Friday, May 31, 2013

Live-Beefing LOST: Season 3, Disc 1

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.

s03e01 - A Tale Of Two Cities

Oh hey, an eye. We've never seen THAT before. Uhm, you put that CD in upside down, Juliet. Yeah, I am fairly certain this Amelia is Ethan's mom... especially the way she just mocked him about the plumbing. This was always a bit of a mind-blowing season opener. It kind-of set the bar for their season openings from here on out. Far more of a "WTF?!" than Desmond in the hatch. Of course, Jack listens to Glen Miller as he sits around in a car stalking his ex. Because who wouldn't? Doctor in a shark tank. It's a fitting "torture" for someone who just has to be in control of his surroundings at all times. "Kate, you're not my type." Fans went wild on the "Tom is gay" theories, so much the writers eventually just caved. Carl! WARNING! ...aaaand back to Jack. This is like Saw, only different. In Saw, Michael Emerson was watching on a video monitor. Oh wait, that's exactly like this. Never mind.

Jack's ex isn't that great at NOT rubbing it in. Seriously, she's kind of the active cause of his paranoia and obsessive behavior. I was never a Jack/Juliet shipper. He and Kate kind of deserved each other with their stubborn impulsive natures. Juliet and Sawyer was really the only shipping (shipment? Yeah, let's call it shipment from now on) that I was ever actually interested in. Kate looks like a 12 year old boy in a dress. Okay, she has a LITTLE bit more chest... and long hair. But really, not much of a figure going on there. Who wouldn't want to have a beach breakfast with Ben?! That looks like a calm, relaxing, good time. Why Sawyer first? Well, it's alphabeticaaaa-- wait, no, it's not. Never mind.

Yeah, very slick detective work there, Jack. "Why is Sarah calling you, Dad?" Because they had a fling, of course. His dad's lack of answer kind of solidified that in my mind. That and his insistence on calling Ana Lucia "Sarah" doesn't help much. "Let it go, Jack." Yeah, you're definitely a repo man, Jack. Actually right now with the sleeveless t-shirt, you kinda look the part. I really hope Elizabeth Mitchell's horrid acting on Revolution doesn't make me start hating Juliet as much during this re-watch. Great escape plan, Carl. Of course Juliet and Sawyer got together later on. You always end up with the girl who shoots a stun dart into your neck.

Jack is in full stalker mode now! Following his dad into his AA meeting to confront him. It's good to know Jack has a nice history of becoming paranoid and unhinged, because it comes into play after he leaves the island too. I think Jack has a thing against being told to "let it go"... it's like his "Don't tell me what I can't do!" Because if there's anyone who you can believe completely, it's Ben. Yeah, good going Jack. Now you're drowning.

"Hey! You got yourself a fish biscuit. How'd you do that?!" Oh great, Kate is all whimpery again. THEY MADE ME WEAR A DRESS!!! (sob sob sob) Don't give her your fish biscuit! She just had breakfast on the beach!! Selfish woman. The shark tank is called The Hydra. ANSWERS!!! Sarah apparently doesn't understand that sometimes a guy just has to put a face or name to the thought that his wife cheated on him, otherwise it will eat at him for the rest of his life. It's called "closure" Sarah. Geez. She's uncaring and selfish too. At least Jack's beyond that now. But then again, this show was never about the characters... only the mythology and mystery. And now they've officially broken Jack. "Good work, Juliet."

s03e02 - The Glass Ballerina

Oh, they weren't joking when they said "glass ballerina"... There it is right there, and now it's broken. Good job little-Sun. The maid did it. Sure. Sayid and his damn signal fires. That's apparently his thing. What should we do now? Start a signal fire and stick to it!! That is a really well-cleaned wall in the shark tank. It looks brand new. "I want that boat." And what Ben wants, Ben gets.

I really hate Danny Pickett. I was so happy when that asshole died. Sun cheating on Jin knocks her "holier than thou" attitude down quite a few notches. Despite all his flaws, I really like Sun's dad. He's no fool. "Shocked. I said shocked." Kate, you're not really in a bargaining position here, so don't bother trying. I think Sun's dad was having a really hard time keeping this a secret from Jin. His sense of pride and his sense of honour were a bit conflicted... also I honestly believe he felt Jin deserved better than what Sun was doing to him. Look, a dock! And why does the dock have only four toes?!

