nancy-ji97

IMDb member since October 2011
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    IMDb Member
    7 years

Reviews

The Walking Dead
(2010)

Not a completely terrible show, but it's about to become one.
I absolutely love action/adventure/drama TV shows. As a total 'Lost' nut, I was eager to watch 'The Walking Dead' as people have often compared it to Lost. And I won't lie--the first season or so is really not bad. I wouldn't say I was addicted, though. Unlike some other shows, I was absolutely desperate to watch it when the next episode would come out--however, for TWD, I feel like I had to sort of talk myself into watching it every week.

The biggest things that drag this incredibly overrated TV show down is the horrible writing, mediocre acting and incredibly uneventful storyline. Each character has about one trait and character development is pretty much completely absent. 10% of this show is made up of important plot points, enthralling action and interesting events. However, 90% of it is simply standing around having boring conversations that don't result in anything, going out on an 'excursion' with a small group that is dragged out unnecessarily long (and almost always results in the car getting stuck or something), badly written melodrama and repetitive zombie killing (it used to be fun, but nowadays the zombie scenes are just boring as hell). It's really not a good thing when you don't know a thing about the show's protagonist, Rick. All I know is that he used to be a sheriff. Literally nothing else. Pair that up with an incredibly annoying and pointless son, Carl, and a bunch of mismatched characters that have no chemistry whatsoever.

It's supposed to be a zombie show but the zombies don't even pose a danger to anyone or anything. They're just kind of...there. Half the time, our characters simply walk past the zombies without doing anything to them.

The things that keep the show above the water is the absolutely incredible production and a very small handful of characters (when I say 'handful', I mean about three. There are too many characters. Too many characters is not necessarily a bad thing at all--'Lost' had at least 40 main characters but each one of them aided the storyline in pivotal roles. In The Walking Dead--not so much) that are actually interesting. Instead, the majority of them literally sit around. I'm not even kidding. The only interesting characters are Glenn, Daryl and The Governor, who is a crazy villain who will be killed off soon--so, that leaves two interesting characters.

Each season seems to be progressively going downhill (they've been stuck in the same prison setting for over a season and it's getting really boring) and nothing ever shocking happens. The show can be saved, however--there's a lot of great potential for something amazing to happen but I'm guessing it'll never happen. I can understand why people love it, though. I suppose it's one of those shows that you either love the hell out of, or pretty much despise and right now, I'm leaning towards the latter.

We Need to Talk About Kevin
(2011)

Chilling, shocking and beautifully shot.
Just the first shot of the entire film made me shudder. Red everywhere, a huge crowd of shirtless people all shouting--until you realise that it's simply a tomato festival of sorts. And then we see Eva Katchudorian (Tilda Swinton) crowd surfing, smiling and in total bliss.

That was all before when Kevin came along.

Lynne Ramsay's 'We Need To Talk About Kevin', based on the novel by Lionel Shriver, is bold and daring. Not only do most people shiver at the thought of having a sixteen year old murderer as a son, but this film just takes it to a whole new level, as we begin to doubt Kevin (Ezra Miller) and his motives the second he arrives on screen. Told in flashbacks and mostly through Eva's thoughts, we get a glimpse into her past, happy life, her painful years as a mother to a young Kevin and finally when she's going through emotional breakdown after finding out what her son has done.

The strange thing about this film is that Eva and her husband, Frank (John C. Reilly) never actually have a serious, full discussion about Kevin. Frank is lying to himself without knowing it, trying to convince himself that his family is normal and happy. Even when Kevin comes along with a large amount of bicycle locks, Frank doesn't doubt him one bit--but we do, and the thing Kevin uses the locks for just makes us close our eyes and grimace.

The whole film ties up together neatly with string at the end but nevertheless left me in shock. I stared at the screen as the credits rolled, not quite sure what to think. The acting in this, even from the relatively unknown Ezra Miller all give fantastic performances and the direction is just wonderful. Every shot has its colour scheme, its own story and its own theme.

Definitely one of the most underrated films of the year.

Alcatraz
(2012)

Predictable but nevertheless enjoyable.
It's a typical "one prisoner a week, captured or killed by the end of each episode", like most other crime shows. The three leads don't have memorable performances by a long shot (in fact they're quite mediocre) but every episode ends on an unfinished note, just forcing you to watch it again the next week, making you hooked--and in a good way.

Produced by J.J. Abrahms' Bad Robot Productions, 'Alcatraz' falls short of other great shows by the same producers, such as 'Lost' and 'Fringe', two cult TV shows. Not to say they don't emit the same sort of vibe. The whole premise of the show is that in 1963, all the Alcatraz prisoners and guards mysteriously disappeared one night and all reappeared in modern-day San Francisco, not having aged one bit. And of course, it's up to three detectives, Rebecca Madsen (Sarah Jones), Doc Soto (Jorge Garcia) and Emerson Hauser (Sam Neill) to find and recapture them all.

There are some interesting backstories with the three characters that have great potential but aren't developed too well. Madsen's grandfather was an inmate who recently "killed my parter!!", Soto is (very conveniently) the most well-read person about Alcatraz to ever live and Hauser himself was a guard at Alcatraz all those years ago. Neill is probably the most interesting out of them all and even he isn't that interesting. Garcia seems to be nothing except "awkward comic book guy" and don't even get me started on Sarah Jones. She's boring, has no character and is just a female, more kick-ass version of Sherlock Holmes (though no way as cool).

Undoubtedly, the series depends on the frequent flashbacks of Alcatraz during the 1960s. These scenes are exciting, well-shot and reveal many plot twists, notably the character of Lucy Banerjee/Lucy Sengupta (Parminder Nagra), who exists both in 1960 and 2012. Other characters who are only seen in flashbacks are Warden Edwin James (John Coyne) and Deputy Warden E.B. Tiller (Jason Butler Harner). The two actors provide chilling performances which I hope will be developed further.

Like other Bad Robot productions, the show might take a little time to get started and really delve into the action. We just need to give it a little more time.

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