Kathleen
14 November 2014 @ 03:02 pm
I watched The Hobbit: Batlle Of the Five Armies and on the last film of the series, the director finally gets it right, finding the perfect balance between nostalgia and a compelling new story. While there are still a few flaws - Tauriel remains unnecessary, Fili gets far too little screentime, Kili is obviously pushed to the viewers as the favorite, and we still never get to "know" many of the characters like in LOTRs, the good points far outweigh the bad. Most notably, unlike the others, this film never feels padded or stretched, the pace remains steady, and the removal of comedy elements give it a good solid feel the other films lacked. Bilbo, more likeable now that his acting is toned down, shows the noble heart that's always endeared me to the hobbits, and the highly likeable Bard gets to be the hero in taking down the dragon and leading the army of men. His moments with his children are beautiful, and I was grateful they all got their happy ending. Thorin's tragic spiral into madness is brilliantly acted and compelling, and his, Fili, and Kili's deaths reduced me to tears, even though I was saddened that Kili and Fili didn't get to die side by side as in the book. Legolas, the one addition to the trilogy I've loved since the beginning, was at his very best, showing off his fighting skills as well as hinting at his past - his strained relationship with his father, unrequited love for Tauriel, and, most intriguingly, the loss of his mother. The scene where his father finally tells him that his mother loved him made me sob, and I teared up at the mention of Aragorn as Legolas sets off to find him in the end. The links to LOTRs were skillfully done and never forced as before, and I loved how the ending drifted seamlessly into the first LOTRs. The closing theme was gorgeous - I'm so happy they used Billy Boyd's lovely voice again - and the credits were beautiful.

I went to see Night At The Museum 3: Secret Of the Tomb in theatres, and it was wonderful, a poignant, touching, and funny finale to a wonderful trilogy. Larry was perfect as always, and his friendship with the museum characters never fails to warm my heart. Teddy remains my favorite of the characters, and it made me tear up a little to see his last scenes. Jed and Octavius were hilarious as usual, and I couldn't stop laughing at them watching videos, taking selfies, and using a computer. The new characters, especially Lancelot, were treats, and I loved how many of the old characters they packed in, as well as Ahkmenrah having so much more screentime than in the other films, and even getting a backstory and happy ending after all the nights he spent locked in the coffin. Hugh Jackman's cameo was an unexpected delight, and I couldn't stop laughing all through his scene.

I also saw Mockingjay in theatres and it was painfully excellent, a more grim film than the others but so faithful to the books I couldn't help be delighted. My heart broke for Finnick, a character I never bonded with in the books but have learned to love in the movies, and my favorite part was his speech, including the creepy but fascinating aspect of Snow's poison and roses. His scene with Annie was beautiful and I only wish they shared more, especially flashbacks. While I was disappointed by the Hanging Tree's melody, and didn't care for her voice at all, I loved the other music as well as the beautiful direction style. Peeta was excellent, shattering my heart, especially when enough breaks through the brain-washing that he's able to warn Katniss, and the ending left me broken. Prim was a sweetheart as always, and I loved actually seeing more of Buttercup.

