Mystery

Dark Places Review

Dark Places is a film about people dealing with hard times and loss. It has an exceptional story to tell but somewhere along the way it finds it hard to showcase everything it has to offer, and focuses on the investigation side of things, instead of the more interesting emotional aspect of its characters.

Charlize Theron gives a very good performance, equal to her character’s multi-layered personality and she really manages to bring through her characteristics and feelings.  She makes the script work for her and she is committed to make the best out of what she is given to work with.  There are a lot of memorable cast members doing a great job, but the characters they portray feel more like supporting peons in a movie that should have been more about them and their place in it.

The direction of the film, doesn’t do the story by Gillian Flynn justice, now that’s probably down to the director Gilles Paquet-Brenner, he himself adapted the book and wrote the screenplay so he is probably the one guy to blame for bringing the quality of the movie down and stopping it from being something more than just a decent watch.

It’s rushed and it’s sloppy, however it is still a very interesting story that is told.

6.5/10

Wayward Pines Season 1 Review

The show began with a very cryptic tone, without giving much information in the first couple of episodes.  At about halfway through the season, it had been made clear to the audience what was really happening and most of the mysteries had unraveled.  And that’s good, they didn’t rely on the mystery aspect to make it interesting, they rather took the risk to explore different, more interesting themes and got their rewards for that willingness to not follow the same pattern.

The show had a great story to tell, combine that with solid acting and script throughout, with the distinction of Matt Dillon and Melissa Leo, who were both outstanding, and great production all around, they achieved a season of good quality and entertainment value.  One of the things that was really great to see continuously during the show was that Wayward Pines the town, always looked a bit fake and had a bit of a model look to it and I thought that was great touch, as it is a big part of the show and was vital in creating the right emotions.

At times the show did become frustrating, as some characters’ actions seemed a bit unrealistic and out of place, but I guess that is bound to happen in a town like Wayward Pines.  The scope and direction of the plot kept changing and diverting, with different story arcs and without ever really giving the viewer a chance to settle and predict what is going to happen with certainty.

The finale was probably the best part of the show, a very good place to end either the season or the series as a whole.  I definitely wasn’t expecting it to end with that Planet of the Apes-esque ending, which really gives you something to think about.

Started on a high and ended on a high. Peaked at the right moments

8/10

Contemporary Sherlock Holmes part 2

If you haven’t read part 1, go ahead and do that, before you got through this one.

This time, we look at the theme of each of the three interpretations and how each of them was executed.

Firstly in Guy Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes, the English director leaves his mark on both movies, making it look modern as far as tone and texture are concerned, despite of it set a long time ago.  The idea of Sherlock predicting the fight scenes and telling to us what will happen and then acting upon that, is one of the most unique features of the film, and it’s the one of the most entertaining for the viewer, differentiating it from what we are used to.  The fact that they changed it up in the second movie, enhances its effect, especially in the final fight sequence in “A Game of Shadows”.  Moreover the score is composed by the stupendous Hans Zimmer, who again encapsulates the essence of the story with his music.

In BBC’s Sherlock, the story is set in present London, instead of the late 18th century that it originally takes place in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s books.   However that doesn’t stop the creators, to base a lot of the episodes on books by altering them in order to suit the modern backdrop.  On the other hand some episodes are completely made up and still carry the same weight and quality.  Moreover one of the best aspects of the show is looking through the eyes and mind of Sherlock as he deducts through crime scenes or even when showing off.  We follow him closely whilst he reads people, situations and even in his mind palace, getting as close as we’ve ever been to the brilliant consulting detective.

Finally in Elementary, they take a more common route to put Holmes in the mix, it’s set in New York where Sherlock is a recovering drug addict and currently consulting for the NYPD.  Watson is a female character and the show assume that the audience will take a leap of faith and accept that she has the talent to become a detective overnight with Sherlock’s guidance.  The procedural cop theme and the 24 episodes a season, of which most are filler episodes with simple murder cases, don’t help.  Nevertheless some great story arcs, a very emotional and unstable Sherlock Holmes make it worthwhile.  Changing up what we’ve come to know about the characters that surround Sherlock is brave and a very common occurrence in the show, with a plethora of examples like: Watson, Lestrade, Mycroft and especially Irene Adler and Moriarty; something that manages to distinguish the show from its counterparts.

All and all, these are three great interpretations of the famous Sherlock Holmes and all more than rewarding for the fans, but Elementary has to settle for third place, as the other two fight for the throne.

Wayward Pines-Ep. 2 Review

Building up on the blocks set in place from the first episode, this time we are thrown in the deeper ends of Wayward Pines driven by the sound of Matt Dillon’s deep and authoritative voice which adds a more enigmatic touch to an already dark backdrop. We get to see more of the unpredictable citizens of the town and more from the creepy sheriff portrayed impeccably by Terrence Howard.

The more we get to see the more interesting it gets, everyone is covered by questions marks, we keep hearing and seeing more of what this god forbidden town is about but we still don’t know what anyone is capable of and how far they will go.

Another episode that keeps the suspense going throughout. Even though most of the major mystery surrounding the city and unknown is gone by the end, there are still a lot of unanswered questions and probably a lot more will arise. You just get the feeling that the intensity will be present during the whole season and that is more than enough to keep watching, unless something goes completely awry.

With both episodes that have been out, Wayward Pines cannot be taken lightly, it’s so thrilling and intriguing that we just have to see what’s going to happen next.

8/10

Gone Girl-Review

Directed by the master of suspenseful thrillers, David Fincher once again pushes the story to the boundaries, while maintaining the highest possible level of character development in a movie he manages to keep the audience on the edge of their sit with his ability to shock and surprise.  Fincher didn’t make everything happen on his own of course, he was given a great story by Gillian Flynn who wrote both novel and screenplay, and he manages to use the emotion and atmosphere that is depicted in the story and paint clear pictures through filmmaking that mirror reality.  He expertly executes his vision of the narrative and comes out with a stunning result that leaves viewers with agape mouths.

Moreover in addition to Fincher’s masterclass, Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross provide the best possible music score, a disturbingly haunting composition which complements the film’s theme to the maximum and enhances the tension in every scene.

Rosamund Pike gives a fascinating performance that is part of the reason why by the end of the movie everyone is left in awe, along with Ben Affleck’s honest and underrated performance and a great effort by the whole cast bring this complex story to life.

The movie takes us on a thrilling ride, benefiting from Fincher’s genius and ability to take us into the deeper ends of the story challenging us to follow it as it unravels.  It allows the viewer to grasp the journey to its fullest, to understand the characters and their actions and maybe even relate, to some degree at least.

A must watch, David Fincher piece of art

8.5/10

Wayward Pines Ep. 1 Review

First word that comes to mind after watching the first episode is Mystery.  Such an Intriguing story, with peculiar events happening that by the end of the episode as you might have already guessed, it will leave you wanting for more.  It’s just so perplexing at times and enigmatic, we don’t get a straight answer.

Matt Dillon got me on the edge of my sit half way through the episode and I remained there until the end.  He portrays Ethan Burke, a Secret Service agent with a few mental issues, and he gives me the chills every time he gets agitated about something.  His voice pierces right through me every time and Dillon’s interpretation of the character makes the story so much more cryptic, it’s like everything is trying to keep us away from the truth.  Can’t talk about the other actors because that would be a bit of a minor spoiler for the nit-picky, so let me just say, they are great.

Something tells me this is one to watch, it’s going to be a very interesting story to say the least and it’s surely going to be provide us with an enthralling watch.  Hopefully I am not wrong on this one, I am putting my neck on the line after all.

Try not to break your mind watching it.

8/10