In My Humble Opinion: The third series of Peaky Blinders was by far the most intricate and complex series to date. The series was filled with captivating plot points, great performances and shocking moments…I mean who thought Grace was going to die? Okay maybe I had some suspicions, but shit, the second episode? Creator Steven Knight created an episode cliffhanger that rivals most season cliffhangers when Grace Burgess, played by Annabelle Wallis was shot in the chest leaving the audience wondering if she would be alive or dead in the following episode. That moment in the series truly caught me off guard, but honestly wasn’t the most powerful scene of the series, at least in my opinion. To me, the best scene of the series was when Cillian Murphy’s character Thomas Shelby and Tom Hardy’s character Alfie Solomons had their very heated exchange after Tommy Shelby’s son had been kidnapped. The chemistry between the two actors is undeniable and the show really capitalizes on that in this particular scene. Throughout the 3rd series Cillian Murphy’s character had been trying to become the “respectable” figure and prove to others (and to himself) that he and his family should be included in the dignified and revered classes of society. Of course, things never really work out as they’re supposed to and the scene between Tommy and Alfie serves as a wake up call to Tommy and reminds him that he’s no better than the criminals and gangsters he’s working so hard to get away from. After all, as Alfie so eloquently puts it, “He who fights by the sword, he fucking dies by it.” Eventually, Tommy embraces the fact that he’s a bad man who does bad things and attempts to convey this message to his family who…aren’t exactly the most receptive (except for Michael, who I think will eventually become as cold and disconnected as Tommy). The series ends on the cliffhanger of all cliffhangers with Tommy being left alone, and while he does explain to his family that he has a plan to get them all freed from prison, it’s the first time in the Series (and I mean Series 1,2, and 3) that we see Tommy truly alone and wonder if he really can find a way out of the situation he’s found himself in!
In 2029, the leader of the human resistance, John Connor, leads the war against the machines. At the Los Angeles offensive, John is notified by his army unit, Tech-Com, that Skynet will attack him from two fronts, past and future, and will ultimately change warfare forever. In response, he sets up 2 units; the Colorado Unit which is tasked with destroying the heart of Skynet, and a second unit lead by himself and Kyle Reese which is tasked with destroying Skynet’s final weapon, a time machine.
Before the resistance can reach the time machine, Skynet sends a T-800 back to 1984 to kill Sarah Connor, John’s mother. John agrees to send Kyle Reese back to protect Sarah. As Kyle is floating in the machine’s magnetic field, he experiences new memories of his 12-year-old self with a young Sarah Connor, and a warning that “Genisys is Skynet” and it will come online in 2017.
The T-800 arrives in 1984 Los Angeles, but is quickly dispatched by Sarah Connor and the Guardian, a reprogrammed T-800 with aged human tissue. Shortly after, Kyle is ambushed by a T-1000 and is rescued by Sarah and the Guardian. Kyle is informed that the original past has changed, Sarah already knows about Skynet, Judgment Day, and Reese’s role as her protector and John Connor’s father (although Kyle doesn’t know he is John’s father). They lure the T-1000 to a sewer, where Sarah disintegrates it with acid.
Sarah explains to Kyle that the Guardian was sent back in time to 1973 in order to protect Sarah the T-1000. The arrival of both terminators caused a fractured timeline that differs from Kyle’s. After saving and protecting Sarah, the Guardian raised and trained her to face her destiny, which she adamantly tries to reject. They have built a time machine to time travel forward to 1997 and stop the creation of Skynet. However, Kyle, convinced by his new memories, persuades the Guardian and Sarah that they should travel to 2017. Kyle and Sarah time-travel, while the Guardian spends the next 30 years preparing for their arrival.
Kyle and Sarah materialize in the middle of a highway and are captured by the police, followed by the Guardian. While they are being treated for injuries, Sarah is introduced to Genisys, a soon-to-be-unveiled operating system that will be used on every computer, mobile device, and military application. They are unexpectedly rescued by John Connor. As John leads the pair to the parking garage, the Guardian catches up with them and shoots John, revealing him to be a nanomachine replication of John, the T-3000. After a brief battle, the T-3000 is temporarily incapacitated with an MRI machine.
The Guardian takes Kyle and Sarah to a safehouse near Golden Gate bridge where they prepare to destroy the Genisys building before Genisys is online. The T-3000 tracks them down, and the battle reaches the Golden Gate bridge, where Kyle and Sarah are once again captured, this time with the Guardian. They are freed by Detective O’Brien, who was saved by Kyle in 1984, and is convinced that they are time-travellers with good intentions. The three hijack a helicopter and head to the Genisys building, pursued by the T-3000.
