Arrow and I’m really looking forward to seeing how it pans out, sure parts were cliché but I can over look that because the story so far both modern day and flashbacks have me interested. How about you? What did you think of Arrow? Your thoughts and comments are welcome as always.  

Side Notes;

If the CW wanted to use me as a body double for Stephen Amell, then they should have just asked.

How HOT are Thea Queen (Willa Holland) and Laurel Lance (Katie Cassidy)?

If you have had no lady action in the last five years then that roughly equates to 1839 days, according to Tommy Merlyn (Colin Donnell)

TV Previews: DEXTER 7.3 - Buck the System, HOMELAND 2.3 - State of Independence, REVOLUTION 1.5 - Soul Train

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Dexter 7.3 - “Buck the System”

I have been hugely impressed with Dexter since its return to our TV screens a couple of weeks back, last weeks “Sunshine and Frosty Swirl” saw Debra taking on babysitting duties in an attempt to rehabilitate her serial killer brother, of course we knew that would never last and this week Dexter is at breaking point wanting Debra to back off before something bad happens, I can only presume he means him killing her as apposed to drugging her food. “Buck the System” looks like another great instalment with Louis getting creepier than ever and Dexter's new love interest Hanna (Yvonne Strahovski) joining the cast.

Homeland 2.3 – “State of Independence

If you didn’t see Homeland last week then boy did you miss a treat, that reveal at the end with Saul Bresnan finding out that his paranoid partner Carrie had been right about the loyalties of Sgt Nick Brody all along, wow. This show really is brilliant but so far I’m not really feeling the need to write about it every week (think I’ll leave that to real writers). This week’s “State of Independence" like all the other shows looks like a brilliant episode which can’t be missed as the net will surely be closing in on Brody, but, where does the story go from here?

Revolution 1.5 “Soul Train”

You may remember from my review of “The Plague Dogs” that I have a new found desire to watch this show, it delivered its best episode yet as far as story line and character development goes with the previous episode. The story of Miles Matheson was one of those stories that was looking continually promising as the group made their way across America in search of Danny Matheson, currently being held captor by Militia Captain Tom Neville. “Soul Train” looks like it will be delivering that story line a little further as Neville and Miles Matheson come face to face in what looks like another classy episode of Revolution which will be packed with action.

TV Review: REVOLUTION - The Plague Dogs 1.4 - Maybe This Does Get Better

Friday, 12 October 2012

You know what they say? Credit due where credits due and here for the first time in the freshman season of Revolution I have to grant it because "The Plague Dogs" was actually the best episode this series has delivered so far. I actually said during last weeks review of "No Quarter" that I wouldn't be reviewing or maybe even watching Revolution anymore, I had simply not got into any of the characters or their stories, I felt no emotional attachment at all and in all honesty I thought we were headed for another TV show which gives us a first season, no answers and is then cancelled. Turns out I should maybe have given this show a little longer as this episode was brilliant and the writers, along with the actors done a fantastic job of getting the audience to finally sit up and care about the characters who are on display. There are so many TV shows on our screens these days that we probably don't give them adequate time to settle in and I think Revolution is one that could be added to that list, I'm just pleased I stuck it out for another week which saw the dynamic change massively for me.

I think these days anytime we see J.J. Abrams' name attached to a show or movie we are automatically intrigued, will it be as good as Lost? Or, will this be another example of a high concept idea that really does not catch on with the audience? After three episodes of Revolution my initial thought was on the latter but it turns out it just needed a little more time, without doubt the best performance in the series so far has been from Militia Captain Tom Neville (Breaking Bad's Giancarlo Esposito), this guy brings a real presence to the screen when he appears and last week he was joined by another TV favourite of mine Mark Pellagrino who played another Militia Captain. What I said then was that the show should concentrate more on their side of the story and never mind all of the Charlie Matheson and her Uncle Miles stuff. "The Plague Dogs" went to prove me wrong as this episode was so character and story focused that I could have sat and watched more following its conclusion.

Charlie Matheson (Tracey Spiridakos), the female lead of Revolution who last week I told Mr Abrams I could do a job on the being dramatic side of things. I've never felt anything for her character emotionally, but this episode delved deeper into her past with the flash back story and you get to see the reason why at times she is such a tough nut, whilst at others she is as vulnerable as they come. Abandoned (seemingly) by her mother Rachael (Lost's Elizabeth Mitchell), Charlie took the blow really hard and I must say I really felt the emotion of that flash back scene when Rachael Matheson left her family for something "she needed to do", a reason that was not fully explained at the time but delivered a powerful twist at the end of this episode.

