Tuesday, June 21, 2016

103 episodes of Person of Interest

It all started with a machine, a machine with more heart and a better soul then any human. Each week the machine would give its creator a number and victim or perpetrator the machine her creator, Harold played by Michael Emerson (Lost), the man in the suit, John Reese played by Jim Caviezel, NYPD Detectives Carter played by Taraji P Henson and Fusco played by Kevin Chapman along with Root played by Amy Acker and Shaw played by Sarah Shahi would be there to lead a helping hand.

Created by Jonathan Nolan, I started watching POI when it premiered in 2011 mainly because I became a fan of Caviezel after the film The Count of Monte Cristo and have seen every episode since.

Each week the machine, which was meant to be used as a device for the government to find terrorists before they stuck, used every piece of technology it had throughout the city to “send” Harold, who recruited Reese on a task to stop the threat. Without knowledge of the machine or even how Reese knew what was about to happen Carter soon followed by Fusco and stepped in to help. It was a surprise when Carter died (and became Cookie Lyons on Empire) but the full time addition of Root and Shaw made the series still worth watching, even if the story went from a weekly procedural to a serial in which another all ominent machine called Samaritan began fighting against and wanted to kill our good guys.

Although at times Person of Interest was an intense show to watch it also gave the viewer hope and good always triumphed over evil.

And while the actors were wonderful in each role it was The Machine itself that was the most important character in the show and on a personal note I have to say I came to care for “her” and was sad when Harold and Root lost (as if she died) “her” for a bit early in the last season.

So here’s to the cast, crew and guests stars of POI you had one heck of a good show and I will miss seeing Jim Caviezel each week but not as much a Bear the adorable and wonderful Belgian Malinois. Good luck to whatever comes next for all!

  

 

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Chamberlain not Hamilton


Happy Tony Awards Day! Or is it Hamilton Day?! Either way I have been listening to my Hamilton Musical cast recording for a few days now and was inspired to come up with my own "rap" while swimming for the 1st time this year. I thought it up quick (there is always more to add) and normally I wouldn’t post a 1st draft but it is a special day so…
 
When I was young I was all about Washington, Jefferson and Hamilton
Then in 8th grade I met a new man
Four Score and Seven Years later he came
Antietam, Fredericksburg, Gettysburg,
On top of Little Round Top was a group of men, shooting rebels as they ran towards them
In the middle of a new (Southern) revolution there he stands as commander of the 20th Maine men.
Ran out of ammunition when the yell came “Ready Bayonets”
What’s His name?
Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain!
A professor from Bowdoin
Fighting for the Union in another rebellion
Fought for 4 years, Shot 6 times, once through his boot only slightly wounded
Returned to Maine a hero
Became a 4 term Governor of a state in a re-new nation
Unlike Hamilton
Retired and became an old man
 
 

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Mr. Selfridge:The series 2013-2016

Just watched the series finale of Mr. Selfridge and it was a good one. It was a story about an American man who brings his family to London to build a different kind of department store. With the help of wonderful employees, some loyal friends and his family Mr. Selfridge played by Jeremy Piven (who never ceases to amaze me & is an underrated actor) made all of his dreams come true. Congrats to the cast-Ron Cook as Mr. Crabb, Tom Goodman-Hill as Mr. Grove, Amy Beth Hayes as Kitty Hawkins, Trystan Gravelle as Victor Colleano, Calum Callaghan as George Towler, Katherine Kelly as Lady Mae, Greg Austin as Gordon Selfridge, Kara Tointon as Rosalie Selfridge and those I haven't mentioned! If you didn't watch the 4 seasons then you missed something fantastic, entertaining and even educational. An amazing job by all involved! You made me hope that one day I'll get the chance to visit  and walk through the doors of the real Selfridge's.  

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Captain America Civil War-Hero vs Hero


 
     It was the mid-90s when I saw my first blockbuster superhero action flick and for years afterwards I denied my love for the genre. Then a few years ago I was looking for something to watch on Netflix and landed on Captain America: America’s First Avenger and immediately became infatuated by the origin story of how Steve Rogers became the military enhanced super soldier. Flash forward to May 6 2016 (opening day) and I found myself in a full theater surrounded by young and old wearing a multitude of shirts with their chosen comic book hero. There I sat on the aisle seat as my very own Captain America action figure which
 was gently placed on the arm rest to watch right along with me. Yes I was Team Cap all the way (that man can do some extraordinary things with just a shield) as the lights went down and Captain America: Civil War began.

     Our hero’s story continues as Captain America aka Steve Rogers played by the enticing     Chris Evans is watching from a tall building in some foreign country as Falcon aka Sam Wilson played by the talented Anthony Mackie and Scarlet Witch played by Elizabeth Olsen locate and chase the bad guys through a busy market place. Cut to Tony Stark aka Iron Man played by the always worth watching Robert Downey Jr. in the middle of a crisis of conscience. Tony assembles those Avengers he can and a decision must be made, one that pits the group against each other as alliances are made and secrets are discovered.

