Bates Motel S5Ep3: Bad Blood Review/Recap

  • Cast: Freddie Highmore, Vera Farmiga, Nestor Carbonell, Olivia Cooke, Max Thieriot, Ryan Hurst

It seems Norman isn’t the only one who’s going a little crazy. Now trapped in the basement, and handcuffed to a pipe, Caleb keeps visualizing Norma. But not just visualizing, but talking and interacting with her. Occasionally ‘Norma’ is really Norman during one of his blackouts, and dresses as Norma, and another Caleb is hugging Norma’s frozen corpse. At least the last one was just a crazy dream.

After witnessing Norman’s disturbing behaviour, Chick decides it would be best to live at the house for a while, and keep an eye on Norman. But when Norman’s tries to push him away, Chick acts like he knows about Norma. Not about how Norman blacks out and impersonates her, but that “she’s still alive and just hiding at home”. After some persuasion from both Chick and Norma, Norman agrees to let Chick stay.

While in town running errands Chick is recording experiences he has witnesses with Norman into a recorder, and purchases a type writer and tells the store keep that his writing a, “true crime novel”. Norman has another blackout and confronts Caleb. ‘Mother’ talks to Caleb and confesses that they can’t keep continuing on like this, him in the basement, it poses too much risk. But unable to do it herself, ‘Mother’ convinces Norman that he will have to do it. But when Norman goes to the basement to kill Caleb, he has a lucid moment and unhandcuffs Caleb and tells him to run.

Norma is furious, and takes the guns away from Norman and chases Caleb down the street. Returning from town, Chick hits a fleeing Caleb.

But another dead body may be the last of Norman’s concerns, Alex has escaped his prison escort and his making his way make to White Pine Bay. But Alex may need to put his crusade aside for just a moment, because while attempting to steal a car, he is shot.
Catch Bates Motel Monday nights at 7PM an A&E.

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Kong: Skull Island (Movie Review)

  • Cast: Samuel L. Jackson, John C. Rilley, John Goodman, John Ortiz, Jign Tian, Terry Notary, Brie Larson, Tom Hiddleston

Who needs actors when you have a visual effects team with this much talent. I could have watched a whole 2 hours of just Kong defending the island, and learning and seeing all the different creatures that live on this island. The visuals told a better story then the actors (except some, some of the actors were great). The emotions that they gave Kong made it so by the end of the film, you were rooting for him, and hoping he triumphed over the humans.

But the humans themselves weren’t all trouble, there were a few actors that actually served a purpose and who had a story/background that made sense. I’m looking at you Tom Hiddleston, I’m thinking he was just there for eye candy. Preston Packard (Samuel L. Jackson),  Randa (John Goodman), San Lin (Jing Tian), Houston (Corey Hawkins), Hank (John C. Rielly), and Glenn (Jason Mitchell) were either the real stars of the show, or at least the characters that actual served a purpose, even if they weren’t shown a whole lot. The main stand outs in the film were Jason Mitchell and Jonh C. Reilly, if anything this felt like their (and Kong’s) movie. Every time they were on screen they stole the show. Jackson and Goodman were the follow up scene stealers, and both ended up going down the same story path.

Brie Larson and Tom Hiddleston played roles that could have very easily been absurd by another, and to a degree they were. Mason (Larson) is a photojournalist hired to document, through pictures, what they see on the island, while Conrad (Hiddleston) is a former British Air Service Captain, who now offers his (poor) tracking services. His role was so incredible pointless, I have no clue has to why they added him or his character. Randa paid Conrad to do the job that all the soldiers on the team were practically already doing. Mason was probably the worse photographer they could have hired. She was slow to take a photo, and didn’t take enough of them. Hiddleston’s character didn’t even need to be combined with another actors character because he already was, he was just an unnecessary addition to the cast who took up room. As for Larson’s character, she could have been combined with Jing Tian’s character, who is a biologist brought to study the land and it’s inhabitants.