I love Alex. She's so cute! Stupid Pickett. NO TOUCHING! Oh yes, Sayid's starting another signal fire. GET A NEW THING! I guess season 3 is the season of marital problems. First Jack and Sarah, now Sun and Jin... Okay maybe it's not just this season. But 2 episodes in and each of the flashbacks revolve around the couples' problems and the marriages falling apart. So much lack of communication too. I guess the message is "Communicate more... and with signal fires." When did Jin start to understand English!??! Perhaps it was the immersion into an all-English speaking (semi-)deserted Island...

Kate doesn't have much in the way of strength for cutting rocks. NO TOUCHING!!! Danny just likes shocking Sawyer... actually I think he just has rage and violence issues in general. It's not healthy. People are on the boat, Sun. Get your gun! There was a lot of speculation about whether Jin knew who the bald guy was, in regards to his wife... but I'm fairly certain the bald guy knew who Jin was. And the greatest question is if the guy killed himself, or if he was thrown out by another of Sun's dad's agents... sent to make sure the job got done right. I am thinking it wasn't suicide. Some people even speculated it was Sun that did it, but I seriously doubt that one. "It is not my place to tell him." I reeeeally like Sun's dad.

It's great that of all the people, Sawyer read Juliet as the one who would have shot Kate with no problem... Gasp! They're being monitored! You have NOT lived on this island all of your life, Ben. I guess it's no shock that he'd lie, even when being "honest." This was another great way to toss in a bit of a shock. The Others not only have access to the outside world, but they have video of it as well. Ben will take Jack home... with him. White lies aplenty.

s03e03 - Further Instructions

A naked Desmond running through the jungle. That's always a good thing to wake up to. What I want to know is when Nikki and Paulo are going to show up! "Are they off being mute and building structures as well?" Locke needs to speak to the Island. It's called "communing" Charlie. There's a lot in Eureka, John. A lot of weed. It's also a great place for seafood. They did a decent job of making Hawaii look like Humboldt County though. Locke has hair. "I wouldn't want you to have to start punching yourself in the face." Charlie has some great lines in this episode.

Boone!! It always makes me happy to see Boone show up. This was a really trippy drug-trip sequence here with Boone. One of my favourite sequences in the show, really. SO well-directed and edited. That tent just spat John out like a piece of rotten broccoli. Locke's got himself involved in a pot-growing community. Who doesn't like Geronimo Jackson, really? Dharma Lady... great song. First shot of the imploded Swan hatch. I wish we had more detail on that, but from a production standpoint, it makes sense why not. GREAT reveal of Hurley! "Dude..."

How could anyone NOT get that this kid was a plant?! He just screams "cop trying to hard to fit in undercover" He even looks like a young cop. Not a lot going on in this episode. Naked Desmond again... and they're looking for Eko and a polar bear... but Locke episodes have never been jam-packed with action. They're usually more deep with back-story and philosophy. Jan is really weird looking. She needs dental work really bad. And she should probably lay off the smoking too... Yeah, Locke. These people are real winners. You really choose your friends wisely.

Oh yes, Desmond and his visions of the future. That poor man's mind gets thrown all over time... It's no wonder he seems kind of unhinged at times. Well, they have Eko now. I guess he can go ahead and die soon. I finished my cake. Now what do I eat?! Oh, pizza. Yes. Of course. Amenable for coercion. That sounds like a really bad band. I think it's about time for another Smoke Monster appearance. What say you, writers of Lost? Okay, some creepy dialogue from an unconscious Eko works. Oh hey, Nikki and Paulo. Who the hell are these new people?!? Are we supposed to just believe they've been here the whole time?!?! RAAARGH!! Oh, Locke's aforementioned speech! There's something weird about that Desmond guy...

s03e04 - Every Man For Himself

Desmond is creeping on Claire and the baby. I think he's gay-imprinted on Aaron. You know, like on Twilight... only gay. And on Lost. And there's no vampires (that we know of)... Okay, so it's probably nothing like that. Jack gets to watch cartoons?!? And I'm here stuck watching this. What a rip. He doesn't even WANT to watch cartoons... So ungrateful. Yeah, they make decisions together, like Jack and Locke did in the hatch. Oh Pickett ain't gonna be happy at Sawyer... Someone else killed his wife. That makes perfect sense, doesn't it?

