Wednesday, November 28

Heroes - week 10

oh my. the first Heroes impressions post that's not on written the same day as Heroes! well, i wasn't quite home yet from Vegas Monday when Heroes first aired, so i had to download it and watch it last night. reason i didn't post THEN is because i was busy catching up on Journeyman and Chuck (yes i watch Chuck now, it's a guilty nerdy pleasure).

so here it is. hope i remember all my thoughts from last night.

- things seemed to move like molasses the first 8-or-so episodes this season and all of the sudden things are rushing to a conclusion starting this week (and presumably into next). did it feel rushed to any of you guys? like this red-headed woman has been a mystery for a while and Peter and Adam decide to track her down AND find her ALL IN ONE EPISODE?!? and Sylar and the twins took FOREVER to get through Mexico and now they're all of the sudden in New York?!? SLOW DOWN.

- really think they're missing out on telling stories about Nathan's recovery (i mean come on, the guy just learned his brother is alive and... what? what is he up to? is he trying to find him or what?) and Parkman. Parkman especially this week. Parkman last week went into Peter's mom's head (we're led to believe) to get the location of the red-haired older woman hero, so shouldn't we have had a scene with him either meeting up with Peter and Adam at her place or maybe him arriving after she was dead? AND WHAT IS NATHAN UP TO??? my suggestion: skip the New Orleans story and deal with people we really care about.

- tired of the twin chick falling so easily for Sylar and his tricks. i could see maybe, MAYBE her telling her brother to leave, that she didn't need him anymore, but now all of the sudden she's so blindly in love with him that she'll enter Suresh's apartment where this little girl is sleeping (Molly) and basically hold her hostage so that Suresh will show up? no way. oh, and they shouldn't have killed the brother, not yet... but Heroes has a tendency to kill people too fast.

- ok, after all that hate, a little love. i love that Claire's dad is alive and being held by the Company. i ALSO love that Claire is mad as hell and isn't going to run anymore... though the declaration came out of left field, i can't wait to see where it leads.

- you can see Elle starting to doubt her father and the Company. very cool, as long as she doesn't lose that spark that makes her her.

- will the outbreak of the virus be from this super-strain being held in Texas (that we just learned about this very episode by the way - RUSHED) or will it instead be from what Nikki is infected with? that would be more interesting (and a nice case of misdirection) - we think it's in Texas, and that one gets saved, but then because Suresh couldn't get to Nikki in time because Sylar was knocking at his door... Nikki is the alpha case.

- just as i'm tired of Sylar manipulating the twin chick so easily, i'm even more tired of Peter being so easily manipulated ESPECIALLY now that he has his memory back. i know they're trying to say that he cares about this new girlfriend of his more than anything and that's why he's trying to help Adam "stop" the virus, but COME ON! you can't tell me that once he got his memories back he wouldn't have rushed to see his brother and mother!!!

- they are SLOWLY revealing things that the old heroes did in the past, but it's not nearly enough ESPECIALLY now that the writers are killing them all off. i mean come on! we don't even know what half of them can do! what was Hiro's father's power? how about the red-haired older woman? clue us in will ya!

i think that's about it. i didn't see the preview for next week but was told that some of the heroes converge on Texas and have a stand-off against Peter and Adam. i don't know... we'll see how it plays out. oh, and i heard that "2 heroes will die!" - what?!? it better not be anybody important / that i like. well, if they "die," they've always got Claire's blood now to bring them back.

to sum up: writing that was once keeping me happy and on a pretty good (but slow) pace has suddenly turned frantic and hectic. storylines are being neglected and others are being told needlessly. it's sloppy and rushed. i don't know if the impending writer's strike (impending at the time, now it's an actuality) had anything to do with the sudden change, but all i know is that this could be the last Heroes we get for 9 months (if the strike continues) and i just want it to continue to be GOOD while we've got it.

- kawitchate

Monday, November 19

Heroes - week 9

forgive and forget. i was pretty mad at Heroes last week, only showing us half the stories i wanted to see, but i'm over it now... mostly because i think they WILL show us the rest of the stories (especially Sylar's story - they HAVE to), it's just a matter of when.

Heroes is back on track this week and it was pretty darn good.