Larson and Hiddleston are the only down falls of the movie, and their obviously forced romance. Aside from the few actors that stole the show the visual effects and the action sequences are what made this movie. This film has a plethora of action scenes, and the movie opens with one that is the base for the whole film. The action was incredible, the design of Kong and all the creatures that live on Skull Island were beautifully crafted. The visual effects team did a fantasic job at creating and bring this creatures to life. I’d say they’re the best CGI, and original (except Kong) that I’ve seen in awhile.
Overall Rating: 4/5 stars. Just try to ignore Laron and Hiddleston and the movie is perfect.

The Scorch Trials (Movie review)

  • Cast: Dylan O’Brien, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Kaya Scodelario, Ki Hong Lee
  • Release Date: September 18, 2015

As a book to movie adaptation, this was horrible and hair pullingly painful to watch. As a standalone movie, it was confusing.

One of the main problems with the movie is, the title makes no sense! It’s called, ‘The Scorch Trails’ because it’s supposed to be based on the book, ‘The Scorch Trails’. The trails that Thomas and his friends participate in take place in The Scorch, which is a wasteland where no living thing can live up on the surface because it is, SCORCHing hot, and the sun’s rays are unbearable. The only time life can survive out in the open is during the night. But in the movie this isn’t played up, or even explored. The land is just a wasteland, and therefore the name really makes no sense anymore. And as for the trails Thomas and the group have to undertake…There are no trials. Nothing. Thomas and everyone aren’t set on a task to complete anything.

As a book adaptation, I understand when changes are made to allow for a more smoother transition to film, but the changes made in this film were all unnecessary, and not one of them made for a lick of sense. It was like they took an inkling of an idea from the book and put it on screen. It’s like one book idea made for three new “creative” idea decisions. There was nothing creative about them, because the story was poorly told, with little explanation for what was happening or going to happen and why.

All new characters, events, and ideas just showed up out of the blue with no explanation, even after they showed up. What’s worse is that some ideas never went anywhere, it was like they thought of a new idea, but hit a fork in the road and didn’t know if they should go right (follow the new idea), or left (leave it behind and start a new one). And they always opted for left. It was frustrating and confusing.

The character development was poor, both with existing characters from the previous movie, and new ones. Their stories were a mess, and made no sense. The friendship that built between two characters was ridiculous, and forced. The ending was a story mess, I have no idea where they got that from, or where they thought they were going with that.

Even as a standalone movie, I found it hard to keep track of everything, and understanding way certain decisions were being made, and where all of a sudden this or that idea came from.

But to avoid an all negative review, I’ll say the one positive choice they made was with Theresea, and how they handled her storyline. It’s the only one that made sense. It does changes slightly from the book, but the way both book and movie ended, her story ended relatively the same. And they kept out that ridiculous idea between her and two other characters that was in the book. The visuals, and makeup design for the Cranks were amazing as well.

Overall rating: 2/5 stars. The only reason I gave it a 2 was because the visual effects were appealing, and they kept…a couple of the books ideas, even though they were greatly stretched.

The Scorch Trails (Book Review)

  • Title: The Scorch Trails (Maze Runner Novel, book 2)
  • Author: James Dashner
  • Publisher: Random House Children’s Books
  • Publication Date: September 13, 2011
  • Edition: 2011 Paperback
  • Special Features: Sneak peek at The Death Cure (Maze Runner boo 3), and The Eye of Minds.
  • Pages: 400
  • Price: $10.99
  • Genre: fiction, teen dystopian
  • ISBN: 978-0-3857-3876-7

Thomas and his freinds are forced once again to play WICKED’s games and complete another test run in finding a cure to The Flare. 

Was this book as good as the first? I’d say they both hold their own. Each had it’s own interesting and intriguing moments that were unique to each book. The storyline was interesting, and made it easy to create visuals to go along with story. There was an equal amount of page time for each of the main characters, so much so that you got a good understanding of everyone, and not just one character in particular. 

There was one moment in the book towards the end between three characters that I felt was unnecessary, because it made no sense, and really serviced no purpose. It felt like it was just a page filler. But other then that, the book held up really well, and wasn’t a dull read.

Overall rating: 4/5 stars. That one very unnecessary idea near the end forced me to tak e away a star, because the idea served absolute no purpose.

