CWM

Posts Tagged ‘Homeland’

“The Blacklist” should be Blacklisted

In Television on September 25, 2013 at 7:07 pm

Image

September is the month of premiers and being an avid television fan I’ve decided to give several shows a shot.

Last night, I watched the pilot of “The Blacklist” with James Spader and boy could I not have been more disappointed. “The Blacklist” tells the story of Raymond “Red” Reddington, yes, that’s his name, a notorious F.B.I. agent turned criminal rogue who is a criminal mastermind, pulling all the strings. In the pilot, Reddington turns himself into the F.B.I. and demands that he only speaks to Elizabeth Keene, played by Megan Boone, a newbie F.B.I. profiler whose first day is lo and behold on the same day that Reddington wants to talk to her. Much to the chagrin of F.B.I agent Harold Cooper, played by Harry Lennix, and F.B.I. agent Donald Ressler, played by “Homeland” star Diego Klattnehoff.

Annnnnd that’s about as far I got into the show, for several reasons.

One, being the unrealistic nature of it. When the F.B.I. is told that Reddington will only speak to Ms. Keene, they  end up having about 4 cars drive to her house and a military helicopter circle over the roof of her apartment nearly clipping it and recreating a scene from “Black Hawk Down”. Really? 4 cars wouldn’t have done it? A helicopter needed to be thrown into the mix.

When Reddington is finally handcuffed and interrogated, he is placed in a specially made robotic jail cell, with a moving platform that extends him outside of his “box” to allow him to meet with Keene. Question, did they design this box especially for him? Are other criminal masterminds held there in the interim? Is Reddignton just too good for a normal jail cell, even Hannibal Lecter was kept behind bars and he was a serial killing cannibal.

Which brings me to my second point of why I didn’t like this show, it’s unoriginal. An intelligent male criminal mastermind wants to speak with a young fairly good looking female novice profiler, sound familiar? Well it gets better, during their second meeting, Reddington tells Keene that she needs to give something to get something. HOLD IT. Quid pro quo Clarice! This is where I stopped watching because it sounded exactly like “Silence of the Lambs” especially when Keene started talking about a tragic event within her youth. Done. Not interested.

So, if you haven’t seen “Silence of the Lambs” and believe that the F.B.I. will just pull out all the stops whenever possible, then this show is for you. If you, like me, like a little taste of reality in your shows, then just change the channel.

Advertisements

Pacific Rim-Tastic!!!

In Movies on July 15, 2013 at 10:57 am

 

pacific-rim-drift-50

I have been tracking this movie since its inception and I have been incredibly pumped about it. Seriously. Like really really looking forward to this movie. When, I first heard that the numbers weren’t going to be strong for it, I was disappointed because well this movie sounded like it would be a Blockbuster hit and for some reason it wasn’t being predicted as such. It was what I wanted Transformers to be and that movie was playing every half an hour at my theater, but for some reason this movie had only two show times, which is very concerning. Despite this, I recommend you check this movie out. THIS, will be a movie I buy, especially if the director’s cut includes more robot fighting.

“Pacific Rim” tells the story of David vs. Goliath where instead of David hitting Goliath in the head with a stone and a slingshot, he gets a whole bunch of people together, they build a massive robot, equipped with swords and a plasma cannon, and then they murder Goliath and all of his family. The story begins with a montage courtesy of Charlie Hunnam playing Raleigh Becket. Raleigh tells the story of how monsters emerged from the Pacific and began destroying the major cities of the world. Not one to back down, the human race bands together and created the Jaeger program which is German for fighter. These huge machines battle the monsters in order to keep the rest of us safe. Raleigh is an ace pilot with his brother Yancy Becket, played by Diego Klattenhoff from “Homeland”. Two individuals need to pilot a Jaeger because the human brain can’t synchronize with the robot all by itself. The best fighters are the ones that have the best drift, meaning that they think the same and react in the same way. The story jumps forward to a point where the Jaeger program is being decommissioned because nobody has any money anymore and a giant wall just appears to be a much better idea. Stacker Pentecoast, Idris Elba, asks that Raleigh return to the Jaeger program in order to have one last battle to save humanity once and for all. Raleigh, without a partner, meets Mako Mori, played by Rinko Kikuchi, who he feels in instant connection, drift compatibility, and wishes to pilot his old Jaeger Gypsy Danger with, much to the chagrin of Marshal Pentecoast. The research department consisting of Gottlieb (Burn Gorman) and Newton Geiszler (Charlie Day) believe that a dramatic last stand might not be the best way to defeat these creatures and Newton, AKA Newt, believes that the Kaiju are smarter than the humans think and enlists the help of Kaiju dealer Hannibal Chau (Ron Pearlman) to learn about the creatures in more detail.