Another good "long con"-ish flashback for Sawyer. I love Sawyer episodes. Ben's pretty good at beating people up, for someone who's continually had his ass beaten on this show. Ben's con on Sawyer is really fantastic. He really knows how to break people. "Hippity hop! Hippity hop!" I love that scene so much!! The casting of Michael Emerson was the best thing to happen to this show. Yep, Kate definitely has the body of a 12-year old boy. Not that I've seen many 12-year old boys' bodies. Well, not recently anyways... When I was 12, they were everywhere. Okay I'm done talking.

I can't believe she actually pressed charges against him for his big long con job!! A baby too?! She's needy. Clementine?! Who names their kid Clementine?! Is this woman living in the 1800's??? And Pickett's wife just flat-lined. Sawyer's gonna get it for this. Yep, Sawyer is definitely to blame for Sun shooting your wife, and Jack not being able to save her. Blame correctly assigned there, I'd say. Why does everyone try to include Sawyer in their poor escape plans?! First Carl, and now Kate. Kate needs to forget that "live together" phrase. I bet Jack regrets saying it every time he hears Kate spout it out. Especially the way she says it... it comes out more like "Live together and we'll die alone" not "OR"... Stupid Kate. I hate Kate. It rhymes too.

Desmond is a man imprinted... I mean, obsessed. Whatever. Or maybe he can just see the future. Yeah, I'm pretty sure it's that one. "Congratulations, Ford. You just lied and cheated your way out of prison." Only Sawyer could successfully con his way out of jail. And only Ben could con Sawyer that successfully. "Don't you read?"

s03e05 - The Cost Of Living

And season 3 marks the entrance of 5 episodes per disc. Let's hear it for blu ray! Oh yes, the Eko episode. Didn't I mention a bit ago that he would die soon?! I'm pretty sure that's coming in this episode. I wonder if that nun understands that's not how real confession works... If she doesn't then maybe she needs to go back to seminary, or whatever it's called. Oh, it's a dream recollection of memory... I was wondering why it suddenly seemed so fast-paced! I hate it when my dead brother wakes me up in the middle of the night and sets my tent on fire. I think Walt started that fire... but Billy Joel did not.

White funereal robes. I should NOT have eaten all those beef sticks after a bunch of cake. I really do love Jack when he's confident. "Alright. I'm ready when you are." Maybe they mis-underestimated Jack...  I also really like Sayid when he's dry and sarcastic. "This is fascinating." Ooo a Jack Bender directed episode! These are usually good. As further proof that the main point of this show is "redemption"... We see Eko's journey towards redemption really starting at the death of his brother. It is complete when he refuses the Smoke Monster's attempts at breaking him down, when he becomes at peace with who he is and what he has done.

"Don't mistake coincidence for fate." Eko could have easily told these thugs who he was; instead he chose not to, because he was on a path to atone for his sins. They definitely pissed off the wrong guy though! I hear Smoke Monster. Oh, it's following him. Oh crap! Eko saw me! Quick, hide the smoke!

No no no, Ben... you don't REVEAL your con mid-con. That's not how it works. Oh, he's resorted to begging. I guess that works too. Oh, touchy about his brother. Please, keep it PC. African-American markets. Oh, he doesn't plan to help these people at all! He's going to sell the vaccine and leave! Such a bad man. He will do the right thing in the end, though. I am sure of it. I'm so glad Nikki and Paulo got to come along on this trek. The beautiful bright light that Locke saw was most likely "the source" we see at the end of the series. There was definitely a bit of foreshadowing going on. Even if they didn't know exactly how they would go about it, I'm pretty sure they had that part figured out by this point.

