Friday, 16 March 2018

The X Files 11.9 "Nothing Lasts Forever" Review

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"I want To Be Beautiful"

X Files back to its gruesomest, well there had to be one of those in a kind of harkback to Eugene Tooms, [Squeeze and Tooms] and who fed on human livers to sustain himself  an then go into hibernation.  Sounds like this is what Barbara needed to do. This one involved an aging star (in the form of much that is topical about celebrity in their quest to remain forever young - hmm thought that sounded a little Mulder (David Duchovny) there! ha) only Barbara (Fiona Vroom) wasn't actually a star in not amounting to much so can't be put up there with the greats, but aged into obscurity and in her fleeting ambition to be beautiful and forever young; she came across a doctor who believed he found the secret to youth.  Having performed the same procedures on himself.  Juliet (Carlena Britch) mentions her sister, Olivia (Micaela Aguilera) joined a cult, well this appeared to be just that, brainwashing people into believing they were much better than they thought of themselves to be and then harvesting their organs so cruelly and crudely for themselves.  A form of vampire cannibalism.  Almost on Mulder territory there with his line of using the materials that would've been used for Christ including wooden stakes, which gets them onto the case and full jurisdiction from the detectives.  As well as Scully's (Gillian Anderson) line of Mulder having to look forward to gout!

As doctors remove organs from a victim, a woman, Juliet, hides and then attacks then with metal bars and a hammer akin to Jesus on the cross.  A profound action in being religious herself and wants to know where 'they' are.  She leaves the organs outside a hospital with the words "I will repay."  Only the organs can't be used.  Scully attends church and communion service again a kind of parallel could be drawn here in that they are served the body and the blood of Christ, a perversion where Barbara Doctor Luvenis (Jere Burns) are given, correction: forcibly take the organs of innocents in the hopes of remaining young.  A blood fountain of youth.  Also there is Olivia, the missing sister and she willingly partakes in this, as her mother looks at her photo with her deformed face.  Barbara telling them they are loved and not ugly.

Mulder and Scully take on the case as Mulder believes there is an X-File here with Scully later deciding that there isn't.  After their visit to church.  Where they speak of Scully's beliefs and she tells him why she started to believe, when her brother Charlie was taken ill and she prayed.  He had rheumatic fever and later she started praying for a dog.  She believed her prayers worked when she got a dog for Christmas.  But her mother's faith made her strong and that's what she also believes in.  Mulder adding he knows why he's not a Christian cos his parents didn't get a puppy.  He also notices Romans 12:19-21 quoting,  “Vengeance is mine, I will repay" which is about vengeance and repaying.  As Juliet comes to the church and talks with Father Hardy (Cameron McDonald) who tells her to have faith and she will find her sister.  Outside Mulder notices the three missing bars from the fence which were used in the crime and are led to Olivia's mother, Josephine (Fabiola Calmenero) by the Father.

Juliet refuses to let them in and says she's protecting her mother shutting he door on them.  They're led to a building where the resident Barbara hasn't been seen in 7 years by the super and they have a dumb waiter which is used by them.  She's 85 and as Olivia is hooked onto the doctor, they are let into the apartment by Barbara.  She isn't 85 at all and they are attacked by the others with Scully being thrown down the dumb waiter.  As Mulder is pinned down, Juliet arrives and takes out Barbara.  Mulder finds the doctor with Olivia in the basement and kills him.  Scully's fall being broken by the years of rubbish collecting there.  Funnily they found the doctor by tracking a heart.

In church again Scully mentions William and also Mulder talks of how she could've left him in his basement at the FBI years ago, before he even got glasses and married a brain surgeon with lots of children.  But they're here and together and that's what he believes in.  Scully asking "are we together?"  He says he will believe through her and makes a wish, but she says it's not a birthdy cake, they're prayer candles.  She whispers what she wants to him, in a moment that felt like they would kiss!!  As Mulder lights a candle. 
Scully: "that's my leap of faith forward and I'd like to do it together."
Mulder: "I always wondered how this was going to end." 

Perhaps a flash forward to the final episode in this season 11 which could turn out to be the final episode of the X-Files.  But it was an enjoyable run with the exception of a few dud eps.  I can say that can't I? 

Ahh yes Mulder and his glasses which Scully tells him eventually everyone will go through and his having to use them now.  Suddenly he gets glasses when the tagline changes to "I Want To be Beautiful" as opposed to "I want to believe" (generally in aliens which eh does among other things) or "I want to believe I am beautiful."  To my recollection and never forgetful memory, Mulder wore glasses in the Pilot ep when they first met!  Maybe he got contacts afterwards!!

Also the funny throwaway line of Mulder peering at Scully closely in the beginning and asking if she got a haircut?  No it was a new wig so desperately needed two eps ago!   But honestly he appeared to be short sighted than long sighted and should have noticed the wig anyone as he wasn't looking at her face so closely and was able to drive without glasses too.  In the title which could also be an allusion to this show.  As well as Sidney Sheldon's book of the same name, about three female doctors trying to compete in a male world.  Well in some ways it was Barbara here who wanted to remain young and using the doctor but it did seem to be a mutual relationship of give and give some more and blatant take on her part.

