31 May 2013

AHBL IV -- Supernatural Con Downunder

We can't always get what we want -- J2, I am looking at you! But the Hub Productions Supernatural Convention -- All Hells Break Loose IV has the best and most fun line up. Hold on to that ass of yours, you may laugh your ass off during the panels!! This year's guests include: Misha Collins, Mark Sheppard, Seb Rouche, Rob Benedict, Richard Speight Jr and Matt Cohen. The Con is being held this weekend. Check out the website for details.

Those who go to Cons or watch them online, you'd know you get the most laugh out of this lot! They act like children when parents (J2) are not around! I wish I could go, but May and June are typically the busiest time to do anything else other than family stuff. So, if you are going.. HAVE FUN!! 

Misha and Seb were on Channel Nine's Morning today. Here is the interview. No embarrassing moment, thank you! Sonia and David. Misha and Seb were so well behaved! LOVE IT! You can also follow the guys on Twitter as they have been sharing photos with fans. 

I went to the first AHBL Con, and here is my report and stuff. Good times!

30 May 2013

The Vampire Diaries -- The Journey Continues; The Originals

It's no secret, I started watching The Vampire Diaries (TVD) awhile ago and I have caught up with everything! I was just watching The Originals at the time of just thinking about blogging about the show, and it then occurs to me -- I have to blog about this vampire franchise. 

Let me be up front about one thing, and I know I am not alone in this -- TVD is the not best thing ever on TV but there's enough juice to keep me watching. It is a guilty pleasure. It doesn't get any more epic, but it does get more intrigued with the stories and character connections. Other CW shows such as Supernatural, Smallville and Arrow have some heavy dialogues and acting that make you go 'wow that was epic', but TVD is a bit inconsistent in in this area. TVD has to compete with a few current vampire shows. I didn't like Twilight at all, I watched True Blood's season one, but it didn't grab me at all. I still watch Being Human (US) and I like it a lot! But I think TVD does have a solid fanbase that keeps it going. There is something about it that keeps you coming back.

TVD started off very slow and predictable for me. The whole Elena discovering Stefan was a vampire thing was way too Twilight. I was so over the cheerleaders, high school football and proms thing already. Neither of the Salvatore Brothers are intriguing enough for me to love them like other fangirls. I have only seen Ian Somerhalder in Lost and Paul Wesley in 24, their performance are convincing enough as vampires who have their own darkness and personality. I know the show tries to differentiate Demon and Stefan in the writing department and construct of the characters, it works but I can't help myself and think "I've seen better." The whole 'brother vs brother who's gonna get the girl' story line has been interesting enough. Afterall, it is the core of the show. Deep down, you KNOW Elena will go with Demon, right?

The one thing that works for me from the get-go is Nina Dobrev's performance as Elena/ Catherine. I have not seen any of her work, and with the story having a bit of a Twilight vibe, I just didn't know what to expect. I certainly don't want to be reminded about Hella... I mean Bella. But a few episodes in, I was sold! Nina can act and she is way better than K-Stew. Nina brings Elena/ Katherine to life. There is something about her, I think she has star quality. If it wasn't her, I would have stopped watching after season one. PS, season one finale did have a pretty good cliffhanger. 

I think TVD cast people who look similar especially the boys. I couldn't tell who was who in the first season and I didn't care -- Tyler, Jeremy and Matt. I guess once there were more meat in the doppleganger story, it got a bit better. As you can imagine, as a fan of something heavier in content and depth such as Lost, 24 and Supernatural, TVD is decaf to me. The whole time I was waiting for this one thing that would me go Google, YouTube and Wiki to find out more about the show -- which is usually a sign of me becoming 'a fan'. I haven't really had that desire to do so at all....

Until the Originals showed up. 

I came in pretty late as a viewer to watch TVD, I know the show has a lot of buzz on Twitter. I know this show is good enough for my tweeps to keep watching and I trust my tweeps. It was a matter of time for me to watch the show. I know a lot of them are diehard Damon and Stefan girls, just like Sam girls and Dean girls. And then you have Castiel, many late-comers watch Supernatural because of Castiel. We watch our shows at different points and for different reasons. I just feel that I was becoming a fan of TVD when the Originals arrived.

I didn't think TVD has much 'meat' until the Originals were introduced. When Elijah first appeared, I was like 'who talked like this?' He turned out to be quite interesting. And then Klaus happened. By the standard of TVD, the whole Original-Hybrid thing was pretty epic. And I love their accent! What I love about the Originals is the backstory and the performance from Joseph Morgan and Daniel Gillies. And then you have Sebastian Roche playing Papa. They have taken TVD to the next level, it was game-changing stuff! There is a reason why Klaus and the Originals have their own show now. They totally deserve it.

And then there is Caroline. OK. I didn't like Caroline until she turned into a vampire. I thought her character didn't have anything worth liking before. But once she turned into a vampire, that's when she started to change and I love it. To me, Caroline is a character with most growth. I think I actually like Caroline more than Elena now. Is it bad? I don't know. I can only voice my opinion based on my experience. Caroline used to be the annoying one, and people say Elena is the annoying one (which I don't quite feel it). If you give Caroline an experience, her character and life will change forever. Her growth is very clean to me. Whereas, I think Elena has always been very confused about a lot of things, and very teenage-y about it.

And then Klaroline happened. 

Holy shit. 

I didn't get it at first. Klaus and Caroline has met before, but where did the flirty feeling come from? When Klaus came to Caroline's house to save her on her birthday, they were playing off as if they had a flirty history already and Klaus didn't want to loose her. That just hit me. Where did this come from? But for some reasons, I love it! The chemistry between Caroline and Klaus in that particular scene was stronger than it should. It just happened. Perhaps it was a vampire thing? 

