Friday, May 14, 2010

Chuck dodges a bullet again

For the second year in a row "Chuck" has managed to get a 13 episode renewal. I'm not so sure that the show can manage such a feat next year though, unless it sees a miraculous ratings in the fall (assuming it starts in the fall), even with the horrific ratings that NBC is seeing right now. For more information from people far more informed than I am, take a gander at the link below.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Caprica Season 1.0

Yup, SciFi (oops I mean SyFy...) did it again. They're splitting up the seasons of a Ron Moore series simply because they're a cheap network. Although what would else you expect from a channel owned by NBC? Anyway, I've finally been able to re-watch each episode on my handy-dandy DVR and I feel prepared to offer my first half season review of Caprica.

I have to admit, this show has wildly exceeded my expectations. I know that I'm in a definite minority with this opinion, but I can't help it. Caprica may not have the wild actions scenes that Battlestar did, but that doesn't make it any less of a show. The show resembles a sort of "Soprano's in the Colonies" style, with character driven stories and no shortage of tension. Sure, there aren't Cylons running around causing all kinds of problems for the humans, as I've heard so many people complain, but isn't that kind of the point? This show is examining the excesses, hypocrisies, and mistakes which led to the fall of the Colonies.

The best part about this show has to be the characters. I'm especially fond of Sam Adama, but I don't think the show has delved deep enough into his character. There is clearly a lot of conflict in the Ha'la'tha enforcer, but we only glanced off of that. It was especially obvious in the episode where he ::SPOILER ALERT:: was preparing to kill Amanda Graystone. I also would love to see more of the V-World version of Tamara Adama. "There is Another Sky" was probably the second best episode of this season and that was solely because of Tamara. So Mr. Moore, give us more Tammy and more V-World!

The only gripe that I have with this series is that we don't really have anybody to hate. BSG had Cavil for the final 2 and a half seasons, and I really think he made the series better. I think Barnabas might be able to fill that role, and I've heard some people think that Tomas Vergis may be that guy. I don't really see it in Vergis though. He's looking for revenge for a misdeed that was brought upon him by Daniel Graystone. He may be looking for revenge, but he's not a real bastard like Cavil was.

In all, this series looks very very promising. However, with how the ratings look we may not get to see that promise realized. I would suggest that anybody who hasn't seen this show should try to watch it (sadly, most of the episodes are now off of Hulu). If this show only makes it one season, I'll be very disappointed. Caprica has the potential to be as good as BSG.

Season review:

4.25 out of 5.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

A Plea

If you are not currently watching Caprica, please do so. This is an entirely selfish plea, since I love the show and want to see it renewed for a second season. The show is incredible, yet the ratings are decidedly less than stellar. So get out there, and at least give the show a chance. Go take a look at Hulu, the pilot should be up for one more week!

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Caprica: It's what I hoped it would be

Mini Review:

This show is going to rock, period. At the end of the season I'm going to give a full review of the season, but I was thoroughly impressed with the episode. I really have hope for this series.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Avatar Review: Better late than never

I suppose it's only fitting that my review of Avatar comes weeks after I saw the film, considering it took Cameron years to get his epic action movie onto the big screen. With the holiday season and family obligations I have been forced to put off this review until today.

First and foremost, the visuals are everything you'd want them to be. Often times when I'm watching a CGI heavy movie I am continually conscious of the fact that those characters, locales, or whatever else don't actually exist. This is absolutely not the case with Avatar. Maybe it was the 3d effects or the the mass amounts of money thrown at this project, but these were hands down the best CGI visuals I've ever seen, and are reason alone to pay to see this movie in the theater.

As for the plot, it was good, but not spectacular. Many of the themes are retreads from other movies, and the characters are engaging without being outstanding. The plot really just served its purpose. It capably moved the story forward and offered us a reason to stay and enjoy the visual splendor of this film.

My only real issue with the film was the primary villain. He was incredibly one dimensional, hell-bent on blowing up as many blue-skinned cat people as he possibly could. I suppose I should have expected this from Cameron though, considering his most memorable prior villains are an emotionless cyborg bent on killing Sarah/John Connor and an iceberg. For all the good things Cameron can do, he really has trouble with complex antagonists. Maybe he'll get it right in the sequels, which are sure to happen.

No matter how you slice it this movie is pure popcorn flick fun. My one warning is that you really should see this movie in 3d. I decided to see it in both ways, and the 2d version really does not do the visuals justice.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Top 10 Battlestar Galactica (RDM version) Episodes

Well, you all seemed to enjoy the first ever Geek Top 10 list, so I've decided to make these a more regular feature of the blog. This week, with the premier of Caprica nearing ever closer, I decided to do my Top 10 Battlestar Galactica episodes:

10. Maelstrom, Season 3
A great "what was real, and what was in her head" episode. Starbuck is a complex character, and this episode is where the knot starts to untangle. I'm not going to spoil the ending, but I really didn't see it coming. Granted, the end wasn't what it appeared to be, but to say I was shocked would be an extreme understatement.

9. Blood on the Scales, Season 4
I was shocked it took the producers as long as it did to use mutiny as a plot. When they did though, they certainly didn't disappoint. Watching Adama and his followers attempt to retake the ship was fantastic. The ending was shot perfectly too, leaving the audience questioning whether the mutineers were truly power-hungry or simply misguided. My vote is for both.

8. Sometimes a Great Notion, Season 4
Talk about a depressing start to a season. ::SPOILERS:: Earth is an irradiated wasteland, and the humans elation has turned to abject sorrow. Not only that, the Thirteenth Tribe weren't human at all, they were frakking Cylons! ::END SPOILERS:: Wow, I was exhausted after this episode, and I mean that in the best way possible.

