Season Finales

Haven’t seen anything new this week. Well, it’s not like I’m going to see something every week. So this time, I thought I would talk about season finales and what kinds I like and don’t like.

Mostly, as a viewer, I don’t like those big cliffhanger kinds, the ones where everyone is in danger. The ones where a characters fate is uncertain because of what kind of choice they might make is fine, but those large danger ones are just a bit, ugh.

Well, one reason, and perhaps the main one is that I want to know what happens to them. Typically, give anyone enough time to think about things, and they’ll probably be able to pull out cooler and more stylish resolutions than what the writers had in mind when the wrote the scene. That is unless the writers just didn’t have anything in mind so they, too, had the entire season break to think about it. And sometimes, the resolution isn’t anything more show-shattering compared to normal. Of course, sometimes it is.

Also, having such a long time between two connected events means people are doing to forget what happens. They’ll usually replay the ned of last season leading up to the new season, but I mostly don’t feel like watching things again just to remember what happens.

Sometimes, I think a nice place for a season finale is a place in the show where there logically would be a few months time jump, such as one season of Castle when he went to a book tour for the duration of the season’s break. Or the season 2 ending of Sherlock where there was an actual 2 year break, show-time till season 3. Having the season starter happen seconds after the season finale is just feels like a pure tease.

Usually, last season’s main bad guy gets taken out in the first episode of the new season anyway, so they aren’t even there for the rest of the season. They could have been taken out on the season finaler instead.

In the case of Sleepy Hollow, maybe the everyone in danger cliffhanger finale will work since they introduced a new badguy that will hopefully stay around instead of being handled the next episode. If the season finale has a big change of character dynamics, that isn’t bad.

One season finale I really liked was the first season of Elementary. They dealt with the bad guy and that was the ending. I kept waiting for some needless twist in the last second but none happened. I thought it was good. The first part of their character arc was over and a new one was beginning. There was no need for some flashy closing, just Sherlock and Joan hanging out together.

I’m really just randomly talking now, so I’ll stop before I start making even less sense. See you next time.

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The Lego Movie

First word: Awesome.

That aptly sums up this movie. Though if you want more, The Lego Movie follows the trend of other lego games where it fully celebrates the fact that everyone is legos. They build things, destroy things just like legos. The characters articulate mostly as the legos do. They can’t even close their hands. They have some deliberate jumpiness in the animation, a bit like stop-motion lego movies made by fans.

Everything about the world is made up of fun, lego pieces. This includes the smoke and water. Some of the best effects are actually the moving smoke, waves and explosions, all built with legos. The visuals are really striking and shows off just how creative it’s possible to get with legos. I am assuming everything (minus certain characters) are real lego pieces, and thus, really creatable.

The Lego Movie is funny, with great original characters and lego interpretations of famous characters, such as Batman, Superman and many others. Jokes come fast, especially those relating to how legos operate. The voice actors all do a great job and are fun to listen to. I especially like Unikitty. Her words made me feel the most (emotions in general).

This movie is so  much more than just a series of jokes, though. There are also many serious and sad parts. I will admit I more than teared up during certain parts of the story. They hit great strides between humor and sadness, all while never breaking the lego character. The last act is also pretty great, though I won’t say too much about it.

Go see The Lego Movie, it’s great for kids, great for adults, too. This movie is not just for ages 8-14.

 

Spoils of Bablyon

Or more accurately, Eric Jonrosh’s the Spoils of Bablyon. This is a miniseries that played in the IFC (independent Films Channel), about a forbidden romance and the American dream.

When I first saw this miniseries, I wasn’t that interested in it. It was about romance, the love kind which I usually don’t go for. And romance, the idealistic kind, which I’m okay with. They had some big names in there, like Tobey Maguire and Kristen Wiig, but it really wasn’t the kind of plot I would go see.

Then I heard someone that did see it talk about the first two episodes. After that, I was all over it. Spoils of Bablyon is a serious love story as directed by a guy with not enough money and dubious talent: Eric Jonrosh. He wrote, scripted, produced, financed, directed and every other possible administrative position on the series, and it is wildly off.

