Archive for September, 2011

Supernatural- Seasons 4-6

I know I already reviewed the first part of the show, but now I’m going to finish it out ^^

Plot: 5/5
About halfway through series 4 it begins to become less of a show where you do not have to watch in order and more of a story based theme. Each season had it’s own overarching plot, with the Winchester brothers fighting some evil thing or another. Here is the breakdown season to season, if you don’t worry about spoilers.

Season 1: The Winchester brothers hunt for their missing father and on the way fight ghosts, demons and monsters. They are also seeking out the demon who killed their mother.

Season 2: Sam and Dean’s father gives his life to bring Dean back from the brink of death. Now Sam and Dean must hunt down the yellow eyed demon to avenge their mother and father. Sam fears his growing powers as some kind of connection to the demon who fed him blood as a baby and wishes only to prove he is not going to become evil.

Season 3: Dean trades his soul for Sam’s life and is given one year to live before he is dragged down into hell. Dean is glad to finally be at the end of his line, but he is pulled along by Sam to try to break the deal and find out who the demon is that holds his contract.

Season 4: Dean is back from Hell suddenly and without explanation. While he was gone for only 4 months the time span in hell equals 40 years of violent and horrific tortures. He tries to forget, but Sam wants to know. Meanwhile Sam has a secret relationship with Ruby, the demon who appears to be their new ally. Dean also meets Castiel, the angel who pulled him out of hell. The brothers try to stop Lilith, the first demon, who is trying to break the seals and set Lucifer free.

Season 5: Sam, intoxicated on the demon blood, accidentally breaks Lucifer from his cage, walking into a trap Ruby set for him. He tries to make amends while the brothers avoid demons and angels who wish them to allow the archangel Michael to possess Dean and Lucifer to possess Sam in order to bring the apocalypse into full swing.

Season 6: Dean’s been living a normal life for a year- a beautiful girlfriend and her son who he loves. But suddenly Sam reappears, not trapped in Lucifer’s cage after all. One trick though- his soul is still trapped and is being tortured. Dean gets it back into his body, but a barrier has been put up between the memories of hell that will kill him. On top of all this is Castiel, leading the angels in civil war, and Crowley, the new King of Hell who seems to be looking for a gateway to Purgatory and the souls locked inside.

Acting: 6/5
The latter half of the series shows a huge improvement in the acting. The Winchesters look less pretty-boy and a bit more rugged. Sam is less puppy dog and a bit tougher. More and more we see the comedic side of the Winchesters, especially in Series 6. We also see more of Bobby, the Brother’s father-figure and the guy they go to for help.

Directing: NA
Episodes are directed by a range of people, and one episode in Season 6 is directed by series star Jensen Ackles himself. There is no instance where it stands out that the directing is bad, so I’d say overall it’s pretty consistently great.

Other Things

Watch. This. Show.

Especially the Season 6 episode “The French Mistake”, in which Sam and Dean are thrown into an alternate reality where their names are Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles, and they are actors on the TV show “Supernatural”. The whole show makes fun of the two, and Jared Padalecki even told the writers if they were making a parody of their real life they should poke as much fun at him as possible. And they do.

 

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Supernatural (Seasons 1-4)

I started watching this show because my followers on tumblr are huge fans of it and I was always seeing these funny GIFs (moving pictures), so I gave it a shot.

Plot: 7/5
The show is about two brothers who hunt demons/ghosts/monsters. Basically it all started when the youngest brother, Sam, was a baby. His mother was killed by a demon and his father became obsessed with hunting down anything evil and supernatural he could and killing it. He brought his sons along and trained them to hunt demons as well. Sam left the family and became estranged when he went to Stanford to become a tax lawyer (thrills~). One day, out of the blue, Dean (his older brother) shows up at the apartment Sam shares with his girlfriend (who knows nothing of hunting) and tells him he needs his help, their father is missing while going hunting (what they call going to track down ghosts and such). He reluctantly agrees to help, and the duo defeats a ghost, but their father has already left the down. He claims to be on the track of the demon who killed their mother, but he wants Sam and Dean to hunt down anything evil and supernatural on their own. Sam returns home angrily, refusing to take part, but finds his girlfriend killed the exact same way as his mother.

The series has a different overarching theme for each season, Season 1 is based around the hunt for their father and the yellow-eyed demon who killed their mother. Season 2 also deals with the yellow eyed demon, but it is more of a setup for Season 3 & 4.

It gets high marks in the plot department because each episode is like watching a short horror movie. They are not outright terrifying, in my opinion they start off scary and by the end aren’t as creepy. The ghosts pop up out of nowhere, but they aren’t made to look too over the top horrible. Some of the ghosts are creative killers, but it isn’t overly graphic. It’s creepy or scary without being so over the top as to lose casual thriller movie viewers.