     Along with the first movie appearance of Black Panther played by Chadwick Boseman, Captain America: Civil War is an exciting ride full of action, humor and realness that will have the viewer wondering what will happen next!

      It is a story of friendship and what it means to be loyal to a fault (and a choice between the two as Rogers wants to help Bucky Barnes aka Winter Soldier played by the superb Sebastian Stan even if it means hurting Tony). The chemistry between Downey Jr and Evans is flawless at portraying a friendship on the rocks as they argue over what the right thing to do is and encounter in hand to hand combat. I held on tightly to my action figure when it was time for the climatic fight scene. I watched as two sides of the same coin clashed in an amazing epic battle that includes appearances by a young untested Spiderman (Tom Holland) and new comer to the Marvel movie universe, Ant-Man (Paul Rudd). Between the crazy good special effects of buildings collapsing and cars “flying” there are slow and perfect moments of sweetness and sadness throughout the film.

     Vision (Paul Bettany), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), War Machine (Don Cheadle) and Emily VanCamp also star in this continuation of the best superhero film franchise I have come across. High praise for directors Anthony Russo and Joe Russo and writers Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely and Mark Miller.     

     If I am being completely honest this film is the perfect example of escapism as the 2 and ½ hours flew by and I actually forgot Donald Trump was running for President.

      The title says it all as Captain America: Civil War is everything you want it to be in a (almost summer) popcorn flick and is a joy to watch from beginning to end.

 

Sunday, May 8, 2016

The Good Wife had a Good Life (series spoilers)

     Alicia Florrick (Julianna Margulies) you weren’t just The Good Wife, you were a mother, a daughter, a sister, a lawyer, a friend and a lover. For 7 years you fought for those who needed a voice while dealing with a new life drama each week. It wasn’t always easy for you. First you had to stand by your husband Peter (Chris North) who was DA and would end as Governor, when his sleeping with prostitutes became a state wide scandal that lead you from being just a wife and mother, to Zach (Graham Phillips) and Grace (Makenzie Vega) and back to the workplace. Alicia had to prove to herself and co-workers that she could once again be a lawyer and a good one at that. She would work hard by starting at the bottom with the first year law grads and proved her worth to her co-workers, heads of the law firm and herself

     Along the way Alicia met Diane Lockhart (Christine Baranski) her first”boss” since law school, who would come to be an ally and friend. There was Cary Argos (Matt Czuchry) who started the same time she did and would butt heads in and out of the courtroom (for a short time they had their own law firm). Kalinda (Archie Penjabi) who started as a PI for Alicia and the firm but would become a true friend. Last but not least there was Will Gardner (Josh Charles).Will hired Alicia and had been in love with her his entire adult life, Alicia would fall in love with him but there relationship was cut short when Mr. Gardner was shot and killed during a trial (a real surprise to viewers). One final time we thank Will for showing Alicia that she could fall in love again and will never forget him.

     Others who crossed Alicia’s path included- Eli Gold (Alan Cumming), who was Peter’s campaign manager and confidant for Alicia. Howard Lyman (Jerry Adler) and David Lee (Zach Grenier) the other two names on the law firms letterhead. Louis Canning (Michael J Fox) a worthy adversary in the courtroom for Alicia. Lemond Bishop (Mike Colter) one of Alicia’s many clients, a drug lord and all around bad guy. And Lucca (Cush Jumbo) who only appeared in the last couple of seasons but came into her own and was a good character to watch.    

     Thank you to the husband and wife team of Robert King and Michelle King for one amazing show and the well written, fascinating characters who we were allowed to follow season after season. The cast put everything they had into each episode and never disappointed. The Good Wife will forever be a Great Show

Sunday, April 10, 2016

In defense of Fear the Walking Dead

       I read a lot of bad reviews last summer about the first 6 episodes of Fear the Walking Dead and although (and unfortually) I don’t work for AMC,  Mr. Kirkman or Mr. Gimple or either Walking Dead series I need to fight and give a pro-side to watching this, not just another spin-off show.

         Yes I agree the first season was slow BUT it HAD to be unlike its parent show we didn’t wake up with a main character and then thrown into an already established new world of zombies and daily life and death situations. On another sunny day in L.A. this new gang (of characters) had to learn the rules of the game (I know I would have to do the same). What was happening? Why were the dead walking? Who was in charge? How to defend themselves and If the situation could be stopped? Enter Madison Clark (Kim Dickens) Travis Manawa, her boyfriend (Cliff Curtis) Nick Clark, her son (Frank Dillane) Alicia Clark, her daughter (Aylicia Debnam-Carey) Chris Manawa, Travis’ son (Lorenzo James Henrie), Daniel Salazar (Ruben Blades), Ofelia Salazar, his daughter (Mercedes Mason) and my favorite Strand (Colman Domingo), three families and one drifter (compared to a group of strangers) makes for a whole new dynamic in the way the story is told.  This allows FTWD to be its own thing, it has no comic book guidelines so no 2 months in advance announcement about an actor to play a certain character then when the episode finally airs there being disappointment. 

