Upcoming Stuff

Way to fuck me over, Nickelodeon.

Looking for my latest Gotham review? Soon, I promise, but I need to get some blog dealings out of the way first.

Yes, I know how odd it is to pump out another post on blog news so soon after the last one but I feel I need to address the following matters:

  1. I know I said I would review the new Denzel Washington movie, and believe me, I want to, but I didn’t get a chance to go this weekend, as I was too busy having the time of m life at Comic-Con. I may do a post about that. Probably not. Anyways, if I do review The Equalizer, it will be this weekend, and if not then , maybe later this month.
  2. I still plan to see Gone Girl this coming Friday, because holy shit, how could I not!?
  3. With Nickelodeon deciding to spontaneously release the final season of Legend of Korra online on the 3rd, I need to reserve time to catch up, which unfortunately means that my limited coverage of the baseball playoffs will be pushed back until at least the beginning of the Division Series. I may still do short postgame reactions, though.
  4. TV reviews of shows like Gotham, Legend of Korra and The Flash will still take place on the day after they were released. You know, unless something comes up.

Fingers crossed…

That’s all for now! I’ll be back later tonight with the latest review of the second episode Gotham: “Selina Kyle.

In which Selina Kyle has little screen time and refuses to go by the name “Selina Kyle”. This show confuses me.

 

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Gotham: Episode 1- Pilot (TV Review) SPOILERS AHEAD!!!

Selina Kyle: Apparently, the all-seeing eye of Gotham City. Who’da thunk it?

SPOILERS AHEAD!!!

SPOILERS AHEAD!!!

SPOILERS AHEAD!!!

 If you had told me one year ago that Fox was panning to release a TV crime drama set in Gotham City, I would have been completely overjoyed. I’ve always kinda thought that transitioning to TV might be a better idea for those grittier, more down-to-earth superheroes that don’t necessarily have the flashy godlike powers (Smallville notwithstanding). And as much as I don’t hate the idea of Ben Affleck donning the cape and cowl (Even if the rest of the DC cinematic universe is starting to look like a giant clusterfuck) I would love to see a Batman TV show.

Take away Batman from the equation though, and I would’ve been less than enthused.

Indeed, Gotham chooses to focus not on Bruce Wayne (Played by child actor David Mazouz) and his transformation into everyone’s favourite rich nutjob, but on the exploits of Detective James Gordon (Ben McKenzie, former star of The O.C. and, actually a former Batman voice actor. He voiced the Dark Knight in the animated movie, Batman: Year One)  and his troubled partner, Harvey Bullock (Irish-Canadian actor Donal Logue). How did the pilot episode of this risky venture prove?

Absolutely brilliant is how it turned out.

Don’t get me wrong though, Gotham has problems, and I’ll get them out of the way first so I can gush later. My only real qualms with the movie have to do with the characters, not that the actors are to blame. I think they all do very great jobs, especially newcomer Robin Lord-Taylor as Oswald Cobblepot, Jada Pinkett-Smith as original villain Fish Mooney, Cory Michael Smith’s brief cameo as Edward Nygma and the two leads, McKenzie and Logue. Problem is, the show seems a bit over-preoccupied with stuffing as many villains into it as possible in order to give super-nerds like me a hard-on. I guess it kind of makes sense this one time, given that it was the pilot episode, and they had to stuff in as much fan service as possible in order to convince Fox that they could attract an audience. In that respect, it makes sense, but I hope that they can segway into villain introductions a little better than their introduction of the man who will eventually grow up to be a Tim Burton- directed abomination.

SCENE: A group of thugs are viciously beating up on a fellow criminal. The most violent aggressor is a younger man, brandishing an umbrella while wearing a tuxedo

ANONYMOUS THUG:  Take it easy (Practically turns to audience) Penguin! (Practically winks at the goddamn audience)

PENGUIN: Don’t call me that!!!

Huh, they took lessons from the James Cameron school of subtlety, I see.