Thursday, 15 March 2018

Paranormal Lockdown 3.3 "Higgensport School" Review

Nick and Katrina came to Higgensport school in Ohio not expecting such heightened activity, but as Alex, the manager, told them it boasted the presence of a dark entity/shadow figure which he's seen and he tells people they should expect to see it.  From the outset there was plenty going on here.  Including Katrina seeing a figure or shadow coming out of a room, like creeping out to check who's there and going back in.  Saying it was more of a leg.  With doors banging especially one in particular, where Katrina spent the night.  But nothing happened after Rob left. Oh I don't mean they only get activity when he's around ha!  But ya never know it has happened a lot in past eps!  Nick preferring the hallway and again nothing happened during the night.  Nick woke up Katrina who was really drained.  There was activity in the basement where a man was burned by the boiler.

When they were setting up their equipment and when Nick heard walking on the first day, sure there was an orb/light anomaly flying nearby.  It comes from the left (bottom pic) and floats to the top right (in the top pic.)
Also again later on when they were by the gym, I managed to see another 3 at least hovering around them.

One where Nick was about to set up his cot, it's almost as if it shoots out from where the bag is: taking the path of the arrow.

I concluded (ha) that it wasn't dust cos they were shooting around in logical fashion, not just floating around like dust would.

But some swearing from Nick and Katrina!!  Nick used the phonetic application and got the voices coming through: ""I feel lost..."
Then a deep male voice, "from you..."  Most probably could have been the shadow figure they see later.

Nick uses a new piece of equipment called the 'Parazologies' at least I was trying to work the name out on there, kind of like a digital recorder, but no voices came through on it.  Will double check the name but it did look cool hoping they use that too later on.

More voices saying: "he dragged him down here..."  Wonder if that was in response to Alex telling them about a drug addict they found in the basement, but they don't know if he died here or was brought here."
Katrina asks: "where are you?"  And the response is:
"we're stuck..."
Nick asks "...down here?"
Reply: "a syringe..."
Katrina asks who passed away?"
Reply: "me....this spot..."
Nick asks who it is?  But doesn't get any response.  As he said they don't know who they were dealing with so they can't say for certain if this was the dead man or something messing with them.

Katrina also does a recording and asks questions and gets something which sounds like a "yes" though to me it sounded more kind a like growling noise.  She caught this when she was alone in the gym and that's when Nick was trying to rest during the day in preparation for more night investigation and activity.  Anyway when she plays it to Nick, or attempts to there's a voice heard, disembodied, which I'm sure says "I'm here..."  or "in here..."  Again a male voice.

Lots of doors closing again and more light anomalies as stated above.  As they used the Geobox and there were voices coming through which shounded like children.
They also hear a desk or a chair being dragged which is what I said it sounded like and then Katrina said the same.  Rob hears a voice and you can hear it clearly too, when Nick is asking if they want to come out of the class, it answers "no" and is the voice of a boy.  Well he must be enjoying his lessons!  Or maybe being naughty!! Ha.

In the gym with the stage, they use the light sensor and a girl's voice comes through on the Geobox telling them what it is: "light sensor..."  "there..."  which also lights up.
Nick asks who they're talking to?
Reply: "gym" and it tells them to go there.
Katrina asks "will we see you in the gym?"
Answer: "yes."   As Katrina said they were getting residual energy and intelligent responses too.

In the gym where they see if they can get any stick figures, they get responses on the light sensor again when Katrina asks 'if it likes it here, how it got here'.  The response is that it doesn't want to be here and it was brought here by someone.  Which they weren't able to determine if it was brought here by another ghost group or not.  As Alex later tells them they used to stay with the groups whilst here but a few months back starting leaving them alone, so they don't know what they get up to.  Katrina adding he needs to be here and to try and push out the entity since it doesn't want to be here.

Also still in the gym Rob notices a shadow behind the camera and Nick and Katrina see it too, though why didn't Nick take his camera with him.  It's shown at the side of the curtain picked up by Rob who spotted it first.
This pic looks like there's a face on the left, it's the shadow behind the curtain that peeks out.

Katrina also gets a feeling of being touched which she says was more akin to being connected with rather than being targeted.  Maybe some child was playing with her.

All in all it was a very active investigation but I have to say it wasn't one that I particularly liked.  It was very routine almost, but there you go. That's just me.  Also Nick said he hasn't investigated a school before and this was the first time he's gotten so much activity.  But Preston Castle was a school, albeit a reform school although he hasn't investigated a school in Paranormal Lockdown before, which is probably what he meant.  So it was good that he got to do that with Katrina.

Tuesday, 13 March 2018

Supernatural 13.15 "A Most Holy Man" Commentary

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Supernatural had a few twists in this ep and altogether was enjoyable.  Making a change from the normal chasing demons/monsters.  This one involved chasing a skull and finding the blood of a most holy man, which was right under their noses and I managed to figure that out.  As the priest, Lucca Camilleri (Massi Furlan) was shot, this confirmed my thoughts of how they could take his blood.  After all being a saint doesn't mean that's the only 'person' who would have holy blood.  But I enjoyed this ep it was film noir all the way with added elements of  Supernatural to it.  Some classic references to detective films which was obvious.  As I kept calling it The Maltese Skull after The Maltese Falcon (1941) of course which in many ways could be said this episode was based on.  At least an allusion to it with the characters.

As Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean's (Jensen Ackles) quest leads them to a woman who' selling the blood and other artefacts online.  Sending them to San Francisco and of course she, Margaret Astor (Leanne Lapp) would immediately catch Dean's eye as she's young and not old at al.  The femme fatal in noir terms but obviously that doesn't mean this broad was clean cut.  However she only has eyes for Sam and his puppy dog eyes.  She tells him where he can get it from, Richard Greenstreet (Dominic Burgess).  A direct reference to actor Sydney Greenstreet who was Kaspar Gutman aka 'The Fat Man' in The Maltese Falcon and also Richard could be an allusion to Richard/Rick Blaine from Casablanca played by Humphrey Bogart, who was also in The Maltese Falcon.  But in name only not in appearance.  The plot of this movie was Sam Spade being hired to search for a missing statuette, the Maltese Falcon with several other players getting in on the act too, particularly three other criminals.

Greenstreet tells them he will sell them the blood in exchange for the skull which leads them to Seattle.  Whereupon my mind jumped to Dark Angel and Jensen playing Alec in this in season 2 and they showed the Space Needle too.  Well I wasn't far off the mark as Fulvio Cecere was in this too and he was in the show as well as Sandoval.  Also they must've had an on-set reunion here. 

But I have to say this actor had nothing on Sydney Greenstreet, no one could match his abilities at portraying the consummate bad men but in lovable roguish way!  By the way Mark Greenstreet who is a British actor, and played in Bratt Farrar, as well as other roles and was also considered for the role of James Bond in The Living Daylights before Timothy Dalton, is the great nephew of Sydney.  Obvious he was related with the name.  Mark would have made a great Bond, much more so than the current Bond!

Anyway in a roundabout way they meet up with Lucca who happens to be a father sent by the nuns from Malta to retrieve the skull of St Peter and Sam finally says they should help him and double cross the other mobster, Santino Scarpatti (Al Sapienza) since it's time for the good guys to win.  With Dean and his not a perfect world speech and how he's not perfect either, but they save the world and it doesn't mean they have to be perfect too.  Which is echoed by Lucca when he says they also live in an imperfect world.  But funny how Dean told him about how God wasn't going to help.  Cos yeah been there, met him!!  Ironically or not.

As the double crosses take place and Dean's mention of "whacked" being repeated by Scarpatti cos it's their speak.  Let's not forget Dean has also journeyed back to the 1950's so would be familiar with it anyway.  They finally get their hands on the skull and return it.  Had to ask how Lucca got that money into the country though.  Also they find out that he was blessed by the Pope thus he has the blood of a holy man in him.

Margaret Astor alludes to Mary Astor, actress, who was in The Maltese Falcon as Brigid O'Shaughnessy.  Funny scene where Sam asks what Dean would do if someone took Baby and he said he'd murder them, slow torture first and them murder, yes Dean that torturous trait inherited from purgatory.  But still this is Baby!  And nobody drives Baby!  Except that mob man just did.  Sam waving his hand in front of Dean's face and he doesn't bat an eye, nah still thinking of his beloved Impala! Dean saying he has faith they will get Mom back and that's all he needs.  Seeing as he also got Cas back reaffirming his faith in what they do.   He doesn't need to answer Sam's question of whether they have to keep killing monsters even if it leads them from one apocalypse to another over and over.

The Maltese Falcon based on the novel by Dashiell Hammett.  Humphrey Bogart playing Sam Spade with Scarpatti also referring to Richard as "the Fat Man" as he was in the film itself.  Ask me anything on film noir and classic actors love 'em!!  Have to add that scene with Dean in the cafe with the girl reading the book on demons and Dean wanting to flirt some more, took me back to The Big Sleep (1946) again with Humphrey Bogart, as he flirts with the woman in the bookshop, surrounded by books and she wears glasses!

BFI The City and The City Preview Q&A

The City and The City Preview 12 March 2018

A new drama to air on BBC TWO.  TV preview and Q&A attended by actors David Morrissey, Mandeep Dhillon and writer Tony Grisoni.  With Preethi Mavahalli from Mammoth Screens. Adapted from the book by China Mieville.

A veritable apocalyptic or thereabouts setting for this new drama by Mammoth Screen productions to be aired on BBC TWO.  The first impression was very 1984 meets Blade Runner.  It really had an impact on the senses, especially visually: the squalor, suspicion and solitude of living in such a world.  East and West Germany, almost; two cities divided by nothing but a street, a piece of concrete, metal, stairs, as shown by the two lovers who could almost be Romeo and Juliet, not being able to talk, barely being able to hold hands.  Only stealing silent touches in the hopes they are not too conspicuous.

Tough scenes, plenty of swearing, used to comical effect, especially in the opening scenes as the lead character, Inspector Tyador Borlu (David Morrissey) of the Extreme Crime Force meets the policewoman, Constable Corwi of the Beszel Policzai, assigned to the case.  One of murder and even this develops further to provide much intrigue.  As it opens up old wounds for Borlu.

To anyone who hasn't read the book, it was stunning to see adapted, easy to follow and to get into.  Interspersed with narration/commentary from Borlu to explain the setting, life in these two cities.  The other city being Ul Qoma, as the murdered woman came from here.

Trust Beszel and how it identify Breach, they look just like you and me,Breach coming across as a military Big Brother type organization.  Also how there's tourist training for anyone coming into the cities.  Though why anyone would want to is beyond me.  As the murdered girl's mother says, it's a horrible place. 

