Rambling TV: Breaking Bad recap + other TV thoughts

Thank you, Vince Gilligan.
 
Breaking Bad ended last night with what I think was the perfect finale. It's not often that a TV show can end on the right note, someone's always left disappointed. But I dare say that I think the majority of Breaking Bad's fans were satisfied with last night's episode.
 
We start with Walt breaking into a snowy car, and immediately trying the hard way to hotwire it, instead of simply looking under the visor for the spare set. The tape playing talked about a woman named 'Felina.' There's Gilligan's awesome choice in music again. He stays still when he sees the police lights, and drives off once he knows he's safe.
 
We get a quick scene of Jesse woodworking, he said he loved doing that in season three. But as he turns to walk away, his apron gets caught, but it's really his dog leash. It was just a day dream. 
 
He pays Gretchen and Elliott a visit. I for sure thought he was going to kill them out of spite. Hell, Elliott pulls a knife on him and Walt calmly tells him "If we're going to go that way, you're going to need a bigger knife." Instead, Walt drops his money on them and tells them they are going to put it into a trust and give to Walt Jr. on his 18th birthday. He is a helpless victim that is suffering from his drug king pin father, and he wants all of his money to go to him. Any taxes or fees associated with this? Take it from Walt's money. Never their own. And just so they don't think about not donating it, two red laser pointers appear on their chest. Walt says he's hired two of the best hit men in New Mexico who will have no problem killing them if they do not do what their told.
 
Later, we find out it's just Skinny Pete and Badger pointing lasers at them, not real hit men. They tell Mr. White how creepy this whole thing is, but once they're given $100,000 each, they start to feel better. I'm glad we got one last scene with those two. They crack me up. They also confirm to Walt that the blue is still being sold, but they thought it was still him that was cooking it. Walt knows better.
 
We get a quick recap of Walt at Denny's, getting the gun and the ricin from the flash forward we saw earlier. Then we see Skyler chain smoking in her apartment. Marie (no longer in purple) is on the phone telling her Walt has been seen in town. She calls a truce, and says he'll be caught because "Walt's not this big criminal master mind like he thinks he is." Oh Marie, if you hadn't just lost your husband I'd probably shake my head and think "silly bitch" like I always do when I think about you. But I'll let it slide, because I genuinely feel bad for her.
 
As the camera pans around a pillar, we see that Walt is actually standing in Skyler's kitchen with her. He gives her the lottery ticket with the GPS coordinates to Hank and Gomez's bodies. He tells her to trade it for immunity. He wants to tell her why he did all this, she's tired of hearing that it was "for the family." No. Walt says he did it for him. He was good at it, and it made him feel alive. We viewers already knew that, but this is the first time he admits it to those he's hurt the most. He asks to see Holly one last time, and I nearly cried at the sight of him seeing his baby girl for one last time. Poor Holly is going to have such a "wtf?" moment when he grows up. He also watches Junior come home from a distance. He's seen his wife and children, now he can go do what needs to be done.
 
Walt drops in on Lydia and Todd meeting at her favorite restaurant. Walt approaches them and says he knows they're nearly out of methylamine, but he's thought of a new way to make it, and he wants to sell that idea to him. Lydia dismisses him when she gets her tea delivered to her table, and she and Todd begin to talk it over. We see her pour the only Stivia into her tea, and when it dissolves, we know immediately that Walt's just fed her the ricin.
 
We get a quick scene of Walt rigging up his machine gun to spin on what I thought looked like a garage door opener. He then heads over to Jack's. They aren't having any of his shit. They don't care, they have millions. Jack plans on killing Walt right there and now until Walt accuses him of partnering with Jesse. Jack finds this hilarious and tells Todd to go fetch his "partner." Then Walt sees the beaten and broken Jesse himself. He knows he's not a partner, but a slave. Walt probably had every intention of killing Jesse when he shows up there, but deep down, Walt still loves him. That's why when he throws himself on Jesse in an attack mode, we know he's protecting him. He hits the button on his car keys, and the gun pops out from his trunk and starts firing. The gunfire kills everyone except Jack and Todd. One even hits Walt in the stomach. As Walt lets Jesse up, Jesse jumps on Todd and strangles him with his chains, we hear his neck break eventually. If this wasn't such a tense scene, I almost would've expected Jesse to get in one last 'Yeah, Bitch!" after the deed was done.
 
Jack starts to tell Walt something about his money, but Walt gives zero fucks about that anymore, and shoots Jack in the head. He slides the gun to Jesse and tells him to shoot him. He knows he wants it. Jesse tells him to say that he is the one that wants it. Walt, already with a bullet wound admits he's right. "I want this" he tells Jesse. "Then do it yourself" Jesse replies.
 
Jesse leaves his prison and as he gets into his car, he takes one last look at Mr. White. His partner, his father figure, his one time friend. I like to think at this moment, Jesse understood that Walt saved him. Despite all of the shitty things Walt did to Jesse, he always loved him. I like to think the look Walt was giving him was his way of saying he was sorry to Jesse.
 
Jesse drives off into the distance. Where does he go? I like to think that the police are no longer watching his house since he's been missing, and that he's hid his money well. He goes to his house, grabs his cash, finds out where Brock is staying so he can either say goodbye, or just get the address to write to him later. I like to think he drove off to Alaska to start a new, honest life. Maybe he'll meet someone, fall in love and become a husband and father. Either way, I just want good things to happen to Jesse. All good things. (and maybe Skinny Peter Badger come visit him eventually to smoke and talk about Star Trek.)
 
Walt takes one last walk into Todd's meth lab. He lovingly looks at a gas mask. For a minute there I wondered if he'd finally take a hit of his precious blue, but he doesn't. He falls on his back, dying from his gunshot wound. Gilligan's choice of music here was perfect too, singing about "his baby blue." as the cops descend on Walt, the camera pans away, much like it did in the Crawlspace episode, and our last shot was of Walter White dying in the place he felt most alive, a meth lab.
 
