Monday, September 29, 2014

The Suspect / Yong-eui-ja (2013)

I haven't made up my mind how to name my posts when movie has non-English titles. Posts are in English and Google probably find them better in English. This time there were two movies from 2013 with name The Suspect. That is why I added original name to title.

Rakkautta & Anarkiaa is film festival I usually get most of my yearly dose of Asian movies. Festival has good selection of them and they don't usually get to theaters in Finland. This year I missed couple movies since I was too busy during festival. The Suspect is first Asian movie I saw this year's festival.

Protagonist is Dong-cheul, former North Korean elite agent. He was betrayed and his wife and daughter killed. Now he is in South Korea looking for the killer. I know he told in trailer he was looking for his daughter. That was stupid choice. He will be looking for his daughter after he learns she might still be alive. That was the twist of the movie and you tell it in trailer. The angle was well written and told in couple great scenes.

Movie is 137 minutes long action thriller. There is about 45 minutes too much. Cutting the action and some repetitive  flashback and this would have been good movie. It has lot of good things like interesting characters, good story and some great scenes. There were too much chasing. Flashbacks were repeated with little additions every times. Last time they told something interesting. Until that they only added length. During chase scenes I just waited them to end. The story was much more interesting and I wanted to see it.

Movie had only one clearly bad guy, who used situation between  North and South Korea for his advantage. Other characters had more dimensions in them. Some may seem to be evil at first but may later turn out to have some good in them and be victims of situations. Characters grow during  movie and we see sides of the we don't expect. Good characters give us great scenes. Best moments happen when we anticipate action to start, aftermath of action scene or calm moments during action scenes.

Characters were written well, but same can't be said of main espionage story. At times it felt like that story was put on hold. Like movie itself knew how bad it was and told it only when it had to. Either I missed something important of it or it was stupid. I am not sure what had happened if Dong-cheul's boss wasn't killed. It started the espionage story and made officials chase Dong-cheul.

Why movie had to be so long? It seem like movies have to be over two hours these days even if there is not content for more than one and half hours. This would have made good one and half hour movie if right parts were cut off. I am not against long movies. Next day I sat in theater for five hours watching two part movie and didn't feel it was too long. It depends on movie, if it works longer or not. This didn't. To underline it, movie didn't end at cigarette buying scene. It had couple scenes after that natural ending scene.


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Thursday, September 25, 2014

Doctor Who: Time Heist (2014)

SPOILER WARNING!!! This post spoils Doctor Who episode Time Heist (2014).

The big thing and few other reasons have prevented my from going to Rakkautta & Anarkiaa screenings. I wanted to do few movies from the festival, but I don't seem to make it to screenings. Probably I should have made better plans. I will try to get to couple movies during weekend and write about them here.

Back to topic at hand. Time Heist is first average episode of eight season. Some characters may come back later, but big story line wasn't moved forward. Episode felt too much like Ocean's Eleven. Ocean's gang stole from Las Vegas casino. Doctor's gang from safest bank in the universe. Doctor's gang consists of Doctor, Clara, Psi and Saibra. Saibra is much like X-men's Rogue. When Rogue takes victim's personality and superpowers, Saibra takes victims appearance. They can't control their powers, anyone they touch is their victim. This episode didn't use implications of that power more than couple lines. Those, who know Rogue, know what that kind of power does to you and what story opportunities it gives.

All have wiped their memories. Psi has done that earlier too. He can't remember his past. Others can't remember why they are at the bank or what they are stealing. They only have instructions from architect. Gang tries to understand why they have accepted to do this and what they are doing.

Premise is interesting. Episode could have been better if it was more character driven. Psi and Saibra were interesting characters. Too bad they didn't live up to the premise. Movie focused too much to the job instead of the characters. I think the plan was overly complicated and relayed too much on change and gang to be on correct place at correct time. We were teased of thing later turn out to not being true. It was disappointing to learn the truth.

