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‘The Red Turtle’ – Movie Review

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I’ve just finished watching the animated film ‘The Red Turtle’ and I had to write about it. It’s safe to say that I had absolutely no high expectations or hopes for this film to be great after hearing that the film was just ‘okay’ or ‘decent enough’, it stands at only 76% on Trakt and 7.6/10 on IMDB. After finishing this film however I have to admit that I’m in love with it. I’m sitting here trying to currently think of a flaw for the film and I genuinely can’t grasp a hold of one.

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The winner and element of this film that makes it stand out is the animation, a character of its own and every single frame of this movie is a work of art, something you could use for your desktop background or a nice framed poster. It’s an animation style that I’ve never seen before and wouldn’t hesitate in seeing another film that looks as beautiful as this again. The bright colours of the sea, forest, sky and sandy beaches stand out, making this one of the best looking films I’ve ever seen.

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This story is at its core (without any major spoilers) about a man who washes up on shore, alone and must use the environment around him to survive. I enjoyed this element of the film but it wasn’t until around the 40th minute where I went from enjoying it to falling in love with it. As I said, no spoilers but the film took a really unexpected turn for me and I’m glad it went down this path. It’s a fairly simple story don’t get me wrong, but it doesn’t ever try to be something too over dramatic and ruin what it had. There is almost no dialogue here, there must be a total of 25 words in this film and they’re mostly just grunts or sounds at best.

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I don’t want to get too much into what I really liked about ‘The Red Turtle’ as that would jump into spoilers but this film is 75 minutes in total which is nothing, it honestly flies by and you’d be a fool to not at least give this a try, if anything just to appreciate some of the framing and work that went into it. We need more films like this and ‘The Red Turtle’ is a masterpiece that I won’t soon forget.

– ‘The Red Turtle’ – 9.6/10

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Brooklyn Nine-Nine Review: Season 5 Episode 1

So, Brooklyn Nine-Nine is back after what was an incredible fourth season. And I can safely say that I am majorly buzzed to see what this season brings. This first episode picks up a couple of months after (SEASON 4 SPOILER ALERT) Jake and Rosa are wrongly sent to prison after being framed by crooked cop Lieutenant Hawkins (Gina Gershon), and Brooklyn uses the prison scene to push a slightly darker, Always Sunny-esque type of humour, as well as again pushing to expose the problems that occur in the real world – shining a light on the problem of prisoner mistreatment in the United States. Jake’s cell-mate, Caleb (played by Tim Meadows), spearheads this darker humour, with the stories from his cannibalistic background bringing an edgy breath of fresh air to the show.

Andy Samberg, obviously, is again excellent in this episode, with his subtlety once again making every moment of his hilarious. The interactions between Peralta and Santiago are also super sweet, with these two continuing to be my favourite on screen couple. Jo Lo Truglio (as Charles Boyle) is also brilliant, with the absence of Jake in his life making him even stranger. Yet the highlight of the episode was actually Hitchcock (played by Dirk Blocker), with his increasingly-disgusting behaviour and insanely weird comments providing the funniest moments of the episode.

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This was a super strong start to the season, with an increasingly-intriguing storyline, headed by the interaction between Peralta and prison gang-leader Romero (Lou Diamond Phillips), nicely setting up Episode 2.

– G

Marvel’s The Defenders (TV Review)

Before I fully start this review, I think it’s important to list the current IMDb scores of the four individual series for each of these characters (at the time of writing):

  • Daredevil: 8.7
  • Jessica Jones: 8.2
  • Luke Cage: 7.6
  • Iron Fist: 7

Why is this important? Well, the performance of these characters within The Defenders pretty much directly correlates with their rankings within IMDb – with Daredevil (Charlie Cox) and Jessica Jones (Krysten Ritter) easily providing the most enjoyment, with Luke Cage (Mike Colter) being cool in places, and Iron Fist (Finn Jones) just kind of.. there. Sadly, this programme’s main focus is on Iron Fist, and his role within The Hand’s plan for gaining unlimited power. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that Finn Jones does a poor job, or that Iron Fist is particularly annoying – it’s just that he is by far the least interesting character out of the four, leaving me longing for the return of Jessica, Daredevil et al whenever they leave the screen.