          This time we the viewer see the story from the beginning. I’m sure while watching season after season of The Walking Dead we all have our ideas about how this world wide situation began and because of elements seen on the pervious series some thoughts could have been about government action. Fear the Walking Dead appeals to and answers some of those questions, the government going too far and what it means to work together and fight back. Although we still don’t know what has caused the dead to walk through the streets of the city I enjoyed watching the characters figure out that the dead are helpless and that they only way to stop each one is to aim for the head and kill it (not an easy thing to do but after the 1st one it gets easier, or does it).  Also it is nice to know that there are other good groups of people out there on the other side of the country living and surviving this cruel world we have all become a part of and love. Yes the characters and the situations they find themselves in are new and whenever a new series begins there is a period of adjustment and introduction. It is in the hands of the viewer to give any new show a chance and some time for said show to grow into its own (especially a spin-off). Think of it this way it is the child (as oppose to sibling show like CSIs) of TWD a teen who what to be nothing like its parents.

To sum up because of the passion some have for The Walking Dead there will always be “haters” of its spin-off and to them I say get over it and give Fear the Walking Dead another chance and let’s get to know these characters a little better before we can truly judge them.





 

Sunday, March 6, 2016

A last look inside Downton Abby (Series Spoilers)

A British series about a well to do English family and the servants who worked for them. During the first half of the 1st season I admit I wasn’t yet interested in the story but I continued to watch and became a fan the show..

The Family-
                
          There was matriarch Violet Crawley, Dowager Countess of Grantham played by Maggie Smith a lady of means and power with a good soul, the patriarch and her son Robert Crawley Earl of Grantham played by Hugh Bonneville, who in the beginning was unmovable in his way a running things but realized as time moved forward change was a good thing so along with his American wife and heart of the show Cora Crawley Countess of Grantham played by Elizabeth McGovern and their three daughters, Lady Sybil Crawley played by Jessica Brown Finlay a out spoken women who died early on in the series while giving birth, Lady Mary Crawley played by Michelle Dockery the eldest who had to marry but grew to love Matthew Crawley played by Dan Stevens to keep Downton in the family, unfortunitly he was killed in a car accident as Mary gave birth to a son George (but at least Downton would stay in the family)  as keeper of the family legacy she become a important part of keeping up appearances, even talking her mother-in-law Isobel Crawley played by Penelope Wilton to stay to become a good friend of the dowager countess and a person anyone could lean on and finally there was poor Lady Edith Crawley played by Laura Carmichael who had a tough love life but with a magazine she inherited from the father of her daughter Marigold she will hopefully finally find happiness.

The Servants-

         Let me begin with Tom Branson, the chauffer played by Allen Leech who had a mind all his own and would quickly fall in love with Sybil and eventually become part of the family as he raised their daughter Sibby, Mr.(John) Bates played by Brendan Coyle who was the personal valet to Robert and spent some time in prison for a crime he didn’t commit he would marry fellow Downton servant Anna played Joanne Froggatt she was Mary’s personal lady’s maid and each other’s confidant, Mr. (Charles)Carson played by Jim Carter who was head butler and in charge of the entire household and mostly knew everything happening around him he fell in love with and married Mrs. Hughes played by Phyllis Logan who was the head housekeeper and in charge of the female servants, Mr. Thomas Barrow played by Rob James-Collier the “villain” of our story who desperately wanted to be head butler and with fellow servant Sarah O’Brian (Siobhan Finneran),early in the series did everything he could to destroy Bates and Carson while being a homosexual at a time period when it was illegal, Mrs. Patmore played by Lesley Nicol head cook and heart and cheerleader to all the servants but especially to her assistant Daisy played by Sophie McShera who married a fellow servant with whom she did not love but felt obligated to him as he (and other) household members went off to fight in the war, he died never knowing the truth but she befriended his father and helped him with his farm for the rest of the series, an all-around good girl who wants to and will be more than just a servant.

And to all I didn’t mention I didn’t forget you there was 6 seasons and too many who have come through and gone out the doors of this beautiful home.       

       Thank you Julian Fellowes for creating a magnificent little soapy series. Downton Abby you taught me a lot about a certain way of life in England in the early 20th century and for that I will be grateful. I will miss but never forget all of the wonderful characters, even when they made me laugh, mad or sad I loved each one. So for one last time I dress in my finest for dinner and allow the servants to join in as I raise a glass of fine champagne to those we have lost and those we just met.

You are all now and will forever be a part of my family.