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Thread: The Last Kingdom Season 1- Gen. Chris' reviews of TV shows and movies (Updated 3/3/18)

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    Default The Last Kingdom Season 1- Gen. Chris' reviews of TV shows and movies (Updated 3/3/18)

    List of Reviews Completed:

    Catalog TV Series
    The 4400 (below)
    The Dead Zone
    Monk
    Stargate Franchise
    Eureka
    Warehouse 13
    Heroes
    Jericho
    Game of Thrones Season 2
    Da Vinci's Demons Season 1
    Strike Back
    Spartacus

    Miniseries

    Ascension
    Band of Brothers
    Spartacus
    Hatfield's and McCoy's
    Sons of Liberty

    Movies
    Ironclad
    Centurion
    The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
    Les Miserables
    Skyline vs Battle Los Angeles
    Battlestar Galactica: Blood and Chrome
    Angels and Demons


    This is my first time writing a review for TWC, so I decided to start with my favorite TV shows, and then work my way through others that I have enjoyed. I will also add some reviews of movies.




    The 4400 (2004-2007)


    Cast

    Joel Gretsch as Tom Baldwin
    Jacqueline McKenzie as Diana Skouris
    Mahershalalhashbaz Ali as Richard Tyler
    Patrick Fleuger as Shawn Farrell
    Chad Faust as Kyle Baldwin
    Billy Campbell as Jordan Collier
    Many more...

    The 4400 4400 people who went missing without a trace over the past 60 years suddenly turn up in ball of light at a beach in the Seattle area, and none of them have aged a day. Some have developed remarkable abilities such as telekinesis, healing, and precognition, but none of them know what happened to them. The show centered around a core group of these so called "returnees" and the two main federal agents assigned to figure out what happened to them and why they're back. Over the course of the show, it soon becomes apparent that these people were changed and sent back for a purpose, and though that purpose is initially vague, the story evolves into an endearing sci-fi mystery as people, both normal and returnees, try to "unlock the 4400 inside of them".


    The ball of light the 4400 return in

    A very underrated show, in my opinion. Very few people seem to have heard of the show, and those that have and haven't watched it think that it rips off Heroes. In fact, the show came two years before Heroes, and featured a lower budget, but higher quality mystery and sci-fi show. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed Heroes (mostly), but it could never compare to The 4400. In addition, Heroes "borrowed" many plots from the 4400. I am still bitter at USA for cancelling this amazing series after only 4 short seasons (44 episodes, amusingly enough, depending on how you look at it), the cliffhanger it left us with and the greater success of Heroes, until its own cancellation.


    Just some of the cast

    Overall, I rate the show a 9.5/10. The show was heavily mismanaged by the USA Network, going from series to miniseries to back to series, and that, I felt, messed with the show. It also got a little weird later in the series. Not in a really bad sort of way, but it changed the dynamic a bit in the last season. But it was certainly on track to become an even greater series. I highly recommend this show for anyone who wants a good sci-fi show as well as mystery.

    Last edited by TheDarkKnight; October 23, 2016 at 12:57 AM.
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    Default Re: Gen. Chris' reviews of movies and TV


    The Dead Zone (2002-2009)

    Cast


    Anthony Michael Hall as Johnny Smith
    Nicole de Boer as Sarah Bracknell Bannerman
    Chris Bruno as Walt Bannerman
    Spencer Achtymichuk and later Connor Price as Johnny J.J. Bannerman
    John L. Adams as Bruce Lewis
    David Ogden Stiers as Reverend Gene Purdy
    and Sean Patrick Flanery as Greg Stillson


    The Dead Zone This show was one that I regret not getting into until near the end. Based upon a book by Stephen King, it stars Anthony Michael Hall as Johnny Smith, who after a car accident and six year long coma, awakes to the touch of a nurse. That same nurse touches him not long later attempting to wash his face, which brings him a vision of the nurse's daughter caught in a house fire. Doctors later attribute the visions to activity in a previously unused "dead zone" of his brain that is attempting to compensate for the impaired function of the portions injured in the accident. From there, he discovers his former fiancee married to another man, the local sheriff, and that they both care for Johnny's young son, whom was in the womb when Johnny was comatose, and believes the sheriff is his real father. With the help of his physiotherapist, Johnny regains his strength as well as develops his abilities, realizing fully that a single touch of a person or object can reveal what has happened in the past, what is happening in the present, or what will happen in the future. With his abilities, he helps the sheriff and others solve various mysteries, with the show changing focus from visions to the present depending on what is occurring. He grows close to the family he could have had, as well as the sheriff, eventually becoming friends. Although he doesn't remember it, he once experienced a fragmented vision as a child when he meets another kid, but no more is known until he shakes hands with a man running for Congress, a vision that fully shows a future apocalypse as well as the man responsible; the future congressman, who is the kid he met many years before.. The series deals with various mysteries as well the main plot of the coming apocalypse at the hands of the congressman.


    Most of the cast

    This series was produced by USA Network, and showed great promise. The camera work, directing, suspense, and acting all made for an entertaining show. However, by the time I started watching late in the 5th season, the show was slipping, in my opinion as a result of mismanagement by USA. The series was cancelled at the end of the sixth season, another casualty of the infamous Writer's Strike, without much being completely resolved, but not with a cliffhanger like The 4400. I recently remembered the show, and wanting to watch it from the beginning, purchased the entire series for about $70.


    Johnny in the middle of one of his visions

    Overall, I give the show a 8.5/10. The show slipped and ended badly, without any real resolution, in the last season. One of the things that was good about the last season was the change in actors for Johnny's son, which allowed the producers to give the son more of a story. However, the rest of the show was excellent, and something that has tremendous rewatchability. The effects were decent and the directing and camerawork, especially during the visions, were top notch. Like The 4400, which I believe The Dead Zone was paired with on Sunday nights, I recommend this show to any sci-fi fan, thought it's more of a procedural show mixed with some lighthearted science fiction.

