All posts by Nathan Troy

I am an Artist and part-time Ninja.

Alcatraz: Season 1, Episode 4 – “Cal Sweeney” Review

In this episode of Alcatraz we follow the events surrounding Cal Sweeney (Eric Johnson), a suave bank robber known for his theft of safety deposit box items. He is not a violent criminal unless things don’t go his way.

With episode 4, after our characterization of Dr. Soto (Jorge Garcia), we get back to the same feel that the first two episodes had. This episode had both the feel of a procedural cop drama and a mystery.

Spoilers Ahead>>>>>

Continue reading Alcatraz: Season 1, Episode 4 – “Cal Sweeney” Review

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Alcatraz: Season 1, Episode 3 – “Kit Nelson” Review

I was really looking forward to watching another episode of Alcatraz ever since the end of episode 2 last week. Shows that revolve around a big mystery, like this one, always seem to leave me wanting more and episode 3 falls in line perfectly.

Episode 3 is about a child killer, who would kidnap his victims and return their bodies home 2 days later, reappears from the past, spurring a manhunt. However that’s only part of the story. Much of episode 3 is used to give some much needed characterization to Dr. Diego “Doc” Soto (Jorge Garcia).

Spoilers Ahead>>>> 

In last weeks review I said that I wasn’t totally sold on the idea of Doc as Rebecca’s (Sarah Jones) sidekick and that remains true, but only because he spends so much time in the field. I totally understand his role in the show but I feel like the writers may be taking things too far by allowing him to run around and get shot at so much.

I can’t complain too much though because I’m a huge fan of Castle. At least he has a vest.

Kit Nelsons (Michael Eklund) confession to the warden about killing his brother was incredibly creepy. His facial expressions alone while describing what he did were just crazy and they took the show to a much darker place than I expected.

I’m also left wondering what role Thomas “Tommy” Madsen (David Hoflin) plays in the conspiracy. The way he is shown interacting with all the inmates leads me to believe he has something more to do with what’s going on.

I’m glad the writers spent an episode on the topic of Doc not fitting in. His character needed a little more fleshing out so he wasn’t just a cardboard cutout representation of a nerd who knows too much.

As I predicted each episode is leaving the viewer with more questions than answers, but it is managing to do it in an entertaining way. I’m looking forward to seeing what happens in the upcoming episodes.

4/5 Bears

In case you missed it, here is a look at Episode 4!

The Grizzly’s Spotlight: Sarah Jones

Sarah Jones hasn’t been in a whole lot up to this point, only having started her acting career in 2004. She has had small roles in several popular TV shows, but most recently she has been cast as the lead in Alcatraz (Review Here!).  If the show does well I expect to see a lot more of the lovely Sarah Jones.

Continue reading The Grizzly’s Spotlight: Sarah Jones

First Look At Riddick

The first picture of Vin Diesel as Riddick is out and yup he looks about the same as he did in the last two movies. Goggles, check! Black tank top, check! Shaved head, check! Ok Mr. Diesel, you’re all set to play Riddick again.

More news from the Underverse! 

In addition to the lovely Katee Sackhoff joining the cast of the next Riddick film

med_katee-sackhoff-sexy-1

We also have two more cast members to report on, Jordi Molla and Nolan Funk.

Jordi Molla, will be playing the main villain. He is a very popular Spanish actor and you may remember him from his roles in Colombiana, Blow, and Bad Boys 2.

Nolan Funk on the other hand is not very memorable at all. He will be playing the role of annoying teenage sidekick to Riddick. He is best known for his role in Spectacular! A Nickelodeon musical tv-movie and his role as Captured X-Kid in X-Men 2.

Rumors are that the movies title will be The Chronicles of Riddick: Dead Man Stalking, but that hasn’t been made official as of yet.

That’s all for now, but keep checking back for more Riddick News!

Alcatraz: Season 1, Episodes 1 & 2 – ‘Pilot’ & ‘Ernest Cobb’ Review

I’ve always been very interested in Alcatraz Island ever since seeing Clint Eastwood in Escape From Alcatraz. So when I heard that J.J. Abrams was going to be producing a Sci-Fi/Drama series that revolved around the island I was immediately intrigued.

I sat down to watch the first two episodes and was not disappointed. The show drew me into it’s mystery the same way that LOST use to. Here is a quick summary of the plot of Alcatraz so far.

SPOILERS AHEAD>>>>>>>

“When San Francisco Police Department Det. Rebecca Madsen (Sarah Jones) is assigned to a grisly homicide case, a fingerprint leads her to Jack Sylvane (Jeffrey Pierce), a former Alcatraz Island prisoner who died decades ago. Given her family history— both her grandfather and surrogate uncle, Ray Archer (Robert Forster), were guards at the prison —Madsen’s interest is immediately piqued, and once an enigmatic, government agent Emerson Hauser (Sam Neill) tries to impede her investigation, she is doggedly committed.

