Friday, March 22, 2013

Live-Beefing LOST: Season 2, Disc 4

SPOILER ALERT: If you haven't watched LOST, you may be confused or apathetic about the following post. Please go watch the series through at least once before bothering with my writings. Thank you.

s02e13 - The Long Con

Oh man, I am not watching these as quickly as I was initially hoping, but I guess that's also why I created this model for my blog. I can go as fast or as slow as I want, and it doesn't make much of any difference. Alright, Sawyer episode. This actually is one of my favourite episodes, and it definitely has one of my favourite Sawyer moments near the end. Guns, always with the guns. Oh right, and the conflict between Locke and Jack over the combination to the gun/drug vault. Those two really just clashed whenever they got the chance, didn't they? Oh right, this was right after the stupid "I have to baptize the baby!" episode. Boy am I glad we're past that one. And Jack has immediately pissed off Sawyer.

"You just happen to have a suitcase full of cash?" Sawyer's con job didn't work quite so well this time around. At least it turned out alright for him... She just wants him to teach her how to con people. Can't complain about a woman like that! Great, Kate's trying to be cute with Sawyer again... El Jacko and Ana Lulu? I like those names. Aww, Kate's pouting now. I dislike her. Hurley just made a Nilsson reference! This scene is cute though; Hurley trying to cheer up Sayid. Yeah, that's right Sayid. You should feel bad. I hate the way Ana Lucia talks. She says "combo" like "cam-bhwo" and I want to smack her fat face. Now why would anyone want to attack Sun? She's so cute and sweet... and kind of a lying cheat of a wife, but still... My first point still stands. Wow, when it rains on that island, it rains. I think I like it. "What do you mean her hands were tied?" Well, her hands were... tied. Really don't know how else to put it.

Of course, obviously it's the natives who attacked Sun... I don't know why no one assumed Charlie. I'd think he'd be the most obvious option, duh. And later in the series, we see Cassidy trying to pull this exact con, when she meets Kate. The seeds of doubt have been planted in Kate's mind... and now in Jack's. "You mean Steve. Scott's dead." It's great that even the new people to the beach get Scott and Steve mixed up, even though Scott died long before they showed up. Jin wants a gun... and we all know how that man is with a gun. They're all gonna die! Kate fell right into Sawyer's little set-up. She wants him to go warn Locke to hide the guns. There are far too many layers of long con to this whole long con thing. Sawyer's an expert. What in the hell is Locke doing? Oh, alphabetizing books. But why was he holding a book open upside down? Oh well, they never answer that. Another of the many unanswered mysteries of Lost.

Mmm pie. I want a pie. A whole pie. I wonder if Walmart down the street has any pies... I think I'll look tomorrow. Oh, Kate's mom is Sawyer's waitress... some of these cross-overs are a bit far fetched, but hey, it's a small world ain't it? Gordy? His friend's name is Gordy? Oh, not friend... Gordy just threatened to kill Sawyer. Acquaintance? Sure. I'll go with that. Aaaaaand the guns are all gone. The drugs too. Locke has gone rogue! He's a maverick! Now comes the big scene that I love so very much! Once again, Locke is wise and Jack is impulsive and spastic. Sure, Locke got played by Sawyer, but he's still wise nonetheless. BANG! In walks Sawyer! The best Sawyer speech ever! "I'm only gonna say this once. You took my stuff." There really IS no reason that Locke and Jack should be the only two "leaders"... a collective makes far more sense. Sawyer kind of has a point there. "Oh you wanna torture me, don't you? Show everyone how civilized you are!" Sawyer thinks before acting... I can't help but think that the guns are in the best hands now. He really thinks EVERYTHING through before acting. Everything. And a subtle poke at the fans who think they went back in time...

s02e14 - One Of Them

Ana Lucia pisses me off even in the "previously on" bit. I really don't remember who this episode was about... Is this when they meet "Henry Gale"? Oh, it's a Sayid episode... Still, is this the start of Ben? I think it is. That background is what I call "digital warfare." Oh look, Kate's dad! Not the dead one, but the other one. Whatever. Rousseau. It's always a party when Danielle shows up. People like giving Sayid their guns to prove that they are trustworthy. First Locke, now Danielle... Oh the frog! Lots of Hurley in this episode. Yay! Ben!! A fan-favourite from the get-go. He's Lost's "Spike"... a reference that will be lost on people who never watched Buffy. Oh, and she shot him in the back! And here's Kelvin, the guy who left Desmond in the hatch. I wonder if they had planned that casting when they wrote this episode. Ben is a great liar. It's a talent... a gift. Now Swayer wants to torture him! Exciting. Sayid is kind of annoying. Not Kate or Ana Lucia annoying... more Claire annoying. Mildly sigh-inducing aggravating. Kind of an "oh just shut up" annoying. I should resume actually watching.