It was perfect in my opinion. Breaking Bad had every opportunity to have a dark, horrible ending, but in the end, Gilligan rewarded his fans for paying such close attention to everything, and gave us a sliver of hope for the rest of the characters that were negatively affected by Walt. I thought that was great. Gilligan stated that he really wanted to do an ending that would satisfy everyone, and even though I don't think writers are obligated to cater to their fans at all, I'm glad he did. Charlaine Harris could've taken a note or two from him when she decided to end her series with a big slap in the face for most of her fans.
 
I think Breaking Bad will go down in history as one of the best shows ever on television. People will look back to these years and think they're a "golden age" so to speak. We have so many good shows on TV right now, but Breaking Bad is easily the best. While I'm sad to let it go, I'm glad it had the perfect ending, and I look forward to that entire series box set because that looks fucking awesome.
 
pic via bravon




Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D

Sometimes I wonder if I'm too spoiled with good TV, that when I see a new show, I have trouble giving it a chance. That's how I feel with SHIELD at the moment. I'm going to give it a few more episodes.

*Coulson's death: (or lack there of?) I'm assuming he's some sort of robot or clone? It's funny, when he started saying his death was faked to motivate the Avengers, my husband was SO pissed off. He said that was such a cop out and he couldn't believe Whedon would sign off on something like this. Then we got to the "he doesn't know, does he?" line and he took it all back. I totally agree with him, but that moment made me laugh.

*The show's budget and ambition do not match. I know that's unfair of me to compare the budget of a TV show to the budget of a blockbuster film, but seriously. Game of Thrones pulls off some amazing CGI shit, I think this show could do a little better.

*Skye is EXACTLY like WWE's AJ Lee. I know not many of my readers are fellow wrestling fans, but the ones that are have to see this resemblance too. It's almost distracting how similar they are.

*Agent Ward is SO Stale. Like Ruth pointed out, that T-1000 joke was pretty spot on.

*I hope this "finding heroes" thing goes better for this show than it did for Heroes. (I can't think of another show that went downhill so fast after only one season)

*Although, this episode ended in one of the filming techniques I hate the most. Panning to all of the characters, smiling. It's SO cheesy.


The Big Bang Theory

*Those two new episodes were hilarious. I'm always up for Penny hugging Sheldon.

*Although, there was a lot of titty-bouncing. I never thought I'd say that.

*Bernadette had a really good point when she mentioned Amy and Sheldon's relationship. Amy says so many sexually charged things that I'm surprised she HASN'T moved on from Sheldon just to get laid.

*No Leonard, it wasn't better when Raj couldn't talk to women.

*I'm glad they at least addressed the drinking problem they've been giving Penny.

Boardwalk Empire
 

*Eli's son just wanted to give the boy that bullied him the shits, instead it ended up like the picture above. Wahh wahhhhhhhh. I kind of thought something like that would happen, but I'm still wondering why he's all of a sudden getting all of this attention? I'm assuming because he's going to die and drive another wedge between Nucky and Eli?

*Rothstein was such a creep in this episode, much more than usual.

*No Harrow? Boo.

*At least Van Alden and Capone are bonding.

*Poor Eddie is so fucked.



Indie Gems: Home Movie

...Did you try whooping their ass?
 
Another 'Found Footage' flick I picked up from Alex of And So It Begin's list last May.
 
David and Clare Poe (Adrian Pasdar and Cady McClain) live in a house out in the country with their 10 year old twins, Jack and Emily. (Austin Williams and Amber Joy Williams) At first, the Poes' come off as over-bearing parents that have their video camera on way too much, and the kids seem genuinely embarrassed and un-interested in their dad's "capture every moment!" mantra. Then thing get a little weird, from acting out at school, to torturing animals, there's clearly something wrong with Jack and Emily. Davis a pastor, he thinks they're possessed. Clare is a psychologist, she thinks they're sick.
 
Home Movie is really creepy, and at times, a little unbelievable. (Especially the situation with the police, which I won't spoil.) But one thing I actually really appreciated was that this didn't feel like a paranormal or possession movie. These kids were straight up sociopaths, and it's almost kind of refreshing to see a horror film centered around that without some underlying demon forcing them to do things. Working with at-risk kids myself, the parent's somewhat reluctance to believe their kids were capable of this, and not seeking help earlier was pretty spot on, I only wonder when they started noticing.
 
The final scene in Home Movie really makes the film worth while in my opinion. While it has it's moments of being repetitive, it's a quick watch. I'm going to go hug my kid now..
 
Grade: B-
 
Memorable Quote: "You did know you were hurting him, right?" - David (Adrian Pasdar)

DVD Review: Lore

Life on the other side.
 
There's been plenty of films about the holocaust, but one type that we do not often see is from the eyes of the children of Nazis. That's where Lore comes in.
 
Lore (Saskia Rosendahl) is tasked with taking her siblings (all younger than her, and one an infant) across Germany to Hamburg to see their grandmother. Lore's parents were Nazis, and they've turned themselves in so that they won't be killed. Along the way, they meet a Jewish man named Thomas (Kai-Peter Malina) who helps them along the way. Lore now sees the good in the people she's been raised to hate.
 
This was written and directed by Care Shortland, who did the wonderful Somersault back in 2004. (Lore was Australia's submission for the Best Foreign Film Oscar) There are sweeping images that really reminded me of Somersault as well. The problem is, this story is far to depressing to get lost in. I felt terrible for Lore and her siblings. (And for the actor portraying that baby, because holy shit, he cried the entire time) Even though the ending gave them a chance at happiness, they'll never be fully happy, will they?
 
The acting was fine, the story was fine, everything about this movie was just fine, but it's not something I'd ever care to watch again.
 