If only this thug knew who he was threatening... If only these villagers knew how much blood has ever been spilled in churches, they wouldn't be quite so shocked at this. And of course, Paulo was in the bathroom. Woah hey! A guy with an eye patch! How exciting. Maybe that's what Elizabeth Mitchell needs on Revolution to not be quite so annoying... Lip gloss. Get that woman some lip gloss! They just trapped the kid inside the church. Oh, just because some men were killed in the church doesn't mean you can't still use it. These people have a warped sense of what sacred means. Of course he speaks to you as if you were his brother... you've taken his form, you dolt. Hello Smokey. Well, that's some exciting Eko death. Oh, ALMOST death. It won't be long though. I really feel for Nikki. I know how close she was to Eko. "He said we're next." Well that's uplifting.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Murder! (1930)

Beefing on Hitchcock

An actress Diana is discovered, her clothing covered in blood, in a daze beside the dead body of another actress. After long and entertaining jury deliberations, Diana is found guilty of murder and sentenced to death. Sir John, a juror on the case and a famous actor-manager, feels a mistake has been made and sets out to investigate and find the real killer. Evidence starts to point to another actor in the company, and Sir John devises a trap to snare the killer.

Murder! is another great step in Alfred Hitchcock's film catalogue, giving us a well-written and well-acted murder mystery that commands your attention from start to finish. The story is nicely revealed, keeping the viewer somewhat in the dark until the moment the hero discovers the truth, and still manages to develop some suspense from then on.

There are some pretty bad editing cuts, but nothing atypical for 1930. A few can't help but jump out at you, mostly due to the sudden cut in the audio. Considering the use of sound was still really early, I can't hold that against the film... but it also makes me wonder how much better and more known the movie would be if the transitions had been smoother. Perhaps Criterion will get a hold of it someday and do some of their fantastic restorations.

One ground-breaking fact: Murder! was the first motion picture to include a characters thoughts as part of the soundtrack. As ADR (dubbing) was yet to exist at this point, the lines had been prerecorded and played live while filming, an orchestra playing from behind a wall to provide the music to the soundtrack. It was probably innovative things like this that eventually forced the dubbing process to be created.

As a whole, the movie is great and quite entertaining. It moves a bit slow at times, but from a technological stand-point, it's a must-see.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Juno And The Paycock (1930)

Beefing on Hitchcock
Juno And The Paycock

Okay, I will get straight to the point and just say that there is no way I will be posting a summary of the story here. For an accurate and extensive summary, feel free to use the Wikipedia link below. My reason for this is simple: There was just too much going on in this movie to easily summarize.

Juno And The Paycock was a popular Irish stage play by writer Sean O'Casey. It surrounded an Irish family and their individual struggles. The mother simply trying to make ends meet, while her husband is a useless drunk. The son finds involvement in both sides of the Irish Civil War, and the daughter courts two lovers and becomes pregnant from one.

Well hey, I suppose I was able to quickly summarize. Either way, at times there seemed to be too much going on to properly work as a movie. Perhaps because of its being written for stage, there were so many stories going on (at least one per character) that it felt too crowded for film. From what I've heard in interviews, Hitchcock felt about the same way as time went on, but these were the early years of sound film and there was much to learn.

I suppose if I was more well-versed on Irish culture and dialect, I might have enjoyed the movie and the story a bit more... That's not to say I didn't enjoy it though. I found it quite entertaining once I had read the summary so I could understand just what was happening on screen.

What you basically end up watching is an Irish stage play made into an Irish film, with Irish actors using Irish terms about Irish topics. This is a piece of Ireland captured on film, and for that alone it should be held in high regard... but it wouldn't appeal all too well to a broader audience, and that's one thing I think Hitchcock tried to avoid as his career moved on.

If I ever find a better transfer of Juno And The Paycock, I'll probably be adding it to my collection (replacing my horrible copy), but I still don't see myself watching it often.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Live-Beefing LOST: Season 2 Unanswered Questions

So, a brief summary of the season... We discovered the tail-section survivors (what was left of them), killed off a few of them as well as Shannon... We learned more about the Others as well as introduced Ben... Several of our main characters are now hostages, and a few of them imploded the Swan hatch. In all, it was a pretty exciting season, but most of that was at the start and finish of the season. The middle dragged a bit, but not as much as season 1. Okay, on to the questions:

Season 2 Unanswered Questions

Season 2 has 106 total mysteries, 17 unanswered mysteries.