Episode surely had lot of walking in artistically light corridors, when characters had transporters capable of transporting them anywhere. Sure, corridors looked nice, but they would be very impractical in real life. What really was point of the plan? Memory wipe was to distract telepathic creature, but they could escape from it by teleporting and they could teleport anywhere in the bank. Maybe not to vault, but they could teleport everywhere they needed to be to open the vault door. To underline this, Doctor had left briefcases around bank before they started to job. So why walk and risk getting caught when you can transport?


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Monday, September 22, 2014

Pulp: a Film about Life, Death & Supermarkets (2014)

I saw this at Rakkautta & Anarkiaa film festival. Screening was followed by Q&A with director Florian Habicht, producer Alex Boden and drummer of Pulp Nick Banks.

Movie interviews people in Sheffield before and after the last Pulp concert. Band is interviewed too and there is some music from last concert and albums. But that is not the main point. Director Florian Habicht told his inspiration for movie was not to make regular rock band document like Queen documents he watched as kid. That really shows. Movie is much more art movie than your regular rock band movies. Florian didn't want to do this only for Pulp fans. That was reason why there was less Pulp than you might expect from Pulp movie.

Pulp was always more like art students that rock stars. Lyrics were more intellectual and had more depth than your average rock lyrics. Songs were about common people and their gloomy lives. This movie shows us those people. Movie is almost over the top gloomy and gray. It doesn't show Pulp as successful band. It shows band members as common people, who doesn't want to be on spotlight. Except Jarvis Cocker, who must have so terrible life because he is so well known. He can't do the normal things and that is the worst thing that can happen to you. Then comes last Pulp concert. In the concert everyone can forget their gloomy lives and enjoy the music. But it will end and everyone must get back to their normal lives.

It felt like Pulp members weren't most interesting characters of the movie. Jarvis Cocker was among most interesting, but rest of the band were quite mundane. The kids stole the show. They were only ones wanting to be famous. Older ones knew they shouldn't seek anything more than they are getting. Kids were found when crew went to interview other people. Other people got only ten minutes interview and then crew interviewed the kids for an hour. Florian Habrcht told he felt bad to have scheduled interview so short, but he knew those kids would be on the movie.

Movie is not just for Pulp fans. It is for Pulp fans and people who want to see movies where life is poor, gloomy and grey. Movie has some Pulp music and few Pulp covers by common people. I liked it even when it was bit too gloomy and let the band take back seat.

I already covered few answers from Q&A. Nick told there wouldn't be new Pulp album in near future since making albums is so hard and the band is so lazy. Alex told the last concert was shot and Jarvis Cocker has been interested releasing it, but it is not as easy as pressing the button. He didn't promise anything, but it is not impossible that it will be released. Five song from concert will be as extra material on movie's dvd release. Probably on blu ray too if they release that. They only talked about dvd. Nick told his favorite Pulp concert was Glastonbury 1995, where Pulp was called to head line the show with two weeks warning after The Stone Roses had to cancel. Band was recording their biggest album Different Class at the time. Band was scared to do the show, but it became one of their greatest. It was the first time people heard songs from Different class.


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Thursday, September 18, 2014

Doctor Who: Listen (2014)

SPOILER WARNING!!! This post spoils Doctor Who episode Listen (2014).

Listen is latest entry in Steven Moffat's mission to make Doctor Who fans fear everything. It introduces new race, which reminds Weeping Angels and Silence. Weeping Angels moved when you didn't watch. You forget Silence when you don't see them. New race is so good at hiding, we usually don't realize they are everywhere. All three races live among us, but we don't see them. Is Steven Moffat repeating himself?

New race was just introduced in this episode. We learned almost nothing about then. They were at the end of the world after everyone else had died. What race has to do with big picture? So far we had Missy and robots searching promised land for season's continuity. Will the new race be there too? Based on how this episode left thing open, I guess we will see them again.