What also got me so involved with the story of Charlie this week was her daughter mother relationship with Maggie (Anna Lise Phillips), the woman who was in Canada at the time of the Blackout. Maggie is British but following the loss of power she found herself unable to get back to England, just about to kill herself Ben Matheson stumbles across her and invites her to join his family for some food. Accepting that she will not be able to get back to the UK and be with her own children she becomes a mother to both Charlie and her younger brother Danny (Graham Rogers), unbelievably in this episode Maggie was killed off after being stabbed in the leg by a mad man, I really didn't give her character a second thought till this episode but this scene threw some major weight especially in the direction of Charlie. So, yeah that might have been quick to kill someone off in four episodes but it shows some balls from the writers and also gives you the impression that they are not afraid to "do off", for want of better words with characters, maybe even bigger named ones.

Also good during this episode was the continual development of Miles Matheson's story, the man who co-founded the Monroe Militia and trained all of it's troops in the art of sword fighting. Miles has always been dismissive about whether or not he would be sticking around in a good guy capacity for any length of time, he almost walked in this episode, but the scene I mentioned above featuring Maggie is the one which will finally see him stick around to do some good for his niece Charlie, pretty strong stuff when you consider that the big reveal here is that Miles is actually responsible for Charlie's mother leaving in the first place. I really think there are still many layers to go with Miles and I'm really looking forward to seeing how they do this.

Danny was also developed a little further this week, he never really reacted to his mother Rachael leaving, I don' t know if that's because he was to young or whether he is just a pretty tough nut under the shell of things. Still under the capture of Tom Neville's Malitia unit, he and the gang found themselves in the middle of a tornado and had to take shelter in a barn, finally Danny was given the chance to escape when Neville found himself trapped under the beam of a collapsed roof, run leave him there, that's what I thought, but really to loose Ginacarlo Esposito this early in the series may have been to much. Instead Danny decided to help his captor, probably hoping for a little of the same in return, not what he got of course with Neville showing that Danny really is to important to the story to allow him to escape just yet.

I really was ready to dump this show after three episodes, but like I have stressed above Revolution really does look like its going to get into a good run of form, whether that form can be stretched more than one season remains to be seen but for now Revolution has delivered a brilliant episode which certainly has me looking forward to next weeks, I just hope they can keep it up, great job. How about you? What did you think of this instalment of Revolution? Your comments are welcome as always.

TV Review: DEXTER - Sunshine and Frosty Swirl 7.2

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Following on form the impressive season 7 premiere “Are You…?” Dexter was back this week delivering us some “Sunshine and Frosty Swirl”, a weird name for a TV episode I thought but as always the reference was made apparent and could quite possibly have given us a little glimpse as to what we should be expecting from these final two seasons of the show. On saying that there is still an awful lot of stuff (character wise) to wade through before we start with any of that and as always I’m going to put forward my idea of how I think things may go from here.

It goes without saying really that the most impressive scenes in season 7 so far have been the “show downs” between Dexter and Debra, the beginning of this episode was brilliant picking up exactly where we had left off, "Dexter, are you a serial killer?" - "Yes" Running out the house and onto the street to thrownup Debra displays every emotion possible before eventually calming down and applying some rationale, after all accusing your brother of being The Bay Harbour Butcher in the middle of the street is probably not the best way to keep Dexter out of prison. Debra has now given Dexter an ultimatum, either live with her 24/7 while she councils him and attempts to cure his serial killing ways or she turns him, would she really though? I mean I mentioned last time round Debra is now an accomplice in Travis Marshall’s murder, I’m pretty sure she would end up in prison too. I think if Dexter where to leave then she probably wouldn’t go to the police, but it’s not a scenario Dexter has ran with yet, for now he is happy to inject Debra’s steak and sneak out the house while she is comatose.

Quite possibly the most intriguing part of this weeks episode was the little side story of the prisoner who decided to shed his “dark passenger”, come clean and tell police where he had buried the bodies. Not the case of course, the guy just wanted out for some “Sunshine and Frosty Swirl”, and then to throw himself in front of a truck. It was his conversation with Dexter that was the best bit though, when he explained how his partner Hannah (Yvonne Strahovski, joining the cast as Dexter’s love interest later in the show) could now only see him as a killer, how he lost everyone he loved because of what he’d done and now there was only one person left to kill, himself. Not the route that I would like to see Dexter take and in all honesty I don’t think he will, Dexter is a lot stronger than that and he lives by Harry’s code, I hope that was shoved in there to let us think that is what will happen.