    Last edited by TheDarkKnight; December 27, 2012 at 09:58 PM.
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    Default Re: Gen. Chris' reviews of movies and TV


    Monk (2002-2009)

    Cast

    Tony Shalhoub as Adrian Monk
    Ted Levine as Captain Leland Stottlemeyer
    Jason Gray-Stanford as Lieutenant Randy Disher
    Bitty Schram as Sharona Fleming
    Traylor Howard as Natalie Teeger


    Monk "Monk" is about Adrian Monk, who used to work as a detective for the San Francisco Police Department. Several years before the start of the series, Monk's wife Trudy was murdered by a car bomb, and it is the only known case that Monk was never able to solve (at least until the finale). Apart from the obvious effects of a death of a loved one, Monk's various lifelong problems, notably his OCD, resurface and become worse. He is also deathly afraid of a long list of things, from heights, the miracle of birth, and even milk. Trudy's death mentally and socially paralyzed him.


    Monk and his second assistant Natalie

    But that doesn't stop him from using his gift, or as he also calls it, his "curse" of observation and deduction. He is quick to notice the smallest of things, and he uses that to solve crimes that many would call unsolvable. He is quick to annoy and frustrate his former partner, who is now the current Captain, as well as his nurse/assistant. But they always forgive him in the end as they recognize his quirks as part of what makes him brilliant. He solves crimes as a private investigator, and throughout the series he also works towards solving the murder of his wife, the only woman he ever loved.


    Monk investigating
    This show is one of the greatest. It's a "dramedy", as it combines both comedy and drama into the show. The drama comes from solving the crimes as well as other personal issues, and the comedy comes from the character interaction as well as any scenes dealing with Monk's problems. It's a well crafted show, blending the two aspects into an entertaining hour, with an amazing performance always put on by Tony Shalhoub, who won several awards for his portrayal of Monk. The show is heavily influenced by Sherlock Holmes, notably in the similarities in their powers of deduction.


    Monk playing Clarinet with Willie Nelson at Trudy's grave

    Overall, I give this show a 9.5/10. The only reason this show isn't a perfect 10 is because sometimes his quirks go a little bit too far. There was one episode where he was trying to tell the Captain something and a jackhammer keeps interrupting him, and it goes on for about two minutes. It's little things like that and a couple others that lowers the show's rating. But other than that, I'd say this show is perfect.
    Last edited by TheDarkKnight; December 27, 2012 at 10:00 PM.
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    Default Re: Gen. Chris' reviews of movies and TV

    Stargate Franchise
    (1994, 1997-2011)




    Stargate SG-1 1997-2007
    Cast

    Richard Dean Anderson as Jack O'Neill
    Amanda Tapping as Samantha Carter
    Michael Shanks as Daniel Jackson
    Christopher Judge as Teal'c
    Don S. Davis as George Hammond
    Ben Browder as Cameron Mitchell
    Claudia Black as Vala Mal Doran
    Beau Bridges as Henry Landry


    Stargate SG-1 The flagship show about the flagship team, Stargate SG-1 is the television series that started the television franchise. Premiering in 1997 on Showtime, the show was based off of the 1994 cult movie Stargate. Featuring a new cast as well as new characters, the show quickly made a name for itself. Starring Richard Dean Anderson (MacGyver) as Colonel Jack O'Neill, O'Neill leads the team, joined by Samantha Carter and Daniel Jackson, through the Stargate to explore other planets in the galaxy linked by the Stargate network, built by a race known only as the Ancients. O'Neill and the team encounter other humans that have been "seeded" throughout the galaxy, as well as their primary antagonist for the show, the Goa'uld.


    Most of the main cast throughout the series, though at different times.

    The Goa'uld are a snake-like species that rely on taking over the bodies of humans as "hosts" to survive. They are raised through a species of humanoids known as the Jaffa, who were once humans but were bred and mutated to be able to carry infant goa'uld symbiotes in stomach pouches. One of these Jaffa, Teal'c, defected to SG-1 when they encountered him, and became a valued member of the team. The symbiotes are responsible for the health of the Jaffa that carries it, and vice versa. Once old enough, the symbiotes are able to take over humans as hosts, establishing their personality as dominant. In essence, the human hosts become prisoners in their own body. The Goa'uld are responsible for various mythologies present on Earth, as when they came through the Stargate they assumed the roles of gods, and it is not uncommon to find a Goa'uld system lord (the highest ranking of the Goa'ulds) with a familiar name from mythology. The System Lords Command millions of Jaffa each, as well as huge spaceships capable of orbital bombardment as well as hyperspace travel. Throughout the show, Earth acquires technology that puts them on an even footing with the Goa'uld, even eventually their own combat-capable spaceships. Eventually, the Goa'uld are defeated, but a new, even more dangerous threat, arises...( I could go into more, but why spoil the fun for everyone else?)


    An SG-1 era Stargate activated. The initial unstable vortex, seen here, essentially obliterates all matter it comes into contact with

    What are some of the positives of the show? Well, to me, it has a fantastic story, with fairly compelling villains, though at times they can be more amusing than actually threatening. The CGI, though kind of bad compared to what you can see on TV now, was quite good for its time. The limited number of space battles were helped quite a bit with the fairly realistic looking CGI. The acting was also pretty good, the talents of Richard Dean Anderson contributing significantly to the humor as well as seriousness of each and every scene he was in. The large scale battles in general were also pretty good, creating exciting episodes that really made this sci-fi quite epic at times. The characters are also pretty believable and interesting.


    Stargate SG-1 deserves a 10/10 but I can't give it any higher than a 9/10. There were quite a few standalone episodes, the plots of which would never be mentioned again, and there were quite a few episodes that didn't even deal with the Stargate at all. Some of the episodes just felt like the writers were running on fumes. Also, all of the aliens and humans encountered off-world speak modern English without any explanation (but it's better not to think about it). But the show lasted a good ten seasons, 214 episodes, as well as 2 direct to DVD movies, The Ark of Truth and Continuum. It is an action and sci-fi show with a touch of comedy (Teal'c attempting to learn the customs of Earth) I got into it last summer, and its greatness led me to try out its direct spinoff, Stargate Atlantis.