In other new movies I watched What's Eating Gilbert Grape, and despite my dislike of Johnny Depp, I surprisingly loved it. The story was beautiful, moving, and very realistic, and the small town setting gave it a vintage feel decades older than the movie. The acting was amazing, especially Leonardo DiCaprio who did a stunningly convincing job portraying Arnie. Next was the new miniseries Houdini, a uniquely filmed and incredibly entertaining account of Houdini's life and career. Adrien Brody was wonderful as Harry, and I adored Bess and his relationship, as well as his friendship with Jim. The tricks were fabulous to watch, and I liked the voice-overs looking into his thoughts as well as the bits of old footage toward the end. I saw the miniseries The Pillars Of the Earth and completely fell in love with it. The history, a time period I knew little about, was intriguing, the plot twists were fascinating, and I loved the characters, especially Jack and his relationship with Aliena. Many of the other characters, like Prior Phillip, Ellen, and Martha, were all interesting to see their stories, and I loved the happy endings for most of the good characters, and just desserts for the evil. The scenery and cinematography was lovely. I also watched the sequel miniseries World Without End, and it was fascinating, both for the history as well as the personal stories. I liked both of the romances, and was happy to see them both end up together and safe. The plot twists, especially with the Sir Thomas being the king were jaw-dropping, and the entire series was beautifully filmed and made. Then was If I Stay, a lovely and unusual film. I loved Adam and his relationship with Mia, and the ending was gorgeous. Next was L'Homme Qui Rit, a stunningly beautiful version of Victor's Hugo's heartbreaking book, and it was amazing, both for sets and filming as for the talented cast and intriguing characters. Next was Dracula Untold, a beautiful and heartwrenching version of the vampire's origins. I loved how he was shown as a good man who made a terrible choice to save his son, and his relationship with his little family was wonderful. After that was The Maze Runner. I adored the unique freshness of the plot, the oppressive setting, and mood, as well as how character driven it was. Dylan O'Brien was surprisingly good as Thomas - I never thought much of his acting before - and I felt for all the characters, which left me very intrigued for the next film. Next was the fascinating The Rite which I watched solely for Colin O'Donoghue - who was amazing - but ended up loving. The plot was straightforward but affective, and I liked how the story acknowledged true evil and true goodness. The scene where Michael remembers his mother giving him the card and finds the strength to defeat the demon was beautiful, and I felt the ending was largely satisfying. Next was the precious Christmas With Holly which was, like most Hallmarks, beautifully heartwarming and fun. I adored Mark and Holly's relationship, and all the characters were loveable in their own way. I teared up and laughed throughout and loved every moment. Next was the gorgeous miniseries The Red Tent. Dinah has long been one of the most fascinating Biblical characters to me, and I loved seeing her story come to life. Shalem and Benia were both wonderfully kind men, and I was glad Dinah found happiness a second time. I loved how her son came to love her and see her as his mother, and Joseph and Dinah's relationship was beautifully portrayed. Next was the intriguing and oddly beautiful Solomon Kane. I loved the title character - James Purefoy was fabulous and I completely adore his accent - both for his redemption arc as well as his friendship with Meredith. The scene where he pulls himself off the cross to save her was stunning, and I loved their beautiful reunion toward the end. I'm slowly growing to love zombie films and the latest was 28 Days Later. I loved seeing the genre from the British point of view, and the characters, especially the well-intentioned Jim, despite how little is revealed about their pasts, were all intriguing. I enjoyed Jim's relationship with Selena, and was extremely grateful that they went with the ending where Jim survived and the three were rescued. Next was the hilarious short film Incest!: The Musical which was adorable and needed to be so much longer. I couldn't stop laughing, and I loved Alex and Katie's determination to be together. Next was the hauntingly poignant I Am Dina. The story was intriguing, but it was the unusual characters, amazing acting, especially from the child who played little Dina, and stunning scenery that captivated me, along with the beautiful theme. The original version's ending was somehow more fitting, and I teared up at Dina trying to comfort her childish self. Hans Matheson was lovely as Tomas, and I wish he'd had a larger role, but I'm happy he at least got a happy ending, and - I assume - got to still be part of little Benjamin's life. Next was the adorable Sky High which made me laugh and love superheroes a little more than I already do. Will was loveably able to be related to, Layla was sweet, and I adored Warren and his fabulous hair. There were so many flawless in-jokes, too, and the gentle spoofing of the genre was perfect. Next was Mama, an effectively creepy story. The children, both the young actresses and the little girls who played the older versions, were incredible, and I loved Lucas and Annabelle and how they grew to love them. I was saddened by the ending, but it seemed fitting and was bittersweet. Next was the adorable Change Of Heart, the first talkie I'd seen Charles Farrell and Janet Gaynor in together, and the first time I'd gotten to hear her voice. Despite the somewhat rushed end (and Madge getting a happy ending which I didn't want) I loved the story, especially the characters and warmly vintage feel I get from old movies. After that was After, an unusual and interesting story. I loved seeing Freddy and Ana's intertwined stories from childhood to present day, and how their escape required both of them. The ending was perfect. Next was the surprisingly beautiful Elizabethtown which had some wonderful messages along with some whimsical and loveable characters. Orlando Bloom and Kirsten Dunst were both wonderful, and I adored their characters and relationship. The plot was a perfect blend of tears and laughter and I loved every minute. Then I saw the gorgeous Italian miniseries Romeo E Giulietta which has quickly become my favorite version. I fell in love with the characters and broke for them, especially Romeo and Mercutio, and I loved the small enhancements to the plot while remaining faithful, such as giving the nurse something of a backstory and more depth. The scenery and score was stunning, too, and I loved the wintery feel of the film. Then was Pearl Harbor, a gorgeous and beautifully moving movie. I loved the vintage feel, and surprisingly didn't mind the love triangle, probably because I loved all three characters. I was sad that Danny died, but I loved that he did so saving Rafe's life, and the ending, with Rafe and Evelyn together and raising Danny and Evelyn's little boy, made me tear up.