I have been saying since the middle of season 6 that Masuka’s intern Louis really gives me the creeps, I have also been posing the question (as have many others) how much does he know? Turns out probably not all that much, mind you I still can’t stand the prick. However, I don’t think he does know the full truth about Dexter, like Doakes I think Louis knows there is something odd about him but can’t get a handle on it, Louis though, is just a computer geek who for some reason likes to antagonise Dexter, he clearly doesn’t know who he is messing with, but Louis does not fit in with “Harry’s Code” meaning that Dexter can’t just go kill him, well he could and in all honesty I wish he would, but that’s the thing about making promises that you probably don’t intend on keeping. For me the best scene in this episode was the one where Dexter broke into Louis’ flat, charged at him and pinned him to the wall, he even lifted him off the floor at one point, Dexter’s a bad ass!

I also like the introduction to crime boss Vincent Sirko (Ray Stevenson) this week, it looks like he is going to be a real challenge for Dexter as he joins the ranks of the few “Big Bad” conquests who are physically a challenge for Dexter to over power. And Mr Sirko wasted no time in showing us just how dangerous he can be when he rammed a screw driver into the eye socket of someone who he thought had talked to police, note to Dexter, don’t leave any of your tools lying around. This is still a bit of a side story really and will no doubt develop over the season or maybe even the final two seasons depending on how the story line goes, away from the mob boss Dexter also has LaGuerta to worry about, she is awfully close to figuring that Sgt Doakes was not the Bay Harbour Butcher and has contacted the FBI with a view to having the case reopened, that in turn could force Debra’s hand on what she does with Dexter as she is Lieutenant after all, Dexter on the run would be a real great story I feel, a two season man hunt, possibly?

Unimportant to the plot but great to see on weekly TV is Quinn (Desmond Harrington) and Batista (David Zayas), although they are investigating Mike’s murder and looking into the mob bosses at the club they are not really central to the plot yet, I say yet because once the cards start to fall things will lead them back to Dexter (I think). Thing is Quinn and Batista are worth watching along with Masuka for the comedy value alone and I’d miss them if they weren’t involved every week.

This was another solid episode of Dexter as expected and I’m really looking forward to seeing where the show will take us, Dexter on the run is definitely the most appealing to me. How about you? What are your thoughts on season 7 so far? Your comments are welcome as always.

Side Notes;

Does Dexter ever look after Harrison? The price of child minders these days! Jamie must be costing Dexter and absolute fortune in child care expenses.

I suppose like they used to say in Everybody Loves Raymond, its no really about the kids.

TV Review: REVOLUTION - No Quarter 1.3, Things Are Not Looking Good For This Show

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

So, here goes with what will probably be my last review of Revolution until the season finale, this show has been a big let down and I’ll be honest here, half way through this episode I actually thought what is the point in me continuing to watch when there is so much better on offer? I’m looking for a weekly show which will sit up there with Dexter, Person of Interest and Homeland and what I’m delivered is a show which is looking likely to join TV’s scrap heap along with Alcatraz, Terra Nova, The Event, FlashForward and countless other shows that I could go on to name. Revolution is not even enjoyable, I find it a trawl and still three episodes in I really don’t care about the so called main characters.

Is there anything good about Revolution? Well, in the interest of starting off on a good point then I suppose yes there is, but Revolution seems to have me rooting for the so called “bad guys” as apposed to anyone else, thanks largely to lead actress and Catniss Everdeen wannabe Charlie Matheson (Tracey Spiridakos), easily one of the worst actors on TV and not enjoyable to watch at all, I said this once before regarding Alcatraz and it’s lead Sarah Jones, listen up J.J. Abrams with no formal acting training I’m pretty sure that I could do a better job as a lead character in one of your high concept TV adventure/dramas (email me for my credentials!). Revolution really has been disappointing so far and unfortunately I can’t see where it would get any better.

This episode was helped a little by the fact that we were introduced to The Officer (Mark Pellagrino, Lost, Dexter), a Militia boss who certainly helped things along when it came to acting ability, I’m a big fan of Mark’s, he was amazing in Dexter as Paul Bennett, wisdom like as Jacob in Lost and is clearly a favourite of Mr Abrams, when he was on screen my interest was certainly piqued and that is probably why I’m sided more with the bad guys. Pellagrino was brilliant and the other Militia Captain played by Breaking Bad’s Giancarlo Esposito is also very impressive notching up your interest level when he is on screen, these two are without doubt the best characters in the show and more on screen time with them would be nice.

As for Miles Matheson (Billy Burke) I’m still not really all that impressed, is he good or is he bad? Honestly, I don’t really care, I don’t find myself interested by Miles’ character at all, even with the twist that he is actually the founding father of the Monroe Republic and teacher of the Militia sword fighting school. The leader of the resistance Nora may turn out to be a little more interesting but I’m not going to hold my breath on the matter. I think they would do better here in they focused more on the daily life of the Militia, more importantly Giancarlo Esposito’s character Tom Neville, if you remember he has Charlie’s brother Danny (Graham Rogers) held hostage, and for someone considered as the weak link in the family as far as kick ass goes he is doing a better job of holding his own than what his sister is right now, concentrate more on these guys and I think Revolution may recover a little.