    Some of the Goa'uld Lords encountered in the series



    Stargate Atlantis 2004-2009
    Cast

    Joe Flanigan as John Sheppard
    David Hewlett as Rodney McKay
    Rachel Luttrell as Teyla Emmagan
    Rainbow Sun Francks as Aiden Ford
    Torri Higginson as Elizabeth Weir
    Paul McGillion as Carson Beckett
    Jason Momoa as Ronon Dex
    Amanda Tapping as Samantha Carter
    Robert Picardo as Richard Woolsey

    Stargate Atlantis Spun off of Stargate SG-1, Stargate Atlantis dealt with the discovery of an Ancient outpost in Antarctica in SG-1's seventh season, and the subsequent discovery of the city of Atlantis, reachable by Stargate (and eventually by ship). The city is in the Pegasus Galaxy, 3 million light years from home. An international team known as the Atlantis Expedition goes through the Stargate to make contact with the city, and perhaps any surviving Ancients (by this time in the franchises timeline, it was believed that the Ancients were all either extinct or "ascended" to another plane). What they got was isolation. The Ancient power source that got them to the galaxy was exhausted by the effort, essentially cutting the team off from Earth. In addition, the city's power was failing when they arrived, and as the city was underwater at the time (reasons to be specified later), the shield that held back the oceans of the planet was failing. A reconnaissance team was hastily assembled, with Major John Sheppard as the default second in command under a Marine colonel, and sent off world to attempt to find any assistance from the populace of the galaxy. They found other humans, and a far greater threat than the SG teams on Earth had ever encountered: The Wraith.


    Atlantis-era gates are often placed in space, allowing gate travel with ships known as "puddle jumpers" (right)

    The Wraith are a vampire-like species that hibernate for years at a time, emerging when it is time to "feed". Their preference? Humans. But they don't feed the normal way. They drain the life out of people, literally stealing years off a persons life. They were the race responsible for the final defeat of the Ancients, fighting a hundred year long war that the Ancients simply could not win. Out of desperation, the Ancients learned how to ascend, and sunk the city to prevent the Wraith from being able to reach Earth (at this point, civilization was just starting to develop on Earth). Any Ancients that could not or did not wish to ascend fled through the Stargate to Earth, and told the story of Atlantis, leading to the legend of the sunken city.


    The Wraith Queen encountered in the pilot episode "Rising"

    Stargate Atlantis has a new cast, led by Joe Flanigan as John Sheppard, who takes over command of the military side of the expedition, as well as Torri Higginson as Elizabeth Weir, the civilian and overall leader of the expedition. The show mostly follows the small team rather than the whole expedition. Unlike SG-1, the team of this show (eventually) has two aliens, Teyla and Ronon, both expert hand to hand combatants, who, like Teal'c, add a colorful flavor as well as comedy to the team. Joining them is genius Rodney McKay, who shares a rivalry with Sam Carter of SG-1, and is a hypochondriac who is also allergic to several things (part of the comedy comes from McKay). He is also rather egotistical, but in the amusing way.

    Positives of the show, like SG-1, include the show's CGI combined with battles. Stargate Atlantis had a lot of space-based episodes and battles, which were quite fun to watch. It also had a good story with the Atlantis expedition exploring a brand new galaxy and encountering a large amount of enemies, the Wraith of course being the main one but they were not the only one. The characters are all fairly interesting, though some of them can wear on you a bit after some time.


    The original main cast

    Like SG-1, I wish I could give it a 10/10, but it gets a 9. It gets a higher rating than SG-1, though, because I enjoyed the premise of the show as well as several other aspects. However, many of the themes from SG-1 bleed over into Atlantis, which tends to happen when you use the same groups of writers over and over, and eventually, one of the key aspects that made the show different from SG-1 disappears, lowering its rating. But the Wraith, who make far better adversaries than the Goa'uld of SG-1, balance out the lowered rating due to the similarities to SG-1. The show lasted 5 seasons and was given 100 episodes, but unfortunately, the show ended without a real resolution. The show was cancelled in part due to the rising cost, but everyone suspects that the main reason was to make way for the last spinoff, Stargate Universe.


    A view of the city-ship Atlantis, which has been compared in size to the island of Manhattan



    Stargate Universe 2009-2011
    Cast

    Robert Carlyle as Nicholas Rush
    Louis Ferreira as Everett Young
    Brian J. Smith as Matthew Scott
    Elyse Levesque as Chloe Armstrong
    David Blue as Eli Wallace
    Alaina Huffman as Tamara Johansen
    Jamil Walker Smith as Ronald Greer
    Ming-Na as Camile Wray

    Stargate Universe Unlike Stargate Atlantis, Universe does not follow the pattern set forward by SG-1. The show is considerably darker in tone, coming as a result of 80 people being forced to flee an off-world base due to an attack, and becoming stranded aboard an Ancient ship that had been launched millions of years before the present day. The team on this offworld base had been trying to figure out the meaning of the 9th chevron (each Stargate has 9 chevrons. Inter-galaxy travel requires a 7 chevrons/symbol address, travel between galaxies requires an 8 symbol address, and the 9 chevron/symbol address reaches the Ancient ship, later found to have been called Destiny). Well, finding that they had already dialed the 9 symbol address in a test before the attack, they fled through the gate. The planet that had been used to dial the address (complicated to explain) was destroyed in the wake of the attack, making sure the people were cut off from any aid.


    Destiny traveling through space

    In addition, the ship, now billions of lightyears from home, doesn't have enough power to dial Earth, and the ship is traveling at a speed faster than light, only coming out of it when the ship (or the crew) needs something. It is when they are out of lightspeed that the Stargate network becomes available. Flying through space far ahead of Destiny are seed ships, which seed every galaxy in the path they are flying with the first generation of Stargates, which have a limited range. When the Destiny comes out of lightspeed, only a fraction of addresses become available due to this limited range. The teams formed from this group of 80 people use the networks to gather resources as they attempt to figure out a way to get home. The purpose of the ship appears to be to seed Stargates throughout the universe, but Nicolas Rush, the Destiny Expedition's Ancient expert, later discovers that seeding Stargates is only a small part of the role of Destiny...


    The Destiny Stargates, which were the prototype gate. A seed ship can be seen at right in the foreground, about to be docked by Destiny

    This show is far more character driven than SG-1 or Atlantis, and the characters are the primary focus, with gate travel often only being side-plot. Part of the conflicts that emerge is the tension between the military and the civilians (mostly scientists). I would like to give more information about the characters, but any more and I really risk giving away spoilers, I feel. But most if not all of the characters are much deeper than the characters of the other two series, which is a big plus if you enjoy that sort of thing, and the CGI and story of the two seasons are for the most part superior to SG-1 and Atlantis. However, much of the humor of the other two seasons was lost, which could be a good thing or a bad thing, I suppose.


