Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Safe House? Or Unsafe House?

Hey Yo! I'm back!!! Wow I need to do this more often!! There's been so much happening in TV land, shows coming to an end, shows returning and brand new shiny shows beginning.

Game of Thrones has been insanely awesome as usual! I'm planning to do an entire review of season 2 once I've watched the season finale on Monday. Also it has been announced that A Storm of Swords is being divided into two seasons. Which means more GOT and even more characters to introduce they would just about have to have the largest cast on television today.

Before I watched game of thrones on Monday I discovered a new sitcom Men at Work. Insert plot outline according to IMDB now:
"In this new comedy about four friends who work together at a magazine, the recently dumped Milo barely has time to nurse his wounds before his friends decide to help him get back in the game. Together, the four help each other navigate work, friendship and women."
Men at Work is created and written by Breckin Meyer who you may remember from such movies as Road Trip and Garfield. Now this is a very simple show with a very simple premise and for my mind it is executed brilliantly. The first two episodes had me in fits of laughter which is really what you want from a sitcom. Danny Masterson (Who you may remember as Hyde from That 70's Show.) is the stand out actor so far. He showed in That 70's Show that he has great comedic timing and has carried that talent over to Men at Work. If your looking for a quality 20 minutes of laughs have a look at Men at Work. We can only hope it keeps up the good work.

Safe House

Last night I was left to my own devices so I decided to sit down and watch a movie, so I choose Safe House. My thinking was "Oh great it's got Denzel Washington in it this should be a cracker!" Boy was I wrong! I'll get the storyline out of the way:
"Matt Weston (Ryan Reynolds) is a CIA rookie who is manning a safe house in Cape Town, South Africa, when Tobin Frost (Denzel Washington) the CIA's most wanted rogue agent is captured and taken to the safe house. During Frost's interrogation, the safe house is overtaken by mercenaries who want Frost. Weston and Frost escape and must stay out of the gunmen's sight until they can get to another safe house."  
Now as I said this movie has one great thing going for it Denzel Washington, but even he couldn't save this catastrophe. It's almost like the studio was like "Hey here's a movie with two big stars in it but don't pay too much attention to the story because we certainly didn't. But hey how great are these two guys!" The best way to describe this movie is mundane and predictable with a bit of action thrown in for the hell of it. I figured out who was behind all the rascal-like behaviour in the first 20 minutes and really it was a choice out of two characters so you had a 50/50 chance.

The crazy thing is Denzel and to a lesser extent Ryan Reynolds really tried to make this movie good, but they had nothing to work with! The writers have obviously watched Burn Notice naming the main character Matt Weston after the far superior in every way Michael Weston. Hell after I finished watching this movie I watched an episode of Burn Notice and was thoroughly entertained for 40 minutes compared the disappointment I endured in the previous 2 hours.

Story as I mentioned above is the biggest flaw of this movie. It's as if were going through motions, and a lack of creativity when it comes to the script and storyline. There is no attempt to really try and separate this movie from any other spy thriller I've seen, hence the predictability of it all. They wasted the acting talent they had here. An experienced director here would have been beneficial but I guess everyone has to start somewhere.

I'd like to hear what other people thought of this movie. Because it just seemed like a half-assed attempt at a spy movie. I'd give this movie 2 out 5 on Denzel's acting alone. What did you think of it out there people?

A trend that I've really noticed lately is if you want a great story watch a quality TV show. Writers are doing wonderful things in TV land and many movie writers and making the jump over to TV. It seems most movies are only made for one thing nowadays and that is money. As long as the movie looks pretty and has a big star in it, it will make studios money. Which makes stories not as important in movies. You might have a great story but if a studio doesn't see how it will make them money they will always go with the shiny looking movie with the big star in it. It's a shame really as I love movies but at the end of the day it's a business and money is what makes it tick. As long as these writers keep producing awesome TV shows I will be more than happy.

That's it from me today, hope you enjoyed the read and I'll be back soon with a wrap up of Game of Thrones season 2!


Wednesday, 11 April 2012

One does not simply not watch Game of Thrones

Hey yo! I've just starting watching The Tudors last night with my wife. And wow! We only watched the first episode but I can tell it's going to be a hell of a fun ride for the next four seasons.

