Sense8 Television Review

Netflix_Sense8_promo_artWow, Netflix sure has a way of bringing unique, thought provoking stories to the small screen. So many shows have come out recently that have blown me away. First, Daredevil was epic, then Grace and Frankie was better than expected and now Sense8 has done it again…for the most part. The thought-child of the Wachowski’s and J. Michael Straczynski, Sense8 is a sci-fi drama that tells the tale of 8 people who can all sense and communicate with one another from across the world. Continue reading

Marco Polo (Episode Eight Review)

MarcoPoloBodies have begun to fall in Marco Polo. The series is now at the tail end of the first season and has done a remarkable job constantly improving from it’s few early weak episodes. The story lines are developing at a proper pace and characters are developing more and more. I think episode stands out as the first episode where Marco Polo has overtaken Kublai Khan as the most interesting character in the series. That’s not to say that Kublai has dwindled in quality, but it’s a testament of how well Lorenzo Richelmy has stewed into the role.

The scenery is once again breathtaking, but it’s been a common facet with the series. The palaces, the exterior shots and pretty much everything in between has been a breath of fresh air. It is nice to see a show with a steady amount of character development. I’m not sure where the show will go story wise in season 2, which there apparently will be, but I’m sure wherever it goes, I will happily follow.

I promise that the first season review will have more to it than just a rehashing of me talking about how amazing Kublai Khan is. It will be more in depth and long, I promise. The last few review will be shorter in preparation for the long series review, but I hope when it is released, hopefully at the start of the new year, it will be worth your time.

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Marco Polo (Episode Three Review)

MarcoPolo

Wow, there is a lot to be said about this episode, it was what I would describe as a hot and cold episode, with the hot portions being steamy. Both literally and figuratively. Now to start, I will say this episode provides a more interesting look at Marco Polo, the central character who was often overlooked in episode two. They found a great balance between Kublai Khan and Marco Polo and provided the viewer with two interesting stories involving both characters. Along with that, they continued to develop other characters with other, more minor, story lines.

I feel like every episode will need me to address this, but yes, this episode does have nudity. While this has the most nudity of the first three episodes, by this time I’ve grown desensitized by the show’s use of nudity. I now understand why it was compared to Game of Thrones. They did introduce a new, interesting character in the episode. She’s a fighter and a good one at that. She’s tied closely to Marco Polo and their interactions added both a sense of comedy and few nail-biting action sequences.

Kublai isn’t shown as much of a warrior in this episode, more sidelined by a bad case of dreaded gout. Despite this, he continues to be the most interesting character in the show. That’s not to say that Marco Polo isn’t great, he is especially great in the first and the third episode. Kublai Khan and Marco Polo’s interaction at the tail-end of the episode might just be one of the most intense scenes in recent memory. The scene was just wonderfully done in every aspect. It might not give the episode a perfect score, but it saves it from any sort of slump that might have befallen an early episode in a period show.

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Marco Polo (Episode One Review)

MarcoPoloFrom the beautiful opening shot it becomes plainly obvious that this isn’t like the other Netflix original series. The shots are wide, the set pieces grand. The Mongol costumes are extravagant and before the opening credits appear, you’ll likely be hooked.

The locations are just breath-taking, the grandiose rooms and beautiful nature shots are enough to amaze even the most casual of watchers. The cinematography easily capitalizes on this and takes full advantage of what nature, and man-made structures, provided them. The camera movement at times can be overly shaky, but many of the shots, especially the panning shots, are typically smooth like butter. Mmm, butter. The special effects are surprisingly great, but then again, it’s well known that this is a big budget TV show and they used their money well. Even the wide shots that are more computer generated than real look beautiful, which just goes to show how much effort was put in the visuals.

The tale of how Marco Polo came to end up where the Television series starts is far more interesting than one would have previously guessed. It involves a lot of travel, obviously, but the previously mentioned shots help as well as the performances given by the many different actors. One such performance is from the show’s lead, Lorenzo Richelmy. While an unknown in every sense of the word, he quickly proves his worth with a noteworthy performance. Benedict Wong as Kublai Khan is amazing. He transformed for the role, looking nothing like his more recent previous films and acts with such an effortless intensity that you can’t help but fear his power.

The biggest issue is that the only time you really hear a female character speak is in between moans as she is engaged in sexual activities. It would have been nice to have more female characters introduced, in a different fashion than that. But with this only being one episode in, there are enough opportunity for that to change. There is a lot of sex and nudity, take that as you will.