In new fairytale films I saw La Belle Et La Bete, and it was a beautiful and unique version of the fairytale. I would have liked more scenes between Belle and the Beast, as her sudden love for him didn't make much sense other than pity once learning his backstory, and Belle often came across as somewhat spoiled and childish, but the film was gorgeous, especially the details such as the weeping statue, the photography, and the costumes - Belle's green dress was stunning. I loved the unusual origin story of the curse, as well as the adorable dogs, and having the film be a story Belle told her children was an adorable touch. After that was another of the gorgeous Sechs auf einen Streich series, Aschenputtel, and it was beautiful. I loved that the version spent more time showing Viktor, the Prince, as well as the fact that he got to meet Cinderella twice before the ball, making his love for her more logical. Both Viktor and Cinderella were sweet characters and it was easy to root for their happiness, as it was to despise the stepmother and sister, who instead of the cartoonish characters they usually are, were despicable and cruel. I loved the birds helping Cinderella, and the magical tree, and Viktor's relationship with his father was adorable. I also discovered the Märchenperlen series and saw my first, the stunning Die sechs Schwäne. It's long been one of my favorite fairytales and it was adapted beautifully and faithfully, with just a few twists to the plot to make it unique and exciting. I loved the characters and the happy ending.

I gave a try to the BBC miniseries of Ben-Hur, and as I expected, there were quite a few changes from my beloved '50s version, but definitely not all of them bad. Being so much longer, this version had the ability to include things I've always wanted to see, like Judah and Messala's childhood friendship and the beginning of Esther and Judah's love story. Joseph Morgan, despite being a little young for the role, made a good Judah, especially the angry, almost unhinged version that returns for revenge. Messala, intriguingly, was more layered than the '50s pure evil version, and the tragedy of his father's disinterest in him was contrasted against the Ben-Hur's family's original love for him that he betrayed. I loved that the film had him survive the race long enough for Judah and he to make their peace. Esther was somewhat disappointing, coming across as immature and too quick to think badly of Judah, and I didn't warm to her, even by the ending. I loved the new character of Athene, though, and her last scene was fascinating.

In new animated films I saw the adorable Bolt. I loved the title character, Mittens, and Rhino, and the adventure and happy ending for all the characters was wonderful.

I also saw Exodus: Gods and Kings, and as I expected I couldn't help doing a compare and contrast to The Ten Commandments which has been one of my favorite movies since I was in preschool. On the good side I liked how the film portrayed Moses as more warrior and hot-tempered, and the sword's inclusion throughout was a nice touch, especially at the Red Sea scene. In both movies I love the elder Pharaoh's relationship with Moses and he was lovely here. Ramses had more of an edge than Yul Brynner's version, and yet a tenderness with his little son that brought tears to my eyes during the funeral scene. I appreciated the over-whelming feel of the plagues, and the larger scale of the swarms of insects and frogs. Zipporah was beautiful portrayed, with her and Moses's love a highlight of the film, and I adored Moses's scenes with his son. Joshua, despite much less screentime, was just as wonderful, and the actor's beautiful eyes were so expressive and fitting for the character. On the downside the film felt rushed, with not enough needed time spent on Moses's days at the palace, and the focus on war and violence sadly limited the character study which would have smoothed out the plot. It was a fine action movie, but not a powerful and inspiration epic like The Ten Commandments, and in the end I think a combination of the two would result in perfection.

I saw the trailer/spoof "Dr. Quinn Morphine Woman" and it was hilarious, spot on to the original show while poking fun at what it would be like today. I loved seeing nearly everyone again, however briefly, and Sully's horrible wig and hair flipping had me howling with laughter. His and Michaela's kiss, complete with over-dramatic Indian music and heartbeating and breathing, was an absolute treasure. The concept of Michaela as a druglord and the town as addicts was brilliant, and everyone was so perfectly in character I only wish it had been far longer. I also got to see a bit of the pilot California, which sadly never became a series. It was wonderful to see Hank get a chance to shine, and I adored his interactions with Zack. It was quite a sweet and touching episode, and I only wish it had been given a real chance.

I discovered the show The Legend Of William Tell by accident and watched the episode "The Tomb Of the Unknown Warrior". The series is unusual, with great world-building, and I love the clever twist on the original legend. The episode used one of my favorite tropes of body-swapping with a fascinating twist, of enemies exchanging bodies by accident, only to have one die, and the injured survivor on trial for killing himself. Dean O'Gorman was excellent at the role and I loved that it turned out so well.

I finally broke down and watched Dean O'Gorman's episodes of Xena Warrior Princess, and despite not being very fond of the show I really enjoyed "Athen's Academy Of the Performing Bards". He played Homer, and I loved the way the historical people were portrayed, as well as the old movie clips.

I've started watching Copper, a heart-breaking yet incredible series. I appreciate the often painfully accurate history, from the filth of Five Points to the past of little Annie, one of the most tragic characters I've seen on a tv show. I love how the show doesn't flinch from portraying difficult elements, and isn't afraid to make its characters morally complex. Corky is a fascinating, haunting character, and I love his friendship with Annie and how he treats her like his own daughter.

Season two of Resurrection is on now and it's even more jaw-dropping than season one, with twist upon twist against an intriguing story arc. The plot took a very different path than I'd expected but for the most part I'm glad. The concept of this being the second time the Returned came back and the storyline of the 1930s flashbacks and discovered bones are both chilling and fascinating, especially the "demon" story of episode four. Margaret is a disturbing character but I'm intrigued to see where her motives lie. I like seeing some character growth of Janine's part, as well as Fred, and it's lovely to see a bit more of Barbara, especially when she gets to share a scene with Maggie. On the reverse side I'm saddened by Marty betraying Maggie by reporting the bones as well as Lucille's troubling down-spiral and Jacob's oddly defiant behavior which seems so out of character for the sweet boy of last season. The mysterious virus is intriguing, sadly taking Marty's parents and my hope of their having a reunion, but thankfully sparing little Jenny, and Marty finally gets a scene with her. Janine's obsession with Rachael's baby, and apparent kidnapping of Rachael has me terrified, and I'm stunned by Tom's death. The finale was nicely done, even if so many questions were left unanswered - I'll forever be saddened the Government Lady's backstory wasn't explored and Tom never came back - it felt overall largely satisfying. Strangely enough I'm content with not knowing how and why the Returned came back, as across the series I've seen that the point was more focused on how they lived life to the fullest with their second chance. I was happy Rachael chose to stay, and her baby was precious - I'm presuming he's okay and Preacher James was just crazy - and I'm incredibly happy Marty got to keep Jenny. Best of all was Fred's character growth when he stops Henry from wanting to give up Rachael. Another happy treat was Marty and Maggie's relationship; I've shipped them from the start and I'm thrilled they ended up together.

Season two of The 100 is on now and it's not quite as amazing as last season, with so many changes. To my gratitude, Finn is alive, and still the light of the show. The twist of Mt. Weather and it's eerily welcoming people who may or may not be what they seem already has my attention, and as much as I'm saddened by how feral Clarke has been forced to become, I love that she seems to be the only one with any sense. Jasper, such a fun character at the start, only annoys me now, and I miss who he used to be. Monty, as usual is flawless and given far too little screentime since the show pushed Raven into his shoes. I still can't make myself care much about Raven, especially after her cruelty to Murphy. As much as he's a bad guy I've loved him since the start and I'm incredibly excited for the hope of a redemption arc for him. I love Lincoln and Octavia as characters but definitely not as a pairing, and I'm not fond of how their relationship keeps being pushed to the point that they're now going to his village rather than Octavia trying to find her brother and even care if he's alive. Kane's storyline is troubling so far, and he seems to have lost much of the growth of character he showed throughout season one. Bellamy's decency and changed personality have finally made me grow to like him, and I enjoy his friendship with Finn. Finn is breaking my heart, especially when he killed the Grounder, and I'm worried as to what will become of him. I finally made it to "Spacewalker" and in many ways the show is over for me. The Grounders were never innocent with all the kids they killed from the start - their first act is to spear Jasper - and I've wanted them wiped out since the beginning so I felt no pity for their village, only anger that they demand retaliation when they've done more and worse. But to actually kill Finn, the one bright spot of the show, by Clarke's hands was too cruel for words.