And then there was a chain of stuff -- the dress, the ball, the dance, the horse, the drawing, the date and the 'I know you are in love with me'. The writers don't give us everything. It's killing us! I think it is save to say, Caroline brings out the other side of Klaus. He didn't know what to do because he accepted himself as pure evil and we see him as pure evil. Caroline has changed him or reminded him what it is like to have feelings and love. But I think Klaus will only make an exception when it comes to Caroline, it's not like he will transform into Mother Teresa. With Caroline in the picture, I don't care if Klaus is a cold-blooded monster, just grab Caroline and leave Mystic Falls already! I find Klaus interesting, and I find Klaroline more interesting.

Going back to the Salvatore Brothers. I just can't find any angle to talk about them. Damon is clearly more interesting to me, the classic bad boy who wears a mask to hide his soft side. His smirk is annoying though. Damon is the smart one, I think. Stefan, to me, is super boring. I get it, I do. I don't hate him. I just don't care. I get the whole thing about not killing human and drinking human blood, blah blah blah... and he was in love with Elena, then his past as the Ripper caught up with him. But I just can't care. Story is well told to a certain degree. And I get why Elena couldn't choose between the brothers, but honestly, I super don't care about the Salvatore Brothers. The Winchester Brothers would kick their asses!

Moving forward, I think I will keep watching TVD depending on the episode of the week, but I will be more interested in The Originals. If/ when Caroline moves to New Orleans, The Originals all the way baby!

28 May 2013

Review (Sort of): Star Trek Into Darkness

It took me a few weeks and a second viewing to write this so-called review. It's hard when I am not a fan of any of the previous Star Trek TV series or movies. I watch Star Trek because of J.J Abrams. I love his Star Trek (2009) and I've watched it so many times on DVD. Still, I can't call myself a Star Trek fan, because I simply don't know enough about the culture. I am more a Star Wars girl.

I recently saw Mr William Shatner live in person at an Oz Comic Con where he talked about the Star Trek culture. My brother is also a huge Star Trek fan, and he always said stuff (not Klingon) that I don't understand -- mostly about the characters and the technology. I knew Star Trek stuff through some pop references from The Big Bang Theory. Hey, I know who Wesley Crusher is, and it has nothing to do with bowling, right? 

I don't think I write a great review about Star Trek, but I can tell you this -- Chris Pine has dreamy sexy blue eyes. His head is a bit funny, but those eyes.. oh baby! My mind in the gutter already! I am officially one of the Pine Nuts. I have seen one of his other works, This Means War, which was a complete shit, but I hope he will get better scripts from now on. Jack Ryan, I am definitely watching it!

The new franchise is definitely gathering a whole new generation of fans. I think each generation of Star Trek, since the 60s, has their own fan base. My bro likes Captain Picard the best and he admits he never really gets into the original one either, which was true a classic, I know! I too tried watching the original series -- three episodes -- but I couldn't carry on. I love Mr Shatner best in Boston Legal! LOVE!

What I love about the new Star Trek is J.J's direction. This guy can really tell a story via the visual, together with the music, editing and dialogues -- awesome! If it wasn't directed by J.J, I probably would skip the movie in the first place.

So... what about Star Trek Into Darkness? It's dreamy. I can't get over how sexy those blue eyes are! I always like Zachary Quinto, he was in 24 and Heroes. This guy has star quality! And I admit him a lot! Simon Pegg's Scottie was funny no matter how you looked at him. Karl Urban was solid like bones! I am gonna meet him next month at Supanova, I think he was funny. Bruce Greenwood was soooooo awesome! It was so sad Christopher Pike died! So sad! And Zoe Saldana is growing on me, I always enjoy the on screen chemistry between Uhara and Spook. John Cho will always be Harold to me, but he kicked ass as Zulu. Anton Yelchin -- yay Kyle Reese -- had his moments to shine as Chekov. The scene-stealing Benedict Cumberbatch as Khan was awesome and creepy. I am sure he makes a lot of Sherlock fans happy. Yeah Cumberbitches! Quinto and Pine certainly carried the bromance so well. LOVE IT! LOVE IT! LOVE IT! I actually cried when Kirk died. Specifically, when he did the Vulcan sign. Awwww... Quinto can do one perfect tear too.

There wasn't a single dull moment Star Trek Into Darkness. And I think there were less lens flares in this one. The music was awesome, really really love the editing -- visual and music. Love the cast chemistry! Love it! Overall I love it -- for the love of blue eyes! I give it 9 out of 10. I deduct one point because it was 7 minutes less than Iron Man 3 and there was no bonus footage. HA!

Chris Pine's blue eyes are ridiculously distracting to the extreme! Jesus Christ!

This has been a fan-girl 'review'. Sue me! 

So, what do you think of the movie?

17 May 2013

Review: Supernatural 'Sacrifice'

Sacrifice was directed by Phil Sgriccia and written by Jeremy Carver. And man, was this finale awesome?

Carry on wayward son...best finale opening ever!

So.. did we see THAT coming? I expected a few things involving Crowley's fate, Hell and Naomi's death. I have very little theories about Cas, Metatron and Heaven. But THAT ending and the curveballs are the reasons Jeremy Carve gets paid the top job to helm Supernatural! The ending of the season eight finale was nothing short of spectacular. After eight seasons, the writers still managed to inject creativity and surprises.

Let me be up front about something, Sacrifice is definitely up there with Devil's Trap and No Rest for the Wicked, which in my opinion are two of the most standout cliffhangers of all time for the show. Sacrifice shows maturity with great twists, great editing and great performance. The show has come so far from the day when we first heard Dean saying 'saving people, hunting things, family business.' 