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For me, this focus on the lighter style of Iron Fist and, admittedly to a lesser extent, Luke Cage, as opposed to the unmitigated grit of the Daredevil and JJ series, led to a programme that, at times, showed a closer resemblance to Agents of Shield than the shady, brutal Netflix world that Marvel had previously created – which was a shame for me. While there was, for sure, some pretty gruesome violence throughout (if a character came out of this series with their head still attached to their body, they got lucky), I just didn’t feel that the theme of this show fully corresponded with previous Netflix Marvel productions, with relatively cheap, predictable humour and at times near-cringeworthy dialogue kind of ruining the aura of the show.

Plus, what is with Marvel constantly bringing back people from the dead?! Just let a man stay dead once in a while, jeez. When one certain character ‘dies’ at the end of the series (I’ll let you find out who), I found myself checking further forward to see if they somehow miraculously survived – let’s just say I know Marvel too well..

Yet, while this three paragraph rant may well not be selling it to you right now, I can tell you that, for its faults, this was still a pretty entertaining series. While the first couple of episodes, understandably, drag, the show manages to develop a really interesting storyline – with the four protagonists’ battles versus The Hand providing some tense and really enjoyable moments. The Hand’s leader, Alexandra (played by the incredibly talented Sigourney Weaver), provides a refreshingly new angle for a Marvel antagonist, engaging in very little action – but still asserting her authority throughout the series.

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Alexandra’s protegee, Elektra/The Black Sky (played by Elodie Yung), is also one of the main highlights of this series. Elektra was insanely good in the second series of Daredevil, with her chilling behaviour and straight-up ruthlessness genuinely scaring me at times. And she takes it up a level, at least in terms of her abilities, and provides some genuinely shocking twists throughout her journey. My only, relatively minor, complaint with Elektra is that her ultimate motives seem unclear, with the character seemingly going to extreme lengths without any real reason for doing so.

Finally, I do certainly believe that this show was most entertaining when the whole group was together. While some characters may be weaker than others, I think the cast created the perfect chemistry – providing a team bond based on genuine reluctance. The action is certainly best when everyone is involved, with Episode 3 (‘Worst Behaviour’) easily providing the best fight scene of the series. The difference in style of the characters works well, providing a nice mix of tension and qualities that leads to some really, really cool scenes.

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As such, I’d say that if you want to watch a cool, entertaining series, with decent action and an interesting storyline, then this is for you. But, ultimately, if – like me – you really love Marvel’s Netflix world, then I think you may be slightly underwhelmed with this one.

An entertaining series, but one that drifts slightly away from the grit of Marvel’s Netflix world. Image result for starImage result for starImage result for star

– G

Game of Thrones Season 7 Episode 6 – ‘Beyond the Wall’ Review

SPOILERS AHEAD!

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Remember a couple of episodes ago at 7×04 when I was baffled to how they were going to top ‘Spoils of War’ this season, well they did…Game of Thrones went and just did that with 7×06. This may have dethroned ‘Rains of Castamere’ as my favorite episode in Game of Thrones history, I’d have to sit down and have a full series rewatch to decide that, but this is close if not. If 3×09 was a master at unexpected deaths, twists and turns, then 7×06 is the master at building tension through the entirety of it’s episode, from start to finish I was quite literally on the edge of my seat, and felt every emotion possible watching this, I ask again, how can they top this?!

This episode focused completely on Jon and his merry men going beyond the wall and while we did cut back to Arya and Sansa this episode I don’t feel the need to talk about them here because they really didn’t stand out here and if anything was a bit of a damper on the episode, just Arya being a little salty at past events, which is understandable, it was going to be bought up at some point but just really didn’t care for it. No, this was Jon and Dany’s episode all the way, I won’t name everyone who accompanied Jon beyond the wall but they all played a huge part here, the writers did an excellent job of making each and every one of them feel needed.

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So why are they beyond the wall in the first place? Well let me tell you, curious fellow. We’re here to capture a wight to take back to Cersai to prove that White Walkers exist, ultimately meaning ‘can we put aside this betrayal and scheming for for 5 seconds and deal with the real threat here’, unsure how Cersai will actually take that, but that’s for the finale. We knew from the preview of this episode that shit was going to go down eventually, and it did in a glorious way. After capturing their wight, Jon and his men are surrounded by wight’s and white walkers and are pretty much tasked with holding out until Dany can get there with her three dragons to save the day. So let the action commence, we get a 5 minute sequence of hand to hand combat and I couldn’t be happier for how it went down, we didn’t lose anyone major in this moment, just a few cannon fodder who were obviously there to die, but we had some close calls and I honestly didn’t know who was going to make it. This wasn’t a scene where I could sit back and relax being ‘oh they’ll all be safe’, because we know that is never the case with Game of Thrones, and it made this scene 10x more intense.