    Main cast for the two seasons

    Unfortunately, this show gets an 8 out of 10, but it is not the fault of the show itself. The show was planned for five seasons. How many did it get? Two. That's right. Less than half the number of episodes that were planned were actually made. Even worse, the show ends its second season on one of the worst cliffhangers ever, and the planned movies (Atlantis was supposed to get one as well) have been shelved indefinitely. All the props and sets have been sold off as well, so there is virtually no chance of the show coming back. The show was very well made, in my opinion, and though many see it as a Battlestar Galactica knockoff, I don't really see it past the superficial comparisons. It just didn't have a chance to finish the story it was telling.


    ---------------------------------------------------

    Stargate Franchise
    Franchise Rating

    I give the franchise a 9/10. Despite all their flaws, each show was well made. Good writing (despite some repetition) and well-crafted characters are what made these shows, as well as decent amounts of conflict/combat and humor. They also had pretty good CGI.

    It's a sad thing that the franchise ended the way it did, with SyFy running it into the ground, but it ran for 17 seasons and 354 episodes, a fairly impressive span.

    I'd really recommend this franchise for anyone who is interested in science fiction. It's a bit different than many other sci-fi shows but it is a great watch.



    DVD Sets
    DVD Sets
    The DVD sets feature hours of bonus features along with every episode (of course) of each series. I own the slim box sets for SG-1 and Atlantis and they are quite a nice set each, and Universe came in regular cases, also quite nice. Commentaries and backround information are fairly abundant. SG-1 and Atlantis have also been released as complete series sets, but I am told that they suffer a variety of problems. I have not heard anything about the Atlantis Blu-Ray set, though. Anyways, the sets are quite nice overall, and a must for fans.
    Last edited by TheDarkKnight; February 18, 2013 at 03:14 AM.
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    Default Re: Gen. Chris' reviews of movies and TV


    Eureka (2006-2012)

    Cast

    Colin Ferguson as Jack Carter
    Salli Richardson-Whitfield as Alison Blake
    Joe Morton as Henry Deacon
    Jordan Hinson as Zoe Carter
    Ed Quinn as Nathan Stark
    Erica Cerra as Jo Lupo
    Neil Grayston as Douglas Fargo
    Niall Matter as Zane Donovan

    Eureka As I write this, I have only recently become a fan of Eureka, which is also known as "A Town Called Eureka" in some overseas countries. Premiering on the Sci-Fi Channel (now SyFy) in 2006, I have always wanted to try it out but never got the chance until recently. The show is currently going into its fifth and final season, and has much to offer.

    The show stars Colin Ferguson as Jack Carter, a sheriff of a small town with big secrets. The town of Eureka is inhabited almost entirely by geniuses, most of which work at a company known as Global Dynamics (GD). Sheriff Carter is often called in when experiments go wrong, as his average intelligence can often find the simple solutions that the big minds of GD cannot seem to figure out. Though there are several close calls throughout the show, his street-smarts are almost always what saves the day as he struggles to live in a town that always attempts to push the limits of science. His fascination with the things that are created at GD is often one of the most entertaining aspects of the show, as he is sort of like a child in a giant, multibillion dollar toy store. The cast of characters also includes Salli Richardson-Whitfield as Alison Blake, Carter's primary love interest, as well as numerous other actors and characters from Douglas Fargo, the young scientist that is almost always at the center of a problem to Nathan Stark, Carter's antagonist as well as former husband of Alison and head of GD. They all create a wonderful and lovable cast.


    Sheriff Carter in just one of his many situations

    The show features comedy, drama, and of course, science fiction. Most of the comedy comes from Carter and Fargo, as well as Carter's house known as S.A.R.A.H. (Self Actuated Residential Automated Habitat, a "smart house"). The drama comes from the interaction between Carter and Alison as well as Carter and his somewhat rebellious teenage daughter Zoe, who is actually a genius (IQ of 157) though doesn't have the heart to tell her father (IQ 111). The science fiction, well, that doesn't need to be mentioned, as that much is obvious.


    Some of the original Main Cast

    I give this show a 10/10 for the pure entertainment value as well as the production values (the CGI is pretty darn good for SyFy), but SyFy has really mistreated the show since the third season. The third season was cut short due to the Writer's Strike and since then each season has been split in half, with season 3.5 premiering the summer after "3.0", followed by 4.0 the next summer and 4.5 last summer. After promising a short sixth season to wrap up the series, SyFy actually cancelled the show (it's highest rated, go figure), instead allowing one more episode to be produced for the fifth season to wrap up the series. Eureka should really be starting its seventh season this upcoming week, but obviously that isn't the case.


    The end result of one of the numerous incidents that plague the main characters

    I'd really recommend the show. It's quirky in its humor as well as its nature in general, but it is a great watch.


    Carter fleeing a man-made mini black hole
    Last edited by TheDarkKnight; December 27, 2012 at 10:11 PM.
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    Default Re: Gen. Chris' reviews of movies and TV


    Warehouse 13 (2009-Present)

    Cast

    Eddie McClintock as Pete Lattimer
    Joanne Kelly as Myka Bering
    Saul Rubinek as Artie Nielsen
    Genelle Williams as Leena
    Allison Scagliotti as Claudia Donovan
    Erica Cerra as Jo Lupo
    Neil Grayston as Douglas Fargo
    Niall Matter as Zane Donovan

    Warehouse 13 Like Eureka, I have only recently gotten into Warehouse 13, which just happens to be a sister show of Eureka, and began its broadcast in 2009.

    Warehouse 13 mainly stars Eddie McClintock and Joanne Kelly as Secret Service Agents Peter Lattimer and Myka Bering. After a rather interesting Presidential event that took place involving an object that turned a museum curator into a possessed, homicidal maniac (which Lattimer and Bering intervene in, with the help of an unknown man), the pair are visited by the mysterious Mrs. Frederick, who informs them that they have been reassigned. They are both given directions that lead them into the middle of nowhere in South Dakota. There, they discover a giant warehouse, along with its current “custodian”, the man that had helped earlier, Artie Nielsen (Saul Rubinek). He then introduces them to the warehouse, known as Warehouse 13.