There are a lot more characters and Jaegers, but I don’t want to spoil anything for you. In total, this movie was amazing. The fight scenes were fun, the action was great, the acting was a bit clunky.

I’m not sure how Guillermo Del Toro chose Charlie Hunnam or why really because he wasn’t that strong of an actor. There were a lot of flubs and missteps I felt throughout his scenes that could have been better and stronger. I also get a little sick of his Jax swagger that he always walk with. I’m not sure if he has a condition or something and must constantly bounce upon his feet but seriously that man walks like he wants everyone to know how legit he is.

Idris Elba held his own in this film all the way up to his great cancelling the apocalypse monologue. I believe he had a great gasp on his character and that came through completely well. He was strong, stoic, and commanding. Not a lot to ask from an actor as good as Elba, but he still hit the nail on the head.

Charlie Day was alright in this film, again, he too suffered from some missteps and clunkiness. I felt like he understood the character but his delivery was off. Some of his scenes were great, especially the ones with Ron Pearlman, but the scenes he shared with Hunnam could have been better.

Despite the acting glitches, this movie was beautiful to watch. The computer generation was fantastic and brutal, portraying the Kaiju’s teeth breaking while the Jaeger’s arm was getting ripped off. A lot of it was also quite upsetting. These battles often occurred in a very slow and heavy motion and when things went wrong, they were jaw dropping. The same can be said for when things went write.

The only thing I ask of this film is to see more Jaeger fighting the Kaiju. That’s all I ask. I’m hoping the rumors are true that the director’s cut will have more scenes like this and, if this is so, I will definitely be buying it. Please check this movie out I assure that it is much better than “Grown Ups 2” and it is completely worth it.

My Take on the Golden Globies

In Awards on January 14, 2013 at 5:02 pm

Last night was the Golden Globes and you would know this unless you lived under a rock, do not have television, or do not care anything for movies or television. Sadly, I was not able to watch all of it, but of what I saw, I have to say that Amy Poehler and Tina Fey did a great job. I think the individuals who call the shots for these ceremonies, should take note, don’t just choose comedians choose comedians who excel in improvisation. Who not only star in shows, but write their own materials. Like I said, I wasn’t able to catch this entire show, but from what I saw, from the highlights, these two were great. So, without further ado I will offer my thoughts on the Golden Globe winners. Note: I will only offer my opinion on those categories that I feel I have enough information to discuss.

Best Picture: Argo

This movie was running against “Life of Pi”, “Django Unchained” “Lincoln” and “Zero Dark Thirty.” I have seen all of those movies except for “Life of Pi” and I don’t believe that Affleck deserved this win for one glaring reason. He chose to direct this movie and star in it, despite the fact that the main character, Tony Mendez, was Latino. I mentioned this in my review of the movie, pointing out the fact that in the end when a picture of the actual Tony Mendez is revealed, it is shown very rapidly. I loved the movie, loved the story, loved the acting, but I wish Affleck took a step back and allowed a prominent Latino actor to play Tony Mendez. I honestly think Lincoln should have won this.

Best Performance Actor: Daniel Day-Lewis for “Lincoln”

Sadly, I also haven’t seen any of the other nominees for this category, but unless they were up to par with Daniel Day-Lewis’s Lincoln, then I don’t think they deserve to win. I understand that is a given but still, I thought he was astounding in this film. That being said, I hope that John Hawkes takes home an Oscar or a Golden Globe one of these days, because I think he is an exceptional actor and will try to catch “The Sessions” sometime in the future. I also would like to see “The Master” because I have only hear really polarized reviews regarding this movie.