The T-3000 enters the Genisys building first, kills all the security guards and moves the count down forward from 13 hours to 15 minutes. The Guardian, Kyle and Sarah plant bombs at key points in the facility, all while holding off the T-3000. After a lengthy battle, the Guardian successfully traps the T-3000 in the magnetic field of the prototype time machine. After Kyle and Sarah navigate to a bunker beneath the facility, the time machine explodes, setting off the bombs and leveling the building, preventing Genisys from coming online.
With their mission over, the Guardian, Kyle and Sarah travel to young Kyle’s home, where he repeats the warning of Genisys to young Kyle. Sarah is relieved to know that she is now free to choose what to do with her future, and chooses to be with Kyle. The three then drive away. In the epilogue, the Genisys system core hidden in a subterranean chamber survives the explosion and the holographic projection of the now self-aware Skynet looks on.
In Travis’ Humble Opinion:
In attempting to review this week’s episode of the Walking Dead, I’ve had a hard time not making it about all the things that are and have been frustrating me about the entire series. Maybe it’s because this week’s episode was a good example of a bunch of them or maybe it’s just that some of the issues the show is having are making it harder for me to enjoy it. Either way, big sigh, here we go.
Right out of the gate we get a completely irrelevant flashback about character Bob Stookey, about whom we know little at this point, other than he was/is an alcoholic and he has some medical training maybe. So here we go with the writers (and I feel inclined to blame Robert Kirkman primarily because I don’t like him) beating us over the head with this “new found” focus on character development. So what does this little flashback tell us about old Bob? Ummmm…that he wants to be around people because wandering around by yourself sucks? That he’s not afraid to die? I don’t even know really. Then, following the pattern set up for this season, or this half of this season, or whatever it is, the focus is on a couple of smaller groups, in this case some Maggie/Sasha/Bob and some more Daryl /Beth, as if we didn’t get a full dose of that pair last week. Although, I can see why they added the Bethryl (did I just do that?) interludes as the material for the other mini-group is pretty poor.
So stuff happens, conversations are had, characterization happens for some of the people we didn’t know that much about, and at the end of the day, down the road we go again with no end in sight, save some vague place called Terminus that we know even less about than Bob Stookey at the end of this episode, which isn’t much. My opinion? The tease on this place has been way too long already and there’s no way it will live up to this kind of buildup. This is what drives me insane about this show. There is no forward momentum whatsoever, no narrative drive. I mean, I realize they’ve been out there a long time and survival is key, but shouldn’t they at least be attempting to see if there is any salvation to their predicament? Maybe try to at least leave the state of Georgia or the tri-county area at large? Could be the zombie pandemic ends as you head north when you stop seeing Stuckeys, Rick and company will never know because they never leave the 20 mile area around where they’re from. As Sean is fond of pointing out, perhaps T-Dogg’s “let’s head for the coast” idea is starting to look a little more appealing.
So we’ll see what happens next week. Looks like we’re getting a big ol’ dose of Tyrese and Carol, i.e. another week of running in place. I pretty much feel like I could tune out for the next couple of weeks and come back for the season finale and won’t have missed much. In fact, maybe that’s the strategy for the Walking Dead. Watch the first and last episode of each half of each season and just skip all the filler.
In Sean’s Humble Opinion:
The Walking Dead’s pace lately has been snail-like at best. Extending this season to 16 episodes is probably one of the worst things the show could have done. We’ve had far too many “walk around / sit around looking glum” episodes and not enough “defend the prison, fight for your life, run from the walkers, exciting” episodes. I will say that the shining light was Rick hiding while intruders came into the house he was staying in, that at least sparked some excitement and suspense. Other than that the sluggish pace can be blamed on the fact that the creators/show runners want to focus on characterization…fine with me, but surely there are ways you can do this and be more exciting than Ben Stein calling attendance, “Bueller, Bueller, Bueller…” Here are my biggest issues with the most recent episode Alone.
- Okay, I know I said “this episode” but I have to get this off my chest. When you watch The Walking Dead lately, are you like me in that you think you’ve accidently turned on the Outdoor Network? I mean I understand the survivors want stay away from populated cities where there’s lots of walkers, but seriously these characters spend more time in the woods than Jeremiah Johnson.