The cast really propels the drama forward and Borlu in his determination not to give up this case but also how it relates to the murder case of his wife, Katrynia (Lara Pulver) and how it remains unsolved.  Of course it will all connect and make sense as the eps air and the stories unfold, but it did seem haunting to watch.  A dystopian future that awaits, bleak.  The contrast between the two cities will be revealed later when the series gets underway.  Also similar to Dark Angel, I felt in that, it had different sectors and sector passes needed to travel.  This has travel documents which are needed to pass between cities.  The interesting aspect how a child's toy falls by Borlu's feet but he doesn't pick it up or throw it over, he just stands there and comments.  She waits til nightfall and then retrieves it herself as they wave to each other.  Adeptly described by David in the Q&A where he says how it's akin to living in the street but not knowing everyone on that same street.

A must see drama as far as the first episode went.  Lots of secrets to be revealed...


This is the first time China's works have been adapted for the small screen and he attended the event.  Many came here cos they knew the work as did David.  Tony and David knew each other and was a fan of his work.  When David reads books etc; he thinks if they'll make good adaptations for the TV etc; and with this he just read the book which he stated was "wonderful and complex."

Tony didn't know this book but did know the other work and was sent the book and asked if he wanted to read it.  There's talk of the other city and there's much exposition.  The whole book is about what you choose to share and choose to tell.  He showed that in the script, only hear about it, discuss it and then start to tweak how you want it done.  The director was also the designer of the set, Tom Shankland, visually there's a crumbling city, multi-cultural. Ul Qomo is glass and steel, Beszel is crumbling.
Tom commented how he writes longer notes than the other Tom.

Had a huge respect for the actors and the sets and was incredible watching people get into the piece and how to interpret it, to get back into it.  There were pronunciation differences about the languages, which were adapted for this production.  Made up and resembled a little Polish and German thrown in.
Mandeep: didn't want to think about it, the story and just did the piece in terms of the production.

Audience Q: How did writer try to bring in the exposition and what would work and wouldn't.  Answer Tom: By asking about it and thinking to yourself if you want to do it, or include it.  Were many versions of the script and was very amazing and important everyone asking and helping.  He had read the book towards the end of 2013 and just finished writing the script now.

Q differentiate between the two cities and how the blurred look of the film was achieved?
David: special filter on the lens and were varied techniques.  Filmed with a filter but it was Manchester and Liverpool, because of the architecture, the modern city and also some Victorian structures.  Glass, metal.  He spoke of how we live in our houses and it's not such a big leap of faith to see people we know and those that live at the end of the street and we don't know.  The drama used the idea of not being allowed to interact with some certain people living right here and now and it's just accentuating that in this drama.
Ul Qomo is more militarized, more fine lines and cleaner city than Beszel: more industrialized.

Preethi said the language was developed for the production.  One asked how would you say "hello!"  David: "Hello."  David's character can't speak it but the actors were fantastic and they just came on and spoke it on set.
David respond to people emotionally inside the story and the restrictions they encounter emotionally.

Should air in April, although Preethi was keeping mum about it.
David: "I'm free from April that's all I'm saying."

David: golden TV drama is like the golden team of football, it's always been around.  TV become the place where writers express themselves and not seen as a poor relation of film. This show he gets a lot of scripts, this is addictive, raw not spooky but it's engaging.

David: A really different world see here is torment quickly and is reflected in the world around Borlu and he likes that.  Great to do this and for eevry department, asking questions always and was challenging in every aspect to do and he's very proud of it.

David: Loved book, knew it and loved Tom and the script and he loved Tom Shankland's work.  Fun challenging and worked to create that role.

Sunday, 11 March 2018

Once Upon A Time 7.12 "A Taste of the Heights" Review

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It's Princess Tiana's (Mekia Cox) coronation and she has to help her people as  Dr Facilier (Daniel Francis) shows her some tarot cards spelling trouble for her kingdom.  She enlists Hook's (Colin O'Donoghue) help along with Ella (Dania Ramirez) and along the way they encounter a stranger with a magic spear, who just happens to be a prince, Naveen (Jeff Pierre).  Hook doesn't like him of course and they split up when one of her subjects was attacked by a gator, leaving Tiana alone with Naveen.

In Hyperion Heights, Henry (Andrew J West) narrates about old stories and having endings and new stories too, as he's set up a podcast called "H Town" all coming on the heels of Victoria's demise.  As Lucy (Alison Fernandez) lays flowers at her grave.  Facilier visits Henry on the guise of being a developer by the name of Samdi and wants to see Reggie (Lana Parilla) to help out with her bar.  All this as the lights flicker, of course that suggests an evil presence.  Henry also finds that Jacinda made a mix tape for him.  He tells Reggie about the visitor and she wonders what he's doing here.  Great a new bad to take over.  Maybe he's aligned with Eloise/Gothel and maybe he's not and is the one killing the witches.  Zelena (Rebecca Mader) and Reggie try to fool Samdi into revealing whether he recalls everything or is affected by the curse, by Zelena pretending to be Ronnie and Reggie pretending to be Kelly.  Of course that wouldn't help much.  It wasn't even an elaborate plan.

Lucy tells Henry that she knows there's another book and that Victoria showed it to her, but she doesn't know where it is.  That true love's kiss is waiting for him and Jacinda and she tries to speed this up to break the curse, as she invites him over and he comes over with the intention of playing games.  Lucy has other thoughts on her mind of matchmaking.  This however turns out to be a goer as Henry tells Jacinda he heard she left him a mix tape, which she has to show him.

