Alias… To Be Continued!

The Alias television show, started in 2001 and I was there right from the start. You are thrown immediately into the world of covert ops following the life of Sydney Bristow who works as a spy for the CIA. She started out in SD-6, an organization that fooled its employees into thinking they were doing good. Once she found out about their real intentions she became a double agent for the CIA. Anyone who says the plot is original should go watch From Russia With Love. The action was pretty good, the characters could potentially grow into something interesting, the small plots kept my interest, but overall this is a show I can no longer watch.

First, and probably the most picky flaw I have for Alias is Sydney’s variable spy skills. One minute she’s infiltrated a base, sneaking past two hundred armed guards, through 8 secret doors, 10 alarms, and a building full of killer bees, yet someone inevitably sneaks up on her and knocks her on the head. She clearly needs to listen harder. My second small problem is she rarely (never, even?) kills anyone. People die, but not by her hand. I know it’s network television, but come on.

“To Be Continued” should be reserved for shows in which you tried really really hard to fit your story in one show, but just had to make it a 2-hour event. Alias uses cliff hangers and “To Be Continued” in every episode. You get to the end of the show, and OH-MY-GOD someone’s bonked Sydney on the head! WHAT WILL HAPPEN NEXT TIME?!?! I’ll tell you what happens next time, the problem will resolve itself in the first 3 minutes where Sydney will spin-kick/disarm-bomb the problem away and the show will build to yet another lame cliff hanger. So stupid. Continue reading “Alias… To Be Continued!”

A Star Wars Prequel to the Prequel!

According to Movie Hole Lucas has an idea for a prequel to The Phantom Menace where we would suffer through enjoy the adventures of the Jedi taking back control of the universe from the Dark Lords. Yoda would be the star guaranteeing two fun filled hours of puppet-on-speed action.

I don’t know what its name would be. Maybe Star Wars Episode 0: Rise of the Jedi or maybe Star Wars Prequel 1: The Greed of Lucas? Whatever it is, I don’t think I could stand to sit through an entire movie headlining Yoda in light saber battles, but then again, I did watch The Phantom Menace with the worst sci-fi character ever created, Jar Jar.

Finding Neverland

Finding Neverland follows Peter Pan playwright J.M Barrie (played by Johnny Depp).  Before writing Peter Pan Barrie sees  several of his plays fail at the theater. While Barrie seems concerned over the failures, especially after the plays end, he also does not take the disappointment to heart, he simply searches for his next idea.

The movie follows Barrie’s journey to write a new play, that would eventually end up being called Peter Pan.

Johnny Depp plays J.M. Barrie brilliantly. It helps that the character was somewhat eccentric, characters that Depp seems to excel at in other movies. Kate Winslet also excelled in her part as the widow with four young boys. You see Barrie grow to love the boys and how they help inspire him to write Peter Pan. You also see the boys work through their pain of losing their father, living a less fortunate life, and dealing with their mother’s illness.

I was surprised at how different I saw Peter Pan after watching Finding Neverland. The last time I saw the play was when I was very young, and while I have seen movie versions since, I never realized each character in Peter Pan represented people in J.M. Barrie’s life, and how his own imaginary world was brought to life on the stage. For me it is no longer simply a play designed for children, but rather the child inside us all. The scenes from Peter Pan included in the movie are especially moving when intermixed with the events surrounding Barrie’s life. You see Barrie change from a grown-up playmate to a father figure through the movie and you have no doubt he will be a wonderful father for the boys he befriends in the beginning.

Whether it was intended or not, Barrie’s separation with his wife is rather unmoving and uneventful. You can see from the first moments of the film, and even in the way the Barrie house is decorated, that something is wrong. When Barrie is with his wife he is quiet, restrained, and uninspired. When he leaves to go to the park Barrie becomes a new person reinforced by the bright park setting. If you compare that to anytime Barrie is in his house, you see dark wood, dim light, dull, dreary, and depressing.  The filmmakers do an excellent job visually separating the two parts of Barrie’s life.

Finding Neverland is an excellent movie that gives us a great look at the person behind Peter Pan and the events and people that inspired the famous story.

Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events

Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events brings together three of the Lemony Snicket books into one movie following the lives of the three Baudelaire children after their house was burned down in a mysterious fire. The movie had potential to be quite good, but just did not come through with some essential pieces to make it a great movie.

Since this is the first DVD I am reviewing I should point out that I usually will not spend a great deal of time on the features, quality of sound and video, or any other DVD specific information unless something strikes me as really bad or far above and beyond.

Lemony Snicket sets the mood brilliantly with the meticulously detailed sets and excellent soundtrack. Immediately I was drawn into the dark world of the Baudelaire children. The casting of the children was excellent as well. Emily Browning (Violet) stands out of the three main characters, drawing you into her world with her quiet brilliance. Jim Carrey as Count Olaf was a little over the top, but as the movie went on Carrey’s acting toned down a little and matched the movie much better. Carrey’s funniest moment was when he was imitating a velociraptor (while giving examples of his great acting ability), but it unfortunately did not feel at home in the movie.

I was pleased with the start of the movie: A disturbingly cheery and brightly colored animation burst on to the screen. Shortly the lights are shut off on the animation, literally, and the characters cower in fear until the real movie and setting is revealed; one of a dark and dreary fog covered beach. I wanted to love this movie, but I just couldn’t. Continue reading “Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events”

Star Wars Episode III: ROTS

What better way to start out the movie review section with a fantastically positive review of an awesome epic movie such as Star Wars Episode V III The Empire Strikes Back Revenge of the Sith ! The New York Times calls Revenge of the Sith or ROTS (an acronym that is both a title and a description) “…better than (the original) Star Wars.” Could this be the epic ending (technically middle-ending/beginning) to the Star Wars franchise that everyone wanted? Was ROTS better then even the Empire Strikes Back as the New York Times would have you believe? Did Lucas gain respect back after losing it from the first two craptacular movies?

No. Not even close. Hahahahaha, no. Continue reading “Star Wars Episode III: ROTS”