I touched on the fact in the “Pilot” review that maybe a concept like this works better as a movie, I Am Legend for instance, and I still think that is correct. I even find the initial prologue to the show cheesy, I know that’s nit picking but admit it, it is very cheesy. I will continue to watch Revolution, for reasons I’m yet to justify but as far as writing about it every week, I don’t think so, unless of course things dramatically improve or I find the need to talk about something. How about you? What do you think of Revolution? Will you be watching or have you given up already?

TV Review: PERSON OF INTEREST - Bad Code 2.2 - The ROOT of The Problem

Saturday, 6 October 2012

Well correct me if I'm wrong but I think this is the first ever episode of Person of Interest where we have not had a weekly SSN delivered by the machine, not that it mattered in the case of "Bad Code" because there was so much other stuff going on that small detail like that really didn't matter at all. As promised "Bad Code" took Reese and Carter on a road trip to Texas whilst Fusco was left at home dog sitting and digging up leads on the Alicia Corwin investigation, so, not much fun for him but plenty to be had by us as Fusco looking after a dog and attempting to speak Dutch was hilarious, whilst story lines were being developed into dodgy government officials and the story of Root has now been fully explained. I loved the way we had our story recap again this week with the CCTV footage being used before whizzing us back to 1991 to hear of a girl named Hanna Frey, could this be the weekly POI? No.

What was brilliant to see this week is Carter and Reese working together, side by side as apposed to Reese just delivering messages over the phone, the pair made a great team and its something I would definitely like to see more of as the season rolls on. The mission of "finding Finch" took them to Texas where 20 years earlier a girl by the name of Hanna had disappeared without a trace, believing her to be the now infamous Root, Reese had Carter on the case with local police whilst he decided that there was a quicker way to get answers, walk into a bar dressed in a suit and kick a little ass, effective and always seems to work.

I enjoyed the backing story to Root's character as we got to see the reason she seeks revenge, turns out Root is actually Sam, a friend of the murdered Hanna who left home following Hanna's disappearance, she then went on to rob some gangsters of $100k only to put the transfer name on the account as Trent the name of the man who kidnapped her friend Hanna. Turns out Root has actually been a bit of a computer whizz all her life, she completed that Oregon Trail game pretty quick, not that I have even heard of that game but it kind of reminded me of my old Acorn Electron, pretty retro huh! With everything Root has been through its no wonder she turned out the way she did, doing the right thing as a youngster and telling people what she saw the night Hanna went missing done her no favours at all, giving her the belief that all humans are instilled with "Bad Code", problem is back in the present day, kidnapped Finch does not believe that, his belief in humanity is completely different.

After all was said and done in this episode I'm still a little at a loss of what exactly Root wants with the machine, I don't think she is a bad person per-se but what does she want with a machine which detects acts of crime early? Finch of course uses it (although he probably shouldn't be, I'll explain later) for good and sees Mr Reese as the "Good Code" which the machine instills, preventing minor crimes before they happen, helping good people stay safe, what reason other than that would Root want the machine? Does she just want to destroy it and all of its creators? Or is she planning on becoming a one woman band John Reese, no offence Root but I don't think your all that kick ass, clever yes, but kick ass, No.

Away from the story of Root and Finch is the seemingly bigger plot bubbling away in the background as it did during the first season, the White House lawyer Denton Weeks who Root also kidnapped this week, plus all of the officials who have made base for themselves in New York City to find a lead on the Alicia Corwin case, the head of this group would seem to be one of the few people in the world who knows about the existence of the machine and he needs to sever all ties on the Alicia Corwin case so no one else can find out what it leads to. I'm really looking forward to seeing how they develop the story here, although Root is probably going to be the underlying antagonist of the season it would seem that these guys are going to be the more immediate threat to Finch and Reese, this season Elias and HR.

What I found quite interesting about Denton Weeks was his question to Finch, right before he attempted to shoot him he asked can the machine be got to? Finch answered the question like a politician, he didn't really answer it, he simply said that the machine could not be controlled remotely, so I guess that yeah it can be got to as long as you know where it is. I'm going to presume that the machine and its servers are not in the old library which Finch uses as his office and that maybe they are in that town mentioned in the first season which has no Internet or telephone access. That begs a question though, if the machine can not be controlled remotely how does Finch use it? He always said there were no back doors built into the system, and not to mention Root has already hacked it once that we know of.