I think the finale has resolved the season long arc. Of course, you can always look at the technicality of the story about the tablets, the translation and the closing of the gate of hell and heaven. Our heroes, Dean and Sam, made a choice about not completing the last task, and Cas was once again fooled by another angel about the real agenda. It seemed that with all that hard work, it had been a waste of effort. The notion of a task is tied to the notion of completion. A task is for whoever is doing it to complete, traditionally speaking. You have to finish where you started. We are bound by this idea. But it isn't Supernatural if there ain't curveballs! 

For a show like Supernatural, it's important not to have the technicality to overshadow the brother relationship. This is why I am so impressed with Jeremy Carver's direction, the story has been really well planned and focused -- the show/ season is about the brothers. This very core idea didn't get lost. The brothers' decision about not completing the last task to close the gate of hell was a brave one. Family is important and hunting is a two people job. Dean and Sam must do this together. Closing the gate of hell is a great idea, it can save a lot of lives but it's not worth dying for. It is personal!

Another thing is that, with Dean returning from Purgatory, Sam returning from his gap year, and Cas becoming more confused than before, the emotional and trust issues have caused further damage to their relationship. The brothers have been surviving on the 'I forget I forgive' basis. If/ when crap happens next time, they will go back to square one. I think that's why it's so important to point out -- the finale actually has resolved relationship problems. That to me is the number one season long arc.

I am so proud of Sam for everything he's done, especially in the second half of the season. I love his confession and I love how they were related to his feeling about letting Dean down. Sammy! Ouwwww…. You are such a loveable little brother! The while 'is it because of what I do in the past, you decide to trust someone else' thing is totally adorable! Dean's suggestions to Sam about his confession was half joke half serious, Dean can be so bitchy and it is funny! Sam can go through his greatest hits -- Ruby, Lucifer, being soulless, not looking for Dean. But MOST importantly, he thinks he has let Dean down and he really hates it. Sam well knows how important 'trust' is to Dean. And it kills him not to be trusted by his big brother because of his wrong doing. Hunting is a two people job! It's the family business. Sam is the one person Dean cares and loves most. No matter how bad things were, Sam and Dean will always get each other's back. It is such an epic finale with shit load going on. But when it matters, Sam and Dean have a dialogue that put an end to all the fugly feelings. It's OK, brother, just let go. Dean's last hug of the season is for Sammy. 

Dean is as brilliant as usual. I am glad Cas went to Dean for help, despite putting his trust in the wrong person again. In the previous episode, Dean and Cas have a wall between them and Dean couldn't care less about Cas. But we all know Dean will get over it. Cas is a friend and they've been through much together. You see.. as long as Cas is being honest about something, doesn't matter if he is being stupid or naive, Dean will be fine and he will always help. Good relationships never run smooth and I hope everyone will set aside their differences and misunderstanding or whatever in season nine and work as a team -- the Men of Letters. Oh shut up! I can't help it! Everyone should be People of Letters!! The on-screen chemistry between Jarpad and Jensen continue to be gold to watch! The last scene was just so good!  

OK.. Stop crying.. onto the next topic.

We knew Metatron was not to be trusted. I struggled with coming up a theory about this guy. He spent a very long time in hiding and he relied on people to bring him stories. But the ultimate revenge by exterminating the angels and casting them out of heaven was something I did not see coming. AT ALL. I just love the surprise factor presented in the episode. 

Do you think Metatron is obsessed in words and stories? I think so! A lot of more than he should! To Metatron, the ultimate storyteller is God himself but he left and it left a hole in Metatron's heart. Metatron had to leave the paradise his father left for him and his brothers and sisters because the internal conflicts. Metatron was looking for his fix and he became very obsessed with stories. Metatron let Castiel go, and I assume Castiel will remember who he is, all angels will have their memories intact. And with this, they will live a life until they die. And when they die, their soul will return to Heaven, they will tell Metatron their stories. He is a very crazy obsessed yesterday angel. It's safe to say that we will see the full impact of Metatron's doing to Earth, humanity, angels, and possibility hell in season nine. For now, I assume Metaton is home alone in Heaven and the rest of the army is now on earth.

Castiel is now a human, just like Anna was. Unless he could retrieve his grace, he will not be an angel again. And something tells me, he won't mind about being a human. In The End (season five), we have seen the human Cas. Will we see that for real in season nine? Cas continues to provide plenty of amusement and he just doesn't know how funny he is. I really love seeing him working a case, whether he is with Dean or Metatron. It's always interesting to see how his brain works and how he understands things. I hope Case will clear his confusion in season nine. It's really interesting to me how Cas will develop in season nine now that he is back as a regular.  

All things have consequences, Sam and Dean didn't close the gate of hell and Abaddon is on the loose and Crowley is…'recovering'? OK.. so, this is Mr Mark Sheppard's best performance on Supernatural. I love the transformation of his character in this episode so much! It's is really interesting to watch the kind of things Crowley has said during the purification process. We got a bit of an insight into his desire. He just wanted to be loved (and he loves HBO). While I was watching the episode, I can't help but think if all Crowley ever wanted was to be loved, then I think part of him is jealous of the bond Dean, Sam and Cas have. Apart from Dean, Sam and Cas, the only one who know them well is Crowley. He knows what make them tick. Crowley continues to be a very interesting character with a lot of growth since he first appeared on the show. Mr Crowley will be back in season nine for sure. But how? Will be return to his old self? Will he be trapped in the middle -- either good or evil? He may be in a bit of an identity crisis. I don't think Dean and Sam will let Crowley go, but where will they keep him?

What about Kevin? FINALLY! Dean and Sam gave him the key to the MoL bunker! YES! I want Kevin back in season nine. He has to! I think with Garth and Charlie out there doing their stuff, Kevin can be a great asset to the Winchester, he can really be a Man of Letters! Right? I am sure a lot of people will bring up a point about not completing the trial. From the Special K's POV, he'd lost his mother and his life for this and now the brothers decided not to go through with it? But Kevin's work is not forgotten, the stuff that he discovered from the demon tablet will help the brothers to kill many demons. Will Kevin spend time to translate the angel tablet in season nine and if so, what will he find? He still has a duty. Once a prophet, always a prophet!