- Characterization: The opening flashback of Bob walking alone. Okay, if it was to help us learn more about him, about the only thing I learned was that…he got used to walking alone. Oh and he’s an alcoholic, sorta. I mean all it really shows is him sipping on some cough medicine right? And haven’t we already established he’s a drunk? He openly admitted it to Daryl at the beginning part of the season. If you want to develop characters through the flashback concept, then take a cue from Lost and show what these characters were like BEFORE all this happened. I mean honestly, Glenn, a character that’s been with us since the beginning, all we know about him is that he used be a pizza boy? Oh and don’t treat the past like a big mystery. The whole, “What did Daryl do before the apocalypse” was somewhat entertaining, but why not treat the viewer to a flashback of what his life was really like. Instead of him telling the story about him, Merle and the tweaker, show it! Doing this will help the viewer’s connect more with the characters and be a welcomed change of pace.
- The Fog scene – Pretty cool – But really? 4 seasons that span what…3 to 4 years and you just now came up with it?
- Daryl and Beth coming up on a graveyard was pretty ironic I thought. Though I was little confused when Daryl says, “We’ll just take some” then in a shot later in the episode it looks like they pretty much took everything…screw whoever lives here!
- Maggie, Bob, and Sasha’s camp. Seriously? How close do you want to let Walkers get? The trip wires with hub caps tied on were close enough a walker could pretty much reach out and grab one of them from it? Even if you heard the hub caps clang together, you’d have about what 5 seconds at most?
- Why is there any argument whatsoever about going to Terminus? Sasha doesn’t wanna go because she wants to “survive” and they should stop at the first town they come to. Hey, why not travel to a town that says…”Those who arrive, survive” seems like you’ll be accomplishing your survival goal if you head that-a-way that right? It was a pathetic excuse to have this group break up and then have a big emotional reunion at the end. I can still see Maggie walking up and smiling ear to ear so happy to see Bob again. Hey, you could have solved all this by…not leaving in the first friggin place! You can’t have a great joyous reunion with people who voluntarily left one another!
- Our perceptions of these people are based solely on assumptions or stereotypes we subscribe to. I keep reading about how these characters have changed so much, but what evidence do we really have to base that on? Glenn was a pizza boy; we’re assuming he’s changed because we have assumptions of what a pizza boy’s life would be like. Okay, yeah they’ve changed since we first met them, but the show could take this so much further. We assume Rick is this natural leader with morals of the highest regard, but think back to when the series began and he was talking about the issues he was having with Lorrie. Maybe he had an affair that sparked all that, maybe he was a drunk before it all happened too. There’s just so much you could do with the flash back idea that would create a little momentum in the show and not this ho-hum, “let’s get to Terminus and have it not live up the hype that we’ve created for it whatsoever” vibe.
In My Humble Opinion: It’s not tragic to die doing what you love, but it is tragic that Hollywood seems so fresh out of ideas that it has to yet again recycle a movie that has already been made. Not sure if you’ve heard yet but the word around the campfire is Point Break will receive its very own Hollywood remake and Gerard Butler will be surfing in to take over the role of bank robbing / Zen surfer dude Bodhi, a role previously filled by Patrick Swayze. If you check out IMDB, the remake is confirmed and slated for a 2015 release. As is my typical practice, let me be completely up front; I have nothing against Gerard Butler or the original Point Break itself.
As far as Gerard Butler goes, I think he’s a pretty decent actor that can certainly portray the ultimate bad ass when it comes to action films (300 anybody? Oh and he was brutal in Olympus Has Fallen). In fact, when the rumor was circulating that he could be stepping in to take over as Snake Plissken in a planned Escape From New York remake, I found myself cautiously optimistic (the cautious part was more because of the remake itself not the casting). Low and behold this was not meant to be and rumors continue to circulate on who will eventually fill the role once filled by Kurt Russell (personally, Josh Holloway seems like a no-brainer).
As far as Point Break goes, let’s be honest; the original 1991 film directed by Kathryn Bigelow isn’t exactly Oscar material but still a pretty entertaining movie nonetheless. Patrick Swayze embraced the role he was given and received acclaim for his portrayal of Bodhi. And let’s be honest, any movie in which you can have Keanu Reeves pretending to be a dim-witted surfer dude is obviously playing to the actor’s strengths. That being said, how many more remakes is Hollywood going to subject us to? I think that’s probably my biggest apprehension when it comes to the remake genre itself. There’s been so many remakes that don’t hold a candle to the original (there is the occasional success) it’s almost insulting that Hollywood keeps churning them out. I’ve always said that you don’t have to literally remake the movie; just take the plot and change the environment and abracadabra you’ve got yourself a new movie. I mean after all, didn’t Hollywood “remake” this once already but instead of using surfboards it used cars and called it Fast and the Furious?
In my Humble Opinion: The zombie walk was something new for me and the family. I have to say…it was a blast.