- really liked how this was like a "theme" episode with everyone involved dealing with father issues. i know that Heroes tries to do the whole theme thing (with the Suresh voice over at the start of the episode and at the end tying things together) but never before has it felt so... cohesive. Parkman dealing with potentially becoming his father, Claire and her dad, Elle and Bob, Hiro letting his father go (or rather, accepting his departure from THIS world)... all very cool.

- Parkman's new power is AWESOME... and the way he's got to struggle with not becoming his father now has some real potential. since it's such a powerful power, i hope it doesn't get overused like that reality-bending power got overused in the latter half of last season (the girl that worked for the company and was watching over a kidnapped Micah).

- speaking of powers that could potentially become overused, how about Claire's blood? we saw what it did to her dad... does this mean dead doesn't necessarily mean dead anymore? will anybody really die? i liked it more when the lives of characters were on the line last season, how Mendez died and stayed dead... well, we'll see what happens.

- speaking of what happened to Claire's dad, what a great story. the painting made you (and him) believe it would be Claire and her new boyfriend that would kill him - but it was Suresh and the Company. and of COURSE he wasn't going to stay dead (i'm just surprised they showed him alive again this episode - thought they'd save it for later), but what are the ramifications? does the Company have him now? will they make him work for them, threatening they'll go after his family if he doesn't? could be some interesting stuff to come out of this new storyline.

- Suresh has some issues to deal with as well after betraying the trust of Noah and sticking with the Company (oh, and murdering someone).

- Elle couldn't get any more cool. however, i'm worried that what Noah told her this week will set her on a path that will make her the Company's lap dog no more (and to an inevitable confrontation with her father)... and while that's cool for character progression, i think i'll miss the Elle that was. we'll see.

- Hiro finding out that Adam is the one murdering the old heroes was cool. it's interesting trying to piece together what exactly Adam is up to. he's telling Peter they've got to save the world (from the virus supposedly, at least that's what Peter thinks) and then he's going around murdering the old heroes. maybe his definition of "saving the world" isn't what Peter thinks it is - maybe it's to rid the world of heroes.

2 more episodes before the end of the Fall season, perhaps the end of the ENTIRE season if the writer's strike goes on too much longer. i really doubt they can wrap up all the open storylines in 2 episodes and save the world but... we'll see. that's what all the ads say is going to happen. what do i think? there'll be a cliffhanger and we'll be left hanging until next Fall when the writers have time to catch up on writing after the strike is over sometime next Spring.

preview for next Monday's episode looked good. most interested in Claire and Elle's confrontation and Sylar and Suresh's confrontation - and if Sylar is there... where are the twins?

- kawitchate

i watched some movies!

what used to be a weekly - if not daily - occurrence has now become a monthly or bi-monthly pasttime. watching movies. i seem to only see them on airplanes or on vacation recently, but in the past 2 weeks i've seen 3 movies worth blogging about. and here they are:

- TMNT -

it probably comes as no surprise that i was a HUGE Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles fan growing up. that said, i didn't have too high of expectations going into TMNT, the new revitalization of the Turtles movies. how did it turn out? very well i may say.

it wasn't trying to be completely new, which i liked (i kind of put it in the same ballpark as Superman Returns, with it acknowledging the other movies happened, but not being stuck in the rut of their history and style). in fact, i liked it a LOT. it REALLY captured the family that is the turtles, and the overall storyline wasn't too shabby either, with the bad guy having his own twist. it managed to give time to Casey and April, which was neat, and showed the Raph/Leo conflict perfectly. the CGI was spectacular, and the fights were great.

my only gripes are that it could have been longer, could have focused even MORE on Casey and April, and ESPECIALLY more on Mikey and Don (they were, sadly, underdeveloped in the movie). oh, and we could have had more of the Foot, but at least they were in there.

really hope there's a sequel.

- Syriana -

this movie is to the oil industry as The Insider is to big tobacco. it's not anti-American, not anti-Capitalism, not anti-ANYTHING. it just IS.

and that's why i ended up liking it so much.

we get to see a bunch of different people's perspectives on the merger of 2 big oil companies and how it affects everyone involved - from those that run the oil companies to the government that has to approve the merger, the CIA agent put in charge of doing dirty business in the Middle East to those lowly employees put out of a job. i don't think i've seen a more HONEST movie since The Insider.

it's amazing seeing millions upon millions of dollars trading hands in one scene, and then oil workers struggling to eat in the next. Clooney and Damon both put forth excellent - REAL - performances. everyone involved was top-notch.

i can't recommend this movie enough.