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We’re then followed by Dany coming to save the day yet again, with her three dragons by her side, it was all going so smoothly, it was all going too easy though wasn’t it? Nobody major had died yet and the white walkers were getting mugged off if anything. I’d always called that a dragon was going to die eventually, maybe even two of them. So sadly it was time to see one of them go in this episode, and of course it was by the hands of The Knight King, really don’t understand why he didn’t aim that ice spear at Drogon but fair play to you dude. Seeing the dragon fall almost generated a tear in my eye, luckily he was the only major causality, yes we did have a couple of others including Uncle Benjin and the drunken priest but none hit has hard as that.

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I could sit and talk about how cute Jon and Dany were together this episode too, but I don’t want to overwhelm you with how beautiful this episode actually was, lets just hope they have a cheeky kiss in the finale eh? Overall this was the best episode the season has offered us so far and probably the best of the series, I’ll get back to you on that one. Very curious what they’ll do to end next episode and then the long wait until the final season, RIP to all the MVP’s of this episode, you shall be missed.

Season 7 Episode 6 – ‘Beyond the Wall’ = 10/10 (obviously)

Game of Thrones Season 7 Episode 5 – ‘Eastwatch’ Review

SPOILERS AHEAD

It was going to be hard for Game of Thrones to top last weeks episode, I gave it a 10/10 rating and has already gone down as one of the greatest episodes in TV history. And while admittedly this episode wasn’t as strong as ‘Spoils of War’ it did have some very interesting stories making more development and characters we never would have thought meeting face to face…meeting face to face.

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We’ll start with the earliest and one of the highlights of this entire episode but the MVP himself, Drogon, I’ve always had my ups and downs with Dany throughout the shown but it was about time she really made a dent in Caersai’s army and show her that she means business, she did that last episode and having used Drogon to do so it’s of no surprise to see some of the Lannister army bending the knee, half of them don’t even like the Queen. Although it was sad to see my boy Dickon take the brutal way out with his Father, death by fire, he went out like a complete boss and that poor boy shall be missed. Curious if peoples opinions o Dany will start to sway after this scene. We got even more Drogon this episode also, a cute moment between the dragon and Jon Snow may have been the best part of the episode for me, the scene took it’s time for it to really sink in what was happening, I’m glad Drogon seems to be okay for now but for how long is the question.

While on the subject of Dany, we had the return of Jorah which was another sweet moment to see happen this season, while it was short I’m glad they shared that moment before he left with Jon to go catch a White Walker, however that’ll work. Although I do have to say I like Jon and his merry crew of the brotherhood + The Hound, I’d kind of pieced together that they were to eventually to meet up from the trailer and premier episode. Someone I didn’t see joining this group however was Gendry! YES…GENDRY! He has returned from that long long journey of a rowing boat and damn is he a badass now. He was always a character that I loved and we’ve all been waiting for his return, here we have it, and he’s yielding a monster of a weapon this time. I’m hoping they don’t waste his character because I think he still has plenty to give, lucky for us here the writers are genius so we should be all good.

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A few more things to note would be that Cersai is pregnant, because we all needed another incest baby, the difference here will be it’ll die before it’s even born, whos with me on that sad truth? Littlefinger is up to more mischief, he’s been fairly quiet this season but whatever he and Sansa may be up to can’t be good, with two episodes left this season, there is still time for damage to be done.

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Overall this was an episode that moved those incredible stories forward a lot more, it didn’t waste any time with characters travelling from destination to destination, certain stories have taken a path which I never expected them to go down and I’m more than happy with that. There wasn’t much action here but that’s to be expected after such a huge episode prier to it. Still a great episode and lets be honest, the preview for episode 6 looks insane, winter is here my dear friends.