Eleventh Doctor had couple as companions. 12th seem to have too. Ponds had awkward moments. Clara and Danny seem to have similar problems. This episode start with failed first date. Then Clara and Doctor go to the past, where Clara talks to young Danny and this makes Danny become solder later. When Clara gets back to today, she goes back to date with Danny.

This time date fails because Clara knows things she learned in past she shouldn't know. If things aren't awkward enough yet, Clara meets her and Danny's great-grandson from the future in same café she had date with Danny.

So first date goes like this. Clara and Danny can't stand each others at first date, but try to endure until Clara leaves. Clara meets young Danny and learn more about him. She goes back to café. This time Danny leaves because Clara knows things she shouldn't know. Clara meets her and Danny's great-grandson, which conforms Clara that she and Danny should  be together. She goes to Danny's place and they become lovers. We saw this from Clara's point of view. How weird it was from Danny's point of view?

I think Steven Moffat should not write romances. He is better with scifi stories. Love story was really weird. Story about new race was much more interesting. Episode didn't have own story. I don't count Clara's and Danny's date as such. Everything was to make bigger story go forward. Clara and Danny become couple and new race was introduced. After this episode I started to fear this season will became a mess like 11th Doctor's seasons. So long we have four different stories for this season.  Each seem to have nothing to do with each others.


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Monday, September 15, 2014

Doctor Who: Season 7 (2012-2013)

SPOILER WARNING!!! This post spoils Doctor Who: Season 7 (2012-2013).

Let's start with season number. After this season was 50th anniversary episode. So how this could be 7th season. Well, it isn't. It is officially 7th series. 7th season was aired 1970. After relaunch seasons were called series. I don't like that name and I don't remember seeing that used very much. And classic Doctor Who is not sold as seasons. Classic Doctor Who dvds contain only stories. There is one season collection because that story lasted whole season. Everything else doesn't have whole seasons. So that is why I called this 7th season.

This season has 13 episodes and from one to four special episodes depending how you want to count them. Wikipedia counts 2011 Christmas special to this season. Netflix has 2012 Christmas special, 50th Anniversary episode and 2013 Christmas special. For this post I only count 2012 Christmas special to this season. I already wrote about 50th Anniversary episode and 2013 Christmas special.

Season had one great episode, A Town Called Mercy. Two good episodes, Cold War and Hide. Rest of it is just a mess. A Town Called Mercy happens in wild west town. Cold War happens in Soviet submarine and Hide in haunted mansion. Se pattern? These are small episodes with limited space and cast. When sets and casts grow, episodes become messy. Story doesn't stay consistent within episode and sometimes even less with Doctor Who lore. Journey to the Center of the TARDIS (Yes, this is reason Into the Dalek was named Into the Dalek) is groundhog day episode, except we never see Doctor living same events again and again. He just knows what has happened before. Tardis is filled with events from recent past or near future. It is like Clara lives in this moment and Doctor lives in time loop. Episode could be analysed in long post, but I don't think it would make much sense even after that.

The Angels Take Manhattan was end of first part of the season. It was also last episode with Ponds as companions. Amy and Rory had discussed during previous episodes, how they will and should start to live their normal lives. After this episode they had no choice. Too bad, this episode is complete mess on episode's level and Doctor Who lore level. Episode has Weeping Angels and River Song. Both were introduced during 10th Doctor's run. They became more regular during 11th's run. Main characteristic of Weeping Angels is they can't move is someone is watching them. Even if it is another Weeping Angel. When they are watched they turn into statues. They are good for horror episodes. In regular 11th's run fashion they got new characteristics and lost characteristics depending what episode required. To fully analyze this I should watch all Weeping Angel episodes, but I don't think it would be worth it. Let's just say they are different than before in this episode too.

River Song was introduced as character, whose timeline goes different direction than Doctor's timeline. When Doctor meets River first time, it is last time River meets Doctor and so on. River wasn't time traveller.  During 11th run River became time traveller, semi time lordish and daughter of Amy and Rory. I don't know when timeline thing was changed. Since season finale of sixth season she has moved to same direction in time as Doctor. Or at least in this episode. In season finale she was dead and knew how she died. Did I tell 11th's run was just a big mess?