    A partial view of the Warehouse

    Warehouse 13 is the thirteenth incarnation of the “Warehouse”, a storage facility that was built to house supernatural artifacts; objects that display strange properties and effects when used, either intentionally or accidentally. The Warehouse was originally built by Alexander the Great, and throughout the centuries the Warehouse has been moved by the Regents, a secretive group that moves the Warehouse to the nation or civilization that is considered the most powerful. Throughout its history, the Warehouse system has employed agents to seek and retrieve any objects that may have powers or grant abilities. The Warehouse is semi-sentient, and is able to produce a sort of purple goo that can neutralize (most) artifacts for a short period of time, enough to bag-and-tag them. Almost every past Warehouse has ended in ashes; the Warehouses appear to be torched when it is time to build a new one, and all the artifacts within are lost. But with thousands of artifacts, old and new, spread around the world, there are plenty to be hunted down by the agents of Warehouse 13.


    The outside of the Warehouse

    So what makes this show interesting? Every week the agents are sent to the location of strange occurrences (monitored over the internet by Artie) in an attempt to find what is causing it, neutralize it, and bring it back to the Warehouse. In addition, each season has a recurring villain, so the show has a balanced element of an “artifact of the week” as well as an overarching plot. The agents themselves are armed with an artifact of sorts, known as a “Tesla”, which is a stun gun that also disables the short term memory of the victim (so the person won’t know what happened). While Lattimer and Bering are out hunting down the artifacts, Artie and the two other employees of the Warehouse, Claudia and Lena, often deal with problems in the Warehouse.


    Most of the main cast

    One of the few negative aspects of the show would have to be the CGI. Compared to Eureka, the CGI isn’t that great in the first season, but it develops throughout the show. The acting can also be a bit iffy at times, but like the CGI, it gets better throughout the series. Sometimes the character interaction can also be a bit annoying to some, but for me it doesn’t get all that bothersome. But that is really all I can think of.

    Image Removed.

    Overall, I give this show a 9/10, and I would recommend it if you like Eureka. It has the same kind of quirkiness that Eureka has, but it is definitely a show of its own. It has the right amount of humor and a bit of drama, which is nice. It is somewhat more of a fantasy than a sci-fi show, but they both are aspects of this show. The episodic nature combined with a slight overarching issue in each season is also blended together really well. Because of these reasons, it’s fairly easy to tell that the show is a sister show of Eureka, with three episodes where characters have crossed over between the two shows. The show has also crossed over with a show called Alphas, which I have yet to watch. In essence, all three shows are set within the same universe.


    Fargo from Eureka makes two appearances in Warehouse 13
    Last edited by TheDarkKnight; December 27, 2012 at 10:11 PM.
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    Default Re: Gen. Chris' reviews of movies and TV

    Honestly I can't add too much to what you've already said about the Stargate review. I may have praised it a bit less and given it a bit less of a mark (Especially to Stargate Universe), but to each his own. In any way, nicely written reviews!
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    Default Re: Gen. Chris' reviews of TV shows

    (I realize this is likely not going to be my best review. This is a complicated show, I feel, and it is difficult to talk about much of the show without giving away spoilers. I tried my best, but I’m sure others will feel differently)


    Heroes (2006-2010)

    Heroes For years, humans have believed that they were the pinnacle of evolution. However, the majority of the world knows not of the “evolved humans”, humans that have evolved to the next stage, and have developed superhuman abilities. Whether they can fly, or teleport, or heal from any injury, these humans try to live their lives without drawing too much attention to themselves. But with The Company locating and tracking evolved humans as well as an evolved human that is capable of killing and taking the abilities of others emerging from the shadows, it is time for the evolved humans to take their first real steps into the outside world…


    Main cast of Season 1

    The first and subsequent seasons of the show follows a variety of characters, from the evolved humans to regular humans who wish to study evolved ones (for good or bad purposes), each with their own story to tell, but which story intertwines with the story of others, especially so in the first season. Mohinder Suresh, for instance, in an Indian scientist who wishes to study evolved humans, particular, their genetics. It is through his attempt to find people (using the Human Genome Project as a starting point) that he discovers the mysterious and dangerous Sylar. Then there is Matt Parker, who comes to discover he can read the minds of other people, and is later recruited to hunt down Sylar. There’s also a woman named Nikki, who suffers from a split personality, and one of those personalities is the only one capable of harnessing Nikki’s ability of superhuman strength (to the point where she can literally tear someone in half). There are tons of other characters, such as Peter Petrelli, who only thinks he can fly (much to his brother Nathan’s annoyance), but eventually comes to find he can do a lot more than that. I could go into more detail, but I risk spoiling by going into more detail, as well as making this review bland by talking about too many characters.


    One of the characters, Elle, using her power to generate electricity


    What makes the show good (at least in the first season) was that it was a show of discovery. Most of the evolved humans in the first season were mostly unaware of the nature of their abilities, and the season is devoted to showing them evolving (in various senses) into who they truly are. They discover themselves as well as their purpose, and their adventures intertwine into creating a great story. Each season deals with a certain season-long problem, with the main (good) characters attempting to stop it, or the bad characters trying to cause it.


    Pyrokinesis being used in the series

    Unfortunately, as I have been pointing out, this show was really only good in its first season, with the second season being decent (it was cut short by Writer’s Strike). The third season was tolerable and the fourth season was utter crap. It was cancelled after its fourth season after being left on a cliffhanger. The magic of the first season was lost in subsequent seasons. The writing, effects, and characters were all okay for the most part, it was just that the stories got bland really quick, despite the introduction of new characters, allegiances, and plots. With the fourth season in particular, nothing really was *done* about the problem until the last two episodes, with the season more focusing on smaller issues relating to the characters rather than the season-arc. It made it a rather boring season.


    Peter Petrelli (alternate) using the power of stopping time

    For these reasons, I give the show a 7.5/10. The last reason I give this show a lower rating is because it ripped off (obviously) a lot of its material from The 4400. Not just the fact with people with superhuman abilities, but many of the plots, as well as specific, somewhat unique abilities. Even still, the show is worth watching, at least for the magic of the first season, as well as somewhat for the second season.
    Last edited by TheDarkKnight; December 27, 2012 at 10:12 PM.
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    Default Re: Gen. Chris' reviews of TV shows

    I'd like to say that I've not watched any of the shows you've reviewed. If I had then I'd definitely have replied. Still, you're reviews are well-written. Hopefully someday you'll write one about a show I've watched.

