Posts Tagged ‘Dark Knight

05
Apr
13

Person of Interest Season 1

Peoples of Interests

J.J. Abrams is the king of producing entertaining pilot episodes. From the incredibly awesome like Fringe to the good but flawed Alias to the hilariously terrible like Lost, he knows how to put together a first episode. Abrams, however, as a hands-off producer, isn’t the driving force behind this series. That title belongs to Jonathan Nolan, brother of famous film director Christopher Nolan. Jonathan is no slouch in the writing department. He wrote a short story which became the film Memento, and he was co-writer on The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises. Of course, when I started Person of Interest, I didn’t know any of this, I just started it, expecting another shitty, by the numbers cop procedural.

Surprisingly, this series offers much more than that. Let’s start with the bad stuff. Yes, the show has a case-of-the-week format. Yes, there are a lot of filler episodes. And yes, it airs on network TV which is usually not a good thing. Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s talk about the good stuff.

First, the premise is great. A computer genius named Harold Finch (played by Michael Emerson) created “The Machine” for the U.S. government in the paranoia following 9/11. The Machine is an omnipresent monitoring device the government uses to eavesdrop on everyone via security cameras, email, telephones, GPS, etc. If it finds what it perceives to be a terrorist threat, it passes that information to the government. If some piece of information is considered irrelevant, it ignores it. Finch realized that the irrelevant stuff often led to crimes and/or murders that he had no way of stopping. He eventually teams up with a disavowed CIA agent named John Reese (played by Jim Caviezel) and the two of them try to stop the “irrelevant” crimes.

“Let’s go save some people we are interested in.”

Second, the show kicks ass. Solving crimes doesn’t involve a bunch of CSI-style bullshit lab work. No, it typically features Reese following bad guys and then confronting bad guys. In order to solve crimes, he usually commits way more crimes including armed robbery, arson, kidnapping, assault, and murder. Of course, he is doing all this stuff to bad guys, but it is fun to watch him deal vigilante justice and cause way more destruction and mayhem than if he had just ignored the irrelevant crime in the first place. Anytime Reese throws down with someone, the show is plenty exciting.

Third, the writing is great. Despite having a case-of-the-week format, there are several story threads that run continuously throughout the episodes. Every character has a compelling back story, which is teased to the audience through flashbacks throughout the season. By the end of the season you know more about Reese, Finch, The Machine, and the two main antagonists, but you certainly don’t know everything. There are plenty of mysteries left to be unraveled. The show can also be surprising, as when Reese and Finch set out to stop a crime, they don’t know if the person The Machine has given them is going to be the perpetrator or the victim. A couple of times, the person they are protecting turns out to be the bad guy. It keeps the show more fresh and varied, and offers up a good deal of entertainment.

Time to shoot some interesting people.

The acting is kind of a mixed bag. Caviezel plays his character as a stoic, monotone warrior who would rather kick your ass than mince words. At first this seems to be a drawback, but as the character becomes more fleshed out, you get a sense of why he became that way, and it ultimately works in his favor. Emerson is consistently good as the nerdy and paranoid Finch, and manages to be dramatic and comedic in all the right places. Kevin Chapman, who plays a crooked cop (Fusco), is also consistently good. Even guest stars like Enrico Colantoni (Elias) can bring in pretty great performances. The major weak link in the acting is Taraji Henson (Carter), who plays a sassy cop who is hot on Reese’s trail. The material is beyond her capabilities, and she is completely unbelievable as a police detective. Any time she’s on-screen with someone else, she’s upstaged. She doesn’t have the acting chops to successfully pull off this role. I’ve never cared for her. She was annoying on Boston Legal, and she’s just as annoying here.

My biggest complaint of TV in general is that seasons are too long. With a 22 episode order, and maybe 11-12 episodes worth of ideas, the writers are stuck shoe-horning in 9 or 10 shitty episodes every year. If the networks followed cable’s example, and did 13 episode seasons, the writing of all their series would be much better. With Person of Interest, it becomes obvious which episodes are meant to move the story along and which are written as afterthoughts because they needed to fill an order for a specific number of episodes. The filler episodes are generally weak, and easily skippable. The important episodes, though, are a blast, totally engrossing, and definitely worth watching.

Sure, Person of Interest isn’t revolutionary. It’s not meant to be. But it is a step above the typical procedural dreck that plagues network TV. If you are in the mood for something a little different, with a cool premise, fun action, and good writing, then you should check this one out.

Verdict: Good

19
Oct
12

I Finally Finished Blood+

Blood+ is an anime series that aired from October 8, 2005 until September 23, 2006. It aired weekly and broadcast a total of 50 episodes. I started watching it weekly, through torrents, in October 2005. And I finished watching it on… um, September 23, 2012. Holy shit! It took me forever to finish this goddamn show, and, completely unintentionally, I finished it the same day it finished airing, albeit 6 years later.

What took so long? It’s not that the show was particularly bad. It wasn’t. It was good enough. It was about vampires, and had plenty of action in almost every episode. But I found I just couldn’t get into it. I was always putting it on the back burner to watch something else. I would watch a handful of episodes at a time, and then put it on hold again for several months. By the time I finished it, I could hardly remember any of the plot points or characters that populated the show. It was like watching this weird, detached monstrosity that was entertaining, but I had no idea what was going on. That must be what it’s like to have Alzheimer’s Disease.