"Bad Code" was a real step away from the usual procedural of Person of Interest but that didn't detract from my enjoyment at all, I thought this was a solid episode where a a lot of answers were given whilst new ones were also posed. It's nice to see Reese and Finch back together again, although I think Finch's rescue could have been a bit more dramatic. I think next week will be back to Person of Interest as we know it with Reese following a lead dealt by the machine whilst the backing story of the machine and government officials simmers away nicely in the background.

Side Notes;

Don't know why I haven't noticed this before, but although a little on the crazy side, how HOT is Root (Amy Acker), also from Texas in real life incidentally.

Finch has a new roommate thanks to his lavish gift of an apartment to Reese at the end of the first season the dog will have to live with him, time to get the Dutch dictionary out Finch!

Yeah it's worth mentioning again, Amy Acker!!!!

This Week In Cenema's..... Liam Neeson's is Back in TAKEN 2, Pus Some Romantic Garbage

Friday, 5 October 2012

Following last week big cinema release of Looper, I really have not heard all that much hype about the movie, that still does not sway me away from wanting to see it and I’m sure I’ll get round to it at some point. This week sees the release of another big actioner which is the follow up to a B-moive starring Liam Neeson which really struck a cord with audiences all around the world when released back in 2008, other than that there is a couple of new romantic comedies, and that kid wizard form Harry Potter gets all serious.

I’ll start as always with the biggest release of the week, Taken 2 starring Liam Neeson, Maggie Grace, Famke Janssen and D.B. Sweeney. Following the events of Taken where former CIA operative Bryan Mills' (Neeson) daughter Kim (Grace) was kidnapped by Eastern European gangsters in Paris the pair have returned to the more friendly ground of America. However you may remember from the first movie that Mills wiped the floor with several members of the gang, all of whose bodies have now been returned and their fathers and fellow gangsters have sworn revenge. The idea, not to take Mills’ daughter but this time go after him and his ex-wife when they are on holiday in Istanbul, probably not the safest place to be when you have pissed off a load of Albanians. Check out the trailer and let me know what you think.

ooks good right? Ok, it might be a little cheesy but when you consider that the original Taken was only ever a straight to DVD B-movie, and was pretty brilliant at that, this instalment should prove to be no different. Needless to say Taken 2 is on my must watch list this year and as soon as it’s available I will be checking it out.

Taking a step back to the lower budget end of things now is a movie which really does not interest me at all, The Perks of Being a Wallflower starring Emma Watson of Harry Potter fame, Logan Lerman, Erza Miller, Dylan Mcdermott and Paul Rudd. I really don’t know a great deal about this movie and only really heard about it when I caught up with Jonathan Ross on Wednesday night, he interviewed Emma Watson about the movie and showed a brief clip. It’s a coming of age movie set in the states for which Watson is required to put on an American accent, basically two senior high school students take a freshmen under their wing to show him the ropes. Sounds great right? Yeah I hear ya, I’m not going to be watching this one either, I’d imagine it’s one of those which Emma Watson fans may be attracted to but that’s it.

Moving on swiftly now I’ll talk about Liberal Arts starring Josh Radnor, Elizabeth Olsen, Richard Jenkins and everyone favourite romantic leading man Zac Efron. The movie which again I have no real interest in follows the story of Jesse (Radnor) a 30-something former college student who returns to his alma mater for his former professor’s retirement party, whilst there he falls for college student Zibby (Olsen) and the pair start a relationship, I think. Like I said I’m not really interested but just in case you are check out the trailer below.

Leaving the romantic drama genre behind and the last one to mention this week, we move into romantic comedy with the release of The Knot starring Mena Suvari, Noel Clarke, Matthew McNulty and Jason Maza again, I know absolutely nothing about this movie other than it’s based on a couple Sarah (Suvari) and Jeremy (McNulty) who are in the progress of planning the wedding, of course things don’t do to plan and the pair suffer a series of comedy mishaps on the run up to the big day. I suspect that the reason I haven’t heard of it is probably because its not very good, on saying that though Mena Suvari has starred in American Pie (although she probably wasn’t that funny), McNulty is an actor who has had his name in a few movies and British actor Noel Clarke is no slouch so maybe this would be worth your time, any thoughts?

TV Review: HOMELAND - The Smile 2.1

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Homeland had one of the most successful first seasons of all time, proved even further last Sunday when it pretty much wiped the boards at this years Emmy Awards, the first season was brilliant, not only in story but the characters, direction and writing involved were also brilliant, again like Dexter and Person of Interest, Homeland’s second season premiere is one of the most highly anticipated in the Fall season, and rightly so. “The Smile” followed straight on from the Dexter premiere to massive audiences and I have to say it did not disappoint, it was brilliant and I probably enjoyed it more than both of the shows which I have mentioned above.

