Too Late to be Watching 12 Monkeys?

The second time that Cole pulled a gun on his son, the big bad otherwise known as The Witness, I had to take a break.

Being given the entire 3rd season of 12 Monkeys all in one weekend is like being given a car on your 16th birthday. You can sit in it but you just can’t get the full enjoyment. Not just yet, but soon.

I watched a couple of episodes and it felt like watching a really long film, rather than a series of episodes. Which want a bad thing. I stopped watching, reluctantly, until I got to the last couple of episodes. With the finale in sight, with that information about The Witness that has been alluding us within my grasp, I pressed on. And on I pressed until Cole pulled a gun on his son a second time. At that point, I got a little crazy feeling.

Here you have two people, let’s call them Cole and Cassandra. They have a life together, you know the 1950s house. They love one another. They are happy. And then they get pregnant. They continue to be happy, but things change. They start to wonder about a life without their child. What will it do to their realtionship? Is there life beyond their child? But they can’t do that. The child exists, their actions are redundant. The idea of the child is more powerful than their relationship. It presents a future of destruction. I’m not making this up, but their child bring about the end of the world.

Knelling before his father holding a gun, the son says “Whatever love you have for her is the reason that you must pull the trigger.”

Wow. I need to know how the writer feels about his or her family. If they haven’t already been to the psychratrist, they might need to go.

What is the moral of the story? Apparently, in the world of 12 Monkeys, life is great until you have a child who then ends the world and really puts a drag on your relationship. Heavy stuff.

Now that I’ve got that piece of crazy off my chest, I guess I’ll finish watching the episode.

One final note, Ramsey’s death. Let’s hope they bring him back because I spent half the series waiting for something to happen to bring him back. With this series, who knows.

 

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Say it ain’t so, another Suicide Squad trailer 

Say it ain’t so, another Suicide Squad trailer 

We are days away from the release of Suicide Squad and what do we get? Another trailer.

Suicide Squad, another trailer…
An obvious advertising ploy given the Comic Con schedule. Maybe a little redundant because of all the other trailers.

The movie does look like it’s going to be good, even though there doesn’t seem much footage that hasn’t already been in the trailers. I don’t think I have the patience, but I wonder how much of the film could be created from the trailers. 

I am also curious whether there will be a post film trailer. 

12 Monkeys: Is change possible through time travel?

12_Monkeys_Intertitle12 Monkeys is running through a pretty solid second season. The show might not have Terry Gilliam’s aesthetic, Bruce Willis’ confused gruffness or Brad Pitt’s all too convincing insanity, but it is providing consistently gripping narratives and a whole host of insights into the characters.

 In an effective development on the original plot, the virus that drove the first season and the original movie has been defeated and yet the future still looks bleak. The ability to navigate the thin line of consistency and change is one of the show’s strengths.

The post-apocalyptic world is crucial to the narrative, but to suggest that time travel changes nothing undermines the whole narrative. Balancing the two produces those mind-squeezing moments when you think you know how time travel works and then it slips away.

The show has included a number of excellent moments of the future defining the past. As the Traveller, Ramse defined Cole’s actions for the whole first season and still gave us a redemptive moment when Cole and Ramse were reunited. The existence of the Witness as a time travelling manipulator with the objective of collapsing all time, is a threat who seems to be connected to an irreversible existence of time alongside changes that define the problems encountered by the opposition to the Army of the 12 Monkeys.

The ability of the show to throw up questions of indirect causality is one of its higher-function achievements.

When Cole and then Ramse and then Cassie travel back in time, do they merely enact what has already happened or what was already going to happen or do they merely support the events that have already happened because they went back in time?

The most recent moment was when Cole and Charlie saved Victoria Mason from Slade, the serial killing primary in episode 6 Immortal. Do we think a little Mason is going to appear as a significant figure in the army of the 12 Monkeys?

However, episode 8 Lullaby creates a time loop experienced by Jennifer Goines (thanks for the Groundhog Day reference, Jennifer’s 80s film references are great. The future intention to kill Jones and stop time travel creates a problem with Cole and Cassie repeating the same day until they are able to change the day while keeping it the same. They leave Jones thinking her daughter is dead while saving her daughter and leaving her in the care of Jennifer. In the future, Jones is reunited with her daughter. The actor who plays Jones’ daughter interesting appeared in a previous episode. Beyond the question whether the writers already preparing for this eventual plot line is the real question about time travel driving the show, had the change already taken place? Was Hanna always alive or was Jones and Cole experiencing a timeline without Hanna until Cole and Cassie return to save her?

Maintaining this balance between time travel change and consistency is what is making 12 Monkeys compulsive watching. How long can 12 Monkeys keep up the balance between change and the irreversible nature of time? Hopefully long enough to show us the identity of the Witness. Then who knows what the future holds…

 

RIP Prince

Prince died toady.

People will commiserate with hashtags. Facebook will be aglow with tributes. Memes will explode in sympathy.

But when all is swept aside, the music remains. We can say it’s probably what he wanted, but I am pretty sure he would have rather lived. It doesn’t matter. We have the music and it will remain.

We might have seen him in concert or followed him in the media, when all is considered, the music was what we had to begin with and what we have now.

