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Lost: The Shape of Things to Come (2008)
Action Packed Albeit Confusing
"The Shape of Things to Come" is up there in terms of Season 4's episodes. It's exciting, action packed, emotional. It has all a great episode of television needs. Unfortunately, LOST just can't help itself in creating confusion and unanswered questions. These are what really hold it back from being something special.
One of the most jarring parts of the episode is Ben's attitude when he teleports to the Sahara desert. I can accept that he understood what would happen to him once he turned the "donkey wheel". But how he does he know this? The show implies that he's done this before, hence the pre booked room at the hotel. But when did he do this before and for what purpose? When he goes to the wheel at the end of the season they have to blow open a wall to be able to get inside, so he can't have done it before. Maybe he's just aware of what would happen if he ever has to move the island. But again? How is he aware of this? Also how did he have the very specific passport on him that he had to use in order to get into the hotel? Does he take it when he leaves the barracks? But then how would he know that he would need the specific passport that he would need in order to get into the hotel that was in the Sahara desert? It doesn't make a whole lot of sense. Also I guess he knew that it would teleport him one year into the future. Obviously this was poorly thought out, and though I imagine the writers may have had plans to explain all this....they didn't.
Point number two. What are the rules? Like, what are they? Genuinely, I am curious LOST. What are the rules? Even the show itself doesn't seem to know what "the rules" are. My personal theory is that the rules exist to explain why Ben and Charles Widmore don't just kill each other. Because with the amount of hatred they have for each other it makes no sense why they wouldn't just try to have one another Murdered. The show obviously wanted to setup this epic conflict between the two but they needed a reason for why they couldn't just have each other killed. Hence why Charles Widmore wants Ben alive for some reason. I mean, what was Charles planning on doing with Ben if Keamy had succeeded and taken him off the island? I struggle to think.
Point number three. The smoke monster is cool, but the existence of season 6 means that every scene with the smoke monster in the previous seasons makes absolutely no sense. The explanation for who/what the smoke monster is, is in my opinion the worst answered question on the show. How does the smoke monster from season 6 relate to anything it does in seasons 1,2,3,4,5. Answer: It doesn't. Case in point, this episode. Ben summons the smoke monster using some old thing, and it comes and distracts the mercenaries. In S6 they explain that, in reality, it had no control over the smoke monster and it just came by it's own choice. But in that case, how would it know to come to the barracks anyway, and to also stop all the mercenaries? Also what motivation does "The Man in Black" have to attack these guys. It doesn't kill them, but it attacks them. Why would he want them to escape if they're supposedly "Jacob's candidates", because in that case he would want them all dead like in s6 right? The answer to this question is simply, whatever the smoke monster became in season 6, it is not the same thing that we see in this pivotal scene. The smoke monster is essentially used as a plot device in this episode to explain how the characters escape.
Albeit the frustrations, there are some genuinely great moments in this episode. It's exciting throughout, especially on first watch. Keamy murdering Alex specifically stands out, with the swelling music and last ditch attempts by Ben to save his daughter especially tragic. I like that, for once, Ben wasn't able to talk his way out of a tricky situation. The flashbacks were good and enjoyable enough, not much more than that. Overall I did really like this episode despite the numerous issues that hold it back. It's up there with "The Constant" as the best of this surprisingly lacklustre season.
Lost: Meet Kevin Johnson (2008)
Another Poorly Written Outing
In "Meet Kevin Johnson", we follow Michael's story following his departure from the island, and how he came to be on Ben's boat. Personally, Season 4 has been a bit of a letdown for me on rewatch. I was really expecting a massive improvement over Season 3 but it's been just as inconsistent, if not worse. "Meet Kevin Johnson", like the majority of the episodes in this season, has numerous plot points and elements that just don't add up. That being said, it's nowhere near the worst of the season.
