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Monday, May 28, 2012

Series review: Supernatural S1

It didn't take me long to finish the first season. I basically pulled a marathon and finished it right away. Supernatural is definitely one of those easily watched shows. Kind of like a sit-com. There's no heavy drama in it that drains you mentally - despite the show being good - like "In Treatment" for example.

Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean (Jensen Ackles) Winchester.
As for the show itself, there's not much I can say about it that I haven't already said in my previous post. What I can say is that if you're someone who likes stuff like the movie "Constantine", then this is a series for you. It contains plenty of similar elements. Hell, they're almost exactly alike outside of the main character(s). In fact, I'm convinced the comic book series "Hellblazer" is one of the biggest influences for Supernatural.

Because I'm such a fan of the subject matter of the series and I'm giving it quite a high score.

Score: 8/9

Friday, May 25, 2012

Started: Supernatural

Supernatural is a TV series centering around two brothers, Sam and Dean, whose been trained to fight demonic and various other supernatural phenomenon by their father after their mother was killed by one when they were small children.

When I first heard of this series and saw the main actors I quickly shuffled it off as another bad or mediocre fantasy or sci-fi (since they usually wear the same quality brand) series. Then I caught a few episodes on TV and I was - to put it mildly - impressed. Good writing, acting, production value, entertaining and free from that lame and dorky atmosphere those type of series usually are infested with, nor is it filled to brink with juvenile melodrama like Smallville for example.
This show dark, cool, interesting, but also funny. The best part of the series is the interaction between the two brothers.

So I decided to buy the first season dvd because I have a crappy limited internet and the dvd was cheap. After seeing the first three episodes I can definitely say that it was a worthy purchase.

It was however difficult to decide whether I should have bought this or the first season of the most praised TV series since the first season of Dexter - Breaking Bad. Personally, I do think that Breaking Bad is probably the better series of the two, but I'm just not in the mood for it at the moment.

Started: Shakugan no Shana III

So I recently started watching Shakugan no Shana III. I'm currently three episodes in. While I can't really say that it's terrible so far, I don't like it. I am so sick of these characters and their childish behavior. I know characters of this sort are nothing unusual within anime - which definitely has something to do with why I'm so of them - but the fact that I've had to endure two whole seasons with these characters already certainly adds to my aggravations.
I'm pretty sure I'll still with it throughout the whole 26 episode season though, because SnS is quite a big title and I want to be able to properly chime in with my opinions in future discussions and to fill up my "watched anime of the year" list.

All I have to do now is to pray it wont get (much) worse as it goes on.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Movie review: Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (re-watch)

This is my third time re-visiting this comedic murder mystery story. I still think it's impressively written and executed with it's 4th wall breaking style and witty dialogue and narration. However, like with all mysteries, it can never be as intriguing as it was the first time around and the comedy does lose some of it's edge once you know what's coming. But the fact that I'm still so entertained by it at this point goes to show just how well told the film is.

The strongest aspect of the movie is the interaction between Robert Downey Jr. and Val Kilmer. Their characters are already funny and interesting on their own, but it's when they're together the movie really shines. The differences between these two characters make for such hilarious banter that one can't help but to laugh out loud whereas most movies with similar kind of witty banter merely make you chuckle. The banter is however not the only hilarious aspect. There's also Robert Downey Jr.'s narration which breaks the 4th wall so often that by the end there's nothing left of it except crumbs.

Even though I keep hammering in how funny this movie is, don't go into it thinking that's a pure comedy. Because it's not. It may have plenty of comedy, but it has no shortage of action, mystery and drama. It's also very effective in those areas. It's very well rounded and it's the kind of movie I think a lot of people will love, and those who doesn't will at least enjoy it. I recommend that anyone why hasn't already seen this should go watch as soon as possible.

Despite my so far never ending praise for this film, I'm not going to give this my highest score because it somewhat lacks what my all time favorite films have - re-watch value. Granted, I do still like it despite that this is my third time watching it. But I don't love this time around. It's incredible on the first watch, but - like I said earlier - it loses a lot of it's edge after that. 

Score:  8/9

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Movie review: Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

It's a story about British spies in the 70s where George/Smiley (Gary Oldman) tries to flush out a Russian mole among the top chain of MI6.

I really wanted to like this movie. It seemed like the kind of film I'd enjoy. Spies gathering information on one another not knowing who to trust, filled with a cast of phenomenal actors and directed by Thomas Alfredsson, who directed "Let The Right One In" which is one of my all time favorite films.