Acting: 4/5
Season 1 is a little rough on the part of Sam, in my opinion. Jared Padalecki (Sam Winchester) is a good actor, it’s just his character is kind of overly moody and is definitely supposed to be the brooding moody one. Around season 2 he starts to turn it around and by season 3 & 4 he’s a lot tougher and more fun overall. Jensen Ackles (Dean Winchester) is absolutely hilarious. He is supposed to be the “good” brother, the one who stuck by their dad and actually came to love hunting demons. He’s the toughie, guns, beer, and porn, though none of them are overdone (Don’t worry, it’s a clean show).  I watch the show mostly to see him, though the relationship between the two “brothers” is brilliant. As the show progresses they get a bit more snippy, which I really enjoy. The two leads are also supposed to be pranksters and best friends on set, which I think shows in their characters, there is a genuine bromance ^^

Directing: 5/5
I don’t like judging the directing of a TV show because most of the time there are multiple directors. I will address the overall filming style though. It’s pretty consistent, but in Seasons 1 and 2 the colors are washed out a lot more. It is almost like a thin layer of black and white was placed on top of things. The guys are vampire-pale and the blacks pop a lot more. Seasons 3 & 4 have more color, and Season 2 makes the swing from the overly light format to more “normal” filming colors.

Other Things

I’m not a huge fan of scary stuff, but I really like this show. Most of the time I look at the ghosts through my fingers, not gonna lie, I’m 20 and I still do that, but I really like the show. It’s heading into it’s 7th season, and I look forward to seeing how the rest of season 4 through season 6 develop!

Here is a clip from the show (a behind the scenes) and a trailer for season 1! I highly recommend watching the first three episodes to get a feel for it and see what you think!

Season 1 Trailer

Funny clip (Dean Winchester/ Jensen Ackles)

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Rise of the Planet of the Apes

I just went to see this today (purely because Tom Felton (Malfoy) is in it), so I thought I’d weight in, since it was hard for me to find someone who had seen the movie and wrote a clear opinion on it.

Plot: 3/5
Honestly it wasn’t really as-advertised. The impression I got from the trailer was that this is it- this is when we see how humans went nuts and killed each other and how monkeys gained the intelligence, speech, and took over. I thought by the end of it you could go into “Planet of the Apes” knowing exactly what happened. But that’s not how this movie works.

The focus of the movie is almost entirely on how apes gained their advanced intelligence and how they got organized. It does not explain how they took over and it doesn’t show how humans fell, though if you stick around after the end of the film it kind of hints at the full story. It feels like all that was added almost as an afterthought and is not a feature of the movie. So I’d say the movie is just about the chimps and their increase in IQ. Or rather one chimp, Caesar, and the creator of the neuro-virus that is meant to help with Alzheimer’s and autism, but makes the chips brains develop faster.

Acting: 4/5
There are some kind of cliche performances from the supporting cast, but overall I think it’s OK. Tom Felton plays a kind of bad guy (more like a jerk) who is supposed to take care of the apes in a shelter but bullies them instead. He seems suited to the baddie roll, though I was hoping to see him more as a kind of side kick to the main guy.

There is really nothing special to say about the acting. It’s not bad, but it’s not award winning. Of course, the movie is mainly carried by Caesar the ape, and there is actually not much dialogue, so it’s harder to rate the acting on a digital monkey…

Directing: 5/5
The director definitely took advantage of the San Francisco setting with tons of city shots and several scenes in the redwood forests. It’s steady cam mostly from what I noticed, not a lot of jumping around. There also aren’t many sudden jump-out-at-you shots, which I appreciate. There is a scene of some overly graphic violence, but considering how movies these days are going that’s nothing.

Other Things

It’s hard to write a long review for this movie without giving much away. In the end I think everything was just… meh. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t “See it 5 times” good in my book. It’s something to see if you’re a fan of the original series. I’d wait until it came out on TV to see it.

There are 3 big throw-backs to the original “Planet of the Apes” (the original-original, not the re-make). The first is a news story about the crew of a space mission to Mars. It includes some rendered shots of the beginning of the original movie. Later on Tom Felton’s friend is lying on the couch watching a movie and, if I’m not mistaken, that was also some footage from the original movie. Finally, without giving too much away, when Caesar grabs Tom Felton’s arm he says “Take your hands off me, you damn dirty ape”, which is the iconic line from when Heston’s character suddenly yelled out in the original movie, proving he can in fact speak.

I really think the director shot himself in the foot here. He spends tons of time explaining how the apes got the intelligence we see them with in “Planet of the Apes”. If he was going to do that he shouldn’t have added the bit in the end which gives a hint at how humans lost control and died out mostly. It could have been split as two movies, but now it just feels sloppy, like he spent all this time with the very first chapter then tried to jam the rest of the story into a small span (namely 2 minutes or so).

I was surprised to see among the actors David Hewlett (Stargate Atlantis’ Dr. McKay), who has a role of a neighbor. You don’t see him too often, but it was nice to see him all the same ^^

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