- The Departed -

maybe it's because i just saw Syriana the night previous, but i've got to say... i was let down by The Departed a little.

don't get me wrong, The Departed is a wonderfully crafted ride, filled with tons of stomach-churning scenes (from being nervous for the characters involved) and HOLY SHIT moments... but you pretty much knew where the ride was going to end. directing and editing definitely had a style to them, which was cool... and the acting was good, but not as great as in Syriana.

what was cool is that we got to see a little of a lot of characters, but i wish we could have seen even MORE of LESS characters - like the 2 main characters. there weren't enough quiet moments with them. they both had a hell of a ride when it was done, and it would have been interesting to see them experiencing it quietly a bit more - especially Leo.

oh, and while i knew what was going to happen at the end, i'm still not sure i liked it. all i'll say is that i wish one of the people that dies at the end didn't die. i think it would have been more interesting had he lived and no one knew who he was, what he had done.

really makes me want to see Infernal Affairs (the Japanese movie The Departed was a remake of).

OVERALL (out of ****)

TMNT: ***
Syriana: ****
The Departed: *** 1/2

- kawitchate

Tuesday, November 13

Heroes - week 8

well, here it is. the episode in which we were promised we'd find out what happened to everyone 4 months ago after the blast. i hadn't been this excited for an episode of Heroes since the season 2 premiere.

i haven't been this let down by an episode of Heroes since the season 2 premiere.

why? i think it's because they both promised things they didn't keep - or rather there's just so much more that they COULD have been. as they were, they were disappointing. they both were half-episodes, only revealing parts, only focusing on a few of the characters - and i'd be fine with this episode if next week were part 2... but it's not. next week we're back to the present. and it sucks.


- we were promised we'd find out what happened after the blast. well, we found out what happened TO SOME HEROES, not all of them. what happened to Claire and her family? what happened to the cop that caused him to break up with his wife and move in with Molly and Suresh? how did Claire's dad, the cop, and Suresh team up to take down The Company? how did Ando cope with Hiro being gone? and, most disappointing of all - WHAT HAPPENED TO SYLAR??? of the stories we were told, they were pretty cool, but i wanted to hear them ALL. and don't tell me they didn't have the time - Nikki's story didn't need to be as long (or told at all if it meant telling another story in its place), Peter's ran a bit long as well, and i don't know if we needed the twins' backstory at all.

- LOVED finding out what happened to Nathan (burnt to a crisp) and Peter (guilt-ridden per usual) post-blast. cool to see Peter blow up, then fly back and save his brother. also really cool to see the exchange between Nathan's wife and mother (so the mother is the one that broke them up essentially?) - actually would have liked to see MORE of Nathan's story. oh, and how Nathan got back to looking normal? nice.

- i'm not sure how i'm liking how gullible Peter is, first being convinced to join the program to control his powers and now being Adam's puppet to "save the world." it seemed Peter was finally becoming his own man at the end of last season, but now here he is, just as guilt-ridden and gullible as usual.

- MORE KRISTIN BELL PLEASE!!! man her character rocks.

- LESS TWINS PLEASE!!! while their powers are interesting, the constant "i killed people, cry cry cry" "it's ok, it'll be ok, i'll fix it" back and forth between the two is getting a little annoying.

- bringing D.L. back from the dead only to kill him IN THE SAME MANNER (gunshot) was a bit lame, but i did like the story (of her trying to go straight with the pills, then trying it on her own, failing, and him dying sort of as a result). another reason i didn't like it? i think i would have liked it if the 3 of them were doing super-hero stuff like the kid suggested (like the Fantastic 4 - er, 3). it was cool to see him save that girl in the fire... won't get to see that again now that he's dead (for good i'm assuming).

so, i liked what stories we were given, but was pissed that we didn't get them ALL (and that it doesn't look like we will - or won't for a while). the preview said there are 3 episodes left until the first part of the season is over - and after that who knows if we'll get a second half, what with the writer's strike and all - and i'm liking where things are going.

i just didn't like their incomplete telling tonight of where things were... 4 months ago.