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    Default Re: Gen. Chris' reviews of TV shows

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Rahl View Post
    I'd like to say that I've not watched any of the shows you've reviewed. If I had then I'd definitely have replied. Still, you're reviews are well-written. Hopefully someday you'll write one about a show I've watched.
    Well I plan on watching DS9 and possibly TNG this summer. Perhaps I will write a review for those...I'm sure that will catch your attention.
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    Default Re: Gen. Chris' reviews of TV shows

    Sorry I haven't updated in a while. I have been busy and due to the (apparent) lack of interest in these, I haven't been able to convince myself to write another. I'll try to get a couple more out within the week. I'm thinking of the shows Burn Notice and White Collar, as I have finally caught up on Burn Notice and I am in the process of catching up on White Collar, just before the shows start their new seasons. I may also throw in some Psych once I watch the sixth season.

    So here's to some new reviews coming soon
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    Default Re: Gen. Chris' reviews of TV shows

    Your reviews are well written and enjoyable to read just try reviewing more adult shows.Watch all of deadwood and review that.shows like burn notice will be unwatchable after 30 hours of deadwood have been burnt into your brain.

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    Default Re: Gen. Chris' reviews of TV shows

    Quote Originally Posted by bushranger View Post
    Your reviews are well written and enjoyable to read just try reviewing more adult shows.Watch all of deadwood and review that.shows like burn notice will be unwatchable after 30 hours of deadwood have been burnt into your brain.
    To be honest I tried watching the first season of Deadwood but I couldn't stick to it. I tried though.


    I'll give it another shot soon.

    As for "adult shows", I assume you mean mostly shows that are on premium cable, right? I got Dexter, The Sopranos, Game of Thrones, Spartacus Blood and Sand, Band of Brothers, The Pacific, etc...

    I also have many other shows like Law and Order SVU and Criminal Intent, Justified, The Walking Dead, and many many MANY more.

    I chose these first few shows for a reason: Shows like The 4400 and The Dead Zone are relatively unknown shows. Sure I could have written a review for something like The Sopranos, but practically everyone I meet is aware of that show. I'm trying to make people aware of other shows. Eventually I will definitely write about more "adult" shows...
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    Default Re: Gen. Chris' reviews of TV shows


    Band of Brothers (2001)
    From this day to the ending of the world,
    But we in it shall be remembered,
    We few, we happy few, we band of brothers.
    -Excerpt from the St. Crispin's Day Speech, from the play Henry V.


    Band of Brothers



    I'll be honest, this was difficult to write, as it is an amazing series. I tried to do my best to give it justice.

    Band of Brothers is a 10 part miniseries that was produced by HBO and broadcast in 2001. Produced by the same people behind Saving Private Ryan and based on a book by the same name by Stephen Ambrose, the series follows the exploits of Easy Company, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division. From their formation and training at Camp Toccoa, Georgia, to their dropping at Normandy and Holland, their experience at Bastogne, and finally to the end of the war. The series concentrates on the men, their courage, and their brotherhood.


    Captain Sobel and then Lieutenant Winters

    It is nearly impossible to pinpoint who are "main characters" and who are supporting characters throughout the series. People come and go with every episode, some characters getting screen time, with others being almost completely ignored for episodes at a time. Each episode has a sort of focus character, mostly showing that particular character's experience with other characters mostly taking a background role. Within each episode you see that character's (as well as others') struggles as they try to survive and live to see another day. You see their joys as well as their sorrows, their ups and their downs, as they battle Germans, the weather, and even their own demons. Richard Winters, played by Damian Lewis, appears as the main character in four of the ten episodes, making him appear to be the focus character of the whole series. It is fitting, as he seems to have been the officer that was responsible for keeping the company together, even when he wasn't in command. Several other characters get their "own" episodes, but Winters is the only one to receive more than one.


    Captain Lewis Dixon, POV character of Episode 9 "Why We Fight"

    I give this show a full 10/10, so what makes this miniseries so great? Well the production values alone are amazing. The way the show was filmed gives it an feel of being a long movie rather than a miniseries. I would suppose that would be because the miniseries had a budget of over $100 million. That money went towards the realistic effects and sets (over 12 "towns" recreated), great actors, and practically everything you can imagine that a good series needs. The show is also historically accurate with a few minor errors (mostly character errors, nothing really that would alter history). Seeing the struggles of the men across Europe is both inspiring as well as depressing. Seeing the bonds they forged from training to the end, however, is nothing but inspirational.


    Brécourt Manor Assault, undertaken by a partially assembled Easy Company in the chaos of D-Day

    I wish I could write more but with only ten episodes it is tough to say much without giving away spoilers. I have actually had to delete quite a bit because I realized it gave away too much.

    If you watch this, expect great characters, but don't become too attached. This miniseries parallels real life, and some of the characters you watch will die. It's a part of the story, and it is a story I feel everyone should know.


    Some of the cast, mostly all the enlisted men with lines.
    Edit: Not really important to the show, but you can see a lot of young, familiar faces of now quite famous actors, such as Michael Fassbender and James McAvoy, in this miniseries.


    Last edited by TheDarkKnight; December 27, 2012 at 10:12 PM.
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    Default Re: Gen. Chris' reviews of TV shows

    I think I'm going to spend some time and add some new pictures, as well as add cast lists. Though that will be difficult for Band of Brothers...

    I wish to improve them.
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    Default Re: Gen. Chris' reviews of TV shows

    Well I finally updated all of them. I'll try to have a new review up by either tomorrow or the next day. I've been watching/rewatching all of Law and Order SVU for the past few weeks, so it will probably be on that.

    Sorry there hasn't been an update in a while
    Last edited by TheDarkKnight; July 05, 2012 at 09:39 PM.
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    Default Re: Gen. Chris' reviews of TV shows

    Damn...It's been a while.

    Been trying to write a few new ones. Started a few and then gave up in the middle because the shows were either too complicated or because I simply haven't watched them enough or recently enough to give a good review. So I'm at a loss.

    I've been watching "Jericho" for the first time, recently. Finished the first season and I will soon be watching the second. I think that will be my next one.
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    Default Re: Gen. Chris' reviews of TV shows

    An update took a lot longer than I had hoped. But I've been busy.

    Hopefully I can update more regularly. Hope you enjoy.