Recommended: No
 
Grade: C
 
Memorable Quote: "It's ok, I'm just letting him out.." - Vati (Hans-Jochen Wagner)

Rambling TV: Breaking Bad recap + Boardwalk Empire

gifs via the lovely lady sati from cinematic corner
 
 
Walter White is evil, there's not disputing that, but in episodes like 'Granite State' I can't help but feel bad for the guy.
 
Turns out Saul is skipping town as well, he gets to be Walt's roommate as they await the vacuum repairman to send them to their new lives. Walt wants revenge on Jack for everything he's done, but Saul is reluctant to give him the names of hit men. He pleads Walt to turn himself in and make Skylar and the kids' live easier. Walt's dying anyways, but he won't budge.
 
Vacuum man ships Walt off to a lonely cabin in New Hampshire with no phone, no internet, no nothing. (Except two copies of Mr. Magnorium's Wonder Emporium.) By the time he returns to give Walt his make shift Chemo, Walt begs him to stay for just two more hours. It's sad to see Walt like this, despite what he's done.
 
What's even sadder is Jesse's situation, he picks the locks on his handcuffs open with a paperclip, and tries to escape. He's caught of course, and Todd and co bring him by Andrea's house, and promptly shoot her in the head so he knows not to run again. This scene was beyond heartbreaking, Aaron Paul really owned it. I'm guessing this is his Emmy submission for next year? Sure, it was stupid of Andrea to just walk out in the dark and turn her back on a person she doesn't know, but I'm still sad about what happened to her.
 
Does anyone else have the same moral dilemma going on in their head when it comes to Todd that I do? I hate him, because he killed an innocent child. Then he does something like bringing Jesse ice cream, and I'm like "aww, that's sweet, Todd." Then he goes and does something like shoots Andrea in the head. Not cool, Todd.
 
Walt wants to mail some cash to Junior's friend's house, and he calls him at school by having some woman call and pretend to be his aunt Marie. Junior wants nothing to do with him and tells him to die.
 
Walt then calls the DEA to alert his location, but when the local police arrive, he's gone, and only the Breaking Bad theme is playing in the background.
 
There's just one episode left. I think I'm going to cry like a baby when it's over.
 
 
A few quick things about Boardwalk Empire
gif via darylgrimes
 
*Richard Harrow is my favorite character, and the relationship between him and his twin sister, Emma is so interesting. I hope they touch up on this more, maybe by having her move to Atlantic City with him. (You know if it was the other way around, he would be written off the show since this is technically Nucky's show.) Unfortunately he's not in the preview for next week.
 
*Come to think of it, I think this show would be better if it was focused all around Richard.
 
*I'm assuming we're going to see Margaret soon since Nucky was talking about Teddy in this episode.
 
*No Michael Shannon this episode, that was disappointing.
 
*I think Eli's son is going to die, I can just see it coming.
 
*Is Mickey Doyle gonna have to slap a bitch?
 
*Oh look, a machete.

 


2013 Emmy Winners


Here are the winners of the 2013 Emmy Awards. Aside from a lot of surprise wins, this was hands down the worst Emmy telecast I've ever seen. Neil Patrick Harris bombed as a host, most of the skits were not funny, and their decision to do multiple tributes to stars that have passed just made everything extra depressing. Here's hoping the Golden Globes are a good time. As always, my thoughts follow in green. The winners are in bold.



OUTSTANDING DRAMA SERIES
Breaking Bad
Downton Abbey
Game Of Thrones
Homeland
House Of Cards
Mad Men

It's about fucking time! I hope they win next year. This season has been explosive to put it lightly.


OUTSTANDING COMEDY SERIES
The Big Bang Theory
Girls
Louie
Modern Family
30 Rock
Veep

No surprise here, but I still had a slight feeling 30 Rock might take it.


OUTSTANDING MOVIE OR MINISERIES
American Horror Story: Asylum
Behind The Candelabra
The Bible
Phil Spector

Political Animals
Top Of The Lake

I'm happy for Behind the Candelabra, even though I still think they took all of HBO's dire wolf CGI money from Game of Thrones.


OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTOR IN A MINISERIES OR MOVIE
Michael Douglas
Matt Damon
Toby Jones
Benedict Cumberbatch
Al Pacino
Another predictable win, but a deserved one.


OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A MINISERIES OR MOVIE
Sarah Paulson
Imelda Staunton
Ellen Burstyn
Charlotte Rampling
Alfre Woodard


OUTSTANDING DIRECTING, MINI-SERIES OR TV MOVIE
Steven Soderbergh, Behind The Candelabra 
Julian Jarrold, The Girl
David Mamet, Phil Spector
Allison Anders, Ring Of Fire
Jane Campion and Garth Davis

Good last send off for a talented director. (he retired)


OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A MINISERIES OR MOVIE
James Cromwell
Zachary Quinto
Scott Bakula
John Benjamin Hickey
Peter Mullan


OUTSTANDING WRITING, MINI-SERIES OR TV MOVIE
Richard LaGravenese, Behind The Candelabra
Abi Morgan, The Hour 
Tom Stoppard, Parade’s End
David Mamet, Phil Spector
Jane Campion and Gerard Lee, Top Of The Lake



OUTSTANDING VARIETY SERIES
The Colbert Report
The Daily Show With Jon Stewart
Jimmy Kimmel Live
Late Night With Jimmy Fallon
Real Time With Bill Maher
Saturday Night Live

Jon Stewart was off for most of the year, so it's time his buddy Stephen Colbert took the gold


OUTSTANDING WRITING, VARIETY SERIES
The Colbert Report
The Daily Show With Jon Stewart
Jimmy Kimmel Live
Portlandia
Real Time With Bill Maher
Saturday Night Live
Ditto on the above category


OUTSTANDING DIRECTING, DRAMA SERIES
Tim Van Patten, Boardwalk Empire
Michelle MacLaren, Breaking Bad,
Jeremy Webb, Downton Abbey
Lesli Linka Glatter, Homeland
David Fincher, House of Cards

David Fincher just won an Emmy before he has won an Oscar. Let that sink in. Also, I see Rian Johnson winning this for directing Breaking Bad's 'Ozymandias' episode.

OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTRESS IN A DRAMA
Vera Farmiga ,Bates Motel
Michelle Dockery, Downton Abbey
Claire Danes, Homeland
Robin Wright, House of Cards
Elisabeth Moss, Mad Men
Connie Britton, Nashville
Kerry Washington, Scandal
Lucky for me, this happened during Breaking Bad so I didn't have to hear Claire Danes be all awkward.


OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTOR IN A DRAMA
Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad
Hugh Bonneville, Downton Abbey
Damian Lewis, Homeland
Kevin Spacey, House of Cards
Jon Hamm, Mad Men
Jeff Daniels, The Newsroom
I love the Newsroom, but REALLY? Over Cranston, Hamm, AND Spacey? I never would've saw this coming.

 
OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A DRAMA
Bobby Cannavale, Boardwalk Empire
Jonathon Banks, Breaking Bad
Aaron Paul, Breaking Bad
Jim Carter, Downton Abbey
Peter Dinklage, Game of Thrones
Mandy Patinkin, Homeland
I'm stoked for Bobby Cannavale, he was awesome in Boardwalk. If Aaron Paul can't win, I'm glad he did.


OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A DRAMA
Anna Gunn, Breaking Bad
Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey
Emilia Clarke, Game of Thrones
Christine Baranski, The Good Wife
Morena Baccarin, Homeland
Christina Hendricks, Mad Men
Fuck yeah, Anna Gunn! I hate Skylar White, I do, but Anna is a damn good actress, and season 5.1 really was her best work.


OUTSTANDING WRITING, DRAMA SERIES
George Mastras, Breaking Bad
Thomas Schnauz, Breaking Bad
Julian Fellowes, Downton Abbey
David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, Game of Thrones,
Henry Bromell, Homeland,

I would've loved D&D to win for The Rains of Castamere. They deserved it the most.


OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTRESS IN MINISERIES OR MOVIE
Jessica Lange, American Horror Story
Laura Linney, The Big C: Hereafter
Helen Mirren, Phil Spector
Sigourney Weaver, Political Animals
Elisabeth Moss, Top of the Lake


OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTOR IN A COMEDY
Jason Bateman, Arrested Development
Jim Parsons, The Big Bang Theory
Matt LeBlanc, Episodes
Don Cheadle, House of Lies
Louis C.K, Louie
Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock
I love Jim Parsons, but anyone other than Louis C.K wining this is kind of screwed. Fun fact: I found two people on Twitter that actually watch Episodes.


OUTSTANDING DIRECTING, COMEDY SERIES
Lena Dunham, Girls
Paris Barclay, Glee,
Louis C.K., Louie,
Gail Mancuso, Modern FamilyBeth McCarthy-Miller


OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTRESS IN A COMEDY
Laura Dern, Enlightened
Lena Dunham, Girls
Edie Falco, Nurse Jackie
Amy Poehler, Parks and Recreation
Tina Fey, 30 Rock
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep
Tony Hale holding her purse while she accepted her award was fucking hilarious.


OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A COMEDY
Adam Driver,Girls
Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Modern Family
Ed O’Neill, Modern Family
Ty Burrell, Modern Family
Bill Hader, Saturday Night Live
Tony Hale, Veep
Good for Tony Hale! I'm still shocked someone from Modern Family didn't win.

 
OUTSTANDING WRITING, COMEDY SERIES
Jeffrey Klarik, Episodes,
Louis C.K. and Pamela Adlon, Louie
Greg Daniels, The Office
Jack Burditt and Robert Carlock, 30 Rock,
Tina Fey and Tracey Wigfield, 30 Rock



OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A COMEDY
Mayim Bialik, The Big Bang Theory
Jane Lynch, Jane Lynch
Sofia Vergara, Modern Family
Julie Bowen, Modern Family
Merritt Wever, Nurse Jackie
Jane Krakowski, 30 Rock
Anna Chlumsky, Veep
Merritt Wever was a huge upset, but she literally gave the best speech in Emmy History. "I gotta go, bye!"

Review: Prisoners

"...shut up!"

 
That lovely header is literally what a bunch of random people said aloud in the theater a few different times. Awhile ago, I talked about the pros and cons of watching movies in a theater vs on demand, and I wrote that during certain movies, I actually really enjoy my fellow movie goers' reactions. This was one of those movies.
 
Keller and Grace Dover (Hugh Jackman and Maria Bello) are having Thanksgiving dinner with their friends and neighbors, Nancy and Franklin Birch (Viola Davis and Terrance Howard) their two 6 year old girls go outside to play, and never come home. They're frantic, there was a suspicious RV being driven by a man named Alex (Paul Dano) but detective Loki (Jake Gyllenhaal) who is burdened with glorious purpose says they do not have enough evidence to hold him. Keller, slowly losing his mind and his faith kidnaps Alex himself in hopes of him confessing to the location of his and the Birchs' daughters.
 
Here's why I loved my fellow audience so much. There were plenty of audible gasps, an occasional laugh because of the look on Jake Gyllenhaal's face, or a line that comes out of his mouth. (He's subtly hilarious in this) Then there was the fact that so many people yelled "SHUT UP" during two points of the film.
 
The acting in this was top notch, like I expected. Hugh Jackman really does give one of the best performances I've ever seen. Jake Gyllenhaal proves to be the bright spot in this mostly bleak movie. Even though this situation is terrible, we still get a bit of a laugh in here and there. I only wish Paul Dano were given more to do. He's perfectly meek and fragile as Alex, but he doesn't get a whole lot of screen time, but he makes it memorable when he does. I don't expect crime thrillers to have stunning cinematography, but this one sure did. Especially when you think about the fact that they filmed this in Georgia, and made it look like Pennsylvania. The make up is definitely impressing as well, if you've seen this, I think you know what scene I'm referring too.
 