Ever since I was a little tacker all things medieval have fascinated me. Which is why it's no surprise that my favourite show at the moment is Game of Thrones.

Game of Thrones

Game of Thrones is a HBO series based on George R. R. Martin's series of five fantasy novels, the first of which is A Game of Thrones. I've been telling anyone who will listen for the past year or so, that you must watch this show! Go now do it! Watch it! You'll love it! As usual here is the plot outline according to IMDB:
"Seven noble families fight for control of the mythical land of Westeros. Political and sexual intrigue is pervasive. The dominant families are the Houses Stark, Lannister, and Baratheon. Robert Baratheon, King of Westeros, asks his old friend Eddard, Lord Stark, to serve as Hand of the King, or highest official. Secretly warned that the previous Hand was assassinated, Eddard accepts in order to investigate further. Meanwhile the Queen's family, the Lannisters, may be hatching a plot to take power. Across the sea, the last members of the previous and deposed ruling family, the Targaryens, are also scheming to regain the throne. The friction between these clans, and with the remaining great Houses Greyjoy, Tully, Arryn, and Tyrell, leads to full-scale war. All while a very ancient evil awakens in the farthest North. Amidst the war and political confusion, a neglected military order of misfits."
It sounds like a lot to take in right? And it is, but once you start watching it you pick up the all the lore very easily and the Game of Thrones website is a valuable resource for those wanting to know more. Or hey! You could read the books! The awesomeness never seems to end!

I know I'm sounding like I want to take this show to bed with me, but it is that damn good! Great acting, great writing, brilliant story, awesome production and Sean Bean! . What more could you want? Sean Bean is the the pinnacle actor of everything fantasy related. If your going to create a really awesome fantasy movie or TV show it must have Sean Bean in it! See LOTR.

Peter Dinklage is another brilliant part of the show. He plays the part of the very entertaining imp Tyrion Lannister. Dinklage did such a great job that he won the Emmy last year for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series. You'd be a brave person to claim that he didn't deserve it.

The show has just started its second season, and episode 2 has just screened recording amazing ratings (the season 2 premiere had gross audience of 8.3 million viewers). On the back of this HBO has acted quickly and signed the show up for a third season (full article). This, of course, is a no brainer move for HBO - this show is making them a lot of money and raking up huge ratings.

To sum up this show will go down as one of the greatest TV shows ever. It really is compelling viewing, I implore anyone who hasn't seen it to watch it then shoot me a message or comment and let me know just how right I am!

That's it from me today. So much TV to watch and so many opinions to voice. I'm really enjoying writing this blog and I hope those of you that are reading it are enjoying it as well.



Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Story Time

Hey Yo! Wow there's been a lot going on in the world of TV! I find myself rarely watching movies anymore, because the TV shows that are out there today are so bloody good!

I've just finished Spartacus season 2. Which really isn't a masterpiece but it is a visual masterpiece - think 300 level violence. It's just one of those shows that you're sitting there watching and thinking to yourself "Wow this isn't a very well-told story but why can't I stop watching?!?!?"

Once Upon a Time

Another new show I've started watching is Once Upon a Time. I've heard nothing but good things about this show and decided to give it a go, and I'm not disappointed. I'm only up to episode 6 and it's a really cool show with a great premise. IMDB sums up the plot very well:

"Emma Swan gets the surprise of her life when Henry, the son she gave up 10 years ago, arrives on her doorstep. Returning the boy to his adoptive mother becomes complicated when Henry reveals a stunning theory to Emma. Everyone in Storybrooke, Maine is a fairytale character under a curse, and Emma - as the long lost daughter of Snow White and Prince Charming - is the one who can save them all. The story unfolds; interweaving scenes of the drama in the sleepy New England town and the the inhabitants' past lives in the world of fairy tales. The timeless battle of good vs evil is ready to begin again"
Right from the get go you are introduced to the main storyline (which is one of the most creative ideas for a TV show) and it is explained clearly. Then throughout each episode so far the story goes in depth into each different character and their back story and how it is effecting them in the "new reality". As well as continuing the main storyline of the show.