Man of Science, Man of Faith
What is the vaccine that Desmond injects himself with?
-  Unanswered/Debatable
[Live Together Die Alone, The Little Prince, Sundown (It has not been confirmed what "sickness" the vaccine supposedly prevents, but it may be related to the Sickness caused by the influence of the monster, which alters the mental state of the victim)]
How did Walt appear to Shannon, dripping wet and speaking backwards?
-  Unanswered
[I chalk this one up under Walt being "special" that we will probably never really ever find out what the plan was. Based on "The New Man In Charge", I personally think Walt was really "chosen" by the Island for some supernatural purpose. This is what happens when you have a show with a kid who hits puberty.]

What is the current status of Alvar Hanso and the DeGroots?
-  Unanswered
[In the Michael-centric episode "Meet Kevin Johnson" we actually see (and the camera momentarily focuses on) an unconscious man in the bed next to Michael's. That man looked very similar to (ie, exactly like) the man cast as Hanso in promo photos, videos, etc.  According to the "Where Is Alvar Hanso?" ARG between seasons, Hanso was last known to be in a coma somewhere. We can pretty much deduce that man in the bed was Hanso. As for the DeGroots, they might still be in Ann Arbor. It doesn't seem to matter to the big picture though, does it?]

The Other 48 Days
Who did the glass eye in the Arrow belong to?
-  Unanswered
[More deductive reasoning can be applied to assume that the glass eye is Mikhail's, considering we have a glass eye and a character who is seen with an eye patch. Still... it doesn't really matter otherwise.]

What Kate Did
How did Wayne seemingly talk to Kate through Sawyer?
-  Unanswered
[Magic. The Island. The Smoke Monster. Hallucination?! Who cares?]
Why was the orientation film spliced and put in the Arrow?
-  Unanswered
[Radzinsky didn't want anyone to see that bit? I don't think this matters all too much either. I am not worried about it.]

The Hunting Party
Who was Sarah having an affair with?
-  Unanswered
[Aside from Jack's dad? It was that guy we saw across the street waiting for her when she bailed Jack out of jail that time he tried to beat up his dad in the AA meeting... She even states that it doesn't matter who he is, and if it DID matter, they would have told us a name.]

How did Henry Gale die?
-  Unanswered
[Apparently this doesn't matter either. It could have been the Others; it could have been herpes. What difference does it make?]

How did Dave appear to Hurley on the island?
-  Unanswered
[Magic. The Island. Smoke monster. Hallucination?! Whatever... a lot of people appear to a lot of other people on this show.]
Why was Libby in the mental institution?
-  Unanswered
[This is one I actually wish I knew... but yet again, to the big picture, it doesn't matter all too much. We just know what she was there.]

Three Minutes
What are the "tests" the Others made Walt take?
-  Unanswered
[Maybe they were doing some of the tests they would have done on Locke when he was a kid, had he passed the few they DID throw at him... My bet would be to figure out why/how he was special, and if he was to be the next leader.]

Live Together Die Alone
What did Desmond do to be dishonorably discharged from the military?
-  Debatable/Unanswered
[I'm pretty certain it was his going AWOL to get Penny's number (and all the other events/behaviour surrounding that) when he was jumping consciously through time.]
Who built the statue and why?
-  Unanswered
[I am not even going to try to figure that one out. I think it's just to imply that people from all civilizations over every period of time have found some form of access to the Island, and that most of them figured it some form of connection to a deity or supernatural power.]
Why did Radzinsky splice the orientation film?
-  Unanswered
[Pretty much the same question as above... I'm not even sure we could count this one twice, but whoever comprised the list did.]
Why did Radzinsky start drawing the blast door map?
-  Unanswered
[Did you SEE the episodes with Radzinsky?! That guy was unhinged from the get-go. Let's just leave it at that.]
Why did Radzinsky supposedly kill himself?
-  Unanswered
[Same answer as above.]
How does Penny know about the island and its electromagnetic properties, and that Desmond is on it?
-  Unanswered
[Maybe she pestered her father until he told her, after Desmond had been all weird in the past about the date he would contact her, followed a while later by his disappearance during the race around the world... Or Walt appeared to her in a vision. This would be a good one to know, really, but it doesn't keep me up at night.]