Prisoners is probably the best movie I've seen this year and could easily be an Oscar contender. With a two and a half hour run time, the film still manages to keep you on the edge of your seat throughout. (I had a death grip on my popcorn) I love it when I have high expectations for a film and it absolutely delivers.
 
Recommended: Yes
 
Grade: A+

Memorable Quote: "This is wrong..." - Franklin (Terrance Howard)

Indie Gems: Parked

Even the worst sound mixing* in the world can't bring down this little gem.
 
Fred (Colm Meaney) has just moved back to Ireland from a long time in England. He can't find a place to live, and is forced to stay in his car in a small car park. Eventually, a 21 year old druggie named Cathal (Colin Morgan of Merlin fame.) parks next to him, and changes Fred's life in ways he never thought possible. 
 
The funny thing about Parked is that I assumed it was a comedy, only because it was my husband that threw it in our Netflix queue. I saw that it had Michael McElhatton (Roose Bolton!) in it, so I figured it would be good, I wasn't expecting it to be so quaint and devastating. A movie like this has potential to be a total buzz kill, but there's something about Meaney and Morgan's performances that just keep this film going. They're both lost souls just trying to find their way back into society. I thought their relationship was very beautiful, though very complicated.


I loved the piano music and the score in general through out, but there was one giant fault with this film, and it was the sound mixing.* Granted, it might not be the sound mixer's fault, it very well could've been the quality of the DVD, which came from Netflix so we know it's bottom of the barrel shit anyways, but at times the music was so loud, you couldn't hear the dialogue. You could tell it wasn't meant to be that way either, these guys had some important things to day. The DVD had no subtitles, so I found myself having to rewind the film quite often to listen closer at what they were saying, since I couldn't hear it. Then there were times the sound just went out completely. (Right during the first confrontation between Morgan and McElhatton's characters) I'm assuming anyone in Europe reading this won't have the same issue, since I you would have access to the correct DVD for your region.
 
Despite my DVD woes, I found this to be a very good little drama. I hope I can one day watch it again, with a better DVD.
 
Grade: B
 
Memorable Quote: "It's a beautiful thing." - Cathal (Colin Morgan)


 


My Final Emmy Predictions: Who will win, who should win.


September 22nd is not so far away. Here are my final Emmy predictions. Who will win, and who should win.

*Edit* I realize that some of these Emmys have been announced, but I wrote this last week, so I didn't change any of my predictions after the winners were announced.

OUTSTANDING COMEDY SERIES
The Big Bang Theory
Girls
Louie
Modern Family
30 Rock
Veep

Who will and should win: 30 Rock. I know Modern Family has taken this award for the past 3 Emmys, but since this is the last year 30 Rock will be eligible, I see this Emmy darling taking one more trophy.

OUTSTANDING DRAMA SERIES
Breaking Bad
Downton Abbey
Game Of Thrones
Homeland
House Of Cards
Mad Men

Who will win: Homeland. Even though Breaking Bad and Game of Thrones are better (IMO) I see a repeat of them winning.
Who should win: Breaking Bad. Yeah, bitch!

OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTOR IN A DRAMA
Bryan Cranston - Breaking Bad
Hugh Bonneville - Downton Abbey
Damian Lewis - Homeland
Kevin Spacey - House of Cards
Jon Hamm - Mad Men
Jeff Daniels - The Newsroom
Who will and should win: With Bryan Cranston's SAG win earlier this year, I'd say were safely back in Emmy winning territory.

OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTRESS IN A DRAMA
Vera Farmiga - Bates Motel
Michelle Dockery - Downton Abbey
Claire Danes - Homeland
Robin Wright - House of Cards
Elisabeth Moss - Mad Men
Connie Britton - Nashville
Kerry Washington - Scandal
Who will and should win: Claire Danes. Lets face it, Emmy voters are creatures of habit and they're not even considering anyone else.

OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTOR IN A COMEDY
Jason Bateman - Arrested Development
Jim Parsons - The Big Bang Theory
Matt LeBlanc - Episodes
Don Cheadle - House of Lies
Louis C.K. - Louie
Alec Baldwin - 30 Rock
Who will win: Alec Baldwin. Like I said, 30 Rock will go out in style.
Who should win: Louis C.K, because he's fucking hilarious. Or Jim Parsons, he's awesome too.


OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTRESS IN A COMEDY
Laura Dern - Enlightened
Lena Dunham - Girls
Edie Falco - Nurse Jackie
Amy Poehler as- Parks and Recreation
Tina Fey - 30 Rock
Julia Louis-Dreyfus - Veep
Who will and should win: Tina Fey. Poehler and Louis-Dreyfus are strong competitors, and I'd be happy with either of these three winning, but again, 30 Rock..

OUTSTANDING MINISERIES
American Horror Story: Asylum
Behind The Candelabra
The Bible
Phil Spector
Political Animals
Top Of The Lake

Who will and should win: Behind The Candelabra. I see this HBO mini taking home a ton of awards.


SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A DRAMA
Bobby Cannavale - Boardwalk Empire
Jonathan Banks - Breaking Bad
Aaron Paul as- Breaking Bad
Jim Carter - Downton Abbey
Peter Dinklage - Game of Thrones
Mandy Patinkin - Homeland
Who will and should win: Aaron Paul. Honestly, if Bobby Cannavale won, I would not be disappointed. He was the best thing about season 3 of Boardwalk Empire. (Aside from Charlie Cox's beautiful face that I will no longer see.)

OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A DRAMA
Anna Gunn - Breaking Bad
Maggie Smith - Downton Abbey
Emilia Clarke - Game of Thrones
Christine Baranski - The Good Wife
Morena Baccarin as- Homeland
Christina Hendricks - Mad Men
Who will win: Maggie Smith. Emmy voters love them some Maggie Smith.
Who should win: Anna Gunn. Season 5 had some of the best acting Anna has ever done on the show. Damn, I still wish Michelle Fairley would've been nominated here. 


OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A COMEDY
Adam Driver - Girls
Jesse Tyler Ferguson - Modern Family
Ed O’Neill - Modern Family
Ty Burrell - Modern Family
Bill Hader - Saturday Night Live
Tony Hale - Veep
Who will and should win: Someone from Modern Family, they seem to be playing musical chairs with the supporting actor comedy. I bet there are so many shows that can't wait for Modern Family to go off the air.

OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A COMEDY
Mayim Bialik - The Big Bang Theory
Jane Lynch - Glee
Sofia Vergara - Modern Family
Julie Bowen - Modern Family
Merritt Wever - Nurse Jackie
Jane Krakowski - 30 Rock
Anna Chlumsky - Veep
Who will win: Julie Bowen
Who should win: Jane Krakowski or Anna Chlumsky. Both are wonderful in their roles.

OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A MINISERIES OR MOVIE
James Cromwell - American Horror Story: Asylum
Zachary Quinto - Aerican Horror Story: Asylum
Scott Bakula - Behind The Candelabra

John Benjamin Hickey - The Big C: Hereafter
Peter Mullan - Top of the Lake
Who will win: Scott Bakula
Who should win: Zachary Quinto..just because it's logical.

OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A MINISERIES OR MOVIE
Sarah Paulson - American Horror Story: Asylum
Imelda Staunton - The Girl
Ellen Burstyn - Political Animals
Charlotte Rampling - Restless
Alfre Woodard - Steel Magnolias.
Who will win: Ellen Burstyn. I can't see them giving AHS more than one acting award.

OUTSTANDING VARIETY SERIES
The Colbert Report
The Daily Show With Jon Stewart
Jimmy Kimmel Live
Late Night With Jimmy Fallon
Real Time With Bill Maher
Saturday Night Live

Who will and should win: The Daily Show. They set the bar pretty high.


OUTSTANDING GUEST ACTOR IN A DRAMA
Nathan Lane  - The Good Wife
Michael J. Fox - The Good Wife

Rupert Friend  - Homeland

Robert Morse - Downton Abbey
Harry Hamlin - Mad Men

Dan Bucatinsky - Scandal

Who will win: Michael J. Fox, Emmys love him.

OUTSTANDING GUEST ACTRESS IN DRAMA SERIES
Margo Martindale - The Americans
Diana Rigg - Game of Thrones

Carrie Preston - The Good Wife

Linda Cardellini - Mad Men
Jane Fonda - The Newsroom

Joan Cusack - Shameless

Who will win: Jane Fonda. I think she's better in season 2 versus season 1, but she's still a powerful presence.
Who should win: Diana Rigg, because she's perfect as Lady Ollena

OUTSTANDING GUEST ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES
Bob Newhart - The Big Bang Theory
Nathan Lane - Modern Family

Bobby Cannavale  Nurse Jackie

Louis C.K. - Saturday Night Live

Justin Timberlake - Saturday Night Live

Will Forte - 30 Rock
Who will and should win: Justin Timberlake. SNL jizzed all over itself over Justin's most recent hosting gig, and he debuted one of the best songs he's ever done. (Mirrors) He's a lock.

OUTSTANDING GUEST ACTRESS IN A COMEDY
Molly Shannon - Enlightened

Dot-Marie Jones - Glee

Melissa Leo - Louie

Melissa McCarthy - Saturday Night Live
Kristen Wiig - Saturday Night Live

Elaine Stritch - 30 Rock

Who will and should win: Melissa Leo. Did you see her In Louie? LOL!

OUTSTANDING ANIMATED PROGRAM
Bob’s Burgers
Kung Fu Panda: Legends Of Awesomeness:
Regular Show
The Simpsons
South Park

Who will and should win: South Park. I'm bias
 
OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTRESS IN A MINISERIES OR MOVIE
Helen Mirren - Phil Spector
Laura Linney - The Big C
Sigourney Weaver - Political Animals
Jessica Lange - American Horror Story: Asylum
Elizabeth Moss - Top of the Lake
Who will win: Jessica Lange
Who should win: Laura Linney. I think it's cheap that they put the final season of The Big C in here, but hey. AHS gets away with being a mini series every year, so why the hell not?

 
OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTOR IN A MINISERIES OR MOVIE
Al Picino - Phil Spector
Michael Douglas - Behind the Candelabra
Matt Damon - Behind the Candelabra
Benedict Cumberbatch - Parade's End
Toby Jones - The Girl
Who will win: Damon and Douglas are going to have to duke it out. I give Damon the slight edge because he had more prosthetics.
Who should win: Toby Jones. He was perfect as Hitchcock.

 


Rambling TV: Breaking Bad recap + notes on The Newsroom season finale

So on a scale from one to Red Wedding, how much did you freak out over last night's episode of Breaking Bad?
 
I always said that Seven Thirty-Seven (season 2 episode 1 of Breaking Bad) might have been the best hour of TV I've ever seen. (That and Kissed By Fire in Game of Thrones, of course) but Ozymandais now takes that honor. How the hell is Vince Gilligan going to top this?
 
We got a cold open of Walt and Jesse's first cook (aww) Walt calls Skylar to lie about where he is, she plays it off. They discuss "Holly" as a name for their pending baby girl. They like it, they talk about getting together as a family, all is well. The next scene we're back to the same place in the desert, only with Gomez lying dead on the ground and Hank injured. Hank crawls towards Gomy's gun, but Jack stops him. Walt tries to beg for his life, and offers the neo-nazi's his 80 million fortune.  Jack shoots Hank in the head anyways, Walt lies on the ground in shock will they dig up his fortune.
 