Tiana opens up her food truck business but she's hindered by being reported for not having a food licence.  That could only he Samdi and she meets Drew, who happens to be Naveen.  He's got a rival food truck a called 'Flaming Cajun' which happens to be financed by Samedi.  He was given money, had hand outs whilst she had to work and she's angry about that.  They both went to cooking school but she was the better cook and her Beignets show this.

Hook and Rumples (Robert Carlyle)are on the trail of whoever killed the doctor last ep and visit one of her patients, Hilda (Chilton Crane) who happens to be blind and makes gingerbread houses.  Thus being the witch from Hansel and Gretel.  Obviously Rumples would've known that seeing as he's got his memories intact, but no mention was made of this or even an implication of it.  Oh and he's lost his cockney accent all of a sudden.  Infact ever since Victoria was killed.  Also he's still leading Hook down the fanciful road of there being a cult, I mean it's not as if Hook would have anyone to share the truth with if Rumples told him and anyway who'd believe him.  I mean look at Henry and how many times he's been told by Lucy.  Hilda doesn't tell them much but offers them a cookie, hey that was one cookie between them which they refuse but they notice the tattoo on her wrist.  Thus she's a witch as said.  Later they return and find her by the oven (no coincidence) passed out as someone tried to gas her.

As Rumples pays a visit to Reggie with the news, and a picture of a scar that reveals a tattoo was removed from the doctor's wrist.  Thus she was also a part of the coven with Reggie stating that someone is killing witches.  Drew gives Sabine/Tiana her licence since she's a better cook and this wasn't his fault.  Admitting that he flunked cooking school and didn't leave.  Samedi has words with him about it later.

Tiana and Naveen talk as he tells her the gator killed his brother and as he struggles with the gator he is attacked by it and she manages to kill it with the spear.  Facilier turns up and she wants him to save him, but he says it comes at a price.  She replies she got him back his bauble so that's her price.  As he saves Naveen, he spirits him away, that should be smokes him away to another place and he says that wasn't his price so he's got to pay his own.  As she's crowned she wants all her friends to appear on the balcony with her since she will need their help when ruling.  Reggie tells Facilier to come out cos she knows he's there and they kiss as he brings the necklace to her as it was hers to begin with.  She's not the same Evil Queen anymore but she still can't resist him.  Everytime the mentioned the gator I couldn't help but think of Hook and his battles with the Crocodile aka Rumples.
Hook: "alligator, crocodile, they both kill people."

In Hyperion Heights, Lucy finds her closet opened and as she gets up to look inside, there's nothing there.  Yeah beware strangely opening closest.  As she gets back into bed she drops a page from her book and finds a picture with Henry and Ella, he's going to die from true love's kiss and she stops them kissing in the nick!  Wanting to play the game now after having a nightmare.  Reggie knows Samdi was pretending about not remembering and she goes to see him.  She won't come in but then he says she always did what she wanted and she enters.

All we get is more mystery about how Reggie and Facilier know each other, and why he's on the scene now.  Especially as Victoria is no more and why he claims to be a developer too.  Obviously his hold on Drew is his payback for saving him.  As Rumples mentions first a doctor and now a baker.  Who's next, a candlestick maker, the butcher?  Well I had to say it.  Also let's not forget how Rumples  suddenly recalls everything as Reggie said to him how he didn't help her when she asked and how he's coming round here with news.
Rumple says he was having to work with Victoria and so couldn't help.  A lock of their hair is missing too.

This episode just seemed like a filler and one where Lucy realizes her mother and father can't be together after she was the one pushing for it the most.  Now that Henry finally succumbs he can't be with Jacinda.  Also what happened to Drilzilla/Ivy, her mother is barely buried and they choose not to show her.  Will she become an ally or will she go off the deep end.  Though she should be good now knowing that Victoria wanted to reunite the family.
This entire Facilier/Reggie love bit seems to be tacked on just for the sake of it.  Very boring, Zelena was just there as a filler too.  Seems Facilier is now wearing black gloves as Samedi but he was wearing white as Facilier.  And those white trainers seemed so out of place!!  No sense of fashion at all!  Ha.  Samedi hails from Baron Samedi associated with voodoo.  So do the black gloves mean he's the killer or is it just a red herring.