Also, I love how Detectives Montoya and Allen go ahead and take Cobblepot at his word when he tells them that Gordon and Bullock framed and murdered Mario Pepper, and immediately report their suspicions to Barbara and threaten Gordon without a shred of evidence. I thought these guys were supposed to be real hotshots. What the hell?

Overall, though, my favourite thing about the show is that it feels like a comic book set in Gotham City ,especially something like Batman: Year One (Again, minus Batman). It has a very dark atmosphere, and doesn’t hesitate to bust out the blood (Unlike the great Tim Burton and Christopher Nolan movies, who had to maintain a PG rating). The scene where Bruce’s parents are murdered (Spoiler alert, in case you’ve been living under a rock) is as emotionally  resonant as it’s ever been, the writing is, while not exactly Shakespeare, very fitting to the tone, and really, I can’t wait for the next episode.

Episode Rating: 4/5

Holy fuck, was that the Joker!?!?

The Maze Runner (Movie Review)

So…Whose bright idea was it to send up a lone girl into a primitive society of young men, some of whom haven’t seen a woman in three years? Seems like something that probably should have been thought out better.

It’s kind of a rough time for the young adult sci-fi/fantasy book adaptation film genre these days. Since the Harry Potter series ended its reign as the dominant force in teen movies (And the highest grossing film franchise, period), the only  books that have really gotten both critical and commercial success through adaptations have been The Hunger Games and its sequel, Catching Fire.  Otherwise, though, it’s mostly been movies that have gotten critical success even if they sucked from a technical level (the Twilight series, the brand-spanking-new Divergent series) or movies that have downright sucked from both a critical and financial perspective.

“Vampires, shitty humour, and an annoyingly grating protagonist that is obviously ripping off Ellen Page as Juno? How could this possibly go wrong?!”- The Weinstein Company, apparently.

The latest development in Hollywood’s hopeless churning out of these movies is The Maze Runner, based on a popular book by James Dashner, and judging by the trailer, it looked a little bit more promising than some of the other dreck. The cast looked good, the atmosphere looked very gritty, the special effects looked fabulous, and it had a notable absence of fantastic beasts for emotionless teenage girls to fall in love with. In fact, there was no real romance at all!

So, do we have another young adult classic on our hands?

Nah.

The Maze Runner

Directed by: Wes Ball

Produced by: Ellen Goldsmith-Vein, Wyck Godfrey, Marty Bowen, Lee Stollman

Screenplay by: Noah Oppenheim, Grant Pierce Myers, T.S. Nowlin

Based on: The Maze Runner by James Dashner

Genres: Thriller, science fiction, action

Starring: Dylan O’Brien, Aml Ameen, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Ki-hong Lee, Will Poulter, Blake Cooper, Kaya Scodelario

Music by: John Paesano

 

 

Plot: Our protagonist, Thomas (Dylan O’Brien) wakes up in a creaky elevator with no recollection of who he is, and with no EZ-Listening music to comfort him on the distressing lift. How rude of the people who put him there!…. Whoever they may be. Yes, in addition to not remembering a damn thing about his own backstory, Thomas also cannot remember why he is in the elevator or who put him there.

Yes, yes, I thought so too at first, but give it a minute, it’s less creepy than that.

The elevator ride eventually comes to an end, and he is helped out of it by a group of other boys and young men, who also came out of the same elevator shaft as much as three years ago. These boys, led by Alby (Aml Ameen), live in a peaceful wooded area known to them as the Glade, where they have formed a Lord of the Flies-sque society, except without the infighting and murder (So yeah, not really like Lord of the Flies, I guess).  The glade is surrounded by an enormous wall, much too high to climb over, There is an opening, but unfortunately, it leads right into an enormous maze, which appointed runners, led by Minho (Ki-hong Lee) try to map in order to maybe escape from wherever the hell they are. Unfortunately, if the runners happen to be caught outside at night, as there are giant scorpion monsters known as Grievers that murder anything that steps foot in the maze.