The last scene with all the angels falling from Heaven is spectacular from the visual point of view. I feel like I was watching a movie. The soundtrack was amazing and it was well utilised to tell a story. It gave me goosebumps and my jaw was dropped onto the floor. I cannot process how awesome it was to tight this scene back to the MoL bunker! This will drive me crazy for months! MONTHS! Like.. the equipment just turned itself on, like Atlantis in Stargate! For a second, I thought it was going to fly away like a spaceship. 

I am not sure if the equipment was build to detect angel movement specifically, but the mass falling of angels was indeed a very powerful thing, perhaps it detected the energy reading. But why did the bunker equipment turned itself on? It was either energy related or angel related. Perhaps someone or something -- like a ghost or whatever -- was messing with the equipment and showing Kevin something. I can't process it right now! I can't process how important the MoL bunker will be in season nine. Come to think about it, there's still a lot of things we don't know about the bunkers. May be it's a mess grave for witches and vampires.. oh wait.. wrong show. Remember what the old man said about the bunker? Abaddon wanted it and he recommended Dean and Sam to just shut the door and leave it along! Why? Anyway, I really hope we will see more backstories. And I really hope this is a HQ or a home for Kevin and Cas in season nine too.

I think we have a few sightings in Australia!
For the first time since October, I am closing a review without a description of the next episode. What the hell am I going to do between now and September/ October? The good news -- we will have our season nine, we will welcome the arrival of Baby Ackles and we will have Comic Con.

CW Fall Schedule 2013-2014; Supernatural Moves to Tuesdays

Source: CW
Before I went to bed last night, I was just having a chat with a few tweeps about the Fall Schedule, specifically the CW's schedule for Supernatural and Arrow

As I mentioned previously regarding Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D (S.H.I.E.L.D), I thought it will be TV war between DC and Marvel if both S.H.I.E.L.D and Arrow are on the same night. But as turned out, there won't be one. S.H.I.E.L.D will be on Tuesday nights at 8pm on ABC, and Arrow will stay on Wednesday nights at 8pm on the CW. This is a very exciting TV schedule for fans of the movie franchise, original comics, geeks, Joss Whedon and Stephen Amell's much appreciated abs.

Speaking of Tuesday nights, the CW has announced that Supernatural will move to Tuesdays at 9pm with The Originals (The Vampire Diaries spin-off) at 8pm. I don't mind the move, but I would prefer Supernatural and Arrow to be on the same night. Having said that, it is a business decision. The established shows, Supernatural (Tuesdays), Arrow (Wednesdays) and The Vampire Diaries (Thursday) will pair up with a new buddy each -- The Originals (Tuesdays), The Tomorrow People (Wednesday) and Reign (Thursday). The CW plays to its strength -- Tuesday nights and Wednesday nights look hot and hot guys!

One thing for sure, Tuesday nights are good nights for TV and for the CW. As long as Supernatural gets good rating, I am happy. We need good rating to get season ten. Let's stick together as a fandom and make this happen!

The CW has a few new shows this season. The Tomorrow People could be a hit and miss. But it certainly looks epic on paper! And it's a great show to keep male audience after Arrow on Wednesday nights. I'll watch it for Mark Pellegrino for sure! Reign is the first period drama CW has ordered. I kinda see the Tudors thing happening here. Then again, it's not something I'll be jumping on the fan wagon immediately. Speaking of new shows, The 100 certainly looks interesting too. But it does belong to the same genre as The Tomorrow People. The 100 is introduced during the mid-season.

Since last fall, I have been watching then-new shows, Arrow and Revolution, I've been on and off with Once Upon A Time. I think this fall will be equally exciting! If I can't watch them all, I'll definitely be getting the DVDs. 

Here is the full press release from the CW. Here is the full press release from ABC.

15 May 2013

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

I think we are all pretty excited about Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. The first promo trailer was aired during Once Upon A Time. Like..you've never been so excited for TV ads.

Coulson indeed lives! 

My first impression is that, from what I can see on the promo, it looks completely like a movie! I am really impressed with the quality and also there were enough Coulson stuff in it. And he is totally adorable! 

The highly anticipated series by Joss Whedon, is coming to fans on ABC Tuesdays at 8pm this fall! There were speculations on whether ABC will put this show on Wednesday night. But seeing a DC based TV show, Arrow, is on Wednesday on the CW at 8pm, guess we won't be seeing a DC/Marvel showdown. Though, that'll be pretty funny and impressive!

I really hope Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D will be really impressive, it knocks our socks off the planet!

14 May 2013

Review: Supernatural 'Clip Show'

The penultimate episode of season eight of Supernatural, Clip Show, was very ambitious. Not only it continued with the technicality of the story -- the third trial of closing the gate of Hell and the first trial of closing the gate of Heaven with Castiel and Metatron -- this episode also involved many emotional dramas.

My immediate thought on Clip Show is this...

When I first started watching Supernatural, things like Bloody Mary and Demons really creeped me out! Horror/ supernatural was never my favourite genre because I am a chicken shit like that. I can't even watch stuff like Exorcist or The Eye (the original Japanese version) or Paranormal Activity.

But as years go by, while I still can't watch horror movies, I got used to creepy things on Supernatural. But as I was watching the exorcism scenes in Clip Show, I was scared for the first time in a long time. The way the scene was written, designed and shot was brilliant! It was raw, it was scary and very creepy. I had to turn to lights on and close my eyes for a few times. Yes, Sam was spot on -- THAT was new! How are they going to cure a demon? This is how! It freaks me out! It was, well, WEIRD!!!