Saturday, 10 March 2018

The X-Files 11.8 "Familiar" Review

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Back to the X-Files and how it used to be with another episode dealing in superstition and mass hysteria in a small town and Mulder (David Duchovny) says it best at the end "there's no getting out of this town Scully, not these days..." A jibe at today's political mentality no doubt and how people react toward one another still.  So when Mulder and Scully (Gillian Anderson) arrive, they find Andrew (Sebastian Billingsley-Rodriguez) was the son of a policeman too.
This one had shades of the old X-Files of course and did anyone get pangs of deja vu going back to The Great Mutato in Postmodern Prometheus.  Was just talking about that ep the other day with that nonsense published by The Sun about Frankenstein and how "snowflakes" treat him as a victim.  What seriously didn't read the book, didn't know what the story was about?  Okay that was digression, but relevant too since Mulder and Scully's quick fire rounds at each other were again derived from their past opposite reasons for the crime and its explanations.  In Postmodern, Scully said that he was going to call these townspeople as mass hysterical fame seekers, whilst she remained the voice of ration and reason.  (See quote below.)  But here once again they take the same stance when Mulder refers to witchcraft and the town burning a witch, without proof she was a witch during the witch trials and also speaking of McCarthyism.  As well as hell hounds (yay Supernatural territory!) and the wolf coming for the people.  With explanations of what a hell hound is, guarding the gates of hell.
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Still Scully you're sceptical after all these years! A boy, Andrew, walks into the woods after seeing a TV character, Mr Chuckle Teeth (I know others have said it but clearly that could only have come from the mind of Stephen King himself) but WTH was that character anyway.  With the children singing about going to hell in that song.  A cross between a clown and a spooky doll?  He follows Chuckles into the woods and is attacked.  The police are called and when Mulder and Scully arrive they believe that the officers are protecting Rick Eggers: the boy's father.  As she says that he was probably attacked by someone aged 19-42 and that he's probably aroused by the crime, as well as being local.  So they can't not suspect Rick (Jason Gray-Stanford).  She doesn't believe it was an animal attack.

Examining the DB, she says there were marks that could have been caused post mortum by an animal, but she still thinks it was murder.  Scully can't believe how a child's death is still painful since Mulder adds it's the loss of innocence.  He finds a substance on the Andrew's leg which appears to be salt.  Lucky he didn't eat it then, not there anyway.  Scully refers to Mulder's time in violent crime and how she profiled the killer.  As Scully talks with the chief (Alex Carter) in the hopes to question Rick, the chief says that it wasn't Rick.  Of course Wentworth (Roger Cross) tells Rick of Scully's profile and he immediately looks up the sex offernder's database.  Coming up with a Melvin Peter (Ken Godmere) who hasn't registered but lives here.  Rick sets off to his house followed by Chief Strong and Scully.  The house is empty.

Mulderis still at the CS and sees a wolf in the woods as she calls him down.  A warrant for the house leads to a monkey in a cage and also some outfits and that of Chuckles too.  Scully puts it down to John Wayne Gacy (the clown killer) and Mulder still goes with witchcraft, it can't be ruled out.  He speaks with the witness everyone is keeping from them, the little girl, Emily (Emma Oliver) also in the park and she's watching an equally perverse variation of the Tellytubbies called Bibble Tickles and they looked right scary and alien-like.  What were they doing subliminally hypnotizing the towns children whilst spaced out.  She only saw Andrew go into the forest and her mother, Anna (Erin Chambers) asks if Mulder has children. mentioning William, not by name, but that he's grown up.  He also looks at the witchcraft books on the shelf and a witch's Grimoire.  She says they belong to her husband, the chief.  Yeah small town. 

Later Emily too disappears after seeing a Tubby at the window and ends up dead in the woods too.  The chief blames himself for unleashing the demonic curse cos he's a lustful man and having an affair with Diane (Sharon Taylor) Rick's wife.  Rick knowing about the affair.  He finds Peter as he drives into town and proceeds to beat him up.  Mulder finds more salt and he discovers the magic circle where witchcraft was being performed in the woods.  There's a call on the radio about Rick and Wentworth tries to stop him beating up Peter.  As they arrive, they still can't stop Rick as he shoots him in the head.

At Rick's bail hearing, Mulder says the suspect is around here and they talk of hell hounds again and he says that cos he's a policeman he'll be let off.  He's released and he goes after the chief, confronting Diane about knowing of the affair and she says she's leaving him.  She sees Andrew in    the road and her car turns over.  As the chief returns home he finds Rick there who's been seeing Chuckles in the house.  He shoots Rick dead.  As Mulder and Scully arrive she notices salt outside and they head back to the the CS.  The chief looks for Diane and sees her car, then sees her in the woods.  Obviously it was his wife since Mulder finds the Grimoire is missing.  Of course she was the only suspect and in the circle she tries to stop what she started.  The wolf attacks the chief and as Mulder and Scully arrive, she goes up in flames.

Mulder still says it was witchcraft and Scully tells him to stop taking the stance of the tourist poster, asking about the hell hounds as well.  She can't wait to leave.  I actually thought Mr Chuckle Teeth sounded much better as Mr Chuckle Cheese.  Such mayhem and loss over a curse that Anna placed on Diane, man she could've just left that creepy town anyway, cos none of them were worth the trouble of all this spell fiasco.  Cos no, it doesn't all come back to backfire does it. Especially when she didn't know what she was dealing with.  There's always a price to pay when magic is involved and I didn't need to get that from Once Upon A Time either! Ha.

Notice the chief's daughter was named Emily, not really alluding to an earlier season 5 ep title Emily who was a girl with Scully's genes.  Again Scully was listening to Mulder's witchcraft explanation, when they had already come across all this in Chinga.  Perhaps new writers should have done their homework (even if there might be a few new viewers to the show who required an explanation.  Mulder could've said she knows all this as they've encountered it before and that's all that would've been needed. 

Scully thanking Mulder earlier for having his back when he tells them she's a god medical examiner.  With Mulder's reply: "you're my homie."  Propelling the show well into the twenty-first century in terms of today's lingo!  Ha. 

