Monday, May 28, 2012

Sherlock Season 2

Two things.
1. Spoilers. Don't read unless you've watched the show.
2. Haven't seen the show? All the episodes are streaming in good quality for free on the PBS website. Here's a link to the first episode. I trust you can navigate a website well enough to find the rest.

Before I got caught up in all The Avengers excitement (or maybe during, my sense of time is a little wibbly right now), I commenced watching Sherlock season 2 on PBS. My dad also started watching with me, which is awesome. There's nothing better than a family that can enjoy British television together.
Anyway, season 2 really blew me away. I'll go episode by episode. Warning: This is going to be a very very long post. Episode by episode, this is what I thought.

A Scandal In Belgravia- Season 2 starts with an episode based off of the original Holmes story A Scandal in Bohemia, a personal favorite of me. However, this one takes quite the turn with it. The focus is on Irene Adler, an opera singer in the books, and here in the show, she's an, erm, dominatrix if you will. I definitely was not expecting half of the things that happened in the episode. Lara Pulver does an excellent job of keeping Irene interesting. Benedict and Martin are completely awesome as usual, and let's not forget Andrew Scott's memorable ten minutes tying up the cliffhanger from last season (which by the way, hit me out of nowhere).

The plot is intricate and intriguing, as is every episode, but this one takes on an entirely new subject: Sherlock's lack of emotion. In fact, the reoccurring theme of season 2 is Sherlock gradually finding some emotion and sentiment. Not too much of course. I mean, he is Sherlock Holmes, but it's progress, I will say. Will we ever see a fully emotionally functioning Holmes? I doubt it. But it's interesting to see him confronted with not only a very sexual woman, but also an intellectual equal.

I laughed a lot in this episode too. There's always room for a few moments of comedy in these episodes, and that's something I really enjoy. Cinematography is top notch as well.

The Hound of Baskervilles- Wow. Oh my gosh. One of the most famous Holmes stories adapted for the small screen by the brilliant crew, and believe me, it doesn't disappoint. This is one of the most thirlling episodes of anything I have ever watched. It creeps up on you like the fog in the scenery. Everything ties together so amazingly that my jaw dropped a couple times.
Baskerville is no easy task. It's one of the most mindbending Holmes stories ever written, and from what I heard Steven Moffatt and Mark Gatiss (the writes, and Gattis plays Mycroft in the show) spent weeks puzzling over how to get it just right and make it work in the modern setting. It was no easy feat, but it's done so beautifully.
I enjoyed the twists and turns and was legitimately  very scared at times. The new characters were very involving (I'll let you guess who they are :) ), and there's a certain depth to one episode characters that you simply can't find anywhere else on television. The conclusion really sets up for the last episode while still giving you some satisfaction from the episode's plot. Five bajillion stars.

The Reichenbach Fall- Being a fan of the original Holmes books, I vaguely knew what we were in for when I started Reichenbach that Sunday night. However, I didn't expect how far everything would go, and how brilliant this episode would prove itself to be. This might be my favorite episode out of the six that have aired.  From the minute that Reichenbach starts, there's an inevitable and appropriate feeling of doom. Things just continue to spiral downward for the characters, but the quality of the show just keeps going up.
I won't give anything anyway, because even though I said spoilers, I know some of you have probably not watched Reichenach and are foolish enough to still be reading. But I was outright sobbing. Usually, when I get worked up over a film or TV show, tears well up, but I'm quiet. No. I was crying my wittle fangirl heart out. My family had to tell me to shut up.
First of all, Martin fladoodling Freeman. He breaks my heart in this episode. He won a BAFTA for his performance as John Watson for last season, rightfully so, but he's even better here. John is one of those characters that really grows on you the more you watch him. I'm very emotionally attached to him.
Benedict is also Martin's equal in the episode. The facade' of Sherlock Holmes falls a bit in this episode, and every line, every gesture, is there for a reason. Well done Mr. Cumberbatch.
Also, Andrew Scott, who is a mainplayer in this episode for once. We've literally seen Moriarty all of 20 minutes until Reichenbach, but here he is in almost every scene. Andrew plays a very mesmerizing Jim Moriarty. It's a little reminiscent of Heath Ledger's famed portrayal of the Joker in The Dark Knight, but very unique and different at the same time. You never quite know what he's going to do next. All the awards (which is kind of true, because Andrew won a BAFTA for this performance a few days ago).

I literally cannot express everything I feel about this show, and I love that about Sherlock. It's so big and intricate, but it also retains that dark sense of humor and fun that is what made Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's original Holmes such a classic.

Rating: All the awards. Watch this show.


Friday, May 25, 2012

The Avengers Reviewed! (SPOILERS)

After a failed first attempt, I finally saw Marvel's Avengers today.


If you don't want to read what is sure to be a long rant about character development, tasteful explosions, and Bruce Banner/Mark Ruffalo, here's the short answer: It was totally amazing and I loved ever minute of it.

Here's the long version.
Oh my gosh. The Avengers is everything you could possible want in a summer block buster... AND MORE. I'm not even kidding, I was in  nerd heaven the entire time. I'm still trying really hard to form complete sentences about it. If I were a lesser blogger, the review would be something like this:

asdfioasjgklangwbetjiaoejgoHOHMYGODTHOR'SHAIRISLUSCIOUS.aagihawdgnakldgnadAnd BRUCE BANNERrouguiagdhgopkasodhusgdfhhsdogjasiodhhgdojgposjuiGHOCOULSONarhiohgdnglangkjweeiejtihhitheiehndnndnLOKIMYBABY

You get the picture.

