Originally posted here.
The season premiere of Dexter teaches us that religion is, of course, for the ignorant and criminally insane.
Dexter stalks a member of his former High School class he suspects murdered his own wife while he attempts to enroll Harrison into a pre-school.
Upon seeing promos for the new season of Dexter, I found myself apprehensive of season 6’s religion angle. By the end of the episode, the writers proved that they (hopefully) wouldn’t become too heavy handed with issues of faith. Instead, the episode delves more into Dexter’s curiosity with human behavior. Harrison is growing up, after all… and Dexter doesn’t have much left in his life other than him and Deb. Obviously, the show has restarted itself into something closer to season 1. Dexter as a show is incredibly frustrating, as it has the potential to be amazing but is afraid to shake up the status quo. Season 4 promised us an interesting new direction, but season 5 simply took proceedings back to business as usual, which became very frustrating. Worse yet, Deb had the chance to uncover Dexter’s secret using her budding detective skills, but let it slip by. I only bring up the series’ past failings to highlight the basis in which season 6 must be judged: will it finally take risks, or be the same old? For now, let’s just judge the episode on its own merits.
Dexter’s shenanigans at his 20 year (seriously? People go to those?) High School reunion was both interesting and surprisingly amusing. Dexter’s former classmates fawning over him proved to be a great source of amusement. It does make you wonder why everyone swarmed around Dexter because of his wife, but people didn’t do the same for his prey. It seemed people liked him for the jock persona, not the traumatic history. Still, it proved to be entertaining watching Dexter learning to mingle as more than a fly on the wall, right down to an inevitable but humorously useful blow job from a former prom queen. Dexter’s trickery with his class ring, despite it backfiring, was also quite clever. Lastly, while I hate Harry as a story device (he was played out by the end of season 3), his scenes at the dance and on the football field were actually rather fun.
As a side note… what exactly is hammer time? Obviously it’s a dance, but I’ve never heard of it before. It sounds extremely lame.
Edward James Olmos and Colin Hanks had a somewhat cryptic, if important roll in tonight’s episode. It’s hard to judge them, as they were given little to do. It would be more pertinent to simply say that they were intriguing and it will be interesting to see how they tie into Dexter’s journey over the course of the season.
Looking at the changes in the last year… I admit I’m surprised that Angel and LaGuerta seemingly broke up between seasons. It seems like a waste of two seasons worth of drama just to have them revert to a single status. Now Angel is taking care of his sister? Once again, the writers show just how little ideas they have for the two characters, so they just reboot them back to square one. Wouldn’t it be best just to kill one of them off?
As for Deb and Quinn, they didn’t have too much time to shine, but the touches with Quinn’s nervousness in proposing to Deb were well done. It’ll be curious to see how she ultimately reacts, given what happened to her with the Ice Truck Killer. Will she freak out or embrace it? My money is on the former. Still, Deb will have plenty else on her plate during the season, as her gunfight at the restaurant will no doubt put her in the running to head up the department instead of Angel… much to LaGuerta’s disdain.
Overall, the episode itself was solid. Dexter’s adventure was great and the duo of Hanks and Olmos has the potential to be amazing. Despite the writers tripping up her development, Deb vs. LaGuerta could be a very fun plotline. It’s too bad Angel and Masuka are settled with half baked plotlines, as the actors deserve better. It’s just hard to take Dexter seriously as a show anymore, as it suffers from the same problem Smallville had: on an episode to episode basis it’s pretty good, but as a whole it just feels like it could be so much more. Here’s hoping the season will amount to more than a missed opportunity.
Originally posted here.
On the latest episode of FOX’s Fringe, we learn that people are kinda like herpes: just when you think they’re gone forever they find a way of staying with you.
When the other side asks for Olivia’s help solving a string of murders, she brings our side’s version of the killer to aid in the investigation. Meanwhile, Walter attempts to ignore his flashes of Peter.
Major spoilers ahead:
The latest Fringe is a curious episode, as it follows a formula decidedly less true to itself, yet still successful. By taking procedural elements seen in something more like Law and Order, Fringe created a stand alone adventure that proved to be a surprising potent outing thanks to some excellent acting. Yet at the same time… are well done procedural episodes the reason why we watch Fringe? (more…)
Originally posted here.
In the season premiere of FOX’s Fringe, we learn that once in a while an episode’s title perfectly describes it.
In a newly augmented timeline devoid of Peter Bishop, an uneasy truce is established by both universes. Meanwhile, Team Fringe investigates a translucent skinned killer with the help of our side’s agent Lincoln Lee.