In episode Rory sees his own death, which meant that in his future Weeping Angels send him back in time and he will spend rest of his life in the room he died. To prevent this he decides to kill himself in slight hope it will create paradox killing Weeping Angels and he could survive. He and Amy jump of the building. Paradox happened and both survive. But all Weeping Angels didn't die right away. One touches Rory sending him back in time. Amy follows him and both are time locked from Doctor. Earlier in episode this fed Weeping Angels. So did Weeping Angels die after all? If they did, why one Weeping Angel could touch Rory after Weeping Angels died?

This is getting quite long. Season finale still to come. Second part of season had new companion Clara. We had seen one version of her in season premiere and different in 2012 Christmas special. Small mystery of second part was, who Clara really is. We don't get real answer until season finale. Main villain of season finale is The Great Intelligence. It is has no physical form. It was introduced to Doctor Who 1967 and appeared again 1968. After that next appearance was 2012 Christmas special, then first episode of second part of the season and the season finale. Character wasn't very consistent during this season. It could have been named differently each time and it would have made more sense. Season finale didn't have much of a build up. Previous episode had nothing to do with season finale. Everything was packed in one regular episode.

In season finale The Great Intelligence goes to Doctor's time line killing Doctor many times. This start to change the whole reality. Clara follows The Great Intelligence and become different versions of herself saving different versions of Doctor time and time again. So if Great Intelligence have tried to kill Doctor and Clara has saved Doctor countless times during Doctor's life time, why we haven't seen them more before this season? During this season we only saw Clara saving Doctor, not The Great Intelligence from Doctor's time line trying to kill him. Unless first episode of second half was one, but that didn't have different version of Clara helping Doctor. You shouldn't write stories like this if you don't care about implications. Whole thing just becomes a big mess without real continuity. It is just what 11th run mostly was. A big mess. 50th Anniversary and 2013 Christmas special kept things more consistent. As has beginning of eight season. There is a change Doctor Who will come good again. 11th run only had few good episode in a big mess.


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Sunday, September 14, 2014

Something BIG is coming next November ...or not...

I can't tell you what will or will not happen then. November is second anniversary of this blog. This weekend I  got great idea how to celebrate it and how to improve Kvesti on Movies and Stuff. If idea works, I could combine many things I like to do into Kvesti on Movies and Stuff. There is still problem that it has to work and I need to test it. And do some investments, but I already have almost everything I need. Because I am doing this testing and building, I might need to drop posting schedule to one post a week and have breaks. I am not sure if I need to do that. I still continue with two posts per week schedule until I see I need to drop another.

Second anniversary post will show you my great idea or tell why it didn't work. There is still over two months to go and many things can happen.


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Thursday, September 11, 2014

Doctor Who: Robot of Sherwood (2014)

SPOILER WARNING!!! This post spoils Doctor Who episode Doctor Who: Robot of Sherwood (2014).

Back to 12th Doctor and eight season. 12th Doctor starts to became my third favorite Doctor with Sixth Doctor. Fourth and Tenth are still above others. If 12th Doctor continue to have this good episodes, he will leave Sixth Doctor behind.

This episode brought classic Doctor Who feeling first time since relaunch. I don't know what it was, but something make this feel like classic Doctor Who. It might be because for a first time since relaunch Doctor didn't try to be nice guy all the time. Before this he has been angry, but this time he is grumpy and whiny. It reminded me of Fourth and Sixth Doctor.

I get more into problems of seventh season next Monday. One problem is lack of season length continuity. Eight season seems to have every episode doing something for season's continuity. This episode had promised land again. Missy had break this time.  Robots search for promised land like in first episode. Is that Gallifrey or something else?

Classic Doctor Who was skeptical hero. At fist glance problems seemed supernatural, but closer inspection revealed rational explanation. Relaunch toned that down a bit and 11th Doctor was magic and fantasy. This episode brought little of skeptical world view back. Except the legend turns about real. But there was rational explanation to some of the strange things. I hope this skeptical world view stays with series. It is one of the things which made classic Doctor Who so good.