So, anyway, here’s a list of things that happened between the show beginning to air and my finishing it. Continue reading ‘I Finally Finished Blood+’

03
Aug
12

The Dark Knight Rises

The Dark Knight Rises cast.

Since The Dark Knight Rises is a big fuckin’ deal, BrikHaus and Mrs. Brik have decided to do a tag-team review.

Mrs. Brik

I would like to preface this review by letting you know that I am not a particularly big fan of comic book movies. I only watch them if they look interesting (and they rarely do). I liked the first Iron Man. Lots of witty dialogue and ass-kicking, the story made sense, and it was paced well. Iron Man is an example of what Hollywood is almost never capable of doing: making a big-budget movie into something good. (I cannot, however, say the same thing for Iron Man 2.) The Hulk is an example of Hollywood at its worst. They made the same movie repeatedly and did a mediocre job of it each and every time.

Having said all that, Rises made all of my wildest dreams come true.  Continue reading ‘The Dark Knight Rises’

22
Oct
10

Screw You, Marvel

This is exactly what Marvel is doing to their properties.

All of Marvel’s upcoming movies are going to be trash.

A decade ago, movie adaptations of comic books were a joke. With the exception of the 1989 Batman and 1978 Superman films, they were laughable at best, and huge steaming piles of shit at worst. The problem was that nobody took it seriously, not even the creators. They made them campy and hokey, and self-referentially stupid. They were the lowest common denominator of movies. They became a self-fulfilling prophecy of crappy movie-making. After all, if the filmmakers themselves treated the properties like shit, then the movies would inevitably turn out to be shit. The industry chugged along, and churned out turd after turd with the occasional, anomalous decent movie like Blade in 1998.

Fast forward to 2002, and the release of Spider-Man. Suddenly, we had a GOOD live action version of a comic book movie. How did it turn out good, you ask? Well, let me answer that for you. The simple reason was that the director, Sam Raimi, had been a longtime fan of the comic book series. He wanted to stay as true to the character as possible while adapting him for the more difficult live action film environment. Naturally, certain things needed to be changed, but they were done with as much care as possible. The characters and situations were taken seriously, and given the right amount of gravity with occasional moments of levity thrown in to keep things fun. The script was solid, the actors were well cast and talented, and everything flowed together seamlessly. It just worked. Worldwide, that movie grossed over $800 million. People were screaming about how awesome the movie was, and all of a sudden it wasn’t nerdy to like comics any more.

Continue reading ‘Screw You, Marvel’

22
Sep
09

If There Was a Video Game Version of Sucking Balls, it Would Be Called Halo.

About a million years ago I played Halo on the PC. It was one of the hugest pieces of shit of all time. It was repetitive, boring, had lame guns, had an idiotic story, and was about as generic as FPS games can get. I hated it so much that I refused to play Halo 2 or 3, despite the fact that fanboys around the world heralded them as the best things since sliced bread. Which is really saying a lot, since sliced bread is the best thing since sliced bread.

A few months back, three other friends and I got together and it was decided that we should play Halo 3 online. My friend has an Xbox 360 and a huge HD TV, and I was drunk, so I figured, “Sure, why the fuck not?” We played, and it was incredible. It was one of the most fun multiplayer experiences of my videogaming life. Don’t get me wrong, it was no Goldeneye 64, but it was a pretty solid experience nonetheless.

So, after months of playing Halo 3 online with my friends, I decided I would go back in time and play through the single player campaign of Halo 2, with the intent of then moving on to part three. After all, online play was so much fun that the developers must have fixed their mistakes from the previous games, right?

That was a huge mistake. Continue reading ‘If There Was a Video Game Version of Sucking Balls, it Would Be Called Halo.’

05
Jun
09

The Dark Knight was so Goddamn Long (That’s What She Said)

Grrrr, moody atmosphere

Grrrr, moody atmosphere.

I watched The Dark Knight last summer in the theater just like everyone else in the world did. At the time I thought it was pretty awesome, and a year later I’ve seen it again, this time on DVD. So, how was it on a repeat viewing? Ehh, really, really long. What was the runtime of this movie, anyway? 347 minutes? Well, maybe not that long, but it sure felt like it was longer than the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy, the director’s cut version.

Continue reading ‘The Dark Knight was so Goddamn Long (That’s What She Said)’

21
Jul
08

Sexman loved The Dark Knight

Sexman, also known as the World’s Greatest Film Critic, has posted his highly anticipated review of The Dark Knight. I won’t spoil the details of his review, but here’s a quick look at some of the insightful comments he had to make.

“I kind of misjudged Batman just because he didn’t have any powers, I thought he wasn’t a real superhero. But now I realize it. He’s a real superhero. And he’s much better than some of the crap superheroes that I’ve been thinking were good. Like Spider-Man. Come on.”

With awesome reviewing like that, how could you not watch this video? Just for the record, I review movies, too, but Sexman is our site’s official film critic.




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