Supernatural has upgraded a few things this year in terms of 'weaponry' -- Henry's devil trap bullet, Crowley's angel killing bullet, and now we have an exorcism that cures a demon. What I am says is that, I continue to admire the spirit of creativity and I love how the writers are not complacent. After eight seasons of Supernatural, they still manage to come up with cool stuff based on existing materials but without wracking previous inventions. When are we going to see the bungee or the ninja's shuriken?

Right now, I am very distracted by hot Jensen at JIBCON in Rome. Anyway, moving on to a few other reactions…

I don't know if I am surprised to see the way Dean treated Cas in this episode. I guess I was a little, but then again, I wasn't. Dean was pissed off and why wouldn't he be? Trust is an important thing to Dean, it's like he survives on trust. Dean wants/needs to trust his family and friends, and Dean needs them to trust him. If he says he will get you out, he will get you out! Trust him! He wants you to trust him! I think part of the reason Dean was pissed at Cas because Cas still hasn't learnt from the past. Dean was pissed because Cas could've asked Dean and Sam for help, and worked with the boys. Cas still acted like a child, he thought buying Dean Busty Asian Beauty, toilet papers and pies would fix things. It's almost too cute! But dude, no! Cas still hasn't fully understand human emotions, and perhaps he never will.

Cas always does something wrong when he does something right. He lacks clarity. Cas' emotional intelligence is not his strength and he tends to screw things up even if he doesn't mean to. Cas is up front about the angel tablet, he doesn't trust Dean (but he doesn't even know what it means.) On one hand, Cas cherishes his friends, he cares about them and all that, but he also knows if Dean gets his hands on the angel tablets, he will shut down Heaven. What would happen to his kind? Cas is always caught in the middle and he doesn't always know what to do. For once, I'd like to see Cas to kick ass and man up! As for Dean, he will get over it. He has to let Cas know, this is not ok. Too much? Well, just coz he cares!

Demons don't pretend to be the good guys, except Ruby. But the angels always pretend they are the good guys. Do I trust Metatron? I like the guy, but I can't help but think he has his own agenda. May be he knows his ass is on the line. The sooner Heaven is shut down the better for him. I think he is like Gabriel, he'd hide and run. May be he just wants a good life. Metatron loves stories, may be he wants his story to be told to the world. May be he wants to be one of the heroes of the story. There is something about him -- the way presented a business case to Cas regarding shutting the gate of Heaven. One thing of sure, Heaven is at civil war, crap will spill over to earth, it always will. Closing the gates of Hell and Heaven is equally important to our heroes! But what are the consequences?

I do feel that it was a bit too ambitious to introduce the first trial of shutting the gate of Heaven arc in this episode. If it was indeed legit! It's like eating cheese after desert. It's good, don't get me wrong, but I think this angel tablet arc kinda belongs to a separate episode with more details. It's fine to talk about it between Cas and Metatron, but I didn't think they would actually start the trials now. That's why I have this weird feeling about Metatron's intention and if this first trial was legit. Having said that, I did like the interaction between Metatron and Cas. For the record, I love crepes too.

Let's talk about demons. Crowley is one smart demon and he is such a hero hater! I've said this many times! This time, he dug up the Supernatural books and started the killing spree. His monologue was so cool -- "Saving people, hunting things, family business" Crowley is like "you tell yourself that!" We have not seen anyone challenging the 'Winchester family business' motif like this before. Not even Lucifer! From Crowley's perspective -- he was totally right. This was obviously the best scene of the episode in my opinion.

Crowley's history is interesting, like I said before, he is an opportunist. Crowley really plays his A game in the past few episodes. How will he flare if/when Abaddon, a Knight of Hell, declares a war against the King of Hell?Crowley has always been a salesman. He wasn't a leadership contender when YED and Lilith were around, I don't think. He basically took advantage of the situation and moved up. He's come too far to not fight Abaddon, if she really declares war. I think Crowley really earns his King of Hell title. He really fought for it, he picked his battles and his enemies. He is an opportunist. He worked hard to be where he is today. Now that Abaddon is in the picture, that's gotta stir some internal politics! She is a badass and reminds me a little bit of Meg. Why did Abaddon want the key to MoL? I don't think we have fully explored that, right? But if she is sticking around for season nine, Abaddon is going to be a major player, and you bet there will be more MoL stuff.   

Speaking of the MoL, I really love Sam and Dean working the case and using available resources in the bunker. The whole thing about the cure is fascinating. Creepy but fascinating! I am so obsessed about the Men of Letters. I just love the MoL bunker, Room 7B, the secret dungeon, and the file #1138. The MoL is the best thing happened to the Winchesters since the Impala! Please tell me there are more secret tunnels!

It's Supernatural, and we've got Dean and Sam. No matter what's going to happen, I know they will kick it in the ass!! I spent the whole week thinking about theories, but you know what? My head hurts! I can't! I can't wait to see what Jeremy Carver has installed for us!!!! I am nervous, and I need a hug! One thing for sure, there will be on hell of a cliffhanger!

This is it! I am super nervous.

This time next week, you'll find yourself in Hell and you're likely to stay there during the hiatus. It's just the downside of being a fan of Supernatural.

8.23 Sacrifice

WHAT MUST SAM, DEAN AND CASTIEL SACRIFICE TO FOREVER SEAL HELL? — With Crowley (guest star Mark Sheppard) poised to undo all the good they’ve ever done as hunters, Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean (Jensen Ackles) find themselves cornered.  But with Kevin’s (guest star Osric Chau) help, the Winchester brothers bound into one last play against The Demon King. Metatron (guest star Curtis Armstrong) initiates a plan with Castiel (Misha Collins) to take on Naomi (guest star Amanda Tapping) and the bureaucracy of Heaven. Alaina Huffman and Kim Rhodes also guest star. Phil Sgriccia directed the episode written by Jeremy Carver.