7. Exodus (Parts I and II), Season 3
Wow, the action in this episode is absolutely epic for a television show. Again, I won't give any spoilers away, but when a certain ship jumps into the middle of a battle to save the day, I got chills. This episode is really a coming-out party for Lee Adama. The character really steps to another level of complexity, and became one of the most compelling characters from that point forward.

6. Fragged, Season 2
I am a huge Gaius Baltar fan. This episode is perhaps James Callis's best performance as the self absorbed doctor. The dynamic between the stranded crewmen in this episode is fascinating to watch. This cemented Baltar as the deepest character in the show, and left me wanting to learn more about Gaius each episode.

5. The Hand of God, Season 1
The first true victory for the humans. This episode is truly highlighted by Bear McCreary's score. The Celtic victory march (Wander My Friends) became somewhat of a running theme throughout the rest of the series, and deservedly so. As an aficionado of Celtic music myself, I can tell you that it is a fantastic song. During the victory celebration on Galactica the audience truly feels a part of the crew, as if they had just struck a blow to the Cylons themselves.

4. Crossroads (Parts I and II), Season 3
Final Five. That's all that needs to be said. Really, I'm not going to say anything else.

3. 33, Season 1
I swear I didn't try to have 33 at number 3, it just worked out that way. This was the first true "episode" of the show after the Miniseries. The tension was absolutely palpable, as Galactica's crew began to wear down from the stress of the pursuing Cylons, who show up on the Humans' tail every 33 minutes. Every jump in this episode was incredibly tense, wondering what ships will make it and what ones will be left to the pursuing Basestars.

2. Someone to Watch Over Me, Season 4
This is Katee Sackhoff's finest performance. Kara Thrace was always the most compelling character on the show for me, and this episode really showed why. The mental torment Starbuck faced each episode was evident, and Sackhoff really brought that all home this time around. This episode also sprung the most shocking revelation of the show on the audience. With how good this episode was, its almost a shame to have it as number 2.

1. Daybreak (Parts I and II), Season 4
As far as I'm concerned there was no other choice than this one. Daybreak is by far the best season finale of any series since Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. The producers played their hand perfectly with the finale, revealing some secrets to us, while leaving some still shrouded in mystery to give the fans something to debate for years to come. I'm not going to spoil the ending for anyone who is still living under a rock, but it is one of the greatest twists of all time. This is a perfect episode and was a fitting end for not only a great show, but one of the best pieces of sci-fi ever crafted.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Top 10 Christmas Specials of All Time

It has been far too long, I know. As school has started again, my time has unfortunately been stolen away from me yet again. However, as the Christmas season is nearly upon us, I feel that it's time for me to enlighten you as to the 10 best Christmas specials of all time. This list WILL NOT include feature films, however. I plan on doing that list some time in December. So without any further delay...

10. The Christmas Toy
This one is truly a hidden gem. A Jim Henson production, it essentially mimics the plot of Toy Story years before the movie was made. There are two cameos by Kermit the Frog in this one, essentially as a means of sucking the kids in for a Muppet story not containing any of their favorite characters. This one is tough to find these days, but if you can get your hands on it, I strongly recommend giving it a chance.

9. The Twilight Zone "The Night of the Meek"
Not your usual Twilight Zone episode, that's for sure. But this is absolutely one of the best Christmas stories ever broadcast on TV. The story is about a drunkard department store Santa who would want nothing more than to be the real Saint Nick. I won't give away all the details, but unlike most Twilight Zone episodes this one will leave you feeling warm inside.

8. A Muppet Family Christmas
You really can't go wrong with a Jim Henson production. The man was a genius. This one is funny and brings together all of the Henson favorites. You get to see your favorite characters from the Muppets, Sesame Street, and even Fraggle Rock. This one is a must-watch every Holiday season.

7. Psych "Gus's Dad May Have Killed an Old Guy"
Readers of this blog know my love of Psych. This is just plain a classic Psych episode with a fantastic Christmas theme. And that's not to mention the Christmas carol reworking of the show's theme. This one is an absolute must-see!

6. Twas the Night Before Christmas
Another lesser known Christmas special. The music in this special is by far my favorite. "Even a Miracle Needs a Hand" is an absolute classic, and I just wish I could find it on a Christmas album compilation somewhere. Sure, maybe the anti-intellectual leanings of the show may be a tad off-putting for a cartoon, but let's be honest, this one is far to fun to let that ruin it.

5. Frosty the Snowman
An absolute classic. Every child has seen this special, and I will find myself watching this one multiple times every Christmas season. I still get a kick of out Professor Hinkle saying "messy, messy, messy" when he drops the eggs. I'm such a frakking child.

4. The Office "Christmas Party"
The best sitcom Christmas episode ever made, period. I really don't need to say anything other than that. This episode introduced me to the notion of Yankee Swap, and I will never look at office secret Santas the same.

3. A Garfield Christmas
Now we're into the shoe-ins. This one is just great. Who doesn't love to hear Lou Rawls singing original Christmas songs in this one? The story is great too, its just going home for Christmas. Who can't empathize with the weird things that happen when you head home for the Holidays? Just an absolute classic through and through.

2. A Charlie Brown Christmas
"Lights please." I would bet most people (who actually celebrate Christmas, that is) could recite this classic line for line. From the great score by Vince Guaraldi, to the classically quotable lines, this one is just plain perfect.

1. Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer
The ultimate Christmas special. It started it all, and it's still the greatest one ever made. It's funny, exciting, the music is great. In short, there is absolutely nothing wrong with this special. Watch it, watch it again, watch it again after that. I could watch this every single day.

So there it is. As usual, if you don't agree with me, feel free to let me know. You won't change my mind, but it's always fun to hear.