So anyway, let's go by categories or I'm going to get off track reeeeally quick.

1. Character building
It should also be noted that I've seen all of the prequels, so I might refer to things not in The Avengers that happened.

I love how the cast approaches the Avengers almost like a comedy ensemble. Everyone really plays off their characters personality. There's an exchange between Thor, Iron Man, and Captain America in a forest that cracked me up.  There's a lot of humor that you wouldn't expect. Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man is funny as ever. The scenes with Tony Stark and Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo) are especially awesome.

2. Tastefully done explosions and action sequences.
I love  a well choreographed chase scene. The opening sequence is Loki breaking into S.H.I.E.L.D. and the chaos that follows. That's when you know you're in for a great ride. The last half hour of battling in Manhattan is also done just so. There's lots of action and explosions,  but not in obnoxious way a la Transformers.

3. I especially enjoyed the time given to characters that didn't have prequels. Jeremy Renner and Scarlett Johanson (not sure if I spelled that right) play Hawkeye and Black Widow respectively. They get great fight scenes and as much backstory as is possible. But the real star here is Mark Ruffalo playing Bruce Banner/The Hulk. I never liked the Hulk all that much, but after seeing The Avengers, my mind was definitely changed. Joss packs an emotional punch in the character of Bruce Banner (and Captain America for that matter). Kudos. And Mark Ruffalo is adorable.

4 TOM FLADOODLING HIDDLESTON! Never could there ever be a more perfect Loki. You can see he's totally evil, but you still feel for him, especially if you've seen the Thor prequel. Also, I don't think I've seen someone who is so grateful to their fans than Tom. Seriously, follow him on twitter, he is so sweet to everyone.

5. Everyone hanging out at S.H.I.E.L.D. is pretty cool too. You've got Nick Fury, Maria Hill, Phil Coulson. They really lay down the canvas for the characters to paint on, adding some color of their own too.

I just love how everything in The Avengers just really comes together and feel cohesive. Despite the two Iron Man sequels, Thor, Captain America, and the one Hulk movie (the one from 2008 does not count),  it all becomes whole and works really well together in the film. That's no walk in the park, and I'm so thankful to Joss and the cast for working so hard on something so great. Don't miss it.



Sunday, May 20, 2012

In Which I Discuss Middle School, The Avengers, and the End of Some Things

Hey guys!
Sorry for the long post gap, stuff has been happening like crazy.
Anyways, this post is probably going to descend into crazy ranting so you can't say I didn't warn you.

I end my last days of middle schooler/ home schooler this week. Wow. Wow. Um, wow.
It's hard for me to fathom not being in middle school or home schooled. The though of going back to public school this fall is so....well, it seems like some kind of weird dream that seemed much farther away a few months ago.
But I'm glad middle school is over. It's been one...erm, how do I even try to phrase this nicely............interesting.

But off the sentimental stuff now.

I was in Sunday School this morning, sitting quietly and staring at everyone talking because I rarely get to take part in the conversation, when they started talking about The Avengers.
If you don't know yet, I went to go see the flim on opening day, but got sick about three quarters of the way through and had to leave. It was depressing, and I still haven't finished the movie, but oh my Gandalf, I loved every bit of this movie. And the prequels. Excellent stuff.
But back on subject. They were talking about the movie. Just not the plot. No, like most girls around the world, the focus was on Captain America's butt.
Look, I'm not going to lie, the cast of the Avengers is really attractive. But that's not what the story is about! The Avengers is a fantastic piece of cinema with great character development and plot and tastefully huge action sequences. Not to mention the absolutely HILARIOUS script.
I related the incident to my mom after church this afternoon and she was like "Relax, they're middle school girls." And I'm not? I think I'm  just some kind of abnormal film snob I think.
Oh, and I'll write  a review for the Avengers when I've finally finished the movie, but you can expect a lot of Loki feels and gifs.

Well, I promise I'll have some type of actual structured post up soon. Until then, here is a gif of Tom Hiddleston talking about Loki. Don't ask, I have a lot of feelings


Saturday, May 5, 2012

The Descendants

To be honest, the hype surrounding The Descendants is really confusing. It's alright, I guess, but nothing special.

The film has two hours to deal with a lot of harsh subjects that can't even be addressed in one film and have a satisfying conclusion. If there had been another half-hour, I might've at least felt satisfied with an ending. But in truth, I was quite ready for the film to be done with by about the half way point.

When George Clooney lets that little convincing tear roll down his cheek, I was about ready to hit stop. The melodrama was a little too much for me to enjoy.  It was just getting too big.

The only thing I thought was fresh and new was the setting. Hawaii has probably never been featured in such a tragic drama. The cinematography and location were fantastic, so props to those guys. But I couldn't really get into the rest of it. I just felt very meh by the end of the movie. It was a by-the-numbers drama that definitely didn't deserve the hype it got in my opinion.

In fact, if you took out George Clooney and Shailene Woodley (who by the way is actually excellent) and replace them with more mediocre actors, you'd probably have some kind of crazy Lifetime movie.

Proceed with caution.