Madsen turns to Alcatraz expert and comic book enthusiast Dr. Diego “Doc” Soto (Jorge Garcia) to piece together the inexplicable sequence of events. The twosome discovers that Sylvane is not only alive, but he is loose on the streets of San Francisco, leaving bodies in his wake. And strangely, he has not aged a day since he was in Alcatraz, when the prison was ruled by the iron-fisted Warden Edwin James (Jonny Coyne) and the merciless Associate Warden E.B. Tiller (Jason Butler Harner).
Madsen and Doc reluctantly team with Agent Hauser and his technician, Lucy Banerjee (Parminder Nagra), to stop Sylvane’s vengeful killing spree. By delving into Alcatraz history, government cover-ups and Rebecca’s own heritage, the team will ultimately discover that Sylvane is only a small part of a much larger, more sinister present-day threat. For while he may be the first, it quickly becomes clear that Sylvane will not be the last prisoner to reappear from Alcatraz.

Through the course of the investigation, Madsen and Soto will learn that the government has been upgrading the prison since its closing for a reopening to house America’s darkest criminals once more. In the process, Madsen will be forced to see everything she thought she knew about her family’s past shattered, all while fighting to keep the country safe from the country’s most dangerous criminals, locking them behind “The Rock’s” bars once more.”

Thanks Wikipedia!

Now that that’s out-of-the-way here are some of my thoughts on the show.
Alcatraz kicked off the series very strongly with an opening narration by Sam Neill that reminded me of Unsolved Mysteries or The Twilight Zone. That along with the quick introduction of the mystery the show revolves around immediately had me hooked.

The writers seem to be using flashback in the same way that it was used on LOST to reveal elements of character and plot, which I like. I thought it was used well on LOST and if the writing stays strong on Alcatraz it won’t become a problem. I also like that the flashbacks are interconnected, but considering the majority of the characters are in a prison together that’s to be expected.


Sarah Jones (Justified, Sons of Anarchy) plays Rebecca well in a tough but cute, Nancy Drew sort of way. I think she has serious potential to do well as a strong female lead.
Jorge Garcia (Lost) is awesome as always and plays Rebecca’s side kick really well. I’m not totally sold on why his character is her partner, but I’m willing to let it slide for now.
Sam Neill (Jurassic Park) is amazing as Emerson Hauser. Nothing else to say about that really. I am really looking forward to seeing what we learn about his character in the upcoming episodes.

All things considered, I was left with many more questions than answers. I still have no theory on what happened to the staff and prisoners of Alcatraz or why they’re coming back. However I will be coming back to watch this show to find out.

4/5 Bears

New Leading Lady For Riddick

Early last November I reported that the Riddick franchise may have been killed due to financing issues. However, after the lock out fiasco was taken care of production was scheduled to resume on December 28th.

Several sources have stated that the third film is going to explain away the ending of the previous movie and get back to the roots of the franchise. The official synopsis of the new film is as follows.

“Betrayed by his own kind and left for dead on a desolate planet, Riddick (Diesel) fights for survival against alien predators and becomes more powerful and dangerous than ever before. Soon bounty hunters from throughout the galaxy descend on Riddick only to find themselves pawns in his greater scheme for revenge. With his enemies right where he wants them, Riddick unleashes a vicious attack of vengeance before returning to his home planet of Furya to save it from destruction.”

Now you may have noticed that the synopsis above mentions bounty hunters. The latest news from the Underverse is that Katee Sackhoff of Battlestar Galactica fame (and ’24’ infamy) is going to be one of them.

According to Deadline.com Starbuck is in final negotiations to play the female lead of the film, Dahl, a Nordic mercenary who is tracking Riddick.

I can safely say that I am happy with this casting choice, but I see this ending in one of two ways. Either

A) She is the bad guy and Riddick kills her.

OR 

B) She befriends Riddick and she get’s killed by the bad guy. No matter how it plays out I’m pretty sure her character is doomed.

The currently untitled Riddick sequel will also star Vin Diesel and Karl Urban, and is scheduled to release in 2013.

#24 – Countdown to Christmas: THE ICE HARVEST

The Ice Harvest, directed by the great Harold Ramis, is still just plain awesome.

A lawyer (John Cusack) swindles his boss (Randy Quaid) out of $2 Million, and has to hold it together for one night so he and his partner in crime (Billy Bob Thornton) can skip town. What follows are hijinks, strippers, Christmas carols, booze, and murder. Continue reading #24 – Countdown to Christmas: THE ICE HARVEST