The "putting the captive into the empty armory" scene. I think this scene got nominated. Okay, that's a lie. Uh oh, Sayid pulled his hair back. He means business. I wonder if having to do things like teach people to torture is what led Kelvin to leave the Army and join up with what he thought was the Dharma Initiative. Michael Emerson just owns the screen. He's such a fantastic actor. "You want to know who I am. My name is Sayid Jarrah and I am a torturer." Poor fake-Henry.

"Maybe he'll find a Mrs. Tree Frog." Great Sawyer, crush the little frog. How nice of him. Aww, Jack's moping. Why would anyone have a giant smiley face balloon?? Oh for the love of... Sayid's sobbing again. Great torturing technique, moron. "I will sob at you until you tell me the truth!" Between Sayid sobbing, the alarm blaring, and Jack grimacing at Locke, this has to be one of the most annoying scenes. All we need is a cat fight in the background between Ana Lucia and Kate... Ooo hieroglyphs. Wow, what a retarded face Sayid just made. Sometimes I can't stand him. "So tell me Charlie, have you forgotten?" Pandering!

s02e15 - Maternity Leave

Clear's boy-bee is sick. "Baby's got a fever." (insert run-into-the-ground cowbell joke here) Rousseau has come to the rescue! It's a party now!! A croying boy-bee porty. The boy-bee is unfeected with something. Ugh, the label on this disc I am trying to read is off-center, so of course my laptop won't read it. Why should it? It's just a disc drive whose entire purpose in life is to read discs. I shouldn't ask so much of it as to read discs. Now Jack is annoyed at Locke for giving the prisoner a book... Seriously, Jack? You're a girl, aren't you??

Libby is attempting to help Clear discover some repressed mimories. She saw Ethan so now she's freaking out. Because Ethan has that effect on women. Mr. Eko might discover the prisoner... suspenseful. I enjoy the Dharma medical hatch. Really, I just like all the hatches and would like one of my own. The Beef Hatch. Its sole purpose could be confusion. How the Others knew to use "Catch A Falling Star" is only really explainable with the thought that the supposed adoptive parents Claire turned away were in fact involved somehow.

You don't find Rousseau; she finds you. A teenage girl named Alex! I love Alex. She's cute. Eko is on to their prisoner situation. Clear is confused about everything, but it's slowly coming back to her, it would seem. I think Ethan had a thing for Clear. And they found the hatch. Really, it's a weird place to put a medical facility of any sort. Are you injured? Go out deep into the jungle and find a door in a field. Great place for birthing babies though! ...and apparently for putting on costumes. Yay Alex! So adorable. Geez, why won't my drive read this disc?! Well, I know why, but still... Grrr. Clear isn't very bright. Well at least she was able to put two seemingly unrelated things together and figure out that Alex was Rousseau's daughter. I guess she's not a complete numskull.

Ha! Eko doesn't even know what the alarm is about... It's nice when they point out that not everyone is in the "circle of trust" in their camp. "They think I'm one of these others? Other what!?" Okay... Eko cuts off the little sprigs of his beard... That was... weird. Benry must be SO confused right now. Yeah, the boy-bee is just fine, and they didn't even need any vaccine from the hatch. So that was all for nothing. Good job, Clear. Well, I guess you got one booty out of it. Ben always knows exactly what buttons to push when it comes to Locke. He doesn't even have to try.

s02e16 - The Whole Truth

Sun looks good in that skimpy little outfit. I like this episode already! Jin's worried that Sun will get attacked again, so he destroys her garden. That's what a good husband is supposed to do, right? Sun's not well... I love Rose and Bernard. So all the time Jin wanted to have a kid, she was seeing that bald rich dude? Stupid Sun. Yeah, "learning English"... right. "I'll talk to her." "I already did. She's in there with him now." You gotta love how Locke just took matters into his own hands. Really, there was no reason he should need to answer to Jack. They all should technically be equals.

