The Following (2013- )

Rating: 5

For a while now, a particular department of people that I work with have been telling me that I look like a character off of the TV show, The Following. They’ve also been telling me that I aught to watch it because I apparently look like Emma Hill (played by Valorie Curry) and simply because they love the show. It took me until Friday night to watch an episode of it on Netflix because part of me was unsure about the show and I also didn’t feel like getting invested in yet another crime drama.

But I wound up loving the pilot episode that I watched; the only reason I didn’t watch another episode is because it was my bedtime.

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Potential Spoilers

In the first episode, we find mass murderer Joe Carroll (played by James Purefoy) escaping from prison, shortly before his death sentence is fulfilled. In order to recapture this infamously deadly criminal, the police call in the help of  Ryan Hardy (played by Kevin Bacon). Hardy is an ex-FBI agent and the man who single-handily caught Carroll in the first place.

As the show goes on from the initial setup, both the viewers and the police that Hardy is working with discover that the agent turned novelist is anything but a people person. Hardy was damaged during his time in the FBI, particularly during his time capturing Carroll. Besides the emotional trauma that he suffered, Hardy also has serious heart issues. And then, as he makes sure that Carroll’s ex-wife and son, along with his last victim, are under protection, Hardy finds out that the man he’s supposed to capture developed a cult following while he was in prison.

Carroll obtained these followers by utilizing the internet access he was somehow granted while in prison and through the numerous visitors who came directly to him. The above picture is of one of the followers–Emma. Think we look alike? I don’t particularly see it, except maybe similar hair styles.

Anyways, Carroll’s following quickly develop the potential of being Hardy’s major problem as they enable Carroll to fulfill his wish of finishing what he started. His last victim, Sarah Fuller (played by Maggie Grace), was the only young woman he wasn’t able to actually kill because Hardy stopped him. And the latter is fights desperately to protect her. But you’ll have to watch the episode to find out whether or not he’s successful.

I was sucked into this show by the complicated characters and the situations they were forced into all because of one man. It’s both a frightening and interesting idea–a prisoner developing a cult of devoted followers to carry out his whims, even when he’s behind bars.

Something that I found particularly interesting is that Carroll was originally an English teacher, and he still dotes on Edgar Allen Poe. He reference Poe’s works throughout the first episode both verbally and through the “artwork” he does in his killings.

I recommend you add this show to your list of show to become invested in.

Game of Thrones

 

Just a quick note before the actual review: review posts should be returning to Monday starting next week. I simply wanted to make sure that yesterday’s post happened yesterday.

Rating: 5game-of-thrones 

If you don’t watch or read Game of Thrones yourself, you’ve more than likely at least heard of it. George R. R. Martin‘s works of fantasy have attracted many many fans. And when HBO got its hands on said books, Game of Thrones’ popularity soared.

I’m currently just starting to dig into the third book, A Storm of Swords. There are five books in the “Song of Ice and Fire” series so far (each roughly 1,000 pages long) and Martin is still writing, so I have a little ways to go.

I am, however, caught up on the TV series. The fourth season just started on Sunday, April 6 and I was able to see both it and the second episode (on Sunday, April 13) as they aired. I had to watch season three just a couple of weeks before the first episode of season four started after my fiance bought the season on DVD.

And the first two episode haven’t been a disappointment.

Part of what’s amazing about Martin’s books is the way that he organizes the timeline his characters live in. All of the main characters take turns using their own voices to tell their stories as they sometimes take part in each others’. For example, in the third book, the first chapter is told by Arya and the following by Tyrion. These two characters are both important players in the battle for the Iron Throne. And they’re also two of my favorite characters.

george-rr-martin---credit-karolina-webb_custom-f55e7468bf1390094e2995cc4f26d8e6a8f7ab47-s6-c30For someone who isn’t used to reading a book with flipping perspectives, it might be hard to get in to at first. You’d think that with the large number of characters whose minds are entered, it might be hard to get attached to said characters. But it’s actually hard not to connect to them–all of them really. From my favorites–like Daenerys and Sansa–and the ones I love to hate–like Joffrey and Cersei–I have strong emotional attachment to each of them.

And the plot is masterfully complex. There are stories and stories within stories. There are knights, ladies, kings, queens, magic, dragons, fighting, and explicit scenes. A little something for everybody really.

My one major criticism of it all is just how explicit both the books and TV series are. You can’t read this to or watch this with your children. There’s a reason it’s on HBO–language, sex scenes, and bloody violence. Even if you don’t enjoy all of that, the stories are spellbinding, and well worth pushing past what might make you uncomfortable. And, if you have DVR or opt to wait and get them on DVD, you can utilize your fast forward button.