 
This is where I switched sides on Walt very quickly. As their digging up his money and leaving him only one barrel, I'm all "Aww, I hope Walt kills every single one of them." THEN Walt gives away Jesse's hiding place. Jack is going to kill him, but Todd wants to keep him around to beat some information out of him about what he told the DEA. Then he'll kill him. Walt drops the bombshell on Jesse that he watched Jane die. "COME ON WALT!!! Sure, you blame Hank's death on Jesse, but really!?"
 
Remember this scene? Gahhhh!
 
The last shot of Jesse we get is him, beaten badly, being forced to cook with Todd while being held on a leash, with a picture of Andrea and Brock leaving their house to boot. Poor Jesse.
 
Marie, in full on bitch mode comes to the car wash to tell Skylar that Hank arrested Walt, and that she needs to tell Junior about it. I feel bad for Marie, because we know she lost her husband, but I still thought she was completely out of line for coming to Skylar like this. When they break the news to Junior, he obviously doesn't believe them and even tells Skylar that "if you knew, you're just as bad as him."
 
They drive home to find Walt packing, and he urges them to hurry up. It dawns on Skylar that Hank is dead. She thinks Walt killed him. She grabs a kitchen knife and tells Walt to leave, she swings it at him, and cuts his hand. Walt tackles her and tries to wrestle the knife away from her. I seriously held my breath during this entire scene because I thought Holly or Junior was going to get stabbed accidentally. Walt bites her, and takes the knife, Junior throws himself in front of his mother and calls the police. Walt, who can't believe this is what it has all come to leaves, but not before taking Holly. Fucking Anna Gunn OWNED this scene.
gif via cfranklin87
 
Walt is changing Holly's diaper, and Holly sweetly asks for her mama. Can a baby get an Emmy nomination? I'd say she was pretty spot on for all of this. What an adorable little face! Walt calls Skylar at home, the police and Marie are all ready there. Walt, knowing his, takes full responsibility for his actions, and belittles Skylar while doing it. "You stupid bitch" he calls her. "Why couldn't you just stay out of it? You never appreciated me." Walt sounds like Heisenberg, but when you see his face, he's got tears running down it. He's still trying to protect his family by taking credit for everything and removing any blame whatsoever on Skylar. I feel bad for people that watched this scene and didn't understand that is what was happening. Walt, as evil as he is, didn't want to say those thing, but he had too. When he tells them they'll never see Hank again, Marie loses it. Skylar just wants Holly back.
 
 
Walt, after giving Holly a long hug drops her off at a fire station with her address pinned to her clothes. It's probably a good thing she'll be too young to remember all of this.
 
The final scene is Walt meeting with the vacuum cleaner guy, and leaving to start his new life. So what next? We all know he comes back? I'm assuming the ricin is for Jack and his Nazi friends? Will Walt save Jesse? Or will he kill him? Or will Jesse kill Walt? I really just want to see those two in another scene together, properly talking things out. Judging by the preview, Saul comes into this some how. There's only two episodes left. The Emmys are next week, I'll be tuning out for an hour. Hopefully nothing interesting happens during that time, because no one will be watching.
 
A few things we learned from The Newsroom season finale.
 
gif via bellebryant
 
*Don and Sloan finally kissed! That made me happy, those two are perfect for each other. Plus Don saying "What I have can't be taught." before Mac screamed at him was hilarious.
 
*This episode was so light hearted, it was exactly what I needed after watching Breaking Bad.
 
*Leona Fucking Lansing. LOL
 

gif via vaskik
 
*I think I'm the only person that really doesn't care for the Will/MacKenzie relationship. I know they're supposed to be the center of the show, but them getting together really didn't do much for me.
 
*I hope a good chunk of season 3 is about their lawsuit with Jerry Dantana, because I need to see those scenes. Especially after that speech Don gave to Rebecca. I want to see Jerry iron his clothes while wearing them too.
 
*I wanted to punch Maggie in the face at the beginning of this episode for being so smug, but at the end, I'm glad her and Jim finally got to talk, and that her and Lisa will hopefully straighten things out. Please don't let Maggie be such a teenager next season. Give her character the growth you were trying to give her all season before you fell flat on your face on episode 8.
 
*Does this mean I have to see more of Hallie next season? Ugh.
 
*Neal deserves employee of the month.
 
*Charlie is still my favorite character and I loved that last scene with him and Reese.
 
*Fuck that D.C news anchor bitch.
 
 
On the side, Boardwalk Empire killed a dog in last night's episode. Not fucking cool. But on the bright side, they had this scene..
 
 




Indie Gems: The Iceman

Living a double life.
Richard Kuklinski (Michael Shannon) has a job dubbing porno movies. His wife, Deborah (Winona Ryder) thinks he dubs cartoons. When that job falls through, he's given another as a contract killer by a mob boss, Roy Demeo. (Ray Liotta) He excels at this, and his family has no idea.
 
I had never heard of the real Kuklinski until I stumbled upon this while reading Michael Shannon's filmography. This guy is fucked up. He killed over 100 people. I thought The Iceman really made an effort to show what a family man Richard really was behind the scenes. Though in real life, his wife accused him of beating her, the film never shows him raising a hand to her. He does, however, trash their house after an argument that SHE apologizes for. That floored me how dependant Deborah was on him.
 
Michael Shannon is awesome as always. When isn't he? He's at his best when he's playing someone creepy, but he plays the loving side as well. I cannot get enough of him. Winona Ryder gives a subtle supporting performance, and others such as James Franco and Chris Evans pop up and nail their parts as well. The Iceman may not be the best movie Shannon's done, but it's certainly interesting and never bores.
 
Side note: Don't search "The Iceman" without specifying you want the movie or Michael Shannon on Google Images. Just don't.
 
Grade: B
 
Memorable Quote: "Why are you acting like you don't give a shit?" = Roy Demeo (Ray Liotta)

Review: Blackfish

The Notorious TIL
 
Director Gabriela Cowperthwaite enlightens us an on uncomfortable subject. Sure, one can argue a lot of the things said in Blackfish can be found online, but this film offers a little bit more detail, and is nicely put together for those who haven't had the time to look around the web.
 