Season 7 Episode 5 – ‘Eastwatch’ – 8.1/10

 

Baby Driver: Film Review

This was one of those films where you think ‘this is gonna be a good film’, despite not knowing exactly why. Well, I can tell you that my hunch was spot on – this was an amazing film. I’m a big fan of cool, unpredictable films and this certainly falls into that category for me, with Edgar Wright producing another very stylish, entertaining and original movie.

Wright has a very unique, and oddly satisfying, directorial style – and he uses it to full effect in this film. He undoubtedly deserves the most praise for the success of this film, providing the perfect blend of originality (providing one of the craziest and least predictable endings to a film in a long time) and style with gripping action and insane chase scenes – whilst also subtly weaving in a romantic subplot that had me shippin. I think Marc Webb showed with ‘Amazing Spider-Man 2’ just how difficult it can be to find the right balance without making the film feel rushed, but Wright manages to nail it with ease. Well, at least for the most part – towards the end things get so insane that it just makes you think ‘would she really be staying with this guy through all this shit, despite only going on a few dates?’. But, all in all, the chemistry between the characters makes the whole thing work.

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A lot of credit should go to Ansel Elgort (Baby) and Lily James (Debora) for helping to create this chemistry. There is so much said with so few words, and that’s an incredibly difficult skill to master – leading to the audience feeling fully in support of their relationship despite, as I said earlier, them having little time together. This is a skill that Elgort shows throughout the film, ensuring that the audience truly understands his character despite him saying very little.

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Surprisingly, it is actually Bats (played by Jamie Foxx) who probably speaks the most – and that’s no bad thing. In fact, Foxx was probably the stand-out performer in this film, playing the ruthless gangsta role brilliantly. In some scenes, he is actually pretty intimidating, and his constant jabs at Baby genuinely piss you off throughout the film. He’s a great antagonist, and helps to turn this film on its head towards the end, which sets up a crazy final half an hour.

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As I’ve said earlier, the action in this film is really impressive, especially the chase scenes – both in the car and on foot. In terms of driving, this is possibly one of the best films I have seen, helping to make it a super cool film. Not only are the chase scenes incredibly exciting, but they’re also really clever, helping to add to the originality of the film.

Yet these scenes would not be as good without the amazing soundtrack. It’s weird how important a soundtrack can be for a film, and it is an integral part of this one. Right from the very start, the thrilling song ‘Bellbottoms’ helps to set an exciting and hectic scene – and Wright ensures that each key scene thereafter is complemented by the perfect tune. Much like with ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’, I was as buzzing to listen to the soundtrack again as I was to watch the film, which, I think, adds to overall coolness of the movie.

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One of my favourite films of 2017.   Glowing Star on Facebook 2.1Glowing Star on Facebook 2.1Glowing Star on Facebook 2.1Glowing Star on Facebook 2.1Glowing Star on Facebook 2.1

– G

Game of Thrones Season 7 Episode 4- The Spoils of War’ Review

SPOILERS AHEAD

So I don’t want to alarm anyone but we have just witnessed one of the singular best episodes in TV history, wait, no we did witness one of the best episodes in TV history. Not only was this without a doubt the best episode of season 7 so far, ‘Spoils of War’ was one of the best Game of Thrones episodes of all time, I’d have to really think about it but pretty sure this would make it to my top 3.

So of course we got a huge battle sequence at the end of the episode which we’ll get into in a second, but firstly, and something I adored about this episode was that everything leading up to that was just as entertaining. Sure when I look back on this episode I’ll think of that battle, but for me a few other stand out scenes would be Arya sparring with Brienne, this was the first time in my opinion where we’ve really seen how swift and fluent Arya is when it comes to one on one combat, if she’s able to be on equal footing with Brienne at such a young age, who knows what she’ll be like as an adult, guess we’ll never know with only 9 episodes remaining but…just imagine!

Another great scene for me was Theon actually meeting Jon, something I didn’t even think about happening, and considering the past when I realised what was happening I couldn’t help but get a little excited. I feel so bad for Theon, he’s had it rough bless him but I can see Jon’s point at wanting to kill them man, I just hope Theon has at least some semblance of a happy ending when the show is done, or it least go out like a hero.