Major Spoilers Follow:
Back in May, I mentioned how season finales are a funny thing. Premieres are also funny in the fact that how they are constructed is reflective of how the show is doing ratings wise. A ratings juggernaut such as Lost can open a season and pick right up where they left off… but a show always on the renewal bubble like Fringe often needs a stand alone story to draw in new viewers. As a result, we have the season opening in a place friendly to new viewers. Agent Lee serves as the audience’s perspective as a newcomer to the Fringe universe. While Lee’s a welcome addition to the cast, everything else just came off as business as usual. (more…)
Before I start the review, I should warn everyone that while I have a great deal of respect for J.K Rowling’s book series, I’m not its biggest fan. In fact, in many ways I enjoy the movies more than their written counterparts. I have several problems with the last book in particular, but as a whole I definitely enjoyed reading the series (Prisoner of Azkaban being my favorite). If you can forgive my tastes, hopefully we can find some common ground in enjoying a very cool universe. With that out of the way, here’s my review for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2:
Note — Minor spoilers for the film, but nothing the trailers haven’t revealed. If you wanna go in totally fresh (as in, you haven’t read the books), you might want to read the review later. (more…)
Originally posted here.
Mass Effect 2 has had probably the best run of DLC of any game of the generation. The first batch, including a new squad mate, came completely free with a new copy of the game. Later, Kasumi’s “Stolen Memory”, “Overlord”, and “Lair of the Shadow Broker” were worthwhile expansions that extended the life of the game and the Mass Effect universe. Now comes “Arrival”, the last piece of DLC leading into Mass Effect 3. As the last mission we’ll ever get to Mass Effect 2, “Arrival” is a nice enough swan song with several reservations. As a prequel to the third game, the DLC fares a little better, but raises more questions than it provides in suspense and anticipation. (more…)
Originally posted here.
Story complaints aside, I’ve been very fond of the latter two Assassin’s Creed games. Ezio has been a very compelling character, even if his arc in Brotherhood isn’t quite as strong as it is in the second game. One great aspect of Ezio’s journey has been his relationship with Leonardo Da Vinci. The two have a sort of James Bond/Q bromance going, so having an adventure devoted to them is very welcome. (more…)
Back in 2008, EA shocked the gaming community by injecting a few original (say it ain’t so!) properties into their Christmas line up. Among them was a little sci-fi horror game called Dead Space that shot, stabbed, and mutilated its way into the hearts of gamers everywhere. Taking the best parts of Alien, The Thing, and Event Horizon, Dead Space delivered a surprisingly scary experience. Unlike the superhuman characters of the Resident Evil games, Dead Space kept itself refreshingly simple by making the player take the role of Isaac Clarke, an engineer trapped in a horrifying situation. The creatures were scary, the AI clever, and the weapons just useful enough without being broken. Now, two years later, Visceral Games has bestowed us with its much anticipated second installment. Does it make for a satisfying sequel? On the whole, it’s safe to say it does. (more…)
If you played the original Assassin’s Creed, you most likely remember a monotonous checklist of events which had roughly the same impact on your brain as taking a Valium. Only when you actually had to assassinate someone – which only occurred a handful of times – did the game become interesting. Then you were treated to a philosophical mishmash of pretentious conversations… and then sent back into repeat the experience over and over again. Furthermore, the core story wasn’t even really the period piece we were meant to believe… you were playing out someone’s ancestral memories through some kind of Matrix-esque technology. Everyone wrote the game off as an ambitious failure and hoped Ubisoft would learn from their mistakes the next time around. When Assassin’s Creed II debuted, the shift in quality stunned gamers everywhere. The pacing became faster and more even. In addition, Ezio proved to be a far more compelling character than Altair. Most importantly, the ludicrous present day storyline was kept to a minimum. Now, a mere year after the second installment is released Ubisoft brings out Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood, a conclusion to Ezio’s tale. With a multiplayer component (a first for the series), many thought the single player would be glossed over. Fortunately, the single player remains quite lengthy, but not as well plotted as its predecessor. Minor spoilers ahead. (more…)
Growing up, I seemed to have missed seeing the original Tron. It seems like once you hit a certain age, it has a different meaning. When released in 1982, the movie became a commercial disappointment, but has somehow managed to become a beloved cult classic. To the millions of kids growing up in the days of early computing, Kevin Flynn became a hero and idol. I personally viewed Tron for the first time back in March. I’m sad to say I wasn’t very impressed with the film, as it seemed like they spent most of the run time describing the why’s of the plot rather than acting out a story with character arcs… which are very, very thin. Still, Tron has a certain charm that I’m sure is only enhanced with nostalgia. So, while I understand why someone might love the movie I find it difficult to share the sentiment. (more…)