Let's focus on two main elements of this episode. Michael's flashback, and the stuff on the boat in present time. So, the first scene in the flashback is easily the best moment in this episode. Though the editing was a little choppy, the inclusion of "It's Getting Better" as a song choice was inspired and pretty much perfect. It doesn't really get talked about as much as the other famous needle drops in the series, such as "Downtown" and "Make Your Own Kind of Music". Lots of people hate Michael, but I honestly don't. I understood what he did much more on rewatch, therefore I was pretty emotionally invested in Michael throughout. However, one thing that really holds back this flashback is the timeline. Tom Friendly makes a return in this episode, but I struggle to see when and how this could've happened with him simultaneously being on the island. On Lostpedia it says he was off the island for 4 days in-between the season 3 episodes "Stranger in a Strange Land" and "Par Avion". Emotionally, I understand why they wanted Tom to be the one who recruits Michael, based on their prior interactions. However, it struggles to fit into the timeline. Let's assume Tom left on the submarine after they got back to the main island in "Stranger in a Strange Land". We have to assume that he left immediately, however at this point Ben is still bed-bound so this plan must have been concocted after Ben's surgery. Or, it was concocted before, but Tom decided to stay on the island until Ben had recovered. Either way, it's obvious that the writers hadn't come up with this particular storyline yet. I won't hold this against the writers though, I can't accuse them for having not planned out the entirety of season 4 by early season 3. I mean, at this point they were intentionally making terrible episodes so that the producers gave them an end date. Back to Tom, I imagine the submarine left as soon as Tom got back. The sub would need a couple of other people on, as well as a driver, although we don't see any of them- only Tom. In fact, we never meet any others who can operate a submarine or who are implied to be able to operate one. But I can accept the fact that the others' submarine guy is just an off screen extra. So how fast is this sub? Surely it would take one to two days at least to reach mainland? And that's if they're travelling to the nearest land. Then Tom would have to take at least a 12 hour flight to get to New York. So he gets to New York, but instead of immediately finding Michael he hooks up with a guy. Who this guy is, I have no idea. He seems to already be in a relationship with Tom, but Tom lives on the island. He can't just be a male hooker, so maybe he's just an old friend who Tom hooks up with anytime he's on the mainland. Then he tracks Michael and confronts him. At this point I would assume it's at least been 2-3 days since he left the island. He gets himself a bunch of food and is staying in a luxury apartment. Then Michael shows up again and he lays down the deal. He asks his guy to leave, proving he's not another other. Now, the only way he could possibly be back on the island in time for "Par Avion" is if he leaves immediately after he gives his instructions to Michael. But then why would he go through all the trouble of meeting up with a guy and getting all this mainland food if he was just gonna leave as soon as his mission was over? Even if he leaves right then after Michael leaves the apartment, he's still cutting it very short to getting back to the island to play football with Jack. But, he calls Michael after he arrives at the freighter, implying he hasn't left the mainland yet. What?! He should be miles under the ocean right now. It makes no sense whatsoever. Jack is implied to have bonded a little with Tom over his time in the barracks, but in reality Tom was gone the whole time and as soon as he gets back, his first priority is to throw a football around with Jack. Right, ok. This really doesn't add up. I overthink stuff, so I imagine this didn't bother most people, but in my opinion it wouldn't have taken that much effort to have this make any sense. It was poorly thought out by the writers. But the stupidity doesn't stop there.
So Michael arrives at the boat and we get a bit more needed context about the freighter folk, such as why Naomi flew off by herself. Her helicopter crashed into the water, implying that there were two on the freighter. But we've seen the freighter, and it just barely fits one helicopter...so how did it fit two? More plot holes are showing. But in my opinion, the biggest crime of the episode is the scene between Michael and Ben. This scene is so utterly ridiculous that it blows my mind. Firstly, when did this conversation happen? Apparently, it happened during the night of the episode "The Man from Tallahassee". I guess Michael has been on the boat about a day at this point, considering this is the same day in which Tom gets back to the island. So every single conversation Michael has on the boat took place in a day. I find that hard to believe. Also Ben's wheelchair was nowhere in sight from his perspective. Then, Ben reveals that the reason the bomb didn't go off is because "there were innocent people on that boat" and he "wanted to show the difference between himself and Charles Widmore" to Michael. This is so stupid. Why go through