Well, there's that. Feel free to comment below with your own thoughts/opinions on the questions, or with comments about my own answers. If there's any from season 2 that you feel were left off this list, they were probably listed as "Answered" and if you ask them below, I will search out the documented answer for you gladly!

Friday, May 03, 2013

Live-Beefing LOST: Season 2, Disc 6

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.

s02e21 - ?

We last left off with the fantastic death of Ana Lucia. Thank heavens... now we only have to put up with her in the flashbacks and afterlife and whatever. Oh, and I suppose in Eko's dream. "Well hello yourself." Apparently Eko's dead brother wants John to take him to the Question Mark. Because that's totally a normal thing. There's a lying Michael... oh and a dead Ana Lucia... aaaaand and almost dead Libby. Poor Libby. Yeah, don't act like you really care, Michael. Jack has some serious control issues.

Oh yes, the dead girl who has come back to life. I actually really like this episode. Not only is she the daughter of Claire's fraud psychic, but it turns out she really did have an afterlife experience, and spoke to Eko's dead brother. Between that and what I assume the psychic really saw/felt, it shows that the reach of the source's magic stretches much farther than just the island itself. "Tell me John, haven't you ever followed a dream?" Yeah, Jack really does have some serious control issues. He just HAS to make himself in charge of everything, or he flips out.

Of course, Sawyer's stash was right under his bed. Definitely a believer that the best place to hide is right out in the open. Awww, poor Hurley. Ha! Locke had a dream as Eko seeing Yemi. Now if that's not projection... That dead girl's pretty cute. I love dead Australian chicks. Even the fake psychic doesn't believe in miracles. Personally, I think one actually happened here, and the man is just ignorant of it due to lack of faith. Locke is afraid Eko will die like Boone... Oh hey, a question mark.

So yeah, the plane just happens to land on a hatch door. Because that's not coincidence at all. Aww, poor Hurley!! Yeah, Michael, you SHOULD feel bad. Asshole. At least Ana Lucia's dead though. And now, we see The Pearl hatch. This was a real mind-fuck when it first aired. Was it ALL an experiment? Was THIS hatch just a social experiment?? Was the whole Dharma Initiative just merely a study?!? What's going on?!?!? Man, I still reeeally want an entire DVD of these (and many other) Dharma videos. Are you listening Bad Robot?! We want Dharma videos on a DVD!!! The Hanso Foundation, copyright 1980. This was after the incident at the Swan, of course... and before the purge. "I was never meant to do anything!" So now Locke has lost faith. I don't like faith-less Locke quite so much, but it makes a good juxtaposition for Eko's faith. "How can you say this is meaningless?"

Poor poor Hurley... Him being heartbroken is possibly one of the most crushing moments of the series, really. Well if that death face isn't a look of pure fear... Poor Hurley.

s02e22 - Three Minutes

13 Days Ago. I always enjoy this sort of "...and here's what you didn't see..." episodes. Recapping events from a different perspective. That's not a word, Michael. You need to learn to type better. I still don't think he was talking to Walt at all on this thing. That's pretty safe to say, really. I'm sure the fact that they never revealed who he really was talking to is why so many fans are confused about the ending of this show. So many unanswered questions!! I think everyone knows you have a son, Michael. Yeah, burying the dead bodies would be a good idea... although you and I both know that things don't stay buried for long on this island.

Pickett. I hate Pickett. He's such an asshole. He's not like Tom... there is just absolutely nothing likable about him. "You don't get to decide this. It's my son. My call." Man, he's really pushing that "son" thing. I'm starting to think that maybe it's not really his! Yes Charlie, help perpetuate the whole vaccine thing. Michael's back! Oh wait, he's been back. Ooo, the extras are happy about it! "Ana Lucia and Libby." "What happened to them?" I shot them. "They were murdered." me.