Thomas is very anxious to figure out what the hell lies beyond the wall, which causes some tension between him and Gally (Will Poulter), one of the older kids. Things are even further complicated when a girl named Teresa (Kaya Scodelario), the first girl ever is sent up by the boys’ captors. Despite the fact that it takes a whole day for the boys to actually remember their names after they’re brought up from the elevator, Teresa remembers her name right after she wakes up. Why? Fuck if I know.

See, this movie kind of reminds me of Lost, in that the premise is very interesting and it builds up very nicely, but the payoff is very disappointing. I guess it hurt more in Lost, if only because six years led up to mostly bullshit, but this movie’s ending is also pretty shitty. I’m fine with cliffhanger endings, but come on! Off the top of my head, I can think of the following questions that the movie left unanswered (Spoilers Ahead):

  1. Like I said, how did Teresa remember her name so soon after her arrival? And why were there no girls before her?
  2. Why does Griever poison bring back memories of life before the Glade for the boys?
  3. Why did the scientists need to fake their own deaths?
  4. Why is Chuck so much younger than the others?
  5. Why are Thomas and Teresa the favourites of WCKD? And if they were the favourites, why  did they get sent up to live amongst the other gladers?

Spoilers End

So, yeah, as you might be able to tell, this movie has some pretty damn serious problems. That said, I like it quite a bit more than I thought I would. In fact, I’d go so far as to say I almost loved it! Why is that? Well, apart from the great action and the good special effects in the maze scenes (Even if some of them were very obviously CG) I really, really liked the characters. The lead is played by Dylan O’Brien (Of Teen Wolf fame. The MTV show, not the Michael J. Fox movie), and he’s likable enough. The character of Thomas doesn’t, admittedly, distinguish himself from many other movie heroes (Brave, curious, sense of humour, big fucking whoop)but he’s likable enough, he’s charismatic, and he’s a nice enough vessel for the audience to experience the movie through. It doesn’t hurt that O’Brien is actually a good actor, either.

The supporting cast is really good too, when you consider that it’s mostly a cast of young actors, who can really be hit or miss. Thomas Brodie-Sangster plays Newt and, while it was a little hard for me to look at him and not think “Oh, hey it’s that kid from the worst storyline in Game of Thrones” he does a really, really good job.

He’s also the voice of Ferb. The more you know.

Will Poulter is good as Gally too, and succeeds at making him a very likable character, who has his relatively safe, familiar world destroyed by change and opposing ideals and simply can’t bring himself to adapt as well as the others. Hell, I even like the little kid who plated Chuck (Blake Cooper), and I never like little kids!

Unless they’re murderous, costumed vigilantes, then they’re cool. Oh hey, Deadpool!!!

Kaya Scodelario (Teresa) also turns in a fine performance (Which is good, because her resemblance to Kristen Stewart was causing me irrational fear) even if she doesn’t really do all that much after she sets off a sequence of events, but meh. I’m just happy they didn’t give her a forced love story with Thomas. I guess there’ll be tie for that in the sequels though. Oh, joy.

One last thing I’d like to point out about this movie is that it is dark. Like, super dark. I know that Hunger Games isn’t exactly a damn Care Bears cartoon, and the last few Harry Potter movies made me cry like a pussy, but…You know what, watch the movie until the end. You’ll see what I mean.

Overall: If you’re expecting the next Hunger Games….Don’t. But hey, if you really need to get out to the movie theatre after a dreadful month of August (Guardians of the Galaxy notwithstanding), or if you’re a fan of the genre, you could do a whole lot worse than The Maze Runner.

Rating: 7/10

I’m not crazy, right? Does she look like Kristen Stewart to anybody else?

Upcoming TV Reviews

Huh. Look at that. They misspelt “Pamela Isley”.

I’ve really done a whole crapload of movie reviews lately, and truthfully, I ain’t gonna stop, as I’m having way too much fun with them. In fact. I’ll probably end up reviewing even more movies at some point in the near future. There’s something about bitching about visual media that just gives me a warm, fuzzy feeling inside.

