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All along the two-hour drive up from LA to Santa Barbara, through some serious buzz-killing traffic on the 134 and 101, I had to ask myself more than once, "Are you -- sure -- that this is worth it?"
It seems that the creators of Bates Motel know exactly what their audience wants, and they’re truly unafraid to give them exactly that. The episodes seem to be growing in the storytelling quality bit by bit, adding to the drama as well as to the depths of the characters. While purists may say that nothing could be a worthy follow up to the original Psycho, Bates Motel is instead aiming for the audience that will appreciate it for what it is.
The Following seems to be coming up with one surprise after another. The show has been doing a really good job at creating suspense as well as evolving the characters. Which is why this week's episode, Whips and Regret, feels very out of place. It’s not a bad episode, but it just doesn’t really seem to mesh together with the rest of the series. With only a handful of episodes remaining, this particular story seems to want to rush things.
Last year, Paramount released Battleship, hoping that it would bring in the sort of money they were making with Transformers. Not only was it panned critically, it was also a giant flop domestically. It’s a bit convenient that a week later, they decided to hold back on releasing G.I. Joe: Retaliation until this year, saying that they wanted to convert it to 3D. With the extra time to wash away the bad taste of the other Hasbro product out of the world’s mouths, Retaliation has arrived as a surprisingly fun movie.
While not exactly explosive, things are really intensifying moments with this episode of The Following. While it moves the plot into a direction where there must soon be a confrontation, we get a good look into the background and inner psyche of certain characters. There were plenty of scenes where the danger felt real for every character, which is always good for a show like this.
A few weeks ago I stumbled across a cute little blog in the online version of a St Louis rag in which the author declared that the only people that respect Rob Zombie records are, "bad strippers;" and that Zombie hasn't made a good record since fucking Soul Crusher, his debut with White Zombie way back in 1987. The title of the piece was "Ten Bands You Never Thought Used to Be Good," and it's predictably cheeky, clever, and for the most part, well informed. But what planet does this kid live on where Rob Zombie has ever released a bad record? I certainly have never heard such a thing, and that goes not only for his solo work, but also for his goddamn classic White Zombie records, and even his latest release, Venomous Rat Regeneration Vendor, due to be release in late April.
One of the most “out there” shows of this season has to be Problem Children Are Coming From Another World, Aren’t They (Mondaiji-tachi ga Isekai Kara Kuru Sō Desu yo? In Japanese), but they use that to its advantage. The world in Problem Children is very imaginative, taking a new take on classic fairy tales and legends. There are plenty moments that are outrageous as well as indulging, which can keep any seasoned anime fan satisfied while enticing new comers to the genre.
Patriotic movies are a really niche genre of film. In examples such as Battleship or Act of Valor, they decide to focus very little on basic things like plot, characters, or even story structure, knowing that there are people who will come to see it simply because of all the American symbolism. You almost feel obligated to like it or else you would be deemed “unpatriotic” because you pointed out all of the gaping flaws in it. Olympus Has Fallen does try to stand out from the rest of its counterparts, but decides to fall into the same over done cliches at the end.
It is honestly surprising by how exciting Bates Motel is, especially coming off from the second episode. Many shows such as this would have a great first episode simply to hook the audience into keeping them watching, only to drop the quality in the second episode. There is none of that here; instead, we get an episode that is filled with tension and probably much more gripping than the pilot.
For many of the characters in this week’s episode of The Americans, it is now the tine for them to pay for their actions, both good and bad, that they have made over the past season. In many scenes, this creates for some interesting drama, which may have a huge effect on the final outcome when we reach the finale. While it’s not a very powerful episode, it was one that didn’t lose any interest during its run time.