“Liberty”- Person of Interest Review (Episode 1, Season 3)

26 09 2013

person of interest

And here we are- with “Liberty,” Person of Interest brings us into a brand new season! Set sail for adventure, because it’s all hands on deck (sorry, that was painful) for the first number of the season, a Navy guy who reminds Reese of his own beginnings. Also, corrupt Devil Dogs in a smuggling deal. True, this isn’t exactly the white-knuckler premiere of last season (a newly introduced villain kidnapping Harold), but season 2’s finale didn’t really leave us with a cliffhanger- just a significant change of status quo. So while the number of the week was solid, it really was seeing the first few consequences of last season’s ending.

First off, Detective Carter is no more. Now she’s lower on the totem pole and donning a police officer’s uniform, and Fusco has had to get a new (apparently incapable) partner. Sort of odd when you remember originally Fusco had to get a promotion to keep an eye on then-antagonist Detective Carter. Of course, this is all because of of the fake officer-involved shooting that HR framed her for. Not only that, but Carter’s now gunning for HR with a vengeance, and has a freed Elias hidden away from everyone (including her partners) to boot.

Shaw (Sarah Shahi) is now part of the team, for better or worse. This episode she definitely showed potential as her own dark good-guy character. It’s fun to see her cold approach conflicting with everyone else on the team, while still having funny moments. The second new regular, Root (Amy Acker) is now fully bat psycho, and wonderfully creepy. Her scenes with her therapist stood out as the more memorable moments, and what is The Machine wanting to do with her?

Reese Liberty Navy Shaw POI

Don’t expect a Titanic pose.

Points of Interest:

1. Fusco should wear that beard every episode.

2. Bear’s back too! (And that’s good, otherwise the new rating system would be odd)

3. Main villains this season? Obviously Root will continue to mutate, Elias will attempt to regain a criminal foothold (slowly), and don’t forget the mystery woman in Control. Suspense!

4. What is the freed Machine up to? Obviously Root is somewhere in its plans. Could it be turning more sinister?

5. All in all, this felt more like buildup for an amazing season, rather than being an amazing opener. But hey, nothing really negative to say- it just couldn’t compare to either the pilot or the season 2 premiere.

(Also, sorry for the late post, this should be an isolated incident)

Bear’s Final Score:

POI three half bear

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Person of Interest- Season 3 Preview

16 09 2013

Person-of-Interest-wallpaper

Person of Interest’s third season kicks off in just a few days. It’s fair to say anything connected to a Nolan sibling remains under close wraps, but there have been a few details that have come out of the machine (chortle!). The below information can be found in more detail elsewhere on the Interwebs, but here’s enough to whet any fan’s appetite.

Cast Changes

1. Sarah Shahi‘s BA character Shaw is now an official series regular. That doesn’t necessarily mean she’ll be in every episode (just look at Fusco), but expect a lot more barbs between her and Reese.

Returning Side Characters

2. Also confirmed by producer Jonathan Nolan is the return of crime boss Elias and fan favorite Zoe. The last time we saw Elias, he had just been rescued by Carter, so it should be interesting to see where he’ll be residing, and if he’ll regain his power. Also expect to see more of Root (Amy Acker), judging from the finale. Has therapy worked on her? Will she be receiving numbers?

Current Events

3. Remember the whole ongoing NSA scandal? POI’s writers sure do, and have hinted at referencing the current topic, as in what happens when people find out about surveillance? Nolan mentioned that since reality actually mirrors their original premise, they will be pushing the sci-fi a little farther to keep the “five minutes into the future” aspect of the show.

New Time

4. One big thing to remember is that the show is changing times. For better or worse, it’s now scheduled for Tuesday (no longer Thursday) nights an hour later at 10 PM Eastern. While this makes it a little more of a pain to review the same night, be sure I’ll be doing my darndest to get it out before the morning.

Sci-fi

5. The Machine is now free, and although it’s still choosing to give out numbers, Nolan has promised we should see more of a personality develop. Remember, its identity is no longer being erased every night, so things may get interesting.

Bear

Yes, Bear will be back, so all is well.

Person of Interest returns 9/24 at 10 PM Eastern time.





Closed Circuit Review

4 09 2013

Closed Circuit Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

In London, they see your every move, because why have one security camera when you can have 15 angles of the same hobo?  To drive the point home that London has snooping issues, we watch a terrorist act unfold on roughly 20 security feeds during the opening credits. With a name like Closed Circuit, you would expect this to be a British Person of Interest spinoff movie. Unfortunately, there is nowhere near that level of focus on surveillance, and besides the aforementioned opening scene, it’s limited to random street camera views that really add more to the paranoia than the actual plot. To be honest, it comes off feeling more like a gimmick, meant to draw POI fans like me into the theater. And British fans, for a very British film this is.

 

Eric Bana

Ho! Ho! We are so British!

 

Actually, I saw this just as much for the fact that it came from some of the same producers as the slow-burning, well-acted Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (it’s also fun to say!). While that was a great movie, by the end you felt less relaxed and more like you had just studied for a  detailed (yet somehow-rewarding) exam. The premise is different here, as instead of looking for a mole in MI6, we have two defense attorneys (Eric Bana and Rebecca Hall) assigned to defend a man accused of masterminding a horrific public bombing. Both stars are more than competent at keeping things interesting. It’s nice in particular to see Rebecca Hall in a much better role than her throwaway character in Iron Man 3.

 

Rebecca Hall Closed Circuit

Look, a character with actual depth!

 

To some viewers in this Michael Bay- saturated movie culture, the purposely slower, steadier pace of the film may be a turnoff. However, the plot is still faster than Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. However, like that movie, there’s some good one-liners and dry humor to break the tension up (take notes, Elysium).  All in all, Closed Circuit doesn’t break too much new ground in the suspense genre, but calling it generic would be an injustice. It’s an entry with quality that stands on its own British feet, and there’s enough satisfying twists and shadows to satisfy the little conspiracy theorist in all of us. Throw in a capable cast, and it’s time to look behind your back- in London!

 

Harry Potter Jim Broadbent

Professor Slughorn now watches your every move.