However, there aren’t exactly much must-see movies coming out in the fall, and that worries me, as I need something to do when I’m not at school, working or imbibing large quantities of illicit substances.

Thankfully, my family is stuck in a black hole of a cable deal with Shaw Cable, so as of late September, I will start reviewing TV shows and possibly live-blogging events such as the Oscars. The following is a shortlist of shows I plan to review in the near future.

  • Gotham (Premieres September 22, 2014)
  • Major League Baseball Playoffs (Begin some time in late September)
  • The Flash (Premieres October 7, 2014)
  • Game of Thrones (Season 5 premieres in 2015)
  • Legend of Korra (Season 4 premiere TBA when Nickelodeon gets its shit together)

If anybody has any more suggestions on shows or events I should review, then feel free to let me know. As of know, these are the things I have planned for sure.

 

 

Coming Soon to PKTM…

Whoever got the brilliant idea to start running back-to-school ads in July should be quietly executed.

Holy crap, so much for one hundred posts this year, huh?

In my defense, I’ve been kind of busy this past week what with starting my senior year of high school and working late for the last few days. And even worse, I don’t have a topic to rant about (At least, not one that hasn’t been rendered irrelevant thanks to procrastination on my part), or a movie on tap to review (Thanks to the fact that no interesting movies are coming out for a while).  However, far be from me to let some crappy education get in the way of my bitching about unimportant things. Here are some things coming up here at PKTM that I hopefully will not chicken out on actually writing (This is what is known as a “filler post”).

Movie Reviews: The most prominent feature of this blog isn’t going away any time, and, in fact is probably gonna get even more prominent now that I’ve discovered that public transportation is not merely a way for the mentally unstable to get from place to place. Fun fact: It’s also an effective way to get to movie theatres. Who knew, right?

I plan to do a lot more reviews for new movies, seeing them the Friday that they come out (And hopefully getting them out some time during the following weekend) or, failing that, as soon as I possibly can (Unless they’re horror movies, because 95% of horror movies suck). Some movie reviews that y’all should look forward to soon include (But do not exclude):

  • The Maze Runner
  • The Equalizer
  • Gone Girl
  • The Judge
  • Fury
  • The Book of Life
  • Fuckin’ Birdman!!!
  • Laggies
  • Interstellar
  • Big Hero 6 (If I can get into a showing devoid of small children)
  • Foxcatcher
  • The Hunger Games: Mockingjay -Part 1

So yeah, I’ll probably get around to seeing those movies (Unless circumstances prevent me), and I’ll do previously released movies as well, but maybe not as frequently as before (Which wasn’t that frequent to begin with). Also, as was the case before, I’ll be reviewing any movies nominated for Oscars or Golden Raspberries. Hopefully, I won’t end up two movies short again this year.

Hey man, you try figuring out what the hell to take away from The Great Beauty.

Other Movie Stuff: Ever wondered who would win in a fight to the death between the great Quentin Tarantino villains? No? Not even a little bit? Well, screw you guys, I want to figure that out.

Also, with a bizarre Dynasty Warriors/Legend of Zelda crossover coming out later this month, I ponder how one could adapt the video game phenomenon that is The Legend of Zelda to the big screen. If it should  be adapted at all, I mean.

And, with Disney following up the all-conquering juggernaut of a movie that was Frozen with Big Hero 6 in November, I count down the Top 15 animated films of the 21st century. Hopefully, I get around to finishing that.

An Introduction to Canada: I really hope to get back on this, because I really had fun doing the articles on geography, which is coincidentally the most fun I’ve ever had with anything geography related in my life.

Instinctive Rants: Poorly thought out, rushed and usually overly vulgar. God, I love ’em.

TV Reviews: More on this later, but long story short, I’m going to be reviewing TV shows (And the MLB playoffs, because why the hell not?) starting with Gotham later this month. Stay tuned, people.