“2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.” – 24 Live Another Day Review (Episode 4)

20 05 2014


Well we’re now four hours into this day and somebody’s already lost a few fingers. Yes, we already knew Margot Al-Harazi (Michelle Fairley) was creepy, but now we know she’s 100% crazy town- and hell-bent on destroying the UK’s and USA”s drone programs, thus dubbing this season “Game of Drones.” Her daughter’s going to have trouble knifing people with THAT hand now.

On the Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland) side of things, we had a Jason Bourne-esque cat-and-mouse chase in a US embassy that ended up in a hostage situation. While we know Jack isn’t going to get gunned down, the hour did manage to build quite a bit of tension by establishing that there was no possible way to escape. I like that the President did give Jack the courtesy of a phone call (as he said, he HAS earned that much by now), but I was disappointed that Heller was so easily swayed by Mark. Can he even count how many times Bauer has saved him or Audrey?! Anyway, Kate (Yvonne Strahovski) managed to save the day in another positive mark for her character. Hopefully she and Jack can work together now.

If Rule #1 of this 24 season was “Don’t Stand Next to Jack in A Crowd,” Rule #2 is “Nothing Gets Better at the End of the Hour.” The Widow of Yorkshire now has control of ten drones with a now-willing pilot, Jack is in custody, and Audrey’s (Kim Raver) husband Mark (Tate Donovan) is officially in the dog house for the rest of the day. Bring on the next hour!


Kate 24

You could do worse, Jack.

Extra Time:

1. Chloe continues to be a solid character. I’m sensing a bit more conflict between her and the hackers in the near future.

2. There was so much suspense this hour, I barely noticed there was a lack of actual fighting sequences. Well played, episode.

3. Again, 24 proves that it deserves this return season.


Final Score:



“1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.” – 24 Live Another Day Review (Episode 3)

13 05 2014


Lesson #1: Don’t stand next to Jack in the middle of a crowd. This episode threw even more crap at the fan with Jack getting into impossible situations, characters betraying each other, and a really creepy villain being introduced. So, basically the same 24 components that you know and love.

Even with all the action, we managed to get some substantial character development. Kate Morgan (Yvonne Strahovski) showed that she’s more than willing to break the rules to get the job done, so we can bet that she’s destined to eventually side with Jack later. I know some people have said they don’t care for her character, but I’m loving it- especially that awesomely hilarious interrogation in the vehicle. My money’s on her getting Jack out of his situation at the embassy next week.

Audrey’s husband Mark ( Tate Donovan ) has finally proven he’s a controlling scumbag, forging a signature and not letting Audrey (Kim Raver) out of his reach. Initially I actually had sympathized with his point of view more than Audrey’s with his prep methods for the President, but it’s obvious now he’s just looking out for himself. To be fair, at least at this point in time the President’s address to Parliament is more disastrous than a certain Clippers owner speaking at an Obama fundraiser.

We also got some more insight into Choe’s (Mary Lynn Rajskub) transformation. Gosh, both her husband and son gone? I did not see that coming, and for me it was the most emotional moment.

Finally, can we talk about how creepy Michelle Fairley is as “The Yorkshire Widow” Margot? From her touching scene when she semi-tortured her daughter to video-stalking her and her husband, I was literally cringing in my recliner at how awful she’s made her character. It’s good that they’ve managed to already establish a legitimate villain this early in the game. And that’s what has made this season so strong so far- all the normal fat has been trimmed. Can they keep up this tightness for nine more hours? I certainly hope so.

Today's "Jerk Award" goes too...

Today’s “Jerk Award” goes too…

Extra Time:

1. Favorite Quote: “They’re shooting at us! They’re shooting at us!!”  -funny Jack Bauer

2. “You can’t bring back the ones you love, but you can honor their lives by helping others. It’s the only way to move forward.” – serious Jack Bauer

3. “You have this annoying habit of asking for favors while pointing a gun.”

4. Not as much action this hour, but the day is still young.


Final Score:


24: Live Another Day Premiere Review (Hours 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.)

6 05 2014



Jack. Is. Back. I never thought I would say that years ago when they finally pulled the plug on the award-winning 24, and at the time it seemed like he should finally take a well-deserved rest. Jack Bauer’s had some astoundingly crappy days, but they were always a blast to watch, even if the originally unique formula had become a little familiar (and at times even stale).  Eight seasons had taken their toll on the writers’ creativity, and honestly how many times can we stop the terrorists/Russians/Chinese/etc. from bombing cities or assassinating public figures? With the budget growing each season, FOX decided to announce in the middle of the eighth season that there would be no ninth. The last few episodes did kick up the action and developments in reaction to the news, but it still lacked the sendoff the trail-blazing series deserved. Years passed. The most fans hoped for was a feature-length film to tie up loose ends. Instead, the generous TV Fairies have given us a whole twelve hours of new story. But will it make fans happy or come across as a last desperate grab for ratings?