04 May 2013

Review: Iron Man 3

[This review contains spoilers.]

Robert Downey Jr is Tony Stark, and Tony Stark is…well, you know who he is.

And that's pretty much the story. I cannot think of a better actor to play Tony Stark/ Iron Man. He brought awesomeness to the role, he was born to play Tony Stark! Iron Man is a superhero movie, but unlike some, the humanity and emotions are very well written. I think that's why I like it so much. It isn't just another action blockbuster. It's about people, why they do what they do, and what makes a hero. I think Marvel is doing a great job in giving its superheroes an opportunity to rise to the challenge. Captain America, Thor and Iron Man all share the common theme -- things are personal, it's heroic, it's about their humanity and rising to the challenge.

So, phase II has commenced with Iron Man 3. I don't even know where to begin, but I'll start by saying this, his armours are awesome!
The multiple suits of remote-controlled armours, I think that's what it's called, was mind-blowing. The special effect and the idea behind were very cool! Tony Stark didn't just make them for fun, he made them because he has become so paranoid. He was scared to loose the one person he loved the most, Pepper Potts. He has anxiety problems and he hasn't been sleeping since his encounter with the aliens and wormhole in New York. I think this was a great angle, it gave the story a focus. Because he was paranoid, he build and hid his back-up suits. Because he was paranoid, he upgraded the technology including the way the suits were coded to him (and I think Pepper).

What I love about this movie is that we saw Tony Stark going to the field without the armour. We saw him making things, investigating a case, doing recon and interrogating the bad guys. In the 'party protocol' battle scene at the end (which was my favourite scene of the movie), we saw Tony Stark in multiple armours and we also saw Tony Stark fighting without the armours. This concept itself was awesome and I love it! It showed us he was capable in fighting with or without his armours. He used his armours whenever he saw fit. His house was destroyed and his army of Iron Man was blown up,
but he could always rebuild them whenever he wanted to. You can take away his mask, his armours and his gadgets, but he is still the Iron Man! To me, this part of the story is extreme well written. Tony Stark wasn't the only on wearing a Iron Man armour in this movie, the story went a bit further into showing why Tony Stark is Iron Man.

I think it's good that people know Tony Stark is Iron Man. Like that guy in the media van, he was obviously the biggest fanboy of Iron Man -- Tony needed Gary, and Gary needed Tony! (Nice shot of the Oracle logo in that scene! Oracle people will be very happy! I mean, did you see their corporate website?) Anyway... What about the kid Harley? If anyone wants to make Teen version of Avengers or Iron Man, this kid has to be in it! Harley was awesome! I love about the chemistry between Harley and Tony. The dialogues and the interactions were pretty amazing. What I love about them is that Tony speaks to Harley as an equal. I think kids like respect from adult more than adult can realise. Potato Gun Mark II FTW!

I haven't given Pepper Potts enough credit. I didn't think her character had much impact on the movie in the first Iron Man movie. The second one was a bit better. Iron Man 3 upgraded a lot of things such as the technology and the armours, but the movie also upgraded emotions, people relationships and Pepper Potts! I am really happy to see Pepper played an integral role this time. I love the fact that she got a giant bunny (ha!), she got the Extremis upgrade, she got to wear Mark 42, and she kicked some serious butt! Sometimes it annoys me to see different 'girls' in different movies of the same series such in 007 -- they have different 'Bond girls'. I personally like to see drama and character growth, even in superhero movies. I would hate to see someone like Pepper absent from the movie because she was so important in Tony Stark's life. It was totally obvious in Iron Man 3 that she was the reasons for all the back-ups and upgrades in Iron Man 3. He didn't do it to protect himself.

Let's talk about the villains. I gotta say, I was a little uncomfortable to see the terrorist stuff, because they were so real to me. The whole Mandarin on the TV was a bit creepy than it should. Once it was revealed that Ben Kingsley's character was nothing but a stoned British actor call Trevor, I was having a laugh! Ben Kingsley's performance definitely one of the highlights of the movie. Guy Pearce's Killian was a bad ass. I wouldn't say he was a highlight, but his character brought enough to the table to make that part of the story worked. Extremis was a great but creepy idea, very Terminator like. I am quite intrigued by the science behind it. Is Killian or Mandarin my favourite villain in Iron Man? No, and I don't have one. Loki all the way! One thing though, Rebecca Hall's character just didn't work for me at all. None of her previous roles worked for me -- Vicky Cristina Barcelona and The Prestige. Sorry, love!

I haven't said this enough in the past, but you know who else is a hero of the story? JARVIS! I am in love with JARVIS! I want one! I think JARVIS is definitely the invisible sidekick that kicks ass! I love the underwater scene where JARVIS saved Iron Man. I love that JARVIS was like running field ops. JARVIS is always reliable, he is so funny he doesn't know it! I believer the original JARVIS is an old butler like Alfred in Batman. But I am glad in the movies, JARVIS is more and he is totally awesome!

And then there were Happy and Rhodey. I love Happy. I love that Happy went off working on a case. I have always loved Happy as the bodyguard in Iron Man! I love that he was worried about Tony, especially after all the superhero stuff happened in New York. Rhodey was great and the idea of Iron Patriot was pretty good. I like the inside jokes about Iron Patriot and War Machine between Tony and Rhodey. There were a few brilliant bromance moments!

