Month: December 2016

The OA: Episode 3 *spoilers-*

New episode, very new feel. Most of the time was spent in Haps prison in tonight’s episode with two very small interludes to push the present narrative along.

With a Human Centipede vibe to the episode, it’s not going to be rated high in the list of episodes when it comes to the finale. There’s excellent character development and exposition, but I’m starting to get the feeling I’ve gotten the relationship between the OA and Homer completely wrong. I bloody hope so anyway because their chemistry sucks.

I have a feeling there’s some development of the teacher, Otter I’m now going to call her. They hint at it in this episode and I thought we’d see more. Alas, the episode was dedicated to the larger mystery.

My biggest gripe about this episode is about the allergic reaction. Hap claims, mid gasp, he can’t have tomatoes. Great, but you’ve been buying the food. If you know you’ll react like that, wouldn’t you check the ingredients of the things you buy?!

Then again, the final reveal might explain this away. Unfortunately, I’m discovering that it doesn’t have the momentum to watch more than one episode at a time. You’re falling short of the Stranger Things standard OA!

The OA- Episode Two *spoilers*


Okay, I’m in love. This show is that calm you have when the environment around you is enveloped in a blanket of snow. The slow burn approach compliments the intricately woven mystery of the core characters.

First thing that struck me this epsidoe was the format of the story telling. Instead of the flashback prompted by current events approach, the creative team behind the OA have gone for a Are You Afraid of the Dark? storytelling with refreshing impact. It keeps the story clean and free of convoluted storytelling. Something which I think is needed when dealing with mysteries. Possibly the fundamental flaw that became Lost’s undoing. 

The OA’s story telling is also reminiscent of Jennifer Garner’s Alias. The three part development was something I found tedious at times in a show that ran for 4 seasons without changing the format; it’s cliffhanger endings started to come across as if they didn’t trust the audience to return on his or her own volition. 

However, The OA makes it work and progress the story rather than an audience trap. It’s transition between the past and present is smooth enough that it doesn’t pull you away from the narrative like Alias sometimes did.

This episode’s focus is French and his motivation for joining the group. His life of pressure and manipulation is something I think a number of teens will appreciate. While Buck took a small role in the narrative, a lot was revealed about the now confirmed Trans character. I’m very excited to see where Buck is taken.

Before you know it, we’re delving back into the OA’s past. The build up to the reveal of Jason Isaac’s character was just a tad too much. Unfortunately him being the only household name attached that had not been revealed, it was too obvious. Luckily I was so overwhelmed by the haunting music that I will forever consider The OA’s (character, not show) theme.

What follows is an almost scorpion and the frog final act. Isaac’s is spot on perfect as a man who I predict will take a central role in the upcoming episodes. His charm almost wins the audience over to the point that you forget you kind of already know he’s the bad guy. 

The end is heartbreaking, even if you see it coming. You understand the extent of the entrapment before she does. A chilling thought creeps into my head; sight, or the lack of, presents such a vulnerability that I’d never considered before.

Really hoping to get some wi-fi today so I can continue to watch over the holidays.

 

The OA- Episode One

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Ever since binge watching Stranger Things, I’ve been on the search for its equal. It’s been a tough job and nothing has fitted the bill. I’m currently only one episode in but I’m certain I’ve found something that is coming close.

The show seems relatively timeless, with a nostalgic twang just to keep you on edge. It’s a slow burn to begin with, but it works with the nature of the mystery of the narrative.

Prairie Johnson has been missing for 7 years. After a shock of an opener, she is returned to her adoptive parents to readjust to life after her disappearance. Only, she no longer goes by the name Prairie; instead preferring to be known as The OA. Going from one form of entrapment to another The OA seeks help from Steve Winchell to gain access to the wi-fi from her bedroom. A deal is made and the plot starts to run on its own steam to a very interesting conclusion that will have you begging for the next episode.

The group they rally together, and i’m suspecting will become the core characters for this 8-parter, is rather interesting and I’m excited to see how it pans out. I’m predicting it now; Steve’s teacher played by Phyllis Smith is going to be this series’ equivalent to Barb. By that, I believe she’s going to be beloved, I am not predicting a sticky demise and any justice needed. She’s won me over already and I’m certain I’m not the only one. The final act was so beautifully, artistically done.

Netflix Originals is going from strength to strength and I’m so happy this show is here to bridge the gap between seasons for Stranger Things.  I’m also very thankful for Netflix upping their game and allowing a downloadable platform for some of their material. Alas me having the Iphone7 and no headphones to be able to watch the show out in pubic, relegating it to bedtime viewing.