Wild Justice (Book Review)

  • Title: Wild Justice (Nadia Stafford, Book 3)
  • Author: Kelley Armstrong
  • Publisher: Vintage Canade – division of Random House Canada 
  • Publication Date: Novemeber 26, 2013
  • Edition: Paperback 2013
  • Pages: 362
  • Special Features: None
  • Price: $21.00
  • Genre: Mystery-thriller
  • ISBN: 978-0-345-81302-2

This is the final instalment of the Nadia Stafford series, and she has one more hit to make. But things take a foul turn when the wife shows up at the husbands secret date with his mistress. Things get tense, and end poorly in the underground garage of a hospital. Nadia blames herself for the poor turn of events. As a way to try and cheer her up, Jack gives her an unexpected “gift”. One that Nadia has been dreaming about since that horrific night 2o years ago. The chance the get justice against the man who killed her cousin. But there’s much more to the case then Nadia remembers, and soon memories start to make their way to the surface, and some might be too difficult to process.

With Jack in toll to help with any obstacle that falls in her wake, Nadia also recieves help from Evelyn, and Quinn. Though the latter will pose some problems of its own, as feelings that where buried deep down among others will rise to the surface.

I found this to be the best Nadia book out of the trilogy. After hearing about Nadia’s tragic past in the previous two instalments, Wild Justice holds more intimate details about that terrible night. Even though Jack gives Nadia the gift of a lifetime, to kill the man who killed Amy, there are so many more obstacles standing in Nadia’s way before she can “take the shot”.

Nadia and Jack’s relationship is also a little more light weight, and I’m pretty sure he says more in this book then he does in the last. More of Jack’s past is revealed, and there’s more to it then I thought there’d be. Not only is Jack getting a little more comfortable with talking, he’s also opening up more, and willing to take more leaps of faith towards the things he wants most.

While Nadia works through obstacles in her professional life, her personal life isn’t a walk in the park either.

Overall rating: 5/5 stars

Logan (Movie) Review

  • Director: James Mangold
  • Starring: Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, Dafne Keen, Richard E. Grant, Boyd Holbrook, Stephen Merchant
  • Release Date: March 3, 2017
  • Rating: 18A (R)

Should the X-men rights go back to Marvel? After the success of Deadpool, and now Logan, both being rated R, it seems FOX has found a formula that’s working for them. While Captain America: Civil War, Doctor Strange, The Avengers and many other Marvel superhero films have been great, Deadpool and now Logan are at the top of my list of best Marvel movies, even though both are owned by FOX. While Marvel’s movies are a bit more lightweight, and not so dark, it seems the darker, grittier, and bloodier superhero movies FOX is now producing is where these superhero movies should be heading.

Logan is by far, not only the best X-men movie, but probably the best superhero movie to date. After 17 years, we finally get to see what the Wolverine is really about. Hugh Jackman’s performance in Logan is his best performance has the Wolverine, and even though it would be nice to see more of r-rated Wolverine, the film is a perfect way to say goodbye to the character.

But not only are we saying goodbye to Hugh Jackman as Logan, but Patrick Stewart as Charles Xavier a.k.a “Professor X”. After watching Stewart play such a calm, clean mounted character for so long, it was almost comical to see him cursing Logan when the time seemed fit. But just like Jackman, this is  a strong performance for Stewart as the telepathic mutant.

X-23 a.k.a Laura played by Dafne Keen not only sold you on her action sequences, but she could probably give Black Widow a run for her money.

There wasn’t a moment in this movie where it gave you a chance to sit down and relax. From the moment of the first fight, the movie never let up. Just when you thought you could have a breather, something else would happen and through the characters into another whirlwind.

While it would be nice to see Marvel recieve all the rights to all their characters again, with the path that FOX seems to now be following, maybe now isn’t the best time for Marvel to get the X-men back. Not only that, but if they ever did and decided to reboot the X-men and recast Logan “Wolverine”, especially after this performance, they won’t be able to find someone to replace or even come close in comparison to Hugh Jackman.

My rating: 5/5 stars. A definite must see film.