A lot has been said in the summer on how they were going to top the mightily impressive first season, the writing and characters were so brilliant along with stellar performances from Clare Danes and Damien Lewis that things looked like they couldn’t get any better. Now we know or at least have an idea of where the show is going following this premiere and a good look as to why season two of Homeland may well be even better than the first. It was finally confirmed in the last episode of season one that Sgt Nick Brody (Damien Lewis) was a terrorist, although he still stands by his words “I’m not a terrorist” which he reiterated to Abu Nazir’s aid during this opening episode, reminding them that yes he may work for them and is conspiring against the US government but he does not consider what he does to be an act of terror.

It really puts things out there for you this show, why does a US Marine who went to war for his country now have such strong beliefs against them? He is willing to work along side them and provide them with information, but just how far is Sgt Brody willing to go? It is his lover of Abu Nazir’s son Issa who was killed during a Drone strike which first got him to start changing his views, but now he has that same pulling effect from home as his daughter Dana who in the first season discovered that her father had converted to Islam, it would seem that she is all for it, and actually wants to learn more about the religion herself.

It really is brilliant story telling, and the development which Dana will have during this season is going to be great, will she be the anchor that stops her father going to far? I guess we will wait and see. We also were left wondering at the end of the first season about how Carrie would become involved this year as last season the CIA sacked her after they found out that she had Bi-polar, pretty sure she would have some sort of employment case there but never mind, it’s by the by. They brought her back into the story brilliantly with a mole recruited by her in Baghdad coming out and wanting to speak with her and only her, the CIA have had no other choice but to bring her back in as the mole is the wife of as high ranking person who’s information may be to good to turn up.

That sparked some great scenes showing that although Carrie is quite prepared to put herself back in the field for the CIA she is nowhere near ready for the level of secrecy and involvement of it all, she really seems on the edge and I’ve no doubt some of her own problems will surface during her time in the field. Clare Danes threw herself back into Emmy spots for next years awards along with Damien Lewis in this opening episode as both where brilliant, the scene with Brody and CIA Director David Estes was very nerve wracking, will he get caught? It’s kind of odd to watch because you want Brody to not get caught. Morrina Baccarin (Brody wife) is also back and learned during this episode that her husband is a Muslim, she went a little mad at that after all her war hero husband is inline to become the next American Vice President, it will be good to see what they do with Jessica’s character this season, all of Carrie’s ranting last year did not go unnoticed and maybe she will start to put the pieces together.

I was really impressed with “The Smile” if you hadn’t guessed that already, I actually was late getting into this show during the first season and found it rather tuff going at first but Homeland has now firmly cemented a place into my weekly TV schedule as a must watch along with Dexter and Person of Interest, only thing left now is to see which one of the new shows will be joining them.

TV Review: DEXTER - Are You...? 7.1

Dexter’s sixth season was admittedly poorer than what we have been used too, but during those final few episodes Showtime pulled off a major coup in agreeing terms with it’s star Michael C. Hall and having him sign up for two more seasons of Dexter, everyone’s favourite serial killer. Season six may have been a poor showing but the final scene of Deb walking in right as Dexter plunged his knife into the chest of Travis Marshall left fans both old and new gasping for air at the though of what season seven might have in store for us. All summer we have been teased by Showtime of a major showdown between Debra, now Lieutenant of Miami Metro and her adopted brother Dexter, aka The Bay Harbour Butcher, season 7 premiered with “Are You…?” to massive audiences and as promised it did not disappoint in any way shape or form.

Starting in a completely different vain from what I was expecting, the show recapped on the events of season 6 before braking into the season premiere with Dexter frantically driving along the freeway towards Miami International airport, “oh no”, Deb has gone and done it I thought, she has reported Dexter to Miami Metro and he is going on the run, turns out that was not the case at all, following his check in we were taken back to the final scene of season 6 and the promised showdown between Dexter and Debra, from there this episode just got better and better with the final scene again leaving us gasping for air and a real taste of what we can look forward to in the coming episodes.

It seems that Dexter is at his best when he’s not contemplating whether or not he should be a serial killer, the seasons before this (notably five and six) where Dexter has been questioning his Dark Passenger have not been as good, yet this opening episode of season 7 proves that Dexter is best when he is having to scramble, think about it, in season 2 Doakes was well onto Dexter and that is up there as one of the best seasons of Dexter ever, why? Because Dexter was caught out and every episode was a constant battle in order for him to stay one step ahead of the game, now, even bigger than Doakes, Debra knows, not just about Travis Marshall (who she is now an accessory too) but the fact that her brother is a serial killer and her father, also a respectable law man trained him in how not to get caught.