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And then we have it, the grand finale of the episode, Khaleesi vs Jamie Lannister, and wow wasn’t that glorious. It was something yet again that I didn’t see happening so soon, one second shes at Dragonstone, the next she’s taken the horde of Dothraki and Drogon the dragon with her to burn the Lannisters, and burn they did. This sequence had some spectacular shots in, some fantastic action with plenty of gore and bloody, something I think us Game of Thrones fans were waiting for. That long uncut shot or Bronn just wandering among the burned battlefield gave me chills, very similar to Jon on the battlefield in Battle of the Bastards, and I need more. Seeing Lannisters burn was a satisfying feeling but even watching that I was constantly wary of Jamie and hoping this wasn’t the episode where we were to say goodbye to him, luckily it wasn’t, although it was close and almost seemed to be. With him going kamikaze on Dany after Drogon is wounded and she’s left on the ground, I thought, this is the end of Jamie,luckily for him, just as a fire breathing dragon is about to melt the poor man to a crisp, someone dives at him and ultimately saves his life, very curious as to weather he’ll end up Dany’s prisoner now, seems likely.

This episode was something we needed! Season 7 has been excellent so far but with only 7 episodes in the season I was curious when the point was going to be when ‘shit goes down’, well the answer was episode 4, how will Cersai react to this? Not too pleasantly I’m sure. Overall this was an exceptional episode and will go down as one of the best in TV history, but isn’t that what Game of Thrones does best really?

Episode 4 – ‘The Spoils of War’ – 10/10

Game of Thrones Season 7 Episode 3 – ‘The Queen’s Justice’ Review

SPOILERS AHEAD

Will have to keep this one short unfortunately my lovelies. Straight up, this has been the best episode of season 7 thus far for me. We quite easily could have had an entire episode of Jon Snow on his way to Dragonstone, but no, season 7 doesn’t hold back and the opening scene is Jon and his crew on the beaches ready to meet Khaleesi. A moment viewers have been waiting for since season 1, always wondering how they’d bounce off of eachother, would they even get along? And here we have before our very eyes, two the best characters in TV history face to face.

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This was the best scene for sure, a long sequence of Jon and Khaleesi going back and forth on dialogue that has been some of the best I’ve seen from the show. I like how we were able to see both points of view from these characters. Khaleesi trying to get Jon to bend the knee to help take the Iron Throne while Jon explaining that it’s all pointless if they don’t deal with the army of the dead. I saw both of their points but inevitably sided with Jon, as he’s right at the end of the day.

As I said, sorry this one is short, another two stand out scenes for me were Cersai tormenting the sandsnakes and poisoning one of them, hate the Queen but damn this show wouldn’t be the same without her. And Orlenna going out like a boss, revealing to Jamie she was the one who murdered Joffrey.

Season 7 Episode 3 – ‘The Queen’s Justice’ – 8.8./10

Ollena

Game of Thrones Season 7 Episode 2 – ‘Stormborn’ Review

SPOILERS AHEAD

Game of Thrones loves throwing its unexpected reunions to us does it not, only to be taken away by something tragic or brutal.

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Episode 2 of Game of Thrones was a big step up from episode, which I still consider to be a fantastic episode. We focused on a lot of characters in this episode but all seem to have been given enough time to see their stories make a big push forward. Judging from these first two episodes this season isn’t holding back whatsoever and having things move at a quicker pace and ultimately to the end game.

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The biggest push in story from this episode is from both Jon Snow who is now off to have a meeting with the Queen herself Khaleesi, a one on one we’ve quite simply been waiting for since season 1, and it’s happening! Come episode 3 we’re getting arguably two of the most badass TV characters of all time meet on screen! Jon’s story was much besides that, just Sansa bugging him whenever he speaks to his men, which is getting kind of annoying at this point, but maybe I’m just bias because she was trying to stop him from falling into a ‘trap’ that simply wasn’t there…right? The other huge story arc this episode was of course that incredible finale! Euron sending his navy fleet after Theon and Yara, who were also accompanied by the 3 sand snakes. It was only a matter of time before we were given a big action set piece and here was our first of many I’m sure. While an entire fleet was being attacked we did only focus on the one ship where all the action seemed to be going down. So we’ve lost two of the three sand snakes now by the hands of Euron, I do feel they went down way too easily but I guess that just goes to show how much of a skilled fighter Euron actually is, and will indeed be a bigger problem than originally intended. I am happy my favorite of the three sand snakes was kept alive but only to be taken with other prisoners to Cersai, I’m sure she’s going to have some interesting things to say to Yara. Damn you Theon for going back to your ‘Reek’ ways, I get there wasn’t much he could have done but damn dude, that was WEAK!

