Sunday, August 11, 2013

Breaking Bad - "Blood Money" review

I don't want to speak out of turn, especially given that there are still seven episodes left in the series, but never have I witnessed a show that has been so consistently fantastic from the word go all the way through the last handful of episodes, and "Blood Money" has certainly done nothing to fight against that thought.

And there were certainly a lot of incredible scenes in tonight's season premiere but the standout performance has to be Dean Norris' Hank Schrader. The emotions that his character were clearly going through immediately following the revelation that Walt may in fact be the Heisenberg he has so painstakingly pursued were heartbreaking. There was heartbreak at the betrayal. Frustration that he didn't see it. And all told, a desire to make sure that this new evidence he stumbled across was in fact conclusive. Lesser men would have just dropped what they were doing and gone after him. But not Hank. From the handwriting comparison to the GPS tracking, he was covering all his bases. So when the confrontation finally went down, there was no question in his mind.

And credit must be given to the continuity of this series because while the phone call at the RV was certainly a huge plot point in an episode three seasons ago, it was three seasons ago. Plenty of shows would not have called back that moment, despite it being an important emotional benchmark in the character's history. It's small moments like that one which truly show the greatness in this series.

But to bring things back to our protagonist, as many expected, the cancer is back. And sometime in the next eight episodes, next door neighbor Carol is going to go from friendly gardener to terrified orange spilling shopper. Because in this not too distant future, Walt's home is boarded up, fenced up, pool emptied (giving local teenagers the opportunity to make their own miniature skate park), and his wall inside is spray painted with the word "HEISENBERG". This almost completely dialog free sequence takes place shortly after he picked up his machine gun in the season five premiere and obviously there are a lot of loose ends that need cleaning up given that his purpose here was to retrieve the ricin that he so conveniently put behind a wall outlet.

Oddly, I found myself rooting for Walt most of the episode. I wanted him to get his life back on track. I knew that wasn't going to happen, but I thought it was possible he turned a new leaf upon the reemergence of his cancer. After his meeting with Jesse, and then his final words to Hank, it's clear that the new leaf isn't quite what I hoped it would be. And he's pretty much the same old Walt, which is unfortunate, but consistent. And I cannot wait to find out how things get to that point. Flash fowards can be really tricky, but knowing that the answers are coming some time in the next two months make it easier to swallow and only seems to up my anticipation. I only hope that Vince Gilligan and company make it worth my while, but I have no reason to believe they won't.

The only real issue I have with the episode is Jesse. While I absolutely loved Badger and Skinny Pete going on about the transporter on Star Trek (a conversation I've had with people as well in regards to teleportation technology, so thank you for taking it mainstream Breaking Bad) as well as Badger's five minute description of his fan fiction awful episode of the original series Trek, Jesse's presence in this episode was frustrating. I get why he feels the way he does, and his desire to make things right, but I feel like we've seen catatonic Jesse before, and I want to see a little more energy out of him. That's not to take away from Aaron Paul's performance in the slightest. He was clearly giving it his all and it was nothing short of award-winning, but the situation he is in right now is just not that compelling to me. This is such a minor complaint though that I almost hesitate to make it because the rest of the episode was so fantastic.

There are only seven hours of the show left. Before October we'll have all the answers we've been waiting for. And while Walt seems destined for death as a result of his cancer returning, there's a whole hell of a lot that is obviously going to happen between now and then. Seeing that Lydia and Todd are now regular cast members, they still have major parts to play. And Lydia doesn't seem like the type of person to go down without a fight. Sure, she'll hire someone else to do the fighting for her, but she's not taking Walt's decision to quit the business lightly. And good on Skyler for helping push Lydia out the door.

Seven episodes left and I can't wait to see what goes down. A great start to this new season.


Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Bruce Willis out of Expendables 3 and Harrison Ford in to help raise the average age of actors

In news that's not exactly lighting the world on fire (unless you're reading this in 1988 in which case this is HUGE. Also, welcome to the internet, my time traveling friend), Stallone has announced via tweet that Bruce Willis is exiting the Expendables 3 and Harrison Ford is joining up. Not all that surprisingly for those who saw the YouTube video of Willis just losing it on a random junket journalist (or seen any of Willis' movies for the last ten years), Stallone alluded that Willis is being greedy and lazy which probably caused his departure.

The Expendables 2 was a pretty solid if completely ridiculous improvement over the mediocre first installment, so hopefully the third will continue the trend. But I don't know how much mileage they can continue to pull from this premise. It's scheduled for release in August 2014.

Rupert Wyatt frontrunner to direct Star Trek 3? No real news leads to headlines with question marks?