What I have always really enjoyed about Dexter are the flashback involved, if you remember I only started watching in season 5 at which point there were no real flashbacks, just moments where Harry (James Remar) would appear and have a conversation with Dexter, they were also brilliant but when I was catching up with seasons one and two during the summer the flashbacks to Deb and Dexter’s childhood were brilliant and season 7 has brought all of those back, Deb now knows why she could never have a dog in the house for instance. I’m really looking forward to seeing how these go through the season and it was also brilliant to see Debra taking herself back to season one and how she was thrust up in plastic on Rudy’s table, things where falling into place throughout the whole episode.

As always we were introduced to the season seven protagonist, this year it’s Ukrainian mobsters, one who Dexter killed during this episode and the others who will now no doubt be paying a visit to Miami to find out who bumped off one of their own in an airport departure lounge, a little unrealistic in how Dexter got away with it but at least he used a fake passport, doesn’t count for the CCTV that would be littered all over the airport but never mind it was fun all the same. Who will be the protagonist though? Ukrainian Mobsters? Debra? No doubt the mobsters will be involved but in season 2 Dexter’s main focus was always on Doakes and the investigation by Lundy, I doubt that he will kill his own sister and the fact that she helped him cover up the murder of Travis Marshall makes it harder for her to now go to police, she is involved in the murder as much as he is, she even bought the gasoline to set the fire.

As always with Dexter there are going to be side story’s, the first to mention is Masuka’s dick of an intern Lewis, who had my suspicions going last season, he seems to have some sort of personal hate campaign against Dexter sending him the hand from the Ice Truck Killer investigation and then in this episode cancelling one of his back accounts (I suppose the point may be revealed later), don’t really get that as yet. Then you have LaGuerta, she found the blood slide at the scene of Travis Marshall, why she chose to conceal it as apposed to just having Masuka run the prints is anyone’s guess, remember she has never been convinced that Sgt Doakes was the Bay Harbour Butcher.

The season seven premiere delivered everything that it promised throughout the summer, only I was expecting maybe a little more of a dramatic showdown between Dexter and Debra in the church, the pacing was brilliant though and we now can look forward to a full season of Dexter ducking and diving, trying to convince Debra that there is good inside of him, after all he only kills certain kinds of people, roll on next weeks “Sunshine and Frosty Swirl” I can’t wait.

TV Review: LAST RESORT - Captain 1.1

Monday, 1 October 2012

Yet another “Pilot” review of the new Fall TV season here for you now and Last Resort would probably go down onto everyone’s most anticipated list, I can’t say that it wasn’t on mine although I have never really heard of the people involved other than Scott Speedman (Underworld) and Robert Patrick (Terminator 2), I like the premise that was on offer and after sampling maybe the first minute on my DVR before heading off to work for the day I was really looking forward to getting home to see it. On previewing the show with several other new “Pilots” I expressed a little concern that this show will air at 8pm, if you remember at the time I said that kind of reminded me of Terra Nova, they occupied the early slot and it quickly became apparent that it was nothing more than throw away family TV. First impressions of Last Resort are not much better, I can’t say that I really enjoyed the “Pilot” all that much.

If it’s a TV show like Lost that your looking for then in terms of setting and beautiful scenery Last Resort will certainly fit your bag, but other than that its really as far as things go for me. The show follows the crew of the U.S.S Colorado a submarine commanded by Captain Marcus Chaplin (Andre Braugher), he is sent orders to fire missiles at Pakistan, however these orders come from a back channel, one which should only be used when control in Washington has become unusable through war. Questioning the decision Capt Chaplin is quickly removed of his command by the powers that be and his loyal right hand man Sam Kendal (Scott Speedman) is promoted to man in charge, he also refuses the orders and the submarine is fired on by another US warship and the sub dives to the bottom of the ocean, following this the crew find themselves seeking refuge on an island where a NATO listening station is situated, they quickly take over the island at the expense of the disgruntled locals and declare themselves a sovereign state with nuclear capabilities.

Like I said above I actually enjoyed the opening to this show, the Marines, or Navy Seals who boarded the submarine in the beginning were thought at first to be part of the crew, however it quickly became apparent that they were no friends of the people on the submarine and that they may well be involved in whatever has lead to the US wanting to fire on Pakistan. There were a lot of people involved in this opening episode but the main ones to focus on now would be Capt Chaplin, his second in command Kendal, Joseph Prosser (Robert Patrick) who disagrees with the way things have been handled and Lieutenant Grace Shephard (Daisy Betts) the ears of Washington and the one person who is part of the crew that may know what they are up to. Kind of like “the others” in Lost the US Marines who found themselves seeking refuge on the submarine would not seem to be so welcome, it will be interesting to see how that pans out with the marine who was sitting in the bar drinking claiming that it was all his fault? What exactly? The fact the US want to fire missiles or the fact your friend got shot in action? I guess we will find out.