As far as acting goes it's a very solid cast thus far. The two standouts have been the lead role Emma Swan played by Jennifer Morrison, she has really embraced her part leading to excellent performances. We all know how important a lead role is and Morrison has done it justice and should continue to do an excellent job, and has the potential to land even bigger roles in the future. The second standout is Robert Carlyle who plays the dual role of Mr Gold and Rumpelstiltskin. Carlyle is doing a great job and the secondary villain as part of the main storyline. As Mr Gold he plays a cold and calculating villain, and as Rumpelstiltskin (well, we all know the story of Rumpelstiltskin) the crazy magical man who loves the make deals with people which will eventually always come out in his favour.

So far I really don't have a bad thing to say about the show. My only advice would be to watch the first episode closely and attentively otherwise you may find yourself a little lost. I really look forward to watching the rest of this season as I've heard Brad Dourif who is one of my favourite actors, has a role in an upcoming episode which I am very excited to see.


There's been a lot going on in TV land lately. Game of Thrones is finally back and the first two episodes have been brilliant, I'll go further in depth on the show later. True Blood and Sons of Anarchy have been gearing up for their return in August. I'll have more for you soon!


Monday, 20 February 2012


Hey Yo! Well I finished season one of Hell on Wheels, and in the end I was really impressed, as well as cursing that there were only 10 episodes in the season. I really had my doubts about this show as I mentioned in a previous post. Yet it ended up delivering in a big way around episode 5 and 6. The pace of the story really picked up as well as the intensity. As the characters back-stories were revealed, Anson Mount who plays the lead role Cullen Bohannan has really stepped up his game in a major way. The show is also providing some very memorable quotes: 

Bohannan: You want revenge?
Durrant: I want justice! 
Bohannan: Different words for the same thing.

Mrs Bell: Mr Bohannan has anyone every told you what an insufferable ass you are?
Bohannan: Yeah.

10 episodes weren't nearly enough for the first season, and I feel that's why we didn't get great back-stories till episode 5 as the writers wanted to try and cement the main story first. AMC has renewed the show for a second season. Hopefully the show's creators (The Gayton Brothers) will acknowledge the first seasons short comings and come back bigger and better later in the year.



Supernatural is another of my all-time favourite shows. It's one of the shows that my wife and I always watch together (Not because were scared! It's because we're both massive fans!). The best thing about Supernatural is the way it mixes Drama and Comedy; no show in my opinion does it better. It really is a wild ride that makes you feel like you're right there, with the Winchester brothers and the crew. 

I've mentioned story archs previously and this is another show that uses them really well throughout a 24 episode season. As a viewer it is made clear what the main storyline is in the first few episodes. Then you are taken on the aforementioned wild ride. The writers and creators do a great job to mix up the tone of episodes, also to take you off the beaten track every few episodes so the main story line doesn't pound you to death and you feel refreshed and ready to get back to it.

Could you imagine anyone else playing Sam and Dean Winchester other than Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles? No? I didn't think so. Ackles and Padalecki have done such a fantastic job making these characters their own, that if I'm watching another show and happen to see either of them in I'll yell out "Hey that's Sam!" or "Holy shit that's Dean!". They are probably the best current acting duo on television.

Supernatural fans that I have come across are dedicated and fanatical. There's a reason for this and it's simple! It's a bloody good show! 

The most underrated aspect of the show I feel is the supporting cast. Jim Beaver who plays Bobby Singer (also the name of one of the producers of the show) is brilliant and provides a great counter point in the episodes he appears in. Misha Collins who comes in the series around season 4 playing the Angel Castiel. Collins I feel is a vastly underrated asset to the show; he has a great acting range and is able to deliver on the dramatic aspects as well as the comedic side of things.

I've told you this before, but if you haven't seen it get out there and watch it!

That's from me today.

Saturday, 18 February 2012

Bad Cops!

Hey Yo! Just got done watching the new The Big Bang Theory episode, it never gets old and will be the blueprint for all sitcoms to come. I will go further in depth on it down the line. I also watched the new episode of Jersey Shore! Hey don't judge me! Everyone has a crappy show that they just enjoy for some reason or other. For some it's soap operas, for others it's shows like the Biggest Loser, The Apprentice, or The Bachelor and so on and so on. I like to call it TV fast food, it's cheap and greasy and for some odd reason very tasty.

Today I'd like to talk about my third favourite show of all-time.

