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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Memento

Wow~ first movie review in a lloonngg time~

Plot: 5/5
A man, suffering from short-term memory loss, uses notes and tattoos to hunt for the man he thinks killed his wife.

I’ll give points to that summary just because it’s a hard as hell plot to describe! You either need to be paying attention really well on your first watch, or go back 2-3 times to make sure. The story is about a man who, because of an injury, has no short term memory. He can remember everything from before his accident (namely the rape and murder of his wife), but has lost the ability to make any new memories and cannot remember something for more than a few minutes. To compensate for this he leaves notes for himself, pictures with descriptions written on them. This man is after the man who killed his wife, because of a lead he found the police refuse to follow. Anything he finds out about the mysterious “John G” who killed his wife he tattoos to himself, so he can always remember what to look for.

Acting: 4/5
It’s very well done, considering the complex nature of the movie. Guy Pierce is the lead with the girl from “The Matrix” taking up the role of supporting actress. It is hard to rate the acting, just because it is such a plot based movie does not change that fact~ Some scenes are good, others are kind of rough. It is a good performance by these actors. Not really award winning in my book, but definitely high on the list.

Directing: 6/5
There are a lot of representativve shots meant to jog the viewers memory. It is very action-based in the film department at least. The director did an amazing job filming this movie for one solid reason: it plays backwards. You literally start at the very end of the movie and each scene takes place before the one you just watched. The scene or action plays until it reaches the point where the previous scene ended…. That was very unclear, lol. Think about it like this: you brush your teeth, then the next scene is you waking up. It takes a bit to get used to, which is probably why you need 2 views, but it is worth watching just to see how they manage to pull it off!

Other Things

It’s a very… slow movie. There are a couple of storylines really, the hunt for his wife’s killer and a relationship with a girl named Natalie. They all come together by the end of the movie, and if you’re careful you can predict it. But the problem with a story driven movie is that action fans won’t like it. You do have plenty of that, but not enough. It is dialogue-heavy, really.

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Rant #24- English in Kpop (I swear this one is different from #23)

I know it’s been said by a lot of critics, but I feel like I have to address this here… There is way too much of it.

In Korea speaking English is VERY popular, and foreigners are still a kind of oddity (not so much in Seoul, but in other parts). I lived there for 10 months, trust me. I’d be stopped in the street for someone to take their picture with me, or interviewed, or filmed by the news because they wanted a shot of a foreigner for their report (this happened twice).

English is hugely popular, and most schools require at least some English courses. I get that groups want to sound cool by including the English in their songs, but I think the composers and lyricists take it way overboard.

Companies like JYP and SM are iffy, sometimes there is a lot of English, and sometimes they hardly have any (Hands Up by 2PM is pretty saturated, but It’s You by Super Junior is fairly weak on that edge), but the companies outside of the big 3 (SM, JYP, and YG) are where you see this a lot (and YG seems to be having more and more lately).

It seems the more obscure and unknown a company is the more English is in their song. Yeah, you’ll attract the foreigners because they can understand more, but I think it looses its… Korean-ness (for lack of a better word).

Korean music, in my opinion, should be IN KOREAN. Little lines in English are fine, but songs like ZE:A’s “Mazeltov”, 4 Minute’s “Muzik”, and T-ARA’s “YaYaYa” are way too saturated. It seems lately these three groups are swinging back towards having more Korean-oriented music, and that’s a relief, but a lot of groups still use far too much.

I was trying to get my older brother into SNSD/Girls’ Generation because I thought he’d like their music and I was in Korea so I could send him home a CD if he wanted. He tool one listen to their song “Mr. Taxi” (he studied Japanese for years and prefers it to Korean) and he said “Ugh, no way. The song is JAPANESE, but there is WAY too much English.” and I’ve heard the same thing about their Korean songs from other friends.

I really hope the general trend continues swinging back towards more Korean-oriented K-pop. It’s kind of disappointing how English-saturated the field is becoming.

See? Told you it was different from Rant#23 (which is about how said English usually makes no sense grammatically or within the song itself).

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Mozeltov- ZE:A

I’d highly recommend ignoring this MV entirely and just skipping to their later stuff… I was personally looking forward to their debut until I heard this song, and so I ignored them until now. I consider them part of the BoyBand-Trio (ZE:A, Teen Top, and Infinite who seem to have had a similar debut and seem to promote at the same time). I’ve decided to give the whole trio a second chance, so here we go…

Lyrics: -5/5
… don’t look at me. I still can’t figure out what the hell this song is supposed to be about. It is filled with random English, only half of which even makes any sense (“Red Beat Down”???????????????) and randomly the world “Mazeltov” is mixed in. And I think this is where the blasted Rebecca Black got that stupid name-the-day-of-the-week thing… As far as I can tell it’s either about being left by a girl you love and trying to move on and have strength to live through the week… but it could be the other way around, with them telling the girl to have strength??? IDK, I’m not sure they even know what the song is about…
Mazeltov/ have strength/ mazeltov/ laugh/ mazeltov/ monday, tuesday, wednesday, thursday/ friday, saturday, sunday/ mazeltov/ monday, tuesday, wednesday, thursday/ friday, saturday, sunday