And the famous "cross the line" scene... but from a different angle. Alex! I love Alex. She's so cute! ... This scene seems so much shorter than last time. Oh right, condensed for time. Got it. I definitely think Sayid comes in handy here. The logic of him NOT coming along for a mission to battle is pretty non-existent. Aww, Charlie's feeling all neglected because Eko has given up on their church. Are you breaking up with me?! I thought we had something, Eko. You and me, besties forever. Is it me?! Did I do something wrong??

Wow, they really do live in huts... is what people were thinking back when this originally aired. Ms. Klugh seems to doubt that Michael is Walt's real father too. "For someone who wants his son back so badly, you don't seem to know much about him, Michael." Yeah, that would be a fairly accurate statement. Michael apparently decides who stays and who goes... so maybe that Clash song was directed at him?? I am glad chucking all these heroin statues into the water is cathartic for you, Charlie, but I still think Jack might end up needing some of that later on.

"You're about the closest thing I got to a friend." I reeeeally love these little Jack/Sawyer scenes, where they actually have an honest heart-to-heart talk. Michael seems pretty annoyed that Hurley doesn't want to come with. It's like he has a list or someth--- Ohhhhh. Yeah. He does. Well, did. He burned it. Wow, Michael just got extra-super-black in that line read. That wasn't racist, was it?! "Vincent's great. He misses you!" Shannon died, by the way, so now Vincent is reeeeally lonely.

Another funeral. Eventually people are just going to plop bodies down, roll their eyes, and walk away... So, Sayid is on top of things. Why he was the only one to figure out that Michael had other plans, I have no idea. He was pretty obvious about it, really. I wonder how broken up Neil Frogurt was about Libby's death. I know he had a thing for her and all. Boat? Oh, hey... Boat!

s02e23 - Live Together, Die Alone (Part 1)

If only Libby were alive, she'd recognize the boat... considering it's named for her. Desmond is just so awesome... I was really glad to see him return to the show after his sudden entrance/exit at the start of the season. There was no mistaking that he was a great character, even though they only gave us a small taste at the time. "We are stuck in a bloody snow globe!" And that was for the fans who figured there would be a St. Elsewhere ending to the series. I figure the reason he was in the military jail in the first place was due to his going AWOL and slightly crazy during the events of "The Constant" ...and now he's officially dishonourably discharged. Why, it's Charlies Widmore... with a ton of money. Hi, I'm Sayid and I'm here to briefly recap a conversation we had in the prior episode, for those viewers who missed or forgot about it.

Now Locke wants to NOT push the button... and on top of that, he doesn't want anyone ELSE to either. Oh, Michael's touchy about Kate questioning the veracity of his claims. Libby's lookin' good. I wonder if the mail has come yet... I need my new debit card to arrive already, geez. Kate's trying to be cute again. A giant digital bird. "Did that bird just say my name?" "It did, right before it crapped gold." The fact that so many fans actually thought there was something to that bird, and that it actually said "hurley"... fans are idiots. "With enough money and determination, you can find anyone." Desmond and Penny are the best couple in the series. How could anyone not love them?

I want a Dharma NutriBar. I am hungry. Dharma anything sounds good right about now. Especially some fish-shaped Dharma cheese crackers. Sun is sea-sick... or pregnant... or both. Hey, a four-toed statue! Just think, right now, underneath that thing... Jacob is weaving away at a loom, making a rug or something. Lockdown, part 2. Keep Eko out and then not push the button. Great 2-part plan, if ya ask me. Kelvin! Fantastic actor. If anyone reading has never seen Carnivale, I'd highly recommend it. "Just saving the world." Yes Desmond, you locked out a priest... but not a real one. Now Sawyer thinks the Others are aliens. Yet another theory shout-out for the fans. Not sure if it's true, but I remember hearing that any "theory" mentioned on the show was a joking way of stating that it was incorrect. I am kind of surprised Hurley didn't just kill Michael right then and there... but I guess technically it's not in him to kill anyone like that. Which is why Hurley is the main hero and protector in the end.

s02e24 - Live Together, Die Alone (Part 2)

For doing it all by memory, that map turned out pretty legible and clear. Oh good old Radzinsky. What a twitchy bastard. Okay, so here's where we're at so far... Eko is trying to blow up the blast door (it's called a blast door for a reason, Eko), John and Desmond are trying to NOT push a button, Charlie's just kind of there, Jack and all them are on their way to what they THINK is the Others' beach camp, which is where Sayid already is. I think about sums it up, right? Good.