If anything, I highly recommend that you delve into this book series. Also, I suggest you click this picture of Martin and read the post that the link reads to.

Frozen (2013)

For a long while now, Mondays have been for sharing poetry. I’m not sure if I’m going to continue that, but I am planning on changing what I do on Mondays. This doesn’t mean that I’m going to stop accepting poetry submissions.

My new plan for Mondays is literature reviews. I was going to say “book,” but I also love poetry, movies, TV shows, and other forms of creative expression. We may not have access to it, but all of these start out, in part, with the written word.

As I’m sure you’re already aware, reviews of any nature are subjective, so I’ll essentially be expressing my opinion. I’m open to discussion; that is one of the main purposes of a blog, after all. There isn’t going to be any real rhyme or reason to the works I chose each week. I will, of course, write about works after I finish reading or watching them. But, I’ve read and seen plenty of other works that I have much to talk about in between.

I’m thinking that I should do some sort of rating system, especially for movies and TV shows. I keep forgetting that, along with revamping the posts of this site, I need to update and change the pages. For part of this, I’m going to change the weekly posts pages and will include a rating system for my weekly review posts.

Also, in regards to movies and TV shows, I’m going to attempt to refrain from giving any spoilers. I’ll warn you if there are going to be any though.

Rating: 5

Frozen_castposterToday, I’m going to talk about a movie that I saw with my boyfriend on Saturday December 14–Frozen. Now, when trailers first started coming out for this movie, we weren’t sure whether or not we wanted to see it. All of the previews we saw didn’t really tell us what the story of this Disney film was.

While the teaser trailer is funny, it’s bordering on goofy and seemed rather strange, to me at least, for what I’d usually expect from Disney. But then I found an official trailer on YouTube for Frozen today, and I don’t think I’ve seen it anywhere else. In this preview, we meet the main characters and learn the major conflict of the movie. This is something that would have really piqued my interest and made me want to see the movie for the movie, not simply because I love Disney and animated flicks.

In the above photo, you can see the main cast of characters from Frozen. From the left there is Elsa (voice by Indina Menzel), Kristoff (voiced by Jonathan Groff), Olaf the snowman (voiced by Josh Gad), Sven the reindeer, Anna (voiced by Kristen Bell), and Hans (voiced by Santino Fontana).

These characters were unleashed on the world on November 10. Considering the fact that this was a Tuesday, we should have been expecting the swarm of parents and their children at the theater. If we’d considered this, we would’ve left sooner for tickets and seats. As it was, the 3:45 show only had seven seats left that weren’t guaranteed to be near each other, so we decided to see the 4:20 instead. This showing also wound up being packed, but considering the fact that we were there almost an hour early, we were able to get the seats we wanted before it got too crazy.

The story focuses on Anna and Elsa, the only children of the queen and king of the Arendelle. As small children, the sisters were extremely close. Then one day, with no explanation given to Anna, Elsa locks herself away and refuses to have any interactions with her younger sister. On top of that, their parents lock the gates of Arendelle so Anna is essentially left by herself. Later in the story, when the Elsa comes of age, the gates are once again open in celebration. Anna is elated while Elsa can’t wait to get it over with so the gates can once again remain closed. During the course of the day, Anna meets her prince charming, Hans, and they instantly fall in love and decide to get married. Elsa is dumbfounded by this and become angry when Anna and Hans insist that they’re getting married. In her anger and fear, Elsa out lashes with the magic no one knew she had. Their guests call her a monster and start yelling to have her captured, but Elsa escapes, finally releasing herself from her self-made bondage of hiding her true self. Sadly, the release of her powers causes all of Arendelle to turn into a freezing winter despite the fact that it’s summer time. So, Anna sets out to confront her sister and try to stop winter. On the way, she meets Kristoff, Sven, and Olaf; all of them help her in her quest.

And, you’ll have to find out what happens on your own.

I loved this movie. It was warm, comical, at times romantic, adventurous, and a movie for people of all ages. Part of why I enjoyed this movie is because it didn’t focus on the romance. The movie is wonderful whether or not Anna gets the guy, and there aren’t really a lot of those movies out there right now where the main character doesn’t have to find the perfect significant other.

The story and characters are so easy to connect with and become invested in that some parts of this movie can become a tearjerker.

I highly recommend that you see this movie. Even if you aren’t a theater goer, make sure that you find yourself a copy after it’s released on DVD.