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A couple of other stand out moments in this episode was Arya’s reunion with both Hotpie and the dire wolf herself Nymeria! So unexpected, at least for me, but was a warm welcome to the eyes. I will always love and appreciate that Game of Thrones doesn’t let ANY character or beast go to waste, all we need now is a mention of Gendry and we’re whole. Unfortunately the dire wolf didn’t join Arya on her way to Winterfell but I’m sure that won’t be the last we see of her. My second stand out moment from the episode has to be between Greyworm and Missandei, these two are simply adorable. Such great chemistry between them both and they sealed the deal of that chemistry tonight. I think it’s fairly obvious however that, sadly, at some point Greyworm may end up dying weather this season or next, but these two will go down as one of the best romances in Game of Thrones.

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Episode 2 of Game of Thrones had more story progression and sweet moments between characters while also ending with a bang with a huge action set piece unlike any we’ve seen thus far. On the water, in the dark while it’s poring rain added more of a sinister feel to the scene and I wouldn’t have changed a thing. Jon is on his way to Khaleesi and I’m anticipating how they’ll bounce off eachother.

Season 7 Episode 2 – ‘Stormborn’ – 8.8/10

Breaking Bad Season 1 Episode 1 – Pilot’ Review

And so it begins…

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I’ll be keeping this short and sweet but last night I got around to rewatching the pilot episode for Breaking Bad once again…well…for the fifth time in actual fact. My previous viewing of this episode was a few years back however and just wanted to write down my thoughts on how much more I appreciate and adore this first episode after time away from this story and characters. We all know this is one of if not arguably the best TV drama of all time, seasons 4 and 5 bought a new meaning to ‘ground breaking’ TV and I always remember showing my friends (and Mum) the entire show and thinking ‘can’t wait to get to the good stuff’ and ‘ugh just wanna skip the first season’. This wasn’t because the first season was bad in my eyes but because I knew of how many cliffhangers, twists and turns there were coming up. As I said though, time away makes you appreciate things a whole lot more and I fell in love (not that I was ever out of it) with the show all over again last night.

From the opening scene which is a flashforward done perfectly showing the audience that Walter White, our ‘protagonist’ is in some serous trouble. Driving in a half destroyed RV, 3 bodies alongside him seemingly dead, gas masks on and wearing nothing but his green short and white undies. Was a hell of a way to start the show and that’s not even mentioning him pulling up a gun to the sound of sirens…this is all in the space of 3 minutes.

Going back 3 weeks we see the rest of the episode lead up to those events and it shows us the mundane boring life of Walter White, oh innocent Walter. Last night I really came to appreciate this small build up, things do move fairly quickly for sure but I enjoyed those first 20-25 minutes of just Walt being himself, and while he may live such a dull life there were never any scenes that came across as ‘dull and boring’, which it very easily could have. We are introduced to all of his family within a couple if scenes, his wife Skyler, the cheeky son, Walter Jr, Hank the ‘Murica FUCK YEAH character and Marie.

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More of the story unfolds, we discover that Walter has been diagnosed with cancer, given an estimate of two years to live and we’re to learn that Walter wishes to team up with an ex student of his, Jesse Pinkman, played expertly by Aaron Paul, and he wishes to team up with him to cook and make meth…and now we have Breaking Bad and a story. The build up to Walter’s reasoning to wanting to do this is shown so perfectly throughout the episode and it’s reasons like Hank saying to him ‘Get a little excitement in your life, Jesus’, while mentioning taking him on a stake out, that made me adore this episode that much more. You can see his reasoning and sure, may be a little ridiculous of him but after seeing how much money could be involved and with only ‘2 years to live’, can you blame the poor man.

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This is a well crafted pilot episode and I’d love to possibly review each episode if I have the time with more in depth thoughts. It sets the groundwork for an outstanding show, gives characters we love…and hate, and I can’t wait to delve back into season 1 to see if there is any more things I may pick up on now I’ve developed and matured into a decent human being..arguably a decent human being.

 

Breaking Bad S.1.1 – ‘Pilot’ – 10/10

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