I really don’t have to much I want to say on this “Pilot” episode, there was certainly a lot to get your head around, and way to many characters for me to name them all now. So, the crew have set up on an island, no doubt they are going to have countless run-in’s with the locals who don’t want them there, and the Marines will want to do their own thing. I have a couple of gripes other than the “family” TV show element which Last Resort has, first how in one hour of a TV show does Captain Chaplin come to hate the US all of a sudden? He was an honourable captain of one of their submarines until pretty much one sentence pissed him off to the point that he now wants to fight his own country and never return, although the island setting does look nice, why leave your family? The Captain also has in his possession some very valuable merchandise belonging to the US, not to mention the missiles but also the submarine which I’m sure will be worth several hundred million, if not billion dollars, I’m no expert but I’m pretty sure they may want that back. And, just how does he propose protecting the little island and his handful of crew members from one of the world’s biggest military super powers?

There is not a great lot other than the above I want to say on Last Resort, as far as “Pilots” go this is one that has not grabbed me, I think Vegas was a better offering and even Revolution may have edged it slightly. I will continue to watch Last Resort, hoping that I’m wrong about the family TV show side of things but on what I’ve seen in the first episode I wouldn’t say that I’m all that interested in seeing what more it has to offer, my TV schedule is after all, busy enough right now.

Movie Review: MAD MAX 2 THE ROAD WARRIOR Starring Mel Gibson

If you have been reading my scribbles for a while now then you’ll know that I used to spend quite a bit of my time on Hubpages, there I wrote a “Hub” on the Best 80’s action movies, following the hub I was asked a couple of questions as to why certain movies were no included at the time. One of those just happened to be The Road Warrior, which I thought I hadn’t heard of, turns out I had, only here in England it was named Mad Max 2. The reason it wasn’t mentioned there was the fact that I hadn’t seen the movie, now thanks to much push from regular reader and commenter Ruben I have finally got round to it and have the review here for you now.

Starring: Mel Gibson, Bruce Spence, Michael Preston, Vernon Wells and Virginia Hey

The Plot

Former police officer Max Rockatansky (Mel Gibson) is drifting his way across the rugged Australian landscape following a nuclear war, with nothing left to live for he finds himself on the hunt and in a daily battle for now priceless fuel which he faces off against other scavengers for. On his travels Max runs across a gang of outlaws one of whom he kills, they are laying siege to a local village which has a wealthy fuel reserve which they want control of. With no options left Max agrees to help the community and local feral kid escape the lawless gang of looters.

The Verdict

I think I’m maybe 30 years to late on this movie, as action movies go I think I have now seen many more which are far superior, don’t get me wrong for 1981 which is when this movie was released I can see why it has been given much acclaim over the years, but considering I was not even born in 1981 this is just a little before my time, I still enjoyed the movie but its one I’m pleased to have watched during the day as apposed to a Saturday night entertainment flick.

I read a few reviews of The Road Warrior after watching it and can agree with them, one mentions that it is very un-Hollywood, and yes it is, probably why it didn’t make the best of list which I mentioned above, there are no over the top action sequences, no over the top explosions everything is dealt with on a very basic level keeping special effects to a bear minimum, very easy to do I’d imagine when in the middle of the Australian outback, not many people would be able to hear what you are up to out there. They also mention that its one of the best movies to come out of Australia, since I know precious little about movies which come out of Australia I again agree.

I have actually struggled to find one person who says that they did not enjoy this movie, and that’s from people of all ages, like I said I enjoyed it and I have to agree with everyone else on the Internet about the final car chase (good to see nitrous oxide was invented before Vin Disel came along), it was epic and when that dude popped up from the front grill just as the feral kid went to get the bullets I certainly jumped a little. Mel Gibson is brilliant, I enjoyed this more than the last movie of Mel’s I watched but in terms of overall enjoyment for me the original Lethal Weapon and it's follow-up win the day.

The Road Warrior did make me chuckle a couple of times, The Gyro-Captain (Bruce Spence) is a pretty funny guy and when Max originally took him hostage I thought it was a pretty funny scene as the dog had a bone in his mouth which was attached to the trigger of the gun pointing at his head, however the Gyro-Captain was later to learn that the gun never had any bullets in it.

A quick glance at the top 5 I picked from the 80’s just in case you don’t want to follow the link above and read my reasoning in full, in no particular order;

Commando (1985)
Die Hard (1988)
Terminator (1984)
Lethal Weapon (1987)
First Blood (1982)

For me personally I don’t think Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior was as enjoyable as any of those movies, maybe if I had seen it back in the day, I don’t know.

Would I watch it again?

Even though some reviews I’ve read say it’s a movie which should be watched twice I don’t feel any particular need to go watch this over again.

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