Now that we got to analyze classic Doctor, there is one more thing. Let's get back to continuity. Classic Doctor Who had stories lasting over several episodes, even stories lasting whole season. First season after relaunch had main story elements on several episodes. Everything stayed consistent. Tenth Doctor had less of a main story over several episodes. He still had season finale over several episodes and taking somethings from earlier episodes. Everything still stayed consistent. 11th Doctor's run was just a mess. There were main story over seasons, but everything was too inconsistent. Like few fans had told what they wanted and every wish was put into show. 12th Doctor seems to get back to simpler times, when seasons had themes and things were consistent over episodes. I will get back to that mess thing in my next post.

This was third episode and third version of 12th Doctor. I like all versions. Every version suited for the story. It is interesting to see what kind of Doctor we see in next episode. I might be analyzing this too much. Every version we have seen could be parts of one person. First episodes always study the characters. In later episodes characters stays more consistent.


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Monday, September 8, 2014

Doctor Who: A Town Called Mercy (2012)

SPOILER WARNING!!! This post spoils Doctor Who episode A Town Called Mercy (2012).

This blog may be confusing to read from now on. I have done two episodes from eight season, this one is from seventh season and next post may be from eight season. So, this is seventh season with Matt Smith as 11th Doctor and Ponds as companions.

Seventh season started with two mediocre episodes. In second episode Doctor practically kills a man, but that doesn't cause any reactions. Then comes third episode, which is one of the best Doctor Who episodes. It feels like mediocre episodes until the twist. Episode reminded me of Star Trek episode The Conscience of the King. Both are about good men, who have done terrible things and justice. I try to do The Conscience of the King soon.

Doctor and companions arrive to wild west town called Mercy. Mercy is terrorized by Gunslinger, who doesn't let anyone in or out. He is looking for alien doctor. Doctor is not that doctor. That doctor is Jex, who has helped the town. Doctor tries to help Jex escape the Gunslinger. He solos during execution of the plan and finds out who Jex really is. Jex is scientist, who has done terrible experiments while building cyborg warriors. Gunslinger is one of those warriors. Gunslinger tells Doctor, he will bring justice to Jex and next person coming out of Mercy better be Jex, because he will kill that person.

At town Doctor sees things are not as black and white as they seemed. Jex did terrible experiments and build cyborgs. He did that to stop the war that was destroying his planet. Doctor should not judge what Jex did by peace time standards. After all Doctor is not that different from Jex. Jex has just stepped over couple more lines. Gunslinger is malfunctioning cyborg, who hunts down everyone, who built cyborg. Doctor doesn't like what Jex tells him. He is ready to give Jex to Gunslinger. Others stop him. Gunslinger gives ultimatum to Mercy to give Jex to him or he kills everyone in Mercy.

Episodes goes to very interesting territory giving us points why Mercy should give Jex and why they should not. Does Jex deserve justice and what his punishment should be. He is not evil scientist or good doctor. He is both. Things are not as black and white as they seemed at first glance. I spoiled the major twist. I won't spoil the ending.

I was surprised to see Ben Browder's name on episode's credits at IMDB. I didn't see him during the episode. When I checked again, he was in episode, but he acted so good that I didn't realize he was there. He was in one of my favorite television series Farscape and now in one of my favorite Doctor Who episodes.


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Thursday, September 4, 2014

Doctor Who: Into the Dalek (2014)

SPOILER WARNING!!! This post spoils Doctor Who episodes Into the Dalek (2014) and Dalek (2005)

Into the Dalek is many ways remake of 9th Doctor's episode Dalek. First episode after time war featuring Dalek. There is one Dalek and Doctor learning about each others. Dalek goes berserk and start fighting human. In the end Dalek makes his choice which involves stop killing humans.