There wasn't a single dull moment in Iron Man 3. The dialogues, the pace, the action, the music and the jokes were amazingly integrated. There were so very good stunts such as the Airforce One rescue scene. I can't say I know Shane Black well as a writer and director, but I thought he did a fantastic job! I was worried when Jon Favreau wasn't going to direct Iron Man 3, but I am extremely happy to see the result! I can't get the music out of my head! I downloaded the soundtrack the moment it was released. The bonus scene of Tony Stark talking to Bruce Banner was brilliant! I laughed so hard! I really think Tony and Bruce had a bromance thing going on there. The end credit didn't say Iron Man will return, but instead it said
Tony Stark will return. So I guess Marvel is leaving it as flexible as possible. Joss Whedon did say he didn't quite know what to do after he saw the ending of Iron Man 3. But I am hopeful, I will see Tony Stark again.

Sequels can be tricky, look at Spiderman or Fantastic Four. Iron Man still manages to surprise me. I am impressed with story and character growth, especially with Tony Stark and Pepper Potts, and I just love the tech upgrades across the board! I've seen Iron Man 3 twice now, and probably will watch it again on a cheap-ass Tuesday. Iron Man 3 is simply 'spectacular' (I did change it to 'Starktacular' later).

So, what do you think of Iron Man 3

PS: If you can skip the 3D version, skip it. I watched both versions, they were the same to me. Except I have two pairs of glasses to wear during the 3D session, which was always annoying.

My other reviews:
The Avengers
Captain America: The First Avenger 


03 May 2013

Review: Supernatural 'The Great Escapist'

I am not only saying this because I am a diehard Supernatural (and I know I say this week in, week out), but this week's The Great Escapist is another solid episode. It challenges me, you know. It is one of those episodes that gets me thinking! Last week, I used the words 'sweet' and 'adorable' to describe Pac Man Fever. My word choice for this week's episode is: clever. Not only The Great Escapist is a clever episode, most of our characters have a clever moment or two. There are multiple arcs in this episode, so let's get to it in a logical order, or whatever.

So, the episode started with Kevin in a replica of Garth's safe boat. The Crowley film crew had the prophet under surveillance in the spirit of the Truman Show. I just love how Crowley paid attention to details about his demon's performance as fakeDean and fakeSam. He couldn't risk of erasing the wrong part of Kevin's brain. I thought that was really clever of him to put Kevin under surveillance and let things unfold. I knew Kevin wasn't dead when he told Dean and Sam otherwise in the video. Kevin has a crouching tiger hidden dragon thing going on with him. It's a set of survival skill he's been gaining ever since he became a prophet. And because this prophet wasn't being protected after by an archangel, he has to look after himself. Kevin knows about casting a spell and how to make demon bombs. He is a little clever vegemite, well, he is in advance placement! He can fight demons with a Potato Gun Mark II if he wants to!

Kevin used his tech skills to send Dean and Sam a message and all the files. I thought that was so cool! Kevin has been more busy than we realise! While he was at the replica of the safe boat, I think he was just messing with Crowley, making a statement -- "screw you!" The fakeSam and fakeDean thing was brilliant! If I asked for all these food and I get them without any problems, I know my sisters are demons! I am in agreement with Dean when he said they should have moved Kevin to the MoL bunker sooner! Like… HELLO? The MoL bunker needed to become CTU or Watch Tower like.. NOW!

Kevin prepared to die and he was OK with that? Ah!! Poor guy! Turned out, Kevin was saved by the angel Metatron. I thought this Kevin arc in The Great Escapist is so cleverly written and planned. Kudos to the great Ben Edlund! This is probably Osric Chau's best episode in my opinion. His performance has been so consistent and he totally owns the role! So, where is Kevin now? He is probably reading Shakespeare or Iron Man comic to Metatron. Assuming he survives this season, what role will Kevin play in season nine? Will he go back to his old life, his mother and go to college? If he becomes the president, wow, he will be like Lincoln the Vampire Hunter? Or will he move into the MoL bunker and continue to help the Winchesters? But Kevin always wanted to just get this tablet things over and done with and move on. But will he get what he wants?

Am I the only one who is listening to the Spanish Flea right now?

So, King Crowley has brought his A game. He is full of surprises! Put him in the Westeros and the seven kingdom will crumble within a day. The whole Truman Show idea was brilliant! Too bad it didn't turn out quite perfectly for him. Crowley worked smart! I was actually surprised he showed up and 'helped' Castiel. OK, he didn't really help but... glad he showed up to get his hands on the angel tablet. It's 1-1 between Crowley and Naomi. What about Crowley's newest creation? His R&D team melted the angel blade and turned it into bullets. OMG! That's so Samuel Colt! The third trial is revealed -- to save a demon. Who will it be? Am I the only one who thinks this demon will be Crowley? Read Jeremy Carver's interview! Of course, if it was up to me and if Meg is still alive, it would also make sense to save her.

A big shout out to 'Kara' the waitress at the Biggerson's. 

Castiel used a clever tactic, trapping himself in a quantum super position. (Quantum -- that's just so SG1 talk!) Even the Biggerson's got a nice call back! This must be like the tenth appearance of Biggerson's? Awesome! Castiel was smart to hide the angle table inside his body, but Crowley was smarter in working out the hiding place! That was awesome! Painful to watch, but awesome! So, there was a bit of an insight into Castiel's past -- Egypt and how many times Naomi has reprogrammed him. Castiel had never done what he was told. Good on him! Castiel wasn't afraid -- "In the words of a good friend, BITE ME!" Naomi said Castiel never do what he was told and he didn't even die properly every time. Do you think Castiel is special or something? May be Castiel is Mark 42?

The A&F model, Ion, didn't help Castiel. Oh well, his hair gel and nice suit were wasted anyway. 