the trouble to have a FAKE bomb delivered as part of Michael's luggage on there boat, which is suspicious enough anyway. Why couldn't he have just told him that they weren't going to blow it up? Also, Ben would never do this. The boat only doesn't blow up for the sake of the plot. Since when has Ben cared about innocent lives? He wiped out multiple innocent members of the Dharma initiative. He tried to have Jin, Bernard and Sayid killed! He told his man to kill the island's men if they got in the way of his plan to steal the pregnant woman. The obvious assumption is that Ben is just lying here, but the show actually tries to use it as an excuse for why Ben hasn't just had Michael kill everyone yet. Also the "I needed to show you the difference between me and him" part is just stupid and I don't even need to explain why. If Ben was true to his character here, he would've had the boat blown up as soon as he could. It stops anyone getting to the island, including Charles Widmore. In fact, through Ben not having everyone killed on the boat, it indirectly leads to Keamy getting off of it in a helicopter and murdering his daughter! He should've at least had Michael sabotage the "helicopters" (wink wink). Massive plot holes right here. I guess Ben really isn't as smart as we thought. Also, Charles Widmore is just as incompetent. He's clearly an incredibly rich man if he can stage an entire plane crash, so when he finally finds the island he sends.....one freighter. One! Was he low on cash. If he wanted to capture Ben and regain control over the island, why didn't he just send a whole bunch of freighters? Why didn't he go himself? What's his endgame here? What's his plan? Why does he want to kill everyone on the island but in season 6 he wants to keep all of them alive because they're Jacob's candidates? Excluding season 6, why does he want to kill everyone anyway? To make sure no one escapes it and his staged plane gets found out? Honestly this whole episode is just plot hole after plot hole after plot hole. It should've been centred around the emotional aspect of Michael's decision to become Ben's spy. That's the strength of the show. We didn't need the scene with Ben, Tom could've just given instructions to Michael about finding out names and destroying the communications.
On surface level, this episode is fairly enjoyable, but the more you think about it, the more stupid it becomes.
A Real Mixed Bag
"D.O.C" is a generally enjoyable episode of LOST even if it has some glaring issues.
For one, you can clearly see the minds of the writers' with the decision to bring back Mikhail. Personally, I think they originally wanted him to die at the barrier, but when they realised they were in a bit of a knot they decided to bring him back. You see, Mikhail had to either die, or join back up with the others. If he escaped, he would have found the others again. The writers chose the die option. And he's very clearly dead in "Par-Avion" because Sayid, Kate and Locke are all pretty knowledgable people. I don't think we saw it on screen, but I imagine Sayid checked his heart rate and/or breathing just to be sure. They wouldn't just leave him there without checking. So he's dead, great. However, at this point I imagine the writers had already layered out their plan to conclude the season. However, with them planning to have Juliet betray the others, she couldn't be the one to tell Ben that Naomi had parachuted onto the island, so how would be find out? Answer: Mikhail. I guess he was just knocked out before, or paralysed? Not only that, but Naomi is clearly very injured, and none of the crew that went out to find her are doctors or have any proper medical experience. Answer: Mikhail. He has medical experience. So, they can just bring him back to life and it kills two birds with one stone. Also isn't it weird that he was the ONLY person who happened to see the flare go off, as well as being at a relatively close distance? And of course, he makes a deal with the group that he's allowed to leave and go back to his people. This is all so the finale can make sense. But, wait...in the next episode he returns to the others' camp. How did he know where they were? How could he have any possible idea where the others were if he had been knocked out from the barriers? I assumed he was just wandering in the jungle and it's just a coincidence that he was near Desmond and the boys. But maybe he has tracking skills, maybe he was following the others from the barracks, to see where they went. So in that case, if he was on their trail, surely the others would have seen Hurley's flare? He couldn't have been that far away if he arrives at the others' camp fairly quickly afterwards. Wouldn't the others have been suspicious. They specify that they're an hours' walk from the beach, but surely someone would have seen the flare, surely. It just doesn't add up. I can see why Mikhail was brought back but bringing him back to life causes an array of plot holes and inconsistencies. With all that being said, this section is moderately entertaining to watch if you ignore all the plot holes. It was some standard drama for a drama show, "someone important is dying and we have to save them". Also Jin is suddenly a karate master, even though we've never seen him do any of this before. Whatever, it's fine, it isn't awful.