Sun's trying to get a pregnancy test from Sawyer. He makes a good general store manager. Ana Lucia is actually not overly annoying in a scene. That doesn't happen often. Let's enjoy it while we can. Hurley caught Sun with the pregnancy test, and she caught him with a candy bar... A fun little awkward scene. I love scenes like that! So unimportant, but a perfect filler. Poor Jin, He wanted kids so badly, but Sun is unable to have children... or is she? "Jack and Locke are a little too busy worrying about Locke and Jack." It's been a while since we've had a good multi-person trek into the jungle. I don't count the Kate/Clair/Danielle thing as a proper trek. That was more a meandering wander. Alright, I ordered a new internal drive for my laptop. Hopefully that will read these discs better... and Sun's pregnant. What?! Sun was going to leave Jin?!?! Since when!??!?!? Oh yeah... Bald rich tall guy is in love with Sun. Okay, WAS in love with Sun. He gets all dead and stuff... "People don't like me." Well said, Ana Lucia. The first step is acknowledging your problem.

Sayid likes watching Ana Lucia sleep. Maybe he's a vampire, like on Twilight. Charlie must be wondering why he even came along by this point in their trek. Poor Jin. He means well... Wow, Popo got big. Oh, so JIN is the one who can't have kids... But then how did Sun get pregnant?! It couldn't have been the bald dude she was screwing on the side. Bald guys can't have kids. Or something, I don't know. Right Jin, it's a miracle. You really think this island is magical enough to make things like that happen? Well... okay, I'll concede that point. And here's the scene where Michael Emerson solidifies his role on this show. "I guess it's a good thing I'm not one of them, huh? ... You guys got any milk?"

Thursday, March 14, 2013

The Ring (1927)

Beefing on Hitchcock
The Ring

An undefeated carnival boxer, "One Round" Jack, is finally taken down by a challenger, who it turns out is a boxing champ looking to recruit a sparring partner. The boxer, Bob Corby, eyes and puts the move on Jack's fiancée, Mabel, while Jack is off signing a deal, and a love triangle begins. While Jack makes his way up the boxing ranks, Bob and Mabel (now Jack's wife) move increasingly closer together... even in front of Jack's very eyes. Jack is determined to fight Bob for the love of his life, who has left him after a brutal argument. The two have the boxing match of their lives, all while Mabel watches from Bob's corner. When she sees her estranged husband being defeated, her heart wrenches and she slowly makes her way around the boxing ring and begins to cheer for Jack. Jack, bloodied and beaten, spies Mabel beside him, and he gathers the strength to finally defeat his foe.

The Ring is flawed in only one real way, and that is the lack of sympathy for Mabel. Throughout the entire film, especially near the end, when she changes sides back to Jack's, you really don't want the two to end up back together. She proves herself not worthy of Jack time and time again, and I personally feel the story could have worked better with a second woman for Jack to end up with. (Much as the story in The Pleasure Garden) To be fair, this was Hitchcock's first and only screen-writing credit, so I'll cut him some slack. As well, I suppose an argument to my one gripe could be that she changed sides when Jack was clearly losing the boxing match, as opposed to only supporting him if he was winning... but she really was not very likable, as Jack did not deserve her ill treatment.

The symbolism of "the ring" through the whole film came in a few different forms: First, there was the boxing ring, of course. Secondly, the bracelet Bob gave Mabel, which she promptly tries to hide from her fiancée. Thirdly, the wedding ring, and fourthly, the love triangle itself. This sort of multiple meaning is definitely typical of Hitchcock, and he makes very certain the symbolism is not lost on the audience.

Another typical "Hitchcock" style twist in The Ring is the focus of who the protagonist actually is. When we begin, the viewer is immediately certain that Bob is the hero. We're unaware of his profession, or that the whole boxing match is a set-up to find a suitable opponent. For all we know, he's just a carnival goer who doesn't actually want to fight and only wants to make eyes at Mabel... Eventually, we (very suddenly) find ourselves emoting for Jack, who had come across as a pompous jerk at the very start of the film. To say you feel sympathetic towards Jack would be an understatement, and he is very truly the hero of this film. Despite his depressed and drunken altercation with Mabel at the end of the second act (to which he had been pushed to a breaking point), he had proven himself to be the better man time and time again.

This film is a fantastic, solid movie, and I enjoyed it very much. You can definitely see Hitchcock finding his story style and visual feel as we go along.