In news that's bound to make some subsection of Trek fans angry (because there's always a legion of angry Trek fans somewhere), Collider is reporting that Rupert Wyatt is the front runner to replace J.J. Abrams as the director of Star Trek 3. And it was announced yesterday that Alex Kurtzman and Bob Orci are on board to write the screenplay as they did for the first two.

This is actually all positive news in my opinion. I'm hoping that Kurtzman and Orci are able to come up with something fresh for this outing, as fan reaction was leaning negative on Into Darkness. I for one really liked it when I saw it, but it's lost a little bit of luster for me since it left theaters. Just hasn't resonated with me like the first one did.

Wyatt showed himself a solid director after Rise of the Planet of the Apes and is leaps and bounds above the rumored Jon M. Chu that was mentioned yesterday. I'm a big fan of Abrams, but I get why people don't like him and it makes sense. Hopefully having a little more conventional of a director will continue this franchise in a positive way.

Of course, none of this is even close to confirmed, with the exception of the screenwriters being locked in, so who knows what will end up happening.

Star Trek 3 is rumored for release for the 50th anniversary of Star Trek in 2016.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Sherlock Season 3 Teaser Trailer - Yes, please.

Well, nothing in this gives anything away from the new season other than the fact that Watson now has a sweet 'stache, but just the fact that they're beginning to promote what is one of the best series of all time is news enough for me. So watch it once. Or 100 times. Whatever. Don't worry about it. Just let it engulf your eyeballs.

Although it does make me wonder if The Hobbit would have been better had Bilbo grown a sweet mustache like that. Oh well, maybe in the prequel to the prequel.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Updates inbound! Podcasts, Reviews, and Recaps!

So this site has been pretty much slowly dripping out updates over the last several months, and that's simply unacceptable. Coming in the not too distant future, I plan on updating at least once a day with some sort of news. I'm one guy who just really likes this stuff and unfortunately life has been getting in the way of updates. But I do have some big plans on the horizon.

Here's an outline of what to expect over the coming weeks:
1) A weekly podcast that goes over the big movie news over the last week, thoughts on some popular TV shows, and maybe even some gaming news. I'll also be editorializing from time to time, hopefully with some guests who will be able to join me.

2) Weekly "Breaking Bad" reviews. With "Breaking Bad" starting up in two weeks, and with the potential for it to end up as the greatest television show of all time, I want to get up some reviews within an hour of the end of the show. Because who would you rather hear from than some random guy in Michigan on what he thinks of the final eight episodes? Nobody.

3) I anticipate doing some "Marvel's Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D." recaps once that starts up. If you've browsed the handful of posts I've done over the last couple years, you can see a heavy comic book slant. But then again, I might not. Putting periods in between each letter of S.H.I.E.L.D. might not be worth it. Seriously. Come up with a better way for that, Marvel.

4) More movie reviews. Of course, I missed the big summer season when most of the reviews were most relevant but whatever. You all want to see reviews of the crap they release in September, don't you? And I know I certainly want to pay for them. So everybody wins! But in actuality, when there are movies I see that are worth reviewing, both positively or negatively, I'll try to get them up here.

5) An actual website. I'm eventually going to move over to That address does lead to this page right now, but the site I registered with puts a huge distracting banner at the bottom because I didn't pay for the upgraded package. Jerks.

All in all, I really hope there are going to be some changes for the better coming up soon. Feel free to contact me if you have any suggestions, or post in the comments section!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Man of Steel Review

There's something inherently fun about Superman, and despite quite a few people dismissing him because of the extent of his power, I have always found him to be incredibly interesting. That's why I've always considered him to be my second favorite superhero behind Spider-Man when people inevitably force me to rank them. Yet, although the early movies are excellent in their own right, they are clearly products of their time and never make it seem like it's awesome to be Superman. And Man of Steel definitely remedies that with ease. But whether or not I consider Man of Steel to be the best Superman movie ever is an argument that I continue to have in my head over 12 hours after leaving the theater. Hit the jump to read my review.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Steven Spielberg involved in Halo: The Television Series - Yes, this is apparently a real thing

So the new Xbox One event is wrapping up right now, but the most relevant information to this blog is the fact that Steven Spielberg is going to be involved in some capacity (probably just as an Executive Producer, I can't see him directing something like this).

This is a completely out of left field announcement that reminds me of the partnership Microsoft had with Peter Jackson from several years ago that ended up with...nothing. Although something tells me that they have it a lot more figured out, especially with an entire development studio that's devoted to nothing but Halo stuff.

There really aren't a whole lot of details available right now, but expect to hear more very soon. I just really hope that they tap the areas of Halo lore that are rife for romantic comedy. If there's one thing Halo is missing, it's hilarious mixups between an Elite who falls in love with an ODST Marine.