So, let's move on to Juliet and Sun. This is a decent little story, which could've been incredibly dull. Yet, the writers made it work for the most part. I like Juliet, but at times her character frustrates me. People are always asking her "why are you taking children, why are you people here, what are you doing" etc. And she always dodges the questions. Let me rephrase, the writers always dodge the question. It's irritating, because the writers know that the survivors would be itching for answers about the others, but they also know that they haven't come up with an answer yet, hence the consistent cryptic responses from Juliet that don't tell us anything new. "They all die." We know this from Juliet's flashbacks already, but we don't know why they all die yet. I know it's probably from some sort of radiation or electromagnetic nonsense and I can accept that. But in that case, why does the Island have healing powers? Why does Jacob heal Juliet's sister? Why can't Jacob just heal all the pregnant women on the island if he can heal Juliet's sister who has cancer? Ugh. I can understand why the writers don't really focus on the pregnancy storyline in future seasons because not only is it uninteresting but it's also confusing as hell. So I guess the island has healing powers...except when it comes to pregnant women. The island/Jacob must be evil if they give men 5x the sperm rate and at the same time make women die during child birth. Enough about the mysteries now, let's move onto this storyline specifically. It's good. Juliet is good, and Sun is good. There isn't much more to it than that. I like that this episode has a significant emotional moment for Juliet (who finally makes a pregnant woman happy by telling them they're pregnant) as well as for Sun. This episode is the logical conclusion to the drama about Sun's baby and "who's the father", although I'm pretty sure it still gets brought up in a later episode anyway. It bothers me how Juliet at first seems to be really connecting with the survivors, and then becomes cold and lifeless every time we see her doing traitorous 'other' stuff. I wish the writers had set up her betrayal of her people a bit better, maybe have the emotional moments she has with Sun, Claire and Jack clearly affect her emotionally, and instead she maybe seems a little more reluctant to continue to do Ben's bidding. It's important for the plot that she leaves that voice message for Ben, because it enables Locke to tell Sawyer who'll confront Juliet later on, but she still seems 100% loyal. The droning, dramatic, evil music doesn't help either. I like to think the connections she makes with the survivors is what leads to her changing sides, but we just don't see it unfortunately. Anyway, Great acting in the D.O.C scene from Sun and Juliet, it was a great emotional moment that this show thrives on. Let's move on.
So there's one other storyline in this episode- the flashbacks. I can't really seem to make my mind up on them. They come really late in the "flashback-timeline" of the show, and it's one of the last flashbacks we'll ever see from the main survivors. In some ways, it's not as useless as some of the other flashbacks we see. Desmond was a monk? Wow, how interesting. Oh yeah, Kate said she was married! How interesting. Strangely though, the themes of Shame in relation to Jin and his father actually work. Through Jin's fathers shame about who his mother was, we better understand his complete forgiveness of his son when he decides to tell Sun he is dead, because he is ashamed that he's a fisherman. It plays quite nicely into the "like-father, like-Sun" trope. This flashback isn't amazing or anything, Season 1 and 2 have some incredible flashback episodes. But this one is surprisingly good. It's much better than the Sun-Jin flashback in season 2 where Jin works at a hotel and then meets Sun right at the end. Because everyone meets their true love during a random encounter on the street. Any normal person would just say "sorry, I'll help you" and then leave. But no it's a TV show so they look deep into each others' eyes as they immediately recognise they are soulmates. I wonder how the conversation went after that stare. "You wanna go out" "Sure, you could just be a creep I randomly met on the street, but I'll go out with you!". I'm getting side tracked. I like that Jin's mother isn't really his mother, she's just the person who gave birth to him. And for someone who dumped a baby they have birth to in a fisherman's hut, it makes perfect sense to me that they'd try and blackmail an incredibly rich family when they realised their son they abandoned married into it. The best scene in the episode is Sun meeting Jin's dad. Without a doubt, there is no character as pure and as likeable as Jin's dad on this show. Every scene he's in (which is only two now that I think about it) is made better just by his presence. And I'll state again, I like how his own actions (keeping a secret from loved ones) are reflected directly bu Jin. The one part I don't like is the interaction between Sun and her father. The episode tries to rewrite it as Sun's fault that Jin got a promotion into a hitman. Why? What's the point? Why are they making a point about him being a "floor manager" before? Why is it now, when Sun randomly asks him for money, that her father is like "right. That's it. Now he's gonna be a hitman that beats people up for me." There's no reason to change what we already know here- Sun's father would only let Jin marry Sun if he did some very classified and secretive work for him, because he doesn't have anyone else to fulfil that duty on a consistent basis. Also he knows that Jin will be 100% loyal to him because otherwise he loses Sun. That totally makes sense to me.
Let's conclude. Overall, I enjoyed this episode. It was above average and was a little more enjoyable than the previous one, which only really had one storyline out of three that wasn't painfully boring. I liked all three of the storylines, even if I had some issues with some of them. It's far from my favourite, it's not super strong emotionally and it isn't that fast in terms of story development, but it's a decent mid to late season filler episode. 6/10.