    Jericho (2006-2008)

    Cast

    Skeet Ulrich as Jake Green
    Lennie James as Robert Hawkins
    Ashley Scott as Emily Sullivan
    Kenneth Mitchell as Eric Green
    Michael Gaston as Gray Anderson
    Gerald McRaney as Johnston Green
    Pamela Reed as Gail Green
    Sprague Grayden as Heather Lisinski
    Shoshannah Stern as Bonnie Richmond
    Brad Beyer as Stanley Richmond
    Alicia Coppola as Mimi Clark


    Jericho

    It was just a normal day in the United States of America. Jake Green, gone for several years, all of the sudden reappears in his hometown of Jericho, Kansas. Only intending to stay for a while, he and the rest of the town are suddenly thrown into confusion and chaos as a nuclear detonation is witnessed by the whole town, coming from the direction of Denver, Colorado. Initially believing it to be an accident, it is later discovered that Atlanta was also attacked. It is later discovered that numerous cities around the nation were annihilated, including DC, meaning that both the national government as well as the national infrastructure are gone. No one knows what has happened, all they know is that for now, they are on their own.



    The nuclear weapon destroys Denver

    Jericho is a fascinating story, providing the audience an interesting take on life in a small town in the wake of such an event as described above. Surviving threats from nuclear fallout, to avoiding bandits on the roads, to defending their town against their neighbors and worse threats, the show is a tale of survival. The show centers around several themes: Survival, gathering of information, limited resources and the trade of them (gasoline and food being a prime example), family, as well as the threats, both external and internal. In the midst of this story is the conspiracy: who managed to pull of such a well planned and crushing attack in the wake of September 11th, and why. The pieces slowly come together, the revelation of such enough to destroy the fragile balance that rose from the ashes. I unfortunately can not go into much more detail about the story, as there are a large amount of information that could give away a significant amount of the plot.


    Jake Green and other citizens of Jericho, ready to defend their town

    The show features an ensemble cast comprising several generations of the small town in Kansas, along with a large number of recurring characters that make the show great. The writing is excellent, the acting is decent, and the story is compelling. The show's greatest strength is that it feels realistic. It isn't a show where even in the aftermath of something so drastic, everyone in the country still gets along. They do, but only to a point...When it comes to resources and the desire to live, people are forced to do things they never would have imagined to survive.


    Overall, I'd rate this show around an 8.5. The show is a compelling and gripping look on the character of people in America, and full of mystery, conspiracy, drama, and a bit of action. Unfortunately, the show was not treated kindly by CBS. The show was cancelled after the first season on the heels of a MASSIVE cliffhanger, but after a fan campaign, the show was renewed less than a month after its cancellation. The show was given seven episodes to increase its ratings, but it failed to do such: it was cancelled again after the second season finale. But it was given a better ending than the first season (sort of) and the show has been continued in the form of graphic novels, which are overseen by the original writers of the show. I haven't read them yet, so I can't review them. But from what I have heard, it carries on the spirit of the show in a fashion that pleases the fans.



    The main cast of Jericho, season 1

    The best show ever? Of course not. A show worthy of watching? Definitely.
    Last edited by TheDarkKnight; December 27, 2012 at 10:13 PM.
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    Default Re: (Updated 10/27) Gen. Chris' reviews of TV shows


    Spartacus (2010-2013)

    Some legends are written in blood

    (This is a difficult show to discuss without spoilers, therefore I have refrained from discussing too much about the characters other than Spartacus himself)

    Cast (Season 1)


    Violence, sex, and drama: the perfect combination for cable TV.

    The series consists of four (sort of) seasons. Seasons one, three, and four are titled Blood and Sand, Vengeance, and (currently unaired) War of the Damned. Season two was a prequel miniseries titled Gods of the Arena

    Plot for Blood and Sand and Vengeance The series (for the most part) follows the enslavement, rise, and later rebellion of a Thracian warrior. Initially an auxiliary in the Roman Army, he is captured by the Roman legatus Claudius Glaber for his involvement in a small mutiny in a time of war. Shipped to Rome along with his fellow captured countrymen, the warrior is to be executed in the arena of Capua, a relatively large city that is south of Rome. Defying the odds and slaying his executioners, the man is spared, and named Spartacus by the man who purchased him, Lentulus Batiatus, who owns a prominent ludus (gladiator school) in Capua.


    Spartacus lives

    Initially resisting, Spartacus grows accustomed to his new lifestyle. Through training, Spartacus improves, drawing the ire of the current champion of the ludus and the city of Capua, Crixus. He begins to enjoy the benefits of being a gladiator: he becomes well loved by the populace of Capua, and is rewarded by Batiatus.

    Spartacus in the Arena
    Through his rise, however, Spartacus grows to realize the gladiator life is not one of glory as gladiators believe (including himself at points), but one of enslavement. This realization leads to the rebellion of the gladiators, who free themselves from the Roman captors and take to the countryside, beginning the Third Servile War.

    Spartacus fighting Roman militia
    Following the rebellion, Spartacus leads his small band of freed gladiators and slaves through the wilderness of Campania, trying to keep his people alive as they are hunted. Believing the rebellion to be little more than a nuisance, Rome dispatches Cladius Glaber, the man that sent Spartacus to Capua, to end the rebellion. Helped by another former gladiator named Ashur, who despised Crixus and many of the other gladiators, Glaber forces Spartacus and his force on the defensive. However, it becomes apparent to Rome that the rebellion has grown from a nuisance into a war, as Spartacus' force grows from less than a hundred escaped slaves to many thousands.

    Spartacus and his army


    Season three, War of the Damned, sees the return of Spartacus and his allies several months after the end of Vengeance. Hearing the news of Spartacus and his success have emboldened tens of thousands of slaves around Italy, who have flocked to Spartacus' banners, swelling his force from about one hundred to a force of tens of thousands. Rome has suffered defeat after defeat since the end of Vengeance, and is at a loss as to what to do. The main armies of Rome are scattered throughout the Republic, unable to return to the peninsula to deal with the now open war. Rome, seeing no other choice, decides to appoint Marcus Licinius Crassus as the head of a new army. Crassus, fabulously wealthy, raises and arms an army of tens of thousands, and prepares himself both mentally and physically by training with a former gladiator champion, in an effort to learn how to beat Spartacus. Soon, Crassus takes the field, along with his young son Tiberius and a new ally: Gaius Julius Caesar. Crassus, knowing the defeat of Spartacus will bring him more glory than his wealth alone ever could, hopes to bring the rebellion to a swift end.