Metatron couldn't have a better introduction. My immediate reaction is that, I like this guy! He reminded me of Gabriel. Gabriel loved family, he cared about his brothers and father. He couldn't stand the fighting, so he left and went into hiding as a demigod. Metatron left because he didn't want to help the archangels by providing them the word of God. Without God's word, the angels couldn't pull a massive operation to take over the universe. Metatron didn't stick around to help. But upon Metatron's departure, the angels still managed to start the apocalypse! I thought, OK, there is NO WAY Metatron didn't know about that, right? Then I thought, if the apocalypse happened, he'd know. But it didn't because Sam and Dean stopped it!  

If you know about Metatron in the Bible, you'd know about his Twin Brother, Sandalphon. Just saying!! Shawn and Arron Ashmore could've played the role! Or Nina Dobrov.

"We are the friggin Winchesters!" -- Metatron is like WHO? He didn't seem to care, he was being very careful (not careful enough, the Winchesters found him!) Metatron claimed that he didn't know about anything. He has been 'entertained' by books and stories, while his father's creation was in the toilet. The monologue by Metatron about stories and people almost have a tone of sarcasm. It's like 'this is what you naked apes do with free will'. If he read Victor Hugo's Les Miserable, he must be wondering, all that for a loaf of bread? 

Which brings this review to God. So, God was worried what may happen to his work after he left. The tablets are for safety, if things go crap, these tablets provide instructions to close the gate of Heaven and Hell. Perhaps it was about God's experiential projects -- which project will be successful -- angels or humans or monsters? God created an army of angels with divine power, and they must be programmed to obey because they are so powerful. With monsters like Leviathans, perhaps it was an experiment that went wrong from the get-go, that's why God put them in Purgatory. Lucifer created demons, and wanted to take over earth and destroyed the one thing he hated the most -- human. God created human because perhaps he wanted to put free will to the test. People are the variables. Human are free to make their own choices, they have to decide what's right and wrong. I think God put a lot of faith in human -- he didn't give the angels the option! But when the archangels have freedom to make their own decision, they started the apocalypse. Danger! Danger! It always comes back to free will. Many of the choices have been made by the Winchesters to save their family, the world and innocent people, and they are about to make another very important decision. 

Which brought me to the Winchesters. Yeah, like I've forgotten about them! Sam was as sick as a dog. It was heart breaking to see Sam's 'flu' got really fugly. Like, the giant could barely walk! Poor guy! I mentioned in my last review that the more I watched Sam this season, the more I realised how much crap he's been through in his head, and the more I understood why he wanted a normal life. It totally seems logical to have Sam to do the trials relating to the demon tablet and closing the gate of hell. These trials are giving him pain, but they are also purifying him. These trials mean to much to Sam. It's not about how the writers position Sam in the story as the 'oh Sam is not the better brother and he has to prove himself' blah blah blah. It isn't about the writer's perspective, it isn't about what the writers want, subjectively. It's about Sam's perspective within the story -- he needs to do the trials, it feels right to do it, it helps him. This is almost like his constant. 

At the end of the day, saving the world isn't the motivation in season eight. Sam will get better when the trial is completed. That's the major motivation for Dean (and Sam). This season started off with Dean returning from Purgatory, Sam returning from his gap year, there were some trust issues etc. But when the trials were in the picture, things got more personal. It almost felt like the brothers needed the trials to remind themselves (and fans) how important they are to each other as brothers. Things got a little out of hand sometimes and something big needed to happen to reconnect the brothers and the family again. 

Different episodes give us insights into the brothers and their motivation, showing us different perspectives. The writers put the brothers into different situations, interacting with people and monsters. From these events and the choices that they've made, we see what the brothers are made of. I think season eight has been very good from this point of view. It's actually more focused than we realise. It's not something that can be easily told in just one episode. Once things got personal, it all makes sense. The story telling has been top notch this season.

Dean is worried sick about Sam. He can't help it! Get over it! It's in Dean's big brother DNA -- Dean has no problems with doing the laundry and cooking for the 'little big man', reading comic books to Sam, going to hell for Sam, sacrificing for Sam. Dean simply cannot help it! That's him. That's what he does! Dean is selfless. Taking care of Sam is like breathing air to Dean. Metatron gave Dean the heads up in the dialogue with Dean about sacrifice and choices. Dean has to know if Metatron is going to help or not. There is no faffing around. No matter what the situation is, Dean will always make sure little brother is safe first. I won't be surprised if Dean sacrifices again for Sam. Or may be everyone will sacrifice something in order to get this trial done. It's logical that if Sam is connected to the demon tablet, Dean is connected to the angel tablet. That may be the storyarc for season nine. But I think there will be a big cliffhanger at the end of the season. 

Overall, the episode was pretty epic. I really enjoyed it. Though, I thought the editing was a little choppy, like mainstream chopping. That's what big shows do sometimes. But I can live with that. I can really feel that an end is near, because the story is being wrapped up nicely, unlike the previous two seasons in which the story was dragging a little. I do like the multiple arcs in The Great Escapist -- everyone has a mission, everyone has a battle to fight and everyone has their own motivation. But everything will come back to the same point -- the Winchesters. In Metatron's word, when one creates a story, that person becomes a god. (Yeah Ben Edlund! No one will argue with you! You're a god with a cool hairdo.) It's about choices and consequences. Everything just feels bigger and more epic all of a sudden!

8.22 Clip Show

FAMILIAR FACES RETURN AS THE THIRD TRIAL NEARS — Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean (Jensen Ackles) reunite with Castiel (Misha Collins). Digging through the Men of Letters’ files, they stumble upon an undiscovered film which could be the key to the third trial. Metatron (guest star Curtis Armstrong) enlists Cass to mull over problems at home. Meanwhile, Crowley (guest star Mark Sheppard) digs into Sam and Dean’s past. Taylor Cole, Graham Wardle, and Cindy Busby also guest star. Thomas J. Wright directed the episode written by Andrew Dabb.