Mr. Robot: shutdown -r (2017)
Moments of brilliance hidden away under general mediocrity
Let's get this straight. I love Mr. Robot. I love the style, the music, the acting, the story. Season 3 in particular has been a blast to watch, and reaches heights the show has never even come close to reaching in the past. Yet as this season has come to an end it almost feels as if the direction of the show has teetered off a bit. The season peaked in episodes 5,6,7 and then dwindled down into a fairly predictable and bland last few episodes. Considering the critical perception behind the finale I was expecting something pretty mind blowing but I ended up feeling fairly underwhelmed.
I did enjoy "shutdown -r " as a whole and it wasn't difficult to watch. It still had the show's usual great directing, acting and cinematography, even if it wasn't the most flashy episode in any of those aspects. But the plot and story structure is the most inconsistent part of the show as a whole and that's where I found issue with a lot of this episode.
So the general plot of this episode is that the stakes are at an all time high - all the characters we care about are in danger and the resolution to that is that everyone is being brought to the safe houses' barn, presumably to be killed. It is nice to see all the major characters (excluding Tyrell, but we'll get to him later) interact and be in the same room, though for this show it felt oddly out of character. Maybe this is just personal taste but it just felt all too convenient and simple to have the main action take place in this setting. Also the "setting" of a barn is fairly bland and mostly uninteresting and ended up taking away from lots of the tension this episode tried to build up.
Let's move onto the FBI. This is the part of the episode that I thought was handled the best. The sheer hatred the viewer has for Santiago for being a mole is massively turned on it's head when we see the exact same thing happen to Dom, and we realise that all of our hatred was misplaced. Dom's general development across the season has been great but I think that her new status really put Santiago's character into perspective and developed him despite him being brutally murdered (which at first seemed satisfying but now after we learn what likely happened to him seems much more horrific). Sam Esmail was extremely clever with how he portrayed this whole "mole" situation and it didn't feel like he was just reusing his same bag of tricks that he always uses.
However one of the more confusing parts of the episode for me was everything going on with Grant/Whiterose/Irving. Whiterose is a great villain who barely had any presence in this episode- and her whole romance with Grant seems very much underdeveloped and really took away from the twist at the end. It didn't seem all that shocking that Whiterose would dispose of Grant considering the viewer doesn't really know whether Whiterose truly trusts him- and their love for each other is similarly underdeveloped. Before this we've only really had one scene exploring their romance and before that he only seemed like an assistant of some sort. Grant is probably one of the least interesting characters on the show to me. Irving has been a great character this season and he was good again this episode- although his reveal that he was once with Whiterose seemed to come out of nowhere.
Let's move onto the main action point of the episode; the barn shootout/Price's reveal. I've already spoken about the barn being a fairly dry and uninteresting setting to have this big event take place in- it didn't seem very Mr. Robot at all. Yet this episode did create a generally tense and exciting atmosphere at times. But when I think back, episode 2.8 used a very similar technique with the same soundtrack and was much more effective in creating atmosphere and tension. This episode felt like it was trying to recreate the closing scene from that one, and it felt much less purposeful. The decision to contrast the reveal of Price being Angela's father with Elliot/Darlene about to be executed is baffling. Both moments could be great on their own, but each constantly swapping between each other just took away a lot of tension, especially in the Price/Angela section. How am I supposed to care about Price being Angela's father when two of the show's most important characters are seconds from death? Elliot's last minute plea to help Whiterose move her project to the Congo quicker also seemed way too easy to me. I imagine this sequence will lose its effect on rewatch because ultimately it didn't amount to anything particularly interesting. And I don't like to go on about killing off characters; but come on man! Don't become game of thrones Mr. Robot. Characters died in this episode but not any main characters and it somewhat bugged me and generally felt too Plot-armoury to me. Especially Darlene, who I love, but who's time as a character feels like it's been running out since the start of this season. I was sure she was going to die when her and Elliot made the "revenge" deal, but I guess the show kind of forgot about a lot of things that happened this season, which is especially out of character for Sam Esmail who's attention to detail is part of the reason I got hooked on the show. But something else the show kind of forgot was what to do with certain characters, especially Tyrell.
