Monday, June 16, 2014

The Escape Artist; Episode 1


*Possible spoilers*

David Tennant is back in my life! Hooray! And Masterpiece Mystery is back in town. My world is temporarily brighter for it.

Tennant plays a barrister, Will Burton (hopefully a soon-to-be silk), who defends a man, Liam Foyle, who has been accused of sadistically murdering a woman. It's obvious he thinks the man is guilty but, as he says, 'Everyone deserves a defense' (yes, I'm 99.9% sure I misquoted him), and of course everyone is supposed to be presumed innocent until proven guilty. But we all know this guy did it. He's nuts, but not in a particularly loud way. The actor portraying him, Toby Kebbell, does an amazing job of getting that across. You can sense the undercurrent of barely controlled rage and psychosis. Unfortunately, Burton is far too good at his job, and Foyle is far too clever a killer. He gets away with the whole thing, and we soon see why this series is called 'The Escape Artist'.

It quickly comes to bite Burton in the ass, however. I wasn't entirely sure how they were going to stretch this series out to three episodes, but I get it now.

My only real complaint is the stupidity of one or two characters. I'm not sure I can elaborate much without spoiling it, so, uh, spoiler alert: if I saw some guy creeping on me from a second story window (or any window, but seriously, second story!!) I would a) not go there alone with my child ever again. Seriously. And b) no really, never again! I would be on friggin' DEFCON level one. I'd surround myself with safe people if possible, and pack some grenades, maybe some knives, and probably a nail gun. Nail guns are interesting. He totally wouldn't see that coming. He would get nailed! I should also mention that it's slightly awkward when a serial killer is attractive. I hate Liam Foyle, but he's easy on the eyes. You don't often see vicious killers played by handsome actors, do you?

My grade: B+

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Nebraska


A slow-starting movie that eventually pays off.

David opts to drive his father, Woody, to Lincoln, Nebraska to claim his supposed million dollar winnings. The family knows that he didn't actually win anything, but he won't stop talking about it. David caves, thinking that, at the very least, they can get away for awhile. They end up visiting his father's hometown along the way, where word gets out that Woody is a "millionaire". Naturally, people start coming out of the woodwork and demanding money after decades of silence. My main issue with this is how silly David and his family are when people actually start trying to bully them for money. My reaction would be to leave town. Seriously, stop stalling. Go to Lincoln, get it over with, and, most importantly, get the hell away from these people. Instead they linger. Most of the movie is spent there, since that's where there's more story to tell. You find out more about Woody's background, which is fairly interesting. I felt that they spent too much time there, though. It didn't entirely gel.

More on the plus side, however; at first I thought David's mother was a mean old bat. And she kind of is, but then I realized she's actually a hoot. She just tells it like it is. Even better, Nebraska really picks up more towards the middle, and has a satisfying ending.

My grade: B

Monday, May 19, 2014

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Finally getting around to watching Planet Earth. I love it. <3 I don't know why it's taken me so long.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Rude by Magic


Ernest and Celestine


This movie is adorable. French movies in general tend to attract me. I was hoping this wouldn't be solely geared towards children, but I didn't have anything to worry about. I think adults will enjoy this, maybe even more-so. Or perhaps that's just me.

Ernest is a bear. Bears live above ground and are feared by mice. Mice live below, spending their lives striving to collect bear teeth (don't worry, they don't do this by violent means) in order to replace their front teeth with them, since bears have such strong teeth. They think it gives them an advantage, which I suppose it  does, if you have to gnaw through a lot of rope on a daily basis. Of course collecting teeth is a dangerous thing to do, but the expectations are high. Celestine is a mouse, and probably the only mouse who doesn't think bears are evil (that belief leaves her rather ostracized). She's only managed to nab one bear tooth, sadly, so she gets kicked out of the cute underground mouse utopia and is told not to come back until she's gathered 50 bear teeth.

Ernest is a starving bear, and he'll eat just about anything at this point. It doesn't help that the police are always around to keep an eye on him. Luckily, he and Celestine meet by chance and help each other out, becoming fugitives in the process. *sigh* I do love this movie. You need to watch it.

My grade: A

Sunday, April 6, 2014

The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters (Documentary)

Steve Wiebe and family
Oh, I do like a good documentary! This one was too interesting to pass up, and it didn't disappoint. I don't think you have to be a hardcore gamer to enjoy this (I'm not), or even a casual gamer (like me). For me, this is about more than just beating the Donkey Kong record, set in 1982 by Billy Mitchell; it's about an egomaniac douchebag and a nice guy who he's trying to screw over. The 'ole good vs. evil.

Steve Wiebe is trying to beat Billy Mitchell's Donkey Kong score. And he does, pretty early on in the film. But the egotistical, manipulative, sociopath Billy won't have that. It's easy for Billy to get his way when he's treated like royalty, and everyone looks up to him. Although I don't think anyone adores and admires Billy Mitchell more than Billy Mitchell himself.

I think what makes this so satisfying is that you can clearly see what everyone is about, and it soon becomes obvious to them what everyone else is about, whether they've known them for years or not at all. I watched the whole thing (a modest one hour and nineteen minutes) wanting one outcome but having no idea how it would end. Which is a good thing. Highly recommended!

My Grade: A

Billy Mitchell