- kawitchate

Tuesday, November 6

the rainy season

random notes from paradise:

- it's officially the rainy season here and MAN can you tell the difference. this past Sunday was the first day i can remember where the sun didn't come out ONCE during the whole day - it was gray and rainy just like Wisconsin autumns/springs. and the rain? it's not like it was before (where it would drizzle/shower for a few minutes, then clear up - like Florida). now it pours, and it pours for a while. we'll keep you posted as to how the rainy season affects my moped riding and my MOOD.

- parents visited for a week and a half about a week and a half ago. was really nice seeing them. however, when they left it reminded me of just how lonely things can be out here in the middle of the Pacific. oh well. on my days off we did touristy stuff and at night we sat and watched our television shows. the last weekend they were here we went to the Big Island hoping to see some lava flows but came away only seeing the crater/cauldron and some steam and sulfur vents. oh, and there was the most awesome highway in the U.S. it was a pretty awesome trip - such an alien landscape there. definitely have to go again. next time they come out.

- my birthday was last week. thanks to all that wished me a happy one (and for those that didn't, don't worry - i don't care much when it comes to happy birthdays). i'm 26 now, which actually took me a while to figure out. when i first sat down and thought "how old am i turning again?" i had myself CONVINCED that i was already 26 and that i was turning 27. just goes to show you that once you're old enough to drink and drive rental cars, nothing much matters after that. ok, maybe 30. and then 40. after that the stress of being a game designer will probably have killed me.

- i've got lots on the back burner that i've been meaning to write about - finished television shows, video games reviews/news, movie reviews, album reviews, etc. - but i've been busy. one of these days.



Heroes - week 7

another good episode where things (sort of unexpectedly) came to a head for some of the characters, new (surprising) allegiances were formed, we found out what will wipe out New York this time (and it's pretty cool) - and our villain was finally revealed. surprises all around.


- Hiro's story came to a satisfying conclusion, though the sword battle between him and Takensei could have been more epic... who knows though, that might not be the battle that was in the painting (they may fight again).

- i'm a little disappointed that the allegiance that Suresh and Claire's dad formed to take down The Company has already dissolved. i really would have liked to see that happen - instead Claire's dad is obsessing over this painting of his daughter killing him and Suresh, like usual, doesn't know what to do... so he turns to The Company and spills the beans (which, admittedly, was pretty surprising and cool).

- why doesn't Claire's dad just show her the damn painting and get it over with already?!? oh wait, i know, because otherwise there wouldn't be a story there. duh. it's all going a little over-the-top (especially with him now saying they have to move), BUT, the saving grace could be that The Company is now after Claire to find an antidote to the mutated virus.

- SPEAKING of the mutated virus, it's awesome that that's what wipes out New York (and most of the world from what i heard) in less than a year. very nice tie-in. it was cool how Peter learned about it (as well as you the audience) at the same time as it was happening in the past (with Nikki injecting herself). nice writing.

- Parkman coming into his own and saving the day was pretty cool, though i wish the battle would have been a little more epic between him and his father. ha - that's the 2nd time i've said i wished a battle were more epic in this episode... i don't know, they're HEROES, they have POWERS... i want to see them go all-out!

- Nathan learning his brother was alive and Peter remembering who he is (or at least who his mother is, which is a start) was pretty cool. however, speaking of Peter...

- Adam. my friend guessed correctly as to his identity (honestly i didn't put two and two together, but it makes so much sense), and man is it AWESOME. what does Adam want with Peter? will he have enough sway over Peter if his memory's not back yet? could we actually see the two of them team up and be the bad guys for part of the season?

if the previews are anything to go by, these questions and more MAY be answered next week, as we finally get to see what happened in the 4 months since the Heroes came together last and saved New York (in last season's finale). HELL YES.

this week's Heroes was great, but i think next week's will be even BETTER (and usually i hate the flashback episodes, but not when it's actually telling me something i MISSED).

oh, and again, if you're not watching Journeyman right after Heroes, you should be. week after week i finish watching Heroes and i'm like "ok, man was that good" and then Journeyman comes on and... wow. it always beats Heroes out. no matter how good the Heroes, Journeyman just steps it up a notch. but then again, i like time travel and personal drama.

- kawitchate