I’ll be reviewing episodes 1 and 2 since they were aired as one block. Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland) went a little too long on the crazy train in season 8, and is now a fugitive from pretty much everyone. We find out he’s in London, as is now-President (!) James Heller (William Devane) and his now-married daughter Audrey (Kim Raver). Also, everyone’s favorite sulky tech wizard Chloe O’Brian (Mary Lynn Rajskub) is back as well (applause), but she’s a little more- I don’t know what to say, punk-ish in her looks? Anyway, more on her in a little. Rounding out the main characters is newcomer Kate (Yvonne Strahovski  from Chuck), who is dealing with fallout from her husband selling secrets to China.

The story and writing in the opening hours were spot-on. 24 always tapped into current issues/fears, and this plot stays true to that strength. Some organization (we still don’t know who) has taken a piece of technology from a hacker, who discovered a way to take control of  American unmanned drones. Obviously there will be twists and turns, but the best part so far has been the pacing and character development, which had been a bit lacking in the last season. Thus far, we’ve had no random frustrating side plots or anything remotely resembling filler. It’s a leaner and meaner style that takes advantage of the new 12 episode format (although it still occurs in “real-time”).

Finally, I like how the characters evolved during the break. They’ve undergone some radical changes, but it still feels true to who they were before. Chloe especially stands out. She apparently served time for her role in Jack’s escape, and is now actively working against the government that she used to protect. She and her Anonymous-style group illegally leaked thousands of US government secrets to the public, and initially she is mildly antagonistic to Jack. Of course, she can’t stay that way too long after he breaks her out of her cell, and it was hilarious seeing her put her CTU skills to work in the hacker headquarters. It’ll be interesting to see how she changes during the rest of the day. If anything, she hasn’t lost her scowl.


Watch out London.

Watch out London.


Extra Time:

1. Jack kicked butt the whole first two hours. That’s a good thing.

2. Some favorite characters from other seasons have showed up. Also a good thing.

3. Writing? Much stronger, feels fresh again.

4. Best quote from Jack – “I may look like I’m at a disadvantage, but I can assure you that’s not the case.”

5. Welcome back, 24. Even if this is the last hurrah, it’s well worth it.


Final Score:

9/10 Bauer Points

Olympus Has Fallen 5-Point Review

25 03 2013
Morgan Freeman Aaron Eckhart Gerard Butler

Three reasons to watch this movie.


1. Olympus Has Fallen has been called “the best Die Hard movie of the year” (they didn’t mean it, Bruce Willis), and it’s basically what would happen if Die Hard and  Air Force One had a baby. Is that a bad thing? No, no it’s not.


2. Gerard Butler,  Morgan Freeman and Aaron Eckhart all play their parts perfectly, giving us not only tough-as-nails characters, but genuinely likable ones at that, with Butler and Eckhart selling their bro friendship effortlessly. Even if the trauma doesn’t push President Asher into becoming President Two-Face (though the White House at the end looked like his hideout).


President Two-Face

Bet more people would watch The State of the Union Address.


3. Is the action good? Well, YES. Let’s just say Gerard Butler takes out a guy using the most American way possible in the Oval Office (Abe Lincoln is involved).

Abraham Lincoln

Bringing justice from beyond!


4. My one point of frustration during the movie (besides seeing all this happen to the U.S. of A.) was (SPOILERS) how easily the President gave away freakin’ nuclear codes away, just so someone in his Cabinet wouldn’t die. I mean, yeah, of course you wouldn’t want that to happen, but literally (cue Jack Bauer voice) MILLIONS OF LIVES WERE IN DANGER. I dunno, it’s not like they would really have killed the people who knew the code anyway, unless it was after they told the code (which they did). (END SPOILERS)


5. Speaking of Jack Bauer, this seemed very 24-ish, didn’t it? Maybe because of that one season? Again, not a bad thing, but what made me cringe was when I read this article about the copycat movie coming out in three months. Would I rather see Jamie Foxx be the President, this next movie asks? I’d rather watch President Two-Face.

Or Acting President Freeman.

Or Acting President Freeman.