In case you are still a bit confused, let me be clear in that the Spoils of Bablyon is a spoof of those serious drama stories. Every episode opens and closes with Eric Jonrosh, talking at the viewer about his process and thoughts, often going off on wild tangents. Also, Tobey Maguire, Kristen Wiig and all the other actors aren’t playing  their characters. They are playing actors playing their characters. Also, Eric Jonrosh is an actor as well.

The story presented in the miniseries could very well be a serious tale with just minor tweaks to the directing, and that’s what I love about it. There is not straight man here, no one to point out the ridiculousness that is going on. Everyone is playing their roles as seriously as possible. It just comes out as hilariously bad translating from book to film.

The budget jokes on the miniseries come a lot. Every large angle shot is an obvious model instead of real buildings or cars. It kind of gets tiring but also kind of not since the fact that the wide shots are models is never mentioned, pointed out or alluded to. It’s simply there, trying to be serious.

The most fun about the Spoils of Babylon is that it’s a mini series about an attempt at a serious film, by serious actors, with a serious write/producer/director/…, it just comes together as wholly something else when everyone is finished. And what you see is that result.

I really enjoy this kind of offbeat stuff so I continued watching after the first two episodes. I do wonder how many people were sucked in by the premise of a serious love story. Eric Jonrosh’s The Spoils of Babylon was a nice surprise for me and something I enjoyed.

Sherlock

This past weekend the American Broadcast of Sherlock’s season 3 concluded, so I’ll give my thoughts on it.

Well, the first 2 episodes of Sherlock were really referential to the fandom as well as much lighter in general. I, for one, like meta-ness like that and really enjoyed them. The 2nd episode, in particular, was the funniest one out of the whole series thus far.

Sherlock and John quickly get into form of solving cases and getting John to just barely want to choke Sherlock out. Mary, John’s fiancee, is a fun character, too. Instead of being worried about all the dangerous adventures, she encourages it. It’s the kind of character that won’t outrage people too much because she doesn’t get in the way of the fun and mysteries.

This season seems to focus much more in the relations between Sherlock, Mycroft, John and Mary. Much of the first episode was about John’s life after Sherlock’s perceived death. Not as much time is devoted to the mysteries, though I will say I did enjoy the second episode when you see Sherlock realize that something is afoot as it happens.

I’m okay with all the character focus. Given the show’s hour-and-a-half long format, they are still able to provide a good bit of fun with the puzzle-solving, but the cases are not as engaging as the first two season’s.

Even in the third episode, when Sherlock confronts the bad guy of the season, it was still more about John than really solving the case. Solving the case just happens to help John. The bad guy, Magnussen, was suitably smug and creepy, however, and I enjoyed watching him work and interact with the people he blackmails. He’s not at Moriarty’s level, but he’s no slouch in being a villain, and he manages to royally get Sherlock mad.

On the subject of John Watson, I really wish he was more integral to solving cases. He is, for all intents and purposes, a sounding board that doesn’t respond back most of the time. His dynamic with Sherlock works, though. He is the human part while Sherlock is the logical part. Together, they make one presentable detective.

The ending of the season though, and there will be exact spoilers here, they do love their cliffhangers. Jim Moriarty is apparently back from the dead, just like Sherlock. If they pull off something like in the first episode of Season 3 again, where they don’t tell you exactly what happens, I will be upset. The opening of Season 4 had better be exactly how both Sherlock and Jim survived. That’s of course assuming Jim did survive and what happened at the end was not some plot triggered by someone else using a face they knew would cause panic.

For a show like Sherlock, that’s about using factual information to solve mysteries, I feel they really should show us how things happened instead of being coy about it. Of course, the writers might not even be able to come up with something satisfactory after 2 years of fan speculation (part of the fun they poked in the first episode).

Overall, the third season was funnier and more human compared to the previous seasons. I found it really enjoyable that hits high points in both humor and seriousness for the series.