I mentioned Postmodern Prometheus for the quotes:
Scully: "Isn’t it obvious?  I think that what we’re seeing here is an example of the culture for whom daytime talk shows and tabloid headlines have - have become a reality against which they measure their lives – a culture so obsessed with the media and a chance for self-dramatization that they’ll do anything in order to gain a spotlight."
Mulder: "I am alarmed that you would reduce these people to a cultural stereotype. Not everybody’s dream is to get on Jerry Springer."
Scully: "Psychologists often speak of the denial of an unthinkable evil or a misplacement of shared fears.  Anxieties taking the form of a hideous monster for whom the most horrific human attributes can be ascribed. What we can’t possibly imagine ourselves capable of we can blame on the ogre, on the hunchback, on the lowly half-breed."  As the conversation they had outside Melvin Peter's house reminded me of this with Scully's explanation of having Gacy on their hands and all that witchcraft exposition.
Also if it hadn't been for Scully's premature profile, Peter would still be alive.

However I also mentioned this as the Postmodern quote was one I used in one of my very first articles to be published on the correlation between the proliferation of chat shows and also the X-Files.  Guess I'll have to get that out and post it.

Guest stars; Alex Carter played Det Vartann in CSI and Jason Gray-Stanford played Lt Disher in Monk, so clearly they were in familiar territory.  No pun!   This was Roger Cross's fifth appearance in the series and he's played numerous police roles over the years. 

Thursday, 8 March 2018

My Constantine Letter of 2015 and What I Would Write Today

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Hold steadfast and firm and not give up...for we fight together...

Letter to Networks/Executives/CEOs/TV Channels: In US or UK and other countries globally.  To anyone who generally has any pull in such matters.  As well as a genuine interest in bringing back our anti-hero CONSTANTINE to our screens.  Even for a few episode short season run.

The figures spoke for themselves in res ipsa loquitur form and they were high for a new show that had yet to settle down.  And that it did! Constantine did find an audience and fans.  It garnered a following which took everyone by surprise and perhaps one reason why NBC was so unprepared for this storm.

We must keep the momentum flowing and dedicated viewers and fans alike have started a #SaveConstantine campaign on social media.  Not just on Twitter which has an immensely wide reaching audience.  It is with great trepidation and determination; that we urged NBC to reconsider its decision to cancel Constantine after only one season.  Unable to find its footing immediately it was a steady riser in the ratings.

But I, along with others also encourage in our thousands for other networks to consider a comeback for season 2.  These include; Netflix, The CW, AmazonPrime et al.  Including in the UK, Sky, E4 and generally other channels with an already established audience for such a supernatural show.
Even HBO could could find a home for this occult detective bringing it to a more adult-orientated viewership with a more darker and grittier plot and storylines.  
Ending on a cliffhanger did nothing to appease fans or the series.  But NBC in its decision instead chose to alienate its viewers driving away many from watching its other shows.

The time to act is now before this masterfully colourful character completely disappears from our screens forever.  Not to mention the loss we will all feel if Matt Ryan is unable to revive this beloved character!  Contracts won't last and the cast will inevitably move on.

We implore you in the most stronger terms to consider this show for your schedules with a guaranteed following and fanbase there is nothing to lose but everything to gain.

To all fans: we must unite in this fight to the mightiest front in showing our force and how serious we are.  We won't be divided or give up.

It was shocking, to say the least, that a network such as NBC was unable to make a go of such a successful TV show that it spoke volumes without the need for justification of the mess that the network made of it.

Fans must continue the uphill battle.  We urge you to listen to the pleas and consider how excellent this would be for your network.  Or how easily it cold be turned into amid-season replacement.

The above was the gist of the letter back in 2015 that I sent out to various outlets/networks etc.

Apparently NBC did the same to many shows over the years: premature cancellation.  Including Dark Skies as I said, it aired it on a Saturday night.  Not happy with the ratings it was also axed after season 1.  Ambitwatch wrote about the 3 Award Nominations Dark Skies had received and commented: "when will NBC execs learn to hold onto and develop their SF properties?"  This cold easily be translated to Constantine.  Not sci-fi per se but an occult, supernatural, comic book drama.  Finding itself ousted cos it was also considered too "out there" and not right for this network.  Constantine received 7 Award nominations.

As a side note: if I re-wrote this today I would have added: (well I just did!)
We fans have persevered long enough.  Bringing Constantine back is taken much more effort than was fully anticipated back in 2015.  Also partly since many have given up - alas - even though the momentum still continues on Twitter!

We need a network for the fans; listening to our fan requests and pleas needs to get on board with this show and give any producer who is still willing to and is interested staunchly, the opportunity for another stab at Constantine.  We cannot let Constantine and Matt playing him further - be forgotten.  No matter how disheartening or how it appears to be falling on deaf ears.  The time for battle continues; our time is now!

Worth noting how for any voice that keeps speaking and ears that keep listening we will, as fans, continue steadfastly and loyally our support for Matt Ryan in his performances: future or otherwise, portrayals of John Constantine.  We will commence to voice our discontent.  But this will always be translated and shown to be positive support in our attempts to revive a show we have watched and loved and taken to our hearts and has become a part of our souls!

Constantine deserves a new home as it will always have a continuous and everlasting audience.
Matt deserves to film all the episodes as far as the comics will allow!

The last word: - everytime Constantine has appeared on other shows in the Arrowverse:  Arrow and Legends of Tomorrow - the ratings have rocketed.  That in and of itself is proof positive there is life in the petty dabbler yet.  That Matt Ryan isn't going anywhere as long as there are calls for him to continue with John Constantine: he is on board!  Either in his stand-alone show or the Waverider!
So let's set sail on this new adventure and revive for a season 2. 