Dalek gave us information about time war. This episode gave us nothing of that sort. Anniversary episode changed the time war. That probably changed Daleks too. But nothing about that here. It was like episode had nothing to do with time war. I don't know how much this changed Daleks' anatomy. It felt like changes were made to have this story. I am not big enough fan to remeber if Daleks have been as connected to their suits as in this episode.

12th Doctor's theme seems to be Doctor not trying to prevent deaths and sometimes to contribute for dying of others. He doesn't want anyone to die, but he accept other's death as only choice quite easily. And Missy is there to pick up the dead. I still think she is time lord and Doctor's ex-wife or former girlfriend. I am really disappointed, if Missy turns out to be Classic Doctor's villain Rani. I liked Rani, but it would be stupid to bring her with new name and then reveal her to be Rani. That was done with Master, but then it made sense since we didn't know him to be anything special. Now we know Missy is something special.

This Doctor will certainly be different than any of earlier Doctor's. I had to check couple time did I saw what really happened. This time he wasn't as defeated as in first episode. This was closer to what I expected. This Doctor's actions are closer to what Ninth Doctor looked like. Ninth was strange Doctor. He looked tough, but didn't act tough. 12th Doctor looks and acts tough. I think Doctor is still trying to find his style and can be something different in third episode. I liked this episode's Doctor. As I did with first episode's. I hope they don't try to make him funny like they did and failed with Ninth Doctor. They made that work with Tenth Doctor.

They missed opportunity to name this episode Journey to the Center of the Dalek. I would have like this episode more with that name. Episode had moments, but felt too much like remake of earlier episode and I didn't like what they did to Dalek's anatomy.


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Monday, September 1, 2014

Doctor Who: Deep Breath (2014)

SPOILER WARNING!!! This post spoils Doctor Who episode Deep Breath (2014).

I haven't seen 7th season of Doctor Who and this is written before I saw second episode  of 8th season. Please, keep that in mind when you read this post.

This was first time were really saw Peter Capaldi's Doctor. He had one frame in 50th anniversary episode and few seconds in Christmas special. Addition to that there were few photos released of Doctor's costume. What we got wasn't what I expected. Everything before this showed strong and angry Doctor. This Doctor was vulnerable and defeated. Stage was set for search of Gallifrey. In first episode Doctor says he don't believe he will find his "promised land" referring to Gallifray.

This was Doctor's first episode after regeneration. So what we got this time may not be what we get later. In first episode Doctor is confused and evolves into what he will be. Writer may not know how to write for this version of Doctor and so on.

In first episode after regeneration Doctor chooses his new clothes. In this episode Doctor just disappears and appear again in new clothes. He disguised himself as robots and he will wear that for rest of his run. I didn't like that. Choosing clothes tells us something about the Doctor. Does this mean this Doctor doesn't care what he wear? He stays in first decent clothes he wore.

What we saw after confusion part, was Doctor I could like very much. It was told this would be anti-Matt Smith's Doctor and it looked like that in good way. Matt Smith's Doctor was silly and impulsive, doing things without thinking too much. Peter Capaldi's Doctor is serious and darker. He talked robot into killing itself. Question is, are we getting this defeated, vulnerable and darker Doctor or strong and angry Doctor of specials and promotional materials. Or something in between.

Search for Gallifrey has been put to hold. This episode reintroduced robots from episode The Girl in the Fireplace. Are they having larger role in 12th Doctor's run or were they just villains in this episode? New character Missy will certainly have larger role in 12th Doctor's run. I guess she is time lord and Doctor's ex-wife or former girlfriend. Will she bring search for Gallifrey back and what does she want from the Doctor?

Matt Smith cameo was unnecessary. Everything it brought could be done with other characters and same of it was. I guess it was for Matt Smith fans, but for the story it was unnecessary.

Now that I follow Doctor Who same time with rest of the world, you can expect more Doctor Who Thursdays. I won't promise to do every episode. I will watch 7th season and I might do some of those episodes too. You can expect quite Doctor Who heavy next couple months.


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