Best Performance Actress: Jessica Chastain for “Zero Dark Thirty”

I think Chastain totally deserves this win. I thought “Zero Dark Thirty” was an excellent film and I completely believe that she deserves this win. I love Naomi Watts, Helen Mirren, and Marion Cotillard, but I think Chastain deserved the honor more than this other nominees because of what she did within the film and what she represents.

Best Performance Actress Musical/Comedy: Jennifer Lawrence for “Silver Linings Playbook”

Yes! I absolutely adore Lawrence, I loved her in “Winter’s Bone” and I loved her as Mystique and I assure you that I will see this movie because I think she is a wonderful actress and think she absolutely deserved this win.

Best Supporting Actor: Christoph Waltz for “Django Unchained”

Absolutely. He made this film what it was and it is such a damn shame that Samuel Jackson  did not receive a nomination. However, I do know that Jackson will win won of these days and when that happens I will most certainly cry with happiness. But, that’s besides the point. Waltz deserved this win. I loved Arkin in “Argo” and Tommy Lee Jones in “Lincoln” but they did not hold a candle to the flame that is Waltz.

Best Director: Ben Affleck for “Argo”

Again, I have such a problem with this movie because of Affleck’s choice to star in it. I feel it could have been just as good had he taken a step out and let someone else lead, preferably someone who wasn’t raised in Boston. I think that either Spielberg or Tarantino should have won for this category and if I was tortured and had to choose between those two, I would have to say “Lincoln.” Call me a sheep, a follower, but have you seen this movie? The acting, the script, the everything, came together and made it a movie that I will never forget.

Best Screenplay:  Tarantino for “Django Unchained”

Yep, this totally takes the cake. Tarantino’s scripts are allowing his movies to be untouchable, when it comes to dialogue, and forever quotable. Now I know I was just rallying for “Lincoln” in the last category and I do think that Spielberg should have won for best director, however when putting Tarantino’s script and Spielberg’s script side by side, there is no comparison. Tarantino knew his characters, gave them some great lines, allowing them to become something more.

Best Original Song: Skyfall

Have you heard this song? I mean I am so far from being an Adele fan but sweet Jesus, this song is one hell of a Bond song. It’s a damn good Bond song. It’s a damn great Bond song. Catchy, powerful, and performed so damn well by Adele. I absolutely agree that this song deserved the win.

Best Television Series: Homeland

I’m a little on the fence about this because I am partial to “Boardwalk Empire” and “Breaking Bad” but that being sad I do, slightly, agree that this movie deserved the win. It’s a damn good show and I hope that it keeps getting better. I do hope that “Boardwalk Empire” takes home a Golden Globie one of these days.

Best Television Series Musical/Comedy: Girls

Nope. I have a huge problem with this show. Let me begin by saying that I only watched three episodes of this show and I did not like it. Show me a show that depicts whiny white girls living in the gentrified section of Brooklyn who can’t stop complaining about how awful their life is and I will show you “Sex in the City.” Congrats to Lena Dunham, but this show isn’t funny, interesting, or at all worth watching. It should have been “Modern Family.”

Best Performance Actor in Television: Damian Lewis for “Homeland”

Again, I love this show and again, I really would like Steve Buscemi to get some recognition for his role in “Boardwalk.” But I also think that Damian Lewis is phenomenal in “Homeland” and that, given where season 3 is going, he will only get better. Also, some love to Bryan Cranston wouldn’t hurt either but that’s neither here nor there.

Best Performance Actress in Television: Claire Danes for “Homeland”

If you haven’t watched “Homeland” you probably should, if you haven’t figured that out all ready. I think she deserved this because not only is she a great actress but I have a thing for strong women sticking it to men, which she does a lot in this show. Not the biggest fan of Connie Britton either and I’m also very surprised Glenn Close got nominated for “Damages” because she isn’t very good in that show.

Best Actor in Television Musical/Comedy: Don Cheadle for “House of Lies”

Have you ever seen this show? Well if you haven’t, don’t, and I will save you some time. This show should be titled as “Don Cheadle Talks to the Camera a lot and Has a Lot of Sex as Well.” It isn’t funny, it’s tragic. It doesn’t seem to have a point and I don’t like any of the characters. I wish Louis C.K. took this award home because I absolutely love “Louie” and I think he deserved it.