Sadly, I didn't enjoy the movie particularly much. It's all too slow and yet kind of hard to follow even though I really payed attention to it (I even re-winded it here and there because I missed a line or two of dialog), there's a major lack of emotion in the film and it has no weight behind any of it's revelations. Even the big final one concerning who's the mole. When they revealed that I simply reacted 'oh... ok'. I didn't get exactly how they found out it was him, or why he did it outside of "the west is so ugly these days".

As for the emotional aspect of the film, there were only like 5 to 10 scenes (scenes, not sequences) where a character expressed any emotion, and it was still very downplayed in half those scenes. The acting is very good though, especially by Mark Strong and Benedict Cumberbatch. Thomas Alfredsson also manages to give us great visuals and a strong atmosphere. But that's just about all the praise I can give it.

I can understand why people like it, and I'm not saying that it's a poorly made movie, but it simply failed to entertain me. So I don't care for it.

Score: 4/9

Rating system

Since I just posted a movie review and gave it 6/10 I figured I should explain just how my rating system works.
Well, it's nothing special, but I've noticed that a lot of people think of 7/10 to be decent or alright and anything below 5 is absolute garbage.

For me, it's like this:

0 - The very worst I've seen (Disaster Movie)
1 - Pure garbage
2 - Terrible
3 - Bad
4 - Below average
5 - Average
6 - Above average
7 - Good
8 - Great
9 - Fantastic
10 - The very best I've seen (LotR: The Fellowship of the Ring)

As you can see, I only have 1 movie each for 0/10 and 10/10. This is because I want 5 to be right in middle, average. So while I'll write #/10, it's in actuality #/9. It's just that 10 looks better as a final number.

I'm also working on a graphic design for the score, which I'll probably be done with in a few days.

Movie review: Hamilton: In The Interest Of The Nation

This is one of the few Swedish action films made to look like a Hollywood action flick, like "The Third Wave". In that regard it succeeds, and while it is worse than several of it's Hollywood counterparts, it's also much better than plenty of them. In the end, it places itself right in the middle of it all. Unfortunately, this means it's very forgettable. Just like "Hamilton" from 1998, starring Peter Stormare, which I honestly can't remember a thing about.

As for the film itself, it has a fairly straightforward plot; Bad guys have heavy weapons and a 'sinister' plan, hero is sent after them, some 'twists' ensue and the hero takes care of it all whilst dealing with his/her inner demons.

That's pretty much the extent of it and it's something we've all seen loads of times. So, the thing to consider is not what is done, but how well it's handled. And for the most part, it's handled nicely. 
Hamilton's personal conflict comes out of left field which is very welcome, but it's not handled any better than simply 'adequate' when it could have amounted to so much more. The antagonist is somewhat of a blank slate until the end where it's hastily touched upon that he really thinks that what he's doing is the right thing. That's something I truly appreciate in movies but is unfortunately and surprisingly not done enough despite being something so simple.
One thing that's really distracting when watching this the Swedish actors' english accents. Especially Mikael Persbrandt's. Downright terrible. He really should have worked more on it. 

I don't feel like writing much more about it. Whoever is reading this obviously gets my overall opinion this movie and why by now, so I'll end it with a summarizing line;
For a Swedish action film, it's great, for an action film overall, it's decent.

Score: 6/10

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Diablo 2 revisit

Considering that I have no money and a shitty internet connection I can't participate in the Diablo 3 craze. So, to still my Diablo urges I decided to revisit Diablo 2 with a new character for the third (possibly fourth) time.
But as I was playing it, I noticed that I didn't really enjoy myself. The game play is monotone (I use fireball 99% of the time), the loot isn't very fun (I've had the same weapon since the first act), it doesn't have an engaging atmosphere and it's a bit too easy and dull outside of the boss battles.

Diablo must be possessing players to make them addicted.

Why do I feel like this now when I've so long remembered this to be one of the greatest games of all time?
Maybe it's because I've already played it so much in the past. Or maybe my tastes in games have changed that much in recent years. Or perhaps it's simply because I'm playing single player and not online. Whatever the reason is, it just wasn't fun to play Diablo 2.

However, by the time I've sorted out these thoughts, I realized that I've spent the majority of the last four days playing this game. So, while I do have complaints about it now, it is still highly addictive.

Playing it did still my urges for Diablo 3. It however reawakened my urges for World of Warcraft.
Which I can't play because - as I stated in the beginning - I have no money and a shitty internet connection.

Very first post

This will be the very first post for my - hopefully - long running blog.

In here I'll mostly write about anime, but topics such as games, sit-coms & movies will appear now and then, here and there.

Let's get started!