Season two of Atlantis has begun, and it's somewhat darker while still, thankfully, retaining some more light-hearted moments. Minos has sadly died; I grew to enjoy his character so I'll miss him, and Ariadne is now queen. Ariadne has never been one of my favorites, and more screentime for her does nothing to make me happier, and she seems worryingly willing to tip into darkness if necessary, even if her intentions toward Atlantis seem good. Jason and the Oracle's relationship remains my favorite on the show, and I'm already concerned by her warning that Jason will turn evil if he learns the truth about his mother. As sad as the vision makes me, I was thrilled to see confirmation, through the glimpse of the Argo, that Jason is THE Jason of mythology. "Telemon" returns to my favorite setting, the arena, with a fascinating story that raises more questions than answers regarding Ariadne's new suitor. "The Marriage of True Minds", the season's best so far, is beautiful and touching, featuring a gorgeous score and some much missed banter between the main trio. "The Day of the Dead", an odd, and somewhat plotless zombie fest, nevertheless features the first intriguing meeting between Jason and Medea, who seems to care in the scene where she heals Jason's leg, and yet ends by stabbing Ariadne.

Onto season ten of Supernatural and the demon!Dean storyline I've dreaded since last season. While I'm so grateful to see the writers have finally put Sam back in the character he used to be, and it's wonderful to see his determination to find and save Dean, I'm saddened by the disconnect between the characters. Dean isn't the scary demon I assumed he'd become but rather a strange, jerk version of himself, chasing women, getting into fights, and singing, and apart from his coldness toward Sam he seems more bitter than non human. Castiel and his steadily declining health has me terrified, even as I'm saddened at yet another season's storyline that distances him from the brothers. I miss Team Free Will together, and I've grown tired of the constant angels storyline, as Castiel is the only one of the angels I've ever enjoyed watching. "Reichenbach"'s revelation that some of Castiel's grace still exists makes me happy, yet I'm proud of Cas for refusing; he's come such a long way and learned so much. Demon!Dean is progressively spookier, and the final scene made me shudder. "Soul Survivor" was superb, and I'm so grateful to have caring!Sam, human!Dean, and healthy!Castiel back again, the way it should be. The twist that Sam forced a man to sell his soul to find Crowley and Dean was fascinating, and I'm intrigued to see if there will be further fallout. I'm also shocked by Crowley saving Castiel. "Ask Jeeves" is a delight, much like an early seasons' ghost hunting episode while still with a glimmer of worry regarding Dean and the Mark. "The Executioner's Song" was stunning, driving Dean closer to a dark ending, while showcasing Team Free Will, a recipe that always forms the best episodes. I teared up when Cain tells Dean he'll kill Cas and Sam, and cheered when Dean was strong enough to give up the blade to Castiel.

I gave a try to the new series Galavant, and despite a shaky pilot, fell in love with it in the second episode. It's hilarious, outrageous, and the characters, even the bad guys, are all loveable. I already ship Isabella and Galavant, and I can't wait to see what happens.

In other new shows I started watching the intriguing Eye Candy and I'm already hooked. The premise is interesting, the acting and emotions are excellent, and I can feel for the main character. I was incredibly sad they killed off Ben, though, since he was so sweet and I loved Lindy and he together. But I'm starting to love Tommy and even ship Lindy and he.

I also discovered the new series 12 Monkeys and I'm in love with it: a sci-fi show with an actual science basis, bound by laws that make sense for a refreshing change. Cole is a likeable and tragic protagonist, with shades of grey - I teared up during the scene where he says how much he wants forgiveness - and I already ship him with Cassandra. My favorite character, however, is Ramse, whose goodness shines through the dark future and friendship with Cole keeps me interested in learning about their pasts. I love the concept, too, and the jumping between time periods.
 
 
calliope tune: "You Belong To Me"-Duprees
feeling: discontent