The Shield

Before Kurt Sutter brought us Sons Of Anarchy, he was one of the lead writers and producers on The Shield (many of the old cast members of The Shield now either have main or guest starring roles in SOA). I remember the first time I saw The Shield on TV. I was so blown away, I went out the next day and brought the first two seasons on DVD, and from there on I was addicted.

The main thing that got me hooked on the show (apart from the brilliant stories, acting and writing) is my second favourite TV character of all time Detective Vic Mackey, played by Michael Chiklis. Chiklis describes Mackey as "a cross between Hannibal Lecter and Dirty Harry." Chiklis does such a wonderful job playing and won the Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series, in 2002. Mackey and his strike team have the best arrest record in "the Barn", but they also dabble in corruption drugs, murder and theft.

Mackey always has a way to justify his tactics and corruption, his mentality is we do more good then bad. Having said that Mackey is more often then not the hero at the end of the day, as he consistently closes big cases and uses his "questionable" tactics against the worst kinds of criminals being rapists, child molesters and mass murderers etc. 

His personal life is, as to be expected, extremely rocky. Mackey is a man who loves his three children very much and would do anything for them, which he also uses to justify making some money on the side. I could go on and on about Mackey for hours, but the best thing to do would be to watch the show and I'm sure you would agree with me that he's one of the best Television characters of all time.

Back to the show. One of the best things about this show is not just stories, it's the story archs. There is always the one main story line which is the main stay throughout the seasons, then there's a minor story line and then there's pretty much a new case for Detective Dutch Wagenbach and Detective Claudette Wyms (played by Jay Karnes and CCH Pounder). These stories always suck you in emotionally, and have you hanging on every interview or break in the case. Karnes and Pounder are a great acting combination and really bring their characters to life on-screen and are able play off each other really well. The best comparison I can come with would be Riggs and Murtaugh from the Lethal Weapon franchise minus all the silliness.

I've recommended this show to quite a few people and all of them have loved it. So if you haven't already seen it get out there and watch it!

That's all from me today, I've got a few movies lined up to watch and some more Hell on Wheels will be back soon with another post!


Thursday, 16 February 2012

The West and The Wild West

Hi! I'm back! Back in the New York groove! Grrr get out of my head you brilliant Ace Frehley song you (Also the theme music to NY Ink). 

Last night, I finished watching episode 5 of Alcatraz, and it was the best episode yet. It's gotten to that great point in a series where the intensity is picking up and the story is about to be blown wide open. They have me eagerly anticipating there next move.

Also last night I resumed watching a show I discovered whilst viewing America's Fall lineup preview on youtube. It's called Hell on Wheels.

Hell On Wheels

I hope you all watched the trailer other you'll have no idea what I'm talking about. I've just watched episode 4 and what I have found so far is that this show is solid, not spectacular but solid. I judge every show set in the Wild West by a very high standard. I compare it to Deadwood, and whilst this is a very good show, it doesn't have the same in your face attitude or the grittiness of Deadwood. I know not every show will have the same feel, but really this show so far doesn't really have anything unique about it. It's just a solid wild west revenge story so far. Hey it may prove me wrong and I hope it does. 

The two best things about this show is the acting of Colm Meaney (you can find his long list of excellent work here) who plays Thomas Durant, a ruthless man who will stop at nothing to see his railroad built, and the beat out all competitors. You can tell he is totally invested in the character, and in my opinion is currently out-acting both of the lead roles. Now the second best thing is also an actor, Christopher Heyerdahl (Sanctuary, Supernatural and Stargate: Atlantis). He plays Durant's ruthless and corrupt head of security The Swede. Heyerdahl has done a brilliant job with this character adding little quirks the character making him appear very obsessive and won't stop at anything to prove he's right. He makes a great antagonist for the main character Cullen Bohannan.

This show has potential to be great and I get the feeling around episode 6 will be the jump off point for me. But I hope it can do enough to keep me watching past that point.


If you have never seen this show, go now and buy it (or obtain it somehow)! Trust me you won't regret it, and if you do there is something wrong with you, please see a doctor. 

Deadwood is my 2nd favorite TV show of all time. Unfortunately there was only three seasons made, but those three seasons are a masterpiece. I could bang on about this show for hours on end. My mate, who will be known as Dangerous Dave, and I did just that we'd talk about this show and never get bored. The best thing about this show is that it has one of the best casts ever assembled on television and they all play their roles brilliantly. Many of them you may have noticed in your other favourite TV shows, and there's a reason for that because they're awesome! 