Stephen King’s IT *spoilers*

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King’s writing style naturally hooks you in. He has an amazing way with words. Unfortunately his storytelling is a little too bloated and slow paced for me. A good edit could bring it down to a digestible 400 pages and produce an excellent, coherent story.

Having started 11.22.63, a book which I was very much hooked on, I was curious about a section that alluded to something familiar. Upon talking to the friend who’d recommended it I had my suspicions confirmed; it was alluding to the event of IT. I was instructed to abandon 11.22.63 and read what, in his opinion, was the superior book. Oh how wrong my dear friend was.

It started well. I’m 100 pages in and really enjoying it; the language and voice are engaging, there’s a lot of characters but I’m still keeping them straight in my head. There was even some cutting edge topics that I was impressed King was tackling in the ‘present day’ section of the narration. Pennywise’s first appearance and victim was chilling and possibly one of my favourite sections of the book.

It quickly started treading water, too many interludes to add what was in my opinion absolutely nothing to the story. I was struggling around the 400 page mark. It was just as I was about to admit defeat when Bev’s 1958 narrative caught my attention and gave the book a saving grace that made me see out the rest of the book. I’ll admit that I let the words wash over me and nothing much from the final 400 pages or so stick in my memory except for Bev’s voyeuristic adventure at the junk yard and the reunion of the loser gang at the Chinese restaurant.

My biggest issue with this book though is its final act. Bev. She is the one and only female protagonist and she appears rounded and relatable; I enjoyed most of her plot and understood her development in the 1985 portion of the tale. However King, in a nonsensical gang bang ‘sacrifice’, turns her into a gratuitous whore. Her suggesting the act does not make it any better nor do I understand the purpose of the act.

I was so disturbed by the book, for all the wrong reasons. So badly that I have yet to return to 11.22.63, nor do I intend to.

Jurassic Park (1993)- PG

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Back in November I went to see my most beloved film in the Royal Albert Hall. I figured reviewing a film I know inside and out would be a good way to dip my toes back into the blogging world.

I first watched this film when I was 8 years old and it very quickly became my comfort movie. If I was unwell, if I couldn’t sleep; there it was like an old friend. I loved this film so much I completed my dissertation around the film and its theme of control.

The Good
It’s hard not to talk about it without bias, but as a blockbuster movie it checks all the boxes. It has pace, bratty children you kind of hope get eaten before the final act and some lines that as soon as they’re uttered, you know they’ll be set out as iconic quotes.
Even now, most of the CGI looks good and I will forever love Nedry’s demise along with the now famous ‘clever girl’

The music is quintessentially John Williams and a piece that complements the action. While the main theme is incredible, it is the section as they arrive to the island that sticks in my mind and floats my heart.

Getting Richard Attenborough out of retirement to play Richard Hammond was a stroke of genius. He has such an eccentricity about him that I can’t help but feel for him as his world collapses. The character that appears on the screen is world’s away from Michael Crichton’s incarnation in his 1991 novel.

Another smart move was to adapt the character of Alan Grant into a a-typical Spielberg leading man; a man who struggles to bond with children, but is resolved by the closing credits. See Close Encounters, Indiana Jones, War of the Worlds and even E.T for others within his body of work.

The Bad
As I’ve grown, I’ve become increasingly irritated by the ‘kitchen’ scene. I just think its a little too…. implausible. I know, I know… it’s a movie about cloned dinosaurs but it’s just a little too comical now to see those terrifying monsters man handling the door like some two man panto horse. I do still enjoy Lex’s ‘cunning’ attempt at confusing the raptor by trapping herself inside the kitchen cupboard. However, it’s not as calculated as I once thought; she looks too scared to be the bad ass I had pinned her as.

I’m also a little saddened by the omission of the last act of the book. There is a complete sub story about the raptors that reads like a directors dream. Okay, snippets make there way into Lost World, but it would have fit perfectly here.

The Ugly
The birds at the end of the movie are not condors! Up until last month, I watched this poignant cut from Alan Grant’s outward gaze to a flock of birds thinking it was a reference to Hammond’s outburst at the dinner scene. It made sense, I loved it.
Alas, I was wrong and it’s just a bunch of pelicans with no relevance to the rest of the movie. I guess that says more about me than the movie though.

Cast- 7
Cinematography- 8
Plot- 6 (missed too many bits from the book)
Pace- 9
Music- 8
Enjoyability- 10