If I had to push a button every 108 minutes, and I had a failsafe key, I would just use the key. There's no clue what would happen either way, so you might as well just find your way out with the failsafe. Knowing the failsafe should be used if the button ISN'T pressed, then it's obviously meant to be an end-game... so just go for it! If you die in the process, you won't have to worry about it anyways. You'll be dead anyways.

The huts are all empty and the hatch door is a fake. Oh, our traveling party of five (pun intended) has stumbled upon the tubes of notebooks from the Pearl... and they've been going in the wrong direction this whole time. Just dandy. Ooo whispers. I've always been a big fan of these little "out of nowhere" attacks by the Others. So well executed and mysterious. Even Desmond wonders what was the actual experiment... the Swan or the Pearl. Maybe a little of both. Kelvin has been lying to him! The jerk! He's been fixing Desmond's boat this whole time! At least he offered to let Des come with. Great character, great actor. It's kind of sad that he died. The character that is. I'm fairly certain the actor is still alive. Wait, and Desmond didn't remember until now that all this shit happens when you don't push the button?! "I think I crashed your plane."

I hate Pickett. But I LOVE Ben. Yay Ben! "Where's your beard?" So now Desmond WANTS to push the button. This whole button thing is all just so confusing. This show makes no sense. I give up. Awww, a letter from the past from Penny. If only he had read that before the sailing around the world thing, then he wouldn't be in this mess. It seems every time they show this scene, the beam of light gets stronger and brighter. By season 5, it's a huge beam of light blasting up into the sky, visible from miles away. Uh oh, time for the magnetic insanity. "System failure."

Damn right you were wrong. Is the key not metal!? Why is the key not flying away like every other piece of metal around!?! Perhaps it's the non-magnetic kind of metal? Good thing Bernard saw that coming... Claire and the baby would be smushed. Pala Ferry. I don't think I ever paid attention to the ferry sign on the dock before. A bearing of 325. "We're the good guys, Michael." With friends like this, who needs enemas? Penny's people found the island? Gee, if only they had used that failsafe key sooner!!

Thursday, May 02, 2013

Blackmail (1929)

"Detectives in glass houses shouldn't wave clues."

Beefing on Hitchcock

Alice, the girlfriend of a Scotland Yard detective goes home with a painter after a fight with her boyfriend Frank. When the man attempts to force himself on her, she kills him in self defence. A glove left behind as the only evidence to her guilt, the boyfriend takes it and vows to protect her. The couple is confronted by a man who had her other glove, having taken it after seeing her flee the crime scene. The stranger threatens to blackmail the two, and Frank calls his bluff by phoning for the police. The man flees and a chase occurs, while Alice is overcome with guilt and decides to turn herself in.

Blackmail was Alfred Hitchcock's first "talkie" and definitely holds up better than most early sound films. Initially, he was commissioned to make the film only partly in sound and part silent, a task which Hitchcock found absurd. Instead, he made a silent version and a sound version.

The film has many elements that would become "standards" of most every movie of his, from the sexy blonde, to murder, to sex and criminal lust. Possibly one of the most common themes used by Hitchcock was fear of the law. Most often, he would build suspense around fear of being wrongly accused, but occasionally, such as in Blackmail, the main character would truly be guilty of the crime. The fear element in these cases is that the law would deal punishment despite very understandable and extenuating circumstances.

There really isn't much wrong about this film, excepting maybe that it feels almost too short. Despite having plenty of mystery, suspense and action, it really felt like it all happened too fast from the murder to the resolution. The actual suspense could have been dragged out a little bit longer before the chase, and it wouldn't have hurt the pace at all.

That being said, Blackmail is a perfect example of how and why Alfred Hitchcock is so well known for being a terrific film maker. Despite having never made a film with synchronized sound before, he took to it faster than most every other director of the time, producing a feel far more natural than its peers. While many other film makers were getting ready to give up and retire, he was only really getting started.