    Plot for Gods of the Arena

    Gannicus, far right

    This prequel miniseries follows the exploits of a gladiator named Gannicus, the most skilled of Lentulus Batiatus' men. Taking place before the new arena of Capua was even built, the series follows Batiatus' own problems as well as Gannicus' as they attempt to find their own way in the world. Gannicus fights for glory in fighting while Batiatus fights to make a name for himself and his wife Lucretia following his taking control of the ludus from his ailing father.

    The old arena and combatants

    The series also explores the discovery of Crixus, who had been a slave building the new arena (featured in the first season) before being purchased by Batiatus. Like Spartacus later on, Crixus quickly rises, threatening Gannicus' position, and alienates some of his "brothers", including Ashur, a new gladiator as well. The miniseries reaches its end with the opening games of the new arena.

    The final match of Gods of the Arena



    Overall Featuring a different title every season, Spartacus is a rather interesting show to approach. Stylistically, the show is very reminiscent of the movie 300 in that the show is clearly mostly shot on green screen. Many of the battles also have bits of slow motion and the bloodshed is quite over the top. In addition, sex scenes are rampant, with full on orgy scenes featured in Blood and Sand and Gods of the Arena. Though this may sound like a cheesey-nothing-but-action show, there is a fair amount of tangible plot, usually from the Roman characters and their conflicts with other Romans and the gladiators. One of the big pluses of the show has to be the soundtrack, which I love to such a degree that I study and exercise to it. The soundtrack is very memorable, and really helps the atmosphere of many scenes. This one is one of my favorites, from Vengeance.




    An example of the over-the-top violence

    The show nearly ended with the diagnosis of non-Hodgskin lymphoma for the lead actor, Andy Whitfield. In response, the showrunners decided to expand a single prequel episode intended for the start of season two into a full miniseries, titled "Spartacus, Gods of the Arena", while Whitfield was treated. When it became clear that Whitfield would be unable to return despite treatment, the role of Spartacus was given to Liam McIntyre with the blessing of Whitfield. Though McIntyre is a decent replacement, the series has suffered a bit from the absence of Whitfield.


    Andy Whitfield as Spartacus

    Liam McIntyre as Spartacus


    Overall, the series is a good guilty pleasure show. Of the three current titles, Blood and Sand is a clear winner, with Gods of the Arena and Vengeance a little too close to call. If you intend to watch this show, you must understand that this is not your typical show. Compared to other shows, it is relatively thin on plot and thick on action. For some, the large amount of over the top violence, profanities, and sex scenes may be a bit much. The show perhaps takes a bit of liberty with the scattered history of the Third Servile War, but the lifestyles of the Romans and the gladiators appears to be portrayed fairly accurately. If you want your typical drama, look elsewhere. But if you want something different, this is definitely the show for that.


    Some of the Roman characters. The politics conducted by the Romans is one of the series' highlights

    9/10
    Last edited by TheDarkKnight; April 19, 2013 at 05:31 PM.
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    Default Re: (Updated 12/20) Gen. Chris' reviews of TV shows

    Note This is my first movie review for this thread. As such, the title of this thread will now be changed. Also, I am noticing there is a fair amount of traffic this page receives, however no one comments. If you are reading these reviews, please take some time and leave constructive feedback. I wish to improve these based on the thoughts of my peers.




    Ironclad (2011)


    Ironclad Looking for a good deal of medieval warfare and drama? Look no further than this movie.

    The movie is set during the First Baron's War in Medieval England. King John has declared war on the barons that had previously forced him to sign the Magna Carta. Commanding an army of mercenaries, King John begins his brutal campaign. An attack on one castle brings the movies' protagonist, Templar Knight Thomas Marshall, into the picture. Knowing that the key location the war could be fought over would be Rochester Castle, he and six other men set out to defend the castle from King John. What follows is a bloody battle and siege as Marshall, the six others, and the small garrison of the castle defend it and its lord.


    Rochester Castle as seen in the film

    One of the problems of the film is the battle itself. It’s far too small. The total number of soldiers defending the castle is about twenty, facing over a thousand Danish mercenaries that John fields. Though this is historically inaccurate, the film actually makes it work fairly well, as the condensed cast makes it easier to follow the action and tell who is who. The siege also departs from history by lasting for several months rather than the several weeks that it had actually occurred over. I suspect this was done to show the desperation later in the movie, as well as add in an added romantic subplot with one of the female residents of the castle and Marshall. There are more problems, but they are relatively minor I feel.


    Siege of the Castle

    Charles Dance as the Archbishop of Canterbury, Brian Cox as William d'Aubigny, and James Purefoy as Thomas Marshall

    So what makes this film so great? The acting I feel is very top notch, bringing the talent of James Purefoy, Brian Cox, Charles Dance, and several other notable actors. The fight scenes as well are well worth the price of the movie (or the time spent watching on Netflix, in my case). The fight scenes are very gory and gritty, and at points it feels like you are right in the action. Brutal dismemberment and even a bit of cleaving in half is to be expected. The blood flows quite freely in the battle scenes. It is not unusual to see limbs removed or bones revealed as the swords, axes, and arrows do their bloody work on the defenders and castles alike. Hell, you even see a tongue removed, the thought of which turned my stomach, in the beginning of the movie outside of the battle. As I said, the condensing of the numbers of soldiers makes it feel a lot more desperate in the actual fight, and each loss on the side of the defenders feels more noticeable knowing they only started with twenty soldiers. The cinematography definitely contributes to the highly gritty nature of the movie. The soundtrack is also quite impressive, the music during the battles especially giving a sense of desperation for the defenders as they are slowly whittled away by the King's men. The dialogue is also very good, in my opinion.

    James Purefoy's (right) performance was a definite highlight of the film

    The gate being breached and the enemy army attacking what is left of the defenders

    All in all, I feel these positives outweigh the ahistorical negatives. Even if you disapprove of such changes to history, you would be hard pressed to NOT enjoy this movie if you are a fan of medieval history. If you are one to enjoy brutal and blood battles, this is an absolute must watch. Besides, you very rarely have a medieval-era movie that actually enjoys a fair amount of action. Even though the film changes history rather drastically, in this case, I’m willing to leave the history to the history books.

    Paul Giamatti as King John and Vladimir Kulich as Tiberius

    8.5/10

    Last edited by TheDarkKnight; March 07, 2013 at 05:19 PM.
    Things I trust more than American conservatives:

    Drinks from Bill Cosby, Flint Michigan tap water, Plane rides from Al Qaeda, Anything on the menu at Chipotle, Medical procedures from Mengele

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