In 1997 relatively new director Paul W.S.Anderson made an interesting little movie called Event Horizon. Coming across as a mix between Hellraiser and Star Trek – The Motion Picture, it starred Laurence Fishburne, Sam Neill, and Kathleen Quinlan. The movie revolved around investigating a spaceship that had years prior disappeared into a black hole and only to now return again with something different now on board. The film was chopped to bits upon its release, but even with the trimming it came across as a very weird and disturbing trip into the unknown. Say what you want about Anderson’s work since, but at least once, he did this right.
Escape Plan, formerly known as The Tomb, released its first trailer today. No doubt that 20 years ago the release of this trailer would’ve been the biggest news on the internet, had anyone been ON the internet that is. However, now in their 60s, Stallone and Schwarzenegger don’t have the same pull they once did, but that doesn’t mean this won’t be worth watching. Even if their last 2 movies (Bullet to the Head, Last Stand) weren’t.
Sometimes as a guy, you just have to bite the bullet. This could mean a lot of things, like buying your girlfriend tampons at the store or having to sit through two whole episodes of Glee. This weekend I had to bite the bullet in the form of watching “The Vow” starring Channing Tatum and Rachel McAdams. The movie has just hit the American cinema this weekend, just in time for that dreaded Valentines Day thing. And I am surprised to even see myself typing this, but the movie was actually not that bad and even a little enjoyable. As far as romances go, it was pretty decent and stuck to that same formula that most of them due with a slight twist at the end.
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.
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).
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.
In case you missed it, here is a look at Episode 4!
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.
“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.”
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.
Jurassic Park 4 has to be one of the most talked about things that never ever seems to be happening. It’s like a missile defense shield or the war on drugs. Or kind of like that on again off again girlfriend or boyfriend that everyone out there is so fond of. And Stephen Spielberg would be that person in the relationship who always initiates it once again with promises of it’s going to work. I guess Sam Neill would be the one in the relationship not willing to give it another shot after a month of trying and tells you it would be stupid to make a sequel because the person who wrote the original books is dead. What were we talking about here?
Oh yes! JP 4. Anyways, Spielberg was making the rounds at Comic-Con this year to promote that retarded Tin-Tin garbage, but while doing so he did indeed confirm that Jurassic Park 4 is happening. Check out the excerpt from IGN below:
“We have a story,” Spielberg said. “A writer is currently working on the treatment for [that story]…and the hope is to see Jurassic Park 4 in the next 2 or 3 years.”
Spielberg did not share who the writer is or what the story is about, nor did we expect him to. What we do know is that this film will be the start of a new trilogy, one that is influenced by the history of the previous films, especially the first two.
It seems they (Hollywood) always assume something should automatically be a trilogy. I’d love to hear what the hell the story for Jurassic Park 4 is so they can justify a damned trilogy. But lord knows if there is another one Spielberg had better involve himself. And by that I mean as a director so it can at least be a decent movie. The whole thing makes you sit and wonder if they’ll have anyone from the first Jurassic Park or if they’re just going to start from scratch casting wise. If Sam Neill, Jeff Goldblum and Laura Dern don’t return then I definitely need to see Dodgson and his nice hat in there somewhere.
I know a lot of people may still be feeling a little betrayed after Lost’s finale. They may be thinking they’ll never watch anything with J.J. Abrams‘ name on it ever again. I on the other hand didn’t have a problem with the last season of Lost or the ending. I actually enjoyed quite a bit. Sure there were a few things that I wish they had done differently, but I had my closure.
So it’s no surprise that I’m pretty excited for his newest show titled Alcatraz, which stars not only the excellent Sam Neill (Jurassic Park), but also Jorge Garcia of Lost fame. (He played the fat guy – Hugo Reyes, remember?) It seems like that whole mystery thing is going on again, but whether or not it’s the same caliber as Lost I can’t say. I’m all for mystery and huge plot reveals, but I hope they don’t go seasons long like Lost did. I’m sure Abrams and the other people working on the show realize that might alienate a lot of viewers this time around, so I’m sure they’ll veer away from that. Anyways, check out the preview below, it looks pretty cool.
It would seem Abrams has some sort of time travel/alternate dimension fascination going on (Star Trek/Fringe/Lost), which is cool because I do too. With so many shows canceled, and about two dozen new ones coming on multiple channels, nothing else really catches my eye besides Terra Nova, Falling Skies and this, so hopefully it’s at least decent. Any Lost fans or haters out there have an opinion on this? Will you watch it or pass on it? Sound off below!