At the center of Blackfish is Tilikum. He is responsible for the deaths of three people, most recently the grisly death of Dawn Brancheau in 2010. One man in this documentary describes what I feel like Tilikum's behavior is to a tee,  He's frustrated. Frustrated by spending his life in a small tank when he was captured in the wild at age two. Cowperthwaite takes us back to the beginning. She speaks with a man that used to catch whales in the wild for a living, and the footage shown is devastating to watch. Hearing the noise a mother whale makes when it's separated from its calf is gut wrenching. Even worse when SeaWorld purposely split up mother and calf in captivity, and the poor trainers were powerless against the big wigs that made that decision for them. It really put things in perspective. I have a two year old. What if someone took him from me? Is Tilikum's mother still searching for him like I would be? On the side, one thing this doc did that I really appreciated was that after something very heavy was shown, they would cut to an old campy SeaWorld commercial from the late 80's/early 90's. (They even show scenes from one of my favorite B movies, Orca) Those moments to get my composure were needed.
 
Hearing from the former trainers was one of the most interesting parts of this doc. (It was also the best part of the book Death at SeaWorld, by David Kirby, which I read prior to watching.) They were really kept in the dark about a lot of things. Past accidents, take Ken Peters being pulled under water at SeaWorld San Antonio for example, John Sillick, a trainer that was crushed by another whale. SeaWorld had the audacity to call it "trainer error." The clip shows otherwise. Even the death of Keltie Byrne, at the hands fins of Tilikum and two other whales was barely touched upon before these trainers met the whales. While the doc didn't talk to anyone in Keltie's family, they did speak with a few eye witnesses. Three years ago, the only think you could find online about Keltie Byrne was a small blurb on Wikipedia saying she slipped and fell in the whale tank. There was also a news clip on youtube in Danish? I believe that touched up a little more on the subject. Turns out that's not exactly the whole story. Yes she slipped, but only her foot fell in the water, Tilikum pulled her in. They'd never had a human in the water and she was their new toy. When Sealand closed after this tragedy, one of the trailers tells the camera he was happy for Tilikum to be going to the "bigger and better" SeaWorld. "Alright Tilly, you're going to Disneyland! Have fun!" he exclaims, sarcastically. He didn't expect things to go the way they did.
 
Also touched up on was the death of Alexis Martinez by a whale named Keto in 2009. This happened on Christmas Eve, just a few months before Dawn Brancheau would meet her untimely death. Outside Online has a very well written piece giving you more information on Alexis. The thing about his death, was that it got zero publicity in the states until AFTER Dawn Brancheau was killed. SeaWorld lent it's whales to Loro Parque, the marine park that Alexis worked at. When he was killed, he was being supervised by one of SeaWorld's top trainers. His fiancĂ©e tells us how the police and Loro Parque staff weren't honest with her at the start. They told her he was going to be okay. His chest was crushed. He wasn't okay.
 
The film starts and ends with Dawn Brancheau. We hear the 911 calls on the day of, we also cut back in forth with court transcripts from when OSHA took SeaWorld to court over the safety of their employees. Why was Dawn allowed to be so close to a whale with Tilikum's record?  SeaWorld insists that it was all trainer error, that her distracting pony tail drifted into Tilly's mouth and he pulled her in. Eye witnesses said he pulled her in by her arm. He eventually bit part of that arm off and swallowed it. Her autopsy report is disturbing.
 
The important thing here is that Tilikum is not shown as a crazy savage whale that wants to kill. In fact, many trainers called Tilly their favorite, and all felt sorry for him. Orcas, aside from being the ocean's top predators are a very female dominated species. Calves stay with their mothers for their entire lives in the wild. Tilikum was brutalized by the females he was placed with in captivity. Because of this, he's often kept alone, floating in a small tank. Mind you, Tilikum is the largest whale in captivity. 22 feet long and nearly 12,000 lbs. He's a huge animal with no place to swim to avoid the conflicts. Cowperthwaite doesn't call for immediate protesting of SeaWorld or anything, she suggests that Tilikum and other old whales that have spent a life in captivity be released to a sea pen to live out their days. I agree with this, seeing as releasing Keiko of Free Willy fame into the wild didn't exactly go so well.
 
 This film as a whole makes me re-think that time I went to SeaWorld as a kid. I loved it. Seeing an orca up close is amazing, and I really did learn a lot about marine life there. (I didn't know false killer whales existed until I went to SeaWorld) This is where I'm torn. I'm disgusted by the things SeaWorld does in this documentary. (No one from SeaWorld actually spoke to the film makers, they even sent out a letter to many film critics telling them that this movie contains false information) But at the same time, I understand the need to study these animals. People like me who live in bumfuck nowhere Midwest are never going to see an Orca up close UNLESS we go to a place like SeaWorld. I think if SeaWorld turned into an animal sanctuary with a sea pen, it would be more beneficial. People could still see these wonderful creatures, and they could be in the ocean where they belong, and not doing tricks. Again, I feel like a hypocrite there because don't dolphins look like they're having the time of their lives when their doing tricks?
 
The sad thing about all of this is, Tilikum (or any of the other wild caught Orcas for that matter) will probably never get released into said sea pen. He's SeaWorld's own private sperm bank. 54% of the captive born whales from SeaWorld have Tilly's genes. Because breeding a whale with a history of aggression is genius. What if he grows frustrated and kills again? We know he's capable of it. Does another trainer have to lose their life in order for more freedom to be granted towards these magnificent creatures?
 
Wow, I really lived up to my rambling name with this one. I guess this film just really affected me, I knew it would, I just wasn't expecting it to be as intense.

As always, I'd love to hear your thoughts.
 
Recommended: Yes
 
Grade: A
 
Memorable Quote: "I stayed because I felt bad for Tilikum."