Banshee: Season 1 (2013)

banshee season 1

*CONTAINS SPOILERS*

What I liked:

  • The intro. Let’s face it, that thing is cool. The pictures actually tell a story, and tie in to the episodes themselves, and it works. Definitely a little more different and unique than I have seen in a while, and it is actually worth watching the opening credits without skipping through them.
  • I am going to wax lyrical about Matthew Rauch as Clay Burton, because holy crapsticks. <3 I know I was told that I would probably love him, but whoa. He is so damn creepy my skin crawls, and he has presence. Whenever he is on screen, you cannot help but be drawn to him. He doesn’t talk, he stares a lot, and he is just plain scary. Mesa likey. Always hovering in the background, always stepping in when you least expect it, Burton is a character I really would love to see more of. He is, hands down, my favourite character of the show, no matter that his speech styles seem limited. Plus bow ties and glasses? I mean really now!
  • The cheese. Sometimes it is over the top, sometimes it is awkward, but the cheese in here is handled well. Sometimes things fall flat, but I suppose it is all hit and miss. For the most part, though, it works.
  • The flashbacks into Lucas Hood’s past… I know he isn’t really Hood, but we have no other name to work with (yet). Anyway, it was dealt with well, showing us how things are going down at present, then flipping back to show us how he ended up in prison, how he survived, all of it. But never all at once, but never so little that you get frustrated. For the duration of the season you are given crumbs to work with.
  • Methodic Doubt’s score for the show. It fits all that is going on.
  • Frankie Faison’s Sugar Bates and Hoon Lee’s Job. They are such great characters, and even more entertaining when they get together – always sniping and being nasty and snappy, but they actually really like each other. But God forbid you try to get either to acknowledge it.
  • Kai Proctor’s presence in Banshee. It’s cool to know he was Amish growing up, and to see how insanely far removed he has become from certain aspects of the religion and culture is crazy, and yet there are other places where you see he still desperately clings to other pieces of his faith. Initially he is introduced and you think there is potential, then there is this intervening section where, instead of making him the scary big bad that he is, they had these build up lines that fell flat and my eyes were rolling around my head like crazy. But after it was decided what they were going to do with him, Kai became a force to be reckoned with, and Ulrich Thomsen plays him wonderfully.
  • The violence. It is crazy and over the top most of the time, making it unrealistic sometimes and then totally mad at other times, but it works for the show, and it actually gives it something extra.
  • The cast. I think that everyone did a pretty darn good job all round, I liked that. They were consistent, they all brought something to the show with them, and they handled the material well, cheese and awkwardness and all.

banshee season 1 gif

What I didn’t like:

  • How ridiculous the villains are. I don’t know, I really thought like a Ukrainian mob boss would be scarier… apparently not. The actor, Ben Cross, looked ridiculous, and Rabbit for a name? I think not.
  • The continuity is a joke in this show. I had a massive gripe with this, I can’t help it. If you get into some huge and elaborate fight with an MMA fighter, and you are beat to within an inch of your life, you are not going to look like sunshine and roses in a week. Seriously. This is only complaining on the flaws with the injuries, we are not even talking about all these random things that are introduced, made a big scene of and then disappear, and it never gets explored later, so there is no use filing it away.
  • How Lucas Hood just gets away with everything that is happening. How is no one really getting down and dirty investigating his unruliness, lack of complete knowledge on the law and cowboy ways? When is anyone seriously going to question the dude? Also, for instance, the videos this man is featured in (the big MMA fight I was bitching about above), how has nobody (I mean he was incarcerated for fifteen damn years – there are a lot of people he would have interacted with) seen him on TV and blown his cover wide open? Is he never going to get bust for being a false Sheriff?
  • Anna/Carrie/whatever the hell you want to call her. Dear goodness, that is one selfish bitch. She irritates me on a mild Carrie Mathison level (and no, I am not missing the fact they share the same name). She cares only about herself, herself, herself. I like how she tries to hide it under the façade of looking after the “kids” and all that jazz. What she puts her husband through is unacceptable. When things got too serious and Rabbit was back, her husband and family deserved to know what the hell was going on. But NO. That is a serious inconvenience to her. But I have to give Ivana Milicevic credit for doing a great job to evoke such feelings!
  • The excessively useless amount of sex scenes. I have no issues with sex scenes, I really don’t, but so many of them in here just felt forced and carried on for far too long and didn’t help much for the plot. They were like… pervy filler scenes. It was too indulgent.
  • I really wish that Kai and Burton got more screen time. They are the really interesting lot, and I want to see more about them.

banshee season 1 job

Rating:
GRADE 7This came in  highly recommended for me to check out, especially if I like violence and unique kills. Obviously I was all for it and got to it in a hurry. Now, there is a lot that the show does right and a lot that the show does wrong, which makes the first season a bit of a mixed bag for me. I enjoyed it and I was engrossed by it, but there were some things that had me rolling my eyes. I think the biggest thing here is that this feels like every bit the pilot season that it is. It is worth the gamble, and is well worth checking out if you don’t totally hate a lot of blood and plenty boobs and sex laced throughout the show. There is some engaging drama, some irritating characters, and some that are purely evil, and others that completely captivate and own the screen when they are on it. I think that Ulrich Thomsen’s Kai Proctor is a fascinating character. He was introduced with a bit of a rock start, but goodness me, when the writer’s got down to it and stopped stuffing around, they got him. Some guy totally worth running the town. I really liked the whole Amish aspect that they brought in here, it gives Kai a lot more depth, and it doesn’t take front and centre of the show, though it is important. I have already spoken about how much I love Burton, so I am not going to again, but he is the best. His loyalty to Kai is something I really hope that the show will explore in more depth. I think it ironic and silly at the best of times that Hood seems to be sleeping with all the women of Banshee, and that they all seem to want to get laid and move on, no more, no less. I think Carrie treated her family very unfairly, and I think Gordon was justified in losing his cool and demanding answers, and his frustration of not getting them was palpable. It is a pity, because he and Hood worked so well together initially. But then Carrie had to wreck that. Now, on to the other things. There is an excess of violence in Banshee, and it is something I enjoy. Yes, bizarre, but who doesn’t like some blood and gore and testosterone once in a while? I am a big fan of Hoon Lee’s work, and his Job never fails to have me in stitches, time and time again. He is worth the watch every second he is on screen, and I am particularly glad that they have not overused him or anything like that. Rabbit really is a disappointment from me, I really expected someone far more terrifying, and the name Rabbit just had me quaking in my boots, you must know. I wish the Deva story line would pick a direction now, because there is nothing to really explain her, and she is on a downward spiral before the whole Rabbit thing, and it would just be nice if they picked a direction to take her character, as well as Hood’s interest in her. Banshee is a really good watch if you want balls to the wall fun, entertainment and action all round, though at times the story does suffer for it. Flaws and all though, Banshee is an engaging watch and will keep you interested. Plus Burton. He alone should sell this whole show to you. Because.

banshee burton glasses1


Review: Breaking Dawn – Stephenie Meyer

breaking dawn cover

Twilight #4

Bella Swan is finally marrying her vampire boyfriend Edward Cullen. Her father Charlie seems to be accepting this all the more, though he is still not thrilled. After the wedding, Bella and Edward take off to honeymoon on Isle Esme. Bella’s part of the deal was to marry Edward to have him turn her himself, and his deal was that they would sleep together only after they got married. They honeymoon is perfect, and Bella is more in love with Edward than ever, and her sexual conquest with him has actually made her want to stay human longer (!!!!). Edward cannot believe that it is all the convincing she needed. However, things change rapidly when Bella realises there is something wrong with her body. It is impossible, but she is sure she is pregnant. Carlisle insists that Bella and Edward return so that they can get rid of the baby to save her, but Bella gets hold of Rosalie, Edward’s sister, and asks for her protection.

The Cullens are furious when the newlywed couple returns and Rosalie automatically takes control of the situation, keeping everyone away from Bella. She will not let anyone harm the baby. Jacob Black, Bella’s werewolf best friend, is still smarting from the pain that he has been caused, and is furious that Bella and Edward are now married, and that Bella will soon be turned. Upon hearing that she is back in the country and having heard that she is deadly ill, he races off to the Cullens to kill Edward, and instead finds a pregnant Bella. He is sickened. His La Push pack refused that morning to strike against the Cullens for discarding the treaty between the vampires and werewolves by turning Bella, but when they hear that she is bearing some abomination, they decide that they want to kill the Cullens. Now Jacob is not a part of this plan, and refuses to follow Sam’s order, ultimately accepting his Alpha birthright of the pack and fleeing to warn the Cullens that the La Push pack might attack. Edward and Jacob cannot stand one another, but are working on the same side – protect Bella, they both love her.

It soon seems that the pregnancy is changing – after hearing the thoughts of the unborn baby, Edward finally supports Bella’s decision to have this baby, and they have a contingency plan to turn her right after she gives birth. Jacob is shattered and flees to the city, desperately seeking out the girl that he will imprint on, and finding nothing. Returning to the house, Bella goes into labour, and will need all the help she can get. Her baby girl, Renesmee, is born, and Edward struggles to turn Bella, while Jacob leaves the scene, intent on murdering the baby that killed Bella, and instead he imprints on her. Bella is finally turned, but it seems that the Cullens are never destined for peace.

How will Bella deal with the transformation? Will she still love Edward, or will she be ruled by the insatiable thirst for the first few years of her life before falling back into some form of love with him? Will Edward be able to deal with Bella’s change? What will happen due to Jacob imprinting on a hybrid creature, Edward and Bella’s daughter? How will the Cullens accept the new addition to their family? Will the powerful ruling vampires, the Volturi, finally leave the Cullens be now that Bella has been turned?

GRADE 4.5It’s over. Finally finished. So I can finally say that I have held up my end of the deal and read these four novels, but I have decided to disband the book club with my friend because I just can’t do something like this again. Breaking Dawn has quite a bad rap from the readers, and it is justifiable. The first half of it wasn’t too bad, but then it just peeved me endlessly. I think that the change from school and all that helped in some ways (I was so over reading about the classics and stupid school crap, all the while there was major lust for Edward going on), and the obsession, as bad as it still was, did not take front and centre stage anymore. I liked how Breaking Dawn was divided up into three parts, starting from Bella’s perspective, switching to Jacob’s perspective, and then flipping back to Bella. I was wondering whether this would be the case after Eclipse closed from Jacob’s point of view. At any rate, this book was so long, I must say. It is almost like it didn’t know where it was going for a long time, and there were moments where I felt the plot got convoluted and just went around and around in circles. Also, after this whole fancy wedding and all, I thought there would be some more passion between Edward and Bella, but I can honestly say I only felt more of that towards the end, after she finally got turned, and even then it was lacking (but still spicier than when they were in school). I was so glad that the story was told from Jacob’s perspective for the duration of her freakish pregnancy, I just don’t think I would have dealt with that if I had to read all of that as told by Bella. I mean can you imagine how disturbing and disgusting and annoying that might have become?! Ugh. Edward was certainly grating on me less and less now, it seems being a husband suited him more (again, he is such a dodgy love interest, and again this book harps on how you need kids and a husband to be fulfilled as a woman – meh). Let’s not even forget to mention how much Edward and Bella started banging after she was turned. I am stating this because they seemed utterly unconcerned about Renesmee or their parenting responsibilities. What the hell is up with their priorities?! I was also a little grossed out about Jacob imprinting on Renesmee. It was a little disconcerting for me – he was wildly in love with Bella and then it was all about Renesmee, and they just went back to being friends? Strange and just incredibly incestuous. Eeeeeeew. Not really the neatest way to tie things up there. Naturally there was more drama than you could shake a stick at in here, and everyone was on the brink of dying again and all that and wars were being prepared for, but oh well, I guess that is simply how this worked. ALSO, and I know this is a bit bizarre, but it always freaks me out when reading these things, I would love to know how a century-old dead thing gets a hard on, never mind the fact that the dead thing can somehow miraculously reproduce. It just freaks me out. It’s disgusting, is what. I can at least say that I have read all these books now, though I certainly don’t get the hype surrounding them whatsoever.


February Blind Spot Review: Magic Mike (2012)

magic mike poster

“You are the husband they never had! You are that dreamboat guy that never came along!”
- Dallas

SYNOPSIS: A male stripper teaches a younger performer how to party, pick up women, and make easy money. – via IMDB

magic mike hmmmmmmmmmmmmmatt-bomer-magic-mike

Not even remotely my cup of tea (though it seems I am very much in the minority with this), but this is specially for my bestie, even though she made me watch this, and even though this drives her to contemplate whether it would be worth burning her house down or not:

joe-magicmike

GRADE 6Alrighty, so this was a selection that made my list because, when I sent my final few Blind Spot possibilities, Natasha absolutely jumped on this one. I was unsure as to whether this was because it was crap, because there was a lot of flesh all over for perviness, because the plot was so non-existent I might murder my TV, if she just wanted to hear my bitch session live, or because again, more flesh. So anyway, back to Magic Mike. The movie was… okay. Actually, it was significantly better than I thought it would be, what with all the negative feedback on it, but it is still a far cry from a masterpiece. It was shot very well and had music, while not my favourite, that was well suited for the film. The cast came with relatively impressive names attached to it, but they were criminally underused. I am looking specifically here at Matt Bomer and Matthew McConaughey. I expected more from them. It would have been nice. On the flesh front, however, there was a lot (and by this I mean extremely little clothing) going on. The movie successfully managed to never cross over into tacky territory, which was good – nice job, Soderbergh – but covered up the lack of story by stripping and dancing its way through everything. Magic Mike is a great watch for a girls night: few cuties, lots of flesh, every girl’s secret fantasy to be dominated and plucked out of chairs and just carried off like that thrown up on screen, you get it all – but again, absolutely no story. Ticks all the boxes. However, I must admit, while I might have enjoyed certain, erm, aspects of the film, I don’t know how much the male appreciation for this will be. Again, I didn’t think the story was particularly amazing or anything like that, but it was enough to string it all together (even if done so weakly). The ladies didn’t really need that much to sell this to them, but I just wonder how the male demographic feels about it? I really enjoy Channing Tatum, for comedy and for drama (though apparently not many agree with me on the latter), and I liked seeing him here. I thought he worked well with Alex Pettyfer here, they shared pretty good chemistry. Cody Horn seemed like such a bitchy and flat character, though, which was a real pity, and as an actress she was also underwhelming. Also, I am going to take a moment here to mention that I thought she had the world’s most annoying laugh. The movie knows it is a fluff piece, which also works for it, it doesn’t try to be some revolutionary drama film or anything, and has fun with what it is doing. I can think of plenty superior movies to watch, but I can also think of many more that are an utter waste of time. This was alright… although I honestly think if the stripping was taken out it would be a very dull affair indeed.


Forrest Gump (1994) IMDB Top 250 Guest Review

Zoë:

Another flick from me for Cinema Parrot Disco’s IMDB Top 250 challenge! Head on over to see my brief thoughts on Forrest Gump.

Originally posted on Cinema Parrot Disco:

IMG_8803

Today’s IMDB Top 250 Guest Review comes from Zoe of The Sporadic Chronicles Of A Beginner Blogger. She’s already reviewed The Godfather: Part I (HERE) and Part II (HERE) as well as The Departed (HERE) and The Green Mile (HERE) and Big Fish (HERE) and Snatch (HERE) and Dial M For Murder (HERE). Thanks once again for all the reviews, Zoe! :-) Now let’s see what she has to say about Forrest Gump, IMDB rank 19 out of 250.

There are still some movies up for grabs if anyone wants to do a guest IMDB Top 250 review. You can find the list of remaining films HERE. See the full list & links to all the reviews that have already been done HERE.

Also, if you’d like to add a link to your…

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Movie Rob Sporadic Scene: Four Weddings and A Funeral (1994) – Rowan Atkinson As Priest

Today I am pleased to present Rob of MovieRob today with another Sporadic Scene! Thanks Rob!

If you have a scene that you would like featured, drop me a mail at sporadiczoe@hotmail.com with a picture/gif/video of the scene and an explanation as to why (should you want to include it).



Rapid Review: Revolutionary Road (2008)

revolutionary road poster

“Look at us. We’re just like everyone else. We’ve bought into the same, ridiculous delusion.”
- April Wheeler

SYNOPSIS: Frank and April Wheeler always see themselves as far-removed from the conventionality of suburbia. Yet that is exactly what creeps up on them when they buy a house in Connecticut. He toils 10 hours a day in a job he hates, while she, as a 1950s homemaker, yearns for fulfillment and passion. Rebelling against the torpor of their lives, the couple plan an escape that may push them to their limits. – via Google

REVOLUTIONARY ROAD DANCEREVOLUTIONARY ROAD WE WILL BE OKAY

GRADE 7.5I really enjoyed Revolutionary Road. I suppose true love is not quite as the couple would have imagined after surviving the Titanic and all that. Alright, I am kidding. It started off very sweet, and the couple that was adorable married and had their perfect little life, but soon the cracks and splinters in their relationship were visible. Do not be mistaken, this is not your average romantic film, overly predictable and soppy as sin (I really cannot stand those to begin with), but this one was different. It approached the whole thing in another light. It was sweet to see the Wheelers try so hard to get things together and get them right to live their lives to the fullest, but the longer you watch, the more cracked April seems. Yep, I mean it. The longer I watched, the more I was like damn, this woman is losing the plot and hiding all her decisions and justifications behind her husband, and then when realism sets in, he is the awful one. As a couple they also have to fill out the role of parents and look after their children, and the whole affair becomes a painful and tangled mess. I thoroughly enjoyed this movie, it was a good drama and well-constructed, with a deeper looked into marriage, expectations, and then the reality of everything. DiCaprio absolutely shone in this movie (as if I would think anything else – but seriously, he was just excellent), and between him and Michael Shannon they really carried the film for me. Kate Winslet and Kathy Bates were also worth checking out, as always. Winslet was particularly well cast to play April, and her and DiCaprio manage to work very well alongside on another. Michael Shannon was a massive draw, and he played his role incredibly well here. He was brutally honest and didn’t really have a social buffer, but he was the one that told things like he saw them, and they were invariably correct. He had a strong character, and is definitely worth looking into. I know that not everyone is going to love this film, but I thought it to be solid, well put together and littered with great performances.


Rapid Review: The Cottage (2008)

the cottage 2008 poster

“That’s chlorophyll for you.” 
- David

SYNOPSIS: In a remote part of the countryside, a bungled kidnapping turns into a living nightmare for four central characters when they cross paths with a psychopathic farmer and all hell breaks loose. – via IMDB

the cottage 2008 david and andrew

GRADE 7So, Eric highly recommended this for me, and who was I to argue? I am a big fan of Andy Serkis and would probably watch him in anything. Anyway, when Eric told me to check out this horror comedy of Serkis, naturally I was all over it. Popping it in, relaxing, I was ready. I had a few laughs thrown through it, and I think this would appeal to viewers who have a slightly darker or more morbid sense of humour than your casual moviegoer. Serkis does a wonderful job portraying David, who is mean, angry, smarter than his brother or silly partner, but who definitely is in a bad place because his partners-in-crime are not criminals. They just suck. Reece Shearsmith was very entertaining as David’s whiny and useless lump of a brother, who really is one of the biggest reasons that things start to go wrong. His mottephobia really had me going, especially with the exchanges between him and David. Steven O’Donnell was perfectly cast as the guileless Andrew, who seems to care for his sister in a bizarre way, but was prepared to get involved with the plan to have her “kidnapped” and ransomed. Jennifer Ellison amused and irritated me in equal measure. For one, I liked that Tracey took no crap whatsoever, and had a mouth like a sailor, but sometimes instead of coming across as strong and a bit bitchy but self-assured, she just annoyed me, carrying on too much and performing and what not. Ellison is not a particularly grand actress, which I think counted against the flick here. I cannot explain it adequately. The changing relationship between David and Peter was also worth watching. One must note, however, that this movie is not without flaws. Sometimes there is too much lull, sometimes some dialogue gets iffy, Ellison’s character can work on your nerves and the flow was sometimes interrupted by silly things that didn’t gel properly. The first half of the movie and the second half are almost two totally different stories, though they are pulled together eventually (albeit weakly if you really want to nitpick). At any rate, the score accompanies the film well, the laughs are dark but entertaining, it was shot well, and sticks to its genre and what it is working with, making it a pretty strong B-movie with a trippy third act.


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