Tyrell's lack of appearance in this episode is telling. I may be wrong by the next season but it definitely feels like Esmail ran out of ideas for him, and because of that reason I thought his time was also up. But similarly to Darlene he's still just hanging about. Maybe Esmail has a plan for all the characters he kept around in season 4, and I bloody well hope he does because at times it honestly seemed like very little planning and thought went into the majority of the characters' conclusion this episode.
Following the focal point of the episode, we get a couple more scenes to finish off, which make it very clear that Esmail is doing a "reset" and that this final season will mirror season 1 in a lot of ways. The scene with Elliot and Mr. Robot mirrored season 1 in an especially obvious way, and while many people loved that scene I found it quite cheesy and forgettable. But the fact that they are on the same side is an interesting plot point and I'm admittedly intrigued to see what they do with it in season 4. Vera's return feels very odd, though I imagine Esmail wouldn't bring him back without a plan in mind. The idea of reversing the hack is something I have mixed feelings on though I can't really comment on it until I see what they do with it.
I know I've given a lot of complaints about the episode's story- though a lot of it really comes down to personal taste over all else. For me this episode didn't feel like mr robot at all. This show has always struggled with finales- season 1's is very much a Segway into season 2 and season 2's is confusing as all hell. But at least those two finales still felt like Mr. Robot. This episode in turn makes the previous episode feel all the more rushed. Season 4 has got glowing reviews, so I'm still hyped, but the best season of this show has one of the most disappointing episodes too.
Avengers: Endgame (2019)
Grand though Not Without Problems
Just saw the movie, so I thought I'd review it while it is still fresh in my mind. If you don't want to hear my whole review, I'll just give my overall non-spoiler thoughts here. Watch it. Try not to think about it too much like I did. Appreciate the epic scale of Endgame, because boy it was epic. But don't think about the plot too much, because you could ruin the movie for yourself. Anyway, now onto my review, from start to the end.
So, the film begins dark. Just as infinity war ended. We see Hawkeye's family dust away, as everyone predicted. This is a great opening to the film actually and really brings the darkness of the snapping straight back into the film. So the plot moves very quickly from here, and Iron Man is rescued by surprise surprise Captain Marvel who happens to find him in space by luck/convinience. I have literally no investment in Captain Marvel, so this bugged me a little, but whatever. He arrives back, and it's difficult to watch him finally lose all hope as he doesn't even care about going back to stop Thanos anymore. Robert Downey Jr's performance here is great, and he ends up being the film's best performance. Keep in mind that this is pretty much only 15-20 minutes into the film, and they rest of the gang are already off to stop Thanos. They arrive quickly and learn that Thanos destroyed all the stones- because he's not an idiot. Then he is brutally beheaded by Thor, and the first act ends. I actually really like this first act. It's really good and doesn't have any glaring issues or problems except Iron Man's return to space. It's dark and depressing just like Infinity War. Then we move onto a very long and tedious second act.
So 5 years after the snap everyone is still pretty depressed but they have all moved on. Iron Man now has a family and doesn't want to sacrifice that to save the universe again, which he will inevitably end up doing. Thor is kind of a joke character now, though with some pretty dark undertones. He gets fat and drinks beer all the time because the guilt that he couldn't kill Thanos before the snap has consumed him. Hawkeye is on a killing rampage and there is a really epic scene with him set in Japan, where the directing had some interesting style to it which is something that many MCU films don't have. Hulk is now one. He is both Banner and Hulk. I kind of like this, as it ends the whole Banner vs Hulk arc but it's sad we never get to see an actual Hulk smash so the pay off with his character is less satisfying. Ant-Man then returns through sheer luck- a rat saves him by luckily activating the quantum thingy. This bugged me, but again if you don't think too hard it shouldn't bother you- but still it's far fetched. Anyway here comes the time travel. All the people decide to group up again because reasons (not good ones) and then they time travel each splitting up to the past. So time travel is a difficult concept to put in a film, and unfortunately End Game executes it quite poorly. The fan service is great but the avengers change the past quite significantly and this has no effect whatsoever on the future. They all retrieve the infinity stones, yet when they return to the future everyone is still dead....what? If they stole the infinity stones, even just one of them, Thanos couldn't have snapped and therefore when they got back everyone would be fine....NOPE. Everyone is still dead and everything is the same. So anyway they resnap and everyone comes back yaaaaaaay. However they are quickly interrupted by another plot hole, Thanos. Onto the third act.