Paranormal Lockdown 3.2 "Wildwood Sanitorium" Review

Episode 2 of the show was just as intriguing as the others gone before.  There's just something more visual about the mansions they visit, visually stunning, even if they are run down or in need of repair; which were once sanatoriums or homes.  That lingering presence of the spirits and particularly when they are possessive and obsessive of their territories.  Which was the same with Dr Henderson who ran his clinic there at Wildwood Sanitorium, New York State.  Though he wanted to help patients, Nick said he was controlling of his patients and how medical help was administered to them.  As was obvious from the male shadow figure that Brooke sees there.  Brooke and her mother, Laurie wanted Nick and Katrina to investigate and find why Laurie was compelled to buy this place.  Already encountering spirits and poltergeist activity.

From their initial walk-through it was apparent there would be plenty activity here, with Nick feeling being touched and massaged as the place was an osteopathic clinic too.  Katrina feeling intense pressure in her head, and the situations were reversed wen Nick felt the pressure and Katrina felt being poked in the back, like someone trying to massage a knot.  What was amazing was how that forty pound mirror just crashed down from the wall as if it was pulled, which was put down to poltergeist activity.  However it was as if it was actually ripped from the wall in anger or serving as a warning to keep clear of his "space" rather than a poltergeist. (See below)

Also the Geobox got some amazing results too, such as "you are an observer" since they are investigators and I'm sure the name "Anne or Anna" came through too.  NB Will add more later, as I need to watch this episode for a second viewing!  For max benefit ha!
Okay here are the additions'
The digital recordings captured the following:
"there's always been" to the question of whether it's always been in this house.
Katrina asking if it knocked down the mirror, it replies: "I did that."
Nick asks "are you upstairs right now?" 
Reply: "come and look."
I heard "Bishop" on the Geobox, not "injured."
When the seance is mentioned and if something happened I heard the reply "lots of kids" it even sounds a little like lost of kissing..."??

Nick's name came through a lot and in one of the voices it sounds so uncannily like Katrina saying "Nick."

"Something's up in there" - the attic.

The "alright" sounded like Nick's voice.

Actually Nick came to wake up Katrina and she was already up.  This time round she made comments about her hair in the mirror and Nick didn't fix his hair, hmm, sure he didn't do that last ep either!  However the second night, Katrina heard walking and voices and thought it was Nick, which was strange since he was on the third floor and she was on the first floor.  She thought it was mimicking Nick.  Which was credible since later his name came through on the recorder.

The aggressive voices captured at the end on the digital recorder when it said "get out Nick" even mentioning him by name.  Clearly that male presence felt threatened by another male being there, especially as it would be unable to control him.  But also with the attic door moving and Nick being the one to see this as a lure for him to go up there.  Though nothing happened when he did; but he did get a feeling of something being up there and trying to keep them away from the downstairs room where the mirror fell.  Saying it stays there and then comes down to make noises and be a nuisance in many ways.  As Nick set up the laser module there later (not in the attic) and the quartz crystals, which would heat up to show a presence.  As well as picking up "f** that bitch" when Katrina asked the names of the people in the house.  Well at least we got to listen to the expletives without being bleeped out!

Other voices that were recorded including
"leave...this is mine..."  See very territorial, it had to be the doctor.
These came through on the Audio application used by Nick.  Including:
"that's what you should be afraid of...the attic..."  As said nothing happened when he was there.
"they watch you..."
In response to Katrina asking "who broke the mirror?"  The response was "'cause I can...'"  Or as I tweeted when Nick put a camera in that room and put a trigger device there that would sound when touched and funnily he slept there but nothing happened, until the next night when it was ripped off the mirror when they were upstairs!  Yes, sorry as I was saying I tweeted it was almost like it was telling them 'this is my mirror now and I'm taking it over,' after smashing the other one in rage.

When they asked what made them buy the house, the reply was "daughter" and "psychic."  Uncanny since it wasn't revealed until the end that Brooke is psychically connected to spirits and has been seeing spirits since she was three.  Also explaining why Laurie was brought here: the spirits wanted the house renovated but in the way they want, back to how it used to be for them.  As well as explaining the tonnes of activity there and perhaps also the dark presence.  It's almost an echo of the Winchester Mystery House in the spirits wanting rooms built and planned by them.  Although here they just want their house back.  It was good that Nick and Katrina didn't know of Brooke's abilities until night 3 when they brought them back since it helped them also find that there was a connection with Brooke and the house and the spirits she's seen.

A very active episode and there was more energy there after Brooke and Laurie returned and since there was a thunder storm the first night, also providing the house with more energy.  As "energy" also came through twice on the Geobox.  Nick adding that the activity should die (oops no pun) down after the renovations are completed to their satisfaction.  Brooke also tells them that she laid down blessed salt in the rooms, but she missed one in which there was the most activity now.  Also thought that was another reason why there was such a heavy storm that night, it perhaps would help to wash away the salt since there were many leaks in the house.

NB: the room with all the mirrors where Katrina felt they had a seance and Nick commented on mirrors being used as a gateway.  SO glad I wrote about that too when I wrote my Supernatural book all those years ago!  It's a fascinating subject.  Here's an extract:
… … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … …