“In Extremis” Person of Interest Review (Episode 20)

26 04 2013

CBS Person of Interest Banner Trojan Horse

 

How do you save someone who’s already been murdered? Reese finds out you can’t, but apparently taking down the jerk who killed him helps a lot. “In Extremis” follows a shining star of a doctor (Dennis Boutsikaris) who gets poisoned before the first commercial break. At least there’s a few hours before the inevitable death, so in the meantime he and Reese find out the who and why of the murder, ending with a dose of vigilante justice (no kneecaps this time).

Meanwhile, Carter is reeling from both the death of Cal and new charges that are brought against Fusco concerning all those skeletons in his closet. There’s a pretty cool payoff for anyone who saw (and still remembers) the show’s pilot two seasons ago- the back story of Detective Stills and Fusco’s descent into really bad cop stuff. This was definitely a heavier episode than usual. On one side, Fusco and Carter both feel the sting from Fusco’s bad past decisions; on the other, we see a man living the last few hours of his life, not only catching the perpetrator but also saying farewell to his family members. To top it off, The Machine seemed to kick the bucket at the very end. No Fusco comic relief or Bear cute moments-welcome to the real world kiddos (said the cold, cruel writers).

 

Reese POI

Dead man walking.

Random Thoughts:

1. What in the world kind of finale are we heading to? One filled with awesomeness, apparently. Anyone lucky enough to see next week’s teaser caught a glimpse of a Machine on life support, and Finch reaching out to his former kidnapper to save it?! Talk about being brave or stupid, maybe both. Still, any episode with Root definitely makes things get twisted and interesting.

2. It was nice to see the same actor playing Stills. I kind of doubt he knew at the time how big the show would get, or he might have tried to get a better contract than “appear in the pilot and then one more time at the end of the second season.” But heck, if I had a chance to come back, I’d take it.

3. I’m going out on a limb here, and predicting either during the finale or early next season Reese and/or Finch and Root may be taking a trip to the actual physical location of The Machine, or at least where the drives are located. That’s what she’s been looking for since the beginning, and I doubt they just want another hacker on board.

4. Elias almost seems to have more power in prison, doesn’t he? It has been interesting to see this unlikely (probably temporary) alliance develop between him and the duo, as he’s pulled strings for them a few times now.

5. This episode really stressed the antihero nature of Reese and Fusco; I mean, Jon straight up poisoned the evil millionaire murderer, which maybe would have bothered me if he hadn’t been an evil millionaire murderer. Maybe getting shot in the kneecap isn’t the worst thing that can happen after all.

 

Conclusion: 8.3/10





“Oblivion”- Spoiler-less Review

23 04 2013
Oblivion Poster

At beautiful Scientology Falls

 

1. Like many of you, I went to see Morgan Freeman’s voice last weekend. He happened to be in Oblivion, whose writer of Oblivion either wanted to pay tribute to other sci-fi movies/video games or just couldn’t think of anything new. Maybe both. Anyway, I kept having flashbacks during the movie- flashbacks of other movies that had already explored whatever plot device was onscreen.

 

Wall-E Oblivion

I need to watch Wall-E again.

 

2. That’s not to say I disliked the movie. Think of it as a comedic Presidential impersonator- you know that’s not really the Commander in Chief, but he looks good, he’s entertaining, and everyone’s having such a good time, so how can you care?

 

And it has Morgan Freeman's voice.

And it has Morgan Freeman’s voice.

 

3. This came from Tron: Legacy director Joseph Kosinski, so of course there’s a lot of visual and aural pizazz and glowing things to go around. What can I say? Cruise’s space ship gave me chill bumps when it first started up and back-flipped off the pad. The drones were pretty sweet too, until I started imagining them as flying killer R2-D2s.

 

R2D2 drone

R2’s tired of your #$@&.

 

4. For me, the film lost a little bit of traction towards the end, mostly because at that point the sorta-generic science fiction plot twists went into hyper mode, and it was a little hard to have everything sink in as much as it should have. It felt like they drew titles out of a hat for ending ideas (“The Matrix? Is that still cool? Hmm, how about all the drones look like something from “Portal?”)

 

Are they an effective team?

Are they an effective team?

 

5. Surprisingly, Tom Cruise didn’t get on my nerves once this movie, so that’s something I guess. Also, Victoria (Andrea Riseborough) was my personal favorite, not that Olga Kurylenko as Julia was bad (not in the least). Riseborough just nailed every little nuance of emotion, creating a rather intricate character. And Morgan Freeman? Well, he looked pretty BA in his costume, but he wasn’t really a standout in the grand scheme of the movie, but the writing didn’t give him much to chew on.

 

Morgan Freeman Oblivion

Not pictured: Morgan Freeman’s voice

In conclusion, Oblivion really wishes it was more original, and it’s so slick, stylish, and stirring, you’ll probably wish it were, too.

 





“42” Review- Let Him Play Already

14 04 2013
What is this? Inception baseball?

What is this? Inception baseball?

 

As a Chattanooga native I feel like I have to like 42. After all, Harrison Ford came to Chattanooga to film, a good bit of it was filmed at Engel Stadium, I recognized a few extras (luckily they weren’t in the racist crowd section), and Harrison Ford came to Chattanooga. Did I mention I was within a few miles of Han Solo? Talk about a missed opportunity. I would have gone into psycho fan mode, jumping on his van just to hear him say “Get off my bus!” before punching me off (if you don’t get that, go watch Air Force One, kids). But having a job gets in the way of such pursuits. Hence, I went to the theater instead.

 

Indiana Jones Meme

I don’t have a problem.

 

It would have been easy for 42 to feel heavy-handed or even cheesy in its near-spotless portrayal of Jackie Robinson. I mean, c’mon, he’s an icon of racial equality and sports, and no studio is going to put out a movie that makes him look less than a legend. By the end, you end up with some sort of Hallmark movie knockoff where the film makers glare at you for not bawling at their emotional manipulation.

 

Jackie Robinson Harrison Ford

(Dramatic Music)

 

Luckily, that’s not the case. Yes, the movie plays by the rulebooks (zing!) and doesn’t really try anything new outside the “inspirational sports film” formula. Why does this work? Answer: Chadwick Boseman and his portrayal of Robinson. It’s fearless yet vulnerable, believable and iconic. In fact, it’s more believable than Harrison Ford’s fake bushy eyebrows in the movie. Speaking of, Harrison Ford had some great moments, although it took a while to get over his voice. Nicole Beharie as Mrs. Robinson also stood out. Scrubs alum John C. McGinley playing a very different role as sportscaster Red Barber provided enough dry humor to keep the game segments moving. I did raise an eyebrow when Brett Cullen from Person of Interest called Robinson the n-word (shame on you, Nathan Ingram).

 

Nathan Ingram 42

Racist.

 

I’ll be honest. I’m not a baseball guy. I enjoy talking through a game rather than watching it, hoping for something to happen. This isn’t my normal type of movie (Ford didn’t even crack a whip). The soundtrack was forgettable. But when the source material is real and inspiring, and the acting is (mostly) solid, I’d have a hard time not recommending this movie.

 

Harrison Ford Star Wars meme

Ok, I’m done now.





Stolen Review- Cage Steals the Show in a Bad Way

11 04 2013
Nicolas Cage Poster

Cute Poster.

 

1. Stolen is the tale of how a group of friends wasted a perfectly good 1.5 hours of their precious lives in a failed attempt to laugh at a bad movie. Wait, you wanted the movie review instead of my viewing review? Okay, how about a broad summary? Stolen is basically every cliched action movie rolled into a Nicolas Cage.

 

Rage Nicolas Cage

2. I think I remember the Redbox description saying something along the lines of “When someone steals the daughter of the world’s greatest thief (Nicolas Cage)-” and then I stopped reading and got ready for a laugh-fest of Cage trying to be Liam Neeson in Taken. However, in the end the movie got the last laugh, because a bad-but-hilarious Star Wars Christmas Special this was not. It was just bad.

 

Put the bunny back in the box. -Nic Cage

Put the bunny back in the box. -Nic Cage

 

3. For a better example of how I felt, imagine going to a comedy show for a specific person, and when you got there he (or she, ladies) wasn’t performing. Instead, it’s Nicolas Cage on Stage. Well, how bad could it be, you ask, because he’ll either be funny, or he’ll try to be funny and you’ll get to laugh at him either way. Now, imagine he looks you in the eye, takes your favorite coat, walks back onstage, and rubs it in dog dirt for 96 minutes-and you won’t leave because he has your coat.

 

Nicolas Funny Scream

I love pictures of Nicolas Cage.

 

4. The gang’s all here- The World’s Best Thief, the Detective Who Has Chased Thief His Entire Career But Admires Him, the Generic Bad Guy Who Wants Revenge And A Back Rub, the Plot Device Daughter, and the Two Dimensional Love Interest.

You're welcome.

You’re welcome.

 

5. The music is BIZARRELY HORRIBLE. Imagine the worst overblown-jazz-whatever action movie soundtrack from the 90’s, 60’s, and heck, the 80’s, and then blending them together. Then you put this music of dated cheesiness into a modern film and watch as the viewers begin to question the merit of living at all.

 

Nicolas Cage Meme Valentine

Ladies….

 

6. What I’m trying to say is this movie steals plots, characters, and weird music. Don’t let it steal your time and money.





“Trojan Horse” Person of Interest Review (Episode 19)

5 04 2013

CBS Person of Interest Banner Trojan Horse

 

As the finale approaches, the plot thickens. There were so many recurring characters and side plots tonight, it felt like a reunion episode or something. “Trojan Horse” (those Person of Interest writers really like their tech titles, don’t they?) had Finch and Reese following a leading tech executive (Traci Thoms) of a massive company. Of course, there’s always more hiding inside (like a Trojan horse! ha! ha!), and by the end they’re running from something bigger than corporate espionage- a national security threat in the form of informational breaches. A threat in the form of China and John Nolan, the mastermind introduced in an earlier episode (does he have a name yet? I can’t remember).

Who else popped up? None other than Elias, who seems to have become a chess fanatic while in prison. It’s safe to say he’ll have a role to play before the end- especially when he blatantly says “don’t count me out yet.” Also former agent Shaw (Sarah Shahi) comes out of nowhere to do what only one other person has done- find and break into the Finch Nest. After a few one-liners about finding Finch and “his socially maladjusted guard dog- and Bear,” she again refuses an alliance but takes from Finch the known address of (wait for it) Root. How’s THAT going to be for a good side-plot? It’s pretty much like seeing the female versions of Reese and Finch go to war. All this to say, it should be a fun last few episodes.

One shocker (sort of) came in the (SPOILER) sudden demise of Detective Cal Beecher (Sterling K. Brown), or just Cal. He went from potential love interest for Carter to maybe-a-HR-bad-guy, and then he finally gets cleared right before he gets shot down. It hurt a little to see him go in such a tragic and sudden way, but I actually expected more development from the character. It  almost felt like the writers got tired of him. It’s tragic in that Carter and he will never get resolution. (END SPOILERS)

 

POI Episode 18 Season 2

Two peas in a pod.

Extra Thoughts:

1. Anyone notice there was no kneecap-shooting tonight? Reese didn’t mess around this time, unfortunately for the baddies, and our running Kneecap Tally.

2. Whenever Finch talks about advanced tech stuff, I feel like a kid in the special class.

3. Since when has Fusco been the serious guy? I miss his comic relief parts.

4. Can a computer really be hacked into BURSTING INTO FLAMES? I wanted to cry foul, but honestly that was too awesome.

5. Would it kill CBS to have more than one new episode of POI in a row? Geez.

Conclusion: 8.5/10