Two of my all-time favorite actors in Ian McShane and Brad Dourif are the stand-outs amongst this terrific cast. McShane plays saloon owner and town standover man Al Swearengen (it's appropriate that he has the word "swear" in his last name). Al Swearengen is my third favorite television character, (you know number one from my last post and number two will be revealed in my next post) - if anyone else apart from McShane played the role, it would not have worked. 

Dourif plays Doc Cochran, who is haunted by the ghosts of his past from the civil war. He carries the weight of all the patients he's lost, which somewhat makes him hate what he does and who he is. But on the other hand he will be there to help around the camp as much as he can or is allowed to.

If you do end up watching the show, I have no doubt you be blown away by Timothy Olyphant doing what he does best playing the badass Seth Bullock. Olyphant doesn't have a wide character range, but the one character he does play best is the badass. This is further shown in Justified which is a show I will get to at some stage. But seriously people, if you haven't already, watch this show.

That's all from me today.

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Welcome to my strange but wonderful world!

Hi! My name is Mike and I am a TV show addict and a movie buff. There are many things that I have a passion for in life like music, sports and eating and drinking etc etc. But all of them are over shadowed by my love of TV and Movies. I can think of fewer things I like to do than sit in my chair or lay in bed and watch a great TV show or an excellent movie. It's somewhat odd but it's my idea of a great time and has been as long as I can remember.

I've decided to start this blog (I have never blogged before so this is all completely new to me) to share my passion and opinions with the big wide world of the Internet. I thought for my opening post I'd share some of favourite TV shows of all time with you, and why I find them so awesome. I'll start off with my all time favourite.

The Sopranos

I have recently gone back and re-watched The Sopranos for about the ninth or tenth time from start to finish and it never gets old. James Gandolfini is just spectacular in his portrayal of New Jersey Mafia king pin Tony Soprano. In my humble opinion, as a whole, it is the best performance by an actor in a television series. A big call I know, but I have no doubts about it. The entire cast is brilliant and really make the script come to life and get you emotionally invested in what is happening to their characters which is a must for me if I'm going to watch a show. I know the ending was controversial but part of that was because I don't think people wanted the show to end, and I don't blame them. David Chase is my favourite TV writer because of this show.

Here is one of my favourite scenes:

I'll post more of my all time favourite shows as I continue with the blog.


Currently I'm watching many shows, as you can imagine. It's an addiction and I don't want help! I've taken a particular liking to Alcatraz so far - I have just started episode five and it's fair to say it's got me intrigued - very intrigued. The premise behind the show is solid, basically Wikipedia gives a good synopsis:
 "On March 21, 1963, over three hundred inmates and more than forty guards disappeared from the Alcatraz island prison without a trace. To cover up the disappearance, the government invented a cover story about the prison being closed, due to unsafe conditions, and the inmates were transferred. As a young guard in 1963, federal agent Emerson Hauser (Sam Neill) had been one of the first to discover the inmates missing. He now runs a secret government unit dedicated to finding the prisoners. In present-day San Francisco, the "63s" (as the inmates and guards are called) begin returning, having not aged at all. To help track them down and capture them, Hauser enlists police detective Rebecca Madsen (Sarah Jones) and doctor Diego Soto (Jorge Garcia), an expert on the history of Alcatraz. The 63s appear to be returning without memory of where they have been and with compulsions to find certain objects."
My favourite character by far at the moment is Dr Diego Soto. Jorge Garcia is doing a fantastic job in bringing his character to life and getting you emotionally invested in him. His goofiness and innocence adds a great balance to the very serious natures of Rebecca Madsen and Hauser. Sarah Jones gives very solid performances as Rebecca Madsen but nothing spectacular - it's almost like she hasn't completely embraced the character. The most disappointing aspect of the show for me is Sam Neill who is usually a very good actor. But here, it just feels like he's going through the motions and that the role isn't really inspiring him. Hopefully he picks up as the season goes on. Nonetheless I will be watching this show with great interest - there is potential for a spectacular show here from what I have seen so far, but one wrong turn could end in disaster.

Anyways that's all from me today - I'll be back soon with some more ramblings.