Best Actress in Television Musical/Comedy: Lena Dunham for “Girls”

Nope. Tiny Fey, Amy Poehler, or Zooey should have taken this. Not Lena Dunham. They deserve it so much more than she does because they write a damn funny show and they star in a hilarious show as well. “Girls” isn’t funny, it’s pointless, and uninteresting. Save yourself the time and the energy, just walk through Brooklyn, or any hipster bar for that matter, and listen to the young women complain about how their daddy is cutting them off. That’s “Girls” for you.

So there’s my take on the Golden Globies. Some winners I agreed with and some I did not. I cannot wait for the Oscars and if you have any points/counterarguments then just comment and let me know what you think!

Harrowing Homeland

In Television on December 20, 2012 at 12:17 pm

Winner of 2 Golden Globes and 6 Emmys, “Homeland” is a great drama. With “Dexter” at the 9 o’clock spot and “Homeland” at the 10 o’clock spot, Showtime hits you with a one-two anxiety punch that made Sundays one of the best days of the week. “Homeland” stars Claire Danes as Carrie Mathison a CIA agent who struggles with Bipolar Disorder while utilizing it to understand terrorists and crack their codes. Damian Lewis also stars as Nicholas Brody in this drama as a returned prisoner of war turned terrorist. Lewis does a phenomenal job within this show, displaying the inner struggles quite viscerally. Carrie utilizes the help of Saul Berenson, played by Mandy Patinkin, and David Estes, played by David Harewood, to uncover the motives of the Abu Nazir, played by Navid Negahban, before tragedy strikes. This gripping drama tells the story of terrorism from different angles, allowing for the viewer to understand why terrorists became terrorists and why the CIA wishes to stop them. Barely slow at times, this drama keeps you on the edge of your seat trying to uncover what is going to occur before it is too late, and the finale was no exception to this.

The finale elicits closure on some story lines while raising many questions on others. The mole has still yet to be uncovered and is still very much prevalent within the CIA and although Brody has taken the appropriate steps to assure the CIA as well as Carrie of his innocence, some of it might still be in question, especially with what occurred at the end of the episode. The goal that has kept Carrie going and engaged has now been replaced by another which I think will keep the third season very interesting. I also like the multiple story lines that can occur now as a result of the decisions that Brody and Carrie made. So, if you haven’t watched “Homeland” do it. It is a gripping drama and extremely well acted. Now onto the good stuff. *Spoilers!*

 

I really liked the character transformation that Quinn, played by Rupert Friend, exhibited throughout this season. He appeared, at first, as a no-nonsense intelligence officer, then more about his past is revealed, and then he is seen as a soldier, following orders without question. However, in the end, he completely threw me off and showed me a side that I truly liked, that of a protector, not a gun-for-hire. His lines were delivered so well, and I hope he returns for season 3.

I also liked the character development we saw for Saul. It was subtle but it was there and he appears to be getting closer and closer to getting his hands completely dirty. I like his intellect and how he can connect the dots so damn quickly, and part of me thinks that he is the mole. He had the most to gain from the death of Estes and he did fail his polygraph, BUT, only time will tell.

I also liked how Jessica Brody, played by Morena Baccarin, and Mike Faber, played by Diego Klattenhoff, ended up together. The separation between Brody and Jess makes complete sense and Mike has been the one that has been prevalent within Jess’s life. It would be completely unrealistic if Jess and Brody decided to try to stick it out.

I also liked the new story line of trying to figure out who released the tape. Only a select few people had access to that video and I think a new terrorist cell revealed itself within the finale. So I am completely looking forward to the new season.

I also liked that David Estes is now dead, because, well I didn’t really like him or his character. He was always the last to congratulate Carrie when she did something right and the first to get on her case when she did something wrong.

To be honest, at this moment, there was nothing I didn’t like about the finale. It was well executed and left a direction for the third season. Well done Showtime! I look forward to “Masters of Sex” and “Ray Donovan”, which, I’m sure, will be just as good as “Dexter” and “Homeland”.