Flabbergasted's blog

Helix: "274" (Season 1, Episode 3)

“Where the hell is my monkey?” That’s an actual line of dialogue, folks.

 

Still, this episode is better than the two-episode pilot. Better stagecraft all around: the sets look more colorful, the camera work sharper, and the scene context and pacing crisper. It’s not great, but it no longer feels dangerously close to a SyFy movie. And a big part of that is the sidelining of infected Peter. That gives then a chance to do an actual attempt at a story instead of a blurry riff on better movies. 

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Helix: "Vector" (Season One, Pilot)

The show itself wrote my summary with this inane bit of dialogue: “Look, we’ve been at this for an hour and still no monkeys.” Yep, you and me both, lady.

 

That’s a pithy way of saying a lot of stuff happens, but it never congeals into an actual story that demands your attention. I understand it’s a pilot episode, with the somewhat inevitable flattening effect that goes along, but it almost feels like the show is trying to get by on mood alone. The end result is kind of a miasma. Think of it as a low budget, less interesting version of “The Thing.”

 

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The Walking Dead: "Too Far Gone" (Season 4, Episode 8)

That's a dangerous title.

Between The Governor and the plague prison, the show itself was almost too far gone. Here they push us to the brink by showing more of the Governor doing tedious Governor stuff, then try to redeem it all by blowing everything up in the last fifteen minutes. The word that comes to mind is cluster****. Still, if there’s one thing this show knows how to do, it’s stage a big action sequence.

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The Walking Dead: "Dead Weight" (Season 4, Episode 7)

Well, that was pointless, now wasn’t it?

The Governor goes from psychopath to sad loser surrounded by lazy walkers to family man and back to psychopath, all in the span of 1.25 episodes. Why? I guess because there were two episodes to kill. Maybe next week’s slam-bang action will give me second thoughts, but at this point I’m seriously unimpressed with the whole Governor arc. And yes, that retroactively extends all the way back to the third season.

It’s dead weight.

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Ender's Game

One of the foundational novels of modern science fiction finally gets the movie treatment. It also gets released one week before “Thor: The Dark World” and three weeks before the next “Hunger Games” installment. In box office terms, its quality is thus irrelevant. It was guaranteed to get kneecapped on its way to being clubbed like a baby seal.

So, for the history books, what kind of movie is it?

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