This review is a bit short, mostly because it’s only based on the first episode. Don’t expect a review for every episode, unless the series stays at this sort of level and requires a per episode review. The first episode is well done, one of the best I’ve seen since the House of Cards first episode. If the series can improve on itself, or even just stay on par, it will be one of the best shows in recent memory. I personally can’t wait to watch the other episodes.

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Your Choice Fridays

OK, so in my long hiatus my mind often would drift towards fun things to do on the blog. So I came up with what I hope will be a fun way of forcing helping myself watch movies that I’ve never seen before. So here’s how it works. On Monday I release a poll filled with 5 movies available on Netflix streaming. Midday Friday, I close the poll and whatever movie with the most votes wins and I have to watch and post a review for Sunday. Sound fun? Well I hope it does because this was the best I could come up with. 😀

 

Man on the Moon (Quick) Review [61 of 200]

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Plot

We follow the life of Andy Kaufman, an awkward person who isn’t a comedian, but he sure is funny. Continue reading

The Decoy Bride (Film Review) [30 of 200]

Decoy_bride_posterPlot

Unable to escape constant watch from the paparazzi, a writer and his actress fiance flee to a small island to have the wedding of her dreams. Though, through a course of events, the writer ends up married to another woman and his fiance is nowhere to be found.

Pros

David Tennant was awesome, but I expected that. He was funny and cool and I like to imagine he was secretly the Doctor in this. I also liked Kelly Macdonald, she too was funny. The premise is a bit silly, but I found that the two leads, Tennant and Macdonald, made for an entertaining movie. I applaud them on making a good movie on a fairly low-budget.

Cons

Like I said, the story was pretty silly. It won’t blow you away, but you might be entertained. The end, and many parts of the movie, are pretty predictable, which is pretty typical for rom-coms. I must say, though, that this was one of the best romantic movies I’ve seen in while. Mostly because I hate romantic comedies.

0035Fun Fact: Many scenes from the screenplay had to be cut because their budget was just too low.

 

House of Cards (TV Series Review) [Part 1 of 2]

This review is for the first five episodes.

HouseofCardsposterPlot

After being passed up for Secretary of State, a congressman begin an intricate plan of revenge on the new President. His wife deals with the troubles of expanding her foundation and the congressman becomes allies with a young reporter, hungry for the next story.

Pros

Kevin Spacey is amazing! His character is evil but you can’t help but love him. The supporting characters are also fantastic, the show is extremely well acted. I think Robin Wright and Kate Mara stand out alongside Spacey as giving A+ performances. David Fincher directed the first 2 episodes, which were really good. The story is great, and pretty unpredictable. I love what I’m seeing so far.

Actually come to think of it, I forgot to mention Corey Stoll who does a great job playing a Congressman who can’t handle the tough side of the job. He too gives a human quality to what could have been just another supporting character.

Cons

Some might not appreciate Spacey’s breaking of the 4th wall. Episode 3 was a bit weak in my opinion.

Score (to date): 5/5

Score Prediction: 5/5

Introducing a New Way to Review…

 

I’m not quite sure why I titled the post this, but oh well, I’m keeping it. Now most of you have probably seen that my reviews have been non-existent the past few day. My excuse, my laptop has allowed me to finally play some computer games and I’m currently in love with Crusader Kings II. Also, I start classes next week and I want to do a few more other fun things before I’m busy. Enough ketchup…get it, ketchup/catch up? I’m sorry, I don’t know why I just typed that.

Now I created this post for one reason, well maybe two reasons, but the main reason is to tell you about my new review format. Now movies watched on Netflix Instant or DVD will be quick reviews, meaning I will only provide in-depth review for movie seen in the theater, as well as self-published novels. This will help me tremendously since I may only have an hour or two to review a movie or two. The format will be:

Plot

Words will be written here.

Pros

Words will be written here.

Cons

Words will be written here.

Score

Words will be written here.

They will make for quicker reads that will help you to decided if the movie you want to watch is worth it. I will make some exceptions if the movie really deserves it, but most reviews will look like this.

Now for another thing, the old 0 to 10 score is gone. Wave goodbye to that and hello to the new score. 0 to 5 is nothing new, but it will allow for a more accurate review. The most difficult part of reviewing, I felt was arguing with myself if a work deserved 6.5 or a 7. Now I feel it should be easier to determine the score now. Yay for me.

Now for one last thing, I have decided to make a new goal for myself. By the end of this year, I would like to have a 366 post total. I am currently at 178 or something, so it shouldn’t be too hard, but I can never be sure. A post a day might not be reasonable with school coming up, but I might try. Anyways, thanks for reading and have a great day. 🙂