He left us with so much. His was a talent above almost all others and we should be thankful.

1958 -2016

Listen for him.

prince

Stan Lee’s Lucky Man Season Finale

Lucky Man

Lucky Man has been delivering a high standard of contemporary crime drama with a supernatural twist all season…until the finale. I think I was watching a first edit or an uncut draft. Or maybe I missed a section. All season it has been gripping drama. I think I tuned out for a while in the episode because I ended up finding myself folding laundry and finding that much more interesting.

There was no revelation (unless you call the boring reason behind Golding’s name, me, I didn’t care), there was little tension, there was no insight to any of the interesting plotlines that have been running for the previous nine episodes, there were no new developments, no character advancement, no big confrontations, no cliffhangers. I couldn’t give you any spoilers if I wanted to.

The highlights of the episode were Harry jumping from a roof and winning the jackpot on a fruit machine. Yes, that would be the headline: Harry wins Fruit Machine Jackpot.

Instead, one of the bad guys lures Harry to a hotel to try and surprise him with a silenced gun. Given the whole, ‘Harry wears the lucky bracelet’ and the intricate framing of Harry and his brother for murder, it just seemed stupid. Probably more St Pancras hotel product placement than actual plot. Maybe they sent the writers home after episode nine and just told the actors to wing it.

I ended up feeling bad for Golding. All that intricate manipulation to be left with no clue what he was doing. Instead, he looks like a complete idiot standing by a pool with no idea how to get Harry to kill himself. It made it relatively fitting that he runs off into the shrubbery at the end of the episode. Hang your head in shame Golding. I suppose there is always season two.

Suicide Squad: “Going somewhere really bad”

New Year and a new Suicide Squad trailer. It’s getting to the point that I think I might have seen the whole film before I even get to the theatre, either that or it going to turn out to be a TV show with 32 episodes.

There is more of the same in the new trailer. More of the team. More lining up the characters you might not know and telling you how bad they are.

Interestingly, there are a couple of insights into the villain. Is it the Joker? Or is it more magical? Possibly to do with the Enchantress. At one point a the foot demon is seen ripping through a subway train. Related to the Joker or something else. There is evidence of the Joker with Harley Quinn. Is there evidence of the Joker downtown where all the mayhem happens? Not really. It is possible that the villain is yet to be revealed. It is possible that with all these exaggerated characters, the villain is going to be a little more ordinary (there has been rumours it is Ed Harris playing Antiphon who look like a smug looking white guy).

Hello Antiphon, you look mighty boring among such outrageous characters.

Whoever the villain is (it might just be like Guardians of the Galaxy and not really matter) it looks like the team is more than going to make up for any shortcomings. Or it could just be all released in the next trailer because there is still another seven months until it is released (5th August). More than enough time for another two, maybe three trailers.

 

Suicide Squad Trailer

Constantine Cancellation

The cancellation of Constantine after a 13 episode first series arrived before I had even watched the first episode. As I sat to watch the series, I knew that there was not going to be a second. I knew that I was watching a discontinued series and that no matter how much I enjoyed it, there would be no more. It was this aspect of finality that I found most fitting and conducive to the character of Constantine.

The character is great. In a world of anti-heroes, here is a character who makes you smile at flouting the rules and feel content at the resolution he provides. A balance between being a hero and being a complete tosser is effectively maintained. He is self-righteous and arrogant with an egotistical sense of self-interest. The character is evidence of environment effecting character. Matt Ryan does a great job of portraying Constantine in appearance, attitude and accent. However, the cancellation seems reasonably well deserved. While the supporting cast are good, the characters they portray are either too conflicted (Papa Midnight) or just a bit boring (Zed).

SPOILERS AHEAD

The series follows the plot of the Keanu Reeves film with Manny the angel bringing ultimate evil to Earth, or, at least he would have if there had been a second series. I could have gone for a Fringe season 5 or Walking Dead scenario. Forget all this trying not to let the ultimate evil take us over. Let’s start with the ultimate evil, completely change the supposedly contemporary scenario and see where the characters go. Instead of having Constantine fighting against the rising evil, let’s have him try to fight for a rising goodness. Change the context, because when it comes down the reason why it got cancelled, it didn’t do anything new. Whether you are looking at the plotlines or filming, the series relies on you having watched every other supernatural crime drama and consequently lacked a self-definition that would validate its existence.

Take other comic book TV shows: Gotham, Daredevil and Arrow. Gotham gives us a pre-Batman world focused (supposedly) on Jim Gordon before he takes the role we all know him for: Commission and advocate of Batman. Daredevil gives us an origin story of both a hero and a villain presented with some amazing cinematic sequences. Arrow presents a lesser known comic book character and changes the dynamics you might have known even if you had read the comics. Does anyone actually say ‘the Green Arrow’ at anytime in the whole series?

Worst of all was the final episode. For a season finale it was poor. Light on anything but a heart struck hill-billy with a devil fetish. It seems like they knew they had been cancelled and just gave up. I would have expected the opposite, if you knew this was the end, let’s make is big, brass and exciting. As for Manny’s final confession of his evil intentions to Papa Midnight, who cares?

And unfortunately, when it comes down to it, that’s the best that can be said for Constantine.