Dance: 4/5
There seems to be a little too much of standing in lines to show off how many members they have (9). We get it, you’re a big group, but with a song like this the dance really needs to kill. It’s not bad, I just think if the dance was supposed to clarify the meaning of this weird-ass song then it should have been a little more representative. It seems to mix haphazardly between styles- being arm-heavy and leg-heavy and including popping or a kind of jazz feel…

Story: NA
It’s just set-based for this MV (again, that would have helped explain what is going on…). It’s meant to show off the members and the group as a whole, nothing much else. And there are very very few solo shots. Some solo camera work is done even with the members dancing in the background, again reinforcing the whole group. AND CAN SOMEONE EXPLAIN TO ME WHY THERE IS A NAKED BOY IN A GLASS BOX IN THE BEGINNING?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!

Additional Notes
If the song made sense I would have rated everything much higher. The dance can’t make sense if the song doesn’t. You have to ensure they match, and it’s just kind of disjointed. Change the song and I’m happy.

The little clips I’ve seen of ZE:A since this MV show an incredible improvement (AKA- the song doesn’t blow). It has a good rythm and feel, but there is an incredible amount of English, 99.999% of which does not fit with the Korean… Heck, 70% of the English doesn’t fit the rest of the English. And from what I’ve been told of the group isn’t a member from the US or lived there for a time? The English should have been run by him…

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Mr. Simple- Super Junior

Super Junior is finally making their comeback! This is the title song for their last album before they take a hiatus while members do their military service required by Korean law.

Lyrics: 10/5
This song has to have the best message ever. The lyrics aren’t about love or a breakup or anything like that, it’s basically “Shit happens, deal with it”. The song is really just advice. It’s saying grades and test results go up and down, there is no use sweating all the little details. When things get tough don’t keep pushing, take a step back, go drink with your friends (a major social thing in Korea) or spend a night out having fun and relax a bit before tackling the issues. They say things like “Miss Simple, you’re pretty just the way you are” and other little encouraging messages to both men and women. It can be summed up to “Shit happens” and “don’t sweat the small stuff”.
Look Mr. Simple Simple you are cool the way you are/ Look Miss Simple Simple, you are pretty the way you are (SJ Call)/ Look Mr. Simple Simple you are cool the way you are/ Look Miss Simple Simple you are pretty the way you are (SJ Call)/ Lets go lets go, hurry lets go/ when we get blocked let’s go back/ if you’re stressed to death let’s hang out for the day/ anyway, if I run endlessly in this rough world I’ll get tired/ wait, shake it off/ because your day will come soon

Dance: 6/5
The dance has to be one of SJ’s best. Choreographers met with each member individually and had them make up a dance step or series, they combined these with some of their own choreography so that this dance has elements from every member. The dance solo in the middle is, as always, Eunhyuk and Donghae. With them is their pet-project DanceKyu (a member who was previous the “Dance Black Hole” of the group whom they are trying to improve) and Sungmin, a member who has not been included in an SJ dance solo since Super Junior’s “Miracle” MV over 5 years ago!

Story: NA
The teasers suggested a story MV, but that might be coming out later. For now there is no story to the MV, like with “Sorry, Sorry” and “Bonamana” (though there is more color in their outfits). They revealed there is also a Japanese version of the MV that will be released at an undisclosed date, so that may be the story that was appearing in the second teaser (a man or woman tied up with red ropes and a man covered in some kind of plaster or whatnot that he was trying to break free from).

Other Things

Super Junior announced just before the MV was released that this will be their last album before the group goes on a hiatus while the older members enter the Korean military for their mandatory 2 year service (all men must complete this before they turn 30). In light of this they said they will take their time promoting this thoroughly and not rush any aspect. They will also be releasing a repackaged version of Mr. Simple in a month or two with a second MV, just like with all previous albums (Sorry Sorry=Neorago, Bonamana=No Other).

I’m still not seeing the “Ubersexual” concept SM said they would have (at least not outside the teaser images!), but it does have a very cool feel. There is none of Super Junior’s trademark hip-thrust move, but the dance is cool and very well put together.

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Announcement- Oh my goodness~

I started this wordpress close to a year ago (I think we’re one month over our birthday), and I have to say I’m stunned.

I expected maybe 5 followers, I still remember when I was excited to have 12! Now there are over 350 of you and I’m just floored~

I know I don’t post much, and I ask that you understand. I’m preparing to A) return to my University in the US, and B) Attend my University in the US for the first time (I had just been approved for transfer when I was accepted to study in Korea for a year, so I’ve never attended my University beyond some summer classes). I’m trying to get back into pace with my sites~

But what I really wanted to say was thank you all. Today we reached 75,000 LIFETIME VIEWS, and that is just absolutely incredible! I’ll get better at posting here, I promise to work hard at it, and seriously, thank you all so much~~~

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