The third act is epic. But Thanos returning makes no sense. So the Thanos from the past discovers the plan the avengers from the future are having, and goes forward in time. There's a lot of plot holes with this, but I'll only talk about the obvious one. How did he do this? He doesn't have anything on his ship to go forward in time and all Nebula does is use the machine and he appears with his entire army out of it. Oh well. This is saved by the rest of this act. Which is very exciting and epic. It's a massive fight scene, and the scene when all the snapped people return is absolutely phenomenal. The only thing that really bothers me is Captain Marvel. They win and ironically Thanos is turned to dust by iron man. Then Iron Man dies, and that's the end of the third act.
The rest of the movie is essentially the pay off, and details where everyone goes and reuniting with each of their respective families and friends. Then we also learn about Captain America's ending, which is actually perfect when you don't think about it, but when you do more time travel nonsense messes with my head.
As a whole, the plot hole that is the second act is saved by the first, third and epilogue. If I wasn't a fan of this universe I probably would have disliked this film, but really if you have no investment in this universe- don't watch this, because you will hate it. The finality of this movie is what makes me like it, and even with all it's issues, it's epic, grand, and a heart-warning ending.
The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (2018)
Unique and Fun
The latest Coen brothers film is extremely entertaining and may just be my favourite film of 2018 so far.
The directing is pretty phenomenal in this film, as it is in nearly ever film Joel and Ethan Coen make. The dialogue was probably my favourite part of the film, they really managed to capture the Wild West theme in a way that I haven't seen for a long time. The acting was fine, though nothing special, though Tim Blake Nelson was hilarious. The whole concept behind this film is pretty unique and it's nice to see a movie that goes against the formula for once.
The first segement, "The Ballad of Buster Scruggs" was easily the best and hammers down early on to not take this movie too seriously. The second segement was also very funny and entertaining. These first two really reminded me how brutal the Wild West used to be and it was quite surprising to see some very unsatisfying endings to both of these stories. Segement three is much slower and darker and I think that they maybe could have put this one 4th, because it felt like the tone changed way too quickly from the 2nd segement to the third. If they maybe put the 4th segement there instead which is very much in the middle in terms on tone it would have felt much more natural and wouldn't have felt like the tone switched so quickly. I like that the movie included different tones though, I just wish it was handled a bit better. The 4th segement is also great, and so is the 5th segement despite it being the longest one. The 6th segement of the film is interesting, to say the least. It's pretty much a dialogue based section with a very dark and underlying theme to it, and it's an interesting concept although I felt it didn't grasp me as much as it could have.
Overall, what really brought this film life and character was it's phenomenal screenplay, which is so well written and yet simple at the same time. Great film, 9/10.
Breaking Bad: Pilot (2008)
An Intriguing Beginning
I'm fairly embarrassed to say that I'm watching this critically acclaimed show for the first time. The hype around Breaking Bad is something I've never been able to understand. The premise behind the show has never been that interesting to me. Sure, it's a creative idea, but would it work as a show? Apparently it does according to critics and the general public. But i finally decided to sit down and watch it, and I can definetly say I'm intrigued.
While this definetly wasn't the ground-breaking pilot i was expecting, it was far from bad. It was actually pretty good. The main focus I found to be the Tragedy on this character, Walter White, who just seems to have the most boring but also tragic life ever. I disliked a couple of the scenes involving his character towards the start, mainly the birthday party scene, which involved a pretty annoying and unbearable character wishing Walt a happy birthday in the most condescending way I have ever seen. It was quite sad seeing the life of this character, and what I found great is that all we needed were a few scenes showing Walter's daily routine to see how depressing his life is.
The other character, Jesse Pinkman, I'm assuming is going to be a secondary character, has a lot of room to become an interesting character. I'm hoping we don't get any flashback sequences explaining his backstory and that it's included in clever dialogue and writing.
The reason a lot of Pilots don't seem to impress me often is that they don't really give a scope of the rest of the show, but this episode definetly did. Whilst the character moments with Walter were upsetting, they were a little bit slow and had it been on in the background I probably would have turned it off out of boredom. But past that first section the episode picked up, and I'm very glad it got straight to the action and point of the show instead of spending a few pointless episodes building it up. I'm expecting big things from you Breaking Bad.