Sep 26, 2013

TV Series: Pilot Episode Reviews Part II

In the part I, I reviewed three pilots: The Blacklist, Sleepy Hollow & Masters of Sex. As promised, this one includes pilot episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

So, here we go:

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. | premiered on Sept. 24

This is a very first TV Show of Marvel which has already proved to be the best in superhero movies. Series with lots of superheros sounds great, imagine The Avengers lasting for years. It can be awesome and interesting, if writers manage to write interesting script, but if they fail, it can become a nightmare.

Pilot episode was good one. It introduces special government unit S.H.I.E.L.D., who hunt for super powered people and the same time we meet one of superheros, who is unaware how to use powers. The good thing is that, we don't actually know whether agents of government are good ones, or bad ones. They just hunt, however they can be people saving lives of others. It means that there is tones of job for writers to do in succeeding episodes. Whole 45 minutes are quite tense, sometimes funny and entertaining. But it mostly lacks descent characters, since most of them are in a shape of well known cliches. It seems writers took an example of average agent in movies and copied them, however superheros seem to be even worse. Accordingly there is no much character developments or twists in pilot, which I consider to be essential in the first episode.
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Sep 25, 2013

TV Series: Pilot Episode Reviews Part I

After series finale of Dexter I started to search for some new shows, that could entertain me a little and make me forget that my all time favorite series has ended. So, here are some interesting shows I found. I've not seen most of them, since their premieres are ahead yet, but trailers and plot look quite promising, so you might wanna check them out.

The Blacklist | premiered on Sept 23

NBC brings a new original series The Blacklist. FBI most wanted criminal Raymond 'Red' Reddington (James Spader) surprisingly decides to surrender and visits its field office by himself. He has been in top list for years, but no one could ever find him. Being immediately imprisoned, he asks for the only person he's willing to talk to - agent Elizabeth Keen (Megan Boone). And then Red suggests cooperation to catch the most important terrorists and criminals, they even have no idea they exist.

No one was going to compromise, but they had to since US General's daughter was under danger. Surprisingly, they catch criminal by exactly following Reddington's orders. However this was not the only name on Raymond's list - The Blacklist contains dozens of other threats. Which means, Red becomes new best friend of FBI.

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Sep 24, 2013

Movie Review: The Great Gatsby [2013]

Gatsby? What Gatsby?
I finally watched this year's most anticipated, my sister's favorite and Leonardo's another Oscar hope-movie The Great Gatsby. Directed by Academy Award nominee Baz Luhrmann, it has everything his movies tend to have.

This is an adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald novel of the same name, which I have not read, and accordingly I can't tell how precisely the story is told, or can it be any better or not. But what I can really say is that this movie has something extraordinary making watching experience very enjoyable. 

The movie follows war veteran Nick Carraway after moving to New York City just right beside the wealthiest man in town - Jay Gatsby. This is how it works - story plays backwards. Nick in the future tells & writes his adventure from past - how he met the most important person in his life. It easily looks like Carraway still admires Jay and you might get a feeling that you're listening to a very subjective version of whole truth.
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Top 10 Movies Where Bad Guy Wins

Most of movies are about endless battle between good guys and bad guys. If good guys win, we call it "Hollywood Happy End", but some films are more realistic and follow the idea that villains win too, as usual. But some movies really surprised me the way they ended. Here are my Top Ten Movies, where Bad Guys Win, eventually.

P.S. Spoiler alert.
The Wicker Man is surprisingly good movie, in any sense. Left alone the plot & cast, the last scene is definitely worth being rewatched and remembered. Killing Edward Mallus when he is trying to find "lost" daughter, was a jaw-dropping twist for me. However this is a good thing, because movie ends exactly as it's supposed to.
How it ends: Character of Nicolas Cage is killed by women settled on the island. It turns out that his daughter has never been missing and this whole story was a trap to bring a sacrifice to their gods.
In this case, it’s the suburban couple Oliver and Cheryl Lang.  Their neighbor, Michael Faraday, believes that the Langs are maniacal terrorists.
How it ends: Well, the Langs are terrorists, and after planting a bomb in the trunk of Faraday’s care that kills almost 200 people, they get away, having framed Faraday for the explosion
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Sep 23, 2013

TV Series: Dexter 08x12 - Remember the Monsters? [Series Finale]

The Night has come, the night of all nights

After brilliant 8 years, we farewell the most original and bloody series of all time. Dexter has ended in the most controversial way a show could end. I am pretty sure it will take a lot talks and discussions among fans, whether it was good or bad. But definitely, it could be better.

Remember the Monsters? is not alike any of other episodes. It's mostly about Dexter and Debra, because Dexter is blaming himself for everything he has done to sister and for that reason, he tries to make everything better again. We see a lot flashbacks to the time when Morgan became a father, his relationship with Deb and all sweat memories connecting those two.

I liked the ending (though I've imagined it quite differently) because it's happy and sad the same time. It still arises some questions and most importantly, whether Dexter was a real monster or he was just a victim of Dr. Vogel?! The same time, he really regrets not killing Olver Saxon.
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Sep 16, 2013

Movie Review: American Beauty [1999]

This post is part of Debut Blogathon hosted by Terry Malloy's Pigeon Coop and Three Rows Back. The blogathon intended to write a review of best and most important directing debuts. And because American Beauty is one of my most favorite movies of all time, I decided to talk about Sam Mendes's brilliant first feature.

I want to thank both of them for running such an interesting, productive and creative blogathon. 

I cannot imagine any talk about directing debuts without even mentioning Sam Mendes’s 5 Oscar winner picture American Beauty. Considering everything I am going to discuss in my post, none of the directors have ever had such a high standard debut as Mendes had.

American Beauty looks at average life of average American family, their aspiration to happiness, their failure to actually be happy and the way how it ends.

Lester Burnham (Kevin Spacey) is a father to a troubled teenage daughter Jane (Thora Birch) and a husband to a successful wife Carolyn (Annette Bening). They smile every day, collect flowers, drive Jane to school, work hard and have a family dinner in the evenings. Everything just seems perfect, as it supposed to be. But Lester, who himself tells the whole story, does not feel so. He jerks in the shower in the mornings, hates his job, thinks that daughter hates her father (damn right) and can’t stand his own wife. Burnhams’ life is just a show, a commercial for how normal they are when they are anything but. However, inside each of family memeber feels messy and lost.
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TV Series: Dexter 08x11 - Monkey in a Box

I did not see that coming

Episode 10 - Goodbye Miami was a bit disappointment having no twists or any suggestions how the show will end. It did not bring much new, except Vogel's death, which was pretty predictable for me. Monkey in a Box starts the same way actually, as a look at quiet life of Dexter, however in the end things start to change.

Dexter and Hannah are making final arrangements to leave the town, but there are a lot complicating issues including Deputy Marshall, Vogel's death and Morgan's attempt to kill Oliver Saxon. After Hannah visited the hospital the FBI has renewed search for her and they are getting closer and closer.

Saxon tries to negotiate with Dex to stay  apart and leave everything as it was. But being threatened does not work much for Serial Killer, so he makes some plans up to deal with a guy who killed Evelyn. However Morgan is trapped, he is not willing to kill Oliver by himself (WTF) and for this reason he sets him up so that Miami Metro could trace him. This is the first time he did what Debra wanted him to do and I am pretty sure they both are going to regret this.
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Sep 12, 2013

My Most Anticipated of 2013: Part II

In early May, I drafted a post about my top 5 movies I can't wait in 2013, I saw most of them (except American Hustle), so it's time for new ones. Most anticipated of 2013 includes movies, TV Shows and performances I can not wait in 2013. 

But before that, you may want to read my reviews of: Star Trek Into Darkness | Stoker | Now You See Me | The Great Gatsby (coming soon)

Most Anticipated Performances of 2013

Julia Roberts in August: Osage County
She is #1 actress for me and it's been like that since I remember movies. However, most of her best films were shot long before I heard about Julia Roberts. I have huge hopes for August:Osage County and her Oscar chances. As a fan, I desperately want to see her name among nominees. 

Having watched all Robert's films, I need something new, that would fire my great passion towards her up.

Jared Leto in Dallas Buyers Club
Requiem for a Dream is his greatest work and generally phenomenal movie. In Dallas Buyers Club Leto plays HIV positive transgender Rayon. His character is genuinely awards-perspective and I am looking forward to his stunning performance.

The same time, I am a great fan of him as a performer and member of 30STM.

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Trailer: August: Osage County [2013] #2

The Weinstein Company released second trailer of its most anticipated family drama/comedy August: Osage County, a movie that boosted Oscar chances for Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts, who might fight for top prize in the same or separate categories. As Weinstein already clarified, Streep will be campaigned for lead and Roberts for supporting, however the Academy is itself eligible to vote them in any category they want.
Second trailer looks even better exploring main characters and their acting. It gives more juicy material for further discussions whether both Meryl and Julia make final top five at awards, or not, or maybe someone (for instance, Margo Martindale) can also get more chances. It also give more time of dinner scene, which probably shows best award worthy  moments in the whole movie. 

Here you can have a look at the trailer:

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Sep 9, 2013

Top 10 Films of Last Decade [2000-2009]

After drafting Top 10 Male and Female performances of 2000-2009, it's time for movies. My movie list is mostly based on IMDB rating I give each film after watching it. Having taken a close look at feature films premiered from 2000 to 2009, here is my TEN most favorite ones:
Moulin Rouge! is my favorite musical of all time and the second highest rated (after Les Miserables). Baz Luhrmann has managed to unite a spectacular story, with greatest visuals and beautiful music, amazing cast and heartbreaking finale in one movie masterpiece. 
A very crazy, dark comedy by insane brother Coens. Ethan and Joel are great directors, one of the greatests, each their movie is a lot enjoyable and close to perfection. However, Burn After Reading is the most extraordinary among them with delightful sense of humor, brilliant cast and perfect directing. You can't see such entertaining movie each year.
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TV Series: Dexter 08x10: Goodbye Miami

We had a long (two weeks) break from Dexter. It's been a while. Make Your Own Kind of music exposed totally different direction of the show, since it brought brain surgeon back, who turned out to be Dr. Vogel's senior son. Having regrets because of her acts, Evelyn does not want Dexter to kill Oliver Saxon.

If you saw preview of this episode, you might know that Dex is leaving Miami with Harrison and Hannah. But before that, he tries to kill Saxon to make Dr. safe.  The same time, he secretly talks to Debra about his future plans in Argentina and farewells with Homicide Department.

Goodbye Miami gives a great hope that our favorite serial killer is back to his real work - killing other killers and he will never be distracted by random things like love, life, care and women. The whole season seemed to be very calm compared to previous 7. It is understandable that things change in order to bring the show to the end, but we don't want to see Dexter turning into another happy ending sad drama.

For the first time, this episode made me think that maybe the writers want to turn Dexter into a person who rids of his bad habits, who becomes alike others (otherwise becomes abnormal). I do really hope it does not happen, it will disappoint a lot.
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Sep 8, 2013

Top 10 Male Performances of Last Decade

Here is another list of my Top Tens: Top 10 Male Performances of Last Decade (2000-2009). The list includes actors who did an outstanding acting job, created or portrayed memorable characters and generally had the best years of their careers. 
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